Sunday, April 25, 2010

High on Life

Look what we got:
Basement windows!!! Aren't they just beautiful? Ignore the ugly dirt and stained walls. Focus on the windows. Beautiful!

I've been patiently waiting about a month for these windows to be installed. First we had to have them measured, then wait for the bid, then remeasured, then ordered, then waiting for them to come in. Who knew I couldn't just call them up and say "hey, come put in a couple basement windows for me, ok?" But in true northern Minnesotan fashion, it had to take ages for this to get done. Well, that's not entirely true.

The actual installation only took one day. I got a call from our friend at the construction company basically saying "your windows are in, we can put them in today!". Oh really? Luckily Travis works close to home and was able to let them in and go back to work. Lucky for him our friend is the one that did the installation, or we would be having a whole different conversation about leaving strangers in the house alone. I was also able to work from home that afternoon so they weren't completely unsupervised. But in the end, we have three new, efficient, beautiful basement windows!Speaking of work, things are going great. All the other reps are off to Chicago for some continuing education seminars (read: a few hours of class followed by partying on the company dime) so I was supposed to be stuck in the office while they are all having fun. Luckily the laptop DSI ordered for me came in and I was able to get it on Friday. So I mentioned that it made more "sense" for me to work from home since we have space issues in the office. Ah, a star is born! So Mon-Wed I'll be working in my jeans and a sweatshirt from my home office. Hooray!

Since I'm back in the professional world, I've had to pull out my work wardrobe. Sadly, not a lot of it is fitting. I think they all shrunk in the move. Anyway, I took that as a sign to revamp things and go shopping. Who wouldn't, right? So I decided to go to the "big city" of Duluth (an hour and 1/2 drive) since they have a real live mall there. I just knew that my two favorite stores, Express and the Limited, would be there and I could shop to my little heart's content.

Imagine my dismay after walking the entire mall and finding neither store. Ok, I was a little more than dismayed. I was down right pissed. I drove all that way! For nothing!

Well, life and lemons and all that jazz. So I looked around in some other stores. I found a cute top at Dress Barn that isn't work appropriate. I found a nice pair of khakis at Old Navy that I can maybe wear on Fridays. Finally I ended up back in JCPenny's. Of course. We have a Penny's at home that I easily could have gone to, you know. Whatever.

But I didn't go to college for nothing. I came home, hopped on my computer, and successfully spent way to much online at the Limited website. Take that stupid Duluth mall! However, my mama raised me right: I saved a ton of money too. They had a deal for $25 off your second pair of pants: perfect since I needed a few! They also had a great BOGO deal on essential shirts: awesome as well, just what I was looking for! Did I mention that it's clearance time too? Score! Then I took my happy internet butt to this fantastic website to find some online shopping codes. This is a must anytime you're buying online. Look there first before you checkout. And whadya know? I found a coupon code for 25% off my entire order! And they had free shipping! *Insert high pitched girly scream here*

I died and went to shopper heaven :o) I'll be innocently stalking the postal carrier until he delivers my goodies. Now hopefully it all fits and I don't have to send anything back.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sweet Spring

Oh how I love the sights, sounds, and smells of Spring. I'm sitting in our house with the windows wide open, someone is running a lawn mower, and everything just smells fresh. Hooray Spring!

I know I can't get to excited yet. Every Minnesotan worth his salt has reminded me that we should still have snow on the ground (in April!?! yea right!) and that it's much warmer than normal. I know, I know. Just let me be excited!

Since we finally had a beautiful weekend, guess what we did with it? That's right, outside chores! The past few weekends have been a little to chilly and super windy to be up and down on ladders. So this weekend we took full advantage of the lovely weather and put up gutters!
Tada! By some stroke of luck, the house color is the exact same color as the gutters. I don't think that was planned since "gutter brown" isn't really that high in demand. But it made this process that much better! And see all those redish colored rocks behind the garage? They came from here:Along the house, there is a "drainage field" that had all those rocks in it. And that's where two of the three windows we want to replace are. No wonder they're leaky! Anyway, I digress....this picture also includes the other gutter project we finished. Originally the gutter stopped at the top of the 2nd story deck, so water would just shoot out of there and drench the ground underneath. We added the downspout, and we'll be putting in some kind of white rock along the length of the deck for added water absorption. No rotting decks in our house!

Last week I posted about the great consignment store finds that I made Travis buy. Here is our new table and one of the lamps:

So you can see what I mean about the ugly brown color. It's ok, but not that pretty. So we'll be refinishing it soon. The lampshades were purchased at Wal-mart and I think they're just perfect - and that's all that matters!

In other news, we've started going to a new church. We're both pretty excited about it because the church is much more contemporary than our past experiences. It's an Assembly of God church, and we love that the entire service is full of music, praise and worship! The head pastor is only 30 or so as well, so it's a breath of fresh air to be in a younger crowd. We haven't talked about officially joining the church yet though. I'd like to take it slow and make sure it's the right place for us. But so far, so good!

I'm exhausted from "supervising" the gutter installation, so I'm off. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alison the traveling career gal

My career with Disability Specialists is just one week young and already I'm on the road. They've sent me to Brainerd, MN to train with one of our reps here for 3 days. If you're not familiar with Minnesota geography (imagine my surprise!), Brainerd is smack dab in the middle of the state. Four hours south of Canada, two hours south of home.

So I'm currently sitting in my hotel room, enjoying free wi-fi and a free root beer. Hooray for being a priority club member! The root beer should be a real beer at the hotel restaurant, but I arrived too late. Only in Minnesota do they give away free beer as a member perk. But hey - I'll take it!

I haven't seen much of Brainerd, as I'm actually staying in Baxter, which is right over the Mississippi River. Funny thing is that I crossed the might Mississippi three times on the way here, so I really have no clue where the heck I am. As long as Tom Tom can get me home then I'm not worried.

Last week I was able to go out to see clients with the senior rep. That is the best part of this job! We met a bunch of clients, so I saw how that whole side of things goes. It's really interesting to hear their issues, even if I have to go home and research like a mad woman. But I'm learning a lot!

While I'm gone, Travis will be working like the Tazmanian devil back at home. He's got a seminar on Wednesday, so lots to prepare for! He's getting to know the neighbors in his new building quite well already. He's right next door to a consignment store, so of course I sent him over to check some things out!

I found an end table and two matching lamp bases that I wanted him to take a look at. We got all three for $45! Score! The lamps have a bronze finish that I originally wanted to redo, but I think we'll keep them as they are for a bit. At least until my Mom and Dad come in June - Mom always has great ideas and she'll tell me if they're ugly or not! The table we're definitely going to refinish. It has a lighter brown finish that is a bit outdated, so we'll sand it down and refinish it. But I'm also saving that for the parents. They'll need something to do when they're up here anyway!

Well, tomorrow starts early so I'm off to bed. Have a great week!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life has swallowed me...

whole. It's still deciding whether to spit me out or just deal with me. In any case, I'm staying on my toes!

I started my new position officially today, however, it's a lot of the same old same old. I learned a little bit of new stuff. Honestly, I can't wait to get out there and meet some clients on my own! I want to just do the meetings and fill the paperwork out myself, but without someone watching over my shoulder. All in due time, right?

Easter weekend went by in a whirl. Trav's Aunt Robin and cousin Katie came to visit. They're always fun! We went out for dinner and then a little bit of karaoke on Saturday night. Katie loves to sing, despite what anyone says! We had a great time, but probably stayed out a little to late since we had to go to church the next morning!

Easter dinner was delicious, as only could be expected. It was a great, relaxing day filled with movies, playing outside, good company, and good food!

But now I have dishes to do - some jobs are never done! Until next week!