Friday, July 8, 2016

First Time Flippers

We finished our first house flip! We bought it in March 2014 and sold it at the beginning of this June. We've already started in on our second house. Here are some before and afters of our first one

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Old Married Lady

We got married! And it was excellent. The day itself was everything we wanted. 

More than anything I was struck by how the people there were genuinely happy for us. Not just "oh congrats on the nuptials" kind of happy but truly, blissfully thrilled for us. And supportive of this thing we decided to do. All we heard was how everyone shed tears during the ceremony.  

J and I decided almost two years ago that we were fully committed to each other and, as a result of that commitment, we would get engaged and married. We were really excited about it - but at that point it was just between the two of us. All the people at our wedding were there to witness an event that symbolized that commitment - so for us nothing changed May 16 but for everyone else they now see us as the committed duo we are. So I guess that's why people were so happy for us but it caught me off guard. 

In that vein, people keep asking me how married life is and if it feels any different than the past two years we've lived together. The general answer is no. We are actually pretty good at the everyday, getting groceries, who took out the trash, did you call your mom, can you hand me that, you need to clip your toenails kind of love. So good at it, in fact, that we decided to do it forever.

In my full 6 weeks of marriage, the only difference I've felt is thankfulness. I am thankful that I get this man and he's the one I'll share this everyday love with for years to come. I am so glad we did this thing and made it official and got to celebrate with our families. I'm thankful for the fullness that I feel with my husband and my family in our home. I'm just so damn thankful that this is where life has taken me. 

So the short answer is that married life is great, but not any different. The true answer that I don't reveal casually is that I've never been more thankful for this life I have. 

Here are some pictures that I think represent what a great day we had on May 16. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Possessed by a dragon

I'm breaking my blogging hiatus for the very important reason that I need to make fun of myself publicly. Telling these stories privately is just not meeting my standard for proper self-deprecation anymore.

Here is a story from last year that I've loved to tell recently:

One Friday night, Jason and I went to the grocery store. It had been a long, tiring week and I was ready to go home and go to bed. It was dark out, but one of the places we passed had a lit-up parking lot that was PACKED. Not a single parking space was vacant. It seemed there was some big event I didn't know about.

I turned to Jason and said, "I wonder what's going on there - that place is hoppin'."

He looked at me and said confused, "Are you kidding? That's a car dealership."

So there's that.

Consider that a warm up for this past month of my life.

Early October, I caught what I affectionately call "my dragon cough". This cough lasted for weeks and weeks, and made me sound like I was dying. While I was coughing in the bathroom once, my dad came to see if I was OK because he assumed I was throwing up. Dragon, indeed.

While in Dallas a few weeks ago, I suppressed my cough long enough to run into a sub shop to grab dinner. I didn't want to hack up a lunch all over the sandwich fixin's, so I fought the urge to cough with all my might. By the time I left the shop, I was on the verge of a coughing fit. And so, in the privacy of the rental car, I coughed and coughed and coughed. Then I coughed some more.

In fact, I coughed so hard that I TORE THE MUSCLE BETWEEN TWO OF MY RIBS.

This is perhaps the least cool injury in the history of injuries. Since then, I can't sleep on my left side, have trouble sitting up from a laying position, and am generally six shades less cool than I was even in middle school.

I went to the doctor thinking I had cracked a rib but after X-rays she determined I only tore a muscle. How is that even possible?!

Now, the initial injury is embarrassing enough, but on Thursday, after a few weeks of healing, I re-injured the same muscle.

"How?" you may ask.

By trying to hole punch too many sheets of paper at one time.

Against all odds, my bizarre injury found a new low of coolness.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Newborn nugget

I got to visit my sweet nephew Austin this weekend and play night nurse for a couple nights.

I love to sleep. And I'm really good at it. Waking up for 2am and 5am feedings just reminds me that I'm still too selfish to reproduce. I was happy to help out so that Ashley and Hunter could recharge a bit, but I did come home and sleep 14 hours last night.

They had me take some newborn photos of our sweet baby. I've never tried it before but with Ashley helping out and Austin being the handsome model that he is, we came out with some good ones. Here's a sneak peek.

And of course Hope had to get in with her little brother for a couple:

Being an aunt is the best.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh boy!

On behalf of Father's Day... here is the first post on Baby Edwards! Except his name no longer has to be "baby" because he's officially Austin Sutton Edwards.

Austin was born June 6 at 9:38pm at 7 lbs 3 oz, 20.25 inches. We were all gathered in the waiting room while my mom and Hunter were with Ashley in the delivery room.

Here's the proof!

 Our first time seeing the little man who made us aunts!

Welcome to the family, little one! You are loved more than you'll ever know.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Abridgment and lack there of

Let's discuss America.

I love America.

My favorite part of America is the thing I've based my schooling and career around - the magnificent First Amendment (particularly those speech, religion and press parts).

I've taken a full year of First Amendment law and even presented a paper on speech rights at an academic conference. You can pretty much say anything in America and you will not be punished by the government.

If Donald Sterling wants to tell his sidepiece not to hang out with black people, he's allowed to scream it from the rooftops.

If Phil Robertson wants to preach that homosexuality is a sin, then cheers - he'd fit in great with a little homegrown church from Topeka that I know of.

If Paula Dean wants to have black help at her kid's wedding because it's reminiscent of Civil War slavery, then hokie dokie. Leave a big tip.

If Truitt Cathy wants to cast gays as sinners and donate money to Exodus International, where they pray away the gay (successfully, no doubt), then I offer him a shrug and slight eye roll.

Here's to freedom of speech. They all said their pieces and didn't get arrested. Because freedom of speech is between a citizen and the government.

The government.

None of them had any kind of LEGAL, government action taken against them - which means their freedom of speech has been protected.

Now, my second favorite part of America is the democracy part. Because when Paula Dean or Truitt Cathy do something I don't like, I'm allowed to NOT buy their products. I am also allowed to say "I don't like that" and not get arrested.

When Phil or Donald - public figures who represent franchises - make public statements directly contradicting company policy, they can be dismissed from their positions and/or sponsorship can be dropped.

If I were a public figure and I represented Kimberly-Clark in an interview, I would try not to say anything stupid. If I quoted Luke 12:47, I would probably be let go. Because it is against company policy to beat people for not doing what they're told. Oh right, and slavery. Kimberly-Clark doesn't support slavery. They also don't like their name being associated with that kind of outdated rhetoric from a 2000-year old book, best-seller or not.

If you heard me say something supportive of slavery and/or beatings on behalf of slavery and, say, you were NOT a fan of slavery and/or beatings - you are allowed to no longer buy Kimberly-Clark products.

Because...capitalism. Freedom of choice. America.

So, as long as these people aren't being arrested for what they say, they are not having their First Amendment rights infringed upon. The First Amendment means you have the freedom to say what you want, but it does not guarantee freedom from consequences. So let's stop hiding behind it and start taking more accountability for ourselves.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bookshelves for baby

Before we moved into our house and faced a mountain of our own projects, we took on a project for my sister and her little fetus.

Ashley texted me a few months ago and asked how to make bookshelves. Long story short, I volunteered Jason and I to make them because 1) she has other things to worry about (like growing a human) and 2) this is something we can give to the baby that will last a really long time.

Ashley gave us the dimensions and some pictures of inspiration furniture. We visited our favorite lumber yard and our three-weekend adventure began!

First we cut all the wood down to the right size at the Hills' house so that we could sand, stain, and assemble at our apartment garage.

Everything at the correct size loaded up and ready to go:

We sanded all the edges for the planked sides, top, and back to 45 degrees so that the seams were more defined. We also sanded the front corner posts to 45 degrees to baby-proof it - we learned quickly after building our bed that "sharp-looking" lines are also sharp-feeling.
And, as all good carpenters do, I wore hunting socks with flip flops.

After all the cutting and sanding, we started to assemble. We used biscuits and pocket holes so there are no visible screws. These were new techniques that we tried out on this project and it ended up working really well.
Screwing in the pocket holes on the backs of shelves:
Everything except the back assembled and clamped (plus my very attractive groom):
Then we stained the front and back separate to avoid pooling and unevenness. We had a grey stain originally but it didn't bring out the grain in the wood so we mixed it with some dark brown and came out with this:

Then... we assembled!
Once we fully assembled we burned our initials (CJA and JAH) in the back with the date of the baby shower where we were going to give them to Ashley and Hunter:

We told Ashley that we couldn't bring them up because it was pouring the day we headed to Charlotte. We actually took them straight to the shower location and they were set up with books by the time she arrived. It was a fun way to surprise her with something that she already knew was coming.
And that's the journey of the Baby Edwards bookshelves! Only a few more weeks until we meet him!