the red ones are his favorites

As many of you know, Zach and I are pretty big NC State fans. We both graduated from State, and we sure do love our Pack. Recently, we’ve started to notice that we’re not the only ones around here who prefer Wolfpack red:

This is not a fluke- it happens just about every time, and we love it. Proud to see that the little man is staying true to his roots!

PS- Please ignore the fact that I sound like I am five years old, both in this video and in real life. Ok thanks.

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basement progress: the middle

A while ago, the wonderful John and Sherry did a post on “the middle” that made me want to jump through the computer and hug them. Mostly because I have spent the last several months living in the middle, and, like they say, sometimes it makes no sense.

Before pictures are fun. Demo is fun. Afters are SUPER fun. The in-between? Not as much fun.

Don’t get me wrong. We don’t hate the nitty gritty work (if we didn’t we wouldn’t be on round three of the house spruce-ups), but there is definitely a point when things feel a little more like work and a little less like play. Like this:

ImageThat is a picture of my dad reinstalling cinder block in the hole that he and Zach cut so that they could reconfigure the electrical and plumbing to prepare for the new kitchen layout. 

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That is a picture of our bare ceiling as Zach worked on wiring the recessed lighting.

Will anyone be pinning these pictures anytime soon? I think not. Because this part of the renovation process isn’t very pretty. But, in order to get to the fun part, it has to be done. 

The new layout looks and functions so much better than the previous one did, but it certainly took lots of time and effort to get there.

We needed to move the sink, add a washer/dryer, add a dishwasher, add an ice maker connection, add outlets, and add recessed lighting. Technical and tedious.

My dad was awesome to drive down after work several nights, and he and Zach spent a lot of time getting everything done. While they cut apart the wall, I put Hudson to bed. (Because nothing says “Sweet dreams, little baby” like taking a saw to concrete block in the room directly below. Thankfully, they were able to take care of everything during the mytinybabysleepsthroughanything stage, and it never bothered him.)

Zach, who has been a little reluctant to tackle electrical work since a minor mishap at our first house, figured out how to wire for 15 new can lights and even installed new circuit breakers. I married a stud.

All of these little changes add up to lots of time and energy, but we’re thankful that they’re done so we can start getting to the fun part.

We’re also thankful for all of our family and friends who have put up with us during this “middle” process. It feels like every other sentence out of our mouths when we show people around is, “We still have lots of work to do,” (we don’t want them to start thinking that hoarding quarter-round in the master bedroom and having giant holes in the wall is part of our decorating style), but everyone has been so gracious to visualize the potential with us (or at least pretend to ;)).

basement progress: demolition derby

Happy 2013! 

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break with lots of time to snuggle this little man:

ImageWe also spent some time working on the basement which, I am happy to report, is so close to being finished! 

Obviously I’m a little behind on blogging about the process, but I’m going to attempt to get you up to speed.

First, let’s start with a little before photo. Warning: you may want to grab your sunglasses.

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Since we are hoping to use the space as a rental, our original plan was to keep costs down as much as possible by painting the cabinets (as much as we loved the primary colors :)) and replacing the countertops. However, when my dad was meeting with a local kitchen company to discuss his own renovation plans, they told him that they were looking to get rid of one of their display units.

We spent a good deal of time crunching numbers, evaluating the options, and doing some space planning with painter’s tape.

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The new cabinets would require a different layout than the old kitchen, but after a late-night brainstorming session, Zach, my dad, and I figured out a plan we were happy with. We were able to purchase the new cabinets at an amazing discount and my dad and his wife paid for a portion as Zach’s birthday present, so we were super excited about the great deal!

Obviously, before the new kitchen could come in, the old kitchen had to go out. Even though this is our third house and they’ve all had their fair share of projects, the basement has involved more demo than anything else we’ve done.

Good thing we don’t mind making a mess. :)

As much as I was itching to rip down that ugliness that I spent  so many hours staring at, Hudson and I just spectated while Zach and my dad did this:

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And found gems like this:

ImageIn addition to the cabinet craziness, we also had a bit of a ceiling situation going on in the basement. The old ceiling tiles had lots of tiny dents in them (we think the result of being hit with pool cues by teenagers), the fluorescent lights were terrible….it was bad. 

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So, my trusty husband took care of those issues once and for all:

ImageClearly we are putting safety first around here.

In the process, we developed quite a trash pile.

ImageThankfully, that pile of ugly meant that we were preparing the way for a serious spruce-up!