I'm too excited to resist posting some pictures from Mom and Dad's party. Uncle Dan (Spokane, WA) and Chris took the pictures I have here...One's from Tom will probably show up on Rae Ann's blog. I still need to get copies from them.

First things first, the cake. DUM DUM DUUUMMMMM. Look at this horrid little cake. Mom and I were in Papa Haydn's together when it was ordered: she picked the flavor, I picked the design. Okay, so it was supposed to look appealing, but when I picked it up, this is what I got. The design had holes in it, the piping was totally uneven, there were blotches of chocolate smeared on the side, the seams in the chocolate sheet coating the cake were uneven and coming undone, etc.

Nate and Chris had gone with me to Sellwood to pick it up, and on the way home we all came to the conclusion that I needed to call the store back and let them know how disappointed I was, and how important the cake was.

Now, Papa Haydn was the bakery Nate and I ordered all of our wedding cakes from, and they did a FANTASTIC job with those cakes. So this one was a complete surprise. Honestly, though, I think they forgot about the cake. I called to check on it in the morning and both ladies I talked to sounded really unsure about what cake I was even talking about. (Oh, by the way, Nate and I went into Gresham to pick up the flowers for the party. We went to the farmer's market off of Main St. and bought beautiful Dahlias!)

All that to say, I think they forgot about the cake and whipped it together just before I got there. When we got back home after picking it up, I called them and they kindly agreed to give us another cake, same flavor, larger size, but no special design. I was very happy with the upgrade, and Chris kindly ran back to Sellwood to pick it up.

The party was beautiful! And, SURPRISE! Mom and Dad had sneakily planned on renewing their vows, so everyone (minus the wedding party) was in the dark when Pastor Lauren Fischer got up on the deck and called up the wedding party. It was a great surprise! Mom was practically hovering on tiptoe from excitement.

And so many people showed up! Many, many more than I imagined. Yet another surprise, those liars, Suzi and Karina showed up, along with Jenny Powell (married to Suzi's son, Darin). They had told us again and again that they wouldn't be able to make it to the party...Apparently, that was the truth, until, like, a week before the party. They drove the 12 hours up from Visalia on Friday and returned home on Sunday. Craziness! But we were so excited to have them around!

We had tons of food. Quite a few people brought desserts along with them. We had a chocolate fountain with fruit and pretzles, a couple different kinds of cheesecakes, fudge, pies, etc. It was in the 90's, so we had piles of bottled water. Even though it was hot, it was wonderful being outside. The lights and candles added a nice ambiance as the sun went down. And the party lasted for awhile! Some folks left, but many family members sat around enjoying the night.

Now I'm just attaching some photos from people we had over...All in all, I think the party was a success!

Oh yeah, I cut my hair the day before the party. Went ahead and chopped it right off. It's a pain to style...Generally, there's a fly-away section, like this picture demonstrates. But I think I'm getting used to it!


A few things

This past weekend, Rae Ann and I hosted a party for Mom and Dad's 25th and 1/2 wedding anniversary (it was in December, but who wants to travel to an anniversary party between Christmas and New Years?). It was a beautiful party! I don't have any pictures of the party right now, so I'll post those later today or tomorrow maybe.

Leslie and Adam came into town and stayed with us for a couple nights. They were our first overnight guests! We were excited to have someone in our guest room. It totally forced us to organize that room and get it whipped into shape. Les and Adam brought along Roxy...Frankie went on the fritz. She totally freaked out when she saw Roxy. Frankie tore up my arms as she leaped into out bedroom to escape, but Roxy, although big, is totally harmless. She wanted to play! It was nice to have a dog around for a few days. I like that I can play with Frankie for a little bit, but then she's okay on her own. I don't think I'm ready for the dependence of a dog right now. Anyway, here are a couple pics of some pretty amazing friends:)

And here is our new houseguest...my cousin Chris. Mom and Dad took off for the beach after their party, so Chris is here with us until they return on Wednesday. No worries, we've already planned out all our days until they return. (Beach, here we come! Oh, and Powell's...and NIKE employee store, maybe. Rae Ann, if you're reading this, can we go???)

Also, one last thing. I met up with Kristin DufF this past weekend. She was in town from the beach, so we met up to celebrate her birthday, which is actually on Tuesday, the 29th. For those of you who don't know, she and I met at Ecola Bible School my second year of college. She had been attending Trinity Western University, which was the university I had plans to transfer to after EBS, so she and I went up there todgether. We both graduated from TWU in 2005, and now she's working her way through this next year as a CNA.

This last weekend was incredibly busy, but such a blessing! I'll post some pictures from the party as soon as I get a few on this computer. More later.

Our UGLY Bathroom...called the "Big Top"

I just wanted to post some of these pictures we took before Nate started painting the downstairs rooms.

This is our scary bathroom. There are a couple opinions of what the colors are. Maroon and Gold, like my high school mascot colors, Red and Yellow like a circus tent...It's amazing. The bathroom is closet size, so the stripes are incredibly daunting. I'm so excited to get it painted! One of these days...Let me just say here that Nate experienced a 2 DAY weekend this past weekend. It was fantastic!

Oh, and this is me helping.



Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

The family room and kitchen look absolutely phenomenal! All thanks to Nathaniel Scott Banks of Banks Painting, LLC. (Interested? Call 503.803.4574--can you tell I'm dedicated to my husband? I'm his #1 fan.)
Nate came home on Saturday night after a 13 hours work day and went on to work for another 6 hours at home. He prepped and cut in most of the family room that night. Around 2:30am he decided to be done. It was my sole duty to stay awake while he worked. Not so easy if you ask me. But what is staying awake to a 19 hour work day spent entirely on one's feet? Okay, so 8am rolled around and we literally stumbled out of bed, totally incoherent until we had coffee. Nate began painting and I weeded the back yard. He kept painting and I mowed the lawn. He kept on painting and I ran errands. Finally, it was 1:30 and I was showered and ready for the party. I got downstairs and he was still painting. STILL PAINTING. Around 1:45 he began flying around the kitchen and family room (like a little blurr) picking up all his painting equipment. We hurridly moved furniture back into the kitchen and organized the family room and dining room. I pretty much tossed the food on the table while he showered. The party was supposed to begin at 2pm, but it was probably 2:30 before anyone showed up. Thank God for those extra minutes! I cleaned up the mess I had made the night before getting all the food ready...And here I should say thank God for Linsea Weigel! She came over on Saturday night and spent hours and hours dipping pretzels into chocolate. If she hadn't helped, I would never have been able to make the cheese ball, 7 layer bean dip, upside-down plum cake, or mollasses sandwich cookies...So we enjoyed the company of several friends: Brent Hiebert, Matt and Laura Holt, Jeff and Necia Davis, Linsea, Dave and Tiffani Martin (along with their son Charlie), and finally Hunter and Amanda Dagget.We had the greatest time just hanging out with folks! We were very excited to share our home and look forward to many more events with friends and family!


More Work Accomplished

Sunday found Nate and I practically knee deep in paint. He took over the living room and got every wall painted. I helped him prep!!! Wahoo! I even got the downstairs bathroom ready to be painted. I was trying to actually do all the painting, but, let's face it, I'm no good. The ceiling, which would have taken Nate 60 seconds to paint took 6 minutes because I kept taking over and I kept messing it up. But my ever-supportive husband was kind enough to tell me I did a good job, that I have potential. He's sweet. A liar, but sweet:]

I didn't get any pictures of the bathroom for this post, but I'll be sure to take a picture of my big circus tent colored bathroom before I paint it. It's a real winner. It's gonna look oh-so-pretty when we're done with it!

More later.



Check out my sister Rae Ann's blog. It's to the right of the screen under "The Adventures of Bean and Sprout." There are some absolutely adorable shots of my nieces! Seriously, go...


You're probably bored by now.

I've been blogging on every little step along the way, but I'm just so excited! I'll do my best, though, and try to refrain from overloading you with pictures of paint, tape, and dropcloths. But I'll begin doing that in just a minute.

First, this is the wall in our dining room at the beginning of Monday night. The uneven white line at the top of the wall is from when Nate painted the ceiling, just so you know. Because it's, well, not important. Anyway!

Here's Nate in the middle of it all.

And here's what it looks like now! So nice and fresh! Our carpet took on a whole new shade, though, one we're not sure we like, but it's nice carpet so we're keeping it for now. And the mouldings! Ah, they look so clean!

This was Nate yesterday, busy prepping the living room. There hasn't been a whole lot for me to do to help Nate in the process - he's the pro. I think that he might assign me a few simple tasks so that I can help...and also so that we can present a painted house in just a couple weeks. I'll post pictures once he gets the walls rolled out, and then we'll see if I have enough restraint to keep my blogs at a minimum so you're not overloaded:)


Rae Ann's B-day

We celebrated Rae Ann's 25th birthday on August 4th. Mom and I went with Rae Ann, Julia, Stella, Ivy, and Nattalie to the zoo (Julia and Nattalie Sager for those of you who don't know). We met up around 2pm and headed out. The zoo parking lot was packed so we had to park at an overflow lot down the freeway. A shuttle picked us up and took us back to the zoo.

The girlies had a grand ol' time! We headed straight for the elephants since that exhibit would be closing early. There was a concert on the big green lawn...an explanation to all the traffic. People were forming one huge line that wrapped all around the zoo.

The elephant named Pet died recently so there were paper lanters all around the elephant pen. It was sad! More people were creating lanterns as we walked through. We moved from the elephants on to other "warm climate" animals...like zebras, rhinos, and bats!

And then on to the less mysterious creatures...

After goats, we visited the Pacific Northwest exhibit: sheep, elk, eagles, fish, all the good stuff. The girls took full advantage of some small people fun-makers, like the tractor they could pretend to drive, the log the could run up and down, and the waterfall where they got thoroughly soaked!

Rae Ann sat down with Ivy for awhile so Mom, Stella, and I visited the elk exhibit. Funnily enough, Stella dropped her juice cup over the side of the wall. It fell right next to the elk, which startled him. Here he is running away from Stella's juice cup. And her we are mourning the loss of the sippy cup. And then in a self-portrait.

The girls began to lose momentum, and all we adults were really hungry. So we made an executive decision: Time To Go! We drove back to Rae Ann's and Mom bought dinner, Italian from a bistro around the corner (or so. Everything's around the corner in Rae Ann's neighborhood). We ended our little meal with a birthday cake for Rae Ann. Oh-so-fun! It was a Good Day.

And isn't Ivy freakin' adorable? She has the most beautiful eyes! This picture absolutely cracks me up--I think it's very endearing! It's been fun to witness her little personality coming out. The picture below is Stella and I kinda "fishy-kissing"...she started puckering up like a fish, so I went in for a wet one. She became more interested in the way my mouth looked than in giving a kiss, so we got about this far. Rae Ann has cute kids. It's official: They're Keepers.