Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting The Heck Out Of Dodge...

We're trading one heat wave for another,

but at least in Arizona we will have air conditioning and a pool!

We've been packing and cleaning and cleaning and packing...

but I couldn't leave without saying "Thank You" to all of you that responded to my post about seeing our old home in AZ.

You helped me sort through my feelings in a way that I haven't been able to on my own.

I loved that some of you felt the same way that I did!
A little bit nosey and curious!
(There's nothing wrong with that!)

And I loved the honesty that came from those who had been in my shoes before, and warned me not to do it!

It was those of you that had been given the chance to walk through your old homes, and taken that chance, that weighed the heaviest on my decision.

I was overwhelmed by the underlying feeling of...

once it's done, it's done.

Once I've walked through my home that is no longer mine, I can't take it back and un-see the changes.

And I can definitively say that I am not ready for that.

My emotions for this house are not about its four walls, but about the life that we lived for that two and a half years. The friends that I made, that so quickly became a part of my life and took on the role of "family"...not just friend.

I miss that life.

You helped me see that too.

I will not be touring our old home, or knocking on the front door...and I'm not sure that I even want to do a drive-by.

I want to see my friends...my family.

So we're out of here!

We'll be back in one week!

And again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

You're the best!

Don't think I don't know that!!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Have You Ever?

Just out of curiosity...have any of you ever been given the chance to take a walk through a house that you used to live in?

Did you enjoy it?

Or was it agony?

Are you happy that you did it?

Or do you regret it?

Here is why I ask...

On Tuesday we're flying down to AZ to spend the week with great friends!
(We're so excited, we can hardly stand it!)

Back in June of 2004 we packed up our things and moved from the rainy, Pacific Northwest to scorching hot, Avondale, Arizona and called this house "home" for the next 2 and 1/2 years...

We bought it while it was in the process of being built, which made the anticipation and excitement to move in, that much greater!

I could not wait to get my hands on it!

The day we moved in, it was a blank slate and a sea of white!
We transformed every square inch of that house and I loved every moment of it!

Rooms were decorated and redecorated. Painted and repainted.
In June of 2006, I repainted the living room and dining room with this cool, refreshing blue. Finally, I had it just how I wanted it.

Not quite four months later, Will got the call that would potentially move us back to WA.

Exactly one month after that, in November of 2006, we were loading up the moving van and saying goodbye to our home...

The boys shared a room (not because they had to, but because they wanted to...and we wanted them to, as well!) and, naturally, it was decorated with a nod to aviation...

Ellison's nursery had turned out just how I had imagined it...

...but the playroom was the favorite, for sure! The boys, still to this day, talk about that playroom and ask if I can paint it all over again here!

(you'll have to excuse the mess...the boys played hard in that room - as you can see by the sleepyheads on the floor!)

I miss this house more than I can express. It was mine. All mine.
I loved the layout and the way that it functioned for our family. I loved the way the sun flooded the back of the house in the morning and in the evening flooded the entryway with gorgeous pink light. I loved the three windows in the front of the house that looked so great with wreaths hanging from wide, red ribbon at Christmas. I loved that we could host a party and have more than enough room to fit everyone. I loved the 10 foot ceilings through the entire house, the skylight in the playroom, the archway that connected our master bedroom and bathroom, the plant ledges in the kids' rooms and the guest bedroom, the window bench that we built in the kitchen, the way the cool tile felt on our feet, and how the floors never creaked because of the concrete below...

But most of all, I love the moments that we had in that house.
Memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.

I have found a way to get in touch with the current owners. Would they think I'm a lunatic if I emailed and asked to see the house?



I just keep wondering how I would feel if I got an email like that?


I'm not sure what I would say.

My husband keeps telling me that I would regret walking through the house. That it would erase the memories that I have and replace them with a new memory, that has nothing to do with us.

I suppose I agree with that, except that I am not one of those people that thinks my house will remain the same after I have moved out. You know, like on the show Moving Up on TLC when the old owners are so disgusted that the new owners would want to change it! I don't expect to walk in and see any of what I had done still there. I want to see what they have done - their take on our house!

So I ask...would you want to walk through a house that you once called home?

I'm thinking I'll see how I feel when we get there.

The owners might just be getting a knock on the door...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tropical Coral...

That's my color...

Well, not my color (my color falls somewhere in the beachy blue family), but it is the color that I chose as my FREE quart from the Glidden Promotion a while back, and it just arrived today!

I wanted to choose something that felt a little out of my comfort zone - something that (if I actually had to involve my own wallet) would make me think twice (or three or four times!) before walking up to the paint counter and saying:

"Mix me up a quart of this, please!"

That's the swatch from the Glidden website up there, and it's pretty tame compared to the actual color!

I had been wanting to add a color like this as an accent to the interior of the kids' playhouse! So when I went to claim my FREE quart from their website, I knew exactly which direction to scroll, without any hesitation!

So...many thanks to the kind folks at Glidden for the FREE quart of paint!

You managed to get quite a few of us DIY'ers very excited!

And, just for the record (still speaking to those kind folks at Glidden), I'm all for this sort of giveaway again!

Just in case you were contemplating whether you should do it again...

Now, off to shop the house to find playhouse decor that will get a fresh coat of Tropical Coral...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Benches...

What could be better than one bench?


A pair of benches!

Last week I mentioned that my Carpenter was building a couple of benches for one of my clients, and here is how they turned out...

I love all of the knots and wood grain that shows through in them!


We came up with the design based off of how we wanted them to look and function...

I am extremely pleased with them and I was actually a bit sad to see them leave our garage! But they look great in my client's entryway/living room and I think they will be a wonderful asset when it comes to hosting the large gatherings that she puts on for her extended family!

Benches are a great option for portable, yet beautiful, seating when it comes to entertaining!

I used

Minwax Wood Finish

in Dark Walnut #2716


Minwax Wipe-On Poly

in Clear Satin

I cannot say enough good things about the Wipe-On Poly!
It was so easy to apply and I love the look that it created on the benches - a hand-rubbed finish was exactly what I was looking for!

We actually like them so much that we're considering making two more and using them in place of our 4 chairs at our kitchen table!

Stay tuned!

There may be more benches to come!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It All Started With Our Keys...

Story of my life --
I just needed to solve a small problem - no biggie - and it turned into a full fledged makeover...

Last week we noticed that we suddenly have a key snatcher in our house.

While she's super cute, she's also super sneaky!

We always hang our keys up on the hooks just inside of our garage door. They are always there. That way we don't place them somewhere (wherever they land) and lose them.

But Ellison has put a few inches on her height and suddenly her little arms can grab our keys right off the hooks, only to be left....who knows where?

I needed to make new hooks that I could hang higher -
waaaay out of Ellison's reach!

I grabbed a piece of scrap wood out of the garage, found two hooks that were waiting to be used in my toolbox, snagged a few letters from a really old game of Scrabble, and got to work...

It took no time at all and solved the problem!

I loved it!

It was cute, it was easy and I had everything I needed on hand, so...it was free!

However, standing back and looking at the whole picture...

(that's the key snatcher there, jumping into the picture)

...all it managed to do was bring to the forefront of my mind, just how ignored and boring this spot in our home really was.

So, thanks to my new DIY key holder, our most-used entry was on it's way to a makeover...

I have no idea why I hadn't paid more attention to this spot before. It is right off of our garage and it is the door that we use all day, everyday!

Of course, I made sure to dress up our front door as soon as we moved in! I wanted it to be inviting and decorated, so that our friends and family would feel welcome as they entered, all while giving the house some much needed curb appeal!

But why did I not make the entry that the five of us use, feel just as loved and inviting?

I have no idea!

But, those days are gone and I was on a mission...

I started "shopping" my house and after I had everything in place, I stepped back to take a look. I LOVED it! But there was something missing...

I found another piece of scrap wood in the garage. This piece was too perfect! Like it was just waiting for me to realize what I was going to use it for...

I gave it a quick coat of one of my favorite Benjamin Moore colors...

(Stratton Blue)

And printed off my letters on the computer, to create my sign...

I needed to make some cuts on the end though...


I don't do power saws.

That's what the Carpenter is for, right?


Until yesterday, that is!!

The Carpenter was on a trip and coming home in a few short hours. I wanted to do my "big reveal", but it wasn't going to be complete without this sign!

So, with this post in mind, I headed out and took on the compound mitre saw!

Was I nervous?


Did I do it anyway?

For sure!

And I am so glad that I did! It was a huge step for me! I can't tell you how proud I was of myself, and how proud my husband was of me!

And best of all, I was able to continue with the makeover...

After painting on my letters, I just had to wait for it to dry...

(insert sound of tapping fingers on the counter top, here)

After I hung up my sign, I gave everything a once over to make sure it was ready for my "big reveal"...

And "ta-da" - our once neglected, yet most used entryway, gained a new look and finally fit in with the rest of the house...

Remember the pair of oars that I bought from my friends garage sale?

I finally found a home for one of them and I love how it looks up there!

The table was built by my husband about a year and a half ago, but had always been sitting on the front porch. I like having it inside because now I get to appreciate it, instead of just the people passing by!

The best parts of this newly decorated space:

The keys are way out of Ellison's reach.

The mirror reflects the whole space back to us as we're walking through. We see glimpses of the front door entry, the dining room and the living room.

I used what I had! Nothing was purchased for this!
(that just might be the best part! As far as my husband is concerned, it IS!)

I got to use one of my oars!

The palm leaves in the striped vase hide the big, ugly box for the alarm system!

The space still functions exactly how we need it to (notice the shoe basket under the table? That has always been there), so it didn't require a change in habit to get used to it. It was strictly a chance to bring some beauty to a neglected space!

The absolute best moment of the entire makeover was when my husband walked through the door!

He loves it!


Don't you just love being able to do the "Big reveal"?

So, it all started with our keys, but it ended with a very happy makeover!

P.S. To see more makeover's, head over to Between Naps On The Porch where Susan hosts her weekly blog party!

And to see even more DIY inspiration, check out Kimba's "DIY Day" over at A Soft Place To Land!