Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We Remodeled Our House

I've been wanting to write about what has been happening here for awhile now - so here I go.  We remodeled our house. 
We GUTTED it.  The only thing that really stayed put were the bathtubs and walls.  We lived in our basement, all five of us with our dog over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I ended up moving with the kids to my mom and dad's house around the corner because it was easier for the kids while they were in school.  

It was AWFUL and WONDERFUL at the same time.  
Dan and I are still married.  
So now that we have come out the other side...I'll show you what we did and why.

Our house was trashed.  Gross.  Disgusting.  
I didn't even want people coming in anymore.  My couch was ripped, the carpet was beyond cleaning, the linoleum torn, the cabinets falling apart.  I think my house is so cute, but all the builder grade finishes we had chosen nine years ago were worn out. 
 We weren't ready to move, and even if we wanted to, no one would buy it the way it was.  

We couldn't replace the cabinets without doing the floors.  Which led to replacing baseboards, and blinds.  Painting.  Staining.  
The list was really long.  
We started on a Saturday and I shocked Greg beyond belief when I asked him to help me rip out the pantry.  Give this boy some goggles and a sledgehammer and he was more than happy to help. 
 Funny how DESTROY the pantry goes over much better than CLEAN the pantry with an 8 year old boy!
 Even Lauren wanted in on the photo shoot.
 Taking out the door frame. This pantry was just a small closet and very dark.  
You can see the original pantry space here
Totally useless and had tons of wasted space up at the top and in the bottom. The new kitchen plan called for tearing this out and moving the refrigerator over into this space.  So we had to rip things up!
This was the first day we did anything.  That is the only reason Dan is smiling, because he doesn't realize what a huge pain this whole project is going to be. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winding Down the Year

I know it's been awhile, life seems to have sped up the last few months and time has just gotten away from me. 
Here's a fast recap of the last few months!  
Just warning you now, more pictures than words.
Lauren started taking piano lessons.  
 We swam and ate a LOT of sno cones this summer.
 Lauren's cousin B had a fancy birthday party downtown for her 8th birthday at the Lion House. 
 Darcy turned one!  We threw her a very informal birthday party...
 complete with a doggy safe cake in the shape of a bone.
 Grew an awesome garden and our apple trees started producing!  YUM! 
Graham earned his Arrow of Light Cub Scout award, Greg earned his Wolf and more arrows than I can sew on a uniform. 
 These two ran a lot of miles in cross country - their team took home the 1st place all county trophy for the 2nd year in a row!
Poor girl was bit by a cat!  :(
 There were long, lazy summer days of lego building in the backyard
Dan and I celebrated our 12th anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria (postponed a week due to strep) but worth the wait! 
I crossed a big item off my bucket list when he took me to see Diana Krall in concert!
 Graham turned 11
 The boys started 3rd and 5th grade
 LuLu started Kindergarten
 Greg danced to Thriller with his 3rd grade class
 For Halloween I had a bride...
 Percy Jackson
 and Batman take over the house.  

We started some other MAJOR things around here but it deserves it's own 209 posts!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Last Day of School Fun!

I woke the kids up this morning for a little breakfast party.  
LAST DAY of 4th and 2nd grade!  Woot woot!  
I sugared them up good with Cheetos, Crush soda pop, Fruit Loops and do-dunts (as we call them around here thanks to 3 year old Graham naming them that)
 A fun surprise and change from the usual eggs and toast I make them eat. 
 Silly girl...she is excited to have her brothers home with her to play this summer!
 The school year ended with so many projects!  
Greg had a wax museum where he did a great job being Andy Roddick.  The kids are in week four of tennis lessons for the summer and Greg is learning how to serve.  
He thought it was pretty cool that Andy's serves go 155 mph!!
I think I, uh, er, I mean Greg did a great job on his poster! 
 Just kidding, Greg did it all.  
I just micro managed and insisted it be green with a net in the center!

Graham wrote an awesome report on Butch Cassidy and we had fun watching the movie as a family (skipping over a few parts here and there)  
Report cards are on the fridge, the kids did great this year and I am looking forward to some fun family time, sleeping in and crossing off the summer to do list that we are making on this weekend!  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Had a Birthday...awhile ago....

I had a birthday!!
I wanted to write about my big day - and since time seems like it's in slow motion these days, it feels like it was just yesterday. 

I started celebrating the night before with my best friend, Kjersten.
 (Looking hot with our feathered hair circa 1990)
 We went to Nordstrom and hoarded free samples, smelled 100 new perfumes trying to find a new perfect one for summer, oohed and ahhhhed over $400 shoes and $3000 Burberry purses that we will never own and picked out some new make up.
This made us very hungry, so we split some flatbread at The Cheesecake Factory (try the pear and blue cheese one - SO good!) and ate cheesecake until we were sick.  It was SO good!  Such a fun night - I love that we have been celebrating birthdays together since we were 12.  Almost 30 years...yikes.

I woke up the next morning to little giggling kids who gave me these awesome gifts...
 My very own BeyBlade from the boys (they gave me a good one, I might actually win a match now!)
 And Lauren wrapped up her Rapunzel tower just for me.  

The presents starting coming in!  My sweet in laws drove up to give me these pretty flowers and say hello.  

I met my cute friends Marcy, Rachel and Leslie for lunch at my new favorite place, Cafe Bella Rue for a yummy sandwich and gelato. Have you been there?  The sandwiches are SO good! 

Later that night we got some Olive Garden to go at my mom and dad's - which was good because I started feeling really, really awful/weird and had to lay down.  
 I saved my piece of cake for breakfast the next morning (don't judge, you know you'd eat bithday cake for breakfast if you could too...)
 It was a great day with friends and family.  Dan always treats me like a queen and spoils me rotten.  I love it.
Couldn't miss a shot with my dad - ever since his stroke he's decided to go all rebel by growing a beard, his first one ever in his 70 years.  
My mom and I hate it, but if this makes him feel like a tough guy, then whatever.  ;)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

3 Month Anniversary!

Happy May Day - I've made it!  
It's been 3 months today since my hysterectomy! 
I can't say that I feel 100% better.  
More like I traded a huge set of problems for some new ones.  
I think (?) I am glad that I had the surgery done - I guess I didn't have much of a choice, but man this has been tough!

It feels like everyone around me expects me to be back to normal.  I know this isn't really the case but I'm comparing it to how when you tell someone who doesn't see you everyday that you are pregnant.  And you wait a very, very long 9 months to have that beautiful baby.  Then that person says, "Already?  Wow, that went by fast for me!"  

Well, of course it did, you weren't the one growing a new person inside of you!

I thought I was having a heart attack on Friday.  So much so that I made Lauren leave the store with me and we drove straight to the hospital.  And of course everything was fine by the time I got there.  I did meet with a great doctor later that afternoon who gave me a kind but stern reminder that I was expecting WAY too much out of myself WAY too soon.  Full recovery for having multiple organs ripped from your body via two abdominal surgeries in four months should be more like a year.  Not three months. 

I'm just doing the best I can.  This new thing of anxiety and panic attacks have been the worst.  If people around me don't understand, that's fine.  I don't need them to and they can think what they want.  I'm just going on a day to day basis around here of what I can and cannot do.  It's the only way I seem to be able to function and keep the shred of sanity that I have left for the time being.

Thank goodness for my mom and Dan who listen to me complain and be sad that I am not "me" yet.  Sometimes just saying things out loud make it better, you know?

I've become a bit of a recluse.  I have this fear now since the surgery of being in places that I can't get out of or leave quickly from.   
Rumor has it that when I was put under I really fought against getting on the surgical table, which doesn't surprise me.  I was scared to death and one of my favorite phrases is "You're not the boss of me." 

We had dinner with our friends the Troxels on Sunday night and Kjersten gave me the book "Heaven is Here" by blogger Stephanie Nielson to read.  (Nie Nie)  

I know everyone knows her story.  
But I finished the book in two days - it was exactly what I needed to read this week.  
Being grateful for what I have 
Things can always be worse and they will get better 
Did I mention patience?  
I'm working on it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting the Garden Going

 Last weekend my friend, Kjersten and I spent the morning at the Home and Garden Show at the local expo center.  We had a great time oooohing and ahhhhing over all the fun things we wanted to do to our houses this spring!  
I came home itching to get my garden going and started making some serious plans.
 This is how I spend a Saturday night, who knew married life would be this thrilling?  
I decided to ditch the cucumbers this year.  I've tried it two years in a row without even a smidge of luck, so I give up.  Thankfully, there is a local farm stand nearby where I can pick up some pickling cukes for summer snacking.
Have you ever made Bread and Butter Pickles?  SO EASY!  And they taste amazing!  I can't wait to make these again this summer!

I am making some extra space for zukes and a few more Roma tomatoes.  I love making all the fresh salsa and sauces to can.  I've pretty much got it down pat and although it is a lot of work, I almost find it relaxing to do. 
We worked together as a family last Saturday getting the garden boxes ready to go and prepping the soil. 
 We found that our one box with no bottom did twice as well as the one we built with a bottom.  So the boys took over the job of drilling in drainage holes for that.  
And if you find that you are not up for building your own from scratch, Sam's Club has some really great square foot garden box kits right now that are a cinch to put together.

 Boys + tools = pure happiness.  It starts young!
   So far we've only planted spinach, carrots and our bush and pole beans.  Dan built me an awesome trellis last year but we planted the peas late so they never really took off that well. 
At least the place was looking WAY better than it was last year!  
I wouldn't say Mel would be proud by any means, but at least the patio doesn't look nearly as bad.  I was glad I put the garden to bed last fall better than I have in the past!

Other patio plans include building either new steps or a deck out to the backyard and sprucing up the place a bit.  I'm so happy spring is finally here!  

How about you, do you grow a garden at all?  

Linking up to:
French Country Cottage  
What's It Wednesday 
Be Inspired  
Tuesday's Treasures

Friday, March 15, 2013

Model Home Tour #2

Second on our stop yesterday was Candlelight Homes.  
They have a few here and there lots to build on where we were at. 
This was their Sun Valley model
 First combo.  
I have this in my house and I'm sort of over it.  I wish things were slightly more divided up. 
 All I could see when I saw this table was fingerprints.  Glass tables and kids just aren't a smart mix.  Unless you are the CEO of Windex.
 Right off the kitchen was the mudroom/garage door.  Again, open cubbies = mess for everyone to see.  No thanks. 
 Lauren loved the living room chairs and pretended to be the queen.  Who are we kidding, she IS the queen.
 Living room with the ugliest fireplace ever. 
I do love the couch and chairs though. 
View walking into the living room of the loft upstairs.  You could turn this into another small bedroom if needed. 
Master bedroom.  It was a nice size but my mom didn't like that you could see right into the master bedroom when you walked into the front door.   It was pretty odd.
The master bath was very large as was the walk in closet. 

So master on the main, 3 bedrooms + loft upstairs, and office.  4041 square feet total (including the basement) 
Price of this place was $389,000 I believe.  
For that much I would rather find my own lot/builder and go to town with a floor plan I really loved.  This one did not seem worth the money at all.