Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Autumn in Washington

Technically I have experienced seasons. We lived in Clarksville, TN for several years, but when you are constantly stressed because you have your husband's deployment hanging over your head, you're not likely to notice when your surroundings are beautiful. Wow, cue debbie downer music. Anyway, this fall has been the most amazing experience. We watched the leaves change, went on long walks,  sipped hot apple cider on crisp days, played in a corn maze and took lots of pictures. 

First day of first grade! 

Bobs Corn Maze in Snohomish, WA. Perfect the last week in September with overflowing pumpkin fields,  tiny crowds and even tinier lines. Third week in October was crazy. Seriously the crowds rivaled Disneyland. 

 Such a typical picture. 
 Landon and Mema. I call them the crazy long leg twins. 
 Layla loves corn. Like loves it. She would rip off a piece of corn while running through the maze and  eat it raw. 
 Typical fall day. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Backsplash and Corner Shelves

We were nearing the end at this point, and I'm embarrassed to admit the kitchen sat in this state for at least a month. I was tired and it was livable. Although, one can only take cooking dinner among wood glue stray screws and power tools. 

This was my little side project. It was supposed to be a quick and easy project....just slap some legs on the upper cabinets, screw in the countertop and viola! Not the case. I will not go into complaining mode, but lets just say I still can't walk by without resisting the urge to kick it. So there. 
Finally enough was enough. I had Landon help me put the tile saw on the lawn and I began. Once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly. Going around light switches was the hardest part, mostly because I'm a bit over zealous with the tile saw and had to do many cuts twice....notice, no super up close photos of the outlets and light switches.

Jason came home when i was halfway done and since there really wasn't anything for him to help with he decided to refinish the deck. Side note- using a power washer on an old, dirty deck is the most satisfying thing I have ever done. :) 

Finished! Well not really since I decided I can't stand the dark cheap shelves, but these will stay up and do the job till I find something better. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Orcas: Part 2

 A rocky beach is still a beach. 
The house we rented was in a small inlet that had a huge, grassy sandbank at low tide. 
 Both the kids loved kayaking....looks like we will be purchasing some kayaks. 

 Blackberries and Apples growing everywhere! 
 The Thinker :)
 View from Mt. Constitution. Highest point in the San Juan Islands. 
 So many starfish! 

 Sea grass angel
On our last day we all dug for clams. Doesn't get much fresher than hunting for your own dinner. Well, my dinner anyway since i'm the only one in my family who eats shellfish. 

 Goodbye Orcas! 
Happy, worn out kids

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Orcas: Part One

The last few months have been a bit stressful for our family. Since January we have moved, bought a house, moved again, did an insane diy kitchen renovation, and survived a very unexpected job layoff. So when the opportunity came to take a little family adventure to the San Juan Islands, we took it. An hour drive in the car and a little over an hour ferry ride on a beautiful sunny day, and we were there. 

 Our lunch view
 We rented a 100 year old farmhouse (my pick, not Jason's). You had to walk through the kitchen to take a shower but it was right on the water and ocean views from almost every room. 
 One of my favorite things of Washington in the summer is the food. Fresh, local, organic and so freaggin delicious I want to cry. We ate at a pizza place our first night, they served small bites of roasted kale with squash puree and tomatoes and our (mine and laylas) pizza was squash blossom with goat cheese. Jason and Landon are more pizza purists and were not as impressed. 

Gorgeous views everywhere you look! 

 Exploring our beach....and torturing tiny crabs that live in droves under every rock
 Embracing her American Indian heritage. 
Relaxing...and slightly sunburned feet. :) 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Backbreaking, Beautiful Flooring Days

Everything is so much easier when you're planning it. That entails pen and paper and the lovely, clean imagination. The real life process is a little sticky. Literally. The time for flooring had come. And I learned quickly that you can't just throw down a bunch of tile and call it a day. You have to have proper sub flooring with moisture barrier before you can lay a single tile. Im pretty sure that the subfloor under the linoleum was fine, but my husband likes to be thorough so we laid some special paper with a super sticky glue then covered the whole thing with a thin layer of thin set. 

 Ta dah! Its wonderful when three hours work yields such underwhelming results. 
 Finally the day when we lay the tile. The interesting part is you get to know your kitchen really well when you are installing tile. For example, we found that our walls are bowed. Made for some extra thick grout lines under the dishwasher and behind the refrigerator. 
 We installed black slate tile 12x24 inches. Each piece was a beast, but my new handy dandy tile saw cut through the slate like butter. Sadly there are no pictures of the tile saw in action. Jason laid the tile and I cut and my cell phone sat forgotten in my purse. 

Two pieces of tile from the same box. Slate is natural stone  so every tile was different. I like it now but this freaked me out on install day.  
 Before grout. 
And done. 

Countertops and Sink

So this was fun. Embarking on a task where you have nothing to guide you but youtube videos. Oh yeah, super fun....and scary as hell. We ordered one 12 foot cherry butcher block countertop and one six foot from lumber liquidators and had the happy task of cutting them ourselves. Since we are newbies at this whole power tool thing we decided to do straight cuts instead of 45 degree cuts for the corners. And I'm so glad we did. Jason cut three pieces before we had a huge "duh!" moment and clamped a guide so we could get our perfect cuts much faster. You live you learn. 

The trendy contractor :) 

pocket jig holes secured the countertops to each other then they were flipped and secured from underneath. 
notching the countertops to fit the farmhouse sink! 

And the sink. I am so glad this day is over. The countertops needed to be cut a little to get the sink in perfectly. Since the lip of the sink rests on the countertop it was pretty important we didn't cut too much....which meant Jason had to dead lift the sink about 20 times. 
Still not there...

And finished...sorta. Water isn't hooked up yet, but its in! I had a horrible dream the night we installed this...I walked in the house the next day and the sink had fallen down, shattered, and of course dragged the countertops with it, cracking the newly installed slate tile. However, the next morning everything was fine and my ridiculous paranoia was put to rest.