Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Great Outdoors

We have been living full time in our house for 2 weeks now. The reynovation continues, slowly but surely.
While the kids and I were in New Mexico, Ryan's dad, Russ, drove his work truck up from Colorado to help make our yard more kid-friendly. There were all kinds of random metal things in our yard, all of which are now gone!

This beauty that Russ is holding up was buried near the concrete steps to our back door. About six inches of it were above ground. I used to refer to it as the "kid killer" because I just KNEW one of our kids was going to fall and cut their head open on it. YAY RUSS!

Richard came over and demolished the fake well. We also have a real well on our property, but this one was just for looks. BYE BYE.

Random weird metal potted plant holder. SEE YA.

Another random piece of metal in the yard. BUH BYE NOW.

Our yard is now safe. And on an unrelated note, overrun with bunnies. I don't understand why they won't eat the flayrah* I keep leaving out for them.

*Ten points to Gryffindor if you get the reference.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


There's a lot of destruction involved in home renovation. Sometimes the thought of having to clean up all the bits of drywall everywhere scares me (though Ryan assures me that he will take care of it). Here's a glimpse into my nightmares:

Sammy got to help with some of the destruction, which of course he loved. He isn't allowed to "help" as much with the rebuilding.

Stuff piled up outside the house before going to the dump.

We borrowed the Mickelsons' trailer to haul stuff to the dump. It was getting expensive to go to the dump so frequently, but never fear! Laramie has a cleanup day that includes free trips to the dump! We goin to the dump all day err' day (not really--just August 29th).

Did you catch that? FREE DUMP DAY. August 29th. YOU'RE WELCOME.
See you there.

Friday, July 24, 2015


One of the things I have looked forward to the most with our new house is being able to paint it. One of the men in our ward is a professional painter, and we've received a lot of help and advice from him as we've started transforming our new home.
Here are the before photos of our bedrooms:

The master bedroom was a pale blue. We picked a color called "Kilim Beige" to go over it. All of the bedrooms are going to have wainscoting on the walls, so they'll be white and whatever other color.

Amelia's room was a nice sage green. I actually liked the color a lot, but I really wanted to paint my little girl's room a more feminine color. We are using a beautiful shade of purple called "Dahlia."

This is the boys' room. It's hard to tell from the photo, but their walls were an off white color--nice, but very boring. We picked a blue that I believe is called "Coastal Blue" with red (color is called "Stop") for the closet. Both boys are happy to have their favorite color in their room.

My friend Michelle, daughter to the professional painter, is also a professional painter in her own right. She gave me several painting lessons in preparation for our home makeover. Here she is teaching me how to cut in a room before rolling it. This is in our bedroom.

Our friend Jordan, who has worked for the painting company in the past, painted the first coat of yellow in Amelia's closet.

Michelle cut in and did the first coat of paint in Amelia's room.

The boys really wanted to do some painting of their own, so one morning I brought them over to the house and helped them paint a "secret" on the walls of their bedroom. 

Their names are now covered up with white paint in preparation for the wainscoting, but we know the names are still there!

I have found that I really enjoy painting. Ryan has let me do all of it (except what our friends did for us) and I know I will look upon these rooms with real pride for years to come.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wood is Good

We got lucky--our home was built in a time where people still had real wood floors. Unluckily, it was decorated in a time when people lost all respect for wood floors and covered them with carpet. Our kitchen, hallway, and all three bedrooms have wood flooring, but only the kitchen's survived the Carpet Outbreak of the Last Millennium.

The hallway on the day we moved in.

And underneath! 

In our bedroom we saw the even more heinous sin of covering up the wood floors with STICK ON LINOLEUM. I just couldn't even. It was so bad I lost the ability to even.
We let Sam rip that crap out the first week.

The library room and its carpet used to be separated from the kitchen by this wall, but as you recall, we tore that thing down. We wanted to have less of an abrupt transition between the two rooms, so we took out the carpet in the library. By the way, we're super excited to have a room we can call our library.

The carpet looked okay on top, but when Ryan ripped it out he could see all the old stains from the previous decades on the bottom of the carpet. Apparently it was so bad he almost threw up. So we will also be replacing the carpet in the living room and TV room as soon as we have money for either more wood or nice carpet. Feel free to weigh in down below in the comments. Wood or carpet?

You have to put down special paper before laying the wood flooring. And the pieces just snap together! Amazing!

Our floors are red oak, according to Ryan. They don't look very red, but whatever.

That thing on the floor is a flooring nailer. Ryan borrowed it from our friend Kason, who is remodeling his house as well. He tried to explain how to use it by using a pen and a highlighter to represent the floor boards. You can watch a real video on YouTube if you are interested in learning how they work.

Ta da! The next step is to rent a floor sander to smooth all the floors (and get the GLUE from the LINOLEUM off the bedroom floor) and then stain and protect them. the WALL!

All those walls Ryan knocked down have now been reframed. They look awesome! I knew my husband was skilled at destroying things, and it turns out he's a good builder, too.

The laundry room and "pellet stove room" have now been combined into a mudroom. You can see the washer and dryer (still in their boxes) are going to be on the opposite wall from where the original owners had them.

View from the kitchen

This is the pantry and the former half wall blocking off the bedrooms. It is now a complete wall.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to have a proper pantry.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Call him Mr. Gorbachev

...because he's tearing down these walls!

Bad jokes aside, Ryan has been gutting the inside of our house. Here are some photos:

This is a corner of what was the laundry room. Unfortunately, appliances today are so big that you can't open the door from the outside. So the laundry room is becoming a mudroom.

This is the laundry room next to the "pellet stove room." We're selling the pellet stove (if you're interested). That wall between them is coming down and the two rooms combined will be the mudroom.

Ta da!

This wall is between the living room and kitchen. While the arched doorway is cute, we prefer a more open floor plan.

View from the other side.


If you wondered, Sam is super proud that he's helping his dad remodel our house.

This funky almost-wall separates the kitchen from the hallway. You can see the doorways to our bedroom and Amelia's room. Why they didn't just make a whole wall, I couldn't say.

Ryan knocked it down so we could put up a proper wall in its place. I say we but I mean "Ryan and whoever is willing to help him." Now accepting applications!

One hardworking huss.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Old House

We will eventually come up with a detailed list of all the things we want to change in the house. Some of them are major changes, like putting on new siding.

You might need to look up at our header photo to get the full effect: It's sky blue stucco with weird "swooshes" all over. 

Others are minor changes, like painting the kids' rooms and sanding the wood floors so they look nice again.
Here are some photos of the inside so you can get an idea of the "before."

Wood paneling in the living room. I want to go back in time and throttle whoever invented this crap.

The living room has a "bonus room" that is a little lower than the rest of the house. It also has a ramp down to it instead of stairs. Don't tell our kids, but that ramp is going to be one of the first things we change.

This unfinished room off the bonus room is going to become a laundry/storage room.

The kitchen is actually quite big, with newer appliances. The space between the stove and refrigerator is going to become a pantry.

This half wall in the kitchen separates the bedroom hallway from the kitchen. We're going to knock it down and make a proper wall that reaches the ceiling. No more cute shelf. Sorry, Amelia.

Hopefully that gives you a general idea of what the house is like on the inside. Ryan has already started working on it!