Filling a Hole

This is day four of a two day project as quoted by my husband. He is awesome like that ;) He has been filling the hole above the fireplace.  You know those ridiculous media niches that became obsolete once flatscreen tvs were all the rage.  Yet, they continued to install these media niches in homes.  I know.  We have one.  In our house built in 2006.  My hubbie has been wanting to mount our tv over our fireplace for over a year.  Since the day we looked at this house :)   Here is a picture of our niche as of Saturday morning...

Isn't it beautiful? Notice how it is taller than it is wide.  So modern electronics- namely, a widescreen TV will not fit.  We had it rigged so the TV would sit up there on the mantel but you could see this gaping hole around it.  Plus, there is something wrong with the phrase "had it rigged" when applied to something that you need to give up your firstborn to purchase.... And all our components were in the niche behind the TV and it was so difficult to reach under and behind the TV to put on a DVD or turn on the Wii.  And because like I said before it is like a man fantasy... I'm sure your husbands would agree with mine.  I have to admit I envy some of your beautiful mantlescapes with gorgeous mirrors and shutters and the like.  Or heaven help me a family portrait!  But Ryan has very few decorating must haves so I feel like I have to oblige. :)  Plus, love seeing him working hard on the house!

Yes, I totally told him to pose this way :)
Now, once we decided to close this baby up it was as simple as one-


Ok, just kidding there were a whole bunch of other steps that I was vaguely aware of {I was baking cookies.} Once this was complete, Ryan caulked the seams inside the mini-niche and primed the whole thing.  Ooh-ra Babe!

Next up on our list-

*Re-paint the whole wall
*Hang the mount
*Hang the TV
*Install as shelf in our mini-niche
*Install crown molding {that looks wrong.  it should be moulding}
     *BTW, this is to cover the wires for our new surround system that Ryan purchased on
       Black Friday.

I will keep you posted on our progress.  Fingers crossed this is all done before Christmas Eve.  Tell me... do you have any last minute projects before the holidays?

I'm linking up to Carrie's Amaze Me Mondays. 


A Surprise

This morning I woke up so tired from last night.  We have to wake up so early because Nolan gets on the bus a little after 7 am.  It is brutal sometimes.  Especially when Ryan is gone {he's out to sea right not}, I find it hard to fall asleep.  I got the boys set up with breakfast and my cell phone rings.  Who is calling me at this hour?!?!  I recognize the number- it's a ship number.  Ryan is calling me from out at sea.  I pick up and he wishes me a Happy Anniversary!  It was the best present I could ask for with him away.  To hear his voice first thing in the mrorning just chased all my grumpiness away.  He directed me to a hidden spot in our bedroom to a card he had left for me. I teared up.  That is my hubbie's romance. Knowing he had thought of all this before he left got to me.  I'm a complete sap. I know. :)

Today, we have been married for eight years!! I couldn't dream for a better husband, father, or friend. Here we are eight years ago...

And here we are now...

We have been through so much together and it has only made us stronger and helped our love grow. 

Happy Anniversary Babe.  I love you!

**Photo taken by Michelle Kirnan Photography**


Holiday Cards

Before I sat down to write this post I scored myself a glass of milk and a handful of yummy oreos... YUM.  Then I looked out the window and it was SNOWING.  Those big, fat flakes that don't stick but just look amazing :) That puts me right in the mood to share on of my favorite holiday traditions... sending out Christmas cards.  I love sending them out.  I love getting them in the mail.  I display them in our home all season long- they make me so warm and fuzzy. When Hubbie and I were first married I sent out regular old cards but we started sending out photo cards the year Nolan was born.  And every year I have drooled over the cards at Shutterfly. Their cards are beautiful, affordable and they have a time saving option to enter your recipients' addressses online and they will send them all out for you.  Shutterfly you are speaking my language!!

Here are some of my favorite photo card designs-

Aren't they beautiful?  I have these four plus another one or two all made in my folder on their site and I am having trouble deciding which I want to use this year.  It is so hard to pick just one!!

Shutterfly also makes Thank Yous.  They have photo cards like this...

Which how cute are they? Or if you want to skip the photo thank yous they have text only...

I personally like the photo thanks yous better- you know, in case you missed the boat on the photo holiday card you could make up for it with a photo thank you but I think the text only designs are beautiful.

If you have never used their site before, Shutterfly has other products to see like... calendars! 

My sister-in-law makes these as Christmas Bingo gifts and everyone always fights over them.  You can personalize them with pictures, birthdays, anniversaries or whatever floats your boat. I love them because they are fun to look at AND it's super easy to remember Ryan's grandmother's birthday :)

Also, Shutterfly has Photo Books. I personally have never ordered one but my mom has and I think the quality is nice.  I am using the family photos we just had done to make one for Ryan for his deployment.  He is not a huge sap like me but I think he might like to look at it once in a while and cry because he misses me so.  Haha... I can dream right?  Maybe this is the type of gift I give to him for me ;) He already told me he wants tool storage for the garage. Pssht.  What does he know?  Photo book it is :)

And finally, just in case you didn't know Shutterfly is running a blogger promotion where you may be eligible to receive 50 free holiday cards!  WOW!  Totally generous, right? Here's the link if you are interested. I think you have until December 15th so there's still time.

So what about all of you?  Do you send out cards every year? A family letter?


Family Photos

I am so thrilled.  I finally got my hands on the disc that has our family prints on it!!  We had our pictures taken the beginning of November at a local park.  The last time we had a picture taken of our family was over three years ago!!  Poor Bubby.  Our last family photo he was just a star in the sky :)  (That's where I tell the boys they were before they were born.)

We had a fantastic photographer that is just beginning  to build her professional photography portfolio.  She is such a sweetheart, so patient and her prices are FABULOUS! I am kind of sing song-ing that word for you there- in case you didn't notice :)

Here are some of my favorites :)

Nolan wanted me to hold that leaf :)

My Beautiful Buttonnose

Sweet Bubby

 ~ Brotherly Love ~

So what do you think?  I am so thrilled that we have so many pictures to choose from.  I cannot wait to start printing them and displaying them :)  I also plan to give the grandparents framed pictures of the boys. And can now plan our Christmas cards. We do them every year and this year we can have something more than me shoving the two boys in front of the tree... hehe ;)

Also...shhh! don't tell Ryan but I am going to make him a photo book from me and the boys to give to him before he deploys in January.  I think it will be so nice... :)

Have any of you had family photos taken?  Where do you go to have them done?

All photos were taken by Michelle Kirnan Photography.