Eating an Elephant

How do you eat an elephant? Experts say one bite at a time.

Full disclaimer on this post. This is a post of catharsis. For some reason sharing with the blogosphere how we are doing and what we are undertaking feels cathartic.

We are not the first family to undertake a move at the end of the school year. We are not the only family that cannot put the rest of their life on pause while we sort out the ins and outs of home purchasing, moving, fixing up, etc. Nor will we be the last.

But here’s how I’m feeling… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes we are taking things one day at a time, sometimes it seems like one inch at a time. One bite at a time if you will. Sure there are projects that don’t HAVE to get done before we move in. It will all work out in the end and for the best but man alive.

My struggles are as follows:

  1. We’ve hit a hiccup or maybe its a big old belch with the electrical and the whole house is going to be rewired.
  2. Seriously, how do people pack their households while schlepping kids to/from school, activities, volunteering in the classroom, making dinner, homework, doing laundry, attending the end of year functions. No really, I need tips…
  3. Why is it that all the donation places that have been recommended to me for furniture/appliance donations are not scheduling pick ups these days?
  4. Getting bids for some of the projects we can’t/don’t have time to do ourselves because of #2.
  5. Prioritizing what can and/or should be done before we move in vs. what I just really want to be done.
  6. How to support/help my husband who on top of holding down his regular strenuous job and working on the house as also been burning the after hours candle on some side jobs he committed to before we started this whole process.
  7. How to be mom/wife to my family when all I want to do is clean/pack and cross more stuff off my to do list.
  8. How to have our current place in the best possible condition by the time we need to turn in our keys.

Ok, I’m going to stop the list there. Its time to get some sleep so I can at the very list strive to work on # 6 & 7 tomorrow. End of the complaining post. We are so thankful for this new season that is upon us and tomorrow after some rest I’ll go back to eating this elephant one bite at a time.


Claire has been sharing a room with Conor for the last four and a half years. Lately, she has struggled with sharing a room with her brother and a space in her own in general. When she heard we were moving she was reluctant and consistent with her character, sad to hear we would be leaving this place we’ve called home for six years until she heard “you’ll have your own room.” Those few words changed everything. She went from sad reluctance to browsing pinterest and catalogs looking for bedding ideas and color schemes.

Claire’s room at “the family house” was my great Grandmother’s room. Wilma Novelle Sanders born in 1894, Grandmother Sanders to most around town. Granny was the sweetest most Godly woman I’ve ever known. Her life was not easy but she never had a cross word to say about anybody.

We’re giving Claire’s room a much needed update. Up until this morning the room had creamy walls and yellow carpet that had covered the floor for longer than I’ve been alive. We let Claire have free reign with her color scheme. She’s picked a sheet set from pottery barn kids that has butterflies on it and  I’m making that into a duvet. For her walls she wanted “Beach side drive” and “Foxglove.” IMG_2086Here’s the peanut gallery, they were ridiculously excited to watch Pop Pop paint.

IMG_2089Here’s the master painter himself all dudded up and just getting started.


We had a hard time waiting (Josh and I) for the paint to dry so we could pull up the carpet. By we I mean Josh pulled up the carpet.

IMG_2111Once the carpet was up the carpet pad just disintegrated.

IMG_2112Here’s dad’s little helper so excited to sweep up the mess and VOILA look at that floor!!!! Gorgeous and lots of character. Tomorrow I hope to get the trim and baseboards painted, suck up the rest of the carpet pad and get some even better pictures of this floor.

In all honestly, grieving, packing, fixing up a house, moving plus what we’ve already got going on in life already has been stressful, daunting, crazy BUT it felt a little like Christmas today. So thankful for all the family who has pitched in to help us out and who is helping make this house possible for us.

Voila, three more pictures. The boys room in the first picture, the deck in the middle, and the yard.

Still to come, the master bedroom and the downstairs. I don’t think I can fit in the woodshop currently to get a picture of that.

What’s happening around the house you ask?

Over the weekend we made progress on the fence. We also had some consults with our in family architect/designer (my sister) on paint colors.

Monday we had the appraisal, we are still waiting for the results of that.

Tuesday and Wednesday this week I’ve been packing boxes in between the business of life and family and cleaning out the house as there are still things in the house to be gone through.

The electrician starts tomorrow updating and fixing some of the wiring in parts of the house.

This weeks revelation about the house comes from our boys after “helping” their uncle, dad and grandpa on the fence. The guys had come across a few different types of lizards in the yard and Kieran now believes us to be living on a lizard farm.

Hello all, pardon our dust. Today was another day of cleaning out and organizing. This is the two views of the kitchen.

IMG_1950Here is the living room.

IMG_1947This is the dining room. Lots of natural light in this room, a view of the backyard and a door (not pictured) to the right that leads out to the deck and backyard.


Here’s the wacky hallway off the kids bedrooms and between the kitchen and living room. This used to be the bathroom in the original part of the house pre addition.

Last for tonight, Claire’s room. Soon to be her own oasis.

So that’s it for tonight. These pictures are all “before” pictures. Right now we’re still working on our priority of changes list, choosing paint colors, removing furniture. More to come tomorrow.

After a year of blogging silence I’m back – if only temporarily. I thought this place would be a perfect place to keep family and friends abreast of a big change for our family.

In March we lost my grandmother to Cancer. Hers was a life well  lived  for just shy of  91 years. While we miss her so much, we have peace and joy that she’s in Heaven and reunited with so many of her loved ones who have gone before her. One of her hopes was that we (my family) would live in her house if we wanted to. So…

WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE and not just any house. This house was purchased by my great uncle in the 1940s and then sold to my grandparents a little bit later. It is the house my uncle and my dad were brought home too, grew up in. The site of my dad’s proposal to my mom. The site of many thanksgivings, Christmas and family birthday celebrations. It started out as a 740 ish square foot house with two bedrooms and one bathroom, single car garage, kitchen, living room and a HUGE backyard. Sometime in the late fifties (I need to check my facts), my grandfather, who served in the army corps of engineers during World War II, added on to the house. The house now boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, great room downstairs, woodshop and HUGE backyard.

Our lease is up on our current place on June 1 so there’s a lot to be done in the next month. Here is where I’ll be posting updates on house projects, before and after pictures, nifty finds around the house and more. Please check back here and PLEASE join my family in prayer over this process.

Here is a parting anecdote to tide you over until my next post. Many of you know we currently live in a 2 bedroom townhouse and that Kieran’s bedroom doubles as our closet. He has been quite fascinated with all the nooks and crannies, and especially the closet spaces around Grammy’s house (which we are trying to remember to now call, the family house). I didn’t think much of his fascination, attributing it to the curiosity of a four year old. Then one afternoon last week I overheard the boys talking in the room that they will share. Kieran was once again searching the closet and I hear Conor say “No Kieran, this is our room. You and me get to share.” To which Kieran responds, “you mean I don’t have to sleep in the closet anymore? ALRIGHT!!!!”



Its been over a year. I apologize for the absence.

We took a spring break camping trip up the coast this past week.


This was the view in the car on our drive up to our camping spot. Note the temp, 46 degrees and raining. We pressed on with the promise of the good weather the following day and the hope that we’d have a break in the weather to at least set up the tent.


But about a half hour before we arrived at the campground, the weather broke and when we arrived, this was our view. So glad we pressed on. Our hippy chick Claire immediately took up residence in the meadow and began to piece together daisy chains. I look at her now and chuckle about the days when I was worried she’d have no hair, my little bald baby. Look at her now.

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Ferns, Redwoods, banana slugs and salamanders oh my!

This was our first camping trip with just our family. We were both a bit nervous about the lack of distractions for the kids but we shouldn’t have feared. Conor got in touch with his smoke whispering skills which looked a lot like Tai-Chi. Kieran alternated between hacking with his broken shovel and making friends with the boy the next campsite over. Claire and I perfected our uno game and she made lots of the aforementioned daisy chains.


We were even blessed with a gorgeous rainbow in this idyllic spot.


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I can’t think of a better way to cherish this time with the family. Unplugged from the world, relaxing in beautiful creation. Thankfully Conor’s cast is off and he’s just in a boot now so we didn’t have to be as concerned about getting wet or dirty both of which Conor exceeds at.

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Day two, Big river. What a beach! Soft sand upon soft sand Ocean to the left, river in front of you. Kieran even took an unexpected dunk. Lots of tic tac toe on the beach, digging holes and splashing around in the river.

Day three. Day three was a big disappointment. After a lovely picnic beachside, we packed up and headed inland to another campground. We took an untested route for the adventure which added an hour and a half to our travel day, Claire got majorly carsick and threw up all over the car and Josh, When we arrived at the campground it was basically an RV park, 90% paved, packed and though we had reserved a spot, it wasn’t assigned. The only spots left when we arrived were cement or surrounded by poison oak. The kids had been thrilled about coming to this campground because of the tether ball so while we deliberated what to do, the kids played tether ball.

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As the bugs swarmed and the bustle of the campground settled in around us oh and the sign on the bathroom door “Please keep door closed for privacy and to keep the snacks out” we decided not to push our luck. We were only an hour and a half from home so we grabbed ice cream cones and headed home with the promise of a backyard camp out the following night at Meme and Pop Pops.

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Our 3rd little one is quite the hilarious charmer. These days he’s big into being the mimic, his most practiced imitations are his father and brother. Just this morning he dressed himself in khaki shorts (a staple of his father’s) a floppy hat, boots, safety glasses and a t-shirt, went outside shut the sliding glass door. Through the door he declared “I’m mowing the lawn, you stay inside.” Then he got his lawnmower and off he went. Kieran spends a lot of his time in the dress up box as well. His imagination is his only limit, ballet dancer, pirate, buzz light year, or a combination. This precious and opinionated 2 1/2 year old makes us belly laugh on a daily basis with his expressions, creativity and contagious laugh. Please enjoy this gallery of Kieran.














photo 1
(this is a onesie he found and insisted on wearing, its size 3-6mos)
photo 2

photo 3

photo 4