Friday, January 20, 2012

A Very Ryan Christmas: Part 2

Over New Years weekend, we celebrated the other half of our Christmas. What a fun time!!! We always enjoy going to grandma and papa Ryan's and seeing our aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and nephews! Of course, no Ryan Christmas would be complete without a little ugly.....

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

We also had the annual Grab favorite part. Don't worry, Sean...soon enough you'll be playing with us!

And of course, no Christmas is complete without a ridiculous amount of gifts. Next time, we'll bring a trailer. Thank you Ryan family for a fantabulous Christmas, the thoughtful gifts, the yummy food, and the awesome company!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Post Leads to Another...

I took photos this afternoon of our dining room, and I'm excited to share, so here goes!

I'm horrible at taking before photos, so this is the only one I really have. Notice the floral carpet, boring white walls, and dated wood door/trim. You can't see it, but there was also a lovely 70's style white curtain on the window. I have to mention, too...this carpet was NASTY...and by nasty, I mean dirty, filthy, gross.

Here's the same view...after! We replaced the floors and installed wood laminate. We updated with window covering with some nice, bright wood blinds. We also painted the trim and door white. The walls got a fresh coat of paint, a nice, neutral taupe color. Warm and inviting. Now for the details....This piece has pretty much been the sole inspiration for the entire upstairs decor. I found it at Hobby Lobby, on sale of course, and fell in love with it. I love the colors, and everything else about it.
I have had this vase forever. I found it at Pier 1 a few years ago, and I think I paid something like $1 for it on clearance. I updated it with some new "sticks" I found at Dollar Tree. I think I have all of $5 tied up in this, and it's perfect in the corner of the room.

I've learned that I love CREATING things for our home, and adding personal touches. I covered every outlet and light switch cover in our house with scrapbook paper, and they're all different. I may be the only one that notices, but I love them, and think they add personality to our decor.

This gem is by far my favorite part of our dining room redo. I've wanted a new dining set for a LONG time. We had been using the same hand-me-down from my grandma since before we were even married. My grandpa bought it for her sometime in the 70s...and you could tell. I had been to furniture stores and looked, and I have to admit, the price tags made me cringe. I didn't see any I liked for under $600. I suppose that's not a lot to most people for a nice piece of furniture, but it's a lot to me, especially when there are so many good pieces of furniture thrown out all the time. Enter this beauty, which I saw on a local classified site. I had ignored it because 1) It didn't come with chairs, and 2) It's solid oak, so I figured they wanted a fortune for it. After looking at the furniture stores with my mom, I decided to inquire about it, especially since it is the EXACT shape I was looking for. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the asking price was a mere $30! Obviously, I jumped on it.

One of my new obsessions is distressed furniture, so the first thing I did to my new table was paint and distress the legs.

Justin sanded the top smooth and stained it a darker color. We actually mixed 2 stains to achieve the color we wanted, then went over it with a dark walnut stain. It turned out gorgeous, and trust me, the pictures do not do it justice!

The chairs were free. My mom got a new dining set and was taking her old ones to the dump. I snatched them right up! I still have 2 left to do, but I'm painting and distressing them to match the legs of the table. When I'm all done, I will have a set almost identical to the ones I fell in love with at the furniture stores!

So...that's our dining room redo. It's been fun, and we love the look!

A Very Ryan Christmas: Part 1

I'm extremely behind on blogging. I really thought once we moved, I'd have more time, but it seems like things are busier! I have all sorts of posts floating around in my head, mostly dealing with our new home (we've been busy!) and eventually they will get posted here, but for now...enjoy this post about our Christmas....part 1!

Our tree went up the week before Thanksgiving. Early, I know, but I was excited. This year we did a KU them. Red, blue, white, and of course, Jayhawks everywhere. It looked great!

The girls were in a parade to kick off the holiday season. They were on a float for their dance team, and Kendra was a ballerina and Alexis was a snowman. They both looked great, and even though it was COLD, they had a lot of fun. Alexis kept saying she had a big boobie.

After the parade, Santa showed up to take Christmas requests. Of course, Kendra knew exactly what to do and had her list ready. AJ, on the other hand, was not impressed. She cried. And screamed. And said, "I don't wike a santa cwaus!" From this day forward, she will not have ANYTHING to do with Santa or Santa related items.

Of course, Christmas would not be complete without decorating cookies for Santa. It's okay AJ, we ALL think Kendra is a little nuts sometimes! :)

I'm not a very patient person when it comes to gift giving, so we may have opened some gifts a little early. Since it was Abby's first Christmas, we tried to get a photo with her, but it did not turn out well, as you can see.

It's a good thing our human children are more photogenic!

Christmas Eve, we laid out cookies, milk, and some special homemade stars for Santa.

He must have really liked his treats, because he rewarded the girls generously! A new princess baby doll with all the accessories, a princess carriage, a princess doll house, princess barbies, and some walkie talkies waited for us Christmas morning. Unfortunately, Santa was not able to get all of the gifts requested, but the girls were okay with it.

Emmy thought she would give the gift of herself to us this year. We just think she's "gifted".

Papa and Grandma Morton and Grandma Schlyer and Uncle Derrick all came over Christmas day. We had MORE presents to open, and lots of yummy treats. It was a great day, and by far one of the best Christmases to date. We all had a lot of fun. We also celebrated my mom's birthday. The boys made a cake that didn't turn out so great as far as appearances go, but it tasted good!

Aren't these two just gorgeous?!?!? This gift was a favorite, and we can't wait to get pictures taken in them. I'd say our first Christmas in our new home was a major success, and we look forward to hosting more holidays in the future. Christmas part II is this weekend...stay tuned!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Under the Sea

Our first Halloween in our new home was a success! It was a busy one for sure!

We carved pumpkins....

K had no problem digging right in and getting messy...

Aj, on the other hand, just was NOT interested. "EEEWWW" was all she could say about the experience.

Messy or not, both kids were very proud of their handiwork.

Kendra chose a scary Jack-O-Lantern face, and Alexis chose several shapes of cookie cutters to cut out on her pumpkin.

The next day was the BIG day! My little sea creatures were so excited to get dressed up in their costumes, and they looked really good!

There was a costume parade and party at Kendra's school, and of course we had to partake in those activities. Alexis loves visiting Kendra at school, and can't wait to go herself...even though she isn't willing to use the potty chair in order to go to school. If you've never been in a room full of excited and hyper 5 and 6 year olds, you haven't really lived. I just have one thing to say....God bless our teachers!

Later that night, we went trick or treating. Unfortunately, we were having camera issues, so there are no pictures, but it was an awesome experience. There were kids all over the neighborhood! Fortunately, everyone started early. We even had a dozen or so trick or treaters BEFORE we left! We finally just had to shut the door, and take off as people were walking up to our house. The girls had a blast. Kendra, of course, knew exactly what to do. AJ had no problem following big sis' lead, and was so proud she refused to be pushed in the stroller or let anyone carry her candy bag...even when she could barely lift it off the ground!

Mom and dad even had the chance to partake in some Halloween festivities and attended an adult only Halloween party.

All in all, it was a BIG Halloween success! We all had so much fun, and we're already planning for next year!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Locks of Love

A while back, Kendra asked me if she could cut her hair. We talked about it, and together we decided to wait until she had enough hair to donate to Locks of Love. It's been a long wait, and a lot of mornings of crying while we brushed her hair. A few hundred ponytails later, we finally had enough hair!

Kendra was very proud, as she should be. Since she knows a little girl recently diagnosed with leukemia, it was easy for her to understand why this was a good thing. As soon as the ponytail came off and her new, short hair fell forward, she was all smiles.

She loves her new do! Her daddy and I think she looks absolutely beautiful, and so grown up. I was unsure at first, but now I love it. It looks adorable on her, and it's so much easier to take care of then her long, long hair!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Time Birthday Fun!

It's hard to believe.....

That this precious little baby....

Has turned into this beautiful little girl!

Kendra decided to spend her 6th birthday at the bowling alley. We invited our family and her friends from school, and everyone had a great time. Some of the mom's told me that their kids are STILL talking about it!

There was bowling...

Candles on the cake...

And lots of fun games!

Of course, the party did not stop there and continued into the next day. After all, birthdays are SPECIAL and deserve more than one day!

A fun-filled day on the town that includes a visit to the local icecream shop seems perfect. I can't think of a better way to celebrate. Can you?

But wait...there's more! Sometimes you get really great gifts...

Like tickets to see your favorite boy band perform live! That only happens if you have really cool parents, though.

Well, our little girl must have really cool parents! We got her tickets to see Big Time Rush at the state fair, so our celebration continued the following weekend. Kendra was in awe, but I think it will be a while before Justin and I go to another boy band concert! It was a very special and fun birthday that will be hard to top...I guess I better start planning now!