Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Addition is Finished!! (Kinda Sorta, for the Most Part)

I’ve been putting off posting about our addition project because I’ve been waiting on all the “punch out” list items to get finished.

Which is taking a wee bit longer than I thought.

But we are LIVING in the new space now and enjoying running water and a bathroom on the first floor.

And having an oven again??

I’ve baked 6 batches of brownies.

Not all at once.

It’s wonderful to have meal options beyond what we can microwave and heat up on the hot plate.

But I can’t find my cook books.

And some other things that we packed away for 
the construction and can’t seem to find now.

I’m hoping they are in the basement which is a disaster from our flood and having all the carpet ripped out with all the furniture still in it.


So here is the kitchen reveal:

Our builder has been bringing over perspective clients to see the space and they always ask specific names of colors and products and where we got things.

I’ll try to list everything while it’s still fresh in my mind at the end of this post.

Just leave me a question in the comments section if there’s something you’d like to know that I didn’t mention.

#newkitchen #whitekitchen #kitchenreveal
Every morning I walk in, I’m so happy it’s still here and not all just a wonderful dream.

#Typhoonwhitegranite #riverwhitegranite #granitekitchencountertops

 I love my island!! And I love that vein right in the middle. I can’t believe the fabricator tried to direct me away from it.

I wipe the counters down twice a day. The construction dust is still settling and coats everything. I love to run my hands over the counter tops but don’t love getting construction dust all over my hands.


These bar stools are so nice and heavy. They are adjustable and can spin up higher or lower depending on your preference. The seats stay still when you sit on them except one needs to be tightened. We don’t let Ellie sit in that one because she can’t sit still for a second. It’s very distracting talking to someone who is spinning back and forth.

#woodenovenhood #decorativetilebacksplash

You know what’s crazy? The stove sits right where it did in the old kitchen. Doesn’t seem possible. I love all the bright lighting and the hood!! I had them make a ledge so I can put something up there. Haven’t figured out what that something is yet.

And the three brown animals all in a row in the decorative tiles, 
TIC TAC TOE, don’t bother me AT ALL 
because I’m cooking!! On a real stove!! What is there to complain about?!

Actually, I will say this. Our new smoke alarms must be terribly sensitive because every time we use the oven they go off. Even if it’s empty and just preheating. 

I’m hoping there is just some residual construction dust inside burning off.

 It did sit right in the middle of our living room throughout the project. 


I really don’t want my meals to be smoke alarm associated.

#openshelvesinkichen #floatingshelvesinkitchen

I have SO enjoyed ALL THE SPACE of these open shelves!! I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always had open shelves rather than upper cabinets in my kitchens. But I didn’t have a ton of space so I still had to store a lot of stuff.

Now I can have ALL the plates out! I picked up a few sets of white plates at a thrift store last year to use for our women’s luncheon. I had to store them away when it was over. Now I actually use them. It’s great to have people over and KNOW FOR A FACT that I have enough plates for them and we don’t have to use paper plates. Which I vow to NEVER buy again after eating off them exclusively for 6 months!


The only new thing we bought for the kitchen were drinking glasses. We still had the thick hand blown glasses we got for our wedding with the dark blue band on the top.

I love them because they are so heavy duty but the blue drove me crazy on the shelves. It was the wrong shade. Plus, we didn’t have enough of them.

I’m keeping them in a lower cabinet so we can use them on the patio this summer.


We found these online from Crate and Barrel. Not sure you can tell but there are little bubbles in the glass.

#singlebowlkitchensink #deepkitchensink

Having a single deep sink where the entire baking sheet fits right in and whole skillets are easily washed out is amazing!


The fridge that started it all in its final resting place allowing for full door opening and usage. We added the cabinet to the right of it at the last minute to house our trash and recycling. I’m so glad we did! The drawer has become the junk drawer. So has the counter space.


The outlets on the wall above the counter have USB ports allowing us to charge our phones directly. Yet, we don’t as you can see from the photo. Interesting…

#farmtable #diningroomopentofamilyroom
Ignore the dead tulips.

This is a view from our side door into the family room. My dad made the farm table.


We easily sat 8 people around the table last weekend. We use the chairs on the wall on the ends of the table for company.


The rest of the time, they live right here.

#barnbeammantle #stonefireplace #builtinsaroundfireplace

Our fireplace and built-ins.

The mantle is an Indiana barn beam and over 100 years old. I love the hole in the front.

The reclaimed wood behind the shelves is from a red barn and grey horse stall back in Indiana. One of the construction workers said he could smell horse every time he cut those pieces.

#barnwoodwall #bookshelves

Organizing the shelves has been one of my favorite things to decorate.

Monte ordered that gator head on the top shelf for himself for his birthday with the specific intent for me to display it on these shelves.

Don’t you think it would be funny if we hung it 
on the wall like a deer head??

The workers and I do!

Monte doesn’t.

He takes his gators very seriously.

My friend Karmen painted that picture of Nigel and I love how it pops out on the shelf. More people have noticed that than the gator head.

Just saying…

The huge sectional that we worried wouldn’t fit.

I allowed myself to really fret over what rug to buy.

What color? 
What size? 

I went to 142 stores and looked at 4,074 rugs. 

Then I just decided one morning that it was a stupid rug that we were going to walk on, for the love of Pete!

So I bought a super neutral one on the smallish size. 
I love it.

The coffee table is our old one from the living room that I’ve painted and restained many times. One of our construction workers is going to take it. We are just using it until he does. We are going to use an old trunk in this space that used to be my great-uncle’s sales equipment trunk. It’s really neat.

We thought we wanted a round coffee table but couldn’t bring ourselves to fall in love with anything we saw. Mainly because they were all $400-$800.

For the love of Pete!

Also, I love the story behind the trunk.


We bought this big clock in my hometown in Indiana while home for Christmas. It’s the only thing that has been hung on the walls. And that’s because I had the workers do it. I’m not used to drywall. All my walls are plaster which does not require all the anchors and whatnot. It just explodes most of the wall all over your hair when you hammer.

I’m enjoying the extra brain space that having empty walls has given me. It will drive me crazy soon enough but for now…happy sigh. 

So from this:

#oldkitchen #beforekitchenremodelpicture

Plastic brick archway that housed the oven and two cabinets.

To this:

From small sun porch turned into den sometime in the 70s:


To this:

I’ll take it!!

What’s left?

Our back yard looks like the surface of the moon. 

The April showers might bring May flowers but they do not help the patio go in any faster. We are hoping that starts this week.

We hope to get steps to our side door installed then too. It’s a long jump down and even harder jump back in when we take the trash to the garage.

We need the new front door installed since ours is old enough to have the three little windows staggered diagonally. The door is featured in most of the old black and white movies from the 50s and 60s.

And most of the wood surrounding the front door is rotten and needs replaced. 
We are getting new lighting too.

And we have to figure out new flooring for our basement so we can put it all back together. We’ve missed having it as an option to send the kids when they have friends over and want to be loud. We are learning that sound really carries with the high ceilings of our new space. The basement is so nice and insulated that we never hear loud giggling teenagers.

We also need to start transforming our old dining room into an office so the girls have a quiet place to do homework.

I’m thinking a barn door to close it off 
from the kitchen would look FANTASTIC!

So there you have it! I’m so glad it’s kinda sorta, for the most part done.


Counter tops:  Typhoon White or River White granite
Cabinet color:  Brie
Cabinet hardware:  Rusticware knobs and 10-inch pulls in oil-rubbed bronze from PullsDirect.com
Sink:  Vigo single-bowl stainless steel from eBay.
Faucet:  Giagni Fresco from Lowe’s
Stove Hood:  custom built. Painted Snowbound from Sherwin Williams to match cabinets. Wood corbels from eBay.
Open shelves:  custom built. Painted Snowbound from Sherwin Williams.
Backsplash:  White subway tile; Winter Grey grout
Lighting:  island pendants and over the sink:  Pottery Barn. We bought them deeply discounted over the holidays.
Bar stools:  World Market (sorry, can’t find the name of them)
Dining side chairs:  Light Walnut finish, French Bistro side chair, World Market.
Dining end chairs:  Linen Maddox, World Market.
Wall color in kitchen and family room:  Repose Gray, Sherwin Williams
Chandelier over table:  Objects for Home, local.
Built-ins by fireplace:  custom built. Painted Snowbound by Sherwin Williams.
Iron Shelf brackets:  House of Antique Hardware

Thursday, April 16, 2015

You Might Be Getting Older If…

There are just so many answers to that.

But I’m only going to say these:

You Might Be Getting Older If…

1) You order reading glasses online.

I’m sorry, Sumita, this is throwing you under the bus since you did it first, were so happy with them and then told me about it and so therefore I immediately ordered some too.

The only reason I HAD to order them online is because it is IMPOSSIBLE to find 1.00 reading glasses. IM. POSS. IBLE. When I FINALLY did (at CVS), I was so excited to get the hard plastic tag off the nose piece that I scratched the lens with the blade of the scissors. RIGHT WHERE MY LINE OF VISION IS.

I can’t see out of them!

So in my defense of getting old, SOCIETY AT LARGE forced me to go online with this purchase.

I just got my glasses in the mail as I typed this. 

Dear. Word.

There is a good reason there is a mirror by the glasses section at CVS. 

Because one pair makes me look like an 86-year-old man.

What was I thinking?!
Maybe I’ll wear them when I want to
embarrass the girls.
Or myself.

The other pair looks acceptable.

Which is why there are no photos.

So there’s that.

2) You fall down in the shower.

One minute I was sudsing up my hair, the next I was staring at the ceiling wondering what crazy pinball ricochet waterslide I’d just been on.

And also why the left half of my backside was in pain.

And then MOSTLY why it took a full 10 minutes for someone to holler through the door,

“You alright??”

I mean if I heard a large boom followed by a long silence, 
I’d check out the situation.

In my defense, the bathtub drain has been clogged for most of the winter causing a very slow drain after showers and leaving lots of filmy product on the surface of the tub. I usually wipe it out before every shower but the drain had recently been fixed and I thought all was good to go.


Do they still sell those sticky flower things we all had in the 70s?

Remember these?

I need to go visit that aisle at Lowes.

Or the aisle with handrails for the shower.

Or wherever it is that sells those necklaces that I can holler in,
“I’ve fallen and no one in my house cares!"

3)  You wish you had brought a pillow to sit on for the bleachers at your daughter’s track meet.

They are cement. No aluminum or wood bench. Just all cement. 

It made the deep tissue injury on the left half of my backside angry.

So I kept leaning over on the OTHER half of my backside to relieve the pressure and pain of the injurious half.

I know I probably grimaced in pain.

Maybe even let out a little grunt or moan.

It hurt.

It took a few times of doing that before it occurred to me that it probably looked like I was doing SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to all the other people in the bleachers.

Something NOT AT ALL having to do with falling in the shower and hurting the left half of my backside and MUCH MORE like “letting one go” after a bad bean burrito.

And I was all by myself.

So I texted the scenario and Carisa said I should just assume that people would find the whole situation “fascinating” as I would INDEED find a lady sitting all by herself, propped up on one cheek fascinating.

Then she said to just “go with it” and make hand gestures as one would 
to a semi-truck to get him to honk his horn.
Which I. Could. Not. Even. 

So I resorted to hoping people just thought I had hemorrhoids.

4)  Gardening

No, gardening is not for old people. Gardening is ageless and timeless. I love to garden and plan my garden and check on my garden and talk about my garden to anyone who lets me.

When I was standing watching Ellie throw the discus (I know--and she’s good at it) another mom and dear friend hollered over to me that she forgot to bring a seed catalog to me. (She’s one that lets me talk about my garden to her).

I’m not sure why. 
But it was the straw that broke the 100 year-old camel’s back. 

I walked over to her, grabbed her arm and told her all about falling in the shower and feeling old and asking her if she knew where I could get those sticky flower things we had in the 70s.

Then I caught my breath long enough to see that two elderly women flanked her.

They looked at me smiling, dear sweet wise smiles.

They probably were thinking,

“Oh just you wait, honey!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finding Nemo

We watched “Finding Nemo” a few weeks ago.


It had been a long, long time since I’d seen it last.

I have to say, I don’t remember not liking Nemo’s dad, Marlin.


His parenting style in the beginning of the movie
was a tad beyond crazy overprotective.

And this is coming from a mom who STILL
doesn’t like to give her daughters hard candy

The line that popped out to me towards the end of the movie is when Marlin is finally reunited with Nemo and he says to his son,

“I promise I won’t let anything ever happen to you.” 

Dory, the comic relief, responded,


“That’s a funny thing to promise.
Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. 
Then nothing would ever happen to him."

Think about that.

It’s more of a trap than a promise.

More prison than protection.

To promise a life free of “anything happening,”

isn’t living.

God hasn’t made that promise to us.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. 
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

And God certainly never made that promise to: 


So why would someone make that promise to their kids?

Or their spouse?

Or their friends?

It’s a twisted thing,

this control that we wrap up all pretty
and call love
and protection
and concern.

It debilitates.

I fight it every time McDaniel asks to borrow the car.

Why can’t she just stay home so nothing will happen to her?!

 Nothing being experience
and confidence
and independence
and  LIVING.

What I loved about “Finding Nemo” this time around, 

was realizing it wasn’t just a “coming into his own” movie about Nemo.

Or a parent’s guide to letting go.

It’s a movie about faith.


Starting out on journey alone
only to to realize we can’t do it alone.

“I lift my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

That perseverance pays off.

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Hebrews 10:35

And just because we are never promised that “nothing will ever happen to us,” 

it doesn’t mean we aren’t cared for

or loved.

It means we are FREE.

Free to do God’s will.

And that should provide us some 
pretty awesome and harrowing 
stories to tell.

“The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; 
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:7-8

So let’s learn from “Finding Nemo”.

Let’s be freedom encouragers!

Encouraging not just our kids into adventures,

but having a few adventures of our own. 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

16 Years in the Making

So McDaniel got her driver’s license.


She was supposed to get it a few days after she turned 16, in early March, but the company that she took driver’s training from failed to put her certificate for taking the class in the mail.

When Monte called the driver’s training office about the whole issue, they seemed really okay with the fact that they never bothered to stick the certificate in the mail.

And none too willing or anxious to do much about it.

So we had to cancel McDaniel’s driver’s test.

Which we were okay with since it was an hour away in a little town we’d never been to before.

It’s quite tough around here to get a driver’s test time.

So we called around and the next available time was several weeks away, early in the morning, on the north side of town.

The night before, we laid out all the necessary items we’d need.

Except all Monte had for an updated insurance card was a photocopy.

Seemed a little unofficial, but we added it to our stack of papers.

The BMV was just an exit away from Monte’s office but it was the last day of the month, which means something important to his line of work, so he didn’t come with us for the test.

We arrived at the testing facility early, just in time to watch a kid in a small SUV knock over a cone not once, not twice, but THREE times during the maneuverability test.

Not good for McDaniel’s nerves.

But I assured her we were in Monte’s much smaller car 
and she’d have full view of the cones backing up.

There was no line in the office.

Let me type that again in case you missed it.

There was no line at the BMV.

I know! 
We’d found some sort of early morning 
secret sweet spot!

Within minutes of showing all the necessary paperwork, McDaniel was walking out with the instructor to take the driving test.

I watched from the office lobby.

I noticed the instructor kept looking at the back of Monte’s car.

I immediately wondered if a tail light was out.

That would stink if they wouldn’t let McDaniel take the test because a tail light was out! 
I thought to myself.

I saw the instructor and McDaniel turn and walk back into the office.

I couldn’t tell from McDaniel’s face if she was about to cry or was just confused.

The instructor informed me that Monte’s registration sticker on his license plate had expired the month before.

As in February.

As in he’d been driving around illegally for an entire month.

He’d been driving around illegally 
with McDaniel at the wheel for an entire month.

She had to get driving hours in.

What a lesson that could’ve been if she’d been pulled over while “Dad was showing her how to drive”.

The instructor pointed us across the hall and said we could go ahead and update the sticker and she’d hold the test time for 2 more hours.

Knowing it would be AT LEAST two more weeks if we scheduled the test for another day, we rushed to get in line.

The line wasn’t too long. 

When I explained the situation to the man at the counter, he asked if I was Monte.


Only Monte could update his registration 
since the car was registered in his name.

He said our only recourse was to fill out a power of attorney form, fax it to Monte's office for him to sign and then have him fax it back.

People still use fax machines??

Since he only worked one exit away, I called him to get down to the BMV PRONTO because our testing time clock was tick tock ticking away!

McDaniel and I waited in chairs in the lobby as we watched 45 people file into line. 

Our early morning sweet spot was blown.

My blood started to boil as I sat there thinking about McDaniel being late for school. And now I was going to be late for bible study.

I started to feel my heart beat in my left eye when I thought of a photocopied insurance card and expired registration.

I’d lived this story before,

posted the bail

I texted Sumita that I wouldn’t be making bible study and that she needed to pray, PRAY HARD that I would not, in fact, MURDER Monte at the BMV one exit from his office.

Apparently they did pray, because ladies asked me about “the situation” at church.



Monte finally pulled into the nearly full parking lot.

He apologized profusely as he whizzed by us to get into the LONG line.

He may or may not have recognized the sight and sound 
of the thump thump thumping of my left eye.

He stood in line a SWEET FOREVER 

only to hear that the DMV computer showed that his registration was updated.

They failed to mail the new sticker to him.

It was THEIR mistake.

$4.00 later a new sticker was on and McDaniel and the VERY patient instructor walked out to the now legal car.

We couldn’t see the maneuverability test course due to the unfortunate parking choice of a huge truck pulling a trailer of lawn mowers.

We could see as she pulled across the busy road and drove away through a residential area.

We watched as she creeped turtle slow though the neighborhood.

I asked Monte if it was just me or was McDaniel driving slower than any human being ever?

He agreed it appeared snail like.

Then her turn signal flashed on and she was gone.

We waited what seemed like an hour for them to come back.

You know what kills the thump thump thumping in your left eye (and any murderous intent)?

Waiting on your first born to get back safely 
in a car that she is operating.

As she got out of the car she gave us a thumbs up and practically skipped the rest of the way into the office.

She passed!!

She nailed the maneuverability test 
and got a point taken off for driving too slow.

she actually was driving dangerously 
too slow.

But it didn’t matter--she passed!

We had to get BACK in line so that she could actually get her license.

Even though the line was practically out the door, and this had been our UMPTEENTH time in it, it didn’t matter. 

McDaniel was on cloud 9.

Even when the lady taking her picture told her to stop 

“doing that thing with your teeth” 

and to “smile naturally” 

and “stop looking so creepy, baby!” 

and rolled her eyes impatiently 
as two men walked right in front of McDaniel 
just as the camera clicked.

It didn’t matter. 

She was now a licensed driver!

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