Demo Day

Today is demo day. 
(Insert anxiety here). 
If you watch The Fixer Upper, you know that Joanna is always nervous on demo day because you never know what you are going to run into.... Problems that will cause budgets to soar and/or cause "wants" to not feasible, problems that will cause tears, Yes- demo day is full of anxiety even for professionals. Joanna, I am right there biting my nails along with you today! 

But, on the other hand I am SO ready for demo day-- BEYOND ready!
I have been fantasizing about pulling dishes out of the dishwasher and feeling that hot, squeaky clean, dry, dishwasher feeling once again!!!! Ahh!!! Bring it on!!! 
I am so excited that dishes can be stored in the dishwasher or the cabinets instead of having them constantly-out-drying-on-the-counter. I have been dreaming about having some counter space that is COUNTER TOP HEIGHT, so I am not bending over to do all of the washing (by hand). 

I am so excited to get things off my kitchen cart!!! Using a microwave (located right above the toaster in this picture), and toaster when I am not bending over will be SO WONDERFUL! 
My back needs a break!
Oh, and now that Sam is mobile, these items are also dangerously low...

For the past two to three weeks we have had a leak under the sink. 
It has been "fixed" by several people, so I gave up on asking for it to be fixed and have just been emptying the pan each night. 
Awesome use of my time let me tell you.... 

Goodbye to this crooked outlet. 
No, it doesn't work. It is for "decorative purposes" only.
I only have ONE.... ONE working outlet in my kitchen. 
When I needed to make a crock pot meal or go all out and use the mixer, I had to move (one of the two kitchen carts I have), over next to the window to use the outlet. 
Goodbye to this horrible backsplash tile that was painted green when we moved in and I primed white and then never got around to adding a "top coat" because I decided it wasn't worth my time to "fix" something so ugly and poorly done. Notice the decal that shows through on the left. I think it originally was some sort of a flower, but just looks like I have the male mars fertility symbol all over my backsplash---- cool. 

And goodbye to the single overhead light. 
A few summers ago my Dad helped me change out this light fixture, which ended up being quite an ordeal. I did love the fixture that was there, but about a month ago when Evan was changing the bulb he broke the glass dome so I have been looking at this each night. 

Ahhh, yes.... This kitchen update was overdue. 
So bye-bye. 
I will not be missing you. 

I can't wait to see what the demo looks like! 


9 months

9 Months

Sam and I have been together 9 months in, and 9 months out... Haha! Funny to think about! 
WOW! This was a HUGE month. 
Sam is now crawling! 

I was so excited that Sam started crawling THE DAY before I went back to school- it was perfect because I thought for sure that his first crawling would be at school and I would miss it. It was also perfect because Evan had been out of town for the past 3 days and so he actually saw him crawl first, and then called me into the room. It was a pretty great Sunday! 
So what was that object that made Sam put it all together and crawl? 
Oh, his nebulizer cords. He loves cords... bit scary. I don't know if it a boy thing or a baby thing, but Sam seems to find anything in a room that could be dangerous... Cords of all kinds (nebulizer, blinds, cell phones, video games), in the bathroom when I take him out of the tub all he wants to touch is the electrical outlets (I do have the safety plugs in them though), if he is in a room with a fan--- he is on the move to stick his fingers in it.... 
All I need to "safety check" something I guess is put him in a room and let him show me what's dangerous, because he will find it for sure! 
Anyway, he is the man on the move!!

After about 4 days of crawling it was like Sam was "over" crawling and now all he wants to do is stand up and pull himself up on everything. We say the words "be careful" at our house a lot.... 
Sam is fairly steady on his feet. He has strong legs and thinks it is so hilarious when we take his hands and "walk" with him. He loves "jumping" on his feet-- laughs the entire time, so cute.
Needless to say he wants to walk, I am not sure when he will actually be able to put it all together.
No rush on my end, that's for sure!

Lots of changes have happened in the past few weeks for Sammy....
Learning to crawl, HFM (ugg), first fever, hives, going to a new daycare and Mom returning to work-- No wonder he got hives, poor guy. 
Sam still likes to eat and is really good at giving himself his bottle (as long as he can tip it back- like if he is laying down), he can feed himself bits of food-- yogurt bites are his favorite.
And Bruce has figured out what "dinner time" means for him. He patiently waits for food to drop.
Even though Sam seems to want to eat all the time, I think the moving has helped his neck slim down, bibs fit around his neck for the first time in a long while- haha! 

Bath time is an adventure....
He wants to MOVE and it is hard to a handle on his slippery little body when he wants to move, move move in the tub. Our big cast iron tub scares me a little bit-- obviously it is very hard.
Sam loves splish-splash-takin' a bath!

At daycare the ladies commented that Sam is just a cat napper-- when he hears something he is up- there's no getting him back to sleep no matter how tired he is....
They said that they are amazed at how much energy he has with such little amounts of sleep....
They said he is like the energizer bunny or something.
But that he only cries when he is hungry, he is a pretty happy little guy!
Yep! That sounds like Sam!!

Going, going, going with little amounts of sleep... Active unless sick..... Generally happy unless hungry... Hmm... who does that sound like? :-)

Okay without further ado,
Here is Sam at 9 months!

He's a man on the move!



Thanks for all the emails and texts and excitement from you all about my kitchen!!
I really appreciate the support!!

I thought I would try to break down a few informative posts about cabinets, counters and "the process" so I don't have to write one huge giant posts....

So, Cabinets!
I went to Lowes with a very crude drawing and measurements of my kitchen and a few iPhone photos. Once I made my way back to the kitchen department I sat down with Ashley- the cabinet specialist; I told her I had a very limited budget and I wanted the cheapest, white, shaker style cabinets you can get.

I learned a lot about cabinets on this trip:
-White painted wood cabinets are more expensive than stained (who knew?) but now I know why so many new builder homes have stained cabinets instead of white... it all makes sense now... they are cheaper-- duh!
-I asked about just some standard-off-the-shelf-cabinets that I could paint, and she talked me out of those because with the size and age of our kitchen, I wouldn't be able to make all the sizes fit and I would have some wasted space, which we can't really afford, so never mind.

-I learned that the "cheapest" (which still aren't cheap!) white shaker cabinets Lowes offers is in the Diamond brand.... They have a new "Prelude" cabinet that has a wood frame but a MDF center.
The cabinets come in "white" or "cream".  The perfect color would be in between the two, but when you are dealing with the cheapest option, you naturally have limited options :-)
At first I thought I wanted cream because that matched our floors better (new floors are not in the budget), but then decided to go with "white" because even though the white is brand-new-ikea-modern-bright-ass-white, I think it will be safer down the road than the cream, which I could see looking a bit yellow or dated??

I am envisioning them looking similar to these (minus the glass fronts):
 I love the look of white dishes behind glass, and even though I do have plenty of white dishes, I also have bottles and will soon have plastic sippy cups and limited space, so we will cover all that up!
Plus, that is an extra cost, of course :-0
Hope that is a good choice!?!

-I learned about "overlay"..... I have looked at probably thousands of kitchens, and I know what I like and what I don't, and I know what obviously looks expensive and what doesn't, but I didn't know "terms".... Yes, I love cabinets that have a full overlay, like the image above or like this below, 
What exactly am I showing you, you ask?

Both photos above show cabinets were the drawers and doors meet up together, there isn't space in between like in this photo below, that doesn't have a "full overlay"
In this photo there is space between each drawer and door.
This style of cabinet is cheaper.
When you compare the two, yeah, I can tell that the photos of the white cabinets look more expensive,  more custom made, but I think the photo of the gray cabinets is well styled and looks amazing so unless I was comparing the two, I didn't see the need in spending HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of dollars more to have my drawers and doors meet up... Who cares.
Moving on....

-I learned that adding a little crown molding to the top of cabinets to make them look much more custom actually doesn't cost that much money, and in my opinion this is something that makes the cabinets look much more custom made.
Sign me up for some moulding! 

So after two hours of working with Ashley, I had this design worked up that would involve switching the placement of the stove and fridge and getting the microwave up above the stove and off of the kitchen cart (i.e the floor).

I proposed the idea to Evan and he was on board!!! YAY!!!
We then asked Lowes to price out how much it would cost to take down the wall between the dining room and kitchen, just to see how much more it would be.....

Tick-tock, tick-tock

We then got other bids on the work.....

Tick-tock, tick-tock......

Then we went back to the original idea.

We are meeting with Lowes tonight to discuss when they are going to get started.

Hip-Hip-Hooray for the New Kitchen!!


Big, BIG news!

No, I am not pregnant again like Kate on the small things blog.... 
When she announced that she just completed her first trimester with baby number TWO,
her site was unavailable because she had so much traffic.... wowza! 
Congrats Kate! 

Anyway, I DO have BIG news to share..... 
If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I have wanted a dishwasher/
kitchen update/remodel since I first stepped foot in our house back in 2011. 
Well ladies and gentlemen, I am getting a dishwasher AND a kitchen update!
I am SOOO excited!
Like all new and unfamiliar things, I am excited and also nervous.

I have been redesigning our kitchen in my head, using various budgets since we moved in; 
Actually sitting down and working out the details with someone is a different story.
There is A LOT involved! I will try to share the process/progress with you on the blog. 

So first things first...
How did this come about? What made me sit down and plan this out with someone? 
Well you see, back in April when we got our tax return, it was a pretty good chunk of change, so
this got my wheels spinning thinking, Hmmm.... How much would it take to redo the kitchen??
Based on my own estimates of cabinets, appliances, and what I knew other people paid for their kitchen, and of course what all my HGTV friends pay for a kitchen, I was guessing around $20K.
Um, NO, we didn't get that much back in taxes, not even close.
But I started thinking.... what would it actually cost? What would it take to make the kitchen functional and get a dishwasher?
Since we had to pay for Sam to go to daycare over spring break whether he was there or not,
I decided to take him for a few hours one day and I headed to Lowes.

After several different designs, several conversations with Evan, several different estimates, we have a design nailed down and ready to go!
(Sorry I don't have any pictures). 

But the other BIG news around the Frey Household is that Sam started crawling!!!
It was perfect, the Sunday before I went back to work Evan yelled for me to come into the living room because Sam had just crawled. And just like that, he figured it out and is on the move!

Life will never be the same!


Engagement photos

From time to time I have taken photos for a few friends. 
I am by no means a photographer. 
Actually, taking photos for people gives me anxiety and I could never be an actual photographer for this reason. But, I will acknowledge that taking pictures of people is a really good thing for me, it helps me as an artist and as a teacher. 

My good friend Jamie asked me to take some engagement photos for her Save the Date.
Here are a few of my favorites. 

Congrats Jamie and Mark!


What IS this stuff??

The other night Sam was getting sleepy but I was afraid to put him to bed yet because it was a little early still, but I needed something new to do with him... We had kinda exhausted his toys inside. 
When this happens, I usually take him outside, he really loves nature. 
While outside, I noticed how pretty the light was. so on a whim I grabbed the quilt he had been spitting up on all day (needed washed anyway) and my camera and I decided to have a little photo shoot. 
 Sam would NOT look up at me, he was amazed at the grass!
 He crawled over to that grass and was pulling it up in handfuls at a time, he was SO interested in it!
It was so cute. 



Back before Sam was born, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and send out his birth announcement as our Christmas card. My friend Sarah knitted this hat for me and I had browsed the TinyPrints website and picked out this card.... I just needed to insert Sam's pictures and stats and we were good to go. 
Like the card states, I knew that Sam would be a "pure joy" and would change my life and heart forever, but I don't think you can really understand how much until after your child is born. 
This summer has been pure joy. 
I am so, so thankful that I am able to be home with Sam in the summer and I will be able to be home from school with him on breaks. It is so nice to be able to not be on a tight schedule and enjoy the day. It has been so nice to give him a bottle and let him fall asleep in my arms and not have to worry about rushing out the door, instead  I have been able to just enjoy the snuggle session. We spent the summer having play dates, going for car rides and walks in the stroller. Sam spent time with family and played in several different pools. We visited the zoo and each evening as Sam was getting sleepy we would go outside and he would look up at marvel at the big huge trees blowing. It's those little things that I have really enjoyed watching Sam delight in... Like when I feed him in his highchair he likes to watch the flag blowing outside and his little sparkly eyes light up and he talks and pounds his fists at the sight of the flag blowing. 
Each day Sam experiences something new and it is such a joy getting to watch him and his excitement for life! He LOVES new experiences! His eyes light up, he smiles from ear to ear, he bounces up and down and squeals in delight!! It is so precious. I just want to bottle that innocence, and the joy he has for life, and each new experience, and keep his happy sweet little nature safe forever. My heart aches with emotion just thinking about it.
Oh, such joy.
I love you so much Sam. You are such a blessing.