Playing Catch-Up

It's 3:45 on Thursday and I've been working and working and working all week. I haven't had a lunch break and I've stayed late every night. But....I think I just hit a wall.  My brain has decided it cannot take anymore thinking about numbers! So, I'm going to take a quick blogging break.

I feel like I'm behind on so many things and need to play catch up.  First, my sweet mom had a birthday this week and I didn't even give her a shout-out post! Luckily, I've been working on some surprises for her that will hopefully make up for it.  (Or maybe I've been working on the surprises since the gift I ordered for her isn't in decide.) Mom's birthday was on the 12th (Monday of this week) and she got to celebrate in Virginia with my dad and one of their best couple friends.   Their vacation is coming to an end as they're due back home late this evening. I've already picked up Taylor (the german shepherd) from the vet and taken her back to their house and I will have Oh Henry at their house soon after I get off work. Happy late birthday, Mom!


Doc's parents celebrated their anniversary this week and I didn't give them a shout-out either. Please forgive me! I know they spent some time with their friends and hopefully got to hang out around the house and enjoy each other's company.  Doc and I are actually in disagreement over what day the anniversary actually was - I could've sworn it was the 12th because I thought it was the same as my mom's birthday. Doc thinks it was the 14th.  So, Lala and Poppa, we need you guys to settle this once and for all. Which day was it?!  Oh, and happy late anniversary to you both!


Remember the headboard bench that Doc built?  I showed you pictures of me spray-painting it green and briefly mentioned that it had been delivered to its new home. But I didn't show you how it ended up!  So let's back up.  It started as a stained headboard with new wood creating the bench.  My mom painted the new wood chocolate brown to match the stained part and then I sprayed the whole thing green.

I decided before I painted it green that I was going to give this bench to my cousin who is currently building her house by hand (well, she's got help from her parents and husband and the Amish, but they're doing a lot of it themselves). But this house they're building isn't just any old house. It's under their horse arena (where they ride horses and rope cattle and all that fun stuff) (my city-self couldn't come up with any other examples of things to do in a horse arena) and was originally supposed to be a concession stand/tack room/horse-washing-room/storage building. But then their house sold and they were left without anywhere to live. The long-term plan will be for them to eventually buy the plot of land that sits next to theirs and move into the house that already lives on that land. They can't do that until the land goes for sale. So, in the meantime, they're living with both of their parents and building their "house" that will eventually be become a concession stand/tack room/horse-washing-room/storage building by hand. Did I mention that they have 3 kids that are 4 and under?

Since I knew where the bench was going, I decided I needed to personalize it for them.  My aunt sent my mom a picture of their horse brand and my mom got to work making me a stencil.  I colored the back of the stencil with pencil and then taped it to the freshly painted green bench.

Then I traced the outline and pulled the stencil off.  The pencil rubbings on the back gave me a nice line when I traced it.

And then I painted the design brown.

Not too bad, right? Now, I definitely could've stopped there, but you guys know how much I love a distressed piece of furniture! I couldn't wait to get my sandpaper on this. Here's how it turned out (staged with my mom's patio pillows).

A close up of the brand:

I'm pleased with how it turned out.  My mom put a coat of polyurethane on it for me so it'd be ready for our trip to their neck of the woods.  I think my cousin was excited to get it.  I didn't even know she was using bright green in her decor so it was a perfect match! She mentioned maybe using it as a bench at her kitchen table. I think it'll look great wherever she puts it - inside or outside.

Oh, and while I was at the arena I managed to get a shot of the real brand on a horse's rump. What do you think - does my painting match it?

The brand is cattle horns (I think??) centered between two C's (for their last name).  I think it's all pretty cool.  They have lots of horses and cattle and I was lucky enough to see their border collie, Nelly, round-up the cattle while I was there. So fun to watch! My cousin and her husband  have competed in a lot of rodeos and won lots of saddles and other prizes.  These days they ride (break?) horses for other people and they also have some male horses whose, ahem, services are available. (Just in case anyone out there is looking for a horse-baby-daddy.)


On Monday, June 28, I sent my dad these plans and told him I thought this shelf would look great on their empty patio wall next to the patio set we made.  I told him if he got the supplies I'd help him build it that weekend.  My dad told me he'd hit up our local orange or blue store on Tuesday, June 29 to get the wood.  On Wednesday, June 30, I went to my parents' house for dinner and whaddaya know, he'd already built the darn thing!

My mom said he was determined to finish it that night.  He stayed up til 11:30 working on it. Of course, once it was done it just sat there because he was relying on me to finish it.  And, since I'm pretty sure my mom isn't checking my blog from the flight that she's on right now, I'll go ahead and tell you that getting it painted is one of the surprises I have waiting for them to see.  Here's a sneak peek:

Hopefully I'll have some finished patio pictures to share with you soon!


After some frustration with my camera at the wedding shower I attended last weekend, I decided to go ahead a splurge on a new lens for myself.  I deserve a present, don't I? It has shipped and should arrive any day now. I am supah excited to play with it and hope I get it all figured out before the triple baby shower I'm hosting on the 25th!

Ok, we should be caught up now. It's time to close all my work spreadsheets and hit the road!