Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Sort of skipped right over Christmas but all I can say is we made it through! ha. That's how I feel anyway. I wish we could simplify a bit so the holidays were less stressful and more about each other. Easier said than done of course. 

A couple of weeks ago we received some rough news about Avery's health. She's ok right now but her recent MRI results showed some growths in her brain that can become a problem, so we have to keep a better eye on them and probably start on some new meds. Hard news to get in the middle of the holiday season, or ever really. We have some doctor appointments next month where we will get more information and a better plan. I'll feel better then. As if that wasn't enough, we found out yesterday that Avery broke her left heel bone 12 days ago and we had no clue it was anything that serious until this doctor appointment. I took her to the bone doc because she wouldn't put any weight on that foot, which we were aware of since the week before Christmas, but thought she might had just pulled a muscle. BROKEN was not the word I expected at all. Looks like Avery's bones are a lot more fragile than we thought. Sweet girl is ok really as long as we don't mess with that foot. 3-4 weeks of recovery though, where she can't stand or practice walking! Ugh. I still feel pretty terrible about the whole thing. A little scared to see what this new year is going to bring, to be honest. Really hoping for this little girl to get some positive health news, so mommy and daddy can rest better at night. 

Happy New Year to you and yours! Love, The Bubs
Photo by Stephanie Cheney of Stephanie Cheney Photography 

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Our House Is A Home, Part 2

The fireplace was definitely a big transformation, but it's got nothing on......
 THE KITCHEN. It was an amazing, stressful, dreamy, tough, really fun, 
totally worth it kind of project. 
Warning: epically long post. 

So, a little background on the house we bought is that we purchased from the original owners, who built the house back in 1968. One of the first on the street. They took very good care of the house, lucky for us! But no doubt, the interior was... dated. And the floorplan was like most built in that era: large formal living, small formal dining, small kitchen and large den in back. 


Here is the most complete "before" photo I could get:


This is standing farther out, where you can see
the counter overlooking the den a little better:


Here's a close up of the fridge & pantry,
looking into the original dining room:


And standing in center of kitchen, 
looking toward dining room:


And this is standing in the dining room,
 looking directly opposite of the last photo, 
(the wall behind the ovens):


From the second I walked into that house, I knew that wall needed to come down. The kitchen would double in size!  So basically the second we closed on the house, this happened:
Going, going, gone!
Wow, you can see across the kitchen-- gone are the pea green ovens!

Here's a view from the opposite side:


Next thing we did was open up that tiny little pantry
next to the fridge and frame a nice big one:

hooray!

Then it was cabinet demo time. We tore out all of the old top and bottom
wood cabinets. And as usual, by "we " I mean my darling husband, he-man.


Bye old sink! Bye gross counters! Bye dated backsplash!
You also might notice that we had the "fur downs" above the top
cabinets demo'd as well. It opened up the room SO much.


Quick sidenote-- we found even more dated, I think original
construction wallpaper underneath the already old wallpaper.
It was pretty groovy...


With everything demo'd out, it was finally time to build and install the new cabinets.
No, we did not do this ourselves, and yes that was the best decision EVER.


Things moved pretty quickly then. Appliances, gorgeous granite counters,

{coveted} double farmhouse sink, drawers built & 
glass cabinets unveiled. Can lights installed!


One of my favorite days was when this little beauty got put in.

A shiny birthday present from my daddy. Perfect.

Last but certainly not least, the backsplash went in. 
♥ I was in Loooove. Still am! 


So finally (thanks for sticking thru this post y'all) 
here is the finished kitchen
from the vantage point of the very first "before" photo.



We leveled that large counter to the den down and cut the length a bit too.
Now the kitchen extends all the way down the length of the house.
The new double oven is basically in the former dining room.


We made play areas for the girls! And a nice desk area too.

I'm so happy with how the pantry looks now. 
I really wanted those glass paned double doors!


Close-up of play areas and desk


And now facing the other way, looking toward sink & stove, 
I've indicated where the wall we took down used to be


Here is standing back a bit more, from the same
vantage point as I took "before" photo #5


I'd say it's a little bit different!
And my new, wider pantry is amazing. 


There have been a lot of comments and debate about being able to see into it. 
No, I don't keep it super organized.
I'm not even that great at keeping the glass clean. I still love it. 
I love the brightness and colors and modern feel. But nobody loves it more 
than Maddie Brynn. She loves to play pretend and peek-a-boo. I
think it's great I can actually see what she's doing in there!

Let's get back to the cabinets though. The glorious, glorious cabinets.
Bright white, shiny handled lovelies.
Here are a few fun things I got with my kitchen:


That's not even mentioning all of the glass paneled doors we did.
I've been dreaming of those for a long time.


I just really enjoy getting to see inside my cabinets. Like, a lot.
Did I mention all drawers and cabs have the soft-close feature? Heart.

Here's a closer look of the sink and stove area:



In conclusion,


And that, my friends, brings us to the close of our kitchen renovation!
Next up is the dining room (former formal living room).

In the future I am also going to do a post on exactly how I designed 
the kitchen, and how I got everything done under a tight budget. 
Stay tuned :)

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our House Is A Home, Part 1

I am so excited to say that as far as renovating and decorating, our house is D-O-N-E. It finally feels like the finished home that we imagined it could be when we walked into...what I can only describe as a huge mess. A huge mess straight out of the 70's to be exact. I don't know what was worse exactly, the electric blue/bright green shag carpets, the mega heavy drapery, or the multiple layers of groovy wallpaper all over the house. No worries though because it was all CONQUERED.

Suffice to say, it's going to take a few TEN posts to share all of the changes we made to the house. I have (three months later) organized my many before and after photos, but I think I am going to start small. Small, but totally one of my favorite things. The chimney. 

THIS is how it looked when we first entered the house.


I know....whoa.

And no, this is not how the previous owners decorated their chimney. It was actually set up for an estate sale. Look at that teeny tiny mantle! And those windows totally covered! We couldn't have that.

Here is the chimney after we closed on the house, and the hub and I had worked 
pretty hard/killed ourselves bringing up that awesome original parquet floor.


So then we added a layer or two of fresh paint. And new windows surrounding!
Can you believe what a difference it makes?


But we didn't stop there. Our guys prepped the brick.


THEN, we got STONED. ha

This is pre-grout, but doesn't it look wonderful?

That dinky brick mantle wouldn't work anymore. 
We needed a big, beautiful mantle now! 
Here is the carpenter creating it on the spot.


Add a little grout...
(and a pretty little model)

then add a little love, decor, and a nice fire doesn't hurt--
and Voila!


I'm still in love.
Especially with the lovely mantle.


So just to review, 


Window decoration may come in the future, but for now I am enjoying all of the fabulous light, and the view into our big, new backyard! And just gazing dreamily at the new fireplace.

Next week I am revealing my other big fave: the kitchen!!!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

She Likes to Jumpy Jump

I'm working on a longer post about the house renovations (finally) but I felt like I needed to share how my little one has turned into a jumpy fanatic! Let's talk about how in the last 6 weekends (yes SIX), Maddie has gone from fundraiser to carnival to birthday party to birthday party to school fieldtrip and found a jumpy house at every single one. I'd say she's a fan. Here is a video of one such jump. She's at her precious cousin Johnny's second birthday party. He's the spiderman jumping with her. :)

video

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eight Years

Eight Years ago, November 12, 2005, I married my best friend. 


It felt like I was walking on clouds that day. Or maybe it was all of the petticoats?


All I knew was that this was definitely the man I was meant to marry.
We had been together for 8 years before we tied the knot.
We were ready!


And every year that goes by, I fall more in love.
I know that I was lucky enough to find my soulmate.


I love laughing with him.


and he's the best shoulder there is to cry on.
He understands me sometimes better than I understand myself!


We have so much fun together, it's ridiculous.


Babe, you are my everything. 
Thank you for making marriage easy. It's a rare thing.


Here's to even more love in the future,
as long as you're by my side.
xoxo

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