Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hard Labor

Today, the tile team came to work hard, really hard.  It was all about hard, physical labor.  We are not sure how tilers do it, seriously.  That's all I've got for today.  We are pooped.

We are pretty much still on track for the week.  We finished installing cabinets earlier than planned and the tile took longer than planned so it has all worked out.  Tomorrow we still have a lot of things to do, but nothing like the manual labor we have had the past couple of days.  Tomorrow's agenda includes: finish painting, put cabinet kick plates in, floor molding,  and grouting as the last thing.

One thing is for sure, the kitchen is really starting to come together and we are really proud of the tile.  Take a look....
 Dad teaching us how it's done.
Andrew looking happy at the beginning of our tile adventure.
Now it's my turn.
The poor circular saw.  The one on the left is shot only after 8 cuts.  We went through 2 of them. 

After working day after day, we are still even getting along.  Tonight was a particularly fun night after working, we were watching Whose Line is it Anyway.  You know we worked hard when we were watching the show and just couldn't stop laughing.  Dad started laughing, then I got going, then Andrew started laughing.  We laughed for a good 15 minutes, it was a great reliever after our long day.  

Hopefully after tomorrow we can start putting things in our cabinets and getting our house back in order.  Stay tuned for more pictures as we pull it all together.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We've Got Cabinets Here!

Boy do we ever....13 brand, spankin' new honey maple cabinets.  It was another busy day on Anchor Drive as we completed the cabinet installation. Woohoo!!!  They look AWESOME.  It is so cool to see everything coming together.

We worked super hard last night and this morning to install all 13 cabinets--6 upper and 7 lower.  We have so much cabinet space, I'm not sure we will know what to do with it.  Seriously, it's way more than we could have asked for.  

While it is was super tough to hang all of the cabinets, we struggled through it and completed it well.  It was so tough, we went through 2 drill bits and one even totally just disintegrated into the wood it was so worn out.  Dad's hands are completely shot after drilling so much.  Near the end too, one drill bit was smoking, we thought they would set off all the smoke alarm.  

Here are the drills all lined up in a row.  One drill for drilling holes into the walls, another for drilling holes into the wood and another to drill in the screws.  
Three little drills, all in a row, ready for another long day....
Master of the trim and the drills--not really, Dad is the Drill Master--I just like to pretend.

I am super happy with the paint color and cabinet color together as we finally see them together.  Now I can only hope that the counter top matches and looks just as good.  

Now the moment, you've all been waiting for....here are pictures of all of our hard work.  Don't they look phenomenal?!?!

Introducing our new cabinets!!
1 cabinet...
2 cabinets...
3 cabinets...
We are SO happy these are up!
Andrew learning from the drilling, leveling, plumbing, electrical, masonry, sawing, tiling, cabinet installing, you name it, master.  Seriously my dad does it all.
Dad's wonderful plumbing and drill work in the sink cabinet.
Oven side with newly installed microwave--notice the beautiful paint color!
Sink side.

Now just imagine the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator in place.  It is really starting to feel like a kitchen, I can't wait to have all of the appliances in place.  I think once the floor is done, it will feel more complete too.  And I can't wait to put everything back in the kitchen and clean up this house.  It is driving me crazy.

Tomorrow the men will be installing the ceramic tile!  I want to give HUGE (I mean HUUUUUGGGGEE) props to my dad and Andrew for working so hard this whole week.  While they were working tonight, I got to go to book club and tomorrow I get to spend some girl time with Jeanette for her birthday.  Thanks guys!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ode to Iowa

Wow, I said yesterday was a long day, today was even longer.  It's 11:30PM and we are JUST finishing for the day.  It's late and I'm tired, so it's going to be short.  

In honor of our beloved alma mater state...I have named this post Ode to Iowa.  I'm sure you're wondering why...well, let me tell you.  We searched high and low for the RIGHT color for our walls.  No joke, we tried at least 5 samples before I found one I liked (sorry Todd, Gold Buff was a close second).  The one we ended up liking is Sweet Corn a delicious, warm yellow.  After picking that, we had to pick a white to do the trim and ceiling in.  That color, that we just happen to like, is called White Corn-a beautiful, creamy white.  So state of Iowa, the corn capital of the world, we dedicate our kitchen to you.  

Today we did a lot of painting, prepared to install the cabinets and installed all the top cabinets.  You're going to have to wait until tomorrow to see that though.  Hopefully tomorrow won't be so long, and hopefully we get the bottom cabinets in without a hitch so the counter top guys can come and measure.

Here are just a few pictures from the day.

 Ceiling color--White Corn
 Color Reveal--Sweet Corn (This picture doesn't give it justice...I LOVE IT!!)
 Midnight was trying to help.
 Ange calling paint master Rick--we couldn't figure out how to trim the ceiling well.
We figured it out, now I'm the master.
 On a side note, look at the zucchini from my garden--It's HUGE!

Stay tuned for tomorrow!  Next up, CABINETS!!  
Here's a sneak peak...

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Very Busy Day

Wow, we got a LOT done today!  Seriously, we worked out butts off.  We got up and started around 10:00.  Andrew and I made another trip to Home Depot, I'm sure it won't be our last.  Dad, started the finishing touches on the second coat of mud.  Our walls were pretty rough, so we had a lot of mudding to do.  Jamey, the electrician, also joined us today to continue the work on the electrical--that has also been a lot of work.  I'm not sure what we would do without him. 

I started priming and painting the trim around the door and window.  I LOVE the color we picked out, called White Corn.  It is perfect and will look really good with the wall paint.  Dad and Andrew finished the mudding while I did quite a bit of painting.  They finished sanding and wiping down the mud and made it ready to prime.  We then primed the whole room--ceiling and walls!  Wow!!  The men put mastic on the floor to fix the little imperfections in the floor and then we called it a day. 

It doesn't seem like much, but at 9:00 we were done for the day--an 11 hour work day.  I'd say we did a lot.  With a break for lunch and dinner we worked the whole day.  Here are the results.

Dad and Ange admiring their work from yesterday--looks good guys!
 Hard at work priming the door trim.
Finishing the mudding process.
Priming the wall.
I was rocking the ceiling roller.
Look how white it is!
Last duty of the day--floor repair.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Weekend of Work

Saturday: Not too much has changed since the last post.  My dad got here late Friday night and first thing Saturday morning, we took the trip to Home Depot to get all the materials we need.  It took us about 2 hours to get everything we needed.  Dad then  took out the base cabinets and sink.  That was a tough job, but he did a great job of it.  Andrew and I were enjoying tailgating and the Jack Johnson concert at Alpine (post to come later) for Jeanette's birthday while dad was busy at work--thanks Daddy.  He reused wood from our old cabinets to fix the floor which didn't have any support under the cabinets.  Seriously, who did this kitchen 50 years ago, I guess the requirements have changed.

Jamey, the electrician, was also here doing some work on Saturday.  He added most of our new outlets.  We only had 1 above the counter top, which was definitely not enough, so we added 3 more.  He also did the backyard light and added electrical for the under cabinet lighting.  I'm really excited about the under cabinet lighting, it will look really nice.  We came home to a completely empty kitchen, it looked great!

Sunday: Andrew started in on the work today and has been mudding and repairing the holes in the walls.  For some reason, all of the holes for the microwave and pot rack left HUGE (almost 1 inch holes) so we had quite a bit of repair work to do.  Also, while pulling out the top cabinets, the wall just seemed to disintegrate with the nails, so Andrew fixed all those holes too. Dad has been marking out where the cabinets will go and finalizing work on the plumbing.  It's all coming together.  And me, well, I'm still recovering from last night and documenting this whole process.  I'm sure I'll get put to work more the next several days.

We were worried about mold on the walls once we pulled the cabinets out because we had to fix some right when we moved in, but there was not more which we are really thankful for.  We weren't sure what we would find behind there.

We have also set the plan for the entire week, noting what we hope to get done each day.  Hopefully we can stay on track and nothing comes up.

Monday: Finalize electrical and wall repair work and possibly paint the ceiling and walls.  We picked out Sweetcorn, a really pretty yellow, for the walls, and White Corn for the ceilings, all in honor of Iowa.  Haha, just kidding, we just liked the colors.  
Tuesday: Second coats of paint as needed, start painting the baseboards and prepare for cabinet installation.  
Wednesday: Cabinet installation
Thursday: Finish cabinet installation, get counter top measured, lay floor.
Friday: The "oh shit" day--finalizing the work and fixing anything that comes up. 

We will see if this plan sticks, so keep following to see if we can do it!  And wish us luck, we have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. 

Here is the empty kitchen.  Look at the floor and plumbing work--Looks good Dad.  Also notice the new blue boxes for our light switches and new outlets.
 Dad in our command station, the Garage. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Retro Wallpaper

On Thursday, Andrew and I started the Kitchen renovation by demolishing the kitchen...by ourselves.  We really had no idea what we had to do, so with a little encouragement from my dad, we went at it.  You see, I have been around home projects since I was little.  I have never lived in a house with my dad that wasn't getting something redone...a new bathroom, new kitchen, a wall taken out...you name it, my dad has done it.  And Andrew on the other hand, really is not very handy.  Simply by being around, I learned a lot, Andrew not so much.  

So there we were, drill and hammer in hand, we just went for it.  Our first dilemma, turning off the water line to the ice-maker in the freezer.  After several attempts, we got it.  Just a small victory for us, I was very proud.  Each thing we did, the more confident we got!  We ended the day with all the appliances out, most of the cabinets out and the flooring ripped up.  When didn't know what would present itself once the cabinets were down and we were a bit frightened.  Nothing to be scared off though, just some awesome retro wallpaper.  Oh to have seen the kitchen during that time.  Here are some pictures of our demo day.
The cabinets are empty....let's get the demo party started.  
Oh, and which paint color (on the left) do you like.  I can't seem to decide.
Our first accomplishment--the water line to the fridge.
Look at that awesome wallpaper.
Safety first--love the goggles.
The older cabinets were a bit more difficult.
Who uses nails to put cabinets up?  Whoever did our kitchen, that's who.  We had a really difficult time with these and pretty much took the whole wall out, but we finally got them!  Whew.  We thought we would be stuck with them forever.
The end product!  Had to wait for the sink cabinet (it's one whole piece) and counter top because of the water cut-off.  It would turn off ALL the water to the house and we didn't want to do that, or mess with it, so we are waiting for dad to help us. 
Friday, our electrician came.  He's the boyfriend of one of my fabulous EAs from school.  He has done a great job and got a lot done today. 

Saturday, we head to home depot to pick up all the other necessary supplies with dad and continue with the demo.  The electrician will continue working as dad figures out the plan and gets the sink cabinet out. 

Let the Kitchen Remodel Begin...

With a new home and a full summer, we decided to renovate our 50 year old kitchen.  It's a small kitchen and everything is in working order, but it was just old--old cabinets, old flooring, no dishwasher....you get the idea.  Here's a quick recap of our lovely house
Our cozy, fabulous house.
The Kitchen: Before (don't mind the mess)
Stay tuned for pictures of the during and after.

THE DESIGN: My dad's wife, Kelly, has a brilliant father, Jack, who is an architect by trade.  While my Dad and Kelly were in New York for the holidays, I sent pictures and measurements with the assignment of a new kitchen plan.  I was not expecting what they returned with.  A brand new kitchen plan that will make use of every square inch of our small kitchen.  Having a new person look at the design, Jack came up with a plan that none of us could have dreamed of.  He moved some things around and included more cabinet and counter space than we could ask for.  It's absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to see it complete.  To work with this plan, we needed to add a back door.  So to start the kitchen remodel, we added that door to the back wall so we can have access to the backyard.  Here are those pictures:
Pretty cool right?!?! 
It's July 22 and we now have the dumpster taking up our driveway and a full plan to get it done in a week.  My dad will be joining us Saturday (July 24) and taking on the project with Andrew's help.  Here goes nothing and here's to a full kitchen renovation with no hitches.  We'll see if that happens, but wish us luck!  Please check back often as I will be updating often with our progress over the week.

Booze Cruise

On a beautiful Saturday in the middle of July I got to go on a Booze Cruise with some of my favorite Iowa girls.  Abbie, Erin, and Sara and many other ladies got to cruise on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  We even got to see some filming of the new Transformer movie.  It was pretty cool. 

It was a perfect day for the water, about 90 degrees and sun.  It was hot when we weren't moving, like in the lock waiting to get onto the river, but was just perfect when we were sailing.  It was a great day!
A view from the water.
Sara and I
Transformers Filming
My Iowa Girls

Second Anniversary

On July 12, Andrew and I celebrated our second anniversary.  It is crazy to think that already two years ago, we had the greatest day of our lives.  All the hard work, paid off and I'm pretty sure we had the best wedding ever!  

For our honeymoon and last year, our first anniversary, we went to Saugatuck, MI.  Because we took a couple extra days in LA we decided not to go this year, although I think we are regretting it because we absolutely LOVE Saugatuck.  Andrew was going to surprise me with an overnight trip to Geneva or somewhere, but I didn't get my act together that day, I slept in and wasn't feeling too hot, so we did go.  We did, however, take a little ride to Spring Green to go to the infamous House on the Rock.  We had never been and thought we should go since we now live in WI. 

Have you ever been to the house on the rock?  It's kinda weird.  Alex Jordan, the designer created the a house for all of his weird collections.  The house is on a rock, and a hallway goes out over the trees.  It does have a nice view from the sun deck.  The house is broken up into small rooms, with the everything covered in carpet (even the ceilings because they are so low).  The collections include rooms named Carousel Room, Organ Room, and Streets of Yesterday just to name a few. 
View from the Sun Deck
Me being silly.
A view of the gardens.
Such pretty flowers and a great picture of us.
After the House on the Rock, we went to our favorite restaurant, PF Changs.  We can't find good Chinese food here, so we get it when and where we can.  

We also celebrated our anniversary by going to one of the great restaurants of Madison.  We have wanted to try Fresco for awhile, but it wasn't open the day of our anniversary so we made reservations for later that week.  Fresco is a fabulous restaurant on top of the Overture Center, the theater here in Madison.  So three stories up, with all glass windows, we got to sit out on the patio on a glorious summer night.  

We started with a couple of cocktails, and Caesar salads.  I had a short-rib and vegetable pasta and Andrew had salmon with tzatsiki sauce on a crepe.  We then had another cocktail and finished the night with dark chocolates from Gail Ambrosius, a local chocolate shop.  It was a great night and a delicious meal. 

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