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.