Kitchen Renovation: Part 2

So this past week has been super productive. Check out this post for all of the before pictures of the kitchen.

First off the countertop. We started off wanting to make a concrete countertop. My Padre did it in his rockstar house but said it was “hell on earth” to do. We thought through a neat Formica that looks like marble, then granite, but we ended with Quartz for its durability. We purchased it locally from Jeffress Stone and have had a great experience thus far.

D took advantage of a free Saturday and took out the existing countertops with his Dad.      
Although we were warned that its a nightmare, it took them about three hours to get it all up. I was thoroughly impressed! To remove a tile counter you have to first remove the tile which is adhered to plywood. Then you unscrew the wood from the cabinet. Sounds easy; is not easy.

Second, the hardware. Do you see the new drawer pulls above? We chose the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. We chose different hardware for the drawers than the cabinets and really love how it turned out so far(still waiting on the cabinet hardware). Such an inexpensive fix that totally changed the look of our cabinets.

Next-we talked through backsplashes ad nauseam. I was pretty sold on white subway tile with dark grout but D ended up having to leave our tile backsplash up since it was behind the cabinets. He thinks that it would be too thick to tile on top of it. We had some crazy ideas but ended up choosing to do bead board. The more pictures I see, the more excited I’m getting! It definitely will lend itself for the more farmhouseish look I’m going for in this house. We may even get fancy and do a design! We have a bit of a holiday time constraint so it could end up plain which will still look great.

Onto the floor. We’re waiting for it to be delivered still but we purchased “sawcut Colorado” from Allure. We used the same product, different color in the rental bathroom and really loved it. It’s great with water and is floating, so it’s easy to replace a piece if necessary.

Lastly, I started dabbling with paint samples. I got Polar Star from Valspar and Modern Gray from Sherwin Williams. Polar star seemed too silver/icy but I actually loved Modern Gray. The link makes it look tan but it really is just a warm gray.

Ok. I think that’s all for the updates. I can’t wait to share some more progress next week!


Kitchen Renovation: Part 1

I’ve been bursting at the seams to start the new house renovations and this week it all began.

Here’s the back story: the kitchen is  mostly fine. It was probably done in the mid 90s which apparently lends itself to lots of tile. Tile on tile on tile.

  Tile floor
That first picture is the tile floor. A very “ahead of the times” herringbone ruined by a not great finish. That second picture is the tile countertops which continues into the backsplash. I am a germaphobe. I can’t live with the countertop without wondering when we will all get salmonella or worse from the grout. Yuck.

Next up: hardware.

 Hardware is pretty easy. It’ll be a quick fix. As is the paint.

Finally: eat in table.

Excuse the chaos, please! Just put the kids to bed so nothing is pretty. This is a big table/chairs in a little room. I get the first swing at this bad boy! I’ve actually been using this a ton but I really think it’s because I’m so scared of the grout. The kitchen will feel a lot bigger without it and I can’t wait!

We decided to keep the cabinets. There really isn’t anything wrong with them and although we probably wouldn’t stand in a store and pick them out oday, they really are fine. The appliances are pretty dreadful, especially that stinking enormous fridge. No sense in wasting money so we will let them die one by one and replace them with stainless at that time. Unless a faithful blog reader wanted to donate a couple thousand bucks. Totally kind of kidding.

Stay tuned for the plans coming next week!

None of the Above


I’ve never been one to do the whole “word a year” thing. The last few weeks though, this word, relentless, has kept coming to mind. I think it will be my 2016 word but I’m starting early. I think most know what it means but I looked it up anyway and loved the definition Google gave: oppressively constant, incessant.

That’s how it’s been feeling. Oppressively constant. 

I’ve been known to be relentless. Growing up I would get my mind on something and just bug the daylights out of my parents until I could get it. I was young and bargaining meals for toys with them. Of course they always won and I had to eat dinner but I would just say “instead of feeding me this meal, could you buy me this thing”. Silly me, thought it was a money thing, not an entitlement thing. It’s comical looking back but scary now as I see my daughter. She forgets nothing. She will repeat herself 1000 times until she gets what she wants or has a very stern conversation from us. It can feel suffocating.

That’s how it’s felt the last few months. It feels like my loved ones are being cornered. Like one by one their health has been sacrificed and I’m having to question each one of their permanence on this earth, but more specifically in my life. It’s been ugly. They’ve all turned out ok but after some questionable news a few days ago that stopped me in my tracks, I woke up to my baby having croup today. So here I am, for the second time this week, wondering what one of my people really means to me, watching his chest rise and fall, praying for a clear sound.


I know how to be relentless. It’s how I married my D, after all. We were with family we don’t get to see very often over the weekend in Louisville. They asked about our journey to marriage and I was reminded again, I can be relentless. I can fight for someone.

Recently ut’s gotten so personal and sometimes feels all encompassing. These times as a Christian mean my nose should be planted square on the floor, storming the gates of heaven for these people in my life, these terrors attacks, these tefugees. But once I stand back up I’ve been challenged that being relentless also means more. It means fighting on their behalf in prayer but it means fighting for good to prevail and being part of the good. I have a small square of earth and it all matters. How I treat my people, but also how I treat yours. Even more, how am I speaking about them, how am I teaching my kids to think, pray, and speak for those they’re called to battle for and against, the people that will push their noses to the floor, those whose potential loss makes them go to battle; makes them be relentless to the gates of heaven. How am I modeling this? How am I showing them it matters? It has to!

If we had our noses to the floor, in every country. If we got up and did something to make the world more loving, more beautiful, if we bought Christmas gifts that support local businesses or efforts that pay people in other countries fairly instead of going to the mall because it’s easier. Wouldn’t it all mean something?  If we told our elected officials on Election Day and every day they’re in office what we think, won’t it change something? It has to. It has to mean something, it has to bring heaven to earth just a little bit.

None of the Above

To be met in the song

I’ve had a kind of backwards way of learning to worship. I’ve been thrown into it. I didn’t grow up going to church consistently and didn’t really start to experience worship through music until high school. I would still say I’ve been slow to let myself be impacted through it. Until Dee. By the way, my mom is very troubled that I’ve been referring to him as “Dee” in this blog since that is a girls name. I don’t know how to change it at this point. Maybe it should just be “D”.

Back to the process. I totally fell in love with “D” while watching him lead worship at our church. He and I were barely acquaintances when I started going to Horizon and there was something captivating about him leading worship. I trusted him (while thinking he was adorable). That may sound weird, like I didn’t trust other people but I just remember thinking that I believed he meant the words he was singing. Like he was able to worship while leading a congregation in worship. He would be first to say that it was a process and the first few years he was terrified and felt ill-equipped. I guess I started going to Horizon once he was on the up-swing.

Fast forward a few years and babies later and it was quite the experience this morning. D was leading worship at our church and I have been going to the family/overflow room since Jay was born so he wouldn’t be disruptive. I have loud children. But today I felt like trying him out in the service during worship and oh my, the babe did not disappoint. It was the sweetest twenty minutes I have had in a long time. First of all, it is so magical for your kids to realize that their dad is singing in the same room even though they don’t understand it. Jay could hear D and was falling out of my arms trying to get closer to him. He eventually realized that I was not letting him go and so he found his thumb and rested his head on my chest. Before I knew it, I was singing along…” You’re a good, good father, its who you are…”, watching my baby swing his legs along to the music, and in came the tears. Holding this precious baby, singing along to the sound of my husband, to our God who gave it all to me. Who chose me out of the billions to live this sweet life that sometimes just takes every shred of patience I have. Talk about worship. It was crazy.

So here I am, a few hours later, remembering being pregnant during this thankful/Christmassy season with both of my babies. Remembering, the kicks as I heard stories of Mary and this baby that would be born to save the world. My kids are pretty great but I truly have no grandiose expectations for them saving anything. Still, somehow, marveling at the miracle of it all. This family, this life, these fat baby hands I’m wrapped around, hands that for a while I doubted I’d ever get to hold, its all just a jumble of feelings, and thankfulness, and anticipation, and hoping and begging that I’ll get to be around forever to watch it all unfold, these little lives. On my hardest day, and I’ve had some whoppers the last few months, I wonder what its all for but gosh when I get those twenty minutes it somehow all makes sense again.

Have you ever tried it?

Just listening and being open to it all? I dare you.

Two songs are consistently making me feel all the feelings lately.

“Good, Good Father” By Housefires II

“It is Well” by Bethel music

Photo Cred: Arpasi Photography

// //