New Home Update – The End is Near

12/06/2012

Weak, I know… it’s the day before we move in and I really (still) don’t have time for a proper blog post. Instead, here is a dump of photos from my iPhone from the last week. I promise a proper “New Home Update” or perhaps… “New Home Tour” next week!

We had our first meal at our new house last Wednesday. We ate pizza as these guys were installing our granite countertops.

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Den/Playroom … I still don’t know if this wall is chalkboard paint or if it’s just painted black. Our contractor needs to ask the painter.

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The fireplace is not quite complete (though as I’m writing this, it’s getting finished). Lights and fans are all in.

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Bathroom vanities, medicine cabinets and sconce lights are in. Plumbing fixtures, too, but I guess I don’t have a picture of those yet.

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Ali playing in the playroom.

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And in Jason’s studio closet/recording booth.

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For the past week or so, as soon as Ali is asleep for the night (at my parents’ house where we’re living) Jason and I head over to our house to work. One night we assembled this MASKROS light from IKEA. It’s means “dandelion” in Swedish. I wonder why?

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Jason is so excited about having a gas range. I think he’s fired it up about 15 times just to make sure it’s still working.

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We had a gorgeous first weekend in December with sunshine and highs touching 70 degrees. After a bday party in the morning, we stopped by Jason’s favorite garden center. They had everything 40% off so we decided to go for a few big things: two arborvite and a topiary.

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Ali was zonked out in the van during the entire plant buying process.

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Naked house.

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Dressed house (though still scantily clad.) It was dark when we finished up so the pictures aren’t the greatest, but we’re still very pleased with getting a start on our landscaping.

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Later that night we went to Home Depot to buy closet shelving. We had the most awesome lady helping us. She was so cheerful and patient. She took all of our measurements down and did the math so we’d have little waste, and she even took the time to label each shelf with the measurement so we’d know which was which when we got home. You just don’t get customer service experiences like that often enough!

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A few daylight pictures from Sunday…

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Yeah, still looks pretty bare.

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My tea and coffee bar! I’m excited about this.

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The 4 yellow stools I ordered arrived this week. I love.

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Jason and I spent another evening cleaning. This kitchen is now sparkling clean, even the insides of the cupboards! Ready to unpack this weekend.

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The kitchen is missing a few things… the doors for the corner cabinet and the metal chase for the vent hood above the gas range. The chase and vent hood are stainless but have a white protective sticker on them. (That confused me for a minute.)

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Jason and I (mostly Jason) made this walkway in the courtyard with super, über, really-really heavy paver stones. Eventually we’ll get a load of gravel and we’ll build a gate.

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As of the writing of this post (Wednesday evening) we’ve passed 2 of the 4 needed inspections. We have the other two scheduled for Thursday and Friday. It’s all starting to get REAL!!

(PS. WordPress has new photo upload software. Yay! Made this post quicker. 😉 )


Happy 1st Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

07/20/2012

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Our joyful, sweet, precious daughter turns 1 year old today. I am so excited to celebrate her today! The joy she brings into my life everyday is way beyond what I had ever imagined. She makes being a mom such a delight.

Dear daughter, you are one year old today. We missed out on the first 9 weeks of your life so I’m sorry that I can’t tell you stories about the day you were born. I know that you weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. because I saw it on a slip of paper once and it caught my eye because I was also born at 7 lbs. 7 oz. I know you were born on July 20, 2011 by C-section and I know your first mom loved you very much. Though I can’t tell you much about your first two months, so much has happened between 2 months old and 12 months old. Someday we’ll tell you all about it, and the beautiful, bumpy road that led us into becoming a family of three. Our lives will never be the same because of you, and we would never want to go back to the way it was before. People often talk about parenting being about giving, and while it’s true that we give everything we’ve got towards being your parents, you have given us back so much. You bring sunshine and laughter and smiles into our home everyday. You are constantly learning new things and encouraging us to get down on the floor and experience the world from your perspective. I have no doubt that God has tremendous plans for your life, sweet daughter, and I’m looking forward to journeying along side you for as long as you need me. Guess how much I love you. “I love you right up to the moon—and back.” Love, Mama


House and Home Update

02/20/2012

• This week movers are coming to clear out our old house. Everything that we don’t antipate we’ll need in the next 6 months is going into storage. We sold our big IKEA living room sofa sectional so we’ll be couch hunting in the next couple of months. We also sold our IKEA MALM bed frame. We’ll also be searching for new furniture for our master bedroom, preferably vintage but we’ll see what we can find. We have a lot of hunting to do this year at estate sales, thrift stores, yard sales—and I’m really looking forward to it!

• Our architect is finishing up our house plans so we can start getting bids from contractors. We’re getting antsy, excited! We close on our old house on March 1. Once we close we’ll be completely debt-free! For a few days, at least. Until we open our construction loan. Haha… but it still feels freeing. We have just a tiny bit of debt right now besides our mortgage and with the little money we’ll make off our home sale, we’ll get rid of the last (less than $3000) we owe on our school loans. The rest of the profit will go straight back towards the new home.

• We don’t know the construction timeline yet because we haven’t settled on a contractor yet. That will depend on who can give us the best price and is someone we can trust and want to work with. I’m not really looking forward to the contractor selection process… Pray it’s an obvious choice and we find the right guy (or lady, I suppose.)

• Precious just turned 7 months old. She got her two bottom teeth and has been trying lots of new foods. (Pictured eating broccoli for the first time above—she loved it!) I’ll give a more thorough update once I edit her monthly photos. She is a beam of sunshine on these gray winter days. We’re still waiting to hear from our attorney on the court date for the adoption finalization. I’m eager to know because I want to plan a big adoption day party!

• Jason just wrapped up a busy two months of travel and he’ll be home a bit more now. Travel=work=pay so these past two months have been great. But I’m also happy that the longer stretches are done for a little while. The awesome thing about his job as a traveling musician is that he gets to spend a ton of time at home when he’s off. He calculated it once, just to prove it to himself, and even with the number of days per year he’s traveling, he gets to spend more time at home with Precious than he would if he worked a 9-5 job. We feel like it’s the best of both worlds. He gets to make a living doing what he loves and he gets to spend a lot of time at home with us.

• Jason’s Acoustic Lullabies album is finally OUT! I am über proud of him. It’s selling well on the road and we’ll have it up online for sale soon. More about that coming soon.

And lots of pictures of Precious, just because…


CBB 3.0 – Update: FINISHED!

07/06/2011

The last month and a half of construction on our friends’ home build was such a flurry of progress that I didn’t get any pictorial updates in the middle of it. I did, however, insist that they give me 5 minutes to take these photos on the morning of moving day before we started dropping boxes and clothes everywhere.

The stairway up from the garage:

The dining area, with huge windows overlooking the woods of Shelby Park:

The kitchen:

This doorway between the kitchen and dining area leads into the living room:

Straight on is the coat closet at the top of the steps coming up from the garage. Pantry on the right:

A tile backsplash was put in a few days after these photos were taken:

Front door entryway (which probably won’t get used much):

Living room:

Guest room:

Hall bathroom. I love having natural light in the shower:

Hallway looking back toward the living room, dining room and kitchen:

Laundry room:

Nursery:

Master bedroom:

Master bathroom:

Through the master bathroom to get to the huge closet. The floors in the bathrooms and this closet are heated, stained concrete:

Hall closet:

Bonus room that will become an office and music room:

Jeremy took this picture of the back of the house the day they got the keys:

Jason has been helping them with their landscaping the past couple weeks:

Moving Day was bittersweet. We worked hard and I didn’t get a lot of time to reflect on it with Leila and Jeremy but for me, memories of May 1, 2010 kept flooding back to me. (Pun intentional.) Their new home is wonderful and beautiful and shiny. It’s HOME. After living out of suitcases, moving from borrowed space to borrowed space for the past 13 months, they’re finally home.. That part of it is wonderful.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how different this was than a traditional move. Nothing was packed and organized like it should have been. Clothes and computers were at Leila’s brother’s house and were moved in piles, shopping bags and suitcases. Antique furniture was in another friend’s basement and was muddy with river water, cracked, dirty. Their TV (which survived being half submerged in water) was at another friend’s house. The bulk of it was in a storage warehouse, mostly outdoor tools, Christmas decorations and some clothing. An oil changing pan slipped out of my hand and liquid splashed against the concrete floor. I scrambled to find some paper towels, thinking I’d be soaking up motor oil. It was muddy, putrid river water. At one point, I picked up a box to load into the silver bullet and recognized my own handwriting on it. When I’m packing, I always label boxes as specifically as I can. It said: “Light bulbs, socks, misc.” I remember packing that box. We had been wiping mud off of dishes and glasses all afternoon in the May sunshine and packing them carefully away. There were a lot of random bits and pieces at the end of the day so I did my best to pack and label them. I can’t remember was “misc” was… a battery, a lid, some keys, perhaps. Cleaning off broken belongings, finding things thought to be gone forever, wondering where certain items ended up… the process of unpacking and moving in to this beautiful new house may be harder for our friends than I expected.

A new chapter has started for Leila and J. Thank God they’re not overly sentimental about “stuff.” They lost almost all their material possessions last year but they’ve come out stronger and wiser. I’m excited to see what wonderful things lie ahead for them and I’m proud to call these fighters my friends.

(Picture from my niece’s birth day, February 24.)


Do You Know About Publix?

02/07/2011


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Back in the days when I lived in Erie, PA (from age 10 to 20), I was blessed to have a great grocery store called Wegmans nearby. Despite the poorly planned brick floors in the produce department, I loved Wegmans for the bakery, huge selection of teas and fresh produce, diverse international section, quality generics, good prices and the bulk candy section. Moving to Nashville, TN in 2004 required that we find our new favorite out of the unfamiliar grocery store chains. Which brought us eventually to Publix.

Except for the legendary bulk candy section, my favorite tea and the cart rattling brick floors, Publix has everything that Wegmans had. And actually Publix brand products are even better. The quality seems the same goodness to me but the packaging is beautiful, minimalist, and I believe greatly influenced Target brand’s recent redesign. Publix is quickly making me forget about Wegmans.


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I call this blog My Mid-Century Modern Life because there are many aspects of my life that are modern (which I love) and there are many aspects of my life that are reminiscent of my grandparents’ generation (which I love). Sometimes the modern and mid-century collide into a beautiful blend (homes, fashion, graphic design). Publix is an excellent example of the mid-century modern meld.

Publix brand is fresh and clean. It is high tech and modern in every way that a grocery store can be. But it also has the charm and class of a different era. The decor has some vintage mid-century imagery but what I’m really talking about is the employees. From their retro aqua aprons to their exceptional customer service. Publix employees are genuinely friendly and kind. They often ask if we need help finding anything. I have had real conversations with the woman behind the produce counter and the man behind the seafood counter about where I got my hat, our cookout plans for the weekend, the photo shoot I just had with my very pregnant sister-in-law, a hot sauce that goes great with fried catfish. It’s as if they actually take pride in their jobs and truly like people. To top it all off, they always offer to help me out to the car with my groceries which involves a chatty grocery bagger pushing the cart our to my car and loading all the groceries into the trunk for me. I usually decline unless it’s a nice day and I know they’ll enjoy getting some sunshine. Someday when I’m wrangling kids, I’m sure I’ll take advantage of this offer.

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Publix exemplifies how mid-century values can set a modern supermarket chain apart from the rest.

What about you? Do you know of any other places with great customer service that reminds you of a simpler time? What’s your favorite grocery store?


January Spring

01/31/2011

This weekend was January Spring! What’s January Spring, you ask? That’s what Jason and I call the weekend we seem to get every winter, usually in January, where we get a preview of spring and a respite from winter. This past Saturday and Sunday were sunny with highs of 65º. A glorious change from all the snow we’ve had in Nashville this year. (We had 4.5 inches in December and I think it’s been more than that in January.) I left the doors hanging open hoping to lure the warm sunshine into the house!

Here’s a little weekend recap:

Friday night I had dinner with my parents and we saw 127 Hours. It was intense and disturbing so be forewarned if you go. It is inspiring to see how Aron Ralston went through what he did and survived. Talk about a will to live.

Saturday I had the privilege of snapping some last minute maternity pictures of my brother- and sister-in-law. More on that later this week. After that: grocery shopping, lunch outside, a Vanderbilt – University of Arkansas basketball game, and a movie with friends.

Sunday Jason got home—if you’ve been reading this blog for the past 6 months you know how much I love homecomings!—and we enjoyed the warm weather with breakfast outside, weeding the garden (Jason) and a walk with Lucy. After that his family came over to hang out for the evening. We ate tortilla soup and berry delight and played Apples to Apples. Jason and I topped the night off with catching up on the past couple episodes of Modern Family. It was a wonderful weekend!

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By the way… sorry for the unannounced blog hiatus the past couple weeks. I was feeling uninspired after weeks of cold, snowy winter and decided I needed a break. Five posts a week is a big time commitment and though I enjoy it, sometimes I feel like I put too much pressure on myself. So I’m back. I’m not sure if I’m 5-days-a-week back, but I’m here.


Erie Trip – Part 2

10/22/2009

Day 3 – Visited my aunt, uncle and cousins in the morning (didn’t get any pics), had lunch at Imperial China Buffet, went shopping (tax free clothes baby!), Ginger and I played with a pug puppy at the mall, went to dinner at the home of Jason’s bro Steve and wife Char, and finally met their almost-1-year-old little dude Aiden, then we all fell in love with him and his goofy laugh

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Day 4 – I had the smile breakfast at Eat’n Park were Jason used worked as a cook and my friends hung out every Friday night for a year in high school; took advantage of the sunshine and when down to the peninsula for a walk—my favorite location in Erie; reminisced about one of our first dates when we watched the sunset and talked about the wonders of God; walked toward the place Jason proposed to me 7.5 years ago; went to Aiden’s 1st birthday party; watched him get overwhelmed with gifts and confused by the singing followed by giant cake; had dinner at O’Charley’s (yes, a Nashville-based chain) with Dave and Emily; played Mexican Train for a couple of house and then fell asleep watching The Office

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Day 5 – Breakfast at Tim Horton’s (a first for all of us Nashvillians) and then napped on-and-off thru a 10 hour drive home (including 4 stops)


From the Driver’s Seat

07/21/2009

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Loving the new shoes! (Tho I prob shoulda gotten an 8 rather than a 7.5.) Did I mention I got them half price?? Can’t beat that.

I’ve been taking advantage of the fall-like temperatures the past few days by doing what I did all spring: eating lunch in my car. It’s mid-70’s and breezy. Perfect for rolling down the windows and reading while I eat my salad and delicious peach. Sunshine and solitude. Ahhh…

I’m reading The Power of the Praying Wife. It’s one of those books I just keep coming back to time and time again. I love spending my lunch break talking to God!

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