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Mid-century Modern Details

06/25/2018

While the exterior architecture is spot on mid-century modern, the inside of our house doesn’t have a lot of exciting mcm details. We do have a few, some which are staying and some that will go…

Doorbell:

Living room lights:

Stair rail:

Shower light:

Kitchen cabinet handles:

Boys’ bathroom light and mirror:

Dining room buffet handles:

Girls’ bathroom lights and wallpaper:

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House Tour: BEFORE

06/21/2018

Here’s a tour of our house in the state it was the day we bought it, with a few more recent pictures, too.

The formal living room we’re going to use as a dining room. It will get a new chandelier (Ali is begging for this one to go in her room) and new hardwood flooring. The buffet in the background in the original dining room will be updated to match the kitchen.

We’re going to completely reconfigure and remodel the kitchen.

We’re calling this room the living room. It’ll get fresh white walls, new hardwood flooring and new lighting. We’re hoping to vault the ceilings in the living room, kitchen and dining room.

The room below with the red carpet we’re calling the den. It’s a converted garage and it’s huge. We’re going to make it a tad smaller by adding a walk-in storage closet and converting the current walk-in storage closet (behind that solid door) into Jason’s office/studio.

The storage room is approx 6′ x 13′ now with two windows.

The half bath will be remodeled. Actually, the remodel is currently underway. All the original fixtures are out and it’s ready to be tiled as soon as Jason has time.

There’s a huge pantry and laundry room. These shelves will be replaced with more practical pantry shelving and we’ll redo the floors in tile. Across from the washer and dryer we’ll have a second refrigerator/freezer. (Hello food storage for a family of 6!)

The next two bedrooms will be combined into one larger master bedroom.

This full bathroom will be incorporated into the master suite and totally remodeled.

This room will be for the boys, Isaiah and Noah. It will get new hardwood floors and blue paint on the walls. It has it’s own full bathroom. It was probably the original master bedroom.

The upstairs has two bedrooms with a bathroom in between. This one will be a guest room for now.

The bedroom across the hall is the girls’ room for Ali and JoJo. It’s huge! Both of these bedrooms have two huge walk-in closets.

So you can see how big it is… Ali, Zay and JoJo are currently sharing this room until we finish the downstairs.

The bathroom in between is pretty fabulous. It’ll be the girls’ bathroom. Right now we’re all sharing it.

So that’s it! Just a couple weeks until we can start the major renovations!


New Wine

06/20/2018

This won’t make sense to many people but I want to document it as part of our moving process. During a particularly stressful day when we thought the bottom might drop out of our plans, God gave me the verse Mark 2:22. At the time it puzzled me a little bit but it’s come to mean so much to me.

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

I found this song shortly after and it’s become the soundtrack to this transition for us:


Moving In

06/11/2018

On May 30, our family of six began our adventure in our new house. Well, old house, technically. It’s 49 years old. And we’re going to live in it while we renovate it (minus some demo days we’ll need to evacuate for). It might get pretty interesting so I thought it was a good time to reopen my blog. I started this blog back in 2007 when we lived in a 1952 brick ranch that we modernized with lots of DIY projects and documented them here. Now that we’re starting over with another renovation—this time a 1969 A-frame ranch—my MCM life is back. Follow along if you’re curious to see what we’re up to.

This is us: Jason, Martina, Alianna (6), Isaiah (3) Josephine (1) and Noah (3 months).

This is our house:

We plan to move some walls around, redo the kitchen, update the flooring, convert the den (converted garage) into two rooms (den and office/studio) each with big storage closets, turn two bedrooms and a full bathroom into one master suite, remodel all four bathrooms, and revamp the landscape design. Phew! Let’s get started…

Follow along on Instagram, too, @mymcmlife. I update just daily there.


Moving On

06/09/2018

Nearly six years ago, on June 14, 2012 we broke ground on this property to start the construction of our dream home. I remember the date specifically because it was also our 9th wedding anniversary. In December 2012 we moved in with 1.5 year old Ali. It was a beautiful home thoughtfully designed by architect Ryan Thewes who took all our requests and considerations to heart. It was a blank slate, especially the outside, but we made it into a home. Jason spent countless thousands of hours and dollars on the landscape design. We cared for four foster babies here and then brought three babies home from the hospital here. We moved in as a family of three and two weeks ago we moved out as a family of six. It’s bittersweet. We love this house and put so much blood, sweat and tears into making it what it is now.

Jason is a Realtor and a few months ago he came across a listing for a house that caught his eye. He sent me the link and a few hours later I met him there to check it out. It’s not the first time we’ve done that… we both love looking at real estate and dreaming big dreams. Typically after these visits, we go back home and look around and say “nah…” But this time was different. The house offered a lot more space than our current home, both inside and out. The mid-century architecture outside was the biggest draw, followed closely by the community. If we could just make the numbers work…

We talked about it for a week or two before we made any decisions. We knew it was going to be hard to leave this house. We ultimately decided to take a leap of faith and see if we could make it happen. Jason wrote up an offer with a contingency that we had to sell our current home first, even though it wasn’t on the market yet. After some back and forth, he negotiated us a great deal and the seller kindly agreed to work with us while we got our house listed for sale. Thanks to Jason’s real estate expertise, we had our house show-ready and beautifully photographed in just a few days. It hit the market and exploded with interest. We had three solid offers before he even planted a FOR SALE sign in the front yard. As hard as it is to say goodbye to this house, I’m excited for the new owners who have expressed how much they love the house and appreciate all the thought and work that went into the design.

And now the new adventure begins…


2017: Grow

02/14/2017

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I started out 2017 choosing Grow as my 2017 One Little Word as I was writing down some goals and dreams for the year. I want to grow as a wife, mother, friend, home educator, designer and I had some general ideas of how that might look. Four days into the new year I was laid off from my full time graphic design job, just a few weeks shy of a decade with the company. When I started out, I never expected to still be working there 10 years later. I had dreams of switching to all freelance but the safety net of a salary made it easier to stay, along with my bosses graciously allowing me to do most of my work from home. Ten years, three kids, five foster kids, three moves and the same faithful husband later; here I am. I’ve made the switch to all freelance graphic design work. I feel so…free! Occasionally scared. But mostly hopeful. I’m clinging to faith and trusting a good God who loves me and my family and will not forsake us. It’s pouring as I’m writing this and the Sara Groves’ song “Open My Hands” is playing in my head: I believe in a blessing I don’t understand/ I’ve seen rain fall on the wicked and the just/ Rain is no measure of His faithfulness/ He withholds no good thing from us/ No good thing, no good thing from us.


I haven’t blogged consistently in a while and I’m not sure if I will start back up now, but I wanted to write to update a few major life changes:

1. My freelance graphic design website is MartinaAhlbrandt.com and it’s freshly up and running with some portfolio images.

2. I’ve reopened my Etsy shop selling midcentury modern and vintage collectibles along with a few graphic design creations. It’s now ReAbide.Etsy.com.

3. I post frequently about my day-to-day with the kids, homeschooling, graphic design, vintage treasures, pretty pictures, etc. @mrsallbright on Instagram. A fraction of my photos there get pushed to my Facebook. I have a love-hate, mostly-hate, relationship with Facebook right now but I still love Instagram.

4. We’re still planning on building an investment property called Rosewood Heights House. It’s been a long time dream of ours and it’s slow going, but still going. I don’t have much to update currently while we’re waiting for a few essential pieces to fall into place. Follow @rosewoodheights on Instagram or Rosewood Heights House on Facebook to hear updates on our process.

5. Speaking of real estate, my husband Jason is rockstar. Literally, he’s a touring musician and recording artist, (currently working on his third album!) Also, he’s our rockstar real estate agent. When I lost my job/salary, he doubled down and has been working his tail off. I’m so proud of him, not just for how hard he works to serve his clients well and to provide for his family, but I really admire his integrity. There are some shady people running around in the real estate industry, who will tell people whatever they want to hear to get a listing or act like total jerks to other agents. Jason is perfect mix of hard working and highly motivated AND honest and moral. If you know of anyone moving to Nashville or within the area, we would be so honored if you would pass his name along. I’m his in-house assistant, designer and marketer.


Isaiah Jason – 1.5 Years Old

11/30/2016

Last month Isaiah turned one-and-a-half. Our book-loving, vacuum-enthusiast, snuggle bug is such a special part of our family. In July, at 14 months old, he became a big brother. He’s very sweet and gentle with his baby sister. He gives JoJo soft kisses and pats her head. He likes to bring her pacifier to her, push her swing, turn on her bouncy seat music and carefully wipe drool off her chin. Ali is his best friend. He loves to follow her around and do whatever she’s doing. She plays really well with him most of the time. I’m glad our three kids have each other. Zay is still a Mama’s boy, which I love…except when he’s clinging to my legs while I’m trying to cook or walk. He loves his Daddy, too. He loves to watch Daddy work on projects and try to help or imitate him. His favorite show is Chuggington (about trains) and he also loves big trucks, sirens, dogs and dinosaurs. Zay is easy-going, affectionate, obedient, helpful and gentle most of the time. He has his toddler moments of frustration, of course, but overall he’s a very pleasant little guy. Well, big little guy. He’s still at the very top of the percentile charts for height. He’s wearing 2T clothes and size 7 shoes at 19 months.

Zay is talking a ton. He will repeat almost any word and even has some small sentences like, “A bite, please?” and “I love you.” He LOVES food. Especially popcorn and yogurt (which he still calls yo-yo). If he eats something he likes he nods and says “Yeah.” And then points and says, “Mo-ore peace” while still nodding. I love how he stretches 1-syllable words out, like “hayyer” for hair, “playyyat” for plate, “shoo-oo” for shoe, “deeyo” for deer. A couple of funny made up words we hear many times a day: Meeno is the name for his lovely that I call Snuggle Bunny. It’s also the word he uses for banana. Dee Dah is how he says thank you. I was teasing the other day that the way he says cracker (“tattoo”) sounds more like thank you than deeda. He was saying cookie last night and it sounded almost like turkey. He’s a goofball and he keeps us laughing with the funny things he says and his silly faces. I love his giggle.

I’m so glad God gave us a Zay-Zay. He is a precious gift to us. God knew how much our family needed him.

Pictures from July (14 months old) through November (18 months old):

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This is his default face…so frowny. Good thing he smiles a lot.

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He was excited about getting in the bath and forgot he was still dressed…

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Checking on “Doh-Doh” (AKA JoJo, Doughy, Jojie)

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