Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Front yard update!

They came and tore out our whole front yard yesterday! It looks great! (well, ok, not really, but you can imagine the end product...)

I will post pictures soon!

Friday, September 26, 2008


After only a few short weeks over at the other page, we have moved! I liked the other one, but there were a lot of things it couldn't do, that this will be able to do. For instace, fonts. I'm a little weird when it comes to fonts - I don't like being limited to 4...this has 8...very important...

But also I can better explain (with pictures within text) before & afters - of which I hope to have many, as we continue to update our house.

So here we are. For the two (?) people that were reading before, hopefully you are okay with this! :)

So adjust your bookmarks and I will continue to share somewhat-interesting goings-on in our lives.

More to come!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's going!

The ivy, assorted yard debris, last year's Christmas tree...

They are coming this weekend to clear out the front yard!!! I am super excited - we have been looking at the ivy and the other junk in our front yard for months now. On Saturday, they are coming to clear everything out - and go down 6" to make sure that stuff doesn't come back - take out a tree that's in the way, bring in fill dirt, and level it! Since this involves a dumpster, we can finally throw away stuff that's been piling up in our back yard (um... yes, we still have our Christmas tree....) My excuse has always been that we don't have a truck, but that's a bad excuse! So, we will soon have a dirt field front yard, but that's a step in the right direction!

Lovely, isn't it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Grass? What grass?

When we moved into our house, landscaping was not our first priority. A year and some odd months later, we are finally getting around to it. The people who previoulsy owned the house were kind enough to cover 75% of the front yard in one of the toughest and most prolific plants - ivy. Yes, it could have been worse - it could have been kudzu, or dirt, or straight concrete. But we thought the ivy was pretty bad. Not to mention it was killing the trees and creeping down the street.

Our backyard is mostly trees - we have counted 75+ back there, mostly tall pines. Thus, most of the yard is pine straw. This suits us just fine, but there is a small perimeter around the patio where "grass" was growing. It was mostly weeds, and patchy at best, from years of neglect.

So in January we got 7 trees taken down from our front yard. Some were dead and just waiting to fall on the neighbor's house. Others were just hiding our house. We got the stumps ground, and the pine chips from that have remained in their little piles on top of the ivy - for 9 months now. Let's just say we aren't going to win the "Most Beautiful Lawn" award from Home & Garden any time soon. But the potential is there, I promise! Our house looks much better (you can actually see it now, so that helps) and once grass covers the front -- not dirt and weeds -- it will look even better.

Now that the weather is starting to cool down (in theory at least), we are starting to tackle both the front and the back. Luckily for us, Mikey is a lawn expert :) so we have relied heavily on his advise and equipment (thanks!) We are starting with the back, and leaving most of the work in the front to the experts!
(These pics are some of the "before" pictures of the backyard. Once something actually grows I will put up "afters"!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"No, we don't have kids -- we have dogs."

Sandy - light brown fluff ball with an attitude. I like to say she's bossy.
Roxy - reddish brown blur. There goes my shoe.

Our dogs are two of the most important things in our lives.
I grew up with cats, and in all honesty I was quite afraid of dogs (even the small squeaky ones) for a good majority of my life. I would have never imagined that I would one day become a no-turning-back dog person. Six years ago, Tony adopted Sandy when she was a tiny puppy at the Humane Society - a few years before my time. Sandy developed an intense bond with him, and would protect him from anything. She is mostly golden retriever, but she has a little bit of Chow in her - the obvious indications being black spotty tounge, curved tail, and attitude. Don't get me wrong - she is loving, affectionate, and playful. But she likes her space, and doesn't take kindly to other dogs infringing...until she gets to know them better. When I first came into the picture, I'm pretty sure she was a little annoyed. However, after 3+ years, she has become quite fond of me as well. But if she had to choose, I'm sure she would ditch me in a second. Luckily, she gets the both of us.

Sandy was enjoying life as an only child, completely oblivious that we were plotting to give her a little sister...

Since all of our friends have goldens (or goldish colored dogs) we knew we had to keep up the tradition. We knew we couldn't get a puppy - we are gone for most of the day. What we weren't expecting was that we would get a "puppy" that weighed 65 pounds...
We went to several events at local pet stores hosted by Adopt a Golden of Atlanta. We saw Roxy and absolutely fell in love. She was reddish brown and sweet and timid - you could tell she was very intimidated with all of the people and dogs. They didn't know much about her history- other than she was not really trained, or neglected. Her owners had a baby and simply couldn't handle her. We couldn't believe that was true - she was so calm!

WRONG! We got her home, and realized what we had gotten ourselves into. Roxy is absolutely crazy and has more energy than I could ever imagine. She had no manners (not her fault, of course) and is a big fan of digging up plants and biting ankles.

We have had her since March, and she will be turning 2 in November. She has grown tremendously in terms of behaving herself and calming down. We have really tried to work with her with training (although not as much as we should...) and she is such a sweet girl when she's sleepy. Otherwise, she's a total blur as she is running laps around the backyard or finding lost shoes and carrying them off to be lost somewhere else! She is crazy but we love her!

Sandy had some transitional issues at first - I won't get into the trip we had to make to the vet for a little emergency stitching surgery... but they get along quite nicely now - and by get along, I mean coexist. At this point, that's good enough for us.

I have to agree with the statement I have heard many times - to know if you are ready to have a child, get a puppy first. You can't stay out for hours if the dogs are at home. If you wake up in the morning and the puppy chow from last night didn't sit well and now appears on the carpet, you clean it up. When perfect mud paw prints develop on the carpet every single time they go out, you clean it up. Both Tony and I have learned many lessons on how to remain calm and not lose our tempers, especially during the tumultuous months of "transition".

Our dogs truly add happiness and meaning to our lives. That may sound a little sappy, and a little overly dramatic, but it's true. They mean so much to me. Nothing cures a long day at work better than coming home to two smiling faces (Sandy smiles for real, I promise!) - no matter what, they are so excited to see you, and only want to make you happy. And they do. Of course we want to have children one day, but for now, our two girls mean the world.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This past weekend, we went to Greenville, SC with Kacy and Mikey, and Tom FOX. We have traveled across the GA border to this cute little town before, but this time we were able to stay longer. Furman is here, but we all really love the downtown area. From what I hear it is a recently renovated area - rundown stores being replaced with boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. It is a very walking-friendly downtown: as many of you know- I spend 3 hours every day in the car driving to and from Buckhead in Atlanta for work - so I can appreciate a good walking town.

The thing I love most is how "green" the city is. Green in the literal since - trees, grass, est. The Reedy River runs thru town, and what better scenery to base a rejuvenated town around than a natural falls park. Downtown culminates in Falls Park, where the river washes over giant rock outcroppings and gently falls downhill. They have created a beautiful park and paths around this, and everything is so clean. Most of the unique restaurants downtown have outdoor seating, and trees line the wide sidewalks. ...Perhaps this is an idyllic view of a place we have been only a handfull of times, but nonetheless, I can appreciate a quiet, yet cultural, town.

Each time we go there, and especially this time, we joke (is it joking, or are we semi-serious?) that we should move there. The amazing thing about the city - is it in the water? - is that there seem to be young couples with babies in tow everywhere! But it's not the annoying kind of crash-into-your-heels-and-make-you-bleed kind of stroller-pushers. Everyone is cute, young, and happy (my idyllic view again?). It seems to be the kind of place where you go to raise your children and lead a simple life. Plus, we would we be close to the Atlantic coast, which my 18 years of going to the Outer Banks has endeared me towards. And there is the best ice cream shop in the world there - Spill the Beans. And there are quite a few ad agencies in Greenville....

Regardless, we had a fun weekend, and it doesn't hurt to wonder, does it? Often we visit places and talk about moving there - the grass is always greener right? Besides, since we have 7 (yes, seven) houses for rent on our street alone, I doubt we will be going anywhere any time soon!
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