Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I finally got to help again!

Memorial Day weekend proved to be relaxing. We made absolutely no plans. We talked about going to the North Cascades National Park, but when the weather wasn't too great, we just decided to bum around town looking at antique/retro stores. We explored the Fremont Farmers Market for the first time, which was really cool since it has a lot of artists, food trucks, and flee market type vendors. We enjoyed the Irish Pub up in the Junction Friday night with Phil's mom, Talarico's for a mini date night Sunday, and a BBQ at Krista and Peter's last night that had us laughing so hard we cried (well, at least I did!). The rest of the weekend Phil and I worked on the kitchen. Phil did a lot of trim work, caulking, and he installed all the hardware. I helped hold boards in place for him while he sawed, did normal household chores like laundry and vacuuming, installed the shelves and glass panes on the upper cabinets, painted the primer onto the island, and even started to unpack items from the garage to fit in the upper cabinets! It was very exciting and next weekend will prove even more exciting. We get our counter-tops installed this Thursday, which means that hopefully this weekend I can unpack the rest of our kitchen items and I can set up the kitchen to be an almost fully functioning kitchen! The only bummer is that we realized that we need to hire someone to come out to try to repair the oven in our old Wedgewood stove since we couldn't problem solve lighting the pilot for it ourselves.

hardware looking good

glass shelves and windows in!

working on priming the island doors and drawers and legs

Phil painted the island today!

Artichoke green for a California girl

and the doors and drawers and legs

I even got to start unpacking and organizing!

We got to see the McFarlands too this weekend!

Time with Jon and Kaiden and Julia!

Hanging with Isaac...he had the funniest face trying to taste asparagus!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Amazing Bat Mitzvah

My cousin Kendra is wise beyond her years. She has an old soul. She reminds me of me and I like it. The girl totally rocked her Bat Mitzvah! The torah and haftorah portions were chanted beautifully (and were both really super long!) and her sermon was so inspiring, meaningful, and thought provoking. I agreed with so much of what she said about her connection (or lack there of) with g-d and her connection to others in the community and could not have put my feelings into words as graciously as she did. If only I could get a copy of her sermon, I would post it here for all to see. In other words, Mazel Tov Kendra...you did awesome!

The whole weekend was a nice getaway from Remodel-land. It was so nice to just get to spend a weekend with family doing nothing more than talking and eating (in true Strauss tradition). We really do love the times we spend with extended family and hope that our little boy can grow up feeling as loved and connected to the extended family as we do.

all fancied up

with mom and dad

Gramps with the bat mitzvah girl

Aunt Leigh and Mom with their collection of eggs from Diane's "farm"

The birthday boy...only 3 months 'till his big day

most of the Lewin fam. with Phil and I

My most handsome doggie!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Burn out....???

I'm sitting here catching up on blogging, listening to two guys measuring for counter tops in my kitchen, wondering what data the other teachers back at school are analyzing on our non-student Data Day. I'll find out since I only had to take the morning off for our remodel purposes (another cost of a remodel that I didn't foresee is trading off who will stay home for workers to come in and out, but hey...I guess it is good training for who will stay home when our child gets sick). Last week and over the weekend Phil finished installing the main cabinets along the walls of the kitchen. He also started to trim them out with the toe kick and the little pieces of a kitchen that I never knew were actually separate from the cabinets.

Mike came over last Sunday to help Phil with our big Ikea Apron sink and the install of that proved way more difficult than we imagined. I tried not to look as the boys had to saw away parts of the cabinet that the sink is destined to sit on top of. I trust Phil wholeheartedly, but man...that sink is my favorite part of our new kitchen and that cabinet would be expensive to re-order....just saying! It seems as though they worked through it thankfully and they also set the stove back in its destination. Charlie had fun running back and forth from Phil and Mike to me depending on what kind of power tools were scaring him away or not.

Now that Phil has been dealing with trim work, he says it is slow going and a lot of time for little progress. I still feel like I'm seeing huge changes, but he is the one doing all the work, so I won't argue if he is feeling burnt out. Luckily we aren't really crunched for time yet, so with my blessing (haha...like he needs it), Phil took a few days off of remodel work. We also got lazy and ate out almost every night this week. Monday at an awesome Taco Truck in West Seattle (the other Mexican places here really are lacking for inexpensive authentic California style food, but the truck pleasantly surprised us...I think it's called Beloved Mexico), Tuesday back to Zeeks for Pizza, Wednesday over to Circa for a locally raised yummy burger and steak, and finally on Thursday we started pecking away at all the veggies and salad stuff we had bought at the grocery store trying to save it from going bad again (another product of our laziness of living without a kitchen sink has been our food goes bad faster). Enough with the rambling, we know you are all here for the picture progress!

Mike and Phil finagling the sink area

this area is becoming the bane of Phil's existence. ok..a slight exaggeration!

starting to get there! Lights on too!
with a bit more trim work (look above the fridge!)

the beverage center

Definitely going with the green on the right for the island. Titled: Artichoke
Our little crazy!
Phil had to take time off last Saturday to learn all about my research project and watch me "graduate" from the Puget Sound Writing Project at UW! I'm going to miss that class!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cabinet Install, Baby Registry, & Springtime

I <3 this time of year! Springtime is so wonderful and today we were even treated to 75 degree and sunny weather! This weekend was a really nice one. While Phil was at work on Saturday, I got to go with his mom to visit his Gramma Lilly in Port Angeles. We took the ferry and spent the day with her and it was fun to hear old stories and memories from Sandpoint, Idaho back in the day. Gramma Lilly is an inspirational woman who used to own a lumber yard and who still goes commercial fishing in Alaska each summer at 80 something years old! Susan and I enjoyed spending time with her and it was a gorgeous day so we got to take a photo journey in her backyard with so many gorgeous flowers in bloom.

Yesterday, another spectacular day, was very productive. Krista, Peter, Isaac, and Susan all came over to help out. Susan took back control of the unruly raised beds (and even helped weed some more in the front yard!). Krista and Isaac helped me go to some baby stores to start the overwhelming process of registering and thinking of what we will need for this baby boy. And, Peter stayed to help Phil install the upper cabinets! It's looking so awesome already! We appreciate all of the help so much!
Susan tackled all of this overgrowth and now we will get to do a summer veggie garden again!

Peter and Phil installing uppers

Krista with Isaac enjoying the sun
Phil is working on the rest of the cabinet install since they have to be done by the 18th so that the countertop installation guys can come measure and then install by the end of the month! Woohoo! So exciting!