wall gallery

The final project we finished up last week was our wall gallery. This has been in progress since our first week here, but for now it's at a stopping point . This wall extends past this picture on the left to our door, so it has potential for a lot more! 

There are also so many styles of wall galleries to use as inspiration, but I just used what we already had (with a few exceptions) and look forward to a house some day with endless walls to try other styles of galleries! (like this, this or this)

I'm not an interior designer and Dave could not have cared less, so...I did my best! Not sure if the spacing looks too "loose" or if everything flows well. What do you think? Being able to put holes in the wall is so nice. I'm keeping my eye out for more interesting frames or just more in general to add to the wall. Nothing too fancy, but it will be fun to maybe add more to it as the months go by. 


This side is my favorite. I feel like it fits together pretty well (the other side, where the two empty frames are has given me so much trouble just fitting together! arg. Still not in love with it but I don't want to keep making more holes, ha. It's changed so much since the only pieces that were up were the mirrors and the big frame)


We already owned all the frames except the right-hand white one, which is from ikea. The two mirrors are also from ikea. Dave made the ampersand. 

The large Eiffel tower print is from ikea. I made the "nothing worth having comes easy" sign (anyone want a pdf?), and the bike is from this print. I would have used the whole thing but there wasn't a free horizontal frame! And at that point, I was not messing with it...again

The tree and the "all you need is love" sign are both cards. So yes, if you give me a card like this, I may use it as art!

Still looking for something to fill up the other frames. Not sure if I want to find more artsy things or print some more family pictures. 

Anyway, thanks for all your nice comments about the projects I shared. More to come next month! 

map canvas

The next project we worked on was making a map canvas for a wall in our bedroom. We started out following this tutorial, but it didn't quite turn out that way. We looked all over for a map, and the last place (at least in Portland) that they sell large maps in Staples (it is 32 x 50). 

We also looked for canvases to stick them to (with modge podge), but couldn't find any to match the sizes of the map or sizes we wanted them to be, so we improvised. Dave built some rectangle wood frames, we cut the map in thirds and then...folded the edges around and used packing tap to secure it. Yeah...classy, right?


What do you think? It didn't fill up as much of the wall as I thought it would. Is it too small? I'm not sure what we could put on the sides. I'd want it to go with the map/world "theme" (which it's not really a theme). We don't want to move it since it's pretty mounted there. Or maybe it is just right? 

Feedback, go! 

where the floor and wall meet is multicolored.

If anyone is interested, here are a few projects we worked on last week.

My parents gave me a hope chest when I was sixteen. Luckily we haven't had to move it around every time we've moved the last few years, but we took possession of it last month. I really wanted to reupholster it, so we picked out some staples and I ripped out all the staples. It took two episodes of Bones but I chiseled and pried out all 1 billion staples. 

Then we stapled the new fabric on. It turned out a little lumpy, but it isn't that bad. Dave is a pro at stapling corners. He does most of the work for projects like these. I think it will all conform together eventually. We found the fabric at Joanns and we liked it because it's fresh (is that a term to describe fabric?), way more modern, not too busy and mostly neutral. It also matches our wall and some pillows really well. It's cloudy today so the pictures aren't that great.



Another project was a small chalkboard for our kitchen. It's between the fridge and the washer/dryer (it's a gallery kitchen) and I really like it as a menu board so far. I used something else before, but this frees up counter space. We bought a thin piece of wood at Home Depot for $4 and had them cut it to 2x3 (or, in this particular worker's case, 24 x 37, since I guess "cut a foot off of a 2 x 4" isn't specific enough?). When we own a house someday, it would be fun to paint a larger area with chalkboard paint (or a fridge).

I used Martha Stewart's chalkboard paint in gray, and hope it doesn't blend into the wall too much. We thought it would be a darker gray, but we preferred gray over black. We are wanting to attach a small shelf on the bottom to hold chalk and the dust from it, because you know, who sweeps everyday?


and now, if you come visit, we will count down the days on our chalkboard!

projects


we've been working on some projects over the last month and while some worked...some did not. (tutorial I loosely followed (and the two top pictures) from here) Note to self: use acrylic paint, not spray paint for this, and sand a new frame first. 

this week I'll share some of our more successful projects. last thursday we went to a few different stores and spend the weekend completing project after project (and by project after project I mean like...three) in some weird spurt of diy energy. the best part about finishing these is being able to pack away things we won't be using/putting away the materials and feeling a bit more settled. stay tuned!

back to reality...

After returning from vegas, it was a week of adjusting back to reality. After a day or two, I was like, oh yeah, my reality isn't that great sometimes. But you know, good attitude, personal enrichment, blah blah blah. Our weather last week was fabulous, so that helped.

I hit the streets for the first few days and went window shopping, ran some errands and picked up some books to read. You know, for having all this time, I sure don't remember what I did most days. Ah well. 

Highlights of last week: 

we had the BEST lunch from a food cart a few blocks from Dave's work. We went to Kindle Kart and we will definitely be back. Like, if we never tried another place for lunch in my life I would be ok. Their wood-fired pizza was so, so good (I could never pick a favorite from all the Italian-esque pizza we've had). 

And those fries (or pommes frites (poms freets)) were amazing. I mean, just look at them. Fried perfectly and served with a roasted garlic sauce that was oh so good. yum. I want to try their burgers next. 

If you come visit, we'll have to squeeze this into the lunch hours. 


And...we bought some bikes! Dave's isn't here yet, but I was able to get mine. It's a hybrid, which has road bike features but upright handle bar. Perfect! We went for a ride on Saturday with Dave's dad and brother. It was fun (second bike ride of the year?) and I loved my new bike. 


Dave's brother turned 17 (weird to think when I met him he was 13!) and Dave's mom made a salted caramel chocolate ganache tart that was to die for. Definitely a special occasion dessert, but yum. Weird to think that he and I are the youngest of the kids (though I am almost 6 years older), but he's a great and we like living close to him. He's a talented kid and he's fun to hang out with (except when we play settlers of catan...ha). so happy birthday brian!

boards.

Following in the footsteps of one of my bffs, katie, I would just like to get a few observations about pinterest off my chest. (read her funny posts here, here and here)

Please note that if you do these things and are my friend, I still like you. This wouldn't actually influence our friendship at all. Also, I'm not referring to any one person, so please don't be offended. I realize that if you have to preface your post with this, someone may be offended. But, whatever.

1. I love how it's turned into a contest for the most creative boards. I mean, sure, I named a few my boards based off of office quotes (nifty gifties) or despicable me (lightbulb) or things I would say (do it maself), but most of them are just straight up what they are (babies, food to try, clothes). It sometimes bugs me that we have to name them things that describe the board in the most unique or foreign language-y or creative way.

Like, really, it's pinterest. We all know there is nothing really original anymore. (joke)

2. WHAT is with the boards named future babies/children/other term for children or babies someday or not right now but for babies later?

Are we so judgmental as a society that someone can't just name a board "babies" without thinking that people will think they are having a baby? Married, not married or 15 years old, it's a board about babies and no one should care if someone who just got married or is getting married or has been married for years creates a board called "babies". It's highly unlikely that is an announcement so for the love, babies are babies, unless you really are making a board for how to dress a baby that will be born in 2100. (that is a future baby.)  No one cares (or they shouldn't) that you have a board for babies but you aren't pregnant yet or whatever. Let's stand together against dumb people who assume way too much!

we all just like to pin cute baby clothes, no matter our life situation. am I right?

And I guess we name boards "future home" or "future wedding" so I do see how "future babies" is the same, but for some reason, I think naming a board "future" anything is sort of...redundant. 


So those are some things I don't understand. But then again, I don't understand a lot of things these days, like wide short shirts or why one-piece pant suits are coming back into style.

ok, anyway. anyone else have favorite observations from pinterest?

foood.

I think our favorite part of vegas was the food (though close call with pool lounging). I took your recommendations and went with them blindly, and they did not disappoint! Thank you for all your advice. We didn't end up seeing any shows or making it too far away from the strip, and as I look back through your comments we/I did a lot of what you recommended. (Sara, you rock. I should have took notes on your recommendations because I forgot a lot of them!) 

So this is a review of places we ate at...feel free to skip or save it away for when you go to Vegas. Otherwise it isn't really interesting (unless you go somewhere that has these same places or like reading about restaurants?)

We went to the grand lux at the Venetian (which is a part of the cheesecake factory). It was great! One of the best burgers I've ever had (I almost licked the rest of the chipotle mayo out of its bowl...) and the spinach artichoke dip was sooo good. The Venetian is also one of the 2 classier casinos on the strip so it was nice to walk around. 

We also ate at Serendipity 3 for a late dinner (I think it was 10:00?). We had to wait for a little bit and the service wasn't great (I think he was mad at us for 1. not ordering alcohol and 2. splitting an entree and 3. using a coupon for a free frozen hot chocolate. we were very low maintenance but he wasn't very nice.) However, it was some of the best mac & cheese I've ever had! The frozen hot chocolate (for which they are famous?) was like a classy frosty, but still good. Also, the menu was very large. 

I ate twice at La Creperie and it was delicious!! I first tried a sweet crepe and had to go back later in the week so I could try a savory crepe. yuuuum. 

I also got some pizza for us at Grimaldi's. This was a place we wanted to try when we went to New York city all those years ago but didn't get to. I was pleasantly surprised to learn they were in Vegas. We've had a lot of gooood pizza over the last few years, and I can't say this was the best but it was definitely delicious. 

We also walked down to the Coke store and tried their float tray. We were interested in the cokes from around the world but a lot of the reviews said that a lot of them were gross and we didn't want to pay for crappy coke (when we don't even really like coke!). We loved the fanta floats. 

I also browsed through the Sugar Factory which I guess is also famous and has expensive lolly pops (uh, $22??) (maybe I'm just super cheap?). They had delicious looking desserts as well (and a restaurant).  Dave also 

Also, it may look like we did this all in one day cause Dave has the same shirt on in all the pictures. He just wore the same non-collared shirt every day after his classes (we pack light).

So anyway, here are some pictures from our foodie adventures. I know it's kind of lame to take pictures of all your food so I just took a few :)

And ok, I need a crepe right now. 


 

vegas/when will we invent apparating?

We made it back from vegas! We had a pretty great time, too. The weather was fantastic and I had a pretty good time exploring during the day and we had some fun (sort of...the strip is disgusting) at night. The first night we went to a reception put on by the conference and then ate some appetizers with a bunch of BYU alumni, old CT coworkers and Dave's old (and by old I mean like 3 weeks old) grad professor. It was fun to hang out with people who have fun like we do :) 

Tuesday and Wednesday we took the hotel shuttle down to the strip and ate (more to come on that), checked out the bellagio, its garden display (beautiful) and the fountain show (loved it), and one night we walked to the m&m/coke store. That probably wasn't worth the walk, but it was fun. 

During the days I lounged by the pool (the sun felt amazing, even under high spf), shopped, ate, and walked a ton. I also rode some roller coasters at Circus Circus, which is SO FAR AWAY from the main part of the strip. Unfortunately, 2 of the 5 rides were down, but there was no way I was walking back without enjoying a few rides. So I stayed for a couple hours and had a decent time...walking around riding roller coasters with teenagers isn't my ideal day, but hey! I had some fun and probably photo bombed some pictures while I was at it. It also wasn't Disneyland but beggars can't be choosers :) 

Another day I also walked the other way to the luxor for the Bodies exhibit. My favorite class from my undergrad was my pdbio class and unfortunately, I didn't get to continue with those type of classes. I love learning about medicine and the human body. I thought the Bodies exhibit was the most amazing thing. The displays were so fascinating and I just loved it. I was also proud I recognized and remembered all of the body part names, locations and functions. I loved the interesting facts they gave you, the bodies and parts on display (each section was about a different system) and it was SO awesome to see how it all fits together. So much cooler than just seeing it in a textbook. If you're in the three states where it's located, I highly recommend it! 

So much of Vegas is just unbelievable to me. There are so many HUGE buildings (especially ceasar's! that whole complex is amazing). So many people, so many fancy stores (and often a few of each in each of the malls), so many hotel rooms, so much gambling, drinking and smoking (it's a public health nightmare; I can't believe people can still smoke in those closed-in casinos...) and heaven knows what else. It's just... unbelievable. It was also funny to us how many people took pictures of everything (like the hotel shuttle? every single casino? I mean, to us it was like...it's just vegas...but I guess we can take some?) Here are some pictures of our adventures: 


Rose garden take 1

I've been waiting to go to Portland's rose garden for...three years, since I first came here with Dave. We finally walked up there. It was actually a little disappointing but we are too early in the season. It was still a nice garden and we will definitely be going back.

This week we are in Vegas and I'm writing this as we are waiting to board (so hopefully the formatting works). Have a good week and maybe we will come back millionaires. Just kidding. :)

Here is to sunshine, in-n-out (I miss it already), shopping and a little roller coaster action!!

the window washer


on thursday I was taking my mid-morning nap and I could hear noises when I was dozing and when I woke up, I could see out of the corner of my eye that a window washer was sliding down the window (all this week they've been cleaning our building), and was stopping right where I was to clean the window. I froze. I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep, soooo embarrassed that 1. I was sleeping that late and 2. he could see right into our room. When I couldn't hear him on our level, I quickly rolled over off the bed and wasn't sure what I was going to do. This picture is of me, trying to hide from the window. 

I didn't want to just close the window, because that would seem even more embarrassing, that he knew that I knew that he knew I was just chilling in my room. I also didn't know at the time how he was cleaning the windows (vertically vs horizontally). But then I heard him coming back to my level so I escaped into the living room, then assuming they had started at that side and was going up and down. 

so then I just chatted with emily until they were done. oh boy. 

PS-- if you want to be the first to know about breaking news such as this, make sure to follow me on instagram (amchris) (now available on android phones too). Or, you can go here to see my pictures on the web. They are like little mini blog posts and updates, some of which never seem to make it on the blog. So enjoy! 

forty weeks.

We have finally made it to forty weeks. I'm not sure this day is any different; we are always thinking about it and this day doesn't really seem like it's any more present. It is Star Wars day, which would be way cooler with a baby wearing this. And you know, it's weird but I kind of feel like "hey, this is our day". But, it's not. It's not ours in any real way, but we still feel a connection to it.

It's just here. A day that is burned into our brains. (and so is tomorrow)

We would give anything for this to mean that we would finally get to meet our little baby. Instead, I hope that it means we have closed off those months with some sort of objective finality. I hope it means no more counting. And I doubt that is the case but it will be a different kind of counting, one that hurts less. Whatever it means, we made it forty weeks. There are no more dates associated with this and it's almost a relief.

Twenty weeks ago I delivered a perfect little girl, whom we miss every day. Twenty weeks ago was the last time in this life we would see her kicking and moving, watch her perfect heart beating.

And all these months later, we remember those days so clearly.

Twenty weeks later our hearts are still broken but maybe not in so many pieces. They are so full of the love we have felt from all our family and friends, so full of hope for the future, so full of peace of the knowledge of a bigger plan for us. We could never say it enough, but thank you to all of you. For all of your emails, texts, calls, visits, flowers, cookies, meals, packages and anonymous gifts over the last 20 weeks. For reading my jumbled, pain-filled, cynical words as we tried to find our way out of this. All of your support has been keeping us alive, and we are eternally grateful and indebted to your kindness.

A few months ago we decided that we did want to name our baby. And we kept it to ourselves for the most part because there wasn't really any reason to say it out loud. And maybe there still isn't but since we did name her, people might as well know it, right? There isn't anything official about it and for now we still just say "baby", but in the future, we'll hopefully have other babies and now they will all have names we can talk about.

we named our baby lucy.

filling out hr forms is really boring me.


I know sometimes (especially in the past few months) this blog gets serious and heavy and I just want to say that I am not mopey all the time (or even most the time). Most often, writing helps me clear my head and gives me the outlet I need to then move on or at least be okay again. I think sometimes I just need to know my thoughts are out of my head and into the world (wide web) and then if people want to care, they can. 

While almost all my time has been spent at our apartment (since we moved here, for the last year and a half, take your pick), I have filled my days with a lot of productive things. Cleaning, sorting, cooking, errands, some exploring and some projects have thankfully given me things to do. 

And so while I'd rather be doing something like going to school or working 9-5 at this super awesome job that I'm qualified for (as opposed to way over qualified), I'm not. And I'm going to do the best I can to fill my days with good things. And you know, if that means at the end of the day I spent a few hours getting to catch a nap, watch a t.v show or read or whatever else I chose to do, well, there are worse ways to spend your days. 

I do hope to find a job, but I also don't want to get a stupid job for the sake of having a job because that seems worse to me than not having a job? 

So I'm going to try and be more grateful for all this extra time and continue to better myself from it.