Monday, January 31, 2011

And we’re in.

Oh there’s so much to update! And while I was only thinking about updating the blog when I wrote the previous sentence, now, I can’t help but laugh that it definitely applies to the “new” house too!

So lots has happened since my last post. I didn’t find my camera USB, but I went ahead and bought a new one, so lucky you – pictures galore today. We’ve experienced a serious outpour of help and goodwill from friends. As I mentioned here, we had some great assistance from my college roomie & her beau. Melissa pulled staples out of the floor from where Eugene & I ripped out the carpet, and she also helped me clean my gross cabinets. Drew ripped out the nail strip in the bedroom, helped hook up our appliance, and teamed with Eugene to replace a toilet. I love productivity {so much!}

 IMG_8447   IMG_8449

We enjoyed some fabulous Bakerella brownies {thanks, Melissa!}, pizza, and of course lots of life updates & laughs. We love time with these great friends!


Eugene’s dad helped as we {read: Eugene} sawed through some existing cabinets to place our new oven in the place where a cooktop was originally. We also removed our existing/disgusting wall oven and dishwasher.


The new Daddy, took time away from baby Griff to help us bring in our hefty new appliances. How pretty are these beauts…even in this not-so-pretty kitchen! {Go figure, there’s Mt. Dew in Eugene’s fridge.} Looks like the pup’s hungry!

IMG_8467  IMG_8466

Then we had a ton {I’m talking 15 or more people!} of helpful friends show up to help us move out from our condo. It was so great to have so many people willing and happy to help us. Everything went quickly & smoothly, even when our loveseat had to be hoisted out of our balcony while a friend stood on a wobbly fence. No biggie.


After our army of helpers left, my college teammate {#22 here} was a cleaning machine and wiped down pretty much every wall in my house AND lined my kitchen cabinets. I can’t thank her enough! She’s amazing! Shortly after that, our friends from church {mentioned here} came over to help us. We seriously have the best friends. Jake’s an electrician = our appliances are hooked up and working! Sarah’s a self-professed OCD organizer = my entire kitchen is completely put in order {wondrous thing!} More on the kitchen later this week.

The whole house project thing is still overwhelming, but it’s getting better. Heck, not even a hint of buyers remorse so far!


We’re sold & in for good. And coming from someone who has moved ten times in the last eight years, I couldn’t be happier to be planted in more permanent ground. :)


Friday, January 28, 2011

T minus one day.

We’re down to just one day before the big move. Last night was super productive, and I had a wonderful visit with my college roommate who I hadn’t seen in what feels like forever. But unfortunately with all the packing I’ve misplaced my camera USB, so no pics for now. :(

Today, Eugene’s going to pick up our new, pretty appliances. I’m super excited to have them in our possession finally! We joked that once we get those in our ugly kitchen it’s going to be like that game “which of these things don’t belong” that’s too easy for a two-year-old to play!

image image
photo source here & here

Oh, and how about a teaser to get you through the weekend…Eugene’s also picking up two boxes of this glass tile tonight.

Art Eco Mix Mosaic Glass Tile 4mmArt Eco Mix Mosaic Glass Tile 4mm
photo source

And I think I’ll make you sit in suspense until I tell you my uber exciting plans for these beauties. ;)

Okay, I realize this post is pretty lame, but I promise I’ll post about the rest of the details on last night’s completed tasks worthy of celebration once I have the pictures uploaded {to help make my words a little less boring!}


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another bird reference.

I love it when God makes Himself really obvious to me. I pray that often – that He would make the path obvious for us, hat He would make His work obvious in my life, that He would let the answer be obvious. And, not surprisingly, He usually answers me by hitting me over the head with it. And I love it.

I’ve been feeling the stress physically take over my body since we signed. I’m a do-er and I like things done as soon as physically possible {or earlier!} So this mess-of-a-house is going to be a challenge for me to find the patience & fortitude I need to enjoy the process and to be okay with the slightly chaotic state that’s going to have to be the norm for a {long} while. We worked again last night, packing our condo & also at the house receiving an estimate for a ceiling replacement for our bathroom, opening a doorway more, and replacing some drywall in the basement. We finally collapsed in bed later than we’d like, but when we turned to our devotional scripture for that night, I immediately experienced the hit over the head.

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ {or when will we get this house clean, or how will we figure out how to remodel everything – my add} 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6

I’ve read that a million times. And it hits me harder sometimes more than others. But God always has a way of bringing this passage up in my life right when things get uncertain, change is approaching, stressors push towards us, or my worrying-self starts to overtake my trusting-self. He’s good like that.

{I took this pic driving on a Friday night this month…this path leads to the dog park. It can’t help but think peace when I look at it.}

I still feel stress tighten my chest, making me want to put my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands, but I’ll keep reminding myself to “look at the birds of the air.” It’s just a house. That’s it & nothing more. So I’m going to enjoy time with my friends who are generously helping us, laugh at the silly comments that come from my husband’s exhaustion, praise that we’ve been blessed with enough money to buy a house & the paint to make it pretty, and relish this time in our lives as we work to create our home together. {Somebody please remind me of this a few weeks from now when I’m pulling out my hair! ;)}

Oh, and I have this song stuck in my head.

Pretty applicable, I’d say.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A to-do list from here to China.

Eugene & I are attempting to move this weekend. Our current condo’s not packed, the house isn’t clean {or even livable} yet, and we have a to-do list that stretches from here to China. There’s literally so much to do, I had to itemize it by room, and even then there’s more than 20 huge tasks per room!

We spent hours at the house last night trying to knock out some of the items. Eugene & I started to remove the existing old appliances, but only got halfway done. My amazing, generous, kind, beautiful, {did I say amazing?} Mom cleaned our disgusting bathroom for us. She worked her tail off for hours and while she has yet to touch the toilet & shower, it already looks much much better. {Thanks, Mom!} She’s seriously so stinkin’ good at cleaning. It’s her talent. {Not mine.}

Oh, and I should probably give you fair warning…I’m going to use this blog to document our house reno process for my sister who lives out of state & for my memories. So if home stuff’s not your thang, go ahead and remove me from your Google Reader – I don’t blame ya one bit! But, keep in mind that with these ugliness of the before pictures, the after pics have to be way better!

I’m going to work on celebrating the little things, so I’m going to celebrate even the small tasks we complete. :)

1. We pulled away the blanket of ivy that was attacking our house outside. This ivy was even making its way to the inside of our basement through the windows! YUCK!

IMG_8398  IMG_8399

2. We “planted” our pumpkin. {See my confession about this pumpkin here.} This seriously made me happy because I’ve been holding on to this darn rotting thing just so I can say that maybe we’ll grow some pumpkins at our own house next Fall!


3. We realized that replacing the mailbox needs to move to the top of the to-do list!


4. Eugene tried to figure out how to remove the cook top {with the help of the pup.}   


5. We got samples of roofing colors. I think I’m leaning towards the far right sample, but opinions are welcome…comment away! I definitely don’t like the brownish sample.

IMG_8418 IMG_8419

6. I cleaned the upper cabinets in the kitchen. Gotta love that faux red brick flooring with the red gingham check and apple border. Sheesh.


7. Speaking of the wallpaper. I couldn’t stare at it any longer and had to rip a chunk of it off. Consider this war, country apple and red check paper. And don’t worry, I will conquer. ;)


8. We ripped out the carpet in one of the bedrooms. Here’s a before pic...


9. And last, but probably most significant – I made a trash pile that included our demon friend. Ding dong, the duck is dead.


Although I have 707,420,734,298,573,947,055 more things to do still, I feel slightly better listing what we’ve accomplished {or at least started} so far. One thing at a time.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It’s a sign…and a done deal.

Last night, Eugene & I signed the papers to complete the closing on our first home. My parents called me earlier yesterday to wish me luck, and they both asked {in separate phone calls} if I was nervous. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous at all. Eugene & I have looked at houses for so many months, prayed for God’s will to be evident for so long, and performed due diligence in all the ways we know how – so when it came time to sign my name a million times & hand over a fat check, I was confident that this is what God has planned for us. He’s provided us the path this far, and we’re banking {literally, hah!} on the fact that He will continue to provide for each step in the future.

We are so thankful to have been blessed enough to even consider owning a home. And now we have our very own keys. :)


Oh, and I have to write about the sign I had that this house was “it.” This is going to sound ridiculous & super crazy, and it probably is, but I want to remember it, so I’m loggin’ it away on the good ol’ blog for safe keeping.

Okay, so we had been looking at houses for months and months. We’d even put an offer in on another house back in April only to have our offer surprisingly rejected. So we were about to the point of sheer frustration with the whole searching thing when I found our current house listed online. I called to schedule a time to meet our realtor at the house, and when I hung up the phone, all of the sudden I had this weird flash – call it a vision, I don’t know! I thought to myself that it would be really great if God showed us the house we’re supposed to pick by having a dove fly through it. I even pictured a white bird flying through an empty living room. INSANE! I have a real fear of birds, so it’s really strange that I would even want a bird flying in a house because that would scare the bajeebies out of me! Anyhow, even though I was extremely weirded out that I even thought that, I kept an open mind and actually believed it might happen at this house viewing.

{This picture below seriously freaks me out…I have a phobia, I’m telling you.}

image source

Fast forward a couple days to our meeting with our realtor at the house. As we parked our car, I told Eugene about my weird thought/image & we laughed at it. Not two seconds later, we walked up the sidewalk to the door & saw a dead pigeon {aka dove} on the ground next to the bushes.

No lie.

The white bird was there on the mulch, dead as a doornail & definitely creepy looking. It’s safe to say that God has a sense of humor! He showed us our house using a dead bird, and even spared me the terror of a dove flying around the inside of the house. {Thanks, God!}

Oh, and now that I think about it, there’s also this creepy-as-all-get-out white bird/duck head hanging in the kitchen by the sink…


Who in their right mind would put this up in their kitchen!?!?! {Sorry, no offense to you if you have this possessed duck head hanging in yours.}

Ugly, strange, hideous? Yes.

Another sign from God? Probably not, but it sure gives a good laugh!

Now that we have the keys, it’s onto months of cleaning, demolishing, painting, & remodeling. Stay tuned for tons of before & after shots. :) Let the stress fun begin!


Monday, January 24, 2011

One handsome little man.

This weekend, Eugene & I cooked some brinner {breakfast for dinner} for our great friends who are now proud parents. We had a great visit together & I also got a chance to snap some more pics of their little man. This one is probably my favorite…


He’s so handsome!




The blue blanket below was made for him by his great grandma. :)





Gotta love those baby feet!


Still on cloud nine for our friends’ new blessing!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Baked cheese fondue in a bread bowl.

This is another fabulous recipe that I get tons of compliments on…especially from Eugene & his brother. I first had this dip at a fondue party with a small group of women from my church. I had to ask for the recipe & it’s become a favorite ever since! I usually make this fondue in a sourdough bread bowl & bake it inside the bread, but this time around I couldn’t find a good lookin’ bread bowl on sale, so I went the boring route and baked it in a Fiesta Ware dish. {Still tasted just as good though. :)}

I also made the dip the night before I needed it & baked it the day of…worked great.

Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl

1 round loaf of French sourdough bread
8 oz. cream cheese {usually the tub is easier to work with, rather than the bars}
12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
16 oz. sour cream
garlic powder


If you’re going the bread bowl route, cut out top of your bread and dig out the center, making into a bowl. {Use the center bread for dipping later.}

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your cream cheese and sour cream.


Add in your shredded cheese.


Sprinkle in garlic powder to taste.


Spoon it into your bread bowl and replace the top of the bread, or if you’re bypassing the bread bowl, just spoon it into your baking dish.


Wrap twice in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5-2 hours, or until completely warm and melted. The dip becomes really light and fluffy & has such great flavor.


Serve it hot with torn bread, crackers, or pretzels {or if you’re like Eugene, try it on your ham sandwich!}


On a different not, I just got word, our closing for our house is FINALLY scheduled! Monday evening, we’ll be done with the months & months of house searching & done with with negotiations, loan details, inspections, realtor communication, etc. Done! And, we’ll have the keys to our house {at last!}  Praise. The. Lord!


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