Thursday, November 1, 2012

i love my trick-or-treaters

I coaxed the last bites of chili as the door bell rang with the first batch of trick-or-treaters.
Thanks to the magic of iso, you might not notice that these photos were basically taken in the dark.
David stood behind me with the candy bowl handing sugar out to a steady stream of neighborhood kids while simultaneously trying to get the little bee to smile.  They gave me about 5 seconds to grab a photograph, and then they were off, filling their own treat bags.  With every last Halloween detail and responsibility completed, I walked around the neighborhood in a state of permanent exhale.  Anything for these people.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In the middle.

I've been so lousy at documenting the house stuff.
I think it's because in my mind the "end" seems so far away, 
and some days it feels like we've only just started!
But progress has been made because the fireplace used to look like this:
David built a new surround that I like so much!
We replaced the black tile with carrera marble in a herringbone pattern.
The cabinet doors are gone, and in their place is a little surprise that David came up with.
The mirror slides open to reveal toys! the TV, (that we don't have yet).

It's one of our favorite features so far and it was the perfect compromise.
I didn't love the look of those cabinets when I knew we had this mirror that would fit perfectly.
That and we never, (I mean literally never) watch TV.  
         So David did a little research and found some industrial drawer slides. 
Of course even these pictures show we still have work to do here.
Finish tiling, paint the walls, touch-up stuff and ummm, get that TV.

Also, the floor is done!  We replaced all the carpet downstairs with hardwood.
That meant the living room, dining room & my future office/music room got new flooring.
I've mentioned it before, but the floor project was kind of brutal.
It's a bit like child birth though, because now that it's over, I can hardly remember the bad parts.
The pictures are a bit dark (it was cloudy) but we went with a dark brown stain and a satin clear coat.
I think the end result is lovely.
Here is a semi-before.  The fireplace had been finished, but the carpet is still there.
The hardwoods were a chestnut color.
And this view from the front door into the dining room shows how David had to tie in the new flooring to the existing.  He did top-notch work.  Now that the entire floor has been refinished, I cannot tell where the old and new floor meet.
 Next up...the kitchen.
To give you an idea of the general layout, the french door leads to the office/music room and to the left of it is the glass door that leads to the pantry.  To the left of the pantry is the dining room.  And behind that highchair is a breakfast nook.
 (door opens to deck)
The simple plan is this:  change everything.
Ha!  Close though. 
I really love the layout and we will keep the cabinets and of course the fridge I picked this summer.
But most other aspects of the room will be re-imagined. 
Wish us luck.

Did I ever mention that we were this close to building a house?
Yes.  We had scoped a lot, selected a plan and a builder. 
We got so far as to actually have two cashiers checks in hand and were in the final meeting
 with the builder to hold the lot and sign the contract.
And I just. couldn't. do. it.
It's a crazy story for another day.
But in the end...this house won out,
in all of it's short-sale glory.
And we knew from the very beginning (and budgeted cash for) the changes we wanted to make.
I remind myself of this often these days because when you are in the middle, 
it's hard not to let your mind drift to the "would have been scenarios".
You know, the ones where we would be living in a house that would reflect our ideas
and ask absolutely nothing of us.
And yet, in an undeniable way, this is home.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For the Record:

#1.  I did not fail my son in the "football homecoming poster-why do parents do this to themselves- mania" this year.  I had a banner made (a month ahead of time even). Boo yah!  May I just say that this accomplishment is right up there with passing Calculus?

#2.  I now completely understand why flooring companies wanted to charge 5 semesters of college tuition to do our floor project.  It was nutso.  A wildly disruptive DIY to tackle with four small children.  But. BUT!  The last coat of polyurethane is drying as I type, and I am in. love. with. the. floor.  Some day soon we can bring our refrigerator back inside and I won't have to walk out into the garage to get my milk and eggs.  It's the little things.

#3.  My buddy.  We've been passing lots of time together.  Books.  Legos.  Cars.  We are really good at phone pictures.  Here is our best "BORED" look (we didn't have to try hard)

And also, "WEIRDO GUY"  (always his idea :)
#4.  The kindergarten field trip.  Again to pumpkin patch.  My sweet sweet girl wanted to hold my hand the whole time.  She didn't talk in any decibel lower than a shout, and she was excited about everything.
I love her enthusiasm.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Only confirms that I need to hold this little man again. asap.


I have two brothers born in September.
I have two daughters born in September.
And now my two newest nephews join this celebratory month as well!
This is the nephew I am lucky enough to live near.
Simeon Reese.
Slice of Heaven.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Forgive a mother's lack of photo discretion. 1st birthdays just. kill. me.

Miss Poppy is 1 whole year old!  
We celebrated with family.  
She loved her cake.  Of course.
We might have made the mistake of taking it away too soon.
Boy oh boy, she let us know.
Oh Poppy, we love you!!!
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Story About Two Sisters

 Who have equal amounts of love for each other, 
 and impressive independent streaks.
 And when one begins to exert her will, 
 the other naturally runs for
 Unfortunately that doesn't last for long,
when you're only just 1.

A Birthday Party for Lily

Whooo weee.  That's the first thing that comes to mind.  These were 7 of the cutest little baker's you ever did see.  They decorated their hats and then got busy in the kitchen whipping up all sorts of goodies in honor of Lily's birthday.  I wish I had a chance to grab more action shots, but let's just say that all the action was requiring all of my undivided attention.  Setting up for this party totally reminded me of setting up for science projects as an elementary school teacher.  Twenty-five 4th graders "experimenting" is really quite a sight.  Better be on your A-game if you're the one in charge.  There are a lot of details missing from these photos, but each girlie went home with a cake box full of goodies and a big smile.  It was approaching dinnertime as the last little chef was escorted to the door.  Upon closer inspection of my physical energy and my kitchen, David and I loaded our children into the car and headed for... the drive-thru.