September 24, 2011

WOW. These past two weeks have been BUSY. Busier than we've been in months. But, it's good. Life is good (: Hang on goes how our life of laziness purposed relaxation quickly dissolved. One of the biggest things goin' on -- I started a new job 2 weeks ago as a paralegal. It's awesome! I'm still learning a lot [a whole lot actually] but I am really excited about it. I also started an 8 week women's Bible study through Grace called Ezer. It's a fairly new study that Grace is offering,"to help develop a common language surrounding the core callings and temptations of women and what it means to be a feminine image bearer." My group decided that we are the Ezer Warrior Queens. I am excited about growing with these lovely ladies over the next few weeks. Mike also joined a Bible study with his dad that will last 8 weeks as it was perfect, even though they're on different nights of the week. Lastly, we've joined a small group through Grace and lemme just say, God is GOOD! These people are such a blessing and we love meeting with them every week.

And, with all of this going on, we're still making progress on the house. Thankfully Mike still has a few weeks until he starts back to work so he's been slaving at the house all day every day workin' hard to get it ready! (: People, it's lookin' gooood! Windows, Hardie board, and cabinets have been ordered. Whew. Those were the biggest things hanging over our heads & we knocked them off the list in 2 days. Now we're just waiting for them to come in so we can get rid of the old windows, aluminum siding and hopefully have somewhere to store all of our kitchen goodies and new appliances! Check out the progress...ooohhh & ahhh if you like (:

Last bit of demo!
The boys cuttin' the last bit of plaster out 

Vacuuming the dust! 

My, Whitney, & Kayla's job 

whooohooooo!!! ceiling!!

painting moulding! (:
priming the moulding 

oh wait, what's that?! almost a complete wall!
Mike finishing the walls in the den. This means we can start priming! Whooohoo!! 


trim (: and walls patched
This is the front bedroom - we had to patch several holes from when the electricians worked. The trim has also been painted with trim paint (: --- once the moulding goes up, it'll be ready for paint. Hallelujah! 

herring-bone floor in the "nook"
This is the nook -- Dad, you're the BOMB. Look at that herring-bone floor he laid for us! 

September 18, 2011

f a l l

This weekend Mike and I ventured to Virginia for a family reunion on his side -- it's all of his great-grandmother's children and their families! It was super cool for me because I got to meet a lot of family that I've never had the chance to meet before. And, if you know me, you know that I LOVE genealogy - I've been working on the McCraw family tree for a few years, so I'm pumped to be able to work on Mike's side with some first hand knowledge of these people. (:

We traveled down on Saturday, making the 4+ hour drive after I threw a wedding shower for my cousin Courtney who is getting married in October. We arrived at Betsy's - you'll remember her from our time in Pearisburg, VA while we were on the trail. She was so sweet to open up her home to us yet again, taking on the whole Martin clan [all 7 of us under one roof..what a treat!] and Brock Loophole. More on Loop in a minute. We hung out 'til the wee hours of the morning, then Mel, Mike, Me and Brock camped out in her living room - throwing sleeping bags and therm-a-rests everywhere. Good stuff! This morning, we woke up to a "Betsy breakfast" consisting of eggs, bacon, gourmet garlic grits, homemade biscuits served with homemade apple butter & peach preserves. YUM! Who needs lunch after all that? Our morning was spent around Betsy's round dining room table - all 10 of us. Her friend Larry, whom we LOVE came to visit for a bit before we zipped off to the park for lunch and the reunion. What a treat. I can't think of a better way to spend one of our first fall weekends of 2011! [Another happy note - OUR Tigers WON! I will admit that I am very much a fair-weather fan..but I'm happy with Clemson's domination on Saturday!]

breakfast at betsys

And now, I'm gonna do it. Talk about fall that is (: I would bet that fall is the favorite season of most of you who partake in reading my blog. I'm on your page. For those of you who could care less if it's a sweltering 100+ degrees outside or a frigid 32, just bare with me. Betsy calls fall "the most sense-teasing of the four seasons." Amen. I think for me that's why I love it so. I love the smells. You know you can smell the first hint of fall in the air, and you already have. The leaves are starting to change. How fun it is to stomp those suckers once they've hit the sidewalk! Porches are soon to be littered with pumpkins and sidewalks with bright red, yellow, and orange leaves, and of course acorns. Last year I took advantage of the acorns & created nut wreaths for Christmas gifts. I love them & can't wait to put ours up on our new front door! (: OOhhh baby, I know you've felt the chill in the air lately too. It was so nice to be able to throw on jeans with a long-sleeve tee, my favorite pullover and cowboy boots at the reunion this weekend. I showed Mike's family that there is some country in this girl. Don't judge. (: I'm looking forward to more of those weekends, hopefully some apple picking, day light savings - I like it to get dark early for a while, chilly evening walks around our new block once we get moved in, apple cider, pie baking, Aunt Het and the 9th annual Laurens Hope 5K [you should totally come out (: ], our 2 year anniversary, lazy saturdays, weekends by the fire at the lake with our dear friends, and my cowboy boots. Bring it on!

me and melbug

me, mel and mikey

**Side note on Loop -- he's southbounding from the Lexington, VA area where he started with us. It worked out where he was going to be coming through Pearisburg this weekend when we were there, so we scooped him up and fed him lots and let him sleep in a warm house for the night. You'd be surprised by this because when we were all on the trail it was pretty populated with people - but he's not seen very many people...a few section hikers and ONE other southbounder. That means he's been by himself a lot. And, it's gotten really cold! Poor guy. I tried to bring him home with us, but he wanted to head back out, so after stuffing him silly at the reunion we sent him on his way. Mrs. Pam, he's healthy and somewhat happy (:

sendin' loop back out there

back on the trail

September 11, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Kendall Dye

The Marriage Ceremony of 
Haley McCraw & Kendall Dye
September 10, 2011 
5 PM 

I can't believe my little sister is married. It seems like only yesterday we were fighting over American Girl dolls or who was pitching in the softball game. Over time though something happened [my parents warned us that it would] and we evolved from "enemies" to best friends. She's the crazy, loud, say what you're thinkin' one & I'm the calm, collected, organized one. But she's stuck with me. We've been through a lot together and everyday I am thankful for my Haley Boo. I am so excited for her and Kendall as they are starting off their marriage and my prayer is that their marriage will reflect Christ to those around them. 

Enjoy their big day (: We sure did!

favors at the bridal brunch
favors at the Bridal luncheon 

bridal luncheon
eating the delicious food 

me & the BRIDE
me & haley boo! 

haley with her bridesmaids 

me and the best
me and my best at haley's rehearsal dinner

me and mikey
me and my mikey after dinner 

wedding hair
got my hair did 

haley boo gettin' her hair did
gettin' her hair did 

we got our hair done!
after we got our hair done! 

signs that i made
one of the signs i made for the neighborhood! 

thanks Buttercream Bakehouse (:
the DELICIOUS cake
*Thanks Buttercream Bakehouse*

me & haley boo
me and Haley waitin' to get the show on the road!

the beautiful bride
Here's to You & Kendall (:

September 9, 2011

wedding week

Well folks, for those of you faithfully reading along as Mike and I enter into home-ownership, I know you're wondering what we've gotten done lately. The truth is...not much. This week has been odd to say the least. The electricians [bless them] worked on Monday - Labor Day, to finish up their work. The inspector came & didn't pass their work. Let me just say that we've really enjoyed having them around. Quite honestly, we've missed them sauntering in and out of rooms "singing" along with the radio. Anyway, after their inspection wasn't passed, they came back to fix their errors [they typically work in Anderson county which apparently has different codes from Greenville county. Go figure.] and called the inspector, who is coming back today around lunch time to re-check their work. Fingers crossed! Because of the setback with the inspector we haven't been able to get the kitchen walls installed as we'd planned. This was a huge bummer and put a damper on instead of having a kitchen that's ready for floors, appliances and cabinets, it looks the same as it has for a while. Another task to keep on the ever growing list for next week. Oh well, ce la vie (: True to form though, while we were halted in the kitchen we were able to finish some other things on our list. Mimi & Gram primed the hallway--which made all the difference in the world!! The wallpaper that had been previously scraped off left a nice coat of seafoam [??} green chipped paint exposed, so we took care of that! (: We also go the ceiling in the kitchen mudded and sanded - ready for primer, doors scraped, and the house cleaned up & ready for another work week. Whew. I'm tired just from talking about it.

ANNDDDD we stopped work on the house on Wednesday this week so we could help my parents get their house ready for my sister's wedding! (: She's getting married TOMORROW, so we've been scurring around trying to make everything perfect. Both the ceremony and recption are going to be at my parents house [like our reception was] so it's been really fun / neat to be doing for her what we were doing for our wedding almost TWO years ago! We've been celebrating for about a week, with the bridal brunch last weekend & we're super excited for the wedding celebration to get underway tonight with the rehearsal and dinner...let the good times roll! And Happy Wedding Weekend Haley & Kendall!

Food @ Haley's bachelorette / lingerie party
food at Haley's bachelorette / lingerie shower

The Bachelorette!
the bachelorette!

me & Haley @ her shower
Haley Boo & Me at her shower

Heidi, Haley, Ashton, Me & Amber
Heidi, Haley, Ashton, Me & Amber 

September 5, 2011

Work Days

Last Saturday we had a work day. Friends came and provided labor ... while we provided pizza (: It was a great deal if you ask me! Our friends rock - thanks y'all!

Work Day

Ben - Work Day

my mom - Work Day [bless her! I HATE removing wallpaper]
Mom = person number 1 workin' on wall paper

Chris - Work Day

CJ & Melissa - Work Day

Carson & BD - Work Day

Dinner Break

Carson scraping wallpaper
Carson = person number 2 working on wall paper

Bathroom Demo

Ta Da!

1.5 ft insulation from the attic

Work Evening

Carson & Elledge demoing the kitchen

BD Scraping wallpaper
BD = person number 3 workin' on wall paper

Mimi scraping the wallpaper
Mimi = person number 4 workin' on wall paper
[can you tell that I loathe wall paper?!]

Kitchen Ceiling going up

hangin' out

Mike "working"

September 4, 2011

Knee Deep

Well folks, we're knee deep in this process. We're making progress, but it's slow goin'. It'll just make it that much sweeter when we're finished and moved in (: Check out our progress! 

Workin' on the laundry / mudroom
Papa workin' hard 

Starting work!
Rebuilding the laundry / mudroom 

Scraping floors
my favorite job...scraping carpet backing

Kitchen Demo
Mike demoed the kitchen! There were FIVE layers of floor on top of beautiful oak floors. 

Makin' progress in the kitchen
This is before the floors, walls & ceiling were removed.

Front porch - removing astroturf!
We've picked out Hardie board and scraped the front porch [well, Carson and Bryan did on our work day]