Monday, June 22, 2009

I should have taken some before pictures

Along with this old house on the lake that we have moved into we have inherited a number of very mature shrubs and gardens. I tend to prefer the cultured, mannered look of well ordered and pruned gardens, like the shrub mazes at Mount Vernon or Versailles. Others prefer the wilder, more natural looking gardens. Of course I choose the one that requires much more work! First order of business is pruning the shrubs. Two giant rhododendrons, a crazy azalea, an eight foot plus tall burning bush, some spindly holly bushes, and a leggy lilac have all met with my pruning shears. The hollies and the lilac I didn't prune much, just tried to give a little shape and encourage them to fill out a bit. The rhododendrons and the burning bush I took off at least half of their foliage and so now they look quite sad. I think it will take a few seasons of consistent pruning before they are looking more civilized. Anyway, I told myself I couldn't buy any more plants until the ones that are here are under control. This year I think will be totally focused on that, then I can plant some new stuff in the spring. It will be fun to have some gardens to plan over the winter. :)

We plan to furnish Aubrey with a few outdoor toys for her birthday. On her wish list is a climber/slide or swingset, sandbox, and tricycle. Also smaller things: a sprinkler attachment for a hose for running through, bubbles to blow, good ball to kick/bounce around, floats for swimming in the lake.

I would like to build some sort of fenced in area to put these toys so that Aubrey can play and I won't have to constantly worry about her running toward the lake. We were at my brother's house a few weekends ago and it was so incredibly nice to just let her have the run of the entire back yard. I could actually sit on a lawn chair and talk to everyone without running after Aubrey telling her not to go that way or the other way. We could put up something just out where the old horse fence was--there is already two sides to that fence still up. Or we could connect to the existing dog fence in the woods and just fence across the lake access. The only problem is that Dexter LOVES swimming 250 times a day, so that would hamper his water access. I would have to just be sure to close the gate only when I was out there with Aubrey I guess. More planning to do!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

catching up

Last weekend we had our friends from Richmond, VA, come visit us. We had a great time, Aubrey and Charlotte are so cute together! We also got the chance to have some good food, play some games, spend time on the lake in the boat and kayaks, do some shopping, and even went out on a double date! One of the hardest things about our move has been being so far from all our friends.

It is so nice here on the lake now that summer has arrived. We have been enjoying the cool breezes and dappled sunshine we get here in the woods on the lake. Bill has been swimming for a couple weeks now, but the water is still pretty cold. I'll venture in soon I am sure. We just bought Aubrey a bathing suit at LL bean last week so she'll be ready once it warms a little. I am not missing the 90 degree weather of NoVA, we haven't had the need for any air conditioning yet this year here! We really want to buy a canoe, I have been keeping my eye out for one on craigslist since they are so expensive new!

I also need to buy a new bathing suit, ugh! Not looking forward to that search. I have a very specific idea of what I want: a tankini that the top is on the looser side and overlaps the bottom by a couple inches and the bottoms aren't cut really low so as to hold in my post baby tummy, but not so high as to look like granny panties. ;) Oh and not $$$ either! Some bathing suits are so pricey. I did get some good deals at Ann Taylor Loft lately--they really mark down their sale items. I got a really nice pair of dark wash jeans for $9.98 (size 2 no less, woohoo)

I have been trying out some new cake recipies lately which has been fun. My stand mixer is getting lots of exercise. :) I made a Carrot Ginger cake with Orange cream cheese frosting today for Alisa's birthday. We are going over to John and Alisa's house tomorrow to celebrate--they aren't going far from home these days since she is due in about 2 and a 1/2 weeks! We are all eagerly anticipating the arrival of baby Kyle. (well, maybe not Aubrey, I don't think she gets it when we tell her that Alisa has a baby in her tummy) I think Aubrey is in for a rude awakening when she finds out that she is not the littlest, cutest, center of attention at family gatherings anymore. It will be good for her though!

Speaking of Aubrey I can't believe her second birthday is next month! People always say time flies when your kids are growing up, and it really is true. It seems like she was just a little bundle that did nothing but drink milk and need diaper changes. :) Time to start planning a birthday party and another cake...