Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Renovation Superstar!

I totally need my own show on HGTV, but only if it involves laying tile. I'm super at that! Can you guess how we spent our rainy Memorial Day weekend?

Friday night we laid tile until about 2am; well, I should say I laid tile until 2am. Jeremy and I FINALLY found a way to work on projects together without killing each other-we don't work together! Simple huh? Jeremy is great at demo, but not so hot at anything that requires patience such as laying tile or grouting. So, I strapped on the knee pads and laid the tile Friday night while he made trips back and forth to the carport to cut the tile when needed. It worked perfectly because we were in separate rooms! We only had a few arguments when the tile didn't fit because we were blaming each other- he says I didn't measure right (totally not the case) and I say he didn't cut right!
Then Saturday night we finished grouting the floor. Again, I use the term "we" loosely. I had already started when Jeremy finally came in to help me. I left him to it while I mixed up more grout. I had literally been gone 5 minutes and when I came back he was sitting on the side of the tub holding his wrist.

"What's wrong Jeremy?"
"My wrist is hurting really bad. It's an arthritis like pain . . ."
Exasperated: "Ok, just move and let me finish."
"I really do want to help . . ." (In a if only there was something I could do but I'm in pain voice)
"Great! You can come behind me and wipe down the floor as I finish the sections!" Gotcha!

So every 20 minutes or so he would come in behind me and spend 5 minutes wiping down the section I just completed. What did he do the rest of the time? He set up my train set from the Jacksonville Business Expo in the living room floor and raced the locomotives around the track. Niiice. I couldn't decide if I wanted to kill him or laugh. (Watching me decorate the locomotive last week has really got him in the mood to pick up model railroading as a hobby, Lord help me.)In the end though it was much better that I did the tile and grouting. I'm waaay too much of a perfectionist and there's no way I could have let Jeremy do it without going behind him a million times and driving him nuts!

Here's our semi-finished product:

Shower walls-Ignore the mess-Cleanup has not happened yet.

Emma playing in the bathroom. She was so amazed by the new floor and lack of ANYTHING in the room that she kept wanting to play with her toys in there.

I will finally get to shower in my own house this Saturday night! Woo hoo! We still have to haul in the vanity and clean up, do some detail work, but the bulk of the work is finished! Yay! And we're still married! Yay!

Friday, May 22, 2009

So. Very. Tired.

How is it that I used to stay up until 2am all the time in high school and college AND still have plenty of energy to spare the next day? That just proves my theory that it sucks getting old!

I have been staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning all week working on the bathroom or doing work stuff. Crazy right?! I am desperate to get our bathroom finished so that I can shower in my own house so I've been working my butt off trying to get it all completed. Jeremy has been going into work at 3am all week so he obviously has not been able to put in the time. On the bright side, I am really mastering the art of laying tile and grouting. Bob Villa watch out!! It will be finished over the weekend!!

The other project that has been keeping me up late at night is the Jacksonville Business Expo. (Note to self: Next time you have a brilliant idea and want the RR to participate in a community project KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!)

I signed AKMD up to participate in this Business Expo thinking it would be good PR and a great way to meet some other businesses in the community and maybe, just maybe, score some new business opportunities. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went-major goodwill for us and some business opportunity leads. yay me! But, as usual leading up to the Expo was pure hell. I once again didn't have any volunteers to give me a hand and a huge account I've been working on landing decided to make their move in the midst of all this. Whew! So the expo was kind of thrown together at the last minute, but I do have to say we were the most popular booth there thanks to yours truly. Can you guess why? A TRAIN SET, that's why! Who doesn't love trains? So, I set up one of my train sets on an empty table and we had everyone in the room coming by.

And, check out the locomotive I made special for the event! The quality of the photo isn't very good but it's an exact working replica of our locomotives. Not too shabby huh? I bought a kit off of Ebay, put it all together and painted. I love it now, but at 1am I kind of hated it.

And now I am dragging some serious butt. I knew I was in trouble yesterday when I got home from work and was swollen from the tips of my toes to the tops of my knees. I couldn't believe that my feet were swollen, HELLO, I'm not pregnant. It's just not fair.
Cross your fingers that I don't fall asleep at work and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hallelujah I can see the sun!

I hate the rain. Absolutely despise it unless I am sitting cuddled up on my couch in my pj's and can watch it out the window. That was NOT the case this week. Fresh off of my work-cation I dove straight into the nightmare at work that awaited me. My job really is not bad, I promise. I enjoy it 95% of the time, but it is also very fast paced and I have several projects at critical negotiating points. With the economy in the dumper you can imagine the pressure to find new ways to make up for lost business. So not only do I get to try and catch up from my time off (still haven't done that) but the President of our company was in town so I had to set aside a lot of time for him as he always wants to know about my new projects, etc. It's flattering, but supremely time consuming.

But, back to my original point-I hate the rain. It totally mirrored my mood this week and screwed it up royally. Lots of rain = delays on the railroad = lots of angry customers calling Stephanie. Yeah. We had certain areas of our railroad in southeast AR under water around the Saline River. UNDER .WATER. and I was still fending calls from people demanding we deliver their cars. Sure, just let me whip a boat out of my magic hat and I'll get that right to ya! Pure craziness. Add the water moccasins that tried to get into our locomotives and it makes for a heck of a time! Seriously not kidding about the snakes.

This is our locomotive crossing one of the few bridges that was only slightly underwater and still passable.

And poor Jeremy is working the noon to midnight shift this week so absolutely nothing is getting done in our bathroom so I'm still schlepping over to other people's houses to take a shower with Emma. yay! Hopefully we can tackle and finish that bathroom this weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Renovation Nightmare

So, our vacation sucked the big one. We ran into so many problems on this bathroom renovation that it is ridiculous. We canceled all of our plans for the week and instead made 5 trips to Lowe's, 3 trips to various hardware stores and are still not finished with the bathroom! Ugh! First it was problems with the sheetrock, then the subfloor, then the plumbing! Seriously, can HGTV come and take over now?!

My brother thinks our problems are hilarious. He is currently overseeing a hotel construction in Baton Rouge, LA , so as you've guessed he does this sort of stuff for a living and is fantastic at it. I apparently did not inherit the "handy" gene. I was talking to him yesterday and he was like, "Well Steph, I would have had that done in like two days!" Rub it in why don't ya! I love that guy to pieces! (And would have so made fun of him if the situation was reversed) Seriously, next time I'm contemplating a reno I'm calling in my big brother to make sure we're doing this crap right! This is what our bathroom looked like 2 days ago:

Now we have the plumbing fixed, sheetrock up, and half of the tile up in the shower. It's going to look so good when we're finally done!

I did discover that I'm a whiz at repairing sheetrock! Yay me! You can't even see the massive holes left in the wall where the dumbass that installed the original vanity NAILED it into the sheetrock!

The real downer about this project is that since we're installing tile around the shower the grout cannot get wet for 7 days! We still haven't grouted yet and this is the only shower in our house. Yeah. So each night we're schlepping over to either my mom's or his parent's houses for showers. The next 10 days or so are going to be long and painful.

On a brighter note- Emma has jumped right into her love for shoes. (Jennifer would be so proud!) Emma now gets into my closet at every chance and pulls out my high heels and clomps around the house in them. Too funny! You may not be able to really tell in this picture but she is sporting one of my black peep toe pumps with her koala bear pajamas.

Jerermy and Emma did an excellent job for Mother's Day this year. They made me a card, took me out to lunch, and bought me a gorgeous diamond necklace! I was so psyched. The card is out of this world sweet and I was shocked that Jeremy bought me some jewelry. He NEVER buys jewelry!

But now the vacation is over and I need to get to the 200 emails I've been avoiding. I hate going back to work after a vacation!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Celebrating the New

TA-DA! New Hair!!

I cut off 8 INCHES and added some bangs! I love it! I was a little worried about the bangs because I haven't had bangs since Junior High (I was afraid it would be annoying) but it's great! And, Jeremy wasn't happy but he's still speaking to me so it's a win-win!

Things are not going as smoothly on the bathroom remodel. We're already behind schedule thanks to the rain. (Can't buy and haul home sheet rock or hardy board in the rain) Demolition is still in full swing but here are some of the before pictures so you can see the mess we have to work with:

This is the vanity. I've already replaced the mirror and light fixture but the vanity is super old with a laminate top. I painted it when we first moved in because it was hideously ugly but it's going bye-bye.

This is right in front of the shower. You can kind of see the water damge on the sheetrock. The subfloor under the rugs is ruined from water. (We had a leak behind the shower wall.)

More to come . . .