On Hold

So major progress has been happening in the bathroom, but I’ve been holding off on posting pictures because I really want the next picture to make a serious impact.

Kyle worked from 4:30pm until 11:30pm yesterday on tiling, with only a break for dinner. He is SO CLOSE to having all the tile up, and he has to finish today.

So he’ll get the last of the tile up, then he’ll grout, and then he’ll seal. The idea being that the shower trim will go in tomorrow evening with help from his brother-in-law.

Do you know that that means? YES! That’s correct! If all goes according to plan (…we’ll see), we will have a working shower tomorrow evening!

See why I wanted to hold off on the pictures?

All the progress yesterday, and all the hope for having our shower back soon put the sparkle back in our eyes. The remodel was fun again yesterday! It seems that we called a truce without really talking about calling a truce. I brought home a 6 pack of Kyle’s favorite beer and made a fancy dinner, and Kyle gave me a big smooch and got to work, and we both just silently went about feeling much better.

Ahhhhh… *Sigh of relief*


We’re done.

Done with the bathroom remodel.

Not in the sense that the project is actually finished…

But in the sense that we can’t take it anymore.

If this isn’t over for real soon, the meltdown I’ve been keeping at bay may actually happen, and I’ll completely implode. We’ve both already done enough exploding. No need to add imploding on top of it!

I bet that after this is all over, and we’re soooo happy with everything… we’ll be able to find some humor in the whole experience. And we’ll certainly feel pride. But it isn’t funny right now. So I guess we just have to brace ourselves for the home stretch.

Live and Learn

Kyle and I had an interesting conversation yesterday regarding the fact that our bathroom is not going to be perfect.

Kyle’s main frustration is that he has learned so much during this project, that if he could, he’d go back and do everything differently, and it would turn out so much better. So we’re not even done yet, and he already wishes he could redo it.

We decided that it was OK that it isn’t going to be perfect – the tile isn’t all going to be straight, some of the electrical wasn’t placed exactly where we want it, the tub isn’t level, and nothing in an old bathroom is square, so we could have picked more forgiving materials or used some different strategies to work better with the wonky walls…

So instead of being perfect, this bathroom will be “charming”. But even in its imperfection, it is miles better than it was before we started the remodel! Plus, we got to learn so much that we can apply to future projects both in this house, and in future houses. Our biggest lesson so far? NEVER BUY ANOTHER HOUSE WITH ONLY ONE BATHROOM!!!!

It is a good thing this is our starter house so we only have to “put up” with our imperfect work for 5(ish) years. It would be much more upsetting if it were a house we planned to be in for 20+ years.

We were both pretty upset about the whole remodel before we had that conversation yesterday, but I think we’re both in a much better place about it all now. But Kyle still said it is going to be hard to push to the finish knowing that if he did it all over, it could be better.

More Craigslist success

Our old medicine cabinet and a shoerack from IKEA have now sold too! The buyers are coming by either tonight or tomorrow evening to get them. How cool is this, that people want our stuff?!

I’m just happy that it isn’t all going to waste, and isn’t taking up space in our house anymore. There is no reason that these things can’t be useful to other people.

Craigslist success

You know what is bizarre? The first thing to sell was our broken 42" TV. When I say broken, I mean it literally doesn’t work. But I posted that sucker on Craigslist, and 30 minutes later someone came buy and bought it. I’ll never understand why, but I’m pretty thrilled! And before I could even take the ad down, I got another email and phone call from other interested buyers. People are so strange.

We also sold one of the old windows to Kyle’s cousin. She has plans to do something creative with it, like build a display cabinet, or paint it, or use it as a picture frame. This is exactly what I envisioned someone wanting our old windows for. Pretty cool to have found a buyer for one of them. Only 19 left to go!

And our 19" TV has sold too, tentatively. A guy called last night who wants it, but he works until 11pm every night. I told him we’d hold it for him and he can come by on Saturday. We’ll see if he remembers to call on Saturday to come get it. If not, it will find a different home. But that makes three potentially successful sales! How cool is that?!

Still not done

Sorry to disappoint, dear readers. There will be no “after” pictures today. The bathroom is still not done. Which, at this point, shouldn’t be surprising. Every time we set a deadline, we blow right by it.

But there is some good – no, great – news! While the tiling didn’t get completed yesterday (bigger job than Kyle thought!), one of the big walls is all tiled and ready for grout, the other big wall is 75% of the way tiled, and that just leaves the small wall (with the window… yikes!) and 25% of the second big wall.

That was a really confusing way of saying that big progress was made yesterday. And did I mention that I operated the tile saw? It was against my will. And I pray that I never have to do it again (soooo scary!). But I did it. I am woman, hear me roar!

But the credit really goes to Kyle here. My role in the whole thing was miniscule.

I am going out to dinner with a friend tonight, and Kyle has a follow-up appointment with his oral surgeon this afternoon… but after that Kyle plans to bust through the remaining tiling. Then it is ON TO GROUT!!!

Final Sunday (Hopefully)

Kyle is in the bathroom right now singing along to Ke$ha, Pharrell, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson while he tiles. He is so hilarious! But whatever gets him pumped up is fine with me. 

We’re hoping this is the last weekend of work. After the tile is done today we only have a few minor steps left that we hope to complete during the next few days:

  1. Seal tile
  2. install shower trim
  3. Mud and tape drywall
  4. Paint
  5. Put together the vanity and install it
  6. Install light fixture
  7. install towel bars and shelves

So we’re not going to be done today, because a couple of those steps require dry time. It seems like the deadline just keeps getting pushed further and further out, and I’m at the end of  my rope! So it is really, really good that we’re this close. I need this to be over.

Red Shower

Progress has resumed in the bathroom. Kyle painted on some waterproofing stuff in the shower area. He also got some metal in around the windows (not sure what that’s for. better not to ask). We’re a lot closer to the end than it looks. Tomorrow it is TILE TIME! 

Here’s a picture of Kyle painting on the pink waterproofing stuff. When it dries, it is red. And then it is ready for thinset and tile. 🙂

Bye bye windows!

I spent some time out in our backyard measuring and photographing our old windows to put them up for sale. They’re listed now, along with the tub, and I’m going to put up the rest of the items tomorrow when I’ve taken pictures. Hoping for some people to call!

Here’s a picture of all the old windows:

Home Goods

Earlier today my mom swung by to pick me up for some shopping. I was on the hunt for a chrome or white wall clock for the bathroom.

First stop had to be Home Goods. Do you know how much I love that store? Too much. Too, too much.

We didn’t find a clock there, but we did find some pillows for mom, a great grey vase for my living room, and a SILVER ELEPHANT waste basket for the bathroom. I am so excited for my silver elephant. He’s going to live on a shelf, and I might use him as a vase or storage for some bathroom items. Kyle hates him. But the elephant and Kyle are going to have to learn to coexist! (hold on for pictures when the bathroom is finished!)

We did end up finding a clock too! But not at Home Goods. We dashed down to Target and found a brushed nickel wall clock on clearance for $7.50. Nothing else in the bathroom is brushed nickel… but I think it will work anyway. And you just can’t pass up an 18" wall clock for $7.50. That’s too good!

Every Penny

So I mentioned that I thought the windows were worth every penny… well that doesn’t mean that they weren’t expensive!

So now we’re going to be listing the old windows on Craigslist for purchase. After doing some research on how much antique windows go for in our area, I think we can list them for $40 apiece. That will be over $1,000 if they all sell!

We’re also planning to list the old tub, the vintage medicine cabinet, our old ceiling light from the hallway, and two old TVs. Some real potential for recuperating some cash!

Cross your fingers for us!

Cozy house

So we’re now into day 2 with our new windows, and we’re so happy we decided to do all of them at once.

Even though we’ve set the thermostat to exactly the same temperature, it feels so much warmer in here! Before, you would sit in a chair near the windows in the living room, and you could feel the cold from the windows. Now it actually feels as warm as the thermostat says it is.

We’ve also noticed that the heater is kicking on approximately half as often as it did before. I’m thrilled for that because 1) the heater is loud, and 2) the promise of lower heating bills is going to come true!

We really wrestled with the decision and worried that we were doing the right thing spending that much money. But our minds have been put at ease immediately. The new windows were worth every penny!

Window Prep

Kyle and I just got home from a delicious (and soft for Kyle’s tooth sockets) dinner at Olive Garden where I was properly embarrassed by singing waiters.

Now we’re watching the blazer game and laughing at the cat, who is freaking out because we had to move all our furniture 3 feet away from all windows. Her whole world has changed drastically this evening. And she doesn’t know what to do!

Our house looks like it got whipped around in a tornado… but it is all for a good cause! NEW WINDOWS TOMORROW!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday! I feel no different than 26. And I’ve been mentally preparing for this birthday for months by telling the elliptical at the gym that I was 27. So the big news today is that I won’t be lying to the elliptical machine anymore.

27 isn’t a really big deal – I mean, its no 25 or 30. But I’ve managed to feel very special today already, and the day isn’t even over!

I’ve gotten phone calls (my mom loves to sing “Happy Birthday” into my voicemail. It wouldn’t feel like a birthday without it), many texts from my nearest and dearest, and Facebook greetings from around the world from people I thought had surely long forgotten that I exist or decided that I was unimportant (they sure proved me wrong!). Everyone at the office wished me a happy birthday and a couple of coworkers even took me out to lunch.

Kyle gave me an extra big bear-hug before work this morning, and he and I will be going out to dinner later (after I go to the gym… because I need a shower.).

I even got a couple funny happy birthday emails – one from my dentist and even more hilariously, one from my student loan company. I really got a kick out of that one! I guess since they were so nice, I’ll keep giving them hundreds of dollars every month. And while I’m at it, I guess I’ll keep flossing, since my dentist remembered my birthday.

Another thing my mom always did for every birthday was read us our horoscope out of the newspaper. Every day they have a special birthday horoscope that says “If month/day is your birthday…” and then gives you your whole year of predictions. She texted me a picture of my special birthday horoscope today. How fun is that?!

And you know what else? I made myself some birthday cupcakes and brought them into work to share with everyone. They were almost gone before 10am! Breakfast cupcakes!!!

Bathroom update

I haven’t posted about the bathroom in a while because there isn’t anything to say. Nothing has happened in the bathroom in daaaaaaays. I’m starting to wonder if we really will have a finished bathroom by Sunday, but Kyle says it is still possible. The windows in the whole house go in tomorrow, and then Kyle should really be able to get rockin’ and rollin’. So I guess I’ll keep the hope alive!

One of the reasons that no progress has happened is that Kyle got phase one of his oral surgery adventure done yesterday. He is now short 2 teeth until phase two (implants) can happen.

When I got home from work yesterday, he was hopped up on Vicodin for the pain. We decided that operating power tools was probably a no-no. Thus: No bathroom progress.

That’s just one day of excuses for you. But as you can see, it’s a valid one!

And we’re really happy to have that first part of the oral surgery process taken care of. Kyle was in a lot of pain from those two baby teeth that never fell out, and now the source of that pain is gone! He didn’t even need more Vicodin today because he felt so much better (thank goodness, he has a forklift class to attend today, and I’m sure prescription painkillers are a no-no for operating forklifts as well). So just a few days of antibiotics, and he should be good as new!

2nd to last weekend

This time next weekend, the bathroom should be done. Or at least moments away from being done!

Yesterday was super soggy here in PDX, which wasn’t great timing, because Kyle needed to cut some cement board. That’s an outside activity, and can’t be done in the pouring rain. So Kyle spent the day “fiddle-farting” around (his words, not mine).

But as I sit typing this this morning, I am listening to the sound of the saw. I’m sure our neighbors don’t love us right now, but I’m a happy girl! Weekend days are supposed to bring big progress, and yesterday didn’t. But today should since the weather is cooperating!


We’re getting to that point! Not much has happened in the bathroom in the last few days (we’re so busy!), but the whole project should be finished in a week… which means I get to buy paint today! Hooray!

We’ve had the paint color picked out for the bathroom since before we even started. And we figured, while we’re at it, we should paint the little hallway by the bathroom/bedrooms too.

While picking out both colors, I realized that our house is a bit wild in its color schemes. You always see all those show houses with neutral color palettes that are supposed to be so calming… Well you know what I say about that? I don’t need white or cream to feel calm!

Here is a list of our house colors:

  • Living room: grey with dark grey accent wall. Color pop of Kelly Green curtains
  • Dining room: Dark Pink walls, multicolored rug
  • Master Bedroom: Dark dusty blue, eggplant and grey accents/sheets
  • Second Bedroom: Dark dusty purple walls, orange/navy/white sheets, navy/white curtains
  • Front door: Royal Blue
  • Hallway: soon to be mustard yellow
  • Bathroom: soon to be dark teal, white tile
  • Sewing room: TBD, probably mustard yellow, lots of multicolored fabric displayed on open shelving
  • Kitchen: TBD, probably icy blue, which will look pretty with the dark grey cabinets, accented by our lime green and navy dishes

Kyle and I are just rainbow people. We couldn’t narrow down the color scheme for our wedding, so we did rainbow. And the same goes for our house!

No more snow!

Other than the places where snow was intentionally piled high by humans… we’re snow free in PDX as of yesterday morning! That means that everything has returned to normal.

The main joy of being snow-free is that I finally got to go to the grocery store. We’d been surviving on peanut butter, beans and rice, and cans of coca cola.

Now, we have VEGETABLES. And BREAD. And MILK. And pretty much everything else we could ever want.

It has also been lovely to get out of the house and go to the office. I love that I can work from home in emergencies, but after more than a couple days in a row sitting at my little desk off the dining room, I start to miss going to the office.

If only PDX were like Sweden when it snows, where everyone is so used to it, that life just goes on. I miss that about living in Sweden. You just bundle up, and go catch the subway. And if you need to drive, everyone has lots of practice and its relatively safe. Plus, they have plenty of plows, because they need them every year! Here in PDX there aren’t enough plows, and our storms are so infrequent that there is no way to justify having more.

Sigh…. I’m so glad the Portland I know and love is back. I’ll take my winter weather in Scandinavia instead.

No Sleep

Does anyone else ever have the problem where they care so much about something that they lose sleep over it?

That happened to me last night, and I’m paying for it today. *YAWN*

I couldn’t stop thinking about the bathroom. So… I didn’t sleep much.

It also didn’t help that the cat was frolicking around the house making noise. And Kyle got up right as I was about to drift off, which scared me and sent adrenaline coursing through my veins. Oh… and the screen door was banging in the wind. And a neighbor came barreling through the slush on our street (did you know slush was that loud?).

But really… even though the whole world seemed to want me up all night, the bathroom-obsessed thoughts were the real problem.

Gouge Update

By the way… the gouges in the floor don’t look nearly as bad as I thought they would. Only one of them is noticeable, but it isn’t offensive. Its a blemish and an imperfection, for sure. The floor is still very pretty, though. And I don’t think I’ll notice it too much once everything is all done.

6th day at home

Today is my 6th day in a row at home. I have only been out of the house 3 times in those 6 days. One of those times was today to grab some lunch with Kyle, who is able to get around in his car just fine. The main roads are snow-lined, but passable. But our little side streets are covered in a sheet of ice, so I’m not mobile by myself yet. Really hoping to be able to get to the office tomorrow!

Other than feeling cooped-up, we’re in very good spirits around here with all the progress in the bathroom. Now that the toilet is in and some of the tiling is done, we can really envision the end result. It is so close we can taste it!

And now that we’re so close… I am starting to get impatient. I just want it to be done! I think my eagerness is manifesting itself in nagging, which is unfortunate. But Kyle has a different idea of time management than I do, and when he isn’t working, I get into my head that he has no sense of urgency to get this done. I just want my normal life back so badly. And sometimes I think that if he wanted it as badly as I do, he’d be working on the bathroom every chance he gets.

But he is working hard. And the results are beautiful. So I have to stop questioning him. 

We can’t finish until the window is installed anyway (on the 20th). So we’re at least 10 days away no matter how frantically Kyle chooses to work. And the list of things left to do is shockingly short, considering Kyle has 10 days to get everything done. Reminding me of that put everything in perspective and dialed back my craziness.

Sometimes I wonder how Kyle puts up with me.

So now that I’ve been given a healthy dose of perspective, and now that we have a toilet, we’re feeling very celebratory! We put a bottle of champagne in the fridge to enjoy with dinner tonight. Because if having a working toilet isn’t something to celebrate, then I don’t know what is!

It has happened, people! We have a working toilet in our house. Kyle just installed it (he is still off work because of the weather). Oh, and that’s a tiled and grouted floor too. And some tile progress on the walls.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Today ranks in my top five best days ever. The honey bucket is being picked up tomorrow. The worst is over!


Work is underway on the bathroom again today. Kyle asked me to clean up the little spots of mortar on the surface of the tiles. So I did. And as I did, I noticed that there are two spots with gouges in them. This wouldn’t be a big deal… except that both of the tiles with the gouges are right in the middle of the room, where nothing will cover them up. They must have come that way, because we took the tiles straight out of the box and put them directly on the floor. But neither of us noticed when we installed them.

So when we put the grout in, its going to stick to those rough edges and look stupid and sloppy. I’m trying not to be upset about it, because at this point… it is what it is. But it is kind of hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the bathroom isn’t even done yet, and its already imperfect.

Sad face.

3rd snow attack

We’re in the third day of the winter wonderland that hit Portland. We started with about 4 inches of snow on Thursday, got another 3 yesterday, another 2 today…. and now it’s all coated by ½ an inch of ice from freezing rain.

Kyle and I have been cooped up together since this hit on Thursday afternoon. Cabin fever has set in a little bit. And today it really feels like camping. The port-a-potty is nearly frozen shut, and when you finally do get the door open, it looks like it snowed inside of it due to all of the wind blowing snow in the vents at the top.

We’ve also nearly run out of food. Today we survived on Rice-a-Roni, pancakes and pasta. I felt so clever when I found the jar of spaghetti sauce unexpectedly!

And of course, we’re without a shower as well. That finally got to us this morning, and Kyle drove us over to his sister’s house so we could have a shower. We headed over earlier instead of waiting until the end of a bathroom workday because we were concerned about the freezing rain. Again, feeling clever! And CLEAN!! Hallelujah!

Here is a picture of our drive home. Pretty, isn’t it? And Kyle is a pro driver, so it was a really enjoyable outing to help cure our cabin fever.

Done! This is our fancy heated marble floor. Tomorrow it gets grout. And our new tile saw works great!

Fun fact: I helped today! First time I’ve been useful for actual hands on stuff. Can’t say I loved it. But the results are even more satisfying since I helped!

Complete Takeover

We pretty much have everything we need to finish up the bathroom remodel project. We’ve slowly been acquiring all the missing pieces in preparation. Its all very exciting. The only downside? My whole house has been taken over.

For example, my basement.

And my sewing/work-from-home area:

Not pictured: The drywall and toilet that are stored in my DINING ROOM.

I was asked what the old floor tile looked like for the bathroom. And since I don’t know how to reply to comments on tumblr (such a novice!!), here is a picture I borrowed from Home Depot’s website. This is what we chose initially. I still think it rocks. But the new marble is a close second place. And because Kyle and I can agree on the marble, it has been catapulted into first place! Agreeing is an easy solution for any problem!