Our Kitchen Remodel

I recently read that Pinterest stresses people out and makes them feel like they are not crafty enough.

Not me.

If I hang out with crafty friends that show me what they have done, I feel as though I have also crafted...just by being around them.

It's the same with Pinterest. I see all the kitchen remodels and have felt like I have also remodeled my kitchen numerous times over the years.

We finally took all those ideas and executed our kitchen remodel. (Our favorite inspiration being this blog.) My husband is the hero in all of this. He was catalyst and did much of the work himself.

I didn't do a good job of before pictures. We will call this picture "in progress" because a few years before we had already laid down the flooring, changed the hardware and livened up the cabinets with Walnut Restore-a-Finish. To truly get the before image you have to imagine white laminate flooring that was cut unevenly and stapled along the edges. The tired looking cabinets were burdened with out-of-date big brass hardware.

The kitchen doesn't get a lot of light so we wanted to lighten the cabinets. We painted the insides light grey and hired a professional to paint the outsides. We stumbled across a place that made recycled barnwood countertops and we were smitten. Though the countertops were professionally made, my husband finished them with walnut stain and Waterlox sealer. He did 5 coats on the top and two coats underneath with sanding in between. My husband (and his dad) made the beadboard backsplash. The farmhouse sink and light fixtures are all from Ikea. We ordered the glass cabinet doors, though my hubby had to cut the glass and put it in. It was easier said than done. We went through more glass than was necessary. In the end though, we are pretty excited with how it turned out.

My husband also refinished the dining room table his parents were getting rid of. I painted the base and he sanded and refinished the top. We had family over this weekend and they didn't even recognize the table.

And while I am on the subject of my husband's handiness, he redid our fireplace a few years ago. One of our son's hit his head on the ledge that extended 18 inches, so my husband demoed it. Here is the before shot (well, kinda):

Here is the after shot:

Then, as if he had not already done enough, my husband found a cozy little electric fireplace that fit perfectly in our real fireplace. It's kid friendly and heats up that room nicely. With this addition, I think I am officially in heaven.

It feels good to finally have our kitchen done. It is my new "happy place."

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PS - I love to share things I love. Right now I'm into inspirational books. Need encouragement? Here are three of my current favorites: Uninvited, Present Over Perfect, and The Broken Way. (Affiliate links.)

A Fresh Start...

I love the start of a new school.  It holds so much promise.  Like none of last year's challenges will arise. 

My now 2nd grader will love to read.  Instead of complaining and sometimes even crying about it, he will come to me with a stack of books and say:  "Mom, can I read these books to you? It is so important for me to learn to read."  Or better yet, I will just find him reading by himself for hours on end. 

My now 1st grade son will not spill chocolate milk down his shirt at school, so he comes home with a new shirt on from the special supply in the nurse's office. 

Spelling tests will be a breeze; we won't have to study almost every day for them.   

They will always eat their vegetables at lunch. 

My boys will always be calm and productive in the classroom. 

My 3 year old will always eat his dinner fully.  Minutes after dinner is cleaned up, I won't find his head stuck in the fridge looking for something else to eat.   Also, he won't follow his brothers around and demand their toysOr throw giant tantrums. 

Their brotherly wrestling matches will always be fun and never turn into real fights. 

As a family, we can get through the checkout lines at stores without one of our boys whining or crying. 
We would always get places when we should be there, dressed appropriately. 

A new school year promises for life to go smoothly.  I love the "clean slate" feeling when we vow, as a family, to learn from last year's experiences. 

It feels like a New Year's resolution.   

It feels like God's grace.   

That grace I feel every morning when I wake up with a fresh start.  A chance to reflect on what works and what I need to try differently. Of course life won't go perfectly; I don't think it is suppose to.  Success comes with failure.  But it always feels good to stand at the edge of a fresh start blanked with grace. 

Happy first day of school.