Sunday, December 18, 2011

{Happy Holidays!}

Oh, Christmas Tree!
Preston and I started off the holiday season with a few obstacles. We picked out the perfect tree at Lowe's, only to bring it home and find that the trunk had been split down the middle. We loaded the tree back into my small Hyundai Elantra and returned it for another. This tree wasn't quite as perfect as the first, but it still made for a keeper! We got it home and realized that it was leaning to one side... and then after stringing the lights around the tree, realized I needed a few extra strands. Of course, Target no longer carried the lights that I purchased last year, and all the other alternatives were different shades of "white" than the ones currently on the tree. So, I took the lights off the tree and put new lights on it again.... oh my! Thankfully, all of that was worth it in the end, as we have enjoyed having a real tree in our living room - the wonderful scent and the glowing lights have kept us in the Christmas spirit these last few weeks. 

First Annual Cookie Exchange
After moving into our house in May this year, we started having more friends and family visit and spend time with us in our big house! We've thoroughly enjoyed sharing our home with those we love most. Most recently, I hosted a Cookie Exchange party with friends from school. It was so nice to have so many friends drive from Charlottesville to spend the day at our house and enjoy each other's company... and of course each other's cookies! I spent hours cleaning the house Friday night and baking/cooking beforehand. But in the end, it was worth it! I loved being able to have people over and be able to catch up with each other... laugh with each other... things we don't get to do during the stressful school week. Everyone was a good sport and brought something fun to share - cookies, pastries, brownies, snacks. I found some cute cookie tins at Walmart that I was able to get everyone ahead of time. It was fun to get to see everyone load up their tins to take home with them. I hope to have another cookie party next year with some great friends!

{Cookie Monsters}

Now, off to Florida for the holidays with family! Happy Holidays everyone...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall at the Raulerson's

Fall Leaves

For two weeks, the temperatures have been dropping and the leaves have been tumbling down from the trees above. Although the oak tree leaves don’t tend to turn the beautiful hues of reds and yellows like the maples, they still drop their leaves in preparation for the winter. We’re now aware of this as we look out the window into our front yard.

Just one week ago we could see the grass. This weekend, we decided that it would be best to start clearing off some of these leaves before they accumulate even more! After three hours of raking and blowing, the front lawn can now be seen again… who knows for how long.

Here are a few pictures of how our front lawn looked this morning before we cleaned up the leaves… and a few after. If anyone is interested in coming to Richmond, we’ll let you stay with us in return for your labor :)

3 hours later... 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Home Makeover - Raulerson Home Office Edition Part 2

Before moving in..
When we bought the house and moved in with all our furniture, one of the big things on our project list was to liven up the knotty pine walls in the office. The room is in the middle of the house, so it doesn't get a lot of natural light throughout the day. It acts as a passageway to the "guest suites" on the opposite side of the house. Preston was anxious to get his office put together so he could have suitable work space should he decide to work from home on Fridays. 

The Transformation...
After much debate and several color samples, we decided on Everglade Glen (or Kermit the Frog Green if you're my dad...). We wanted something that would brighten up the room and add some color other than BROWN! Preston wanted a "creative" color such as blue, yellow, or green. We're pleased with the end product. Although the green may be a little bright for some, we think it works well with the space. The wood floor and dark brown/black colors of the furniture compliment it well. We're planning on putting a large painting on the wall behind the futon and a whiteboard off to the side. It's coming together... finally! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Visit from the Fam

Yard-work @ the Raulerson's
After arriving on Friday, my family and I tackled the yard work while waiting for Preston to return from Kentucky. My dad got us a blower from Lowe's while he was here, so Carly got to work on the driveway and roof. Also on our list of chores was to remove the fig trees that had been trimmed once before, and since then had reached the roof-line again. Dad ended up with a new chain saw by the end of the day... and April with a few bumps and scratches. It may look like I didn't do much, but I got my work done early in the morning :) 

We didn't make them work the whole time they were here... We headed towards Charlottesville on Sunday to visit Monticello. We enjoyed the house tour and strolling around the property, although it was pretty hot. Afterwards, we went to lunch at the Downtown Mall and stopped to see my classroom at Walker. My dad was enlightened and will probably end up in school next Fall term (so he says).

Washington DC
Monday we went shopping in the Richmond area and found some good buys for back-to-school clothes. It was probably my dad's favorite part of the trip -  ha! I had to head to Charlottesville for a school meeting and my parents were hard at work making Preston and I dinner. On Tuesday, we drove to DC to enjoy some sight-seeing. Carly had Georgetown Cupcakes on her agenda for quite some time, so we headed there first for some sweets. After gorging ourselves with cupcakes, we went to Arlington and then to the museums.

It was so nice having my family here for the week. My dad helped us with so many little projects, I don't know that we would have ever gotten them all done by ourselves! Hopefully they'll come back even though we made them work so hard. Now it's back to school and work for all of us :-/

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sandia Peak
Preston and I arrived in Albuquerque late Thursday night and drove to Santa Fe, where we stayed with most of the Fuller clan (Preston's mom's side of the family). We joined the family in a caravan to Sandia Peak to ride the world's longest aerial tramway. We took the tram up to the top of Sandia Peak and enjoyed the breathtaking view. We were able to get off the tram and soak in the scenery. We went for a hike in the cool, dry weather and got some pictures along the way. 


 The Cathedral

Spanish Market @ the Plaza
On Sunday, Preston and I took a stroll around the Downtown Santa Fe Plaza where they were holding the Spanish Market. We went to the Flea Market beforehand and made some great purchases! All the kids were quite entertained once they found some Santa Fe jewelry, rocks, and noise makers to take with them as souvenirs. We also enjoyed a nice lunch with Preston's aunt and uncle and a few cousins on top of one of the balconies in the Plaza. We were tired after a long day of white water rafting the day before and decided that staying around Santa Fe would be best for our last day there.

digging through their bag of rocks

the girls browsing through their bargain buys!

 Riley, the noisemaker, found a carved owl that provided us with some entertainment

Presley showing off her new accessories :)

Spanish Market @ the Plaza

Spanish Market @ the Plaza