Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Planted and grouted

This weekend was so beautiful outside, so we decided to start our vegetable garden and landscaping.  We didn't want to do too much this year, since we want to see what will grow on its own, so Matt raked out a bunch of the beds in the front of the house and sprinkled wildflower seeds around.  He had found a little planter that is supposed to be for city-dwellers with little decks, but we're using it to start seedlings and then we'll move them to the bigger above-ground planting beds that we're planning on building.

We're planning on cucumbers (mmmm.... homemade pickles...), zucchini (I have the best zucchini bread recipe ever), carrots, green beans, basil, oregano, and two kinds of tomatoes - roma and slicing - that are out in the middle of the yard in Home Depot buckets.
And we have a kitchen backsplash!  This is the before...

...and during...

...and, just this morning, all grouted and pretty!

We're so happy we went with the herringbone pattern above the stove.  It's just a little different to make it a little bit of a focal point.

Matt also has a closet now, so I was able to kick his stuff out of mine.  Again, WAY before:

and now:

Eventually we'll get doors on those, but even now it's so much better than having trash bags and boxes all over the floor.

Things are getting unpacked and slowly finding places.  Here is the little "library" area we're setting up in the loft.

Last night we went for a walk down a road/trail by our house that is popular with four-wheelers and mountain bikers.  We walked for about an hour and a half (45 min in and 45 min out) and we hadn't even gotten to the end of the road/trail.

Here is where our property line ends at the little stream (taken from the road):

Matt is desperate to try fishing in there - he's heard from a few people that there's good fish.

We also came across the place bad husbands are sent:

Actually, town pounds are fairly common up here in older farming communities.  If you came across some cattle or a horse that wasn't yours, you brought it to the town pound; and if you discovered you were missing livestock, you would go over to the pound and check to see if your cow was waiting.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our first guests!

First, this is what I wake up to most mornings above my bed:
Sorry mom... is it creepy that I watch you sleep?

We had a really nice time with my dad and stepmom last weekend.  I got my dad off the couch and made him install a curtain rod - he broke a screw in the wall, so I won't be having him do anything else at my house.  Maybe that was his plan all along?
Sorry, neighbors.  No more free shows.
The night before they got in we cleaned up and put together the guest room.  We built that bed about two years ago, from free plans on ana-white.com.

It's still a little empty, but we'll fill it in.  The hall bathroom is starting to shape up as well.

I'm so in love with that vanity.  Eventually, the mirror will sit on top of the chair rail, but we have to move the wires for the lights first.  And that floor?  It's not wood - it's ceramic tile that looks like wood.

While we were out running errands, our amazing carpenter was super productive.

Remember when the closets in our bedroom looked like this because the former occupants tore out the shelving system?

Well, now my closet looks like this!

Jason is AH.  MAZE.  ING.  I drew him a picture of what I wanted, and he made it happen.  I painted all the boards for him, and he cut them out and put everything together.  Actually, he made it even better - he said "Your bottom shelf was only 14" from the floor, and I figured you might have tall boots, so I hope you don't mind I made the bottom shelf 16" instead."  How thoughtful is that?!  Sorry girls, he's engaged.  

The boards for Matt's closet need one more coat of paint, and then he'll get a closet this weekend.

We also have real stairs instead of plywood!
Yeah, the cat is a creeper.

Matt did such a good job staining them, they match the floors exactly.

Lets see, what else?  Oh, the rug I ordered for the living room came in, and brings some much-needed color.

And finally, the pot filler faucet above the stove is hooked up and working wonderfully.

Hopefully we'll have a backsplash soon!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Settling in

A couple of big changes, and a couple of smaller changes.  First, our countertops were installed and our new living room furniture was delivered, all on Thursday, which made it a little hectic.

Right after delivery

With some pillows. 
The sofa is a dark charcoal gray, and the recliner is a really dark chocolate brown.  Matt says the recliner is SOO comfortable - he actually fell right asleep in it the other night!

And now... for the countertops!
ooohh pretty

the peninsula

get a little closer
I keep wanting to pet the counters, and at the same time I'm almost afraid to touch them because they're just so pretty.

And then just this morning, the plumbers came to install the dishwasher and sink faucet, so when they weren't looking I stole this pic:
I never thought I would say it, but it will be NICE to actually be able to wash dishes again!
And then a couple of smaller things.  The spindles that I spent SO MUCH TIME sanding, priming, and painting a few months ago had been taken out when the floors got stained, and Jay (our carpenter) wasn't happy with how wobbly they were when they were getting reinstalled.  So, being a VERY safety-conscious guy, he installed them better so that any future kiddos who run into them won't go plummeting to the living room below.

One of the things I love about our house are some of the little details that make it super unique.  All of our windows have little wooden decorative panels that were taken out and painted.  Matt put all of those back in this weekend.

Here's a before (note Onyx's new spot):

And after:

I love how much more interesting the windows are with the panels!

I do have one more update... but it's a surprise for my dad and stepmom.  They're coming up this weekend, and I don't want to show them everything before they get here!  I'll share it next week though.

And finally, my internet/work phone issues are all resolved (knock on wood) so hopefully this week won't be as stressful as last week.  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We're Mainers now!

Well, I guess Matt has always been a Mainer... But our move is complete!  We had a BEAUTIFUL day on Saturday - sunny and 60 degrees - and everything went really smoothly.  We have such amazing friends - Rose, Mike, Michelle, and Mark all helped us pack in Andover, and Matt B, Katie, Dave, Brandi, Jacot, and Matt's mom Charlotte helped us unload in Acton.  Matt's dad Neil was awesome and drove the truck for us.

We've been slowly unpacking, as well as doing some of the finishing touches like hanging the doors that had gotten painted and putting on hinges and doorknobs.

Here's a couple of photos from Saturday night, right after we unloaded the truck.
Living Room

standing in the living room, looking at the dining room and kitchen

other half of the living room

a corner of the loft

bedroom - kinda looks like home :)
We didn't see Onyx at all for the first 24 hours - and we finally had to swiffer him out from behind the washing machine to make sure he ate something.  Then at about 4am Monday morning he decided to yell at us because everything was so new and he didn't like it.

Yesterday and today we had some of the contractors in and out to do little things that couldn't get done in time before we moved.

Things like installing the vanities and medicine cabinets in the master bathroom...

 ...and hanging the pendants over the peninsula in the kitchen.

Tuesday was my first day of working remotely, and it definitely had its challenges.  Like, nothing I tested out before moving to make sure it would work actually worked correctly.  The IT guys at my office helped with some workarounds for now, and today was MUCH better.  It's definitely a big change to not have any coworkers around (even Onyx is still downstairs somewhere hiding/sleeping again), but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  Poor Matt has been sick since Friday, but he's still working so hard to get everything done with the house.  He's really doing so much, and I'm so lucky to have him.

Next up - countertops and living room furniture on Thursday!