Babies and Dogs …


I think every baby should come with a dog. It’s a great partnership. Lucy (the dog) doesn’t even like Precious (the baby) and they still have a beautiful thing going. Precious is delighted by Lucy…watching her, chasing her, occasionally catching up fast enough to get a quick feel of her soft fur. Lucy gets more exercise these days, now that Precious is on the move. But the exercise is good because she’s always eating a lot more table food than she used to (which was hardly any). Lucy is actually a very picky eater, but Precious will eat anything. Lucy is quick to clean up Cheerios, bread, cheese or yogurt off the floor. If Precious drops blueberries, green beans, peas or carrots, however, we’ll have to pick those up ourselves. Lucy sits below the high chair and stares at the rug, waiting for a Cheerio to bounce and roll…

Douglas and Davy – Dining Chair Pair


Douglas and Davy – that’s what I named this set of dining chairs. We found them at Goodwill a few weeks ago covered with stinky, tacky brown vinyl and bleached maple wood. In our first attempt at professional reupholstery (by “professional” I mean self-educated and with all the proper tools this time), we completely restored these chairs. Stripped off all of the old upholstery and padding, removed all the staples and tacks, refinished the wood legs with walnut stain, and reupholstered them with fresh padding and new upholstery. We’re quite pleased with how they turned out.



Phone Photo Friday


Tea Party Fiesta


The week before last Jason and I had a bit of a pickers strike out. We went to three estate sales and three thrift stores and walked away with almost nothing. Just a romper and a swim shirt for Precious at the Goodwill and from one estate sale we found these:

A 10-piece set of vintage Fiestaware tea cups and saucers. The saucers are all one shade of turquoise and the cups are 4 different shades of blue and green. Kind of an odd combination but blues and greens are my favorites together so I like it. Jason haggled them down to $10 from $21.

I think when we move into our new home and unpack we’re going to have to purge some teacups and saucers. I’m guessing we have around 40-50 now. Or maybe we should open a coffee shop.

New Home Update


In my previous home update the concrete block foundation was done and they workers were just starting on the front wall and fireplace. Now both of those are done, too. We had a couple of hiccups. The fireplace was about 1/3 of the way up before some errors were discovered and they had to knock it down and start over. There was also a spot of foundation near the garage entrance that needed to be redone. No big deal in retrospect but it caused a bit of stress between our (Jason’s) discovery of the issues and getting both places fixed. Here are some pictures of dirt and concrete blocks, in progress:

This cutie pie strolls down with us to check out the house sometimes. She was so adorable with her pink frilly skirt and flushed cheeks, that I couldn’t help doing a mini photo session.

A couple days later we went back to check out the finished concrete block. Jason and Precious are standing in the garage.

It may not look like much yet but when I see these pictures, I see the office and laundry room…

the courtyard and front door…

the kitchen and dining room…

the living room…

the master bedroom, bathroom and closet…

the kids rooms, bathroom and den…

When Jason and I see the front wall and fireplace, we can envision the whole house built around them.

But, I can imagine it looks pretty strange to someone who doesn’t have the finished house design in mind.

A neighbor we haven’t met stopped by the other day and asked our site supervisor what we’re building.

“A house,” Scott answered.

“What’s that wall for?” the neighbor asked.

“It’s part of the house!”

And that was that.

Precious’ First Guitar Lesson


Jason is very protective of his guitars. Normally he wouldn’t allow a child to touch them but he made an except for a particular chubby handed baby girl when we did the photography for his Acoustic Lullabies album cover.

Now, she’s eager to get her hands on it again. This time she’s studying how Jason plays. Precious loves music. If she hears Jason playing she’ll crawl across the room as fast as she can, climb up his legs (sometimes pulling leg hair—ouch!) and try to get to the guitar.

Her daddy sweetly lets her touch and pluck the strings, trying to figure out how they make the lovely sounds they make while he plays.

G-ma Joan’s Lane Tables


Jason and I were blessed to inherit a few pieces of furniture from his mom’s mom’s home after she passed away. These two Lane end tables were in rough shape. Both had watermarks on top and one was stained with newsprint.

Jason lovingly restored them back to their original glory with steel wool, walnut stain and a lot of elbow grease.

I can’t wait to see these tables have a second life at our new house. For now they’re resting in storage.

Phone Photo Friday


Freight Train


Happy Independence Day! I LOVELOVELOVE fireworks so this is one of my favorite holidays. I’m optimistic that we can keep Precious up late enough and that she’ll be entertained and not terrified by all the colorful explosions.

Here’s a little musical morsel to celebrate the 4th of July. My handsome husband Jason Ahlbrandt playing “Freight Train” (Tommy Emmanuel’s arrangement):

New Home Update


On Thursday the work on our concrete block foundation, front wall and fireplace began. And it was HOT. In Nashville we hit a record temperature of 109 on Friday. The block workers busted their butts for us and we’re grateful! Turns out half the crew was Salvadorian which is kind of cool because Precious is half Salvadorian, too. Jason took all these pictures while I was working during the day:

It look me forever to figure out the direction of this picture. The corner coming at you is the my office/laundry room/mudroom. Beyond that is the garage.

The beginning of our wood burning fireplace. Woo hoo!

Jason said when the guys take a lunch break, they lie down in the shade and take a nap. Apparently they also eat tamales:

I took the pictures below in the evening, when it had cooled down to approximately 95 degrees. You’ve probably noticed our concrete block is straight stacked in a modern, art-deco style. That was our architect’s idea. We like the grid pattern it creates.

The concrete block will be exposed inside part of the house…in the dining room, the den/playroom/4th bedroom, a tad in the nursery (I think) and the fireplace.

The left side of the picture is the corner of our garage and the right side of the picture is the wall of our courtyard which will lead up to the front door. That front wall is going to get a lot higher.

Here’s the garage. We’ve never had a garage before so we’re pretty excited about keeping our cars out of the heat and rain, as well has having lots of storage space. Those two openings are for access into the crawlspace under the house. That pile of dirt back there will be filled in around the house so less of the foundation is visible.

It’s dirty, dusty, dry and hot—but it’s our home!