Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Our man cave renovation has officially come to a standstill.  Eric found out a couple weeks ago that he will be upgrading his position at work (yay!) and that he'll be going to training (boo!) which will require him to take several tests in order to do so (boo studying!)  

Long story short: the mister is spending every waking moment reading up and studying, leaving no time to finish the window trim and floor trim.  We're hoping that during the holiday time off he'll feel comfortable enough to take a break from his studies to complete the floor trim (fingers crossed!)

Also, I just want to thank everyone for the prayers and well-wishes.  I'm feeling much better these days and I'm down to 2 cups of green tea daily (even though I still miss coffee.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Furniture

Pssst, click the link (yellow writing)  below to read the post on our new man cave furniture!

New Furniture-912 ELM Tree Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

Temporary Location-It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Xmas

For the rest of the year (until January 1), I'll be posting on an alternative site.  Here's the address:

(Psst, just click on the yellow writing above)

Picture Quota

Apparently I've hit my picture quota for the year.  Since that's no fun, I'm looking into starting another blog, or upgrading my picture capabilities.  Boo.  Stay tuned!

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Answer

As I mentioned earlier this week, I went to the hospital yesterday to have some tests done to see what's been ailing me.  During endoscopy, the doctor gives you anesthesia to put you out while they stick a flexible tube with a camera down your esophagus to look at your stomach.  Luckily during my endoscopy session I got some answers.   

During the procedure, my doctor found an ulcer that was approximately 4 mm in size.  It was not bleeding (which is a good thing!) so he took part of it out to biopsy for the pylori infection.  

From what we pieced together, it's likely that my ulcer was caused by heavy use of ibuprofen due to a back injury over the summer combined with stress.  

For me, this means that I will now be on a medication that reduces the production of stomach acid.  I've also been instructed to reduce my intake of caffeine, alcohol, and milk.  Two out of three of these are going to be extremely difficult for me (just thinking about no coffee gives me a headache and no milk?!!?)  Apparently diet differs from person to person.  There is no research to support that certain foods are "off-limits" for people with ulcers.  

I'm happy to have answers but this no caffeine business is going to be rather tricky!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Among the living again

Happy Monday!  You might have noticed that it's been awhile since my last posts.  The reason? 

The Bubonic Plague.  

No seriously, I've been suffering a mystery illness that doctors have still yet to put a name to.  I am now on the second week of a strange burning sensation below my rib cage, which travels to mid chest when it's really bad.  It's been accompanied by mid-lower back pain, nausea, shortness of breath, intense headaches, and at times fever and vomiting.

I was hospitalized last Sunday and after running several tests, doctors said that I had a stomach virus and possibly ulcers.  With medicine I still wasn't getting better, so I've enlisted the services of a wonderful GI doctor that I'm hoping will be able to give me some answers after more tests this Thursday.  

Needless to say, this is getting a little old and after missing so many days of work I'm ready for answers.  Please keep me in your prayers the next couple of days.

I'm hoping to update later this week on the status of the FAMILY ROOM, formally known as the man cave.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winner of the Rug Competition Is...

Remember here when we said we were in the market for a rug?  Well here's the one we wound up with.

Choice #1!
It even has Wyatt's stamp of approval. Don't worry it's not staying in the living room.  As soon as the floor is finished, it's taking up residency.


Whelp, the man cave completion deadline we originally gave ourselves has come and gone. (Insert a Charlie Brown "wohn wohn" sound effect.)  But that's okay.  We're close. Very close.   At least close enough to putting our furniture back and seeing what the full effect looks like.

Here's where we're at right now.
Everything is painted.  Let's just say it is wise to double check all advise you get about projects.  Even if it is straight from your contractor...Everything turned out just great, but it took a weekend and a day to get everything painted and sanded.
Big thanks to my mother-in-law for all the time she dedicated to this project.  It definitely would not have turned out as nicely without her.  We would probably still be painting if not for her.
And thus, our house still looks like this.  Sigh.  We're getting super close.  But I've got the itch to drag out my Christmas decorations and that is just not happening with our house in this state.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday at the Foremans

Last night we had the pleasure of visiting Eric's roommate from college, Sam, and his family.  For the past two years, his little brother has raised a cow (who eventually goes to visit the big pasture in the sky) that we split with Sam and his wife Katie.  Katie made excellent home-made pizza (using some of the new beef) and some very fancy parfaits.  See their chalk board?  She writes the menus on it-so dang creative!
We were also entertained by their charmingly cute daughter Ruthie.  Eric had a good time making faces at her.  I think she liked it too.
Speaking of my husband and cute babies...
He's going to be a great baby daddy, someday...

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Gansner Thanksgiving

If you've ever had a conversation with me about my Thanksgiving, you know that the football game is the prime event at the Gansner family Thanksgiving celebration.  We seriously look forward to this every year.  This year, what with so many out-of-towners being able to make it, we were actually able to have 3 teams!
Just look at the determination!
I love that it really doesn't matter how old you are, your athletic ability, height, etc. Everyone is welcome to play.
Go long! Break! Football talk!
Look-that guy in the navy stripes-that's my boyfriend! He made some great catches and even scored a touchdown this year! We were so happy to have him back this year!
It also makes me incredibly happy that these 2nd generation cousins enjoy each others' company so much.  Aren't these gals adorable?!

The spectators enjoyed a prime spot to watch the game.

I believe this is the championship game.  Stakes were high.
The family patriarchs.  That was some intense competition.
And here at the end of the day, we remember why we're here.  All thanks to this lovely lady, my Gran.  Here she is in all her glory with all (but 3) of her great-grandkids.
I hope you and your families had as nice of a Thanksgiving as we did.  Big thanks to my Aunt Bev and Uncle Dick for hosting our ever-growing family.
We're excited for round 2 on Saturday with a visit to my mom's side and dinner with Eric's. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Decisions Decisions

It's down to decision time for flooring in our man cave renovation.  Here's some things we considered before coming to our decision:
  1. We have no basement and our house has radiant heat running though the concrete slab. Real wood is out.
  2. We have pets-Jozie goes out to do her business through the back door. Translation: There are bound to be wet, muddy paw prints tracked across the floor and we need something that cleans easily.
  3. We want this to be a family-friendly room.  More than likely once we have bambinos of our own, this room will be the place to hang out, keep toys, and enjoy each other's company.  We don't want to have to worry about juice and barf stains.  Flooring that stains (e.g. carpet) is out.

Right now, we're really feeling vinyl.  The price is right and it met all of our qualifications.  Because it's SNAP together, the flooring store told us it was idiot-proof (score!)  Here are the colors that we considered.

I tend to gravitate towards dark wood, but I also didn't want to rule out light after seeing how bright it made our cave-like family room feel. 

After thinking long and hard, we've decided to go darkish.  My favorite is the one to the far left in the picture above.  The middle was so dark that you can't see any details.

It's really starting to come together!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Built-In Teaser

Oh my achin' arms, back, legs, shoulders, etc!  When Eric and I found out that our built-ins would be ready on Monday, we felt a great rush of excitement closely followed by anxiety that we had so much to do to prepare for them.  Here's what the room looked like as of Saturday morning.

We still had to sand the entire room, as well as do some dust control, prime, and paint.  Here's the big guy working hard sanding.  

You can't tell in the picture, but his hair was totally gray by the time we started priming at 4.  If gave me a glimpse of what he'll look like as an old guy-very distinguished.

I neglected to take photos of the space during painting and priming-oops!  Maybe it's because I was so excited to get these babies in!

Holy cow aren't they magnificent!  Yes, they still need to be painted, but wowee they just absolutely make the room!

(In case, you're wondering, the paint color we went with is called Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore.)

Now if you'll excuse me, we'll be recoup'ing all week in preparation for built-in painting.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Built-In Anticipation

Oh my word, I've been getting teaser pictures of our built-ins all week from the contractor and my anticipation is building worse than a kid at Christmas!  Take a look!
Here's the initial stage.  Our contractor said that they will be bringing them in in five different pieces.  Now feast your eyes on this beaut!
Obviously, we still need to install and paint them, but OH MY!  I'm so EXCITED!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Our built-ins are going to be ready for install on MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could do cartwheels, I'd be doing them right this minute!

In preparation, we're going to be very busy bees this weekend.  My boyfriend and I still need to sand the drywall, prime, figure out a paint color, and paint-all before Monday.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Give Thanks November

If you're familiar with Facebook, you know that many people choose to participate in "Give Thanks November" (or something like that.)  For each day during the month, you post about someone/something that you are thankful for.  I thought this would be a nice chance for reflection before the holiday season gets underway.

Without further ado, here's my list so far (forgive me, I started a day late!)

Day 2:  I am thankful for my husband. His boyish charm keeps me from taking life too seriously.

Day 3: Today I am thankful for the support of our families. They are always willing to lend a hand whether it's helping with drywall on Friday night, giving beautiful haircuts, scavenging black Friday for speech toys, sweatshopping some designer drapes, letting Josie out, etc. They are all simply wonderful.

Day 4: Today I am thankful for great friends. It's amazing to me how no matter how long it's been-months or even years in some cases-we seem to pick back up and enjoy each other's company :0)

Day 5: Today I am thankful for my 1/2 day off to rest up in hopes of kicking my cold.

Day 6: Today I am thankful for the right to vote. No matter who wins, don't forget how lucky you are to be part of an election. I love seeing all of the "I voted" status' :0)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Drywall Update

Still working on drywall, but we're moving right along!  How awesome are my guys for working on this on their Friday evening?!  They are the best! 

Just in case you're wondering, that air conditioner? Gone baby!  Woo hoo!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rug Choices

In our home's current state, we are up to our elbows in carpet.  With the man cave renovation underway, this will soon be changing.  One reason that I'm entirely too pumped is that now I have a reason to go rug shopping!
I love the personality that a good rug can add to a room.  Here are a few that we're crushing on...

I just love the geometric pattern in this one.  The downside?  It comes in charcoal and navy.  While I love both of these colors, the charcoal might be too much gray since we have about 50 Shades of Gray (ha ha) between our furniture, drapes, and walls.  Also, we have decided to go with dark floors and I don't think a dark rug will "pop" enough.
This one still has the geometric pattern that I imagined and I think a lighter color rug would have more of a presence on our dark floor.  Not to mention, you'll see a lot less Jozie hair on it...

If you've been to our house, you know that green is pretty much carried throughout.  I think this is the splash of color I imagined all along and I know it would look great with our new gray furniture.  While I don't see myself tiring of this color, I have reservations about splurging on such a statement color.  What if we get tired of it soon?!
I've always been intrigued by Flor.  This is a great texture, very herringbone-esque I think, and it's a bit cheaper than most rugs.  I also was attracted to the fact that they're easier to clean than a big 'ole rug.  A little worried, however, that the color would be difficult to keep clean...
So option 5 (from Urban Outfitters) wouldn't allow me to save a picture of their beaut of a rug.  It has the pop of color (teal) that we're looking for and is also the cheapest by far.  After reading the reviews, it seems that people were pleased with it's quality, despite it's low price.  I think this is also the boyfriend's favorite, as he's wanting this room to be more "fun" and less formal. 
So what do you think?  Hmm decisions, decisions...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tar-jay Fun Finds: NB

While my nearest and dearests were working on the drywall the other day, I was masquerading around Tar-jay killing time (and staying out of the way.)  With so much going on at the house, I'd forgotten that Nate Berkus' new home collection had finally made an appearance!

So I picked up a few trinkets.  By no means will they necessarily stay where they are.  Mostly I was looking for a place where they would escape (the majority of) the dust.

I'm not sure what it was about this spiky thing, but I loved it.  He sorta reminds me of a sea urchin.

The bee-hive bowl was the first thing that drew me in.  I thought it would make a nice landing for things like keys or loose change.  It could possibly find itself relocating to one of the bathrooms for a place to keep rings and jewelry.

Finally, I loved the pattern on this pillow.  Yes, I probably could have made it myself for much cheaper, but it's such a pain in the butt to find an exact pattern once you see one that you like.  I'm thinking that this will make it's way into the new family room, once all the dust settles (literally!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dust Bowl

You might guess from the title of the post that we've incurred quite a bit of dust around here.  In the words of my little speech kids "you are cowwwwwwwwwect!"

Eric and my dad worked tirelessly yesterday to hang as much drywall as possible.  They got so much more finished than I would have thought!

Daylight! (6 hours later)

Good-bye beautiful brick.  We could have been friends if you'd gone across the entire wall.  Oh well!

Let me mention that it's a REALLY good idea to use lots of tarps or plastic when dry-walling.  My boys started cutting stuff in the room before informing me that they were ready for my plastic, resulting in this:


Fortunately I sprung into action and got everything covered before they could make too big of a mess.  Unfortunately, I know the dust will get much worse before it gets better...

Now we've got a good barrier going.

We're making progress!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Family Fun Day

On Sunday, my side's clan got a rare chance to get together that wasn't Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Technically it was supposed to be a winery trip, but the music was kickin' so it turned into a full out groove session!

Everyone-young, old, relative, and new friends-shook what their mamas gave 'em.

My dad made lots of new friends that day :0)

We had a blast!  But of course, we missed those who couldn't be there.

Can I get a "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" on this one?! Look how cute my parents are!

Have you put on your boogey shoes lately? ;0)

Monday, October 22, 2012


Here's a look at the project that's causing my house to look like this:

I know it's only temporary and it will be so worth it, but life always feels a bit more scattered when your house is in shambles, doesn't it?

My boyfriend worked super hard last week.  Everything came down-the paneling, carpet, and ugly linoleum that was hiding under the carpet.

Isn't the exposed brick pretty neat?! We're bummed that it's not all the way across this wall.  Couldn't you see some kind of built-in shelving across the top with some painted brick looking sa-weet?!