Thursday, February 22, 2007

Progress. Definite Progress.

WARNING: If taken out of context with the rest of our
lives, this post will make us look like such materialistic
people. (I assure you we aren't!) There are so many
more important things in life than the accumulation of
'stuff'. But sometimes getting new stuff is fun, and since
this is our first house, we kind of splurged a little on
getting it settled. As most of you live 30 hours away,
I figured I'd share it here so you could all take a peak.
End of warning.

I've spent most of late January and February feeling
hopelessly behind in school, a frustrating feeling especially
since I was so excited to get back into life as a student.
Classes were good and interesting, but my out of class
work load didn't get tackled like it should have right out of
the gates, and it went downhill from there. I just had a
really tough time getting caught up! I was doing the
equivalent of living check-to-check but with school work.
I was completely flustered and never able to totally relax
even when I wasn't trying to study.

Unfortunately for him, Art was here during this time.
Poor guy had to put up with my full-on mania. He was
a champ about it though and did a lot to help out while
he was here. As always. Lucky for us, he's constantly on
the look out for a good project. Me...not so much. So, I
appreciated his efforts all the more!

First, he noticed that our front door was looking a bit
weary. (The finish looked alright from the inside which
is what you see the in view below, but it was good and
weathered on the other side.) So, he took it off the hinges,
sanded it down and stained it with a new color. It took
something like four coats of stain and then double or
triple coats of sealer before it was finished. I think it
turned out to be a much larger project than he anticipated --
Like he said, kind of a thankless job. Even though no one
else will see how much work it took to accomplish, we'll
know, and we appreciate it so much.

David and I got new hardware to replace the bright gold
it donned before. The door looks great now, and we plan
to use it as inspiration when we pick out new colors for
the exterior of the house.

This is the door before all dad's work, and then as it's being sanded.
I think Art did most of the sanding, but it happens to be David that
I have photographic proof of. Right place, right time, huh D?

Here's Art working on the stain. Is it a bad thing that our
guests bring their work clothes with them when visiting us?

After three coats of varnish and a double layer of sealer on each side,
here is the finished product. Ta da!

p.s. I ordered this wreath from a website that is
new to me called They have
some good stuff and they do free shipping. Plus,
they give out a $10 coupon for being a new
customer. I was pretty impressed with them.
Thought I'd pass that along.

The door hanger was our official housewarming
gift to ourselves. Pottery Barn online.

The second project Art undertook was to revive the
chiminea left for us by the previous owners. The
bottom was rusty and in need of some love. Was
being the operative word. After dad's hard work,
it's looking great and ready for an evening fire.
Here's the before and after...

Doesn't it look so much better? I think so! I bought a
bundle of juniper wood. So, hopefully we'll have a fire
one evening soon! It's perfect whether for it right now
once the sun goes down. And how much do you love our
dead bush in the background there? It's actually not
completely dead -- it got burnt by the frost. We've
been told it should come back to life sometime after

As if all that wasn't enough, my father-in-law was not
ready to rest. He went out and got us a "window cleaning
apparatus" and cleaned the windows right before he left
for the airport on his last day here. (They look so, so, so
much better.) He bought us a new shower head for the
guest bathroom. He repainted this little piece on the
outside of the house that was chipping. He cooked us
dinner almost every night, and he did a ton of shopping
for food and supplies for the house projects. The list
goes on and on. He did so much while he was here!
It's not often that a guest leaves your house and you
have to send them a thank you note, but that would most
certainly be the case in this situation. Thank you so much,
dad, for everything!

We didn't make Art work the entire time he was here.
Occasionally we let him get out of his work clothes so he
could golf. : ) Here are the two of them on the course...

Besides all the amazing work David's dad did,
we've been up to a few things of our own around the house.
We bought a new king size bed frame in November to
accommodate our ninety five pound dog that takes up
almost as much space as an adult. However, we had not
gotten around to choosing bedding for it. Never fear, we
were not sleeping directly on the mattress. We did buy
sheets, a blanket and a plain, white down comforter. I
thought I would get inspired by some bedding at some
point. But when I hadn't well into January, I decided
to pull out the reinforcements. Catalogs and websites!
After rigorous and careful debate...

...we were so excited to finally settle on one!

Our bed went from looking like this...

To looking like this....

We also ditched a glass and black wrought iron coffee
table I'd had since before I met David. It served it's
purpose for a decade or so, but we just simply wore it
out. I replaced it with a wooden one I've had for just as
long that aged better. However, that meant the old
television stand we had didn't match anymore. I got to
go shopping for an upgrade! Unfortunately, the media
center I fell in love with was only made to hold the
weight of a small tube television or a plasma. So,
David got to get a new TV.

This is the old stuff.

And this is what we replaced it with!

I love this media center and plan to have it
'til I'm 100.

Look at how thin this TV is. I'm totally
amazed with that technology!

Just one room away, there were more changes being
made! When we still lived in Lansing, we inherited a
round dining table from David's mom. It sits four and
has fit perfectly in all the dining spaces we've had from
then until now. This house has two dining areas -- one
that's more formal and then a breakfast nook where we
put the round table. That left us with an empty space --
we were both excited to fill it with something good for

This is what the dining area looked like while we were
still getting settled...

And this is the new table set we found.
My wonderful husband bought me this as a
birthday gift!! (I want to turn 29 every year.)

The table came with two leafs. So, it can extend to a
larger size if we want it to.

Anyway, it was fun to buy all this stuff and work on "our
look". These were our first really nice furniture purchases.
And please, if we both should die, god forbid, make sure
someone uses and takes care of these! I would roll
over in my urn if they went to waste.

To finish off this room, we want to replace the hanging
light and get an area rug that will define the space. Also,
we're debating on what to do with the china cabinet. I'd
like to strip and refinish it. If we leave it in the dining
room where it is, I might get rid of the top half and put
some kind of art work on the wall above the bottom portion.
Or we may just move it into another room altogether.
That remains to be seen. Any suggestions?

Among all these changes, the one constant, absolutely
calm and wonderful thing in our lives is Killian. He is
always there. Always happy. Always sweet. Always 100%
loyal. Always, always, always! So, in parting, I leave you
with a few shots of our baby. The one and only, Mr. Killian
Ewing Link!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved the new/improved door! I also liked the pic of Killian and the water splashing by him. Enjoy the new house and TV!