Thank goodness, my fall break is finally here. I have to say, I so, so needed it. To be honest, I've worked every day except Sunday, so it arguably hasn't exactly been a break, but working on my own timetable (and knowing that every hour I put in over break means one fewer hour of work once school starts up) is pretty awesome.
So far? It's been a productive break. It a generally sequential but somewhat random feeling recount - here's what we've been up to!
Our first day of break was an early one. Ed had his first trail race of the season, a 20k trail race about 45 minutes west in the Estrella mountains. Ed convinced me to go with him for company, and I love him so much that I woke up at 5am on my first day of vacation. So, we drove, and drove and finally arrived to find....a very quiet trail.
Very casually, Ed asked me what the date was. I told him it was the 6th. Well, wouldn't you know the race was the 7th! We both laughed and laughed and laughed. How do you get the completely wrong date for the race! I couldn't be mad, it was too funny. The drive itself was nice (albeit a bit early), and Ed had a very successful race the next day. I did not join him the second time around :).
At home, we had a few home "renovations" on our list that we've gotten done/started.
First up? Getting rid of these lovely valences. They really gave our home a Mimi's Cafe feel, which wasn't quite the look we were going for.
Without them, our home seems lighter, and just that bit more us.
While I am still fantasizing about the day we can hire painters to get rid of these red walls.
As I mentioned, work is still definitely happening. This scene here? My life lately. It's lovely having a huge table to do work, and I'm enjoying using both laptops so that I can watch a movie while working in here :).
The best part of working in here is enjoying this view of my birthday presents (coffee table from mom-in-law Sabine and coffee table from Ed). I love, love, love this room. My brother in law says it looks like one of those rooms in magazines - maybe that's why I love it so much. It's nice to have a room that always looks pretty and mess free. I also love my pretty white pottery barn pumpkin I bought. I totally love all my little fall touches.
Our big chore on Sunday (my "non-work" day) was figuring out our phones. Ed literally broke his phone last week (as in his flip phone broke into two pieces), so we really needed to get him a new phone. My phone also sucks (hangs up at lest one time during a phone call and randomly will log me onto the internet), so I decided that I should upgrade as well. It was quite the ordeal (45 minutes of waiting, until we gave up and grabbed some lunch and this great asian restaurant).
We went back to find the same people still being helped an hour later. About 20 minutes after we got back, we finally got helped. Ed picked out another very simple flip phone (thus thwarting my promise to buy him a smart phone). Me? I am (in about 4 weeks when it comes in) going to be the proud owner of this:
We're joining the smartphone club with my very own iphone 4! It was a whole $0.99, so we're just paying an extra $20 a month for data. It was a tough call, but I think I'll really enjoy having it :) Since I have apple laptops, I'm very excited to sync them up. So, those on the other side of the smartphone world - any advice? Apps to download?
The high point of this weekend was the arrival of my brother-in-law, Tom. We love have him visiting because, not only because he's awesome, but he also is incredibly handy.
After we plied him with drinks and snacks, we convinced him to install my new birthday present from my parents - our ourdoor lights.
Our old lights were pretty ugly, in all their brassy glory, and didn't really light up.
Ed was very happy to say goodbye to them (almost as happy as I was!)
Tom talked about how easy they were to install, and that this used to be one way he made a lot of money as a handy-man. When he told us handymen like him like to charge around $150 for this kind of work, we felt super lucky to get off with just buying him a couple 8-packs of limeritas (a margarita in a can by bud-light).
The finished product? Amazing!!
They produce so much light and make our house look so much more dressed up. Thanks mom and dad!
Ever since we installed them, Ed and I feel so happy when we pull up to our house.
To celebrate, we broke out Tom's limeritas, which are apparently best when you throw them into the freezer until they become almost like a slushy, and pour them into a frozen glass.
It froze as soon as it hit the glass, and was just as good as promised.
It's so fun to see Ed with his brother - I love getting to see him in the little brother context. Tom is always being silly with him, just like big brothers are supposed to be.
They really do look a lot alike :)
We went out to our arguably favorite place - our pizza/wine bar, which was great.
We got a bottle of wine and a few pizzas, and had a really nice, relaxing time. The funniest part was towards the end when Tom, being Tom, decided that if he put his hand over the tea-light candle holder and "didn't hesitate" he could put out the flame without getting burned. Shockingly, he got burned.
The funniest part, though, was that when I went to take his picture, he'd already removed the smudge. So, being the obliging brother-in-law he is, he ran over to another table to re-burn himself! All in the name of photography.
He woke up early the next morning, fixed our sprinkler system and two light switches before he took off. It was a short but sweet trip. The next time we see him will be for his wedding!
Our (my) last project? Redoing our laundry room. So far, it's primed up and ready to go :) Can't wait to finish this room!
So, that's where I am as of Tuesday night. Tomorrow and Thursday, my plan is plenty more work, relaxing, painting, and other errand running. My sister, Kort, is coming on Thursday evening, so all of the work needs to be done by then. I can't wait for phase two of break to start :).