Saturday, June 19, 2010

I have the Best In-Laws

A few huge things have happened since the last time y'all heard from me. The two biggest ones: we bought a house and Ben deployed. That gives a new definition to the word "bittersweet". But I'm really enjoying cleaning out the house and moving things around--getting ready to paint (but probably not for a few months until I get things where I like them).

So today my in-laws drove down to Virginia Beach to help me with some yard-work. They are amazing. Who does that the last weekend they have before a huge move (they're moving to Italy on Monday). And they only came for a few hours, they had to drive back up to finish the moving process tonight.

My brother-in-law mowed the lawn for me, and my father-in-law trimmed the bushes in our front yard. My mother-in-law helped me pick out plants for the yard, and all of us helped to weed-out the front and mulch it. It was a busy few hours of working. I should have taken a "before" picture because the house looked a mess. The lawn was two feet tall (I was sure my new neighbors didn't like me because of that) and the bushes were way too overgrown. This "before" picture you see here was taken two months ago, when we first visited the house. Imagine two months without mowing the lawn, and that is how it looked this morning.



I even met some of my neighbors today. Practically the whole court is military (not surprising), so they all seem eager to help me out while Ben is away. I know that will be a comfort to him. Well this was just the first of many home improvements, and it was great to get this one out of the way. (I just hope I don't kill those pretty flowers!! I'm not much of a gardener.)

Friday, February 5, 2010


Finally....I have found a few minutes to post our pictures from Ireland! Mind you, this is the much-diluted version of our pictures. It was tough to pick and choose, but it had to be done (I think we took something like 400+ pictures in Ireland alone.) What a beautiful country. So far it is my favorite that I have visited. I hope we can go back soon and visit with Ben's grandparents again; they were wonderful.

Ben's grandparents' lovely home (and the house my MiL grew up in!)

The view down the street from their house. Now this is a view!

The Irish countryside

Various pictures around town in Letterkenny, Ireland

(Can you read Gaelic?)

The church where Ben's parents were married :) -in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Beautiful architecture around Londonderry

Entering under the gates of the "walled city" -Londonderry


Can you see the ice on the ground? We had to hold on to each other to not slip!

Walking on the walls around the city

If Ben & I ever get to build our own home, I can assure you our front door will look like this:

A thatched-roof cottage in the middle of the city!!

I loved the colors and the architecture all throughout the city

The crest of Derry

St. Columb's Cathedral in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Murals on the side of buildings in "Free Derry"--remembering The Troubles

A mini on Benone Strand (Ireland's longest beach)

You can see Mussenden Temple in the distance

I'm not a big fan of my profile, but I had to show off my husband's photography skills

Can you imagine having a waterfall behind your house? How cool

Mussenden Temple--the sky was just amazing this day

Downhill Estate

The entrance to the gardens of Downhill Estate

the ruins of Dunluce Castle

built in the Middle Ages right on a cliff--how did they do this!?

Us, a little squinty, in front of Dunluce Castle

In the 1600's the kitchen fell right off the back of the house into the ocean during a storm--supposedly took a couple of cooks with it!

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery--the oldest licensed distillery in the world

Giant's Causeway

A volcanic eruption (along with other natural events) formed these hexagonal basalt columns.

They were pretty fun to climb

Ben & me at the top

*sigh* I want to go back.