Tuesday, January 31

promised pictures

I have a couple more pictures to show more progress on the house. Again, forgive me, these are photos of the grainy phone variety. Still, you get the idea. These pictures are not actually how things are looking right now...all the supporting boards have been removed from under the big beam in the second picture, and also the living room floor as been removed. Removed as in you can see the basement. It keeps getting bigger and bigger, our project. It needed to be done, and in the long run everything will be done "right" and we will be happier with it. Once you reach a certain point, what's ripping up your floor?

I didn't picture the new doorway to our kitchen to be quite this big! It makes the kitchen itself seem so much larger. I am going to love being able to be at the stove or sink and be able to see the whole living room. (Better to keep my eyes on the activities of the kids...)
Like I said, all the previous boards that were under this huge beam are now gone. I love it--everything is so open and big!
Those are the latest pictures I have! I need to get back out to the house so I can get a couple better pictures with my big camera before things change too much!

Enjoy your Tuesday--crazy wonderful warm weather and all!

Monday, January 30

here and there

It is hard being away from home. The kids and I have been at my mom's house for 30 days. I, being a huge homebody, am a little out of sorts: miss our usual routines, my bed, my Andrew. Yes, Andrew is staying home--which I may now start calling the "dust bowl." He is working very hard to get us home as soon as possible!

In the meantime, the kids and I are hanging out here at my mom's home, working on little projects. I have been quilting away on baby's quilt--it is almost finished! I will show pictures soon! Max has been engaged in a 30 day "Craftapalooza". No kidding. This child has been making things for 30 days. Before we officially invaded my mother's house, Max and Cora would come and play with their Nana for a few hours two days a week while I had art lessons. Naturally, Max and Nana crammed in as many projects and activities as they could in those hours. So, when we moved in, Max was on craft and project overload. Bless you mom, I know you are exhausted.

Max would rather be making stuff than doing anything else. He's made signs (which he has taped up all over my mom's house), and drawings and masks and sculptures. He has even made little things out of clay that he we tied to mom's light fixture in the dining room. I remember being like Max when I was little. We had this blue Childcraft book called Make and Do that I would pour over as a little girl. I just liked making anything. In the photo above, Max is making some little clay things in our room, or the "cottage" as we call it. Usually Max does all his Craftapalooza activities on the dining room table, but on this particular day I brought him out to our little space to create a little respite for mom.

Back at home things are moving along--slow but sure. The entire upstairs remodel seemed to go so fast because we were still at home and really not bothered by any of the process. Stuff is happening, though. (I have lots more pictures, but they are still in the camera...) The wall that used to separate the living room from the office/playroom is gone now, and the new huge living room looks, well huge! Also, the kitchen doorway has been enlarged big time, making that room seem huge too.

The main thing Andrew has been working on at home is the tile in the kids' bathroom upstairs. I have always loved plain white subway tile. I have countless pictures of subway tile torn out and stored in my "dream home binder." Yes, I have a dream home binder. Yes, I am a dork. Andrew does not share the same affinity for these lovely tiles as I do, but he agreed to them anyway. I think this means he loves me. Smile. (Thank you Andrew for using precious hours to put up tile that you weren't crazy about. It looks beautiful!) This tile is all up now, and ready for grout. I'll have more pictures of the tile later--I took this one at night, so it isn't the greatest. Plus, once I get on the ball and get the rest of my pictures off my camera and phone I can show the wall removal I mentioned earlier.

Things are starting to get put back together at home, which is so exciting. The tearing up process is a little scary, but now I can see how pretty everything will be in the end.

Hope you have a great Monday--more pictures soon!

Wednesday, January 18


One of my favorite daily photos so far:
Cora is wearing a little apron that was mine when I was little. I think my mom made it. Cora loves to make cookies and cupcakes in her little kitchen. She has a little oven mitt and everything.

I'm doing pretty good on my daily photos so far: I just now spent a little time uploading/photoshopping/organizing all of them. I need to be better about taking more pictures everyday. I am bad about getting in the one photo of the day and calling it quits, when I should be taking lots, then I could pick the best one.

I have the best intentions, you see. I am usually so excited that I remember to take one at all that I stop there!

Friday, January 13

new stairs!

You'll have to forgive my grainy phone photo, but I couldn't wait to post a picture of our new stairs! Already the room looks brighter! Light comes down from upstairs and filters down into the living room. Even in the state that it is in, it looks so much better than our living room (aka "the cave") did before. I can't wait to see how it progresses from here:
Hope you have a good weekend--stay warm everyone!

Wednesday, January 11

currently reading

Oh my, this is such a good book! I started reading The Forgotten Garden before Christmas, and honestly, it took me a while to get into it. I wouldn't pick it up all that often. (A lot of that probably had to do with it being Christmas time and things were just busy.) Once I was into the meat of the story, it was hard to put down! It is not the easiest read: there are lots of characters, and it jumps around from past to present time.

It is worth the extra reading "muscle" it takes though! A very mysterious story about long lost relatives, travels overseas, gardens (of course) art, secrets and storytelling. I am about 20 pages from being finished. I'm trying to savor the last little bit as the book comes to a resolution. Wondering what I should read next...

Monday, January 9


Are you tired of looking at demolition pictures? If so, I really do apologize. This blog is a great way for me to record (if only for myself!) the progress of our house. Today, right now, the stairway looks like this:
I can't believe how much of a difference it makes in the entire room just freeing those stairs from their old hiding place behind the wall! I can't wait to see what happens this week. Our contractor is coming tomorrow to start work on the stairs. So excited. I hope to show more progress this week!

Friday, January 6

the photo-of-the-day project

I have decided to embark on the "photo-of-the-day project" once again this year. I did pretty good with it last year, until I hit August. Then, I was in first trimester of my pregnancy and lost all motivation. It happens, I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I still took tons of pictures, and that, of course, is the point.

The hardest part of this project for me isn't remembering to take the pictures, it is in the organization end of things. The date on my camera isn't set right, so the days are always off and I can never remember what day I took what picture. (The simplest remedy to this would be to look in my camera manual and change the date. There's a thought...) So far, I am up to date on my photo organization this year. Smile. It is only the 6th!

Then I don't know what I should do with all these pictures. I think I would like to make a Blurb book at the end of this year. I have ordered several books from this company, and I have always been really happy with them. That seems to be the simplest thing for me to do. I bought a Project Life kit last year, but that approach needs to be updated all the time, which I struggle with. So many people do awesome things using that kit, but I don't think I can do it.

So far I am using this blog as inspiration (Oh my gosh I love all the photos on this blog! The composition of them is so interesting, beautiful lighting, etc.) and labeling every photo with the date and a little title. Then, at the end of the year I can drag all the pictures into a Blurb book and it will super easy. I love super easy. I am trying not to get too caught up in the little details that usually deter my projects: obsessing over the size of the font in each one, etc. I just need to do it!

Here's today's picture:
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hope you take some pictures!

Wednesday, January 4


Yesterday there was a small pile of rubble on my kitchen floor:
Thankfully, when I went to check out the house tonight it was gone. Demolition isn't bad after all the mess is cleared! Our living room is wide open now, and I can start to see the big picture. Big picture days are good, aren't they?

Tuesday, January 3

a quilt for baby

I love to make baby quilts. I have a certain pattern that I think I have made about seven times. Two for my own babies, and five for other babies. I could probably make it with my eyes closed. It is always so fun to go and pick out fabrics for those quilts.

When I first thought about our new baby girl's room, I thought I would paint it a really light powder pink. Then I got my latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and saw a beautiful grouping of purple and lavender paint samples. Hmmm... Maybe lavender.

For Christmas my sister-in-law gave the new baby a beautiful lavender dress. (Thanks Laci!) That sealed it. Lavender it is. I decided to go with a grayed lavender--so pretty and soothing. Last week my mom and I loaded up the kids for a trip to the quilt store. They were thrilled. Don't worry. They got Chic Fil A afterwards, so they were OK.
This is what I came home with:
Really different than what I usually pick out. I was inspired by the colors of this particular quilt. So pretty. Can't wait to get it started!

Monday, January 2

the "before"

Hello and Happy New Year! As I mentioned in the last post, I love January. This particular January arrived with a bang--or sledgehammer I guess. Demolition on our downstairs started yesterday. Nothing like ringing in the new year with a little destruction. Both my boys (Andrew and Max) enjoyed it quite a bit.

These "before" pictures are really for me--but I thought you all would all want to see our living room progress too. Let's go on a tour of our living room!

When you walk in our front door, you are immediately in the living room. (Something that is not really handy when it comes to shoe/coat storage, but that's how it is.) If you look to the left, there is a door that goes to the stairway. This whole wall is coming down!!
More of that same wall:
This is the view from the middle of the room looking towards the front door.
This is the opposite wall. (Why yes, our TV is ancient and small!)

Ugly black ceiling fan! (I apologize if you like black ceiling fans...) I am blaming the embarrassing amount of dust on the drywall activity from upstairs.

This is the doorway that leads to the next room. (This wall has already been knocked out!) We use this room for a home office/toy room. This combination is not the greatest. One of the things about the remodel that I am looking forward to most is a dedicated office room. Possibly with a lock. Mamma needs one room where the kids can't go!
The wall of toys! Andrew made this cubby unit thing for us--I love it. It will be moving upstairs to the new playroom/library room. I think it will be so pretty up there!
I can't believe I'm showing you my desk. It is quite the disaster. I tend to pile things. I also tend to pile things up high where (hopefully) my lovely children can't reach them. I am successful about 50% of the time. Hopefully this beautiful desk will be prettier in a child-free room of its own. Side note on the desk: Andrew bought this at auction when we were dating. He showed it to me in a pile of pieces in the back of his truck. I thought it was a bad purchase. He was right: it refinished nicely.
This is the corner of the office room/playroom. The hallway leads back to our bedrooms and bathroom. I'm not sure what it will look like once the wall is all knocked down, but I'm sure it will be good!
This is the unfortunate meeting of putty colored paneling and a drop ceiling. When we moved in the paneling was wood colored, we painted it the putty color. It helped a little bit. I am going to try and branch out from my putty colored tendency when we re-paint!
There you have it! The tour of the living room before. The demolition started yesterday, so now it already looks a lot different. The kids and I are staying at my mom's house until things are livable again. Can't wait to see this old farmhouse transform!