Category: home

Not that we’ll be selling our house anytime soon, but we’ve been wanting to freshen up the front yard for a long time. The previous owners had planted these climbing, bushy plants which we hated; and there was a cypress of some sort that made me CRAZY (it’s spiky and prickly… planted right by my front steps… and I have a 3 year old and frequent 3 year old visitors…. bad, bad, bad idea! Plus it was a major pain to prune back.) So we ripped all of those out. There was also ivy, which was fairly tame when we moved in; but last spring I decided to train it up onto the concrete “wall” of our front steps and the brick surrounding the garage door. It didn’t have a great effect – it looked like the ivy was eating the front steps and Chris hated it. So we trimmed the ivy WAY back. We planted geraniums in the shared bed with the ivy, at the corners of the front flowerbed, and around the mailbox. We got “Patriot” hostas for our new bed that followed the curve of the stairs, and we put in a delphinium on the other side of the garage door while we were at it! I need to try to scrounge up a “before” picture, but here are the “afters.”

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We’ve had snow, lots of snow, fast and furious this morning. There was a brief lull around 10:30 when I went out to shovel our driveway and front steps (thank goodness for baby monitors and Baby Einstein). Now, at noon, it’s switched to a sleety rain mix. We’re supposed to warm up this evening and have more rain, but then between 1 and 3 more inches of snow tomorrow. (Between the forecast, and the fact that Jonas threw up on me AGAIN last night, I’d wager we won’t make it to church.)

Here’s our little piece of winter wonderland:
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So, even though we’ve done a LOT around here, there’s still more on the list. Everyone we know who’s already in the homeowner game warned me about this. As soon as you finish one project, another one presents itself! Partly for your amusement, and partly to remind us of everything waiting for us (time and funds permitting, that is….), I present The List.

Outside

  • front yard landscaping
  • driveway crack filler
  • mailbox (?it needs something. I just don’t know what yet!)
  • deck: boards flipped, restain, add lag bolts)
  • fence-in back yard
  • veggie garden
  • sandbox for Jonas
  • grill
  • new hardware for front door
  • new light fixtures for above front door and sides of garage door
  • welcome mat

Entry Landing

  • paint trim & door
  • rug
  • corner table
  • mirror for wall
  • hang artwork on high stair wall
  • artwork or clock for over the arch window

Stairway

  • paint trim
  • hardwoods

Lower Level

  • cubby-style storage for toys
  • artwork to cover the breaker box
  • replace ceiling light fixtures

Lower Level Bathroom

  • replace light fixture
  • storage cabinet

Garage

  • paint walls
  • install shelving
  • cat door

Living Room

  • artwork for high wall
  • corner shelving
  • leather chair (!this is probably on the list for 2010, LOL)
  • wine rack or bar cart – hopefully an antique or replica
  • paint trim
  • hardwoods

Kitchen/Dining

  • dining table & chairs – white & pine
  • matching corner hutch
  • artwork for high wall
  • miscellaneous doo-dads for the space above cabinets
  • pots & pans (!)
  • replacement pieces for our china pattern that have broken
  • new lighting for “can lights” on kitchen side
  • paint trim

Hallway

  • paint trim
  • replace ceiling lighting
  • hardwoods

Hall Bath

  • paint trim & door
  • replace light fixture
  • replace door hardware

Master Bedroom

  • new bedroom suite
  • new bedding
  • paint walls & trim & doors
  • install shoe shelving

Jonas’ Room

  • ceiling fan/new lighting

Guest Room / Craft Room

  • ceiling fan/new lighting
  • paint walls & trim & doors

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I’m starting to feel like we actually belong here. It’s a nice feeling! This week, I’ve had something to do nearly every single day.

Sunday we went to Erlanger United Methodist Church again – well, Jonas & I did, as Chris was working. A very nice lady in my Sunday School class invited us to come to the Ice Cream Social after service next week, and gave us the tickets so we could attend free! Jonas had a rough time being dropped off in the nursery, but he was playing happily when I picked him up at the end.

Monday was an at-home day, mostly, though I did run a few errands and pick up a couple of things for the house. Our decorating is at a stand-still, since we need to paint the upstairs (kitchen/dining/living room and the stairwell/entry landing/hallway) but can’t do that until Chris’ next days off.

Tuesday I had the N.Ky Mommy & Me playgroup. We met at a park in Cincinnati with a beautiful overlook, great shade trees, and a nice play area for the kids. There were a lot of little boys there – it was a teeny tiny testosterone zone! One of the older guys (I think three-and-a-half) ‘watered’ a tree…. oh, the joys of boys. His mom was so awesome about it, though. I loved her reaction, a very calm, “Honey, pull up your pants when you’re done, okay? And next time, let Mommy know you have to go pee-pee and I’ll help you find a more private place.” Just like that – no shaming or punishment or anything. I really enjoy this group!

Wednesday we were home all day. I got a lot of cleaning done, and we played outside, upstairs, downstairs…. having all this space really helps break up a day when we stay home. It’s nice to have that “change of scenery” for a busy toddler, without having to load up the car and go somewhere.

Thursday (today) we went to our first NKy La Leche League meeting. It was great! At first, it was just us, the leader, and a new mommy with a 4-week-old, but after about half an hour more moms started to trickle in – and I knew all three of them! They’re all in the Mommy&Me playgroup. That was a really cool thing – I didn’t feel so much like “the new kid” – I already have friends, sort of!

Friday we’re planning to go to the library to get our library card and attend the toddler storytime. I have no idea what to expect – there are good story hours and bad, it varies so much from library to library. But, it’s a nearby location and if nothing else, I might meet some moms from my neighborhood or some close neighborhoods, so that would be nice.

Saturday is the monthly meeting for Attachment Parenting International. I’m really excited to go to this – I wasn’t able to join the API group in Nashville due to scheduling conflicts, so I’ve been looking forward to this. The group meets for about an hour, once a month, to discuss topics that pertain to Attachment Parenting. They also have playgroups, field trips, and special events (like family potlucks) from time to time. It should be a lot of fun!

Then on Sunday, we’ll go to EUMC again and attend their Ice Cream Social after church. Hopefully it will be nice weather since they are having everything outside.

Anyway, I think we’re off to a good start in our new home. I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we moved in!

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Last night we completed the project! First we had to attach the L-brackets to the shelves. I have to say that this was the hardest part of the project, and if I had to do it again I would attach these prior to putting the shelves together. Each L-bracket needs to be attached with two screws, and since the shelves are only 8″ tall, there’s not a lot of room to maneuver a screwdriver. We did get them all in, but it took a lot more effort than it should have.

Once that was done, we brought the shelves inside and measured where they were going to go on the wall. Our highly unscientific process was to hold one shelf up – mark the holes of the L-bracket – take the shelf down – screw in the drywall anchors – hold the shelf up again – screw in the anchor screws. Then we measured the distance from the wall and from the ceiling, so that the next shelf on the other side of the wall would be symmetrical. And repeated the process. And then we did it again, and again.

Finally, about two hours from start to finish, all four shelves were up on the wall, secure, and holding our DVDs. I’ll try to get some more pictures today that show it a little better, but here’s the one I snapped last night.

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Can you believe I built those!?! And just as a reminder: to buy them pre-made would have cost me well over $400, and I would have had to wait a couple of weeks for shipping. Grand total for this project: $56 for supplies. Less than a week from purchase to installation. 6.5 hours of actual labor. I just know my Dad is going to be so proud of me! 🙂

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Meet the author

MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

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