Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kitchen renovation post

When we moved into this house 9.5 years ago, I didn't love the kitchen.  I didn't love the how brown and warm it was.  I didn't love the backsplash and after a year or two I began to LOATHE the tile.  (WHY DO PEOPLE EVER PUT TILE IN KITCHENS??? The clean up is so impossible.) But you don't buy a new house and redo anything, so I lived with it.  I love how the kitchen is set up and how big it is.  I made lots of yummy food in this kitchen.

Ryan finally got tired of the difficult, easily broken tile and we decided that after almost 10 years, we could justify a surface, kitchen renovation.  We wanted clean, cool surfaces...leaning toward a modern look, while staying true to the house's craftsman design. 

We decided to tear down the upper level of the bar.  I've liked hides mess, and makes a great serving surface, but we thought it would be more modern if it was one level, and really liked the idea of having some bar seating (especially since we have filled our table and have issues when we have guests over.) I love the blue barstools, which add color, and we have loved having some close-to-the-kitchen hanging out space.

We decided to have the cabinets's much cheaper than new cabinets, and honestly what we had was quality.  It was way more expensive than we thought, but the company had come recommended.  It was AMAZING how it lightened up the entire house.  We chose brushed gold, modern pulls/hardware and they add a fun touch.


We decided to do two-toned paint and different countertops.  We did white paint on the wall cabinets, with a gray, almost cement looking quartz countertop.  The island is kind of opposite, with a gray paint on the cabinets and a white speckled quartz countertop.  I can't even tell you the joy of not digging out red pepper seeds from tiled grout.  Our kitchen probably stays cleaner because it's so easy to wipe down.

I wanted a very minimal, yet interesting, backsplash.  I chose a white medium hexagon with a very light gray grout and it is one of my favorite parts of the kitchen.

Another of my favorite things is my new sink.  It's HUGE.  You can have an entire meal's worth of dishes in there and you can't even see them.  It honestly makes my life feel less chaotic, because I can't see dishes in my sink! And the wiping right into the sink instead of over a weird border lip thing?  Heaven. We picked a brass, modern faucet (to replace the CONSTANTLY breaking one that came with the house.)

We made a few changes to the dining room, replacing the not so cute chandelier with this beaut and doing some restyling to my green hutch.

As far as extra decor goes, we've decided to keep it simple.  A few plants, blue barstools and a pretty light green faux roman shade seems to be enough to add color, but keep the calm, quiet feeling I was going for in my new kitchen.  Thanks for checking it out.  (Honestly, you realize how talented home decor photographers are when you try to do it yourself.  Not quite the crisp, well lit, kid free photos I've seen on pinterest, but oh well!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April Recap

Just jumping on to do a quick recap of what's been going on here during the last month.

We'll start with Easter, even though it was technically in March.  It was a little chilly (I HATE Easter egg hunt pictures with snow coats on, but when you live in Spokane...) We dyed eggs on Thursday night and Levi was SO excited.  "We do Eeser eggs when guys come home, mom?!"

Easter weekend had a track meet, a scout campout, 2 soccer games and women's conference, but we were able to squeeze in a egg hunt with the youngest 3.

We had a lovely Easter sacrament meeting and hosted the Daines for Easter dinner. I was very proud of my two gorgeous cakes and my table decor effort (something I generally don't like to do).

We spent half of Spring Break in portland (Ryan, Gabe and Jane stayed home).  My friend Jessica grew up there and her sweet family hosted us and showed us all the famous Portland places.  Food, mansions, bridges, shopping, waterfalls, we did it all in three days and it was so much fun!  

After we got home, we did our annual bike to Red Robin, hiking and Ryan continued his tradition of coming up with fun work projects for the kids to complete every morning.

Spring sports have been in full swing.

Emma: pole vault (PRd last week at 7 feet.  She enjoys it and works hard.)

Gabe: track (doing really well. the 2 mile is his jam.  He's one of the top three 2 milers in the district, with a PR of 9:46)

Jane: basketball, soccer and track (tried basketball for the first time... so love watching her try new stuff, loves her soccer team and coach, and is about to have her first meet on Thursday...high jump, long jump, 400 and mile)

Seth: soccer and running (he has some natural ability at both, and, as usual, is just always happy to be wherever!)
Faith: soccer (she's learning little by little to harness her natural speed and talent.  Loves having Ryan as her coach).
Levi: making things SUPER FUN for the mom that has to drag him to all of the above mentioned events.

It's beyond crazy to get everyone where they need to be and to watch them do their thing, but it's one of the parts of mothering I'm pretty good at and really enjoy.

Ryan had a business trip in San Jose CA last week and I joined him for the weekend before.  We left Emma with the kids and she did a great job, even with some pretty serious fevers and coughs.  We appreciate how capable and helpful she is.  We rented bikes and rode 20 miles around San Fransisco on Saturday and ate lots of yummy food. We did things we'd never done before (riding over the Golden Gate bridge and exploring Golden gate park) and it was the most magical day. On Sunday, we drove inland to go to church and have lunch with my dad and Genie.  On our way back in, we swung up the coast and drove down to Pigeon Point light house. It was so pretty and there was even a playful seal on the sand! On Monday, Ryan worked and I hiked with my oldest friend, Tammy, explored San Jose's rose garden and did a little shopping.  It was short, easy and so fun!

Levi is OBSESSED with Star Wars.  We have an old chess set and he plays Star Fars fighting with anyone who will join him ALL DAY LONG.  Ryan made him some cardboard light sabers and he used those for a while too.  It's mostly cute (though those dang toys are EVERYWHERE) to see him love something so much.

We also got news in February that he was probably no longer allergic to any nuts, and we've been slowly introducing them.  They wanted to hold off on peanuts until we did an In Office Peanut Challenge, where you hang out in the teeny doctor's office for 3 hours while they give increasing doses of peanuts and watch for a reaction.  I had to get pretty creative to keep him happy, but it was all worth it when he was declared Nut Allergy Free!

Jane ran for middle school secretary last week and lost.  She was so upbeat and prepared and confident about the whole thing.  Her speech was great and we were so proud of her bravery!  We were a little teary when we heard the bad news, but she talked it out, said she'd run again and celebrated her effort with some ice cream at our favorite restaurant.

We've had a warm warm spring and it's been wonderful.  Blossoms, flowers, hikes, bike rides, even swimming in the lake are not usually things we see and do this early in the year, but we've been taking advantage of it!

Monday, March 21, 2016

For my girls!~

I never got my Personal Progress as a Young Woman.  I was always active in church, but for some reason was not motivated to work hard on my Personal Progress.  For years, I've wondered if I should do it as an adult, but it always seemed like ALOT.  I had an experience a year and a half ago (talked about it here) where I felt like it was definitely time.  And it, of course, has been such a blessing. I finished all of it, completely last month.  No big fanfare, but I didn't need it because I'm proud of myself and got so much out of it.

Here are some reasons, I'm so glad I did it:

1. It helped me TOTALLY understand the program so that I can better help my girls work on theirs.  I know what types of goals you need, how long it takes, what works and what doesn't. I also am very aware of the accomplishment it is, and truly admire girls and women who spend the time to make this happen in their lives.

2.  It helped direct my personal scripture study, prayers and goal making over 18 months.  I'm kind of sad now that I'm done that I have to actually think through what I want to study or what I should work on!

3. It made me do things I wouldn't have done.  There is plenty in there that I was already doing, or needed to do a little more seriously (scriptures, mothering, church calling stuff), but there were things I would never have tried, if it hadn't been on goal list.  I worked hard on budgeting, I learned how to hem pants, I resurrected my blog, I spent 10 hours doing family history indexing, I made phone calls to a museum to find out how a mom might start working at a museum after her kids were in school, I didn't eat sugar for a month.  I think it's so important to get out of our comfort zone so I really tried to push myself to do the out-of-the-ordinary things.

4. I memorized The Living Christ during Christmas 2014 and read the Book Of Mormon in 5 weeks during Christmas 2015.  Those things helped me so much in feeling closer to Christ during that special time of the year.

5.  I loved the little goals.  The ones like "be extra nice to one family member for 3 weeks" or the "study repentance and teach a lesson about it".  Again, those are things I try to do, but I loved being focused.  I learned so much and grew ALOT while I did it.

6.  I love that I am an example for my kids about setting high goals and working a little at a time to achieve them.  It took me about 18 months working pretty constantly and I'm so happy that I can say: "I completed my Personal Progress!"

(Little side note:  this book/journal was brought to my attention right before Christmas last year and I got it for Jane.  IT HAS BEEN AWESOME.  She said yesterday "I'm so glad you got me this.  It makes doing Personal Progress so easy!"  She works on one goal a week every Sunday and should be done with all of her little goals by the end of this year and will spend next year working on the bigger value projects. I'd highly recommend it.  Click on the link if you want more info.)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quick Quote

(Self portrait by The Lovable Child)

"Everyone loved me at fitness camp. 
It's like there's a sign on my back that says 'Seth: The Lovable Child'."