house renovation week 2

as promised, here are a few pictures of the house progress.  more tearing down and taking out.  i'll be happy when they start putting some new stuff back ;)

you can read the story of my house here.


memorial day weekend

our three day weekend went by way to fast!  but i sure did appreciate the extra day seeing as how my "to do" list seems to growing quite rapidly these days.  we had planned to go to a few showrooms on saturday to pick out appliances and windows, but after a few phone calls i found out that all the showrooms were closed for the holiday weekend.  so we changed our plans and headed to the lake and met up with family and friends. :)  here are just a few snapshots.

updated pictures on the house renovation will come tomorrow!


kitchen inspirations

my contractor told me that one of the first things i need to do is pick out my new fridge and range.  they will need to know the dimensions of these two things before the framing starts.  i really want to take some time to go to a showroom and check out my options, but unfortunately jeff is still recovering from his surgery and we haven't had a chance yet.  i'm keeping my fingers crossed we can go somewhere on saturday. 

in the meantime, i've been busy pinning kitchens on pinterest that i like.  here a few...

Source: mochatini.org via Becky on Pinterest

i really love the bright white cabinets and countertops.  i will be putting in an island in the new kitchen and i'm leaning towards keeping that a natural wood color like in the second picture.  i'm also in love with the lanterns in that picture.  if my kitchen turns out to be half as beautiful as these i will be thrilled!

you can follow all my pinning by clicking the button on the top right hand corner.


rock hounds v. grasshoppers

last nights t-ball game was probably the most anticipated game of the year.  the rock hounds v. the grasshoppers (or kelby v. natalie).

our scheduled game had gotten rained out so the game was made up on a practice field.  the lack of real bases and chalked field threw the kids off slightly.  and the lack of bleachers and shade was pretty harsh on the parents.

in these two pictures natalie is playing pitcher (and yes, they are required to wear a helmet when they are on the pitchers mound) and kelby is at bat.  i wish i could have gotten more pictures of the two, but i had to leave a little early.  to be honest, i have no idea who won (and i doubt kelby or nat knows either).  if i had to guess, the score was 15-15 (5 run rule and they only play 3 innings). 


and the walls came tumbling down

as i mentioned on my previous post, we closed on the house last tuesday.  wednesday night we spent a few hours there cleaning it out.  and thursday morning my contractor started tearing down the walls.  he wastes no time. 

remember this kitchen...

here it is now.  cabinets haven't left yet, but the wood paneling has.

here is how the front living room looked before...

and how it looks now...

this was the master bedroom

and after tearing down the paneling, you see remnants of the old kitchen.  fyi - the house went through a major remodel in 1971.

front bedroom before

and front bedroom after

even though the house is pretty much in shambles right now, i'm getting more and more excited!


exciting news

if you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that this past christmas i mentioned that christmas on my mother's side of the family was extra special because it would be the last christmas at my grandfather's house since we would be putting it on the market.  you can read that post here

i've always loved my grandparents house.  it has such charm.  it is also the location of countless memories.  until i was old enough to stay at home alone, my summers were spent here at this house.  and every day after school this is the house i walked home to.  

that's the porch my family uses for extra seating for family dinners, where we do the "lotto" on easter, and where i've sat many times with my grandpa on the porch swing having long talks. i can remember playing on that flat roof (and jumping off) with my cousins and also helping my grandpa put up tarps around the perimeter to serve as a wind block during the colder months.  and because multi-colored tarps hanging on a porch might not look that great, we would hang christmas lights out there too to glam it up some.

that is the basketball hoop my uncles have played with for many years.  as a child, christmas at my grandparents always involved a game of hoops between the uncles and older cousins. 

see that tree on the left side of the house?  and see that window to the attic?  my cousin tim and i were pros at climbing the tree and hiding out in the attic.  we thought we were pretty cool.

i can't tell you how many times i baked cookies in that kitchen with my grandma.  and how many times i got paid a quarter to sweep and mop it!

i told my grandparents at a very young age that i wanted their house when they died.  looking back, i can only imagine what they thought of me talking about their death like that.  but in my head, it made since.  i couldn't move in until they moved out.  and since i knew my grandparents would never move, they had to die.  well that is half-way accurate.  my grandma passed away in 1999, but my grandpa is still living in a local nursing home.  he is 95!

so when it came time to move forward with this house, i had to do some serious soul searching.

it was in desperate need of some repairs.  and in my small town, older homes usually turn into low income housing.  who would be my neighbors in those older homes?

my family let everyone know that it was about to be put on the market and that family and friends would have first dibs.  i lost a lot of sleep thinking about what to do.  i have a perfectly good house and acreage to build a house.  did i really want to take the risk?  i held back and let my family put it on the market.

this house really needs a lot of work.  would the new owner give it the tlc that it deserves? 

more importantly, would i be able to handle this house having a new owner?  i came by once to return some tables and the realtor was showing it to a couple.  i'm sure the couple was lovely, but i couldn't help but have horrible thoughts towards them.  they were trying to buy my house. 

i still did not have the courage.  it is such a risk. 

and then it happened.  i was helping my family with an estate sale and a man walked up and started taking pictures of the house.  he asked me if he could see inside and i said that although he would have to go through the realtor, i would take him inside.  i tried my best to "sell it" but it wasn't coming naturally.  he could tell that i was less than eager to show it to him.  i confessed that i wanted the house too.  after painfully listening to him ooh and awe at all the little house features, he informed me that if i wanted it, i better put an offer in soon because he was going to as well.  i immediately sent my husband a text to call the realtor.

my uncle informed me at our easter gathering that they had accepted my offer.  i was thrilled!  and a little nervous. 

this past tuesday we closed on the house.  we had our first dinner there that night (eating fast food on the porch swing).  i am so thankful that i have a husband that is fully supportive of all my crazy ideas - especially this one.  and i'm proud of myself for getting the guts to take on this project. 

the demo has already begun and i hope to keep my blog updated with pictures of the entire renovation process :)


a little explaining

first off, the reason i have been able to get a little caught up on my posts has a lot to do with this:


i'm sure he will be thrilled to see that i put this picture on my blog :)

jeff had to have a minor (but pretty painful) surgery done on thursday and i stayed at home with him on friday to be his nurse.  he's a pretty stubborn patient.  he is suppose to be off for 10-14 days, but is only taking 7.  he is also suppose to lie around for the first few days but anyone who knows jeff knows that laying around will be more painful to him than the surgical pain.

second, if you go back to some of my older post, you will notice that my pictures are missing.  i pushed a button and now they are gone.  and i don't know how to get them back.  i won't push that button again ;) but if you go back even further the pictures return.

third, the reason that i'm pushing myself to get caught up on all my posts is becuase 1.)  to help preserve those memories and 2.)  so i can get to the most exciting news of all that has been consuming our lives here lately.  that post should come sometime tomorrow!

training wheels are for babies

last week kelby came running in to tell me that dad was going to take her training wheels off and she was going to give it a try.  we had tried several months earlier, but she did not have the courage to give it good effort.  now she was ready.  i think it had something to do with her friend (who is a little bit older) riding by with no training wheels a few days earlier.  nothing like peer pressure ;) 

so i came outside, iphone in hand, ready to record what i prayed wasn't a disaster.  i think she surprised us all.  jeff unscrewed the training wheels, helped her get her balance and off she went!  like it was no big deal!  and after a couple of tries (and a few helpful hints) she was able to figure out how to get herself started as well.

seeing that jeff and i were so excited for kelby, little sister had to give it a try too.  her experience with no training wheels lasted about a minute.  she asked jeff to put them back on.  and kelby, being the modest child she is (yah right!), informed me that little sister is "still a baby and babies really do need to use training wheels."  because she is of course a big kid and has been training wheel free for like a whole five minutes.  geez.  she also informed us she needs a bigger bike.  i might have to agree with her on that one. 


round 2

for those of you who don't know, my sister was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma in august 2010.  her oldest was three and her youngest was just 6 months.  she so bravely went through chemo and radiation and we thought we had put the whole thing behind us.  unfortunately that was not the case.  she began having some symptoms again and after many scans and other diagnostic procedures, the doctors revealed that they thought the cancer had come back.  :( 

easter weekend was rough for her.  she hadn't officially been diagnosed yet, but she felt horrible.  and she looked horrible.  i had experienced my sister feeling bad because of chemo or because of radiation, but that was the first time i saw the cancer actually making her sick.  it was scary for all of us.  we soon found out she was experience b symptoms.  the monday after easter my brother-in-law, her husband, took her to her oncologist and they admitted her into the hospital.  they then, after more procedures, confirmed the cancer had returned and immediately started chemo.  she was hospitalized for seven days and was discharged only six days prior to our disney trip.  her doctors discouraged the trip and doubted she would be physically able to go.  but my sister is a fighter and insisted on going.  they sent her with an arsenal of drugs and my mom had to learn how to administer her shots.  she handled the trip amazingly!  she even got a nice set of wheels (a power scooter) to drive around disney (and we got to skip a little bit in lines because of it - hehe!). 

as soon as we returned home she did another round of chemo and her hair slowly started to fall out.  the first time she went through this her hair never fell out.  i got the pleasure of shaving her head.  finding the silver lining - she now gets to use some of her awesome wigs she bought for the last go around!  her husband, being the super supportive guy he is, also shaved his head - well kind of.  darren really only wanted a short buzz cut.  but jeff decided to take the guard off and shave the whole thing.  darren's face was priceless when he realized what jeff had done.  here is a pic of the two baldies:

as for now we are waiting for her start her treatment at md anderson.  she has an online journal that you can read here.  lots of prayers would be greatly appreciated :)  

disney trip part 2

for the second half of our trip we went to disney world.  we visited animal kingdom, magic kingdom and hollywood studios.  we actually had tickets for four days, but after the third day we were exhausted!  while on the cruise, a disney employee told us that on your first trip to disney you walk an average of 12-15 miles per day.  i believe it.  i also read on a blog that every child under the age of seven should have a stroller - the blog lady was right.  it was so much fun and so worth it - but completely exhausting!

going on a safari ride

she loves her snacks ;)

getting ready to see a 3D show

***disclosure - this was a "no makeup day" for me :)

i'm sure she was "facebook'ing" - geez

on the buzz lightyear ride - so much fun!

granny & kevyn

jeff & tante holly

darren & neely

disney truly is so magical!  we can't wait to go back!
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