our kitchen.

Since it's been 2 years of home-ownership for us now, I thought I would "celebrate" the occasion this week by showing some of the updates we have done to our house. 

Let's start with the kitchen.

The kitchen was the first thing we did.  We knew that we could not even live in this house with the kitchen the way it was, and you are about to see why.  After work and on weekends for a month and a half we would be here every day working on this place.  This kitchen was completely DIY and done on the cheap, but we are happy with how it looks.  Tommy did almost all of it by himself.  I helped with sanding the cabinets and painting them and occasionally as he needed me to help hold something, but he did the bulk of it by himself. 

This is the old kitchen.

The kitchen is small so we knew we needed to brighten it up with lighter cabinets.  We also knew we needed better countertops, flooring, and appliances.

The old details: 
-  Tommy brought down the nasty hood over the stove.  NASTY.  That's all I have to say about that.
-  Next he started disassembling the cabinets.  Doors off, taking out the old countertops, the sink, etc.
-  The 3rd and 4th pictures on the top row show the cabinets and counterspace in more detail.  The knobs really weren't so bad, I suppose, but at the time I really hated them.  They definitely weren't modern.
-  The 5th picture shows how nasty those floors were!  It's disgusting to look at that.  That was the set up of the old kitchen.
-  Bottom row first picture on the left, another view of what the kitchen looked like.
-  This was where the refrigerator originally was.  We felt the need to put in a dishwasher so we had to move the fridge as this was the only place the dishwasher could go.
-  You can see all the different colors this kitchen has been over time.  It was built in 1948 after all.
-  I'm such a dork.  This is me giving a thumbs up as things are going well during our home inspection.  This is the other side of the kitchen- where we moved the fridge to.  I do wish I had kept that light though.  Not in that spot because it hung way too low, but I have several spots where I would have put it.

This is the new kitchen.

The new details: 
-  Painted the upper cabinets white and the lower blue.
-  Dark countertops -- stock countertops from Home Depot, and my amazing husband installed them 100% by himself.  He says he'll never do that again.  I tell him he did a great job.
-  Mounted a microwave above the stove.
-  New sink and faucet.
-  New dishwasher -- first time this house had ever seen a dishwasher.
-  Hung my pots and pans where the fridge used to be to try and conceal that custom fridge-containing cabinetry.  I think it works pretty well.  At least I'm pleased with it.  [Sorry I couldn't clean off the counters before I took that picture.  That picture is from 2 years ago and apparently I didn't feel the need to clean up} 
-  Moved the fridge to the other side of the kitchen to make it feel bigger.
-  Painted everything with a nice, crisp, clean coat of white paint.
-  New hardware on the cabinets.
-  New floors.  The floors alone took the hubs about a week and a half to do because there were 4 layers of old flooring he had to pull up.  You used to have to step up into the kitchen there was so much old floor piled up.  It took him forever, and he lost a lot of blood but he took care of it.  And I love our kitchen floors -- hides dirt so well!

One last before and after look:

Thanks for coming along on my kitchen renovation tour.  It was a lot of hard work but so worth it.  We love our kitchen! 


2 years ago today.

We bought our first house!  Two years ago today!  It's hard to believe that two years have gone by here in this house.  A lot has happened here... too much for me to recap on this late night post [and yes, 9:30 is considered a late night post for me].

Two years ago today, I left work early, picked up Tommy and we drove up to Columbia nervous about what was to come.  We sat and met the people we'd been wondering so much about.  They weren't  happy that we made them take 6 sheds off the property.  We also learned they had already taken 6 off before they put the house on the market.  Oh, if only that was the worse thing we had learned about this house.

Two years later and we have done a lot.  Not nearly what our eyes had thought as we walked through this place before we made an offer.  We were very naive; we had no idea that our eyes were way bigger than our abilities, even bigger than our time, and mostly bigger than our bank account.  But bit by bit we have made this house our home and continue to do so now.  We tweak, we change, we paint, we update, we conceal.  We work hard on this place, and it really has been a labor of love.  It kept us busy when we were in a new area, far away from family and friends.  It kept us warm when it snowed- in fact when there was not one, but three blizzards our first winter here.  It's been a good house.  It's an old house- it has "character" as the people in the real estate business would say.  "It's definitely not a cookie cutter house" people say when they come over.  It's our house.  But most importantly, no matter what our house is like-- it is our home.  It's where Tommy and I have learned to work together.  It's where we brought Eli home and where he layed on the same blanket in the same spot in the same room for days.  It's where we chased Lady around the house time and time again trying to get whatever the latest item was she snuck off with.  It's where our family sleeps when they come to visit us, and while it's not perfect, we're so happy to have them here.  It's where we brought our baby boy home when he was discharged from the NICU and realized we had no idea what to do next.  It's where we have watched our sweet man sleep each and every night since and where we watch him play and grow all day.  It's where we have begun our marriage, our family and our dreams, and it's where we continue to grow. Thankful for a house that has become a home that means so much more for our family. 

 Our house as we saw it 2 years ago  

 Our sweet Eli  

 Destruction - not an uncommon thing to find with these two pups  

Good morning kisses  
Losing control of the bed  

The usual spot for these two

Bringing home baby boy for the first time!  

 Jack kisses  

 Jack and Daddy in his room 

Our little family  


fall food.

First real fall food of the season made it's appearance in this house last night.

Acorn Squash!  And it was delicious.  Love the rich vegetables and fruits that are plentiful in fall.  Love fall!

This recipe is a great one, too.  Simple, sweet and delicious.  This is a really fun food for kids to help prepare and eat if you're looking for something healthy and delicious for the crew. 


santa in september?

I walked into the dining room the other day to find this.

I thought Christmas was here!  You can imagine my disappointment to learn it was not.  I was happy to see my husband though.  He was working on the leak in our roof that came about after the hurricane and then 5 straight days of rain.

ps - I'm glad it's not Christmas yet because I am so ready to enjoy this fall! 


confessions of a dietitian.

This morning I ran out the door and was running behind.  Besides the fact that it was after 830 and I had been up since 4 something, I still didn't have anything together.  Typical for me.  I used to be really organized and then it slipped, but it's going to have to make a come back if I'm ever going to get anywhere on time with a baby.  Anyway...  on my way to work I drove through McDonald's to get some coffee.  I drink decaf coffee these days because Jack is really sensitive to caffeine-- like he twitches if I even drink a Coke.  But my brain is so hooked on coffee that if I drink decaf it still does it for me.  I feel more awake just drinking coffee, plus it feeds my coffee habit that started in college.  So I had my McDonald's cup of coffee-- oh and while I'm confessing I should also mention that I got breakfast there, too.  Here's where the confession comes in-- I had a coffee mug in my car and came up with a plan to pour the coffee in there so no one in my morning meeting would notice that I went to McDonald's.  There are several things wrong with this.
1.  Apparently I think people are really interested in me.  Truth is I highly doubt they are and likely wouldn't have noticed.  
2.  I am a dietitian and don't want to sit through the morning managers meeting appearing like I condone McDonald's and eat there myself.  This was my logic, but the problem is that I clearly did eat there and I was so focused on hiding it I was going to put up a front.  
3.  Dietitians by no means have perfect diets, but of all of them, I am probably the worst.

I'm really tired so I apologize for this post as it probably doesn't make sense. 


in loving memory.

For my family, we have a special memory and a heavy heart this time of year as we remember our sweet Aunt Betty.  September 9th, 2004, she was in a tragic accident and passed away.  Seven years later it seems like it's hardly been that long but forever at the same time.  We miss her and love her.  My heart is heavy for my mom as she misses her only sister, her friend, and her family.  I don't have any pictures here of my sweet Aunt but her face will always be in my heart and mind.

In loving memory... 


rainy day dinner.

It started raining on us Saturday while we were in Tennessee, and it has rained almost ALL day every day since.  This was day #6 of rain for us.  I won't complain though because we have friends in Texas who are worried about losing their homes and every material thing that is precious to them in fires.  We have friends and family in states who have not had much or any rain all summer.  We are thankful for rain.  Wish we could share some with them, but we will embrace the rain while we have it.

This rainy day with colder weather moving in reminds me that fall will soon be here.  Fall is my favorite season!  It's my favorite for many reasons including the break it provides from summer, the pumpkins, the squash, the apples, the feeling of warmth in our home as the heaters kick on for the first time, the smell of delicious baked goods- particularly of the pumpkin and sweet potato variety, the cold air and all that it brings- including sweaters, boots, and scarves!  Oh, how I love fall!

Tonight I made a rainy day dinner of soup because it just seemed right after a week like this.  For the first time this season I made potato soup.  To accompany it, chicken salad on a bread roll.  The perfect rainy day meal.  I used skim milk in the soup and limited how much salt I added.  I did not use reduced fat cheese because it doesn't melt, and that's just weird.  No cream or anything- just the milk and cheese and it was plenty creamy and delicious.  Also, since I'm a new mom and don't have lots of time to cook, I used canned already cut new potatoes; they taste good and save me lots of time!  For the chicken salad I used low fat mayonnaise and added lots of celery and grapes.  If the bread had been whole grain we would have been in business, but it wasn't.  Next time...


home again.

I wrote the title thinking of our trip to Tennessee as being "home again", but then it occurred to me that we are now home. We have arrived back to our home in Maryland after a wonderful vacation in Tennessee. We are filled with mixed emotions. Tennessee is what feels like home to us, but our life right now is in Maryland. Anyway, enough about that.

Our trip was awesome! We had a wonderful time with family, friends, fellowship, food, fun, football, & Boomsday {I can't leave out Boomsday}. It was the break from routine that we needed. It was filled with love from family and friends, and this time it was even richer watching our loved ones love on our sweet Jack. There is nothing better than that! I will have pictures to share from our trip but tonight am just unwinding from the 10 hour car ride in the pouring rain the whole way with a 3 month old. Although in fairness to Jack, he was amazing!

To everyone who visited with us and has loved on us-- thank you! We loved seeing everybody!