Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Grace turns 16 today.  In most states that means she could drive but here she will have to wait another year to be let loose on the roads!  I'm actually rather thankful for that as I'm not sure I"m ready for her to be driving on our twisty, narrow roads.

Grace is such a treasure and we feel so blessed that she is our girl.  She's smart, kind and a little feisty.  Here's what's going on with her right now...

1.  She's a rule follower.  She likes to be on time, have a plan, and to stick to it (it must be so hard for her to live with Bryce and I :))!  When we are supposed to pick her up she will text us the time and then confirm it at least once!

2.  She's a hard worker at school.  Grace is taking 3 honors classes this year and, for now, is making straight A's!  We are proud of how hard she works and how good she is with time management.

3.  She's a little afraid that there's not a boy out there that is nice, interesting, and a little old fashioned (cute wouldn't hurt either!).  I hope she believes me when I tell her there is.

4.  I wouldn't say that Grace is having what one might think of as a typical teenage experience (yet?). She isn't super social outside of school even though she has a nice group of girls that she's good friends with.  For example, she did not want a big sweet sixteen party, instead opting for a family party at home.  She still likes to hang with her family and you won't hear me complaining.

5.  Right now she's really interested in: skiing, skincare, traveling, writing and she's starting to pay more and more attention to world events and politics.

6.  She has just started a job at a cafe in town.  I think it will be so good for her on many levels!

7.  She's still taking a ballet class twice a week.

8.  She loves to bake!  We all love it when she decides to whip up a batch of cookies.  I love that I can now put her in charge of dessert.

9.  She loves music of all sorts but has a remarkable affinity for 80's music!

10.  She loves the tv show Castle.  She and her Grandma watch it together.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Phase 3 Renovation Update

We are still under renovation.  While someone is here every single day and certainly things are happening, it feels as if it is moving super slowly.  However, our bathroom is nearing completion and should be done in the next month.

The original floors have been put back (many planks had to be moved to make room for plumbing), sanded and finished (no stain).  I love how they turned out!  We also made the choice to put pine planks in the closet and I find it so interesting how different they look.  In this case, I think older is better!

For the shower tile we went with a classic subway tile.  It is called antique green but definitely reads neutral.  I wanted something that was earthy and complimented the brick fireplace surround and the pumpkin pine floors.

And... that's it!  It seems like there should be way more of an update but that's all there is to show.  Hopefully, my next post about the bathroom will be that it is finished!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

President's Day Dinner

Bill, my brother-in-law, had the idea that we should celebrate President's Day with a dinner made up entirely of past President's favorite foods.  It turned out to be something that was tasty (foods we might not have thought to make) and fun (it's nice to mix things up every once in a while).

Grace made little signs for each of our foods that were super cute.

Washington's Cherry Bounce (a cocktail that Bill started 2 or 3 weeks ago!)
John Adam's Hard Cider
George W. Bush's Cheeseburger Pizza
JFK's Favorite Chowder
Abraham Lincoln's Gingerbread Cookies
Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice-cream

Monday, February 12, 2018

Olympic Cookies

The olympics are here!  As always, we gathered Friday night with friends to watch the opening ceremonies.  I made sugar cookies to celebrate the occasion.  I used the little figures I got for the last winter olympics and popped them atop fluffy ice/snow.  Easy and cute to boot.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Kitchen Island

Before we decided to add on the new kitchen, and use the old kitchen as a mudroom/office, we were not going to have an island with seating as I thought everyone could sit at the table at the end of the kitchen.  In yet another good demonstration as to why it's a good idea to live in a space before renovating, we discovered during the year before the kitchen was complete that it wasn't a comfortable nor inviting space to sit.  In fact, I found that I was most often alone in the kitchen while cooking since no one tended to linger.

From the moment we bought the house, whether in the new kitchen or the old kitchen, I always envisioned an island that looked like a table.  In fact, my original inspiration was the kitchen work table in Downton Abby.   When Gretchen and I were in England this past summer I snapped this picture that we used for reference quite a bit.

We worked with our cabinet builders to design the island so that it would be totally functional but have the look we wanted.  Also, remember that walnut tree that we had to take down and we milled the wood?  THE ISLAND IS MADE OUT OF THAT WALNUT!  It's so, so special to have that in our kitchen and I just love how it turned out!

Now, the kitchen is back to being a hang out spot.  The island is made for gathering round and we have also found that both children choose to sit and do their work more often in the kitchen instead of their rooms!

P.S. We made the island slightly shorter than counter height as I'm on the short side and it's more comfortable lower for me (we compromised and meet in the middle of table and counter height).  If you look closely at the chairs you will notice that one is taller than the others.  When I snapped this photo, Bryce hadn't finished cutting down the legs of the chairs as our first attempt was still too tall!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Parenting High Five

I'm posting this, not to toot our own horns, but because I want to remember it during any given moment of raising teenagers.  I'm certain we have messed up as parents in so many ways that we can't even know about yet, but boy it felt good for one moment to get a parenting high five from our daughter!

P.S.  Rereading this text I'm not sure how I feel about the lowercase everything and the text talk.  Oh well, can't win them all!
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