The Murray Clan
Established in 2006, they began as a military family. Sam and Kat were married and immediately moved to Pensacola, Florida where Sam was stationed at the time. Then they were off to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where their daughter Ruth was born. They also purchased their first home, though the few renovations they did they hired out. Two deployments (and aforementioned daughter) later, they headed to Roanoke, VA for a few years. Then it was time to exit the military and they moved to a town just outside of St. Louis. They purchased a home they hope to stay in longer than two years, and are slowly doing as much of the renovation work as they can by themselves. They’ve become avid DIY-ers and always try to do things under budget and with their own two (four, six?) hands.
Sam spent 7 years in the Marine Corps (after four years at the Naval Academy) as a Combat Engineer. Sam now works as a shift foreman at a manufacturing plant outside of St. Louis and is adjusting to civilian life quite well…sort of. Every so often the itch for service pops back up. But with so much to keep him busy at home and in the new area they moved to, he squelches it pretty fast.
He comes by his love of DIY naturally, as his parents bought a house they took down to the studs and rebuilt from almost scratch, even adding on an addition to what was already the existing structure. Sam helps his parents complete little projects when he is back to visit, and uses that same spirit to tackle problems and projects around their new house. Sam is the man with the power tools, and would definitely load up the garage work bench with all manner of manly saws and drills and what-nots if Kat let him. He enjoys puzzles and figuring out how things work, so he can deconstruct them and build them back over again! The kid who loved Legos grew up to a man who loves to build.
Kat has tried her hand at several different jobs in her adult life. Hostess, cashier, substitute teacher, babysitter. But the one she’s stuck with so far has been writer. After a long deployment, and while pregnant and often tired, she re-discovered her love of reading. And more specifically, romance novels. While spending way too much time in the base library, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel herself. Less than a year later, she had a contract in her hands. Kat now has several novels out on bookshelves, with many more scheduled to appear in the next couple of years. To see what Kat is up to in her writing world, head to her website.
When she’s not writing or mothering Ruth (naturally), she is reading design blogs and DIY blogs to glean inspiration for the house. So far, her main contributions to the household reno include picking out all the pretties (carpet, curtains, paint, furniture, etc.), shopping for same, keeping Ruth occupied when Sam is in a project, or being his assistant. She’s become adept at doing paint corners and trim, caulking (insert obvious joke here), and watching out for awesome deals to soothe their DIY budget. But she’s slowly learning more about power tools and is ready to tackle bigger projects as they come her way.
Ruth is an energetic 3.5 year old. She’s got a very sassy personality but is helpful (when it suits her). She attends preschool twice a week and loves socializing with friends and music class. She loves Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies, but also could sit for an hour in a corner with a pile of books and never make a peep. She adores taking walks around their new neighborhood, and is becoming quite a fashionista. That’s all Nana and Auntie Laura’s fault though, as Kat rarely has any interest in the subject.
She is now discovering the world of a “big girl” and learning more independence on a daily basis. She begs to help paint when she sees mama break out the brushes, and thinks the screwdriver is the most awesomest toy ever. Although she sometimes undoes the hard work mama and daddy put into the house, they adore her anyway, as she’s so lovable and sweet. Just look at that face…how could anyone resist that sweetie?
Clyde (pictured here on the right, with his “cousin” Milton on the left) is a 5 year old Goldendoodle. That’s a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, for those who were attempting to puzzle that one together. Despite him being older than Ruth, he is actually the baby of the family. You can’t turn your back on him for one moment or your dinner is gone. But he is extremely sweet and lovable, and if you sit down on the couch he will be in your lap in a heartbeat. All 70 pounds of him. He loves to play tug of war and he adores his stuffed toys…sometimes he adores them to death. He’s sort of stupid (he’s run into walls more than once) and he has moments of pure idiocy. But he’s gentle with Ruth and doesn’t mind when she brushes him a little too hard, or get upset when she accidentally steps on his tail. Overall, we couldn’t have been blessed with a better pet for our family.