Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

So much has changed for us this past year.  I'm not sure I can even chronicle all of it but here I go:

* I transferred jobs within my company and have picked up on a lot of great new skills.
* We found out we were unable to stay in the house we were renting because it was sold which forced us to make some choices about continuing to rent our buy.  We made the decision that it was time to buy and stay in one place for awhile.
* However, we didn't just buy, no that would be too simple for us. We decided to take out a mortgage that included a renovation loan and renovate.  It was quite the undertaking and I wasn't sure we'd survive the process from April all the way until September but we did.  
* Greg took on a second job in the evenings as an usher for the Reds.  He loves it!  It was a big adjustment for us to have him working in the evenings but we've survived!
* Greg changed jobs two weeks after we closed on our house. He loves the change and enjoys everyone he works with. 
* We moved from a house to an apartment and then to a house again!  There have been ups and downs with home ownership already but knowing we won't have to decide if we want to move in a few months already is really nice. 
* The girls celebrated their THIRD birthday.  They have so much personality.  Our love for them grows everyday and we can't wait to see the other adventures to come. 
* We started our journey towards eating mostly real food.  It's been quite interesting and very enlightening gaining a better understanding of the foods we eat, where they come from and what is in them. 
* We traveled to Florida & South Bend.  There was not much other time for trips since we spent so much time renovating & buying the house. 

We are excited to see what 2014 has in store for us.  We wish everyone a Blessed and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Real Food Pledge

Over the past couple of years we've made a lot of adjustments to our lives.  We go out of our way to buy more organic foods, shop mostly the edge of the grocery store and we'd made great progress with our running. However, when we were not able to renew our lease this past spring we fell off the wagon.  We took on a pretty big project by renovating our house.  Greg took on a new job & also a second job.  We lived in a tiny apartment and were barely getting the regular day to day pieces of our lives accomplished.  So we ate out a lot, we ate a lot of easy to prepare kid friendly foods. We've both been feeling really down about it and decided it is time for a drastic change to jumpstart us back onto the journey we want to be on.  We both have a history of heart disease in our families and want to stop that now and teach our daughters now how to eat properly so they don't have the same struggles we do.  

During this time I've done a lot of reading and research about where our food comes from. I am by no means an expert (as you can see I was focused on other things as well) but I've learned that processed foods tend to take up a large part of our diet and also 80%+ of food sold in the grocery store is processed.  I've been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and it's taught me a lot about our food chain and where our food comes from. In my research, I came across this website (100 days of real food).  They have a 10 day real food pledgeWe've decided to make this the catalyst to getting back on track to where we want to be.  We started the pledge on Monday and the girls are even taking their own lunches to school over the next couple weeks (they were kind of excited).  I will try to chronicle our journey over the next couple weeks as best I can. I'm hoping at the end to get the the point where we follow the 90/10 rule.  90 percent of what we eat will be whole real food and 10 percent or less is processed. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Three Ring Circus

Wow! Today was a three ring circus. It's actually mostly been quiet all week on the house front because not much could happen once the stain went down on the hardwoods. So I knew we would see a ton of action today and tomorrow. That we did! When the girls and I got to the house today there were already a few trucks at our end of the street. The shower door/closet rack/mirror installers were working away. The contractors had cleared everything out of the kitchen and the granite guys pulled up a few minutes later. Additionally, the guys who were hanging the doors and putting all the trim in were coming as well. On top of all this Greg scheduled the Internet and Directv for this morning as well. I was pulled in so many directions I thought I was in a three ring circus!  It was pretty quiet in the afternoon as they worked and then the furnace guy came to do a furnace check and install a pump to remove the excess condensation from the a/c (the previous pipe leaked all over the floor).  I'm too tired to go into a ton of detail but all of the above was taken care of and I only dealt with a few temper tantrums from the kiddos since we were off the routine.

Tomorrow they will finish up. Most of the work will be plumbing and appliance installation and while they do that we will be moving the rest of our stuff over!!!  Yeah!!!! So excited for our new normal! Not excited to unpack. Maybe this blog will start to focus on our journey towards decluttering. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

T-5 days

Well, we are in the last week of the biggest part of the renovation. Wow, this has flown by and been terribly slow at the same time. Of course we are in crunch time so there has been a big push as pieces are quickly being wrapped up. Greg and I made a trip to Lowe's this weekend and changed a couple of our light choices based on a couple other switches we made late last week.  I've hit a wall with decision making. I didn't realize how many details we would be picking. Today I had to pick a freaking toilet paper holder!

Along with the lights, etc, we also had to choose a stain for the floor. I had no idea we'd choose the color. I assumed it was what it was, not so much. We started with three choices on Friday.  I was good with one of the choices but Greg was hoping to go a little darker. I pulled up the stain website and we requested two darker stains to see. I dropped by at lunch today to see if they were what Greg was looking for and one was too dark, the other too red (it pulled the red tone of the wood since the floors are red oak).  We decided to go with my choice "Early American."  While I was there I watched them install the bathroom vanity, I love it. 

After work, I stopped by and things had really picked up. They were installing the drywall in the basement, the electrician was installing the lights and the hardwood guys were working on the floors. I also found out that the radon mitigation pipe had been installed earlier. 

That's all I have for tonight. I'm getting a cold (great timing) so I will just share some pictures and then head to bed. Hopefully tomorrow I can tell you about a little hot water heater craziness (don't worry, it's fine) and add a couple other pictures from last week that I wanted to post but aren't relevant to this post. 

Bottom middle was the final choice.

Love these lights!!

Radon mitigation pipe

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the Home Stretch? It doesn't feel real...

When Greg and I talk about the house and moving in it's felt abstract for months.  We closed two months ago and already made our first mortgage payment but we are still holed up in a tiny two bedroom apartment. So of course it doesn't feel real.  Well, I guess over the next ten days or so it will become real!  A lot has changed over the last week since I posted the giant list of everything the contractors have left to do.  
  • We've moved a lot from our apartment to the basement.  We are starting to get to bare bones around here.  We have enough dishes for a meal.  Most of the kids toys are over at the house and I've packed about half the closet.  We are hoping on actual moving day that it will pretty much just be big furniture.  
  • We finished staining the base cabinets and started painting the wall cabinets white.  I'm not sure we will have the glass installed in them by moving day but we will live with it. 
  • We've started priming the rooms that still need to be painted: our bedroom, the living room/kitchen, master bath & closet. 
  • The tile in the master bathroom has gone in.  It looks great!
  • The padding for the rest of the carpet has come up. Wow, these floors are in great shape.  They do need to be refinished because there are a few spots that aren't finished since we removed some walls & there are a few worn spots.  But no major issues that we see. 
  • The two remaining cracks we discovered were filled in.  Now, we need some rain around here to make sure they don't leak.  Looking at them I think we probably need to paint over them some day.
  • I've made more decisions and spent more time in contact with the contractors than I think I have with Greg.  This has been a full time job on top of my other two full time jobs (mom & employee). 
What's still to come over the next week:
  • Tub & sink in hall bathroom are getting re-glazed tomorrow
  • Floors will be refinished starting tomorrow
  • Radon mitigation is happening sometime next week
  • Porch railing being installed sometime next week
  • Installation of wall cabinets next week
  • Installation of granite next week
  • Installation of all sorts of lights that I still need to pick everywhere
  • We will continue to paint the cabinets and prime the rooms that need to be painted
Here are some pics of all the progress from this past week:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What's left?

There is a lot that still needs to be done over the next 2-3 weeks. Here is what we have left with the contractors:

• Installation of granite counters
• installation of remaining base cabinet and wall cabinets that are down. 
• Add gas shut off behind stove so it is not only in basement
• Install lights over dining table area and island/peninsula
• Replace outlets around sink
• Re-glaze tub and sink in hall bathroom
• Refinish all hardwoods
• Install tile in master bath (floor and shower)
• Install master bathroom vanity and sinks
• Install master bathroom lights
• Install master toilet
• Put up drywall for basement wall & door
• Radon fix
• A/C condensation fix (the drain hose isn't the right size and it leaks water everywhere!)
• Remaining two basement cracks fixed (this is schedule for Monday)
• Porch railing installation
• Install closet shelves
• Reinstall all doors that have been removed 

I think that is everything but probably not. Hopefully this all comes together! 

Oh and Greg and I have been staining the base cabinets. Here are a couple pictures: