Well, I’m growing an heir. He’s not fully produced. We are SO excited to be bringing in a little life into this world, and unbelievably excited to dress this little one in overalls. We’re not even halfway into this, so we have A LOT more growing to do! So if you’re the praying kind, continue praying for health for this tiny little miracle.

Excited Baby AnnouncementAnd in case you’re curious, I did a little mashup of our faces, so we’ll know exactly what the heir will look like when he makes his appearance. Totally accurate, too.

BavidI’m currently at 18 weeks as of today, so here’s hoping for more energy and getting back to projects ASAP! I’m missing dirty fingernails and the feeling of accomplishment after a hard day’s work!

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Gender Predictors?

Saturday is the day. The day where we tell therestofeveryone the gender of #goldnugget. We’re having a party. With pie and cobbler. So, as a hint of things to come, here are some gender predictor test results I’ve taken.

According to legends of yore, a heartbeat of 140+ beats per minute means the fetus is a girl-child. Gold Nugget’s very first heartbeat was 188 BPM, and slowed to 160ish around 13 weeks.

Girl ScrabbleCravings? Definitely want me some salty foods. Chips and Cheese Fries will do me just fine. Which indicates a boy-child. Boy ShoesThis Chinese Gender Chart is said to be over 90% accurate, and says we’re having a girl. Girl ShoesPregnancy Acne? YEP, got it. According to this old wives tale, having a girl will “steal your beauty” (and give you acne). Thanks, fetus.Girl_stick figureCrazy morning sickness? Girl. Not so bad? Boy. Mine was probably more of the “not so bad”, although it did knock me out a few times. Boy CigarsHistory of Parent’s kids: If you were the last child, you will have what your Mother had. In the exact order. For me, it was Boy, then Girl.  Entonces:Boy BannerDreams about the sex of the baby: if you dream you’re having a boy, it’s a girl. If you dream you’re having a girl, it’s a boy. I had a good bit of dreams with a little baby boy.

Princess TiaraIf your hands are constantly dry, you’re having a boy. I’ve been reaching for the lotion aplenty. But I wonder if that’s just because I’ve been using the bathroom 4x more than normal..?

beardSo there you have it. We’re apparently having both.



How to DIY simple pole-lights!

Guys, approximately 7ish years ago, I went to a church service up in NoVA, and I saw these lights. I became obsessed with creating these lights, but never found a stinkin tutorial or even a picture of them. Luckily, all these “industrial table” things have been spread rampant across the blogosphere, so I at least had a jumping-off point. To give you a frame of reference, these lights do exist. They’re all over this video, and you’ll see the style of lights I wanted. In all their glory.

Oh, wait. I forgot to tell you why I wanted/ needed these lights to exist in my life. You see, the Church J and I go to recently (as in last Sunday) underwent a name change. And a location change. (BTW, it’s called Anchor Church, and it’s in Virginia Beach. And if you show up, I’ll give you a cookie. Actually, Kris, Wes & Lindsay, can we get some cookies pre-service? You know you want them, too.) So, along with the location change, we had an entirely new stage (and worship space) to work with. And I was asked to help out with the stage design. The lights never left my brainspace. They had to happen.

So first, I took Mother (and Father) to Home Depot to brainstorm this light and how it could come to life. Mother is much more into electricity and circuitry than Dad, although Dad is still way into helping. They’re nice people like that.

So here’s what we did. We found EMT, which is found in the electrical aisle. It’s basically a hollow tube of rigid metal. And it’s made to house electrical things. And it comes in 10′ lengths. And it’s cheap. So we picked up one 10′ section of 3/4″ diameter EMT. Except we didn’t want the lights to be 10′ tall. So we carried that junk over to the plumbing aisle (where the copper tubing resides), and had them cut down to (1) 4′ section, and (2) 3′ sections.

EMT Cutting_HouseofGold And then we picked up compression couplings, which serve as the connector pieces to the base. These come in a three-pack, which works perfectly if you cut your 10′ pole into three sections. (One end tightens around the EMT, one end is threaded and comes with a nut. More on that later.)

Then we picked up a push-through socket, a plug, and some lamp cord. Pretty simple ingredients, if this was a recipe.Pole Light Supplies_HouseofGold

First in this whole business, J crafted bases for me. He ripped plywood down into squares (12″ for the taller lamps, 9″ squares for the shorter lamps), and then brad nailed little tiny feets onto the base. Then we got a 3/4″ hole saw and cut out a hole in the center of the bases.Light Base Progression_HouseofGold

Next, I tightened the compression thing onto the base of a section of EMT. Still with me? Cool. Then we unscrewed the nut, slid the EMT (with the attached compression coupling) through the hole, and screwed the nut back on to the compression coupling. And it held snug. Phew.Compression Coupling_HouseofGold

Next, I stood those bad boys up and got out the socket set. I took it apart, and then used this crazy epoxy-glue and glued the base of the socket onto the EMT section. (Let it dry for 4-6 hours.) (I had a little run-in with an X-acto blade between that last set of pics and this one. Don’t worry. I made it through without passing out.)Socket Glue_HouseofGold

Then I took that whole assembly outside and spray painted the junk out of it. After the paint dried, those suckers got all wired up. (Run wire from the top of the lamp to the bottom, and secure to the socket and plug, respectively.)

Now, here’s the very important part. The bulb. They had to be edison bulbs. I bought three six-packs of each of these. (Affiliate links)

And then? Bask in the glow of the lights. (And the beard.) Ahhhhh.Lights on Stage_HouseofGoldLights on Stage2_HouseofGold

Stage Complete_HouseofGold

How You Like Me NOW?

If you’ve ever been curious to know how things hold up around the House of Gold, here’s your grand opportunity. Every once in a while, things don’t quite work out. Or at least, they don’t work out as originally planned. But sometimes, that’s just okay. Puppy Fail

The counters: We still love the heck out of these things. However, a few months ago, I noticed the seam had started to split apart. I actually went to a lunch and learn (at work) on quartz countertops and asked whether or not a seam could be repaired. They said yes, but not without ripping the countertop out and messing up the backsplash. :/ With that in mind, J [fearfully] called up the company that installed them and they came out to fix them. And it was much easier. The man shimmed the countertop again (to double-secure it), scraped out the old seam goo, and added new stuff. I forgot to get a “before” picture of the split, but here’s after the nice man fixed it. Also, he said this kind of thing has a 1/10,000 of happening. We should go play the lottery.Cambria Quartz_HouseofGold


The wood floors: We are so in love with these guys. However, the dogs can wreck havoc on them. Especially in a couple places, where they tend to be the most excitable… like the back door. Or right outside the opening into the kitchen:Ed Wood Floor_HouseofGold

Other than those two spots, they still seem to be in fairly good shape. We also try to use rugs in the high-traffic areas, to help minimize the wear and tear in particular spots.

And when we had the flooring guys come back out to trim out a section of the wood to allow for expansion, it seemed to do the trick. (My little fix wasn’t quite enough of trimming. Had to take out a little more than just a sliver to allow for expansion.) No more weird bubbles and buckles and puckers with the floor.

The trellis planter: This has failed us two years running. I’m obviously using the wrong plants… oh, and sometimes I forget to water them. So there’s that. I think this might be used for purely decorative purposes from now on.Trellis After_HouseofGold

The succulent birdcage planter: Save for the flowery succulents, they are doing quite well. I basically never remember to water them, and they seem to enjoy that just fine. Also, I went to the plant nursery yesterday, and discovered that the flowery plants enjoy water and being fertilized. I mixed two very different kinds of plants in this box, which made the flowers die. Womp Womp Womp.Succulent After_HouseofGold

So there you go. Wanna know an update on a different project? Ask away!