Savannah Smiled


First Day of School | Year 3

Most first-day-of-schools I make my grown teacher-husband take a picture with a little "1st Day" sign, just like all the cute kindergarteners that fill our facebook feeds all day. Well, lucky for him, he got out of the picture this year. Since he's coaching, he leaves our house by 6:00am for practice...and I definitely kept on snoozing right on through that. Maybe I'll try again one afternoon this week!

In true procrastination-fashion, we spent this past weekend frantically getting his classroom together. When a room looks so new, it kind of feels like you don't have to do too much to make it look great. A couple of posters, plants and bulletin boards later, we were in business. 

We bought three digital posters from ArtCoStore on Etsy (Failed, Wake Up, Second Chance). We printed them at Staples as engineering prints, which is on very thin paper. We'll probably need to re-print before the year is over and get the next set laminated to make them a little more durable. 

I'm not sure what these cute IKEA storage cups can be used for, but they were the perfect fit on the filing cabinet doors. Markers? Pens? Pencils? All I know is they were too cute to pass up!

One of my favorite bulletin boards is the room is made from IKEA plastic fabric. Definitely not as cheap as butcher paper, of course, but it adds the best pop of color and pattern to the space. 

Taking a great hint from my friend Megan, we bought two IKEA "trash baskets" to create the turn-in station. Since they are hanging on with tacks, each class' basket can easily be removed and taken home for grading. 

On the large back dry erase board towards the back of his room, we used our measuring skills and taped off a small calendar using Scotch colorful masking tape. We tried to keep up the "super hero" primary colors throughout the room, since he's got some posters on the wall with all the Avengers and Justic heroes. 

Congrats, Moms and Dads: School is back in session.
Teachers, hang on! Labor day is coming! :)


Flipped Living Room

Just inside the newly painted gray bricks on my sister's house is this cute, cheerful, colorful living room. It is just an instant fresh and light feeling when you walk through the front door. She's still missing a couch for now, but I'm still so in love with everything in it. 

Before the fresh paint job and new floors were installed, the old blue carpet had to be ripped out and removed. Luckily, there was no popcorn ceilings or major restructuring that had to be done. This room basically just needed a new front door, fresh paint, new floors and a good cleaning. 

Here's a breakdown of where everything was purchased: Front Door Paint: "Dutch Tulip" by Sherwin Williams | Wall Paint: "Grayish" by Sherwin Williams | Wall Art: Ross | Curtains: Wal*Mart | Chairs: TULLSTA at IKEA | Pillows: Target | Coffee Table: LACK at IKEA | Side Table: Thrift | Rug: Ross | Ottoman Cube: Wal*Mart

Below, aren't the true before photos, since I missed all the carpet and original paint. This is the "before" when I arrived a couple weeks into the project. Even so, you can definitely see some significant changes!

Can't wait to share the next rooms with you all!


A Bright Yellow Door

While my parents and sister have had the summer off of work (must be nice, teachers), they have actually been a whole lot busier than I. A few months back when it was clear that my sister Bethany and her husband Jon would be moving to my hometown, my parents had the opportunity to buy a home and flip it for the newlyweds to rent. My dad has been known to do things like this before (laundromat, 60's VW beetle, 70's RV, newer home, etc), but this is definitely one of the biggest projects (and it needed to be done in about a month).

This was truly a family-sized undertaking. They all spent countless hours pulling carpet, cleaning the yard, painting and making the long trek to Lowes. Montrell and I helped out with what we could, the few days we were able to visit. From the very beginning, I knew this house would become so great!

The first major problem they ran into, as with most old homes, was asbestos. The kitchen tile had it and the air was a hazard for several weeks. We used masks when we glanced inside and immediately sterilized and cleaned off afterward. It was a nuisance, for sure, but eventually the air was given the all-clear again. 

Did I mention we were working on all this during the hottest days of summer? It's the kind of days that you break a sweat walking from the front door to your car. Needless to say, we all stayed hydrated (prevented any further medical disasters) and made it through the heat. 

For the exterior, we picked out "Tynewood" by Sherwin Williams. It's a really dark gray/brown. I've heard that if your roof is a more natural color, the brown is really brought out. Fortunately, our roof was already gray, so they just compliment each other. The shutters got a nice coat of white (or...several coats of white!). Bethany also worked so hard clearing out the vines and bushes. 

After the base of gray and white was set, the real fun began! I was tasked (or "allowed") to add the brightest punch to the new front door. "Dutch Tulip" by Sherwin Williams is certainly bright enough for us without being too mustard or too pale. 

Probably my favorite touch to the front porch is the new house numbers. I'm a little obsessed with type and font, so I wouldn't allow anyone else to make the call of the ever-important house number choice. After seeing SO many expensive options online, I got a lead on some modern floating numbers by Hillman Distinctions at Home Depot. These babies were just $5 each and I could not be more proud of how they turned out. 

My sister's thrifty ways shine through near the yellow door with a table she refinished from Goodwill and a chair that someone threw out. I think our dad's dumpster-diving ways are getting to all of us. Add in some pretty succulents from WalMart and we were totally satisfied with the home's first impression!

It wouldn't be a overhaul post without a few old and new comparisons. Here are some of the before-and-after shots to really show off the thought and hard work put into the front of the house. Although, the grass got drier as the weeks passed, so the yard looks a little like a "before" should. We're in burn bans and on a 35+ day streak without rain. Hopefully we'll get the yard green again soon!

Of course, I'm totally jealous of this whole thing because I've betrayed myself by helping them design MY dream home. I really wish we could pick it up and put it in Dallas for me! Until that's a possibility, I guess I'll let them enjoy it! Stay tuned for new posts with all the room updates. 


Royers Pie Haven

Through my Yelp searches looking for some dessert in Austin a couple weeks ago (because it's the most important meal of the day), I came across Royers Pie Haven. I'm so glad we went, you guys! It is truly the cutest little place with so many quirky and vintage accents. 

I wasn't too hungry, but Montrell said his pecan pie was as amazing as it looks. I was too busy looking around at all the decor and taking pictures to even get one bite (not that he would have let me!). 

We don't always go to pie shops, but when we do...they're the best!


"Acute Kidney Failure"

If you asked me about a phrase such as that, I'd think of a very sick person. A very old person. Someone who has been in the hospital a lot. I never thought I'd be hearing that my healthy 26-year-old husband was suffering from it as we finally made it to the ER on Saturday afternoon.

As most Saturdays go with the two of us, we headed out to a volleyball tournament. This one is extra special each year because it's a way many of us celebrate the life of our friend Jared. Unlike most outdoor tournaments, though, Montrell and I didn't really do our usual prep. We didn't bring a cooler. We didn't bring snacks. We didn't bring water. We didn't bring sports drinks.

We knew we'd have access to water there, so that's what we depended on. Montrell drank a lot of water throughout the day. A liter here, a liter there. Then, a 44-ounce from Sonic. Then a refill of that. He thought he'd had plenty, but we'd never had to account for temperatures like these before. At its highest point of the day, it was 102.9 °F. We both stayed in the shade as much as possible, but he ended up playing 11 sets of volleyball in the direct heat.

After the last game, we began the 40 minutes home and made it nearly all the way. He was cramping severally, which happens after a lot of tournament, so I pulled into the parking lot of a Wendys. I went in to get some more water, a cup of pickles and some sports drink. That's when I started realizing these cramps weren't normal. They sounded really painful. He was yelling. I was scared. After a few suggestions from my Dad and realizing this situation wasn't improving at all, I called for help.

The paramedics arrived and poor Montrell's body was locking up so much that he had to be carried from the car, onto the stretcher. I answered some questions and followed along to the hospital. It took a few bags of saline and some meds before his cramps were at ease enough for him to seem like himself again. Along the way, there were talks of really high blood pressure and tests proving he was in acute kidney failure. It all made my head spin, while I tried staying calm. Naively, I kept thinking, "he's JUST dehydrated, right?"

After some slight improvements were made and we were ready to begin the waiting game, we got a room and both spent our first night in the hospital. It's like staying in a really expensive hotel, without a comfortable bed, without those fluffy pillows and with people walking in your room each hour of the night to wake you up. I'm joking, of course, but the nurses did take such good care of him. We really felt like we were in great hands.

After he was tested and pricked all night and morning, we had some breakfast and got all the final paperwork ready for release. His latest tests were all clear: Something we'd been waiting to hear for nearly 12 hours. Now, he's under directions to chill out and stay out of the heat for quite some time.

There are so many things to be thankful about from all of this. I'm thankful we did not make it home. If we had made it home, we probably would have wasted a lot of precious time trying to treat him ourselves. I'm thankful my Dad, who lives 2 hours away, just happened to be a couple miles down the road from the hospital visiting friends. It was great to have him to lean on and pray over us. I'm thankful Montrell's kidneys began working again properly. That was a long wait for those tests, but they did exactly as they were supposed to. I'm thankful we now know a lot more about preventing anything like this again. We will be the most hydrated couple at the next tournament, for sure!

We definitely left this weekend with a newfound respect for a Texas summer day. Please, please, please take every warning and precaution to heart. My husband is healthy. My husband is fit. And this hit him with so much force, it nearly did irreversible damage. Stay hydrated, friends.

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