Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kitchen Pics

I thought I would share a few updated pics of the kitchen. 

It was rather dark when we bought the house, brown cabinets, fake wood counter tops, copper/brown back splash, tan linoleum floors... 

Right now we don't have the time or money to completely redo the kitchen, but with a few changes it is so much brighter and feels quite spacious.

We expanded the opening between the kitchen and dining room and laid the same flooring in both.

I decided to pain the cabinets white and I added brushed nickel hardware. We painted the walls the same barely there gray that we painted the rest of the house.

Chaos while painting the cabinet doors. 

This is what it looks like now. I would really like to change out the counter tops and back splash and get a farmhouse sink. I still need to paint the island, but just haven't wanted to make another mess or start another project.
Also, I'll just admit it, I love the white cabinets, but I don't think they will stay clean and they are already chipping in a few spots... So I think I will paint them a very light gray when we actually redo the kitchen, but who knows when that will be!

I love this window. I can see the sunrise through it every morning. It is one of my favorite things about this house, that I didn't even know I would love! 

Upstairs Overhaul!

It has been quite some time since I wrote a post sharing how our house was coming along. Nate shares pics on Facebook so some of you might have already seen these, but I wanted to get the before and afters all in one place.

Just like the rest of our home, nothing is 100% at this point. I seriously wonder if we will ever get the molding and trim up, but it is all coming along and we are no longer living in a "construction zone".

In December my parents came to visit for two weeks. It was a cold and snowy two weeks and they survived.

The goal of their trip was to see if Dad could figure out how to plumb in a second bathroom upstairs. We were managing with only one bathroom, but for the boys to have to come down the stairs in the night to go to the bathroom, and all of getting ready to go somewhere did present some challenges.

When we bought the house in early November 2016 the upstairs had two nice sized bedrooms, one small "office", and a closet. There was a small landing upstairs between the rooms, but not big enough to do much with.

When we started remodeling we decided to go ahead and remove the paneling, that was painted yellow, off the walls and that of course tore off the plaster, so major demolition began.

Before Demo Began

As you came up the stairs there was a door/window in the wall, nailed shut, and leading to nowhere. 

Demo was a family affair!

Let me tell you, I never want to have to deal with plaster walls again. Do not knock the plaster off your walls if you can avoid it, just Sheetrock over it! It was miserable living in the rubble. I felt like we would never be clean again. 

It began to look like a house again! Sheetrock was put up, it was mudded and taped, textured was sprayed, and we painted. 

We worked super hard to get all of the Sheetrock completed before mom and dad got here in mid-December. 
Between November 2, 2016 to December 15, 2016 we did the following

Living Room:
Tore up the existing floor
Put in new joists, insulated the crawl space, and laid sub-floor
Tore down paneling, wall paper, and plaster
Insulated the walls
Hung Sheetrock, textured, and painted
Laid carpet

Diving Room:
Tore up existing laminate
Tore down paneling, wall paper, and plaster
Insulated the walls
Hung Sheetrock, textured, and painted
Installed new flooring

Stairway and Upstairs Landing:
Tore off paneling, wall paper, and plaster
Hung Sheetrock, textured, and painted

Upstairs Bedrooms:
Repaired plaster walls
Laid carpet

Painted cabinets
Installed new flooring

Pulled up carpet and laid new flooring in our bedroom
Installed new flooring in the bathroom
Blew insulation into the attic
Reinforced and lifted the floor under the stairway where the floor was sagging

Those 6-7 weeks were long... Then mom and dad got here and we started looking for a good place to put an upstairs bathroom. Of course we had an idea that the small office area would be the best place, but weren't sure how the plumbing would work. 

After some discussion it was decided that we would tear through the back wall of the upstairs landing closet and into the small office and combine those two spaces into a bathroom. Dad decided he could go through the floor upstairs and run the plumbing down through our dining room (we would hide the pipes with a box of some sort) and into the basement where he would tie into the main plumbing lines. More demo began, but with two extra hands (Dad and Moms) it went quickly and we knocked it out in one evening. 

The next morning as I wandered upstairs and evaluated the office space and bathroom, it hit me, the landing/office should be one big open space with a small bathroom. Otherwise this already small room, was going to basically become a closet after taking a portion of it to become a bathroom. I knew that this meant a lot more demo and a lot more Sheetrock and a LOT more work, but it really was the best idea for the space. Everyone agreed it was probably the best thing to do, so more demo began - including the demo of the sheetrock, Nate had just finished hanging, texturing, and painting less than a week before! UGH!!!

So all of the walls between the landing and office came down and the framing for the bathroom went up. 

While Dad was here he focused on getting the plumbing in and re-doing a bunch of electrical stuff. He spent almost 2 full days, that were not part of the original time frame/plan, in the attic doing electrical work. 

Unfortunately we live 40ish minutes from Home Depot and there were a lot of hours spent driving to and from Home Depot for materials/supplies that we didn't know we would need. Plus, a few returns when the shower the didn't fit, and then the vanity that I wanted was just way too big. Finally, the shower was in, and we found a pedestal sink that fit as well. 

Yes that is cardboard for walls... It was a quick fix for privacy so the toilet could be used. 

The above stage was about where the bathroom was left when it was time for Mom and Dad to leave. So thankful they were able to come and put in a bathroom! I know it's a luxury, but two bathrooms makes life soooo nice! 

Over the past 2 months Nate has worked to finish everything upstairs in the bathroom and "rec room". Because of some changes in my job situation, Nate is now working full time outside of the home and therefore doesn't have as much time to work on the house, so the upstairs has been slow going... 

The bathroom needs trim and a mirror over the sink, and some finish work over the shower, but it is fully functioning and the boys don't seem to notice that there isn't a mirror! 

Nate spent a lot of time refinishing the floors upstairs and while they are 100+ year old floors and definitely not perfect, it looks nice! 

Our other upstairs project was to create bookshelves in place of the banister. The banister was very low with wide spacing, and quite dangerous so we had planned to replace it from the beginning. Building bookshelves worked well and I love them!

Originally we thought the room would be more of a rec room for the boys, but instead of a tv and video games we are leaning towards making it more of a creative space where we can all craft and create together. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Needed Reminder

One of the many beautiful sunrises I have enjoyed since moving into our new home. 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:22-23

The last few months have been a whirlwind. So many changes filled with happy moments, scary moments, and sad moments. Through it all there is one thing that remains steadfast through it all; the love and faithfulness of God in our lives.

Christmas was really nice, but squished between two very busy weeks. My mom and dad came to visit December 16-27th. During those two weeks we tackled a HUGE project - a complete renovation of the upstairs landing that included busting out all of the interior walls, then adding a bathroom and family/rec room (more on that in another post). It was a lot of work, a lot of late nights, so many trips back and forth to Home Depot (40 minutes each way) for supplies either forgotten or that we didn't know we would need. All the while I was still working during the day, the boys were still in school for a week of it, and it was COLD COLD COLD!

Right after mom and dad arrived we went without running water for 2 days due to a broken water line. While we waited to see what the issue was and how it could be fixed my dad and Nate hauled water up from our pond for flushing toilets and washing our hands. Thankfully our pond is a spring fed pond and doesn't freeze in the winter.

I realized that if I had been born 100 years ago, I would have had to move to a tropical climate to survive. Outhouses and hauling water in zero degree weather and snow is NOT for me. I will just admit it, the cold makes me a wimp, I would just curl up in a corner and beg to die!

Yep that's the Spring Fed Pond down there... and an outhouse (not currently functioning) lol!

 I almost had a heart attack when a huge excavator showed up the day after I reported the lack of water to the city. It managed to make its way down our long slippery hill, past the pole shed and into the pasture. We had just committed two days before to take the plunge and install an upstairs bathroom and now we didn't even have running water, and a humongous excavator almost took out the side of the house! I was trying not to panic, all the while mentally calculating the bill that I was certain we would receive after 8 hours of work out in our pasture that involved the aforementioned excavator, numerous men working in miserable conditions, a load of gravel, and a bobcat running that gravel down the hill out into the field. It was a glorious day for Matias, as he is quite obsessed with all things construction, but it was an ulcer waiting to happen for me.

Thankfully before the sun set on the second day we had running water and praise the Lord the city did not charge us for it. Apparently our water lines are a bit of a "gray area" that we had no clue about when purchasing the home. Our valve from the city is a LONG way from our house and down in our pasture... technically the lines from our home to the pasture are our responsibility, but that's a lot of waterline and if we had had to dig those lines ourselves to find a leak under so much snow and frozen soil, I don't know what we would have done!

We took 2 days away from our big project at the farmhouse and went to Lake City, MN to celebrate Christmas with Nate's family. My parents went with us. We had a wonderful time celebrating family together.

On New Years Eve we had some of Nate's family to our home to sled, chat, and eat together. It was a wonderful time and I really hope that we have many more of these opportunities in the months and years to come. Sadly not everyone was able to make it, but like I said we plan on many more opportunities to spend time with our family since we have moved closer!

On January 2, I had off of work and the world seemed to slow down. All three of the boys were tired and a bit rundown, Nate wasn't feeling the greatest and for some reason I found some alone time. I knew I wanted to take the day to reflect on the past few months and to prepare for the coming year.

Generally, to me, "prepare" means to plan and organize... But the morning went in a completely different direction than I had planned. Early in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand I found myself reading a devotional, then a blog post that really reminded of what I needed to focus on in 2017.

There were three words that kept resonating with me:




So I began to create a place in our dining room that would help me accomplish this.

I decided I would like to make a space in a very visible area where I could keep some printed scriptures, my devotional, an ongoing list of all that God has blessed me with, scriptures that I write down as reminders or that really speak to me, as well as any written prayers that are on my heart. My favorite piece of furniture, an antique buffet I painted about a year ago, had been sitting with no specific purpose in the dining room for a few days so I decided to put it use.

I used a free tool from Ann Voskamp's Blog - "This Year I Purpose To..." I printed out the piece of paper and I prayed about each of the 12 words listed (Engage, Embrace, Be, Believe, Grow, Break,
Daily, Do, Let go, Learn, Live, Give) and what God would have me focus on in 2017, and then I filled in the blanks, colored it, and framed it. I framed it so that I would see it, I framed it so that Nate would see it, so that the boys would see it. These are things I "purpose in my heart" to do in 2017, and I need to see them daily and my family needs to see them too.

I also printed a reminder from Ann's "Sticky Notes for the Soul" and framed it to. I will probably change this out throughout the year.

"In the stressful times seek God, in the painful times praise God, in the terrible times trust God, and at all times thank God. 
 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The "Word" for January is "Embrace" and I purpose in my heart to trust God and Embrace the Unknown! 2017 holds so much unknown for our family.

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, I will not lean on my own understanding, in all that I do will seek His will and I have faith that he will show us which path(s) to take. (Personalized from Prov 3:5-6)

I hope and pray this New Year finds all of our friends and family doing well and that you take the time to reflect and pray on what is most important in your life and do what it takes to purpose in your heart to make that your focus in 2017!

- Jessica