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Whew, we had a busy weekend.  I think it’s not even that we were busy that exhausted us, but because it was mostly spontaneous stuff.  We are not spontaneous people, generally.  I like to plan in advance and we are often lazy.  We like to be lazy.  It’s not as exhausting.  But it is boring, and this weekend was fun!

Chris and I each hung out with a friend on Friday night, then woke up on Saturday on a mission!  I decided to go to a new pilates class, which then contributed to the weekend being exhausting since I haven’t taken a real pilates class in like, a year, and it kicked my butt.  Or more specifically, my hamstrings and abs.  Chris decided to install a new screen door on our porch.  Then we did a bunch of yard work.  Then we cooked dinner, hung out on the porch admiring the new screen door, and were happy to call it an early night and got in bed to watch TV.

Until 10:09 when my brother called.  Weird.  “Where are you?’ he asked.  In bed.  “What are you doing?” he asked.  Watching TV.  Why?  “Huh? Uh? Um? Pub crawl?”  Oops–his friends had organized a pub crawl as a going away party (before his 1 year, round-the-world-trip) and we blanked on the date.  So we hauled ourselves out of bed, put clothes on and drove downtown to meet them at the pub.  *I would like to point out it took me only 15 minutes to get out of the house looking pretty cute considering I’d just gotten out of bed!*

It was great to see all my brother’s friends from college and meet his new friends from Couch Surfing (a crazy concept I am still wrapping my head around).   We hung out at the bar until it closed at 2 am.  Since I am prematurely an old lady, I have not been out this late in years!  And unfortunately, when you’re a prematurely old lady, you still wake up at your normal time even when you go to bed at 3 am.  Ugh.

And we had plans to bring our old dining room table over to our friends’ (since we no longer needed it thanks to our gorgeous new handmade one!).  After that we decided to run a couple errands, including taking another look at this sofa we’ve had our eye on.  We thought we might buy it as a first anniversary present to ourselves.  But then we went into their outlet section and saw the same sofa, but as a sleeper, for $150 less than the regular one.  What?!?  So we hemmed and hawed for a bit and then decided to just buy it.

Except we had to take it home ourselves right then.  We had to move the old one out of the way.  Vacuum.  Call my brother-in-law to lend a hand.  Haul in the new one.  Rearrange.  And finally pass out on our comfy new sofa!

But it’s creating a design dilemma.  I don’t want to have all matchy leather furniture.  So then I got this chair from Ikea:

Which is comfy and looks good, if not a bit anemic across from the big sofa.  And the room now is bordering on overly masculine.  I think I need something softer and more feminine for the second chair.  Maybe one of these?  ( I love this first one!)

It’s a good thing I put the kibosh on any more big purchases for a while.  I’ll need a lot of time to decide between these beauties.  And to convince Chris.  He’s not a fan of anything that doesn’t look comfortable enough to nap in.  And of course, he wants to build something!

My husband, that talented man who proposed to me with a handmade coffee table, built this gorgeous dining table.  I realize I am completely bias, but is it not gorgeous?!

We had a rinky dink table before that was supposed to seat four but around which we squeezed six chairs.  It’s not very often that it’s more than the two of us, but when it is there’s often my four girlfriends and their significant others, or Chris’ immediate family and their significant others (which can total 10 adults and three kids!).  So we wanted a bigger table.  I loved this square table from Pottery Barn, so that was my design inspiration:

Pottery Barn table

Pottery Barn table

But there was no way we were spending $4,000 on a table and 10 chairs.  And Chris loves carpentry projects in general and furniture building in particular.   So off to Home Depot we went where we picked out pine planks for the top.  We ordered the legs and leaf extenders from this fantastic website.  (Chris would’ve loved to turn the legs himself, but that’s a little too labor intensive, even for us.)  Chris spent a few weeknights and weekends putting it all together in our basement, then stained and oiled it.

Even though I designed it and saw it in process, when we brought it upstairs I still could not believe how amazing-looking it turned out.  I think it competes pretty darn well with the Pottery Barn version and it cost us only about $500 (not including labor, of course)!  Chris’ parents were gracious enough to buy us the chairs as a belated wedding present, thankfully!  Those are in the process of being stained and oiled to match.

As it is this table seats eight–two on each side.  With the two leaves it will seat up to twelve!  Perfect for all our friends, and our family as it grows.   Just try and tell me you’re not impressed!

In a way this coffee table is where it all began.

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Like most young couples we had a lot of hand-me-down furniture in our old apartment, and what we were using as our coffee table was the wrong height.  Having no money to buy a nice new one, we decided Chris should indulge his urge to build one.  I designed this after a Pottery Barn one we liked to meet our specifications and Chris got his materials and set to work.  At some point in this process, I don’t even remember when, I informed Chris that I was finally ready to get married.  After eight years of dating, it took a major ankle sprain on my part–with Chris taking care of me, putting my socks on for me and driving me to and from work every day for three months–to realize I would actually be fine if I let myself depend on this person (who had never given any indication otherwise anyway!).  I have independence and control issues, what can I say.

So after wrapping my head around the idea of getting married for a few more months, I said to Chris, “I have to tell you something, and you don’t have to do anything about this, but I think I’m ready to get married.”  To which he smiled, shrugged and said, “OK.”  He is a man of few words.  And that was that.  We started looking at rings and told my parents and weeks were going by…no ring.  Chris has already laid down the law that we were not to tell people we were getting married until we got the ring, because that would be the first thing they’d look for and explaining where it was…too much of a hassle for a man of few words.

After three weeks I was starting to get annoyed–what the heck was taking him so long?  One Friday morning, the busiest day of the entire year at work for me, my alarm went off and Chris immediately ran into the room and told me he’d finished the coffee table and I should come check it out.  “Let me take a shower first, I have to be at work early.”  No, it will only take a second, so fine, I stumbled in the living room without even my glasses on and started praising the table: good job, it looks great, blah blah blah.  But as I got closer…what is that tiny red velvet box?  Is that what I think it is?  “Open it.”  And I did, and I was shocked and started bawling and we hugged…and, again, that was that.  I’m saying, a man of few words.

So not only is this coffee table the start of our married life, but I think it also is what unleashed our creative spirits because we’ve been going nonstop ever since.  I have a feeling this is what might have inspired Chris:

DSC00530His grandfather built it, and we’ve been using it as a TV stand (a hope chest he’d built is what we’d been using as a coffee table–we refinished it and gave it to Chris’s mom for her birthday).  Along with the house Chris grew up in and their vacation house the whole family shares.  It’s an inspiring legacy.

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