Monday, December 19, 2016

Our Own Little Elf

Not only is Grace into receiving presents this year, but she also got caught red handed yesterday "wrapping presents".  I was out of town and Rick put her down for what he thought was a nap.

After a period of time, he went upstairs and realized that Grace was freely roaming the place.  He asked Grace what she was up to and she said, "wrapping presents..."

Little gal found my closet stash of all of the presents.  At this point in the season, most presents are wrapped.  She pulled out about six different small presents, unrolled all of the wrapping paper, had a field day with the scotch tape and ribbon, and tried to take the large rolls and wrap them around the smaller presents.
When I got home last night and saw the level to which she had helped herself, I couldn't help but laugh.

However, this morning I found one more piece of evidence: I didn't wrap a red reindeer lovey because I plan to put it at the top of Grace's stocking unwrapped so that it sticks out.  When I was making her bed this morning, what did I find? A red reindeer lovey in her bed chilling out with the other loveys.

That girl...

-Bethany

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Sites and Smells of Christmas...

We are in full-Christmas mode around here.
Last year, our old house was on the market and we were guided to keep Christmas decorating to a minimum.  I quickly learned last year that Christmas decorating makes me very happy and was a little sad about the scaled-down version.  Not this year.  Samantha is visiting us for the month and thinks I am a little crazy with the efforts of real garland and real wreaths and all of the extra decor.  But, whatever.  We are making family memories and embracing the season head-on.

"Happy Holla Dayz"

One of my favorite childhood memories is celebrating Advent Sundays with a little Christmas story, lighting of the candles, and exchanging of small presents.  
Grace is getting into the present idea this year! When I asked her to whom she wanted to give a present, she kept saying, "Grace!" (We'll keep working on her...)
The season is so fun with many activities and parties...one of our neighbors had the kids over for "Reindeer Games".  We cracked up over the activity below.  Genius and I was sad to learn we had to unwrap the kids when it was over.
Christmas cookie baking with family:
As you can see by Grace's face, she was a tad more into the eating of the cookie, than the decorating of the cookie...
Meanwhile, Palmer is still learning about his sprinkle to cookie ratios...
 Nana reading at Palmer's school:
One week left in this wonderful season of fun...

-Bethany



Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Toy Soldier

Followers of this blog may recall when Palmer fearlessly embraced the stage at his school's fall festival.

So, when Palmer came home with a flyer advertising the local high school's holiday production and their need for K-5 participants in the show, I asked Palmer if he wanted to participate.  Palmer's response was ecstatic about the possibility of a real stage, real costumes, and a real audience.

I quickly signed him up and committed the family to 6 weeks of rehearsals in preparation for the high school show.
video
video
I didn't read the fine print...the show was the Nutcracker and I signed my son up for a ballet.

Nevertheless, Palmer never seemed to notice that he was the only little boy in practice and took his new roles as the lead toy soldier and a gingerbread man very seriously.  Rarely have I seen him work so hard or be so proud of his parts in the show.
Palmer was beyond thrilled that so many family members, friends, and even his kindergarten teacher attended his show.
Right before the show, the kids had one last rehearsal on the stage.  Word on the street is that Palmer danced his heart out, came offstage and said, "Wow. That was so fun!"  He had to be informed that the previous run WASN'T the actual show.  He still had one more go-round.  ha

Incredibly determined and in character, Palmer's soldier role stole the show (no bias here).
If you want to see more...
video
After the show, Palmer handed out autographs like a boss and received a bag of skittles and a performance t-shirt in lieu of a flower bouquet.
A star is born...

-Bethany






Thursday, December 1, 2016

Our Fixer Upper, Before and After Part 4

Cross another one off of our list! We've finished one more (big) project as we transform this house from seventies rad to a more contemporary form of radness...

The master bathroom has been redone.  And for those of you who favor potential mildew, I'm sorry to say, we pulled the carpet (and virtually everything else) out of the bathroom.
Check out this amazing retro wallpaper we found during demo.
We said good bye to the sunken tub, which was beloved by the previous owners and completely hip and fashion-forward back in its day...
The kids prefer to refer to that tub as their slide...
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Don't mind the mess...
I was all over the place on tile/slab selection because I wanted materials that were gray, but also had warmth that incorporated the wood elements in the bathroom.  The overall goal was to take out a lot of the wood and brown elements out of the space, but still embrace the existing wooden beams and architecture and make the home great shine again.
PS I LOVE going to stone/slab yards.  I will go with anybody who asks me, so let me know if you need a field trip.  The natural stones are just so gorgeous.

I went with a silver vein travertine slab and tile.

When the tile arrived, my objective was to line up the veining on the stone pieces.  It was a tad overwhelming because there was a drastic variation in color and veining between each piece.  But after laying out a random sampling on the garage floor, I realized it was time to dig in and start sorting the hundreds of (heavy) pieces into categories.  This patchwork effect just wasn't going to cut it...
My tile installer might have wanted to kill me in the process because I literally numbered and handed over every single piece of tile.  But...I would say the effort was worth it for the result.  I love the ombre effect of the shower wall where it goes from dark on the bottom to light at the top.  And I love the natural horizontal lines that we were able to find.  It was one giant puzzle (and super fun). Shout out to those friends who stopped by and made method out of my puzzle madness during that week.
 
Okay, time for some before and afters...

BEFORE: Rick's vanity area.
AFTER:
I love how we were able to keep the wooden elements, but take down the heavy wooden vanity and large vertical wooden panels and replace them with lighter pops of white.
 BEFORE: shower and tub
AFTER:
The kids think the new tub is just too much fun.  (Honestly, so do I!)
BEFORE: closet and my vanity
AFTER:
We also painted and added new carpet and light fixtures to the closet. 
BEFORE: my vanity
AFTER:
This was such a fun project...and makes me ready to tackle a kitchen soon.

Other house updates here, here, and here.

-Bethany
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