Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Little Christmas

This post is gonna be one big FAIL because I have zero, zilch, nada pictures to share of our holidays.  WOMP WOMP.  But to be perfectly honest....it was a pretty unremarkable year, celebration-wise.  Brad and I didn't exchange gifts, really, I bought myself a vest from Land's End and I think he's buying some jeans or something, and then in a few weeks we're heading out of town for a little getaway that's going to be our "Christmas present."

As far as Hadley goes, she did alright.  Who knows how it will change over the years but Brad and I firmly believe that we don't want to instill in her that Christmas is about "things" - I grew up this way and experience major disappointment each Christmas now, if you want to know the honest truth.  We will always buy her gifts, of course, but we won't be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on her (or any of our children).  This Christmas we bought her three books, a couple Melissa and Doug toys, bubble bath and bath crayons and that's it.  And let me tell you...the girl was MORE THAN HAPPY with just the wrapping paper so that right there is reason enough to not blow all our money on toys.  She also got some nice things from her grandparents, like a baby doll and baby stroller (that by the way, she wedged herself into last week and I almost called the fire dept when we nearly couldn't get her out) and a VTech car that converts into a scooter.  One of the most thoughtful gifts she received was an antique rocking horse that Brad's aunt restored by hand painting it, adding hair and stamping her name on it.


Even though I didn't get pictures we did a video of Hadley opening gifts from her Grandma and Grandpa, it was kinda cute cause she got a blanket that her Grandma made for her and all she wanted to do was play "Peek a Boo" with it...girl loves attention!



So!  That was Christmas.  It was a nice couple days but extremely busy (I felt like I was in the kitchen cooking the entire time that we weren't at gatherings or having people over).

Tonight Brad and I are going on a MUCH NEEDED date - seriously, I can't remember the last time just me and him went out.  I am so excited to fix my hair, put on some makeup and a pretty top and hold his hand and flirt and not have to worry about my child screaming at the top of her lungs or throwing toys or trying to climb out of the high chair.  Thank ya Jesus!!!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The holidays catch up to ya, don't they??  I don't have much to say, just hoping that I can get back on the 'ol blogging train next year!

Here's our Christmas card for the year, and to the friends of mine that didn't receive one...well, I ran out of envelopes and then it got too late.  But I love you all and just pretend this came in your mailbox, ha!


And just cause she's so darn cute, here's a couple shots from our Christmas mini photo session with In Full Bloom Photography:






May we all remember tomorrow that Jesus is why we celebrate, and that He is THE GOOD NEWS!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 'Ol Bullet Points Post



  • The baby's sleeping, the dishwasher's going, the laundry is started and I'm sitting down with a hot cup of coffee.  These are the moments when I stop and realize that my life is so good, and I'm so thankful for the little things.  Mostly thankful that I'm home.
  • I went to the chiropractor yesterday for the first time.  Right after I had Hadley I started feeling this tingling feeling in my right upper back area.  It was so weird and I thought it had something to do with my C-section surgery (why I felt that way, I have no clue...this is why I would be an awful doctor).  I mentioned it to my doctor and she thought it was a nerve issue, but I never had it addressed until yesterday.  The tingling has continued and has started to even spread a little, so I wanted to get it taken care of.  Sure enough, the chiropractor said I'm all locked up in that area.  Today I'm in a little bit of pain but I'm so happy it's getting fixed (and that I don't have a degenerative disease, which is what I was certain it was...again, terrible doctor).
  • For Thanksgiving we're going to Brad's parents house and I think I'm going to bring Barefoot Contessa's Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms.  They're stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, mascarpone and parmesan cheese, garlic, scallions, etc.  Sounds so good!
  • This last weekend I was on my own for most of it since Brad was out hunting, so I took Hadley out for a little coffee date....

We actually had a good time.  I say "actually" because she's not in the easiest age to take out to restaurants, but she sat and ate her grilled cheese while I drank my latte and then we shared a scone :)  Sweet girl.

  • Last Christmas I decided I was tired of my ornaments - I bought them about 4 years ago and they're so pretty but I'm just bored with them.  This is why I don't paint colors on my walls or furniture!  I get bored with it or end up not liking it after a while.  So this year I'm trying to decide how I can decorate my tree without ornaments but still make it pretty.  Shoot, with a 15 month old and a puppy I will probably not even want ornaments on my tree, ha.
Welp, my laundry's done so I need to get crackin'.  Here's to Wednesday - which means its almost Thursday, which means it's almost the weekend!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two of My Favorites

When it comes to my in-laws, I count myself super, super blessed.  They're honestly some of the most wonderful people I've ever met, and it's really an honor to call them my family.  I love them all equally, but I gotta admit that my two brothers-in-law hold a special place in my heart.  Before we got pregnant with Hadley, we spent hours upon hours with these two going to bars, concerts, on trips, hanging out at our house...we did SO much with them, and they were seriously my favorite people to hang out with.  But then they both moved out West to work and broke mine and Brad's hearts :(

But anyway!  They've been home for the last week and it's been so great having them around.  We all went out on Saturday night and I was able to get a (terrible quality, that's bar lighting for you) picture of the 4 of us -

\
And this may be my new favorite picture of all time - Hadley with her uncles.


She was sitting on Caleb's lap and so I had the thought to get a quick shot of it.  I was saying, "Hadley, look at momma" and seriously out of nowhere she just lights up with that cheesy grin.  KILLS ME.  Needless to say, they're great with their baby niece and we hate the fact that they're not around more to see her grow up.

BUT - we're planning our next trip....Nashville!!  Be still my heart.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five on Friday!



//ONE//
As a rule, I pretty much hate WalMart.  Mostly because I feel like they could be SO much better than Target - I mean, they practically own the world - and they just settle for crap clothes, crap decor, crap EVERYTHING.  Seriously, I am there like every other day and I never ever see anything cute there.  Now granted, the WalMart in our town is a bare bones, nothing-special WalMart.  I've been surprised at other ones to see that occasionally they do carry cute stuff.  So imagine my surprise when I found this cute shirt there this week:




It's basically a dolman tee but I'm calling it a swing tee.  It's loose, super soft, covers the hiney, but is fitted in the arms.  It also has a wider neckline, which I'm a fan of.  I bought it in black and also an emerald green.  These kind of shirts are so my style now, mainly because I'm all about hiding that post-baby belly (that I still have, ha).  BEST PART - it's $9.94.  Here's the link to it: Women's Dolman Sleeve Tee.

//TWO//

This would be my small town version of shopping at Target with a Starbucks drink - that's a McDonald's latte at WalMart.  Find joy in the little things, right?!?

//THREE//


I finally bought a Keurig.  I felt bad because Brad had actually bought me the Starbucks Verismo last year for Christmas and to be honest, I really like that machine but it's annoying cause you can only buy the coffee pods for it at Macy's or Bed Bath and Beyond (and Starbucks).  The closest I am to those stores is at least an hour and a half and inevitably I run out every time without having more on hand (even though every time I go to the big city I spend around $60 on those stupid things).  Anyway....that's all to say that I'm ECSTATIC to finally own one of these - I can buy the pods at WalMart, and have a much bigger variety to choose from.  On a side note, Starbucks really dropped the ball with their machine, it's pretty pitiful when you go to Bed Bath and Beyond and see the Verismo section - it's like half a shelf.  JOKE.

//FOUR//
I bought a Christmas dress for Hadley from BabyGap on eBay for $10....

It's in perfect condition!  It's a little bit big though and I have to get a sweater for her to wear with it.  I also bought her a little dress from Baby Gap on super sale:


She wore it in some Christmas pictures we took recently that I can't WAIT to share.  I love it!

//FIVE//
We're maybe - MAYBE - thinking about doing a beach vacation without Hadley sometime this spring and are trying to find some places with good deals in Mexico.  We're looking for an all-inclusive that isn't too pricey but has decent food....I'm open to suggestions!!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Um, hello

Yes, it's been a long time.  Jumping right in!

We've been busy around here.  We've had birthday celebrations (mine!), Halloween, random...things, and now the HOLIDAYS!!  I'm pretty excited for them this year.

Here's a shot from my birthday weekend -


We got a sitter for the night and went out to eat, then went to my favorite little bar in town for some live music.  It was fun, but the one "thing" with my birthday - Oct 28th - is that we're always celebrating it the same weekend as Halloween, which I just do NOT get into.  Not for any particular reason, it's just not my thing to get all dressed up.  Hence the person in the giant sombrero behind us.  No, we were not at a Mexican restaurant.  (Ha - just be glad that it wasn't the girl who dressed up as Miley Cyrus a la VMA's in the background....)

Then it was Halloween, which we dressed our little lady up for -


 She was a monkey!  This was taken at Brad's work.  She was so dang cute in that little costume.  Here's a family shot.  It's only awkward cause Hadley wasn't havin' anything to do with that little hood and was squirming all over to take it off.  Side note, my husband has some HUGE hands -


Then we've just had random play dates, but I've discovered that Hadley loves her a dog.  Case in point...



The above picture is with my girlfriend's Lab, and the bottom picture is with another girlfriend's GREAT DANE.  She loved them both!  (Also a side note, please note the stone fireplaces in each house.  Yes, we live in the Northwoods, haha!)

As for just different "life" things, there's not been too much going on.  I'm in a weird place of trying to decide if we want to start trying to grow the family or wait another 6 months or so.  I'm much more in the "WAIT" camp but I'm also 32, so....
I've also started up running again and man....I MISSED it.  So dang much.  It's a little funny when I get on the treadmill and I'm starting my pace at 5.6mph, cause prior to the baby coming along I was makin' hay at 6mph and above (NOT that fast by any stretch but you realize how much faster it is when you're starting at 5.6, you know?!?).  But you start where you start, and I'm just loving the feeling again of going.  Even better than that stupid treadmill, I ran outside this last weekend and it seriously felt like a drug.  Stupid to say, but in my opinion, if you love running you know the feeling.

Well, I think that's about it!  Really not much happening around here.  Hadley is growing and changing every day, some of her words are "baby", "bottle" (even though we're not on bottles anymore, this is what she calls her milk sippy...just sayin'!), "pretty" ("pitty" - TOO CUTE), "dog", and the other day I swear she tried to say her name.  She's a climbing machine, too - literally can't take my eyes off her for long cause when I do, she's on top of the couch arm trying to turn the lights off!

And finally....because I'm thinking she's starting to love her Daddy a little more than she loves her Momma...


Makes my heart about burst, I swear.  Every girl needs her a good Daddy, and Hadley hit the jackpot with hers.

On that note, I'm gonna go run my bath and enjoy the peace and quiet around here!  Hope everyone's having a good week :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Perfect Fall Weekend

Up in our parts, fall is sadly on its way out.  Hard to imagine for some folks that are just now starting to cool off!  We had what was probably our last nice weekend, meaning warm and sunny enough to be outside without fighting the cold, so we decided to head to the pumpkin patch to pick out our 'punkins!


The pumpkin patch!  You can see Brad pulling our pumpkins and Hadley trailing behind





Hadley had the best time - knew she would!  It was a small enough little farm that she could run to her hearts content, hug on the pumpkins and push the wagon.  We ate big 'ol caramel apples and drank cider - it was the perfect day.



We also managed to get a family picture, taken by the little sales clerk, hence why Hadley's not looking :)



Definitely lots of fun - our next family outing will probably be to pick out a Christmas tree, ha!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Two Amigos



Meaning, these two little ones.  Between the two of them, I probably won't have any nice things by the end of the year (and yes, in the below picture Hadley is chewing on the blanket and Cash is chewing ON MY BASKET).

There are moments like earlier today where I have to put him in his kennel not because he's being too high strung or naughty but because I really just can't keep up with both of them and their mischief.  Hadley's new favorite hobby is getting into ALL THE THINGS and Cash's favorite hobby is getting into ALL THE THINGS after she has gotten into them.  Oh, and he has a strong love for her sippy cups that drives.me.crazy.

But even though it's wearisome, it's the reason that I persisted through the first couple months of hell with this little dog - because I knew that at some point he would add to our family rather than just be a source of stress for me.  And when I see the two of them playing - like in the top picture, Hadley kept trying to roll on top of him - it really does bring me joy.  He's so good with her and never ever gets snippy or even playfully biting with her.  He loves to jump up and lick her hands while she's eating (yes, it's gross. I know.) and she will giggle and giggle at it....it's the sweetest thing!

So, Cash...you've earned your place in my family and I gotta be honest and say that it's mostly because you've got a special place in my baby girl's heart! (And because when you're not being naughty and rambunctious you're nothing but a big 'ol snuggler).


Friday, October 4, 2013

Five on Friday!

ONE.
For the last year I've had a nagging on my conscience to start taking better care of my skin - meaning, have some kind of skin care regimen besides slapping some kind of soap on it and calling it good - and now that I'm turning 32 in a few weeks, I've decided that now is the time.  Here's what I've been using -

 


For drug store skin care products, they're not cheap (around $20 per product) - I haven't bitten the bullet yet and bought the full size bottles, I just bought a trial kit.  But I have noticed SUCH a difference in my skin!  It's much smoother and more even-toned.  My only complaint is that it's a little tedious to wash your face, then apply a serum, then apply a moisturizer.  But the results are making it worthwhile, no doubt.

TWO.
I've been taking Hadley to the chiropractor and it's actually been pretty neat.  I took her to help with her poor sleeping habits and who knows if it's made a difference, her sleeping has greatly improved but we've taken a number of measures to help that.  He basically adjusts her like he would do an adult but it's incredibly gentle since her bones are still so soft.  He calls it "molding" her rather than adjusting.  Surprisingly Hadley has done so well with it.  At her age it's harder to adjust them since they're so busy but for some reason she almost seems to like it.  Funny story, we went in a couple days ago when Hadley was sick with a cold/tummy bug and he started by gently massaging her back while I was holding her.  She literally was like, hanging in my arms with her head drooped cause it must've felt so good!

THREE.
I am in such a cooking slump right now.  I feel like I've been making the same meals for months now.  I have lots of recipes bookmarked but it's so tough because I try to eat a little lighter but feed my husband a little heavier, so go figure on how that is supposed to work.  Not to mention that Brad is a little pickier than I think he likes to admit :)  I think I'm going to make this recipe this weekend - The Pioneer Woman Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes.

FOUR.
I mentioned in my last post that we bought a video monitor - this is the one we bought: Infant Optics Digital Video Baby Monitor.


The picture is much better than how it photographed here, FYI!

The price was great for a video monitor that has Night Vision and a color picture, and it's really been a huge help in us getting Hadley to sleep.  For instance, I just put her down for a nap and heard her in her room fussing, and then I heard a loud THUMP and then it was quiet.  Ordinarily I would've freaked out and gone in there, but I turned on the monitor and saw her laying there and was able to watch her for a few minutes to make sure she was okay.  However, had I gone in there it would've roused her and upset her more when I left the room.  So, in my opinion, these things are worth their money if you're dealing with some big sleep issues.

FIVE.
I went to college with this guy, Ryan, and he's been on the news a lot lately because he proposed to and married his girlfriend...all in ONE day.  He planned their wedding for a year based on her Pinterest board, so who says Pinterest isn't amazing???  You can watch their amazing story here (if you haven't already heard about it on all the major news shows?!?) -




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Battle for Sleep

Before becoming a parent - and even after becoming a parent - I would frequently give my opinion or judgement on the correct way to raise a child.  How they should eat, sleep, be socially adjusted, not coddled, etc.  I had it all figured out. 

Well, let me be the first to eat my words and tell myself to go fly a kite.  I knew - and mostly know - nothing about what it means to be a parent and get it "right".  Because really, what is getting it "right"???  I am here to say that sometimes, you just do what you have to do to make things work, and the biggest battle (in my opinion) isn't so much what issue you're dealing with when it comes to your child but rather the fear that you're not doing it "right" and the worry that you're messing up your child or that people will talk about your (in THEIR opinion) shoddy ways of parenting.

My big issue came at 6 months when Hadley quit sleeping through the  night.  If I look back, I think I can pinpoint where it started and then little things that happened where it was allowed to progress.  It seems as though things would level out and she would sleep better, and then we would travel or have someone stay with us, and it just threw it all off for another month.  I mostly complained about it during those early months....up until this last month where I finally decided I was done with it.  DONE.  I can't even express how exhausting it is to wake up 2-4 times a night, every single night.

So first we thought to try a later a bedtime.  Not like 10pm late, but 8:30-9.  Obviously this was futile because nothing changed.  Probably got worse, actually. 

Then we tried just putting her in our bed.  This worked a few times, but mostly just made everyone sleep badly and she eventually got to where it just woke her up more. 

Then I read "Moms On Call" which really emphasized a good, solid bedtime routine along with a dark room and white noise.  Check, check, check....still didn't help. 

At this point I'm starting to get desperate.  I knew the dreaded three words were close to being uttered..."cry it out".  I resisted.

I heard a couple people recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and since I had a few friends that had used this book, I decided to give it a shot.  I eventually read that night waking, at Hadley's age, is most often caused by a too-late bedtime.  The author recommended putting the child down between 5:30-6:30.  I was skeptical along with dismayed that Hadley would have to go to bed so early considering Brad doesn't get home til around 6.  BUT we were both more than ready to see some change in this area so we started it that night.

It wasn't a miracle cure, but I'll tell you what - that girl was tired by the time 6pm rolled around.  It was plain as day that she was exhausted, but I think we never even realized it because it was just so dang early.  The first few times we did it she slept much better.  We still were having at least one wake up a night, sometimes two. 

Finally I knew it was time to suck up my "mommy softies" and make her cry during those wake-ups.  They were simply a habit at this point, and since we had exhausted literally everything I knew possible and she was still waking up, there was nothing else left to do.  So we bought a video monitor (which I always thought were unnecessary if you lived in a small house, but now I really appreciate it considering what we were going through) and committed to making her cry. 

The first night was awful - I think she woke up 3 times.  It was nice having the monitor to make sure that she wasn't stuck somehow or had a leg caught in the crib slats, but it was so hard watching my baby girl sitting in her crib, looking around and wondering where I was.  We went through this for a few nights and though we had a couple times where we just couldn't handle the crying - like at 4am after a long night and we all just needed some sleep - it really made a big difference.  Her wake-ups became less frequent and most importantly (in my mind) she was able to fall back asleep on her own without any intervention on my part, usually after just a few minutes of fussing. 

The last few nights have been - dare I say - good.  This last night she slept from 6:15pm until 6am!  I'm in no place to say, SHE'S CURED!  But I think that the biggest hurdle was overcoming my fear of her crying - now that we've been through it, it's easier to handle, especially when I can look at her and see that everything is okay.  I think another big lesson for me in all of this is that I don't feel a pressure to make her cry every single time she wakes up.  There's times that I will go to her and rock her back to sleep, or even give her a tiny bottle if she's having a rough night.  In my opinion, this is "making it work" for us, and it all might look very different for another family. 

I don't share this as a "this worked for us, maybe it will work for you" because I'm just over that idea.  For us, I tried lots of things (I didn't even talk about our chiropractor visits!) and read lots of books/articles and decided what I was okay with doing.  I think when you're facing hard things as a parent you can look to what others did but at the end of the day, you can only do what works for you, and what you're okay to do. 

But really...all I know is that I'm happy to be getting some sleep, praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hadley Kate - 13 Months

You guys....this girl is so much fun.  

Also?  This picture was from like two weeks ago - possibly posted on here already, ha - so I clearly need to take more pictures of her.  Funny how times change as they get older!

Life for us right now is all about walking, trying to run, climbing, playing, moving, yelling, etc etc.  Her little world is suddenly a whole lot more accessible to her, which makes everything very EXCITING!  Haha.  Obviously with these new experiences for her comes some different (and new) struggles for us, but overall it's been so fun seeing her grow up and change before my eyes.

Here's some of her new developments:

  • Walking everywhere
  • Climbing
  • Saying "hi" "bye" "mom" "dog" (at least, sounds like she's saying these things! Who knows, could just be random sounds)
  • Throws her ball to you - she's got a good arm on her!
  • Plays peek-a-boo 
  • Favorite Book - Furry Friends (she can "pet" the fur in the book)
  • Favorite Foods - broccoli and peas 
  • She doesn't really have any favorite toy or item, like a blankie or stuffed animal.  At least not any item that belongs to her!  She loves the remote and car keys
  • Favorite place to play is the bathroom, by far - we didn't install child locks on the drawers in there cause there's nothing really harmful so naturally that's her favorite spot to pull everything out!  
  • Loves toothbrushes
  • Recently started "eating" apples - she loves to sit and chew/suck on apples.  It's the funniest thing.  At first I worried about her taking a big bite or chunk out but she never has, it's almost like she just likes sucking the juice out of it.  Funny but a little frustrating when I just want to eat one cause then she whines the whole time I eat it if I don't give it to her!
We're still dealing with some sleep issues - she's still rarely sleeping through the night.  I honestly have no idea how this got started, what I did that contributed to it continuing for so long, or really even how to break it.  We've tried lots of things, like later bedtimes, early bedtimes, cry it out, chiropractic adjustments (still in the process of those).  We've seen the best results with early bedtimes and cry it out but those are not foolproof methods that work every single night, so we're just doing what we can as we go along.  

It's looking like the next big milestone will be her words - forming sentences, growing her vocabulary, etc.  I'm pretty excited for this, it will be nice for her to be able to tell me what she wants rather than crying or whining!  Can I get an amen :)

 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend recap

We had a great weekend!  It was pretty monumental in that we left Hadley with a non-family, non-friend babysitter for the first time!  I mean...the little girl that watched her is a friend :)  We did know her.  But she's a high school student, so it was one of "those" babysitting situations.  I was actually totally comfortable with it, mainly because I really trusted her.  We left Hadley with a sitter so that we could go out with Brad's family to dinner, and afterwards we hit up our favorite local live music bar for some drinks and dancing.  I didn't get any pictures unfortunately - seriously, will I EVER get better at that, I doubt it - but it was a super fun night.

Hadley's grandpa sent her a potty chair this last week!  It's a little too early for it but now that she's walking she loves to try and sit on things.  It's the cutest thing to watch her find random shelves/objects, turn herself around and try to fit her little butt on it :)


Proof she loves it!  And how cute are those little moccasin booties??

Sunday morning we had an "off" week at church (our church only meets every other Sunday, we attend small group meetings once a week) so the three of us went for a walk down to the coffee shop and then took Hadley to the park.  The weather here has been GORGEOUS lately - the sun is warm and the breeze is cool, so it's just about perfect.  As you can see, Hadley loves the swing -


Sunday afternoon I made a meal for some friends that just had a baby girl - I made a copy cat recipe of the Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup.  I told my friend that it's a "special occasion" soup because it's definitely NOT low-calorie!  But it has carrots and spinach in it so that makes it healthy, right ;)

Today I'm working on re-arranging Hadley's room.  We never had a crib bumper in her crib, and though I would now be totally fine with one, I really don't feel like spending money on one if we don't need it.  But anyway, because of not having a bumper she recently discovered the electric outlet right next to her crib.  It has cords plugged into it and after her nap I would come in to find her fan off because she had unplugged the cord.  Yeah, not a good situation, so for about a week I had a blanket tied around the slats so that she couldn't get to it, so today I'm moving her crib to a different wall.  I'm also moving our rocking armchair into her room, it had been in our room up until today and it was always a pain to have to take her out of the room to rock her if she woke up at night.  Her room is TEENY TINY so it's all going to be pretty crammed in there!

I'm looking forward to the week - the weather's supposed to be nice, I think we're going to go to a new play group and our poor little puppy is getting fixed.  I feel bad for him, but also hoping it calms him down some - we can only hope, the little guy is a ball of energy these days!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Home...With Pictures!

Last year I wrote about how we purchased a foreclosure in our downtown area for dirt cheap.  DIRT cheap.  It was actually pretty surprising how cheap we got the house for considering the shape it was in.  As far as "big" fixes, we put on a new roof and installed a new furnace.  All of the difference in the home was made in our little fixes, like painting the kitchen cabinets, installing new kitchen and bathroom floors, opening up a bar area in the kitchen, wrapping the existing (ugly) beams in the living room, and so on.  Oh, and paint on literally every.single.surface and trim piece.  To be honest I missed out on a lot of the work that was involved because we had a newborn during that time, so I really have to hand ALL of the credit for this beautiful home to my husband.  He worked so tirelessly and so hard to make it exactly what we wanted.



So this is the outside when we had just purchased it.  We actually painted the trim in this picture, I think prior to us moving in it was a hunter green color.  Here is the finished house today:


We added a window box to the front window and did a little bit of landscaping.  Otherwise, we didn't do much besides put on the new roof.

Onto the inside!




Sorry for the bad photos, they're all from my phone.  But anyway, the picture above is the view from the front door - it looked into the foyer (not sure what else to call this little room at the front??) and the below picture is the living room.

Here it is now:


First, Brad opened up the wall that divided the living room from the kitchen.  It suddenly made the house seem much larger!  He built a "bar" type area and added paneling to give it its own separation (really did it just to cover up some holes from something, but it looks good!)  Here is an "in process" photo:


And here's an "After" photo of this bar:


We debated staining the big beams around the bar but ended up painting them white as we really wanted the ceiling beams to "pop."  Sorry for the clutter on the counter top, I had just had a Bible study at my house (which is why it was clean enough to photograph, haha).  As far as the ceiling beams, in the "Before" and "In Process" pictures you can see that they were pre-existing, but they looked as though the prior owners had just slapped up three boards and called it a day.  So what Brad did was "wrap" them (which is a pretty common technique in building, I think?).  He took better quality wood and ran them through some machine that roughs them up, and then attached them to the existing boards, then stained them.  We also took the cheap white wall paneling that you can buy at any home improvement store and put it on the ceiling.  Not sure if it's too obvious in the photos but it's very noticeable in person.  

Okay, onto the foyer!  We didn't get any great "Before" photos of cause it wasn't really much to photograph. We also didn't do much in this room, it just got a new light fixture added (the barn light below) and also a good coat of paint :)  I am starting to think about how I want to decorate the desk nook, I love the simplicity of the barn light against the stark wall but I'm also thinking that some pictures or something below it would look nice?  Not sure.  



And my favorite, beloved room in the whole house - the kitchen!  Here's the "Before":


This is Brad's uncle, checking out the house with us :)  Also the only "Before" picture I have, sorry it's so dark!  But as you can see, it was just a dark ugly room.  The cabinetry is nothing special at all, though it's fairly decent quality.  They also had the walls painted a hideous green color that made the room feel claustrophobic.

Here's the "After":


As you can see, we did a lot in this room.  We put in new flooring, painted all the cabinetry, added new hardware, all new appliances and kitchen sink, added subway tiling and wood countertops.

Brad also built a pseudo-exhaust box (what are those called?!?) over the stove and a pantry.  We also added beadboard trim onto the edges of the cabinets.




There was also kind of an odd area at the back of the kitchen, kind of like a breakfast nook.  You can see it in the "Before" picture of the kitchen.  Here is an "In Process" photo below -


What we did here was to add storage benches since the house only came with one closet (drives me nuts).  Brad was working on them in this photo.  There was also a big heater you can see in the right corner of the picture, our fridge is in that spot now.

Here's an "After" photo of this room -


Nothing special, but it definitely helps this tiny house to feel a little bigger!  I also want to add some kind of shade to these windows...just haven't done it yet ;)

Okay, the bathroom.  Here's the "Before" -


So ugly.  So, so ugly.  The ceiling was collapsing, by the way.

Here's the "After" -


Don't mind my diaper sprayer there, ha.  In this room we did new flooring and added wainscoting with a deeper chair-railing trim.  We painted the entire room as well as the existing vanity and did a white basic vanity counter.  Here's a better photo of it -


We added a new light fixture that we bought for $20 at Menards and painted black - and as you can see, have yet to fix the big hole in the wall.  My "fix" idea was to build a bigger mirror frame to cover it up but it's a tricky spot due to the light being right there.  Anyway!  We also put in a small row of large subway tile above the vanity to cover up some holes, but I think it adds to it.


And one last shot of the bathroom.  We also tiled the back wall with the large subway tile, as well as the inside ceiling of the shower.

Alright, that's it! I didn't show the bedrooms because ours is still a work in progress, decor-wise, and I've already got pictures of Hadley's room somewhere, I just have to find them, haha.  One of these days!

 We love this house so much and honestly, it's easy to be content when you're in a home that has been crafted to reflect exactly who you are and the things you love.  I could stay here forever - except that we bought it as an investment property and it would never hold more than the 3 of us, plus the dog!  At this point we're planning to live here for another year and ideally sell it in order to do another "flip" - but who knows with the housing market turning around!

Hope you've enjoyed it!