the week at a glance

The days go by so quickly. Sometimes I look back on the day and think “did I even breathe through this one?” I was just thinking about my blog this morning and feeling the usual guilt that I’ve neglected it yet again. I want to blame it on busyness which is always valid, but in some ways, I don’t want to have to have a reason. I think it is just the way I blog. It’s sort of like reading for me. I would consider myself an avid reader, but I go through what Mark and I like to call “reading binges.” I may have a month or 2 dragging through the same book and maybe never entirely finish it and then suddenly I’ll hit a weekend where I read 3 or 4 books and be done. Perhaps these binges are a clue to my personality. At least they are of the healthy binge variety.

Yesterday I made an actual paper to-do list, which is something I love to do but haven’t done in a while. It was long. Full of everything that really must be done this week. Until I made that list, I was feeling overwhelmed by the week. Wishing I could somehow magically insert 4 more days into the typical 5. But once it was all down on paper, I started to breathe more normally again. I found a different energy, sparked by the desire to mark something off the list. It’s like those gold stars that I use to get in first grade on my desk paper when I finished all my homework and more. Those are a real motivator for me. It seems silly that getting to put a check next to something on my list serves as motivation, but I’ll take it. I’m proud to say that nearly half my week’s list was completed yesterday. And today will hopefully fair as well.

I have another list that tends to sit for longer periods of time and often I add more to it than I cross-off. This is my Projects list. All the ideas I come up with for decorating the house, fixing things, and personal art projects. It is an exciting list and I’m often depressed that I’m so far behind on it — like the yearly photo albums I really want to do to capture the images from each year of marriage and life. I’m 3 and a half years behind on this one, but I’m tightly crossing my fingers that I work on it this summer.

This week however, we have been tackling something off that list with a vengeance… the downstairs bathroom fix-up. Two weekends ago, on Holy Saturday, amidst all the craziness surrounding Holy Week and the music album (which is still yet to be released, stay tuned) and music for Easter morning, Mark and I awoke early and I said, “Let’s demo the bathroom and put it the way we want.” Amazingly enough, Mark said, “Great!” And we did.

Demo took all of one day and served to completely freak out the poor dog. So the last week and weekend we spent spackling and sanding on repeat trying to get a smooth wall once again after removing the construction bathroom mirror which is always GLUED to the wall. Yes, glued! Aggravates me to no end. Thankfully though, Mark whipped out his amazing sanding chops and I think the wall looks fantastic. So this weekend, we put a coat of primer and repainted the whole bathroom with the same color as before, but in semi-gloss for maximum moisture protection. This week, we must put the new light fixture, mirror and vanity into place and the bathroom will look better than it ever has.

So you may be asking, why the sudden need to do this after waiting for 3 years? Good question. The answer is quite simple: my sister, bro-in-law, and three little nieces. We are getting a happy visit in just 2 short weeks and being my mother’s daughter, I’ve been obsessing over the state of the house and how to make it perfect for their short visit. Granted, this is the first time they will be seeing our house and I also happen to be faulted with a need to be known as someone with good housekeeping skills.

On another note, call me crazy, but I’m also running a massive yard sale this weekend for a couple families, including ours. So, amidst the bathroom reno and dust, we have piles, SERIOUS piles of stuff that I’m slowly working on organizing and tagging for the yard sale. This is my first yard sale ever and I am psyched. We’ve been brutal about getting rid of things this go around and so far I’m very proud. Even as I’m terrified that I’ll completely screw up the sale somehow. But I figure you have to start somewhere. So here we go! Wish us luck.

Now, I just reread this post checking for spelling errors and general flow and I realized, there is no point to this post. I’m going to put it up anyway, because sometimes life is like that. It doesn’t feel like there is a point, but it still happens. So happy Tuesday and I hope you are having a remarkable day even if it doesn’t feel like one.

making progress

Well, the weekend came and went and here is where we are so far. Finally got the oven hood vent installed last night and the new oven pushed into place! Yay for being able to cook again! Mark fixed the drawers next to the oven so they slide in and out much smoother now. I’ve been working on cabinet lining options which I’ll post about later.

The biggest slow down right now is that we still need to paint the front side of the cabinet doors. It has been raining for the past 2 days and although I don’t know how true it is, I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t paint when it is raining as it causes the drying time to slow down even more. So we are waiting for the weather to clear to start the door painting process once again. We’ve also been doing the refrigerator and dishwasher search. We weren’t entirely planning on purchasing all the appliances at once, but they all need replacing so badly, we have the money in savings, and if we can find a great deal on them while we are in the upheaval phase, we’ll bite the bullet.

After painting the doors we need to put on the new hardware, hang the doors, and then tile up the backsplash! It’s already starting to look so different. It’s so exciting!

still in pieces

Here’s the week in pictures and short comments:

 After 1 coat of oil based primer (best for kitchens!) and 2 coats of the Bitter Chocolate brown, we knew we needed a third coat but Mark wasn’t convinced about the color. So we did a third coat in a slightly darker Espresso Beans brown and called it done. (We used the Behr paint and primer in one for the new color third coat and it was awesome!) The color is much closer to the dark brown/black look that we were going for. It covered really well the third time too.

The back side of the doors are done. Tomorrow we can start painting the front side. (Best to wait at least 3-5 days to allow them to cure before flipping them over.)

Countertops came Friday! Love them!

Yesterday, Mark measured and cut the hole for the sink and we worked hard to get that sucker squared away in there. And this afternoon Mark finished getting the incredible faucet (from Ikea!) installed. Hooray! The spout of the faucet pulls down and becomes a sprayer when needed. Love!

Not going to feel great until the new tile backsplash goes up but it’s starting to look better at least. (Minus the ugly drywall layer where the old countertop used to curve up.) Speaking of tile…

It looks awesome with the cabinets and the new gray countertops!

So that’s where we are. Yesterday, we purchased the new oven hood vent and are hoping to install it tonight before we go to bed. Perhaps we’ll finally get the oven in place too! Tomorrow, as I said before, we start the process of painting the front of the cabinet doors. Should take 2 days hopefully, depending on how quickly the coats go. Then they have to dry for 5 days before we put the new hardware on (yay!) and new hinges and hang them. And the final step is going to be the tile backsplash which we are excited (and slightly anxious) about installing. It’s coming along!

we’ll be grilling out for a couple days | the kitchen reno stage 1

The holiday weekend came and went. Mark and I now find ourselves lost among the chaos of our kitchen in progress. Starting Friday night, we spent a good chunk of time at Home Depot and followed it up with another early morning trip on Saturday to purchase a clearanced floor model stainless steel oven range that we had spotted the night before (Score!). The rest of Saturday unfolded with massive kitchen prep as we emptied the cabinets, heaved the old stove to the garage, removed all the cabinet doors and hinges, scrubbed everything down, taped around everything, and then used our good friend, Liquid Sandpaper to prepare the surfaces.

(Please note the holes in the wall where the stove should be. Those are thanks to whomever built our kitchen and decided to take shortcuts on doing things well and right. Lovely.)

We then rewarded ourselves with a break at our friends’ house eating yummy food and playing with their adorable 6 month old.

Sunday morning we attended our church, chatted with some folk and then high-tailed it back home to scarf down some sandwiches before we primed it up. The afternoon raced by as we somehow juggled 5 loads of laundry and primed all the cabinets and both sides of the doors.

We again rewarded our focused efforts by lazying around the rest of the evening to celebrate the fourth with some other dear friends and their 10 month old kiddo. The evening was lovely and long as we stuffed ourselves, joined the masses in World’s Fair Park to listen to the Symphony and then ooh and aah over the firework display (which one of the highlights for me was watching the 10 month old in awe of the lights flashing before him). We ended the festive evening with a not-too-rousing game of Scrabble and munchies.

Monday morning rolled around to us hitting snooze for over an hour and then finally hearing reality remind us that we still had cabinets to get a couple coats of paint on. The day was long but we sanded the primed coat (for added smoothness) and put 2 coats of dark brown on. Late last night we decided we’ll need at least one more coat so that’s on the agenda tonight. Picture of this stage to come.

Coming up… the countertops are scheduled to arrive Friday. We are forecasting a weekend of painting the front side of the cabinet doors (have to let the backs cure for 3-5 days) and putting the new countertops and sink in. Soon after we’ll be attempting our first tile job as we do the backsplash and then we’ll be putting the new hinges and handles on all the cabinet doors. July is going to be gone before we know it.