Showing posts with label the house. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the house. Show all posts

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Did You Know? **big news**

Did you know that Reno, Nevada is further from Las Vegas than Phoenix is? ...because I didn't.

Did you know that Reno gets more snow than Denver? ...because I didn't.

Did you know it's only a few hours from San Francisco and Wine Country? ...because I didn't.

Did you know it's less than an hour to Lake Tahoe? ...because I didn't.

Did you know Reno is at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains? ...because I didn't.


Why would I know this? I've never been.

When I heard that we might be moving to Reno a few months ago, I pictured myself in a desert town surrounded by junky casinos. I thought I was moving to the disgusting heat of Phoenix but without my friends there. NO THANKS.

I pictured this landscape:

and this:


Certainly not this:
Photo by: Rachid Dahnoun
or this:
Photo by: Scott McGuire

Turns out, there are junky casinos there but it's not in the desert. Also, you don't have to live near said junky casinos. M says it's like being in a bowl of mountains. He's been working there and here in Colorado for the past few months.

Well, folks, we're moving to Reno, Nevada.

Last month, Michael was offered a promotion with UOP and this week, after many back-and-forths and changes in original plans, he accepted that position. I'm so, so, so glad this travel schedule is almost over. It's been really hard for me and the girls. I'm not going to lie, mostly me.

We'll be there before the holidays which means that (lucky me) I get to start all over on the photography business and that is the reason that I've held off on publishing my website. The week I registered my business in Colorado, M got the call. I guess I should add that the week I quit my job, God provided this call. So I'm out my time and money to register here in Colorado and some other business expenses, but it's good for us in the long run. I feel like it was an exclamation point moment in my life, letting me know that I did the right thing; we made the right decision.

So now 5ive Photo will be operating out of Reno, NV. Hopefully, I'll be able to build a client base there with absolutely no leads going in. YIKES.

I am praying that we find an awesome church (though I think I'll watch Flatirons services forever) and a great Christian school there for us and for the girls. I'm going to need the support. The only thing I'm really worried about is the loneliness factor. Since mom died, I've been feeling very alone in this world. I mean, if M died at this point, I would literally have no family to rely on (I'm a bit paranoid about the people I love dying now). It would just be up to me to figure it out with 3 young girls and no job. I do have my friend, Kelly, here in Colorado though. She keeps me feeling connected much of the time. I consider her family. In Reno, I know no one. I am in a completely new place. It's going to be tough I think. I'm going to have to figure that out.

I'm very sad to leave Colorado and we have plans to get back here after our 2 years are up in Reno...God willing. I want to raise the girls in Colorado and I want them to go to the Christian School we had picked out for them here.

Please pray for us. Pray that God will open doors in Colorado again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Begging for a Canvas...

Whenever I see a photo that has that certain "sparkle" that catches my eye. I immediately think, "this photo is just begging for a canvas!" A good canvas can really bring a personal and yet high end quality to a room. You guys know what I'm talking about?

I have to admit that I'm kind of a canvas snob when it comes to paying the money (let's face it, it's expensive) to create a piece of art to hang on your wall. 2 rules: 1. the picture better speak to you and 2. it better be a 1.5" wrap (meaning they stand out from the wall a full 1.5 inches).

I love this picture of my girls. I love their expressions. I love that their hair is wild and summery. I love that they're all matching. I love the black blacks and the white whites. It just works for me.

I should probably be embarrassed by the amount of pictures I take of the 3 of them together and yet, this is literally the only one where they're all 3 looking at me! Not a great percentage for a photographer. When I saw this one on the viewfinder of my old, trusty, 20d, I said to myself, "this picture is begging for a canvas."

Well, that canvas came last week.  I set it up on my mom's piano in the living room until I find a permanent place to hang it and I L.O.V.E. it!

I did an 8x10 thinking that eventually, I'll find a picture that I like better of the 3 of them, but now I'm wishing I had gone bigger.

 See how much thicker that 1.5" wrap is than the average canvas wrap?

 I love how clear the picture still is even on a piece of canvas. Good printers-Canvas Now.

 I believe this canvas will be on my wall even when my tiny babies are leaving my house for good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Walls

Recently, I've been on the hunt for some artwork to put up in the house. I'm starting in my bedroom because the walls are bare and since we're renting, I can't exactly paint them. Makes me miss my house in Chandler so much. I love that house.

Over the past months I found a few pieces that I LOVE to hang up around the house, starting with this one:
When Time Stands Still by Cindy Thornton
We hung this one on the wall in our room that leads to our bathroom. I seriously love this! We are going orange/green/blue in the master and this was so perfect. I love this artist. I've been a big fan for a few years and finally decided we need a piece in our house (or two)! Here's a closer look at the painting:

Cool, eh? I would have a whole house full of her stuff because some of it just speaks to me.

We put these two prints above our bed. 

I originally saw "Fetch" on the wall of a set in one of our favorite shows, "Rules of Engagement." When I found it, I knew just where to put it. Adds a little fun to an otherwise very grown-up room.

Here is a closer look:

Finally, I got this print (also by Cindy Thornton) to frame for Mom's piano:
With Love III by Cindy Thornton


To me, it perfectly represents my mom, brothers, and I while at the same time representing Ninny with her three granddaughters. It makes me smile.

What artists are you guys into these days? I'm always on the lookout!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baby Lifestyles Feature

This week, the twins' original nursery was features on Babylifestyles.com. It was a part of their "Real Nursery" feature. I thought that was pretty cool!


I was flattered to be asked and tickled to relive the days creating this room in anticipation of Teagan and Boston. So much worry...so much anticipation...such a huge blessing those girls are!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Mom Made Me

How's that for some alliteration?

The very last conversation I had with my mom was a good one (and I'm not talking about the email here). For reasons unknown (well my mom knew her agenda, I just didn't at the time) my mom started asking me questions about what I want to do with my life and what I hope I have enough money to do in the future. My list went a little something like this:

1. I hope to put all the girls through Christian School and still have enough money to eat every night (This might be the most important thing on my list, despite the poo pooing I get from others when I talk about it).
2. I hope to take the girls traveling on vacation (and not just to visit family, I'm talking real traveling to new places full of learning and adventure).
3. I hope to be able to send the girls to Kanakuk Kamp every summer for a month to improve their sports, make friends, have time away and learn to love God in new and powerful ways.
4. I hope to be able to afford college for the girls (which I realize is HIGHLY unlikely given how close the three are in age and the rate at which University tuition is going up-3x the rate of inflation in case you weren't sure).
5. I hope to be able to give them a nice chunk of cash for a wedding (or whatever they decide to use that money for if a wedding isn't something they want/need...ahemdownpaymentonahouseahem).
6. I hope to pay off our house before the 26 years we currently owe on it.
7. I hope to go on a vacation with Michael where we're not on a budget. The get-a-massage-if-we-want-to-and-eat-lobster-every-night kind of vacation (maybe Hawaii).
8. I'd like to take my girls on a mission trip somewhere and affect someone's life in a very big and real way.

I have expensive and lofty dreams for our money. My mom knew I had big plans (so glad she knew my plans).

Mom practically begged me to start Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.

Now, M and I are pretty good with our money but we're not check-everything-off-the-life-to-do-list good. We actually paid off all of our credit card debt last year. It wasn't hard to say yes to Mom (and in all fairness I didn't know her hours were limited or I probably would have changed the subject a bit faster). I promised her M and I would go through the program together. She told me she wished she had done something like that when we were babies so she could have taught us about money better and had more to do what she wanted in life for her and for my brothers and I.

Here is another exclamation point moment in my life. When I look back at my mom's life, I feel a bit sad about the fact that she worked so hard and never quite had enough to do what she wanted or give what she wanted. She single-handedly held our family together financially from the time she was forced to start real estate until we were out of the house. She had everything taken from her through her divorce and just this year she called to tell me her credit was back to normal after that time. The real estate market was down (way down, just ask her) but she was finally on her way up, financially. She was putting a cork in that hole in her financial bucket. She was very excited about finishing Financial Peace University and getting to a that sweet spot as far as money goes.

This is a lesson for me. I can't go through what my mom did with money. I'm young enough (did I just call 30 young?) and my kids are young enough to make a huge impact on my "family tree" as Dave would say. I don't know if M and I will ever make enough money to check everything off the list but we're gonna try. If nothing else, I'm not going to have to say to my kids, "sorry guys, this is gonna be a light Christmas again this year" or "sorry, girls, Dad and I can't afford for you to stay at that school anymore." At one point, my mom had to say both of those things and I can only imagine, being a mom now, how hard that must have been. Insert Dana Carvey as Ross Perot, "NOT GONNA DO IT, WOULDN'T BE PRUDENT!" Also, what kind of daughter would I be if I didn't keep the last promise I made to my mom?

So we started last week after having a dinner out at our favorite restaurant in Boulder (that's the last time we will be able to do that for a while). We've got quite a few baby steps to take before we're finished but we checked #1 off the list and BOOM, we're on our way to financial peace. Somewhere in each of these steps lies my life's to-do list.

Step 1: $1,000 in an emergency fund.
Step 2: Pay off all debt except the house utilizing the debt snowball.
Step 3: Three to six months of savings in a fully funded emergency fund.
Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.
Step 5: College Funding
Step 6: Pay off your home early.
Step 7: Build wealth and give.


One last thing that my mom said to me (that I was not expecting) was that she wished she had enough money to buy her kids houses like a friend/client of hers was able to do. We had never talked about that before and I felt sad that she felt badly about it. If I could build enough wealth to be able to do something like that for my kids, I imagine I'd feel like I had it all together (which is probably how mom would have felt as well). You gotta start somewhere, no matter how lofty the goals.

Getting right, one baby step at a time!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ooh La La

Yesterday, I finally finished up Addy's nursery. A lot of repurposed, clearance and handmade items in this room. Still, I like the way it came out. I didn't break the bank on it...M likes that part! I went for a Parisian theme. Very girl. I decided against using purple in the room since the girls room is all purple & green. If M had it his way the room would be completely pink with lace all over. He likes his girly girls. This is our compromise between a gender neutral room and a room made of lace. Without further ado:

A view inside the door into the crib. Frames from Michael (buy one get one for a penny). Eiffel Tower wall decal from Target.


Above the changing table. Tissue paper pom poms. These were super easy to make. I've had some questions about how they were made, so here's a good tutorial: Martha Stewart Tissue Paper Pom Poms


Changing table/dresser. The dresser is from the bedroom set M and I bought a couple of years ago for our master bedroom. This house has plenty of storage in the closet so we put one of our dressers in K's room. I put the quote on the mirror that I had made a couple of years ago for the girls' bathroom but never hung because we moved in to a rental house. "A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." -Coco Chanel


The crib. Bedding from PBK (sale). I got the crib from Cribs.com on super sale as well.


The crib and rocking chair. I got the chair from Rockingchairs.com (through Hayneedle) and it was under $100 bucks. The blanket we got as a handmade gift for the girls when they were born. Lamp is an old office lamp from Ikea.


A view from the crib. I used some of the pieces from my old guest room (angel hanging above the window and the painting I made). The window panels were on final clearance at PBK for under $50 for both. Hardware from Target.


An Eiffel Tower that I bought a few years back for my master bedroom. Repurposed here. K from Ross. Painting from the old guest room that I made a couple years back.


The angel from my old guest room works so perfectly in this room.


The side table from Target. The frame from Ross. The iPod player repurposed from my old office.

That's all I got for now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The NEW Casa de Moreno

So...it's true we're moving out of Longmont and up the road a bit closer to M's work. Windsor to be exact.

On short notice, this house turned out to be quite a blessing for us. It's a ranch style home. If you've been to Colorado, you know a single-story home is dang near impossible to find. It's also what I'd call a necessity with 3 kids under 2. It's 3,200 sq. ft. of living space, 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths. The closet in the master bedroom and in the guest room in the basement are large enough to be rooms of their own (SCORE). The upstairs is all wood flooring and the basement is completely carpeted.


The main level is home to a 3-car garage, beautiful kitchen with plenty of cabinet space, dining room, living room with fireplace, the master bedroom, and 2 kids rooms.




The basement houses the laundry room (WITH CABINETS), 2 storage rooms, a room with a HUGE walk-in closet and a bathroom for Brittany, along with the biggest open space for the girls and Baby M when he/she arrives (we're talking 17x70 HUGE). The two times we've taken the girls to the new place they run laps around the giant basement room and race from wall to wall. I'm happy to have this place for them to get their energy out when it's too cold to go outside this winter.


While I'm not happy about the circumstances or the timing of this move, I am happy about the house. It will be good for us and can be good for us for longer than the year we've committed. I'm feeling good about this move.

That's all I got for now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Last Month

This past month has been ultra crazy.

I am giant.
I think I pulled a stomach muscle which has made moving around quite difficult for the past couple weeks.
Things changed at work and I find myself now working 6 days a week.
The girls have decided the "just go limp" technique is the best to use when being forced to do something they don't want...very interesting on the stairs.
Our landlords decided NOT to do the original month-to-month lease with us and tried to force us into another long-term contract.
We are now packing everything we own.
We are moving this month (yes, I am due in 5 weeks, why?).
The girls also figured out how to throw full-blown temper tantrums when not happy. Grrreeeeaaat.
I'm trudging through my final week in PSYCH/545.
M and I started our natural childbirth classes (we still have 2 more before we're finished).
I've been trying to get all the things on my to-do list done before the baby comes...this week I mentally threw away the list.
My life is chaos.

So, I've just been going day-by-day and trying not to think about what my house will look like when we bring home our newborn baby. I've been trying not to think of all my projects that will remain unfinished. I have been trying to focus on doing things in order of priority: Family Time, Work Time, School Time, and then all else that feels important at that moment (in that order). I've been trying to stay emotionally "even" so M won't stress out.

Thank God, M's sister, Brittany, moved here last month to help out. I would be in a world of hurt without her. She has been such a big help and exactly what we needed. The girls love Aunt B and I am so happy that they have family close to love on them in that special way that only family can. Those 3 are like peas in a pod.

In my "spare time," I've been slowly working on the girls baby books. Thought I'd share a little bit of the progress on Boston's (I am doing hers first). Every month consists of a few pages of pictures and stories, a calendar of events, and their monthly letters with photo. I'm going to print both of them in hard back form in the 8x10 landscape size. So far I'm very happy with how it's coming out. I'm going to print a copy for each girl, a copy for me and M to keep and a copy for the grandparents if they so desire.














I have to make it through this month. Then I get to start my maternity leave and hopefully check a few more things off the list. This is the part of living away from family that SUCKS!

That's all I got for now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Decorating!!!

I'm so excited to put together a new baby's room with only one crib to take up space! There are actually set-up possibilities and not just, "it only fits like this" options like it was with the twins. YAY!

Since we are going gender-neutral on this baby, I've been scowering the web looking for something cute for either baby boy or baby girl Moreno. So far my favorite bedding set is from The Land of Nod (which is the Pottery Barn Kids equivilent to Crate and Barrel...my fave).

The bedding set is called "All Creatures Great and Small."










Cute, huh? I like the dots/argile combo. M is diggin' it too (although, he pretty much goes with the flow on the decorating thing).

I'm not too thrilled with the bedskirt so I think I'll just pick up a white one to match. We're heading out this weekend to seach for crib options (we're going dark wood on this one) and to find a good rocking chair/glider for the room. Woohoo! This is really the only part of being pregnant that I love.

That's all I got for now.