Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Project 2011: Fixing Up The House

Yeah, I know this post is over a year late, but here's just a few before & after pictures of our house remodel.

April 2 - June 17, 2011  What were we doing?  Working on the house!

We knew when we decided to move in to Aunt Karen's 1890's house (that was remodeled by my Grandpa in the 70's and my family lived there in the early 90's) that there were some things that we would want to change first.  Namely removing the wallpaper and painting over the pink!  But after going over to the house many times our "fix it list" grew longer and longer.  I had no idea how much work (and money) would go into this house!  30 trips to Lowe's and Home Depot later we had most of what we needed.... just to paint the inside of the house!  
Originally we were just going to paint some walls and replace the kitchen carpet with tile.  That is where Klint's amazing sister, Teri, came in.  Teri actually saw the house in its true "before" state.  We thought she was just going to lay tile for us, but it didn't stop there. She was with us from the very beginning almost everyday helping us, teaching us, and working so hard making the house look good.  Not only did she tile our kitchen, but also the bathroom and two entryways.  She taught us the correct and professional way to paint.  She mudded imperfect areas on the walls and textured ALL the ceilings in the house.  She even suprised us with installing crown molding in 4 of the rooms!  That Teri is amazing!  Teri knows her stuff when it comes to remodeling.  And if a problem came up (like mold under the carpet, lineoleum, and under the sink) she'd take care of it.  She always knew what to do.  She helped cut a crawl space access that Klint ventured down into yuck!  Not only did Teri know how to do everything she had all the tools to do it too.  If we didn't have Teri there is no way we would have known or been able to do a quarter of what we did to the house.  Now where I say originally we were just going to paint some walls and tile the kitchen - really that was it.  We were actually going to leave the blue kitchen cupboards (or "Alice in Wonderland" "Candyland" "Easter Basket" as different people called the house).  But the more we got into the more Teri kept offering her services to do something else.  So we eventually got down to painting the blue cupboards white which was the bain of Klint's (and everyone's) existence for literally weeks!  I have failed to mention that we also had another helper, our friend Kimbo, who also was there with us slaving away.  We gave him all the "S%*#" jobs as we called them, like painting inside the closet, cupboards, and striping the paint off all the blue cupboard doors & drawers.  Thanks Kimbo!  We were so incredibly blessed to have the help and friendship.  Now these kitchen cupboards were painted not only on the outside blue but the entire inside of the cupboards were blue too.  A blue that you couldn't just paint over so every door and every drawer had to be un-installed and taken outside to be stripped.  Both with paint stripper as well as sanders.  I'm getting anxious just thinking about it!

Klint was sure gung-ho about fixing up the house though.  He kept telling me more and more things he wanted to do and I kept saying that it didn't need to be done or that it could wait, but he thought otherwise!  The house looks so so good and it's fun to see the changes turning this old home and making it modern inside.  Did I mention that I LOVE our new tile?

So our days consisted of me going to my work (and Klint to school until he finished up the semester) then going over to work on the house.  Nothing else - my other full time job was the house!  I was constantly tired and my back was screaming at me. (In the middle of it, on May 7th, we moved out of our basement apartment and into the house that was not yet finished!)  This house kicked my butt, and so I was SO happy to be done!  During it all Klint said to me, "You know what will be nice?... When we're sitting in our new living room watching a Redbox movie."  Movies?  Relaxing?  I don't remember what that felt like.  So on June 17th Klint, Teri, Kimbo, and I went out to Tepanyaki Japanese restaurant to celebrate being finished, then came back to the house and watched "The Money Pit!" and actually relaxed!  And the next week we went to Havasupai - which was definitely a celebration and much needed vacation!

Thank you so so so much to those of you that helped out (Mom, Larry, Cara, Paul, Scott), but especially to Teri and Kim.  We are very blessed.

This is an excerpt from my Aunt Karen's 2011 Christmas letter about us and the house:
"Mary and Klint now reside in my adobe abode.  They spent 2-3 months draining out all the gorgeous colors I had so delicately chosen, painting over them with boring white and ultra boring beige, replacing some carpeting with tiles – though it is striking.  At least there is a remnant of its former colorful self with the beautiful sea color carpet.  Broke my heart to see the changes as I had wallpapered and painted my little cottage to perfection.  Sigh.  They have installed a wood stove and gas BBQ as well so I am not sure they ever intend leaving.  Fine with me – only 9 blocks away and I love them dearly.  They did a spectacular job with the heartbreaking changes which nearly makes it forgivable.   Yes…I did give permission."

I made a book of the remodel process HERE, but these are just some of the hundreds of pictures I took over the course of the remodel:

Carpet in the kitchen had to go!  And goodbye blue!  This room was the most drastic change.
I love my tile (it looks like travertine) Teri laid it as well as installed new tile counters - my favorite room!
After we put the knobs on, our stuff out, & Klint installed under-counter lighting.
Bright peach paint everywhere (you can't tell the brightness from the photo)
Again, the tile I love!  A bright clean bathroom
The ceiling was painted pink as well as the trim, and the walls were completely wallpapered including a border
Living Room wasn't much of a change we just made it simpler without all the pastels and made it open
Another view of living room.  Added tile at front entry
No before picture here, but walls were a coral with wallpaper border.  Klint wanted it to look like a hotel room : )
NOTE:  We did the same taupe paint & white trim throughout every square inch of the house! (except the second bedroom, but that is next year's project.)  I love it I don't care if it's boring - it's clean and simple and that's what I wanted.  We went opposite of what it was before : )

Pictures during the process:
Kimbo doing one of many S%*@! jobs! Painting inside the closet

Teri is AMAZING!!!!  Look at that girl!

Teri demo-ing the countertops & window sill - Kimbo tackling electrical outlets

Kimbo stripping paint, Teri cutting tile.  Notice the stove & fridge
outside?!  Yeah, we didn't have a kitchen for over a month!

The crawl space access Teri created and Klint had to venture down in yuck!
Dining Room during the process - we highly endorse FROG TAPE!
Klint turned our clothesline into a cupboard door spraying & drying station!
Klint spraying one of their many coats in the dark.  Thanks to C-Bass' light
The blue & peach cupboard doors & drawers before
Our side porch full of cupboard doors & drawers after paint!
Enjoying ourselves in Havasupai after we finished the remodel!

Kimbo, Klint, me & Teri and our friends at Havasupai the week after we finished

Kimbo & Klint at Mooney Falls
Looking at all these pictures again brings back all the memories of working on the house yikes!  That was a LOT of work!  I cannot believe Teri & Kim helped us do all that they are crazy! : )
Stay tuned for my next house post:  "Project 2012:  Fixing up the Exterior of the House & Yard!!!"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thank you for all that you do!

Every Saturday after Klint mows the lawn I hang up my little sign that says:

Well, little did I know what a feat that really was!

After Klint's long strenuous summer landscaping the yard, tilling the ground prepping for grass, then leveling the ground (removing TONS of dirt), etc as well as working on the exterior of the house including painting the entire house he has developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [surprise surprise!] So I didn't want him doing any more work on the house!  It's been 3 weeks since he's mowed the lawn (thanks to Uncle Jerry for mowing our lawn twice while we were in Europe!), but unfortunately Klint has seen no improvement in his hands.  So I said I would mow the lawn, but Klint was real reluctant he said he didn't know if I could handle it and he just felt bad having me do it.  I thought, "Whatever.  I used to mow the lawn (both for Aunt Karen and occasionally at my house growing up) I can handle it."  And actually I realized that it has been exactly 9 years since I have mowed a lawn (right before I moved from my house in Orem once it was sold - can't believe it's been that long!)  Anyway, Klint and Scott (who is once again in town for business from Germany ha!) went fly fishing and I got home from work Friday actually excited to mow the lawn for my sweetheart. 

Well, after about 15 pulls of the lawnmower pull string starter thing I was just about to give up when I remembered how Klint told me how to start it ha!  Got it going, but little did I know that the drive part of the lawnmower was broken so you have to push it hard and keep pushing the whole time!  Now I know why Klint has been complaining to me since last summer (when we got this old 1985 lawnmower from Bruce - which we were grateful for) that he needed a new mower!  I feel so bad now, but hey, mowers are expensive!  Klint called me to see how I was doing mowing the lawn and the first thing I said was "You're getting a new mower!.... You should have had me mow the lawn a long time ago!"  Yeah, so I got sweatier than any other time I can think of!  Klint did say "You're going to have a good workout!"  It was hard.  I cannot imagine having to do that every week! (without a complaint on doing it mind you - he is always happy to do it he's just not happy with the actual lawn mower!)  I finished mowing the lawn in the dark, but seeing the lawn the next morning how nice it looked there was a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction! 

So this is all to say how much I appreciate my husband for working so hard making our house and lawn beautiful week after week and for making this house our own.  I am grateful for a husband that is motivated and knows how to work. Thank you thank you!

Another note: Klint cleaned our entire house before we left on our trip, as well as surprised me by having Aunt Karen get our carpets cleaned while we were gone, so we came back to a spotless house and beautiful green lawn.  Thank you babe!  That was so nice to come home to : )

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Videos in Paris - these are funny!

I am really impressed with Klint taking his video filming and editing skills to the next level by creating these video gems of our trip thus far.  I just never knew he had it in him.  I am amazed.  Enjoy!

This is my personal favorite.  "New Affect!"  Priceless.

Yes, we are ridiculous.  And no these are not for real! : )  Check out the comments by Klint.  Love the spelling.  WoW!  Love you funny boy

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Auntique!

My darling "Auntique" aka Aunt Karen is 70!!! Whoa! I remember being at her 50th "Over the Hill" birthday party out in Nevada I cannot believe how fast time goes by! So I've been gathering pictures to make her a video photo montage; it's been so fun seeing pictures of her from over the years and from all her adventures from living in Africa for the Peace Corps, then going to school in France, to teaching school in California, then working in Washington DC & New York City, then moving with her husband to Toronto, Canada. And all the wondrous places she has traveled to like Russia and Egypt.


Aunt Karen is my mom's only sibling and they are 8 years apart.  We have always been close.  When my mom was pregnant with me, Aunt Karen, who never had children of her own, said that if I was born on her birthday (August 12th) then she could have me!  My mom agreed ; ) but unfortunately I was born 3 weeks later.  When I was younger and [I thought] my mom was being mean I wished that Aunt Karen was really my mom.  And she is...she's my second mom.  She's always been there to listen to me and love me and help me out.  Karen tells it like it is, but it just seemed to be easier hearing it from her.  Karen is a wonderful listener.  I can tell her (and have told her) everything.  I love talking with her.  She is smart so smart.  She has been through a lot in her life and used it to grow and become better.  She is incredibly witty and funny.  She has a million friends because she, herself, is a wonderful friend.  Everyone loves her.  Despite all her great qualities we still do have our spats! ; ) I lived with Aunt Karen 5 whole summers as a child out in Nevada.  I loved being an "only child" out there with her.  I also lived with her in college off and on.  She has been so good to me.  And now Klint and I live her in her home.

2 years ago Karen was discovered by the wonderful Jerry (or should I say re-discovered - they got to know each other on their 50th high school reunion committee!)  I was so excited for Aunt Karen.  They are so happy and it's fun to see Karen as a wife.  They are so funny together and like to tease each other.  We really like Jerry they both got a catch when they found each other.

These two are always laughing they are so fun together!

Another thing that's great is Aunt Karen adores me and my husband!  She used to joke that she was going to steal Klint away.  I love that Klint loves her right back - he calls her Aunt K and she truly is his aunt too.  I know I was blessed with Aunt Karen as my dear aunt.  She's my girl.  I've got my girls:  my sister Cara, my mom, Great Aunt Darlene, and Aunt Karen.  Thank you Auntique for being my aunt and my friend.  I love you.  Happy 70th Birthday Beautiful!
My favorite Halloween! -2006- Aunt Karen is the scary one in the mask! ha ha ha

Out in Nevada September 2006

Halloween 2008 ha ha!
Karen has always had poodles!
my bridal shower 2006

My girls at Karen's wedding
P.S. I've been planning her 70th birthday for awhile now and was sad that I will miss her actual birthday, but being in Paris is a good excuse right Auntique?! : )

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mary crossed something big off her "To Do List!"

For those of you that have seen my "To Do List" this will make sense to you.  In the microscopic section of my to do list I was able to cross off somthing big off my list!  [To give you some background this list started in February 2005 as I was preparing to move to Hawaii so I typed up all the things I needed to do before I left, but it has gotten out of control since then and has just grown and grown so much that I had to change the font size on parts of it to 2.5!  Yes, it is tiny, but I can still read it.] Here is a picture of it (blurred on purpose so you couldn't read it and make fun of me!) 

Anyway, since you can't read it - in my "Mary Wants" (wishlist) section I crossed off:
Europe Trip!
So I guess this is my announcement that Klint and I are going to EUROPE!!!  Specifically Heidelberg, Germany to stay with Bryce & Beth (as well as Scott & Tasia who are also living there now).  And we are all going to stay 4 nights in PARIS!  (thanks to our friend Laura who hooked us up with this apartment!)  I've wanted to go to Paris since I was 9 years old!  My dream has been 20 years in the making folks and I'm about to achieve it : )  [I took French for 4 years in preparation!  I have been saving a journal with the Eiffel Tower on it that my mom gave me about 15 years ago when I was in junior high and I had been saving it to use when I went to France. I also have a France guidebook my mom gave me for my high school graduation (yeah, never went).  So 11 years later I get to use it!]  I really can't believe I'm actually going to Paris.  I know a lot of people go to Paris, but I was never with them so this is a  big deal to me!  Not only am I going to the city of love, but I'm going there with my love!  Thinking of it that way yes, I'm glad I had to wait!

The trip was kind of a spur-of-moment decision the night before Scott moved to Germany he was at our house looking up plane tickets for us!  I said we couldn't afford to go so Klint spent the next couple days convincing me.  By using this whiteboard illustration:
Klint drew the stick figures of me & him, then crossed himself out him, because he
got old and is in a wheelchair so can't travel, then he died, and so that's me shooting
myself in the head!!!.... which all lead to going to GERMANY NOW! : )
After we had a financer (Aunt Karen loves us very much!) we booked our flights 7 weeks in advance and those 7 weeks just flew by!  But it is perfect timing to go as Klint is out of school for the summer where next year he will be working.  So thank you Klint for being a fun husband and wanting to take me - I gave him the option to take Bruce instead ha ha ; )

Here we are on iChat telling Bryce, Beth, Scott & Tasia that we bought our plane tickets and are coming to visit!  Beth was really excited : )

We both got terrible passport photos taken so we actually used the ones we took 4 years ago instead!
Anyway, we are so excited to go see Bryce & Beth & Smith and meet their new little one Bear since we haven't seen them since September.  Scott & Tasia and their little ones have moved out there too.  This is going to be so much fun.  I think I'm just so excited to see Bryce & Beth that Europe is just a bonus! : )

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Elaine & Sebastian had their baby!

I guess I can share this on my blog when it's on the internet and facebook right?! Elaine? : ) ...

So Monday night I was at Bri's house (who is also very pregnant) and saw a book she had called
"Natural Child Birth the Bradley Way" so I thought that was funny and text a picture of the book to Sebastian and Elaine with the note "Are you not telling me something?"

 Sebastian text back "You're right..." followed by this picture text message:

"Baby Bryce is here! Born 5:10pm, breach at home. It was insane! We have a baby!"

My first thought was I was so surprised because he came early - we were just out with them on Saturday to see "Dark Knight Rises" Second thought was that he looks just like Sebastian's newborn baby pictures!

Thursday night we got to go over and see little Bryce (yes, he is named after our friend Bryce he's the reason those two know each other). I couldn't get over how tiny he was! His face is so darn adorable and his itty bitty skinny little legs and tiny fingers! Elaine & Sebastian told us the whole birthing story - Elaine is tough... I already knew that : ) I love how non-chalant Elaine was telling the story!

Congratulations you two he is absolutely gorgeous! You are naturals are being parents Bryce is so lucky!

So now Beth, Tasia and Elaine have all preceeding me in giving birth and ALL of them had crazy birth stories.  Just hope I don't follow that trend when we have kids!