A story almost like ‘The Notebook’, but without old people or Ryan Gosling.
Basically, it’s just a bearded man building the woman he loves a house.
Or rather, a bearded man building a house WITH the woman he loves, because it turns out that woman– spoiler: me– is more badass than she ever gave herself credit for. Also, bonus spoiler: the man builds the house for the woman because the woman bursts into hysterics, causing a scene of Epic Drama that is SERIOUS AS EFF at the time but gets funnier during each retelling.
The short version is that we’d had a really long, really rough last few months, and everything was going wrong. EVERYTHING; particularly things not fit to print on a blog. I try not to censor anything in my immediate life– like anything Becca-related– but I’ve been asked slash informed that upsets involving friends, family, and work be off limits. Which are basically the biggies. When one goes sour, it’s awful. When all three go sour– which they did– it’s catastrophic.
And then my computer completely died. By the way. It was that kind of thing; like EVERYTHING. Money ish, personal ish, car ish, plus all technology hates me. I lost my writing, my design, my fonts. Just– of course. I was fighting with people, I was fighting with myself, Elias was having problems socially and Addie was having problems at school. I retreated. I didn’t answer any emails. I just gave up on everything and felt, like, why bother. Why bother with anything. I doubted everything I’d done in life and everything I was as a person, and– it was ugly and dark.
It sucked for awhile. Like I said, months. Since sometime in December. And then we had a spell of really good luck in mid-March, and all the imminent disaster was avoidable. Not only that, things were looking up in a big way.
So Jason came home and was like, Hey, that disaster fund? Since we don’t need it, I want to use it to build a new computer for Diablo III. Which is a reasonable request, given:
1. His laptop finally died a couple weeks ago.
2. Every other person in this house has upgraded their computer.
3. I told him he could.
4. His birthday is in May.
5. IT’S DIABLO III, COME ON.
So I said yes. But then– I just– I don’t know. It started with me feeling kind of sad, and bringing up the kitchen again. This kitchen. It’s such a Middle Class thing to be upset about, and I get it– but our kitchen was jank. Our in-the-corner microwave was ten years old. We had no storage. No drawers. The faucet leaked, the counter was stained. I spent weeks of my life trying to fix issues and nothing was ever better. And I’ve wanted, every day for five years, to have a beautiful, functional kitchen. Honestly: I would’ve taken function over beauty. A place to store, like, my Tupperware would’ve been awesome.
SO. So Jason starts building his computer online, and I get mopey watching him, and I’m like, When can I have my kitchen? and he says probably this summer, or maybe fall. Definitely by winter. And I’m all, super emo: “I’m never getting my kitchen, am I?”
Him: Yes, of course. This summer, or fall, or winter. When we have money.
And then I make a snide comment about we always have money for YOU, and he’s like, Woman, what are you talking about? and I’m like the money is there and I want this kitchen. I’ve been wanting this kitchen for FIVE YEARS. We always buy things for you and the kids and I never get anything, and I WANT THIS KITCHEN I WANT MY KITCHEN. I don’t know; it’s like it went from a level one to twenty in EIGHT SECONDS. You know when something almost surprises you in its sudden intensity? Like, you KNOW you’re getting hysterical but at that moment THIS IS A PRIORITY OH GOD WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME WHY WON’T YOU MAKE ME HAPPY IS THIS WHOLE MARRIAGE A SHAM? And Jason is, understandably, taken aback. He does his patented Taken Aback expression. And he’s all, Well, let’s discuss this.
Let me tell you a little something about my husband: everyone loves him, EVERYONE, because Jason is Jason is Jason. You never get a different version of him. He’s collected and calm, always. He listens closely. He works well with problems. My dad has always been like, “Jason does a good job– tempering you,” which I take to mean I get TOTALLY IMPASSIONED about something, and J just rolls with the punches. (Figuratively.) (So far. Heh.) (In my defense: I do a good job getting Jason excited about things, too, and THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, before you even try.)
PS: The best thing about everyone loving your husband is that everyone loves him. The worst thing about everyone loving your husband is that no one takes your side in fights or when you complain about him or worry about his capabilities. I’ll tell someone, “Ugh, JASON just bought like SIXTY EIGHT DOLLARS OF MILK, DOUBLE YEW TEE EFF AM I RIGHT?” and they’ll look at me seriously, all: Jason is a magical wizard, Becca. Jason probably knows about a milk shortage the government isn’t even aware of. If I were you, I’d thank my lucky stars and every deity in the heavens that Jason is looking out for you and your dietary wellbeing.
So Jason starts off normal about this, like, I didn’t even know you wanted a kitchen that bad, and I’m furious, like HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW! THE MAILMAN KNOWS, JASON! ALL I TALK ABOUT IS HAVING A NEW KITCHEN! and he’s like, You never pushed, and I’m like, WHY DO I HAVE TO PUSH, WHY DON’T YOU JUST GIVE, and he’s annoyed now. FINE, he says. I WON’T GET MY COMPUTER. I DON’T HAVE A WORKING COMPUTER, BUT YOU’RE RIGHT, YOU NEED A KITCHEN, SO YOU GET A KITCHEN. DONE.
And I’m like, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LUXURY CAR AND NEW CLOTHES AND NEW VIDEO GAMES AND YOU GO OUT AND EAT STEAK LUNCHES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND YOU HAVE ALL THESE STATUS SYMBOLS. I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING FANCY. I HAVE A BROKEN DOWN HOUSE THAT I’M FRUITLESSLY TRYING TO REPAIR EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE AND NOT ONLY DON’T YOU HELP! YOU! MAKE! IT! WORSE!
I throw something on the ground. Probably a towel. He’s like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, and I’m like THE GARAGE, JASON! I HAVE CLEANED OUT AND ORGANIZED THE GARAGE THREE TIMES AND YOU HAVE GONE BACK AND FUCKED IT UP ALL! THREE! TIMES!
Yes. I swore. This is where my mom started laughing uproariously, because you can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve sworn at anyone in my entire life. She was all GIRL YOU MAD and I was like, “You have no idea.”
Jason knew, too, but he was equally mad, like, YOU MESSED UP THE GARAGE TOO!
B: OH NO IT WAS YOU
J: IT WAS YOU
B: YOU PUT THE COUCH IN THERE FOR THE SUPERBOWL PARTY AND YOU KNOW I CAN’T
J: OH THE SUPERBOWL PARTY THAT
B: MOVE THAT UP BECAUSE I’M
J: YOU WANTED TOO YOU ACT LIKE I’M THE ONLY ONE
B: SMALL AND IT’S SO HEAVY
J: WHO WAS GETTING READY FOR THAT YOU ALWAYS BLAME ME
B: AND IT’S IN THE WAY OF EVERYTHING
J: FINE I’LL MOVE IT
B: NO DON’T YOU DARE
J: OH IT’S GETTING MOVED
B: NEVER YOU DON’T PUT A HAND ON THAT COUCH
and he’s, like, going for the garage door and I’m actually heading him off, totally infuriated: DON’T YOU PLACATE ME NOW! DON’T YOU PLACATE ME JASON!
It finally ends with him going, WELL YOU’RE GETTING THAT KITCHEN AND THAT’S FINAL and I’m like WHATEVER I’M DONE TALKING TO YOU and he’s like FINE THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO SAY and I’m all panting-seething-tight-chest angry now and it all stems from a heavy disappointment with a useless work environment and not on his failings as a partner. And he knows that, luckily. Even though he was on his lunch break and I slammed the door shut after him.
We rarely fight. We fight about as much as I swear. Never like that: that was probably our biggest. And it was over by the end of the day. He came home, sat across from me at the dining table. Stony silence. Elias walked by, eyeballing, and Jason told him mommies and daddies fight sometimes and it doesn’t mean anyone’s leaving anyone, so don’t worry. When Elias left, J looked at me and added quietly: “… We’re not separating, right?”
Heh. That kind of melted me. “No, of course not,” I answered. “I don’t ever want to separate. Why would you even say that? I love you, I’m just worked up.”
And he was like I love you too, I just thought maybe you wanted a man who was more romantic and listened to all your needs better, and I was like, I don’t want just A Man. I want YOU. I want YOU– AND I want my kitchen. And we laughed, and his eyes did that soft twinkle they do; green-brown-gold.
It went from our worst fight to almost a second honeymoon. Just like that. Suddenly, we had a new adventure. We had a new project, a new goal, and it brought us together and conspiring and creating the way a pregnancy does.
Now. This next part will be super long and super detailed and possibly super boring, but I’m going to try to make it better to read through than it was to live through.
The first thing we had to talk about was budget. Not only are our resources finite, but it didn’t make sense to kill ourselves building a kitchen we’d never recoup costs on. Like, fifteen grand into a remodel? We’d get back. Twenty grand? Unlikely. Thirty grand? HA HA HA, NOT IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD. We also wanted to do everything out of pocket. It was a big deal to us not to use credit cards unless absolutely necessary, or unless we knew we could pay it off within a few weeks’ time. (We did end up getting a Lowe’s card at the end, because the 5% off purchases was a nice bonus.)
Turns out the biggest way to save money on a project is to do it yourself. I know, it sounds obvious. But seriously: you will slash your costs INSANE AMOUNTS by handling the work yourself. The average kitchen renovation costs about thirty to forty thousand dollars in this area, and we did ours for only four thousand. Yes. You read that correctly: four thousand dollars for new cabinets, granite countertop, and an island. Add in another eighteen hundred for engineered wood floors throughout the whole first floor. And yes, you read that correctly too: only eighteen hundred. The WHOLE FIRST FLOOR. I know. One of Jason’s coworkers had gotten the same amount of square footage done, similar engineered brand, and paid fourteen thousand to have it installed. So. Yeah.
We spent about a week or so just researching and shopping around. Bought our cabinets, sight unseen, from CabinetGiant. They had great reviews, and an awesome deal going on (a deal that happens every couple weeks, so you can jump on it too if you want). 25% off an order of $2,500 or over; plus free shipping and no tax. We only needed like $2,200 worth of supplies, but it turned out to be cheaper to add on that extra $300 worth of stuff– pulls, handles, moulding, kick plates– and bring our order down to $2,000 after savings.
CabinetGiant was not the very cheapest option– Ikea was– but for assemble-yourself cabinets, the quality really can’t be beat. They look like the high end Thomasville collections. Solid wood faces, dovetail joints, soft-close drawers, hand-painted and vintage stained. And they weren’t even that much more expensive than Ikea; maybe ten bucks more a cabinet for the same style.
So– put the order in. Giddy. Nervous. Follow it up with a trip to the Raleigh Lumber Liquidators, where we look at $4 a square foot hardwood and $2 a square foot laminate before hitting the jackpot with a 4-inch plank, dark engineered wood at only $1.69 a square foot. A DOLLAR SIXTY NINE. Jump on that deal before they wise up.
Another big check. Another small panic attack I have to remember to breathe through. Heh.
Okay. We’re really doing this. It’s happening.
BEGIN PROJECT JOURNAL.
This is what we’re starting with slash about to demolish:
These are Jason’s fancy plans:
This is our just-re-cleaned garage:
Still giddy. Still good spirits.
Moving ish around in the kitchen.
Living room looks kind of insane now too.
Start painting. We had a very subdued yellow-beige going on, and up it to Green Tea Latte in the living room and Botanical Bath in the kitchen.
It’s slow going, but J and I remain enthusiastic. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE WORK? we chirp. IT’LL PROBABLY GET WAY HARDER, HUH? I’M ALREADY TIRED. And then we laugh and high-five.
We look back on that conversation now with the same kind of tender pity that veteran parents have for first-time parents who are all, I’m only fourteen weeks pregnant and I’m SO sleepy! Hard to imagine I’ll be more tired than this when the baby comes, huh? Like, OH YOU SWEET NAIVE FOOLS.
At least the green looks awesome with our blue office. (PS: Audrey and I painted the office blue during the hiatus. I forgot.)
Oh, hey! Our wood got delivered!
Take it out of the box and arrange it on the floor, double-checking our decision. LOVE.
Better get this laminate off the ground, right? Let’s start with ripping off quarter rounds. Which we assume will take an hour, and takes like four and a half.
Wake up sore for the first of many, many times. Run to Lowe’s for holy-crap-we-don’t-have-what-we-need purchase for the first of many, many times.
Tiles, adhesive, grout, rug, sander, miter saw, glue and padding for floor.
Living room still makes a little bit of sense:
Kitchen, not so much.
Take the top cabinets down.
Middle of the night. Still working.
Start to tear up the floor, which we assume will come RIGHT OFF.
HA HA HA.
It starts that way, but then we get to the padding and holy WHAT? Did they pour GLUE on cement and then just SLAP THE PADDING ON TOP OF IT? Oh yeah they did.
Take hours scraping tiny confetti-like chunks of padding out of glue. Fingers cramped.
At least the laminate will be easier, right?
HA HA HA.
Some padding down. Some wood boxes stacked. Addie poses.
EFF THIS FLOOR, SERIOUSLY.
These photos do not convey how awful and backbreaking and time-intensive pulling carpet and laminate up are. By far the worst part of this entire project was demolition. It sounds fun, and then suddenly you’re trying to rip up a single six inches of laminate and it pulls longer like taffy instead of UP, and sticks fast to the foundation and you’re getting nowhere and you’ve been at it for fifty minutes already.
Garrett comes over to help J move the fridge to the entry. A truly humbling amount of friends offered assistance during this renovation, and G was the first.
Addie poses with said fridge.
Oh, you thought this was done?
NO YOU’RE STILL SCRAPING, SON.
At least the cabinets arrived!
And you kind of made progress in the living room. I guess.
This is the point where you start doubting yourself. Like, why. WHAT. I don’t know how to do construction. I’m just a housewife. This was a terrible plan, I want to go back, is it too late, did I ruin everything.
TIME TO BUILD CABINETS!
YAY CABINETS! BECCA IS SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!
They’re– buttercream. Huh. The site said vintage white, and this is– more yellow. I stare at them awhile. Jason asks if they’re still okay. I say absolutely.
I build all the wall cabinets and start the slow build of confidence that will top out days later at CONSTRUCTION EGOMANIAC. Mention to J that, hey, these cabinets look… different? Inside?
Not a big deal, except these are going to have glass doors. That’s– pretty noticeable.
Jason and I worry about what to do. Call CabinetGiant. They can refund us the cost or send us a brand new one. We ask for a new one. It will be about a week. MORE WORRIED. A week? We need these up to move on to the next step of the project. We need these done to do the undercabinet lighting to do the base cabinets to do the granite to do the tile to do the microwave. It’s a whole chain of events that gets disrupted.
Keep building cabinets anyway.
Pad the rest of the living room.
Addie loves it.
Our other kid, Elias– we have another one, he’s like never pictured– had zero interest in the renovation and spent most of his time upstairs, playing Club Penguin and MegaMan and Zelda.
J breaks out his new miter saw.
Our back porch is getting ridiculous.
BUT. But we start putting down our new floors, and– fresh off the ego boost of my cabinet building– I announce I am the best EVER at house stuff, and I don’t need instructions! Give me a rubber mallet and some glue and let’s DO THIS.
This turns out to be true. I lay almost all the wood in the entire house myself. And BEAUTIFULLY, might I add.
Of course, that first night, I only get through like six rows. Heh.
Decide to take off our rings so they don’t scratch the wood. They keep each other company on a window sill.
Stephen Beaver comes over to help! LOOK AT HIS CAPTAIN AMERICA SELF.
Helping with the remaining laminate.
Beaver was like THIS IS HARD TO PULL UP, and I felt vindicated that YES, it IS hard. I’m not weak or lame. It’s HARD. Jason had told me to put a scraper under the laminate and hit it with a mallet, chipping at the glue underneath till I got a big enough piece to hold onto and pull. Stephen and I are doing it this way for like an hour.
Then I get a brilliant idea. There HAS to be an easier way than this, right? SCIENCE has to have an easier way. So I get the prybar.
You wiggle it under the laminate, moving the prybar down and then up, small and easy pumps, so it wriggles in like a snake. It only takes a few inches and a couple minutes.
Then you push down hard on the prybar, and it forces EVERYTHING UP. It’s almost no effort and doesn’t even require that much force, just your body weight leaning on the bar. It came RIGHT UP. I’d been wasting days of my life making that part so much harder than it needed to be.
Now you see them–
now you don’t.
BACK PORCH, MY HEAVENS.
Jason and Beav BFF-ing it up with their building and measuring skills.
They hang a couple cabinets, and then Beaver has to go home. I continue killing it on the laminate front.
J has an idea: why don’t we use the leftover beadboard from the kids’ rooms for the back of our mismatched cabinets? THAT SEEMS JUST CRAZY ENOUGH TO WORK. Cut some out to see.
Yeah, this is coming along nicely.
Pad the kitchen. Again, looks instantaneous. Not so much in real life.
Jason makes a beautiful cut around the pantry door.
You’re like, oh, it took you all day to lay that wood? No. It took us all day to fight about the pantry, which Jason kept cutting wood for and laying and then RIPPING OUT AGAIN, and I– who had become the main manual laborer to his engineer– was stuck sitting on my hands for hours waiting for him to just LEAVE THE PANTRY ALONE, no one is going to see it, it doesn’t have to be PERFECT, and Jason is like I ONLY DO PERFECT. Jason will not allow anything less. He needs it just so. He needs the angles exact. He needs no gap in wood, no slight unleveling in the boards.
I need a kitchen more than I need a perfect 90 degrees in the corner of the pantry.
Sharman was there, hanging out with the kids and helping. She by turns tried to act as mediator, and by turns let us hash it out and blow off steam.
She also cleaned a lot. Heh.
Ready for the dump.
Hours and hours of work, and more arguments: Jason didn’t account for the difference between the baseboard moulding in the living room and the zero baseboard in the kitchen, so the two rooms don’t line up exactly. The wood rows are an eighth of an inch off. He’s upset that he overlooked it. I just want to come to a solution. I suggest three rows of staggered wood, opposite direction, between the kitchen and living room. That way it looks intentional and inlaid.
Jason seems to take my suggestion, but then reconsiders: discusses it with Sharman, hems and haws, hours go by, I’m losing my mind. My house is in shambles and we’re going nowhere and THIS NEEDS TO BE FINISHED. I’m about to walk out on this whole thing. He’s angry that I don’t appreciate how hard he’s planning cuts and measurements, and thinks I’m just being a bully about getting things DONE rather than getting them RIGHT.
In the end, he has the great idea to do three rows of staggered wood, opposite direction, between the kitchen and living room. AKA: my original plan.
I give him credit for cutting it so beautifully. He gives me credit for being right in the first place. Both of us are happy.
A LIGHT AT THE END OF THIS TUNNEL. TWO ROOMS! FINALLY! WE HAVE FLOORS!
FLOOR IN SUNLIGHT!
Heh. We picked it up at Lowe’s and of course, after all this effort to lay wood floors, the minute the rug went down, the kids and dog were like CARPET! I’M LOSING MY MIND OVER HOW AWESOME THIS IS!
More of Jason’s excellent handiwork.
Break for lunch at Tribeca Tavern with Sharman.
Addie goes nuts on the coloring pages.
FAVORITE MEAL OF ALL TIME (AT LEAST IN THIS AREA BECAUSE CHARTRES HOUSE IN NOLA? DON’T EVEN PLAY, THAT FOOD IS SICK):
Made an appointment at a granite place to get an estimate. We didn’t even try to handle that one– granite is serious business, and better left to professionals. Mogastone is a local, family-run company, and we’re very happy with their service. Their man Nic is supposed to come measure in a couple days.
Cap the afternoon off with a visit to Frankie’s.
Meet Stephen Beaver at our house, since he’s volunteered to help move our fridge out of the entry and back into its original spot.
THANKS BEAV! YOU’RE THE BEST!
Start to tear up entry.
Make poor progress.
Bought an awesome prybar of my very own.
Michelle is in town. Spend time cleaning up the back porch. She brought her father-in-law’s truck, and we load it up with cabinets, a sink, a full counter, and busted up wood. Go to the dump. Unload among the construction workers. LIKE A BOSS.
Feel all kinds of awesome, since we are both five foot tall girls.
Afterwards, Shell asks what I want to eat, and I say OH NACHOS, and when she says, “Where are we going then?” and I’m like, “To get nachos, girl!”
Her: “You have to give me a DIRECTION, girl. I need to get to the store. You can’t just be all TAKE ME TO NACHOTOWN!”
I lose my mind giggling, and immediately update her Facebook with TAKE ME TO NACHOTOWN! It’s totally stupid and yet manages to get three likes from people who have no idea what we’re talking about.
Nic comes to measure the counters. Comments on how incredibly evenly and precisely the cabinets are installed. Wonders if Jason is a professional. Jason is beside himself.
Rip up more wood flooring that night. Erin and Michelle demolish several feet by themselves.
Addie got an outfit from China from one of Jason’s friends. She is SUPER EXCITED.
After Erin leaves and Michelle takes a break, I go reciprocating saw on the entry. J says cutting it into smaller planks makes it pull up easier, so– sure. Why not.
ME WITH A PRYBAR LOOKING ADORBS.
(I don’t know. I’ve never said Adorbs before. I’m sorry, there’s no excuse.)
Okay, fast forward a couple days. Now Jason is installing undermount lighting. He made it seem like he’d done electrical work before when we made the impromptu decision to ADD the lighting. Turns out, he was pulling a Becca: let’s just figure this out as we go! Can’t be TOO difficult!
I get back to work on the old wood floors. Start with a mallet and prybar, which was our initial game plan. Then decide to use the scraper attachment with reciprocating saw underneath the wood instead. We’d seen a guy do it on YouTube. J tried it. Didn’t work. Broke the blade. We got a new scraper attachment, but J said not to do it. The YouTube video was a fluke, the method didn’t work.
I tried it anyway while he was busy with the kitchen wiring, and lo and behold:
Entire closet, entire entry, about an hour.
You have to go hard and fast and sideways, then lower it to about a medium speed and keep digging in. For leftover glued slivers, you hit it more from the top. If you can get a whole piece without splintering, you are GOLD. The next one comes up that much easier.
J is making progress with the lighting.
He totally nailed it. No missteps, no accidents. Finished by the day’s end, and we have undercabinet lights!
OH EM GEE I FORGOT ABOUT EASTER! Go the night before to grab ANYTHING Easter-y at Target. Shelves are BARE. Just put a bunch of stuff they like into a bucket instead, and stay up late, exhausted, drawing cards for a morning scavenger hunt.
At least the kids are super sweet and appreciative. Elias even says, “I know you’ve been really busy, and if you didn’t have time for us, that would be okay. We’d understand.” Aw.
Breakfast at Erin’s.
Kids go egg hunting outside (Erin totally set this up) (PS: best cousin EVER). Take a hilarious shot of the group beforehand.
Charley looks for eggs. We help.
Kids come back, successful and oblivious to the ironic dead rabbit in the sideyard.
Riley has allergies. Catch her mid-sneeze and Addie mid-concern.
Time to rip up this office carpet. Assume it’s going to be a nightmare.
… No. Easy as pie. Huh.
Clean and clean and clean.
Sand and sand and sand.
That’s my super ladylike way of sanding. I started in a much more unladylike but also more effective position, and J got some choice shots that I found on the camera later. At least my butt looks good in running shorts.
Here we go.
I learn to use the miter saw, and measure and cut my own pieces for the first time. I’d never used any power tools before this project, and had always suspected I was too small or too weak or too girlish for them. That’s some straight up NONSENSE. If you’re reading this, ladies: get yourself a big saw. Now. Get yourself something big and scary and messy and powerful. There are few things more empowering than that. Use a nail gun, use a drill. Build some ish. Destroy some ish. Take a hammer to something. It’s just so– liberating. And it makes you realize not only how fragile things are but how easily they can be fixed. And how competent and capable YOU are. You don’t need anyone else to come in and help you; you got this. You read the directions. You make a mistake– so what? You do it again. It teaches you patience and a subtle kind of courage, a kind of riskiness and ballsiness you see in little boys all the time but I think we force out of little girls. Every person should do some construction; women most of all.
Plus it makes you APPRECIATE just how hard it is to BUILD A HOUSE. It makes you grateful that workers are willing to put in days of their life to give you a floor or a roof or a light.
CHECK IT OUT.
Me practicing using a pneumatic nail gun to attach quarter rounds.
Attach quarter rounds in office. Forget to take pictures. Oh well.
Finally catch up on laundry and watch “My Week With Marilyn” via Redbox. Decide I need to clean myself up. It’s been a lot of ponytails and zero makeup for me, and faux Marilyn Monroe is making me feel bad.
Put movies back into cabinet.
Put everything back into the office.
We ordered an island, kind of on a whim. The island itself we’d been eyeing for at least a year– the actual decision to just spend the money and buy it was spontaneous. It was usually around $520, and had dropped in price to $370 during a limited sale. I found an extra coupon that brought the price to $310. After shipping, it was $350 exactly– and we decided, well, it’s not going to get any cheaper, and we really REALLY want that island. Now’s the time.
Jason installs tilt-out trays for me; which was one of those small touches that I’d always wanted and salivated over on home shows. He’s really wonderful.
My mom is in town, too, and she helps J attach the dishwasher panel to the floor and wall with brackets.
Moulding on the cabinets.
Finished tilt-out with handles.
My mom and I take the kids to Frankie’s (again). After an hour, we get a call from Jason that the Mogastone guys have arrived. Our counters are being installed.
HYPERVENTILATE. DIE. THANK THE MOGA GUYS PROFUSELY. WASH THE GRANITE. FONDLE THE GRANITE. THIS GRANITE IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN A NEWBORN BABY.
HOW IS THIS MY KITCHEN. HOW HOW HOW. MY MIND IS BLOWN.
Wake up early to look at the granite and lovingly clean it. Paint with my mom around the fireplace.
My mom installs moulding around our living room windows, which was a side project I’ve been wanting and simple as anything with the nail gun.
Mom has to leave. Jason installs the faucet. Moga gave us a free sink and drilled holes for our faucet onsite, but J has all the actual plumbing left to do.
And he does it.
With no plumbing experience, he reattaches the trash compactor, completely rebuilds our pipes, and hooks back up our dishwasher.
And no leaks. Put a paper down just in case.
JOB WELL DONE.
Eli’s birthday. Spend the morning and day spoiling him (FRANKIE’S AGAIN), and the night buying a microwave (normally $305, got it for $204). Help Jason saw a hole into the cabinet to move and rewire the outlet.
Microwave is mounted. Forget to take pictures. Again.
And this is where we’re at–
And tiling kitchen:
I told Jason, “LOOK AT HOW I HANDLE THAT TROWEL, SON. THAT’S SOME FINE LOOKING ADHESIVE,” and he just started laughing. For like five minutes. I don’t care: I take pride in my work.
And then we hit a road block which involved complex cuts in tile around an outlet.
And we were all, YOU KNOW WHAT. ANOTHER PROBLEM FOR ANOTHER DAY. Let’s go watch some movies from Redbox, and forget about this whole thing for awhile. And so we spent last night curled up on the couch, drinking soda, eating snacks, me folding laundry, while Henry Cavill fought Titans in graphic vivid slices. And when he killed Mickey Rourke at the end, Henry’s all LOOK AT ME, I AM THE LAST THING YOU WILL SEE, WITNESS HELL, and I started giggling and J was like, “I don’t see what’s so funny.” and I was all, “Shirtless, sweaty, breathless Henry Cavill on top of you IS HELL? WE SHOULD ALL BE SO LUCKY.” And Jason started chuckling too. “You are something else,” he sighed afterward, and squeezed my leg. His thumb rested in the hollow of my knee.
God, I love that man.
We should all be so lucky.