It’s that time of year when love abounds! Contrary to how I feel about the commercialization of many holidays, Valentine’s Day seems to be made for All The Stuff. We got an early start making ours (don’t peek if you’re a relative–Anja has made each one of these specifically for someone she loves).

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Sunday Sunshine 01.30.11

Kind of Life – Tara Whitney

One of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, released her new book recently, which shot to the top of Amazon’s Bestseller list!  I am ordering it pronto.  The video below (watch it even if you don’t plan to get the book or have never read her work–you will be blessed) gives a taste of her gift.

Randi’s Recipe Box Swap is back!  Soups and stews–perfect for winter!

The Current House

I realized, as I’ve been posting all these photos of The New House progress, I have been remiss in posting photos from the small renovation/room switcheroo we did at our current home last March! Egads.

And since the space will probably not receive enough attention to ever be considered “finished” before we move, you get it “as is.” 🙂

Here is Anja’s side of the room the kids share, which used to be an office/TV room.  The fabric hoop art has seen better days, unfortunately.  Anja regularly knocks them down, so they’re losing tension.  The bed was mine growing up (just freshened up with a coat of white spray paint).  More than one adult cannot sit on it or the side bows out and the mattress falls through.  We may have to get a new bed frame.

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I have been searching for the perfect (read: cute but not $35) toss pillow for Anja’s bed and scored this one at an occasional sale last weekend.

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Unfortunately, as I was taking those pictures, I heard my boy shuffling around behind me and turned to find THIS.

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Yep, he pushed almost an entire section of books out of the bookshelf. And since we have soooo many children’s books (a blessing, to be sure!), there are not one, but two sets of books in each cube. The side facing Anja’s bed has more of the “big kid” books.

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And Markus’s side has the board books.

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Here is the changing table area. That magazine rack thing we hung on the wall as a diaper-stacker is probably one of my best ideas ever. That’s pretty sad, I realize. 🙂

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Markus’s side of the room. The lovely bedding on the chair (pillow and quilt) were purchased when Anja was but a seedling in my belly (thanks, Mom!). Markus will use it as his crib set once he’s out of the wearable blanket phase. The chair was my grandparents’, and it has some “farmer sweat stains,” which I covered with some beautiful white hand-crocheted blankets. Fast, easy slip-cover, right?

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And, as is my life, Anja emptied half of the toy bin while I was photographing Markus’s side of the room.

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That’s about it for their room tour! Maybe one day I’ll get some photos of the current office/TV room, too. But no promises. Ha!

The Visual Things

An accompaniment to my recent post.  I snapped a few quick pics one night of things I’ll miss.

My boy riding his little “car” down the hallway, running it into this bench, then getting off and walking along the bench.

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My quirky fridge with all its artwork (though obviously I hope to keep my new fridge covered with it, too).

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My giant clock, since I can’t think of a single child-friendly place to hang it in the new house. I envision broken glass.

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Another photo here.  I feel kind of dumb for posting all these here, but since I’ve told y’all it acts as my virtual scrapbook, I hope you don’t mind.  🙂

House Progress (Again)

Not a lot has happened that is apparent to the naked eye since my last post about the new house.

The kitchen is still all taped up, waiting for more paint. The appliances have been moved because my father-in-law, bless his heart, is re-wiring most of the kitchen for us. Turns out there was some definite damage to the wiring in the kitchen – so much so that he can’t believe the house is still standing (should have burnt down). We are so grateful for all his work up in the attic, making it so we can turn on lights again without risk of fire! You can see the existing color on the wall below the cabinets (beige) and the color the walls will be (a muted green) on the panel above the cupboards. I’m liking it so far!


Husband and f-i-l also laid engineered wood floors in the master bedroom. Again, not completed, but you get the idea.


Our kind friend who has been helping with the drywall came back and finished up the mudding this past week, and Husband finished the sanding, so we should have walls that look more normal once they’re painted. Hooray!


The kids and I hung out at the house on Friday while we waited for this beauty to be delivered. I loooooove the new couch!


However, I am very glad we haven’t been able to paint the living room, because the color I have picked out (and two gallons of it purchased!), Wythe Blue (top center), looks awful with the couch! Back to square one with that! I still love Wythe Blue; it will just have to go in another room. Don’t want to waste all that expensive no-VOC paint!

Here’s a close-up of the couch cushion with Wythe Blue. The couch is coming across more gray in the photos than it is. The fabric is actually a very tight weave of light blue and taupe.


Here is the cushion with another sample we have painted. Can’t even remember what color it is (sad!), but I definitely like it better.


Sunday Sunshine 01.23.11

I’ve been to San Diego a few times, and been to places like Richard Walker’s for pancakes (yum!), but why oh why did I never hear of this place (first place mentioned in the post)?  I want every single one of those cupcakes.  Aaaaaand…I now want to go on “dessert tours” with friends.  Any takers?  I really don’t mean to wreck New Year’s resolutions/goals here, but I can’t. help. myself.

Katie made some fabulous Valentines…my mind motor is whirring with ideas.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Look at other people’s messes?  Yes, please!  As depressing as this might sound, it makes me feel so normal.


Things I Will Miss…

Even though we haven’t moved yet, I have started “missing” certain things about this home already.  We have lived here almost five years.  Both our kids were born while we lived in this house; it was their first home.

Some things I will miss:

  • The southern exposure.  Half of our windows here face the south.  We get tons of warm, beautiful sunshine streaming in, which sure makes winter more bearable.
  • The pool.  It has been really convenient to spend hot summer mornings there.  Only residents are allowed, and in the mornings it is almost always deserted.  So it was like having our own private pool.
  • The sewing corner.  Though I have used it quite infrequently, I love that it is surrounded by windows.
  • My ginormous kitchen.  The new kitchen is what I call a “one butt kitchen.”  No room for helpers, no room for an additional table where my kids can sit right nearby while I cook and clean up.  I will miss the giant pantry, the cupboard space that can fit virtually all my kitchen gear plus some decorating items, and an entire cupboard shelf dedicated to cookbooks.  My cupboard space will be slashed by about half, my counter much smaller, and I will have to walk into the dining area to feed the kids.
  • My appliances.  Our washer/dryer were the first appliance purchase we’ve ever made, and we’ve had them since we lived in our second apartment in Fargo.  I am so used to how they operate, and though I know we will get used to the new ones, too, it will take some adjusting.  Also, our kitchen appliances have their quirks (the icemaker that shoots ice all over the floor, the dishwasher that has been fixed with duct tape numerous times, the oven that is perpetually crooked due to funny “feet”), but again, we’ve grown accustomed to their idiosyncrasies.
  • The layout.  While sometimes I loathe having to go all the way down a long hall to get to the kids’ room or the office, there is something to be said for privacy.  Along with that…
  • The master bath and walk-in closet.  The master suite here is ginormous.  In fact, I kind of feel that we are giving up a lot of modern luxuries simply for the convenience of a family room and a little extra storage.  Hopefully it’s worth the trade-off!
  • The warmth.  Though our entry is always cold, the upstairs is toasty most of the time, with the exception of the kids’ room, which is over the garage.  I’ve spent a cold afternoon or two at the new house, and when it’s set at the same temperature it feels much cooler than here.  I guess the ’70s wall construction and insulation isn’t quite as good as this decade’s.  Hm.

Now don’t worry–I’m not such a sourpuss that I’m only going to post things I’ll miss.  Next week: things I’m looking forward to in the new house!