Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy birthday Dad!

Today, July 27, is my dad's birthday. While he's off celebrating fifty some years of life with his parents in Iowa, like the great son he is :), here's my best attempt at a birthday post for him.

My dad is the happiest person I know (well except when a project goes wrong...). He is always there to make you laugh, smile and just giggle because he's got something funny to say. One of his greatest qualities is the way he loves people and honestly thinks the best of everyone and truly tries to bring the best out in them. My dad does this with his friends and family, but especially in his work as a middle school teacher. As anyone can guess, that job takes a lot of patience and a good heart to know deep down that you are making a difference in these kids life, whether they know it or not. He's been doing it for over 20 years and I cannot even begin to imagine the lives that he has touched (co-workers included) during those years working in education.

It was funny because we had a surprise birthday/going away party for him last year around this time as he headed off to a mission trip to Africa at my parents house and a majority of the people that came from his work were around my age! He is always looking for ways to get to know people and talk/tell stories (hmm, wonder where I get that from?). We can rarely go anywhere in the Kansas City area without my dad running into someone that he knows. From school, from church, from coaching, or from whatever. And he always has something to talk to him about and make their day!!!

And what a work ethic he has. Anyone who reads my blog knows this.....my dad is always at our house working on projects. He is always trying to help out, try something new, add something to our house. We love him for that, especially because the projects always turn out amazing!!! And it's a nice treat that he is regularly at our house, for dinner, a nice conversation and someone to put a smile on our face!!!

Anyways-------hope you had a GREAT birthday, Dad. Thanks so much for the person you are, the smile always n your face, and being such a great person who is optimistic, which is what so many of us strive to be!! LOVE YOU and hope you had a great time in Iowa!!

Dad and his brothers and dad (my grandpa)!

Mom and Dad and my dad's parents in Iowa!

Dad and Jimmy, his first "son"

The Bruns family, expanding :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finished Kitchen!

Ok, so the final addition to the kitchen after the paint, new door hardware, floor demo and new tile floors, granite countertops were added....was new appliances. We really were only planning on getting a new fridge and then the whole thing just got the best of us and we reworked our budget, reallocated some of our money and presto---there you have it, 4 new shiny appliances to complete this kitchen remodel :)

We got them delivered the morning before Lyssa and Kevin's wedding and were on a tight schedule, so of course, there was some "drama". The microwave and dishwasher installation guys came first. They walked in, took the microwave down, put the new one up and done! Then it was onto the dishwasher. Once they got the old one out, they tried to get the new one in. Yeah, easier said than done. Apparently our space was just a quarter of an inch too small. Excellent. So we weren't going to make them wait as we sawed a 1/4 of an inch of cabinet wood off of the side, especially because we knew the oven and fridge were on it's way too. I, of course, immediately called my dad and asked him to come over with his jigsaw....while Jimmy figured he could just saw it (with a hand saw) himself. He actually did for a while and did a good job- however, when the jigsaw arrived...it went much faster.

Sawing takes place. New dishwasher in the middle of the kitchen. But you can see the new microwave!

Then it was fixed, they got the diswasher in clean without breaking anything (including tile-whew!) and we were a functioing kitchen again. In the mean time, the new fridge and stove arrived. The old stove disappeared and the old fridge is now the garage fridge.
So after, it looked like this.

And then I did a little "photo shoot" the other day, in which Jimmy insisted on getting in EVERY picture. I guess it was a positive he was wearing that green polo that kind of matched the walls, right? :) So here we go...presenting the new kitchen. FINISHED. FINALLY.

And these little beauties are from the front yard. They are gorgeous and seem to last forever if I just change the water :) They are a perfect fit on the hand painted tray (by my great aunt Anna Jean) that we acquired at the True Family reunion just a few weeks ago!!

So there you have it...the kitchen from START (see the 3rd picture down) to finish :) YEAH!!!!!
Now what room is next, haha?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surprise Date #2: "This place sucks"

All right, so Friday night, Jimmy and I went on surprise date #2...he planned it. If you can't remember the rules the surprise date, check out the first date where I list them out. Obviously, since he planned it, I had no idea where we were off to. However, I had mentioned several times how much I did want to go to a Japanese Steakhouse, so I was hoping that he caught on :)

We were off right after work on Friday and headed out around 6PM. I had no idea where we were going and I was pretty excited, if you can't tell in the picture. Jimmy was excited too.

Jimmy started driving down to the plaza and when he passed the plaza, I had an idea of where we were going. And when we parked, well it was very clear and I was very very excited because it was the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's a staple in Kansas City and crazy to think he or I had never been inside to walk around and see the art, since we have both lived in KC our whole lives! In particular, Hallmark is a large donor to this museum and the Hall family takes a lot of pride in their work and donations there, so I wanted to check it out....AND Carter Glass (Jimmy's dad's company) was the company that installed the glass on the famous Bloch building that is new to the museum and a new Kansas City marvel. It was chosen as Time Magazine's #1 Best New Up and Coming Architectural Marvel of 2007, so what an honor and this was something I wanted to see!!! So off we went, exploring the art, acting like real adults.

The beautiful grounds---despite the rain!

And the outside. So regal and beautiful!

Ready to explore the museum!!

The coolest part- is that the place is free! They just asked for a donation, which of course we gave, but you were free to roam around wherever you like. I know there were a few exhibits that were there that you had to pay money for, but we skipped them because there were plenty of great works of art to look at and explore all over!! It was great and I didn't realize that you could take pictures (minus the flash) until after we left. Bummer.

After exploring 1/2 the place, we headed over to the Bloch building and shot some great pictures!!


Hey Jim. I made him pose.

And me, posing.

Great view of the lawn, minus the rain.

And then of course, I took a picture of the interesting fellows that were "fighting" each other on the steps of the museum as we were leaving. Always run into interesting people :)

Then we were off to dinner. We were right by my favorite Japanese Steakhouse, GoJo's, so I thought for sure that's where we were going. But we went back to the plaza- so I knew that wasn't the case. But instead, we were off to Hibachi, which is another Japanese Steakhouse. YUM. I was excited.

Oh and we parked right by Halls. So of course, I had to snap a picture. :)

YUM. I love steak.

Our chef and part of the family we ate with.

However, I, of course, ruined the date about 10 minutes into our dinner, before we ordered, Jimmy commented how this place was kind of expensive. Then I proclaimed "Yeah, that's because this place SUCKS." So, so mature of me. And so, so rude....because if you recall that Jimmy took lots of time and effort planning, including taking note that I wanted to eat this type of food. He is not the biggest fan of GoJo's, so this was his compromise, and it was just as good, just not exactly what I wanted. So that's great. I'm rude and mean to my nice husband that planned this date. Hence, the title of this post, as I would like to make everyone aware of how mean I was/am. It didn't suck and I'm an adult and needed to be happy. So I did and was the rest of the night- even finishing off my whole plate!! However, Jimmy didn't let me forget that I said it. EVER. I guess, that's what I deserved.

We sat at the table with a family visiting KC from Nebraska and they had nothing but great things to say about KC. They were going to Schlitterbahn water park in KCK. The little kid made me feel like a total moron because I told the parents that there was a swim up bar for adults, and the kid said his parents don't like bars because it's not the Christian thing to do. Oops. Sorry kid, just wanted to let your parents know he could have a little fun. Anyways, he was a funny kid and they were a good family. The dad took pictures of us at the table and gave Jimmy his card so we could email him and get them. Eh, probably not, but nice.

Then after we stuffed our faces, I got to jump into bed to these little cutie pies :) Overall, a wonderful and great date- minus my idiot statement. But I think he forgave me. Now, it's my turn to plan it again. And I think I have a great idea! Yeah for surprise dates!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quite the bargain shopper

Everyone tends to make fun of me because in college, my saying would be "It was $5" whenever someone commented saying they liked my shirt or something like that. Mainly because I'm a bargain shopper. I usually don't buy any clothes unless they are $20 or under, just because I like the deal and the shopping part of it. Well, I will now prove to you where that comes from. My mom is the best bargain shopper I know. With everything, including clothes, furniture, home decor, food, etc. So here is a post with proof of her furniture bargain shopping :)

Apparently my mom was driving to work one day this summer and she saw this sign that says "model home furniture sale starts Thursday". It was Wednesday, so she didn't think twice about it. However, apparently a woman that also works with her went ahead and stopped by the sale and went into the office raving at how amazing the sale was and how she got these insanely expensive chairs for almost nothing and that they had to go. So my mom immediately went over there and found some amazing stuff for almost nothing. And best yet, my sister needed some furniture because she is moving into an apartment in Manhattan this fall! And the best part was, it's very quality and awesome furniture for super cheap. She only spent $1000 and got all kinds of stuff. Unbelievable! All I had to say was that, TAKE ME NEXT TIME!!! So here's a little taste of what they got....

Great wall divider that has drawers on both sides--- but she is just going to put it up against the wall. It was SOOO heavy. But looks amazing. Second was this awesome chest that is solid wood that she put in the entry hall. Gorgeous!

Then a great chenille purple couch in the library. That is why we got the old plaid couch for the man cave! So comfy!!

Then my sister got a great white couch that is in 2 parts. Great first couch!! WOW!

And finally a awesome 2 seater chair and ottoman, that looks great in the family room!!! Love this picture of them :) And my happy sister with her little pup Lani!

Lyndsay also got a great wood table that is awesome! AND my parents went back to pick everything up- my dad found a king size head and foot board, which meant they had to get a king size bed, and my mom had to bargain shop for some additional king size bedding and curtains. And of course she found them all for a steal at Kohl's. Gotta love her, with her great style, shopping skills, and sense of taste!

Great deal Barb! Keep it up- and thanks for the great bargain shopping skills. And remember, take me next time :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Man cave...it's moving

Ok, remember the post about how the "mancave compromise was almost complete"? HA. Never a static moment in this Carter house. As that "compromise" was in January- lots of things have changed...one being we are married and permanently living with each other. Which means more time for Jimmy to endure my complaining about how I would just love to paint the paneling.

So what do we do? Move the man cave. Yep, that's right. It's moving down the sub basement. And my dad has really been into it and making sure Jimmy has a great space. Nothing fancy...no sheetrock on the outside walls, but a chair and TV will do, right? Well, my dad has made it his summer goal to make Jimmy's new man cave just that---a man cave. He has been working long and hard on it. One Friday afternoon actually, Jimmy got home early and by the time I got home, I was curious to see if my dad has been downstairs yet and talked to my dad. Nope- apparently my dad made it very clear he needed more time. So when he was finally ready, he presented us with "Jimmy's man cave, version 1"

What we saw when we walked downstairs. Just needed the cable outlet.

The other side of the basement- complete with new storage shelves.

My dad utilized everything that we had downstairs. Rocking chair with table side coolers. He even hung up all of Jimmy's decor that he previously wanted to put in the man cave.

And then after lots more work, hours and sweat---he finished the walls, the sheetrock and the doors. So now they are truly 2 separate rooms. Oh, and Jimmy got his wish and painted the KU flag on the wall. He's so artistic :) But hey, for now it truly is his man cave so really, I told him he can do whatever he wants with it. And I'm letting him. Well, that is until any kids come along....because then it will be transformed into a playroom. Sorry, Jim. But for at least a few years, it's all yours babe!! And from what I can tell, he's taking full advantage! With lots of "manly" decor and regular P90X work outs down there, I think he likes it. And those two TV's with two cable outlets, he's all set for sports season.

The new view with old furniture from my parents house. Love the unused rugs that are now being utilized!

And....the KU flag. He is finishing the painting the "K"

Looking back at the door you come down. Complete with a poster on the door. But now you can't see any of the furnace/AC, etc.

The doors....and TADA. Now you see it.

My dad, of course, did a fabulous job and his handy work paid off. We are leaving the outside walls bare for now. We painted them to make them not as gross. But in the mean time, Jimmy likes it because it's more "man cavish" to him, and means less money we have to spend now. So we'll go with it. So there you have it. A true man cave now, just for Jimmy :) And my dad has this amazing scoreboard (real size) that we used to have in my parents basement that he's bringing over to hang on the wall - that will add quite something.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trip to OKC: True Family Reunion II

While last year we had to make the long trip to Lubbock, TX and had some pretty funny events happen (remember the broken hotel sink??), this year we cut the drive in half and went to Oklahoma City!! It was nice because we could leave on Saturday and not have to take a day off of work, but that made for quite the fast turnaround. My mom and sister went down on Friday though with my grandparents so we could all comfortably ride down instead of trying to cram 5/6 people in Jimmy's SUV. So on the way down it was me and the boys: Jimmy, my dad and Andrew. It was rather strange being in a car with all guys that I consider "family" because a short while ago we were female dominate!

So 6AM, we were off! First stop: McDonalds for breakfast, in which the people tried to take a $20 bill from us. However, it's one of those had to be there stories, so I'll spare you. Then it was to Ottawa, KS to drop Lani (my sister and Andrew's dog) off at Andrew's parents house for the weekend. And I got to meet Bailey, their family wiener dog! She was SO adorable!!

Then we were in it for the long haul, only making one stop on the way down before we hit OKC. Guess that's what you get when you ride with a bunch of guys!? We stopped at this cute BBQ place, County Line BBQ to eat a big lunch. This place was really good with HUGE portions and HUGE drinks. And it was fun because they sat you in little individual rooms. Fancy. Haha.

After lunch, I ditched the guys and met up with the girls- my aunt, mom and sister and we went shopping. I cannot remember the last time I went shopping for clothes, so it was fun. I got some good deals at Dillards and NY & Co for work clothes and then of course we hit up Ross, where I got Jimmy some stuff too! But we were having an early dinner, so it had to be cut a little short. In the mean time the guys all went to Bricktown in OKC, which was most likely Jimmy's idea because he really likes being "manly".
Dinner was planned with the whole True family, at Furr's cafeteria - yum, I know your mouth is salivating. I thought it was ok, then again I'm the type of person that enjoys any kind of food. Jimmy was very picky and only ate macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. We shared the "party" room with a 50th birthday party, so we got to participate in some fun Happy Birthday songs. All in all, the older folks really enjoyed it and it provided us with good entertainment I would say. Jimmy might not have had as rosy of an outlook :) All I know is that I got a hot fudge sundae at the end and I was happy! Throw in that slice of lemon meringue pie and I was kind of glowing...or maybe that was because it was so hot. You can tell in the picture below how happy Jimmy was to be there.

Anyways, we did see this from a family member that no one knew. Apparently it's not common to see such a large trailer on top of a normal sized truck. Needless to say, they went to dinner and we never saw them again. Interesting. Do you think they really were family? :) Kidding.

The day ended with another fabulous True family auction where my mom's cousin David and my dad were the auctioneers. They were hilarious, as usual....turning "junk" into family heirlooms---even if they weren't. I did get an awesome black tray with a floral arrangement painted on it by my great aunt Anna Jean. My mom tried to get some more china, but she didn't win that bid! I got some hand crocheted booties for our dogs (haha--I don't think that was the true intention of them) and my sister actually got some AMAZING pictures from an old fashion magazine that she is going to hang up in her new apartment! Jimmy got a funny looking wooden bird (to go along with him naked angel lamp he bought two years ago), which will make it's home in his new man cave - details to come soon on that progress! But Andrew truly walked away with the real prize : an "antique" glass seahorse from Avon that is 50 years old. His max bid was $7 and he sure got it. I think he was intending to use it as a flask, but after purchase he saw there was left over perfume (maybe 50 years old) remaining in it. Not sure if he'll actually use it!

Then Sunday we were up early to grab breakfast at the hotel, stop by 7-11 and then back to KC!! Yeah for family road trips- next up...Carter family vacation to Brason!!