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Archive for posts tagged with ‘House’

Spring renovations

Thoughtfully penned on March 30th, 2011 and generally concerning Goals, House, Spring is here!

It’s Spring which means it’s time for Matt and I to embark on some home renovation projects!

Three years ago we replaced the furnace (J was a week old). Two years ago we repainted the kitchen and laundry room including trim and chair railings. Last year we had the siding on the house replaced. This year we’re embarking on the biggest set of projects yet (as far as work for us Matt is concerned).

It all started when we decided to redo floors. Our kitchen floor has needed to be replaced for a while now, so that was the first project in the plan. We’ve also wanted to lay wood floors in the living room and hallway since our light colored carpet is hard to keep clean in the high traffic areas, so add that to the list.

Then, when we were discussing flooring options for the living room, we decided that we would be able to choose from more finishes if we painted the brick fireplace and hearth, the list keeps growing. And, while we’re painting, let’s go ahead and paint the walls in the living room. I’ve long (like not long after it was put on the walls 5 years ago) disliked the wall color in our living room. The amount of work that we’ll have to put into painting (the walls are painted veneer paneling) has made us put it off. However, now that we’re replacing carpet and will have the living room torn up for a while anyway, we might as well take the opportunity to make the room like we want it.

So, Matt started painting the fireplace and hearth this week, he’s planning to work on the kitchen floor this weekend, and then we’ll paint the living room walls before embarking on the living room/hallway floors.

Should be an exciting Spring!

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New (old) Furnishings

Thoughtfully penned on October 7th, 2009 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, House

Several weeks ago we learned that my grandmother-in-law (heretofore known as Grandma) was once again waging war on the cancer that has plagued her for the last four years. As a result of this most recent diagnosis, she and Papa John have decided to put their house on the market and plan to move in with Matt’s aunt. As they prepare the house for sale they are clearing out some of the furniture and sifting through all of the layers of stuff that you accumulate throughout a lifetime.

Many of the furnishings and accessories in their home hold generations worth of family history and Grandma knows the story behind each and every piece. It has always amazed me the memory she has for such things; she is a wealth of oral history for both her side of the family and Papa John’s. At various times throughout our marriage Matt and I have been blessed by their generosity in sharing these items with us, and, thus, have several pieces in our home that have long family histories that we hope will one day be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Last weekend Grandma called Matt and asked if we would be interested in having a few more pieces of their furniture. The only catch was that we needed to get it quickly in order for them to clear out and stage the house by the time it is scheduled to go on the market. So, this weekend we made a whirlwind trip (approximately 24 hours) to Nashville.

We came home with three new (to us) pieces – a beautiful cupboard/china cabinet that has been in the family for several generations, a lovely marble-top chest that dates to the early 1900s, and a comfy couch (it isn’t an antique, but it is a great addition to our living room!). We also were gifted a wonderful set of white dinnerware and various other bits and pieces that have value to us because we remember them from visits and associate them with Grandma and Papa John.

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (Matt’s parents, his siblings, all of his grandparents, aunts, etc), and we, as a family, have been truly blessed by the love and generosity of Grandma and Papa John. I just hope we can remember all of the family stories to pass on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren like Grandma has.

It was hot…outside and inside

Thoughtfully penned on April 23rd, 2008 and generally concerning House

You know what it is like to have a newborn in the house?  You know what it is like to be without a/c on 80-something degree days?  You know what it is like to have workmen in your house?

Yeah, that was our day yesterday.

Our a/c decided to go on the fritz right before Boo was born, but with him coming soon and the temps dropping for a few days we put off calling anyone.  Now that we are home and the weather is heating back up it was time to call someone to get it repaired.

On Monday, Matt called a company that has serviced the unit in the past, and they sent someone out pretty quickly.  The repairman thought the problem was that the unit was overheating due to dirty coils.  He started cleaning the coils only to find out that the drain pan attached to the coils was basically disentegrating due to the heat in the unit when it was overheating.  That left us with the decision of whether to spend $1200-$1500 to repair a 20 year old unit or to go ahead and replace the whole thing.

We opted to replace the whole unit.  The guys arrived about 8:00 yesterday morning and set to work.  When they went into the attic to disconnect the lines, ducts, etc in order to remove the existing unit we discovered that the current ductwork was basically falling apart; the insulation was coming off to the point that the heated or cooled air was not staying at the right temperature and causing uneven temps in the house (which we had noticed, but attributed to the way the house is built, where the afternoon sun comes in, etc).

So, the long and short of it is that we ended up replacing our heat and air unit and all of the ductwork in the attic.  The workers were here for every bit of 12 hours.  Fortunately, they were curteous and pleasant to be around, but still, there were strange people in the house all.day.long.  Needless to say, we were relieved to have our house back to ourselves last night and very thankful for cold air blowing through our vents.

And that’s been the excitement around here this week.  Not exactly how we planned or wanted to spend our tax refund, but at least we’ll stay cool this summer.

Tackle it Tuesday – Baby Prep

Thoughtfully penned on April 1st, 2008 and generally concerning Crafts...kind of, Goals, House, J, Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This post is quite laden with pictures.  I apologize if it takes a while to load. 

Wow, we got quite a bit done this week (especially over the weekend)! I think I actually accomplished everything I intended to plus a few extras.

The big tackles for this week were Boo’s room, getting baby things from the attic, and finishing the burp cloth sewing project I started.

Let’s start with Boo’s room…

This is what the room looked like when we moved in two years ago:

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During the two years we’ve lived here it has been used primarily for storage. When we found out we were expecting there were boxes piled everywhere, the closet was filled with miscellaneous stuff, and it was generally a pretty scary place (especially if you were looking for something specific). Over the last couple of months we’ve been hard at work cleaning out, decluttering (although we still have some to do), painting, and making it a bedroom again.

This weekend, Matt hung new closet doors, we moved the rest of the nursery furniture out of Little’s room and into Boo’s, and we put his shelf with his name letters on the wall. Over the last week I also got his clothes, the bedding, and all of the covers for carseat, swing, etc washed and dried.

Today it looks like this:

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The burp cloth project…

Please do not look too closely at the pictures. I am a beginner teaching myself to sew, and this is my first start-to-finish completed project. I’m proud of the fact that I actually finished a project for once even though it is certainly far from perfect, and I’m pleased with the way the fabric/ribbon combinations turned out. When I got frustrated Matt kept reminding me that this was something that Boo was going to throw up on; he certainly won’t care if all the seams are perfect and the stitching straight.

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I also finished my Spring cleaning and the cleaning I needed to do before company, wrote all of my Thank You’s (for birthday and baby gifts), and got my birth plan into my chart at the doctor’s office.

Up next – packing the hospital bag and installing the carseat. Nothing too strenuous this week, but definitely things that are important.

Good luck with your tackles!

Making progress and a couple of other things

Thoughtfully penned on February 7th, 2008 and generally concerning Goals, House, Housework, J, Sidetrack'd

We’ll start with the couple of other things…

I’ve been out of the bloggy loop for a few days due to a change in our web-hosting service. If you notice anything wonky with the site please let me know. (Don’t you just love it when you have reason to use made-up words like “wonky”?)

I’m having a bit of trouble with WordPress and comment e-mails. If you are a first time commenter it may take a while before your comment is posted due to the fact that I’m not receiving e-mail telling me there is a comment in moderation. Also, if you leave a question in the comments I may or may not realize it is there and reply. I am trying to look at WordPress regularly to check comments, so I will get to it eventually (probably). Please bear with me as my web-guru and I attempt to solve the problem.

In other, and less technical, news…

Spring cleaning/nesting has officially begun. Today I’ve cleaned the laundry room from top to bottom (de-cobwebbed, decluttered, wiped down walls & appliances) and cleaned the exterior of all the lower kitchen cabinets and the fronts of the appliances. This is one of those things I’ve been putting off for quite some time, so it feels good to have made a start. We’ll see whether my energy holds up the next few weeks to get the entire house done.

And finally, in regards to my Fifteen on Friday list…

Crib bedding was purchased and a paint colors were decided upon. The big painting project should begin this weekend.

Little has her new mattress and box springs and is sleeping in her “big girl” bed (more on that in another post). The crib has been moved to Boo’s room, but the other furniture is still in Little’s so that she isn’t in an empty room with a mattress on the floor. And so that there is less furniture to maneuver around in the nursery while painting.

So, we’re making progress. It seems slow, but it is coming along. We’re down to approximately 10 weeks, but as I always say…we seem to work best under pressure.

Giving Thanks: playing catch up

Thoughtfully penned on November 8th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, House, J, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Wow, where has this week has gone!?  I’m a wee bit behind on my Giving Thanks days, so I will play a bit of catch up here and cover days 3 through 8.  Some of these may be a bit superficial, but they are, none the less, things that evoke gratefulness.

Day 3, Saturday: A fresh laundry room – My wonderful husband spent Saturday afternoon painting our laundry room the loveliest shade of green.  It is called “pea pod” although Matt refers to it as “grass”; that should give you an idea of the color since I was unable to get a good picture.  The best part is that he did all the work while allowing me to lie on the couch napping.  I’m telling you, he is a great catch!

Day 4, Sunday: A beautiful day –  The weekend and Monday were gorgeous days.  We had clear blue skies, temps in the 70s, and a nice little breeze blowing.  It was a great weekend to be out and about running errands and playing.  Although those won’t be the last days in the 70s here (it is supposed to be warm again this weekend), they were wonderful days before our days in the 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Day 5, Monday: A healthy girl –  Little had her 15 month check-up on Monday and got a great report.  All of her milestones have been met or exceeded, she’s grown an inch and three-quarters since her 12 month check-up, and she is gaining weight (although she is still on the small side based on growth charts, oh well, she’s been consistent).  Right now she is fighting a yucky cough, but we have no long-term health or developmental concerns, and that is a great blessing.

Day 6, Tuesday: A stay-at-home Mom – I am so blessed to be able to stay home with Little – and baby Boo in days to come.  I try to step back from time to time and realize that I am only able to do this because God has blessed Matt with a good job and Matt and I have been committed from the start to me being at home.  I love being home, and even though the days get long and hard from time to time, I wouldn’t want someone else to enjoy all the fun that Little and I get to have together.   I am also grateful for my stay-at-home friends with whom we can hang out.

Day 7, Wednesday: Smoke without fire –  Yesterday afternoon I was very thankful that there doesn’t have to be fire for there to be smoke.  I was preparing to make a chicken pot pie for dinner and thought I could boil the chicken while Little and I went outside to play with the neighbor’s children.  Apparently I did not watch the time closely enough, because when we came home I opened the front door and was greeted by smoke and a nasty smell.  The pot had boiled dry and the chicken was quite burnt, but fortunately, it had not caught fire.  I immediately took the pot off the stove and put it outside, and we spent the next hour or so trying to air out the house with windows and doors open.  We are dealing with a lingering smell, but no serious effects.

Day 8, Thursday: Tiny little movements –  I’ve begun to feel the first tiny little movements that let me know Boo is kicking and doing okay.  This is so reassuring for me during the time between morning-sickness subsiding and the big ultrasound.  We go for the ultrasound a week from Monday, and I’m so excited to see this little one for the first time.

For all of these things and so many more I thank God.  He has truly been good to me.

An inauspicious start

Thoughtfully penned on August 26th, 2007 and generally concerning E, House, Plagues and Pestilence

Friday evening Matt and I decided that it’s time to make the final push and finish decorating our kitchen. This will involve painting the laundry room (which is open into the kitchen), replacing cabinet hardware, and adding artwork, decorations, etc to the walls in the eating area.

Saturday morning we woke up with some errands to run and headed out early hoping to beat the heat and the crowds. The first stop was Wal-Mart where we pretty quickly picked up the few things we needed. Next up was Lowe’s where our list consisted of blinds, cabinet hardware, and paint. The search for hardware proved futile and we opted to wait until next month to get the blinds. On to the paint area where we quickly (believe it or not) found a color that we liked and got the paint mixed. Although our Lowe’s stop only yielded a one out of three success rate, we were knocking out our errand stops.

We loaded up at Lowe’s and set off for Bed Bath and Beyond – our final errand – before going to Barnes and Noble to have a little fun time. As we pulled out of the Lowe’s parking lot I handed Little her cup of water. This is where things got interesting.

There were a few minutes to kill before BB&B opened so we were cruising around the mall parking lots. All of a sudden there came from the back seat a gagging sound followed closely by the sound of vomit flowing from Little’s mouth. Then it happened again. I turned around to see our poor baby girl covered in puke with more still coming up.

Matt pulled the car into a parking space and we hastily retrieved napkins from the glove box and wipes from the bag. Little started crying, so I pulled her out of the carseat while Matt continued cleaning up with mess. I changed her out of her messy clothes into the only backup outfit we had in the car – a 9 months size onesie.

She really looked pretty pitiful with her red eyes, mussed up hair, and too small outfit but we soldiered on to BB&B – which was a fruitless stop – before we brought the poor girl home.

So, in the end we came home with paint and a stinky car; definitely an inauspicious start to the day.

(Fortunately, Little is not sick; it seems this was an isolated incident.)

So here’s where we stand (or sit, as the case may be)

Thoughtfully penned on July 12th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Family, Friendship, God's at Work in My Life, Grandparents, House, The Glory of God, You're moving again?

As I mentioned in my last post, things are not turning out as we had envisioned in regard to our upcoming move.

We were slated to move on Friday, the 20th (a week from tomorrow) and for Matt to begin his new job on Monday, the 23rd. We have a truck reserved, utilities transfers ordered, boxes packed, and are set to sign a lease on an apartment in Nashville on Monday, the 16th.

But now, everything is changing.

The information Matt came across indicated various levels of personality conflict, mismanagement, and incompetence. There also appears to be a huge amount of employee turnover considering the size of the company. In total these factors are significant enough that we began to doubt that things were as good as they originally appeared.

Through much prayer and conversation, we have decided that this isn’t the right position and situation for our family. If the job didn’t require a long-distance move, selling our house, etc, it might be a risk we felt comfortable taking. With things the way they are, it isn’t worth the uncertainty.

Over the last few days we have come to several realizations about God’s work through out this process. From the beginning we have prayed for wisdom, discernment, and that all we did would be about the righteousness of God. I believe this information has come to light in answer of our prayers for wisdom. As my friend Diane said yesterday, it seems like this is protection from the Holy Spirit.

And now, we walk by faith and not by sight. Matt is scheduled to leave his current position as of Thursday, July 19th.

I anticipate the things that are to come. I recognize God’s sovereignty now more than ever. I sit in trust of His faithfulness, of His provision, of His love.

The God I serve has a sense of humor; and if this isn’t proof of that, what comes next will be an even greater adventure!

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

Ack! (in both a good and bad way)

Thoughtfully penned on July 11th, 2007 and generally concerning Friendship, Goals, House, Housework, Summer Fun, You're moving again?

We just got a call for a second showing of the house this evening.

I have a friend coming over in about an hour.

My house is a wreck.

Hopefully I’ll be back later with more!

Updates

~ Little’s face is looking much better after 2 doses of antibiotic; I think we’re on the mend.
~I’ve walked 9 of the last 10 days.

We’re on the move

Thoughtfully penned on June 29th, 2007 and generally concerning Family, Goals, House, Summer Fun, Us, You're moving again?

Matt has worked in the University of Tennessee system since he completed his Master’s degree four years ago. A few months ago he decided that he liked the idea of leaving academia for the private sector, and we embarked on a season of prayer and conversation about his job.

The first weekend in June, Matt spent a copious amount of time preparing his resume and Pushcart Labs, his web portfolio. His hard work paid off when he submitted a resume the following Tuesday and received an e-mail reply within hours. On Wednesday morning he spoke with the CEO of the company, on Wednesday afternoon he spoke with the person he will be working alongside, and by Wednesday evening he had an interview scheduled for Wednesday the 20th.

This job opportunity was one reason our trip last week was a bit hectic. We headed to Nashville on Tuesday afternoon, Matt interviewed for the position on Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday afternoon he was offered and accepted the job over the phone as we drove to his parents’ house in Georgia.

We spent time Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – around wedding preparations, family time, rehearsal dinner, wedding, etc – doing online research on places to live; Nashville is my hometown, so it made things a bit easier in that we knew the areas where we wanted to focus our search. We are planning to rent for a couple of years; I’m sure finding an apartment is much easier than trying to find and buy a house long distance and on short notice. Early Monday morning we left Georgia headed back to Nashville hoping to find a place we liked that would be available in the time frame we needed.

Through God’s provision, the second complex on our list had three bedroom apartments available when we need to move. Our unit has close to the same square footage as our current house, an open floor plan in the kitchen/living room/family room/dining room, a large balcony, and a big master bath (something we’ve not had before). The complex has multiple pools, including an indoor pool that is open year round, and other nice amenities. We feel very blessed to have found a place so quickly, and that, so far anyway, things have gone smoothly.

The next task, when we returned home, was finding a realtor and getting our house on the market. Matt was able to get in touch with someone Tuesday afternoon, we met with her last night, and our listing should go up today. We are hopeful that we will sell quickly as we are in a great school district and our house lists for under $150,000, both of which are a bit difficult to come by in our area. The realtor seemed confidant that we should sell with no problem (but she’s paid to say that, isn’t she?); she said that though the market as a whole is pretty bad right now the market for “first-time” homes is still moving well.

Whatever happens, we know that God is sovereign over all and trust that He knows how everything will turn out in the end. We have been, and continue to be, prayerful through the process and are trying to be intentional toward making this about God’s righteousness and glory, not about our wants. It will be nice to move close to family, it will be nice for Matt to be in a job doing something for which he has a passion, it will be nice to see what happens in our lives as a result of this change; but if God is not glorified through us and through this, what have we really accomplished?