friday fun: ferns and first flowers

even though tulips and daffodils and other first bloomers have been going for weeks, these are my garden's first official 2012 flowers from a perennial geranium that didn't do super well last year. in fact, i'm not even sure i knew what color the flowers would be until i turned the corner yesterday and saw one blooming. today there are three. loving the purple.

and even though our back fence line is a wild mess of shrubs, vines, and decaying yard waste, i spotted these lovely ferns while mowing the lawn and clipped them for the kitchen.

i'm crossing my fingers that my annabelle hydrangeas and shasta daisies do well this year, because i'd love to have fresh flowers in the house all summer long. if not, i might just keep going back to the ferns, because i'm rather crazy about these pretty fronds.

do you plant flowers that you can cut and bring inside? any recommendations?

a day in the sun

now that the wedding is over, things are settling down a bit. this week i had a chance to tackle some things around the house that i had been putting off.

the early spring has made everything so green, but i knew the lawn wasn't going to mow itself. it felt good to get out yesterday and get it done. and since i was in work clothes, i figured i might as well do some weeding, and wash the siding, and clean off the patio set, and chat with the neighbors. a few times. it was a wonderful april day out in the fresh air!

it is truly delightful to see new green plants pushing their way up. i love how the hosta comes up in little curls.

this last picture excites me very much. last summer, ben's cousin crissy gave me a cutting from her mom's peonies, and they are coming up! i hope they will produce flowers like these in a year or two! wouldn't that be wonderful. :)

enjoy your easter weekend. the Lord is risen!

[more than] a week in pictures: may 1–9

we tilled and seeded the side garden. it used to look like this. in doing so, we found this:

yeah that's right, a hard-boiled egg. probably from some long-forgotten easter egg hunt!

the current interior shots of the master remodel:

we tore out the insulation from the exterior walls, and our contractor fixed the rotted spots in the subfloor (and he added another layer, i think). he framed in all the doors, too. we took out the plastic dust screen. this week, hvac came, and hopefully plumbing will get started. the tile guy is coming tomorrow morning to give us an estimate. we're moving on putting things back together.

i met with the cabinet designer last thursday morning—i wanted a bid for the vanity and linen closet. i also sketched out another project for a bid, but i'm not going to say what it is in case it doesn't work out. i've been having so much fun playing interior designer.

got some great early birthday gifts—lime salt from wes and maggie and pirate stationery from beth. i love that my friends and family know the quirky things i'd like.

scored some cute pillows at pier one for a great price. i saw them and loved them last year but didn't want to pay full price. patience can pay off! green equals best color ever. plus, i got a good reaction from ben! he likes them because they look tropical.

some baking happened. another chance to use the cake decorating tools ben gave me for christmas.

 until the future!

a snapshot of the past few weeks

life has been full of events, both at work and at home. here are the highlights:

1) this past weekend, i heard andrée seu speak at the bethlehem women's conference. she was awesome, unconventional. i want to be her friend. she even described herself as "melancholy." she was a bit stream of consciousness, and entirely practical. God used her words to speak into my life about how to tackle fear. what a blessing she was. (and what a vocabulary! she's definitely a writer. i even got to meet her and she signed my book! i told her i was a bit starstruck and she looked around and said, "why, did someone walk by?") our pastor's wife blogged about her here, too.

2) i've got the itch to garden. i planted some basil, parsley, and chives to keep in the kitchen window. they are practice, so we'll see how they turn out. i have a beautiful ranunculus plant out on the front step, and a few house plants i'm learning to care for. oh yeah—the hostas my mom and i split last summer are coming up! i had a long conversation with my managing editor today about gardening and plants, and i'm totally motivated. however...

3) our side yard looks like this [see above!]. at one point this was a nice garden, according to the reports of neighbors. but now it is overgrown and unkempt. we tore out the stakes and wire (and the random oar???), and ben started tilling it. we'll seed it and it will hopefully be grass before too long.

4) in other yard news, our neighbor painted our shed for us. here's the before pic. the after will come before too long (i've said that before, though...). let's just say ben and i are like-minded in our preference for blue.

5) speaking of like-mindedness, we need to pick out tile for the master bathroom—floor and shower. i pulled some samples from kate-lo, but ben didn't really like any of them—and that was fine by me! it kind of made me laugh afterwards, because i picked ones i thought he might like, but they weren't ones that i was particularly crazy about, either. shows how little i know about his taste! anyways, we'll go look again on saturday, and hopefully we'll put our heads together and find something we both like. because, like taylor swift says, "two is better than one!" [cheesy, i know.]