Thursday, April 19, 2012

We have carpet!


Our kids have been real troopers through this whole process. Here’s a snapshot of the chaos we’ve been living in.


A reminder of what the dingy, stained, cat-pee carpet looked (looks, in some cases, unfortunately) like.




View of the loft. This is a pretty good representation of the color of the carpet.


Master bedroom


The stairs after. These stairs actually gave us a lot of trouble. They were carpeted on the first day (carpeting was a two-day process), and that evening we noticed a huge lump when you walked from the upstairs landing onto the first step. I had them take that carpet up the next day so we could check out what was going on. Turned out that the step was not even remotely level with the landing (there was a 3/8” difference). The tread was also bowed, so it exaggerated that unevenness even more. I spent ages (and many sanding pads) sanding down the step edge to be more even with the landing. The contractor also applied some floor patch to the stair to level things out. By the end of the day there was no noticeable difference. Thank goodness! It would have driven me crazy every time I walked on it.


Stairs going down.


Paul’s room. Notice the baseboards? We’ve got the bottom half done downstairs. Still need to do the top half, but we did manage to get the critical pieces installed in time for carpet installation, but not without some chaotic moments.


Another room’s been painted! Bridget’s room is Robin’s Nest by BM. The girls’ room and the playroom are still to do (and closets and bathrooms and the whole main floor…but that’s another phase).


The blue doesn’t look good next to the orange wood (what does?), but you’ll get a glimpse of what it will look like with white trim if you check out the baseboard. Aaron’s not convinced on this room, but I think it will look adorable once I get everything set up in here. And get that awful trim painted.



Paul loves it. Perfect for doing tricks on.

Honestly, we’re not 100% sold on the color. I was so paranoid of picking something that had a yellow undertone (so hard to work with) that I went a bit far in the other direction and got too much red. It’s great in some lights and not as fine in others. But I’m reserving judgment until we get our furnishings in. It’s a lot of carpet to take in without anything to break it up. So we’ll see. Lowe’s told us we have a 90-day return policy with no questions asked, so we’ll use it if we’re not crazy about the carpet. I do LOVE the feel of it, though. It’s so soft and plush underfoot.

Next step: moving! We’re in the process of packing up and will be moving out on Saturday. Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Having kids is the best

I just need to share this quick story. I’ve been a little…overwhelmed. To say the least. Trying to be a good wife, feed and dress my family of six, laundering all their clothing, preparing dinner, keeping one house show ready, being chauffer, and on and on all while remodeling another house is stressful. Today I asked Paul to put the groceries for dinner in the front seat of the car. I’m not sure what happened, but the moment I opened the door the bag feel out and unopened Costco-sized jars of green olives and artichokes shattered. There goes dinner. I just lost it and had to go cry. When I was brave enough to leave the room, I found these slipped under the door.

Grocery List from Paul001

It was a collaborative effort by Paul and Katie. Notice the green olives and artichokes (a.k.a. “ortcoks”) on the “sopping list.” It made me laugh and instantly brightened my day. Thank you, kids.

Progress on the house

We don’t have an internet connection yet in the new house, so I’m afraid blog posts will be sporadic at best. But here’s what we’ve been up to so far:

April 1:


Our sleeping arrangements. It’s even more chaotic now that all four kids are back in the house. Thank goodness for those built-ins. They’re now housing the clothing of six people.


Door being primed. When we took apart the bifold doors for all the closets, there were 37 doors to paint. Kill me now!


View into the girls’ rooms. More doors.


And more doors…and there were plenty more I didn’t take pictures of.


Baseboards installed in the hall.



This house has the worst drywall problems. The seams are visible everywhere, and “Jeff” didn’t know what he was doing on the seams he tried to patch. Here’s Aaron giving you a visual of how large the repair was that we had to do in the master bedroom. Wall color is Sherwin Williams Analytical Gray.


Painting trim and installing baseboard in the master bedroom.


Looking into the master bedroom from the loft. Upstairs is all painted!!


The view from our balcony. It’s even more incredible at night. I’ll have to get pictures sometime.


Looking down onto the backyard. You can see both ponds in this picture.


View of one of the side yards. I think that’s an abandoned doghouse…? Lovely grass, no?


You can see how we’re nestled right in the foothills.

April 12:


Drywall repaired and baseboards completed in master bedroom.


All coats of paint on trim finished. I love taking off the masking paper! It’s like Christmas.


My setup for spray painting the door hardware (with one light coat of paint on). We can’t afford to replace the hardware for 37 doors, but the brass can’t stay either. So it’s all being painted an oil-rubbed bronze. The finished product looks really good. Hopefully it will last a while. I’ve tried this before on my desk hardware, and they don’t have a single scratch on them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


All doors painted and ready to be reassembled.


Paul’s room is totally painted except for the closet. Closets are going to have to wait until later. I LOVE how this color turned out. It changes according to the light, so sometimes it’s a dark gray and others it’s a steely blue. It’s Deep Silver (I think!) by Benjamin Moore.


We’ve tried out a couple of colors for Katie and Averi’s room. I decided on that very light pink. It’s Wild Aster by BM. The girls are thrilled that I caved in to their pink request. Their room is so light-filled that the pink is very unobtrusive.


Another view of the girls’ room.


Prepping to paint Bridget’s room. Starting with a blank slate is fun!


Looking into Paul’s room. Not even the bathrooms have doors on them at the moment. My privacy-loving husband is finding this to be difficult, but they’ll be up again soon enough.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quick Seattle Recap

Aaron and I snuck in a quick 4-day trip to Seattle the week before we closed on our new house. I’m a believer in the weightlifting style of living—work really hard for a short amount of time and then completely rest. This is opposed to the marathon style of living—keep going until you’re beyond miserable, and then go some more. We figured that it would probably be a while before we got another chance at a break, so we leaped at the chance of taking a “just us” vacation when my mom offered to come and watch the kids on Kiera’s spring break. Of course, “just us” really meant “just us and Bridget,” but you take what you can get.

We stayed in Bellevue the first two nights and drove into downtown Seattle. We bought the Seattle City Passes and did a bunch of the touristy things. Aaron had never been to Washington before, so I was really excited for him to see everything.


The guitar tower at the EMP (Experience Music Project) museum. Aaron is very into music of all types, so I was the most excited for him to be able to visit this museum.



At the Avatar exhibit at the EMP.


Bridget being a goof at lunch. I seriously adore this baby.


We had THE BEST food while we were in Seattle. This was our favorite place. It’s a Cajun-style restaurant called Toulouse Petit. I had the most delicious gnocchi, and Aaron’s fried chicken gumbo was amazing. The prices were extremely reasonable as well.


At the Space Needle. Yes, it rained every day that we were there, but we didn’t mind. We knew that visiting Seattle in March wasn’t exactly a recipe for great weather.


Day 2: Seattle Aquarium. It was much bigger than it seemed. I kept wishing the kids were with us. They would have loved it. Our favorites were the river otters. So adorable!


Speaking of adorable…I just want to eat her up!




Flower stalls at Pike Place. I borrowed my friend’s Ergo carrier for this trip, and it made me want one. It was perfect. I would have gone out and purchased one if Bridget weren’t the last baby.


Aaron was in seafood heaven on this trip. He had some at nearly every meal.


On Tuesday night we drove to the Northwest peninsula and stayed in a little town called Sequim near Port Angeles. I seriously want to retire there. It was so incredibly gorgeous, but apparently the weather patterns work out so that it hardly rains there. Heaven! We spent the night at a bed and breakfast called Dungeness Barnhouse. It was an old dairy barn that had been converted into a house, and it was amazing. It was right on the ocean and had the most incredible views of the bay. There was a tree in the front yard that was an eagle roost. Real, live, bald eagles. Roosting in the tree. In her front yard. Amazing, right? We saw several while we were there. Berta was the most wonderful hostess and her breakfast was delicious. I felt as though I were staying with family. Definitely look her up if you’re in the area.


Looking out onto the bay.



Bald eagle. Unfortunately I didn’t have my zoom lens on, but trust me on this one.


Going for a hike on Dungeness Spit.



A massive tree that had washed ashore.


On Wednesday we drove around the Olympic mountains for a little bit (but had to turn around because we were nearly out of gas), took a “hike” on the Dungeness Spit, and the drove over to Port Townsend to see all the charming Victorian houses. We had an amazing trip and would return in a heartbeat. We have good friends that are moving to Seattle, and they should be expecting some visitors!