Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dominic's Birthday List

Dominic has really taken to writing.  Here's his hand-crafted birthday wish list for your enjoyment:

If you are gifted in deciphering, you read:

Spiderman coloring
Remote control car
Cool lego sets
Kid Games
Spiderman lego sets

For my birthday
About the guys that turn into monsters (Avengers?)
Plaid shorts
A sweatshirt with orange starts and a hood

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bunk Bed

I hit my head once again as I sat on the bottom bunk to tuck Cate in.  She confides in me, "I wish I had my old bed."  "Why's that?" I ask as I rub my head, expecting some kind of whine about how she doesn't like sharing a room or something.  "Because I don't like the bump bed."  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Downstairs Bathroom Makeover

7 hours and a totally new bathroom for under $100.  Thanks to the heroic efforts from my dear friend, Allison, interior design queen, we are now sporting a beautiful, spa-like bathroom to welcome our guests in what used to be a sadly neglected bathroom with dingy white walls, dated brown trim, an out of place walk-in shell-like shower (literally curves around, entirely tiled with 1x1 tiles--white on the walls and blue,white, and green on the ground), dark greenish blue floor tiles with stained grout, and a missing faucet handle. 

We decided on a nautical theme.  I had previously planned on doing horizontal tone-on-tone stripes in this bathroom but we scrapped that in favor of a crisp spa blue to save time and keep the space from becoming too busy with the tile and stripes.  Our inspirational piece was a weathered green-blue oar that we found in Quincy, the antique capitol of Michigan (just 15 minutes away).  We also found some distressed grey-blue shutters that we thought could be turned into shelves or frames with a little DIY work.   

So we primed away with fumey Zinsser Bullseye oil-based primer (the best for over wood, trust me!), fortunately only needing one paint over everything but the vanity and door, which required two coats.  Allison trimmed with definitely skill and I rolled away, covering the dingy basement white with a soothing grey-blue.  I was worried that the grey-blue might be too dark in the small space, but painting all the trim, the vanity, the accessories, and the door white reflected plenty of light to make it work.  The vanity is my favorite.  It turned out amazingly well with only 45 minutes of work.  The new "crystal" knobs add a nice modern touch to it as well.  And thank you so much to my dad who installed a new--working!--faucet over Thanksgiving. The small bathroom feels way more vibrant than it ever did before.  It just might become my new hideout!  

We still need a few more small accessories and I would like to build or find some shelves for that large recessed space.  But I am SO pleased with how it turned out.  Now everyone needs to come visit so that they can try it out for themselves. Thank you Allison!

BEFORE: Old bathroom, take note of the ugly vanity 
BEFORE: Dingy white walls, yucky brown trim and door
AFTER: "nautical theme"

AFTER: Sea blue paint makes the conch shell shower seem intentional

AFTER: Amazing what paint and knobs did for the vanity! And thanks to Dad for installing a new faucet too!

AFTER: Shelf from an old shutter, newly painted accessories.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The kids just watched Pocahontas I last night and were so upset when John Smith sailed away in the boat that I let them watch Pocahontas II tonight to have some closure.  The movie ends and Cate comes upstairs bawling, suspecting the usual sadness that comes when a fun thing is over, I patronizingly comfort her.  "It's okay, sweetheart.  All done.  Wasn't that fun?" "But, (sniff), I didn't (sniff) like it (sniff, sniff).  She didn't get married (big sniffs that resolve in more tears)."

Oh Cate, how I love you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Video Time!

Peter is now four months old and quite a ham.  This is a little video of Peter's first time in the high chair.  He's not eating yet, but he sure loves to be up by the action and "talking".

Dominic and Cate dancing with their best friends, Margaret and Edith.

The first minute captures Peter rolling and cooing.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bathroom Reveal

We have had our contractor, Ed Zoll and his assistant, Joe, here for the last week and half renovating our main bathroom.  It was one of the areas of our house that we knew desperately needed to be redone at some point.  Well, that point came sooner than we anticipated when the tub began leaking through to the bathroom below, tiles threatening to fall off the wall (causing us to live with window plastic taped up over it for a while), and old brown toilet squealing unprovoked at two am.  So here is a slideshow of the Before, the After, and everything in between.  We are extremely pleased with how everything turned out.  We have a plan to eventually get rid of all the brown tile (and probably add bead board and chair rail) and update the vanity a bit (new faucets, paint, and hardware) but for now, we are very, very happy with the update.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Begins

Here's a new slideshow from May. There are pictures Peter's baptism (May 20, 2012 -- same date as Dominic's!) with Fr. Jeffrey Njus at St. Anthony's in Hillsdale.  Then we had a lovely visit from our dear friends Patrick and Erica Ford and their two children, Sebastian (4) and Evelyn (10 months). And I also included some pictures of my garden shortly after I planted it and all the flowers I planted in the front of our house.

There is also a short video capturing a milestone for Peter.  At 7 weeks, he's 10 lbs and seems long, although I haven't measured him recently so I have no idea.  He remains a fairly calm baby who enjoys long sessions of cuddling.