July 19, 2016

Personal | Houston

402020010004 This random trip to Houston was basically thanks to Southwest Air. Our friends Maggie & Rory (and their little one, Dottie) who live in New Zealand, flew home to NC/VA and on their way back to NZ, concocted a 48 hour layover in Houston... so I flew to Waco to meet up with Karen, Paul and Porter   (I got to explore & shop Magnolia... and failed to take my camera!) a day early... we then road-tripped to Houston, picked up Jeremy and met up with Maggie, Rory and Dottie at our bay-front cottage for a weekend away. galveston st leon vacation rental photographerst leon bay rental housegalveston tx photographer 402020010006hibiscus flowers houston tx  402020010011houston tx photographer   Yes, the water in Galveston really is that brown.... made me very appreciative of our NC coast! 402020010012402020010009 402020010014 402020010015Camp 2016-1001-2texas family photographer 402020010016
May 24, 2016

House | Master Suite Reveal

Well... we've been in our new bedroom for about 5 weeks! It's been so lovely, I can't even tell you!!!! Once the contractor was finishing inside, they started work outside. Jeremy had them run the plumbing rough-in work for the outbuilding aka the man cave. They'll be a kitchenette and bathroom in there, so he had then run all the lines. Of course there are a few items still not complete... but I'm hopeful that by the end of June they will be. The only thing left for the contractor to do is put in one last door (we had them replace all the doors in the original house to match the new ones.... they forgot about one closet, so we are waiting for it to come in). Let's just appreciate how this space started..... See more before/during shots HERE, HERE and HERE! Horton101 *above photo by Catherine Marciniak *for a point of reference, the wall the bed is on.... is where the garage door was! master suite renovation-1001 Our bed is old (but still sold) from Pottery Barn. The nightstands were in the guest room at the house I grew up in... we haven't had space for them... so my sister has been storing using them for the last 14 years! Our duvet is also Pottery Barn... but a certain black puppy has managed to put a few small holes in it when chewing his toys on our bed. Might be time to replace it. Lamps are from TJ Maxx, I think... they're also 6+ years old. Curtains are from Ikea, we have blackouts that are hidden behind the white ones that we close at night (and keep shut during the day to help keep the room cooler). There are actually 7 white curtain panels up... two on the left of the bed, three on the right (two behind nightstand and one on the adjacent wall) and two by the bathroom. I knew just one panel in each spot would look skimpy. green master suite renovation   I failed to photograph the wall to my left (below) but it just has our tv hung on the wall right now... struggling with what to put below it. We don't really need more storage, so a dresser doesn't seem right. The door on the left goes to our gigantic closet! We just have hanging bars up right now, but have big plans to make custom built-ins! master suite renovation-1002 Below is the view looking out of the master door.... the laundry room the left and kitchen (original house) straight ahead. master suite renovation-1007 The laundry room is small, but functional. We got a butcher block counter from Ikea and it was the perfect length to cover the washer and dryer and fit the nook under the window. The dog crate fits perfectly under it and the cat food/treats are on top. We also hung a cabinet over the washer and will hang a rod between the cabinet and wall for drip dry shirts. It's so nice to have the counter for folding and it's amazing to have this room right outside our master suite... magically, clothes get put away much easier now! new laundry room renovation Our master bath has been a serious labor of love... that came out better than I could have imagined!! As you can see from the photo below, the vanity still isn't complete. Our plumber had some serious issues getting the drains in the sinks to quit leaking. They finally got it right and now Jeremy has to retro-fit the drawers. master suite renovation-1008 Sources: Vanity: A dresser from Craigslist (but the seller owns this shop) Tile: All tile is from Floor & Decor, except the shower floor, it's from Tile Shop Sink Faucets: Delta Dryden from Build.com Shower Faucets: Delta Dryden from Build.com Tub: Jacuzzi from Build.com Mirrors: These frames that I had mirror cut for at Lowes Towel Bar: Restoration Hardware (bought on eBay) Vanity Mirror: Target (can't find link, bought it in store) Curtain Rod: Wayfair (unavailable now... but it's the Umbra Cappa rod) Curtains: TJ Maxx Tub Filler: Jacuzzi from Build.com Sconce: Wayfair (unavailable now) Toilet paper holder: CB2 gold chrome master bathroommaster suite renovation-1012chrome delta faucet gold restoration hardware towel bar grey tan greige master bathroom renovation marble chrome bathroom walk in curbless shower
April 28, 2016

The White Pant Protest

This is National Infertility Awareness Week. Because we are 1 in 8 couples who've struggled, I feel compelled to speak up and help break the stigma of trouble conceiving a child. Three years ago, we were just entering the phase of "lets have a baby!". My birth control prescription ended in March, we would "avoid" April, because my best friend was getting married in May and overmydeadbody would I be the un-fun, pregnant bridesmaid. I bought a fathers day card, that I just knew I would get to give Jeremy in June. June came and went.... I thought, no big deal, we'll get to reveal to  my entire family during our 4th of July vacation that we were going to be parents. Instead I got stupid drunk. After almost 13 years of on and off birth control use, I thought... well, my body just needs to adjust. It never did... or I never did. I've never fully adjusted to the fact I may never well carry a child. I may never get to buy maternity clothes. I may never take a birthing class or hear my baby's heart beat on a sonogram. I may never get to pee on a stick and surprise my husband. I may never get to wear white pants with abandon for nine months.   16-02 Jameson FILM-1011-2 If you're struggling with having a baby, you're not alone. So many of us have walked the painful monthly cycle of hopefulness met with devastation. week 1- a new month, a new start... this will be the month! week 2- make a baby  ;-) week 3 & 4- painfully wait! Heartbreak. What you don't realize if you aren't in the cycle of treatments.... is that the day you get your period, your heartbroken, crying, you have to call the doctor and tell them it didn't work (or better yet, leave it on their sterile voicemail).... and 2 days later, you've got to pull yourself together to go to the doctor and start a new month of treatment all over again. That was the awful part. You had zero time to grieve before starting all over again. Months go by, and it's weight compounds on you like interest on a bad loan.... a loan that never matures and is never paid off. It'll wreck you mentally and financially. After 2.5 years, countless pills, self-administered shots and too many highs and lows (and a natural pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage)... we walked away from fertility treatment and decided to pursue adoption. I have zero qualms with treatment, but physically and mentally (and financially), we didn't want to do it anymore. Unfortunately, the hangover of infertility is that you never stop thinking about it. Not a month goes by that I don't mentally know when the "optimal" time is (even without the handy iphone app)... or when my period should start. Or that when it does start, I'm still sad. It never goes away, it follows me like a shadow... a shadow that wears white pants with abandon. I firmly believe that adoption is a wonderful thing, and blessed that it's been put in our path.... but it doesn't cure infertility, it doesn't change that biological child size hole in our hearts. But please don't tiptoe around me, around the subject... you're just adding fuel to the infertility-taboo fire. Embrace the conversation if someone struggling is willing to open up to you. Just please never say to someone you know is struggling, "oh just do IVF... so-in-so did, it was great!" or "just adopt, too many kids need families".... both are incredibly insensitive responses and incredibly personal choices. I don't need someone telling me what to do with my ovaries or my family dynamic. What can you say? "I'm so sorry you're hurting, what can I do, do you want to talk about it?" is the appropriate response. I am really thankful that I've come over the hump of disdain for people getting pregnant around me. I'm genuinely happy for you if you've gotten pregnant... it means your compounding interest finally got paid off. It sucks, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I still have that Father's Day card. I cannot wait to give it to Jeremy when we do bring a baby home via adoption. You can read more about our adoption process by visiting Horton Adoption
April 5, 2016

House | Update

master-1005   We seemed to have finally rounded a corner towards the master suite and laundry room completion! There's even a rumor that our washer and dryer will be reinstalled this week.... you guys, it's been TEN weeks since we've had laundry.... TEN! The last update I shared, everything was framed... which was a milestone, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They got everything dry-walled and painted by early last week and began to tile. The floor tile went down with ease, but then we the contractor & tile installer ran into all kinds of issues installing wall tile. I came home to find they had done the decorative mosaic in a square, which I'd supplied them a very specific drawing with a rectangle (to mimic the wall shape). This snowballed into, ripping tile down that couldn't be reused, that led me to make THREE trips to get more tile.... in GREENSBORO. I wasn't happy.... but I came home yesterday to it all corrected and it looks wonderful! They also got the vanity moved in place and out of our dining room... which meant I finally felt like I could clean for the first time in 2 months! Our dining room has been the logical holding place for all the items that we supplied (it's right next to the reno location), that would be needed for the reno (tile, faucets, mirrors, lights and vanity)... so that meant our dining room as looked like this for months.... ugh! There was no reason to shuffle and clean... until Friday. I spent like 3 hours cleaning.... which basically sent me into an allergy attack most of the weekend. So.Much.Dust. Thankfully, the dusty time seems to be ending and we will be moving in soon! All the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Strong White. The door hardware was installed (we are having all the doors in the house replaced so they will all match these and this hardware) master-1003   Above is standing in the new hall looking into the bedroom. Below left: looking into hall (and existing kitchen) from the bedroom, right: looking into laundry room from master doorway. new hallway renovation   Below: standing at the bathroom door looking back at the hall (left door) and closet (right door). new master renovation bedroom   After living with our tiny pink and blue bath, we are SO excited to have a proper master bath. It's coming together and we love it! master-1011   A major trend in bathroom renos is to include a niche for your soap and shampoo... but I HATE when you can see them from outside the shower... my bright orange shampoo and conditioner bottles are not pretty... so we hid our niche in the knee wall so that you cannot see it from the bathroom. (example) master bath shower tile mosaic marble rock   You can see the toilet drain in the corner and the tub drain under the window. I think they may be installing both today. They;re also grouting today. master-1016   The Carrara marble and sinks were also installed yesterday, they look beautiful! master bath vanity mid century modern walnut marble   Next time I share an update.... we'll be moved in!!!