Monday, October 13, 2014

In Love.

We had Dr. J and her awesome family over this weekend, and as we were getting ready for them, I decided to decorate my mantle for fall.

Dubya hauled up my Rubbermaid tote full of fall decor for me and we began to set things out, feeling content and happy as I sprinkled my house with hues of orange, red, and yellow.

Prior to our remodel project, our fireplace was something I tolerated. Put up with. The Mr. and I had spoken, now and then, about refacing it with stone or some other kind of brick but it was my dad that spoke these wise words, "Just wait until you're done with your project...you might change your mind about it.".

Never. I NEVER thought I'd change my mind about our fireplace being something other than an object that I just put up with. I never thought that I could actually APPRECIATE our fireplace...but then? Something magical happened.

As things came together with the remodel project, I began to realize that our fireplace was starting to shine. I was kind of as if we "unearthed" it and instead of it being this big, behemoth of a structure that always seemed to be in the way and never appealed to me, suddenly I saw it in a whole new light! The colors we chose for the walls and the warmth of the wood floors have made our fireplace come to life!


One thing I have always loved about my fireplace was being able to decorate the mantle for various holidays and seasons. So, when we finished decorating the mantle and I stood back, my breath caught for a moment as I saw, with fresh eyes, the majesty and beauty of our fireplace, set in its new surroundings and, once again, I fell in love with our home.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

They're BAAAAAAAACK!

Perfect timing for a spooky story, since it IS October and all, right?

Imagine this: you lose your way to contact loved ones, then right before your very eyes every appointment and party and get together vanishes into thin air.

DUH DUH DUH DUHNNNNNNN.

It happened to me Sunday morning. I slept peacefully through the night only to wake up and discover that all of my contacts had gone missing from my phone during the night. I thought maybe they all ran off together on some grand adventure, but I discovered them, hanging out together, right there in the cloud. So WHY weren't they on my phone?

Of course, I wanted a quick fix. A button to push. Something fast and easy. But everything I tried was unsuccessful. They remained, stubbornly, up there in the dang cloud.

Then I discovered my Calendar had been wiped clean. To some, this might sound like something from their wildest dreams, but to me? TERROR. That calendar is my LIFELINE, PEOPLE!! I panicked a little, wondering what important events, dates, meetings, appointments I was going to miss...

I decided to throw in the towel and get the new iPhone. Clearly my 4S was no longer up to the task of being my #1 sidekick. I hauled my butt to the nearest Best Buy (my new favorite place to shop, thanks to the SUPERB service we've gotten there!) only to discover that they were clean outta iPhones. 

Over to AT&T I went. Same story.

Then onto Target. Ditto.

And then, to Best Buy Mobile. Where, they too, were out of the iPhone. I lamented about my missing contacts and calendars and "ugh'ed" that they were still in the cloud so why won't they come back down to my phone.

Then, this adorable blonde haired young Best Buy dude said something magical, "Wait. It's in the cloud? Try signing out of your Apple ID, then sign back in." Seems easy enough, right?

Well it didn't work. BUT THEN. OHHHHHHH BUT THEN!!!

I remembered something I had read on the internet...if you turn off iCloud for contacts and calendars (keeping what's already on your phone), then turn them back on and "merge", that your info will come back. Well, I had already tried that (about 30 times, like the Walmart cashier that kept trying to scan an item that said "Non-saleable item"...IT DIDN'T WORK THE FIRST TIME, why would it work the 30th?!) and failed but I had a EUREKA moment.

What if...WHAT IF I put the two tactics together? It was like you could see the freaking light bulb light up above my head.

I quickly grabbed my phone, turned off iCloud for contacts and calendar and then signed out of my Apple ID. I waited a few minutes, signed back IN to my Apple ID then turned iCloud back on for contacts (choosing "merge" when the option comes up) and calendar AND HOLY MOLY.

There were my contacts. E'ry last one of 'em!!!! And my appointments and birthday parties and prior commitments and EEEEEEEEK!!!!

My life was all back in order.

The end.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Awesomeness

Kids, particularly your own, are the most amazing creatures on earth, no?

The love and adoration a mama feels is absolutely spectacular, no?

You hurt when they hurt and you share their excitement when they're excited, no?

So...lemme tell you a little story.

Remember when this sweet pumpkin was born? 


And I took her newborn pictures? 


And she didn't cooperate one little iota but GOOD GOLLY is she ever cute and I can't say that I minded getting to hold her and feed her and cuddle her to get her to TRY to cooperate? Yeah, her.

Anyway, when I was finished snapping photos of the little munchkin, my brother and sister-in-law were talking to me as I was (confession: half) listening as I looked through the photos on my camera. This is sort of what I was (half) hearing, "You know...and you...but we're thinking...for baby...that we were going to ask Belle to be her Godmother." SAY WHA?????

My head snapped up and I got a little teary because I knew. I just knew that nothing else in the whole world would make my sweet girl's day (month? year? life?) than being able to be the Godmother to her brand new cousin. Yes, she's a young Godmother, but Catholic "rules" are that only one Godparent has to be a confirmed and practicing Catholic...my bro and sis-in-law ran it past the priest and got the go ahead and on Sunday night, during her birthday celebration, sweet Belle got the gift of a lifetime.

The last gift she opened was a card...a card from her baby cousin that read, "Godmother, Your Sweet and Fun and Cool" (or something like that) and the "OH MY GOSH!!" that came out of my girl's mouth was priceless! She was beaming. So excited and thrilled to be such an important part of her cousin's life!! Thankfully, we got it on video...because truly, such an awesome reaction!



And so, as her mama, there I sat, sharing the rocking chair with her while I fed HER Goddaughter...and I got all teary. Because: the joy. The joy that that one little act did for my daughter? It did me in.

The awesomeness of being a parent. It's the best thing in the whole world.

Later that evening, as she was trying on gifts and marveling in what she had gotten and that she had just been asked to be a Godmother, she exclaimed, "This is the best birthday EVER!".

And my heart exploded. 


Monday, September 22, 2014

What To Do, What To Do...

My Gram wanted to see updated pictures of our house, so she turned to my blog and GUESS WHAT????

No recent pictures...see, I'm struggling. We've reached the point where I could show you pictures of the almost finished project...BUT, the little things that are left are things that make me want to wait until it is ALL done. You know, "Look! Here's my beautiful kitchen without trim and backsplash and doors!"...and then, when those things are done, while they'll definitely make it "finished" there won't be a whole lot of "WOW!!" factor involved, it'd be more like "Here's our project BEFORE trim and LOOK! Here it is after." and y'all'd be like, "Huh?" cuz I'm not sure it'll make THAT MUCH of a difference in pictures. 

Yikes. I'm totally rambling.

All this to say...hang tight. "After" photos are coming!! We're finishing up my pantry shelving (yay!!!!!) and then we'll be staining and poly'ing the baseboard and trim and then? THEN I will show you the finished product!

Instead, I will leave you with this:



A photo of our mudroom tile...my super hardworking husband WORKED HIS CUTE BUTT OFF on getting this done and lawdy, am I ever glad I can do laundry again!! (Who EVER thought they'd say that?!)

Stay tuned...


Monday, September 8, 2014

Can We Talk for a Second?

Let's talk for a second. You and me.

I found something a few days ago that made me weak in the knees. Made my heart pound with excitement and my cheeks flush with the idea of the gloriousness that I just discovered.

Guys? I found the most AMAZING website. :)

I dunno, maybe I'm just late to the game...maybe everyone else on the entire planet has already discovered these guys...maybe...but I still hafta share. (Ain't no paid advertisement...)

Rustica Hardware.

OH. EM. GEE. Ohmigosh. I can't even. (That was for you, Julie.)

As I've mentioned before, we're planning on doing a "barn door" for the door to our mudroom. Enter in my idea of door opening widths, bullheadedness, and lack of proper research, however...and now we're looking at a custom door. UGH.

See...I INSISTED on having a 36" opening for the mudroom/diningroom entrance. IN. SISTED. Only thing is, standard doors don't come any larger than 36" and having a door that BARELY covers the opening?

Well, shoot. I hadn't thought of that.

So, now we're down to two options: 1. Make it ourselves (Hee hee. Hoo hoo. Ha.) or 2. Pay a crap ton of money for a custom door.

Then I stumbled upon Rustica Hardware and while they ain't cheap, it's looking like this might be our best bet! But gosh. Do we do it? I mean, it's still gonna be a chunk of change...and we are at the UPPER (as in, we've REACHED) end of budget. But do we cheap out on the barn door?????



Oh Sweet Baby Jesus...why can't we be filthy rich? Sigh. Alas, we are not. And so...now the decision has to be made...make a door that we'll be "ho hum" about? Or, scrape together the money to splurge on the gorgeous barn doors over at Rustica Hardware?


The woes of a maxed out remodeler...



Friday, September 5, 2014

It's Friday!!

Whoa nelly. Week one of school down and OH. EM. GEE. The children. They are at each other's throats!!

For kids that usually get along pretty well, we have had way more than our normal amount of tears, raised voices, disagreements, hurt feelings...the list goes on and on! This first week of school business is tough stuff. 

Speaking of first week (day) of school...I'm a terrible mother. How could I NOT post the obligatory first day of school photos??? Let me remedy that quick:



Cracks me up that it looks like she's wearing shoulder pads!!







Please forgive Belle's "one of these things is not like the other" photo...she started the day after the other kiddos and I was already out of practice by then and forgot to have her pose inside. Oh well, at least I got a photo, right?!

Anyway, I'm super thankful for the reprieve of the weekend. A chance to regroup. To sleep in. To have mornings that are not ruled by pressure of the clock. 

I'll tell you what else I'm thankful for...my home. I have a small confession to make...as the numbers were adding up, I became fearful that it was "not going to be worth it". I was afraid we had made the wrong decision about remodeling...but now? Now that we're SO CLOSE to being finished that I can taste it (literally...read on)? I'm so happy. So content. I catch myself standing in my new kitchen grinning like a goofball and just looking around.

AND...I'm thankful that I can cook again! My family has been treated to meal after homemade meal since we "moved in" to the kitchen! Chicken, pork chops, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, my kids (and my husband) are beyond thrilled to be at the receiving end of my "back in the kitchen" excitement! 

My Belle said one night, while mmmm'ing and ahhhhh'ing over her meal, "I NEVER thought I'd get sick of eating at restaurants!" I couldn't agree more, Belle. Whoda ever thunk that I would've gotten sick of the treat of eating out?

Not me! But I did. We ALL did...and now? Now we're even more appreciative of the goodness of a home cooked meal!

And now, I'm going to sign off and go stand in my kitchen with a goofy grin again... ;)


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!!


AND I HAVE RUNNING WATER!!!

AND A FUNCTIONING DISHWASHER!!

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 it...in 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!

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