Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carter is TWO!

And just like that... our baby turns two. 

 It's moments like these that take my breath away. 
Makes me sit back as a parent and say "wow, where did the time go?". 

These milestones make me forget all of the sleepless nights, struggles of juggling baby gear, heavy carseats, chasing older siblings while feeding the youngest one.  All of those hard moments that happen within the first year or even two years.. they all seem so precious when they are over.  So missed.  Feels like a life time ago that we were anxiously awaiting his arrival. 

Carter, you complete us. You are amazing. Watching you learn from your brother and sister and teach them about love... well it's just incredible.

 There is a magical bond between brothers.  It's an unspoken language. 
 A connection that is beautiful to watch. 
We are blessed.  Grateful.  Thankful.  

  Happy Birthday Carter Oliver.  We love you more than words could ever express. 

Love, Daddy, Mommy, Mariah, and Ethan

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our New Island

Cory continues to amaze me over and over.  He is excellent with detailed work, but doesn't like to let me in on his secret.  This weekend he proved that he can make my visions come to life and do them in a very professional way.  Thank you honey!

Our island started out like this.  There was a large overhang on the end and left side which made our kitchen feel very cramped.  We were constantly asking each other to move so we could pass by.  After seven years I seriously wanted to rip out the island and just be done with it. 

But we use our island all the time.  Its the center of our home.  We cook, clean, serve food, do homework, well you get it.  We needed to keep the island, but improve the function.  So I started looking on houzz and came up with a couple inspirations. 

I would love to paint our cabinets, but Cory really loves the stained wood look... so he wins for now.  The picture above with the stained island and white cabinets is one of my absolute favorite kitchens. 

Back to our kitchen project.  I pulled off the counter and got a feel for the space. 

Took some measurements. Then headed to Home Depot and Menards. It took me two trips, but I came home with more cabinets and a new butcher block counter.


We ended up returning one set of cabinets and adding the other to our island to make it longer.  We went with a three drawer cabinet because it was the easiest to work with and custom match to our current cabinets. 

Cory stained, measured, sanded, cut, sanded, finished with a protecting coat, and cut some more... It was a long weekend and he was happy when he was done. 

I believe our conversation before Father's Day went something like this...
Me: What would you like for Father's Day this year?
Cory: And then I'll ask for the same thing next year.
Me: hmmmmm with your talent and my ideas...

The finished project is beautiful.  We have 24" more of cabinet space, our counter is is narrow and long, we can all function in the kitchen without having to move around each other.  It turned out better than I imagined. 

Look at the detail.  Isn't it pretty?  How did we do for learning-as-we-go-DIYers?


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More Updates, More Projects, More Fun

First I want need to say that I am VERY grateful for my handy husband.  He is amazing!  He may not always like my ideas or want to carry out my ideas, but often times he gives in, rolls up his sleeves, and jumps in to my projects, with a lot of begging and encouragement. 

I keep telling Cory I will give him a break, but my mind is full of creative thoughts.  Seriously, I will wake up in the middle of the night with some fabulous idea for updating our house.  Sickness?  Maybe, but it's my passion. 

We finished our wall project.  This was huge for me.  I wanted an open concept feel so we could stay connected as a family even if we were in different rooms.  Removing a large portion of the wall made this happen.  I am SO happy with how this project turned out.  This project made me fall in love with our home.  I no longer want to move (unless its South to warmer weather) and if you know me, then you know that is a big deal. 

When we finished up the wall project, my focus quickly went to the surrounding rooms.  I made a couple small updates to our front entry.  I still dream of board and batten in this room, but for now I am loving the new cushion, white mirror, and inviting feel.

My next project got a little out of control.  Sorry honey ;-) I sure am glad you love me...
I decided that I wanted to update our kitchen island, a little.  My idea started with a new counter.  Our island counter had a belly that hung over on two sides, but our kitchen is too narrow for bar stools.  This made things very cramped for a family of five.  Mornings were a mess. 

Don't mind the cluttered counters... I was on a mission.

So I removed the island counter and visualized. A. LOT. 

I went to Home Depot and picked up a 24" base cabinet of drawers, then stopped at Menards and picked up a beautiful 8' long butcher block counter.  The drawer base is just a builder grade cabinet, but I knew my handy hubby could make it match our custom cabinets.  ;-) Luckily we have flat oak front drawers so they should be fairly simple to recreate. 

Cory stained the cabinets before connecting them to the existing cabinets.  I've attempted staining before, but Cory doesn't even ask me to help anymore.  Hmmmm, must not be my strength. 

I also picked up a new pendant light from Menards to match the lights that we have hanging in the cutouts in the wall project.  I am loving this light.  We had a ceiling mounted light before that gave off little light.  This pendant really lights up the island counter.  It's amazing how something so little can make such a big difference. 

Cory attached the cabinets and the butcher block counter.  We had to cut the counter down almost a foot to make it work for our space.  Having a 7' island is amazing!  We love all of the extra work space.  Removing the belly from the side also added a lot of open space to our kitchen.  We can now pass by each other in front of the fridge and pantry without waiting for the other person to move. 
Mornings are happier because of this project. 

 We left a 6" over hang on the left end of the island.  We have plans to put newels there to give the island extra character.  It also creates an inviting place to stand (or put a narrow stool - don't tell my husband, he hates stools).

The butcher block is sealed and we are waiting anxiously to start using it again.  It takes 72 hours for the seal to cure... waiting... and waiting... and waiting.  Isn't it beautiful!

We started removing the old trim around the base of the cabinet.  It will have a similar, but much more detailed look when we are done with it. 

Here is a little peak at our pile of detailed trim.  It's going to be fabulous! 

I am very anxious to complete this project.  We have Carter's 2nd birthday party planned for the end of this month, but have very full weekends until then. 
 Think we can have the island project done?!  No pressure or anything Cory. 

Oh, and I promise after this... I'll try to back off on the new project ideas for a while. Maybe.

Next up: tile backsplash, new wood floors! (sssshhhhh) ;-)