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Archive for the ‘Indoor projects’ Category

Making Room

I’m doing a lot of cleaning out lately.  (Not to be confused with “cleaning.” I don’t want to get G’s hopes up for nothing.)

Cleaning out rooms and moving out furniture. Keeping what’s most important and selling the rest.  Thinking about the future and what our house will look like in 2, 5, 10 years.

Cleaning out my life and streamlining everyday processes.  Making space in my schedule for the things that matter most.

And I’m cleaning out this blog.  Getting rid of spam and old links and crap that doesn’t belong.  I’m not sure if you heard, but the blog is moving.  This blog has grown a lot in three years, and it’s time for it to have a place of its own.

But more details about that soon…

Suffice it to say, cleaning things out feels really good.  Old furniture isn’t taking up so much space anymore.  I’m finding time to write–even if it is just a page a day–and flex my creative muscles. And I’m excited about the next stage of this blog, and how much I’ve come to love this little capsule of daily being.  It’s like an overeager soccer parent on the sidelines of life–sometimes a little pushy and a little needy, but most of the time, it’s there recording the best moments of life and lending an ear when halftime oranges taste more like lemons.

My favorite part about cleaning life out? It makes room for new treasures and unexpected experiences.

Speaking of “experiences”, we sold our beautiful iron bed last week on Craigslist. And our buyer was a lovely lady who just happened to bring…

…her cockatoo, Elvis.

Happy weekending. Clean something out today. You’ll love it, I promise.

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We’re nearing the end of crazy times and starting our season of downtime.  It’s been a sprint for almost a month now, and this was our very first weekend to unwind a little.  On Friday night, I stopped at the store to pick up a few things for a nice dinner in–prosecco and berries, steaks and veggies for the grill, and a Smith Island cake (Maryland’s official–and officially delicious–dessert).  Even Nellie recognized the need to take a break–she slept through dinner for the first time Ever.

But it seems I wasn’t the only one with something up my sleeve.  Despite already receiving a beautiful glass and metal wind chime from Nellie for Mother’s Day, G had been on the search for something ‘just right’, and dinner last night was accompanied by a little box.  He gave me the most gorgeous necklace of peridot (Nellie’s birth stone) and blue topaz (G’s birthstone).  I almost dressed up this morning just so I could wear it.

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This morning we struck out to Starbucks (obvi) and found a few yard sales along the way.  Nellie was the star of the show in her new yellow dress from Gwen.  She felt like a princess all day.

Yard sale season is so much fun around southern Maryland — there are always massive sales just off Rt 4 that beg us to pull over.  I’m looking for something specific right now for a summer project I’ve got in mind, and while I didn’t find that, I found something way more amazing: a beautiful, seafoam wooden cradle for Nellie that will replace her Rock N Play next to our bed.  Since we’re taking the RNP with us on our trip to Florida, I don’t plan to bring in the cradle until we get back, but she got to test it out this afternoon (sans mattress and sheet) in the shade of the plum tree while G made temporary space for it in the furniture showroom workshop.

When she had given the camera enough of her smiles, she tested the cradle out for a brief Nellie nap.

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It’s hardly even spring, except that suddenly it’s the end of April.  Maybe it was the lost month of March, or maybe it was the nonexistent winter…either way, the warmer weather and its inspiration is suddenly upon us.

Our annual spring project is still well underway, as our progress has been slowed down by my inability to contribute much (though my oversight and recent purchases are, I think, very important elements of this project’s eventual success).  When I think back to our other spring remodels–the nursery last year, the kitchen the year before, or even all the way back to the house exterior in 2008 (our first spring at this house)–they were projects that happened in short periods of time.  And by that I mean that we had only been in the house for six months when we launched into the work on the house; and the kitchen remodel and its concept actually came together quite quickly; and of course, the nursery project only began once we knew we were expecting.

This project, however, is different.  While the actual implementation might take only a couple of months (though, tell that to G who has nightmares about carrying stone in buckets), the conception of this project has been years long.  Since we moved into the house, I’ve looked down at the backyard and imagined its potential.  For five years now, I’ve eagerly anticipated the time when we might finally turn our attention to this yard and make it into an incredible space in which to spend time and live.  And so, with that kind of anticipation and build-up–plus the newfound giddiness over the various pieces that we’ve recently acquired to enhance this project beyond even my original thinking–it’s easy to understand why this project might be my very favorite ever.

And I swear that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m not doing the actual work.  (Like pushing Nellie back and forth on the deck in her bike and cheering Daddy on as he walks back and forth with supplies isn’t work.  Puhlease.)

But even though there is still work to be done, I love looking past this project and thinking about what this summer will be like.  Days at the beach under a big umbrella with a pile of toys.  Evenings in the garden, sitting in large comfy chairs around a fire.  Weekend brunch on the deck while Nellie plays in her pool.  Lazy days in the shade with the pups sleeping below Nellie’s feet as she swings in her pink swing.  Picnic baskets full of milk in sippy cups and lemonade in mason jars.  Strawberry slices in glasses of prosecco (and the rest in sticky fingers).

And maybe, just maybe, battery-operated twinkly lights on the deck.  Just to keep the fireflies company.

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Bathroom Renovation

At long last, G’s photo post of the bathroom remodel!

(Editor’s note: this post was written by a guest blogger whose growing indignation over the delay in posting these pictures was finally greater than his unwillingness to post them himself.)

(Editor’s note 2: the guest blogger blogged while the editor was enjoying the jacuzzi tub.  Well played, editor.)

Original:

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Demolition:

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Final Shots:

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G is going to take some lovely pics of the bathroom remodel, so those aren’t included here, but here are a few other things that have recently popped up around our house.

Much-needed new dog beds.  Lucy isn’t giving hers up.  Clearly, the other two don’t get it.

(Did you catch the edge of our sweet, ‘new’ country table in that last pic? It’s the perfect table for our empty spot.)

A new hodge podge dresser that was short enough to let me keep my wonderful bookshelf that G made from reclaimed barn wood.

A new red nightstand with my books queued up.  I’m reading The Tehran Initiative right now. Watergate is my newest, rounding out the stack.

It’s not the best week ever for the J’s or the K’s, so we’re thinking lots of happy thoughts and sending them to Florida and California today!

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Fit for a Nellie

The old iron queen bed is out; giant king awesomeness is in.

G put the new bed together the other night, and it is now — without a doubt — all of our bedroom the focal piece of our bedroom.  It’s gorgeous and impressive, made of distressed light green wood and, did I mention, massive?

Here are some pics.  Please excuse some of the messes, including bathroom remodel debris, the cluttered old dresser on its way out of the room, and the chubby dog.

Nellie likes it.  Here she is practicing sitting up on her own on the fancy new quilt.

But of course the one question that remains is, is it big enough for two adults and a Nellie?  Well, I think this picture answers that question.  I call it ‘Find the Starfish’.

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I’m pretty excited.  Despite the fact that we’re totally overloaded with bathroom remodels, the plague, old jobs and new jobs, and — yanno — a baby, we added just one other teeny tiny thing to our list.  New bedroom!  Maybe this was more my list than G’s list, per se, but despite the love I felt for our current bed — which is absolutely lovely and super comfy, I should add — it was time for the bed to go.  Now that we have a little person who prefers our bed to her bed at around 4am (and since that little creature sleeps in starfish formation), it became obvious we needed a bigger bed.  And since that same little person is currently residing in a cradle next to the bed (for ease of nighttime nursing), we also needed a lower bed.  I had been wanting a king bed for, ohh say, forever, and I am finally getting one.

It should be noted that, as G has pointed out several times, the king bed is basically the size of our bedroom.  But if a bedroom is not just one giant bed, I don’t really see the point.  It doesn’t help that the bed I picked out is on the ‘massive’ side of things, but I’m in love.  So trucky came into the city to go to work with us today, and by the time we get home, it will be loaded up with a new mattress, a new king bed, and a baby, of course, who doesn’t seem to mind riding in trucky.  In fact, she sang all the way to daycare this morning.

Since the only pictures we took last night are of the old bed which will either be sold or moved into the guest room (in which case that furniture will be sold — decisions, decisions), I offer instead a photo dump from my phone.  Here are some recent shots of Nellie and the pups around the house.  They’re admittedly a bit blurry, but I think they just embrace her constant motion and enthusiasm.  Can you tell she’s a happy baby?

And K reminded me it’s groundhog day today!  And 65 degrees in DC to boot.  What a weird, weird winter.

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