Monday, April 30, 2012

Almost Finished!

The family room is alllllmost finished. I can't believe what we've completed in just a few short weeks, while working full time, while baby-wrangling 2 kids! Honestly what helped us accomplish so much is ordering out for a lot of dinners, subjecting Marshall to a lot of movies, and staying up ridiculously late. I think last night was the first time Jerad has gone to bed before 2am in the past week.

Friday we spent all day adding the finishing touches, setting nails, wood-filling, sanding, calking, and priming. I held out till almost mindnight and Jerad was up till about 3am. Saturday morning Jerad's dad came over (how awesome is it to have a painter for a father in law?!?) and I took the kids out for a playdate with some friends so the men could have a few hours of uninterrupted time. They worked allll day and night until about 2am.

This is what I woke up to Sunday morning:

I took the pictures on my phone so they aren't the best quality, but as far as the wood work goes everything is finished except for the doors on the built-in and the lights and beadboard that will be added under the big arch above the window. 

It is sooo open now that the half wall is down between the kitchen/dining area and the family room. I love love love the casings Jerad added around the sliding glass doors. It makes such a difference!

He also re-cased the utility closet door, and we painted all the hallway doors white. 

Its a big improvement because they all used to be an ugly brown color with cheapo trim:

In fact, the whole hallway was that dark brown color. It feels so much brighter now!

Sunday afternoon we met Jerad's family in Morro Bay for the kite festival. It was so fun and nice to be doing something OUT of the house together for a change:)

I'm hoping to have the house all cleaned up by Wednesday. There is dust on EVERYTHING thanks to all the sanding. That'll give me Thursday night after work to add finishing touches like making curtains and adding cover plates for the light switches and outlet and then Friday during nap times to decorate and get ready for Marshall's 2nd birthday party which is at 9am on Saturday.

I know none of this stuff *needs* to be finished by Marshall's party, but having a deadline is the only way we get things done. Otherwise it turns into a 6 month ordeal like the bathroom and laundry room at our last house...

Friday, April 27, 2012


I'm doing this on my phone which I never have before but oh man... Good things are happening in our family room. All the paneling and trim is up, new moldings around the doors and windows, electrical outlets moved and wiring run for new lights. Everything us primed, wood filled and caulked for painting tomorrow! The window seat still needs more work but I can deal with it.

Tomorrow I'm taking the boys to a playdate so we'll be our of the way while Jerad and his dad paint.

Let me see if I can post pictures on this thing:

I don't know how to caption them but the picture of Miller is right after he woke up this morning, then there's Marshall playing with Jerads tractor ear protection headphones, and all the boys on our nightly walk.

Monday, April 23, 2012


The cuteness kills me. Poor Miller puts up with so much. Someday he'll be big enough to dish it back out.


No, seriously... I die every time I look at these.

Family room progress and some fun too

My goodness we had a busy weekend! Then again that's pretty much the norm around these here parts.

Miller snuggling in bed Friday morning
We knew we were going to be spending a lot of time working on the family room so we decided to give Marshall his birthday present early so he had something to occupy himself with.

We got him a play kitchen and he LOVED it. We had looked at all sorts of adorable DIY options, then reigned ourselves in and remembered we aren't really rolling in free time to make one right now so I ordered this one. I liked it because it wasn't plastic crazy colors, was small, but still had a fridge, oven, microwave, and stove. Its just like a little miniature kitchen!

When Marshall first saw it he kept saying "awesome kitchen! wow, cool kitchen! Marshall's awesome kitchen!" but after 10 minutes or so was asking for help with the "broken" faucet that doesn't have actual running water and the "broken" microwave that doesn't beep.

He finally accepted the fact that its a *play* kitchen and its the first thing he talks about when he gets out of bed in the morning or after a nap. He also answers the phone and says "Hello? Working the kitchen. Makin' the food. Bye-bye." Hilarious. It definitely helped keep him occupied while we worked away!

Friday afternoon we went to Pismo to pick up a couch and took the kids to Avila Beach on the way back.

excited about the beach!
The water was freezing but that never stops Marshall. That kid is such a fish. He was completely soaked by the time we left.

Saturday morning we dropped off our old "breakfast nook" table to a craigslist buyer in Los Osos

see ya tiny table, so excited to have room for a "grownup" table now!
After that we went to Morro Bay where they were having an Emergency Vehicles show. Marshall had fun but I think it was really more for Jerad:)

After that we stopped at Jerad's grandparents and visited awhile. I had been planning on going to a baby gender reveal party back in Paso at 2 but we lost track of time and missed it. It worked out alright because the kids were exhausted and took an extra long nap and so Jerad and I got some more work done in the family room. His dad came over and primed all the moldings, and all of the brown doors and trim down stairs. Its already looking so much brighter!

fireplace primed
Sunday Jerad was dragging from being up super late working on the built-ins around the family room window, but Miller was charming as per usual.

We spent the morning working in the backyard. The weeds were getting so tall I was scared I'd lose Marshall if he went out there alone. He looooves playing out there with the dogs so he occupied himself while Jerad and I pulled weeds and did some other yard maintenance. Two hours, two green waste containers, and two exhausted kids later we had made enough progress to call it quits.

We are trying to get most of the work inside done while the kids are sleeping because when they're awake Marshall is "helping" and Jerad has to remember to unplug the saws and nail gun each time he sets them down and everything takes 8 times as long. Luckily all that outside "work" tired Marshall out enough that he took a three hour nap. During which we got the half wall between the dining and family room demo'd, cleaned up, and the electrical outlets moved:

the wall comes down! also you can see part of the built-in in the background.

Oh man you guys. The house is such a disaster right now. Thank GOD we have the front living room to hang out in or I don't know how I'd deal. Construction makes such a mess. I'm dusting daily and its a losing battle.  Every surface downstairs is covered in either dust, crap that we don't have a place to put until this project is done, or crap that we have just given up putting away because what's the point. My wallet and keys are currently missing and I think its just cause they're on the counter but I can't see them with all the CRAP. Oh well, one day this part of the process will be a distant memory.

Such a difference!

Now there is space to put the 10 person farmhouse table I've always wanted. Once we put in continuous flooring downstairs it'll really look good. Who knows when that'll be. We were planning on this summer but Jerad and I have very different preferences with very different price tags. I'd be happy with a nice laminate. He keeps talking about... I don't remember what its called because I stopped listening after I calculated the cost which is about 1/2 of what our down payment was.

Just for the downstairs.

With him doing all the labor.

Anyways, someday in the near or far off future we'll have all new flooring and it'll be lovely. 

The next steps are to finish the built-ins and board and batten so we can get things painted. Then hopefully get a table built and chairs ordered. Have I mentioned we're having Marshall's birthday party at our house in under 2 weeks? Oi.

I guess if we're not done we can just hand the guests paint brushes and tools and put them to work.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What we did last weekend

Friday we were sitting in the family room figuring out what we wanted to do for the weekend and decided it felt like the right time to start remodeling.

When we bought our house we decided we'd wait a minimum of 3 months before making any major purchases or doing any renovations so that we'd have time to really get the feel of the space. There were a lot of things we wanted to do and we wanted to save up and pay cash (well, use a CC for the points/rewards, but immediately pay off the balance) for everything.

Then I got knocked up, the company Jerad was working for got busier and busier, and here we are 11 months later and all we've done is paint a few rooms. My biggest pet peeve is our family room. It's where we spend most of our time, and there are so many things that drive me crazy.

Those pictures are from when we first moved in, so there have been a few furniture placement changes but you can get the idea.

The hallway that is adjacent had low ceilings, dark walls, and all the doors were painted dark as well. I can't find a pic, but its the same as it is in the laundry room:

In the family room pictures its hard to tell, but the walls are 4 different colors. The mantle is too high. The builder-basic tile on the fireplace surround is dingy and doesn't match anything. Well, it matches the same ugly tile that is on the hallway, laundry, dining, and kitchen floors. The bench thing under the fireplace makes furniture placement really tricky and I worry about Marshall gashing his head open on the sharp edges. All the trim is cheap looking and painted brown. There are no lights except for the ones on the fan, and I hate the carpet.

Hmm, that all sounded pretty negative.

I guess I could have just said "there isn't one thing that I honestly like about this room."

If you follow me on pinterest ( you know that I've been pinning lots of house stuff lately. This board is what I've been envisioning for the family room.

Basically tall white board and batten molding:

 Re-frame all the doors and windows like this to add some character:

Build new wooden fireplace surround, add some decorative trim, and lower mantle,


and change shape of the bench below to be like this:
Create built-in  bench under window with cubbies for the kid toys and shelves for books:

I also wanted some doors and drawers in the built-in, and arches at the top of the bookcases which would match the arch we have going from the living room to the kitchen:


The built-ins, moldings, and fireplace would all be painted white with just a two foot strip of wall painted above:

The wall would be Benjamin Moore's "Wythe Blue" which is what we painted our guestroom:


Anyways, that in a nutshell was the plan. We've been waiting because we can't do the board and batten until after we replace the carpet with wood flooring because then we'd have to rip all of the baseboards back off and touch up paint which makes no sense. Then Jerad mentioned that we could do the flooring down the road without tearing out the molding if I was okay with a little shoe molding against the baseboard like this:

Which I was! So he did a quick Autocad drawing to plan out what we needed, we pushed all the furniture to the middle of the room, and started ripping the fireplace down:

My uncle came over to help Jerad because me trying to help while watching two children under two was laughable. At best.

Marshall thought this was the most amazing thing ever and was thrilled to "help" by beating the wall with a hammer. Hopefully that doesn't come back to bite us in the ass later in the form of him busting holes in other walls....

After a bit Marshall needed to stop "helping" and take a nap, which he refused to do because everything was too exciting. So I did something that probably took me out of the running for my Mother of the Year Award. I put him in a playpen in front of a movie (Hop. So cute!) in the other room. Then I sprinkled some snacks in there. We rarely, rarely watch TV and ESPECIALLY not when its a beautiful day outside but you gotta do what you gotta do right?

I only took a few pictures, but here's an in progress shot:

And how we left off Sunday night:

The mirror and fireplace still get more decorative trim. After we demo'd the bench under the fireplace we decided we liked it better with nothing there, so we're just going to leave it like this. Once everything is painted, I think it'll look really nice!

Our goal is to have everything ready for paint by next weekend. Then if we're still feeling gung-ho we'll (I keep saying "we" but we all know I mean "Jerad") knock down the half wall between the family room and dining room so that we can continue the board and batten into the kitchen, and be able to center the dining table between the two sliding glass doors which will give us more room between it and the bar.

Wish us luck. And sanity. The only thing harder than home improvement projects with two children awake, is trying to get them to go to sleep with the sounds of hammers, saws, nail guns, and air compressors.

Edited to add: We did manage to get outside and have a little fun:)