Friday, September 30, 2016

Ninety Years of Bill Brady

The second weekend of June, the Houston faction of the Brady bunch packed up our boots, babes and bags to head to South Bend for an epic birthday party.  On June 8th my incredible Grampa turned 90 years old.  Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him knows that he is one-of-a-kind and to say that we are blessed that he is ours is absolutely the understatement of the century.  On Saturday June 11th, we threw a bash in his honor.

We had far too much fun and there are far too many stories, pictures and laughs to recount them all.  I don't see myself stringing together another 30 minutes on a lunch break for quite some time, so I'm going to try to squeeze it all into one post.  To help aid your understanding, I'll break it down into the phases of any good party experience.  Here we goooooooo...

So, this was our first trip on a plane with the girls.  This big milestone was to immediately followed by their first time in a rental car and a 2.5 hour drive from Chi Town to the Bend.  Are you jealous yet?

To keep the Martin Family Income Statement afloat (this is an actual excel spreadsheet that my husband produces, by the way), we snagged tickets through Spirit.  This meant awful flight times, an extreme amount of time Googling travel hacks and an absurd amount of  time spent worrying by Ryan & I.  I am pleased to report that it was all basically for naught though because the girls did extremely well on the plane.  The car ride was a different story, but hey- all's well that ends well, right?  (The Hertz employee who was left with Brynnie's crumb-filled carseat may feel differently.)

Grampa's 90th was at a barn and featured his line dancing teacher coming to show us all how it's done.  Obviously boots were in order.  I'm thankful I took this picture pre-packing because Brynn has yet to leave them on for long enough to take another one.

They're looking a lot more awake than I was feeling at 4:15 am.  (Parent Tip #437: Leaving them in their jams does not incite sleep.)

The grass is always greener on see-see's (sissy) side.

This photo was taken approximately 2 minutes after take off.  At 3.5 minutes after take off, Ryan opened a bottle of water and the pressure caused water to spray all over Brynnie, waking her up, never to return to sleep again.  (Ok, maybe she did sleep at like 7:30 pm that night.)


This picture was taken about 3 minutes after we got to Grampa Brady's house.  If you know my Em, you know what a feat it was that she warmed up so quickly.  I was so proud of her.

Another day, another state, another tool to be used.  Here's GC cleaning up Miranda & Trav's barn.

Be still my heart.  Watching these 7 (Brynn was napping screaming inside) brings back so many irreplaceable memories I have as a kid with my Indiana cousins.  Left to right we have Ellie (1), Ava (9), Stockton (1), Shiloh (6), Tripp (5), Lucy (3) and Emery (3).

I think I have roughly 1,000 photos of this event on my phone.

Lucy looks skeptical of Em here.  I don't blame ya, girlfriend.

Pawpaw Jim and Pawpaw Tom teaching Ellie about the important things in life- like tools and tractors, I'm sure.

Caddy & JJ getting their swing on.

This looks totally natural, right?

Sharing invaluable insights on Peppa's First Sleepover.

One of the days leading up to the party, the men took the children to the zoo while the women crafted.  It appears it went well.

Em was really working on getting Pawpaw Brady to eat out of the palm of her hand.


My little cowgirls.  (Brynn, I'm going to charge you $14 for those boots once you get an allowance, child.)

Miranda makes Martha Stewart look like a slouch when it comes to crafting.

I wish I would have taken a picture at night.  I was, however, otherwise disposed as you'll read later.

You have a fake on you, cousin Ashleigh?

Baby's first red solo cup.  Put it in the scrapbook.

So this is the line dancing portion of the evening.  Please take note of how much harder Ryan seems to be working than everyone else.

The line dancing version of running man?

Brynn showcasing some moves she did NOT get from her father.

The Pawpaws playing grill master.

Boot cake to pay homage to Grampa's love of line dancing.

And an Eiffel Tower to pay homage to his years (and years and years) of teaching French.

I am pretty obsessed with Miranda & Trav's property.  The barn is where we held our shindig.

My Grampa is truly the coolest.  It's impossible to look at this picture and not smile.

Mamcita and Patty making sure he gets all those flames out.

I think maybe I was meant to be a farm girl in a different life (but without the early rising, manual labor stuff).  Did I mention I was obsessed?

Cheers to 90 incredible years.

The whole crew.  Left to right: Paul, Stockton, Kara, Travis, Miranda, Shiloh, Ava, Ashleigh, Kyle, Ellie, Lucy, Nonnie Jan, Pawpaw Tom, Tripp, Grampa Brady, John, Nennie Jean, Matt, Nonnie Kathe, Emery, Dad, Me, Ryan, Brynn, Julie & David.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2k16

Hello from the other side.... of summer.  I suppose now that it's nearly O-V-E-R I should get to documenting it, huh?  You know my M.O. when it comes to the summer holidays.  I spend too much time relaxing, gorging and chatting which inevitably leads to horrendous documentation and a random smattering of photos.  I regret to inform you that summer 2016 I did not turn over any new leaves.  Let's get to it, shall we?

Right before the holiday weekend, Conroe and its neighboring suburbs were hit hard with rain.  The lake level got up higher than it's been since my parents have owned their house there and it was breathing down the neck of historic levels.  This was very unfortunate but led to this awesome picture of my Mom rescuing Matt's canoe (kayak?).  I have no doubt she'll be SUPER pumped I put this in.  (Love you, Mom!)

This was the view from my parents' walkway down to the dock on Saturday.  You can tell by all the mud that the water came all the way up to the edge of the walkway.

My tribe*

Cheese?  Nah, I'm good.  Cupcakes?  Gimme, gimme.  That's my GIRL.

Clearly we had offended Emery.  Probably by refusing to let her play on the iPad.  As any good sister would, Brynn supported Emery's cause by laughing.

Probably talking Pawpaw into downloading the YouTube kids app.  These two are trouble.

Brynn's love for da-dawgs knows no bounds.

I hope you all had equally family-, fun-, and food-filled weekends.  The sincerest of thanks to all those who have, do, or will serve.  Nothing would be possible without you!

* The use of this term is in no way meant to imply my agreement to Ryan's self proclaimed Native American heritage.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Home Sweet Home Reno: Month Nine

On May 21st we reached the length of child gestation 9 months of home ownership!  This was SUCH A BUSY MONTH.  I would say it was largely the month o' paint but as you'll see in the pics below we accomplished so much more than that.  It was like Christmas every time I went by.  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking because there are a lot.  :c)

  • All trim work completed (crown moulding, chair rail, baseboards, door jambs)
  • Shiplap on kitchen bar completed
  • All air vents taken town and cleaned
  • Bead board installed in half bath
  • Entire interior of house primed
  • Entire interior of house painted
  • Garage floor cracks repaired
  • Garage floor painted
  • Last piece of granite (for master bath & laundry sink) selected
  • Brynn's shower tiled
  • Brynn's bathroom floor tiled
  • Emery's bath tiled
  • Emery's bathroom floor tiled
  • Master bath shower tiled
  • Master bath cabinetry installed
  • Kitchen cabinetry install started
  • Fireplace distressing started
  • All new fans
  • Granite slab
  • Silestone slabs
In the Pipeline:
  • Finishing cabinets
  • Installing appliances
  • Selecting a stair subcontractor
  • Selecting a shower enclosure subcontractor

Trim-iny Christmas.

Ship lap on the bar into the kitchen from the living room.  This was, of course, a GC special.  He did such an awesome job!

The purpose of this photo was, I believe, to show the woodwork in the dining room as opposed to capture how many ladders there are in our foyer.  Who knows though.  Could have been the second one.

Caddy & I washed all the air vents in the house.  Somehow I thought this was photo-worthy.

Of all the photos I have this month, this is my favorite.  It encapsulates what I'll remember best about this project- our little Saturday schedule.  I would take the girls to swim lessons (usually with Nonnie), pick up lunch and bring it to the boys.  Then we would all eat together at this card table which migrated throughout the house based on what was getting done.  In this photo it's right where our fridge will go.

Bead board!

Thanks to less drop than anticipated in the crown, we had enough left to add some in the half bath.

This is Em's room with a coat of primer.  It was so surreal to walk into the house and see the colors we had been staring at for 9 months wiped away.

In hindsight these pictures look a little Dexter-y, but at the time I was blinded by love.  View of the playroom/foyer after getting primed.

Built ins with a coat of primer.

Garage floor before, with cracks filled in.

Garage floor after.  GC did this all by himself and did such a stellar job!

After much granite yard walking, this bad boy was the slab we decided on for our bathroom and the laundry room.

First view of real paint going on the walls.  I don't think it had even dried yet fully.  This is SW Colonnade Gray with SW Extra White built-ins and trim.

More SW Colonnade Gray.  Thankfully I love it because it's err'where.

My Emmy's room into her bathroom.  Her bedroom is SW Denim and her bathroom is SW Naive Peach.

Brynnie's room into her bathroom.  Her bedroom is SW Glad Yellow and her bathroom is SW Sea Salt.

The dining room.  The top part is SW Pavestone.  The bottom part is SW Colonnade Gray at 25% (I told you I had it everywhere).

This is the Guest Room, affectionately referred to as the Nonnie/Pawpaw room.  The color is SW Accessible Beige.

This was the last room the guys painted- the study.  It was previously wood paneling in the yellow-y oak color that was the hallmark of late 80's/early 90's building.

I don't think it's shown anywhere, but this door was previously stained a dark-ish color and in need of some lovin'.

The paint guys finished the study and I LOVE it.  The built ins are SW Pavestone at 125%.  The backs of them are SW Colonnade Gray at 25% (to match dining room).  The walls and trim are all SW Extra White.

The tile guys came!  This is a WIP photo of Brynn's bathroom.  It wasn't grouted yet.

My first look at the tile (Daltile Hexagon & Dot) on Brynn's floor.  Also not grouted.

My first look at the Hexagon & Dot tile on Em's floor.  Not grouted. :c)

The cabinet installers handiwork.  This 2 day install turned into like... maybe a 7 day install?  Said install may have included drilling into a water line.  Or maybe that was just a bad dream?  Thank Heavens for my GC's ability to think creatively.

Action photo of the shower in the master bathroom.

This was the "before" of the fireplace.  I decided, after MUCH research, to limewash it.

This is what we'll call the interim "after".  I spent an entire Saturday limewashing this bad boy.  I left feeling defeated as it looks like I did absolutely nothing.  When I arrived to check on it Sunday, there were tears.  But that's a story for the 10 month post, isn't it?  :c)  Stay tuned.