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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Home Improvements

In my last post, I mentioned that we recently installed new granite countertops in our kitchen.  The decision to get new countertops was easy....our old ones were the standard laminate kind, in a less-than-lovely gray/blue color.  Oddly, I haven't seen anything like them in Southern Living or Better Homes & Gardens lately.  

So, it was an easy call to replace them, but not such an easy decision to pick out the color, the coordinating backsplash, the pattern, the trim, the edging, etc.  Whew!  All those decisions just for new countertops (and a few new appliances).  I can't imagine designing a whole house from scratch!  After much agonizing and last minute mind changing we made our choices, and I'm so pleased with the final result.  This renovation was a splurge for us....I'm usually a DIY kind of gal, but we saved up and I think it was totally worth it.

Here are a few before and after pictures:

The day of our inspection before we bought the house - the walls have a great textured and glazed look, but the cabinets and countertops had to go.

Ahhh....so much better!  The granite looks great with the cabinets I repainted a while back.
Kitchen - done.  Next step, retiling the master bath.....ahh the joys of home ownership :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mother's Day

Ryan and I are both blessed with loving, faithful, encouraging, Godly mothers.  So we've started a new tradition to honor them by hosting a family lunch at our home on Mother's Day.  Our two families don't have a chance to get together too often, so everyone had fun catching up and just spending time together.  

This year, my sister and brother-in-law were able to join us (it's great having them back in Texas), along with Ryan's sister and her boyfriend.  We missed my younger sisters, but college finals are pretty hard to ignore.

We also got to show off our new kitchen countertops (photos to come) - I finally got granite!  Thanks so much to everyone for making this Mother's Day so special.

My good friend Mary made beautiful flower arrangements just for our lunch - thanks Mary - the picture doesn't really do them justice.  And I think this is the only time of the year that I actually get to use our wedding china.

The Fitzhugh Clan (Ryan, me, my father & mother-in-love, Stephen and Blair)

Most of the Parker Group (Blake, Heather, Mom, Dad, me, Ryan - and Dixie)

The Moms
To my mom and mother-in-love: Thank you both for being who you are.  You are constant sources of support, love and encouragement.  We know that your countless prayers brought us together all those years ago, and we're so grateful for your presence in our lives.  We love you!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weeeeee!!!!!

As promised....here are a few pics and even a video clip from our ziplining adventure in Kauai.

Cute outfits huh?

Yep.....all the way down there.

Action shot!

video

And Here We Go.....

Okay, after months of following all the fun blogs of friends and family, we've decided to enter the blogging world ourselves.  I honestly never thought I'd be the blogging type...I mean who really needs to know what I'm thinking or doing all the time?  Plus I don't usually like doing something just because everyone else is doing it.  In fact, I had actually decided not to ever start a blog or join Twitter just as a protest to all the self-expression mania taking over the world.  

But now I've seen the light - at least as far as blogs are concerned.  I love reading everyone else's posts and seeing the pictures of their lives, kids, vacations, whatever.  This blogging thing might not be such a bad idea after all.  It's alot like the time I saw my first pair of capri pants and vowed that I would never, EVER be caught dead in them.  Of course, now they are a favorite part of my summer wardrobe - never say never, right? (I'm still swearing off Twitter at this point, but I guess you never know).

So here's my first post, with the promise of many more to come.  I'm starting things off with a bang - pictures from our recent trip to Hawaii!  A few weeks ago, Ryan and I returned to our honeymoon destination - the Grand Hyatt in Kauai.  It's a beautiful place with the friendliest people in the world.  We had such a great time lounging on the beach, reading books, enjoying sunset dinners, flying around in a helicopter, ziplining through the mountains - we couldn't have asked for a better trip.  So here are a few of the 300+ pictures I took (don't worry...I've only posted a quick tasting).  I have some video footage of the ziplines that I'm going to try and add soon.  Until then...enjoy!



If any one has ever travelled to Hawaii, you know that the time difference takes a while to get used to.  The first few mornings we were up before dawn, so we took advantage of the situation and got to see a few beautiful sunrises from our balcony.



The hotel staff was so glad to have us back that they sent up complimentary chocolate covered strawberries (my favorite!) and champagne (switched out for sparkling grape juice since we're not really big champagne drinkers).  I love this place!

If you look closely you can see Ryan jumping off this cliff near our hotel (just kidding....that's not Ryan....but some other brave soul is definitely jumping off the cliff in this picture)


Part of the nightly torch lighting ceremony at the hotel.

Wailua Falls - I'm told this is where they filmed the intro to Fantasy Island (a little before our time though, so I'll take their word for it)


You can see the back of our resort in the background...beautiful!

I just wish I had a picture of Ryan pushing the 8-year-old girl out of the way so he could have his turn on the slide :)

Beginning of our helicopter tour - we'd highly recommend this to anyone visiting Kauai!

The Napali Coast - only accessible by boat or helicopter (or a really treacherous hiking trail, but we're on vacation right?)

Waimea Canyon, dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain

So I just had to get a picture of this chicken crossing the road (he he)....seriously, there are hundreds of wild chickens running around on this island!



Hammock time!

Sunset dinner at The Beach House


I guess this is how the Hawaiians like their women?

Ryan striking a manly hula pose in the airport :)

We love you Hawaii - hope to be back soon!!