Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bah Humbug

The only part I regret about starting this house project when we did is that I am kind of getting ripped off of my holiday season. :( I thought doing this before the holidays would be good, you know, a kind of healthy pressure to get things done. But now that the project has spilled over into the holidays, I am over it! Bah humbug!!

We did get our tree up and I decided just to decorate with a few ornaments that are decorative and all our family ones. It's a little bare looking but less stressful. Plus, with Everett's age I knew that any glass ornaments he got a hold of would be toast on the new floors.

I loved getting out our family ornaments in their Hallmark boxes. This year Emersyn got a Rapunzel (from Tangled) ornament as a symbol of her year, the first year she has gotten into princesses. I'm on the hunt for a Charlie Brown ornament for Everett. :)

I can't remember the last time Brett and I just sat and relaxed in our house. There is always something to be worked on, which is often the case with home ownership but this month has been insane. And it's not Brett's fault...it's just hard to work around kids, work, school, etc. And now grouting has been put off until Thursday night because I babysit a little boy Tues-Thurs and I don't want his dad to have to walk through our crazy garage to get into the house. We did purchase the baseboards though! Yay! And we did get the downstairs painted and I LOVE the color!! We also totally overestimated how much paint we needed so there's enough left to paint the upstairs, AFTER the holidays.

I'm pretty much done Christmas shopping, except for a few sibling gifts that I need to get for Brett's siblings exchange. They haven't' told us who we're buying for yet. I have a lot that needs to be wrapped and that will be fun to get presents under the tree. So far, Everett doesn't seem to be interested in the tree. Let's hope that continues.

I had so many hopes of a crafty Pinterest inspired Christmas, baked goods to be delivered to neighbors, etc. However, this year we are barely suriving, just doing all the CRAP that needs to be done for this remodel. It will be totally worth it though!

I'm anxious to get a rug for the living room and to get the kids new kitchen put together. Our house just feels so stark and cold...I want it to be full again.

We've got this awesome blank wall to decorate now in our living room. We had a clock on it but I'm over the clock and am thinking of doing something photo collage-ish, maybe with a twine wrapped J as the centerpiece. I need to get my friend Rachelle over here to inspire me. She has millions of ideas inside that brain of hers. I bet Vanessa would help too. Perhaps a girls night at my place is in order!!

This post is totally boring, I apologize. But it's me venting and talking through this. Whenever I get whiny about this project I just have to tell myself, "first world problems". I'm so thankful for a house in the first place! I'm just sick of having a pedestal sink on my front porch. Yes, we are those classy neighbors. At least the toilet is in the garage. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

5 Question Friday

My baby boy is still sleeping, hallelujah! We've had two late nights in a row so this catch up on sleep is much needed. There's laundry to be folded and a dishwasher to empty.....blogging sounds much more fun though so let's do that!

1) How many times have you moved and do you have any tips?
We've moved twice since we got married. We moved into our first apartment and then 2.5 years later we bought the house we're still in today. Our starter house that we were going to live in for 2 years or so...and this January we'll have been here 7 years. :) I have no tips. The last time I moved I was 24, a baby who didn't know what they were doing. I guess if I had to think of a tip though it would be throw stuff away, purge, start over clutter free in a new place!

2) Do you have a budget for the holidays, or just keep sliding the credit card and have a heart attack in January?
Brett and I are not huge gifts people. We like receiving them, of course, but only if they come from the heart. We're not big on gift exchanges where you stress out about having to think of things for people and essentially just end up trading money. If someone can't think of something to get us, then don't get us anything! We must be doing fine if you can't think of anything at all. Give something to someone that truly needs it. As far as a budget, like with all things in life, we try to get the biggest bang for our buck, shop sales and give the appearance that we spent a good amount of money but really we got some great sales!

3) What's one medical thing you avoid like the plague?
This is so random! I can't really think of anything. I don't love shots or having blood drawn but when you're pregnant, you can't really avoid either. At least I couldn't.

4) Least favorite Christmas song:
It's a tie between "Christmas in the Northwest"...oh my word, it's SO bad. Just one lyric for all you non Northwesterners that don't get to experience the magic..."Christmas in the Northwest...is a gift God wrapped in greeeeeeeeeeen" sung by a lady with a sugary sweet voice. Oh my word, I'm so irritated even thinking about it. The other song that ties for least favorite is "Christmas Shoes". Depressing. And overplayed.

5) This Christmas are you spending more, less or the same?
I'd say the same.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Activities

I've always wanted to do a daily advent activity. Partly because I do want to keep our family's focus on the true reason for the season. Also partly because it's fun and I'm all about fun. :) I have this paralysis of perfection when it comes to being crafty, however, thus I am not crafty very often. I decided to throw my perfectionist tendencies to the wind and just make SOMETHING. I had scrap paper left from the one and only scrap book I've ever made of our first Christmas married, I had mini clothespins (cutest things ever) leftover from my easter placecard holders and then some raffia in my gift wrap box. Perfect. I printed out a calendar and wrote out activities that would work with our busy schedule. Lots of fun things, some things small and quick, some things bigger. 

 Sunday's activity was supposed to be "go to ZOOLIGHTS", our zoo's Christmas light show. However, it was freezing and pouring down rain. Bummer! So we did plan B....go to Ikea and then to a drive through Christmas light show! Ikea was kind of a bonus since it's close to the light show and not someplace that is ever on our way anywhere.

We had dinner at Ikea and then let Emersyn go in the play area while we hung out with Everett in the toy area. We picked up a gift there for Santa....a tool bench. I can't wait for him to play with it! He's all into banging stuff so this will be great.

Everett also loved this toy kitchen. Our toy kitchen broke but a replacement is on it's way, a much cooler one then the one we had before, score! Side note: Everett + Converse shoes = my heart swooning. So adorable!!! I was going to get him black dress shoes for his Christmas outfit but then realized, Converse would be SO much cuter!!!

After Ikea we headed to the light show. It's at a race track that you drive through so kids can get unbuckled. At first Ems was on my lap but then I felt bad that Everett was just stuck in his seat so Ems sat on Brett's lap and helped drive while Everett sat on my lap. He was so cuddly (and sleepy, it was a little past his bedtime) and he was in awe of the lights. The show isn't much, in fact, without kids it would be kind of lame, especially for what you pay to drive through it. But through the eyes of my two kids, it was magical. They have this 12 days of Christmas display so we sang that entire song as we drove through and Emersyn was SO happy to be helping drive. Like beside herself happy.

This picture makes me laugh, she's totally playing it cool like, "yeah...I'm driving, so what?".

We had a LOT of stuff to do at home, our floors were still not done. But this was our last free weekend night as a family before my parents get here and it was really important to me to have family time. Projects can wait. As we drove through the Christmas lights, I couldn't help but get a little misty eyed. My family is truly my dream come true. My cup truly over flows. I love my fiesty girl, my crazy giddy boy, and my husband who enjoys being cheesy around the holidays as much as I do. How did I get so blessed?? 

There's lots more holiday fun to be had this month, yay!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


At the beginning of this year, we knew we wanted to replace our downstairs flooring. Our carpet was very worn out and stained in various spots and it BUGGED me. I never felt like our downstairs felt very clean because even when I scrubbed and scrubbed, you could still see carpet stains. It was stains from silly stuff here and there through 6+ year of wear. It also was a very cheap carpet....we had planned to tear it out right when we built the house instead of having the builder charge us up the wazoo for their carpet prices. After thinking about it, we decided just to live with the carpet instead of trying to renovate a brand new house and I think that was a good decision. We were going to do new counters too but decided just to enjoy what we have....

Anyways, fast forward almost 7 years! We knew we wanted to do wood floors because we didn't want carpet that was just going to get stained up again, and because of the floor plan of our house having one flooring surface was really in our best interest (with the exception of the entry way and bathroom). If we did carpet we'd have to do something different in the kitchen and I didn't really want carpet in our dining area again. Not fun picking food out of carpet below the high chair.

We bought maple floors that are what I wanted in our price range. I do like the look of dark hand scraped floors but I feel like those are becoming almost generic flooring, you see them everywhere. They are beautiful but we decided we wanted a different look and I didn't want to fork out the extra money for the handscraped. I am really pleased with what we chose and how it looks.

Brett planned to start this project while we were in Sunriver back in early November. He had a list of things we wanted to accomplish: paint the entire downstairs, tile the entry way and powder bath, install hardwood floors, replace baseboards and touch up all the white woodwork downstairs. We figured this would be a two weekend project.


We finished the floors last night. Last. Night.

Now, I could be the bitter kind of wife that gets super ticked at her husband for insisting we do this ourselves and thus ruining drastically altering our November but I'm just too nice of a wife to be that way. We did save a lot of money by doing the floors ourselves, however......it was really really hard. And guess what? I installed just as much as Brett did! I used the nail gone and was very self sufficient at laying the boards and nailing and SAWING (which I totally dig). Aside from the technical planning of transitions between rooms and other details I won't bore you with, I could totally lay floors by myself. Maybe I should hire myself out? ;) It was VERY HARD work. Like my body hurt more from doing 10 hours of flooring then it did from doing the first day of the 30 Shred, and that's saying a lot. The flooring we picked has narrow boards so that make the project take a lot longer. It was also VERY loud so it wasn't something we could do when the kids were around because they'd be upstairs, unsupervised and that's okay for Emersyn but not so much for my dare devil son. :) For the first week I enjoyed the hard work. Brett and I totally bond through teamwork and accomplishing together. We sometimes feel more connected after a night of cleaning and organizing then we do at the end of dinner and a movie on a date, no joke! We enjoy working together and I think you just naturally love someone for working hard for you. He didn't intend for this to be as much my project as it was. He thought he'd get help from his brother for a couple days and that would be it....but alas, that was not how it turned out. :)

Last night Brett nailed in the very last board and we almost cried from joy. I think he may have cried when I wasn't looking, ha! He was super worn out and weary from this project, even more so then I was because he was the brains behind it. And did I mention that he learned how to do the floors entirely by researching online? I was not aware of this fun fact before the project started...I assumed a friend at his work had showed him how or something. It's probably best I didn't know this before the project started...I might have had some doubts.

The floors are done but there is still work to be done....this weekend we'll paint and get started on the baseboards. My parents come into town for two weeks a week from this Saturday and then it's like full speed ahead until the end of the year. We ARE going to get this done before they get here. Thankfully the stuff that needs to be done now isn't crazy loud stuff that we can't do with our kids here.

Here's a picture of the wood. I'll take more pictures once the entire transformation is done. 

So that's how our Floor-vember went. :) Life is never dull around the Jensen home!