Hey, look out for that moving van...

Post title compliments of my new favorite show tune to sing incessantly and Rick's new favorite song to get stuck in his head because I am singing it incessantly. He loves it. He really does.

Here is where I would appropriately insert a photo of our moving van, with me singing in the background, if I had been able to find the camera at the time of our official move this past Saturday. Hard to believe that I couldn't locate it, when the downstairs was as organized as this:

Despite our great deal of obvious unpacking and our excitement about finally living here (we closed a month and a half ago!) as opposed to just playing house when we visited on the weekends, we have remembered to eat and take bathroom breaks. And perhaps I'm utterly cheesy, but I've unearthed the camera and have also remembered to take pictures of cute things like this:

What can I say? I am utterly and hopelessly crazy about my kitties. And they're enjoying their new house (and that blanket) as much as we are.

Okay, maybe they're enjoying it a little too much.

The current office setup also lets me know that we've officially moved and things won't quite be the way I want them until we have time to seriously organize ourselves. This post is being brought to you from here:

Let me tell you, by the end of this, I will either have better posture than Miss California or be in serious need of a chiropractor. I'm hoping for the former. Will it help if I wish for world peace while typing?


A husband, a crowbar, and some carpet.

Warning: what you are about to see is not your average Girl Scout project. Although it should be. How come they make badges for things like identifying a marimba but not for things like hardcore home renovation?

Our non-Girl Scouty weekend project involved tackling the creepiest thing in this picture:

Yes, that would be the carpet. We decided that enough was enough with the wall-to-wall after a persistent greasy-smoky-spicy smell lingered in the room (think high school cafeteria meets a Big Mac meets a Thai entree...am I making you hungry?) after scrubbing the cabinets and steaming the carpet not once, but three times. Whoever said "the third time's the charm" had clearly never met our kitchen carpet. Cue Rick, the crowbar, and my camera.

Look what we found behind the fridge!

(I always thought behind the fridge would be a good place to get dressed while eating pepperoni and writing letters.)

After all of the carpet was up, we decided to investigate what what was under the subfloor, since we were pretty sure that nobody in 1897 (when the house was built) promoted the general practice of installing wall to wall carpeting. We weren't disappointed!

We decided to go ahead and see what the rest of the floor looked like underneath the subfloor, noting that it was in fairly disgusting condition itself with water damage and some mildewy stains. (I'll spare you the pictures. Your dinner plans can thank me.)

Whoever had installed the subfloor had clearly never intended  to be the ones to remove it, because they had a really great time going spastic with a nail gun. I'm pretty sure we yanked up enough nails to build an entire house.

Rick: "Did they think the floor was going to jump up and attack them?" 

Here he is mid-process, looking either triumphant or deranged. I haven't decided which.

This part of the process was not what you would include in an essay entitled, say, "How I Want To Spend My Weekend." It took a long time, especially since we only had one crowbar, which meant Rick was doing most of the prying and tearing and conquering while I sipped a cocktail.


I honestly felt badly that I couldn't be more help, but there really was only so much I could do. So, I contented myself with yanking up nails and the perimeter tack strip and hauling away carpet and luan remains.

And after all of Rick's hard work, here's what we now parade around on as we pour cereal and reheat leftover roast:

 The floor is definitely in need of some TLC. Parts of it are painted, parts of it have knot holes, and parts of it are weirdly charred--we're thinking maybe there was a wood stove there at some point? We're excited, though, that we can refinish it as opposed to having to install a new floor altogether.

RIP, scuzzy carpet.


Dear Ugly Chair: Will you be mine?

Rick has accused me of having a crush on chairs. What can I say? I see cheap chairs with potential on Craigslist, I send an intricately folded love note that says "Will you be mine? Circle YES or NO with the nearest gel pen," and the next thing you know we're hurtling off to go pick them up after I've had time to update my Facebook relationship status and say OMG a few times. As a result, this is what our apartment's front entryway has looked like for the past, well, while:

We showed the apartment to several different prospective tenants last week, and more than one asked if "the junk in the hallway" was going to be removed when we moved out.



In my opinion, nothing says "Welcome to our home" better than a precariously stacked pile of ugly chairs.

The good news is, I know exactly where I want each of those ugly chairs to be used and what it will look like after we spend some quality time getting to know each other better.

The Plan:
Disclaimer: This may only be The Plan for the next 3 minutes and 48 seconds, so read fast.

I picture these (that are currently the most heinous shade of burnt orange) with a coat of silvery paint and some fun fabric for our desk chairs:

And these with a glossy black lacquer finish around the dining room table:

And this one, for the den, gets new fabric and a paint job:

Speaking of the den, there's an ongoing dispute between my mom and I about the name of said room. She insists that "den" is much too modern for our 1897 home, opting instead for "parlor." So, we've compromised on "darlor." Or "pen," though that brings with it connotations of livestock and manure.

Anyway, that's my story about my romance with chairs. It's sort of like Romeo & Juliet, except there are no daggers or tunics or hare-brained schemes about pretending to be dead. Which pretty much makes my love affair a whole lot better than that of the star-crossed teenagers of yore. (Psst...guess what my next English 9 unit is?) ;)


A matter of priority.

I'd feel ridiculously self-serving if I were to post something about my disappointment with our latest paint choice, or my plans for our bedroom carpet, without acknowledging at all what is happening in Japan.

Because while my morning is being "ruined" by the student who spouts choice words at me on his way to the principal's office, there are people in Japan that have come face to face with the real meaning of "ruined."

Because while I'm worrying about stenciled birdhouses in my bathroom and bemoaning the wall-to-wall carpeting in the kitchen, there are people in Japan that don't have a house at all.

It bothers me that I can feel so completely unchanged and unaffected by a disaster of such enormous magnitude, that my week can continue with the same predictable roadbumps getting in my way. I simply have to take pause and thank God for His blessing, His provision, and His hedge of protection around us, knowing very well that all of that could change in a matter of minutes; believing all the same that no matter what, I'm resting in unchanging and everlasting arms, and so are the people in Japan. Truly, that is the only solid rock we can rest any fears upon.

"On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand."

Nobody planned for a massive earthquake, a devastating tsunami, explosions and fire, the threat of radiation. Nobody wrote "death toll soaring into the thousands" on their calendar. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails." I thank the Lord that I can lean on Him even in the light of unplanned circumstances.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11


How to be the most stylish painter ever.

This past Saturday, my mom and sister came over to help us paint our living room. They showed up wearing this:

I know you're all jealous that we have such stylish painters to assist us, but don't fret! Simply raid the nearest thrift store or the rejected clothes pile in your closet that hasn't seen the light of day since 1991 and you, too, can look just as stunning with a foam roller as the two models above.

I would have gotten in the photo myself for a family photo-opp (we call ourselves Lucy, Ethel, and Ethel Jr.), except my outfit didn't exactly measure up: high school swim team hoodie and jeans? It was sadly under-dramatic compared to those of my genetic counterparts.

As for what they were helping us paint, well, that's a post for another day. Mainly because we didn't finish. This is partly because we spent too much time laughing and partly because we found a dead bird upstairs.

But that's a post for another day, too. :)


Furniture is in the house. Oh, and we painted.

Slowly but surely, our furniture collection is growing. We started out with this elegant table and chairs:

It's too bad I didn't also capture our plastic tableware in the photo.

And now that stylish set is in the company of our new couch:

You can tell from the picture that we also hung curtains. Well, Rick hung curtains. I stood around and captured the moment on camera, and occasionally said helpful things like "Where are the Twizzlers?"

The room is also sporting a brand new wall color (Glidden's Seal Grey color matched to Olympic no VOC).

Here's the patriotic before:

And the less 4th of July-ish after:

108" panels courtesy of West Elm. Fabric wrinkles and excessive length courtesy of me.

We still need to replace the maroon blinds, but, for now, they are all that is shielding our neighbors from seeing me prance around the room, with paint in my hair, singing songs from Hairspray. We don't want them to think we're completely crazy, even if I was singing "The New Girl in Town," which is, according to me, totally and completely appropriate given my new-girl-in-town status. In fact, I think I should sing it every day, in honor of my status. Rick disagrees.

Party pooper.

Anyone else been up to any "room progress" lately? :)

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