Thursday, June 23, 2016

We've Moved!

I'm sure if I combed through the many pages of this blog that I would find the words "I've never been so tired in all my life!" written somewhere. And while those words may have been true at the time, this past week trumps all of those other times. I'm tired. My body aches. I'm 32 weeks pregnant now and have almost survived another move. I say almost because we are only about 2/3 of the way settled into our new home. There are still boxes scattered here and there. There is still furniture that needs to be bought, rooms that need to be organized. But we're getting there! Always getting there....

We've already had the air condition repair man here. We had a scare that our refrigerator went out, once again, right after we had taken a trip to the grocery store. We have fixed toilets. And right now, as I sit in a sunny breakfast room with my laptop open for the first time in days, I'm noticing a lovely spot forming on the ceiling of our kitchen right about where our bathtub is upstairs. Welcome to home ownership. This is why we put it off for so long, haha.

But it hasn't been all bad! We have so enjoyed spending the last few nights here. The kids wake up extra early every day to tear through the house and play with all of their toys in their new basement playroom. And we have SO many people to thank with the move. Our moms were absolute champs last week, taking our kids for the day so that we could finish packing and cleaning the old place. We barely saw our own children for a while there, and while they've been driving me a little insane in their excitement here, I'm glad we're finally all back together in one place again!

Moving! Packing up the U-Haul and of course, our lovely dumpster which we filled to the brim and then some.


Here is a very short video that I shot from the window as I watched the moving trucks pull away with all of our belongings. I stayed behind to clean that day while the guys did all of the heavy lifting! 


To everyone who helped us move our junk: THANK YOU! This pregnant mama is eternally grateful. Thanks to my brothers and Eric's dad for all of your help. Thank you uncle Bruce for your time and your truck and trailer! Thank you to our friend Tony Frisella for volunteering a company trailer. Thanks to Bob Stockdale for all that you have done, and of course we really thank your lovely wife for feeding our movers and our family. ;) (The potpie was delicious!) We have already found family away from family where we are, and it has been such a blessing. We're having friends over tonight, which is kind of insane, but they've already seen this house in it's messiest state ever, so it's all good. :D

I love the area we have moved to. It's full of amenities but easy to get around. When we can't find something specific we want at say, Walmart...well, that's okay because there are two more down the street. Haha. And believe me...we've been to them all in the past few days! It's a far cry from what we are used to. But the best part is that is still has a small town feel, in some respects. In one direction we have every business imaginable, but just 1/4 mile up the road in the other direction is a popular local farm and our kids' school. We're surrounded by parks and family recreation, and I just can't wait to be all the way settled so we can explore some more!

That doesn't mean we don't already miss home. There are just some things that we will never replace, like being so close to friends and family that we love. But we're coming back this weekend for all of the festivities in town, so if you happen to see us out and about make sure to say hello!! We're going to enjoy the picnic and parade this weekend as well as spending one last Sunday with our church family.

And after we stuff ourselves with carnival food and watch the kids turn circles on squeaky rides, we get to do it all over again next weekend at our new town's Heritage and Freedom Fest. We are so looking forward to getting out and having a little summer family fun after nothing but packing and scrubbing, scrubbing and packing for weeks!

We're thrilled that this house is set up so much better for entertaining than anywhere we've lived before, so don't make yourself a stranger to us! We plan to have plenty of get togethers in the future, and if you still need our address let me know.

I wish I had more pictures or something of the new place to show you, but I've been too busy to do anything but unbox things for the past few days. So just a quick recap - our kitchen cabinets ended up turning out great. They are darker and just what we were hoping for. The few new things we had bought fit perfectly in their spaces. We're definitely getting new appliances and living room furniture asap. We put our old stuff in the basement! Our old dining chairs are currently being refinished, because our kids totally grossified the seats at the other place. Now we can save our formal dining for...formal dining. Doing two flights of stairs all day every day with a baby in my belly and one on my hip is a great built in workout, but my legs are SORE. :) I am christening the laundry room this morning with my very first load of laundry, and Eric is back at the office today after a week off. Oh, and I was just informed that one of my children called and left a message on grandma's phone to come pick them up. I guess they have finally gotten bored with all of their toys. Some things never change, haha. Welcome home!



Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Evelyn!

This time next week we will be MOVED. That means that this week kind of sucks, and we tried to make yesterday as fun as possible in preparation. :)

Evelyn turned seven!


There was no way we were going to be able to have a party in the middle of all of the moving madness, so that will wait until after we are in our new house. But we still like to let the birthday kid have some fun and call the shots on their actual birthday. It was up to Evie what we did for a family day yesterday, and she picked a regular birthday standby.

We had originally planned to go to the zoo or something similar, but the HEAT WAVE that came through this weekend stifled those plans. (All of you people who were camping over the last few days...you are brave souls, haha!) No, we gently guided our oldest child to choose a nice indoor, air conditioned activity. ;) 


We hadn't been to Chuck E. Cheese since Grace and Reagan's party last October, so they were all itching to go back. A few things have changed since we were last there. In addition to some new games and small rides, there are no longer tokens used to play anything. Now you get a "Play Pass" credit card type of thing that is pre-loaded with the amount of credits you have. You just wave your card in front of a ride or game and off you go! It's definitely easier than carrying around a little cup of coins, but I've gotta say...just like in real life with credit cards, we blew through our credits much faster than usual using plastic. ;)




Charlotte got to go on a ride for the very first time! I wasn't sure how she would react when we strapped her in. I half expected her to scream her head off, but she LOVED it! This gives me a lot more hope for Disney this year, haha.

We ate our pizza, played some games, cashed in for prizes, and then set off for the next stop of the day. The kids were dying to go back to the new house - they hadn't been in a couple of weeks. Eric and I were very curious about the progress of our newly stained kitchen cabinets!


So about these cabinets. Haha. Mario hates us, I'm sure. :) First I will say that we knew the product we were using to stain them isn't like, the best thing in the world. It's a stain and poly mix, which means it's kind of streaky and runny and hard to work with, but it's also the only alternative we had to just painting the cabinets white (which we don't really want.) The whole idea was that if we stained them and hated them, oh well. We will just replace them in a year or two anyway. But if we stained them and loved them, we would consider keeping them.

I don't think we'll be keeping them. :)

The pictures are actually very deceiving. They look darker and more even in photographs for some reason.


Poor Mario hates it. :D He is a perfectionist, so I think it was kind of driving him nuts. Between each coat he would make sure to update us about how awful it was, haha! But truly...I don't think they are that bad. They are livable for now. And we are having him put on one last coat to darken them a little more and hopefully even them out a bit more, too.  By the time they are done, I hope they will actually look a little more like they do in pictures. (Also, some of our new light fixtures have been going up!)


This picture might show a little closer to the color they are now. More of a medium brown than a dark one.

We know one thing, we would never put granite on these cabinets, so I think it's pretty inevitable now that they will be replaced eventually.

The bathtub is mostly finished now....


I cannot wait to get in there now and CLEAN everything. The whole house has a nice layer of dust covering every nook and cranny.

Bathroom vanities have also been getting new stain.



Another coat for those, too! And the tile floors look SO much better than what was in both of these spaces before.

The kids just love coming here and running around. I'm not going to lie...it stresses me out to the max! Maybe it's the junk that is laying everywhere. Maybe it's freshly painted walls they like to put their hands on and the fact that they literally RUN through the place. Maybe it's hormones. I don't know, but I don't last long with them before I'm ready to say, "Okay, time to go!" :D


Our baby is naked because she had a diaper blow out. Luckily I came prepared with fresh clothes for her to put on, because this is a trend for our youngest daughter any time we are here. I think she is christening the place.


I don't know why, but all of the kids gravitate to the fireplace. Charlotte loves climbing on it! So...get used to it, because they will probably sit here for pictures for years to come. :)

After this we stopped on the way home for a special birthday treat - slushies and ice cream. Evelyn got to pick where we had dinner a little later - another task assigned to the birthday child. And we finally capped the day with a little "Happy Birthday" cupcake action.



Charlotte especially loved her sister's cupcakes!

We really needed this family day. So I'm super thankful for Evelyn and her birthday and an excuse to just hang out. There is very little that would stop Eric Robert from doing anything and everything to get us ready for the move, but his oldest child turning seven will do it!

And now...I wait for a giant dumpster to be delivered to our house so we can continue the process of throwing out tons of crap and packing what survives the great purge. Today is trash day! I can't wait to throw some stuff away. Hurry up, dumpster guy. I have a basement full of junk ready to go. If you don't hear from me in a few days...well, you probably won't. I'm busy. :)

Here's hoping your week is a little more relaxing (or at least a little more interesting!) than mine will be, haha! And Happy Birthday to our firstborn child. We love you, Evie!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Stir Crazy Summer!

Help!

Haha. No, it's fine. Really. We're surviving over here, thanks to grandparents and playgrounds. But I've been stuck at home for the last two days while our van gets one last check up before the move, and let's just say...it makes for some long days. We really wanted to get our water slide out yesterday and have a little splashing fun. So I took my pregnant self outside and lugged the thing out of the storage bin, set it up in the grass, and then we realized the blower that inflates the contraption is not working. Womp womp...no water slide for us.

My kids have been entertaining themselves in interesting ways. If you are on Facebook, then you may have seen Gracie's beautiful carrot and ketchup artwork.


After I discovered the actual mess on the computer desk where she made her creation, I literally turned around and found her giving Apple Jack a mohawk and de-tailing. She saw it on youtube.


It was Evelyn's. Ay yi yi. Poor little Apple Jack!

Needless to say, I can't wait to have the van back so we can find some...less?...creative outlets. :)

Eric was at the new house late last night while the cable guy was there hooking things up. We weren't going to get any kind of cable or satellite at all, but when we saw the price for internet alone vs. tv and internet it was kind of dumb not to, haha. But once again, that meant an even longer day for me and the kiddos as we were just stuck here without him. The good news is we have a few mid-week progress pictures!

The shower is DONE. Hallelujah! 



Complete with the RIGHT shower door.


So there's one thing to check off of the list!

The tub is also coming along...


Just waiting on some more accent tile, which I believe is being picked up this evening. Even the tub itself looks better when not surrounded by the carpet that was once here. And everyone agrees it was a good decision to take the step out.

Mario has started working on painting the doors.


Mario says he can be done with everything by next Tuesday. 
I don't believe it.
I mean, I believe him, because he's been superman so far...but...I don't believe it! He still has the entire kitchen to redo! If he pulls this one off I'm nominating him for contractor of the year.

It's amazing to me how much the little things make a big difference. Like having the inside of all of the closets painted. It was one of those "Do we really care about this?" sort of decisions, and at the end of the day, yes. Yes, we care. Because now everything looks so much cleaner...didn't realize how scuffed and dirty those walls were until they were repainted! 

Now...let's see how long it takes our crazy family to move in and mess everything up! :D 

Well, at least everything will look nice for a day or two, haha. 

We're about to enter the craziest couple of weeks of our summer..let's do this thing!


Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up - Birthdays and New Showers

We kicked off our weekend celebrating Eric's 29th birthday on Friday! I love June...we have multiple birthdays to celebrate and so many fun things to look forward to in this month. Our Friday evening was wonderful...Eric had his choice of dinner, salad and hot wings. And we enjoyed his favorite treat - ice cream cake.



For those of you following along with our house showing debacle on Facebook, I took the kids to the playground this afternoon AND we braved the DQ parking lot for this cake, and NO ONE almost killed themselves!! It was great! :)

Reagan insisted on helping his dad blow out the candles. 


There were even some presents later on.
Gracie. Haha. 

It was just a really nice evening, with the kids playing on the front lawn and being all together. Eric said he had a great day. :)

The rest of the weekend was all-consuming with house stuff...which is of course the same story as every other weekend we've had for the last few weeks! With brief intermissions for church and work, we found ourselves in stores and dropping off things at the new house. We were really excited to be able to visit the house on Sunday afternoon to check out the progress in our master bathroom.

It's coming along!

Eric is most excited about our new shower....



Out of everything we are doing to this house...and that's pretty much everything...this is the ONE thing Eric cared about most of all. "I just want a really a nice shower." :) We're both happy with it so far! But who knew one shower could take so much work...haha. This one little corner of our house required three different stores and eight different decisions on materials and finishes. We ran around this weekend trying to fix a Home Depot mistake when we realized they sent our contractor home with the wrong shower door. Seriously...we will be so glad when this particular project is finished!

The rest of the bathroom is coming along, too....


The tile floor is down, and next up is tiling around the tub! We had Mario take out the little step that was on the front of the tub. It wasn't really necessary, and when we told him it could go he was super happy, haha. I'm assuming that makes the tiling job a lot easier!

Here's a peek into the kids' bathroom, which is also getting a new tile floor....


It's not finished, because....we ran out of tile. It's a long story. But both bathroom projects have been halted until we are able to make it back to the warehouse to pick up more of what we need. We purchased our tile from a retiring interior designer who has a warehouse full of materials that she is now, of course, trying to get rid of. But she took her monthly trip to New York for 10 days and won't be back until Thursday, so we've been stuck. :)

But this is an excellent example of why our life has been so stupid busy on the weekends. While Mario is doing all of the work through the week on the actual projects, it's still up to us to make all of the decisions, buy the materials, order materials, pick up the materials, and get them to the house so that he has something to work with. This would be fine if we could drop everything on a random Tuesday or Thursday or something to go out and get what he needs, but we can't do that with Eric's crazy schedule during the week (and the fact that he too is in New York sometimes!) So all of our running is condensed into about two half days that we get on the weekends. We never get everything done that we need to get done...ever. So we try our very best to not let things like running out of tile happen, but we didn't get so lucky this time! 

I tried to remember pictures of things I didn't get last week. 


Here's the dining room, now with the entire bottom painted out in white. I can't wait until we can actually do all of our wainscoting! Also, you probably didn't notice something else in this room, which was exactly our point of changing it. There are now white outlets and plate covers on everything (as apposed to a more almond color) and it really does make a big difference. It was worth it to change those out!

I also wanted to get some pictures of our basement color that I was talking about. 


Earlier in the day this color looks more beige, but by the time I took this picture in late afternoon it was looking very gray. I love it!

Some areas in our home continue to get messier before they get awesomer. Like our kitchen, for example. 


The cabinets are being prepped for a refinishing! Grace found this picture to be unbelievable. Like, what is happening to our house?? :) 

We also seriously freaked out our new neighbors this weekend when we dropped off a freezer to be put in the basement.


Apparently it's not a custom here to drive vehicles through the yard? :) Haha, we had to get it down there, and since we have a walkout this made the most sense! We promise not to make a habit out of this though, neighbor lady. But we can't promise it won't happen at least one more time during our move in. Bringing a little bit of hoosier to the neighborhood, that's all.

And that was it! I am BEYOND ready to be done with this stage and to move in. We have one more weekend of running around before the big move in weekend. Left on the checklist is to finish the bathrooms, paint all of the doors and add new knobs, stain every cabinet in the house, change out all of the light fixtures, finish painting and do touch ups...it's all in a day's work! Or about two weeks worth, which will keep Mario very busy. :) He continues to be amazing, and we would happily pass on his information to any local friends who need projects done around the house. The only thing he doesn't do? Carpet. And I don't blame him there!  

Thanks again for walking this path with us. Our friends and family make this life so great. We only wish we weren't moving an hour away from some of you now that we will finally have the space to entertain more! But if you would make the drive, we would love to have you!! Later taters.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, Eric!

We like to mark birthdays around here, and this year one very special guy celebrates his last year in his twenties! (Seriously...still in your twenties? Oy, only one more year of you making fun of me!)

We love and appreciate Eric so much...he is a dream dad and husband, and there's really not much more I can say about that! Our kids have no idea how blessed they are, but I hope one day they can truly appreciate the gift of a great dad. For now, I think it's pretty clear that they adore their daddy!


 Hehe...they worked very hard on their sign yesterday to surprise their dad.

This morning the kids taped a little message for dear old dad, so here you go Eric! I really hope you are having a great day and we'll see you tonight!




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paint!

I'm hopping on quickly this morning before a showing at our rental to share some of the updated rooms at the new house. Now there is actually some color on the walls. :) Of course, it's difficult to make colors translate sometimes via a camera and computer screen, so you know...maybe you'll just have to stop by sometime to see them in person!

We wanted a main neutral color for common spaces in the house, and we decided on a shade called "Comfort Gray" by Sherwin Williams. But you will soon see that it looks anything but gray in many of our rooms! 


Our entryway used to be the home of the wallpaper stripes, and now it looks crisp and clean with the trim freshly painted white and the comfort gray color on the walls. The color extends all the way up to the second story and is in the landing up there, too. 

I love the same color even more in the landing upstairs....

It looks ever-so-slightly more gray up here, and it's exactly what I wanted.

The same color in our living room looks brighter and more blue-green....


Our kitchen and breakfast area are also comfort gray....



I think there is one wall in the whole downstairs that actually looks gray....


Same color, but this is only wall that doesn't have a window across from it. Truly, this paint color is a chameleon, and it freaked out our contractor a couple of times, haha. He wasn't sure he was always painting from the right can because of how different it looked in different spots. Added in the fact that the color looks nothing like gray in some rooms, and it was a little panic inducing. :) But this was part of the appeal of this shade for me. I wanted a nice main neutral that didn't look exactly the same everywhere. 

To the left of the entryway is Eric's office, which is painted in Labrador Blue (Benjamin Moore) on the top and White (Behr) on the bottom. 


This is a really nice blue which was also used in Reagan's bedroom upstairs. The white is where there will eventually be a wainscoting treatment. We couldn't do a lot of the trim work we want right away, because we are replacing all of the flooring next spring, and when we do all of the baseboards are being beefed up with thicker boards. We asked Mario to go ahead and paint the rooms the way they will be eventually. In this room we will also be adding french doors between the office and living room with built-ins on either side...again, waiting for the new flooring first!

Across the way is the formal dining room which was painted in one of the historic collection colors by Benjamin Moore called Jamestown Blue. 


You can see that white is going below the chair rail here, too. This blue is more green than the color in the office, and I just adore it! I had planned for both rooms to be painted in this color, but Eric wanted a little more variety. You can see the Comfort Gray color right next to it in the little hallway off of the dining room. 

Heading upstairs we have a lot more variety in color! Our master bathroom is a color called Waterscape by Benjamin Moore. I love how cheery it is!


Of course it's hard to get a good picture this little space. (Yay for no more carpet up here!) The same color is used in all of the bathrooms and the laundry room downstairs. 


If you look really hard you can see a little into the master bedroom and a contrast in the colors. The master color is called Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams, and it's literally one shade lighter than the Comfort Gray we used everywhere else. I didn't do this on purpose. :) I chose the colors independently and only learned later that they were right next to each on the color card. I guess I like what I like!


Grace chose the very specific color she wanted for her room which she will share with Charlotte. The one I chose initially wasn't BRIGHT enough for her, haha. Grace's favorite color is blue and she wants a mermaid themed bedroom, so she chose a very happy color called Serenity by Benjamin Moore. 

All mermaids welcome here!

Despite my desire to decorate Reagan and Lincoln's room in a cutesy theme like nautical or transportation or woodland critters, my son insists on having a Superman bedroom. :) So we were in search of a darker blue color that wouldn't be too garish. That's when we found Labrador Blue, which you know, was also eventually used downstairs. 



Across the hall is Evelyn's room, and I just love the color in here. It's called Lily Lavender by Benjamin Moore, fitting since we have an Evelyn Lily. :)

Evie says, "My room is amazing! I love it! I hope you do, too! Hehehe." 
She's so funny.

Her room is going to have a flower garden theme, and I think the bead board goes really well in here. Eric wanted to take it down, but I was pretty stubborn about keeping it, haha. I knew it would look better with a new color and a fresh coat of white paint. 

The only part of the house I don't have pictures of at the moment (because it wasn't yet painted when I took them) is the basement. But I took a peek down there on Tuesday, and I am in love with the color! It's Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter, and it's a great greige neutral. The perfect TRUE neutral that can go with either warm or cool tones. We'll be spending a lot of time in that space, so I'm glad we used it there. The basement will house the kids' playroom, a family room, and our home gym, and I think it's a great color for all three!

So there ya go - a quick look at all of the painted rooms. I hope they'll only continue to look better with new fixtures and in some cases, new flooring and lighting and everything else! Now it's time for me to pack up all of these kids once again and get the heck out of here while people come and check out this rental space. Just another reminder that the clock is ticking for us! Later, friends!



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