Tuesday, December 1, 2015

hole in the wall.

yesterday, I spent my evening working late, grocery shopping, and snuggling under a blanket on the couch with the beginnings of a head cold and my newest tv addiction. (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. terrible name, hilarious show)

Mark, on the other hand, spent his evening working out and cutting a hole in our hallway wall.

 doors, L-R: basement, front bedroom, back bedroom, hall closet

I knew he was doing this, and yet it was still very shocking to actually SEE a doorway-sized hole when I got up off the couch to head to bed. and then it startled me again this morning when I woke up. this whole two-rooms-instead-of-one thing is really starting to come together.

view from the new door into the front bedroom.

drywall installation for the new wall starts tonight!

Monday, November 30, 2015

project update: the guest room.

there is something about fall - the cooler temperatures, the evening darkness, the upcoming holiday season - that apparently makes it feel like the perfect time to start a new house project. in fact, we have had some sort of renovation project going on in our house every fall/winter we have lived in it:
  • in the fall of 2010, we had just bought our house and immediately drywalled the master bedroom ceiling, re-carpeted and painted the two bedrooms, and painted the master bathroom.
  • 2011 had us wrapping up the updates to the fireplace room and painting ALL the things.
  • in 2012, we completely re-did the hall bathroom in time to host Thanksgiving at our house.
  • 2013 was apparently an 'off' year, but only because we spent the winter studying for our professional licensing exam.
  • and then last year, Mark built us a new bed frame, and we completely overhauled the kitchen, living room, and dining room over the winter.
so this year, we managed to find a new room in the house to tear apart and put back together over the colder months: the guest room. 

before photo taken after the room was mostly cleared out

when the house was originally built, this room was actually two separate rooms, with a wall between the two windows, just to the left of the vent visible in the above picture.  previous owners of the house had at some point removed the separating wall, closed off the second doorway, and added a larger closet to the room. this configuration was great for the teenage girl who lived in it as her own private suite, but for our little family it makes sense to restore the original floor plan and split it back into two rooms.

this involves removing the closet, adding a new wall, adjusting the wiring, installing a new doorway, and re-doing the carpet in the one room.  we are also taking advantage of having everything torn up to drywall over the textured ceilings in both rooms, the only remaining ones in the house, which Mark has despised from day one.

so far, the closet has been demo'ed, the wall is framed up, the wiring is all roughed in for the overhead light and outlets in the new wall, and we have the drywall installed on the ceiling.  the next steps are to cut the rough opening for the new door, and install the drywall on the new wall.

not shown: completed wiring and drywalled ceilings.

we're not really working with a set deadline in mind at the moment, although we do have some friends coming to stay with us the weekend before Christmas. so maybe we should shoot to have a room with a door that they could sleep in at least mostly complete by then? I think its totally doable. right? because our basement room currently looks like this:

yeah. not exactly a functioning backup guest room at the moment. but no worries Julie - we've got this. please don't change your travel plans. I miss you and need more of you in my life.


Friday, November 27, 2015

happy thanksgiving!

26. thankful for good travels. There was no bad traffic between Maryland and New York the night before Thanksgiving. Amazing.

27. thankful for podcasts to listen to in the car.

28. thankful for beds to sleep in. Bunk beds are super fun. Always.

29. thankful for sisters. So much more fun cooking all day in the kitchen with people who understand you because they think the same way you do.

30. thankful for brothers-in-law. So fun to see them bonding over video games and power tools.

31. thankful for FaceTime. Good to see Mom, Dad, and the Goob and share our Thanks with them.

32.  thankful to still have all ten fingers. Ended the day in the kitchen with just a minor cut and an even more minor burn.

33.  thankful that we still have the whole rest of the weekend together!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

thankful its a virus?

21. thankful for the women of Taco Tuesday. they give good advice.

22. thankful for convenient access to quality medical care. thankful that I don't need to utilize it very often.

23. thankful for health insurance.

24. thankful that it's not a flesh eating bacteria. or bedbugs. or dust mites. instead, its a non-contagious viral rash! slightly less gross, right?

25. thankful for a clean house. because before I knew it wasn't bedbugs or dust mites, I cleaned ALL the things. my bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/basement/laundry room looks amazing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

sometimes i take these things for granted instead of being grateful.

more than halfway through the month. nowhere near 50.

14. thankful for Home Depot. I live in a place within reasonable driving distance to multiple hardware stores that make it ridiculously easy to shop for home improvement supplies. there's just something about having part of our home in a constant state of construction that just feels right.

15. thankful for Roz. spent last Saturday with the coolest 7-month old I know so that her parents could go out on a date. we had a good time. we all survived. love that girl. so thankful she's here with us.

16.  thankful for professional development opportunities. thankful that my boss encourages me to seek out these opportunities.

17. thankful for a window in my cubicle. sure its dark when i get to work and dark when I leave, but it's sunshine and blue skies all day long today.

18. thankful for food. easily accessible, safe, healthy, delicious, nutritious, filling food. also thankful for the less-than-healthy cookies, ice cream, and chocolate :)

19. thankful for relaxing. I can spend an entire evening binge-watching tv on the couch in my sweats and (mostly) not feel bad about it.

20.  thankful for my sisters. thankful that i can call and chat with them any time. thankful that they love me even at my worst. so ridiculously excited that I get to see them in just a couple days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

focus on the thanks.

struggling with thanks and joy today. choosing to focus on the bright spots instead.

12. thankful for Little Levi. my 10-month old nephew called me yesterday. we chatted for a couple minutes, and then I told him, 'I'm going to hang up and call you back so that your Mummy knows I'm on the phone.'  then when I did and his Mom answered, he hung up on me. I guess he didn't appreciate being ratted out. so much for being the favorite aunt.

13. thankful for electricity. we have it in the 'second' guest bedroom. technically we've always had it in there, but the previous owners of the house had taken out the overhead light at some point and the wires were plastered over in the fixture box in the ceiling. thankful that all of the wires were still intact and wired to the switch, so it was super easy for Mark to wire up lighting in the 'new' room.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

thankful for the weekend.

6. thankful for my friend Nadine. she is my partner in yardsales, and encourages me to buy pretty glass things even though she knows I don't really need them - I just like them. like these tiny glass birds: pictures don't even do justice to just how tiny and ridiculous these are. but look how fun!! totally worth a quarter.

7. thankful for chill nights with friends. because its good to have the kind of friends who are cool with staying in, eating tacos, and watching movies on a Saturday night. bonus friend points if they also don't judge you based on the last time you dusted (because its clearly been a while).

8. thankful for our leaf blower. its just more fun than raking.

9. thankful for blurry memory joggers. because without them I wouldn't have remembered to tell you about the herd of dogs that was crossing the road yesterday morning, being followed by a herd of riders on horseback. this was a new one. I've stopped before for animals in the road: cattle, sheep, bison... but somehow this herd of dogs and horses was the most unexpected.

10. thankful for gas stations that are conveniently located along my morning commute. also thankful that I remembered to turn around and stop at one this morning instead of running out of gas and being stranded somewhere along the way.

11. thankful for a new project. Mark spent last evening cleaning out the guest bedroom. he plans to start demo after work today, and estimates that by next weekend we will basically* have two rooms instead of one!

*by this I mean there might be some framing and a hole in the wall for a new door. nowhere near finished, but still super exciting!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

today, i am thankful.

1. thankful for my husband. several times over. he is patient with me, he encourages me to be a good friend and adult, he picks up my slack, he does dishes and laundry, he maintains a higher opinion of me than I do of myself, he makes me smile, he loves me. gosh, I love that guy.

2. thankful for my mom. she is creative and encouraging and I am so glad she taught those traits to me.

3. thankful for coffee. also thankful that I am not a coffee-snob. thankful that the coffee at work is free, but that I also have the option to occasionally treat myself to a starbucks. thankful for the good memories I have of sharing a warm beverage with good people.

4. thankful for sunshiney days. it has been absolutely gorgeous weather around these parts lately.  yesterday was all blue skies and 70 degrees so I walked to get lunch with a friend and then sat outside to eat it. in November. delightful.

5. thankful for my Halloween mask. I didn't have a plan for my costume until about 2 hours before my Jazzercise party. then in a flurry of activity I decided I needed a mask to go with the most kick-butt Robin t-shirt (complete with cape!) that a dollar at walmart can buy. so I spent an hour cutting up an old pair of ill-fitting leggings and only wore my creation for all of twenty minutes, but really the joy was in the process of being creative and making something from nothing. thankful for this dumb little project to remind me to make more time for creativity in my life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

maybe tomorrow.

today is the fourth day of November. I have sat down three times so far to attempt to start a list of things that I am thankful for. I have things. I am thankful. life is good. I'm just struggling to write them down this year. because discontent is sneaky and all it takes some days is noticing that blogger now automatically capitalizes my i's and the first words of proper nouns and for some reason that really frustrates me and I can't figure out how to make it stop. so now I am paralyzed with discontent and unable to express my thanks even though the things I'm thankful for FAR outnumber the reasons I find to be discontent.

my brain is a terrifying place to live sometimes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

coworker encounters of the strangest kind...

the following stories are true; i should know, all events have transpired at my place of employment within the past week, and i was somehow involved in them all. the behavior described within these stories is strange. i will leave it up to you to decide which party involved in each story was the strange one.

Encounter #1:
She has decided that, in order to meet new people and get a free workout at the same time, she is going to partake in the after-work fitness classes being offered at her company one night a week. She is at her third class, but is meeting him for the first time - their paths had not previously crossed at any work-related function. He has a giant, nasty and fresh-looking scab on the left side of his face, stretching from his bottom lip to his chin. The following conversation occurs (paraphrased):

She: Hi, I'm She. I work upstairs.
He: Hi, I'm He.
She: What happened to your face?

She is just chock-full of grace and tact. He responds with a lame story of being falling-down-drunk. She suggests that He make up a more interesting story for the future.  She realizes only later that, since she had not previously met him, there was a chance that the thing on his face might not have been a new thing. He might have had a skin condition of some sort, or a permanent birthmark or deformity on his face. She dies a little on the inside just thinking about how rude she had the potential of being. So much for making new friends.

Encounter #2:
She is talking and joking around with her Male Coworker Friend about how he always knows when She is walking over to his desk.

MCF: Maybe you should start walking more quietly.
She: Are you calling me fat?

She justbarely bites her tongue before finishing the rest of that inside-joke-that-MCF-is-not-in-on, which is the definitely inappropriate for coworker conversation, "are you looking down my shirt? stop that!"
She giggles to herself anyway just thinking about it.

Encounter #3:
She is having a conversation with a Female Coworker about the cute shoes she is wearing and where she got them. (because I know you're curious, She is wearing Dr. Scholl's Franca Flats in Rainbow Stripe which She bought at DSW for her birthday two years ago.) A Male Coworker walks by, pausing to join the conversation

FC: i love your shoes - i was looking for similar ones online but they are hard to find.
She: thank you. yeah, i got them a while ago so they're probably not exactly current.
MC: those are really nice shoes. i might need to get some.
She and FC: (gives MC a curious look)
MC: not for me. would you mind if i took a picture of them?
She: sure?

and then he took a picture of my feet.

i can't even think of anything else to add to that story.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the one where i attempt to end my unplanned blogging break.

the first argument I have had with Mark this week:

Amanda: so this workout we did today was a crazy cardio video - i don't know if I liked it. some of the moves and jumps that woman was doing looked absolutely impossible. i know i definitely couldn't do them

Mark: yeah, they always put really super-fit people in those videos, but people aren't inspired by them as much as they are intimidated and discouraged, and then they just quit.

A: definitely not the intention, but usually the result.


A: you know what would be a good idea? there should be a workout video that is just a person like you at the beginning - not a super fit person - but then as they go through the program and you do the workouts with them, they get more fit as they go, just like you

M: (taking off shirt) what, are you saying I'm not super fit?

A: no, I think you're very fit - I like you a lot

M: but you think I would be the perfect candidate to make an un-fit people workout video?

A: (realization dawns) no no no no! that's not what I meant at all! I was using the word 'you' in a general, plural way - not talking about you specifically!

M: (interrupting) nope. don't even try. I know exactly what you meant. and there's no way you're going to talk your way out of this one.

(M leaves to take a shower)

A: sigh.

***yes, I am unabashedly stealing this format from The Bloggess. because i have been in a writing rut, and because I just read her newest book, and because i'm sure she wont mind me plagiarizing an idea of hers and running with it on my own tiny personal blog for profit and notoriety the express purpose of helping me hopefully start writing again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

the great rug debate.

so far and away, the singular thing that has caused the most tension in our house over the past three months that we have spent living through this renovation, with half of the house in a construction zone and the other half functioning as a storage unit, essentially camping in our basement and cooking on a hot plate, with no consistent routine in place and a multitude of decisions to be made on a nearly-daily basis, has been rugs.


yep, apparently the downfall of our marriage is going to be attempting to have a civil discussion about a home decorating accessory whose primary function is to be walked on.

here's how it breaks down: i like rugs. i tend to be barefoot around the house, and i like the softness under my feet. i think a good rug can take a room full of furniture and make it feel complete and loved and lived in. especially a room with hardwood floors - the texture and softness are what make people want to get comfortable, take off their shoes, and stay awhile.

my husband, Mark, does not like rugs.  he thinks they cost way too much money. he doesn't like that they cover up the floors, especially since we have just invested time and money into our floors. he is very concerned that over time, rugs will cause large discolored areas on our floors because of the sunshine streaming through the windows and fading the floors around the rugs.  he REALLY doesn't like that rugs in a dining room make it more difficult to slide the chairs in and out, and that our old dining room rug meant that the chairs were always half-on and half-off the rug. he absolutely detested the one corner of the old dining room rug that he always tripped over because it refused to lie flat.

in our old house (pre-renovation) we had three rugs:  1) a too-small, low-quality 5x7 in the fireplace room that i picked up from Home Depot on a whim for maybe $40. 

2) a too-small flatweave 5x7 in the dining room i had to beg and plead talk my husband into letting me spend $30 for from IKEA.

and 3) an Orioles tailgating rug that is designed to be used in a parking lot but instead lives in our basement that i bought for $15 at a yardsale just because i thought Mark would like it.

grand total, that is less than $100 i have ever spent on rugs. ever. Mark still thinks that is too much.

i am of the opinion that we should be hunting for two larger rugs: one for the living room, and one for the dining room. probably an 8x10 minimum, good quality, but at a reasonable price point. additionally, we could probably use a runner in the entryway and a small rug in front of the sink. Mark thinks we should not be covering up our nice new floors since they are just so pretty.

we're both pretty stubborn, and so far have been adamantly holding our own positions with no real sign of a compromise in sight. in the meantime, the old living room rug is acting as a placeholder in the living room, and the dining room is definitively rug-less.

if i had to guess, i would predict that a day will come when we will eventually compromise on a new larger rug in the living room, and no rug in the dining room. but it is not this day.

and thus concludes my 550+ word diatribe on one of the first-worldiest of first-world problems we could ever dream of having. anyone have any good resources for shopping for large rugs on a budget?

Monday, March 16, 2015

kitchen diary, week 11: floors and whatnot.

Mar. 9-10 - Larry the hardwood finisher and his team sand, stain, and seal the hardwoods in the living room, dining room, hallway, and even the two closets we forgot about.  Since we forgot the hardwood ran into the closets, we didn't have them cleaned out.  The guys move everything from the closets into our bedroom.  Amanda silently wonders what sorts of embarrasing things she thought were safely hidden behind those closed doors.

Mark and Amanda spend two nights at Mark's parents house while our house is all fumey and the floors cannot yet be walked on. thank goodness for living close to the in-laws.

Mar. 11 - Mark and Amanda move back home after work. 

somewhere along the way, one of Amanda's shirts, a sweater, and a box of feminine products disappears. either they got left behind in Victoria's closet, or something more mysterious is going down. i'm really hoping for the former.

everything is still a bit fumey at home, so we relocate our small group to the local ice cream place for the evening, but leave the windows open to continue to air out. we decide its probably safe to sleep there.

 i wish you could all see these floors in person, because pictures don't do them justice. the difference from the original orange-hued finish to the new light-brown is subtle, but astounding. bonus: the basement door now swings the whole way open instead of getting stuck on the floorboards.

Mar. 12 - Amanda organizes two closets after work; the coat closet in the living room, and the linen closet in the hallway.  somehow, this takes all evening.

Mar. 13 - Amanda wipes down every surface in the kitchen; cabinets, shelves, drawers, countertops, both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Mark helps reach the parts Amanda is too short to reach, and sets up the tv and media dresser.

Mar. 14 - Mark moves furniture and rugs into the living and dining rooms.

 Amanda removes the last bits of packing material from all of the appliances. this is more frustrating than it should be, and takes longer than i could have ever imagined. we quit while we're ahead, run some errands, and spend the evening eating pie and watching youtube videos with friends.

Mar. 15 - we FINALLY move things into our kitchen cabinets! we have way more stuff than i realized. i seriously have no idea where we had all of this stuff stashed before.

the post-its are my organizational system, and our cheat sheet for where everything is right now. not all of the cabinets are full, and some are still completely empty, but we haven't moved any foodstuffs in yet. most of it should fit in our big pantry cabinet, but there is potential for some stuff to expand into other cabinets as appropriate.

also, curtains get hung, and we install a dimmer switch in the dining room. there is a big pile of empty boxes in the middle of the living room, we are working on a master list of the tiny things that will need to be done to truly be done-done,the furniture arrangement is subject to change, and there is the ongoing argument about rugs, but we are so happy with the way this has all turned out.

Monday, March 9, 2015

kitchen diary: week 10, paint.

ed. note: this might be the longest, most stretched-out paint job in the history of ever. we've been working on it when we can, which has already stretched over the past 4+ weeks. the goal is to get it done before the hardwood floors get refinished, so we wont have to be painting over our lovely new floors. so far we've done three coats on the ceiling, and have two coats on the kitchen walls. this is where our adventure picks up.

 Mar. 1 - Mark cuts in the gray paint along the ceiling, baseboards, and around all doorways, light switches, and outlets in the kitchen and hallway.  he also starts cutting in the teal paint around the ceiling of the living and dining rooms. 

Amanda paints a fresh coat or two of trim paint on all baseboards and door casings as necessary. also the window trim on the kitchen window. she manages to only smash her head into an upper cabinet once.

Mar. 2 - Mark works on a second coat of cutting in around everything everywhere. Amanda paints nothing because she does not have a steady hand and therefore cannot be trusted.  she buys groceries for the first time in probably a month, works out, makes dinner, and does some laundry instead.

Mar. 3 - Amanda rolls a coat of gray paint in the hallway after work. Mark finishes all the cutting in along the baseboards in the living and dining rooms.

Mar. 5 - snow day! instead of braving the treacherous roads and the 10" of snow and ice, we hunkered down for a full day of painting.

 a second coat of gray in the hallway, and two coats of the teal in the living and dining rooms. by the end of the day we are exhausted but all of the walls are the right color!

Mar. 6-8 - touchups everywhere. Mark takes the lead on this effort in between other fun weekend activities of duckpin bowling and a chocolate festival.  also, the china cabinet gets relocated to Mark's parents house. since the driveway is still a little icy from the snow and melt and refreeze, getting it loaded into the truck is part sledding, part skating, and a little bit of an adventure.

we wrap up the weekend with a glass (or two) of wine and dinner out to celebrate the end of this marathon paint job.

Larry the hardwood refinisher is coming on Monday and everything is going to be dusty and fumey for a few days, so we pack our bags to relocated for a couple days of living at Mark's parents house. the end is in sight!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

kitchen diary: week 9, countertops and other finishing touches.

Feb. 23 - Mark fills the nail holes in the baseboards and casings.  Amanda paints a coat of trim paint over the caulk at the top of the baseboards to seal out dirt and dust.  this paint job seems like it is taking forever - there is a lot of prep work to be done, and not a lot of time to do it when we're only able to work on nights and weekends.  just one more reminder of how fortunate we are to not be doing all of this work ourselves.

Feb. 24 - we have countertops! well, at least a couple of them... some of them arrived a little damaged, and were sent back by our fantastic contractor/uncle.  should just be a couple day delay at most.

at some point this week, Mark puts a second round of patch in all the nail holes, but i dont remember the exact day that happened.    
Feb. 26-28 -  while Mark and Amanda are out of town, everything really comes together.

coutertops arrive (in great shape!) and are installed.  the plumber hooks up the sink and a water line to the fridge.  appliances are all installed, except the microwave is not yet vented - too much snow on the roof to be cutting holes up there right now.

the electricians install light fixtures, and wrap up a couple other (literal) loose ends. 

all of the mats and floor protection boards are removed, and the kitchen is officially fully functional!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

kitchen diary: week 8, trim.

Feb. 16,18-20 -  carpenters install trim on everything: crown molding, door and window casing, toe kicks, and baseboards.

this is a huge job, and the results are flawless. just beautiful. it turns out the light rail (trim for under the upper cabinets) was fabricated incorrectly, so that is not yet installed. cabinet and drawer pulls are installed, with the exception of a couple drawers - we were about 6 pulls short in our order.

the last bits of wiring are run, and the recessed lighting gets its final touches - it all blends so nicely with the ceiling that i hardly even noticed it was done!

also, final decisions are made for the countertop, since a minor change from the supplier came up at the last minute.

Feb. 21 - Amanda takes a trip to the Depot to get all of the paint and a couple other random supplies. 
   Mark paints a third (and hopefully final) coat on the ceiling. He also caulks all of the baseboards in preparation for paint. the baseboards look great - makes me wonder why we didnt do this years ago.
   Amanda pulls nails out of the old shoe molding in case it can be reused, and watches a lot of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

Feb. 22 - Mark moves the attic access.  the old access was tiny, and hidden in the closet in the guest bedroom.  it was accessible, but it was also kind of a pain: any time we wanted to get into the attic, we had to completely empty the closet and remove the shelf and hanging bar.

moving it was on the to-do list for some time down the line, but it got bumped to the top of the list so that our contractor/uncle has easier access in order to vent the microwave to the outside. 

now, the opening is larger, and located at the end of the hallway.  all it needs is a little nail filler and touch up paint.

Amanda shovels the driveway, and then spends the rest of the afternoon in bed because reasons.  we go out to eat because there is zero food in our house and go to bed early.

Monday, February 23, 2015

it was Pap.

i was shoveling the driveway on Sunday afternoon. the biggest snow event of the season, a whopping 6 whole inches, and i was digging us out while Mark worked inside on moving the attic access.  i about jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice as it carried so loud and clear across the winter silence of the fresh snow- "Amanda, your mom is on the phone."

my mind was racing as i sprinted up the driveway and tossed my shovel into a snowbank, covering miles of mental ground as my body covered a couple hundred feet. it couldn't be Pap. he had to have more time than this.  Dad had just texted on Thursday night, a message that i didn't read until Friday morning, "Pap isn't doing well."  i had, just moments prior, laughed to myself about Pap's winter hat sitting high up on his head well above his ears, as i had just pushed my own hat up off my overheating forehead. he had to have more time than this.

we didn't go visit this weekend. we figured it would stress Gram out to have us arrive without any advance notice. we knew Pap would not recognize us, and we were not sure we wanted to remember him not remembering us. its selfish, but i wanted to remember him from this past summer, when he called me Girl and we danced in the kitchen. "Manda Dawn, what's that flower you have on?" in that moment, behind those eyes that had been confused and lost for so long, it was Pap.

mom's voice broke on the phone as she choked out the words that she didn't want to have to say and i didn't want to hear. it was Pap.

Monday, February 16, 2015

kitchen diary: week 7, hardwoods and cabinets.

Feb. 9 - Ed the hardwood guy patches the existing hardwood floors where the walls used to be, and installs new hardwood in the new dining room.  He is a magician.  You can't even tell that there used to be a wall there. the floor is gorgeous.

there is a flush transition along the long opening from the dining room to the kitchen(!), and there will be a tiny stepped transition through the smaller doorway up into the kitchen from the living room.

(clockwise from top: tile, transition turnboard, new wood, old wood)
Mark and Amanda spend the evening (into the early morning) painting the entire ceiling, and the few walls in the kitchen that will not eventually be covered by cabinets or the backsplash. one late night yields two coats on everything, although a third coat might be necessary in some areas. it's nice to have the bulk of the painting done though, before the cabinets are installed.

Feb. 10 - THE CABINETS ARE HERE! our house is full of brown paper packages tied up with string filled with our pretty pretty cabinets! the pendant light for over the sink also arrives, although for some reason we recieve two of them. but one of them is broken, so its nice to have a replacement already on hand.

after work, Mark grouts the kitchen floor and i dont know how its possible but that floor has gotten even prettier. 

Amanda paints small patches of the living room wall color (SW-Calico) where the kitchen and dining room meet, and around various light switches and outlets.

Feb. 11 - Will the carpenter arrives to start the cabinet installation. the first words out of his mouth are "wow that floor looks awesome" and my entire week is made. about half of the base cabinets get installed, and we already have more storage than we used to have in the old kitchen.

Feb. 12 - the rest of the base cabinets get installed on the fridge wall, including the peninsula. 

and we have appliances! they're not hooked up, but they are in our house and like everything else they are lovely!!! i toyed briefly with the idea of white appliances (since that is a style that is apparently making a comeback) but there were more options with the stainless so that's what we ended up with.

Feb. 13 - upper cabinets are installed and the countertop gets templated. (the plywood in the pictures is ultra-temporary - it is not the template)

i can't get over how amazing this whole renovation has been so far, how great all the guys have been to work with, and how pretty everything is.  it really is beginning to feel like a kitchen in here!

Feb. 14-15 - contractor/uncle does some prepwork for the trim (crown molding and door/window casings to be installed next week) and Amanda determines the placement for the cabinet hardware and the downrod length of the sink pendant. the estimated project schedule has everything getting wrapped up by the first week in March, so it seems like we are getting into the home stretch. is it too early to start planning my birthday party??