Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth

July 4, 2015
Make a funny face!

And, just for fun, a little trip through the archives.  The annual photo by the flag is one tradition I have been good at observing for many years!

2014:  Annie was in an anti-photo-taking stage!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bathroom Overhaul

Ever since moving to our new home over a year ago, my #1 pet peeve of this house has been the carpet in the bathrooms.  Who does that?!  Thankfully, the tub/toilet areas were tiled, but the vanity area in both the kids' and the master bath was carpeted, and it was nasty.  I have been dying to get rid of that ratty carpet from the moment we moved in.  Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, we were able to find some guys who laid tile for a very reasonable price.  We decided to tile all three upstairs bathrooms, including the guest bathroom that was already tiled, just so that the flooring was the same in all.  So without further ado, 

Kids Bathroom

Guest Bathroom
And going way back to the day we closed on the house:
This bathroom has changed dramatically over the last year!!

In the master, we decided to do both the flooring as well as the tub and shower surround, and the fireplace in the bedroom.  We used the same wood-plank-look tile that we put in the other two bathrooms, with a Carrara marble as the surround. 



 We used a hex-tile mosaic for the inlay pattern.  We also ditched the plastic drip-pan and used the hex tiles for the flooring.  I am a little obsessed with how it turned out!

Before (showing the carpeting meeting the tile in the toilet/shower area):

After (with the tile flowing through):

Work in Progress:
I'm calling this a work-in-progress, because my next project is to paint the mantle black to match our bedroom furniture and bathroom cabinetry.  But I love the way the new tile looks!

It's so awesome to have this project done, and even more awesome that I didn't have to do it!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Forgotten Year

When we were in Utah for Christmas, I got a lot of comments from our extended family about how I used to be so good at blogging, and how I've totally dropped the ball on that.  It's a completely fair criticism.  I sometimes joke that 2014 was "The Forgotten Year," since I didn't keep a good record of what happened during it.
On New Year's Night as Adam and I were lying in bed before falling asleep, Adam said, "Just think what we were doing a year ago today."  The answer was that we were getting our house ready to put on the market in the morning.  By January 3rd, we were under contract both to sell our old home and to buy our new home.  And this, in the opening days of 2014, would pretty much set the stage for our entire stressful year.  
January and February were dominated by house buying and selling.  Both the buyer of the old house and the seller of the new were out of the country, which complicated everything tremendously.  Add to that mold issues and mitigation, and a closing date that was delayed twice.  It was an emotionally draining experience!  When we were finally able to close on both houses the last week of February, it was time to start the real work.
We moved into our new home on Saturday, March 1st.  The next day, our ward boundaries were realigned, necessitating a reorganization of much of the quorums and auxillaries of the ward by the Bishopric.  March and April were Adam's busiest months as a bishop to date, as he spent countless hours meeting dozens of new families and extending callings.  In the meantime, I was doing an overhaul of the new house:  first unpacking everything and settling in, then painting walls, refinishing mantles and cabinets, patching walls, installing hardware, sewing curtains and couch pillows, and shopping for accents.   It was happy work, but it was a LOT of work, especially with Adam gone the vast majority of the time.
A surprise trip to San Francisco for my birthday in May was just what Adam and I needed after not seeing each other for two months!  It was so nice to be able to get away from the house issues and the ward issues and just spend time together away from our stresses.
Without going into tons of detail, the second half of the year was dominated by infertility challenges.  We were unprepared to deal with that trial, as all of our three children came easily and according to the timing we planned.  It has been a serious struggle that has yet to be resolved.
So here I am at the beginning of a new year, having just finished what was arguably one of the most challenging years of my life.  But even though we confronted serious difficulties, I just have to say that I am so incredibly grateful for the last year.  I have been stretched and tested and ultimately have experienced extreme personal growth.  I'm not the same woman I was a year ago, and I sincerely hope the changes that have occurred in me have been for the better.  
I face 2015 with great optimism.  While we still have unanswered questions, unmet expectations, and unfulfilled hopes, we feel like we have momentum working in our favor.  Our ward is in a good place, with our members becoming more unified and cohesive than ever before.  Our home is in order.  Though there are still plenty of projects for me to tackle, we feel settled and comfortable here now.  And we have an appointment to meet with a specialist to see if we can figure out what's wrong so we can get that last little person here that we feel we need to complete our family.  I am at peace.  I don't know what this year will bring, but I am excited to find out!  Both Adam and I feel it will be a year of great momentum and even miracles in our lives.  Oh, and hopefully I can be more engaged in blogging this year!