Monday, June 18, 2012

Kitchen!

First, here are a couple pics of me at 38 weeks. When I look at these, I wonder who that person is. Kinda looks like me, but jeeeez look at that belly!
(Not sure why these came out so neon-y..)


Kinda hard to believe that's my baby in there, super close to coming out to play!

And now, for the kitchen! My husband bought our townhouse a couple years before we met, and with the market being the way it is, the house just isn't worth what he paid for it. So we really didn't want to put much money into renovating our kitchen. But it was in SERIOUS need of work, so we got creative and made some updates that we are really happy with. First, the befores:

This has been the state of our kitchen since I moved in. BORING, cheap, and just not done.

Notice the bulkhead on the ceiling. The worst.

Oh, also there were holes in it...

We have an entire wall of windows, which is nice for the light they bring in, but they're not very pretty.

Super cheap laminate countertops, with a cook top that only half works. That had to go.

This is the kitchen after the first day of demo- no more bulkhead!




And now, the afters!:

So, to keep within our tiny budget, we decided to refinish the existing cabinets. We painted them and installed bead board into the centers of the cabinet faces. We planned on painting the cabinets white, but in the end chose a nice brown-y grey. We love how they turned out!


We also put bead board up in place of a more expensive tile backsplash. We may change this later (when budget permits), but for now, we really like it! It cost almost nothing but made a really big difference.


I may have slightly over-decorated this little corner, but I really love finally being able to display some of my cute little things.


Close up of the backsplash, counter tops, and paint color.


The pic above gives you a good view of the lower cabinets, as well as the tile flooring that my husband put in when he first moved in. He made really good flooring choices, thank God! We also decided to keep the white appliances. We didn't want to spend a lot on new appliances, and we actually like the way the white ones look in the room. Who would've thought?

Please ignore that trash can. I don't know what I was thinking leaving that in the pictures. 

Eventually we will figure out some sort of functional/pretty window coverings, and maybe add a shelf above the windows. But for now, Ray and his dad built white frames to cover the cheap and ugly metal window frames.


Here's a close up of the bead board backsplash underneath the windows.

View from the entryway.




I love the island now that that awful cooktop is gone. There's so much space to work and entertain! For the counter tops, we decided it was appropriate to stick with a laminate, since again, we really didn't want to put too much money into the kitchen. I wasn't super excited about it, but we actually found a laminate that we really love. I think it looks the most like a natural stone, the colors are great, and I love the little bit of sparkle in the sunlight!

Close up of the counter top. Notice the little hint of a shimmer.



Above is the view from the kitchen into our entryway. This room seems to always be in transition, as we try to figure out the best way to use the space. For now, Ray's mom refinished this antique bar for us in the same color as the kitchen cabinets. We also just added the mirror, which really opens up the room and makes the kitchen look bigger.



This space is purely functional at the moment. I love having a place to hang my things, but it definitely needs something. Maybe a bench that doubles as seating and storage?
And then here are a few little details:

I LOVE peonies! 
I collect salt and pepper shakers, and have quite a few in the shape of little birds. These are my favorite.



My very clever husband mounted our spice rack above the stove to save space. Since the kitchen is pretty small, little things like this make all the difference.

And that's it! We are really happy with the way everything turned out. We put a lot of work in to it, and did almost everything ourselves to save money. In all, we spent about $2500, and we think we got major impact on a minor budget. 

Ray's parents were a HUGE help. They were here every weekend for what feels like months, painting, calking, framing, and just doing anything and everything we needed to get the job done. Thank you so much Ray and Laura!

My mom will be here on Wednesday to help prepare for the baby's arrival. (He is due in just 8 days, and there is still so much to do!) So, that means Ray have just 2 nights left in our house alone together, before we become parents. Wow! We're almost parents! Ray just made me brownies, without my even asking for them, so I'd say it's time for me to sign off and spend some time with my man. 

I'll leave you with this:

Our sweet little dog Bagel, who requires all of our attention at the moment. Isn't he cute?? Poor little dog. He has no idea what's coming!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

So close!

3 weeks left! Just 3 little bitty weeks! It's really hard to believe this little journey of ours is almost over, and the beginning of a new, BIG journey is about to begin. But I want ya'll to all feel sorry for me- this weekend began on Friday with a temperature of 113 degrees! Yeah, 113 degrees on June 1st. This is going to be one hell of a summer.

I'm sort of all over the place with my emotions. I'm dying for this baby to come, but I'm also overwhelmed by everything we need to do before he gets here. I'm sure this is normal. We are THIS CLOSE to finished with the kitchen. In fact, Ray promised me this morning that it would be done today. He and his mom (who is amazing!) have spent every minute of the past few weekends, and some nights after work, putting the kitchen back together. I wish I could say I've been a big help too, but mostly I just get in the way for a few minutes at a time, then head back to the couch to lay down to try to ease the pain in my ribs and back. It's frustrating feeling so useless, but I just keep telling myself that I'm doing the best I can, and I won't be this pregnant forever. Luckily my husband is an angel and doesn't mind doing pretty much everything for me, without any complaints!

I've been working full time all the way through my pregnancy, and plan to continue up until I go into labor. I'm in the middle of the busiest season of the year at my job, so I'm trying to do everything I can to get organized and ready for my maternity leave. After the baby is born I'll take a couple weeks to relax with him, and then I'll work from home for about a month. I'm really lucky to have a great boss and a job that allows me some flexibility. I'm definitely nervous about getting back to work after the baby's born- I know I'll just want to be with him every second, but Ray will be home with me for the full 6 weeks, so he'll be a big help. Isn't that amazing? He get's 6 weeks paid paternity leave. It's unheard of.

After our 6 weeks are up, I'll go back to work full time. I'll be able to bring baby with me some days, and I should be able to work from home some. The rest of the time we plan on sending him to daycare. This really breaks my heart, but I feel like as long as we keep it to just a couple days a week, I'll be able to handle it. I am already imagining many tear-filled mornings after I drop him off. It's just something we have to do.

My parents will be here for the birth, which is really really wonderful for me. My mom will be such a big help, during the delivery and after, and my dad will be such a calming presence for me. I know that just having him there, waiting and praying, will make me feel safe and worry free. I would really love it if all my brothers and sisters could come too- if I was giving birth in Georgia I know they'd all be there, waiting to meet their new nephew! It would be so wonderful to be able to introduce my little boy to his aunts and uncles (whoa that's weird!), and for them to be a part of such a big event in my life. But it's expensive and a lot to ask for all 6 of them to fly out, without being certain when he will be born. I'd hate for them to come, only to have to leave again without having him yet. But it does make me sad knowing that they'll miss his first few days. We'll just have to Skype like crazy!

Life has been so busy and crazy these last few weeks. In my mind I had hoped that the last few weeks of my pregnancy would be easy and relaxing. I'd imagined Ray and I spending a lot of time together before we're never just the two of us again, but it's not really working out that way. We're spending time together, but it's time spent working on the house and talking about the baby and all the things still left to do. That's okay though. I am really looking forward to our time at home together as a family, getting to know our new little boy and just being together all the time. It sounds too good to be true!

I'm beginning to get emotional thinking about meeting this baby for the first time. I have a hard time picturing him, and imagining what our life will be like once he's here. I still think of him as a part of me, and it's hard to think of him as a little person- an actual, real baby. My baby. I just can't wait to see him and touch him and hold him for the first time. I'm not very emotional or sentimental normally, but I have a feeling motherhood is going to change that. Yesterday I tried to read him a little Dr. Seuss book that you're meant to read to babies in the womb. Ray found me sitting in the middle of the nursery sobbing like a weirdo and reading to my belly. I can't imagine how silly I must have looked to him. He's sweet though, so he just sat down next to me and hugged me while I finished reading. I remember seeing my friends in the few days after they had their first baby's, and I was always struck by how much love they seemed to exude. They all seemed so happy, so in love, and SO emotional. I guess that's just the way it goes.

Here are a few little pictures from my shower a while back. It was such a sweet day- my friend Rachel worked so hard to make it special for me. She even included sweet little details from our wedding. I was so touched!


These little tags were a detail taken from our wedding- Rachel's brother Tim is really good at calligraphy, so he wrote out all the table numbers for us. Rachel had him make these for the shower.

More little tags to write our names on. 

Tim also made this sweet little sign, with a quote from the blog. It's in the nursery now!

Gifts from our registry. I have such sweet friends!

These are the cutest little animal cupcake tags that my mom found. So sweet!

Alright ya'll, I'm off to pitch in with the kitchen. I know I've said it before, but next time I WILL have pictures of the finished product to show you. Until then!






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