Thursday, August 29, 2013

Project Reupholster

Our family room furniture was purchased when we moved in 11 1/2 years ago.  We loved it, but over time it has become a completely different color.  In part, due to extreme fading, and because it's gotten spilled on, sat on, played on, and lived on.  The last few years we haven't even had our big chair and ottoman up stairs (which is Mike's favorite chair!) because the pattern didn't match the new colors we decorated with.

I've toyed with the idea several times of reupholstering at least the chair.  My sister has nodded along with my idea every six months or so probably thinking, "Just do it already!"'s started.

A couple days ago my mom went with me to a big warehouse 30 minutes away to look at upholstery fabric because I wasn't quite convinced that Joann's had what was best for us.  It was overwhelming.  This place was HUGE and fabric everywhere of every kind.  I almost walked out.  But, we jumped in and started moving bolts until we managed to find a color that we both thought would work great in a micro-suede that I wanted.

This was hard work!  These bolts were heavy and there were millions and all the grays I wanted to look at seemed to be in the back.  On top of that - nothing was organized by color and we needed several rolls to get the yardage we needed.  We thought we were going to be about 10 yards short when mom found a giant roll and we were in business.

I had called Mike prior to purchasing.  I had only intended to buy enough for the chair and ottoman.  But, it's the type of place where they only get one shipment so if you come back and it's gone...too bad.  I told him I thought we should get enough for the chair and ottoman, but also the couch and loveseat.  He agreed.  42 yards of fabric later, mom and I were on our way.

When I got home, Mike and I set right to work.  He's got the week off and jumped right in to help me get the chair upstairs.  This alone was a feat.  For some reason we could get the front of the chair through the door, but not the back - even though they should have been the same width.  Suddenly Mike says, "Uhhh...I just put a massive hole through it."  We did a final shove and got it upstairs...

I looked at him and said, "I guess we are going to have to reupholster this now."

Then came the fun part...staple removal.

Jake helped for a bit.  We worked in our eating area (having displaced our table and chairs to the family room) so we could easily sweep or find staples.  There were lots.  We used a screwdriver and hammer to pry each and every one of them out.  FIVE HOURS later the last staple was removed.  And by "removed" I mean the fabric was ripped off and the staple was left on the frame.  Mike was DONE with this stage.

I took tons of pictures of the chair assembled, and lot of pictures as we got to each new stage.  It's a bit of a puzzle at first trying to figure out which pieces come off first and taking notes to make sure you do everything backwards correctly.

As of today, we have most of the chair covered.  The only thing left is the cushion for the bottom of it.  My parents, my sister, Mike and I have all put in time and I'm super excited about it's turned out so far.

This morning Mike, my dad, and our kids removed the staples from the couch and we are going to get started on that one tomorrow!  I'll have pictures later of what we've got accomplished so far.  So exciting!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Away

Our neighbors have invited us to their family's cabin a couple times the last few years.  However, we've always had something come up (sometimes at the last minute!) that made a visit impossible.  They were nice enough to try again this summer and we were able to make it!  Because I had to play for church that Sunday we couldn't stay the whole weekend.  But, the time we did have up there was amazingly fun!

We got a late start on Friday and as a result hit rush hour traffic as everyone headed north to their cabins.  Add to it "construction season" and it was a bona fide mess.  We finally arrived and all the kids immediately started running around letting off steam!

We headed out on a boat ride around the lake and back for dinner and a nice bonfire.  The kids bundled up against the bugs and I managed to catch them in a moment of "sitting"...

That is quite possibly my favorite picture from the whole weekend.  But, I did catch them with a more natural grin (and out of focus...darn swing!)

Matt made a huge fire and we were able to just sit an talk and talk and drink and drink.  It was so peaceful and quiet and the fire felt great!

It's a beautiful setting!

When it got dark, Jake came running for my camera (despite the fact that he'd brought his own...) and after we got home, I found this...

We ended up keeping everyone up WAY beyond their bedtimes.  The Murphy's are a gabby crew, I guess.  
Saturday we were treated to a DELICIOUS breakfast of omelettes and cinammon rolls.  So good (and my kids have since been inspired to create their own omelettes now!)  Afterward it was time for a FULL DAY of fun!

Our kids are pretty spoiled with a pool that their mother doesn't like below 85 degrees.  I wasn't sure how they'd handle the temps of the lake.

Matt and Kristy's boys pretty much walked right in...

Our kids did too...then they sucked in a huge breath when the water actually hit their skin.

It started with getting out this huge flotation device and the boys showed Maddie and Jake how it worked.  There's a nice seating area...or you can jump into the middle which actually has a netting so you can't fall into the water, but you can get nice and wet!

Matt took our kids and their youngest out on the boat.  Mike and I were riders and our kids were in a tube being pulled at a very fast speed.  Their youngest looked at me and said, matter-of-factly, "I don't really like to go fast."  Then he proceeded to handle it quite well as the two of us teased each other on who was taller each time the boat took a turn.

They have a great "play" area right at their dock.  Super clear water and a nice sandy bottom!

Then Matt pulled out his Jet-ski and let us loose on that thing.  I got back and realized that is possibly one of the most fun contraptions I have ever been on!

Then Kristy got on and took off and I realized I wasn't even scratching the surface on how much fun you could have riding it!  She was out there spinning and going crazy fast.

Matt got out too and he took things even further standing up and getting the ski-doo vertical and doing spins all over the place.  I had been thrilled to go fast in a straight line.  

I told Mike he could ride with me, but I was driving.  Really, between the two of us, I'm the one who would like to be a race car driver.  (But not the racepark kind in an oval...I want the races along beautiful European roads that twist and turn.)  We practically tipped the darn thing over as he got on, despite Matt warning us how to get two people on safely.  We are nothing, if not excellent listeners.

Mike and I each got a chance to take a solo spin after Matt and Kristy told us how different it was to ride alone.  By the time we got back Maddie was trying to talk us into buying one of these things.

To obtain coolest neighbor status, Matt took each kid out with him (because we were too chicken to teach them ourselves) and let them drive with him giving instructions.  I don't think our kids have ever been so excited over something in a very long time.  (And for the record...their oldest, who is going into kindergarten, can drive this thing on his own too!)

Well, after that, you can imagine how hard Maddie was pressing for us to commit to going home and immediately start shopping for this new toy!

Not only was there all of this, but we had tons of swimming, lots of good food, and plenty of adult beverages to keep us hydrated (but still safe!).  Toward the end of the afternoon Matt took everyone on another spin in the boat where the kids trailed behind in a tube.  It was a great ending to an extremely fun day.

Thanks to our awesome neighbors!  You are great to live across from on a normal day, but we are especially grateful for all the hospitality you showed us during the weekend getaway!  Thank you!!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Project Life Week 33

All caught up just in time for the last official week of summer.  Waaah!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Project Life Week 32

Most of the pictures from this week actually occurred during a very fun time at our neighbor's cabin.  A close-up coming soon on this time away!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Game Day

A couple Saturdays ago we had such a lovely day.  It started with Mike getting a chance to golf with Rob and my cousin's husband, Daryl.  The boys were back early in the morning, and our guests headed home. We hung out on the deck enjoying the beautiful weather.  Maddie decided we should play a board game.  She tried to get Jake to play too, but he kept resisting.  I finally headed inside and told him we were playing a game.  Period.

We played Tri-Bond, which we've had so long they probably don't even make it anymore.  Boys against girls.  I think both kids were intimidated at first that they wouldn't be able to make any guesses being on the younger side.  In fact, both kids helped both teams answer quite a few correct questions.

I don't think we could have asked for a nicer day to be outside on the deck enjoying every minute.  It was probably one of the most relaxing mornings we've had in a very long time.

I love when the kids take Mike's and my picture together.  They really nailed the focus on the couch behind us.

The boys ended up winning in a come-from-behind defeat.  It was a close game though and one we all enjoyed playing.  Even Mr. Reluctant who had wanted to hole-up in his room all morning.

We ended up heading downtown for lunch at the city's celebration day, then out for yogurt, then hanging by the pool all afternoon.

And don't forget Sadie...she took full advantage of the nice weather and quiet surroundings be getting in a really good nap...

Later, Mike and I tried to figure out what made this particular day so nice.  We decided that it was because we had not only spent the day together, but we did things that were different.  We didn't go crazy trying to pack a ton of things in, but we weren't sitting around either.  It was a truly enjoyable day and one we had all needed!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Great Murphy Dog Cookoff

This summer a great number of hot dogs have been consumed for lunch.  Awhile back the boys asked if I could PLEASE pick up some Nathan's hot dogs because these seem to be the ones that they liked best.  They are also kind of expensive...I mean, it's a hot dog.

Mike decided he really prefers plumper hot dogs and asked me to find one that was really fat - not bun length.  I finally found the Hebrew National brand which was EVEN MORE expensive than Nathan's.  I think I paid $5 for four hot dogs.  Four.  You can't even imagine the amount of eye rolling I did over this.

On the first available afternoon the boys began grilling.

They were very careful to try and add the same amount of ketchup to each hot dog and each man had to drink water between bites to cleanse his palate.

The winner?  As much as Mike was desperate to like Hebrew National better, he agreed with Jake that Nathan's was the winner of this cook-off.

But wait...they weren't satisfied with that.  They were really mad at themselves that they hadn't included Ballpark in that contest so a couple days ago they had another grill session and taste test between Ballpark and Nathan's.  Mike decided he likes Ballpark better on the grill.  Jake preferred Nathan's still.

(Maddie chimed in that she preferred Nathan's as well, in case you were wondering.)

Mike still hasn't found his perfect hot dog though and requested that I find a Ballpark that was the fattest they had.  I did today.  I can't even imagine how thrilled he will be...or how far back in my head my eyes will roll.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Project Life Week 31

Another full week and I'm so happy to be done with red, white, and blue for a color theme!!