Monday, June 29, 2015

Because a New Baby is Not Crazy Enough

On the 1 year anniversary of the day that Josh and I MET, we had gotten engaged, married, he had taken a new job to plant a church campus, we bought a house, moved, and were pregnant with Jake. Yeah, it was nuts. When I was about 3 months pregnant with Lilly we felt like it was time to plant our own church, so at six months pregnant we moved again and started working on getting our church started with a 15-month-old son in tow. She was 5 months and he was almost 2 when we planted. Yeah, crazy again. So it's only fitting that in the same month that we had our newest addition, we also closed on a house... and then completely ripped out the downstairs and started renovating. Yeah, we have a problem.

We would have NEVER considered taking on this project if my husband did not know how to do most of the work involved. Plus, my father-in-law owns his own construction company, so we can get his guidance and assistance when we don't know how to do something (and by we, I mean Josh). It has become somewhat of a family project with Josh, his dad, my dad, our sister and brother-in-law, our nephew, a few friends, and even our kids helping out! It's not much to look at yet, but here are a few before and after shots of our project in process...

Family room before

All cosmetic changes happening here... carpet out, hardwood going down (in the entire downstairs actually), fan down, recessed lighting will be going in, cream colored trim and built-in shelving to all be painted white, walls to be painted (color TBD), chunkier wood for mantle will be installed

Here's more of the major changes: 
View from the front door before... a skinny hallway leading to the family room/kitchen area

Now... hall closet and built-in shelving removed to make it more open

Here is the view from the back of the house looking toward the front door. The front hallway is at least double in size! Looking at this picture, that family room is to the left from where it was taken. The kitchen is to the right and that door goes to the basement.

This is basically where I was standing to take that shot above. 
It's a bit dark, but that is our kitchen before:

Up close, it was a TINY kitchen and the refrigerator awkwardly stuck out. There was a doorway to the dining room to the left of the refrigerator. When we made our offer, we knew we would want to expand the kitchen eventually, and since we have the house we are renting through the end of July, we just decided to go ahead and do it now. So out went the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, and the old dining room will make our kitchen over twice the size:

Bye-bye old kitchen wall

Before: the old dining room, taken from where the kitchen door used to be:

After: standing in the middle of the old kitchen, looking at the new addition to the kitchen. That third room in the front will become our new dining room down the road. When we move in, we may use it as more of a TV room for the kids since the new kitchen will have an island with seating:

And from the other angle. This is taken from the new dining room. You can see the front hallway to the right, and Jake doing something weird on the stairs. The dining room is gone, but Jake is staying.

I love that you can now see that gorgeous window from every room!

Soooo... it's probably hard to see from the pictures, but that's where we are at right now. Next up is paint, paint, and more paint. And I mean it when I say we are painting every room in the house! When we moved in it was white, white, white everywhere, with cream trim. Look at the difference white trim will make... seeing them side by side makes the old cream-colored doors look dirty! And we'll be putting on new hardware, too.

I'm going to try and update when I can, so it could be days or months... you just never know with me! It's a family affair though, so everyone is expected to do their part!

Although some people are doing more than others!

 Just another month and this place will be home! Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life With Three

We welcomed Annabelle into the world a little over a month ago, and I have been trying to write her birth story ever since. The time I have to sit down and do it is few and far between, so it may never get done, but that's life with three. So far I really don't feel like going from two to three is all that different, but here are a few things I have noticed:

  • The details no longer matter. As long as I have three kids in the car when we go places, I'm good. If they are bathed and wearing matching clothes, that's a bonus. So far I've only arrived to one place to find out that Jake wasn't wearing (nor did he bring) shoes, and have driven about three miles before Lilly informed me that I did not buckle her in. After a pool trip, I packed dry clothes for them except that I forgot pants for Jake and he rode home in his undies. But hey, all three were accounted for. Every time (so far).
  • Nursing = all hell breaking loose. My house could be sparkling clean (not that it has been since she was born), but in the 20-30 minutes it takes me to nurse, it will be turned upside down. We go from clean to incredibly messy in record time these days.
  • About the above... I don't care nearly as much as I used to! Time spent not holding a newborn or playing with / fixing food for / breaking up arguments between the older two is minimal. Those precious moments are not going to be wasted spent on keeping our house spotless.
  • No matter how many times I tell them, the older two kids will NOT. STOP. MESSING.WITH the baby. I'm like a broken record. And she's like their new, awesome toy.  Thankfully they love her more than anything and we have not had any jealously issues, but seriously, STOP TOUCHING YOUR SISTER'S FACE!
  • Sleep deprivation is not as difficult this time around. Because let's be honest, I have probably had a full night of sleep only about 15 times in the past five years. Piece of cake.
  • About the above... kids, even your own, irritate you WAY more and far more quickly when you are running on very little sleep. I miss naps. For them. Which would make it possible for me. Thankfully I have a pretty healthy coffee addiction.
  • Grocery stores are evil. And I'm not even sure how half of the groceries we purchased today got into the cart.
  • I used to wonder how people could end up with so much crap in their car. And then I had three kids. I could probably survive in mine for a solid month with everything that's in there right now.
  • I have more "help" with Annabelle than I could have ever dreamed of. Thankfully she has not been smothered or dropped, and that Goldfish Jake tried to feed her didn't make it into her mouth. It's only a matter of time I'm sure.
  • I had convinced myself that I did not like the newborn phase, probably due to lack of sleep. But I am LOVING having a squishy newborn, probably because I am so much more laid back and worry way less about what I'm doing this time around. I trust my instincts and do not compare myself to what every other mom is doing. Being a relaxed mom of a newborn is way more fun than being a crazy, stressed out, worrying mom of a newborn!
  • With each kid you have, time speeds up. Please stop. I want her snuggly and little forever.
  • I am flat out amazed that the third (or fourth, fifth, and so on I'm sure) is no less special or amazing than the other two. Meeting your child doesn't get old. Feeling like your heart could burst every time you look in that little face does not ever go away. My heart has grown to an immeasurable size and I cannot get enough of her, just like I feel about the other two. It's amazing.
So life with three is really great. It's more craziness, more chaos, but so much more love, and it feels so full. I am loving our little party of five!

Oh... and on top of this, we closed on a house and have started renovating it... as in, torn out the downstairs down to the studs pretty much... because adding a third child to the mix just wasn't enough excitement for us and that's how we roll. So I'm hoping to record that journey on here soon, too, but again, I have three kids now so don't count on it!