Sunday, September 14, 2014

Update on Remodel....End in Sight!

The rest of the siding was put on the front entryway, the front columns were decked out with cedar, and the service door was repainted finally after 3 years!!!  It's amazing how all these little things start to come together to really finish up the project.  My screen door was also installed so we now we get more light in the entryway.  I love the screen door.  It has an internal screen so no more changing out screens or removing glass to clean both sides!!!!  With one quick motion I just pull down the top glass and the screen is right there.  If I don't want the screen, I just push the top glass up and it retracts into the top frame of the door.  AWESOME!!!

I also took out my spirea bushes in front and started working on re-landscaping west of the sidewalk.  I scored sod off Craig's List last Saturday so Paul and I had a date night to pick that up.  I just have to make a little list of the things I've purchased from Craig's List for this remodel.....

  1. Ceramic Floor Tile....a guy had the amount we needed left over from his cabin project so I picked it up for more than 1/2 off retail
  2. Refrigerator....a french door Maytag bought from a retired couple that was downsizing
  3. Stackable Washer & Dryer....bought from a guy who was upgrading his set
  4. Landscape Plants....bought from 3 different people who were thinning out their gardens
  5. Patio set
  6. Sitting Bench....this guy repainted the iron and removed and restained the slats for the's beautiful!
  7. Padded bench for entryway....guy was selling it for his daughter.  It really jazzes up the entryway and gives people a place to sit while putting on or taking off shoes.
  8. Sod....a landscaper had 42 rolls left over from a project.  I picked it up for 50% off retail, and it's just what we needed for the front yard.
I think that's everything.  I'll go back and add things if I remember them!

I also purchased corbels for the decorative piece at the peak of the garage.  I decided to have the builder put 2 corbels at the entryway to match the ones over the garage.  I bought these from Architectural Depot through Amazon.  We went with this type of corbel:

I decided to stain the corbels and the trim around the columns with a cedar stain.  Here's the stain I chose:

The stain color I went with is Cinnamon.

I've also been having lot of fun with the fam....State Fair, Back to School, and a photo shoot.

Jane & Nick posing for a picture at Little Farm Hands.

First Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade
I was also contacted by a gal who writes for our local Catholic paper and a few other national publications.  I made cookies for her daughter's baptism probably 3 years ago.  She's doing a piece on Catholic artists for a publication from Couple to Couple League.  I had to fill out a questionnaire and submit photos of my cookies and my self.  Maria received the prestigious title of "family photographer" so she was given the task of photographing me.  I sent the following pic to Christina, and the article will be published in November for their December issue!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lotsa Gardening

We asked for an estimate from a landscaper because the mess left after the bobcat seemed too overwhelming at the time.  However, the estimate came back way over budget.  So I decided to take on the project with the kids.  Paul & I did most of the work, but the kids did help with inside jobs....laundry, cleaning, meals, baby duty, and childcare.  I like the agreements we can come to in order to get a job done.

The space for the front flower bed is 17.5'x7.5'.  That's a lot of square footage!  We removed 5 inches of clay and rock from that bed.

I had a truckload of black dirt delivered from D that place!  After we loaded the flower bed with enough dirt for planting, we worked on grading it.  Paul and I then went back to D Rock for stepping stones and mulch.  I also met with a friend to plan out my garden.  She gave me tips and suggestions on plants and placement.

Paul and I chose rough cut Flagstone for the stone path.

We used gravel trap to set the stones in the dirt.  Then we put poly barrier down to keep the weeds out of the garden.

These are the plants I decided to use:  hostas, peach daylilies, a transplanted hydrangea, lamium, salvia, perennial geraniums, black eyed susans, white daisies, blanket & coneflowers, karl foerster grass, cat mint, ajuga, coreopsis, moss rose, purple vinca, and anise hyssop.  All of these except the hydrangea came from Craig's List from people who were splitting off plants.  It cost way less than a garden center!

We decided on red cedar for the mulch.  I love the look of the red background with the green foliage.

And here's the finished product in the daytime.  We picked up the patio chairs and side table from Craig's List for $20.  I tossed the cushions they came with and decided to use my own.

Now we have to tackle the sidewalk edge.  Unfortunately, I got mastitis yesterday and still felt like crap today.  I spent most of the afternoon in bed and am taking an antibiotic for the infection.  The baby is still nursing like a champ, but boy does it hurt!  I tried to do some digging on the trench for the edging but I didn't get very far.  My legs were so sore, and with a fever you just can't do much.

Next, we have to remove these bushes.  I had an azalea planted between two of them, but I removed it and it's now sitting in a bucket waiting for a miracle to happen.

This dirt pile also has to be removed, the new border made, and shrubs/plants need to be planted.  I'm going to plant spirea and sedum with various ground covers on the edges.  Then we need to reseed the lawn.  The new border will only be 4' from the sidewalk which will give the kids more grass in the front yard.  I also need to do a bit of grading so the lawn is more level.  Like I said....Lotsa gardening!!

It's been a fun and busy summer, but it's coming to a close.  We'll be going to the fair on Friday and continue working on various projects....painting, gardening, landscaping, and moving in....over the weekend.  School starts back up on Tuesday, but everyone's ready for it!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Remodel Update!!!

I'm still trying to work out how to go from posting updates on Facebook with the pictures taken from my phone to posting updates here on my blog.  If I take pictures with my camera, it takes a bit longer to download and edit them.  Taking pics from my phone and immediately uploading them to FB is SO much easier.

I'm all about the quick fix around here so this is as good as I can do....a link to my remodel album on Facebook.  I'm told you don't need a FB account to view the pics.  So here's the link:

Remodel 2014

I also have a second album where I posted updates after Monica painted the entryway and mudroom.  Here's the link for that so you see the colors.  We used James River Gray in the entryway...

And we used Rockport Gray in the mudroom....

Here's the link to the second album I have posted on Facebook....

Thankfully, our siding came in this week so the workers have been putting it up, and it looks great!!!

side of the garage and entry door to garage....We have to put a second coat of paint on that door!

See all that landscaping that needs to be done?....ugh!

The 2 sides of the entryway were finished with siding yesterday.  The color is a perfect match!!!

This is the other side of the garage which was finished today.  The light fixtures on the garage and
entryway have a photo cell so they come on automatically when the sun goes down!  Too cool! More landscaping goes on this side of the house, too....ugh.
Well there you have it.  I'm so excited about the changes.  Yesterday we moved the refrigerator into the mudroom, and today the plumbers were connecting the water and venting to the washer and dryer that will be in the mudroom, too.  I'm also working on the plans for the storage unit with the cabinet maker.  I can't wait until it's all completed, but I have to be patient!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


It seems like summer has just flown by because there are only a few weeks left till school!  Yet, we try and savor every last bit of it by enjoying the Fourth of July, playing with the dog, finishing construction, and landscaping (yes, we decided that with all these big helpers around, who needs a landscaper?!)  So here's a little of what we've been up to.....

Jane posing for her picture at Central Park in St. Anthony 

Grandma Tina and Grandma Carol with Elizabeth

Elizabeth smiling in her sleep

Jane and Nick playing with the dog in the front yard.

We'll post more pics of the remodel and landscaping later.  For now, we're having technical difficulties getting the photos off the iPhone.:(

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I Have Extremely Limited Time....

but I was able to put together a photo book of Texas Grandma's time here with us.  She stayed for a month!  That was such a gift to all of us, especially me and Elizabeth.  A lot has happened here in the way of our growing baby and the house remodel.  We're almost ready to move into the spaces!!!  More pictures will come in another post.

Anyway, I'm going to try to embed the code for the photo book here so you all can have a little look-see....I hope it works!

Turn your favorite photos into a photo book at

Monday, June 16, 2014

She's Here!!!

Elizabeth Marina Ruth
8lb. 7 oz. 21 1/2"
6/9/14 at 5:57am

She was resting with me in my hospital bed.  I loved snuggling with her while I was there.
Jane, Lucas & Elizabeth getting comfy on the couch

She's getting nicely filled out because she's a great nurser.  She's also a very mellow baby.

I'm also enjoying the time with my Mom.  She's here for a while.
I feel so badly not having blogged about little EMR until now.  Well, we've been otherwise occupied with nursing, healing, visiting, and keeping up with the remodel.  I need to take pictures of all that's going on.  Tomorrow is a big demolition day for the front entryway.  If I'm not a prisoner in my own home, I may get out to take pictures of the progress.  I'll just say it's big and it's awesome!!!!

Oh, Yeah!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Birthday & Wedding Day

After another false labor alarm on Thursday, I needed a change of pace.  I was whooped yesterday with no real appetite and a lot of discomfort.  However, we needed to celebrate & had two good reasons to do so....Molly's birthday & Jen J.'s Wedding Day!  Jen's parents are Molly's godparents, the mother is Paul's cousin, and Jen also tutored Monica for Math last year so we were super excited to attend the wedding.  I honestly didn't think I would go, but after a shower and a cat nap, I felt psyched enough to get ready.  Here are a few pics...not so good, but the people in them are the beauties in my life that keep me going everyday!

Molly's Godparents & Parents of the Bride

The Bride & Her Parents

Fuzzy Photo but I love Jane's toothless grin & pose!

My 3 Oldest Beauties at the Reception
Molly's Godmother even included a cute flag on the chocolate cake in the photo above to honor Molly on her special day.  There was a gift bag waiting at her table as well.  A baby gift was also waiting at our table in sweet anticipation!  We were all so touched by their thoughtfulness.

I also took a few photos of what's blooming in the yard.  I always love all the color that we get in spring here in Minnesota.  I literally spoke out loud in the car, "I love my neighborhood!"  It is very gorgeous with color around the lake and in the yards.


It makes things definitely bearable when waiting for baby seems unbearable.  There is so much anticipation centered around this birth from parish members, friends, family, soccer coaches, neighbors, the kids....everyone wants to see this little girl!  It's incredible how much love and eagerness is surrounding this pregnancy.  It makes my heart jump and the tears flow when I think of getting one day closer to holding this little one and seeing that sweet little face!

I also have more AMAZING pictures to show of the remodel, but I haven't taken them yet.  It's incredible how far the workers have come, but that's for another post!

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