Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from Auburn, Off to Paris!

Whew! It's been forever since I've read anyone's blogs (hope you're all doing FABULOUSLY) or even been able to think about opening mine. Auburn was AMAZING (and really tiring). We got so much work accomplished that I'm jealous that a renter is moving into the house and not us! We were SO lucky to have all the help we had from Jon's family and our friends. We DEFINITELY couldn't have done it without them!

List of things accomplished:
1. Stick built an entire fence (augured holes and all!) and two gates
2. Tore down a shed on the back of the house and replaced it with more decking and siding
3. Set up feet for the new free-standing deck in the backyard (to be completed in December 2010)
4. Finished building Jon's retaining wall by hand moving 6,000 lbs of cap blocks (multiple times) and using a bobcat to move 10 tons of stone and 12 tons of Alabama red clay
5. Repainted the kitchen and all of the floorboards in the kitchen/hall/living room white
6. Painted the windows in the loft (with the use of a REALLY tall extension ladder... scary) and the kitchen
7. Painted trim on doors and caulked them (I am the caulk MASTER now)
8. Installed the door and it's hardware up in the closet (Wendy—Jon's mom—and I tried to drill the holes in the door and to route out the place for the latches and managed to epically screw it up... thankfully one of our guy friends helped fix it!)
9. Put blinds up on the loft windows (again with the epically tall ladder)

10. Put new numbers on the house
11. Redid the front flower bed and put scallops in the back one
12. Replaced some of the cedar siding in the back of the house
13. Replaced all of the off-white outlets and switches with whites... This is deceptively difficult. But hey now I can install 3-way switches!
14. Ordered a new bay window to be installed and new carpet for the stairs and upstairs
15. Capped off the old laundry pipes and covered the whole in sheet rock to create a closet/alcove... Had to take up the floor, prime/paint the walls, repaint the floorboards and put it all back down again
16. Repainted the loft and the big wall in the stair well (I'm now a pro with scary ladders)
17. Painted and caulked all of the exterior windows
18. Jon's mom came back after we left to help empty out the house (bye bye terrible sleeper sofa!) and clean... She also replaced all of the kitchen knobs and steamed the cabinets!

Here are a few photos of our epic two weeks of work:

That said, we also had a great time with our friends for the Fourth of July when we had a great day of grilling and drinking and spending time together:

We also went out to the Amsterdam Cafe one night for a classy double date with friends:

Each couple matched... We're just awesome like that!

I also got peddies with Jon's mom and sister... I'd never had one before... let's just say I'm a convert now!

Finally, I did manage to go on one run... I only went once because of what I learned during this 5-miler... When the sun is up in Alabama in the summer, you do not go running. That said, I would have either had to go prior to 8am (but we were exhausted and needed sleep) or in the evening, at which time we were either still working or too exhausted from all that working. I'm going to have to restart at week 1 or 2 for the half training, I think. Sadly, this'll have to wait until tomorrow since I walked off and left my carry-on at home (more on that in a different post) and thus don't have my running shoes until one of my students (who was awesome and stopped by to pick it up) will be here. Odd thing though... Although I admit to not tracking, I managed to gain around 4 pounds while we were there! I'm kind of miffed about this seeing as we had 15-hours of active working around the house everyday! Hopefully I'll be able to see some results walking around Paris all the time!

I swear I don't think I've ever been this sweaty... Here I am taking a brief water/bathroom break in Auburn's Alumni Center

Here are a few photos from my run around Auburn's BEAUTIFUL campus. I need to get an actual tour from one of my lovely friends, or, you know, Jon, the next time we're in town.

Anyway, sorry for the super long post. In short, Alabama was wonderful and, despite being exhausted, we were really sad to leave everyone behind. Hopefully, next time we'll be able to have more "play" time with all of the friends and family (and perhaps catch a AU football game, eh?). Now, I'm already in Paris, after an exhausting 13-hour car trip from AU to Ohio and 15ish hours of plane travel... But, more on that and my future Parisian running adventures later! A bientôt!!! :)