Sneak Peek

Hello everyone! Things have been moving right along on the almost-new-home front. We’ve done our inspection, gotten our appraisal, had a check of termites and radon and we also had 3 different heating and air companies come and give us quotes for the installation of a central heating and air system. Whew!

We are 3 weeks (to the day) away from closing and at the risk of jinxing us, I wanted to show you a sneak peek of our almost house because I am so dang excited! Please keep in mind that we are going to repaint every single surface in the house (including the kitchen cabinets), but you’ll get a general idea of what we’re working with.

Here are my parents and mother-in-law checking out the back deck.


The view from the backyard.


Another view from the back deck. Isn’t it lovely? Oh and we clearly have A LOT of raking to do!


Here is a view of the dining room (with the kitchen on the left). The ceiling fan in new and the radiator will be removed when the central heating and air is installed.


Here is the master bathroom. Um, are those lights hung upside down??


Here is view #1 of the kitchen – we already have a stainless steel range and dishwasher, so the appliances will be upgraded instantly.

Kitchen, angle 1

I’m completely in love with all of the natural light in the kitchen. So warm and lovely. I’m also thinking of painting the fridge with chalkboard paint so that it blends better with the stainless steel range and dishwasher that we’ll be installing. I don’t want to replace it just yet because I love the freezer on the bottom design and it’s a Maytag, so it could potentially last a long time yet.


This is the upstairs great room – AKA the entrance to the master suite. We’re going to turn it into a family room with the big screen TV and a daybed that will serve as a guest bed when we have company.


This is one of the kids’ rooms (I can’t remember whose). There are hardwood floors under that grody carpet so we’ll be refinishing those floors to match the dark wood that’s in the rest of the house.



house_downstairs bedroom

This is another angle of the master suite great room. I think we’re going to put a pub top table right in front of that window and treat it like our own little adults-only bar. Another alternative is to turn it into a home office, but I’m leaning against that idea because I’m trying to work less at home if at all possible. More play, less work – my 2013 motto.




So those are just a few photos with lots more to come as we near the closing date. I’m thinking of going with a dove grey on all of the walls and highlighting each room with a different accent color (lime green, turquoise, hot pink, sunny yellow). We’ll see if that’s what I’m still feeling once I get some sample colors, but suffice it to say that I CANNOT WAIT to finally be able to change my surroundings again. The Irishman swears that I’m only buying a house to paint the walls and he’s only half wrong. For me, it’s so important that a house feels like a home and I can’t wait to give the kids a fun, cozy and stable place to grow up.

Three cheers for new beginnings!



Sir Parker, The Birthday Boy (And Some Crazy Talk)

Lordy, have things been crazy around here. I know, I know – I say that all the time, but seriously, I think we just ramped it up to warp speed busyness. In the last 3 weeks, Parker turned 6, we made an offer on a house (yipee!) and I jetted to Chicago for 5 days – did I mention that we’ve had company staying with us since before Halloween? I’ll fill you all in on the new house stuff shortly – we’ve been getting estimates, inspections, retaining real estate attorneys and filling out loan paperwork – but I wanted to make sure that I recognized my big boy’s birthday…one week late. I’m definitely not winning the mom of the year award at this rate, but better late than never, right?

It’s crazy to think that my sweet Parker is 6 whole years old. He is the most lovable and honest person on the planet and I lucked out big time by getting to be his mom. Since we went all out for his birthday last year (I still have nightmares about sewing Jedi cloaks well into the wee hours of the night), we decided to keep things low key this time. And store bought. Definitely store bought.

Parker doing his best knight face.

Parker found a shield and breastplate that he liked so we decided to pick some up for his handful of buddies that came to the party. I was leaving for Chicago the following day, so we kept it small and intimate. The key here was lots of fun and no stress.

Parker decorated his cake with some dragons (for slaying, naturally) and he picked out the big “6” candle. We got a platter of chicken fingers from Zaxby’s and a couple of fruit and veggie trays for munching. I wasn’t kidding when I said low key. While it was fun to see the kiddos digging into the cake, I must say that watching Parker open presents was outright delightful. Check out his glee!

A remote control Monster Truck?! No way!!
Skylanders GIANTS!?! It’s what I wished for!

After the material love fest, the kids ran around like maniacs at the park. In fact, we picked an outdoorsy location so that they could burn off the sugar high from the cake. Parker decided that some gymnastics were in order.

Of course, Lexi had to follow suit. We are still very much in the “monkey see, monkey do” phase of events around here.

It was a windy day, so the parents not-so-patiently waited for the kids to run out of steam before we called it a day. I must say, it was nice not having anything to clean up or put away. Please remind me of this fact the next time I start talking crazy talk about throwing an involved and homemade party. Thank you in advance for saving me from myself.

Now that the party is behind us and our house buying shenanigans are in full swing, we’re really looking forward to hosting my family for Thanksgiving. My parents will be here, as will my brother and his fiance and my cousin and his wife. For us, Thanksgiving is all about family, football and festive cocktails. And by festive cocktails, I mean beer, wine and tequila straight from the bottle. Ah, memories in the making.





Halloween in the mountains is an entirely different experience than what I grew up with. Instead of trick or treating from house to house, here you attend “trunk or treat” events where you go from car to car or room to room (in a church or other building). This is a topographical necessity since it’s not possible for kids to hoof it from one property to the next when houses are often miles apart and on pitch-black, steep roads.

This year, Lexi was big enough to go trick or treating herself…or – like the picture above shows – to help herself to candy (which she won’t get to eat). Don’t tell anyone, but I just recycled her costume from last year. You see, she is such a peanut that the 6-12 month costume still fit her just fine.

And Parker was a phoenix for Halloween. Naturally, he picked a costume that needed to be handmade. After the Jedi cloak fiasco of 2011, I panicked and did what any rational person would do – I called my mommy to help me. She pulled together his phoenix wings and his hat in under a week and shipped it up to us. Parker couldn’t be happier with the results.

Trick or treating in our neighborhood church…it was cooold outside!

The other neat thing about the community events is that they have kid-friendly activities like bounce houses…


And face painting…

Lexi, who wants to do everything her brother does, hopped up on the chair in spite of her reticence towards strangers. I think that the expression on her face is priceless!

“Why did I let this person touch me?”

All in all, it was a successful Halloween. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I’ll be able to squeeze Lexi in her costume for a third year in a row, so I’m thinking that I may just start shopping for her costume now (during the after-Halloween sales) to save myself from having to scramble to get it at the last minute next year.