Front Garden Expansion: Phase 2


With the practically tropical Nashville summer weather, even cropping the grass down to the roots wasn’t enough to kill it. It’s basically perfect growing conditions for grass right now. So… Front Garden Expasion: Phase 2. Landscaping fabric. We used WeedBlock from Home Depot. First we thought the 300 sq. ft roll would be enough. Then we bought another 300 sq. ft. roll and a 150 sq. ft. roll, thinking we could take the smaller one back. Nope. Our front garden expansion project is more than 750 sq. ft. We used some leftover thick landscape plastic for the last, oh 50 sq. ft. or so.

(Jason, if you’re reading this… we need enough gravel to cover 800 square feet. That’s a lot of rocks. This gravel calculator says we need 2.5 cubic yards for 1″ depth, 3.7 cubic yards for 1.5″ depth, or 5 cubic yards for 2″ depth.)


House Tour: Hall Bathroom


Hall Bathroom

Guest bathroom. Kids bathroom. What do you call it in your house? Our house has a couple of unique features that caught our attention the first time we saw it. Besides the angled front wall of windows in the living room and there is also this downward angled vanity in the hall (only original) bathroom. The countertop was replaced with concrete and a bowl sink before we moved in. Jason added different knobs and painted it gray. Together we laid the slate tile—our first tiling job! The tiles and tub, originally pink and blue, were painted white before we moved in. We also changed the light fixture and added a shower fan. The wall color is Sherwin Williams Softest Green.

Step stool from IKEA for children to read the sink.

I really like the concrete countertops. We’re thinking about trying out this technique ourselves someday for our master bathroom or kitchen.


Vintage Floor Lamp


Jason inherited a few unwanted furniture pieces from his late Grandma Joan. We made a short list of things in her house that we liked but didn’t expect we’d get unless no one else wanted them. We just didn’t want to see them get discarded. This floor lamp was one of them.

By the looks of it, it had been down in that basement for years, tarnished and covered with cobwebs. We decided to spray paint it to cover the tarnished areas with Rustoleum Antique Bronze. Each of the three lights has a (teak?) wood handle that we love. We wiped the wood clean with damp rags and then Jason rehydrated the wood with lemon oil. He sanded the rough spots on the metal with steel wool before spraying it. (I didn’t get a true before shot.)

We’re not sure where we’ll end up using it but for now we’re enjoying it as a piece of art in the living room and we’re thankful it’s no longer rotting away in a basement in PA.

Phone Photo Friday



New ice cream haven in the neighborhood: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The line has been seriously long all 4 times we’ve gone in the 3 weeks they’ve been open. So far I’ve tried Lemon and Blueberries, Wildberry Lavender, Bourbon Buttered Pecan, Rock Mill Ale with Apricots, and the Milkiest Chocolate in the World. The first is my favorite. Jason loves Salted Caramel and Black Coffee. Mmm…

(I’m posting a blog from my phone for the first time!)

Click, click, click…


It’s the rhythm of anticipation.

A roller coaster carries us upward toward the peak of the first hill.

Fear is mingled with excitement and adrenaline is rising.

We’ve been on roller coasters before and we’ve seen this one in action but no amount of readying can fully prepare us for this ride.

No turning back. Here we go…

Our official letter of approval as certified resource [foster] parents arrived in the mail on Saturday. Now my heart leaps a little every time the phone rings.

I’m honestly relieved that the timing for this is completely out of our hands now. I trust God with the timing of bringing kids into our home. I do not trust myself… sometimes I hope they’ll call today, sometimes I feel so inadequately prepared.

Lawn Flamingo


I like nostalgia and a good joke so I’m not beyond putting a plastic pink flamingo in my yard. However, when I saw this painted metal art sculpture breed at a local garden store, I may have taken a picture and sent it to Jason with the caption, “For my birthday?” He got me Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, which I savored (yes, savored… I actually tried to pace myself so I could enjoy it for longer.) But, being the sweet husband and son-in-law that he is, Jason went with my mom to the garden store to help her pick out a flamingo for me. I was quite bewildered by the big, odd-shaped gift wrapped in a sheet. Ah, a flamingo garden sculpture!

I haven’t decided on a fitting name for him/her yet but we found a good spot in our back garden and buried his feet so he stays put. So far so good. The cardinals and hummingbirds that frequent our garden don’t seem to mind him a bit.

House Tour: Studio



Jason’s music studio is located just beyond the living room and dining room. It was once a den with wood paneled walls but was listed as a bedroom when we bought our house. It’s gone through a lot of changes since then. The floors have been carpeting, painted (unsalvageable) wood floors, black VCT tiles, and most recently bamboo flooring. Last year we removed 1 of 2 closets and added a wall to create 2 different rooms. (You can read about it and see before pictures here.) There is now a main studio control room and a second utility room (sometimes called the mudroom, storage room, “loud room,” or auxiliary room.)

The studio doesn’t get blog mention very often because Jason protects his instruments and equipment like they’re his own children.

The poster on the wall is Jason’s great-grandfather Carl.

We got this vinyl (naugahyde) sofa at an estate sale. It’s a miracle Jason and I didn’t get hernias moving it. It weights a ton. Or close to it. The footstool is from craigslist.

Jason spotted this elegant wood lamp as we were driving past our favorite thrift store. We later rescue the shade off a hideous lamp at an estate sale.

Utility Room

The purpose of the second smaller room was originally for recording purposes but has also become a useful storage space for tools, paint, unused equipment and empty cases. And other random stuff. Yes, this room is certainly not done (nor is the doorway leading to it from the main studio room). But, here you go.

That door that leads to the back deck is wonderful! Perfect for moving gear in and out. No scuffed walls in the living room or hallway like our last house. It’s also very convenient for studio guests coming and going. And now that we’re keeping tools in there, it’s handy for outside projects.