Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The kitchen was the only room in our house that we didn't paint before moving in. We knew that we would (eventually) be re-doing it so we didn't want to make any decisions until it was time to really get started in here. I wanted to do something creamy and light, I love light and bright - I also wanted something that would work well with the cabinets and not weigh it down. I LOVE the color we chose - it looks great in the kitchen and has the soft feel we were going for.

We ran out of money while working on the kitchen so Connor had to paint for free, you know to earn his keep around here :) He was so cute he was BEGGING to help us so in to his paint clothes he went and a great helper he was. He was so proud of himself and loved helping Momma and Daddy make the kitchen look beautiful.
He actually did really well, I was quite impressed with his skill. Little does he know that could get him into trouble around here, I will have him helping me on all of my painting projects in the future! Next up, the granite! Believe it or not, these were the best pictures I got of the granite going in. To be honest I think I was speechless (and the glue they used smelled awful, it was REALLY strong so I stayed out of the kitchen). I couldn't believe how good everything looked when the granite went in. Bj kept asking me if there was something wrong, didn't I like it?! I told him I loved it so much I really didn't know what to say and if you know me you know that doesn't happen very often. I just never thought we would be able to afford granite in the color I absolutely loved so I was just blown away with how much it looked like a "real" kitchen! :)

These pictures don't do it justice, I have some better pictures of the whole thing all nice and pretty :) After the granite went in, the backsplash was up next! We went to three different tile places before picking this out and I couldn't be happier, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how it turned out. It looks amazing in the kitchen and the pattern and glass beads are just the perfect amount of "something" to really make it look amazing.
Up next, the finished shots! I have been trying to drag out the posts because everything isn't totally finished! We are missing the crown molding, new casings around the windows, and the granite backsplash behind the sink. I might just have to do two more updated posts, ha!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

At 3...

My sweet Connor, at 3 you are hilarious, sweet, sensitive, amazing, smart, snarky and just plain lovable. You totally keep me on my toes and somedays I have no idea what I am going to do with you :) While most of the time you are just a sweet little snuggle bug, you definately have your days where the terrible 3's roar there ugly head and I wonder what happened to my sweet baby :) Ha! You love to be a part of whatever we are doing and you love to ask questions. You ask me "why" so many times a day I can't keep it straight :) You are so curious and you are so smart - the things you put together just amaze me. Sometimes the words you use kill me, you love to read the "No, David" books and you always ask me if David is frustruated because his mom is telling him no :) ha! I answer yes, but so is his momma :) Haha! You love to play with your friends and have play dates - you always ask me if you are going to have a play date when you wake up. You have a great little schedule and we have fallen into such a great routine while I am home - I love it. I am soaking up this time with you and making it a point to enjoy everyday because I don't know how much time I will have before the yucky work world again. You have pretty much given up sleeping at your naptime, but you still rest and that works great for me. You are so easy to get to bed because you are TIRED. You have always been so good for us in the sleep department - you gave me a little trouble while we were transitioning out of naps, but you are good to go. You love letters, you can spell your name and you have started writing "CON", I LOVE it. You pretty much love to cut with scissors, we have to keep a close eye on you - Nonny thinks you are going to be a surgeon. You love to play pretend, the things you come up with are pretty stinkin funny. You love to take our order for dinner and write it down on your pen and paper.

You are totally potty trained at 3 - you were ready, I wasn't! It was right after you turned 3... You started waking up with a dry diaper and telling me you needed to go potty in the morning so we just went from there! It took us about 3 days, a few accidents and you are totally diaper free except for at night. But, you have been waking me up in the middle of the night to tell me you need to go potty :) It took you about two days before you would poop on the potty, but once you did you haven't looked back. You told me, with such pride on your face "Momma, it doesn't hurt when you wipe my bottom, and I can stand up! I like that I can see the poop in the toilet too!!" Haha!! I was jumping up and down screaming for you, telling you how proud I was and you told me "Momma, stop, that is too loud" hahahahaha!! It was amazing how easy it was, we just waited for you to be ready - and we added some bribes in and you were good to go. I cried after I dropped you off at school for the first time in underwear and I know I was beaming with pride when I picked you up and you were totally dry - you came up and said "Momma, I went in the potty all by myself!". I have been, and I am sure will continue to be so proud of how well you handle the transitions in your life. I am so glad we waited until you were ready because it was so easy! Your tiny tush looks so cute in your undies too :)

You are a little shy around people you don't know and have been for a little while. It's okay though, you are such a chatter box when you warm up. I think you definately chat the most when you are at home and I think it's so funny. You love to sing - Jingle Bells and the ABC's are your favorite. You also like the sing the clean up song from school. You love CARS and CARS 2, it's so funny to listen to you talk about the movie and the characters - you totally crack me up. We have movie night every Friday and you love to pick out your movie and make popcorn with us. You love to snuggle in bed with us in the morning and watch a curious george. You love to read and I love reading with you every night before bed. You were so good and patient with us during our kitchen remodel, it was a little crazy around here and you took it in stride.

You have a bit of a temper and like to throw things when you get mad. We have started taking whatever you threw away for the rest of the day and that has helped. You can be so snarky when you are tired too! You love to help me in the kitchen and I love that we have new kitchen and island for you to hang out at. We listen to Pandora in the kitchen and you love to dance around with me while the dogs bark at us, it makes them nervous :) I love that you know I always leave your water cup on your nightstand at bedtime, I love how you like your back tickled when you are falling asleep, but really I just love being your momma. I know there are so many things I am forgetting but at 3 you are just amazing and we love you so much. I can't wait to see what this year brings us and to see who you turn into this year. I love you more than you will ever know my sweet Connor Francis.  Love, Momma

Here are your stats...32.5lbs, (50%, up 7.5lbs from last year!) 36 3/4ins (30%, up 2 3/4in from last year)

(from the doctor's office, pre potty training)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Here Come the Cabinets...

My brother worked for a friends company, Express Granite and it was who we used for our cabinets and granite. They were wonderful to work with and we LOVE how everything turned out. We were most definately on a budget and I was so impressed with what we got for our money. The cabinets were exactly what we wanted with the raised panels, we had some custom options, and they have the soft close feature which is amazing. We were definately able to get far more than I thought we would :) I seriously screamed when they went in, I was SOOOOO excited! They make the kitchen look SO much bigger and they are clean, big and lovely.
Our original plan was to have the cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling but after having our contractor take a look he thought we had to many bumps and waves in the ceiling and it would look funny. So we went with a bigger crown molding (which I LOVE!) instead. We are still waiting on the crown and I can't wait for it to go in!
We have seriously had our appliances sitting in the garage for a year. We got an amazing deal on all of them, so we bought them and kept them in the garage. We just had to buy stuff as we saved the money up, it was kind of fun. That cabinet above the fridge is huge. It was the first cabinet I saw and I thought oh my gosh, is this stuff going to fit?!
Poor Matt seriously had to shave, cut down and shim these cabinets up like it was nobody's business. You can't tell when you are just in the room but the walls are so bowed in some spots, the level would just wiggle on the wall. It is really funny too because all of the cabinets are level, but some are shorter than others to account for the wall.
This little guy had the best time with our kitchen re-model. He drove his cozy coupe all around the empty kitchen for days and just loved it, it was pretty funny. We have the cutest video of him (its like 10 minutes long or I would post it) telling us where everything will go in the kitchen. We may have talked a little bit about it and the poor guy's pretend play consists of going to the store and picking out tile or new paint colors :) Poor little thing, he is such a product of what is going on in our life right now :)
Everything just looks amazing and I love the cabinets and appliances even more than I thought possible. I just keep telling Bj I had no idea one could love a kitchen so much. We have never had a nice kitchen and I love cooking so much more in my lovely little space :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pantry/New Back Door!

This poor side of the kitchen needed some love in a big, bad way. If you could have seen the door close-up, it was terrifying. I mean, it didn't even really close. The draft in the kitchen was terrible, but it's wonderful now. We were able to move a vent from an inside wall to an outside wall (I didn't know, but that is where they are supposed to be) and we insulated around the door and the windows when we took the casings off. We have five panel horizontal doors throughout the whole house and I love them. My plan was to get an all glass door with one panel on the bottom, but it was seriously double the price of this beauty and I just couldn't justify it for a wood panel. So, we went with the all glass and I love it. I am going to stick a wreath on it and I think it is perfect. I love being able to look out, the dogs and Connor love it too. It lets in so much more light and its so clean :) Ha!
Our sink was originally under the window closest to the door, but we moved it to the middle and I love it. It gave us counter space by the door which is wonderful when I am carrying in groceries for lots of things in my hand. I also love having the space to put the dishes after I wash them.
The dishwasher is in the empty space right there, we had the wrong end panel for it, so it was put in last. I think that was what I missed the most throughout the remodel. We were doing all of our dishes in the basement mud sink and it wasn't all that fun carrying everything up and down. I may have given up with a few days left and cleaned everything when the dishwasher went in. I mean, I did it because I wanted to make sure it worked :) ha!

This lovely, lovely little pantry was one of the things I was most looking forward to. We had NO pantry and no space to store any food, it was awful. When our amazing contractor came over he made some changes and we were able to get a double pantry and it's amazing. At first we thought it was a little too big, but it's not - it's amazing and holds so much stuff, I love it. All the stuff that was in the exposed shelving before is no longer dirty and dusty, it's all clean and in it's place in this pantry. I even have open shelves, it's amazing! As a bonus if you bought the pantry you got a cute little stinker to take home :)


By Wednesday, the tile was on the floor! I seriously may have jumped up and down when I saw it, it was SO much more beautiful that I could have imagined. I couldn't get over how much of a difference the tile made and how open and bright it made everything feel. I was so antsy to get the rest of the fun stuff in :)

Once the kitchen was gutted, I seriously wanted to rip out something else, it was really a lot of fun :) We have been saving and saving and saving for this so it was so fun to see everything come together. We have had our new appliances in the garage since last summer just looking pretty and waiting for us :) Ha!

See those steps? Poor Mr. Matt, Connor and I were a fixture just watching everything he was doing. It is seriously one of the most exciting things we have done, hahah!! I just keep telling BJ that we have never had a nice kitchen and we have never really had a room like this where we picked every single thing out, it was a little exciting :) Next up, cabinets go in!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 1...

For our (extrememly wonderful and generous) Christmas list last year my in-laws gave us the use of their carpenter to put our kitchen back together - we were thrilled. And I say with complete honesty he saved our marriage :) If Bj and I had to put this kitchen back together we wouldn't have survived a day. None of the walls are straight, some bow out, some bow in and it took Matt the professional A LOT of time and meausring.
 We found out that whoever replaced our windows put them in the original window wells so when we tore out the casing we found the old chains and weights that pulled up the original windows, it was kind of cool! We also found that the the shrine was originally a mirror and before that it had beadboard. It's fun because that is what our porch ceiling is made out of too :)

The first day we made a lot of progress, but not much looked different. We got the durarock down, the old door framed out and all of the new electrical outlets put in and the undercabinet wiring run. I was SO excited for the tile to go down next!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let the Demo Begin...

We seriously had more fun than two people should have when we started ripping out the kitchen. I am not kidding you when I say that I was squealing in delight. My sweet momma came over and watched Connor for us on Saturday night (after Thanksgiving) so we could get started. We had so much fun hammering, ripping, tearing and yanking all of our old, ugly things out of the kitchen. I think the neighbors thought we were crazy, we seriously screamed and high fived every time we threw something big out the door :)

This is the set of cabinets that I swear is 100 years old - look at that lovely wall paper behind them :) It seriously smelled old when we got everything down too, it was kind of funny. That wall cabinet and the base cabinet came out in one piece.
On to Sunday...there were about 6 layers of linoleum on the floor we had to go through, it was crazy. There was definately a lot of screaming and maybe a few choice words as we were ripping it out, and it was pretty fun :) My grandma watched C that day and night, I didn't want him around anything that was under the linoleum, just in case. Plus, he had more fun with his NeNe and PaPa.

The floor took us almost all day on Sunday, the first layer seriously just slid off, it was kind of gross! The rest of the layers and the sub-floor took us the rest of the afternoon. There were SO many nails to get up, it was crazy.
Our totally empty kitchen, all ready for Mr. Matt to start putting it back together on Monday!

It was kind of crazy that this was everything we had in our old kitchen, that doesn't seem like much, does it? We still had the fridge and microwave in the dining room. I am SO mad at myself for not taking a picture of our make-shift kitchen, it was kind of funny. I made a lot of crock-pot meals, we ate sandwiches and cereal. We also weren't very eco-friendly because we used paper and plastic the whole time the kitchen was out of commission.

Friday, January 6, 2012

RIP, World's Ugliest Kitchen...

I think I will mainly always remember 2011 as the year we laid our kitchen, aka "the world's ugliest" to rest. Haha! Just kidding...kind of. The moment I laid eyes on our house I knew we had to have it, it was ours - where we would raise our family, make memories and enjoy our little life. We did lots, and lots of work before moving in and had to safe some money's to finish up the rest :) I have pretty much been dreaming of tearing out this awful kitchen from the moment we moved into our house. I am so lucky to say that that moment came right after Thanksgiving, 2011!! I thought I would give you a little tour before getting to the fun parts :) We managed to re-do our kitchen, celebrate our baby's 3rd birthday, move back into our kitchen, host Christmas Eve and celebrate the holidays all in the month of December - it was NUTTY! But a good, fun wonderful nutty :) Without further ado, my kitchen...
I took all these pictures after I packed everything up, even without everything else out you get the picture - it was an atrocity. That left side was awful - notice how some of the cabinets aren't closed? Not a fluke, they were painted over so many times they no longer closed - my cabinets were ALWAYS OPEN. I joked that those base and upper cabinets were the original cabinets built with out 100 year old home - when we ripped them out, we found out they most likely were. Over by the microwave - those two "drawers" pulled out to the floor, they were for potatoes. Those cabinets were built right onto the wall so there were very few nails holding them in, crazy huh?
This corner I think I hated the most.See that microwave corner? It's also where the trash can/recycling were - it was just awful. It was always dirty and it was awful. I may or may not have taken a sledge hammer to that side :) That door is the original door to the basement. Knowing that we wanted to re-do the kitchen and knowing that the door there made for a terrible layout we opened up the door in the dining room and closed this one off. It looks great, I promise to do a dining room post soon! We never used this door, but were also never able to utilize this space in the kitchen, I couldn't wait to see how this played out in the new kitchen!! ie: counterspace!!
See that door? Awful - we locked ourselves out once and had to kick it open to get in - that definitely left it looking even better :)
"The Shrine" we said this spot just needed a picture of the Virgin Mary - it was just a constant crap collector - see? The dogs medicine, a paintbrush, my phone and maybe some keys. I DEFINITELY took a sledge hammer to its pretty little self :)
This corner was awful too. It served as an everything shelf/pantry. Yes, we had NO pantry of any sort in this little beat of a kitchen. I used one of the upper cabinets and we just never bought in excess.
Just an awful corner - appliances next to each other, the stairs - that is seriously where we hung things...
There she is, my sad, sad little kitchen. Do you see the microwave? It really only dried the dishes and nothing else. It was pretty funny - our fridge made HORRIBLE noises, the dishwasher only dried the dishes and the stove would only cook one thing at a time and it took about 1 hour longer than it should have. I don't miss one thing in this kitchen - and our new one looks amazing! Next up, the demo!

New Years!

I will say that I tried to get all of my 2011 posts on the blog by the end of 2011, but it didn't happen :) Oops! I am pretty proud of myself for getting everything done this first week of January though, does that count for something?! We had a lovely little kid friendly New Years with our neighbors - we have amazing neighbors and a great little neighborhood so it was so fun to hang out with them and ring in the New Year! The kiddos were so cute and really pretty good all night! We made it until 10 and them it was time to hit the road - you know that long wagon ride home to our house :)
Are these kiddos not precious?! This was after there "fake new years" complete with sparkling grape juice! Ha, C kept running around going "want some of my champagne?!" hahaha! They were all ready for bed by this point, but I still thought the picture was pretty funny :) I *had* to make C a cute little New Years shirt, I didn't get a picture of him in it, I will have to make it a point to.
They are just such sweet little kiddos, they made me chuckle - they are already such good little friends, it's so sweet to watch!
We are really looking forward to 2012! I just still can't believe that it's 2012, where has the time gone?! We some wonderful moments in 2011, some not so wonderful moments and just some fun little memories and adventures along the way. We are really looking forward to this next year and all it has in store! I can't believe this is the year I turn 30, yikes! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2012!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas, 2011!

 We had a wonderful Christmas this year! It is just so magical watching your children experience Christmas and all the wonderfulness that comes along with it. C was at such a fun age this Christmas and I think he enjoyed every bit of it. I started to feel bad that I didn't do as many fun "holiday" things with him as I would have but we were just SLAMMED this year. But, at the end of the day - on Christmas morning the look on his face just made my heart swell. He didn't care about anything we didn't do, he was happy to see what Santa brought, spend the day with us and sing Christmas music :) We hosted Christmas Eve for the first time this year and I LOVED IT! I want to do it every year, I loved having our family over and celebrating with them, it was a great evening. I am so mad at myself for not grabbing a picture or two, I just was too busy playing hostess. I borrowed my mom's christmas china, used my inherited silver and had a wonderful time! We made Chicken ala King - a tradition in Bj's family and I just love continuting traditions on, I think it will be one we continue on, it was a hit! My mom gave Connor his christmas pj's (another tradition I love!!) and after putting cookies and milk out for Santa it was off to bed he went!

Momma Santa was up until 2:30AM! putting together the train table Santa brought because even with days notice of the task, Daddy Santa had a little too much egg nog. I very much enjoyed watching Love Actually (and Elf) while putting it together, I couldn't wait to see the look on my C's face when he saw what Santa brought :)  
He was so excited, I don't think he could believe it! It was the big thing he asked Santa for and HE LOVED IT! It was so fun watching him play. I think my favorite Christmas memory will be (my Mom and Davey come over on Christmas morning for breakfast, I make them! :) ) him running to open the door for my mom and telling her a mile a minute, "Hi Nonny, Santa came, he brought me a train table and scissors, Merry Christmas". I mean the kid didn't take a breath, it was precious.

 Speaking of the scissors I think they were his second favorite gift. He wanted them SO bad, his teachers at school said many of his art projects don't make it home from school because he cuts them up so small :) We do actually have a few that came home in a plastic baggie. :) He proceeded to use them to open the rest of his presents, it was really funny. When we got to my Aunt's house for round two he kept going "Oh no, I forgot my scissors!".
 His Cars 2 dvd was a close second as well, he LOVES it and we have watched it about a 100 times already!
 The sun was in there eyes, but I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures. I have been collecting C's christmas outfit as it went on sale, I loved it! He looked a little too handsome for me :)

After breakfast at our house (I made a quiche this year and it was great - I think that may be another tradition!) it was off to Auntie G's for round two! We had a wonderful time, Connor was so funny he passed out everyone's presents, he loved it. He did it on Christmas Eve and at our 3 Christmas celebrations :) After that it was off to the Johnson's to celebrate Christmas and Debbie's birthday! It was a wonderful Christmas, it went by way too fast and we are already looking forward to next year!