I hardly ever question anything Ross is doing over at the house, but I did poke a few inquiries his way about his plans for outside. It was pretty innocent questioning because one time I tried to talk to him about when we should lay grass seed and his answer was pretty much “Don’t ask me about GRASS SEED right now.” So I just asked him…”Now that the inside is so nice…have you thought about the outside of the house at all?” And we honestly didn’t discuss it much, outside of the obvious fact that the garage needed a floor, and Ross insisted the front steps needed to be straighter and the front driveway should be redone due to bad cracking.
Of course, being a chick, I pinned a bunch of cool walkways and outdoor patios that I liked on Pinterest, and when we were in bed he would glance over at the iPad and ask if that was the look that I liked. It worked out great, because that is exactly the look we achieved with the walkways at the house and I didn’t even have to stick my nose in it! The driveways are kind of boring to me personally but those are worth a post too. Have a look!
Our new front driveway spans all the way to the back patio so you can park on the side of the house and go in the back door
New garage driveway
Future walking path from the house to the garage
Making the pattern on the concrete walkway with a stencil
Patio by the back door
Rustoleum concrete stain
Backyard walkway completed
The epitome of my relationship with my mother is her trying to make me just like her. Maybe this is what all moms do to their daughters (cringe!). Sons seem to want to be just like their dads, while it seems like daughters usually do the opposite of whatever their mom wants.
She always wanted me to become a librarian, so I’ve always done just about anything I had to do never to become a librarian. Bah. Joke’s on her. One of our recent conversations sticks out and made me laugh today (as it does many days) so I had to share:
My mom: “I can’t believe you wear those ridiculous tennis shoes. Those provide absolutely no support for your feet.”
Me:”Mom, these are Vans, which are unisex, so they have a wider toe box which are typically only found in men’s shoes, and they don’t cramp your toes like women’s shoes. Plus, I can wear my insoles with these.”
My mom:”Oh, I’m so thankful that you wear insoles. They are the absolute best thing for your feet. You don’t even know how happy I am to hear that you wear insoles.”
She’s hilariously bipolar. And has no idea about shoes.
Half jokingly, I asked Ross if he knew what stepwise refinement was. He was on his phone, and I assumed he wasn’t actually listening to me, but then he looked up and said this gem:
“Usually the less I know, the better.”
Besides being hilarious, isn’t that the truth sometimes!? I play the dumb blonde card more than I care to admit, because it saves time, energy, and frustration and when people underestimate you it’s a good thing in my experience. More reasons to love that man. There’s a genius behind those muscles.
We went with my brother and his fiance to a cabin at Elbow Lake Lodge outside of Ely. It was perfect weather and the weekend went way too fast. We had a lot of fun without the kids but of course we missed them the whole time, too!
Elbow Lake Lodge from the huge dock
My favorite part was mini-golf. They had the most insane, coolest, most creative mini-golf course I’ve ever seen. We were going to do a few rounds of golf, but it was so challenging we ended up running out of time!
Taking a break from mini-golf
I was secretly hoping my brother would propose at the lighthouse. After encouraging them to go out there, I was hoping he would suddenly pull out a ring and just do it, already. But of course he had his own plans for a proposal that we weren’t witness to at all. I’m sure we’ll hear all about it soon!
My brother and his now-fiance walked out to the little lighthouse
We brought Ross’ boat so we took that out a few times. It was fun to drive around and check out all of the neat properties on Elbow Lake. Some were perched right on the rocky shoreline, and we all loved the fact that they were literally on the water.
The shoreline from the boat
Apparently I was the only one who didn’t know how to play 500, so they taught me how to play and I started winning pretty quickly! It was a lot more fun than I expected, and we played that pretty much every evening.
The beach at Elbow Lake
We had a great time at Elbow Lake Lodge and hope to go back soon.
I was making something in the kitchen and I heard George mumbling to himself in the living room. Of course I was curious what he was talking to himself about, so I stopped what I was doing and went over to eavesdrop. This is what I hear…so adorable!
…”The team races to the lighthouse…this is a job for the Paaaaw Patrolllll….!”
We had a date night recently and as per usual, we used it to work on the house. At first, I held back and did some work on my laptop while Ross worked on the hex tile. However, I got bored pretty quickly and asked Ross how I could help. He said the best thing I could do is pre-cut tile to the specs he provided. When he didn’t need a half piece of the hex tile, he would draw on the tile with a permanent marker and I would cut it.
I learned a lot about cutting tile. Incorrectly, I assumed you had to slam the handle down on the tile and it would actually scratch the tile a tiny bit. Ross didn’t really notice, but eventually he came over and told me I didn’t need to slam it down but just very gently tap the tile, after it is cut. Low and behold, tapping the tile after cutting it was really slick! We were a great team and the tile looks great. I kind of appreciate chipping in and rolling up my sleeves alongside my man.
Using the tile cutter
We cut a sheet at a time
1/4 x 3/16 V-Notch Pro Trowel and tile adhesive
We installed 1/4 in. Georgia Pacific DensShield on the floor and 1/2 in. on the wall
Hex tile being installed in the downstairs bath
Downstairs bath hex tile finished
View of the bath from the downstairs hallway
Subway tile being installed on the walls and shower!
I was getting the boys ready one morning and Julius was all over George, as per usual, when he happened to sneeze.
George: “Argh! Waaaaahhhaa!”
Me: “What!? What’s wrong?”
George: “Julius blessed me!!”
He did probably get some baby snot on him, because Julius is always either on top of George or right next to him, but George’s panicky reaction was pretty funny. He obviously does not get the concept of a blessing yet!
I enrolled George in Science Camp at the Science Museum of Minnesota. He’s only three so he was one of the youngest ones there, but he had a blast and it made me really excited for him to go to preschool this fall. He loves other children and most kids (and adults) seem to really enjoy his character. It’s hard to define him, but he’s very wary, intelligent, joyful but thoughtful. He gets excited easily, and can be emotional, but some of that may be his age. He’s very genuinely interested in other kids – he wants to play with everyone. I also think he “brushes it off” well when other kids don’t share or take toys away from him.
First day of camp – he was a little nervous I think!
He had many questions about dinosaurs
I’m a little disappointed in the number of girls registered for Science Camp. There was like 1 – maybe 2 girls and the rest were all boys. Is it any wonder there are fewer women in medical, science and technology fields? We don’t send our girls to science camps, we send them to ballet camps on the rare chance they move to Paris and become a ballerina.
Listening to his teacher
George’s teacher seemed to really enjoy him
He plays really well with his seven year-old cousin so I think he keeps up with older, faster kids well. He plays pretty well with Julius too, so I think that makes him well-rounded and amiable. He really enjoyed Science Camp and I’ll definitely enroll him in more summer camps as long as I am able. It’s so worth it to see the change in him from only a few days of new people, surroundings and knowledge. He’s definitely ready for preschool! But, am I ready for him to be in school?? Not hardly. EEEEK!
He was afraid to go by the polar bear until I went over and growled, then he acted tough and broke out his big guns 😉
I was watching Ross lay the hex tile in the upstairs bathroom and it looked amazing. I told him I loved it even more than the marble tile in our downstairs bedroom at home. Half-joking, I told him I wanted to take it to our house. He shook his head and said this gem:
“It’s like being a drug dealer, honey. You can’t take from your own stash. If you start doing that, you’re not going to make any money.”
This was so much work. I can’t even count the hours Ross put in ripping up old carpet, fighting with carpet glue, sanding and coating. But I fervently believe this was the single most valuable feature we pulled out of this house, for the least amount of money. I mean, the sander was $200. It’s just the work involved – the elbow grease – that sucks so bad. Plus we had to patch areas because “somebody” had to have wider doorways that let in more light…I always further complicate things. But it was all worth it…and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…!
Sandpaper for the edger
Living room carpet glue we sanded off
Entryway staircase landing
Downstairs living room floor
Master bedroom floor next to the chimney
We took up all of the kitchen floors to make the hardwood carry through to the back hallway
Relaying the kitchen floors
Downstairs dining room floors
Master bedroom floors
Downstairs dining room floors finished
Master bedroom floors finished