Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Down to the Details

So...the kitchen? It's usable!!! I'd say we're 75% done with the kitchen...BUT the most exciting thing is that I CAN COOK AGAIN!!



Do you get a sense of my excitement? I'm giddy. Excited to cook. And not wash dishes by hand (although, I'll be totally honest...we contributed our fair share to the landfill in the form of paper plates. Sorry Mother Earth!) in a sink that was perched on the edge of our deck and where a person was likely to get eaten alive by mosquitos as they tried to wash the dishes. Classy class.

I am in love and in awe with our kitchen. It makes me so happy! And proud! And content!

We do still have a fair amount of work to do, however, until we can lay this beast to rest! Staining doors and trim, installing aforementioned doors and trim, finishing dining room, installing heat mats and flooring in mudroom, finishing up painting, tiling backsplash and (and here's where I need your help!) installing shelves in our pantry.

We left a window in our pantry, which means we need something "customish" (i.e. Not the metal shelving units one can buy from Costco/Sam's Club) but sturdy enough (and cost effective...cost effective in this case meaning "as cheap as we can get") to take the weight of many cans, food items, miscellaneous kitchen items. Suggestions? Ideas? What do you have in your pantry?

We also need to figure out trim for our fireplace...ceiling AND floor. And, for whatever reason, I have something against quarter round...I'm not sure what quarter round ever did to me, but I'm not a fan of fact, I'd like to avoid it at all costs. (As you can see from the above kitchen photo, we went with a very "arts and crafts" look...I'd like to keep with those clean angles and avoid rounded edges, you know?)

In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be gazing at my lovely new kitchen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yesterday...and Tomorrow

Yesterday, I was honored and blessed to be at the birth of my sweet, beautiful, amazing niece. When my nephew was born, it just so happened that I was working and I captured some pretty precious first moments of him...this time, my brother and sister-in-law asked me if I would come to take photos of baby girl's birth.

Um, lemme think about that...YES!!

So, I showed up bright and early, tried not to be too intrusive, and was able to capture some pretty sweet moments! And you guys? That baby girl?

I die. She absolutely melts my heart!

And then tomorrow. Whoa nelly. TOMORROW.

Tomorrow I will drop my baby boy off at college. Did you hear that? COLLEGE. As in...grown up. Moving on. Going out into the big world.

I keep finding myself saying super cheesy things like, "Do you REALIZE that you are about to embark on the greatest adventure of your whole life????? Like, you're about to meet friends that you'll be friends with FOREVER. You're about to decide the fate of the rest of your life! You are probably going to meet your future wife, the future mother of your children!!" and he looks at me and says, "Yeah. Um. Guys don't think about things like that."


Whoa. Seriously...mamas, hug those babies tight because before you know it they, too, will be embarking on the greatest adventure of their lives.

I'm excited for him and nervous for him. I'm happy for him and sad (for me). 

Thankfully, he's not moving too far away...and, I'm totally not afraid to pull a "Love You Forever" move and haul a ladder over to his dorm room window so that I can climb in and rock him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.


Have I mentioned: college?

Oh my.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


It's been 12 days since my last post...TWELVE!! (There once was a time in the history of this blog that that would've been a sin! Blasphemy! TWELVE DAYS WITHOUT A POST?! Gah.) And guys...this project is really coming together!!

Our flooring is (mostly) in...thanks to the help of some amazing friends who persisted in asking us if we needed help (we did) and more amazing friends who showed up day after day to see this through. We are blessed and thankful for these people in our lives (and NOT just because they help us...they are all incredible friends that we cherish!).

Part of my purpose in blogging this is so that we can look back and remember the pain and agony we went through if we ever decide to do any major renovation again. Which, I'll be honest, there's not a whole lot left in our house to renovate! (We sorta did it all with this one!)

The last time we "talked" I had left you with some before and "during" photos...and while we aren't quite to the FINISHED photos, I do have some that give a good glimpse into what this will be like when it's done!

First up, the flooring. Oh sweet mother of Jesus, the flooring. 

I am head over heels in love with it. It is "Asian Blonde Walnut" (or Acacia) and the rustic look of the variable colors is EXACTLY what I was looking for! And BONUS: It's harder than oak! Just what we needed with these hooligans running through our house!

Next, the paint. I had picked two colors for our as an "accent" and the other for the rest of the house. My Gram saw the main color and suggested that perhaps it was a bit dark. Now, I love me some pigment in my paint...but when we got it up on all the walls, I realized my kitchen was going to be pretty darn dark with the cabinets, counters, floors and paint. Gram was right. So, approximately three days after we painted the whole house (another shout out of thanks to my sister-in-law and parents for going gang busters with us to paint ALL THE WALLS!), I insisted on changing the color in the kitchen.

My husband loves me. I have totally embraced the "high maintenance" title with this project. I want it done and I want it done right! (See above flooring photo for "accent" color...and original dark color!)

Anyway, going light was the right decision. I want our (GORGEOUS!!!) cabinets to be showcased, not to blend in, and the color on the walls lets them shine!

Speaking of cabinets...holy moly. I am in love with them. I'm pretty sure we drove our cabinet guy bonkers, with our "we want them knotty" request (I'm discovering that cabinet makers must be perfectionists and want the wood clear and free from any knots. Cracks. Variations. Which is EXACTLY what we WANTED!)

Maple. Knotty. In fact, we probably would've even gone with MORE knots, but I'm still (very) happy with what we've got! 

Next up: Installing doors and windows, IF they ever come in (I'm looking at YOU, Home Depot), finishing flooring, and deciding what to do for shelving in our pantry. It'll have to be "custom" something, no prefabbed metal racks from Costco, because we have a window in our pantry that we have to work around. Any suggestions? What do YOU have for shelving in your pantry? Ideas? Thoughts?

Also, speaking of those prefabbed shelving units...can they be cut down and re-soldered (welded?)? That IS what I wanted in our entry closet, but I need a 45" unit and guess what? It doesn't come in that size. And 36" is too small. Help.

As we speak, the "granite guy" is doing the "field measure" for our counters...which will be installed next Friday. Good gracious, I don't know if I can wait that long!! I'm so ready to have my house back...and back BETTER than it ever was!

Looking forward to sharing the "AFTER" photos with you soon!! Eeeeek! Yay!!! Hooray! Yippee!!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Life...It's in Shambles

I have officially and ferociously reached the "GET THIS DAMN PROJECT DONE!!!!" part of our remodel. 

I'm tired of having plywood floors and drywall walls. 

I'm tired of having a rouge oven in the middle of my kitchen.

I'm tired of my washer and dryer being in the middle of my dining room.

I'm tired of the dust.

This isn't moving fast enough. I just want it, yesterday.

In the spirit of seeing forward progress, let me share with you a few before and after pics...more for my own mental health than anything else.

Here we go:

Before: View from Living Room:

During: Same View

Still During: Same View:

Before: View from end of stairs:

During: View from end of stairs. Whoa:

Okay...that helped. I now see the forward progress...but HOT DAMN let's hurry up!!


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