Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Although its flowers are nearly done now, for the past few weeks we've enjoyed the beauty of the large rhododendron bush on the right-hand side of our front porch. Enjoy with me!

Home Improvements

Since moving into our new house, we have quickly learned that home improvements and repairs are both the blessing and bane of home ownership. In the two short months we have endured 4 plumbing issues, diseased tree decisions, chalky and dirty siding, not to mention the acquisition of heretofore unknown items such as a lawn mower.

The plumbing issues aside, some of which resulted from careless acts by nameless individuals in our own house, right now we are focusing on the exterior. You may recall from the earlier photos I posted that we had what we thought was a lovely dogwood out front. However, as spring sprang and the buds emerged only to wilt and die on the branches, producing a measly two flowers and only a partial array of foliage, we realized that we had a blighted tree on our hands. What to do? What to do? In the end we decided to chop it down, and one day while I was at work that is just what Trey did. I think it really freaked out our neighbor. You know, us just removing the thing from our front yard and all. We toyed with the idea of replacing it, but then we decided we really liked the openness it provided the house. It's not a very large front yard and probably shouldn't share any space with a tree.

Next step power washing and painting. We have aluminum siding that clearly hadn't been cared for in a long time. There were long black streaks down the back of the house, probably from moisture and pollen and dirt over the years. The power washing took care of that and most of the chalky, powdery coating beneath it. The next step is painting, which we are in the thick of right now.

With a white house, unfortunately, it necessitates priming in oil, not a material that most painters enjoy working with. However, the final result is worth the slimy undercoat. We picked a much more vibrant red for our front door, something that would really pop against the white backdrop. We also added really attractive black accents to the window trim. The final touch will be two porch swings that my mother-in-law treated us to as a housewarming gift.

Can't wait to share the finished product with you!

Monday, May 24, 2010


There is well-established precedent on this blog for comparison photos, past events to current, older children to younger. Trey, in particular, has the undisputed ability to recall a forgotten photo from previous years and uncannily match it to one from the present day. My ability is nothing to his, but in reviewing my snaps from Cape May I discovered a few of my own.

This photo was taken around the first week we arrived in Aberdeen, a week which boasted sunny skies and balmy temperatures, lulling us into believing the weather was always sunny and pleasant in Scotland. It was just the trickery of September. The first time I saw the photo I fell in love with it.

And this contemporary counterpart reminded me so much of it, father and son gazing out over the vastness of the sea.

This picture was taken a couple of months before we left for Aberdeen during our summer vacation in Cape May. Addison was about 16 months old and completely obsessed with the little pebbles scattered across the beach.

Evie had a similar obsession at our most recent visit although she inclined to slightly bigger stones, which she gripped tightly in each fist as she ambled across the sand humorously resembling a coconut bikini top. Look at how similar their expressions are!

The Cape in May

Not unlike many of our other trips to Cape May, the tale of two Saturdays ago hardly bears retelling. We did encounter a few added surprises this time around, however, including a mounted sheriff while ate our lunch and a lovely $15 handmade quilt at a local yard sale. It doesn't matter how many times we go, Cape May continues to be my happy place and who better to share it with than my happy little people?

Yet Another Attempt

So I've definitely been dragging this out. I will share the rest of the Cape May photos, but I had to put these three gems together in a post all their own.

It is nearly impossible to get them all looking and smiling at the camera...

at the same time.

I am holding out hope, however, as my good friend and seriously talented photographer, Rachel Owens (her photography website is Rachel Owens Photography), is coming into Philly the middle of July to shoot my sister's wedding and has agreed to photograph our three crazy kids as well. I've eyed her work enviously as she has photographed many of my friends' children back in Aberdeen, and now we get to enjoy her mad skills. Check her out. She is seriously good!

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Train Ride

First off, forgive the blur. Trains and iPhone cameras make poor bedfellows.

Last Sunday I took Evie on her first train ride. We didn't have enough room in our 5-seater Escape to accommodate another person, so I took Evie to church via train, one of the great benefits of our home's and church's respective locations.

She was very active. See the blur? Despite the lipgloss that captured her fancy for all of 5 seconds, she wanted to be in the seat next to me peering out the window or making googly eyes at the other passengers.

In the end I obliged.

And got one still photo.