Thursday, November 21, 2013

Anatomy of a Kitchen Remodel

We've never liked the kitchen in our house in Colorado. There wasn't anything really all that wrong with it. It was pretty neutral and had decent space, but we got spoiled by having a very efficient kitchen in our last rental house before we moved here. We had fun things, like tall cabinets, full opening drawers, and slide out shelves, and also a hood over our range that actually vented outside. It was a small kitchen in a small house, but it held a lot!

After many years of saving up, we finally bit the bullet this fall and had our kitchen redone. The footprint is the same, but everything is new.

Here's what our kitchen looked like in the beginning. Note the oak cabinets, early '90's light box, and the huge space between the tops of cabinets and the ceiling (why?). Not only did those spaces attract a lot of dust, but since the hood only recirculated the steam from what we were cooking and put it back in the house instead of outside (again - why?), anything in those spaces got nasty, greasy, sticky!

This is what our kitchen looked like the next day.

Here's the garage. As of just a few days ago, we are parking both cars in the garage again (just in time for a day with snow and a high of 19 F!).

Look! Cabinets!

This is what the kitchen looked like from the living room. A big room swathed in plastic.

This is how they template for the counter top - with large plastic sheets and a glue gun. Then the template gets folded away and the counter top is made.

Every day there were men in my house. Sometimes just one - sometimes four or five. These are the electricians putting in our under cabinet lighting. This took hours! Other things that took hours and hours and hours - tiling, re-texturizing the ceiling, plumbing for gas, installing the toe kick lining (the toe kick is the indentation at the bottom of the cabinets that provides a place to put your feet so you can get closer to the counter tops without losing your balance).

But, finally, ta-da! We have a new kitchen! Isn't it lovely! I love the new goose neck faucet. It makes washing and rinsing large items much easier! I love our big drawers, the lazy susan cabinet in the corner, the new fan we had installed over the dining room table, and how quietly everything closes. We now have a gas stove, and each week we burn less. Our new dishwasher is so quiet that I frequently don't even know it's running!

 We now have a lovely tile back splash. The subway tiles are off white, and the glass tiles are fall colors. Oddly enough, we keep looking around the house and finding other items that we have owned for years that match our new kitchen. Colors of shelves, finishes on lamps, candle holders. It's funny how our tastes haven't changed much over the years!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Things We've Been Up To

My specialty - the "catch-up" blog post. The one that brings you up to speed with all that we've done in the last few months. Here are a few things that you may have missed:

1) We got fish.
On the last day of the kids Wednesday night program at church they gave them little fishes in small glass bowls. Extremely bad idea. Who came up with this? We brought them home and promised to get a tank the next day after school. Here are the kids Thursday morning. Aren't they happy?

We had a fish funeral Thursday afternoon. Yes, he's probably crying. The second fish funeral was later in the day, before we ever got a chance to get the pet store. Less than 24 hours after getting fish in the first place.

That weekend we went to the pet store, spent a lot of money, and got several fish. We've hit the last few weeks of summer and, amazingly, they're still alive! One was suicidal and jumped out of the bowl when I was cleaning the tank. None of us saw it the second time he did it. Now we have one less fish.

2) Brandon played baseball again. He had a really good team, and had a wonderful time.

He noticed I was taking pictures:

3) We went to Disneyland. As you can imagine, zero fun was had by everyone! (On a shallow side note, though, we need to stop doing vacations immediately after school gets out. The post-vacation exhaustion sets a tone for the first half of the summer, and I don't like it).

4) We got kittens!
They're much bigger now.

The kittens love staring at the fish!

5) My parents came for a couple of weeks. 

During their visit, Brian and I got away, kid-free, for a few days. We did crazy things, like drive for 6 hours (to Santa Fe) with no whining, ate dinner at interesting restaurants, visited an old church, art museums, and a pueblo. Fun!

6) And, then, on August 22nd, school started. I now have a 5th and 2nd grader.  How did that happen? The kids weren't all that excited about getting up early, but they enjoyed their first day and have general enjoyed school since starting.

Hanging with her bestie before the bell rang.

Coming up:

I open a new photo site online. My old one is getting too crowded and full.

Brandon will have a birthday and be in the double digits!

We will have our kitchen remodeled. I will also slowly go crazy while attempting to cook without a kitchen. Going out every night is just not feasible with our family.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


It finally happened. The nightmare I had before getting contacts at the age of 14 has now come true - my contact moved around and got stuck somewhere else in my eye other than my iris (where it normally resides). I had to do some odd maneuvers with my eye to get the little bugger back to where it was suppose to be. Not fun! Thanks, way to dry (and currently way to hot) Colorado weather. It's amazing how the lack of any moisture here can get to you.

I know you all expected something a little more moving for my first foray back into the blogging world, like what I did over the summer, or the kids first day back to school but this is it.

I go back and forth with whether or not I should continue blogging. My life isn't particularly interesting, nor is my writing witty or wonderful. I wonder if my kids, especially the oldest, won't appreciate his stories being told here. I wonder if I am as depressing of a person as people have called me after reading my blog (just trying to be real with how I feel, and being real doesn't always mean being pretty or positive). I'm still mulling all this in the back of my head. No conclusions yet. I'm just hoping we can get some rain, or at least some more moisture-laden air here so I don't have to go searching for my contact once again!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Are the Odds?

I thought that the credit card receipt that fell out of the cabinetry catalogue this evening was mine. I couldn't figure out what I had bought. Then I noticed the date - 6/25/2002 - and the address of a local art center here in Colorado.  6/25/2002 - I'm pretty sure I was packing for a trip to Honduras to help build a church. I was married, but had no children. I didn't even get pregnant with Brandon until the end of that year. I had no idea we'd ever be living in Colorado back then.  What are the odds that a credit card receipt with the exact same last 4 numbers as my current credit card would be in my hands almost 11 years later?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Put Caitlin in the bathtub with a washrag and a couple of toys and she'll invent stories of squids, kings, fairy godmothers, and marriages. She never wants to get out! But, in the absence of water, the kid can't entertain herself for more than 2 minutes, max.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Whole World

I was called into the bathroom this evening to see this. Not only had he found a way to blow a big bubble, but he held it out to me while singing "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands." Melts my heart!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Least Religious

Saw this in today's paper:

New Gallup Poll-Boulder One of the Least Religious Cities

I could have told you that a long time ago. It says something when I'm surprised to see a local family at church. There is a lot of worship going on here, though. I quickly realize that the locals here worship the body.  I'm so tired of the cult of the body! There is so much emphasis on exercise and eating right (and trust me, no matter what you do or what you eat, you're never exercising enough or eating right!), and not eating certain things. While I don't think that being healthy is bad, it's odd to feel excluded because you don't jog and have no plans on running a marathon for fun.

Oddly enough, even though many people here are so into the health of their body, so few are into actually looking good. With all the emphasis on being outdoors, exercising, cycling, running marathons, skiing, etc., people here tend to look a lot older at younger ages than I'm use to. Between that and no attention to fashion (and were not talkin' haute couture), it's an odd mixture. Here's proof, and not in my words:

Worst Dressed Cities in America

and again