Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Morning

Blueberries and Blackberries from our backyard: free

Cost of flour, sugar, eggs, etc: minimal

An Old Fashioned Family Breakfast:


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Locks of Love

(I'm never in pictures, so this is me and the boys when
BooBoo was a baby, 2 1/2 years ago)


I've had long hair almost all my life. I've cut it to shoulder length a couple of times, but that's as adventurous as I got. I've also highlighted my hair most my life. A couple of months ago, I had my hair dyed to my natural color. At least, what we think is close to my natural color. Yesterday, I had it cut about 11 inches so I could donate to locks of love. You have to cut off 10 inches to donate, then they have to cut a little more to trim it up. I've wanted to donate for years, but it took me a long time to get the nerve to do it. I told my hairdresser that I want to live my 30's differently than I lived my 20's. I've gotta say, I feel sassy with the new style. In fact, I think it's the first time I've actually had a style.
I was so hesitant when I sat down in that chair. About 10 minutes in, when I was talking to the hairdresser, Guy called and said "Cut it off." I thought it was so sweet that he took time out from seeing patients to think about me. I think I drove him crazy the night before trying to decide if I wanted to do it or not. He really likes it, but the kids were shocked. The older boys wouldn't even look at me for awhile, and the baby smiled and looked all around my head. Coocoo said he's moving to a different house until my hair grows back.
I'm happy with it now. I guess we'll see if I change my mind when they baby gets old enough to stop pulling it all the time. For now, I think I did the right thing. What do you think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

backsplash talk

Here is a picture of my first tile job. It is the backsplash in our kitchen. It was not too hard. There weren't many cuts, and we did all our cuts with a nipper. Now, I really see the advantage of having (or renting) a real tile saw. For some reason, we favor those little 2x2 tiles on the grids, and I think they require a little more work. Just more surface to grout and set tile. In this case, we used slate. While it's easier to set because you don't have to get them at exactly the same height, they were really hard to grout because they had crevices EVERYWHERE! I had to constantly wash and scrub them to get the grout off the tile. Still, I think a backsplash is a great place to learn to tile. If you decide to do it, I want to see pictures!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Okay, we just finished laying the tile in the shower and tub. I think we're in week 6 of this project, but we're only able to get any work done on the weekends. It looks good. I don't know if I'll start grouting tonight or tomorrow, but I can't wait to have that done. I'm so anxious to get this finished.

As for other news, we haven't heard anything from the couple who looked at our house last week. I'm trying not to think about it. What a bad time to be trying to sell a house!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Thoughts Today...

Today was a wonderful picture day. Here are the better ones...

Here is our beautiful, ever-sweet Booboo. His smile lights up the room, and we expect him to be on Broadway one day.

These are of our gorgeous Coocoo. He is emotional, intense, and ridiculously smart.

This is my mom with Tiki. So far, at four months, he may be the most friendly baby of the bunch.

I am so grateful for these blessings. I pray they will be healthy, happy adults who find love and fulfillment. I pray for guidance in my choices while raising them, and I hope they have sweet memories of these precious, fleeting days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

work, work, work

We finally got in bed just before 1:00 this morning! We haven't pulled a night like that in years. We managed to get the two big shower walls done. The glass guy came today to measure for the doors, so it was important to get as much done as we could. What took the longest was the tile in and around the shelf. Here's how it turned out...

I think it's the part I'm the most proud of. Whew, we still have so much to do. It is a great distraction from the housing market, though.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Keeping my fingers crossed...

I think the showing yesterday went very well. We worked our butts off all day to get this place back in shape. Our bathroom work had created a mess that seemed to creep all over the house. I barely had time to run outside and cut some flowers to stash around, but I'm so glad they did. Aren't the hydrangeas beautiful? That bush is very sentimental to me.

My agent called last night and had already heard from the buyer's agent. The agent herself thought it was so beautiful and said it's the one she would buy if she were looking. That's good, I think. But it's a stretch for the buyers and they were going home to review their budget. It is between mine and two others. One is the same price but smaller. The other is $75,000 less and also smaller. They have three kids, so they loved the space of ours.

Honestly, I'm excited and even a little hopeful. But I've been in this situation so many times that I don't expect to hear back from them. Thank goodness I have the bathroom to obsess over. Oh, they did say that they love what we've done there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I won't be tiling tomorrow because

WE HAVE A SHOWING! It's the first showing in over two months. Because it's been so long, I've really neglected some cleaning. So tomorrow will be all about getting this place back in shape. It'll put me a day behind on the tiling schedule, but who cares! Oh please let this be the one!

Do you think the unfinished tile job in the bathroom will be a big turnoff?

A few more tips I've learned

We finished tiling the bathtub last night. It went so smoothly and easily after getting that kick ass saw. These two other things I learned from the first day helped too:

We are using the tiles that are joined by a mesh to make a 12 x 12 tile. There is paper stuck to the back. Last time, I didn't try to tear off the paper until after I had spread the thin set. It ended up that often the paper doesn't come off easily, and I was racing the clock to get all the paper off before my thin set dried. It became so frustrating, especially combined with not having the proper saw. Last night, we removed the paper before we began setting the tile. Also, we trimmed off the extra mesh with scissors, which just helped to keep down the mess and lay the tile more quickly.

That's just my little tidbit for the day. More to come on tiling!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

we have a shelf!

I'm so happy with our shelf! Guy lined my shower stuff up and cut the shelf to hold it all. Well, at least that's the plan. We still have a little hardibacker to install over the new shelf, but this is what the progress looked like as of Sunday night. The tile around the bathtub is done except a few finishing cuts. We haven't grouted yet.

My new #1 advice for anyone wanting to tile... GET A WET TILE SAW! Like idiots, we used nippers and the manual snapper thing all day. My husband was bleeding and the room was a mess! Finally, I asked my dad to bring over his wet tile saw. The few tiles we had left to cut were a breeze! What a difference. I don't have one yet, but I think I will buy a file too, if they have such a thing. I'm thinking a round one would work to smooth out the cuts we need to make around the window frame.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Add this to the "Lessons Learned"

After two long days, Guy got the prep work done for our shower. We were looking at the finished hardibacker when it hit us (well, Guy anyway) that we had forgotten to build in the inset shelf! We had talked about it, but we both forgot!

We have no choice but to cut one out and frame the shelf in. Ugggh. Hopefully I'll still get to tile today. Once the week begins, we just don't have much time to work.

Friday, July 4, 2008

learning the hard way

So far, I have learned these things about tiling shower walls:

1. Plan ahead and order your tile early to prevent driving around to FOUR Home
Depots to get all the tile you need.

2. Allow more time than you think you'll need for prep work.

3. Don't forget to measure ALL the walls, even the half walls, unless you want
to drive 47 miles back to the only Home Depot remaining that still has
some of your tiles.

4. Try to do all this on a day when your four month old is not teething and
refusing to nap and crying when anyone but his mom holds him. (poor baby)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

house anxiety

I would love to say this bathroom remodel is going smoothly, but it isn't. Of course. The cabinets look great; the panel in front of the tub looks great. The mirror... Not so great. We had it removed and cut down a little. In the meantime, Guy spent two nights building a frame for it. They came to install it this morning, and our frame isn't as thick as the mirror. That think is thick! So, it wasn't proper support. They had to install it on a "J ledge," which sticks up out of our pretty frame. I'm hoping Guy will come up with an easy fix for it tonight when he sees it. Mostly because I want him spending time with me and the kids at night and not with his tools.

I think I'm mostly just nervous about this weekend's project. We are planning on using the 3 day weekend to tile our shower and around the tub. I'm very excited and nervous to get that going.

Also keeping me on edge is the fact that we haven't shown our house in TWO months. I'm having a hard time keeping my spirits up. Three other houses in the neighborhood recently got contracts. What's wrong with ours?