Monday, April 28, 2014

Remodeling, the Prequel...

Well, we've finally decided to do it. We've lived in our house for nearly 10 years, wanting to do a major remodel of the upper level for the last 1/2 of our dwelling time here...and the time has come!!

I'm equal parts excited and nervous...kinda like anticipating labor and delivery, I suppose, you know, not eager for the pain and hard work, but SO excited to see the finished product! Anyone who's read around here for awhile knows that I'm kind of, do you say...FREAKISH?!!...when it comes to major purchases.

I mean, for cryin' out loud, I spent WEEKS agonizing over whether or not I should buy an iPhone, or stick with my trusty flip phone! Sheesh. (Um, can someone tell me WHY it took me so long to make that decision?!)...and then there was last summer when our washing machine died and OH EM GEE I researched and read and shopped around and visited stores and poured over reviews...all for a dang machine that will clean my clothes.

So, you can about imagine what I'm going through right now as we begin the initial planning of our remodel. HOLY. MOLY. My mind won't stop. WON'T STOP. "What kind of hardwood floors?" "Cooktop?" "Island?" "Pantry...oooooh, pantry!!" It just goes on and on...and then we decided to add in just a little project.

You know, like moving our stairs.

Yes, you read that right...we're hoping to MOVE OUR STAIRS.

Lord help us, what are we getting into?! Where's an HGTV crew when you need 'em?

Anyway, so far, we've had a cabinet dude come out and draw up some plans for us...and I'm loving them. But of course, rethinking EVERY minute detail and taking to Twitter to ask for advice!!

And now, lucky you, I'm gonna poll ya'll for YOUR advice! Here's where we need help:

1. What kind of hardwood floors do we go with? We're going with a distressed/farmhouse type feel and I REFUSE to use oak. I am SO "oaked out". So...pine? Ash? Bamboo? Hickory? (And, in a matte finish...nothing SHINY!! I repeat, NO SHINY.) Thoughts's a sampling of the look I'm going for:

2. Built-in double ovens. Yay or nay? And, if "yay", what brand?

3. Are downdraft vents absolutely necessary (i.e. required to meet code) for a cooktop? I rarely use my overhead vent (microwave vent) right now, so I wonder if I truly need one?

4. We have 8 ft ceilings. I LOVE the staggered look for cabinets, but will it look goofy with our ceilings? Are we better off with full height, even though I don't like that look as much?

5. We're 90% sure we want to go with Knotty Alder for our cabinets...any reservations out there? Here's basically the very look that I want (via Pinterest) (and, ironically, a VERY similar layout to our kitchen plans) (imagine: raised counter on breakfast bar seating area) (how many parenthesis are possible in a sentence?):

I have approximately 87 billion other thoughts going through my mind right now, but let's start with these!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dare I Say "It's Here"?!

Okay. Guys. I'm totally taking a leap of faith here. Testing karma. Throwing caution to the wind.



I think spring is here!!!

And now, Minnesota can prepare to be blasted with another snow storm. ;)

For real though...last weekend was full of gorgeousness. Absolutely jam packed full of sunshine and warm breezes.

Yesterday I actually sat through my (though it wasn't Pal's) first baseball game of the season and did NOT freeze my buns off! (And, we won, so there's that.) I was feeling a bit guilty because I hadn't yet been to one of his games (for the record, I've only missed two) my defense the first one was a crazy, busy, "I need 5 of me" night (the Mr. went) and they lost by 10 (so I don't feel too bad about missing it) and played like poo (against our arch rivals) and the 2nd game was miserably cold (most other activities were cancelled) and they lost again (but not by 10) and I was a poor sport and just couldn't force myself to go.

Bad me.

And baseball is my favorite, I have some really awesome baseball moms to chat with while we watch and cheer and yell and scold our boys. The Great American Pastime.

Since I was fairly close to the "biggish city" nearby us, I decided to take a little detour and grab some Chipotle. See, yesterday I was pricing food options for Pal's graduation party and so I scoped out Chipotle (HOLY EXPENSIVE BATMAN!!!!) (Yeah, we won't be having that.) (Looks like cold cuts and Doritos for us.) and set off a ferocious and extreme craving for Chipotle that could only be cured by...well...Chipotle!

Man was it good.

Bonus: I only ate half, so guess who's having Chipotle for lunch tomorrow?!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


What a wonderful weekend. And yes, I realize I'm posting this on Tuesday and still saying "weekend"...that's because our school district's "Spring (i.e. Easter) Break" is Good Friday-Easter Monday.

Yup, we didn't have school yesterday!

Anyway...I love Easter. Such a wonderful time of rebirth and renewal! It really does rival Christmas...only, nothing will ever beat Christmas in my book. To top it off, this Easter weekend was absolutely, positively, breathtakingly beautiful.

If you haven't heard, we Minnesotans are emerging from the toughest winter in years. Bitter, everlasting cold, oodles of snow; it was like Elsa cast her icy spell on us and ran off into the mountains, never to be found again.

But this weekend? It was truly an "Act of Love" weekend! Sunshine! Birds! Warmth! Goodness. I dare say that spring may just come afterall! Side note: Last Wednesday we got slammed with 13 inches of snow. THIRTEEN INCHES. Gross. But by Sunday? Well, take a look at the background in this picture:


Also of note in that photo...the charred to a crisp Peep. My husband has an uncanny knack for roasting marshmallows...dude could win a throw-down against Bobby Flay in marshmallow roasting FOR SURE. Anyway, I heard from someone that roasted peeps were something straight from Heaven. Naturally, I had to give it a try, to see for myself.

So I called in the hubs and his freaky marshmallow roasting skillz. That peep was a rare casualty. And the verdict on roasted peeps? Pretty darn amazing! Like a gooey morsel of creme brulee!

You've gotta try it.

In other news, I neglected to get one single, solitary photo of my spiffed up family on Easter. Everyone was so bright and springy...and they came home from church and changed into grubby kickball clothes as fast as they possibly could.

Little scoundrels.

Have a terrifical week!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I have no idea if this story will play out as well in print as it did in real life, but I'm gonna give it my best shot!

But first, a couple of backstories:

Backstory #1: You know the whole "I love you/I love you more" game we play with our kids? Well, one day I told them I could prove it that parents love their kids more than their kids love their parents. I said, "Parents never leave their kids, but kids grow up and leave their parents. See? I proved it." And now it's part of our "I love you/I love you more game".

Backstory numero dos: Hambone is HORRIBLE with his money. Super generous to others, which is good, but can't hold onto money for nothin'. He'll buy treats for his siblings, he'll buy eggs from his sister (and no, I don't make my kids buy their own food...he just wanted in on the egg business), he just can't hang onto it...and I'm frequently telling him to spend his money wisely.

So...last night at bedtime, we were bedtime snacking away and Hambone was getting barked at left and right by various family members, and letting it all roll off his back...finally, I pulled him to my side, kissed his head and whispered to him that I thought he was a being a great sport...and then I said, "I love you".

To which he promptly responded, with a grin, "Love you more!!"

"Oh nooooo." I replied, "We've already been through this...I PROVED that I love you more, remember?!"

He retorted in his quirky little way, "I'm not gonna moooooove out. I'm not good at spending my money...I probably won't be able to afford a house!!"

And I died.

And he's right.

He'll be my 30 year old kid, living in our basement, watching movies and quoting obscure movie lines all day.

Great. ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Sometimes, I just feel like writing. Even when I have nothing important or earth shattering or silly or smart to say. I guess maybe I just like hearing myself talk?

Who knows. What I do know is that I miss this place. This outlet. This teeny little voice of mine on the world wide web.

I took some photos of a sweet 6 month old last weekend...he has the most amazing blue eyes and best chubby little rolls you've ever seen! 

He reminds me of my Dubya...laid back little chubba.

Speaking of Dubya, he missed out on joining a travel baseball league last year...and has been pestering us ever since to sign him up this year. So, we contacted coaches, discussed pros and cons and decided, yes. What the heck, let's give it a go.

That same week he "won" (earned is probably a better word) a Kindle Fire from a school fundraiser for selling the most raffle tickets...special thanks to my mom and dad's friends that helped support his endeavor and purchased oodles of tickets from him. OH, and Father Nick...Father Nick bought him out of tickets...TWICE!

AND ALSO in that week the Confetti Cake Blizzard was released at the DQ and so Dubya 1. Learned he got to be on the traveling baseball team, 2. Discovered he would receive his Kindle at the end of the week, and 3. Was treated to a DQ because his mama JUST HAD TO TRY the new blizzard.

In Dubya's words, "BEST. WEEK. EVER!!!!". Gosh dang, do I love that kid.

My biggest boy also just committed to my alma mater...I'm a little nervous that he's not going to get the financial aid he needs, but praying that it all works out! I think it'll be a great fit for him!

And, friends, GET THIS. The eternal winter that Disney set off with "Frozen"? It looks like it's coming to an end!! Forecast says 70 degrees today...if you need me, I'll be out on the deck, reading a book.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Big Day...

Yesterday we celebrated Hambone's First Holy Communion. It was a day filled with family and focused on our sweet (goofy) boy.

We had an awesome brunch with loved ones, followed up by mass...have I mentioned how wonderful our priest is? He's amazing. He captures your attention and gives his homilies in a way that is engaging and relatable.

And, he looks like Jesus.

OH, and, he thumps kids with his hymnal when he recesses out after mass...this has sort of become legendary and the kids clamber to the aisle seats to get smacked by Father. :) It's hilarious.

While we were snapping photos of the boy of honor with various relatives, it dawned on me that the last First Communion that we celebrated (whoa...the "last first", 'cuz that's not confusing), which was 2 years ago,
looked like this:

See all that green? Yeah, we're still battling with a decent amount of snow on the ground...that is dwindling by the hour with the warm temps we've been having!

And gosh, wouldn't it be embarrassing if you wore the same exact thing two years later?

Oooops, nevermind, Mr. Wonderful. ;) (To be fair, I was *this close* to wearing that very outfit that I'm wearing in the "2 years ago photo"...I forgot I wore it to Dubya's!)

Anyway, back to warmer temps...look what we have in store for us:

EEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!! Spring is on it's way! I'm trying to remain cautiously optimistic (as opposed to "ridiculously excited"), as last year we had a "snow day" in May. Gracious, I hope that doesn't happen this year!


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