Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Countertops Suck

Warning: This is a picture heavy post.

Our countertops were installed on March 15th.  It is now July 31st and I can say that the countertop/tile backsplash project is complete.

Holy bologna*.

*I hate that this is how to spell bologna.

I love do-it-yourself house projects because A) you have the self-satisfaction of doing it yourself B) you save money (or hope to), C) you don't have to do any work because your husband does it all, and D) it takes a hell of a lot longer than it would have if you had just paid a professional.  Wait, what?

I say that our countertops were installed on March 15th, so it's safe to say that the demolition of our kitchen started around March 1st.  Exactly 10 days before I was slated to host a baby shower at our house.  I came home from a movie with Haley and the kids to find that my lovely husband had already ripped off the laminate backsplash and huge portion of the countertops.

Ryan insisted that I could still host the baby shower and "cover up" the length of the wall that was missing the backsplash and riddled with left over adhesive.

Sure, babe.  Sure.

Removing the countertops and the backsplash seemed never-ending, and I swear that everyday our kitchen (and who am I kidding - our house!) turned more and more chaotic.  My godfather, Frank, was a God-send throughout this whole project between his knowledge, tools, and supportive, helping hands.  We love Frank.

Here are some before photos.  Because of Ryan's hasty backsplash and countertop removal - I never got a good "before" picture of the whole kitchen.

Some chaos (including the discovery of some dry rot in the wall between our bathroom and kitchen):

And finally, the finished countertops:

So, the counterops were in and all was great.  They just so happened to be installed on the week that I was battling bronchitis.  No joke - I slept through the entire installation.  I literally went to sleep with no countertops and woke up to granite ones.  I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz... Or something like that.

We really slacked on the backsplash portion of the project, and this is where we both with we would have just contracted this work out to get it over and done with.  C'est la vie.

Once we got our shiz together (decided on tile, purchased tile, and ordered grout), Ryan was able to get the tile up and grouted. It certainly didn't happen over night, but this is what our kitchen looks like now:

I'm really happy with how it all turned out.  Is it sad/bad that with the completion of this chaos, I was most excited to have our paper towel roll resume it's rightful place?

No, no it's not.  It's the little things, people!

So, there you have it.  It took nearly five months, lots of hard work from my Hubby (and Frank), and lots of patience from me.  Even though I was seriously itching to get this project finished, I tried not to pester Ryan about moving faster in his progress since he was doing all of the work.  I can honestly say that I contributed nothing to this project - except picking out the granite, tile, and grout color, and  helped clean/scrape the grout off.  But give me a break, I've been sick and/or pregnant during this whole ordeal!

What do you think?  Have you ever tackled a (majority) do-it-yourself project that took forever?  I would love to hear about your experience.

Take Luck,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Monday

Linking up with Megan for Dear Monday!
Dear Monday, My alarm was not a welcomed sound (as if it ever is!) this morning and I was afraid you were going to suck.  Thankfully, you didn't.

Dear Kennedy and Riley, I loved getting to spend so much time with you this weekend.  However, I think it's going to take this baby-cooking-mama this whole week to recover.  My constant requests to have some of your energy were laughed at.  I was serious.

Dear Baby Peters, Only 3 more days until we get to see your face (and your genitalia).  There are a lot of people in your life who are very excited for this day!

Dear 20 Weeks, Goo!  We're rapidly working our way through the produce department in terms of baby's size and halfway done with this pregnancy.  Ca-razy.

Dear Hubby, I came home to two separate surprises from you this weekend.  The first, you assembled baby's crib.  The second, you cut up all of Brock's chicken for the week (that's 10+ pounds, people).  I would have never guessed that furniture assembly and the dissection of poultry would make me swoon.

Take Luck,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Men Are Clueless

I have the pleasure (debatable and drenched in sarcasm) of working with lots of men.  And 90% of those men are over the age of 45.

I already knew that men were clueless before becoming pregnant, but let me just say - that men are really clueless.  And insensitive.

When I first told my group that Ryan and I were expecting, everyone seemed genuinely happy and excited for us.  It was then that I had two awkward conversations with two different male co-workers.  They were excited for me, but it seemed like they were more excited to see me gain weight.

What makes me say that?  Oh, I don't know.

One of the gem-gentlemen said, "So, when can I start calling you Chubs?"  And you could totally tell he thought this was a valid question.

The other asshole said, "Lauren, you are going to totally blow up, man.  You are gonna gain like 50 pounds," and proceeded to show how gigantic I would be by making his (fat) arms into a belly.

I am a pretty relaxed person, so I handled these situations by laughing them off and saying, "Uh, never?" to gem-number-one and "I sure hope not," to a-hole number two.

On the outside I kept my composure and was happy that my hormones have been pretty steady.  But on the inside I was thinking, "Both of these men have wives who have been pregnant and given birth.  To babies.  Why the hell do they think it's OK or acceptable to say this crap to me?"


Let's fast forward to today.

The previously mentioned asshole said to me, "Lauren, you are blowing up*!" and then went onto say, "I bet you are going to have a 10 pound baby.  Can you imagine getting that out?"

*I would just like to say that I have not blown up and have only recently started to really "show."  Mmm, thank you.

It gets better.  Thanks to the hormones, my face has been breaking out quite a bit.  Mt. Everest and K2 have taken up residence on my chin.  My BFF actually said to me, "You might want to put something on that!"

I'm pretty sure my face turned beet red and I nearly cried out, "You might want to cover up your balls because I'm about to rock your world."

I'm thinking that he (as well as every other man in my working group) should receive a laminated copy of this post from Pregnant Chicken, along with my own little tidbits of advice... And maybe a protective cup.

Just sayin'.  We still have 20 weeks to go.

Take Luck,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dear Monday

Linking up with Megan for Dear Monday!
Dear Monday, Holy exhaustion.  I needed a caffeine IV/drip fixated in my arm today.

Dear Blogging Break, You were totally unintentional but not at all surprising considering my level of exhaustion lately.  See above.

Dear Kitchen Upgrade: I cannot tell you how much of a weight has been lifted knowing that you are complete.  I have been admiring our countertops for over four months now, but because the backsplash wasn't done - I didn't feel like I could completely enjoy them.  As of yesterday, I can.  Now, if we only had appliances that matched.  Ho hum.

Dear Baby Peters, Only 10 more days and we will know if you are a boy or a girl.  Let me tell ya - the suspense is killing me.

Dear 19 Weeks, My tummy is slowly expanding and rounding.  This very well be my last week in regular pants.  Bring on stretchy waist bands and forgiving panels of elastic.

Dear Hubby, I can't thank you enough for all of your hard work on the kitchen... Or for your kindness in the fact that this was all my grand idea and I was completely useless throughout the whole endevour. 

I'm cooking up a countertop-saga post that shows the great kitchen transition over the last four months.  I know you are just drooling with excitement, but hold your horses.

Take Luck,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Best Compliment

The prompt for Day 15, the final day of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: What's the best compliment you've ever received.

This answer has definitely evolved throughout my life.

Growing up - I always liked and appreciated being told that I was mature.  Today, I enjoy being recognized as someone who is hard working and who catches on fast to processes and concepts at work.

But the best compliment I've ever received was while I was playing softball in college.  Several times throughout my senior year, my teammate Wags' Dad told me, "I have so much fun watching you play."

I never asked why, or for any explanation - but it always made me feel good and was an affirmation that I was playing my hardest and best, and leaving it all out on the field.

Take Luck,


Saturday, July 14, 2012

One Movie For-ev-er

The prompt for Day 14 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: If you were only allowed to watch one movie for the rest of your life, what movie would it be and why?

Oh, boy.  It would definitely be Tangled.  Yes, I'm 26 years old and would choose to watch a Disney movie for-ev-er.


This movie is a-frigging-dorable and I love the music.

If you haven't seen it - you should.

Take Luck,

My Favorite Things

The prompt from Day 13 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge was: What are your favorites?

Favorite Disney Movie: Tangled

Favorite Quote: "The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds."

Favorite Day of the Week: Thursday

Favorite Singer/Songwriter: John Mayer

Favorite Curse Word: Shit balls.

Favorite Baby Names: Max and Ella.

Take Luck,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Next Six Months

The prompt for Day 12 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: What are you most looking forward to in the next six months?

Considering the next six months are going to be completely crazy and life-changing, I'd say that I am looking forward to a lot.

- Ryan and I will celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary on August 1st.
- We find out the sex of Baby Peters on August 2nd.  That's three weeks from today, people.
- Ryan and I are heading to the ocean for an anniversary/babymoon weekend in August
- Two baby showers in September
- Family vaca in Destin, Florida in September to celebrate my mother-in-law's retirement
- We get to meet our nephew, Liam on the Florida trip
- Treating myself to monthly pedicures
- I have a work trip the week after Florida that is taking me to Ohio.  Normally I would cringe at the thought of this but I will get to see my best friend, Tiff
- Hello, Halloween and Thanksgiving
- "Nesting" and getting the nursery and all things baby situated

And by far, the thing I am most looking forward to is welcoming Baby Peters in December.


Take Luck,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'd Never Change...

The prompt for Day 11 of Sarah's 15 Day Challenge is: What's one thing you would never change about yourself?

I'd never change my positive outlook on life.  With that said, I will probably never stop trying to convince Ryan that you can be positive and realistic at the same time.

I'd also never change or erase the small scar on my left hand that is just between my thumb and index finger.  I got it as a kid (I have no idea how old I was) when I was at my Grammy's one day and trying to cut open a string cheese with scissors.  The scissors slipped and sliced my hand pretty good.  I see that scar everyday and it reminds me of my Grammy... And how thankful I am that string cheeses now have tabs at the top to pull apart.

Take Luck,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I have been meaning/wanting to post this video for your viewing pleasure, and Sar's most recent prompt on embarrassing moments has given me great reason to do so.

I almost posted it at the end of my prompt response to Day 10, but didn't want to take away from my pants-wetting story.

I have watched this video many times and I die from laughter every time.

I now know the whole sketch and have "Ugh, it's my stepdad Gaaarrraaay" down pat.

Don't worry Sarah - I don't think H's are ew.

Please tell me you think this is as hilarious as I do.

Take Luck,

How Embarrassing

The prompt for Day 10 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: What is your most embarrassing moment?

I so deeply wish that this was a harder prompt to answer.  But alas, it isn't.

Growing up, I always "played up" an age group in the various sports I played - softball, soccer, and basketball.

My most embarrassing moment happened when I was nine years old, and playing on a select 12-and-under softball team.

During the game, I really had to pee and begged my dad (who was also a coach) to let me run to the porta-potty to relieve myself.  Because I was due up to bat next - dear old daddy boy said that I would have to hold it.

Hmm.  I'm guessing you know where this is going.

I go up to bat and take the first pitch - afraid that if I moved (let alone swung) that all hell would break loose... In the form of urine.

On the next pitch, I quickly backed out again, and then the flood gates opened.

I was nine years old and had just peed my gray softball pants while at bat, in front of the cool 12-year old girls, their parents, the other team, and God himself.

I immediately dropped the bat and ran in tears to the porta-potty.  How my mom convinced me to come out is completely unknown to me now.

The dad who was keeping score/the book was a real clever gent who wrote "HTP" for my at bat that inning.  That's HTP for Had To Pee.  Awesome.

My dad loves to tell this story.

From that day on, Dad (and everyone else) knew that if I said I had to pee - you'd better let me go.  As I got older and had to go at other inopportune-softball-times, Dad would say, "Just get a hit and we'll get a pinch runner for you."

So I would, and they did.  Then I'd haul buns to the nearest bathroom and then haul patooty back to make sure I was ready to play defense.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Take Luck,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Day Ever

The prompt for Day 9 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: Tell us the best day of your life to date.

I didn't know if I would be able to choose just one day out of the several that came to mind - including Ryan's proposal, the wedding, and most recently, sharing our news.

Each of those days were amazing and will be totally cemented in my memories for their different reasons.  But then I thought about a different day, and I day I talked about and danced around here.

Ryan and I met on June 16, 2008.

I fondly refer to that day as "the day that changed everything."

It wasn't that we immediately started dating, or professed our love to each other - because both of those glorious things took time.  
But it was the day that we met and made all of my other best days possible.

Take Luck,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Good, Bad, & Ugly

The prompt for Day 8 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: Describe the good, the bad, and the ugly about yourself.

The good:
- Very positive person, and much to the annoyance of my husband I put a positive spin on everything.
- Loyal person and friend
- Honest (sometimes I think this is also bad.  See below)
- Try to always think of others

The bad:
- Honestly honest when asked my opinion (and if my words don't say it - my face will)
- Home body and introvert
- People pleaser
- My college roommate Becky said she thinks I have very mild misophonia
- I get impatient with Ryan when I ask him to do something (and he doesn't do it right away) and I end up doing it myself

The ugly:
- Afraid that in the past I wasn't a good friend
- Competitive and hate to lose

Take Luck,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Must Read

The prompt for Day 7 of Sar's 15 Challenge is: Recommend a book for us to read.  Why is it important/special to you?

The last book to completely and totally suck me in was one that my Daddio recommended: 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

This book contained some science fiction (man traveling back to September 9, 1958 by way of a time portal in a local diner), historical fiction, and the alteration of historical events (man trying to stop the Kennedy assassination) and had me hooked, lined and sunk from the first chapter.

The main character, Jake, can go back to 1958 any number of times, but will always go back to the same day - 9/9/58 and each trip restarts (or changes back to the original course of history) what he previously fixed.  Say he goes back to 1958, waits out until 1963 and fails to stop the assassination - he could come back to the present, re-portal back to 1958, and then start his pursuit all over again and undo any events that he altered during his first go-round.

This story is amazing and filled with real-life people and events, and some historical fiction.  I found myself wanting Jake to succeed in his quest so badly, but of course - he is faced with numerous hard choices and "butterfly effects" along the way.

You don't have to love (or even like!) history to enjoy this book.  It is a long book, page number wise, but trust me when I say it doesn't feel like it when you are reading.

I'd love to hear if anyone has read it or is interested in reading it.  I certainly don't want to give away too many juicy details.

Take Luck,

Friday, July 6, 2012

I've Always Wanted To...

Day 6 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge is upon us, and the prompt is: What's something you've always wanted to do but haven't?  Why not?

I've always wanted to go and travel Europe.


And why haven't I embarked on this journey?  For several reasons.

[1] It's expensive to take the kind of country-hopping-trip I want to take.

[2] A country-hopping trip of this magnitude would require lots of time off of work.

[3] This avacado-sized baby (that I've heard turns into a real, human baby) in my tummy puts any plans for an extended European adventure on serious delay.

Someday, I hope this trip will happen - even if it's after our kids are grown and we are retired.  I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

Take Luck,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Table for Five

Day five's prompt in Sar's 15 Day Challenge is: If you could have dinner with any five people, who would they be?

This is easy, and requires a small amount of cheating.

The guest of honor would be my Grammy.

Isn't she beautiful?
Other guests at the table would be Ryan, my parents, Rachel, and me (of course!).

I would give anything to have the chance for Grammy and Ryan to meet.  I know they would love each other and the rest of us would jump at the chance to talk to her again.

Now I'll stop there before the water works get going.

Take Luck,

Childhood Memories

Yesterday quickly came and went, and I didn't have time (or the energy) for the prompt.  So today, I'll play catch-up.

The prompt for Day 4 of Sarah's 15 Day Challenge is: What's your favorite childhood memory?

I don't know that I could choose just one memory, as I had a busy and very fulfilling childhood, but here are my top six:

- Playing dress-up or office with Rachel and my cousins at Grammy's house or at family parties.  I knew how to write checks at an oddly young age.

- Daily (yes, daily) trips to Dairy Queen with Grammy after school.

- Turning the front yard into a soccer field.  Empty laundry detergent bottles were cones for dribbling drills and the bushes on both ends of the lawn were goals.

- Playing in the yard with Josh.  He would terrorize me and push me into bushes but I always wanted to play with him.  Even if I cried a little.

 - Hitting balls off the tee from across the street into our fence.  My skills progressed into hitting balls into the yard, and soon I was hitting them over the house.  Dearest Daddio put Josh and one of his buddies in front of the windows (to catch any that got close) but I got a good one by them.  Dad tried to blame Josh but Mom knew better.  We moved down to my elementary school field after that.

Take Luck,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Clothing Attachment

Continuing with Sar's 15 Day Challenge, the prompt for Day 3 is: Tell us about an article of clothing you're attached to.

I am completely and utterly attached to a plain white, v-neck t-shirt, that actually belongs to my little sister, Rachel.  I borrowed it from her while on a family vacation in Hawaii.  The specialness of this plain t-shirt doesn't end there.  It just so happened to be the shirt I was wearing on the day that Ryan proposed.

Otherwise, I'm not completely attached it any other piece of clothing.  I have my go-to hooded sweatshirt, my favorite yoga pants, and my best fitting jeans - but this plain white t-shirt is special.

It's not the prettiest shade of white these days, but I can't wear it without thinking of the day that officially started the rest of my life.

Take Luck,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Six Word Memoirs

Day 2 of Sarah's 15 Day Challenge and the prompt is this: Write a [few] six word memoirs[s].

Here goes.

I struggled with this for many moments this morning.  When I think of a memoir - I think of an autobiography.  Some truly classy memoirs that come to mind are "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining" by Judge Judy and "Don't Hassel the Hoff" by David Hasselhoff. 

Others include Tina Fey's "Bossypants," Ellen Degeneres's "Seriously... I'm Kidding," and Chelsea Handler's "Are You There Vodka?  It's Me, Chelsea."

As I thought a little more about this, I thought about what my autobiography/memoir might be called - should I ever write one.  I tried and tried to find a deep and meaningful six words, but I just couldn't.  I kept going back to humor.  So, that's the approach I took to this.  Most of these gems require a subtitle/text of some sort (which of course I've included!).  

I swear some of these memoirs could fit at various points of any day, and that's what makes them perfect.  Enjoy.

[1] The Dog Eats Better Than Me
(Our journey with canine food allergies)

[2] Stop Clipping Your Fingernails at Work 
(And other pet peeves)

[3] A Little Tomboy Becoming a Mama
(If it's a girl - Lord help her)

[4] Buy This Girl a Joke Book
(Dreams of becoming a comedienne)

And say, if my dreams of becoming a comedienne do come true - perhaps these could also work as my comedy bit titles?  We shall see, friends.

 Take Luck,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 Fun Facts

Day 1 of Sar's 15 Day Challenge!
Hmmm.  Fifteen fun facts about myself.  This should be interesting.

[1] When I first read this prompt, I immediately thought of the movie "Eurotrip" and the part when Cooper says to Jamie, "Here's a fun fact.  You made out with your sister, man!"  I have a wild tendency to make these sort of connections.  
[2] I like looking up movie trivia on IMBD.
[3] My feet are very ticklish.  This makes pedicures super fun.
[4] I am extremely noise sensitive.  I hate the sound of fingernails being cut/clipped or filed on an Emory board, forks scraping on a plate, and gum chomping/snapping.  Not only that, but once I hear a noise that irritates me - I cannot block it out or get it out of my head.  It just gets louder and louder.  I've considered seeking hypno-therapy for this issue.
[5] I have kept a planner since the 7th grade.
[6] I prefer to sleep with one leg outside of the covers.
[7] My little sister and I love to sing Broadway show tunes.  Once, when we were on the ferry (and apparently in our own little world) we were deep into a number from Mamma Mia when an older gentleman interrupted us and asked if we were auditioning for the play.  Embarrassing.
[8] I spend one hour every Sunday preparing Brock's food for the week.
[9] While playing softball in college - I played every position in the infield at one point or another.
[10] My favorite snack is tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.
[11]  I share a birthday with my nephew, Liam.
[12] Only recently did I finally catch the joke in Dumb & Dumber when the cop tells Harry and Lloyd to "pull over" and Harry responds, "No, it's a cardigan - but thanks for asking!"
[13]Sometimes I talk to our dogs like they are people.
[14] Two of my favorite shows are Dexter and Weeds.  Is it wrong that I love two shows that happen to be about a serial killer and drug dealer?

[15] If I could quit my job and become a professional photographer - I totally would.

Did you learn anything new about me that you didn't already know?

Take Luck,
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