31 July 2014

More Home Updates

I hosted book club at the end of May and it became my deadline for some home improvement projects. My friends had of course seen our house in its pre-makeover state, but having a deadline gave me the drive to finish three huge projects by the end of the school year (not the most ideal timing).

I went gung ho on refinishing our banisters, and while I was at it, I tackled the dining room and half bath as well.

Most of our house is dated and long overdue for a makeover, but these two areas in particular were driving me nuts.

The dining room was the only room we left white after painting the rest of our main floor gray last spring, so it was time to add a fresh coat of paint of Sherwin Williams Argos.
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Especially because this is what it looked like before.
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Of course, after I painted the walls, I had to design some new prints to hang as well. I put together a collection of some of our family's meaningful locations, songs, numbers and memories.
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I couldn't stop there. I made some new curtains too. I painted stripes on long white curtains to match the ones I did in our living room a year ago and added small curtains on the opposite wall with fabric from Tonic Living.
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Before:
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After:
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So much better. Since I was on a roll, I tackled the room that needed the most work as well; the half bath.

Looking at the before pictures makes me cringe a little bit. Apparently, maroon walls were in six plus years ago. And those brass knobs have long since been replaced.
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It was no picnic to prime and paint over those dark walls. And to have to repaint the entire ceiling because there were maroon marks everywhere.
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But the end result was more than worth it.
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I searched high and low for billy button flowers and finally found them on Etsy.
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The before vanity look was not pretty.
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I framed the builder grade mirror by cutting molding into four pieces at 45 degree angles. I glued them right on the mirror and puttied/sanded the corners. After sufficiently taping the frame to the wall and letting the glue dry for a few days, I painted it white. 

And of course, those orange oak cabinets desperately needed a coat of white. With the final additions of an updated light fixture and a replacement faucet, it all came together.
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I was still ripping off tape and putting everything back together the day before I hosted book club, but I made that deadline just in the nick of time.


30 July 2014

Water Canyons

We made our annual trip to the water canyons downtown.
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We've gone to the same park with the same friends for four summers straight. We made sure to put it on the calendar weeks in advance to ensure that the summer didn't pass us by without our annual tradition. In four years, this group of children has doubled.
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My friend and I have been alternating having baby boys exactly nine months apart for the last two years. Our new baby will even follow suit. We are both insisting that this trend is not going to continue. We are more than ready for a pregnancy break.
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All of those baby boys sure are sweet with each other though.
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My friend and her family almost moved away this year, and while it would have been great for them, I'm so glad they're still here. Book club just would not have been the same without her. And I'm happy we can continue this fun summer tradition as well.


28 July 2014

Just Add It to the List

A couple of months ago, right after Troy was finally able to walk again and the worst months of pregnancy were behind me, we woke up to no power one morning.

Troy had to get to work but was unable to open the garage door with the power outage. His parents had spent the night after just returning from Hawaii, so he woke up his dad at 5:30am to help him open the door manually. His dad fell off the chair he was standing on and broke several toes in the process.

That was just the beginning. 

To make a long story short, our circuit breaker kept tripping and the problem was narrowed down to several issues with our air conditioning unit. Why it never tripped before in the six years we've lived in our house is still unknown. But what we did learn is that if we wanted to run our A/C this summer in the daily 100° heat, we would need to replace the circuit panel, compressor motor and a series of other parts. Not surprisingly, the compressor is the most expensive part to replace in an A/C unit.

In addition, the wire that ran to the circuit breaker was discovered to be the wrong amperage. Which meant that it was wired wrong in the first place and presented a serious fire hazard. It wouldn't have been an issue to swap out the wire a year ago, but 8 large holes had to be cut in our newly finished basement walls and ceiling for access to the wiring.

We're still in the process of having the patchworked pieces mudded, sanded and refinished again.
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When the HVAC repairman came over to collect the deposit and I begrudgingly handed over the cash, he made the comment, "Well, they say these things usually come in threes." I had to laugh as I considered our growing list of unexpected challenges and expenses this year, which totaled much more than three. 

There wasn't much we could do about the timing of these repairs except add them to the list.


27 July 2014

Crew | Fifteen Months

I usually stop writing monthly baby posts once our little ones turn one. But Crew has changed so much in the last three months that I thought I better post an update, especially before he is dethroned and we have another baby to post about.

It seems like Crew went from being a baby to a little boy almost overnight. He walks around at lightning speed and I can hardly keep up with him.
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At fifteen months, Crew is finally cutting his two bottom teeth. I've never heard of a baby teething so late, but I'm sure it has contributed to his good nature thus far. The only problem is that the teething phase is now going to coincide with the arrival of our new baby. That is bound to be fun.
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He officially dropped his morning nap in the last month. It makes it a little easier for us to get out of the house since we're not working around two naps, but on home days I sure miss those hours of productivity in the mornings.
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He has become super verbal. Not necessarily in distinguishable words, but he has "ya, ya" down which means yes. It is typically associated with frantic nodding when he wants a particular item of food. He also loves to point while babbling nonsense words. He sure knows how to communicate what he wants.
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His hair has gotten so blond this summer. I can't believe how much it has lightened up when I compare it to pictures from six months ago. I love it so much that I don't want to cut it just yet. We'll see how much longer I can take the hair hanging over his ears.
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Troy and I were talking recently about how Crew has been our light amidst many trials this year. No matter how hard some days have been, his unfailing smiley personality has lifted us up over and over again.
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There's nothing I love more than snuggling a newborn, but I'm a little sad that Crew's phase of being our baby is only going to last for a short while. Even though he is all over the place now, I'm trying to savor these last two months of Crew being the tiniest Tanner.


23 July 2014

On the Lake

Our summer filled up so fast that somehow we didn't make it out on the boat until mid-July.

When I announced our plans the morning of the outing, the boys may have been more excited than they were for Christmas.

After a battery-charging delay (it's always something), we ventured onto those blue waters at last.
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Nash was quick to jump right in and set up for surfing with his uncle.
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He didn't wipe that smile off his face the entire time.
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Even when he was cold and shivering, the smile remained.
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Nash wasn't the only one smiling. Crew rather enjoyed the voyage as well.
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I had a moment of realizing how much these two have grown up. It seems like just yesterday I was rocking them to sleep on the boat. This year, they hung out by themselves in the bow, without needing any adults nearby to make sure they didn't fall.
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They were in their own little world up there.
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It's a good thing we still had a baby around so I didn't have to get too sad about Blake and Nash acting so grown up. As much as I would have loved to snuggle Crew to sleep, I knew there was no way that feisty boy would sit still in my lap. His carseat was a lifesaver on the boat.
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After many rounds of surfing (sadly, not for me this year), the boys insisted on ending the day with the tube even though the winds were picking up. They enjoyed jumping from the boat onto the tube just as much as actually being pulled. Even if it meant that their dad was flicking water at them.
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We're hoping the summer doesn't pass us by without at least one more trip to the lake.