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July 2011
Next month:
September 2011

t-minus two weeks, two days.


things that were to have been done last week haven't yet been done, so whether the closing date sticks remains to be seen. it better ... half of our lives is currently stored in four storage containers that are set to be delivered the tuesday after closing.


regardless of the switch-up in schedules, the place is

i want it. now.

(the album is updated, so i won't go overboard here.)

today light fixtures are being hung and plumbing fixtures are going in. that's pretty cool.

hardwood flooring arrives tomorrow.

(control my giddiness.)

in other news, remember that maskros light hack i was going to try for the crafty room? well, i've been working on that.

i used martha stewart's metallic paint from home depot in polished silver, and it looks quite lovely. i won't actually install all the little antennae pieces until i know they won't get smashed or messed with in any way, but they're at least ready to go. can't wait to see it hanging in the room!

both kids have back-to-school night tonight, and school starts tuesday. finally! this summer has been a non-stop whirly blur of busy, so it will be nice to have them occupied during the day while these last two weeks of crazy happen. better for everyone involved. though right now, while i'm stressing that things are going to show up when they're meant to, my son is concerned about starting middle school without his gang of closest friends there to be a safety net, and my daughter is anxious about starting first grade in a new school where none of us really know anyone, and riding a bus for the first time ever. it will be an interesting year for us all.

let's get this house thing taken care of so i can focus on them being settled and ready to cope with what the coming days and months bring.

(it's never simple or relaxed around here.)



we've been building this house (not "we" personally, but you know what i mean) since may.

we've owned the lot since last may.

we've been planning this particular house for two years.

i've been planning this house for nearly a decade.

and it's finally becoming that vision i've had in my head for all that time.

i can't stress hard enough the power of planning ahead.

here's what we've seen this week:

kitchen counters, minus the island, are in ...

fireplace is tiled ...

main floor bathroom is tiled ...


basement bathroom is tiled and grouted ...


kids' bath is tiled and partially grouted ...

master bath is tiled (minus the tub backsplash) and counters are in (minus the tub deck) ...

(and now that the marble's in, we hate the vanity color. so it's getting repainted this weekend to a cooler, truer gray.)

tv room is painted ...

the rest of the house is being painted white.

the garage doors are in ...

the laundry room counter has been installed ...

and all of these boxes arrived ...

boxes that look like this ...

and contain things like this ...

and this ...

and some of these ...

and a couple of those ...

not to mention goodies like these mirrors ...

and stuff like this ...

and that ...

and these lights for the kitchen island and a smaller one for above the sink ...


telling you i'm ridiculously pumped isn't necessary, is it?

this week's happy:

in no particular order:

1. this showed up yesterday:

2. this showed up today:

3. this guy:

we can't stop watching his videos in this house.

4. these guys. and this song in particular:


5. because of this:

6. and because the muppets are my favorite best in the history of ever.

7. i made this:

and it was super yummy and everyone loved it.

(even though the kids picked out all of the tomatoes.)

8. and i found this on pinterest and fell madly in love with it:

and have decided we shall do this in the nook at the bottom of the stairs to the basement.

9. maybe.

10. and a great end to the week awaits us: i'm going to a baby shower, henry's been invited to a new neighbor/friend's birthday party, and on saturday we are going to a neighborhood pig roast. how fun is that?!

all in all, excellent week. and it's only tuesday!

(wait ... it's only tuesday ... don't want to jinx it ...)

i can't wait.

... to live in this neighborhood.

... to live in this house.

... to sit on the porch swing.

... to hang out with the neighbors.

... to have my own sink in which to brush my teeth.

... to finally have an ice maker.

... and ice whenever i want it.

... to have room for guests when they come visit.

... to have a mudroom for the kids' backpacks and shoes.

... and a closet for all of marc's coats.

... to have a garage in which we can actually put our cars.

... to have a firepit in the backyard on which we can make s'mores.

... to go for walks around the 'hood in the evening.

... to have a clear view of sunrises and sunsets.

... to have a banister for garland at christmastime.

... to have space for family and friends when the time comes for graduation parties.

... to have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place.

... to watch the seasons change over the lake.

... to watch all the neighbor kids grow.

... to have game nights and dinners and cookouts with new friends.

... to have this house.

... to live here.

... in just over a month.


making it work

we've made it to the wednesday of the first week we've truly had off all summer long ... and have done so without transportation.

and we're all still alive and speaking to each other.

the end.

just kidding. we've been making do like pros.

monday was serious chill time ... the kids used their next three months' worth of screen time, i did five loads of laundry, no big issues.

they even had so much fun that day that they opted for a sleepover in harper's room.

see how sweetly they slept?

wait ... that's not right. i think someone's faking ...

there. that's more like it.

tuesday morning marc dropped us off at the movie theater for a $2 kid movie ... we watched "hercules" and tried to ignore the "i'm gonna pretend i'm bored and this is stupid" 14-year-olds behind us who made more noise with their snacks than should have been permitted by law. or common decency.

after that, h & h played a game of air hockey ...

then we walked to the mall to find jeans and eat lunch.

score on the jeans: old navy was having $10 jeans day or something like that, so each kid got a couple of pairs. the only hard part is that henry is still a slim, but he's tall. and they don't carry "slim" in "tall" in the store. the saleslady actually tried to justify that i could just buy him a size smaller but in "husky," thinking "wider" must also equal "longer."

silly lady. you suck at your job.

this boy is about my height ... let's just say the lower end of the five-foot spectrum ... but he's still wearing swim trunks from three years ago.

did you see this photo a few weeks ago? of henry playing in the sprinkler in 2008?

he totally put on those swim trunks earlier this summer.

granted, they were too small and i made him go change, but he got them on.

the kid needs "slim." not "short but husky."

we tried on regular jeans to see how much we'd have to suck them in with the adjustable waist, and there was just too much suckage. it reminded me of that old snl/gap skit: "you just cinch it."


then i had him try on skinny jeans, to see if they were smaller in the waist without being too ... well ... hipster.

turns out? skinny jeans fit henry like straight-leg jeans fit normal children. without much waist cinching.

who knew.

so we're good on the jeans.

marc picked us up at the mall after lunch - he was between meetings - and we did a quick trip out to the house (they were prepping to start painting trim and cabinets ... yay!!), where we saw a gaggle of kids from the neighborhood right across the street from our house, hosting a lemonade & snow cone stand. my kids grabbed some dimes and headed over, and 10 minutes later when we went to pick them up, we discovered that the model home kitty-corner from our house finally sold, and the family has an 11-year-old boy ... yes!! this brings the count to:

middle school boys in the 'hood: five-ish

5- to 6-year-old girls in the neighborhood: a bazillion. give or take.

so cannot wait.

marc dropped us off at home, then he headed out for a dinner meeting. the kids and i had leftovers and watched "pee wee's big adventure," then it was bath & bedtime.

pretty smooth day.

so far today, we're just chilling again. my car should be done later this afternoon, so we'll pick it up tonight after marc gets home. then tomorrow: freedom!! we can actually go and do something!!

wonder what that will be ...

suffice it to say, this week was crap.

thankfully, it's over.

but not before dealing with three-plus hours of driving each day to get kids to and from camps, meetings at the house slipped in between trips, pms, marc being gone, my car sounding funky, my car going to the shop, the cat peeing on henry's bed, not having everything i needed to clean the mattress and not being able to get more because of the aforementioned car in the shop and marc being gone, finding out my car needs $4700 of repairs and will be in the shop for a week or so.

and most of that was just on wednesday.

i may or may not have had a breakdown that was five years in the making on wednesday night.

at any rate, this afternoon we drove to the house and saw this:

and this:

and this:

and that (somewhat) (temporarily) made up for all the crappy.

though now that we're within about 40 days of moving, it's getting so hard to go out to the house. it's becoming such an amazing place, and it kills us to turn around and drive away.

(more updates in the month three album.)

now that the stairs are stained, the painters will start in on trim and cabinets next week. walls and exterior should follow.

and i'm sending my camera out to get cleaned. you may have to deal with iphone pix for a week.

unless i have another week like this one, in which case there will be no photos, unless i'm allowed to take my camera into the little padded room.

i'm not sure what the rules are about that.

doing a happy dance in crazy town

the past two weeks have been non-stop. i'm not sure i've sat down more than 10 minutes since sunday. and next week is more of the same but on crack.

just gotta make it through.

however, the shot of adrenaline keeping me going right now is this:

and this:

oh, and this:


can you stand it?! ahhhh!!!! how in love am i right now?? that's rhetorical, but seriously ... "so in love" in the right answer.

today i went out to the house all by myself ... the kids were otherwise occupied elsewhere ... with the intention of putting some paint samples on the basment walls to figure out what should go down there. i'd baked cookies in the morning to take to all the guys who have been busting their butts out there this week, but when i got to the house, gone were all the trucks from the siding company. gone were the vans from the cabinet place. gone was the truck of the trim guy and the woodwork guy. there was just a house.

i let myself in and it was quiet. no power generators, no air compressors, no nail guns, no classic rock station. (why is it that all construction-type guys listen to classic rock, regardless of what year they graduated from high school?!) i got to walk through my house in total silence. i smoothed my hands over the cabinets, i touched the mantle, i slid my hand down the stair railing.

it was heavenly.

and i can't get over how perfect it all is.

i'm not sure what comes next, but i know painting has to be around the corner. they have to paint before they can tile and lay flooring, right?

which was the reason for my visit: i've got to figure out what color the basement will be.

i thought i knew, but when i painted a test board, there was pretty much no visible color on it. the color, moonlight white, is supposed to be one shade darker than the white we're using basically everywhere else, but it really didn't look any different than white. so i bought test pots of three other colors: old prairie ...

Prairie (which is one shade darker than moonlight white, but a shade lighter than camouflage, which will be the color of the kitchen island)

november rain ...

Nov and revere pewter ...

and what i discovered is this:

revere pewter is too dark, and old prairie and november rain are pretty much the same color.

so i put the sample of our carpet near the colors to see if that helped.

it really didn't.

can you see the sample? no? that was my problem, too. so i tried a different approach.

i think i'm leaning toward november rain (the one in the center). it has a touch less green in it. however, still not sold, i ran out again this afternoon and added one other option: classic gray, which will be the color of henry's room and the master bath cabinetry.

cuz it's WAY different than the others.


i'll go out tomorrow and see how they all look and go from there. and while i'm at it, i think i'll test the other colors just to be safe. falling in love with a paint chip is way different than loving it on the wall.

rain delay

henry started basketball camp today, so after dropping him off at the high school, harper and i headed to the house to see what they'd been working on. as we got closer, i noticed the sky getting darker. as we headed up the hill in the neighborhood and got our first glimpse of the house (more siding!), we also noticed the sky (turquoise and charcoal are trendy colors, but are they good colors for clouds?) ...

i told harp we'd do a quick run through the house, and then could probably beat the rain home. i turned to take a pic of the front of the house, and just as i touched the screen on my phone, the car shook with a huge gust of wind.

the guys scrambled into the garage to see what was going to happen with the weather, and harper and i scrambled into the house.

the guys in the house were working hard, unperturbed by the impending storm, and calmly switched on work lights. i'll go back later to take pictures to show you, but as i looked around in the gloomy light, i saw the banisters and newel posts and spindles have been installed. and they're gorgeous. harper and i ran upstairs to make sure the windows were closed (yes), then ran to the basement to see what was going on down there (ceiling appears to have been primed, but it was hard to tell in the nearly pitch black space.).

we ran back upstairs (literally, the whole trip last about 12 seconds) and the house seemed to be swirling. the windows that were open on the main floor were letting in all the wind that was picking up outside. harper started to plead to go home, so i grabbed her hand, said bye to the guys, and went to the front door.

just as i opened it, a huge burst of wind blew and nearly ripped the door out of my hands. (glad i was hanging onto it ... would have hated to have to explain to the guys why i needed the drywallers to come back ...) we walked onto the porch and saw the tarp that was around the siding boards flapping in the wind, a piece of insulation from another construction site on the other side of the street go blowing past, and the sand and dirt from the yard pelted our legs.

as harper and i ran to the car, i heard a crashing sound ... a ladder that had been propped against the porch had been blown over. i yelled at chris, our lead construction guy, to be safe, and harper and i headed home.

i got about half a mile away, and while waiting for traffic, i checked out the sky again ...

amazing. and ... heading in the direction we needed to go. i crossed my fingers we could make it ahead of the rain. lucky for us, we managed to hit every red light on the way. and the sky didn't improve.


two-thirds of the way home, the sky opened, visibility went to less than zero, and that was that. we were caught in the rain.

we should have ridden out the storm at the house, i guess.

tomorrow i'll take my camera, will hope for better light, and will show you those stairs, cuz ...wowza. they're awesome.