Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bright Lights...Summer Nights: Meg's Birthday Celebration

 One of my very bests, Meghan, turned 26 on the 26th. She's a new mom to baby girl Davis and just recently returned to work. She deserved a celebration and seriously, who are we to turn down a good time?! We met up with friends for a low-key starter at The Flying Saucer.

 {The girls with Meg in the middle}

Stop two was Raifords, so after a downtown walk, that sexy wrist tattoo signaled the start of a looong night ahead. 

You know the kinds of people that seem to always be down for a good time? Sean and I are those people. 
And ALL of these friends are those people too. 
We are so blessed with the most crazy, friendly, and fun-loving friends you could imagine! We all work so hard that we like to play hard too. Every night is another story and I don't know how we got so lucky. 

This was just one of those nights... 

{I love both of these chicks with a passion}

{Birthday girl with me, Sean, and Nina. Lookin' good Mama!}

{Fun with friends}

{Devin made his rounds with me, his wife, Seany, and Taylor}

{If you wanna hang with me, you better be dancin'!}

 {Sean gave the birthday girl a dance...a few times.}

{Nina and Taylor were caught gettin' it too}

{The night was full of silly faces...}

 {Unique poses...}



{...And homances...}

{Broken  bottles, courtesy of Devin}

 {And rockin' drum solos, courtesy of Taylor}

 {Nina and I wormed our way upstairs to VIP and found an amateur photog to hand my camera to. Sean snuck in but quickly got the boot:) }

 {The whole gang found an empty spot upstairs to claim for a change of scenery}

 {And if there's such a thing as too much fun...We had it.}

{Pure craziness...in its best possible form}

Happy Birthday Mae Mae. We love you and your crazy self!

~The Grays

Monday, July 30, 2012

Year One.

Today is our first anniversary!
Every year we’ve been together has been better than the last. Our first year of marriage has set the bar so very high, I cannot even fathom what we could be blessed with in the next year to come. I'm so full of love for him and it is the best feeling in the world. 
 I feel blessed to live a life in which I treasure the memories of our past and truly anticipate our future with absolute joy.  I'm always trying to find new ways to say 'I love you'.

I recently filled up our hallway corner with a wedding photo project. I found the perfect size window at ReStore for $12 and ordered a 20x30 black and white photo, taken just before our first look on our wedding day. I used Walmart for the first time for this kind of enlargement and was so happy with the quality.

 I placed a small console table in the corner to hold our wedding photo albums I made through Shutterfly. It lights up the once empty, bland hallway and makes that special moment visible every day.

I didn't have to do anything to the window at all other than taping the photo behind it and adding hanging wire. 

In the days that filled this first year of marriage, we shared 1 AWESOME honeymoon, 2 concerts and chats with the artist, 3 friends' weddings, and 4 fun vacations, including our recent anniversary celebration in JAMAICA! We adopted another dog into our family, built the field and home theater of Sean's dreams, and rang in another new year, together. 

 I don't know how I got to be so fortunate, but I try to pay it forward by giving of myself in any way I can. I don't know if that's enough but I am so grateful to have this man in my life that it's sure worth a try.

It's a comfort knowing that with this person as your teammate, you can make just about anything that is truly important to you, happen...together.
All the years of my life. 

Happy First, my boy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flyers Field Inaugural Wiffleball Tournament

 "Flyers Field", our backyard wiffleball field, was inspired by the baseball classic, The Sandlot, which follows the story of 'Smalls' as he remembers the summer of 1962 when he moved into a new town and was able to finally make friends through backyard baseball. 

It was a childhood hope of Sean's to have his own field one day. Although the players in our backyard are no longer boys, but men, the premise remains the same: Building bonds and memories fueled by friendly competition, new adventures, and challenges. 
All for the love of the game. 
A game that hasn't changed since the first time they played. A game they've spent a lifetime learning and perfecting, always trying to push past that personal best. 

Hit better. 
Do better. 
Be better.

It's America's favorite past-time and we've brought the game home. 

The field features a semi-circle of trees shading the outfield, a PF Flyers park bench reminding you to always strive to be better, and even the neighborhood "Hercules" on the other side of the fence!

Sean had four teams for the "Inaugural Tournament at Flyers Field." 

 We chose yellow for the tournament t-shirts, which his dad made with the movie tag-line from "The Sandlot."

 He constructed the fencing, foul poles, backstop and strike zone himself and asked the local parks and recreation for old bases. He just gave them a fresh coat of white paint.

In one grove of trees, sits this vintage ad-inspired bus stop bench that Sean fixed up. He used an old metal bench frame his Dad had in the backyard, added new planks and a large board back with an ad for "PF Flyers." 
The shoes, dating back to 1937, were popular in the 50s and 60s and later bought out by Converse (our wedding shoe of choice :) 
 In the movie, they were the shoes "guaranteed to make a kid run faster and jump higher." Benny was able to retrieve the baseball from Hercules' yard and narrowly escape "The Beast" while wearing them.
Sean did the painting himself using the projector and contact paper to create a stencil. I only gave a few final touch-ups!

 We cleaned up a 6-seater stadium bench, obtained from the local dog track, painted F, L, Y, E, R, and S on each seat back, and added a Coca~Cola drink table to replace the missing middle seat.


" Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die.
~The Babe, The Sandlot

 " Let me tell you something kid; Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they're too scared, or they don't recognize it when it spits on their shoes. "
~The Babe, The Sandlot

" Man, this is baseball. You gotta stop thinking. Just have fun. "
Benny, The Sandlot

 One happy boy!

 Oliver getting some water from Daddy.


A few players on the bench between games.  

The puppies love that they're welcome to come to games too. :)

Friends stopped by the field for the first tournament.

Like Lindsay and my baby girl Avery.

Who bounced like a jumping bean in the grass.  

Be. still. my. heart.

 Here, the guys can live every man's dream...of still being a kid.


 " Follow your heart kid, and you'll never go wrong. "
The Babe, The Sandlot

Play Ball!
~The Grays

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hadley's Artwork

 Sweet baby girl Hadley will be here NEXT WEEK! My bff Lindsay will be welcoming baby girl number two on the 1st and it is so surreal to think it's been almost 2 years since I finished big sister Avery's artwork for her nursery.

Avery's nursery was gray, pink, black and white, and this is the piece I painted to go over her crib.

With those same gray walls, Hadley's nursery will be gray, red, black and white, and here is her painting!

 ...to go with this awesome bedding.

A whole new look for another precious baby girl. Here we go again!

You can also see nursery artwork for Davis, JonBraxton, and Hollice


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Painted Shutters and Rocking Chairs

 I'm in love with  a white house/black shutters combo. L O V E. Our house was almost that but the dark hunter green color of the shutters just didn't do it for me. Just like the hunter green fireplace tile and the hunter green inlaid carpet!) It didn't pop and the contrast was more dull than I would have liked, not to mention they were old, faded and worn anyway.

Shutters and Rocking Chairs Before:

 Under the shade of the porch, it's hard to see the green color, but it really stood out in the sun.

This one from last fall shows the green color pretty good.

Painting the shutters BLACK was on my list of summer projects to give a fresh and clean update.  I used SW Tricorn Black, their most popular black color, in gloss exterior paint, making sure to tell them to pick the paint needed for vinyl.

Here's a sneak peak of how much better the shutters look in black, in this before of the white rocking chairs:

 Also in need of a pop of color were those white rocking chairs. We got them in white so we could choose whatever color we wanted them to be, and I finally decided on yellow to tie the front of the house to the back porch door.

Rocking chairs Before:

 Rocking Chairs and Shutters AFTER:

Much more appealing:)

The black and pale yellow are a great combination!

I used SW Butter Up for the chairs. 

 The shutters took an eternity to finish...There were over 20, a couple small 4-footers and the rest were seriously 6 or 7 feet tall. All of them needed at least 2 coats. So me and Billie Holiday Pandora spent a lot of time together in the sweltering heat of the garage. It took 3 weekends (or was it 4? The heat made me a little delirious) but now that it's finished I won't have to touch them for a looooong time.

 Props to the husband for removing them all and putting them back for me. Including risking his life on the extension ladder to get to the second story window on the side of the house. As he balanced and drilled waaay up high, I held the ladder at the bottom as if I would be able to prevent anything from happening, and said, "I'm sure glad I don't have a wuss for a husband like some women do. That would suck."
"MMmm Hmm..." he said simply. But I'm sure he's hoping I can do my next crazy project on my own. We shall see!

Have a good one!