Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kitchen - Before and After

I have zero aspirations to becoming a design blog, or a food blog, or an anything blog. But I would like a record of life, so enjoy the photos I'll put up periodically as we tweak our new house. First up, the kitchen. The house had the original, standard, builder-grade oak cabinets. Boring. Thankfully, I have the BEST mother-in-law a gal could ask for, so she graciously came to visit for two weeks and we worked our tails off painting the cabinets. She refinishes furniture on a whim, or paints doors or muds a bathroom all in an afternoon. She's tireless and fabulous, and she has all the know-how. I'll get to the how-to in the next post, showing you how we took a kitchen from this:

boring oak cabinets, and even with the immense amounts of natural light, it felt heavy.  All decor/furniture is the previous homeowner's.


(Hi, Momma!)

to this:

(you'll notice that the island was missing a door - the hinge broke when we tried to re-install the door, but it's since been replaced)
BIG transformation, and only with paint and new hardware. Items left on the kitchen to-do list:

  • fix the hole in the pantry door, and possibly hang a chalkboard on the door as well
  • change the pendant lights above the bar
  • paint the walls in the kitchen
  • possibly replace the faucet in the future
  • update the dishwasher
  • put a vented microwave above the stove (?) to free up counter-space
  • lay tile in the pantry, because right now it's carpeted. EEW.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

We are finally grown-ups

Looks like we've ticked off the to-do items on the grown-up list. Marriage. Jobs. Kids. Now - A HOUSE! We made decisions early on in our marriage to be flexible with where we live, choosing to go to NYC for culinary school, coming back and working and then having a baby and roughing it in a variety of small rentals over the past four years. There were some I liked a lot, like the cute little house in town, and some I hated, like the past two apartments way north of town. But, they are part of our story, and part of our family, so we made good memories in each of those places. In all honesty, though, I think I can only say that because those places are behind us. So mature and noble of me, isn't it? Baby steps to contentment, people, baby steps. Here's to making new memories in a place we really love.

Monday, June 03, 2013

More Four!

We celebrated simply this year - no party, but a whole lot of fun. We started the day with breakfast and balloons and flowers. Our good friends the Ueckers drove in from Waco to spend the day with Avery in honor of her birthday. We took them out to the Faerie trail at the Zilker Botanical Gardens, and the girls happily skipped from fairy house to fairy house, checking to see if any fairies were home. After the gardens we rode the Zilker Zephyr and played for hours at the playground, enjoying a picnic lunch and some gooey, melty cupcakes. Thank you, sweet friends, for coming to celebrate with us!!

Impossible to get a decent photo with these 4 girls

Mine are stuffing their faces, Sally is putting in a good effort, and Annie must have had a rock in her shoe.

Say what?!

On the hunt

Looks like Annie has spotted the first house!

Wait, is that a fairy?

Eleanor loved the blue signs - she had to touch every single one, even if she had to knock the fairy house out of the way to get to it. Yikes.

I think she said she was building an HUV. (HEB)

Sally: Well, come on. Stop taking so many photos. We've got houses to see.

sweet Annie


I adore this photo. And notice that she switched shoes with Avery. 

Adios, folks! 
The day ended with dinner (chocolate chip pancakes, Avery's request), presents and cake at home with Daddy.


This tiny baby

has turned into this beautiful, joyful little girl. A four-year-old girl.

Avery turned four on April 2 (I'm just a *tad* behind here). Even though the transition to four was hard, she is an absolute joy and blessing in our lives. Her spontaneity and exuberance for life are refreshing. She keeps us laughing constantly. She is strong and independent and confident, but she also still needs us for security and isn't afraid to ask for that. She loves to read, to draw, to dance. She is creative, and silly, and sweet-natured. She loves her family. She values her space in regards to sharing with Eleanor, but many times we find her going out of her way to help her sister. She is a collector of things - they go around everywhere with her in various purses and baskets and boxes. Her imagination is strong and wild. Some days we are all gorillas or chickens or cows (not my favorite one). Some days she is a doctor, and we are all down with fevers and need medicine. She is quick to say "I love you"; affection is offered frequently. She is smart and quick-witted. Avery talks non-stop - we timed her once, and she could only be quiet for 12 seconds. She is phasing out of naps, but still has quiet time every day (or room time, as it's not always quiet). She is still picky as an eater. She continues to adore jewelry and all related accessories. One day she wore a plain headband to Bible study and made sure her teachers knew that the sparkly one was just at home, as if to say, "But I'm still Avery, even without the sparkles." She jumps and bounces and wiggles and dances her way through life. Not every day is easy, but every day is a blessing. Thank you, God, for this beautiful, amazing child.