December 13, 2011

Merry Merry Merry

Have I mentioned that I absolutely love this time of year? I really, really, REALLY do. I love the decor, the cold air, bundling up in comfy clothes, the warm drinks (at the moment I am craving Mexican Hot Chocolate), the lights, the music, the shopping, the time with family and the deeper meaning of the season.

If it weren't completely tacky I would leave up all of my decorations year round. And I say this in all seriousness. Having the Christmas tree on makes me smile. Michael typically gets up before me in the mornings and always has the tree on when I get up since he knows how much I love it. Love that man.

I finally purchased stockings and have been burning my favorite candle (Aromatique Christmas Greetings) since before Thanksgiving. It makes the whole house smell like Christmas!!

Oddly enough Parker and Cass haven't tried to knock the tree over, eat it, or carry it off to covet in some remote corner of the yard. (That is where we find a lot of things) They also haven't touched a single wrapped gift... Such an accomplishment at our house when something doesn't get chewed up :)

With all the cold weather both Parker and Cass haven't wanted to spend a whole lot of time outside in the evenings. I can't really blame them. At first we were giving them free reign on the furniture and then one day while we were standing in Home Depot I noticed that we were completely covered in dog hair. We were THOSE people with dog hair all over them. Kinda gross, even I have to admit. Needless to say I went home and used an entire lent roller on the couch and rug and have now have added a pet hair vacuum to my list for Santa. (Although Santa has told me in no uncertain terms - NO) This week has been ALL about re-introducing them to their seriously cute dog beds that I bought for them before we had even picked them up from the breeder. I like to plan ahead :) Correction. I LOVE to plan ahead. Their beds are adorable, but for some reason I just can't get Parker interested in his. He wants to be right beside us even if that means sleeping on the cold floor or standing and just resting his head on our laps now that sitting with us is off limits. I am not sure how long this will last given that I wanted to cave on night one, but Michael stood his ground.  Cass on the other hand LOVES her bed and dashes for it the second we let her in the house.  If you haven't noticed we are obsessed with our dogs. For now they are our kiddos.


November 25, 2011

Gobble, Gobble...

Michael and I headed to Texarkana for a relaxing Thanksgiving in a place I still like to call "home" even though I am a big girl now with a home of my own. There is still no place like home with my whole family. Margaret and Brett were even in town :) We had lots of good food prepared by Mama Buchanan and watched lots and LOTS of football.  And of course we gobbled down our share of yummies. I hope you enjoyed your time with your family as much as we did.

crowd pleaser

They could smell the food and were big fans of the ham :)

Now it is time to gear up for Christmas. My absolute favorite time of the year. I already have my tree up and the Christmas lights purchased :) FA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA.


October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to you and yours. Last night Michael and I went to a neighborhood street dessert party and met some of our neighbors. Tomorrow night we are joining neighbors again for a get together before the kids head out to trick-or-treat. It's amazing how different Halloween is once you are in a kid friendly neighborhood. Different in a good way... We stocked up on candy today at Costco. I may never go back there after today's experience. The Costco closest to us opened last week and literally every parking place was taken when we pulled up. And as you all  know Costco's parking lots are HUGE. It was body to body in that place. Definitely not my favorite way to shop, but we managed. I also snagged some HUGE christmas ornaments that I am going to use to decorate during the holidays. Speaking of decorating... I have always wanted to really go all out on holiday decor, but somehow never quite find the time or prefer to spend my funds for the house in some other way. I did however try to add a little last minute Halloween flare to Home 101. I  know it is minimal, but this was a bit of a test run if you will. I am going to see to it that Christmas packs a little more of a punch.



October 28, 2011

Farm. Family. Fun.

I have been dying to take the pups to the farm since we got them, however I was not dying to sit in my own sweat in 100+ degree heat. So we waited. And finally, like all wonderful things that come with fall, the farm weekend was upon us. We threw on our "farm clothes", packed up the "farm gear" and headed to "the farm". Now mind you that we don't actually farm. I think by true definition it is a ranch since we do run cattle on it, however once upon a time it was a farm so that is what we call it. My grandmother was raised there. The front half was actually a general store many years ago. I love that this piece of land, that we all enjoy so much, has meaning and memories that come along with it.

I will warn you now that I took way too many pictures with my new camera. Also, I am learning and know very little so don't judge my photos or editing skills just yet. I am loving everything about the process.  Good thing, because I have a very long way to go.

Our family loves to fish! I can remember having a mickey mouse fishing pole when I was little...

Grandmama loves the dogs, even when they jump and climb all over her.

I am ready to go back already. There is something to be said for a day in the great outdoors without tv's, phones, computers or the hustle and bustle of everyday life here at Home 101.


October 24, 2011

Happy Monday

It is only fair to report on the wonderful Monday I am having since last Monday's post was in lieu of a less than stellar day.

6:00 am - wake up, COFFEE NOW PLEASE! I am lucky that Mr. H has it brewed when I wake up. He is the morning person in this twosome.

7:30 am leave for work. Whoa. FOG EVERYWHERE. Like serious, I can't see the other cars until I am about to hit them, fog. My boss calls to say our meeting is cancelled and to take my time. Sit back and enjoy the tunes and inch my way to work.

9:00 am - Emails & phone calls. Gotta love Mondays!

10:30 am - Vendor Meeting

11:00 am - Conference Call

12:30 pm - Lunch with some girls from the office since

2:00 pm - Loooooooong Conference Call

3:30 pm - Catch up on email like a mad woman so I can leave early. The dogs have now been locked up longer than ever without being let out since neither of us could run home at lunch.

4:30 pm - Sneak away from work early to let my puppies out. Cass held it for over 8 hours!! HUGE accomplishment in the Hawkins' home. Text the hubby the great news :)

5:00 pm - Finish working while the puppies play outside

Now to you this may seem like a boring day, but to me it was wonderful. Nothing today involved POOP. Unfortunately the same can't be said for this past weekend. We took the pups to the farm for the first time. First time around the cows. First time around cow POOP. We expected them to roll in it as I have heard many dogs do that for some strange reason. Our pups were not the least bit interested in rolling in it. Why roll in it when you can eat it?!? That's right. They were major fans of cow POOP. You would have thought we had dumped out treats all over the ground. It was disgusting and really hard to stop. In order to stop them you had to get near them and then they wanted to immerse you in their new found joy by jumping on you and licking you. Let the dry heaving begin. again.

On a completely different subject. Guess what I finally talked Mr. H into?!? A new big girl camera. It is so fun! I don't know how the heck to work it AT ALL, but I am hoping an all day dslr crash course class I signed up for in a couple of weeks will help me with that. Not that the lack of knowledge is stopping me. I have taken 437 photos since I got it, so prepare yourself for all the posts that are about to come. Pictures of anything and everything that doesn't get up and run from me and even some shots of Michael or the pups doing just that. I have pictures to upload from the Rangers game, the pups, the family farm trip and some updates I have made around Home 101.

Gotta go - I can hear growling and yelping from the backyard :)


October 23, 2011

The Refinishing Touch

Since moving into our first home in March I find that I am completely obsessed with customizing my fabric and furniture choices. I try to do this in a budget friendly manner that keeps Mr. H happy and keeps me from having to sell a kidney. Many of the pieces in our home have been loved by another family before us. I have simply added my own touch to them to make them new to us and as well as make them fit into the room I have been envisioning.

Being that I am not at all - not even a tiny bit - crafty - I decided to start small. My grandmother had given my mom 2 end tables that were in her and granddaddy's first home. They are beautiful, sturdy and solid wood. which can be very hard to come by these days. especially at a decent price. Since they were gathering dust in my parent's garage I offered to take them off their hands. The previous stain was peeling and they were in need of a an updated look. So off to Home Depot we went.  I seriously can't even begin to tell you how many trips we have made to our local Home Depot since we moved in. I think it is safe to say that we have spent more money there than at the grocery store since March. It is THAT bad.

After the grueling choice of choosing a stain that would blend with our bed frame and give us the overall look we wanted we headed home with our onyx stain. And home we went, cheerfully by the way, thinking that we were the smart ones. saving money (mr. h's favorite part). creating the exact look/colors we wanted. so smart. And then we started the project...

Let me tell you -- Refinishing furniture is no small feat and definitely not for the faint of heart. At first it was fun. Hours later is was definitely not what we had once imagined. We should have known it would be hard when our neighbors came out of the woodwork to either laugh at us or asked if they could bring their extra pieces down if we were crazy enough to enjoy this sort of thing. But we powered through (with the help of a Cherry Limeade from Sonic) and the end result was absolutely worth it! It is quite rewarding knowing that we did them ourselves. together :)

Partially Sanded - I forgot to take a "before" shot

Finished Product

So rewarding that we couldn't stop with just one project.  This next piece of furniture has been around for as long as I can remember. All of our favorite Disney vhs tapes were in the right cabinet when I was little. I can remember Margaret and I literally climbing halfway in and dragging all of the videos out. Needless to say this piece has memories and I love it. Very farmhouse chic. I have been asking for it for years. And finally after we moved into our first home my mom caved. We loaded it in the truck. And sped away before she could change her mind :)  It was 110 degrees the next weekend and being in the garage all day stripping and staining sounded like torture. So we waited a couple of months for a cool day. We stripped the base of the dresser and completed the first coat of stain. Now if I can just make myself get back out there and finish the drawers we will have a piece of furniture to match our end tables for the master bedroom...

Before (plus one coat of stripper)


Stripped & Sanded


First coat of stain on the base

Stay tuned for the finished product! If we ever finish it...

Feel like sanding away your weekend? Here's what you'll need:

MINWAX Wood Stain
Purdy Brush
Top Coat
Sand Paper
Drop Cloth
Brass Stripping Brush


October 10, 2011

Poop Monday

What is it about Mondays? Nothing catastrophic happened. It was just consistently annoying.

6:00 - coffee (Thank goodness for coffee)

6:15 - find the dogs have dug a whole the size of Cass. I discover this when I let the dogs inside. they run in at 90 mph and track mud all over the floors and then run through the house before I can catch them. just grateful at this point that it was mud and not poop.

6:30 - shower in the guest bathroom because I was too lazy Sunday night to finish the caulking job we are doing in the master bath. my razor forgot to make the trip. I will definitely be wearing pants today.

7:00 - cleaning out my hair brush I dropped it in the toilet. well poop. literally. (I kid!)

7:30 - drive one hour to our sales office to sit in meetings.  where is the coffee?

12:30 - no time for lunch, drive to customer appointment

2:30 - stop to grab lunch to go after appointment

3:00 - realize I am supposed to be on a conference call. but I am still stuck in traffic. at some point during dialing in, getting out a pen/notebook and driving I plowed through a red light. dang it!! the cameras got me.  (So not only has it been a lack luster Monday - but it is going to cost me $75)

5:00 - home. let the dogs out. finishing working. went to check on them about an hour later to find that they had pulled up the new sod we put down this weekend and drug it all over the yard after chewing it into bite-size pieces. in an attempt to stop the madness I was picking it all up quickly and throwing it over the fence. (our neighbors love us) and then it happened. warm. smushy. stinky. IT'S POOP. I thought I was picking up a chunk of sod and it was fresh POOP. let the dry heaving begin.

Is it Friday yet?


September 28, 2011

Date Night at the Ballpark

A couple of weeks ago Mr. H and I went to the Ranger game. I love going to games - any sport really. Not so much for the sport itself, but for the atmosphere (not to mention catching a glimpse of Hamilton) and most importantly the preservative filled food.  And there was definitely no shortage of that being served up given that it was $1 hot dog night at the ballpark.  In addition to six hot dogs I also needed my fake cheese fix. Two hours later we left happy Ranger fans with bloated bellies. The Rangers won, Hamilton hit a grand slam and I indulged in the truly great American sport of overeating. It was a win-win.

In the pictures you might have noticed that Mr. H has on a new Ranger shirt and that I do not. This is not for lack of effort on his part. He went to get new shirts for us on his lunch break. Mine was supposed to be a surprise. And boy was it. A child's small. Really?? And that went right back to the store the following day. But thank you for thinking of me and for thinking that I could fit into a shirt made for an 8 year old.

On a side note - I always think it is funny when someone realizes they are going to be in your picture and smiles. a. little. creepy. In my opinion. They could just put something in front of their face or run like hell to get out of the picture like I do. Totally normal.


September 26, 2011

Camp Mimi

There are those special events from your childhood which you can still vividly remember at any age, while other things are lost from your memory forever. I guess God keeps those memories with you that he knows you will need one day. They were both needed and coveted this past week by my family. It's still hard for me to believe that my grandmother, our Mimi, is really gone. Just three weeks ago we were all together celebrating their 60th anniversary and she looked and felt great. In fact, when Michael and I picked her and Papa up to take them to the celebration I asked her how she was feeling. She told me - with a big smile - she felt great and that she planned on being around for many more years. I think we had all planned on that. Yesterday we honored and buried Mimi.  Deep down I know where she is and how wonderful that it must be for her to be healthy and back with her parents and sisters who went home years ago, but as for me - in all of my earthly selfishness - I would prefer that Mimi be right back here with us. Then I could erase the vision I have of her fighting for her life in the hospital. And mend my mother's broken heart. And give Papa back his best friend. And see her hold my children one day. And have them experience Camp Mimi.

This is the memory that kept coming back to me while she was in the hospital and during her funeral.

Camp Mimi was an annual, much anticipated event for Margaret and I growing up. I can remember my mom and dad driving and meeting them halfway between Bossier and Texarkana. From there I would be going home with Mimi and Papa for the week. For a whole week. All by myself. I felt so special. So grown up. Mimi would plan the entire week around us. There were dinners out, shopping sprees, trips to the park, movie night and the list goes one. It was awesome. But now being older, and supposedly wiser, I know what a truly amazing gift it was to have grandparents that were so willing and able to be a part of our lives. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it.  Sitting at her service yesterday I was reminded of those summers. Reminded of her immense love for my family and for me. What I wouldn't give for another week at Camp Mimi. To go back to that age when life was so carefree and wonderful. To be loading into her car with my suitcase and pillow headed to her house, oblivious to the realities of adulthood and saying goodbye.

I am grateful for the time I had with her and for the many memories that I can continue to carry with me until I see her again.


September 12, 2011

Hello Worldwide Web!

This is my first blog and to be honest I am not sure my life is all that blog worthy. Correction. I know my life isn't all that blog worthy, but it seems like the next appropriate step in nesting.

In April of 2008 my world was rocked. I met Mr. H.  In March of 2010 we tied the knot in my childhood church and then planted roots here in Dallas. A year later we bought our first home. We are still in the process of painting, furnishing and learning how to keep up with the responsibilities that come with home ownership. A couple of months ago we welcomed Parker into our home - a blue eyed, orange and white Brittany, followed by Cass - a green eyed liver and white Brittany. They are our babies for now so brace yourself for too many pictures of dogs that are treated better than a large portion of children in our society.  Sad, but true. I actually wouldn't mind coming back as Cass when I die. Her feet have barely touched the ground since we brought her home and one whimper will pretty much bring Michael sprinting to her rescue.  I have tried the whimper and it doesn't work for me. This is something I will have to perfect. Anyway. All of these wonderful happenings bring us to this momentous occasion - my first blog. It is official. I am aging. And before everyone tells me how young I am - let me stop you and let you know that I don't think I am elderly, but I sure don't feel 22 anymore. I used to gasp at the thought of being boring like my parents. (I mean this in a loving and positive way, Mom) Going to bed at 10 o'clock. never. Staying in on a Friday night. never. Taking a cat nap after a large meal. never. cooking dinner. um no thank you - I, of course, have always preferred my meals in a bag of some sort with plasticware. and yet here I am. blogging. cooking. refinishing furniture. vacuuming and steaming my hardwood floors obsessively. pruning my own shrubs. going for evening walks. drinking coffee religiously. getting up before the sun. starting to dream about a family of my own. hysterically thinking my dog has Parvo when he only has an upset stomach. I am a full-time adult woman. Domestication won. Who would have thought? Not me. Not in a million years.

Here is a look back at the road to domestication. Mainly the wedding because these are some of my favorites :)

Best Night of My LIfe

It snowed during our reception. Magical.

First Anniversary
 For some strange reason I assumed that the cake might still be halfway decent a year later. I was wrong. While the succulents were frozen in time and looked beautiful, but the cake tasted like old frozen plants. We both gagged and spit it out, but nonetheless it was fun to get it out a year later. Wow, has it really been over a year now? My how time really does fly...

Right after we moved in we decided the fence and shutters needed staining right away. In an effort to save money we stained them ourselves. This is the first and very last time we will do our own staining.

first picture in front of one zero one

Did I mention that two weeks after we moved in there was a hail storm? And not just any ole hail storm. The kind that drew tears - from Mr. H, not me of course. The kind that required prayer and trying to decide quickly which bathroom was best - the one with the window or the one by the gas line. Kind of a big decision. It was so loud, so intense and went on for over 20 minutes. We really thought a tornado was headed our way. Anyway - we always knew that staying calm under stress and pressure wasn't my specialty. Well let's just say this incident definitely reinforced this. So 2 weeks after we moved in - new roof. check. new window beading. check. new window screens. check. new gutters. check. new paint. check. dead hydrangea. check. still mourning that dang thing. it was my pride and joy for 2 short weeks. God must have known that broken windows and water damage would have really sent me over the edge because we were the only house in the neighborhood without a broken window. 

 Parker's first few hours at home with us in July :) 

Cass' first trip to Texarkana last weekend

We took our first trip to Texarkana the day after we picked up Cass.  It was a crazy weekend, but we finally got in the groove. Quick shout out to Marg for the bird pj's. Love them.
Proud Papa H.

Well that's all for now folks. Oh and Sorry for a few of the low quality iphone photos. I am hard at work on that one. Give me just a little more time to sweet talk Mr. H into the new camera :)