House Update & Pictures!

At long last, I am finally getting a post up with pictures of the progress we have made on the house!

Prior to moving in we did all the “big” things, got the house to a state of “liveable,” and left most of the rest of it to after we had made the move.  And by “we” I mean “pretty much ALL Zach, with some help along the way from friends and family.”  Big things were: removing the popcorn ceilings, painting nearly every wall, pulling up the tile floor and laying laminate, trimming most of the door frames, faux board & batten in the dining area, completely rebuilding the staircase + creating a built-in bookcase and closet under the stairs, gutting the kitchen and installing new cabinets, countertops and sink.  It was a massive undertaking and we are FAR from being done.  But we are so pleased with the results thus far and love chipping away at finishing the other little things as we go.

Here are a number of before and after pictures… (please note – the “before” pictures are from the listing when the house was shown and taken with a wide angle lense… whereas most of my “after” pictures were taken with my iphone and sometimes done as “panorama” – so the angles and stuff are a little off… but you get the idea.)

I have to start off with the stairs and bookcase – they are a major focal point and pretty much Zach’s greatest masterpiece of the house.
BEFORE (carpeted treads, metal handrailing, weird plant shelf on the landing, awkward space underneath…

AFTER (stained wooden treads and handrails, painted wood ballusters & newel posts, built-in bookshelves and a small storage closet under the stairs…)

the kitchen:
BEFORE (dated cabinets, even more dated countertops, very old microwave and dishwasher, no pantry, old school fluorescent light fixture, mismatched window blinds)

AFTER (new cabinets and countertops, new dishwasher, new sink, skipped the microwave altogether, matching window blinds, recessed can lighting… please excuse the missing cabinet door in the lower corner – it’s coming haha)

another angle:

AFTER (added pantry to the left of the fridge, yay!)

view of the dining area opposite the kitchen (besides painting, we added the board and batten on the wall and changed out the light fixture for a chandelier):

the downstairs bathroom is probably the closest to being completely done (still need to put in a couple baseboards and trim inside the door, which you can’t even see):

the nursery is the next closest to being completely done (still need to trim the closet and get a couple more cloth bins for the box shelves).  the majority of the room is decorated with airplanes for JackJack and we love it.  but since he and Chloe will be sharing a room for the next couple of years that we are in this house (we want to keep the downstairs bedroom reserved as a guest bedroom), and i was not about to redecorate in something neutral for both kids, i simply opted to girly up the corner where Chloe’s bed will be.  🙂

from the doorway:

from the opposite corner:

Chloe’s corner:

the details (baby dresses that *i* wore as an infant !!!!!! and a beautiful verse print my SIL found on pinterest):
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about 5 days after moving into the house, the washing machine flooded due to the use of too much detergent by previous owners which clogged the draining sensor.  the entire laundry room had nearly half an inch of standing water and water had seeped underneath the laminate flooring we had JUST laid.  water is a freakishly fast and damaging entity you guys.  we immediately started pulling up the flooring to see how far the water had spread and to stop it from spreading any further!  sadly, it had gotten all the way into the downstairs bedroom, bathroom, hallway and a few feet of the dining area and in front of the bookcase.  if the whole thing hadn’t been so urgent, we probably would have just sat down and cried.  it was so depressing.

i kept reminding myself of the reasons we had to be grateful in the midst of this: friends only a couple blocks away who were available to watch Jack while we did damage control, the fact that the water had not spread to the kitchen (i couldn’t imagine if we had had to pull out the newly installed cabinets and countertops), that zach had just gotten home when we discovered the flood, owning a shop vac for swift clean up of the water…

and probably most of all, i was grateful for home owner’s insurance.  as depressing and frustrating as the whole episode was, the blow was softened considerably when our insurance company cut us a check a few days later for a couple THOUSAND dollars more than the cost of materials to replace the flooring.  while sopping up water and ripping up floor boards, i kept thinking, “God, i know you have allowed this for a reason and You are still good and faithful in the midst of this… but i am struggling right now.  this is HARD!” never thinking that God would actually have plans to bless us – monetarily! – as a result.  it was totally a blessing in disguise.  as a result, we were able to use the extra money to buy a number of things we thought we wouldn’t be able to buy for months: an R/O system for the kitchen sink, a utility tub for the laundry room, a hood range vent for above the stove… and probably most exciting, a NEW BED SET!

we had been talking for awhile about wanting to get a california king size bed (and putting our queen size in the guest bedroom) so we figured it was a good idea to take advantage of having such a large chunk of extra money and GO FOR IT!  and we absolutely love it!  while our bedroom and bathroom are the least finished rooms in the house, it makes me happy to walk in and see such a lovely bed set.

living room and guest bedroom are getting close… saving them for another blog post.  🙂


misc pregnancy update

why hello, 3rd trimester – so good to see you!

took this picture at 28 weeks.  can’t believe i’m in the home stretch!  life has been a bit of a whirlwind since getting pregnant and there were many times where the 3rd trimester felt like an eternity away.

some random stuff…
– most days i feel pretty good, all things considered.  i’m getting bigger and bigger and still have to rest a lot, but managing to stay active and relatively productive.  i’m definitely experiencing plenty of miscellaneous discomforts like waking up with swollen and sore joints in my hands and hips each morning….rolling over in bed gets more and more hilarious… but these are all normal aspects of pregnancy and i really can’t complain.
– despite my ability to remain relatively active, i still find myself needing more sleep.  with the added strain of starting a new job, zach and i are BOTH ready to hit the hay most nights by 8pm.  we try and hold out until at least 9 or so, just to remain respectable.  ::wink::  and i typically take a nap or at least a rest each afternoon.  i’ve found that a really busy/full day can really wipe me out and often necessitates a day with lost of rest afterwards.  i initially battled a lot of guilt over sleeping and resting so much – feeling like i was just being lazy – but i came to the conclusion that i will most likely never have a season like this again (pregnant, not working, no other kids/major responsibilities) and it is quite ok for me to take full advantage of it.  next pregnancy will likely be VERY different.
– my appetite has taken a huge dive since the 3rd trimester started.  i may wake up pretty hungry and i usually manage to get in a good breakfast, but that’s the extent of my interest in food.  except for sugar.  yeeeeah my sweet tooth has made a dramatic re-appearance.  mostly in the form of carby treats and sweet drinks.  i’ve been doing my best to keep it in check, but let’s just be real here:  sonic strawberry limeades have become a pretty regular occurrence… (doesn’t help that there’s one 1/2 mile away and the drinks are half price every day from 2-4pm!)

baby jack – and my belly – continue to grow!  here’s a picture from this past monday (@ 31 weeks):

i’ve picked up a few more clothing items to get me through the next 2 months.  i’ve actually had better success finding clothes that are longer and stretchy than clothes that are specifically “maternity.”  last summer i made a super comfy skirt using an elastic bobbin and a thrifted men’s tshirt and thought “this would be awesome during pregnancy!” definitely a more comfortable alternative to maternity shorts.  so a couple weeks ago i trotted off to Goodwill and came back with 3 shirts that i quickly converted to skirts using this tutorial.  the end result:

i’m definitely kicking into project mode again.  granted, they happen much more slowly these days, but they are happening!  someone gave me a boppy to use, but they had a girl so the cover was pink.  pinterest to the rescue with a super simple pattern and instructions on making your own boppy cover!  i purchased some special fabric (found by my friend ruth, who is also using it as part of an amazing quilt she is making for jack!) and set to work.  i’m quite happy with how it turned out!

our close friends, josh & courtney, JUST adopted twins (boy & girl) and got to bring them home the same week we rolled into town!  we are over-the-moon excited for them and were also very eager to meet little ezra & hazel.  courtney snapped this picture of ezra “meeting” jack for the first time.  future BFFs, i’m sure of it!