July 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I wanted to write a long and flowery post about our home renovations, and getting T back in our home and how it's all home sweet home now, but I just can't at the moment. I'm getting on a train to Michigan in about 10 hours for a whirlwind half day visit, and I am flat out exhausted already. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in over a week with all the changes going on over here. But the changes have been good. Good and draining.
I figure pictures will tell the story of our remodel better than I can right now, so I'm just going to do what I do best - show you all some pictures.

The sad thing about this remodel is that I didn't document the before  of our home all that well. I think the best before is probably in my Bertha post, so go check it out. The during however, was photo-worthy.

It's a little unsettling to say the least to come home to a home with no ceiling. This was Tuesday night.

You can see in these pics the recessed lighting Mike installed. I had no idea he could do electrical work until this project. I was mighty proud. 

The great thing about this ceiling redo was that it forced us to make improvements we had wanted to for a while. Recessed lighting was one of those improvements. In the meantime though, we lived in a plastic palace.
I took Friday off work to repaint our main living room. Repainting is something I have wanted to do since the day I moved in. I hated the paint color and how impossible it was to clean. Mike and I spent Thursday night prepping and priming our walls so I could start bright and early on Friday.

This is the very, very beginning of our remodel taking shape.

And here my dear friends is the finished result.

The main wall color is not a terribly dramatic shift (the blue wall is!), but to Mike and I who used to see every bump, scrape, and divot in the walls, fresh, clean walls are a novelty. We're hoping we can keep them this clean for a while.

Also, I love, love, love the recessed lighting. Believe it or not lighting has always been one of Mike and I's hot button issues. Our new lighting may have solved that.

I swear those photos are straight. I think it's the lens or me.

So that's it.

Or well not. I am afraid to say we still are not done. We've become the people that touch up some paint and somehow end up remodeling their entire home. We don't plan to remodel our entire home. I don't think our checkbooks or patience could handle that. However, our list of home improvements is still expanding, not shrinking. But for right now, we're just grateful that nothing has to be done at the moment. It's time to enjoy our home sweet home.

July 18, 2010

Lessons with Mr. T

Mike and I will (reluctantly) be taking Taylor back to the shelter today. He, Mike and I all have a big week ahead.

Mike and I are dealing with minor home improvements Monday, Tuesday and hopefully not Wednesday. When the roof was redone on our building a few months ago, the ceiling in our condo suffered some minor damage. The roofers are repairing it free of charge, but Mike and I need to do some furniture rearrangement today which includes moving our big ass dining room table into the second bedroom. The second bedroom has basically been T's room since he moved in.

So we've got that going on, and then on Wednesday, Mr. T's going to the doctor for a couple injections for his heart worm and possibly the loss of his manhood. Mike has already apologized to T several times for the eventual ball snipping.

 Please don't do it man!

We'll take him to the shelter today and then not pick him up until Saturday most likely. It will be almost an entire week he'll be away from us. And I know we've had him with us for less than a week now, but it seems like a very long time to be away from our dog. And yes, he's totally our dog. Mike and both already dropped the L bomb.
In this very short amount of time, we feel like we've gotten to know this big floppy mutt pretty well. For instance:
- He loves goat cheese. I found very early on that the only way he'd take his morning and evening pills was if they were covered in a thin layer of goat cheese.
- He loves stretching. When he fully stretches out, he looks like he's flying and we call him Super Dog.
- He does not like sleeping alone. The first night we had him we set up his crate in the second bedroom and shut the door. He whined and barked until Mike finally gave up and slept on the floor next to his crate. He's slept in our room in his crate ever since and has done just fine.
- He doesn't bark. Like ever. The only time was the first night when we shut him alone in the second bedroom.
- Squirrels are his favorite. If given the chance, he would chase them until his heart gave out. 
- He's smart. Our biggest concern with Taylor was by far the cats and his reaction to them. At first, he was incredibly interested and excited by them. After a few days of our training him, he stopped and now pays barely any attention to them.
- He's gassy. Dude's got some really smelly farts and could totally prove a worthy opponent to Mike in a burping contest.
- He loves other dogs, a lot.
- He love people, a lot.
- He loves Mike and I above everything and everyone else.
- The feeling's pretty mutual.

July 13, 2010

Mr. T Minus Six Minutes

Internet, meet Taylor.
Taylor, this is the Internet.

Taylor is the newest member of my and Mike's home - now also known as the crazy pet emporium.

We first heard about Taylor through one of my coworkers. She volunteers with this great organization called Project Rescue here in Chicago. She knew Mike and I had been looking a little more seriously into adopting a dog and suggested we think about fostering Taylor as a way to get our feet wet. We met him yesterday and immediately fell in love with his personality and fluffy face.

The rescue owner said Taylor was brought to a shelter by his owner (who claimed not to know him). The shelter had a high kill rate and Projct Rescue swooped in and saved Taylor six minutes before he was scheduled to be no more. His previous owner kept him outdoors most of the time, so at his first visit to the vet, they had to remove six ticks from T. Hence, his awesome haircut. He's part chow and possibly collie, so he's definitely sporting a summer 'do at the moment. At the vet, he also tested positive for heartworm. But since he's only a year and a half old (they think), he's expected to make a full recovery. But he needs a good home to relax and recover in. That's where we come in.

Before we even met Taylor we decided to shorten his name to T. But you can call him Mr. T. I'm sure this isn't the last you'll be seeing of him around these parts. And I'm also pretty sure this foster situation is going to turn into a premanent residency.

Oh and in case you're wondering, the cats are adjusting. Some better than others.
Oscar has not left this chair since we brought T home. And yes, he is a drooling mess in that photo.

July 11, 2010


I took my lunch hour a few weeks ago to scout photo locations just beyond the high foot traffic of Millennium Park. I found a fantastic little gem that really didn't look like it belonged in downtown Chicago - a tunnel of trees right next to Lake Shore Drive. I'm so glad I found it because it became the backdrop of some of my favorite photos from Konrad's shoot. Here's a little sneak peek.


I gave his parents a little sneak peek of the second pic during their shoot. His mom seemed pretty thrilled with it. She said they hadn't gotten any laughing photos of Konrad yet. I felt honored to be the first one to capture his smile.

July Fourth Weekend: A Retrospective

Mike and I spent July 4th weekend hanging out in Wisconsin with several of his nieces and nephews. It rained most of the weekend, but we all managed to have a lot of fun regardless. I took a lot of pictures over July 4th weekend. Here are a few of them.
July 4 col 1a
July 4 col 1b
July 4 col 1c
July 4 col 3
July 4 col 3a
July 4 col 2

July 6, 2010

Dark Curls and Brown Eyes

That first photo, I think it's my favorite. But I can't really tell. Zoe and her family were such wonderful subjects that I have a hard time choosing. Zoe was a happy, little seven-month-old with dark curls and brown eyes. A killer combo. See:
zoe 1
Zoe 3
Having done as many kids' shoots as I have now, I am well-acquainted with Sophie the giraffe. As you can see, Zoe and Sophie were pretty well-acquainted too.

Zoe 2
Zoe 4

Zoe lives in a beautiful home (not too far from my own) that has been in her father's family for generations. We of course had to get some pics of it as well. I love this next photo because I think it's probably how they would look most days. Ok, maybe they were a little more well dressed than usual. But it looks like a real moment anyone would have sitting on their front porch.
Zoe 5
Zoe 6
Zoe 7

We went back indoors for Zoe's contractual 15 minute snack break and then got a few more smiles out of her before we all called it quits.
Zoe 10
By the way, the photo on the left is a three generations photo. I just love generation photos.

Zoe 8
Zoe 9

April, PJ and Zoe, it was an absolute joy. I hope to see you all around the neighborhood real soon.