Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Suggestion Box

Now that the basement is 96% complete (just a couple of doors and some trim remain!), we need to start thinking about furnishing all this extra space. Our basement is now roughly divided into two large rooms: the room when you first come down the stairs (we'll call it room 1) and the room with the bathroom branching off (room 2). We quickly found a solution to room 2 by making it into a ping pong room. Unfortunately, that still leaves room 1.

Room 1 is rectangluar, with stairs on the west wall, opposite the french doors to the media room. The north wall has a large opening into the ping pong room. But otherwise, room 1 is a blank canvas. This room needs a purpose- but what is it? Reading room? Game room? Art gallery?

Because I'm at a loss, I am now taking suggestions for what we can do with a big empty room. Help!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Home Sweet Home

No, we're not moving to a new home.

Essentially, we've been making our existing house into a new home for the past year. Last year we gutted our kitchen and built it from the the ground up: new floor, cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Early this spring we starting working on finishing our basement from a drab concrete dungeon to a fabulous retreat. With the basement almost complete, we started doing some work upstairs. Because the main floor is open to the basement (previously there was a wall and door separating the two), we wanted the floor in the living room upstairs to match the floor in the basement. So the next project is tearing up the floor upstairs and put down new flooring.
In and of itself, this would not have been a huge job. The floor came up very easily (floating floor) and Justin had become an expert at laying the new flooring. But when my dad was over earlier this week to help with the floor, he mentioned that it was the perfect opportunity to put in a new fireplace.

Wait, what? you're asking

There are things called fireplace inserts, which are much more efficient than a standard fireplace. My dad had one that he thought would work in our existing fireplace, but wasn't positive it would fit. The fireplace would need to be disassembled and measured to be sure. So they did! And yesterday afternoon my dad, my Uncle Tim and Justin somehow hauled a 400 pound fireplace insert from Washington to our living room and got it to fit perfectly. That, with the new floor and some new furniture, will entirely turn our living room around. It's practically a new house!

We originally thought this would be a 5-7 year home. But with all the work we've put into it already (and we've only lived here 2 years) why move? We love it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Lately, I've felt like I can do it all: work full-time, go to school, finish our basement, play softball, do laundry, keep the house relatively clean and still have food on the table for dinner.
Unfortunately, stretching myself to this extent has also taken a toll on me physically. At some point last week, I started feeling the symptoms of a cold. And it sure has blossomed into a doozy. This morning I woke up with that "just been hit by a truck" feeling.
So it's times like these when I like to look on the bright side.

1. Justin and I celebrated our two-year anniversary yesterday. It's pretty hard to believe that two years ago we were just starting out. And look at us now!

2. The internet. Let's be honest- not only is the internet really cool, but without it, I would never have met Justin.

3. I still have a job that keeps me very busy during the day. And in this economy, with talk of layoffs at one of the strongest universities in the area, I'm very thankful to have a job at all.

4. Our basement is rockin'. Our initial goal was to be done in time for a Halloween party, and it looks like we might actually be ahead of schedule. Except for some doors, trim and carpet, my craft room is done. The two large rooms are fully painted (thanks to some great helpers this weekend) and the media room is on its way.

Overall, things are going great. We are truly blessed to have the resources for these endeavors. I just need to keep these things in mind over the next couple of days when I will be blowing my nose so much I'll look like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.