Wow, I haven’t found time to write since March? What have I been doing? Oh, that’s right, I had a baby and moved into a completely remodeled farmhouse one week prior to the birth. Once I emerged from the haze the arrival of a newborn creates, I was too busy trying to establish a routine that allowed some semblance of productivity and normalcy. I finally feel like I’ve got a decent grasp of things.
Summers on a farm are busy. You’re so busy preparing for the winter months (replacing insulation, chopping wood, canning, freezing and dehydrating food, etc.), it seems the season is over before it barely begins.
I love Fall. It allows for lazy mornings and indoor activities that you would otherwise feel guilty doing on a beautiful day. Activities like blogging, knitting, surfing Pinterest for 2 hours…you get the idea.
I’ve been trying to introduce a light preschool curriculum into Sam’s mornings. Let’s just say its been more well received than potty training. I printed out some free flashcards (aren’t they adorable) and laminated them myself. Sam seems to really enjoy them.
I chose photos that I felt represented our day to day lives these past few weeks. As you can see, we installed a brand new fireplace and that has become the main source of our heat. Gabe purchased a tiny metal grasshopper to be placed near the stove for good luck. He needs a name. “The grasshopper” won’t do. Notice we have yet to completely unpack. Those boxes are full of books and games. We have scheduled a master carpenter to come and install custom bookshelves against that wall. This will give us a place to put the books, games, photos and other chatychkes that have yet to find a place in our new home.
The outside of the house has an exponentially better facade than it had before the remodel. I love our red door. It makes me so happy every time I see it. Our landscaping is lacking but that will be a project for next summer. Once step at a time. That seems to be our motto. Sometimes one half step at a time. Better than nothing I suppose.
The renovations are fully underway and it’s so exciting to see all of our hard work (okay, fine, technically our contractors’ hard work) come to fruition. It’s still early; we’re mostly working with the “bones” of the house; nothing that’s been done will actually be visible at the end of the job, but we’ve already come across quite a few pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises.
Underneath layers of paint and wallpaper, we’ve discovered the original wood planks that make up the walls and gorgeous tongue and groove on the ceilings. Instead of applying drywall, we’ve decided to restore the walls and ceiling. This will save us lots of money in the long run, and it will add to the farmhouse charm that we’ve been trying to keep during this renovation.
Every room downstairs has turned out to have hardwood floors that require just a little TLC; something we are willing to give in exchange for pocketing the money we would have otherwise spent on new flooring.
Of course, there are also some unexpected expenses popping up (on what seems like) a weekly basis, although it’s probably not as bad as I’m making it sound. The cellar underneath the house is going to require a sump pump due to flooding issues. Our wood stove, which will serve as the main heat source during the winter, needs to be replaced, along with all the piping. We need to purchase a larger generator than we had originally planned. These changes, combined with little add-ons here and there have already totaled in the thousands. Everyone tells you that you’re going to go over budget on any new build or remodel, no matter how hard you plan. You just never think it’s going to happen to you.
Until it does. Ugh.
Walking the property yesterday morning, I noticed little signs of Spring; tiny buds in the orchard and on the plants surrounding the house, a cloudless morning, and…mud. Everywhere. Ah, Washington. There’s always mud somewhere. I walked the length of our new orchard fence and planned out my Spring garden in my head. The workers were talking and laughing while scraping linoleum off the floors and it smelled liked freshly cut wood. We might not have a working bathroom or any functional heat source, but it already feels like a happy home.
The first two photos are from Chanukah this year. Sam was able to participate a little more than last year, which made it exponentially more fun. I have no idea what I am saying or thinking in the second photo but judging by my expression, I am clearly amazed/having a great time. So there you go.
We also had family photos taken in October by the very talented husband-wife duo, Angela and Evan, of Angela and Evan. They are based out of Seattle, incredibly talented and so, so nice. They’ve photographed our wedding, Sam as a newborn, and now our family. I plan on using them many times in the future as our family grows and progresses. If things keep moving down the same path, I’m sure I’ll have one of them photograph my funeral. They’ll know what lighting will make me look my best.
I realize three months is a long time to go without blogging, especially when the whole point of a blog is to keep those who read it updated on the daily going-ons of said blogger’s life. The truth is, I just haven’t really felt like there was much to say. The remodeling was at a stand-still; we were basically just waiting for permits to be approved, builders to clear their schedules, and paint colors and sconces (Seriously. Sconces.) to be chosen. I knew the remodeling would involve minute details, but I don’t think I really knew, if you understand what I’m saying. It starts out fun, but by the end of the interior decorating process I thought I would scream if Gabe showed me one more variation of a barn door hinge. I think he enjoyed the whole decorating thing more than I did. He likes tiny, minute details. He’s OCD. It’s right up his alley.
Besides the remodeling, this pregnancy has proven to be very different from the last one. Instead of a two week period of slight morning sickness, which is what I experienced with Sam, I was sick all the time. Like 24/7. For about 3 months. And I still find myself running for the toilet if, say, the taste of toothpaste lingers too long in my mouth. Yes, that’s right, toothpaste flavor sends me over the edge.
Toothpaste. It’s deadly.
So…a lull in the remodeling, constant morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, and the typical holiday craziness that occurs this time of year have kept me pretty far from the blogging world. I’m going to do my best to change that. I need to blog. It relaxes me. I enjoy it immensley. And its for me.
And whoever reads this. It’s for you too.