Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Simple Project

Like most foreclosures, our house was stripped pretty bare of hardware and fixtures.  So when I needed a towel rack for the boys' bathroom I thought I'd do something fun and super simple like this:

(picture from google)

Seemed easy enough for me:
1. buy supplies
2. paint
3. screw in cleats
4. mount to wall

Four easy steps.  Well let me tell you how this goes in real life:

1. Drive to store to buy supplies. Find a straight board that will work, pick out 4 cleats.
2. Go home.  Realize the cashier only charged for 3 cleats.
3. Drive back.  Pay for 4th cleat.
4. Go to Hobby Lobby for paint.  Forget the towel for color match.  Pick a paint anyway and decide it's good enough.
5. Let items sit around kitchen for 2 weeks because the babies have decided napping is for the birds.
6. Finally have a moment to make it happen.
7. Locate supplies.  Board is missing.  Realize the board has been cut up for Amelia's baby gate.
8. Find another board (I got lucky)
9.  Look for 4 cleats. Can only find 3.  Drive back to Home Depot to buy yet another one.
10. Paint blue.
11. Paint again.  New board is mdf and looks kind of weird.
12.  clean up yogurt mess from 2 year old.
13. Put kids down for nap (a long process in and of itself)
14. Try to find sandpaper
15. Sand
16. Screw in cleats, drill runs out of batteries on last one. Find another drill.
17. Have Tyler teach me how to use stud finder and mount to wall.  
18.  Stand back and admire simple project.

There you have it.  18 steps for my simple project.  But hey, at least the boys have a cute towel rack on the wall so their towels can be thrown on the floor under it.  

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Christmas Jams

This is still one of my top ten Christmas songs.  Plus, it helps the kids clean up.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Entryway Project

Finally, the post about the entryway!
Here is all the before pictures I could find of the space.  It was a 2 story, open foyer like all other homes in Texas.  
 Upstairs family room.  The only logical place for the sofa to go is up against that half wall.  Super not safe.
 Open on this side with basically a "catwalk" over to the other side of the upstairs. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs, one in each corner.
 View looking up.

 View looking doooooooown.

 *      *      *
 So at 10pm one night Tyler just started removing drywall. I mean, what else do you do at 10 pm?

 He had all the necessary stuff removed that night.

 Then he installed the new floor boards.  This were big long boards (2x16s?) that were not cheap. But I'm thinking it's ok to not scrimp on this part.

 Once those were all the way across the plywood went down upstairs.  I don't really have a good picture of that.
 But here is Tyler standing on the newly created floor, tearing out the half wall.

 It made a mess, yes.
 Then, back downstairs, the beadboard panels went up.  I actually helped with this part.  Except I'm not sure how much help I am: I am a total weakling and not good on ladders and I kept getting sawdust in my eyes.  The nail gun was also jamming every time Tyler was supporting the board and I was supposed to be nailing.  But by the 6th sheet I got it down :)

 Electrical wires were in place and the faux beams were built.
Crown molding installed. Painted.
Lights hung, and its done!  It's gorgeous. 
 I love the fact that no other house in our neighborhood looks like this.  

 We are going to a board and batten/wainscotting type thing on the expansive walls and paint of course--maybe something like this:

 but first we need to take out the wall to the dining room and do something similiar to this:

I think this will really transform the space and turn this weirdo house into a showcase.  I can't wait!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Grateful Sunday

It's been awhile since I did a grateful sunday post, but my heart is full.

I feel so very blessed to be living here:

 I love our ward.
This is from our ward christmas party.  It was the best I've ever been too.  
They serve brisket.  I heart Texas.

 I love our neighbors--we invited some over for dessert tonight and it was just really fun.  Loud, yummy, laughing, easy.
 I love the people who have made me feel comfortable--who laugh at my jokes instead of giving me blank stares and who fill me in with details instead of me feeling like a constant outsider.
I love that perfect strangers tell me "Welcome to Texas!"
I love our house (it's picked up right now and that really helps).
I love going to ward choir; I have really missed singing and being involved in music.
I love that I can walk to choir.

I love this time of year too, even though it's hard for me as a mother. I frequently find myself disappointed because I have unmet/unrealistic expectations (such as, my older kids will feel the love and spirit of the season and not fight with each other--for 10 consecutive minutes) and I usually feel that they don't deserve anything more since they are lousy at being grateful for what they already have. In fact, I still haven't done a single bit of shopping.  But that aside, seeing Wyatt and Amelia at the brink of Christmas Magic is so fun.  Wyatt loves every "tiffin tree" and all the blow-ups and lights (our neighborhood is amazing with the lights, see below) and Amelia, well, she's just awesome at playing with the fisher price nativity.

I just feel that we were led by the Lord every step of the way to end up in this area. 
I am so very grateful for that guidance and love.  

Mr Vinnie is loving his new life.  He's quite spoiled at his new home I believe...

One Month

It's our 1 month anniversary at the Texas House.  Things have drastically slowed down due to Tyler's work schedule and the holidays and such.  But I thought I'd do an update anyway.

My parents and Penny came to visit us for Thanksgiving.  We had a very low-key, easy going holiday. I only cook the same traditional foods that we always have.  It's nothing fancy.  And Elle made the pies this year.  They were delicious. It was fun to show my parents the house and I hope the next time they see it things will look better! Or at least a little more unpacked.

Maddie designed, Tyler built and I painted Maddie's closet shelves:

Tyler tore out the crazy built-ins in the master bedroom (the gigantic wall mirror came out before we even moved in...)

 and put up a shiplap plank wall.  
 It still needs ceiling work and molding and trim (and carpet, curtains, possibly shutters...), but this room may be the closest one to being done.  The walls are painted Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams and it's the most soothing gray-green which is exactly what I wanted. I'm going for cozy cottage here. Other than that, I have no idea how to decorate such a huge space.  The room is gigantic.  Even with the sidecar-crib and king size bed. Defintely not cozy.

Here are some inspiration pics.  Cozy. Comfy. Warm. Simple. I have no idea how to do any of that.

So, that's what we've got there.

And the ceiling project was done--all except for the 3rd light fixture.  We had to go to another store to get 2 of the lights, they were both broken, and then we finally found more and one of them just shattered while installed.  Glass explosion.  Finally got the all the lights in and it looks fantastic.  I love the ceiling.

and the extra space upstairs is great too:
I still think the whole projects warrants its own post.  But on with the projects.

Today Tyler tackled the laundry area



This house has space, but not a lot of practical storage.  Like the laundry room is huge, but a blank slate--no cabinets, no shelves, no place to put things.  Everything's just piled up.  I'm not sure this will be our final layout, but it's flexible.  I'll be super glad to have some cabinets and cupboards to hide things away!
I'll keep you updated on this project too.

And last but not least, Tyler got a baby-gate built for Miss Amelia.  She is the climbiest kid I've had and she's determined to throw herself down the stairs.  She already fell from the bottom step and landed in the ER with a puffy head (it is so weird, but just a hematoma). Just needs some paint and we are good to go.

And that's our first month here.