September 2012 - Lynn Fern

Onward & upward!

Ice pops for dinner & breakfast….sure why not!!  I have one cranky & miserable toddler on my hands right now.  She is a big mushy bear that wants nothing more than to curl up & snuggle (which I LOVE), and for the moment as I try to type this she is content watching Dora, cuddling her new Winnie the Pooh and laying on the I will hurry to get this out.  We went to dinner at my sister in law & brother in laws Tuesday evening. We kinda just invited ourselves which I think is what makes our relationship with them that much better. We always have a great time….can’t imagine how often we will all be together once we get moved.  Oh you know the occasional or not so occasional pop ins that cross the line of what some would call a tad over the line (or inappropriate).  But, again that is just the type of relationship we all have…it’s ok.  Their house is literally 2 minutes on the other side of the golf course from us.  The girls (I say that because they have twin girls) all had a great time playing that evening & got along without incident.  Toward the end of the night I noticed Shea was just not herself, she was whiny and would let out cries. She barely touched her dinner and was clingy.  When we were leaving I noticed she felt warm.   I took her temp as soon as we got home & sure enough little one was running 101.6.  UGH!!  Since I wasn’t sure what was going on I made the girls sleep in separate rooms.  Katie didn’t like it one bit & constantly cried out for Shea throughout the night.  Mommy’s instincts were right.  I took her to the doctor yesterday afternoon & she has coxsackie virus.  Double UGH!!!  Evidently it has made its nasty appearance known over the last couple of weeks.  She is one of the last at her daycare to get it.  That might be since she only goes 2 days a week.  None the less we were a wrecked last night.  She went to sleep around 8 pm only to wake at 10:30 pm and stay awake until a quarter to 5 am this morning.  Mommy & Shea are a bit on the tired side this morning.  I foresee a nap very soon in our future!  She has barely eaten or drank much of anything hence the ice pops for dinner & breakfast.

I am pretty amazed how quickly the progress has been on the house to this point.  I drove by yesterday morning to show Katie since she hadn’t seen it since the downstairs had been done.  Her eyes lit up as she saw the first floor on.  On Tuesday we all walked through the first floor & did a lay out of furniture & windows. 
The basement
The first floor (main floor)

In the afternoon on the way to the doctor Shea & I popped by and to my amazement the walls were up.  We love our framer.  Again he is one of the guys that Kacey has known since he was in his teens.  I believe with all of my heart that this house is being given so much from each & everyone these guys working on it.  You can feel the love being poured into it.  Shea has been my trooper.  She gets to go with me on the days she’s not in daycare.  So there are many days of dragging her out of the house and to the house site or to a store.  Lucky for us we have a TV in the car and she’s a TV head so it works.
30 Foot beam going on ceiling in dining room/living room
Lumber delivery prior to walls going up
Looking out from the 1st floor bedroom
standing in the living area looking at the kitchen/pantry
Looking out the front door
Stairs to the basement
When you walk into our front door these 2 spaces will be big windows & sliding glass doors leading to the deck.  This will be an unobstructed view.
Looking in from garage
Back view. There will be another floor going up for bedrooms & common area.
Can't wait to see what it looks like today when I go by.  The construction guys will be there doing water & gas lines.  The gas company is coming to bring tank & lines.  Things have been going smooth, but we have the threat of rain the next couple of days.  I love to get rain, but we need it to hold off for a few days.  People have been asking if we think we would be moving in by Christmas.  I remain with my thoughts of February.  I think Christmas is pushing it.

I just commented on a blog I read/follow (head up Ashley - we are thinking about you).  There was a big letdown over a house situation.  The feelings of being sad & upset I feel is completely ok and normal.  I had many friends & family tell me that we would be moving onto bigger & better things with the house and that my feelings were normal & it was ok to feel those feelings & have those thoughts.  Not that I don’t love my friends & family, I just couldn’t see it at the time.  My eyes are open now.  I believe it took time along with the progress at the building site.  I’ve made it a point to go by often & keep myself very much in the middle of things without being “that” person while the builders are there.  I’ve made sure to meet & have conversations with everyone that has helped put our house back.  I see the bigger & better now and I am loving it!  I had one of those AHA moments on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day, I was out & about when all of a sudden I said to myself “we are building a house” and it doesn’t make one bit of difference if I wanted to or not…it’s what we are doing.  Funny to be having this as the house is in the middle of being built.  I have a choice here…I can take this opportunity to run with it or I can live with subpar decisions I’ve made because I just never wanted to build a house.  I’ve decided to fall in love with the situation! And, this is where I say to all my family & friends – you were right & I thank you for saying “it’s going to be bigger & better”!  I’ll stand by all of this until I am being pressured for absolute decisions and then I will revert (ok just kidding).  I have happily accepted this challenge!!

Much love, peace & happiness!!


My eyes...

I really couldn't believe my eyes this afternoon.  I had stopped by the house this morning after dropping Katie at school.  I just wanted to take a quick look at the slab on the garage...which looked amazing.  I chatted with our mason guys for a minute and then had to run some errands prior to meeting Dave & the window guy.  We lifted the slab up a little so you won't bottom out now when & if you have the back of our cars loaded with quick crete or tiles :)  It happened to me twice during renovations at which point I had the trailer hitch on and when I backed in all I heard was nails on a chalk board.....yeah scared me sh..less.  yes I am sure you get the point.  Now I have a nice flat garage. 

I went back to the house at 1:00 pm to find this. 

Oh my gosh it is the little things in life that make me smile with giddiness right now.  I just couldn't believe my eyes...wasn't expecting it so to see it made my little heart skip. 
I met with Dave & the window guy during this visit.  All windows and sliding doors have been ordered & we should be getting them delivered in 4 weeks. OH MY! 
The other day when I was at the house I noticed something different.  It just seemed more open space.  I looked around & realized that our neighbors (the ones that called in the fire) took one of their trees down.  It gives us a complete open view to the river.  They have a pool & I think when we took our trees down it gave them more sun over the pool so with them taking that tree down it benefits both of us.  I just smiled because I thought it was thoughtful of them to be giving us such a great view.  They really are nice people and I feel blessed to have them as our neighbors. 
Have a great day all...

Oops...I've been gone a few days.

As I sit here sipping on a beer relaxing and reflecting on the last couple of weeks, I realize that whoa life has been busy.  We just finished up dinner and Kacey is giving the girls their bath.  I am fortunate to have him as my husband…he’s so good with the girls; he’s an awesome husband and just really makes a big effort to provide everything we want and most importantly need.  Last night we had both of our parents over for an impromptu dinner due to a storm that moved in & kept Kacey's parents from taking the cousins to the fair.  His parents had the twin cousins staying over so that was an extra treat for the girls.  I made a chicken dinner with gravy, asparagus, corn, salad and bread with armadillo eggs as apps.  And, then I proceeded to take everyone’s money in cards (to be fair it’s not often I am the big winner).  Luck have it I had 2 hands with Royal Straight Flushes….BOOYAH!! Tonight I made homemade meatballs with homemade red sauce.  My family devoured the food so fast.  My daddy loves meatballs so I made sure to make him a plate to take over to him.  
Speaking of mom & dad…we got to move them into their apartment last weekend.  We’ve spent lots of time trying to unpack & move stuff around.  It’s hard going from a 3 bedroom to a 2 bedroom with so much stuff.  There is a need for much organization and lots of garbage bags (this is my idea not so much theirs).  With both girls in ballet and school my days & weeks are scheduled according to what they have going on.  I’ve also been working on some projects to decorate mom’s space today while Kacey took Katie & the twins bowling.  Shea has a bit of a cold so she stayed home with mommy.  I was just looking back at the videos of the girls from ballet & I die each time I watch them.  I just can’t stop smiling & giggling when I watch them.  Katie has great form and my little Shea is just too darn cute.  My heart is so filled with these two!  I know I am partial but isn’t that we parents do??? 

We had my nephews birthday party on last Saturday after the move and then Kacey & I were invited to go to the Yankees game on Sunday.  His cousin Jesse had tickets for a luxury box suite and we were lucky enough (or loved enough) to be asked to go.  It was a much needed day out for the two of us.  It’s been a while.  We had a great time & some renewed bonding time for us.  It felt good!!  We hung out at one of our old (single days) stomping grounds… Stan’s Sports Bar where I ended up making friends with a few from the UK.  Plus I met lots of UT fans & a group from Houston that was there celebrating a 40th birthday!  A great day!  Funny story is that all of the places that Kacey would frequently go prior to us meeting were all the same places I also hung out….we never crossed paths.    


Besides the storm we’ve had the best weather possible.   It has been in the mid to upper 70s during the day.  The evenings/nights have been perfect to just leave windows open.  Oh and it just makes me realize it truly is football season.  Go Giants!!  We are a Giants household, but when we get together with Kacey's family it is a split...we have a few Jets fans.  We still love them and we endure the green shirts.  Kacey's brother & girls and Kacey's dad are the culprits.  The twins LOVE to harass all of us.  We always get phone calls on gameday.  Anyway back to the amazing weather it has also allowed for some great weather for the guys working on the house since right now it is all outside.  The house is coming along quickly.  The garage had the drain dug and the new front wall put in.  The rubber wall guys came out and put the water proof rubber wall on the front foundation wall, and the foundation floor was poured.  This means that the framers will be starting to frame & we should have a roof on around the first or second week in October.  I need to finalize my pick for our front door, we will be ordering windows in the next day or two and then I need to get busy on everything else I need to pick out!

I spoke with the guys that we are looking at to build our cabinets.  They are just spectacular people to work with.  They have just been amazing & since I have no idea about so much of this kinda of stuff they’ve been so very accommodating on explaining details to me.  I can’t wait to see what plan details the cabinet guy has in mind.   It’s all so exciting. 

So to say we’ve been busy is an understatement.  I seem to reflect a lot but time seems to be moving quickly.  I know February is going to be here before we know it & we will be making our move.  I try & relax and take in as much as I can but oh there's so much to do and so much to see.  I don't do well sitting still. 
I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Peace, love & happiness!!!


Progress and Firsts...

You ever have that situation that completely takes you off guard and then puts you in the awkward feeling stage?  Yeah I had that happen & normally I can take it and simply move forward, but for some reason this time it knocked me clearly on my arse.  The worst part is I had “that” feeling going into the night that something was off.  I just felt the overwhelming sense of weird and I believe it’s probably just a combination of things going on in my life. 

I have been enjoying being back in the kitchen cooking dinner.  During the renovations and here recently it’s been so busy (plus I don’t have everything that I owned prior to the fire…and I had built my kitchen up so that I had everything I needed which included every spice possible).  So I haven’t cooked like I use to or the way I like to cook.  I love finding new recipes & tweaking them to our style.  I always come up with recipes on my own & my family is my guinea pig…happily so most of the time.  I love cooking and baking and one thing Kacey said is I get to pick out a really nice oven/stove….oh I’ve got my eyes on a few that make me drool like a baby cutting a new tooth.  The other night I made steak and twice baked potato casserole along with a green salad.  It is one of my parent’s favorite meals.  We don’t eat much red meat.  It’s not that we don’t like it we just prefer chicken, pork and fish, but mom & dad both love steak.   The steak I made was NY Strip steak restaurant style and it turned out so yummy & tender.  The potato dish is one of our favorites that the girls gobble up.  The girls also love salad so that is pretty much a staple for dinner. Last night I made beer can chicken linguine in the crock pot with garlic toast.  It really was so very yummy.


I stopped by the house yesterday morning and then again in the afternoon.  I was amazed at the progress from the morning to the afternoon that the masons had completed.  We found out that the house at one time had a bad termite problem.  We had an inspection prior to buying the house, but we are not clear if there was still an issue.  There was also evidence of ants being inside the structure of the house.  One thing we noticed right after the fire was some of the wood under the slab going into the front door and around the bottom of the door frame was rotten from a water issue.  We knew at one point there had been water issues because of the way the house sits, but the previous owner had put in drains and had remedied the drainage issue.  Of course you wouldn’t have seen the wood because it was inside the structure.  They also busted out the slab of the garage and we found that the previous mentioned water issue had created problems in there as well.  The first portion that they tore out took no time..about an hour.  Then they moved over and it took them for just right side from 11 am to 4 pm to remove the cement.  When removing the foundation below we found no metal (rebar) in the slab of the house.  I mentioned this in a previous post.  But in the right side of the garage they found rebar.  It appears it had been drilled in and more cement had been poured over the top of the original slab…what a mess.  Luckily we decided to redo the slab in the garage since we realized that one day we might walk out and see our car sitting several feet down.  The underneath had settled so much that the floor was cracking.  The fire has exposed a lot of bad things on the inside that otherwise we would’ve never known. I guess this is where I can say here is one of the biggest positives of the fire.  No fault of anyone but the house was going to end up costing us so much more money to remedy some deep underlying issues.  So just maybe as much I hate what we did lose, we are in true form gaining something so much more.  As I have said so many times…I loved my house & the charm.  I love older homes, but with that you are going in pretty much blind.  Unless you are gutting the house and tearing into walls you never know what lies beneath.  My heart was set to be in Cornwall summer of 2012, but a few months delay with a brand new house is obviously the road we were meant to be on. 

My mom & dad will be moving into their new apartment this weekend.  We went over there this morning and it is just beautiful.  It is cozy and warm feeling.  I am looking forward to helping my mom decorate it.  I can see how happy they are so it makes me giddy with happiness for them.

Shea had her first ballet class this morning.  She loved it and really surprised me at how well she did.  In fact for the first time ever she was not shy about going right up to her teacher.  It is just her and one other little girl….so the recital is going to be so stinking cute.  She misses having her sister her during the days, but she loves having mommy all to herself.  We go grocery shopping together and she loves to help pick out what we are making for dinner that night.  I took her to Marshalls to get her and sissy new boots.  I had a hard time getting her to take her new sparkly pink boots off.  She truly is mommy’s little sidekick and I love it!!

They delivered 7500 lbs of stone to the house today.  This is to help with setting up the proper drainage in the front and to put out back for what will be our patio area.  As I mentioned above about needing proper drainage around the house, there is a wooded hilly area across the street and the house sits & is built into a ridge.  The house was originally built in the 1940s so drainage & codes were quite different back then.  The great thing is we can ensure that this time the house structure is built to handle being built into the ridge without the foundation wall bowing & will have a great system for water to drain away from the house.  Have I mentioned that I love our builder?  Well I do!  He’s awesome & really makes every effort possible to educate me on what is going on.  Boy have I learned a lot about structures, engineering and water drainage….can’t wait to see what more I can learn in the next few months.
Ahhh this view...can't wait to be sitting on the deck enjoying :)

Enjoy your day! Remember to love freely and without conditions… Peace, love & happiness!



Has it been 11 years?

Kacey said to me first thing this morning.. Can you believe it's been 11 years? I can't.  As I drove away from dropping the girls off at school the moment of silence was on the radio, and then God Bless America played.  My heart sank & I was filled with sadness.  I was happy to not have the girls in the car with me. 

Do you remember where you were on that fateful day 11 years ago?  I do as I believe most everyone in this country and many countries around the world will never forget where they were that exact moment.  I was walking into my job at Saloman Smith Barney in our operations division as the first plane had just hit the first building.  I remember we had a couple of guys that had recently moved to San Antonio to work on our trade desk from New York.  The look of complete and utter shock and concern grew so very deep on their faces. As we all realized that the plane was not an accident as we watched the second plane take out the 2nd building.  Our hearts were all in the same place…deep in our stomachs.  Many of us worked very closely to and had friends that worked in one or both of the buildings or nearby.  It became very obvious quickly that America had just been attacked.  My thoughts & prayers will forever be with family of injured or lost ones on that day.  It will forever be etched into the hearts of many.  It is quite remarkable at how many people were connected to someone that was impacted by this devastating tragedy.  I think no matter where you were you felt you had been attacked.  My emotions went from being scared, mad, angry and surreal.  My sense of what is happening and where are we headed swirled in my mind for days.

I think as many others do the question why has remained.  Why did this happen?  What lesson is here for us to learn from?  Was it just their time to go?  Will we ever have the answer?  Devastation is hard to handle and some never get over it they just have learned to deal.  I have met or know so many that their lives changed because of the events of the day.  My brother in law made it home that day.  He works nearby and was not heard from for many hours.  A family member was pulled from rubble only to look around to see that he was only one of a few that was alive.  He has amazing footage from that day as he was a part of the media that shot some amazing footage.  In fact his work has made it into the archives and has been part of the HBO segments.  I am fortunate that my husband made it out and home that day.  I have 2 cousins (twin brothers) that escaped the day untouched.  One that worked in World Trade Center 1, he had a dentist appointment and was going into work late that morning.  THANK GOD!!  The brother worked across the street and had taken the day off.  THANK GOD!!  Unfortunately not everyone can say that.  My heart and prayers will continue to be with those directly impacted.  To the Devlin Family – we love you and will always remember! You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!!!

Kacey works in various areas in Manhattan so I never exactly know where he is at any given time.  I just have to believe and trust….it’s not always easy.  I am always a bit relieved on this day that he is working from home.  I am not sure why honestly..I just find comfort.  He’s taken a couple of pictures of the new building going up.  I love knowing that we as Americans banded together to comfort complete strangers.   


What does this all mean for me?  I chose to have the TV stations off today.  I will always remember but I don’t need to continue to see the events of the day as they are still vivid in my mind.  I feel an unbelievable amount of sadness for the families that had loved ones murdered.  It is my way of dealing. 

I am thankful that I live in America!  God Bless you all and may we never forget.

Happy Saturday

Fall is peeking its head around the corner so I made a BIG pot of chili.  But, summer is hanging on with a strong force…it 90 yesterday.  I have been itching to wear my newly purchased boots but I will hold off for a while. 

We had one day of rain after the concrete was poured for the footings.  It is a sign of good luck per our builder…I will take it.  The masons were back the day after and they got a big portion of the wall of the foundation back up.  I have been stopping by driving by every day to see the progress.  We sat down with Dave on Wednesday and went over more of the materials which he brought samples for me to take a look through. We have lots to think about in a short time.  I am constantly finding myself indulged in searching around on the internet and playing on Pinterest for inspiration.  It’s somewhat addictive & time consuming. 

Kacey is off to play in his golf league tournament today so the girls & I cleaned house (ok well I did while they had baby wipes wiping down furniture).  It’s raining & we have storms brewing so it’s an inside day.  We’ve had a busy week so I don’t mind that it’s a veg out kind of weekend.  Katie started PreK and ballet/tap this week.  She loved it and her teacher approached me Thursday morning at drop off to let me know she is one of her best students.  Momma is proud and truly looking forward to watching the growth in my lil ladybug this year.  She did so well in ballet & tap.  I was nervous because all of the little girls in her group have been in ballet & tap the last 2 years.  She picked up & followed right along without missing a beat.  She was focused & intent on listening to her teacher.  I tried many times to just go sit but momma bear was a tad protective...I wanted to keep a watchful eye.  She was proud of herself!!  And, she only turned to look at me once but admitted in the car she could see me in the mirror :)  I did forget the brush & the rules are to have the hair pulled back neatly - OOOPS!! Shea has missed her sister being home with her, but she’s also enjoyed having mommy all to herself. 

I recently came across The Shine Project via another blog I follow (Enjoying the Small Things).  If you follow me on Facebook you will see the link I recently shared.  I love what is behind The Shine Project and that they believe in what they are doing.  Be the change you wish to see!!  I have not been asked to advertise nor am I receiving anything from my shout out.  I just love the concept & the inspiration!!  Check it out if you have a moment. 

I am off to relax & enjoy the day with a nice cup of tea and the sounds of thunder in the background. Enjoy and love, peace & happiness to all! 
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