Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Expectations

Have you ever planned a nice date night with your husband, complete with dinner, dessert & a movie only to have things certainly not go as planned?

With Hubby being out of town the last couple of days & a gift certificate to a great local restaurant burning a hole in our pocket, we made plans for a legitimate date night. Sure, we go out to eat 2-3 times a week but I wouldn't necessarily consider those true date nights.

I came home from work, got all dressed up in a new dress from Francesca's & waited for my Prince Charming to come home. He changed as well & we headed out--all excited for a fabulous dinner & dessert, capped off with a movie on the couch at home. Perfection.

Hubby had made reservations for 6:30 & when we arrived the place was packed. The hostess told us a table was paying their check and would be leaving shortly. Well 35 minutes later, a table is finally ready. Ughh...I know this isn't the restaurant's fault, but this was already not going well.

We sat down at a nice table & checked out the menu. An employee came by and filled our glasses with water & then quickly went on his way. About 10 minutes later, the same employee came by and asked if we would like something to "munch" on. We do order calamari, but at this point we still didn't know who our waiter even was. No offer for something else to drink, no memorized paragraph detailing the night's specials, & no introduction to tell us who would be serving our every need during what was supposed to be a fabulous dining experience. After another 10 minutes and a short discussion of getting up & walking out--the same employee comes over & asks in a monotone, hushed voice..."Are you ready to order now?" OF COURSE WE ARE!!!! Hubby had to ask for a Dr. Pepper without ever being asked by the waiter. Seriously, this is supposed to be our fabulous date night?!?

Our food was certainly great as it has always been at this restaurant, but the waiter had just put a very bad taste in our mouth. We tried to have as little conversation as possible with him as we couldn't understand or hear him with his low-tone mumbling. When he offered dessert, we considered but I opted for a trip to Orange Leaf (our fabulous new frozen yogurt place). Unfortunately the line was out the door & I settled for frozen custard instead. Still good, but not Orange Leaf.

I realize these are all very minor details that went awry, but I had such huge expectations for a romantic night out with my hubby. We headed home, changed into some comfy clothes & found our respective spots on the couch & the recliner. After such a frustrating meal, we were certainly not still in our cuddling, lovey moods!

I just hate it when I build up some experience and create these huge expectations only to be completely disappointed when things don't go exactly as planned. Those great expectations prevented us from laughing off the horrible service & instead created a tense situation that was completely unncessary!

Thankfully, we did cap off the evening with a long, much-needed conversation. That was probably worth all the frustrations of the rest of the evening...I was just hoping to have my cake (or Orange Leaf) and eat it too!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guacamole & Chocolate

As promised, it's time for the big reveal of our new & improved master bath!

Here are some before pictures...
See?!? Very blah...

and more blah...

Before the after'a a little background as to why it was so blah...

#1--Hubby & I closed on our house exactly 1 month before the wedding. We built a spec home; meaning we got to help with some of the decisions but trying to plan a wedding & pick out paint colors, cabinetry, & countertops was a little stressful at times. Hubby was very little help in this area...supposedly he's color blind--or maybe that's just an excuse? No I'm kidding, he really is. But I digress...We decided on one paint color that would work for the entire house & said we would make changes as we went along!

#2--Another reason for not having the builder paint was that he charged $150 to change colors even if for just one room...I think I'll by my own paint for that!

#3--When we registered for wedding gifts, I just picked something easy & didn't put a whole lot of thought into the color scheme. The master bath definitely became an after thought & also a collection place for some random left over home decor items. It all matched, but wasn't anything amazing!

#4--I struggled with adding color because we have a free-standing shower with a sliding door & thus, no shower curtain. I love shower curtains & the color they can bring to a small space; however, I knew I would never convince Hubby to hang a shower curtain in front of the shower door. There's just something about having to push back a curtain & open a door to use the shower!
As a sidenote...I HATE SHOWER DOORS!!!! They never look clean & if I have anything to do with it, our next house will have a full-tile shower that is big enough to walk-in without needing a shower door!

#5--I couldn't decide what I wanted to do but knew that it needed to compliment our master bedroom. In this post, I showed a picture of our Master Bedroom . We've still got the standard wall color in there, but I think it works with the color scheme. Maybe one of these days I'll paint the wall behind the bed & the ceiling tray...but not yet!

#6--We were waiting on the right time when it came to finances, it wasn't a hugely expensive project; but I knew it would involve paint supplies, brand new towels, rugs, & accessories so that could add up pretty fast!

And now, without further adieu...our guacamole, chocolate, & white master bathroom!

No more blah! I love the sepia tulip canvas print from Kohl's! I always find such great artwork there for a reasonable price!

More color! I just love it & it makes the room seem so much brighter!

I chose not to paint these walls because it would have been a ton of trim work & I actually really like having just 2 of the walls painted. The green reflects in the mirror which makes it look like I painted a whole lot more than I did. This side just needed some guacamole & chocolate accent pieces!

And now for a closeup of some of the accessories, some are new but most are repurposed with a little splash of color.

I've always had this vase in the corner but I added the white flower stems--the colors blend so well!

Some fun green, white & chocolate decor for the countertop!

I found that vase at Gordman's for $10!! the color works perfectly to bring some of the guacamole color to an otherwise blah wall!
Ok seriously, I'm so happy with it & so is Hubby which is definitely important! I just feel happy in the mornings when I'm getting ready for work with the bright green color on the walls!
Hmm...what house project to tackle next?!?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Rewind

Where did this weekend go?!? We weren't incredibly busy, but our plans were all over the place so time has flown by!

Hubby's dad flew into town on Friday for some father/son time with Hubby. For the past several years, they have participated in a father/son golf tourney at Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament didn't technically start until today, so that meant we got some great quality time with my father-in-law the past couple of days. We had dinner on Friday night at our favorite local upscale Chinese restaurant--wow, I haven't been that full in a long time! We spent the rest of the evening just hanging out--I pretty much fell asleep fairly early in the evening in the recliner!

Saturday morning I had to work & Hubby had class. We didn't do much of anything Saturday afternoon except work around the house. My one task to help prepare for this golf tournament involves making a batch of chocolate chip cookies to have on hand--I'm always more than happy to oblige! We met up with Hubby's sister, brother-in-law, & nephews for dinner & then headed back to their house for the rest of the night. It was a great evening full of family!

I was a hooligan & skipped out on church this morning to spend more time with Hubby & my father-in-law. They were leaving for the tournament about the time that church was starting so I simply took advantage of the live web streaming that our church offers. I was able to listen to the praise & worship time along with a bit of the message before meeting up with my parents for lunch.

The other reason for staying at home was my home improvement project for the next couple of days. I've been wanting to redo our master bath for quite some time but I've never been able to decide on a color scheme that I felt complimented our master bedroom well enough. We had some money set back for the project & I finally made it a priority to complete....and what better time then when Hubby is out of town. I decided on a pale, but bright, green for the paint with chocolate brown & white for the accents. I was able to complete the painting today & tomorrow night I'm headed out for new towels, rugs & accessories to finish the job.

I'm super thrilled with the paint color & since I chose to only paint two of the bathroom walls, the project went fairly fast. I even had time to load up Bogey & have some quality time at my parents' pool this afternoon. I just finished up the touch ups--why is it that no matter how hard you try, paint always seems to seep under the painters' tape?!? I did use a new kind called FrogTape & it worked a lot better than the traditional blue stuff, but I still had some places to touchup in the corners.

I'll show before & after photos probably on Tuesday, I can't wait for the finished project!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

I love flowers! Not really traditional cut flowers in a vase (although I love those too..wink, wink Hubby)...I'm talking about annuals & perennials that fill our yard with gorgeous colorful blooms through the entire summer & into fall. I'm sure some people might think it's too much color, but I think there's no such thing as too much color! Each Spring I experience such joy shopping for beautiful flowers to use in my beds & planters.

Basically my entire family loves to mess with flowers, & thankfully I've picked up on this hobby as well! My mom has a wealth of information when it comes to what to plant where & certainly pick her brain many times each year if I'm planing something new or different!

Even with all the excessive heat, my flowers are still looking fabulous! In fact, most of them are on at least their second blooming cycle. Hubby & I work hard to keep them nice & watered & the in-ground sprinkler system doesn't hurt!

A couple of nights ago I walked out to water & realized I hadn't taken any pictures this year, so I grabbed my camera & captured some close-ups of some of God's gorgeous floral creations!

Our front bed, full of color!

Two-tone Pink Wave Petunia--Great ground cover for filling in areas in front of larger plants/shrubs!

Royal Purple double wave Petunia--double waves are beautiful & create great splashes of color!

Bloom from the Knock-Out Rose Bush---these are fabulous & can grow in basically any environment. They create beautiful blooms--as long as you can keep the Japanese beetles away!

Lantana--another fabulous, colorful annual that can fill a fairly large area--Just don't put them out too soon or the cold nights will stunt the growth!

Lillies---one of my favorites! The green foliage is fabulous for creating borders!

Straw Flowers--not sure what the official name is! These are just cute, daisy type flowers that sit low to the ground! Love them!

Just another petunia variety--these are also great for filling pots!

See! I told you so--love this combo of petunia, spike grass, & sweet potato vine--pretty sure I'll have to recreate these next year!
Next up is my Pocomoke Crape Myrtle--this is basically a miniature crape myrtle that has similar blooms & foliage to the giant crape myrtle bushes. The small green foliage is beautiful & then pink blooms arrive mid-summer. Such a great addition to any landscaping with a beautiful pop of color!
The blooms fill the entire shrub!
A closeup of the blooms, I love the frilly edges!

A bloom cluster almost ready to burst!

And finally, on the North side of our house I have a beautiful Elephant Ear that is going crazy. Love the color & shape of the elephant ear plant!
While I was outside shooting, I noticed something strange in the grass. Imagine my surprise when I walked up & found this precious baby robin.
From the sound of things (all the chirp, chirp, chirping) the momma bird was nearby & I just hope this little guy survived! He was gone the next morning so hopefully he got his wings & flew away!
Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Layman's garden! It's certainly a joy for us!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Rewind

Hot Hot Hot! That's really the only word to describe this weekend. Ughh...the dog days of summer are definitely in full swing with no real relief in sight! However, Hubby & I tried to make the best of things & still had a fabulous weekend.

Friday we fixed dinner at home--a new recipe for homemade honey dijon chicken tenders, a keeper but definitely needs some tweaking next time. After dinner we headed to a new frozen yogurt place nearby called Orange Leaf. Oh my goodness! Possibly my new favorite frozen dessert location! It's self-service with a large variety of yogurt flavors. On this trip I tried small servings of blueberry, pomegranate & original. Next time may have to include peanut butter, or white chocolate, or strawberry, or mango tango, or chocolate--guess we'll have to go back more than once! We finished off the movie with a Redbox Rental--Invictus. I'm sure it was a decent movie, but it was too slow for me & the LaZBoy leather couch won out! I think I missed most of the second half of the movie!

Saturday I woke up fairly early at my normal weekday time & was planning to fall back asleep; however, I rolled over to check my clock & I couldn't make out the time. I glanced up & also realized our ceiling fan wasn't running. power. At that point I realized how hot I was & determined there was no way I could go back to sleep. I was making myself hot just thinking about how hot our house was going to get during the day with no air. Yes, a light over reaction because our A/C finally came back on about 8:30. Thank goodness!

I worked around the house on Saturday before we headed off to wedding for my cousin. It was a simple ceremony with a simple reception; but very nice. Hubby & I headed down to Branson for a little bit of shopping & dinner at the Branson Landing. I managed to pick up a skirt & a dress at Francesca's Collection (seriously my favorite store)! We had a fabulous dinner at Cantina Laredo with the biggest piece of apple pie ala mode you've ever seen for dessert! Yummm...we were soooo stuffed!

Sunday we had a great sermon about our attitude & having an attitude like Christ. Wow...definitely a bit of conviction for me! We had a nice lunch with one of our pastor's & his wife & then headed home to sweat! Mowing was on the schedule yesterday & I volunteered to help Hubby so it wouldn't take him quite so long. was so hot & I could literally flick sweat off of my arms.

Before coming home from church, Hubby & I decided to stop by Lowe's & pick up a cheap little tool to help beat the heat! A sprinkler! We have an in-ground sprinkler system for our yard so we've never had the need for a cheap water sprinkler. We set it up in the backyard & had a's amazing how refreshing just a bit of cold water can be!

I don't think Hubby was quite ready for the cold temperature!

Running through the sprinkler like a little boy!

Bogey definitely joined in on the fun...poor guy, I'm sure he's just sooo hot right now!

Drying off a bit

Playing in the sprinkler...he even jumped over it a few times!

Enjoying the cold water, it felt so good to just stand there in it!

Apparently Bogey didn't really like where the sprinkler was located!
We spent the rest of the afternoon doing pretty much nothing. Hubby headed for the office to study & I whipped out that homemade apple pie that I was craving on Friday! Yummm!!!
I'm pretty sure we'll spend a lot of time this week looking like this--laying around & trying to stay cool!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Boy am I ready for this workweek to be finished! It's been a busy, but slow week...does that even make any sense!?!? So in honor of my busy, but slow week here's a list of randomness brought to you by me!

~I honestly probably couldn't tell you the last time I worked a full week 8:30-5; M-F. Between summer holidays, vacations, & a day or afternoon off here & there, most of my weeks have included some sort of break from work! Well, not this week & I'm ready for the weekend!

~I'm currently feeling a bit of a sugar high, my lunch consisted of a peanut butter & sugar sandwich--don't knock it till you try it!--a fresh peach, & a small box of nerds (blasted candy from VBS!) I did have water to drink to try and balance out my sugar intake.

~My mom was the VBS director at the church where I grew up. God brought approx. 190 students & workers together for Saddle Ridge Ranch--I know he did some amazing things!

~It's been ridiculously hot in Southwest Missouri, temperatures in the mid 90s with such high humidity that the heat index is rising above 105! I knew there was a reason I loved Spring & Fall!

~Our master bathroom is getting a slight makeover very soon. I went to Lowe's last night to confirm my paint color & Guacamole it is! Who knew there could be so many shades of green?

~The Japanese beetles are back...and disgusting...and eating my roses...and my crape myrtle! UGHHHH!!! Seven spray to the rescue!

~I've been craving a homemade apple pie. I might have to whip one out this weekend!

Hubby & I have a weekend with just the right combination of planned activities & free time to relax & do whatever we please! I'm probably most looking forward to a night out tomorrow night at Cantina Laredo on the Branson Landing. Just the two of us...perfection!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jean-9 & I

When I went to college, my prayer was that God would send some great women into my life to be fabulous girl friends. All through high school I had plenty of friends, but our relationships were simply surface level friendships. I had such a strong desire for some great female friendships so that we could build each other up & be a support system for each other. Oh how God answered my prayers time & time again. He blessed me with several women who are still my best friends & while we don't get to see each other as often as we might like, our relationships remain the same.

God brought one precious woman into my life during my freshman year in college, but it wasn't until our sophomore year that we really became great friends. Jeannine & I were both involved in Campus Crusade for Christ & have tons of memories together. We lived together our junior & senior years' of college & seriously I have some hilarious memories of being with this girl!

She's now living in Orlando, FL working for Student Venture (Campus Crusade's high school ministry) and blessing the hearts of many, many young girls. This summer she is devoting her time to meeting up with some of her ministry partners who support her both financially & spiritually in the ministry God has called her into. That means that I'm on her list to visit! She came in last night and we spent 3 hours just talking about everything going on in each of our lives. She took advantage of an empty guest room and spent last night at our house & we'll be spending most of tonight together as well. It's so exciting to hear what God is doing in her life. Even though it's not always perfect I know that God is using her in some amazing ways to share his love with high school students.

Halloween 2003--headed to our weekly Crusade meeting!

The 3 roomies at Denver Christmas Conference for Crusade with our Starbucks in mine was Spiced Apple Cider, but still Starbucks!

The perfect bridesmaids' at Jennifer's wedding! Jeannine, you are seriously gorgeous!

And then my wedding...she obviously got the memo on our poses for this one & I didn't!

I have no idea what brought this photo on, but I included it because I'm pretty sure this is exactly what we looked like last night when I opened the door! It was so great to see her!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pool Party Time!

Hubby & I had a fabulous weekend full of fun & lots of sunshine. The weekend was centered around 2 main events: A golf tourney for Hubby & our small group Pool Party!

We did manage to have dinner with Hubby's mom, dad, sister, & our nephews on Friday night before his dad headed home. He'll be back in 2 weeks for a father/son golf tourney so at least it won't be too long between visits.

Saturday Hubby played golf early & I had to gather everything up for the pool party! My parents' are so generous & hospitable...they opened up their home (& more importantly their pool) to our entire small group for some Saturday afternoon fun. We had such a great time & couldn't have asked for better weather. Hubby finished up playing golf in time to help setup...have I told you how much I love this man? He is always so willing to pitch in whenever anyone needs help...

Getting ready to set up the tables & chairs with Josie in his arm.
This was what the pool looked like at about 2:30....

And this is what it looked like an hour later...

We had 8 kids all 6 and under, & 13 total adults. We had a fabulous time! All the kids definitely got more courageous as the day went on...a little too courageous at some points!
Reed heading off the diving board by himself!

Payton taking a snack-break, those poor kids were worn out by the time the day was over!

Drew & Aiden with their snacks...seriously how cute are they!?!

All the ladies keeping watch over the shallow-end of the pool...and catching some rays of course!

Some of the dads keeping watch over the deep-end/diving board area!

Payton's 2nd birthday is this week so we celebrated with cute!

Lydia was not feeling well & wanted nothing more than to be with her daddy all day!

The entire group...we're just missing Jacinda & Brandon--missed you guys! God has blessed us with such amazing, supportive friends.
Sunday I headed to church while Hubby headed to the 2nd round of his golf tournament. He & his partner shot -12 on the first day and were in a tie for 2nd. They finished up yesterday with the 3rd best score at -20. However, there were several at -21 so they ended up in 5th place. Still a great finish if you ask me...their winnings more than paid for the entry fee!
While Hubby was golfing, I got motivated and deep-cleaned practically our entire house! I skipped out on our guest bath, office & guest bedroom because those don't hardly get used enough to need deep cleaning. I also managed to get all of our laundry done. Wow, what a productive afternoon it was for me! While I finished up the house, Hubby worked in the yard & made everything look fabulous as usual.
After our long afternoon of household chores, Hubby treated me to dinner at Chili's & we managed to get home just before the torrential rains came. We've been needing rain for awhile, but not in such huge amounts! I spent the rest of the evening reading & relaxing while Hubby studied for his exams.
Now it's time for a new week, we've got several things going on including my college roommate coming for a visit tonight! Can't wait to see her!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rozanne "Rosie" "Granny" Bryan

Yesterday we spent the entire day with Hubby's family & many old family friends who we hadn't seen since our wedding 3 years ago. While the circumstances surrounding the day were certainly sad, it was such a joy to see some of the people we don't get to see but at weddings or funerals.

We all gathered to celebrate the life of Hubby's granny, a woman who I only knew for a short period of time but a woman who made an impact on so many lives. Rosie was a woman who loved the color pink & this was certainly not forgotten during the joint visitation/funeral yesterday afternoon. Many of her friends dressed in pink to honor her & Hubby even brought out his pink shirt and tie for his granny.

Hubby & his Granny at our wedding

Instead of the service being one filled with sadness, the pastor illustrated what a full life Rosie had lead & how much fun she was probably having in heaven with her husband Dick. Pastor Swaggerty's last comment was that maybe if Rosie was lucky, really lucky...God sprinkled the streets of gold with a few pink diamonds to welcome her home.

We'll miss you Rosie, but we'll see you again in paradise!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

As with probably everyone else's weekend, ours was fully focused around 4th of July celebrations. We did get some bad news as we learned that Hubby's granny headed home to be with Jesus on Saturday morning. It was certainly bittersweet as everyone is certainly said she's gone, but she lived a great life & is in such a better place! Praise God that we have the assurance of heaven & eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

Back to the 4th of July celebrations...Friday night we started off with some preparation for our family's annual 4th of July gathering. My dad has always been in charge of buying the fireworks & it seems every year we buy more & more. We met up with my parents, & my brother & sil for dinner on Friday night and then finished up the evening by filling the back of my dad's suburban with tons of fireworks.

Saturday I headed to work for the morning while Hubby ran some errands. We grabbed some lunch & then I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen fixing up some great sweets for Sunday. I made Fudge Revel Bars & Lemon Raspberry bars--I'll share those recipes sometime soon, they were both delicious. Saturday night we went to one of our favorite local pizza joints for dinner & took care of a little bit of shopping. It was a fairly early night for us, but we had a big day ahead on Sunday.

Sunday brought a GREAT patriotic service at church. We sang patriotic songs & our pastor reminded us how important it is for Christians to be active & involved in our governmental process. What a blessing it is to live in America!

Then it was time to party! We loaded up Bogey, the desserts, & some extra fireworks & headed down to my parents' house. The afternoon was spent getting all the details in order & just spending some quality time with my mom & dad. Everyone started arriving about 5 & we filled our plates full of all sorts of yummy food! It seems everyone in our family loves dogs & this year it couldn't have been more evident. We had about 18-20 people there & 9 dogs. Yup...9 DOGS!!! Almost a 2-1 ratio of people to dogs. It was quite entertaining watching them all interact!

I only managed to get 6 in a photo at once. This one includes Bailey, Josie, Romo, Bogey, Yadi & Jack...Dallas, Reba, & Jazz were missing.

After dinner we had some extra time before it was dark enough to start blowing stuff up so we had some great fellowship & also a pretty intense Cornhole tournament. I think Hubby & my Grandpa Smart came out as the winning team!

My grandma's enjoyed the entertainment for sure!

We finally got everything loaded up & headed down to the launch site...

With all those fireworks we better get started!

My cousin Brian took charge of mosquito control!

One of the highlights of the evening was a new item called the Sky acted as a hot air balloon & actually looked really neat up in the sky!
Up, up, & away...
Can you see it? Who knows how far it went!

All of those involved in setting everything's quite the production every year!

Lined up & ready to go!

We involved the gallery with some sparklers...can't have 4th of July without Morning Glory sparklers!

Ooooohhhhhh....Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! We had such a fabulous show!

Bogey wasn't bothered at all by the noise...he was much more interested in his bone!

Cleaning up...there's always so much trash, but we have such a great time!
We finally made it home about midnight...I was exhausted!!! Hubby & I were both off work today and I have to admit that we didn't even get up until 9. I made crescent roll cinnamon rolls for breakfast & then we actually got back in bed and laid around for most of the morning. We did finally head to lunch & watching an afternoon movie..."Grown Ups" wasn't the funniest movie I've ever seen but it also wasn't terrible. Just a nice way to spend an afternoon. We're spending the rest of the evening at home, enjoying the rest of our day off! It's back to work tomorrow!