For Our Boys

Monday, August 21, 2017


Two weeks ago Debbie (the boys' nanny) had the week off so Steve and I used it as an excuse to take time off and have a nice "Stay-cation" Steve would have preferred we sit around doing nothing but the boys and I had other plans :)

Saturday the boys and I took the dogs to the dog park to get them tired. The boys really love coming and running through the woods :)

Then Saturday afternoon we packed up the van and drove to Geneva Beach Resort in Alexandria where my sister's family rents a cabin every year

Overpacked minivan, Bright pink short with palm trees, and a grumpy husband yelling that we are late... yep! It's a true vacation :)

Didn't take them long to get in the water!

When it rains...

Lucy, Henry, and Bryce

Steve finally got his "lay around and do nothing" time

It's a good thing he gets a running start....

We still made them have "quiet time"

Their cabin comes with a private dock and deck!

We took a fishing boat out to a sandbar in the middle of the lake

We headed home Tuesday afternoon

We decided that one of our goals for our stay-cation was to put together ALL our Lego sets and see which pieces we were missing. Tuesday night after the boys were in bed Steve and I opened a few beers and spent the evening "playing" with Legos :)

Wednesday was a day of appointments and being productive. We had a total of 4 medical appointments and we got some work done on the new car. It required a bit of shuffling and a lot of coordinating but we were able to make a few fun stops between commitments. Choo Choo Bob's, the library, and even lunch at Perkins!

Choo Choo Bob's 

Thursday we went to the Mall of America for Lego Land, Nickelodeon Universe, Children's Museum, and a very exciting first experience of food court lunch!

Friday we went to Fridays With Firefighters at our Fire Station then played at home until dinner when we went out with some new friends (The Jenson's who live a block over and have twins Freddie's age)


Saturday and Sunday I think we just hung out at home (I can't remember and don't have any pictures to remind me!)

And the best way to end a vacation?? Drinking wine and burning the neighbors confidential paperwork! (She asked if she could borrow our firepit to burn some documents! There was lots of jokes about the shady-ness of it but really she had just cleaned out her filing cabinet and had old bank statements etc) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Kitchen remodel

I've been so behind on posting the pictures of our kitchen remodel! I have tons of excuses but I'm sure all you care about is the pictures....

Original 1967 cabinets, late 80's or early 90's counters and floors

Notice there is nothing to the right of the door to the garage
(except a half wall of 60's wood paneling!)

Notice the odd corner created by the fridge sticking out too far, made that part of the counter useless

The old sink (the new one is much bigger and better!)

We added the microwave above the range when we moved in and were told this is the lowest it could possibly be and still be to code. It was awful! There wasn't enough room to stir in a pot on the back burner! So we were very happy to be correcting that!

The Dream
We originally wanted toknock down the walls of the kitchen to open it up to the living room and create a whole open feel to the house but after getting all the bids etc it was just TOO expensive to mess with the "structural integrity of the house" and of course it didn't add a ton of value to the house as it would actually take away a lot of cabinets... but isn't it pretty??? (these are the drawing that were done in the bidding process)


Emptying out the cabinets was not fun but it was nice to go through and get rid of stuff

Dark green= what we painted 8 years ago
Light green= drywall that was behind cabinets
White=where they had painted the back of the cabinets (they didn't have backs)
Soffit above was full of insulation and there was no ceiling above it like we thought there would be

Cabinet delivery day!!!
(We ordered them from Costco!! Really good quality but much cheaper! Gotta love Costco!)

Big helpers going in to attic for wiring

One of the happiest days of my life... the day I removed the fake wood paneling!

This was our norm for a few weeks... kitchen in the living room, eating on the outdoor picnic table, microwave on the bookshelf :) Poor Debbie had a stressful "work environment" for awhile!

We hired some painters/drywall guys to fix the ceiling and walls and then paint

We had them remove the popcorn ceiling. This never bothered me but now that it's gone I want to do the rest of the house! It really brightens it up!

Having the house wrapped in plastic was fun too!

The floor under the floor! Pretty isn't it???

More "helping"

This ^%$# pipe!! We took down the soffit and found this guy... Not sure why they felt the need to make it jump out of the wall there instead of a few inches higher in the ceiling but it was the 60's who knows...
Moving it was going to be a HUGE thing so the painters very kindly made the new ceiling aroundit and painted it pretty...

The Steve cut a whole in the top of our brand new cabinet to go around it

I measured our kitchen hundreds of times while picking out the cabinets... never measured the doorway... they did get the large Lazy Susans in but it was difficult!

Starting to take shape...

We added this "beverage station" and it was one of our best decisions EVER!

With the floor started...

We used the same floor my parents put in their new house (because they had a ton of left over!) and it is nice stuff but putting it in really hurts your fingertips! It is a floating luxury vinyl that snaps together. I ended up redoing the dining room THREE times because I would do a bunch and then find a spot that was messed up and have to tear up everything I had done to go back and fix it! There is still one spot that is messed up but it's gonna stay that way :)


Steve and my dad really deserve all the credit for this! I agonized and stressed over designing and ordering everything but they did the heavy lifting (literally). We did hire the drywall/ceiling/painters and the granite installers but otherwise it was all Steve and my dad! And I convinced my dad to come over on one of my days off to help (aka to DO) with the backsplash without Steve knowing (so he could be surprised!)

The beverage station is my favorite! And I use it constantly! How did I live without it?

I'm especially proud of the decor for the beverage station. I spent hours searching for fun ideas and searched every physical and online store I could find... I ended up buying it all online. I found the How To Tell Time piece and just loved it so then I ordered all the other boxes and stained them to match that piece. I then slowly collected all the fun wine sayings. It's hard to see so here is what they all say...

1. In dog beers I've only had ONE
2. A day without wine is like a day without sunshine
3. WINE because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad
4. If you have to ask if it's too early to drink wine you are an amateur and we can't be friends

You can put a giant pot on there and stir it with the longest spoon we have! 

We decided to go with one large and dip sink basin and I LOVE it!  

The only problem is that you can fit about 4 days of dishes in their without being able to see them... so we really get behind on dishes now!