Thursday, October 29, 2015

RAAA!!! Robinson/Ackerman Adventure in August!

How is it possible that November is just around the corner and I'm still blogging about things happening in August?!  Well, let's just say it's been crazy around here.  We've been busy these past few months and I haven't had the mental energy to try to put everything into words.  I've taken an oath to get caught up by Thanksgiving, so here's hoping to a lot of blog posts in the near future!

Back in August, we met up with our college friends who live in Northern Ohio.  We met them in Hocking Hills for a weekend getaway.  We rented a cabin, did some hiking, ate tons of food, played board games, and just enjoyed each others company!

(We were a little ahead of schedule and was able to have a picnic dinner and play at a playground en route to the cabin.  We got some food from famous German food truck and it was delicious!)

(I couldn't accurately grasp the amazingness of this playset in a picture.  Bean loves slides and playgrounds, and this one was geared for toddlers specifically.  There was a whole section that she could run around in and no chance of falling. Plus, each slide was small and low so I could just walk around and catch her as she went down.  It was fabulous! Back home, I have to crawl up on the set with her and chase her around.)

(Around the time we stopped for dinner, I made the realization that I forgot our pack'n'play.  Our friends happened to have an extra sleeping pod.  I tried to have Bean sleep inn it, but she just put all her toys in it and thought it funner to play than sleep.  We ended up moving the bed up against the wall and she slept by the wall.  It took awhile to get her to fall asleep at night which was frustrating, but we survived.)

(Steve got a GoPro right before the trip and tried to have Bean take some footage for us.  She thought it was funny to wear, but ended up just running and sitting in the little sleeping pod with the camera on -- you can see the camera on her in the above picture, too.)

(We went hiking on some of the trails.  Let me just say, hiking with a toddler is nerve racking!  Bean is at that age where she wants to to everything herself.  I brought the carrier in hopes of her being okay to just hang out, but nope.  She wanted to climb everything herself, and pic up all the leaves/sticks.  She did really good, though.)

(The kids inside Old Man's Cave)

(Yay!! We love hiking!)

(We went to dinner at a buffet place that had a petting zoo, putt putt, and other various activities on the grounds.  Bean actually wanted to get on this toy, even though she freaks out on all merry-go-rounds and horse rides.  So we put the kids on and put in a quarter.  They all loved it.  She kept asking "again!".  We had to dig for more quarters, but let the kids ride it a few times.)

(Despite the face being made in this picture, she really did love the ride! I'm guessing she was more confident on it because it was more her size??)

(That night, we had a small fire - and I do mean small.  Haha.  We brought stuff for s'mores, but we were all too full from dinner.  So we just sat around and enjoyed the fire.)

(Watching the fire.)

(Our weekend went wayyyy to fast.  It didn't help that we didn't get to the cabin til later on Friday and had to be out Sunday morning. Best part of the weekend was when Alice walked in with her giant baby belly.  We had no idea she was pregnant, let alone nearly 5 months along!)

(We weren't ready to say goodbye when it was time to leave.  So we decided to head to Columbus and let the kids play at a playground.  It was super hot and we were all pretty tired.  Luckily, the swings were in the shade and we were able to talk a little longer.)

(The kids loved swinging!  The dads liked the shade!)

We are looking forward to our next visit!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kitchen Remodel -- Phase 3

Our last phase in the kitchen remodel was painting and final touches.  It took us longer to pick out a paint color than it did to tile the kitchen.  I thought I wanted something with an orange in it (to match all my orange appliances and utensils), but Steve wanted something more neutral.  We went to Lowe's together and each picked out a sample color.  Turned out that Steve's pick was the exact same color already on the wall.  It was an instant veto.  My choice was a "peach" color, but it ended up looking more pink than orange on the wall.  So it was a veto, too. Back to the drawing board.

We have a ton of extra paint around our house from all the samples and painting I've done.  So I pulled some out and painted swatches all over.  I started to lean towards the same green in the dining room.  But then that's a lot of green in those two rooms.  So then I thought maybe I'd repaint the dining room a different color (Steve thankfully vetoed that crazy thought).  I finally came across the gallon of blue paint I used to paint the kitchen bathroom.  I still had almost a full gallon and really like the color.  Steve isn't the biggest fan of it in the bathroom, but I decided to gamble with it anyway.  Besides, there's no loss of money in it since the can was just laying around!

So while Steve was at work, I pulled the trigger and started painting the kitchen the same blue from the bathroom.  I immediately fell in love with it.  It was brightening up the kitchen right away. Plus, since blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel, it made my orange appliances pop!  Steve wasn't as excited as I wanted him to be when he got home, but he didn't hate it either.  I'll take it! (For the record, the color has grown on him.  He just had to adjust to it at first!).

It took several coats and almost a full week to paint.  I did most of the painting during Bean's naptime.  In the afternoons, the neighbor girls would come over and entertain her so I was able to continue my painting.  Wins all around! Once I got the blue on the wall, I taped off the trim and repainted all of it, too.  The trim was all mismatched and in dire need of painting.  Once the painting was done, the kitchen felt like it was brand new -- almost.

The big changes made everything look so much better, but also pointed out what we didn't change - the cabinets, appliances, and floor.  I spent a couple days using some good old elbow grease and cleaned everything up really well.  Now we truly have a brand new kitchen!

(You know you're kitchen remodel is taking too long when your child prefers to play with paint cans and not her toys.  I was at least smart this time and did NOT let her help paint.)

(It's amazing how a little elbow grease and cleaning something can change it.  I spent several days cleaning cabinets and the floor.  Look at the difference of the kick board under the cabinets - left side is cleaned, right side is not.  Once I cleaned the kick board, I repainted the trim.  There was years of neglect on and under cabinets!)

(I should have taken a better side by side photo of the grout cleaning process, but I didn't.  Here is CLEAN grout! I used a toothbrush and a spray cleaner and just went tile by tile.I also learned in this process that my tiles aren't supposed to have nearly as much "black" detailing in the veins as they appear to.  In other words, there was a lot of crud stuck in the tiles.)

(Here's a better sot of the difference in clean vs. dirty grout.  I started from one side of the room and worked my way out.  In this photo, the grout from the window to the stove is clean, and the bottom 3 rows of tile are still dirty.)

(Kitchen is so much more bright and light with the light blue paint!  I still need to paint the tiny hallway by the entrance.  It will get a coat of the beige from the main hallway.)

(Brand new kitchen!)

(I love how the blue walls makes my orange accents stick out! The clean grout/tile on the floor now blends in to the cabinets, too, making the counters pop all the more.)

(Pictures don't adequately capture how bright and new this space is.  Guess that means you just need to come visit and see for yourself!)