22. September 2016 · Comments Off on Blue Apron: No, They Didn’t Pay Me to Say What I’ve Been Saying · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
This was my family's favorite Blue Apron meal so far.

This was my family’s favorite Blue Apron meal so far. The chicken was flavorful, the potatoes were delicious, and that’s a homemade honey-mustard dipping sauce!

I know you’ve been seeing the numerous Instagram posts about our family’s Blue Apron meals. Unlike many of the other reviews out there, Blue Apron did not send me a bunch of free meals in return for the publicity.

However, I did take advantage of a promotion they often offer to new customers: your first four meals are delivered for the price of one.

I’ve been getting their meal boxes periodically for 2 months now and I wanted to summarize my thoughts on the program. This is a data dump of the features our family likes, as well as the things our family doesn’t like. I’ll try to organize the thoughts so it can be useful to someone. More »

Cleaning up a big mess...

Cleaning up a big mess…

I’m doing a little housekeeping in my blog world this week. One of the things I was trying to straighten out turned into a monumental mess last week, for which I apologize.

I’m trying my hand at a capability called “IFTTT.” Which stands for “If This, Then That”…it’s a website where you can connect social media, blogging, mobile apps, and even smart home apparati together and you can have things work together pretty seamlessly. I like the idea of it, but I’m still learning here. More »

19. April 2015 · Comments Off on (Mostly) DIY Kitchen Transformation · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
Ignore the mess, it's a big-enough task to keep that center island clean. Jacob was off to the side waiting to put some balsa glider parts on it.

Our kitchen as of April 2015. Ignore the mess, every time we prepare a meal things just seem to explode. Jacob was off to the side waiting to put some balsa glider parts on the clean island.

We are embarking on our next DIY project over the next few months. Our plan is to make phased improvements to our kitchen between now and the end of 2015. We’re taking our time on this, in part so we can save up money and pay cash for each phase, but also because we have to fit the DIY tasks in between our busy work schedules. More »

20. December 2013 · Comments Off on Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside: Christmas Preparations and a Flooded Basement · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
I'll bet you want to put on a coat just looking at this, don't you?

I’ll bet you want to put on a coat just looking at this, don’t you?

The picture above is what we awakened to this morning, with 19F temperature. This came on the heels of several pleasant days: the kids could walk to/from school and I enjoyed an outside run.

A far departure from the Florida temperate conditions we had every Christmas.

You won’t be seeing as many “Colorado Discoveries” posts this time of year, mainly because it’s been colder here. We aren’t spending as much time outside. More »

The laminate-floored stairs.

The laminate-floored stairs.

We’re in the final stages of our basement remodel!

Over the past couple weeks we finished out the trim work (baseboards, doors), installed the bar and bath cabinets, and finished up the electrical and HVAC work.

We are currently waiting for the cabinet countertops to be installed, and it won’t happen till the 18th. So we have some waiting waiting waiting going on.

I think we’ll be ready to move in by Thanksgiving week.

The bar cabinetry.

The bar cabinetry.

The stairs. I love it!

The stairs. I love it!

Some of the finished doors.

Some of the finished doors.

A minor setback. The drywall guy had covered up two of the HVAC vents. The HVAC guy had to poke holes in the ceiling to look for the vent. The drywall guy was very apologetic and came the very next day to patch up the holes. You'd never know they were there.

A minor setback. The drywall guy had covered up two of the HVAC vents. The HVAC guy had to poke holes in the ceiling to look for the vent. The drywall guy was very apologetic and came the very next day to patch up the holes. You’d never know they were there.




09. September 2013 · Comments Off on Where Have You Been, Major Mom? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
The endless fields of wild sunflowers helped keep me company on my drive to Nebraska in August.

The endless fields of wild sunflowers helped keep me company on my drive to Nebraska in August. The profuse rains in eastern CO this summer have really made the area bloom. As you can see, otherwise I have nothing to look at.

Yep, we’ve been busy! For most of the month of August, I’ve been playing hostess to a litany of contractors as we are aggressively trying to complete our basement. At the end of the month I went to Nebraska for 1 1/2 weeks of work. While I was there I completed (and passed!) one of my numerous Air War College essay tests.

More »

The kids were 4 months and 2 years old the last time they had to do this.

The kids were 4 months and 2 years old the last time they had to do this. In 2005 Jacob’s favorite house was the one with the toys in the living room for him to play with. We didn’t choose this pictured house, it was way overpriced.

Since I started my blog in late 2007, the house-hunting experience for our family had been pretty basic: Dave would fly out to the next destination and choose a rental home for the family. I’d stay with the kids.

For Dave, it was a whirlwind trip, but he could complete everything in as little as 48 hours…not just securing a new house, but also getting the boys registered for school.

This next assignment to Colorado Springs would be for a longer tour than the past two, so we elected to buy a house this time.

It was a tough decision, but we decided to bring the whole family on this particular househunting trip. We found a gap in the boys’ baseball schedule in early May that would allow us to take a long weekend and fly the family to Colorado; we would all shop for the next house together.

We were in contact with a realtor that a local friend here recommended, and she worked with us for several weeks in advance to hone our preferences and she has a list of ten houses waiting for us to view by the first weekend of May.

One of the houses went into contract right away so that left 9 houses to view. It was a very long day, and my head was swimming by the end. Ironically, we chose the one house that didn’t have an already-finished basement. The lower price made it appealing and we could apply some of the cost savings to finishing it ourselves to our liking.

The kids were great sports about it. They were exhausted by the end (the high elevation not helping things) but had many inputs.

It was a delicate balance of size, price, layout, schools and distance to our work locations. We chose a lovely house in the northeast part of Colorado Springs, centrally located. The boys can walk to their elementary schools, but will be bused or driven to middle and high school. But even the middle and high schools are closer than the kids are from their current schools.

We can’t wait to make our new house a “home” in the coming weeks.

I know...the top of this plastic rack of drawers is sagging terribly.

As the school year wraps up around here (my boys finish on June 8th) I’ve started thinking about sorting and storage of the boys’ school papers. I’m sure other school systems are similar in that the kids bring home volumes of paperwork: completed worksheets, tests, readings, PTO newsletters, classroom newsletters, announcements about summer camps, sports, and special charity events in the community. This all takes PAPER!!

I can’t keep everything obviously. In part because I have enough “stuff” in the house, but mostly because when it’s time for us to move, we have to account for any extra weight over and above the allowances the Air Force gives us. So I have to pick and choose what’s worth keeping forever, and what’s worth tossing — also forever.

Trying to figure out what stays and what goes....

When the boys were in preschool, my friend FotoMom taught me I could staple together two pieces of posterboard to make a portfolio-like envelope. This easily held the papers as well as the larger pieces of artwork. I have these stored in our shed in the backyard, and we’re toting those from house to house. To be honest, I haven’t accessed a single one of those envelopes once the boys’ school years end…but I’ll continue to carry them from house to house.

What say you? Help me strike a comfortable medium between keeping the special stuff and not overwhelming the moving folks with seemingly extraneous paperwork!!!

17. April 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

I realized that I posted an incomplete paint job picture in that last post.

So here are some pictures of the finished walls.  Please note that every. single. wall. in this house was WHITE beforehand.


The whiter-than-white kitchen.

Whiter-than-white living room. This was taken just before the previous residents moved out.


Front entryway. Pardon the poor lighting.

Kids'/Guest Bath. It's a VERY light blue. You can look at the contrast between the walls and ceiling to see the subtle difference.

The fireplace. Two different colors here.

Looking towards the kitchen.

The kids photobombing.

We carried the accent color to a couple other walls.

This week we’ve been painting the great room and kitchen of our house.

Yes, it’s a rental, but all this time it’s been sterile white in color…EVERYWHERE and frankly it was getting on my nerves.  For starters, it shows EVERYTHING.  Every smudge, every scuff, every bump by a backpack, piece of furniture, etc.  Secondly, I like color.  I just do.

It took us a couple months of phone and e-mail tag with our property manager and homeowners, but last week we got a go-ahead.  Dave and I didn’t waste any time getting the paint on Sunday.  As of tonight we’ve done about half of the job.

Enjoy this before-and-after of our north wall, which includes the fireplace.


All I could find of this particular wall was from Christmas. But you can see how white it all is...the fireplace is barely noticeable.

In progress:

The variations in color are from the paint drying at different rates.


When the color dried. Nice and even...

With everything back in place (except for that bookcase on the left).

I'll be working on the wall to the far left next. Our TV/entertainment stuff is along that wall so hopefully I can just pull it forward about 2' and work behind it.