Home Improvement

No splinters for you!

My husband and dad did the un-fun task this summer of redoing our deck. After years of weather left the decking worn and splintery, we decided it was time — especially with a baby soon to be on the move. We didn’t want to have to worry about her soft skin on the rough wood.

Speaking of our little one, I was on baby duty, so I wasn’t much help on this project. OK, I wan’t any help. And I’ll admit, it was tough to just be a spectator! But I documented, and that’s something… right?

Here’s the deck (mostly) before:


You can see some of the damage on the individual boards here. Thankfully the supports were in good shape so they only had to replace old boards and railings.


New treads!


New rails:


For the decking, they took off some of the old boards before adding the new boards. It was easier and safer for them to work that way.


The baby liked to watch.



They discovered the most perfect egg during the renovation.





Here is the final result:


The best part? The Maryland flag and baby swing.


It took them a week to do the project, and it turned out wonderfully.


Architects of Air: Katena Luminarium


Happy 50th birthday, Columbia! (And happy belated Father’s Day, dads!)

This past weekend was the annual Columbia Festival of the Arts and this year’s festival had a special treat as part of the city’s birthday celebration: the Katena Luminarium.


Katena was designed by Architects of Air. It looked like a giant, enclosed moon bounce, but instead of jumping around inside, visitors walked through tunnels illuminated by red, green and blue lights. It was beautiful!

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I had heard of the Luminarium a few months ago and was excited to go. I wrote about another light installation a few years back at Longwood Gardens, and with that experience in my mind, I took the baby to walk through Katena to see how it compared.


It was over an hour to get in, but it was well worth it. After all, it’s not all that often that a giant art installation opens up in my backyard!


Light blue and pink nursery


My blog posts over the past year have been very sporadic, partially due to grad school and partially because we were getting ready to have a baby!


Our daughter, Hadley, was born at the end of December. She’s pretty stinkin’ cute and I am so in love with her. Here are a few photos of her nursery, which I was working on pretty much until she got here (OK, maybe a little bit after she was here, too!).


I painted the nursery blue even before I found out we were having a girl, which won’t surprise anyone who knows me and my love of all things teal, mint, aqua and blue. We didn’t want a theme, so instead we filled it with treasures from our childhood and things that make us happy, like flamingos, golden retrievers, the movie Up, Maryland… and lots of books. I might be addicted to children’s books.


Little by little, the furniture made its way into the room and then the decorations went up on the walls. I am so freakin’ indecisive, so it’s a good thing this baby took 41 weeks to arrive so I could have a little extra time to make some decisions about what to hang where.


I absolutely love her room. We spend a heck of a lot of time in there, so I’m glad I took my time and made it a special place for her. One of my favorite things was this mobile that I made. It was A LOT of work, but I adore it. She’s just starting to notice it above her crib, so that’s exciting for me.


Here are some of the cute and custom things in her room:

  1. Flamingo watercolor
  2. Wooden Name Sign
  3. Elephant Print
  4. Deer Print

The furniture is a mix from Amazon (crib and side table), Target (book shelf and circular shelf), Buy Buy Baby (glider) and a thrift store (dresser).

OK, now back to cuddling my sweet little girl!