Renovation Realities-Hardwood Floors

Oh my goodness I could not be more excited about this post.  They started our floors on a Saturday morning, were done on Monday, and we had to be out of the house the rest of the week.  Luckily my sister in law and brother in law have plenty of space, and we were able to stay with them.  Bonus, they live in our neighborhood.

To the good stuff.  When we decided to do the kitchen we knew we were going to do the floors in the living room as well, it just made sense.  After thinking it over we decided to go ahead and do all of the downstairs except the boys rooms.  We also did the steps leading up to the bonus room.  BEST DECISION EVER. Now, in hindsight we should have just went ahead and did the boys room as well.  We will end up doing that and the bonus room eventually.  We also knew we wanted to go will unfinished rather than pre-finished hardwood.  Also, BEST DECISION EVER.

The downside to all new hardwood floors was the fact that not only did we have the kitchen to deal with, we had to move all the furniture out in the rooms that were being redone.  We got it done, by that I mean Luke got it done, and lived to tell about it.

  After the first day we were so excited to take a look at what they looked like.

I was already so in love. This was on Saturday afternoon, they had almost finished up the whole house.  We came back Sunday morning to this....

As if I could not love them more, they were sanded.  In that moment I said to Luke "Lets not do anything but put a poly on them."  He was not on board with that plan.  They were so beautiful I couldn't imagine changing them.  What followed may have been the longest stain decision making process in the history of our floor guys career.  I am telling you all I hee hawed over this forever.  I had said from the get go that I wanted lighter colored floors.  We do not have a huge house, and the whole reason for the renovation was because the kitchen was way too small. The last thing I wanted was to make it seem smaller.  Like, dark hardwood floors.  Luke on the other hand would have gone with the darkest shade.  Juan put several options on the floor for us to choose from. 

I originally thought I was going to love weathered oak which is the middle on the top.  Once they were on the floors I hated it.  That was immediately out, along with driftwood(top row, far right.)  We narrowed it down to provincial (bottom left) and special walnut (top right,) and we were at a stalemate.  We decided to mix the two, which is the color on the bottom right.    I had all my neighbors come over, and the kids walked all over it.  In the end we ended up choosing special walnut.  I seriously could not be happier with them.  They are the exact shade I had envisioned.  They ended up looking a tad darker once than I thought they would, so it was a good compromise for us.  Without further ado....

The top picture is right after stain.
The middle is right after poly.
The last picture is once they are all dried. 
I am so happy to be back in our house, and just minimal madness.  It already feels like a completely different house.  Picking stain was by far the hardest decision I have had to make.  Now if someone would just come pick out my cabinet hardware for me that would be great.  I am so over decision making.  Our cabinets FINALLY go in this weekend, and I cannot wait to update you all on that!


Renovation Realities-ROCK BOTTOM

Sorry I have not updated on our kitchen in a while, basically nothing has been happening until now. I told Luke the other day, I feel like we have hit rock bottom and it can only go up from here. It has been bad enough living without a kitchen, but things were kicked up a notch when we removed all the carpet throughout the downstairs to prepare for hardwood floors. We have been living on sub floors, and sitting in camping chairs.

Luckily both mine and Luke's sisters live in our neighborhood so we have been staying with them.  The boys have been in heaven having sleepovers every night.  Some other exciting updates that happened along the way.

The boys got to try their hand at painting.  Because, why not add to the madness??

Luke added this awesome ship lap wall that you see looking from the eat in area, and it goes up the steps to the bonus room.

I fretted for approx a week over what to paint it.  Originally I had in my head I wanted to paint it a really dark/almost black grey.  It would be super practical since its the door coming in from the garage where we mainly enter and exit.  Plus, the rest of the kitchen will be white, so I thought it would add some contrast.  I got a sample of Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams

 I loved it, Luke hated it,  and I fretted some more.  Ultimately we decided to paint the wall white, the door black, and invest in a crap ton of magic erasers.  Compromise. 

I really could not be happier with the way it turned out.  That light hanging was about to drive me absolutely insane, so I quickly ordered one from Wayfair and Luke installed it. 

Then the most magical thing happened......


Stay tuned to see what they look like now that they are installed!



Sullivan's 4th Birthday was Saturday, I am not even sure how that is possible.  I could have sworn I was just rocking by sweet boy with man hands.

We woke up Saturday morning, and were so excited!  We had big plans!  Sullivan is obsessed with horses and the show Spirit.  He has been saying for a while now he wants a Spirit birthday party.  We ended up deciding against a big party this year, we have enough chaos with the renovation going on.  I got the bright idea we would go horseback riding instead.  I googled and found a place just 5 minutes from our house (who knew.)  I made reservations for the 4 of us to go Saturday afternoon, because Hudson had a baseball game that morning.  I am not sure why it didn't seem alarming to me when they told me Hudson would be on a horse by himself, but I didn't think much of it.

I was really excited about this little family adventure, and the boys were pumped.  While we waited the boys petted the horses.

When it was time for us to start getting on the horses my nerves started kicking in. 

I can't imagine why, I was even wearing my riding boots like I was some sort of professional or something. 

First up, Luke and Sully mounted the biggest horse I have ever seen in real life....

                                                  I mean look at its head!!!!
                                                   Yes, I made my kids wear their helmets, judge all you want.....

Next up was Hudson, this was the moment I thought "WHAT HAVE I DONE?"  That was my SIX YEAR OLD getting on a very large animal I knew nothing about.

 He is so excited, while I am trying to think of all the ways I can scoop him off of that horse and take him home.

I got on my horse next, and panic set in.  I wanted no part of it.  There was nothing about it that felt comfortable to me.  I even said to the girl "I don't feel comfortable, I don't want to do this."  Instead of trusting my instincts, I let a girl who couldn't have been over 13 with zero life experience convince me it would be fine.  Immediately followed by "This is midnight.  She is feisty, temperamental, and sensitive."  Great.  Just great.

She lined us up and told us to wait until our guide came to take us on our ride.  I took my phone out to snap a picture.

That is where my pictures ended, once we got started there was no way in hell I was letting go of my reins.

After waiting about 10 minutes our guide (again, couldn't have been over 13) trotted up, and said she it was time to go.  She told us that Luke's horse liked being the lead horse, and she also didn't like walking in mud.  IT HAS BEEN RAINING FOR 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS.  Freida decided she would avoid the mud by taking us every route besides the trail.  I am still picking crap out of my hair from being in trees.  

While I am freaking out, Hudson is riding his horse like he stole it.  He is grabbing trees, standing up in his saddle, and I am about to have a stroke.  If I said "DON'T LET GO OF THE REINS" once, I said it a hundred times.  I was the biggest helicopter mom ever, and I didn't even recognize myself. 

Freida, the boss up front had us going along the side of the trail, over rocks, in trees, and every other way to keep her pretty little feet out of the mud.  I kept telling Luke his decisions were affecting the entire group, and to get control of Freida.  To which he replied "I'm just letting her do her thing." 

  At one point we were along a barbed wire fence, and I was certain I was going to be bleeding under my pants from rubbing up against it.    At that point I WAS DONE.  Remember earlier when I talked about the Chris Tomlin concert, and the Holy Spirit?  Well, that went out the window.....


If I had been able to get off of that horse I would have walked back to the barn.  I asked the guide "when is this going to be over?"  She just looked at me like I was crazy, Luke was staring daggers into me, and I could care less. I had no qualms about how these people felt about me.  I knew with certainty I would NEVER be seeing them again. 

I am not even going to get into the group that was riding with us,  who were no older than our guide, dressed to the nines, and thought it would be a good idea to face time their friends to share in the experience.  I wanted to scream "DON"T LET GO OF THE REINS"  I am sure their mother would have appreciated it.  

Obviously we made it back to the barn, and I lived to tell about it.  I got off that horse, made a beeline for the truck, and never looked back.  Luke could not understand why I was freaking out, and hated it so much.  To which I reminded him, he was on Freida, THE LEAD HORSE.  He was not behind his entire family watching the whole thing unfold.  I kept thinking of how I would never forgive myself if something happened to one of them on this little excursion I planned.   Let me remind you real quick what we did for his birthday last year.....

Reptile guy at my house with multiple snakes, and letting the kids pet them  I am fine with.  Put my babies on a horse, and I lose my mind. 

 Now, in hindsight I probably did overreact just a tad.  However, in the moment, my crazy was totally valid.  I was terrified, and projecting my fears on everyone else. I cannot imagine why, but Luke and the boys loved it.  Sully had a great experience. so that is all that matters.  

Sully's other birthday request was to go to the farm.  That I can handle.  After riding horses we went straight out there with family to celebrate.  

It is safe to say the word that will come to mind when I think of Sully's 4th Birthday it will be STRESSFUL!  Hopefully he would say it was great, and will never ask to go horseback riding again. 


Epic Weekend Series-FRIDAY

I am back with the Friday edition of our Easter weekend!

Sullivan's birthday is March 31st, so it always falls around Easter.  I always make the boys birthday pancakes the day of their birthday with their age.  The whole "not having a kitchen thing" put a damper on that tradition.  Since the kids were out of school for Good Friday we decided to take them to Pfunky Griddle for pancakes.

They have griddles in the middle of the table and you make your own pancakes.  Only insane people would take 7 kids to do this. 

Two of us were excited for Sully's Birthday Breakfast

Not stressful at all......

 It was a rough start when our food got there, and everyone had huge spatulas trying to flip pancakes.  By the end I could have totally been a cook at waffle house.  The food was just eh, but the kids had a great time, so that was all that mattered.  If there had been a suggestion box I would have suggested they serve bottomless mimosas for the moms fielding spatulas while trying to prevent third degree burns. 

Friday night we had tickets to the Chis Tomlin concert for the second year in a row.  A big group from church went last year, and we decided this would be our Good Friday tradition as long as he did it.  It is basically the most amazing worship experience of your life.  There is something about being in a room with thousands of Christians from all different walks of life and denominations, it is a powerful thing.  It is impossible not to feel the Holy Spirit.  It is the perfect way to spend Good Friday!  If you live in Nashville I highly recommend you get tickets next year.

I am not sure how I got so lucky to do life with these people, but it is not lost on me.