Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Daughtry Concert

Last night, Chris and I went to the Daughtry Concert. As some of you may remember from last season on American Idol, Chris Daughtry was one of the contestants that stuck around to the top 4 before he was voted off. He has done exceptionally well since then, and has an awesome new album out! He is friends with our friends Mary and Jason. Mary and Chris tried out for American Idol together up in Denver last year. She, of course, has been keeping up with his career since then and has been good to let us know when he will be on TV, and let us know that he would be performing in town. This is exclusive material...the video and pictures. They explicitly said no cameras were allowed inside. However, after a few drinks, I was feeling brave and decided to take some anyways! I was able to hide my camera back in my purse before the big burly security guards could see where the flash was coming from...go me!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our New Floor

We don't have any decent "before" pictures of the floor, but it was nasty peel-and-stick tile. Thanks to our brother-in-law Tyler for hooking us up with the sweet new floor! Armstrong lay flat linoleum is fantastic!
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Look what I did this weekend!!!

Chris just got a new computer last week, so he has been working like crazy to get it all set up. Since my best buddy is out of commission, I have been so bored! This weekend, I decided that I was tired of vacuuming around the linoleum that our brother-in-law Tyler gave us at Christmas-time. (Tyler gave us some linoleum to use in our bathroom. He is a flooring wholesaler, so could get his hands on some scraps of pretty nice material for us!) I decided the time was now to finally make some more major progress on our bathroom renovation. Oh my goodness, does it look SO GOOD!! Everyone thought that we were nuts to try to install linoleum on our own, but I have to say, it was surprisingly easy! I got a big sheet of paper, and made a template of the bathroom floor. Then I rolled out the linoleum in the living room, laid the template on top of it, and cut the linoleum to the approximate size. Then I took it into the bathroom (having already removed the toilet and vanity with Chris's help!) and laid it out. Then I made some more cuts as needed until it was the perfect size. Then, I folded the linoleum back about half way, demo'ed out the old floor, put down adhesive, laid the linoleum back down, and took some time to check for air bubbles and work them out. Then I did the other half following the same process. It took me about 6 hours, which isn't too bad overall. After having it set overnight, and seeing how it has settled, it really feels sturdy and looks great! I spent today nailing in the baseboards, caulking where there aren't baseboards, and doing other finish work to really get it all cleaned up. Go me!

Sarah, Chris, & Maggs

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Christmas 2006

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Christmas Pictures

I wanted to share these pictures. Wendy Crosby, Chris’s aunt, took them at Christmas. We seem to so rarely have good pictures together! We are usually places where we are together, just the 2 of us, so either one ot the other of us has to take the picture, so this was a nice treat. Chris and I went to Kansas City this year for Christmas. It was so nice to see everyone again. Chris’s brother Mark was home from the Army. It was our first time seeing him since he joined and went through basic training. He really looked good and seemed to be so happy with his choice. We are really excited for him, and proud of all he has accomplished. Chris’s sister Laura and her husband Tyler also joined us for Christmas. It is always fun to hang out and catch up with them. They are doing great as usual. And it was fun to spend time with his parents. They had just re-done their kitchen this last year, and this was the first Christmas with this amazing new kitchen! They had the house all decorated, and it was such a nice place to spend the holidays! We did end up spending a few extra days out there because there were such horrible snow storms in Colorado that had the highways closed. There are far worse places to get stuck than at the Wilkerson’s! It was a nice week. We slept late, saw lots of relatives, watched movies, and we did a day trip down to Springfield. We saw lots of old friends, and of course, went to visit the bike shop among other old haunts! It was great to be there. Our life together in Springfield seems like so long ago! I guess it has been 6 years since we lived there! We hope to try to go back to Kansas City again this summer for a long weekend.

Our Water Heater with Insulation Blanket

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An Inconvenient Truth

So after hearing many comments about that movie, Chris and I finally sucked it up and rented it. It was very informative, and of course, led to some more house projects!

We discovered that it was pretty cheap and easy to do a few simple things to try to become more energy efficient. We put an insulation blanket around our water heater ($20). I went under the house and insulated all of our water pipes ($15). Chris was a weenie and said he didn’t want to go into the crawl space to help me, so I did it all by myself…hoo-yeah!! Chris always accuses me of using all the hot water in the mornings, so maybe this will help with that as well! We are also exploring compact fluorescent bulbs. I have to say that they are UGLY. I guess that is the whole point of the movie…that making these changes isn’t convenient. We did find that there are bulbs that are long-life ones that aren’t compact fluorescent that look pretty good. They have the energy star label, so they aren’t so bad. They do flicker when you turn them on. I am going to try to live with it! Any other cheap ideas anyone else has found? I can’t afford solar panels, or a hybrid car, but I can afford these other changes!

I recommend the movie to anyone that likes well thought out and presented documentaries. It will really make you think, and respect the world that we all live in so much more.

All Dressed Up for the Gala

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AIA Gala

Chris’s architecture firm invited Chris to attend the American Institute of Architects gala last December. It’s an award ceremony, dinner and drinks kind of event. We had to get all dressed up (which Chris wasn’t so happy about). Chris didn’t win any awards, but got a lot of honorable mentions for some excellent work he did for the AIA-South chapter. This year he managed a project where he and a bunch of other architects from other firms in town generated 3-D models of downtown Colorado Springs for Google Earth. He also won a door prize. He won a free license to Google Sketch Up Pro (Google’s 3-D software worth $500). Everyone thought that was pretty funny since he is the local Sketch-Up expert amongst the architects in town.

The After Pictures...

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The Before Pictures...

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Gross Faux Plastic Tile on the Walls

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Chris and I start the demolition!

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Bathroom Rennovation

As most of you know, we have successfully gutted our bathroom! It was so sorely needed. Our bathroom prior to the change was known by many names…the ladies room (because of the pink fru-fru), the pink plastic palace, etc. It was COVERED in faux plastic materials that were so, so, so ugly! And poorly installed. We haven’t posted this change yet because we are still not finished with it. It is just going to take some time to finish off the other pieces. We did the following:

• Stripped the shower area down to the studs. We put up new mold and mildew resistant drywall.
• Tiled the shower. We added a soap dish (that we didn’t have before), and a couple of shelves for all of my bazillions of shampoos and conditioners
• We pulled the faux tile off the walls, and replaced it with wainscoting.
• We painted out the pink, and replaced it with blue and white
• We changed out the shower curtain and bath mats to something a little more gender-neutral (you are welcome Chris!!)
• Put up new baseboards (they are not yet nailed in because we still need to replace the floor)

We still need to finish the following:
• Paint the ceiling
• Replace the floor (thanks to our Brother-In-Law Tyler, we have the flooring. We just need to install it)
• Change out the drain and lever that switches between the tub and the shower to the new brushed nickel stuff we are now using. Again, we have what we need to do it. Just need to install it!

The home improvement projects never stop. We plan to do our kitchen next. We want to paint the cabinets white (they are blue and white now). We want to change out the countertops and the sink. We want to replace the floor as well. And we need to re-wire a few things. We hope to do that in the next few months so stay tuned for more “before and after” pictures!