Masking: a cruel & unusual punishment

Saturday, October 31, 2009

After dinner last night, we started masking out the basement to prepare for painting today (Happy Halloween!) Did I mention our basement is monstrously huge? Brandon did all the high masking, which was probably waaay more of a pain in the ace. I did the floor and anything else I could reach. Granted, I steam cleaned the carpet right before (thanks Fortes!) so major wet-booty while, I did that backwards?!

It took most of 3 hours to get the whole things masked, but we are ready to go for painting today. Brandon is seriously in love with the basement. He keeps calling it the "man cave," which I don't think is funny or cute. I'm pretty sure we are going to have a "wall of heads" soon (i.e. ram's head, future buck and fish, etc). Anytime I start using an excessive amount of phrases in quotation marks is a cause for concern.

The basement also has an adorable bar (thanks previous owners!) where we are also going to house our new mini-fridge and tap system. The fridge was an anniversary present from Brandon's parents (thank you!) and can hold up to a half-keg. Perfect addition to Brandon's "man cave"...JUST KIDDING, that's not what we're calling it.

There is also a lot of storage in the basement, which I loooove.

The back room, we are going to change into my future office and then someday a playroom!

The laundry room is big and will also be where the cats' food & stuff will be (oh, maybe a cat door? hehhee, cute)

First Time Home Owners!

On October 30th, Brandon and I became first-time home owners! We met our realtor before the meeting and did a final walk-through of the house. It was the first time that I had been back since the first showing (B has been back plenty for a second showing, inspection, etc). I loved the house even more than I remembered it. On our way to the closing, our new neighbor was mowing his grass and waved to us. I loved it! New friends!

The closing meeting wasn't nearly as painful as we both anticipated, but there were as many papers to sign as we had been forewarned. We met the previous owners and they said it was a great house. I felt a little bad, but I was so happy for us that it passed quickly.

After the meeting, we made our way to Lowes for painting supplies, Wegman's for pizza (Yum!), and Sherwan Williams for paint. Then we headed back to our NEW HOME and had a candlelight dinner (hahhhahha) of pizza and beer (brandon), Cran-apple juice (tab).

We are planning on moving into the house over the course of November, since I can't really help with any lifting, moving furniture, painting, etc. We have a huge crew of family coming next weekend to help (YAY!) so a lot of the painting and demolition will (hopefully) get done next weekend. I have plenty of plans in mind about what I want to do to this house; some are immediate projects (painting, flooring, etc)- others can wait until next summer and later (guest bathroom?!?, expanding deck). I just can't wait to get all settled in! I already picked out the exact spot where our Christmas tree will go - HAH.

His pride & joy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Brandon is a happy, satisfied man. We picked up his new truck this past Thursday and he couldn't be more pleased. Brandon has wanted a truck for a long time, and now with the new house (closing on Friday!) there isn't a better time to have one. We got the truck from Walker Trucks in Stoystown; they refurbish wrecked/demolished trucks. We have a dark green Ford F-150.
(Please note the buck sticker on the back window: B added that himself!)

This truck has already made life a little easier; between hauling Brandon's hunting & fishing stuff; to making the first trip over to our new house with the Forte's steam vacuum cleaner! We are happy with it. We'll take care of it; and it will certainly take good care of us (and all our stuff!)

...and baby makes three.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We got the most amazing, surprising, happy news the day before we left for Hawaii. Brandon and I are going to have a baby!

We figured we would stop preventing and didn't realize that all those times in high school when they warned us, "It only takes one time," that they weren't just saying that. It really only took one try for us and we know that we are so fortunate to have that be the case.

We had the first warning that it may have worked, on the day of my Mom's birthday party because SCF took my mom to lunch and to a fortune-teller to get her away from the party before the big surpise. When it was my turn at the fortune-teller (Magda in Southmont -Johnstown, Pa) she flipped over my cup and there on my saucer, as plain as though someone had hand painted it, was a dove left in my coffee grounds.

Magda immediately asked if I had a child and when I responded that we did not, she said, "We'll you will." I laughed and tried to play it off (I was the only one that knew we had "tried" early that week) and Magda kept giving me omnious warnings like, "no, really stop drinking" and "Take your vitamins!" Little did we know, she was right - we had already conceived!

Over the next few days (before we officially found out) I noticed that anything that was supposed to smell like strawberries (Brandon's strawberry lemonade, Tasha's strawberry lollipop) smelled like hot garbage to me...which was odd because I love strawberries. Obviously, just the first sign that we were going to be parents!

We have been calling our little bundle "dove" since that was the first name anyone had given it (thank you, Magda). Tasha and Jordan were the first to find out since they were at our house the day I took the pregnancy test. In full Tasha manner, she snooped on my camera and found the picture of the P-test I had taken. We were going to keep a secret for awhile, but were glad to have someone to share the news with. Unfortunately for Tash and Jordan, they had to keep the secret for a full 3 weeks before we shared the news with the rest of our family.

While in Hawaii, we told Adam and Lea...since we certainly couldn't get pass their confusion as to why I wasn't drinking. They were excited and so sweetly happy for us. Lea took tons of pictures of us in "belly pose" even though we didn't share these with family right when we got back. Hah! so sneaky.

Our families reacted as you would guess: totally freaked-out-happy. It will be the first grandchild on both sides, so the g-moms are so excited. We are due April 21, 2010 and it already feels like time is passing so quickly. I can't wait to meet our little guy/girl. I feel so lucky that all the love I feel in my heart has now been transformed into a tiny little mix of us.

Aloha, paradise.

Brandon and I have been so lucky this summer. We got the chance to visit the gorgeous island of Oahu, Hawaii and stayed with my cousins Adam and Lea. They were the most amazing hosts. We got to see so much and do so much that without island-living hosts we never would have been able to do.

Our days were filled with snorkeling, hiking, site-seeing, delicious food, and driving around the island. The island is so beautiful and honestly, the water is a blue I didn't even know existed. It really is paradise and we just can't believe Adam and Lea live there!! hahha.

Some of our favorite memories include:
1. Lanakai bunkers hike
2. Surfing at Wakiki
3. Snorkeling with the sea turtles at Shark's Cove
4. Polynesian Cultural Center!
5. Pineapple sherbert at the Dole Plantation

(Brandon would like to make a special shout out to Yogurt Mama Ice Cream shop. He throughly enjoyed ALL of the toppings available! hahhha)

Mostly, it was so good to spend time with Adam & Lea and catch up. Its hard to be so far away from family and we really loved catching up with them and seeing what they see everyday. It was an unbelievable vacation and we could never have done it without Adam & Lea. Mahalo:)

Summer Life Update

August was a VERY busy, crazy month for the Studers. Please see previous post (Jinxy Cat) and following posts for further details.

On July 24th, we had the sweetest little addition come into our lives. My cousin Stefanie and her husband Justin gave birth to our goddaughter, Mallory Lauren. She is the tiniest, sweetest little sugar plum. She came into the world 2 months early because she is a little diva. We already love her so much.
Our months of kindness have been going very well. In August, we made a donation to an Erie gym class (for stacking supplies) through Donors Choose is an awesome website where teachers all over the country post classroom wishes/needs. Donors (i.e. regular people) can search different states/cities or types of wishes/needs and make donations towards the projects. We were glad to support the town we live in and Brandon was happy to support hand-eye coordination in Erie youth. hah.

Dad organized a surprise 49th birthday party for my Mum on August 1st. Talk about a party! Justin's band played and there were so many people there. Repeat Offenders (Justin's band) was awesome and they played long into the night. Tasha made an awesome Mem Slide ( ) for my mom and everyone loved it. SCF put on a ridiculous lip-synching/dancing rendition of "Waiting for a Star to Fall." Overall, awesome party!

Tasha and I made an outrageously long road trip down to North Carolina to see my dearest Emily Mae get married. It was a perfect ceremony and reception and I was soooo happy to see all my favorite Costa Rica friends again. It had been since 2004 since I'd seen Meg!!! Pura Vida for all of us being back together again<3>

Jinxy Cat

Ahhh, lunatic that I am...we got ANOTHER kitten. In early August, after my eye appointment, I sashayed into the pet store and made solid eye contact with a little darling of a kitten for a good 30 seconds. Afterwards, I met Brandon for dinner at Smokey Bones (our favorite!!) and told him that I loved that little cat that looked into my soul and I should've got it. He thought I was kidding and responded, "Go ahead." ...he should know better.

After dinner, I went straight back to the pet store and picked that sweet little bundle up. Her name is Jinx and she is all black with the tiniest white patch (looks like a bow tie) on her neck.

Lola, of course, was not impressed by our new addition.

But, as time as passed, Lola and Jinx have come to love each other. Lulu is nicer now and kind of just likes to leave people alone (what a teenager!) Jinx on the other hand has come into her own and showed as that she is truly a maniac. She wants to copy Lola in everything she does (drinking out of the fish tank, eating out of the same bowl, playing with Lulu's bouncy mouse- her favorite toy). They really make us laugh all the time and are so silly. Even though two cats (both crazy and bad) are a little much, they seem to suit us perfectly.

Beer Olympics- July Kindness

Haven't posted in forever and I need to give attention where attention is due:

On July 11th, Brandon and I organized the first annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics, hosted at my parent's house in Johnstown, PA (thanks!). It was quite the hilarious, messy, obnoxious success. We had players, observers, refs (mom!), and substitutes (thank God!) As it was our first try at organizing a day long drinking extravanganza; I believe we overshot what was manageable for games. We were able to be flexible and take some much needed unscheduled breaks and lots of snacking to make it through the whole day.

We raised over $170 dollars to donate to Make-A-Wish foundation and had a lot of fun all the while. Teams were chosen at random (pull from a hat) and each designed their team name and logo (hooray for adults loving face and hair paint!) Needless to say, as the day went on, team spirit grew exponentially.

Games included (but not limited to): The Anchorman, Dingbat Relay, Beer Bong Races, Flip Cup, the Monkey Chug, and 100 cup Beer Pong. It was quite obvious as we neared mid-day that substitute teammates were needed. Luckily, we had some late participants show up and even our dads stepped up to the challenge of celebrity participants to give some other team members a chance to sit out and regroup (i.e. EAT and drink massive amounts of water).

In the end, it was Team Whiskas to pull out the day's victory and will have their names engraved on the "Studer Cup" (aka Das Boot). Our Team "Baby Bump" members (observers only-geez, what kind of people do you think we are!) were in charge of selecting MVPs for a variety of different awards, including: Loud Mouth, Smack Talk, MVD, Pukin' Rally, and the Shark. By the end of the day, we were all pretty exhausted, extremely giddy and happy, and glad to have participated in such a fun day to raise money for such a great cause. Thanks to everyone who helped and participated. Next year should be even bigger!!