I honestly didn't even think I was going to get a Friday post up this week. I was all proud of myself for having posts set up for Monday and Tuesday that I thought I would be on a roll for this week...and then life happened and the cold I've been fighting for well over a week now is still lingering. It probably has something to do with the fact that I DO NOT SLOW DOWN, so I can't complain too much because I did it to myself.
There are so many things that I want to share with y'all today that I hope my brain isn't too fuzzy so I can get it all written down here for ya! But first can we just take a moment to let it sink it that it is the FIRST Friday of December and we are just 20 days away from Christmas???!!!! I mean how did that even happen since I'm still waiting for Halloween, ha!!
Part of the reason that I have been somewhat absent from the blog here is because we did a MAJOR update to our house. We removed our carpet from 1989 and replaced it with solid surface floors! We chose to go with a laminate because it gives us the wood look we have been dreaming of (for the past 7 years) but it was a fraction of the cost and we wouldn't recoup the investment when we go to sell. Regardless, I tell people we have wood floors and I am just in love with our home now. It's so funny how one change can make such a difference. Additionally now we can start potty training Ellie since we won't have to carpet clean on the daily from her accidents!!
I am sure that I have shared it on here before but let's just recap a bit. Our home is a rambler built in 1989, when we purchased our home in 2008 it was nearly untouched in all its 1989 glory with builder paint on the walls, builder carpet and linoleum on the floors and orangey oak colored cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Before we moved in we made a few updates: painting all the ceilings white and walls in the great room (which turned out to be an awful color that I quickly replaced in the first 2 years we lived here) and we also covered the awful 1989 linoleum in the kitchen with a click in place, floating, laminate cherry wood floor and continued it under the bar on the counter (which was originally carpet...why?????) Our plan from the beginning was to replace the whole house (minus bedrooms) with wood floors (laminate were totally acceptable) but we were unsure of the timeline so we meticulously took care of our builder vintage 1989 carpet and carpet cleaned at least four times a year.
To save money on our floors we chose to do the demo ourselves...and of course Ellie had to get in on the action.
Tutu's are really the best attire when doing home demo!!
When you give a toddler a hammer....Thanks to Daniel Tiger she was yelling "hammer, hammer, hammer!!" the whole time ;)
Eek these old floors were even worse than I remembered!! and what is up with the two white "tiles"???? some one must have dropped bleach on them at one point and time?? IDK but I had to take a picture of it because it was so weird.
We also had to move all the furniture out of our house to rip up the carpet...but first one last photo of the 1989 carpet...
And now all the baseboard was taken off and the carpet pulled up, we are left with the subfloor - I actually like it better than carpet!! ha
We also decided to pull up the carpet in the hallway and have the floors continue on that way...it makes for a much more cohesive look. Oh and by the way removing the linoleum and the particle board underlayment was a B***h to remove....thankfully it is gone and the sub floor wasn't damaged (all the praise hands!!) BUT the cabinets were set ON TOP of the flooring in the kitchen so Thomas had to go around with a chisel and remove it all to cabinets - his least favorite part and I am so glad I didn't have to do it!
After all the demo we just had to wait about 2 days until our install crew came and they got right to work. Here are the after shots and the beautiful floors we have now!!!
It makes our great room look so much bigger and actually much brighter despite the floor being a darker color!
This has to be one of my favorite shots because the flooring is continuing through the kitchen and it's just one solid surface now!! My heart is so happy.
The install took two days and we kept forgetting that we didn't have a stove. So on Saturday morning we had to go out for coffee since we couldn't make it at home. Our coffee maker bit the dust several months ago so we have been enjoying French Press on the daily and we are never going back! It was only 2 days without our stove and it felt like such an inconvenience, I have no idea how any one makes it through a kitchen reno!!
I could go on and on about these floors but I am sure you can feel my excitement through the screen! And now that we have lived with them for a few weeks, putting the protector pads on the bottoms of all our furniture has made everything slide so easy that Ellie no longer knocks the chairs over!, the dog hair is not as bad as we anticipated, the house feels much cleaner, and I can tell that it's a little bit cooler than before...so socks in the winter are a must!!
We chose to go with Lumber Liquidators for our floors because they had better options than the other Big Box Stores and they offer great financing for those who need it. I love how our floors look but just like any other construction job where you are depending on others to do the job you will run into some snafu's. When we scheduled our measurement both the store and installation company told me the guy who measures will be the guy who installs - that was a LIE!! He was the "manager" of the team to do our install but he never showed up at our house to oversee the install. Additionally the conversation that I had with him in our home to discuss the pattern, trim boards, and finishing touches did not get calculated into his drawing for our install, nor did it get discussed with the installers, nor did he order us enough product - which turned our 1 day install into a two day install with me having to drive an hour away to grab more product since our local store was out of stock. Despite the confusion, our installers did a great job on our floors and I am so happy with how they turned out. It was definitely worth the 7 year wait as my decor style and tastes have changed over the years and I know that we made a great choice in our flooring style and color.
After our original date for Family Photos was cancelled (because I was NOT about to go out in the rain) and our photographer was no longer available, I had to switch gears. Secretly I am so happy we did because I was able to reconnect with one of the cheerleaders I coached 5 years ago (it feel like a lifetime ago) and support her in her new business venture. I was bound and determined to get our photos before December hit so that we could choose one for our Christmas Cards and get those sent out before it was too late. Reina did a fantastic job and I am so pleased that she was willing to brave the elements and shoot our family in 29 degree weather. Both she and Thomas were unsure if we were going to get quality photos because of all the fog, but I had a feeling it would give our photos that magical touch and I was right! We really couldn't have picked a better day or time for the pictures and I love every single one of the photos she took that it was so hard to narrow it down to one for our cards....so I chose 5!!! ha
On Tuesday I shared about our Advent Calendar and activities. I thought that by starting off easy with a book it would set us up for success...well I have to admit that we have failed already!! I totally forgot to read Ellie a Christmas themed book on Tuesday (can I blame it on working a 12 hour day??) and then I forgot to leave out the craft for her to do with Thomas while I went to MOPs on Wednesday and then yesterday it was raining when we got home (plus it was super dark) so we couldn't take Paladin out for a Horse Cart ride... Though we tried to make it up yesterday by purchasing the Elf on the Shelf book (which came with another elf) and read that to Ellie and attempting the craft with her (fail because it was for ages 6 and up) but we still had fun. And now that we have two Elves, both named Jingle Bell Rock - we let Ellie play with the plush one since she loves her so much. Even though we have failed on the advent calendar (hopefully we can get on track this weekend) we have been good about moving Jingle Bell Rock each night and Ellie has already started to understand the searching for her!!! I am planning on having our Elf breakfast on Sunday but I won't feel guilty if that doesn't happen.
I love Christmas and I love Santa! But I saw a post last year on FB that was somewhere along the lines of "Have your big present be from the parents and then a smaller one from Santa, because it's not easy for young children to understand why Santa gives some children a Power Wheels for Christmas and they got a pair of mittens" It was so powerful to me that I 100% agree, especially since I have worked in low-income schools. So we don't make a big deal about Santa in our house - he brings us toothbrushes and an orange in our stocking and that's about it. Plus I want Ellie to be well behaved all year long not just the 24 days before Christmas - and why should a fake fat man in a red suit get all the praise when Thomas and I have been working our butts off to get Ellie something special??? So I know that I talked about our Elf on the Shelf in number three - but our little elf doesn't get into much trouble (because isn't that the opposite of what you are trying to have your children do anyways????) because she is pretty lazy and just likes to move around the house to help Ellie learn to use her seeking and observation skills. I do however want Ellie to believe in the "Magic" of Santa so we will be encouraging her imagination with Santa - he's just not a big deal.
This Sunday is our 9 year Engagementiversary. Thomas proposed to me at my childhood home in front of our parents before we headed out for our annual Christmas outing. That particular year we were going to the 5th Ave theatre to see A White Christmas and now it's a tradition that we watch the movie every December 6th to commemorate our special day. At first when he popped the question in front of our parents I was embarrassed and a little bit miffed...but now after my mom passed away I can think back and reflect on how that is a special memory and she got to be a part of it - she even said YES before I did!!!
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