Tyson and Quinn's Corner


This is our life with our little man, born May 2009 and our sweet daughter, born May 2011.

28 August 2008

Our New Granite Revealed!

We still don't have the plumbing hooked back up or the backsplash in quite yet, but our new granite countertops are in!

Preliminary photos:

Close up:

New stainless undermount sink:

Triple waterfall edge:

We love them! What do you think? :)

Baxter Update

The kitty has the beginnings of cystitis, a bladder infection. Luckily, Ryan aka the Pet Detective, caught him acting strange and we took him to the vet right away.

Ryan is picking him up at lunch so he'll be relaxing the afternoon away in the comforts of his home. He'll be on antibiotics and pain meds for a few days and other than that, we're just supposed to load him up on fluids.

Thank goodness he's okay! :)

Happy Birthday Tom!

Today is my big brother's birthday! Happy Birthday Tom! :)

27 August 2008

Poor Baxter.

Our sweet kitty, Baxter has been acting strange lately and having some litterbox issues. I took him to the vet this afternoon and she decided it was best to keep Bax overnight to get a urine sample from him. I felt so terrible leaving my precious cat all alone and I was almost in tears walking to the car without him.

Hopefully the vet will figure out what's wrong with him and he'll be back home in no time. With that, here's a photo of Bax feeling better. I like to think of it as his senior portrait. :)

Get well sweet kitty!

The Fence Project...Completed!

Remember me talking about the time suckage caused by our fence project? Now that I have access to my camera cord again, I can finally show off the before and after photos.

Keep in mind that this is a 7' red cedar shadow box fence. Approximately 5,000 square feet between the front and back sides. After 24 gallons of stain, 22 rollers, a paint sprayer, hundreds of gallons of water, and roughly 60-70 hours of man power, it's done! And hopefully will not need updated for another 5 years!

The gray section on the left is the weathered cedar (previously what our entire fence looked like) and the section on the right is after a good power washing. The Before:

The during (fence is all power washed and the staining has begun):

Ryan is working hard:
The after!

Ryan and my dad worked so hard (with a teeny bit of help from me!). Thanks guys!

26 August 2008

Tourists in Chicago

We visited Chicago earlier this month for Soniya and Erick's wedding. Before heading home on Sunday, we played tourists in our former city:

For us, a visit to Chicago is not complete without stopping in our old neighborhood for brunch at Lou Mitchell's.

Jade and Zoran joined us!

It makes me miss the city! :(

25 August 2008

My Auction Find

My MIL invited us to join her at a furniture liquidation auction this past Saturday. While she bought a bunch of things for their lake house renovation, I scored this cute pedestal table and chairs to go in our basement:

Kitchen Destruction!

On Friday, Ryan, his dad and his uncle removed our old countertops and unhooked all of the plumbing to get ready for the granite install on Wednesday.

As a result, we have been living without a functional kitchen since then and we will continue to do so at least until this Thursday. It's going to be worth it!

I can't believe they removed it all in one piece! The old countertop and sink is being re-purposed in the basement renovation of my in-laws' lake house.

The current state of our kitchen:

Our range is temporarily sitting in the corner of the kitchen. It had to be removed to fit in the granite without damaging it. Can you see little Baxter next to it wondering what the heck is going on in his house?

See these brackets? They did not use to be there...our old bar overhang did not have any additional support, but the granite installers recommended that we support the slab if the overhang is more than 10".
I went to a kitchen store that sells our cabinets to order some corbels for the supports. 2 corbels were going to cost $425! So, after I got the scoop from them on what we needed, we bought unfinished wood brackets at Lowe's and stained them to match the cabinets ourselves. Not bad, huh? My aunt did not realize that they were new additions!

We went to the warehouse to visit our granite slab on Saturday and we couldn't be more excited about it! The slab is exactly the color we ordered and the edging looks fantastic! 3 days to go...

22 August 2008

Last Purchases Before the Big Freeze

Just days before I knew about the tax "situation", I purchased a few items I have been lusting over for my home office. I'm glad I could sneak these goodies in before the big spending freeze!

First, these Linden Street Grommet curtain panels in cool white, not navy, from JCPenney:

The curtains should be arriving any day now, but it may be a while before I can buy hardware to hang them.

And, the Serafina pillow covers from Pottery Barn:

The pillow covers are backordered until October 30. I guess I wasn't the only one who was a fan! :) It does give me time to buy pillow inserts!

20 August 2008


For those that know Ryan, you know that he knows exactly what is going on with every aspect of our money at any point in time. Even though I make fun of him endlessly for our family month-end close, I appreciate his efforts and that he looks out for our future.

For that very reason, Ryan has been calculating our 2008 tax liability already. We both started fabulous new jobs in June that brought pay increases (yay!), but it also brings more taxes (boo!). Last week he calculated that we would owe roughly $8,000 in taxes next year if we continued on our current path. Yikes! Since Ryan is an accountant, but not the kind that does taxes, we opted to meet with a tax and financial planner.

Today, we met with Jason, the tax planner. I left the meeting unhappy. For the remainder of the year, I get to have NO fun. No extra spending money and no shopping because virtually all of my paychecks need to go into my 401k for the rest of the year in an attempt to defer taxable income. For those who are wondering, I was contributing to a 401k at my old law firm and my new firm is so brand new that we don't have a 401k plan set up until September. Oh, and on top of having no money of my own for the rest of the year, we will still owe roughly $3,000 in taxes in April.


In my world, there has to be something we can do about this...anything at all. But no, not for us. Jason's only response was to have some kids. Those are great little tax deductions, but too bad the tax benefit does not come close to how expensive they will be.

Good-bye to decorating my new work office, my home office, and everything else. The rest of the year is going to be no fun. Ryan knew I was unhappy and as he kissed me good-bye and we parted ways in the parking lot, his only words to me: "vote Republican".


14 August 2008

We booked our vacation!

We take our big vacation each year during our anniversary. It's been our tradition since the honeymoon and I love it! This year, we'll be celebrating our 5 years together. It does not feel like we have been married that long, but I suppose that's a good thing! Our good friends, Matt and Natalie are traveling with us, which will make it all the more fun.

We are headed to the Iberostar Tucan in the Riviera Maya, Mexico for 7 glorious days from November 14-21. It's all-inclusive and has great reviews on tripadvisor.com.

I can't wait! We leave exactly 3 months from today. :)

13 August 2008

Our Home Improvement Continues!

Last night we made another trip to Lowe's. We went specifically looking for two outdoor light fixtures (one for the service door and the other for our back patio). We found both lights for less than $50! What a bargain!

A light similar to the one we bought for the service door:

A light similar to the one we bought for the back patio, but ours is slightly bigger:

Buying these two fixtures was yet another step in our attempt to completely rid our house of brass. One more brass light fixture to go! And, Ryan and Laura are going green! We bought compact fluorescent light bulbs for the outdoor lights. This is a HUGE step for me. I hate the look of fluorescent lighting. I do not think it's flattering indoors, but I figured I'd give it a try outside. As an additional bonus, we get brighter light for less wattage. Can't beat that! :)

The second thing we searched for at Lowe's was tongue and groove beadboard for the kitchen backsplash. We made the decision to go for the beadboard backsplash and Ryan's uncle Scott is going to help us install it. We had priced out sheets of faux beadboard panels, but Scott suggested the individual planks for a seamless look. I'm very excited to be finishing another element of our kitchen! The only question that remains is how to trim out the beadboard.

We are not doing a backsplash with our granite, so I have been scouring the internet for inspiration photos of beadboard backsplashes, especially those without a separate stone backsplash. What do you think of these options:

Thick molding where the beadboard meets the countertop:

Or thinner shoe molding:

Or no molding:


12 August 2008

Weekend (and Monday) Recap

This past weekend we traveled to Chicago for Soniya and Erick's wedding. It was so fun to play tourists in our former hometown. We stayed at the downtown Marriott, window shopped on Michigan Avenue, ate at Lou Mitchell's and walked around the Loop. It was so fun being back in the city. It always makes me miss it so much!

The weather was perfect and the wedding was absolutely beautiful. It was our first traditional Indian wedding and it was a blast! The food was excellent, the wedding decor was stunning and the bride looked absolutely radiant. We had a really great time thanks to our hosts. Congratulations Soniya and Erick!

Last night we finally finished the dreaded fence project. It is DONE. I just hope our stain lasts for 5 years or at least until we sell this house. We will not be doing this ourselves again!

**I still cannot find my camera cord, so as soon as I find it (or just end up buying a new one), I'll post pics of everything.

08 August 2008

Fun Things for August

1. My new pedicure color, A Rose at Dawn, Broke by Noon. From OPI's Las Vegas collection. I've had this color before, but it has been re-introduced into my life. It's a fun, flirty summery color and I love it!

2. The Olympics. Call me a dork, but I LOVE the Olympics! I am setting the TiVo to catch all of the great action in HD!

3. Two weddings. We're attending two weddings for two great friends this month in Chicago. The first is Soniya's wedding, taking place this weekend. The second, is my dear sorority sister, Amber at the end of the month.

4. Our granite install later this month!

5. Our annual lake weekend! Taking place the weekend of August 15-17.

Happy Birthday Dad!

My daddy is 59 today! Happy Birthday Dad!

07 August 2008

OMG. Hilarious.

Ryan and I both frequently read a blog called Flip Side Sports. It is cleverly written by a group of guys that are IU Basketball fans (as well as fans of various other things). Even if you're not an IU fan, you should still check them out every once in a while. Ryan was perusing tonight and came across this post about one of our favorite duos, Hall & Oates. Laugh like I'm joking, but know that I'm not. We have every one of their greatest hits on our iPod. But, I digress...

If you are even remotely humored by Hall & Oates, you have to check out their post and watch the accompanying YouTube video. It's priceless!


Enjoy! :) **Note, the Flip Side guys are not for the easily offended.**

Granite Day is August 27!

The granite peeps called today to give us our install date, Wednesday, August 27! When we first met with them, they told us the average time from field measurement to install was 8 weeks. If everything goes as planned, we will have ours in exactly 4 weeks. I'm so excited--it will be here in no time!

**Update on my photos...my camera cord is still MIA. :( So that means no photo updates. Boo.

04 August 2008

My Last 2 Weeks.

I just finished two weeks of work hell. Two hearings and two full day mediations, plus client phone calls after hours and on the weekends. Dealing with divorces and family dramas is exhausting. Seriously, it felt like I had two law school finals weeks in a row. I billed 73 hours in those two weeks, which makes my boss pretty happy. To you 9-5ers that may not seem like a lot, but every lawyer I know will tell you that it takes 8 hours of actually being at work just to bill 6. I'm glad it's over.

So, how did I spend my first relaxing weekend? I could have lounged by the neighborhood pool, taken a relaxing trip to the lake or sipped margaritas at an outdoor cantina, but no. Instead, I spent the weekend helping Ryan stain our fence.

It has become THE summer project of our neighborhood and it absolutely sucks. I think our neighbors will be as happy as we are once it's finished. They will no longer have to hear the annoying sounds of the pressure washer or the paint sprayer. Nor will they have to look at our partially completed project any longer. It would have been done yesterday, but we have officially bought our local Sherwin-Williams out of semi-transparent stain. Since we ran out of stain, tonight was to be the night that we finished the project. Instead, it's supposed to rain every night this week and then we are leaving for a wedding in Chicago on Friday afternoon. I guess the project will have to wait another week. The only good thing about this project is that our fence looks damn good. Even the neighbors think so.

I will post some progress pics once I find that little cord to connect the camera to my computer.


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