Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Tonight I am taking a break from my classes. I think my brain has sprung a leak and I need to let all that knowledge just spill into my body tonight. I'll hit the books again tomorrow....but for now I'm looking through pictures.

I haven't posted updates on the house for quite some time. We finally have all the big projects finished and I am very grateful for that! We still have some painting to do in the hallway and lots of touch ups and a long list of little things but again, the big projects are complete. (at least until we begin on the sun room. I'm not even thinking that far yet.)

The bookcases by the fireplace are in and I am in love! I now have a place for my sweet little books and I even have room for more! That is pretty exciting news in my world. :) 

The "Before"
 This is what the fireplace looked like when we bought the house. 
Not a bad looking fireplace at all.
It just seemed a bit outdated so we thought we'd give it a coat of paint to freshen it up a bit and see if that helped. 

The white rock did nothing for me but I was convinced that it would grow on me. 
But.... it did not grow on me and I just knew if we didn't change it we would always kick ourselves for not doing it. So, we took that leap of faith and tore off all that rock until we were down to the bare minimum of the fireplace. What a mess that was. A jack hammer and rock makes dust. More dust. ugh!

The only bad thing was we'd already installed the wood floors so now we had to cover all the new floors. That really did concern me because I just knew we'd scratch up those new floors. The guys assured me they'd be fine but I was skeptical. 
We chose a stacked stone to finish the fireplace front and had intended on adding a mantel but once it was finished we decided not to. For now, we like the clean front. And we added a wood burning insert because we just love that warm heat on those cold Nebraska nights.
I haven't taken any pictures since I've added plants and a few accents to the shelves but this gives you an idea how much it's changed from the "before" picture.


It was quite a project but we love it. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Grateful 365 - Day 18

Decorate with family pictures. Yes or no?

Anyone who has been to our house knows that I decorate with family pictures... a lot of family pictures. 

I was reading a blog the other day that said family pictures should be displayed in more private areas such as bedrooms only. Yikes. I am blowing that 'rule' all to pieces. 

There are some beautiful pieces of art in stores and if I find something I really love I'll purchase it. But not before I put a lot of thought in to it. I'm known for impulse buying so I work very hard at thinking and rethinking things now before I buy them. (It's a  habit of mine that will take some time to overcome I'm afraid.) 

And quite honestly I will never find any artwork in a store more beautiful than these faces. :)

Using family pictures is such a personal part of me and I love that I can look around my house and connect a memory to things. 

So today I'm grateful for finding my own 'rules' of decorating my house. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grateful 365 - Day 17

Tonight on the nightly news it talked about some universities installing "texting lanes" on stair cases for those students who are texting and walking. 

Tonight I'm grateful for common sense. Mine. Not theirs.  Geez!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Grateful 365 - Day 13

36 years ago our first daughter was born. It was a sunny day with snow on the ground.

We lived across the street from the hospital and yet when I went in to labor we drove downtown to use a pay phone to call my mom. 

Mom didn't rush to the hospital because she thought that I'd be in labor for quite a while beings it was my first baby. 
Guess what? She didn't get there by the time Katie was born. :)

Mom didn't sound nervous when we called her to say I was in labor but she must have been because we found out later that she had opened the garage door enough to walk in but not enough to back out so she hit the garage door with the car. ha!

Today I am grateful for our first daughter, Katie. I've always loved being a mom.
Happy birthday honey!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Grateful 365 - Day 11

I consider myself to be somewhat normal, that I have a fairly normal life - right up until I put my day into black and white. That's when I think I may have issues. 

* I woke up this morning and thought, "It's 2016. My  teaching certificate expires in 2016!" I called the Department of Education to find out exactly what I needed to do. I knew what they were going to say but I was hoping there was the tiniest bit of hope that the classes I've taken were recent enough but no luck. So I called a nearby college and told them I needed to apply for classes (which started today!). Because it's been a few years since I've taken classes there I had to go through the application process again. Ugh! I'm hoping this goes through asap. I feel like I'm behind already and haven't even begun!

* The last couple months I've been incredibly tired. I'm talking can't keep my eyes open tired. I chalked it up to this whole crazy moving process and simply a lot of late nights. Today I had a bit of a headache so I reached into my purse to take a tylenol. It was the last one in the bottle so I put the bottle in the trash. For some reason just as I let go of the bottle something caught my eye. What did that say? I picked up the empty bottle and it said Tylenol PM! What in the world? I guess that explains a bit of my tiredness lately. ha! Obviously they need to label it a little clearer for us non-observant consumers. 

* This afternoon I decided to make some cookies (after a quick nap from the Tylenol PM ha!) I'm stirring up the ingredients I've added so far when I decide to scan over the directions. Add baking soda, salt, pumpkin. Wait. Back up. Pumpkin? Yep, I'm using the wrong recipe. Geez. Now I have to figure out how much I HAVE added and what I NEED to add. Good thing I'm good at math. :)

When crazy stuff like this happens I have to tell my sister. She gets a chuckle out of my madness. As we're talking on the phone her desk drawer falls out and the contents spill out on the floor. Oh gosh we laughed and laughed. 

Today I'm grateful for those phone calls with Shell. And I guess I'm grateful for the craziness of my day. ha!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Grateful 365

 I found this gorgeous kitchen table at a lovely store in Grand Island, Primitive Touch Antique Warehouse. The distressed wood and chunky legs give this table the rustic look I love. 

When we picked up the table the gentleman that built this asked me if I knew the story of the wood. No.... I didn't realize there was a story. Immediately he had my attention. I love it when there's a story connected with things. 

The table legs are posts, turned on a lathe, found in a granary in Eagle Nebraska dated 1910. 
The table top and the entire bench are the original floor boards out of the Bennet Nebraska General Mercantile Store built in 1884. I love that! I found myself rubbing my hand across this wood and just imagining the stories they could tell. Especially the floor boards of the Mercantile Store. I can visualize the shoes clicking across this floor. *sigh* 

I loved this table before but once I heard the story of the wood I l.o.v.e.d this table.
Not only does this table hold history but it is history in Nebraska!
I hadn't decided on kitchen chairs but I was leaning toward a type of wing back chair. But that changed quickly when we saw chairs that had been refurbished by the same craftsman that built the table. After  several combinations of various chair types we decided on two beautiful red chairs along with some beautiful bow back chairs. 

Today I am grateful for finding this new store and meeting the wonderful family that runs it and I'm also grateful for the pieces of history that run through the grains of the wood of this charming table.