Saturday, March 31


 Today... I got my pruning sheers and clipped a dogwood branch to bring inside.  I couldn't help myself. 
 Today... I ran into town to take Ty to baseball practice.  I was lazy.  I was unshowered.  I was in a holey tshirt.  I took pity on all those innocent baseball observers and stayed in Shawn's truck during the practice.  I rolled all the windows down and flipped through landscaping plans.  It was a very peaceful 1 1/2 hours.
 Today... I feel officially knowledgeable enough to declare our 5 ducks Swedish ducks.  My favorite kind of duck.
 Today... Shawn and Christian worked on Christian's Eagle Project.  It is an ambition project.  We are so thankful for the knowledge and help of others since there is expertise needed to complete this project that we do not have. 

Today... Shawn and Christian gave the farm its second mowing.  The first mowing of the season is always rough and less than pristine.  But today's mowing is gorgeous.  Well, gorgeous in an unmanicured, farm kind of way.
 Today... the back pasture did not get mowed.  The horses and donkeys weren't complaining though.  Chomp!
 Today... I decided that it is indeed possible to love, like really, really LOVE a barn.  Deeply. 
 Today... I sat in an adirondak chair staring at the other adirondak chairs and decided that this may be the year they get some touch up paint.  Maybe.  Not making any promises.
 Today... I sat in that adirondak chair and watched as storm clouds rolled in.  I love rain. 
Tonight... Shawn and Christian will go together to church to watch the Priesthood Session of General Conference.  They will go early because all the men are grilling out and eating dinner together before the broadcast.  In 2 more years, all 3 of my gorgeous men will attend together.

Tonight... I will run into town and hopefully not get too wet because I have a birthday vase of tulips to deliver to an amazing friend.  She is an April Fools 'baby', so fun!  Happy Birthday Becky!

Tonight... I will grab dinner in town for myself, Savannah, and Ty.  I am in a weightloss competition with members of my family and friends.  This Monday is the final weigh-in... BUT I have been a really REALLY good girl ALL week... and I don't want to cook.  So I shall eat out and hope I do not regret it on Monday.

Tomorrow... the Callahans will gather at my mom and dad's house to watch General Conference.  I love GC.  I listen and make note of my 'marching orders' for the next 6 months and beyond.  I love taking it all in, so thankful for a Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  Content Sigh.

Wednesday, March 28

'Speechless' Wednesday

I normally do Wordless Wednesday... with gorgeous pics and none of my rambling on and on, but not today.  sorry.

So, Shawn and I ran away for last weekend and returned home on Sunday.  We tried to park on the side of the house like usual but Savannah had parked her car in our spot.  Shawn then parked at the front of the house.  He loaded up his arms with our suitcases and strolled up to the porch and front door.
Shawn glanced up at the ceiling of the porch and gasped, dropped the suitcases and started banging on the front door for Christian to unlock the door!!!
I was still back at the car grabbing the other bags and my heart stopped.
Once I FORCED my feet to take me to the porch... I saw water pouring out of the ceiling of the porch.
My first thought was the roof had a leak somewhere.
But Shawn knew right what it was.  Savannah's bathroom.  We have had continuous problems with her plumbing since we have moved in, including once when it leaked into the walls and caused minor damage in the downstairs 1/2 bath and entry.
Minor damage was not our outcome this time.  Major flooding was to be our trial this time.

We know the toilet is to blame, again.  Savannah had laid down for a nap after church, she had no idea the toilet was flooding cause it did not make a sound.  The boys were in the TV room watching a movie but because of the volume of the movie they did not hear the dripping coming through the ceiling in the entry.  We estimate the plumbing broke an hour before we got home.  Could have been so much worse if it had happened at night, or while the kids were at church... and been allowed to pour water for 3 hours straight.
 The 'disaster' crews arrived immediately on Monday.  We got tons and tons of bad news but there was some good news too.  
Savannah's room was carpeted... that was a total loss, it all had to go.  The subfloor will dry, be treated to prevent mold and should dry in a few days.  Good news... the water poured out of her bathroom door but went down the walls... causing terrible drywall damage downstairs but at least it did not flow out into the hallway and then down the stairs which is all hardwood.
 Her bathroom will be near gutted.  I jokingly told Savannah if she wanted to completely change the decor of her bathroom... now is the time.
 Honestly... tears have been shed for the condition of the entry.  I've tried to scold myself.  After all, we returned home to our kids that were safe and sound!  Perspective!   But to go through this for a second time, when we thought the problem was solved... and last time was not near this bad... well, I HAVE cried.  But I think I have it out of my system.  Sniffle.
 Downstairs it seems that we only had drywall and baseboard damage.  Again, the hardwoods seem fine.  Not pictured, the 1/2 bath which was the most damaged last time again is damaged and lost drywall and baseboards.  We are unclear as to if the porch ceiling which is beadboarded will have permanent damage.  The crew that came in Monday was only focused on removing the 'contaminated' surfaces inside the home and getting fans and dehumidifiers going.  Actual contractor will arrive Thursday to assess.
 Since Monday we have had 5 of these gigantic fans and 3 commercial size dehumidifiers blowing non-stop in the house... they won't be removed until Thursday and only if the moisture levels are at a safe level.  I have had a headache since Monday.  I can not hear the phone ring... it is loud to say the least.
 The very sweet contamination guys tried to drape off the openings to the entry once they started cutting drywall... but it was all for naught once the fans got turned on afterwards.  There is drywall dust everywhere.  I have been told it will only get worse once they start to replace the drywall and sanding that.  whimper.  Below is dust that is in one of the farthest corners of the house away from the damage.  This dust is sure to be everywhere before it is over.  Did I mention that I really, REALLY, don't function well in a messy house.
 Funny tidbit:
Late Sunday night... with no less than 8 buckets in the entry catching dripping water from the ceiling, water upstairs all sopped up to the best of our ability, exhausted and tear stained faces, we gathered together to do a quick Family Counsel for the upcoming week and say prayers together.
Yes, we came home to a flooded house.
Yes, we were already seeing the damage in the drywall and knew it would only get worse overnight before the damage patrol arrived.
Yes, we were looking at weeks of contractors and plumbers traipsing in and out of the house.

BUT I had ONE really big gripe for the kids.
Why didn't they do dishes the whole time Shawn and I were gone.  Seriously!  I left them with a clean kitchen, not one dirty dish in it.  I came home to... well, yes a flooded entry and upstairs... but I also came home to almost every dish/cup/pot in our entire kitchen dirty and heaped in the sink and counters and stove top.  Oh NO they didn't!!  Sensing that their mom was teetering on insanity for even mentioning the dirty kitchen at a time like that... my children corrected the dirty dishes fiasco post haste.  smart kids.

And we all settled in for a long and LOUD nights rest.

Monday, March 26

Two for One

While the following might seem very unromantic to some, it works perfectly for Shawn and I.
Each year around March, there is a huge Dental Convention, the Hinman, held in Atlanta. 
Shawn and I usually go together for our Anniversary... we call it our 2 for 1 deal!
This arrangement works for many reasons:
1.  It is a 4 hour drive to Atlanta... I love road trips with Shawn.
2.  The hotel we always stay in, the Westin, is incredible and the rooms have the entire wall opposite the bed glassed and I never get tired of the views!
3.  Shawn wakes up early to attend his meetings... I sleep in till noon.
4.  Shawn gets taken out to lunch and smoozed by all his reps... I order room service.
5.  Shawn spends all day in continuing education classes, he loves that stuff... I spend all day watching HGTV and enjoying high speed internet.
6.  Shawn arrives back at the hotel in the evenings and finds me well rested and ready to be taken out to dinner.
It is perfection.
We have a few traditions we are sure to do each time we visit Atlanta.
Shawn and I always take a leisurely drive through one of the most beautiful neighborhoods I have ever found... BuckHead.
Huge houses (which actually aren't my primary interest, but they are gorgeous nonetheless), and landscaping and mature trees that take my breath away.  Nothing is too manicured, very natural and allowed to ramble outside borders... my favorite style.  Cherry trees, dogwoods, azaleas... and all in bloom... then add ivy, grasses. stonework, bridges, and streams!  It makes me swoon.
Warning:  Photo overload... 
Two of our other traditions involve food...
Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant... the valet parking makes me giggle, so fancy smancy, but honestly convenient when smack dab in downtown Atlanta.  The freshly made flour tortillas made right in front of you is the clincher for Shawn and I.  YUM!
And always, ALWAYS, on our way out of town... we stop at the VARSITY!
The second you walk inside you hear,  "WhaDaYaHave?"  You stroll up to one of the yelling cashiers and make your order.  I'm just not a huge burger consuming gal, but the onion rings are what keep me coming back... and the hand-cut fries are a weakness too.
THIS is why I tried to work out each day at the hotel... those rings!
We made it home safely.
Most importantly, our kids were fantastic when we arrived back.
But I can't include any positive adjectives relating to our home... we arrived home in time to witness a terrible emergency, whimper.  I'll blog next about that... don't want to taint this post of our  INCREDIBLE vacation we had, nope.

Saturday, March 24

Perfect Evening...

Last weekend we had our first hot dog roast for this year.  It was the perfect evening, good food, smores, and the mosquitos showed us incredible mercy ;)

Thursday, March 22

the pace of peace...

Be in awe of all that is alive.
Be in natural wonder.
It is the pace of peace.

Gunilla Norris
 The ducks had their first swimming lesson... they were naturals, wink!