Halloween 2015

How do you get a good picture of all 3 kids?  Maybe next year!


Samuel: 7 months old!

Growing, growing, growing!  That’s about all I gotta say about that!

His scrapbook page:


A recent picture:


Samuel: 6 months old!

Sammy is 6 months old!  Okay, he’s really 6 months and 3 weeks old – I’m really delayed in getting this out.  It isn’t because I was so busy.  It isn’t because I forgot.  It’s because his 6-month well baby check up was delayed.  I waited until Stephen was due for his 2-year-old check up, so that I can make 1 doctor’s appointment for both boys.

I typed up his scrapbook page a couple of weeks ago when he did turn 6 months and I laugh because just 2 weeks ago, he only had 1 tooth, but now he has 4!  Such a change in a short time.  It’s a cute little smile.

It’s fun to see how much he does look like Finn & Stephen now.  He didn’t when he was born, but he’s starting to more and more.  That’s just fun to see and makes me wonder how it will play out as all 3 of them get older.  I guess if you’re going to have 3 boys that look alike, it’s good that they’re all cute!

His scrapbook page:


A recent picture:


Remodel Week #2

WOW!  A whole lot of progress this week.  It’ll probably start to get more boring after this, but this week:


  • Window removed
  • All framed up!  You can now see the expanded mud room/laundry room, nook for fridge and walk-in pantry walls.
  • Header beam installed in ceiling instead of under ceiling.


  • Bedroom window replaced with an egress window so that it can be a true bedroom.
  • All framed up!  You can see where the storage area will be, the bedroom, the man cave and an area for a future bathroom.

Master Bathroom:

  • All framed up!  Okay, there’s just 1 wall in there, but it’s still progress.

It’ll start to get more boring after this.  Next week, the HVAC guy comes in.  The electrician comes in.  The plumber comes in.  And while those things are exciting, they aren’t really as exciting/noticeable as new walls!  But it’s progress and I love it!

Some pictures:



Week 1 of the Remodel 2015 project has come and gone!  Here’s what happened this past week:

  • Monday – Not much activity other than meeting the construction team, going over plans, they measured for lumber.  Dumpster was delivered.
  • Tuesday – Demo Day 1!  The kitchen area was tarp-ed off. Cabinets & countertops were removed.  Some basement demo was done.
  • Wednesday – Demo Day 2! Kitchen walls removed (except for the load-bearing wall).
  • Thursday – Demo Day 3! Master Bathroom gutted, more demo in kitchen.
  • Friday – Nothing much.

It’s not so bad.

  • In some ways, it isn’t so bad.  I wasn’t prepared for the amount of “walling” off that they had to do of the kitchen.  It makes my living room much smaller once you consider that our kitchen table is also in the living room.
  • Meals are going really well.  I froze lots of pre-cooked meals before construction and they are serving us well!

It’s worse than I thought.

  • I ain’t gonna lie: it’s rough during the day and our nanny is taking the brunt of it.  Being in a much smaller space is hard for a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and an almost-crawling 6 month old.  What used to just be a living room with 2 couches, plenty of room to play and we had a toy room is now a living-room-with-1-couch-a-kitchen-table-and-all-the-toys-shoved-in-there.
  • The distraction of men coming in and out with cool big tools is hard to overcome.  The boys have been trained to not go into the tarped-off area and the workers are great at staying as invisible as possible, but it’s hard to ignore.
  • The noise!  It’s really loud at times.  Really loud.  How can it not be? They’re sawing down walls right next to you.  They’re removing drywall.  They’re using big air guns to shoot nails through the concrete floor in the basement.  They’re cutting 2x4s. Finn, especially, is sensitive to noise and hates loud sounds.  And, of course, Stephen and Sammy aren’t napping well.

It’ll get worse before it gets better.

  • We’re about to lose our main big TV downstairs that Jeff uses.
  • We’re a couple of days away from losing our washing machine & dryer.  That’ll be rough!

Here are some pictures from this week:



The contractors come tomorrow!  The contractors come tomorrow!  The contractors come tomorrow!  We’re almost ready for them!

I spent the last week or so:

  • Making lots of meals for the freezer.
  • Making a menu plan for the next couple of months.
  • Removing everything out of kitchen drawers and cabinets.
  • Getting toys purged and moved into the living room.
  • Changing the layout of the living room to accommodate the toys and the fact that one of the walls is being removed.
  • Trying out different paint samples on the walls.

We’ve had one of those paper chain countdown things to prepare the boys (mostly Finn) about the process.  He pretty much just knows that the “men are coming to knock down the walls”.  Anything more we tell him just goes over his head.

Then, last night, we moved our loveseat into the garage (we’re losing the ability to use that parking space anyway because of the dumpster that will be put in 1/2 the driveway) and moved our kitchen table into the living room.  We covered the floor with plastic because you know there will be spills!  While I plan to get the carpets cleaned after all the construction, better to not have to clean up spaghetti!

As a reminder, here are some before shots:



Here’s what we have right now:

Current Kitchen 1

Left side: The view from when you enter the house from the garage. Right side: The view from the living room into the dining area, formerly a toyroom for us.

Current Kitchen 2

Left side: The view from the current sink wall, right in front of the island, looking into the living room. Right side: The view from the living room looking into the kitchen.

Current Kitchen 3

Left side: The current laundry room. This wall will also be taken down (and then replaced) to make more of a mudroom. Right side: Paint choices! (The ones on the left are possible wall choices. The ones on the right are possible island color choices)

Current Kitchen 4

The left side: Our kitchen table now smushed into our living room. Floor covered with plastic! The right side: Our entryway where a makeshift kitchen is beginning. The contractors will move my fridge out there too.

We’re remodeling!

Starting next week, the contractors will be here to:

  • Pretty much gut our laundry room, kitchen, and formal dining room to make more of a mud room and a bigger eat-in kitchen.
  • Re-do our master bath by removing the “plastic” shower and making a tiled, walk-in shower.  It’d be nice to get a tub in there, but I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice the closet!
  • Start finishing off our basement.

There’s much that we want to do with the basement, but this will be just part of it.  We’re removing a window and installing an egress window to make a conforming bedroom and walling off a storage room.  The rest of the basement will be mostly unfinished.  In a few years, we’ll carpet it, install a kitchenette and a bathroom.  The plumbing is all roughed in down there; it was just more than we wanted to pay for right now.

Here are the basic plans:


We’re just making a couple of changes to this plan:

  • The island will be shortened slightly on both sides to make “traffic” flow easier.
  • We aren’t installing the cabinets by the kitchen table right away.  I think I want a furniture piece (if anything).  That’s easy to add after the fact if I change my mind.

Here are the things that I think we’re going with.  When it’s all said and done, I’ll let you know what we really use!


Some cool 3D renderings:

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 1

From our living room, looking into the kitchen area. Current floor plan is totally different.

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 2

Standing at the soon-to-be island, looking into the dining area. Next to the fridge will be a walk-in pantry.

Circle House-Kitchen6 3d view 3

From the dining area, looking at the island. We put the dining area here because there are windows (on the wall “behind” this picture) that look out to a wooded area – great view!


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