Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Lay Down Flooring in 18 Easy Steps

Sometimes you want to do things the easy way. Sometimes, the hard way! As it turns out, Stephen and I prefer the latter. Here's how one easy part of our remodel went down:

1. Okay let's just put wood in half of the hallway. But first we'll have to paint. 

2. But first we have to fix the holes in the hallway. Okay now we can paint. 

3. In fact, let's sand these drawers and paint them white too. 

4. While we're at it, let's replace the knobs/handles on these drawers. 

5. Okay now we can put the wood in this hallway. 

6. No need to finish the whole hallway. Let's just do half and then do the living room. 

7. Rip up half the carpet in the living room. Move EVERYTHING to the kitchen / bedroom.

8. Put down one row of wood. 

9. Hmmm.... Let's redo the entryway. So first we'll have to take off the door and paint in here. 

10. Gosh what the heck is wrong with our mail slot? Time for a new one! {Scuse us while we go to home depot with the door off the hinges and pray that nothing gets stolen.}

11. Install the new mail slot. That takes about 2 hours. 

12. Should we paint the door too? What color? To the Pinterest machine! Now back to home depot for paint! 

13. We hate this color. Back to home depot for a different color! 

14. This color is acceptable. Spend 40 minutes washing the thick exterior dark blue paint off our brushes and rollers. It turns the bathtub blue. 

15. Put on a new door knob because, because. Put the door back on its hinges. 

16. Continue putting wood down and finish the half of the living room that we ripped up the carpet on. 

17. Now move all the things and do the other half of the living room! 

18. Now move everything back and collapse on the floor in exhaustion.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sun Shimps

My mom has, in the past, accused me of being a sun worshipper.

I wouldn't call myself that, but I would agree that I am a sun chaser. One time I chased it all the way down to Florida for a winter semester, because I love it that much. 

On the Sunday after Stephanie and Craig's wedding was over, Stephen and I made two abrupt decisions:

1. We were going to paint our bedroom and put wood floors in on Monday.
2. We were going to take a trip to San Diego on Tuesday. 

We didn't think very hard about either of these things. We just jumped right in and started doing them! So it maybe shouldn't be all that surprising that when we left for San Diego on Tuesday, we left an unfinished paint job in our bedroom and everything that used to be in our bedroom in the living room and kitchen.

It was gray and gloomy when we left Provo, and it was 10pm when we arrived at our destination. We could just see the outlines of palm trees.
Our hostess! This girl is the actual best.
Every day after that was pretty much the same: we woke up, lolled around, spent like 2 hours getting dressed and eating breakfast and packing up and planning, went to a beach, played, wait-let-me-take-a-selfie'd, listened to "Rude" by Magic! because Californians are obsessed with it (and now we are, too), and then found somewhere delicious to eat dinner. It was a perfect vacation!

Day One.

Warning: the beach can give you a unibrow.

Day Two.

Torrey Pines State Park. It was beautiful!
My version.
His version. 
Crepes and Corks! Minus the corks. 
And that's why I need a beach house.
Day Three.

Once upon a time, some nice people built this little inlet thing where there would be lower tides and kids could come and play in the ocean without getting knocked over and water rushing up their noses. Then, some seals discovered it and decided that it had actually been built for them, and they came and took over. Now, people go to the Children's Tide Pools to see the seals.

They are so funny! If I weren't a human, I would like to be a seal. 
This guy had a thing or two to say. He was very bossy!
The Contemporary Art Museum was closed, but the sculpture garden was open.

Dinner! This place was SO good.
After that, we went through the San Diego temple. I LOVED it! If you get a chance, you should really think about going. It is so beautiful inside!
 Day Four.
Mission Beach! This beach was fun. It's huge and has a super-cool boardwalk with tons of food and stuff to do.

Panning for gold at the Mormon Batallion Visitor's Center in Old Town!

California is just amazingly beautiful to me.
And that's how our vacation ended. It took us a little less than a week to carry out Abrupt Decision #2, and when we returned to Provo, it took about that long to carry out Abrupt Decision #1. I'll blog about that later :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shimps and Shale

Utah is an incontestably scenic place, with desserts and red rock in one area, grassy fields in others, and snow-topped purple mountains majesty speckled throughout. Although I never really got into all the ways you can exploit those mountains, I married a man who is determined to get me to that point via conversion by immersion. Which means we've been rock climbing every time the weather cooperates and he's assured me we will be buying snowboarding passes come winter.

He is also determined to get his little siblings to that point, so when they came out to visit for the Lively wedding, we went rock-climbing in American Fork Canyon.


This is mostly how they climbed....by clawing at the wall while Mike heaved them up from where he stood, belaying them. 
But I have confidence that one day, they will follow in Stephen's footsteps and be awesome rock climbers.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Look Lively

I was not invited to Kate and William's wedding.

I know, I know. I was as shocked as you are. It was probably an oversight, but regardless, I was not in attendance. However, this last weekend, I went to a wedding that was just as spectacular as that one. The bride was blonde, and the groom wore gray, and the Queen of England didn't come, but I still felt like I was there at that Royal Wedding. This one was just a little less Brit and a lot more Lively.

It all started in November, when Craig and Stephanie got engaged.

And then December, January, February, March, and April were all filled with wedding prep. And by "wedding prep" I mean tons of boxen filled with wedding stuff showing up on my porch, endless phone calls, the cutest bridal shower I have ever attended, and like 3 dress catastrophes.
Mama Shimp came to town at the beginning of Wedding Week. It was lovely having her, as usual. Throughout Wedding Week, different family members arrived almost every day, and eventually, we had a living room full of Shimps.

Stephanie went through the temple on Thursday. It was so cool going through with her!

I love the Timpanogos temple.
We didn't even match our bags on purpose! Well okay, maybe a little bit.
On Friday, all the girls stayed at the Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City. We went out on the town for dinner and a little....ehm....fitness class, and had a great time getting to know each other.

Sorry about the quality of these picture. Pole-dancers have a specific set of skills, and it would seem that photography is not one of them. (Neither is public speaking, but apparently no one told our teacher that...)

Then it was Saturday morning....Wedding Day! Stephanie had to get up butt-early to get ready, but the rest of us just had to be at the temple by 11. Luckily, everyone made it there on time, and the sealing was beautiful.

I would compare the SLC temple on a Saturday in spring / summer to....Disney World on a Saturday in spring / summer. I counted 6 other brides from the time we spent in the temple, and outside was absolutely crazy. There were tons of people waiting for their couple to exit, and tons more people waiting for a prime spot for pictures.

Stephanie was the most beautiful bride of ever.
I love how beautiful the temple grounds always look! And I guess this is our go-to pose.
After a few pictures, we headed over to the luncheon in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Every detail about this part of the wedding was just perfect.
There was a menu and a program.

These were the favors - jars of honey that said "Meant to Bee." 
Besides being delicious and pretty, the luncheon was fun! There were a few toasts and a video of Craig and Stephanie's love story.

After the luncheon, we headed to Lehi for the reception. The reception center was great because there was a room for the bridesmaids to hang out and plan our surprise dance nap on the table.

Okay, look behind me. Mama Shimp & co. decorated everything for the reception. It turned out amazing! I helped with some little candle votives, but that's all I can take credit for. It took all day Friday to put it all together. I'm sure Stephanie will put up more pictures of the decorations, but there's a little sneak peek.

I didn't get too many pictures of the wedding festivities. partly because there was already a videographer and a photographer taking care of that, and partly because, well. This is what my pictures looked like. (Actually that's a pretty good one....but the rest were not.)

It was just a really lovely and fun reception, filled with more toasts, sugar cookies, bunny ears, the Cupid Shuffle, and only one minor injury at the grande sparkler exit. Congratulations, Stephanie and Craig! Thanks for a beautiful day!