Wednesday, September 26, 2012

32 days left of living in a 2 bedroom townhouse with 6 people.

The house is 26 days from being completed. 
32 days until we move in. 

 All the stone work outside is done... She still needs some shutters.
This is the color the kitchen and breakfast nook will be. I will be painting the night we close.
There's my hammered copper sink... That Michael Neal doesn't ever have to wash a dish in. That was the deal when he let me get it.
This is a close up of the vent mantle. 
The cupboards still look a little naked. Thats because they still need the hardware and the glass inserts. The glass inserts give me a headache. There were 20 emails back and forth about them and they still weren't put in. But whatever, It will get fixed.
The counter tops went in today. Its hard to tell in the pictures what color they are, But they are a sandy beige-y color with copper and brown specks. This top picture is the actual color of them. {That's the kitchen pallet}

The master vanities, well, One of them at least.
The master vanity with the counter tops. Believe it or not, These are the same cabinet. The lighting was different.
Remember those brick floors I mentioned... They are by far my favorite thing that has gone in so far. This is the mudroom entry from the garage.
Eventually, this is what the mudroom will look like. Minus the wood floors obviously. But the cabinets have to wait a little while. The builder wanted something stupid like $7,500 to put this in. So we opted out and have gotten a few different bids, and unless someone can get it down to $1,000 {Which you cant even buy the wood for} Then it has to wait a while... But I was planning ahead:)

I might die... This WILL be in the next house. 
 Or this is the other option... {It would save us quite a bit of money,} I'm pretty handy and I'm fairly certain I could build this. {Note that I said I...Mike's theory is that he funds the projects and I carry them out, It's a good system that works for us.} And if I can't, Well, I can always stop mid project, fly my dad out from Utah, and make him finish it. {Or build the whole thing} Either way, as long as it gets done, I'll be a happy camper.
 So there we are. I'm ready. I way past ready. And with the washing machine broken, a landlord that is in NO hurry to fix it, some stupid vertical blinds that are constantly falling down, and a neighbor who always slams their door, and kids who are constantly waking each other up because they sleep in the same room, It makes me wish it were yesterday that we moved. 
However, that being said, this has been a really fun process. And I think I will be sad to have it end. It's like Christmas every day something new gets done. But one that I hope I never have to do again. It's been stressful, and still is... and it's been long... VERY long. But we are closer than we were yesterday.

Why I am voting for Mitt

I am writing this post, not to persuade anyone or to start an argument, but because I want my children to read it one day in the future and know where I stand and what I stand for. 
How proud I am to be an American. 
I love my country. 
 I love, respect, admire and am so grateful to those who serve our country to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. 
We live in the greatest nation on earth. 

I will never vote for a man who won't put his hand on his heart in front of that sacred flag that so many have given their lives for. I don't care if it was "just" for the the national anthem that it wasn't there, It should have been. 
I will never vote for a man who apologizes for America and what she stands for. {here}
I will never vote for a man who wants a communist society. If you want a communist society, Get out of America. There are plenty of other places you can go. 
I will never vote for a dishonest man. 
I will never vote for a man who wants universal healthcare. It is garbage. It doesn't work. Check other countries track records, or talk to someone who has dealt with that system.
I will never vote for a man who wants to "spread the wealth." You are not entitled to a car, a house, or even food. Yes, I said you are NOT entitled to food. " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,"{Genesis 3:19} God's way is that you work for what you get. I am not cold and heartless, On the contrary, I would and do help anyone that is struggling, but trying.
 I will never vote for a man who wants to force me to give. Hey, Guess what? If you want to help people, and give them your hard earned money. You still can! But we should never be forced to "help" those who won't help themselves. That's a disgusting thought to me.
I will never vote for a man who's policies go against the constitution. Who's policies go against the foundation that our country was built upon. 
I will never vote for a man who is friends with people who hate America. 
If you have anything but love and pride for this country, We are going to have issues.

I will vote for a man of integrity. 
I will vote for a man who knows how to manage money.
I will vote for a man who is a man of God. Who's actions reflect that.
I will vote for a man who loves his country and the freedoms we enjoy. 
I will vote for a man who knows how to take companies that are in the crapper and make them successful. Hey, That's the boat that America is in right now. He has the track record, to PROVE that he knows how to fix economic issues.
I will vote for a man who will not fail. 

This election will be a turning point for America. 
I want my children to live in a country that is free, successful, And respected. 

The Book of Mormon states that America will remain a free land as long as the people worship the God of the land. It also assures us that “unto the righteous” this land “shall be blessed forever.”


I am not voting in ignorance. And neither should you.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
  --  Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 21, 2012

38 days and counting... Here's where we are.

 All the wood trim is in. And all the interior doors are in. Ceilings and walls are all painted.
 Upon the paint drying, it looks much less orange-e terracotta-e. I don't hate it quite as much. Don't get me wrong, it's still more yellow than I'd like, I don't LOVE it, and there will be lots of new paint colors going up, But I can live with this color until I can get to all the walls.
 All the tile is in. {Bathroom floors, showers, food storage room, and the laundry room} I drove out today not really planning to, But I made a run to whole foods and the two little ones were asleep and they needed a nap before we had to get Blake so I decided to take a drive. It's a good thing that I did because the guy that was laying the brick floors in the mudroom didn't know what pattern he was supposed to be laying them in. As I was walking through he asked me if I was the owner and he said he had a question. {Thank heavens he spoke English. I'm not really sure what he was planning to do if I didn't show up?}So it was good that I was there so I could show him a picture. Any how, We got it all figured out, and hopefully those went in this afternoon too. And hopefully they are in right.

 They were working on the stone outside while I was there too. It looked like they had just started on it. There is a ton of stone work that is going on. And the fireplace will be this stone as well. Oh and I love love love the exterior paint color and stone color. The stone color goes so great with the roofing color. {I was slightly nervous when I first saw the roof color, it's a reddish brown and all of our neighbors have grey or black shingles. We stuck out like a sore thumb. But it looks so great together. {Not to toot my own horn. This was all dumb luck that they go so well together. Because I'll be honest, I was terrified as I was picking all these colors and trims. And I am so lucky that the outside color is what I was hoping it would be. It is so so different when you are looking at 2 inches of this color and when you are looking at an entire house of this color. It's a lot of pressure picking all these things out man. If someone hates the curb appeal of your house its 100% your own fault. If the neighbors think your house is the ugly duckling of the street, that's your fault. Or when you are trying to sell it {Not that we are ever planning to do that} if someone hates it, It's your fault. I seriously got so dumb lucky. The only things I am kind of worried about now is the front doors and the garage doors. They are going in brown. We did this so that we could have a faux wood paint treatment done to them. {as much as I wanted it, real wood in Florida is just not a good idea because of the humidity and warping} But now I am looking at it, and I really think I'd be okay with white. {Don't tell Mike that, Because we had to pay extra for the brown. He is probably going to shoot me!} Oh well, Maybe I will love love love the brown. Who knows. I think I just need to see it.
So, That's where we are. Part of me is like, what the heck do they need 38 more days for? Extreme Home Makeover does it in like a week, Just hurry up and get my floors in and my kitchen in and let me move in! But it is really exciting seeing all the little things going in. It's like Christmas everyday that something new gets started!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The ugly bombe chest

I found a new app for the Ipad. And let me just say that I have wasted  spent way too much time on it. It's called moodboards. Basically you can do whatever you want with it, But I have discovered that it is the perfect app for making design boards for each room in the new house. Here's a peek at the one for the girls room. {mind you it's ever changing as I find things, But you get the idea.}

So I have been slowly collecting things for their room. In looking for the "dresser" I ran into a few problems... one I wanted a mirrored furniture piece. Well, as I was looking at homegoods I saw a mirrored table in the store and it was already shattered in a few places. Yeah, This is going in a kids room. Not an option. I'm sure that thing would be destroyed in seconds. So I decided on metallic instead. And problemo number two...Money. I had in mind a very specific shape and feel for what I wanted to act as the dresser. I wanted a bombe chest. Well, The only metallic bombe chests that I could find run about $1000. Like the one pictured below. Some of them ran up to $4,500. {Layla grace} Really? Who spends that kind of money on a piece of furniture?

So I got to craigslisting. And what would you know this bad boy was listed. I called and picked it up that night. $100. Now, I don't know if you have priced regular dressers lately, But for a "dresser" for the girls room this was a steal of a deal. Most new dressers I have found on the cheap side run $400+. So I happily paid the lady $100. {I didn't have the heart to haggle with this lady.}

Here is what this beast looked like before. Oh man, Talk about seeing the potential. But the lines were absolutely perfect. I knew I could make it work.

image 0 

I had a "helper"

It took about 3 coats of primer to cover the black. No joke. 
 This is what made the magic happen. And it only cost me $4 at hobby lobby. It's normally $7.99 and I used a 50% off coupon. And one container did the whole thing. {It took two coats}
 Drum roll please....
 My Iphone pictures do not do it justice. This thing is beautiful in real life.  I used some crystal knobs I have had laying in a drawer for years waiting to be used. I think my mom got them for like .25 cents each when pier one kids was going out of business at the town center. So, Total cost for this awesome piece for the girls room... $104. I'm pretty happy about that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 been there
Today started off just so awesome that I can't do anything but laugh.

I put my pants on inside out and had to walk the kids into school like that. No big deal, everyone does that every once in a while right?

Mike was going to take the day off and we were going to let the kids play hookie and skip school and take everyone to the splash park. Well, Mike went into work for the morning and we decided to send them to school and just go afterwards since today is early release. Well, that doesn't seem so bad right? That part wasn't. I make the kids lunches the night before. I hadn't done that. And I had not taken Blakes lunchbox out of his backpack from the night before. Well, When I went to go get it to put todays lunch in it, I opened it only to discover that he didn't finish his rice, and didn't put the lid back on, and instead of putting his half eaten yogurt in the trash at school, He put it back in his lunch box. It was a nasty stinky mess. Not to mention I didn't have anything quick to throw in a lunch for him. So my son went to school today with a bento box, not in a lunch box, filled with a frozen brownie, pretzels, a piece of homemade bread, freeze dried yogurt from our food storage, and some organic FROZEN chicken nuggets. Fully cooked obviously. Man alive. Awesome mom right? At least it's an organic lunch right?

Today while I was taking my vitamins and pills, I was rushing, and didn't realize that I grabbed the melatonin bottle instead of my allergy medicine bottle. Until it was too late. Yep. I took a 5mg melatonin at 8am. It's made for an awesome morning. Hey, Well, I may be tired and can barley keep my eyes open, But hey, my stress levels are at an all time low!

Happy Wednesday... and it's only 10:30am! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Showing the townhouse is a really weird thing. I hate knowing that random strangers are walking through my house.  I was totally thinking, What if they are just robbers scoping to see if I have anything good to steal, Or the best way to get in my house, and where the obstacles are and how to avoid them...And I took all the pictures down. Am I a weirdo? Paranoid? Maybe... Probably. 

I have been craigs-listing a bunch too... Well, I was... And then Mike put me on craigslist restriction. I'm not allowed to buy anything else right now. And UGH! When I looked today, the sleigh bed I want from pottery barn was listed for $450!!! Normally $1,200 plus. BAAAAHHH! And a side table from PB and the matching coffee table for $500. Thats like a 70% savings! I can't tell you how much it killed me to know that some other sucker was going to get that deal and have those beauties sitting in their home and not me!

I haven't been out to the house for about a week, So I am sure there's more progress, But I won't have an update until tomorrow.
I got a call today from our builders office wanting to confirm our closing date. We had originally thought that the closing date was going to be October 20th. Well, It's now October 29th. This is a pain in a butt for several reasons.

1- The days are dragging on and an extra 9 days seems like an eternity
2- That means Mike will be at work while I deal with the move. Taking time off at the end of the month isn't an option.
3- I have the 2 days to have everything moved and the townhouse cleaned, carpets cleaned and fresh paint. Extending the lease with our less than awesome greedy landlord is not an option. We have to be out and have this place clean by the 31st.
4- Um, Halloween is smack in the middle of this mess. My poor kids.
5- Painting the new house before we move in so the kids dont touch wet paint, Yeah, Don't have time for that now.

It was just a huge disappointment when I got that news today. But all things considered, Whatever, It's not a big deal, there's nothing I can do to change it, And stressing about it wont help, fix, or change it. It's just going to make my life a little more chaotic. But I'm used to that. And I will totally forget those crazy 2 or 3 days after we are in and settled... Well, Until a kid touches wet paint and I think back to how I wish I could have painted before we moved in. {If you're wondering why I am painting, It's because the builder wanted an extra $200 or something stupid like that to paint each room a different color. I got to pick one color that they will paint the entire house. Or it would have cost me a billion dollars.}

Alright, Random ranting is over. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Its starting to dawn on me

Piano room.
family room
This is the view from the front door
upstairs kids bathroom

The view from our master bedroom to the loft upstairs.

We are making progress. Fast. We were there while the crew was there and they holy cow, they made it look so easy. And I totally want a pair of those stilt things they get to stand on, Those things looked like fun. We haven't been able to make the drive as fast as they are making progress, So many thanks to Ashlar and Valerie for stopping by the house for me.
 Brent did end up in the hospital, his breathing was really terrible, and so he was on some steroids for a few days, and of course breathing treatments every 3-4 hours. At first he hated them... But he's getting used to them I think.

 Thats almost a smile.
This is pretty much the only benefit of him being sick. Because I'm not gonna lie, He's the neediest whiniest sickest baby ever. There is a reason that baby was the last of the Mohicans, He single handedly has guaranteed that there will be no more Hicks babies. I don't think Mike or I have slept a whole night through in the last 13 months. It's totally not his fault, He is just constantly sick and needs a ton of care and attention.

 These little jokers pulled out all of my jewelry and shoes and mind you, This is right after I had organized the shoes so they weren't just in a huge pile. They sure were cute though!
 This is Blake, My tree hugger. He loves recycling trash and making it into new things. Yes, That's a little Caesars box. Don't judge me.

So, I think it's starting to dawn on me that we are really moving. And is this terrible, That I am almost wishing something would happen and we didn't have to move? I mean, Don't get me wrong, I am so excited for the new house, But at the same time I am terrified. I hate change. I love our ward, I love the people there. I love my calling. (I teach the 16-18 yr. Sunday school) I have such a great relationship with the kids I teach, and I have known them since they were basically babies, and I love that I have the opportunity to be a part of their lives during the most crucial years, while they are deciding for themselves if they are going to devote their lives to the Lord for themselves. We just got some of the coolest neighbors you could ever ask for, They have 3 gorgeous little girls that are Blake lala and kynzis age, And of course it's like two months before we leave that they move in. So that sucks. My best friend who I see basically every day will live 45 minutes away from me. Blake and LaLa are just getting comfortable in school. Not to mention that on Sunday I will have to have all of my kids sit with me during sacrament meeting, because the Wilkes won't be there to entertain them. {Alisa, I promise the beach isn't that far away, and the schools are so awesome... Please move by me?! Pretty please with sugar on top???} I think right now I am on autopilot. Just going through the routine and trying not to think about what's going on, But I know when that day finally does come, There's going to be lots and lots of tears. Sad tears, and happy tears. {Poor Mike, I will be a hot mess, I'm not a cryer, and so Mike never really has to deal with me crying, But when I do cry it's months and sometimes years of built up emotion, he just doesn't know what to do} I am excited for new adventures, But also terrified of the unknown. However, The good news is, It's only 30 minutes away and not across the country, I have Michael Neal to walk with step by step, {Is it just me or when I said step by step did you just think back to TGIF? Oh man, that was quality entertainment my friends.} We have these 4 gorgeous children in tow, The schools are awesome, {Whichever one they end up at} the neighborhood is positively delightful and our neighbors seem very friendly and so welcoming. There's lots of good in store. It's just that whole "You gotta step out onto nothing" Thing that scares me. But We've already been over this, In this post. {Skip to the last paragraph} 
If your dreams aren't big enough to scare you, They aren't big enough. So here goes nothing. 
This really is my dream. My dream family, My dream house, And my dream life. But taking  that first step scares the living day lights out of me. {If all of you military friends who have moved a billion times are reading this thinking I'm a sissy for being scared to move, I don't necessarily think that's the reason, I think I'm terrified because This is absolutely permanent. We have no intentions of ever moving again. So I think I am also terrified because I am a slight commitment phob} 

Well, I am off to make and prepare a lesson on how to bake chocolate chip cookies that I will be teaching to the 16, 17, and 18 year old scouts. This is going to be interesting if it's anything like our Sunday school class. Wish me luck trying to control the chaos!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I just saved over $3,000. You're welcome Michael Neal.

Mike just went back to work today after a few days off. He usually takes 3 or 4 days off during the first week of the month to spend time with the kids and catch his breath after the last week of the month. So, While he was home I took advantage of the situation, I had him watch the kids and I packed up a few things that we don't use everyday, did some deep cleaning, cleaned out the garage, and hauled a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. It felt good. Real good. I love purging. It makes me happy.

I feel like we are making progress in Brent's allergy situation. I suppose it's good that we are figuring it out, But it also sucks because we are finding that he is not just allergic to peanuts. The list keeps growing. We will be headed to an allergist specialist in the next week or so. We are up to a list of at least 3 really serious "like he could stop breathing if he comes in contact with" Allergies. And a page full of allergies that will give him rashes and hives, and we haven't even ventured into sensitivities yet.

The house is coming along! We are looking at about 45 days until completion! They started drywall yesterday, that should take about 5 days or so to tape, mud, smooth and all that stuff, and then the fun stuff will start to go in!~ Floors, cabinets, backsplash, tiles, Etc. I think I am almost as excited to see all this stuff go in as I am to move in!

I have been searching for things for the kids rooms and the living room, On a budget... and I think it's starting to coming together. I need opinions please... Here is what I am thinking for the living room, Do you think it goes together? Or if there is something you think needs to go in that room will you send me a link? Pretty please with sugar on top?

I'm thinking this rug in either the tan or the blue. I'm leaning towards blue... But its going to depend on the wall color and/or if its too much tan or too much blue. It's all about balance baby... Finding my zen. My happy place.

These for the window treatments.

This is the paint selection. It's the Restoration Hardware Silver sage collection. Surprisingly, their paint is rather reasonably priced. I am thinking the middle shade, But it will depend on the lighting in the house, That will be a game time decision.

This tucked in the corner by the fireplace. With a soft little throw blanket. Cozy right? Everyone needs a recliner, and this is a recliner I can live with.  
                                        A few of these...

ivory (383x344)

And this will be the crowning jewel butted up right behind the sofa.
 Its going to be a labor of love to find the stuff the make this a reality, But I am determined. 

This is the sofa and loveseat. {I am going to wait until we get our tax return to buy the leather ones I want. But I really love these. And have lusted after them for quite some time... Who knows maybe I won't want the leather ones come April or so}, And Mike gets his wish to sit on cloth not leather during this football season.} And I got a ridiculous steal of a deal on it.

Are you ready for this??... Retail on the couch alone is $1,800. The loveseat is $1,700.
I paid $250 each. $500 for the set. That's a big fat savings. Here's the story.
I was stalking craigslist for a dresser for the girls, And just for the heck of it I typed in Pottery Barn. And these couches came up. The ad had been up for an hour and I thought to myself, I have to call. Mike was at the pool with the kids and I didn't have time to wait for him to give me the green light, So I basically just thought, Well, I will send her an email and then ask Mike. If he says no, we just won't go look at it. Well, I sent an email and then I waited about 5 seconds and then texted the lady. I couldn't take the chance of loosing these bad boys, so I had to be aggressive. I know what you're thinking, But hold that thought.... Does that really surprise you... Uh, Have we met? My nickname isn't "Badger" For no reason. I earned that. I didn't care if this lady thought I was a crazy stalker for emailing, texting, and calling her, all within 10 minutes... I had some couches to buy before anyone else got to them. So, We went last night and picked them up. Well, actually the lady was so so sweet, She had a trailer and a truck, so she followed us and dropped them off. No extra gas fee or anything. Well, When I went in to look at them I saw them, and thought to myself... THESE LOOK NOTHING LIKE THE PICTURE!!!!! They are a hot mess! They literally looked like the pictures above, Clean, white, and crisp on the craigslist ad. I walked in and took a look at them and they were covered in a wrinkly faded ugly khaki-ish green-ish slipcover. I was devastated. And then she said, "I took the pictures without the slipcovers on it." So we peeled back the slip covers and you know know what I saw... Those white, crisp, clean couches. With springy soft cozy fluffy pillows and cushions. No pets, and no smoking!!!!!! They are only a few months old, And the gal decided that she wanted leather instead and just needed someone to take them off her hands that day, because she was moving the next day. That's why they were priced so low. But they did need a new slipcover. I knew that the pottery barn replacement slip covers are ridiculously over priced, {$840 for the sofa slipcover & $650 for the loveseat cover.} But I figured that I could take apart the old ones using it as a pattern and make some new ones. I knew it was going to be a huge project, But I didn't care. I couldn't pass this deal up. So we get home, and it sank in... I was dreading the thought of spending HOURS and HOURS making a new slipcover for those. So much so that I got desperate and it did seriously cross my mind to pay the pottery barn price and get new ones. But that just wasn't logical and would absolutely dismiss the fact that I was doing this in an frugal but glamorous way. So, I had determined that I would make them. Well, I still didn't want to commit to that. Even though I knew it was really my only option to keep this frugal. So I started Google-ing like a mad woman and blog stalking design blogs. And shut the front door, do you know what I came across... THIS SAVED MY LIFE!!! Okay, okay, lets not be dramatic, But it did save me about 50 hours of remaking these slip covers... 

IKEAS ektorp slip cover fits the pottery barn basics sofa! 

(Now, as a side note, If you're wondering why I didn't just buy the ikea sofa... I wouldn't have bought the Ikea ektorp sofa because even though it may be a great deal, and look pretty dang close to the Pottery Barn one, It is nowhere close to as
comfortable or of the quality that the Mitchel Gold from PB is.)

The price from Ikea... Drum roll please... $39 for the loveseat cover and $49 for the sofa slipcover. Compared to Pottery Barns $840 and $650. BIG DIFFERENCE!

So, Sarah, And I are taking a trip to Orlando on Saturday and we will be making a stop at Ikea to pick up my new inexpensive slipcovers. So, to make a long story even longer... I got some extremely comfortable very very well built basically brand new Pottery Barn couches for dirt cheap. And I am every bit as happy with them as I would have been buying them brand spanking new and carrying them out of the pottery barn store. Actually, no, that's not true. I am happier... WAY happier because I saved over $3,000. Remember this post? Well, This was a win win... Mike got craigslist prices, and I got pottery Barn. Complete with comfort, quality, and you know, That little tag that says, Pottery Barn. Let's be honest, That little tag takes me to my happy place:) And so does keeping money in the bank account.