Daily Archives: August 11, 2013

Cheers for Chip

It was just about 8am on Tuesday morning. We were getting ready for work and keeping an eye on the clock, knowing that we would soon be getting Chip’s CFA exam results via email. I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit nerve wracking and slightly gut wrenching knowing the exact day and time that this email will be coming through. This is where we were on Tuesday morning last week, just waiting for the email that would either say “congratulations” or “we sincerely regret.” That first line says it all.

To help ease the stress, we just kept going about our daily routine. Chip had gone outside to take the trash out when he came back inside and just stood in the hallway while I straightened my hair and he shared the news: “I passed.” The next few minutes were pretty entertaining, from Chip standing there awkwardly, unsure how to react as the news hit him, while I jumped and cheered around the house. I really can’t blame him for having his initial reaction just be that of relief: he had taken the first level of the CFA exam back in December of 2009 so to know that he was done with all this studying was such awesome news. I’m so very proud of this accomplishment he’s achieved, and I’m so blown away by what he taught me about persistence and dedication throughout this four year process. We’re extremely happy with this final result, but I really don’t think it’s going to sink that the CFA is done and behind us until later this year when he’ll have so much free time in the winter and spring since he won’t have to be studying non-stop anymore.

We would like to thank our friends and family for all the support they have given us over the last four years as Chip worked towards this certification. Thanks for understanding whenever we couldn’t hang out on the weekends so we could have a date night to ourselves. Thanks for spending time with just me on those evenings when Chip was studying late. Thanks for praying for us. Thanks for celebrating with us in this very exciting news. And even though he can’t read, special thanks to Wrigley for keeping me so much company while Chip was out studying at work.

A couple of months ago, Chip and I had talked about how we would want to celebrate whenever he finished with the CFA exams. We had recently been to Bohanans with friends for drinks and had always heard about how great their food was. So we agreed that once he passed the final level, we would have a great dinner there.

With the exam results hot off the press, we went to Bohanans on Friday for an amazing dinner. All those great reviews people had told us about this place were right on the money and we had such a great time celebrating together over good food and good drinks. Bohanans is known for their steak, but honestly, the lobster cream corn and mac & cheese might have been my favorite parts of the meal. We all know I’m a sucker for mac & cheese!

Toasting to the end of the CFA with a Brooklynite

Toasting to the end of the CFA with a Brooklynite

Enjoying a great meal at Bohanans

Enjoying a great meal at Bohanans

Congrats again, my love, on all your hard work!

Bathroom Remodel: Weekend #2

Picking up where I last left off, after our long weekend working on the bathroom with my parents, I had a work trip to New York City for the rest of the week. While I was gone, Chip did a great job keeping the remodeling going. After finishing up the grouting and sealing, his next big task was working on the shower sliding door. Let’s just chalk this one up as another item we didn’t expect to be so incredibly complicated. From what I understand, while we did everything we could to make sure the tub was level when we installed it, it somehow didn’t settle 100% level. This meant that while the frame of the shower door went in fine over the ledge of our tub, we ran into trouble when trying to close the sliding doors. No matter how much Chip adjusted the wheels on the sliding doors and tried to add shims to the frame to see if it would help, when we would close the door we would be flush along the frame in the bottom corner, but have an inch or so gap at the top corner (or vice versa). It was so very frustrating and I feel so bad that Chip tried to tackle it alone while I was in NYC.

By the time I got back home on Saturday, Chip was understandably not in the best mood over the shower door (I don’t think I would have lasted as long). So after trying to figure it out together and even going to Home Depot for a new set (which, by the way, the HD employee was so not helpful with this return, glad all of our other purchases were at Lowe’s), we decided to just temporarily get a shower curtain so we could actually use the shower for the time being.

Now, it drove my parents crazy that we didn’t finish the bathroom while they were in town the previous weekend. Even though there was no way we could have gotten more work done during those four days, they felt terrible leaving us an incomplete bathroom. So for the next few days, my dad repeatedly asked if he could fly back out to help us wrap everything up. We knew his time and energy would be extremely helpful, but we felt bad having him fly out for a couple days on such short notice just to get this finished with us. What kind of homeowners were we that we couldn’t finish ourselves? (answer: the pathetic, unknowledgeable type) After talking it over for a couple of days, we finally agreed that we needed help; we weren’t any closer to getting the shower door up, had yet to touch the trim, were clueless on the vanity and light fixture, you get the picture. That and we were so ready to be done with this project that the thought of having us work on the bathroom for multiple more weekends made me want to check in to a hotel and just avoid it all.

With that, Handy Manny was back in town that next Friday and at our house by the late afternoon. The guys got started right away, tackling that pesky shower door right off the bat. My dad was able to get a transition piece to slide underneath the bottom part of the frame and this really helped solve the problem with the sliding doors. While they worked on the shower, I worked on making some paella and sangria for dinner, which was my promise to my dad for having him come visit again. Dinner was great and we felt encouraged that we would finish everything in the next 24 hours or so and even thought there would be enough time for my dad and Chip to go golfing on Sunday… that didn’t really happen, but more on that shortly.

Paella and sangria

Paella and sangria

Enjoying dinner on Friday

Enjoying dinner on Friday

Chip’s dad also happened to be in San Antonio for the weekend, so we all met for breakfast Saturday morning at Magnolia’s Pancake Haus and then came back to our house to get to work. Those three guys were cranking through the morning! Chip and his dad got going on the second coat of paint in the bathroom while my dad showed us his woodshop skills, creating a missing piece of trim for our storage closet. It was then time to put up all the trim on the bead board, which meant I had to choose between the five different types I had purchased at Lowe’s. Trust me, it was a tough decision.

The most exciting part to Saturday’s work was when Chip’s dad successfully got our vanity installed. This was a huge deal. Remember how long it took me to even decide to purchase this vanity? Well, after that relief of having this key item purchased we realized it didn’t really fit pipe-wise with the plumbing coming out of our wall. After four or five trips to Lowe’s to try to sort through this, we were given two options: 1-cut out the storage shelf from the vanity to make all the plumbing fit (which defeated the purpose of getting a vanity with a cabinet for storage purposes) or 2-go buy another vanity. Confession: when this second option was first suggested, I thought I was going to cry in the middle of the bathroom aisle at Lowe’s. Thankfully, we didn’t have to decide on either of these options. I still don’t know how Chip’s dad did it, but he worked some magic connecting everything and was able to get it installed just perfectly without making any cuts to the shelf. Good thing Chip stopped working on it earlier in the week, we were ready to make some drastic hacks to the vanity.

The men hard at work

The men hard at work

Had no idea my dad had these kind of woodshop skills

Had no idea my dad had these kind of woodshop skills

Handy Manny strikes again

Handy Manny strikes again

Chip's dad, Mike, installing the vanity

Chip’s dad, Mike, installing the vanity

I had a bridal shower to go to Saturday evening, so while I was out, the guys did a little more work in the bathroom before having dinner at Alamo Cafe. I’m actually glad I had plans that evening and that they were all able to have a guys dinner together.

Sunday morning we all met for breakfast at Cafe Salsita before going to Redeemer together. After the service, we went home to get back to work! We are so grateful that our dads were able to give another full day to helping us out and getting this bathroom done! Honestly, we really wouldn’t have finished without them. That, or we would have lost our sanity trying to get finished on our own.

Chip’s dad carried the weight on Sunday caulking up every edge possible (Chip and I were lousy at it, we actually had to remove most of the caulking we had done… fail) while we painted the new pieces of bead board as well as the trim. We also cleaned out the storage closet and lined it with contact paper before painting the door and surrounding trim. Also, up until this point, we had the bathroom door out on the patio to help give us more space inside. We sanded the back of it, painted the edges and got it reinstalled so we could paint the back and finally have some privacy to be able to use the bathroom (thanks to Target for all of our one-item purchases so we could use their public restrooms).

Giving the shower door a final test

Giving the shower door a final test

Using my OCD strengths to organize all the tools.

Using my OCD strengths to organize all the tools.

So thankful for all the help our dads gave us

So thankful for all the help our dads gave us

Last bit of painting

Last bit of painting

By the time both of our dads had to leave late that afternoon, there were just a few last pieces to work on, so Chip and I took care of finishing the second coat of paint on the door and all the trim. After that, I finally got to start decorating our bathroom. My parents had gotten us some awesome fluffy white towels as part of our two-year anniversary gift in anticipation of this project and I couldn’t wait to get these out and ready for use. We also had a cute little bathroom care package from my mom and were able to use all the different peices to bring our bathroom together.

Thanks for the gift, mom!

Thanks for the gift, mom!

And here are the pictures of the final result!

New shower

New shower

So nice and clean

So nice and clean

Before and After

Before and After

We love our new bathroom

We love our new bathroom

Taking all 20-something receipts with us to Lowe's for some returns at the end of the project. Side note: all of the Lowe's employees we worked with were amazing, always helping us find what we need and give us any tips.

Taking all 20-something receipts with us to Lowe’s for some returns at the end of the project. Side note: all of the Lowe’s employees we worked with were amazing, always helping us find what we need and give us any tips.

I know we’re a little biased, but we think the bathroom looks pretty darn awesome. It’s so much better than what we had ever expected and we love that this project has given us so many fun memories and stories to share with our families. While the bathroom is pretty much 100% done, there are a few things we still need to do: hang up the towel rod on the back of the door, find some fabric to make a Roman shade for the window, do a few last paint touch ups, and hang up a couple of frames with some pictures from our trips (how cute would a Nantucket landscape look in here?). We’re going to take our time on those details and just enjoy this bathroom for now!

Thanks again to our families for giving us so much help and support on this project! Friends, thanks for putting up with us while we were hermits, locking ourselves in the house to get this project done. You’re all now more than welcome to come over and I’m glad you’ll no longer have to see the awful black and yellow tile! ;)