Happy Halloween

From the bundled baby, Batman, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Ghost. Oh, and the Mom pushing the stroller!


Things are Getting Spooky Around Here

Thanks to Whitney for the wreath. I just added some Halloween-ish ribbon and voila! Instant holiday theme.

It's also spooky how quickly this little munchkin is making his way around these days. One minute he's standing, holding onto my pantleg, the next minute, he's getting into the cleaning supplies under the sink. Scary, that one.

And, this one? Downright devilish! She even has her trick-or-treating bag already.

Oh, and this project has "spooky" written all over it: painting trim! Oh, the joy. You know what I'm talking about if you've ever painted trim, and lots of it. It's getting a little crazy around here.


Hauling Rocks
I spent 4 hours this morning hauling rocks from behind our garage, depositing them above a concrete wall along our backyard.

There was a huge pile of fallen rocks from the hill behind our house and we had to move them so we could put metal sheeting behind our garage. These are my hands. They are calloused, dry and leathery-looking. I must have hauled 100 heavy bucketfuls of rocks.

After I was done, I kept sneaking peeks behind the garage to look at my handiwork. (I have to give Travis credit because we'd already spent last Saturday working on it as well).

I tell people that I like projects because they give me immediate gratification in the midst of sometimes not-very-gratifying work as a Mother. Now, don't get me wrong: I love being a Mom and there are definitely instant perks along the way. But, sometimes, after all the dirty diapers have been changed, messes have been cleaned up, and fights dissolved, raising children can test even the best woman's patience! So, I like working on projects to entertain my need for immediacy in something. And, to prove that I can do things and finish them in a reasonable amount of time (unlike the eternal nature of Motherhood).

So, there you have it. The deeper explanation of that long pile of rocks. And you thought you could read without any of my relating things to Motherhood!


Batman Turns 3!

Thank goodness he finally turned three because I couldn't take his terrible-two-ness anymore. Miles has been such a blessing to us though and I'm glad I get to spend my time in the trenches with him. When I wished him Happy Birthday Monday morning (his birthday), he said, "What do I get?" He's very clever, that one, at three. :) Love that kid.
First Grade, Welcome Finn

I know, I know, school has been in session for weeks now, and I'm just now getting around to actually taking a picture of my boy in his school garb, let alone posting it! But, Auntie Erin, you asked and this one's for you.
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Project Central in Pictures
T-dawg still has some pieces of trim to add to the roof (see tar paper sticking out from under roof sheeting), but otherwise, this baby is done! It was a major job, but it's done. Can I get a hallelujah?

With all the funding for our projects being sucked into big things like the roof and floors, we didn't have very much to spend on mirrors, but the ones in there were just boring to me. So, instead of buying a set of mirrors, I decided to use the mirrors already there, cut them down, and add custom frames to go around them. I bought some MDF crown molding at the building supply store, cut the pieces (myself!) and glued them together. After a few coats of paint and some distressing with stain, they were ready to hang. This bathroom is no where near being done, but now at least the frames are more up my alley.

These pictures don't really do this project justice. It was a huge sweat investment. We're talking lots of hours of chipping away at the foundation with a special tool hooked up to the air compressor, scraping, cement applying, painting, etc. It feels so good to have it done.

I didn't take a good "Before" photo, so this isn't a great comparison, but you can see a glint of the old silver-painted mirror that used to be in the bathroom (and the blue paint). I took the original mirror, had it cut to fit an antique frame from my Mom, and replaced the existing mirror. I love the texture of this frame. And it was only $5 a cut to trim down the mirror, making this whole project $10. The warm beige color is now throughout the house. More pictures to come!


Design Inspiration

Living in the active remains of the good ole Wild West, I have gotten used to the decor 'round these parts (okay, I'll stop the cowboy-ese). The popular decor consists of lots of natural wood- wood cabinetry, wood flooring, wood paneling. While I love wood and appreciate the warmth and earthiness it can lend to a space, I don't like to overdo it.

So in trying to design my own home, I have had to keep in mind the future buyer of this space and not completely remove the rustic, Western-y flair. It's a challenge. But, a fun one. These pictures are all ones I am loving right now. I love a considered mix of vintage, antique, and modern. So, to marry my style with this area's, I've decided on a few things for my home:

  • emphasize the natural maple kitchen cabinets by picking a paint color that makes them pop
  • keep the wood on the floors as well, only replace the laminate wood flooring with either original or installed hickory in a matte Swedish finish
  • paint the wood trim white to give the home a more traditional feel (again, I'm trying to keep the wood look but not go overboard)
  • use vintage accents and accessories (like lighting, furniture, rugs, curtains, etc.) to express the vintage/eclectic side of me
I hope I can pull this look together. I want to work with what I have (wood kitchen cabinets, some wood flooring) and yet still make the space my own. I'll keep you posted on the progress!


Family Home Evening 10/10/11


Dirty Jobs with S. S. or Money Pit or What We've Been Up To

Here's an excerpt from my weekly family letter that gives the run-down on our floors:

Initially, we were going to have the living and dining room floors refinished, plus add wood to the kitchen and have that finished as well. So we pulled up the wood laminate flooring in the dining room and the carpet in the living room this week. We discovered there is a very stubborn layer of old linoleum (with impossible-to-remove tar-like adhesive) on top of the wood. This adhesive is also known to have asbestos in it, so we had to be extra cautious working with it, putting up plastic barriers, using window fans, wearing a respirator, and showering immediately after exposure. Travis spent all day yesterday pulling up just the tiles. We had already spent several hours scraping away areas of the adhesive, trying various methods of getting it off. It was very slow going. I was discouraged. Then the floor refinisher came yesterday from Bend to deliver the wood for the project (it has to acclimate for at least two weeks) and once he saw the exposed wood in the dining room he said it is fir, not hickory like in the living room. So, with fir being a softer wood, and wanting to match the hickory that will be in the kitchen and living room, we decided to just rip up the whole dining room floor and put in new hickory. After looking at all our options and our budget, we decided do the living and dining room and wait to do the kitchen. In a few months when we can afford to do it, we'll have him come out again and do the kitchen. Phew. I am so glad I don't have endless nights of scraping ahead of me!

Above was when I looked like one of the cast members of Mary Poppins. Here's a description (again from my weekly letter) to fill you in on why:

We spent the week before last taking shingles and nails off the garage, then I cleaned them all up, hauling 3 loads of heavy shingles to the dump. I looked like a chimney sweep the whole time, black and dirt all over my face and arms---those shingles are dirty! Travis has been working on putting on the new metal roof to match the one on our house and he's 95% finished. It looks really good. He's only got some thin pieces of trim to put up and more screws to fully secure the roof and it's done.

I've also painted the inside of this house betwixt blog posts, so I'll have some before/after pictures of that coming soon!


A Spontaneous Hug

I did not prompt this photo, only grabbed my camera to shoot it. Sometimes they actually treat each other like the sweet things they are.