Wednesday, October 29, 2014

we have been so busy

Remodeling update--

We've done many of the things, not quite most of the things, but enough of the things to go from this:

to this:

And after the installers come back and finish the finishing, we will do the rest of the things.

And then we will rest.

Monday, October 20, 2014

a couple of things

About this time last week, Jr, Joe and I were preparing to leave California for the drive back home.  We had a great time, which you will see if you scroll through the many pictures I'm planning to post below.  I thought I would post about the four beaches we visited, the tasty food we shared, the early celebration of now two-year-old Leo, and much more. 

But then we got home and I remembered the other thing I'll be posting about--the installation of the hardwood floor/remodel/havoc & chaos at home.

Holy cow had Jack been busy.  I could post the pages and pages of lists of steps we needed to complete.  Or I could post lots of pictures of things we've worked on--before and after shots.

But seriously, who wants to see pictures of or read about a home improvement show on this blog, right? 

Instead, I'll just say one thing and post one picture and then we can get back to the pics from Cali.

Let me say that since we returned, it has been non-stop remodel, so much that I actually went to the grocery store the other day just so I could sit somewhere comfortable for a few minutes.  In my car.  Because all of the furniture has been moved to the garage and there is no place to sit but on the bed.

Okay, to be honest, we were out of the necessaries--i.e., bread, milk, bananas, and most importantly, diet coke. 

But it felt oh so good to be back in my comfy car seat.  Which might seem odd if you consider that we'd just spent twelve hours driving only two days before. 

That's how much remodel we've done.

Okay.  So here's the one remodel pic.  It's the pile of hardwood that arrived today.

And for the fun stuff, here's the shots from Cali.

If you get on the road by this time in the a.m.:

You can get there in twelve hours.  And this will happen:

This is the look you get from California girls when you say they're going to the beach:

This is the look you get from Utah boys when you say they're going to the beach:

This is the beach.  Obviously.  But so great.  Did I mention we saw whales, dolphins, and sea lions just barely off the shore?  Awesome.  That's what that was.

This is Joe getting instructions on the house he agreed to build for these two.  I think it was to have bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting area, and a roof.

Jr loves building castles.  Period.

His castles are not silly little things.  Not at all.

This is part of the two-year-old Leo's early birthday celebration.  She loves putting together stuff.  Really.  That was a genuine happy smile.

And he loved his new car thingie.  This is a genuine smile from him, not one where I said to say cheese--it is the one from the first time he watched a car go from the top to the bottom.  Notice his sister has already put a princess and prince on the car thingie.

This is another day at the beach.  Again, Joe is trying to follow the designs while Jake works on his castle creation.

She was giving him a lot of instructions.  Hilarious. 

Incredible day at the beach.  Overcast and then, BAM! the clouds part and it is sunny.

More directions.

Required beach selfie.  Love that he'll do this with me.

Bravely splashing in the water where the sea lions live.

Did I mention the sun coming through the clouds?

Yes, that is his castle she is standing on.

Waiting for him to notice.  Or to bring a bucket of water to finish the job.

Love this girl.
Both of them.
And this one too of course.

I said it was a lot of pictures.  It was a lot of fun.  Of course.

Cannot hardly wait for them to all be back living here.  Soon.  So soon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

some of this and that

You've seen the day moon lately, right?  I don't know what it means (besides that the moon is always up there whether we can see it or not), but I decided today that seeing a day moon might signify good luck coming.  I choose to believe that.

Are these gladiolas beautiful or what?  It is that time of year again and this picture doesn't really do them justice, but I'm just saying if you see glads for sale in the store, say at Costco where I get mine, you should really buy some.  They will bring beauty to your life.

And then there's these two.  Such posers.

They're being photobombed by tools.  Because we're working on a project.  In our house this time.

If you look past the Christmas morning breakfast with the girls from a few years ago, and disregard the pile of boxes in the corner, you can get an idea of what our fireplace used to look like.  It was huge, brick, more brick, and a little more brick.  It wanted to be the boss of the dining room.  But we decided to be in charge so we covered part of it (including the smoked glass windowish things that were popular in the 1970's when the house was built).  It was much better than when we moved in, but still not exactly what we wanted.

A few weeks ago, Jack decided it was time to remove the fireplace and put in a more simple version.  So he and his buddy and I spent a day knocking down and hauling out all of that brick and this is what we found behind and under all of that brick.  (See that cool smoked glass we uncovered?  Ugh.)  Who would have guessed that a massive brick fireplace would look so ugly under all of that brick?  And why are there cupholders on one side of the fireplace but not on the other side?  And are those really cupholders?  hmmm...

In the past few days, we (and by we I mean mostly Jack but I'm very good at vacuuming up the construction debris and going to Home Depot for materials).  Anyway, we built a new wall out of metal studs, insulated it, and started putting up the cement board so we can put up the tile and install a new gas insert with a nice quiet blower.

This looks so much nicer.  And yes that is Jack eating peanut butter sandwiches with home bottled peaches while Gus tries to look disinterested but everybody knows Gus is always interested in food.

Tomorrow, we hope to finish putting up the cement board and get the tile up and do some wiring and sheetrock repair.

The thing that started us on this project was Jack's idea that it is time to pull up all of the carpet upstairs and replace it with hardwood floors in an effort to make it easier for our highly allergic to animals daughter-in-law to be in our house for more than an hour at a time.  And if you're going to put in hardwood floors, you probably ought to paint first, and if you ever want to replace that monster fireplace, you'd better do it before the hardwood floors are laid and sealed.

So that's our project.  Hardwood floors, a new fireplace, and some painting.  Well, and also we're going to close off one end of our bedroom as a closet that will have a separate linen closet that opens into the hallway.  Because, you know, the hardwood floors can't be done until all of that is taken care of so we should definitely do it now.  And Jack can have the entire new closet in the bedroom and--well--I can have all of our walk-in closet!  !!!  (Not that Jack uses much of it, but still, !!!)


Also, Jr's friend, Joe, is back from his yearlong internship in England.  The Californian kids love Joe more than just about anybody we take to California (except for me, obviously).  So Jr and Joe have planned a trip to California next weekend and of course they want me to come along.  Jr and I have agreed we'll get the two spare bedrooms emptied out in preparation for hardwood floors and make sure the fireplace wall is done before we leave for Cali next weekend.


See what I mean about day moons and good luck?