1.27.2012

Kitchen Remodel

What began as a conversation with my friend Jessica about her helping her cousin install cabinets from IKEA...turned into an entire kitchen remodel for our family. I have been so excited to show off pictures, and since Ryan finished painting last night, here we go!

BEFORE:



We sold the cabinets, sink, faucet, and pulls for $700 on Craigslist! I was shocked to get that much, but it worked out great. I think the guy who bought them was putting everything in a rental house. After spending HOURS (I seriously enjoyed every second) designing our new kitchen on IKEA's website, Ryan, Liam, and I went to Cincinnati while Dalia kept Noah at her house (THANK YOU!!). We intended to buy a certain cabinet and ended up not liking it in person. We ended up choosing the Ramsjo in Black/Brown with Vinna handles. In October, our friends Kevin, Dalia, and Mark all helped clean, demolish, and build our new kitchen. We are indebted to them because we couldn' have done it without them!! We bought a Swanstone Composite Granite sink (LOVE THIS SINK!!!), an oil rubbed bronze faucet, laminate countertops (Canyon Passage with beveled edge), and a tile backsplash all from Menards. Ryan and I were quite the team. I was the designer, and he was the muscle! I think I had the better job. :) My mom's husband, Kent, was a HUGE help a couple weekends ago. He brought all of his tools and taught Ryan how to install the backsplash. It really made the kitchen complete! Ryan and I repainted the kitchen a neutral color, Hickory (Martha Stewart Collection at Home Depot), but we used our favorite paint: Behr's paint and primer in one. What do you think??

AFTER:

We added an entire section on the right side, extending the kitchen the complete length of the wall. I love these glass cabinets!!

Still trying to decide about stainless steel. Worried about how easily they get dirty!

The view when you walk in from the garage. They are 39" rather than the 30" ones we had before. All of the cabinets and drawers have a "no slam" feature, which I LOVE!!

LOVE THIS BACKSPLASH!!!

I was prepared to love my cabinets but didn't know how much I would love this sink!!!

The corner carousel cabinet where I keep all my baking and decorating items.

Finally! I can reach the items in the back corner cabinets because the shelves pull out completely

LOVE this pull out drawer for our items to recycle! We have another one for the trash by the fridge
This kitchen has been so fun to enjoy! It makes me less concerned about doing a project like this in the future. Doing the work ourselves was stressful at times, but we saved a lot of money and appreciate the final product that much more. WHAT DO YOU THINK???

1.24.2012

Gotta Get the Ball Rolling Again

Has it really been over a month since I last blogged? Good grief! Future Liam, if you're reading this, please don't think that I didn't care enough to write about all the precious and beautiful things you do to make me smile everyday. Future Noah, if you're reading this, please don't think that I didn't care enough to write about all of the hilarious things you said or the way you melted in my heart when you said, "Mommy, I just love you." To be completely honest, I find myself soaking up every minute I get with you while trying to keep up with running our house, and it just leaves me with little time to write. Of course, I have to keep a little balance by reading new books (Crazy Love and The Hunger Games trilogy were my latest reads), spending time with your daddy (he read the trilogy with me believe it or not!), and staring absentmindedly at the television. Blogging seems to have become less of a priority, but it is something I really do cherish. I know the memories I write down are the ones I remember the most. Someday, you will both nap at the same time and go to bed at the same time. Someday, you will need me less, which will be a joyful yet sad day. Someday, I will have time to write more. For now, though, once again I'm going to write a summary of major events that we enjoyed together as a family.

Noah was VERY excited to make these mini gingerbread houses! I realized how horrible I am about just letting go and letting the poor kid make a mess. I hope next year I can be better about sprinkles covering my floor, icing in his hair, and letting him just make them however he wants. I hate this part of me! Messes can be cleaned up, and I want him to have a great time. They turned out to be a great center piece all Christmas.


Noah and me riding the train at the mall - a favorite pasttime! I loved watching him wave to people saying "Merry Christmas!"
The Abell, Till, and Bauer Family Christmas Tours went off without a hitch. We had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of Christ with the people we love most! After a couple months of shopping and finding the perfect gifts for everyone, we watched excitedly while the presents were opened. We were also spoiled by our families!

The cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Till's before opening gifts.

Liam with my mom (Nannie) and Kent (Grandpa Bauer)

Classic Noah - in his PJs carrying a sippy cup and a snack trap. Love the new Advent Calendar I made in the background!
 Christmas Eve Eve is a favorite Christmas tradition with Ryan's family! Kelli's kids put on a show for all of us, one that they spend weeks preparing, practicing, and creating. As usual, the show was incredible! I have such talented nieces and nephew.

Kelli with sweet Micah

Mady and Mikayla dancing and singing the night away

Christmas Eve morning - waiting to open gifts!
 Santa decided that since Noah had a baby brother, they each needed their own elf to visit this Christmas season. Nick and Ralphie showed up December 1st and got into quite a bit of mischief. Spelling different words with various items (blocks, cereal, etc.), hanging from lights, driving cars, etc. Those two elves brought a lot of joy this season.

Silly elves!

Christmas Eve right before bed. Nick and Ralphie left a letter saying goodbye and one last gift: Twas the Night Before Christmas.
This was the best Christmas with Noah so far! He was so excited, and opening gifts was a lot of fun. Santa brought him the rocketship he wanted for so long, and Santa gave Liam a new car seat! 

Christmas morning after Santa arrived
Noah with some of his favorites from Christmas morning

The little loves of my life
 We said goodbye to my Grandpa Till on January 15, 2012. I was able to visit him once in December and again January 14th. Although I did not know my grandpa very well (mostly due to living far away from one another and seeing him only once per year), I had the privilege of praying over him with my cousin's wife (Katey) the day before he went left our world to go home to Heaven. My dad and Danette did everything in their power to ensure that my grandfather was given the best care during his last few months, and one or both of them visited almost every single day. He lived to be almost 93 years old, had four sons, seven grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren. I would say that is a full life!

A visit with Grandpa in December
 We had a wonderful Christmas season. Liam continues to heal more and more everyday. He began crawling January 13th and hasn't stopped moving since! Noah is seeming less and less like a toddler and more and more like a preschooler. Ryan and I celebrated our 7th Anniversary, and I have to say, it's been the best 7 years of my life. I also turned the big 3-0 on January 10th and had one of the best birthdays ever. Stay tuned for that blog! And that about sums it up. Let's just hope that I am able to keep this ball rolling because I love reading previous posts. I want my boys to have details from their childhood. Most of all, I never want to forget these years that only seem to be going by faster and faster with each passing day.
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