House Project: Patio

We have completed our first major house project, a backyard patio! Woohoo! Many helping hands helped us in finishing this project and we love it! Katie and Andrew helped remove the sod when they were here for the weekend in September and Taylor’s dad helped us with a big chunk of the manual labor when he was here the following week and Grandma babysat Addy while I worked. Thanks for all of your help!

Here are the details and pictures of our project!

Taylor did all the planning and research and I did the ordering of products.

First, we tore out the sod. Thanks Katie and Andrew for your assistance! IMG_1329 IMG_1330

Then, the stone and gravel were delivered. IMG_1339

We then dug out the dirt. This was not an easy task. Taylor was working the majority of this task. It was me and his dad doing this part. untitled-44 untitled-38IMG_1342We had truck loads of “dirt”, it was more like clay!IMG_1344Our neighbors thought we were crazy!untitled-60untitled-59

untitled-70untitled-69 After the dirt was removed and everything was at the correct level. Taylor used the compactor to on the dirt. He then put down outdoor fabric, then gravel and compacted again. There was a lot of measuring involved here to make sure that it sloped correctly. We also moved the bricks from the driveway to the back. untitled-82 untitled-79 untitled-76 untitled-74untitled-68untitled-91

After the rock base came a sand base. I then got the process of laying the pavers down. untitled-99 untitled-95untitled-107untitled-2untitled-93untitled-12untitled-8IMG_1350You know you’re working hard when you wear a hole in your gloves!IMG_1351We had some angles on the patio that Taylor cut the pavers to fit correctly. untitled-34untitled-20untitled-18untitled-14

After all the pavers were laid the were compacted again, a layer of sand placed on them and compacted again. untitled-58 untitled-54Here’s a picture of the finished project! We still have landscaping to do, but we are waiting until the spring for that.

We love using our new patio! We eat lunch and dinner outside often and Addy loves to play outside. A big thanks to all of our helpers!


Our Little Garden: Part 1

Our first home project was completed shortly after we moved in. Our sea container had not arrived yet, so there was not much to get done indoors so a garden was the perfect first project.  We(Taylor did the bulk of the work) set-up a small vegetable garden in our side yard.

Growing up, my mom always grew vegetables in our backyard and I loved helping. I remember growing surpluses of tomatoes and cucumbers that I would sell at my lemonade stands on the neighborhood corner. I think the produce sold better than the lemonade!  I think there is something gratifying to growing your own food and knowing where your food comes from.

Taylor built our garden and mixed the dirt, I planted and Addy  napped or played in the grass while we worked. We are following the square foot garden method from this book.  Being new to Texas, we are doing a trial in this garden box for the time being. We’d like to what grows the best then possibly make another box for this fall for a late harvest. A plus to living in Texas is that we have a much longer growing season so we can’t wait to experiment!

We have a mix of things growing and some things were put in our gardens as plants and others we started from seeds. We are growing roma tomatoes, red, yellow, orange and banana peppers, cucumbers, two types of beans, onions, small carrots, romaine, spinach and broccoli.

Week 1IMG_0273Week 2IMG_0315IMG_0394

We have had a lot of rain the last 2 weeks and our garden could use some sun. Hopefully, there will be less rain in the forecast soon! I’ll post another update soon as our garden grows. Fingers crossed for success!

Our Home

We officially became Texas residents last week when we closed on our very first house. While it’s been stressful these last few weeks with our move back to the States, we are glad that we finally have a permanent place to call home.


Our First Home

Here is a brief tour of our home…

Entry Way(Not Pictured:Office to the Left)House-1 Half BathHouse-2

Master BedroomHouse-5 Master BathHouse-4 Master ClosetHouse-3

Living Room and Kitchen (Not Pictured: Breakfast Nook to the Left)House-6Living Room, Stairs and Entry Way
House-7 Dinning RoomHouse-8Backyard
House-9Addy’s Room House-11

Not pictured 2 Guest Bedrooms(I can’t find the pictures I took!)

Guest Bath #1House-10Media RoomHouse-13Game Room House-17House-15

That’s the brief tour, you’ll have to come visit for the full one!

Our first official night in the house was last Friday.  Taylor’s parents were in town to help us get our things moved from our temporary housing to our new one, help with projects before we moved in, help with deliveries and watch Addy. We would have been a mess without them. Thanks for visiting!

I’m too embarrassed to show you current pictures of the place because its a bit of a disaster. Between deliveries of our things in storage and no place to put anything other than the floor it looks like a tornado has gone through the house. We are hopeful that our sea container arrives in the next week so we can start to make our house look like a home.  We are a bit tired of living out of suit cases and living in an empty house. We are currently living with a patio set as our only furniture. Our roly poly, Addy, loves having free range of the living room carpet, but Mom and Dad are tired of the floor.

We can’t wait for visitors once our belongings have arrived!

Back Home in Indiana: Part 2

Our second half of our trip back in Indiana was spent in Lafayette at Taylor’s parents house. Addy loved seeing her Grandparents again and meeting her Great-Grandparents. Sorry, but my picture taking this week fell off the wagon. I need to snap some more pictures of Addy and her grandparents. (Good thing they are coming to Texas this week!)

Addy and Great-GrandmaIMG_3151 Addy and Great-GrandpaIMG_3145Even though my face doesn’t show it, I loved my new blanket cousin Kathy! Thanks!IMG_3125 New Toys!IMG_3127 IMG_3130

Addy spent the week being entertained by her grandparents, while Taylor and I did a lot of work for our move and running errands. Addy did try to help!IMG_0113

Play Time!IMG_3135 IMG_3138

On Thursday we spent sometime wandering our campus and visiting the bookstores. It was Addy’s first visit on campus and we showed her some of our favorite places! It was the Thursday before spring break and one of the first warm days so everyone was out and about. Addy loved people watching and was very giggly. I’m excited to bring her back this summer because I have a feeling she will love taking a visit in her bathing suit to the fountains. IMG_0114

Addy became a roller this week. She even started sleeping on her tummy. We had to laugh on Friday when our things were packed and she wanted to nap, this is how she slept. Poor thing was wore out!IMG_0115

This week flew by! Friday evening we headed to Indianapolis to fly to Houston for our next adventure.

Loved looking out the window.IMG_0117 Baby girl, don’t get used to First Class!IMG_0119

Back Home in Indiana: Part 1

Our final night in Singapore we stayed at the hotel attached to the airport. This made our early morning flight so much easier. We woke up, grabbed two luggage carts, loaded them full with our six 70ish pound bags, two roller boards, small duffle bag, back pack, diaper bag, carseat and stroller and made our way. If there were more people in the airport I’m sure we would have got some stares. We walked from our hotel door to the plane with minimal stop time at check-in, customs, and security. Singapore has the most efficient airport I’ve ever been in. photo (14)

Our little world traveler once again was a rockstar on our 24 hour flight. The journey was much easier this time too since we all had our own business class seats. We arrived safely, soundly and jet lagged to my awaiting parents(Nana and Grumps) at O’hare. We filled the back of my Dad’s truck and headed home to eat and sleep.

Once home, Addy got to meet her puppy, Libby. Much to my surprise, Addy and Libby did really well together our whole visit. Libby did not eat any of Addy’s things and allowed Addy to pet her. Sometimes Addy didn’t have the timing down on when to pet her and Libby would escape, but they got on wonderfully. IMG_0094 2N&G-18N&G-20

Addy also experienced cold midwest weather and snow. She wasn’t a fan of having to be so bundled up!Snow-1 Snow-2

Our first few days were a blur. My Grandpa had been ill for most of 2015 and a visit to him was first on the agenda the morning after our arrival. I could not wait for him to get to meet Addy. We spent the morning at the nursing home and had a wonderful visit. Unfortunately and sadly, my Grandpa took a turn for the worse later in the afternoon Sunday and passed away Monday morning. I know that he waited for our visit and I’m glad he got to meet his Great-Granddaughter. My Grandpa will always be remembered for the laughter that follows him even his last few days.  It was so nice to see him before he passed and for him and Addy to meet, hopefully she’ll get some of his “funny gene” passed on to her.Great Grandpa-1

We had lots of hustle and bustle all week.  We ate, gathered, ran errands, and tried to rest.  I’m not sure if the all the commotion helped get over the jet lag quicker because we were forced to or made it worse. Jet lag by yourself as an adult is not fun, but its way worse when you are a nursing mother to a 5 month old.  By weeks end, we were back to our usual selves except Addy’s insatiable night time hunger. (Luckily, three weeks in we’re doing a bit better!)

Play Time and Cuddles!
IMG_0076 2 IMG_0078 2IMG_0086 2IMG_0089 2Bath Time!IMG_0100 2First Foods!IMG_0103 2Libby enjoyed this event!IMG_0105 2IMG_0108N&G-33N&G-34N&G-23N&G-24N&G-25

While home we took Addy on a Northwest Indiana food tour. We introduced her to some of our families favorite places. She didn’t get any tastes this time, but in our next visit I’m sure she will! First on the list was pizza from Arrenello’s. Sorry no pictures, but it’s deep dish pizza with a sweet crust.

Then, Butterfingers a local delicatessen bakery was brought over by one of our cousins. They have great ham and chicken salad, a turkey and cheese salad, and tasty bakery goods.

For lunch one day we headed to Madviks for some polish sausage. Madviks was my Dad and I’s lunch stop every Saturday growing up after a visit to Grandma’s near by.IMG_0068 2 IMG_0069 2 IMG_0074 2

Thursday nights dinner consisted of El Taco Real. This is a Mexican restaurant that our family has been going to for ages. My parents remember taking me there in my car seat just like we took Addy!

A shared lunch treat!IMG_0081 2 She slept through the whole lunch.IMG_0084 2

Our last stop was at Munster Donut Saturday morning. Growing up this was a Saturday morning breakfast stop with my Dad. I used to get a donut on a stick and orange drink. While they still have donuts on a stick(I opted for a more grown up donut), they don’t sell orange drink anymore! Bummer!IMG_0095 2 IMG_0096 2 IMG_0097 2

The last big event at my parents was a “Meet Addy” pizza party. My parents hosted a party at one of the local pizza places and many of our family and friends joined us to meet Addy. It was great to see everyone and introduce our little one to them. We can’t wait to see everyone when we are back in town next time!

She slept through some of her party. 
N&G-1 N&G-4 N&G-5 Baby Friends!N&G-12 N&G-14 N&G-1510443390_752456166624_8688825386621461868_n11060250_10102549392039918_8151149344364502272_nN&G-16 N&G-17N&G-19

As you can tell, we had a busy week. We honored my Grandfather on Friday, ate at many favorite restaurants, ran errands around town, and visited with family and friends. I can’t wait to share about our time in Lafayette next week!


Have a Northwest Indiana favorite food stop? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list for next time!