Shark Week(end)!

posted on: Monday, April 20, 2015

My baby boy turned four yesterday. He and Wes have been doing this sweet thing where they have "sleepovers" in each other's beds on weekend nights and the night before Ori's birthday they camped out in his room. At about 6am yesterday morning I was lying in bed asleep when the sound of singing woke me up. It was Wes, in Oren's bed with him singing him Happy Birthday. Oren was quietly giggling as Wes serenaded him. The song ended and everything got quiet while I lay there, eyes closed, smile plastered across my face. A few minutes later I tiptoed in to check on them and they'd fallen back asleep together in a little heap. 

And now I ask you, how could I love anything more?

As always, each new birthday is bittersweet around here, but watching their excitement on the big day definitely helps make up for the heartbreak. This year Oren wanted a shark party, hammerhead to be specific. He's been way in to sharks for the last few months and even more so since our date to the aquarium so this party is all he's been talking about for the past few weeks. Also, this is the first year he's really been old enough to invite friends and having a few of his little buddies here made it all the more exciting for him.

Cheryl nailed this cake. With friends like her around I have no reason to ever make another cake myself as long as I live (which is just the way I like it). Look at those little hammerheads!

Abby and I made "shark fin" shaped peanut brown butter rice crispy treats and apple and berry hand pies. And by "Abby and I" I mean I come up with an idea and she does all the actual work. I have the best sister.

And how about these adorable cupcakes though? I asked Cheryl to fill them with strawberry jam so when you bit in to them it looked like blood! Mwahahahaha

^^^just a punch bowl full of blue gatorade y'all^^^

These pictures absolutely melt me. The infamous Miss Lori and Miss Tammi, everyone! How lucky he is to be loved by these two ladies.

and who doesn't need a little personal cherry pie to round out the day?

Mostly I'm just really, really thankful for everyone who helped with this party or took time out of their day to celebrate with us. And we owe a big (huge!) thank you to everyone for the cards, phone calls and messages we received yesterday letting our little guy know just how special he is and how many people are out there thinking about him. 

Here's to FOUR!


(all the well executed photos by victor, all the average and sub par photos by me. thanks victor!)

House Progress: Our Rear Stairwell

posted on: Thursday, April 16, 2015

This is probably not the most exciting home renovation post but Josh and I have spent the better part of three weekends sanding, caulking and painting our way through our rear stairwell/pantry area and it only seemed right to give it a little attention on the old blog. This is another space that's a bit tricky to photograph so let me do my best to walk you through it. So this stairwell connects our kitchen to our second floor hall/bedroom area. Right off the kitchen entrance is our pantry (pictured below), lots of hooks for extra jacket storage and then the stairs to the second floor. At the top of the staircase is a little vestibule and a door that opens into the upstairs hall. Up until a few weeks ago we had done absolutely nothing to this space. I also forgot to take any before photos until we were well into the renovations. So you'll have to forgive my crappy little collection of "befores". This area has three light fixtures; one at the bottom of the stairs in front of the pantry, one hanging from the ceiling in the center of the stair well that matched the beauty in the photos below exactly and one in the vestibule at the top of the stairs. That one was just a bare bulb sticking out of the ceiling. It was all just really lovely as you can imagine. Also, all the trim throughout was still the stained wood. Which, it's not that I hate the look of stained wood but the kitchen was already painted out white, as was all the trim in the upper hall so there was just this weird pocket of stained trim back here when you transitioned between the two that didn't make any sense at all.  The walls were a peachy/pink color (you can see the last of it in the photo below on the right) and there were terrible roll shades with granny fringe hanging from the windows. I'd already disposed of those before I thought to take the before photos but they pretty much looked just like this.
There was also this old commercial grade carpeting on the stairs that had definitely seen better days.

It was just time for some changes. So we painted out the trim, walls, ceiling and stair risers white. We updated the light fixtures, window coverings, hooks, outlets, switches etc. and replaced the carpeting. Whew. It was a lot of freaking work for a back stairwell. But it needed done, and I'm so happy that it's over with now ;)

Here are some photos of the stairwell now.

And there it is! I know it's just a stairwell, but man finally having it updated is SO exciting. It was such a sad, dreary space before and now it fits in so much better with the rest of the house. I still need to get artwork for the walls, and a rug for the bottom of the stairs (not to mention a whole new kitchen/pantry floor but that's a story for another day) but I am so happy with the strides we've made so far.
Source List: Paint color Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove, carpeting, window shades, light in vestibule, large lantern light, black pendant light, hooks from Lowes and lots of sweat and elbow grease from Josh and I ;)

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