Thursday, April 29, 2010


I signed an enormous stack of papers and took on huge amounts of debt five years ago. We closed on our house on that rainy Friday and came home and started peeling down wallpaper. We'd rented this house for a few months before we bought it and I was desperate to start working on it. You'll see why when you look at the pictures! Most of you have never seen what our house looked like before we remodelled the entire thing in about 9 months so I thought today was an appropriate day to show off our hard work. And make us feel better that we haven't done anything ambitious lately!

The "front room" complete with peach paneled walls. Bet you can't guess where it's at in the house?
It's now our play room, but is always called the front room. Catchy, isn't it?
The downstairs bathroom was gray and so was your mood after seeing it.
Completely updated including a vanity table built by my handy husband. Oh how I love my vessel sink.

Haven's room required the least amount of work. All we did was paint and replace the light fixture and take down that weird shelf thing.
This was from when she first moved into her big girl room, but it looks pretty much the same.
Oy. The kitchen hurt your eyes! Ugly tile, linoleum, two kinds of wallpaper...where to start!
How about with some red paint?
Snazzy built-in range anyone? With a mural of small children baking bread above it? For real.
I'll take this one instead please! Butcher block countertops, tin backsplash and some stainless steel appliances.
The true beauty of the house- built in "entertainment center" that was too narrow to hold a tv. I'm sure you are wondering how we could have parted with this. Yes, those are narrow strips of mirror placed at an angle. And please note the walls are painted pink in my living room. I spared you a shot of the pastel splatter paint wallpaper that graced the other wall.
The alcove was made for our very large couch- a perfect fit. I didn't even bother to pick up before I took this picture today. Sorry.
More pink in our master bathroom, complete with coordinating wallpaper border from our bedroom.
This isn't a great picture, but you get the idea. A massive transformation that included one of my favorite features- our cork flooring. And I still love that floor even though we had to replace part of it when the toilet leaked and it ain't cheap. But it's worth it! Good thing it's not that big of a bathroom!
Ain't she a beauty? And you can only see one of the two patterns that greeted you floor to ceiling in the master bedroom. It was such a shame because we have a great space with high ceilings and cool angles- not at all what you'd expect in our old house.
Much more relaxing- pale aqua walls and chocolate brown linen headboard and cornice boards. Once again built by my man. I'm the brains, he's the brawn.
And this special little corner of our house- with it's bright blue panelling, drop ceiling and lovely carpet provided one of the greatest challenges.
It's now where my sweet boy rests his little head. I realize that the blues don't look that different in these picture but I can assure they are. This was actually Haven's room when we first re-did it and was very cute yellow and green and girly. Now it's all sorts of brown and blue and stripes and dots perfect for Mati.

So that's my house. I look at before pictures of this place and can't believe we bought it. What were we thinking? Back in the days when we were young and naive and hard working. I like to think of myself as a visionary, but this definitely pushed us to the limit, especially since we were under a time crunch called having a baby. I can still get tired looking at all we did around here, but I'm so glad we did. It's totally us. And I'm never leaving.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Three little birds

Tonight I'm listening to this song and remembering. Remembering the little boy who grew up to be the man who claimed it as his favorite song. I wish I had known that man better. Regrettably, the first time I knowingly listened to this song was on Monday when I stood next to his grave and said goodbye.

But tonight I'm believing that "every little thing gonna be alright."


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A new favorite

One of our favorite local restaurants has a delicious item on there menu called Baked Hummus. Imagine a pita slathered with hummus, topped with the most random assortment of vegetables, including, but not limited to- carrots, peppers, mushrooms, beans (any kind!), broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes and peas. That concoction is topped with cheese, broiled and then given a healthy drizzle of their homemade garlic sauce. In a word: delicious.

Now imagine my delight this past weekend when I created my very own version of Baked Hummus! In my own kitchen! And it didn't cost me $7.50! This is my new favorite meal. It just begs for variation; I've already come up with about 20! We're going to be on a heavy pita-themed rotation around here!

Please, please try to make these! Homemade pitas are infinitely better and make this dish so darn good! You will be so impressed with yourself when you turn these out of the oven. So we started with a homemade pita (and by the way this time I used white whole wheat instead of regular whole wheat and they were even better!) and layered on a healthy spoonful of roasted red pepper hummus. I wanted my kids to eat them so I used veggies I knew they liked as a starting point. Enter a steamer bag of carrots, peas, corn and green beans. That got thrown on top of the hummus. The grown-ups also got sauteed onions and mushrooms and roasted red peppers added to theirs. Then a sprinkle of sharp cheddar and under the broiler they went. Once they came out the pitas were doused with garlic sauce. . It's not even similar to the one from our restaurant, but it was still good and a great contrasting flavor to the rest of the dish. I used this recipe, but would add more garlic next time to up the garlicky-ness!

We all loved this and ate every last bite. I've eaten this three times in as many days and just might fix it for myself again tonight! The possibilities are endless. I can't wait til we have lots of lovely summer produce like eggplant and zucchini and fresh picked tomatoes to add to the delicious mess!

Try it. You'll love it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Worn out

A long day for our boy. He couldn't stay awake during the short hike we took while Haven was at Awana. Is there anything sweeter then a sleeping baby?

Didn't think so.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ask me again (again)

I wrote this post three years ago today and it's still all true. So here's my first ever re-post...

Ask me again

Five years ago this very day, Cale asked me to walk alongside him and become his wife. It took me all of 1/10 of a second to yell, "YES!"

I have such a vivid memory of that precise moment in time; the warm air on my face as evening set in...the smell of spring and newness and fresh cut grass...the feel of that ring sliding on to my finger...and the look in Cale's eye knowing he was the one my heart wanted for always.

And there hasn't been a single moment I have ever regretted my answer (questioned my sanity a time or two, but regretted, never!).

I love you, Cale!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My new view

This is my view from the kitchen window. Ain't she pretty?! Haven certainly thinks so and Mati's pretty enamoured himself. Me? I'm in love! It might not be the grandest thing to look at, but don't waste your breath telling us that. In the 10 days that its been part of our family Haven has spent most of her waking time on it. She gets up in the morning and wants to play. She eats her lunch and wants to go swing. She gets up from her quiet time and wants to push Mati on his swing. She wants to run out for a few quick minutes before dinner. Basically she's living on it. Never mind that I've already lost count how many times she's fallen off a swing or run in screaming from some injury. She quickly rebounds after appropriate consideration has been given to her latest boo-boo and is heading back outside for more. I love that she loves it. And I love that I can see her from the kitchen, the living room and my upstairs bedroom. I love that my response to pretty much everything these days can be, "Why don't you go play outside?"

And every one's happy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't cry over spilled milk?

Does that still apply when it's two gallons on your kitchen floor???

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Praise the One

A happy Easter...there's been celebrating and egg hunting and time with family and friends. We posed for pictures and looked cute. We enjoyed a feast, swung on swings and enjoyed all the flowering trees. We went for a hike, ate too much candy and soaked up the sunshine.

And through it all, we praised The One who gave us such an abundant life!

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

O, praise the One
Who paid my debt
And raised this life
Up from the dead!