Thursday, September 22, 2016

House Remodel

We started this remodel toward the end of June and it was finished up by early September. Greg and I are both very indecisive so all the selections took us quite a long time to think and research and ask friends and family. But once we made our decisions the major work got done rather quickly. We had a great contractor and we are very happy with the end results.

When you first walk in you see the stairs. We love the look of wood stairs but were nervous about them being so hard with kids and potential falls (even with baby gates). We were going to keep the existing carpet but then at the last minute decided to change it because it was pretty worn and dirty. I'm sooo glad we did. I love the herringbone pattern. The walls are all painted a lighter color than they were previously which really helped brighten things up. And all of the slate floors were taken out downstairs and replaced with wood. One of the little things I love is that the floors are SILENT. I loved the original hardwoods in our old house but boy were they squeaky. Take one wrong step and 1-3 children could be awake. But now we can sneak around our new house like ninjas.

For the living room we had the fireplace step taken out (aka the chin buster), the stone redone, added cabinets on the left to make it symmetrical, added wood paneling above fireplace and behind shelves, and added trim and molding all painted white. This made such a difference! Now I need to buy some pretties to put on the shelves. And I need someone to tell me what kind of pretties to buy. Hello Houzz and Pinterest.

The kitchen was the biggest project and we are so happy with the final results. The kitchen is always the room of the house where people congregate and we spend a lot of time here (especially me), so I am very thankful to have such a nice, big kitchen. I am really enjoying it. Everything was taken out and we started from scratch. We have way more cabinet and counter space than before. The subway tiles look almost white in the pictures but they are a light gray with a touch of beige.

This house didn't have any closets besides bedroom closets (no coat closet, linen closet, etc). So we had a nice big storage closet built at the top of the stairs where previously there were just cabinets (strange, no?). Storage space is invaluable.

We haven't put on the door knobs yet.
Overall the remodel was a good experience. It did take a considerable amount of time and many trips x 1000 to home depot, stone yards, tile places, and flooring places, It also took 2000 man hours of googling things like best greige paint color and where to place cabinet knobs ("in the corner" really has multiple options). But it was mostly fun and now I kinda want to do a remodel on the next house. Although I also kinda never want to move again because of ALLTHETHINGS.

I will probably post pictures of other rooms later as they are decorated. That could be months and months though!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Colton 11 Months

Wow your hair looks extra fluffy laying down
I can't believe my next post will be your ONE YEAR post. Gosh, it always goes by so fast. I want to freeze you just as you are and yet I know there is so much fun yet to come. You are so irresistibly cute. You have the best smiles and I love how you are my little koala bear hanging tightly perched on my hip.

Size: I have no idea. The batteries on our scale are dead and since we are still trying to unpack our house and get settled, changing scale batteries is low on my priority list. But blogging is not, apparently. Boxes can wait. Because look at this cuteness. It must be documented.

Eat: You still nurse about every 3 hours during the day and eat purees in between. Plain, whole milk yogurt is still your fave (I mix it with purees too). You still aren't on board with solid foods. I have offered you scrambled eggs, more avocado, a variety of fruits, cheese, turkey, sweet potato fries, but you are like NO THANKS. Hey it's cool. We can wait. I'm sure you will jump on the solid food train eventually.

Sleep: You sleep through the night some nights and others wake up for a feeding. I don't mind though. If you wake up in the 6's you usually want to go back to sleep a little longer after I feed you. But if it is in the 7's you are up for the day. You take your first nap around 9:30 or 10:30 depending on when you wake up. Second nap is around 2 or later depending on length of first. You go to bed at 7:30pm. The lovie bond is still strong.

Likes/Dislikes: You love to stand, get into cabinets, pull up on toilets (gross), take baths, pull things out of the dishwasher, throw/roll a ball back and forth, play in splash pads, and chew on shoes (why??). I have to hide shoes from you. You like to be held and of course you still love your lovie. 

Skills: You pull up on everything and can take a few steps holding on. You can stand on your own for a few seconds at a time when we let go of you. You feel SO PROUD. It is the cutest thing to see the look on your face when you realize you are balancing on your own and beam with pride. You also love to climb up the first step and hold on to the baby gate. That makes me so nervous. You babble mama and dada a lot and make lots of other cute sounds. Cambry is really good at making you laugh. You have developed the funniest fake cry/whine. You scrunch your nose real hard and pout your lip and try to sound upset. Cracks me up every time.

I think this will finally be the month we get your hair cut. I am just so worried about accidentally getting a bowl cut. How do I ask them to trim it up but still keep the rockstar swoop? And what about the duck tail sticking up on top? Certainly we can't cut that off. It's too cute. Maybe just a teeny trim. 

Oh little boy, you are a joy. Tonight after I finished nursing you, you were being so sweet and silly. You would give me the best smiles then grab my face and pull me close. I could eat your up. Happy 11 months precious one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Home Sweet Wooded Home

We are in our new home in the Woodlands! We have only been here a week and a half but with all our people and stuff it is already feeling like home.

I actually wasn't super sad moving out of our old house. I think the sad part was all the goodbyes to friends and neighbors, which we had already done. I will definitely miss our old house though and all the sweet memories in it. It was the first house Greg and I lived in (besides apartments), and the house we brought our 3 little ones home to. I wonder if Cambry will even remember it. I moved houses when I was 4 years old and I do have some memories of what our old house looked like. Good thing we have 200,000 pictures over the years for the kids to remember it by. On our last night at the house we went to get ice cream at Ice Cream Robins (as Cambry calls it).

Moving day was overwhelming. Thankfully we had wonderful help from both sides of the family. Greg's parents kept the girls in Waco for several days. They were thrilled about this. Cambry had been counting down the days until she saw her Waco family. My parents kept Colton all day on moving day.

The actual move went smoothly with the movers, but then we were left with a whole house to unpack and clean and several immediate projects to do (install baby gate on stairs ASAP, install clothes rods in closets, install light/fan, put up some temporary window shades, etc.). We worked non stop for the 3 day weekend and got a lot done! Colton was busy exploring the new house and "helping" us.

Found this box packed by Greg, obviously
The girls came home on Sunday and were excited to see the new place. Actually Cambry went straight to the playroom and started playing with the new toy we bought the girls. She was content to play for quite a while before even wanting to see the rest of the house or her room. She eventually saw the rest of the house and was excited about everything.

So far I really like our new area. We visited a cute nearby park and splash pad. Lainey has finally discovered the joy of the splash pad! She has been scared of them in the past, which we couldn't believe since she loves playing with water. But she has gotten over her fear and now delights in them. This was Colton's first time to go and he loved it. I had to continually pull him back from putting his whole head and face right in the water.

We also discovered a "secret trail" on our street in between 2 houses. Everything here is hidden behind tons of trees so you always feel like you are in the middle of nature. It is so fun walking to a park on such a wooded path. I am looking forward to some cooler weather and less mosquitoes. They are fierce here.

We went out to eat over the weekend in Market Street, and then let the kids play in the splash pad there afterward. They had so much fun.

We tried out a new church Sunday and really enjoyed it. We plan to try out a number of others as well. It is so strange being the visitor. But at least we get to take advantage of visitor parking!

Today we went to the Children's museum. It is much smaller than the one in Houston but was fun and was only 7 minutes away! And I didn't have to get on any big roads! Such a difference from Houston. Cambry even saw a friend from her preschool class there and they were so excited to run into eachother. They grabbed hands and ran off to do their own thing.

We still have lots to unpack and nothing is hung on our walls and our living room is empty. Like, really empty. No couch or chair or coffee table. And so is our dining room because we didn't have a dining room before. So I need to buy some furniture soon and my mom has been helping me brainstorm some decorating ideas. There are a lot of projects I want to do around here but it will just take time. I'll post some before and after pictures of the remodel soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Firsts and Lasts

We are wrapping up our time here in Houston and having many lasts and goodbyes. It is a strange thing to be moving 30 miles away. It really isn't that far. Greg drives there and back 5 days a week. But it is far enough that we won't get to see friends on a weekly/monthly basis which makes it harder to keep up close relationships. Many of my friends will be about an hour a way, so we won't be meeting up for mid week play dates too often. But we can still meet up periodically and keep in touch with friends so that will be nice.

The other week we had 2 neighbors over for a goodbye dinner. We will surely miss our neighborhood and especially our immediate neighbors. They threw us a welcome party when we moved in almost 7 years ago. They have also had special dinners for us to celebrate each of our babies. I am praying that we will get to form good relationships with our new neighbors as we have had here.

Last week at church they had a send off for us in the youth class. They made sweet certificates for us like we make for the 8th graders when they graduate to high school. They also shared some funny stories and had a cookie cake for us. They gathered around and prayed for us. We will certainly miss all the youth kids and especially all the leaders which we have been such good friends with. Something about working with youth kids bonds you together. Maybe it's all the retreats and camps and Sunday mornings and funny stories we can share with each other. We have also enjoyed many double/triple/quadruple dates with these friends on all the parents night outs. Man I hope we can find a church in the Woodlands that offers PNO, ha!

And of course we had to play "Peg Greg" that Sunday.

Then over the labor day weekend we got together with the youth leaders that we are close with for another fun goodbye party. We swam and ate good food and the kids had a great time playing together. Here are 8 of the 13 kids there.

Our Bible study group had a goodbye get together for us last week. We have been with these couples since the beginning. Well, the beginning of marriage, that is. These friends have been such a big part of our lives. It seems so long ago when we would get together as newlyweds without kids and do icebreaker questions and not worry about bed times. I'm not sure what we even talked about before we had kids. But anyway, I will miss this group so much. They prayed for us and gave us this precious verse of the week sign and they all wrote our verses.

Though there have been a lot of lasts lately, there will be many new firsts to look forward to.

Cambry had meet her teacher the other week and then had her first day at her new preschool in the Woodlands. She is going MWF 9-2pm. It is a small church preschool and everyone I've met is very sweet. Her teachers seem great and I look forward to getting to know some of the other moms at the school. I met 3 moms from her class at parent orientation and all 3 had husbands who worked at ExxonMobil. Crazy! Cambry did great her first week and has enjoyed her new school so far. Lainey has cried every time I have dropped Cambry off because she wants to go to class too.

It will take some time to adjust but I am looking forward to our new adventure. All the friends we will be missing are a reminder of God's gracious provision of friendships in our lives over the past 8 years. So I know He will be faithful to provide for us in our new community and I look forward to seeing that.