Our Kitchen “The Demo”

Okay, so where did I leave off? You saw the old kitchen.  And we were ready to demo.  We knew that the renovation was going to be long and stressful and like any old house we also knew that there would be some unexpected things that may cause issues.  I was optimistic about the timeline and work required.  So, we left on spring break knowing that the demolition would start and that we would come home to something very different. We had no idea.


The studs.


And beautiful vintage wallpaper.


Yes, I had a take a couple of really deep breaths. It was a lot to handle after being on planes all day with kids and it did get some getting used to.  We lost the ability to walk through there and our family room which left us going outside to go to the garage for our refrigerator.  Read it again.  Yes, we had to go outside to get to the garage where our fridge was located.  To say that our house was dusty was an understatement. That was the worst part.  The dust that is everywhere no matter how many times we have people in to clean.

On a happier note, let’s talk my vision.  For the kitchen, I wanted to stay true to the fact that our home is traditional in nature but I wanted to embrace the chance to update the space.  So, I tried to blend the traditional nature of our home and some new ideas.  Our main floor is full of neutrals, lots of gray and some taupe so we decided to stay consistent with it.   Are you ready to see some progress? It’s coming.


Wednesday {My Monday}

Normally, Wednesday is hump day. That day of the week, where you start to see the weekend in the distance and if you are like me you give yourself a pep talk reminding yourself how much you have accomplished in the week, have left to get done and how good it feels to leave school on a Friday with everything in place for Monday.

Except this week, we didn’t have school Monday or Tuesday. So, here we are with it feeling like a Monday where drop offs take longer than usual, we are running late as we usually do on Monday and my to do list is just as long with less time to accomplish everything on it.  

So, I thought I would give you a good laugh, at my expense,  to start my week or get you through hump day. 

Some background information, our house has two heaters or zone heating as some people call it- a unit for our second floor and a unit for our main floor and basement. It is a luxury… I know especially since the wind chill this morning was -15 degrees. For the record, zone heat and A/C was a must on my list when we were looking for a house. 

For the past couple of weeks, I have been complaining that it is just plain cold in our upstairs.  My feet are cold when I walk across the hardwood floor; the toilet seat is cold in the middle of the night (tmi right?) and when you walk up our stairs you can just feel the air getting colder. 

The thermostat was set on a program from the previous homeowner.  We went with it because it was pretty much perfect.  But when I started complaining, Glenn would try to raise the temperature to 70, 71, 72 yet the thermostat would not go higher than 67 even if the heat ran 24 hours a day. Brrrr…. So, I was initially convinced it was our thermostat. So, I called the company four times in 24 hours and got nowhere. I did four different “fixes” and it was doing nothing but sitting on 67.  Glenn and I decided, really Glenn did, that  it was time to call a professional.  I think he was just tired of listening to me but of course it was now Sunday on a holiday weekend and the first time we had really frigid temperatures.  So, needless to say between the colds we all had which capped off seven days of ridiculous sickness in our house and the temperature upstairs I was grumpy.

Enter my mother in law.   We start to tell her our problems as we are researching companies that service our brands of heaters when she arrives on Sunday. And she asks a simple question, “Have you changed your filter?”  I look at Glenn who OF COURSE blames me and says, “She was supposed to call to have them maintenanced and didn’t this fall so no.”  Of course I was.

{Yes, I was in charge of this in our old house but I didn’t realize I was in charge going forward of all heat and air conditioning things.}

Glenn laughed the suggestion off but I was willing to try anything for warm night’s sleep. I felt so guilty that it was cold in our upstairs while our kids slept with colds, footed pajamas and big blankets.  So, as soon as they woke up, I climbed up the ladder in our sitting room (in our master suite) up to the attic.  I saw a filter.  So, I started to remove the old one and the dust was forming a cloud in the space. I put the new one in and I maybe said a quiet prayer for this to work. 

I threw the filter away, set the thermostat to 70 and went back to playing with the kids. We left and came home and BAM 70 degrees upstairs. It worked.  Who knew? Let this be the first of many lessons in home ownership I learn the hard way. And further proof that some days I am still not convinced I am old enough to own a home.

Happy Hump Day!


Top Ten Tuesday- Things I Would Change…About My House

Katie over at Sluiter Nation does a Top Ten list every Tuesday about something. I keep wanting to join in. She is a teaching mama like me, lives in the Midwest and I tend to think, she may not, that we are very alike in our beliefs about family, school, traditions and life in general.

This week the Top Ten List is all about things you would change in your house. I am going to give you ten but also take the opportunity to update you on our progress related to a few of these.

Let me give you a a little back story. We bought our house, which is over 100 years old, when I was pregnant with Brady. We knew it would not be our forever home. Today, I am convinced that it will not be our forever home but 1.5 years later it is totally “home” for my family. If we were staying in it much longer, we would be working HARD on this list but I think we have made some good progress.


1. The PURPLE bathroom. This is what we started with.

This is what it looks like now. Mighty good improvement right?

2. I would screen in the back porch. I am from Central Illinois. I grew up sitting on a screened in porch. I love to sit outside in the summer to drink a beer, read a book or just think. But, I HATE bugs. I hate mosquitoes specifically and they love me. So, I do not sit outside on our deck very often.

3. Family Room Windows. I know, the windows are old and have lead in them which apparently makes them very valuable but they are OLD and that equals cold. Enough said. I am tired of having to put plastic on them each winter to try and keep some of the chill out. Yes, they are beautiful but I am cold always.

4. Lights- I hate the light fixtures in our dining room and kitchen. I hate them. They look old and they look cheap. Good thing my husband’s business partner owns Lightopia.

I told you these were unedited so yes, we have a bulb out. It has been out forever and we have no replacements. Hmmm…

5. Garage- I swear to god, Glenn and I talk every time there is a big storm (snow or wind) and wonder if the damn thing will fall down. Then we always talk about what if we just *tapped* our car in to, would it fall? It needs helps, in a bad way. But the thing is solid as a rock. Just ask our insurance agent.

See that beauty behind us. Look at the rust on the door. It is the ugliest of the alley!

6. Zone A/C- I am glad that we have central A/C but it gets HOT (hhhaaaaa if you are Brady) in our upstairs in the summer so I would love to install zone air conditioning instead of the window units we currently have upstairs. A girl can dream right?

7. Laundry Room- It is in the basement, the unfinished portion mind you. It is cold, dark and dirty. I LOVE to do laundry, love to organize, fold, iron and hang things. I dream of the day that I have a laundry room with neatly divided areas, hangers, and a paint color on the wall that is inviting. Maybe I just want some heat in there since I spend so much time in there. It was the “hub” of our house when I was growing up. Bringing our laundry down, washing sports uniforms, and making sure the best jeans were clean each week.

8. Kitchen- As you can see, the before was okay. The after is better but we have a small problem. The microwave DOES NOT FIT. So, we have to figure this out. We are getting quotes on counter tops and cabinets and I think the end result will be fabulous. Just in time for us to move.

This is before. I will post the after when it is all done.

9. Back Door- Here is the thing…when you move in to an old house, people will tell you that your house has “charm”. That is baloney. It is old. It has quirks and things that are flat out annoying. Our back door does not lock from the inside. So anytime we open it, you have to turn the lock on the outside to lock it, using a key, and then delicately turn it so it locks from the inside. It’s a deadbolt so we know it’s safe, super safe. So annoying. Just ask Glenn…

10. Basement Carpet- It is a lovely space except for the fact the carpet is nasty. It could be a great place for me to workout. It could be a great playroom for Brady. It could be another area to watch TV and wait for laundry but the carpet is gross. It is Berber and stained. It can’t cost this much.

After reading this, I feel like I am whining. I am not. I love my house. I love the things we have done. I love the seasonal decor and the new elements we have brought in. I firmly believe that home is what you make. Material possessions don’t make a home, a family does. So, even if the floors creek, the garage tumbles, the microwave stays white, and the door never locks from the inside, it is my house. Not my house, my home and my favorite place to be with my favorite two boys.