Thursday, May 22, 2014

Epic Camping Fail

A few weeks ago, Marc and I arranged to have a few days off work together so we could take a long weekend somewhere. We decided we wanted to go camping and invited his brother and his girlfriend to head up to Dillon's Beach for the weekend (a place Marc and his family camped often when he was a kid). Sadly, his girlfriend woke up with a fever on the day we were supposed to leave so they couldn't make it. **Sign #1 that this trip wasn't going to go as planned** But instead, we decided to just head out and it would just be a weekend to ourselves.

Once we arrived to the campsite around 1:00, I was surprised to find it was really just a patch of grass with a picnic table. I asked Marc where the fire pit was and he pointed to a patch of dirt with no grass growing **Sign #2** The "campground" was a field of grass separated from the beach by some sand dunes. Roaming freely in the field were about 30 cows. Yes, cows. Mooing, eating grass, sniffing people's tents. It was most definitely a camping scene I'd never experienced before! **Sign #3**

We set up camp, pitched the tent and made some sandwiches to enjoy in the windy sun. Did I mention windy? It was a very windy day! Probably in the 60s but with 15 mph winds. This wind was blowing so hard our tent was whistling and the fabric was whipping around in the wind. We were sort of worried it was going to rip our tent to shreds. **Sign #4**

After lunch we decided to take a walk down to the marina where Marc said we were going to do some crabbing the next day. We bundled up with jackets and hoods, I had a down vest and a scarf even (that's how cold and windy it was and it was only about 3:00!) **Sign #5** The marina was very small, maybe a 20ft dock with some odd looking boats and interesting people around. But it was cozy, it's always nice to be in a different crowd and environment from time to time. Then we decided it was such hard work setting up the tent that we'd take a little nap (realizing then that we'd forgotten to bring pillows) - only to be woken up by a huge mama cow mooing at it's calf from about 10 feet from our tent. Talk about LOUD and hilarious!


Then, we walked over the dunes to the beach to watch the 20 kite surfers going back and forth in the waves - they were the smart ones in this story, enjoying the wind and actually wanting it to be there.

We decided we were hungry by then and wanted to head back to camp to make dinner. We grilled up some polish sausages, warmed the baked beans and made a gourmet bag salad. We found ourselves eating on the ground next to the car which served as a wind blocker (on the ground mainly because we forgot to bring chairs). **Sign #6** It was a good old camping dinner. Easy, quick, and yummy! After we washed our dishes, I thought Marc was getting something out of the car, but then I noticed he was sitting IN the car... As I opened the door to get in and ask what he was doing, I instantly realized. It was SO warm in the car! So I climbed in to warm up for a bit too. **Sign #7** The next thing I remember is Marc waking me up saying we had missed the sunset.... we had both fallen asleep for over an hour!! It was no nice to relax our bodies and warm up that we just passed out.

We agreed that our only chance of warmth outside the car was to start a fire, so with a push and a shove, Marc got out to start chopping the wood. By now it was about 8:30 and getting dark, and colder and windier. I was about to change into even more layers of sweat pants when I got out of the car and noticed Marc had only chopped 1 piece of wood in like 2 minutes. HA! He was so cold and tired it just wasn't happening. **Sign #8** So, I decided to ask him the question of the day: "Um.... are you still having fun...?" He looked at me with the same little bit of shame behind his eyes that I knew he could see in mine and responded with a quiet "Not really..." So I said what we'd both been thinking for a few hours - "want to just go home?" I promised that we could be packed and driving home in our nice warm car in 10 minutes tops! Much to my surprise, he agreed!!

So while cracking up, we jumped into action and deflated the air mattress, balled up the sleeping bags, ripped down the tent, threw it all in the car along with the ice chest and fire wood, and we were off!! It was a record pack job! The nosey woman eyeing us from inside her heated trailer 2 sites over was probably thinking that we were nuts and huge camping idiots. HAHA! I wish I had pictures of this part!

We headed back to the "ranger" to check out and explained, while laughing like weirdos, that we were leaving because we were cold and we didn't care about the non-refundable $60 fee. They, too, thought we were idiots, but we didn't care! We just ran back to the car and jumped in only to start laughing again at the sight we were to these people. We were home and warm in bed by 10:30 pm - even left all the food in the car to be unpacked the next day because, hey, it was going to be outside all night anyways if we were still camping, right?

The rest of the weekend turned out to be fabulous! We laid around all day being lazy because it felt like a free day to do nothing productive at all. It was definitely a memorable weekend to add to our collection of fun & silly things we've done together. And we got lots of good laughs out of it!

While we proved to be terrible withstanders of the cold & wind, we will return someday soon to try again at Dillon's Beach. But next time, we'll make sure we pick a warmer weekend, pay attention to the countless signs of camping failure, and make sure our friends can join us!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Two little turtles

Last weekend, was the much anticipated celebration in honor of my sister-in-law and two little girls on the way. It was hosted at my house, but many amazing ladies helped to pull the special event together. I'm going to mostly let the photos tell the story. It was such a fun day!

My sister made this! She's so talented!

The beautiful mommy-to-be and I!

the Sea-Turtle/Under Water Theme decorations turned out so so cute!


Delicious and super cute themed food!!


 Pinterest-worthy desserts!



The cutest gifts for Baby A & Baby B :)

and probably the funniest and most awkward gift: a framed baby picture of my brother...

Mommy holding the two very quickly dressed babies from the Pairs Dress-the-Twins Relay Race. Each pair could use only 2 hands - so that's one hand each, to put an article of clothing on the baby, then pass it to the next pair. Team Baby B was the winner!! but just barely... :) It was hilarious to see 40 ladies get really into this game!

 And I'll end with two really excited Aunties :)

Thank you to everyone who helped out to throw this beautiful shower for Paula and the twins. What a perfect day celebrating two little turtles who will make their debut in a few months. We love you both so much already Baby A & Baby B!

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Flooring - Before & After

Let me preface this post by saying that this whole project was started in early December and now we are in what month...? February?! What a project it's been and I am so so glad it's finally over. 

Marc and I knew right when we moved into the house that we would eventually want to rip out the carpet and put in hardwood in the living areas and new carpet in the bedrooms, we just weren't quite sure when we'd do it. Now that we're married and considering adding a dog to our family, we decided it was time to get this project out of the way.
To paint an accurate picture - this is what the living & dining rooms looked like before we moved in, so this is the previous owner's stuff... UGLY! haha.

Hi Kelly! :)
First, we started by ripping out the old carpet in the dining, living & family rooms, and the hallway. That was a pretty easy task, removing all the staples from the subfloor was the worst part - can you say blisters on our hands?! 

 Check out this beautiful linoleum from the 70s and some sort of odd electrical mat (we are thinking maybe it was a motion sensor for the alarm system)...

As you can see, the floor was covered in stains. The previous home owners had small dogs who had lots of accidents in the house and I guess they never cleaned up after them, because this spot below on the subfloor was STILL WET!! Talk about disgusting. We knew there was a carpet stain there and had cleaned it many times to try to get the smell out, but we never knew the extent of the damage. After using pet stain remover and bleach, Marc ended up chipping out the first layer of the subfloor, pouring in bleach then filling it with wood filler. THEN painting the problem areas with odor blocking paint. I think we finally got it....hopefully our house will smell normal soon!

Then, it was finally time to start laying down the laminate. After at least a month of research and bringing home samples from flooring stores, we chose the Select Surfaces Canyon Oak from SAM's Club which we found to be great quality for a great price! We also purchased their standard Premier from Armstrong underlayment. Since the laminate came with a pad already on the back, we opted not to upgrade the underlayment and have found that it was a good choice. When we walk on the floors, there is no "clicking" or echo sounds - great sound barrier!

The main reason this flooring took us so long was maneuvering from room to room, doorjams and around the oddly shaped kitchen cabinets. Lots of precise measuring, double checking, precise cutting (we borrowed my dad's chop saw and my uncle's small table saw and even used a handsaw for some of the intricate cuts and doorjams, all tools are a must!!). This is not a project for someone looking for a mindless update, it took lots of concentration, calculating and precision to make it come out right - just to give you an idea, each piece must be at least 12" long and 2" wide, so we had to measure the whole house and anticipate how long rows would be so we didn't get to the end and be left with a 5" gap... Lots of work!!

 Here is our first room transition!

In the kitchen, we decided to get a new dishwasher since the old one was on its way out anyways, plus the laminate is so thick that it would be a huge hassle to get the old one out after we put the flooring down. We are so happy with it! It runs so quietly and matches our fridge perfectly. Plus, Best Buy delivers the new one and hauls away the old one for FREE!! This is the link to the one we got. 

In the picture above, you can see the difficult angles of the kitchen cabinet/counter on the left of the photo - it's like a half-hexagon shape. That was a doosie!!

And so, I'd like to present, after 3 months of LONG, HARD work, the finished product!

still no furniture... :) but check out those baseboards!

the new beautiful "wedding wall" & new carpet in the bedrooms!
Also, here is a great shot from my beautiful sister-in-law's baby shower last weekend which was 100% our motivation for finishing the floors and baseboards last week! I will post more about the shower in a future post, so this is just a teaser.

 It turned out so perfectly and I can't wait to meet my little nieces in June! Now that the floors are done, I am excited to decorate the rest of the house since we have been putting off a lot of it since the carpet was so gross. We are so proud of ourselves for laying all the flooring ourselves! And thanks to our parents for helping with the finishing touches!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: What a year!

I can very easily say that 2013 has been one of fastest years of my life. I can't believe all that's happened in the past 12 months:

our engagement, wedding planning, becoming an Auntie, making lots of improvements to our new house

my best friend and I both getting married within a few months of each other, an amazing honeymoon in Hawaii, accepting the role of Matron of Honor for another great friend's wedding next year

traveling around the country for work, especially to Kentucky and watching horse races at Churchill Downs, witnessing AHS Water Polo history and they clenched the NCS Championship

another whirlwind holiday season filled with family, my Nana going to heaven and seeing my family gather around each other showing so much love and support, spending extra time with the grandparents that are still with us

then saying goodbye in style to that crazy, wonderful, busy, unforgettable year!

2014 has so much in store for the Fisher family:

some expected changes and some surprises, times of joy and surely times of struggle. we'll take it all on together. 

finishing the biggest home project thus far (new flooring throughout!), job changes, a quick visit to New Orleans, grad school, our nephew's 1st birthday, a trip to London, more wedding festivities, our one year anniversary, and many more! 

I am so lucky and blessed to get to share all these past memories and future moments with my family and friends. Here's to a fabulous year done, and another one just begun!