Nice springy view as I work from home today. It’s pouring down rain, and the blossoms on our tree are turning into leaves. But the first step towards a brand new lawn is decidedly anti-spring. While everything else shows signs of new life, our lawn is yellow and dying.

Happy news!

Let me start off by saying how much fun it was to have my mom over for dinner yesterday. It was just mom, Kyle and me, and I made roasted corn and cauliflower tacos with a vegetable sautee as a side dish. Super yummy. And bonus – Kyle got to show off the bathroom to my mom, as it was her first time over since it was quasi-completed.

But the happiest news of the day is that I just realized that next month our Home Depot credit cards will be paid off! That means the bathroom project will be completely paid for and done with! After feeling a bit blue about our financial power recently, it is really nice to know that I was able to pay off our whole bathroom project within a month of finishing it. Apparently stressing out about money makes me go into overdrive, and we got to this point way faster than I planned. I feel like a financial rockstar!

The best part of it is that we will avoid paying any interest on it, because we paid it off within 6 months.

Maybe we’ll be able to afford that fence sooner than I thought, now that Home Depot payments are about to be a thing of the past!

Not Doing Things

Remember when I was curious about what it would be like to not have a house project going on?

Well, now I know. And it is weird.

I feel like we should be doing something. Because there is so much to do!

To keep myself from going crazy and fantasizing about all the things we aren’t/can’t be doing, I have invited my mother over for dinner tonight. She’s bringing wine, and we get to eat at our seldom-used dining room table. This feels festive.

I feel better. 🙂


Kyle and I have plans. They’re stacking up on top of each other, and they all seem to be some variety of expensive.

How inconvenient.

When we’re slapped in the face with that reality, it is easy to want to throw a tantrum of the “that’s not fair” variety. But it doesn’t do anyone any good to throw a tantrum and worry about the world being fair.

So we’ll keep working hard. And before you know it, we’ll be able to afford to execute another plan. And then another one after that. And then another one!

But boy… do I wish we could pull the trigger on a few of these things right now. What’s on my wishlist? Among other things:

  • A new fence. It is embarrassing that a section of it is still lying on the ground after blowing over several months back. What must the neighbors think!?
  • A new patio to replace the rotted deck.
  • A picnic table for the backyard
  • A new front walkway
  • New workout clothes. I haven’t gotten a new sports bra in probably 5 years. And even then… they were hand-me-downs from my mom. (unused… but still!)
  • Cars for both of us.
  • If not cars for both of us, at least new brakes, suspension, grill, and a good cleaning for my current car.
  • Wardrobe basics – undershirts, bras, jeans
  • Maternity leave money *sigh*
  • A semi-finished basement (at least electricity, air ducts, and some insulation and walls!) so we have somewhere to hide from the heat this summer.

Well! Like I said – We will just keep on trucking. Pretty soon, these things will be crossed off, and new things will be added to the end of the list. Isn’t that always the way of things?!

Sneaky Husband

Oooh my sneaky husband. He is so clever!

This past weekend he left his tools at work. On purpose. So he wouldn’t have to do anything around the house!

I think he was planning to be sneaky and say he “forgot them” at work. But before I even mentioned any weekend projects, he spilled the beans that he didn’t bring his tools home. On purpose. So he wouldn’t have to do anything around the house.

Silly husband! I knew he was tired, so I didn’t have anything planned that required tools anyway!

We did get some stuff done around the house, though. Not everything requires tools! I kept Kyle’s involvement to a minimum, because I know he is totally burnt out. So I cleaned the house myself, only asking Kyle “if there could be slightly fewer pairs of work boots by the front door”, and if he wouldn’t mind cleaning bathroom building supplies off the table. He obliged, and even took out the trash and recycling while he was at it.

My sweet, sneaky husband also snuck off all day Saturday to be with his friends and his dad doing “guy stuff”. There are so many reasons I am happy that the bathroom remodel is mostly over, and one of them is that now Kyle can “accidentally” leave his tools at work and spend some time with his friends without feeling like he should be working on the bathroom. That guy needs some REST!

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Remember when I said Kyle had quit video games cold-turkey? Well, I wasn’t lying. But what I didn’t know was that there would be a relapse.

The game that Kyle’s friends had all started playing was entirely unappealing to Kyle. So he didn’t buy it. But his friends missed him (awwww!! so cute!), so they actually bought the new game for him. They even purchased it for in-store pickup at the Best Buy closest to our house. I mean seriously… they must really love him. (Should I be threatened? Is he going to leave me for them? haha!)

Kyle was convinced he wasn’t going to like the game. But who wouldn’t like a game that you get to play with all of your friends?! He was powerless to resist once the game was in his possession.

We’ll see how serious of a relapse this is, but no matter what, I’m not worried. Kyle’s video games never got in the way of him treating me well before, so this is just a return to normalcy for us.

P.S. I got to watch sooooo many TV shows Kyle doesn’t like yesterday evening!

Bathroom faucet

I don’t think I ever mentioned that Kyle installed the bathroom faucet handles backwards. Well, allow me to mention it now.

Instead of being parallel with the wall behind the sink when they were in the off position, and pulling toward you to turn them on… it was the opposite. The handles stuck out towards you (perpendicular to the wall) when they were off, and you pushed them to turn them on. It was weird, but I didn’t complain because I figured you can get used to anything if given enough time.

The reason this happened is kind of funny – we actually put a lot of thought into which way we wanted the handles! They are curved slightly, so we played with them before installation to decide which way we wanted them to curve, based on which felt better in our hands. Obviously, these were “one-way” handles, and we should have just gone with how they were labeled. (oops!)

Apparently Kyle’s patience is shorter than mine (first time ever!), and he didn’t want to wait to get used to the “push on” set up. So he disassembled the handles, and reinstalled them the right way yesterday.

Bonus: I worked late yesterday, so I didn’t have to be home for the cursing and yelling that (I’m sure) accompanied the reportedly very difficult task. I like work that happens while I’m away, because it feels like MAGIC!

What a mess!

It is no secret that I hate doing dishes. I find excuses not to do the dishes like most people find excuses for not going to the gym – any little excuse will do.

Oh my lord. Why can’t I just spend 5 minutes unloading the dishwasher right when it is done? If I could manage to do that, at least I could put a few things in there as I go to cut through the disastrous piles of dishes on my counters before I do the actual job.

It sounds so, so easy, doesn’t it?

My mother must be ashamed. (Hi mom!) Time to tackle the latest mountain, only for the next volcanic dishes-eruption to build up a new mountain. *Sigh*


Remember when I mentioned Kyle’s grown-up realization that he should trade in his car for something more practical?

Well, consider car hunting another layer in our lives! As if we don’t have enough going on, we’ve been thinking about new cars for both of us for a while. New to us anyway – we’ve been mostly looking at used cars that we could adopt.

This is a completely new experience for me, as I’ve only ever had the car I have now. So buying a new car seems almost as scary as buying a new house because I know just as little about it as I did about buying a house. To keep my sanity as we blaze through unknown territory, I find myself doing the same thing I did when we decided to think about buying a house: research.

I don’t plan on getting a new car frequently. I’ve had my current car since I was 16, and that was just fine with me. So I need to find a car that 1) is going to last for 10+ years, and 2) I’ll like for 10+ years. That’s a lot of pressure!!! Ugh! So much to think about! So much to research!

And of course there is the inevitable financial gymnastics that Kyle and I always have to do before making big decisions like this. That’s a whole extra area of research and brainstorming!

Anyway, we’re not pulling the trigger today. But be prepared for car shopping related posts as we go through the planning, searching, and purchasing process!

After pictures!

I’m sure you all checked every 5 minutes for my post with the “after” pictures of the bathroom yesterday evening… but they never came! I hope the anticipation was worth it, because here they are!

This is a before/after picture from the doorway. They’re not exactly the same angle, but you can see how we changed the layout.


And here is a before/after from the window/shower. Again, not exactly the same angle. But you get the picture!


This one is my favorite after picture. It gives you the best view of the whole thing together. Don’t mind the missing wall plate on the outlet! That will be added later.


Here is a view of the other side of the bathroom. Kyle took this one while standing on the edge of the tub in the shower, so you get a nice view of our shower bar too! You will also see the lack of door trim quite nicely in this picture.


This is a little bit better view of our vanity, which I adore. Kyle also spray painted those wicker baskets underneath, which are fantastic storage.


Remember the silver elephant I bought at Home Goods that Kyle hated? Well, here is the promised picture! He is so elegant. Kyle will obviously come around eventually. He guards over us, and over our little elephant too!


And here is some detail of the lower shelf. On the left is my little homemade ring-holder for when I take off my ring to shower or blow-dry my hair (it always gets stuck in my hair and tears it out! Better not to wear it to avoid bald spots). The little white container holds tweezers and nail clippers and things like that. And then my cute black basket is a nice way to semi-hide the things that we like to have “out” and use all the time.


So there you have it! Just touch up paint, door trim, and touching up the grout remains. Oh, and of course our missing light fixture. 🙂

No more video games?!

Something very strange has happened at our house: Kyle hasn’t played any video games in almost 2 weeks!

His friends all switched over to a new video game that Kyle isn’t interested in, and he doesn’t enjoy playing without his buddies, so he basically quit. Cold turkey.

You’d think I’d be overjoyed, but that’s not necessarily true. Kyle and I have always had very separate leisure activities, so it is very strange to suddenly be spending every at-home moment together. And finding TV shows that we both enjoy is… difficult.

I’m torn between loving all of the one-on-one time and being peeved that I can’t spend my evenings watching all my favorite DVR’d shows. Although it is getting a little easier, as Kyle has finally seen some of the charm in watching Ellen. (HA! I outed him!)

This is the latest in a string of very “grown up” maneuvers by my sweet husband. Another example? Coming to the conclusion that he should trade in his “fun” car (Subaru WRX) for something more practical in the near future.

So that’s two things I never thought would happen (and never asked him to do): No video games, and waving bye-bye to his race car! Wow!

Wedding Vows

I have been losing sleep for weeks recently, due to the warm weather we’ve been having. Winter is coming to an end, and that means that the spiders are going to come back out.

I’ve been dreading finding the first one in our house.

Well, folks. It happened yesterday. The first spider of the season. Right smack dab in the middle of the living room ceiling.

Don’t worry though, Kyle upheld his wedding vows once again and killed that spider dead.

Now I just hope spidey’s little friends don’t come looking for him.

95% done

For all intents and purposes, our bathroom is now done! Yesterday evening Kyle hooked up the drain to the bathroom sink, and we officially brushed our teeth in the bathroom for the first time.

We also have a mirror and a toilet paper holder!

We only have the “punchlist” items left, such as shelves, towel bars, clock, touch up paint, grout touch up, wall plates, and door trim. All but the door trim (and probably the touch up paint and grout) should be done tonight! Then I’ll post some pictures for you.

The door trim will probably need to be custom ordered, if we want it to match the rest of the house. Which we do. So Kyle said that would be on the same timeline as the light fixture, which is still scheduled to come in early June.

Sounds good to me! Now that it is a real, fully functional bathroom, I can live without door trim for a while. I’m just so happy this is basically over! It took over 8 weeks to do it, which was (significantly) longer than originally scheduled, but as I suspected… it was worth it. The bathroom makes so much more sense now than it did before!

Can’t wait to share the pictures with you, and stay tuned for upcoming projects: Hallway painting and light fixture, yard, and painting my sewing nook!

Kyle’s boss gifted us a fresh caught salmon fillet from his fishing trip two days ago. Tonight we ate it smothered in basil and and garlic butter alongside fresh roasted garlic bread and caprese salad. Kyle works on the house, and I make sure he is well fueled!

Spray and Paint

Kyle is cutting in on our first layer of TEAL paint in the bathroom. He primed this morning, and now the fun stuff is happening. When he first started painting the color on, he locked the bathroom door and wouldn’t let me in. He thought it was fun to bring some mystery into it. When he finally did let me in, I was happy to see that the color was exactly how I had imagined it!

And as we speak, the yard is being sprayed with death-solution. When the family friend/landscaper arrived, I could tell he thought our yard was a nightmare (I agree). When I mentioned how awful it was, he politely said, “next month it will look good”. That made me chuckle!

The previous owners of the house LOVED their yard. But they liked to “live off the land”. So every single inch of the front yard is full of random edible herbs and vegetables, and the backyard has a chicken coop where they had about 10 chickens.

Needless to say, they valued function over form… and while I’m sure the vegetables were delicious, it looked very unkempt. We aren’t really “live off the land” people. So we’re excited to have a simple, nice looking yard with grass and a few trees and bushes.

Eventually we’ll put in a new pathway up to the house, and either rebuild the deck or replace it with a patio. Keep it simple simple simple.

So work is happening inside and out!

Next thing

Kyle is working on finishing up the bathroom this weekend, and we’re already on to the next thing! THE YARD!

Spring has sprung. Allergy pills are on my shopping list, we have a tree in our backyard with pink blossoms on it, and our grass is growing out of control.

Unfortunately, the crabgrass is also growing out of control. Mom and David had mentioned awhile back that they might have a lawn mower we could use, and in discussing the lawn mower and the crabgrass, we came to the conclusion that we actually just need a new lawn.

This sounds like a huge undertaking, and it is, but we’ve got awesome help in David! He is sending up his landscaper to kill the grass/weeds/crabgrass we’ve currently got, then he has a tiller for after it all dies, and the best part is that we live in the grass seed capitol of the world, and David’s farm produces grass seed!

So a few months from now, we should have a really lovely lawn after a few rounds of killing and tilling.

After doing that, and building a new fence, our yard should be much more lovely. 

How’d that go?

I recall posting about “going to the gym every day!” during the bathroom remodel. And I recall fantasizing over how great I would look by the time it was done. Hahahaha! I’m so silly, aren’t I?

I did go every day. For a while. And then I got so frustrated about taking showers at the gym, that I protested and just settled into being dirty. But I couldn’t very well be dirty and smelly. So the gym just fell off my list. Out of protest. I’m not sure what my protest proved, but it felt good at the time.

Now I have a shower again, as we all know. So there is no reason to protest anymore! I am back in action at the gym. And boy does it feel good. I don’t really think anyone benefited from my silly gym-ban… so I feel a little ridiculous about it now.

My favorite part about going to the gym (besides the awesome endorphins!) is that when I go to the gym, I naturally want to eat better. And eating healthier/more reasonable portions makes me feel even more awesome! It is like a snowball of greatness!

Moral of the story – and point of this post – is that I am feeling like a million bucks. My waistline and pants size are essentially unchanged due to my hiatus. But who cares when you feel this good?! I guess I can forgive myself for my unjustified protest. 🙂

San Jose

My wonderful mother called me yesterday and invited me to fly to San Jose with her to visit family. It was an easy decision to say yes, obviously! I am SO excited! (Hi Granny! Can’t wait to see you!)

But oh dear… the consequences of saying yes to this trip are proving difficult to deal with. Now that I have one trip to look forward to, I want to go on more trips!

This is a very impractical desire. Kyle and I have far too many things to save for – and far too many things to pay for – to take a trip home to Sweden (swoon!), or to visit one of my best friends in Austin, TX (drool!).

It is particularly perplexing, because I want to get in another big trip before we have a baby… but one of the biggest things we’re saving for is having a baby (herumph. maternity leave = no income for 3 months = lots of saving!). There is simply no room left for saving for anything else expensive, like a trip. So it would seem that a big trip is out of the question before a baby happens.

I guess I’ll just have to be one of those jet-setting moms who tortures people by bringing her child on international and cross-country flights. I’ll bring 300 pairs of earplugs for my fellow passengers. That should solve that problem.

I wonder

Now that we’re so close to done with the bathroom project, I’m trying to remember what it feels like to have a construction-free house. I honestly can’t recall. This has been going on for 7.5 weeks now… and after that long, it just feels normal to have tools on your dining room table and dirt everywhere.

Wow. 7.5 weeks. That is a long time for such a little bathroom! Remember when Kyle said he was going to get this done in 3 weeks and work on it every single day? haha… we had no idea what we were getting into.

But now we know. Next time we do a project, I shouldn’t have any expectations about a timeline. And poor Kyle shouldn’t have silly expectations for himself working on it every single day. Now he knows that working a 40hr/week construction job PLUS working construction at your own house is a lot more exhausting than he thought.

We’re no longer “new” at this. Now we’re veterans. And if there is anything a veteran knows, it is that nothing goes according to plan!

Shower Abuse

I haven’t been able to post in a while because I’ve been TOO BUSY taking showers all the time!

Basically, Kyle and I have entered a phase of shower abuse. We were dirty for soooo long, that we’re now constantly pursuing cleanliness.

Slow but steady progress is still being made in our bathroom too. Everything happens in spurts. Mud – dry. Mud – dry. Mud – dry.

Tomorrow? Primer – dry.

Tuesday? Paint – dry.

Wednesday? Vanity, towel bars.


Light fixture

So about that light fixture… Here is the long-winded saga of how we have ended up with a very long wait for the perfect lighting.

We ordered it back in January from Lamps Plus. On the date it was supposed to ship last week, we got an update from them saying that the shipping date was pushed back to MAY 30TH!

I was very angry, and called them to check if that was real. It was, in fact, real. Something about their vendor having it on back order or whatever.

In my fit of rage, I told them to cancel my order, please. (yes, even when I’m angry, I say please. Thanks, mom!) Which they did.

So I went to Destination Lighting’s website, which is the same as Globe Lighting, I believe. We had ordered our hallway light fixture (which still isn’t up) from them, and it came within a week. So we love them! But I just couldn’t find anything there that could compare to the light fixture we had originally picked.

Cue: Super-Sleuth Carolyn… I googled the name of our light fixture in the interest of finding it somewhere besides Lamps Plus, to test out if there was possibly another company that might possibly get that fixture from a different vendor and could therefore possibly get it to us faster.

FAIL! I did find it somewhere else. And I ordered it. And they sent us an order update right away, indicating that it would be shipped on May 30th. At least they didn’t wait over a month to tell us about that little hiccup (Booooo Lamps Plus). Looks like if we want that light fixture, we have to wait. And we decided that we really do want that light fixture. So we will wait, and it will arrive in June.

In the meantime, we get to use the $2 temporary light in the bathroom for several more months. Now that we’ve come to terms with the wait for our beautiful light fixture, this has become quite funny to us.

I knew we’d find humor in all of this again, if only we could have the patience!


Have I mentioned that Kyle and I have both officially had our first showers at home? No? Well… we have. And it was glorious.

It is funny how after almost 2 months without a shower in our house, it started to feel normal to have to plan your day around getting clean. And now that we can just shower whenever the heck we want, it feels super luxurious!

We got one of those curved shower bars, too, which made the shower seem positively massive. And with the natural light coming in from the window (with super luxurious privacy glass – *swoon*) and the bright white tile, it felt like a spa!

Of course, the tile is wonky, which is hard to overlook when you’re surrounded by that much of it, and only inches away from it. But like I said before, we decided we’d call that “charming”. So that’s what it is.

I love our charming, luxurious bathroom. I can’t wait for the rest of it to be done. Just drywall mudding/taping, paint, vanity, door trim and shower bars + shelves. Then the place is done!

oh… except our light fixture, which won’t be here until June. But we can talk about that another time.

Playing House

In reflecting on the weekend that just ended (sigh… Mondays), I have decided that my favorite thing in life is “playing house”. Work is fine. Socializing is neat. Exercising is whatever. Shopping is blah.

Playing house rocks.

And I’m calling it “playing” on purpose. Because it still doesn’t seem like normal, standard life stuff to me yet. Or maybe I’m calling it “playing” because it is fun?

All weekend Kyle worked on the bathroom, I cleaned and organized, and then I cooked dinner for Kyle’s dad. And at the end of it all, Kyle and I both just felt satisfied. All that time and hard work felt worth it, and we were proud of what we accomplished, and proud of our home, and proud that we’d done it together, and then proud to have a guest for dinner to show it all off for.

I’d like to quit all other activities and just play house forever, please!

Voilà! We now have a working shower! That’s right, everyone! We have a toilet and a shower. Its almost a whole bathroom! And also… Monty loves it. Isn’t she adorable?

How’s that for an after for my mini-makeover in the kitchen?! Kyle had a heck of a time getting those IKEA shelves to hang because our walls are definitely not square. But he can do anything!


I’m still hoarding pictures. Kyle has PROMISED a working shower by tomorrow. He hasn’t promised anything before… all the missed deadlines before were just guesses. Tomorrow is a promise.

You know what that means? I can promise pictures tomorrow! 🙂

Kyle is grouting right now. Shower trim is installed. Sealing will happen tomorrow morning. Then the shower curtain goes up. Then we get clean.

I’m in the middle of a mini-makeover in the kitchen too. You saw my little painting yesterday. And earlier today I bought some magnetic hooks for the side of our fridge, and I just got home from IKEA where I picked up some shelves so we can solve THIS problem:

STAY TUNED! More pictures of mini-makeover in the kitchen, and our FULLY tiled bathroom tomorrow!