Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Making a house a home

I am getting down to the last of the boxes that need to be unpacked. (Well aside from a crapload of toys and the sewing room. Let's not talk about the sewing room.)

Inside those boxes are the things that will make our house into our home - the accessories. The pictures, the pottery, the wreaths, the frames.
So, at 8 am this morning I started laying out the platters I have been collecting for YEARS...dreaming of a platter wall...
while Jack discovered the joy of 3-D!
And Dave patiently helped me hang all of them up. (It's snowing and the new house is very white. The camera is washing out in here.)
Is it wrong that I am secretly pleased that there is some room for the collection to grow still? :-)
While we were working I happened to notice that we have entered the stage where the messes are beautiful messes. Tarnished silver, old picture frames, glass lamps, pretty china, wilting roses.

I better go finish the kitchen unpacking. I know some of you are asking about the kitchen, and I swear I am going to answer those questions very soon. Yesterday we FINALLY finished all of the work that we had carpenters in here doing, which included the kitchen back splash. (So today is the beginning of life without renovations, which is massively exciting.)

P.S. One last thing before I forget. The burning question from family seems to be "Is it weird?"

The short answer is no. I really thought it would be. I REALLY did. But aside from having the same address this does not feel like my grandparents home. At all. Almost 4 solid months of renovations plus nearly a month of us emptying the house before the reno started and no, it's not their house now.

Maybe the people it really is weird for is our family.

Yes, I imagine it must be.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Swap is full!

Hello everyone! I think perhaps the Olive Garden tried to kill me today, but I did want to let you know the swap is full and you will receive an informational email tomorrow. If you do not see an email from me by 9 pm CST, and you think you are signed up, please let me know.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heart to heart swap

I really do feel like I missed out on Christmas this year. And since Target already has their Valentine stuff out, I am desperately dreaming of Valentine's Day already.


I know I am. :-)

So, let's start the sign ups for the fourth (wow, time flies!) annual Heart to Heart swap.

First let's revisit some of the awesome Valentines we got last year.
I know! Come on, how wonderful were these?
The cuteness is already killing you isn't it?
You know you really wanted one of these last year!
Or these?
Oh man, too good.

They were all too good.

The details:
I will accept up to 14 participants. Sign ups will close on Jan 4th, the Monday after the holidays. This isn't a secret club. You don't need to be a blogger, be friends with a blogger, live next door to a blogger, have picked the nose of a blogger (heh), have participated before, show your i.d., be willing to sell your children, etc. I only ask that you are willing to commit in order to join.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make 14 Valentines and have them in the mail by Feb 1. (Sooner if you are an international participant.) You can make whatever kind of Valentine makes you happy. Use fabric, paper, buttons, clothes pins, paint, felt, etc. I made spool dolls last year and you can see we had picture frames, cones and on and on. I generally will find packaging that can accomodate them as long as they aren't HUGE! :-)

Please enclose $2 to help cover the return postage.

I will mail you a lovely little handmade Valentine package containing one Valentine from each of the participants. When everything goes as planned that means you get 14Valentines.

PLEASE PLEASE remember that other participants are busy making a Valentine for you and there really is no room for flaking out in this swap. Only sign up if you are serious about the commitment.

To sign up email me at Include HEART TO HEART SWAP in the subject line for me please!

I cannot wait to see what everyone makes this year! (And I confess I bought something to make mine with months ago already. Why yes, I really do love this swap.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day everyone! Boxing day is moving in reverse over here this year. Instead of my usual tidy everything up and give away boxes and boxes of stuff we finally have the POD unloaded!


We are officially moved in. :-)
Of course that means my house which was all tidy and sparkly just two days ago is again full of messes.

But that's okay.

After nearly three months of packing, sorting, giving away, throwing away, and otherwise schlepping all of our stuff from place to place I can see the END!

My fingers are already itching to sew something, make something, do something other than move or remodel.


What are you up to?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to you

Hi there.

I miss you guys!

I foolishly thought that life was going to slow down, at least a little, once we were moved in. But we still have half a POD to unload and some construction to finish this week. (And a million other projects like painting a load of things, hanging blinds and chandeliers, sorting out doorknobs, etc.) Then the fun of decorating begins!

Having Jack has reminded me that in all the madness I need to squeeze in a little Christmas beauty.
An unexpected happy spot by the fireplace...
Christmas socks from Target taking the place of our stockings (who knows where those are!) on the unpainted fireplace and whatever sparkly odds and ends I had already unpacked...
Some red and green IKEA fun on our bed (that green velvet IKEA blanket is awesome and well worth the sorta expensive price tag)...
The new aluminum tree I found this summer is keeping the building permit company (I really need a new artifical tree stand, but Wal-Mart was already sold out of them. The metal tree stand is NOT holding it up well)...
I love how the tree became a fun wonderland of whatever I happened to find in boxes...
I made a gingerbread house with Jack...
which really meant Jack ate 9 lbs of icing while I stuck things hapazardly on a pre-made house...
Since my nest is feeling rather "unfluffed" I bought myself some roses. The picture doesn't really do them justice in the SUPER SUPER cute little sparkly glasses I thrifted at some point...
Jack was moaning a bit that the tree was the wrong color. I hadn't planned on getting a live tree this year, even though we always have one in the mix, so I made a last minute stop and bought one. I decorated it with whatever ornaments were left at Target, which happened to be sparkly snowflakes. A happy accident indeed...
and he INSISTED it have a star on top, so I had him make him with whatever we could find.

It is pretty sweet, isn't it?

So Happy Christmas to you all!

I hope to see you more regularly VERY soon. :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

A day in the life

How about a peek into this crazy life of ours?
Glass knobs going on the cabinets.
The tree as decorated as it is going to get this year.
The siding is almost done. (Just in time for snow!)
A line of Lego advent pieces lined up amongst the never ending filth on the floor from a constant stream of people in and out and in and out.
A feather tree that happened to land on my dresser in all of the madness. (Happy accident!)
Boxes and messes as far as the eye can see.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, my favorite spot!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's my lucky day

My mother called two days ago.

"Hey Sarah, I have a box of ornaments here, do you want them?"
"Are they old?"
"Yea, and there are some cool pink..."
(Pink was all I needed to hear.)
"I can be there in an hour or so, I have to pick up Jack from preschool, swing by your house, go back to the old house to meet a scrapper, go to U-Haul, go to Target..."
I arrive expecting to find her holding a box with one dozen ornaments in it. Instead she is holding a big old cardboard box that used to hold motor oil.

I cannot stop the car fast enough! I get out and she says "the box is kind of skunky."

And then I start to dig around in it and jump up and down a little.


"Where did you get this?"
"I saw it in my friend Amanda's car. I asked her what it was and she let me look in it. So I told her you collected those and would love to have them."
There were about 70 vintage ornaments in it plus a tree topper.

So today I am putting up a Christmas tree.

It's not my usual "10,000 tiny twinkling lights plus 700 vintage ornaments" kind of tree, but you know what? Who freaking cares!?!? We are in our awesome new house and in just a few days Jack is going to wake up to the wonder of Santa Claus in the same room I used to wake up to the wonder of Santa Claus as a child. In our VERY OWN HOME!

I really hope that somewhere out there Grandpa knows what a wonderful gift he gave to us this year.
(I also put up the village tree amidst the rest of the chaos. Jack usually loves this thing. He usually spends the better part of every day rearranging the whole darn thing. This year he says he hates it. Le sigh.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


At last we are all moved in. Well, everything we own is on the property anyway. (The POD is still full, but we are still finishing construction.)

The new house? It totally rocks.

I was so scared about moving here, about leaving our "home", about the not so great memories I have of this house, etc.

But really? It's awesome. It's huge! It's beautiful! It's so quiet! (Aside from the saws and hammers and steady flow of rebuilding work). It's so fun putting it together! (Even if I am exhausted.)

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in for a minute. I need to get to bed so tomorrow I can do something about getting a Christmas tree in here for the Jack attack.

I think by the weekend I should be back with photos, thanks for all the good wishes!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The final countdown

The POD has been moved to the other house.

We've passed our temporary occupancy inspection.

Most of the new house is put back together and is expected to be complete aside from siding, front porch, and laundry room by Sunday.

And in 24 hours we are moving.

I felt all choked up when the POD left yesterday. We've been in this little house for 7 years this month and it's weird to leave it.

And yet I am so excited to be going. BIG! NEW! HOUSE! A Christmas tree by Sunday! Decorating a brand new place! My sewing machine!

Oh the goodness that awaits me...(and the work that awaits me too, lol. All that packing has to be undone now, ha!)

I will be without internet until the middle of next week.

Hopefully by then I will have found the camera and we will all be actually sleeping at night again. :-)

Let the ride begin...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Home. Again.

Hi there.

A lot has happened since Friday.

My contractor walked off the job on Friday leaving us in the lurch.

It's ok though. Actually it's kinda better than ok. We have had a lot of help from friends this weekend and the house is really moving along at breakneck speed for the first time in all of this mess.

And the environment over there has completely changed. Everyone is perfectly happy to be there. Smiling! Laughing! Not stressed and tense.

With Jack and my nephew running wild over there the house is really starting to feel and sound like a home.

So much so that coming home to the rental house no longer feels like home.

It feels like a little stop in the road here now instead of my bright, beautiful new house.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am, however, dead.ass.tired. We are working around the clock at this point in the program.

And I am visiting Lowe's an average of three times a day. (I will be happy to not go in there for a good 6 months when this is done I think.)

So, with any luck we will pass our occupancy inspection this week and we will be moving in next weekend.

Next weekend!


If things go quiet here for a bit you will know we are knee deep in wrapping this up and moving out of this house into our new old house. (And there is the possibility I will be without internet for part of this move.)

I will be back with pictures as soon as I have a chance to do that.

P.S. If you would like to update our address shoot me an email, my mail forwarding should be starting immediately.

P.P.S. Happy anniversary to my husband. It wasn't our most exciting "anniversary" and we were without a single minute to ourselves, but I am pretty sure we have the wood part of the gift giving covered. (Hellllllllllllllo new kitchen!) LOL

Friday, December 04, 2009

Never a dull moment

About a month ago I noticed I was getting these weird rashes, mostly on my hands and arms. I was standing at the new house scratching to death one day and one of the guys asked me what was going on with my arms. "Oh, I think I am allergic to cardboard or something. I've been packing a lot of boxes."

I didn't give it a second thought. (And since we bought the boxes off craigslist Dave thought maybe they had been somewhere with something I was allergic to.)

Then at night my head started to ITCH SO BAD it was taking a zyrtec + 2 benadryl for me to be able to sleep.

At the time I thought one of the cats had given me fleas! LOL Put flea medicine on the cat and forget about it again.

Except I kept itching and itching and itching.

One week Saturday comes and goes with itching like crazy. Sunday? No itching. Monday? Itching like crazy. Tuesday? No itching. Wednesday? Itching like crazy.

Then I had a little lightening bolt. I am itching every other day because I only wash my hair every other day. D'oh!

I was in Target awhile back and I was SO excited to find this shampoo . I even made a note to blog about it (the reason I am telling you this little tale), because FINALLY easy to find shampoo without sulfates! I'd been searching for that for 2 years.

I'd been happily using it and going on with my life.

But remember that itching?

Ummm, yea. I have an allergy to coconuts. Apparently a person allergic to coconuts should not use a shampoo that has actual coconuts in it as opposed to coconut smelling shampoos that are just a bunch of fake chemicals. And apparently it was causing rashes everywhere it touched my skin, mainly my hands and wrists.

Who knew? LOLOLOL (It's a wonder I manage to survive sometimes, isn't it?)

I guess I should just be happy I DO NOT have fleas (or lice or ahem, crabs, lol) after all...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Struggling a bit

I knew at some point I was going to run smack dab into the wall of leaving what has been my sweet comfortable little home here and find myself facing the crap of 2009 head on. And boy oh boy I think I am there today.

Some stranger knocked on my door today to ask me if we were leaving and what was happening with the house and who could she call so her friend could live here.

I just about died.

I wanted to yell THIS IS MY HOUSE GO AWAY! We got married when we lived here. I got pregnant here. Jack took his first steps here. So much has happened here.

And then I got to the corner of the basement that is holding Jack's tiny baby things.

Tiny baby things that earlier this spring I thought would have another baby in them this month.


Plus whatever it is that is keeping me from being able to stay pregnant also means I am having some terrible hormonal issues.


Hard day.

Hard day.

Hard day.

Tomorrow will be easier...right?

This is a journey Sarah.

This is a journey and one day soon I will find myself on the other side of this portion wondering what all the fuss was about.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The library police

A few months ago Jack and I went to the library and I picked up some decorating books. One of them I LOVED so much I have had a hard time returning it. I searched and searched and *finally* found myself a copy this week, so these books are back to the library before the library police come for me.

The following photos are from Flea Market Style . (Which is not the book I was desperately trying to find. I will show you some of that one when it arrives.)

Let's look at some things I have been pondering for the new house, shall we?
I am crazy about this wire plant stand thing. I imagine it is hard to find one though...
The chalkboard armoire is super cool.
Patchwork wallpaper. (I am going to try this in the HUGE master bedroom closet at the new house I think.)
I love my old mirror collection so much that it is NOT going in the pod nor is it going on a moving truck. Those mirrors are going in the van with Jack and I and the Christmas ornaments. LOL This heart one is AWESOME. I have been looking on Ebay for one since the day I checked out the book with no luck yet.
Sadly this gigantic mess is the state of my current house! LOL

It's December first today. We are moving in 14 days. The garage door is going up, the floors are almost done, the laundry room plumbing is roughed in, the siding is ordered and the kitchen cabinets will start being hung today.

PLUS! I have everything that is a non necessity upstairs packed as of 11 am this morning.

We are cruising right along.

And just in time, as there might be snow tomorrow!

Now I have to go face the basement. Wish me luck?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas pick me up

I am feeling a little bit sad that while everyone's blogs and facebook updates include gorgeous holiday decorations and christmas tree arrivals that my life includes phone calls to plumbers, siding salesmen, moving companies and trips to U-Haul.
I love Christmas so much. Everything bright and sparkly and calm. Our house is anything but bright and sparkly and calm right now.
And to top it off, Jack has been asking why everyone else has Christmas decorations and we don't. :-(
I am still REALLY holding onto hope that we will be moving in 14 days. (I don't know how much longer I can carry on with this working my tail off 15 or 16 hours a day.)

Of course, even if we do move in 14 days our Christmas this year is going to be one tree with whatever ornaments I can scavenge up! (How I wish I had time to spend with Jack making some kind of ornaments for that tree...even if it was just cutting out paper birds like I saw in Country Living.)
So, let's just revist a few photos I dug up on the old blog here and remind myself that by Christmas 2010 everything I love will be out in our new and improved old house...

That's a little better.

A bientot!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blistered but good

In the past four days David and I have been to Chicago and back, hauled 4000+ lbs of IKEA furniture across two states, in and out of the moving truck several times and back and forth in the new house several times.

My hands are blistered, my wrists are aching, but it's all good. Moving day is inching ever closer and look at my new house!
A *very* happy and unexpected discovery happened when we finally installed the new windows in the master bedroom...we can see the golf course! Wooohoooo. (It's at the back between the houses.)
We went Penske to Chicago. Loading the cabinets via forklift was the easy part.
We both like this gray bedroom in IKEA, but I am scared to make my bedroom that dark gray. It was lovely decked out for Christmas though.
8 hours and 23 cabinets later...
and we have conquered!

Now they are waiting to be hung.
And looky there...hardwood floors. Beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous hardwood floors.

I sat in that spot for a long time this morning just marvelling at how far the house has come.

It is so bright and light and open (AND NOT SMELLY!) and I can hardly believe it is the same place it used to be.
Scary huh?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It's off to IKEA we go!

I have been in LOVE with this pink kitchen at IKEA for years now.

Tomorrow we are setting off to collect our very own version.
And then we will proceed to spend the entire holiday weekend in either IKEA assembly heaven or hell. I guess only time will tell.
The new windows are in.

The hardwood floors start going in tomorrow.

The plumbing for my main floor laundry starts tomorrow.

Next week will be December already. We are really barreling down the tunnel now.

And I am actually REALLY looking forward to spending 12 hours in a moving van with only my husband on the way to Chicago.

Much needed time to regroup...

Since I will not see any of you until it has come and gone, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!