November 29, 2012

Happenings and Reflections

We have been remodeling. As in tearing the living room apart and disrupting the entire house for about two weeks. But oh! my living room is beautiful now. Justin hasn't mudded, taped, and painted yet, but he has ripped out, fixed, wired, and sheetrocked. We are close!

The before. The cabinets were perfectly nice, but the really interrupted the flow of the room and the kids were always bonking their head on the corners. 

Gilbert had to get in there with his toolbox

The large gaping hole found under the one cabinet

Daddy and his littlest girl

The gaping hole fixed. Within hours. Justin is terribly clever.

At this point, I started thinking this may have been a bad idea

We were planning on taking out some of this wall, but we discovered an archway, so we decided to leave that in.

Looking out to the living room

Our living room. The ceiling and light came down later this day. 

Gilbert with his screwdriver and the sheetrock lift. Gilbert is a tool guy.

With the ceiling down

Daddy trying to work

Owen and Ashley came by the other night to help us get the sheetrock on the ceiling.

The same picture but with no flash. I don't know why.

Ashley trying to make sense of some story Lily was telling her.

And then there was Thanksgiving.

I forgot my camera for most of the day. But then I got it in the afternoon. This was driving back over. Beautiful day.

Talking and knitting

Wendy was a pretty great Elsie watcher

Mumsie looking away from me, somehow thinking this would prevent me taking a picture of her.

Flowers Dana bought. 

The guys corner. Evan and Justin on their phones.

Pies for supper

Marilyn and Mum

Elsie sleeping with Wendy

Our very own Connie P.

Kitchen things


A large batch of cream sauce for the cranberry pudding. Butter, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Oh yes.

Cousins sharing the whipped cream beater

Pie consumers

Tori and Wendy


I had made a list of things I might buy on Black Friday, so the guys went through the list and the ads and modified it for me. Kind of them.

Our sweet baby

The happy mess makers

Unfocused baby feet are still cute

General feel of Thanksgiving. People, food, and tables

Breaking etiquette rules and playing Don't Spill the Beans


And shopping. Ididn't do Black Friday. Besides going to Home Depot with Justin and kids Friday evening for aforementioned remodeling project. And I got a poinsettia (I love poinsettias!) and two cyclamen (which I now love--like shooting star flowers in Alaska). BUT I did buy some things online. was 50% off, so I stocked up. Robeez are those dorky looking leather soft soled shoes that my kids have all worn from the time I discovered them in a little kids boutique in AK when Orianna was a baby. There were these light green shoes that had a pea pod with three smiling peas nestled inside. It was love at first sight. And I stayed in love because the kids loved them and they didn't kick them off. So I bought some this week for Elsie. And for the older kids, since Robeez now makes them up to size 5-6 years old. And then there was Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. I am getting to where I don't feel I can shop unless the day has a special name for shopping. So I have been online a lot. But clearly not blogging.

One of the Cyber Monday deals I did was's photo books. They had 50% off the 12x12 size plus an additional 20%. And I could use the code that came in my kids school pictures for $20 off. So I did 2005. And it was my cheapest year size photo book to date.

(In case you didn't notice, a good deal makes me HAP-PY! Telling people how much you paid for something is crass, but apparently I am crass because I just love talking about it.)

I was going to do 2006, since that is the next year I needed to do, but after collecting all my pictures, I realized I didn't have any pictures for January-March. After some head scratching, I called Lindsey who we were living with during that time. And being organized, she found them for me in minutes. So she will bring them with her at Christmas and in the mean time, I did 2005.

Seeing all the pictures of 2005, I was really struck by how much has changed. I would see a picture of Justin's uncle and think "we didn't even know he had Huntington's then." Or Justin's great grandma and Ralph P. and think "we didn't know how soon they would die." Or "I was pregnant with Orianna here and I didn't even know yet." The biggest change is in our life. That year, we moved from AK to CO, lived in a camper in 6 different spots in CO/WY, lived in a condo in Steamboat Springs for three months, flew to NY 3 times and South Carolina once. Last night, after finishing the photo book (at 1 AM. Shutterfly is on central time, so I had an extra hour) I laid in bed trying to think if I left New York state this year. Besides a few hours long jaunts to Quebec, I didn't even leave the state. When I decided to be a stay-at-home Mom, I thought the stay-at-home bit just indicated that I didn't go out to earn money. Nope. It actually means I STAY AT HOME. When I was younger, Nina and I were going to be National Geographic photographers in the Serengeti. These days, I think about whether I really have to go anywhere farther than meeting and the grocery stores until April--I don't like driving on snow. In my defense, if I had gone to the Serengeti, I wouldn't have had to deal with snow. Lions, elephants, hippos, sure, but I would have been safe from black ice.

Most alarming about this whole realization is that instead of taking this as object lesson to get out and be! and do!, I sit here thinking "Huh. How about that." and then get excited about how cheap my photo book was and wonder if Elsie will still be sleeping at lunchtime so I can finish my book while I eat my taco salad.

I have given in. I have sold out. And I LIKE it. I like staying at home. I like having a small world to sit and admire my little family in. I have to say I do look forward to trips next year, but for the most part, home is where I am happiest. Huzzah for homebodies!

And now, a few pictures of 2005.

The Alaskan highway

Port Townsend, WA

Rocky Mountain meadow, Gunnison, CO

Down the road from our camper


Rebekah said...

Wow!! It's going to be beautiful! Thumbs up for handy husbands eh? :)

laura said...

Wow! That Elsie girl is getting so big!

I wanted to share that I thought of your Lily girl the other day as they have just put in a "Montreal Poutine" in the food court at the mall here in Albany. And... when you wrote how much Lily loved poutine, I had to look up what poutine was... now, thanks to Lily, I know. (:

Sheena said...

Love the remodel pictures. I am very impressed with your hubby.

Sheena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cecil and Amy said...

Loved your post! I think I would have shot myself if I would have had to live in that house with all of the remodeling going on. I do not do good with such disruptions. (In case you couldn't figure that out based on the shooting self comment!)

What color is Elsie's hair? It almost looks auburn-ish in one picture.

Virginia said...

And here's the renovation! WOOOOOO! I love it! I love remodels and redos and renos! I can't WAIT to see the finished product!! It looks so good already.

I, myself, have been thinking about my large over-the-top plans and even my not-so-over-the-top plans and how I've changed. Like, as a teen, it was nothing to hop in the car and drive 45 minutes for an evening of cards w/ you guys. Now, Sami lives about an hour away and I'm like I definitely need a day off the next day if I'm going to trek ALL THE WAY to Philly b/c I can't just JAUNT over for a quick visit! But why not?? I used to do it all the time, no problem. And I want to come up and visit, but the snow thing is like, ehhhh, I don't know about driving in the snow... I think that issue is actually a product crashing my car in the rain. I'm now paranoid about driving in all weather except perfectly dry, sunny days. But seriously! I need to step up my adventurous spirit b/c I have no home to tend and cute babies to snuggle!