domestic goodness

´╗┐sooo ... remember those couches?

we bit the bullet and ordered them.

they will be here in mid-january.

january. as in ... after thankgsiving, after christmas, after new year's, after my birthday, after next thanksgiving ...

okay, maybe not that bad. but still. we're left with a literally empty first floor for the next two and a half months, and left with nowhere to sit when our families come to visit in the new few weeks and over christmas.

i was talking to my sister last night, lamenting that we'll all have to sit on the floor on christmas morning, and i said, "heck ... might as well put the christmas tree in the middle of the great room. like macy's. or whoville." then i was all, "omgnoway ... we're totally taking a family photo of us standing in a circle around the tree, holding hands, singing, a la the whos in whoville ..."

and she was on board. and that made me feel a little better about having nothing to sit on.

on the topic of having nowhere to sit, though, marc and i started crunching numbers to see whether it would be possible to somewhat populate the front room (the "wii room" in the kids' terminology) and then move that furniture out to the great room for christmas. the wii room has been lower on the priority list, but the wait time for the other couches has changed our priorities a bit.

remember when i played with the front room and came up with this?

i still love the feel of it, but some changes had to be made.

firstly, obviously, we can't have a gray couch in this room because of the gray ones right next door. so this could be the room for my streamlined white couch, mayhaps?

1241-415-SC_HSF_mlove this mitchell gold sasha couch, but there isn't a place to buy mitchell gold in minnesota. (and, seriously, why isn't there?!) so i'm on the hunt for an alternative.

i'm still in love with that anthro rug, so that's got to stay in the running. i have no idea at this point what else will go in the great room with the gray couches, but i can guarantee you that every color combination i've considered is represented in this rug somewhere. i think it's a winner.

now that we've been living in this space for a month, i think the best things to have in the front room wii room are a couch for those playing wii or watching tv, and a reading chair nestled in the corner. just cuz that's where i'd want to sit: at an angle, looking out the window, being with my family but not having to watch whatever it is they're doing on the tv ...

i love this comfy looking maine cottage chair in the sun-colored lucky leaf fabric, and how sweet is the slipcovered ottoman in a bright white linen? both are likely out of the price range for "reading chair," but i love them still.

Mainecotstevie Mainecotgretchen

every good reading nook needs a side table for the wine glass/coffee mug and a spare book, and a good reading lamp. i kinda love this table from uttermost because it would pull in the industrial elements that we have in other parts of the house. and i like this reading lamp from ikea because ... well, because it's cheap.

Uttermostira Ikeabaro

getting to the pretty stuff, i've fallen in love with pillows from etsy seller woody liana. i'm having a hard time picking a favorite, but the ones i used in this set up are the hothouse flowers and betwixt pillows and the christopher farr.

so, this stuff would be on one side of the room and by the windows, but what about the actual tv/wii wall? what will all that techy crap entertainment goodness hide in go on?

this. i want this.

and i will save my pennies for as long as it takes because i love it so, so much and it must belong to me.

it's perfection, isn't it? (please don't think so and please don't run out and buy it.)

i like my little plan. what actually happens and when remains to be seen.

hopefully something will happen soon. the constant echo when i'm working in the kitchen and the kids are talking is about to drive me insane. three lovely rugs arrived today - one for the kitchen, one for the entry, one for my studio - so hopefully they will help dampen the noise. my day has been spent sweeping and dusting and mopping, and right now the floors are gleaming and lovely.

it makes me happy.

and reminds me i need to buy rug pads, because right now those rugs are like greased sleds on a frozen hill.




one month in.

updated on 12.31.15: thank you, pinterest pinners, for loving our house! a more current tour (at christmastime, no less!) is now posted here.


a month ago from yesterday, we moved in.

(and chaos and frustration ensued, and has not been entirely resolved yet. but hey! that's moving. it is what it is.)

i finally have a desk set up for my computer, and my computer is finally talking to the file server, so i can finally show you pix from the final walk-through, the day before closing.

(this was before the winds picked up, and dirt was blown against the house, and the sod was laid to prevent more dirt from blowing against the house. right now, the house needs a good, long bath.)

the front door ...

the girls' artsy-craftsy room ...

walking into the kitchen/dining/great room ...

(thankfully, the counters are now done and gorgeous.)

the front room (what the kids are calling "the wii room," for soon-to-be obvious reasons.)

through the kitchen are the mudroom, bathroom, and my studio ...

(we've since added mirrors to all the bathrooms.)

(and apparently i have no "after" photos of my studio or the mudroom. guess you have to wait.)

heading upstairs to the bedrooms, the laundry room, and the kids' computer loft ...

the master bath finally has all of its fixtures, too, and is quite lovely if i do say so myself. i'll take a new pic of that sometime later, too.

kids' bathroom ... now has the final lights in place, too. little mini galvanized barn lights like the ones by the front door. it looks super cute.

H's room ...

h's room ...

(guest room didn't make the photo cut. later, when it's decked out.)

time to go to the basement.


game/hang out area ... the wet bar also got a stainless counter top, like the kitchen island:

tv area ...

marc's office is through the barn door ...

the basement also has another guest room and another bathroom.

and there you have it.

it's a big house ... twice the size of our last one ... and the first week i wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into. cleaning it is a full-time job, walking up and down all those stairs 5,392 times a day is exhausting, all the hardwood on the main floor kills my feet. but there's something about the space ... the way it's configured ... that feels totally homey. we were very intentional about how we wanted the rooms laid out and the space used, so the whole house feels completely like a farmhouse; like nice, cozy, intimate rooms with purpose. there are no wide open spaces or soaring ceilings. it feels much smaller than it really is. can't wait to try it out with people and see if our theory of space allocation holds up.

right now we're unpacked to the functional stage. there are several projects going on that will lead to more rooms getting more finished. harper's beds are getting painted, i'm painting our old master bedroom bed for the guest room, i have big plans for both guest rooms, the couches are ordered (grr ... that's a post for another day), and things are starting to if not come together, they are coming together as eventualities.

and that's okay for now.

thanks for being excited for us throughout this journey. it's been a blast. i'll write next time about the process and what we learned ... there are some nuggets of wisdom in there somewhere, i bet!

super, duper, crazy in love.

that's how i feel about my kitchen.

i loved it before, but the stainless steel island counter top finally arrived today, and everything just clicked perfectly into place.

it's beyond dreamy. it's perfection.

and it just completes this kitchen in every little way.

nothing is in its final resting place by any means, but at least it's functional, clean, and looking a bit more like home.

even the cat is starting to relax and is claiming some territory just for him.

also helping me to relax and settle in? i finally have a towel bar and a mirror in the master bathroom. after two weeks of running back and forth from various bathrooms, i can now start and finish all in mine.

marc made sure he had that taken care of before his week in utah/los angeles/chicago, and i'm eternally grateful.

and when he gets home tonight, he'll be greeted by a yard, which was finished up today.

having grass also goes a long way to restoring some sanity around here. all the dust and dirt flying around and preventing open windows was making me claustrophobic and agoraphobic at the same time. that small patch of dirt remaining at the back of the lot will be tilled and seeded with native grasses and wildflowers, and we'll just let it grow.

talk about relaxing!

we will all exhale tonight and breathe deeply tomorrow. marc will finally be home, his meetings tomorrow were postponed, the kids don't have school, and other than the movers' repair guy and the light store's installation guy coming to do their respective deeds, we have a day of just being home and together.

and i'm super, duper crazy in love with that, as well.

long story short:

we closed on the new house today.

there are more pix and more things to say, but for now i'm out of here. so, so tired. and so, so much packing to do before the moving truck arrives at 8 a.m. sunday.

yes, even though it's finally ours, we won't sleep there until sunday.

it's kinda like taking christmas morning reeeeeeaaaaaaallllllyyyyyy slowly.

anyway, i'll be back in a couple of days. just wanted to let you know it's finally, officially, ours.

there are things i will miss ...

and i'm sure, as we pack up our house this weekend, i will get misty-eyed about leaving this place.

but i'll spare you the nostalgia right now and let it stew for a few more days.

as perfect as the new house is and will be, there are a few things that i can already tell i will miss dearly from our now house. namely, mature trees.

because our current house was built in 1965, it's in a neighborhood of trees that have been growing for the past 50 years. and they are tall and lovely. they provide shade in the summer, color in the fall, and a beautiful place for snow to rest in the winter. our backyard looks like a park, and it never ceases to strike me how lovely the streets are as i drive through them.

by the time the new trees reach that sort of maturity, marc and i will be ... well ... we'll be staring down 90.


i've loved these trees for the past seven years. the lilac by the garage, the trees lining the street side of the house and keeping the neighbors at bay, the pines in the back that shelter the deck, the trees in our neighbors' yards that provide us with lovely color in the summer and fall when we look out the back of the house.

i love these trees.

luckily, the new place has trees in the distance, so it won't be like we're just looking out over a flat, empty tract of land. we're surrounded by trees, just as a perimeter, and not as landscaping. at least, not yet.

we meet with the landscaper tomorrow. there are a few trees in our future.

but today? today we had our final walk-through with our building supervisor, billy, and a few dozen little post-it notes.

we walked slowly through the house, room by room, looking up each wall and running our hands across all the trim, seeking out and marking imperfections, like a plastic surgeon marking up a middle aged socialite, noting all the things that were missed, that are unseen at a first glance and at a distance but stand out upon further notice. things that need to be remedied and addressed.

between now and 9:30 a.m. friday.

when the house officially becomes ours.

and the next stage officially begins.

fyi: i love my new tub.



also? it's so big that i feel like a four-year-old when i sit in it.

also? i think i could put on goggles and snorkle while bathing.

also? seriously ... it's ginormous.

also? we close in nine days.



(regardless of the fact that the painters haven't yet returned, the exterior still isn't painted, the hardware still isn't on, the shower handle is missing a part, the plumbers can't figure out the mounting for the kids' sink and kohler keeps giving them conflicting information, two countertops are delayed three weeks and thus two sinks can't be installed, the tv room lights' mounting plate is too small to cover the electrical socket and we need to order new lights, and who knows what else. but carpet is going in today. and you can see here what else IS done. and i have a glorious, ridiculously deep tub.)

and that is all i have today.

glub glub.

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.