Friday, February 15, 2008

February 16, 1987

On the eve of my sister Jenny's 21st birthday, I'd like to share some pictures and stories of the past 21 years.
Jenny was born on Monday, February 16, 1987. At the time of her birth, she was two weeks late and my mom was given a choice of induction dates. Given Friday the 13th and Monday the 16th, my mom went with the 16th. It was Presidents Day and I was out of school. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was in store for on that day or the years to come. In fact, I don't think anyone was prepared for the effect Jenny would have on our family :)
Born 7 1/2 years apart, I was very protective of my only sister. She was riding a bike without training wheels at four years old and could read short stories by the time she was in kindergarten. She was such a good learner and I, of course, enjoyed teaching her. Physically, we are different. She takes after my mom and her physical traits and I take after my dad. Personality wise, we are not just different, we are polar opposites :) She is very extroverted and sociable and a people person. I'm quiet, an internal thinker, and worried about hurting everyone else's feelings! Jenny could sell you the shirt off her back and have you convinced that it was the best purchase you've ever made!

Twenty one years later and Jenny is all grown up! She's a junior nursing major trying to balance school and clinicals and holding down a part time job. She was recently hired as a student nurse tech at Barnes Jewish Hospital in the Neuro ICU (did I get all that right Jenny?!). Needless to say, it's amazing to think that the same sister that I helped teach how to ride a bike is now on her way to helping save lives!

So Jenny, on the eve of your 21st birthday, I want you to know how proud I am at how far you've come. Have fun tomorrow! Be smart, be safe, and call me if you need me :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Confession Time!

I have a confession...we have projects! I admit it - I work on houses for a living and mine goes unfinished! It's a serious case and we hope to seek treatment and find a cure in the next year :)

I'm laying it all out there for you to see! No cleaning up the room just to take a picture of it to post on here! You get to see our house and our unfinished projects just the way they are!!!

We'll start with the two projects that are highest on our priorty list right now: our master bathroom and baseboards for the second floor. When Roger purchased our home (at first it was just his house and then it became our house), it had been updated in the 1980's but had been neglected since. We have updated plumbing, electric, and central air, but we also had 1980's decor. The master bathroom is a clear indication of the previous owner's bad taste.

I've started work on this room. I just could not take the lime green paint any longer so I've painted the walls a very soft spa blue. The reason some of the walls were left green is because those walls are going to come out during demo. I've left the tub green since we'll be having that professionally reglazed. The area behind the tub will be painted when the tub is removed from the bathroom to install the new floor.

Our plans for the bathroom include tiling the floor and shower area in a nuetral travertine. It's called Chiaro and it's in a honed and filled finish.

with an accent tile at eye level in the shower

We'll also replace the single sink and vanity with a double sink and a furniture style vanity

And we have a 2 foot area next to the tub that can accomodate a linen tower

In addition, we'll replace the toilet and demo that half wall next to where the vanity is now because it just breaks up the space and there will be no need for it once we put the freestanding vanity in.

Next on the list, baseboards on the second floor! Four years ago we ripped out the baseboards in the entire house and we were quick to replace the baseboards on the first floor. They are beautiful solid wood 7 1/4" baseboards which are perfect for our house since we have high ceilings. We just need to get on the ball and do the same for our second floor!

Moving on...our home's exterior needs a lot of work. First, we would like to change the color scheme of our trim work. These older homes have a lot of opportunity to incorporate color and a lot of our neighbors go bold when picking out trim colors. We're looking for inspiration around our neighborhood. Here's our house as it looks today

Notice the red white and blue motif

And we're thinking of going with colors similar to this house

Additional work to the exterior of the house includes replacing the mailbox

the front door

And replacing the blue fabric awning with something like this

Lastly, I really need to get a handle on our landscaping issue in the front yard. It's out of control!

Staying outside, we would like to paint our shed to match our house. Whatever trim colors we choose for the house will be continued on the trim around the shed door and window as well as along the fascia.

Additionally, we are considering residing our garage with vinyl siding. At the very least, we will replace the damaged siding that is on the garage now along with all the blue trim pieces that have deteriorated. We will also replace the garage door and paint the trim on the garage to match the house.

Moving back inside, we had some storm damage to our roof several months ago that has allowed water to get into the back wall of the house. We had roofers come out to make the repair and sure enough, it leaked again in the same spot. We are working with the roofers to come out again, but until we are sure it won't leak in the future, we have this to look at every day! Since this will be the future baby room, it's very important to me to get this fixed right! Those roofers don't want to mess with me and my hormones!

Winding out the list are two "wants" instead of "needs". I would like to replace our half wall banister with iron spindles. Our steps as they look today...

And what I would like it to look like...

Next, we would like to replace all the gold door hardware with bronze hardware. We're considering the lever style door knobs. We know that they are easier for little ones to open, but we like the look of them and who knows if we'll still be living in this house by the time our child is up and walking around.

Staying on the door theme, we'd also like to replace the trim around the doors. When the carpenters were installing it, they paid no attention to the amount of nails they shot through it. In some places, we have 4 - 6 nail holes in a one foot section. They're hard to see, but in this picture alone, there are six nail holes.

We have a dilema with our doors because they are solid wood, but we don't care for the honey color. Also, our baseboards are painted white so it does look a little odd to have white floor trim with honey colored door trim and doors.

What we would like to do is install new door trim and paint it white. We're also going to see if we can restain our doors or add a "wash" to them to lighten them up. We had no idea what it would look like or if it would even look good, but we were looking at listings in the neighborhood and our neighbor had a similar look. I think we are going to give it a try.

And you've survived my confession post! I feel good for getting it out there! I hope you all won't think of me any differently! As the months go by and we're able to check some of the projects off the list, I'll give you an update.