Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goodbye Surrey Lane

Our first house. 

You've been a place of escape for 6 great years. You sheltered, shielded and gave us a place to grow our family.  We will remember you fondly. 

We met your new owners today at closing and they are perfect in every way.  I know that you will be loved under their care.  We'll give you some time to get acquainted with them.  It may be too painful for us to drive by the neighborhood because we'll miss you, but know that we are your distant admirers.  And we'll be back in the fall to visit when we pick up McCord's Maple. 

So long, old friend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We did it with lots of help from my parents.  And we're exhausted! 

Here are a few before photos my mother-in-law took followed by some shots of the inside after a coat of paint (but before we unloaded all the billions of boxes we brought)!

Living/Dining area


Standing in Playroom looking at Kitchen
Master BR and sitting area


Guest Room

McCord's Room

Sewing Room
After photos:

Living/Dining Room

Downstairs hall

Love this cedar closet!

Guest Room

McCord's Room

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Toes

Those last few months when our house was on the market were tricky.  How to keep it clean with a crawling, sticky, dirty little boy who likes to leave piles of chaos everywhere?!  I found myself constantly cleaning up and cringing when Mc would pull things out of the kitchen cabinets and leave them strewn across the downstairs (or splash in the dog bowl, or pull all of the records and CDs off of the shelf, or ..., or... or......).  And that's not the kind of mom I want to be.  Instead, I want to encourage his curiosity and let him explore, play, learn, and discover.  So a couple of weeks ago, we went outside and played with peanut butter.  Our intention was to make one of those bird feeders you probably made as a kid - you know the kind, with a pine cone, peanut butter, and bird seed - and we eventually got our mission accomplished, but it was the playing with peanut butter that McCord enjoyed so much and what made me feel like I restored my sense of motherhood.

Our birds like Peter Pan peanut butter.
We found this pine cone a couple of months ago when we vacationed at Mansfield Plantation.

Here we are getting excited about peanut butter - Rocky of course wanted to be a part of this project!

And how peanut butter ended up on his toes, I'll never know!

We hung the feeder right outside our kitchen window.
 It took our birds about 2 weeks to find it, but when they discovered it, the feeder became quite the hangout.  We learned that the little birds preferred it over the regular feeder.  We had Carolina Chickadees, Tit mouses, and Wrens.  What a joy it was to watch these birds.  McCord - as busy as this little guy is - would immediately quiet down and get real still when watching the birds.  He enjoyed watching so much, I would pull his highchair in front of the window so he could sit and watch while he ate. 

Update on our house:

We've been packing!  The official move date is IN TWO DAYS.  The washer, dryer, and fridge are coming tomorrow, and we've already had Terminix and a maid out.  Bo's been taking loads of boxes to the house every night. The painters came yesterday and did the first coat of paint on the walls, and I can't wait to show you the before and afters.  Pictures soon, promise!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life!  I am supremely thankful for each of you.

This is a picture of my grandfather (left) and uncle in front of my great-grandfather's medical office about 70 years ago.

And here's a picture my dad and I staged last fall with McCord, my Uncle B and his dog Peppie.

The other day I walked in on a little conversation between Bo and McCord and it went a little something like this:

Bo : : McCord, I have something very important to tell you.

McCord : : {silence}

Bo : : Do you know what Sunday is?

McCord : : {silence}

Bo : : Now pay attention here, son, because this is really important.

McCord : : {silence}

Bo : : Sunday is Father's Day.

McCord : : {silence}

Bo : : ..........and the sky's the limit!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Best House Ever

Today when Monkey and I were thrifting at the Habitat ReStore (aka: procrastinating packing), I found this great Richard Scarry book and had to splurge the $.50 since we'll be moving into our new house next weekend!  Thought Mc needed a new (used) book to celebrate the good news!

If you read the last post about our house hunting experience, we decided to go with Option 2 - the 1940s fixer-upper that was up for auction.  We love the age of the house and the neighborhood, but let's be honest - it needs a ton of work.  We're excited to make it what we want. 

Here's a picture I took tonight as we drove by the house for the hundredth time!

This time we were excited to see this sign in the front yard.

Here's how it all went down:

After viewing the house several times, we called our contractor (whom we trust immensely) who did some renovations for us on Surrey Lane.  He reviewed the inspection the owner had completed and reported on what needed to be fixed.  We knew the house was a fixer-upper, but wanted to make sure that it had good bones and was worth the investment.  With his report, we decided to go ahead and place a pre-auction bid knowing that both bathrooms would need to be renovated right away.  The house also lacks attic storage and a fence, so building a garage and working on the yard are both on the to-do list.  We know we'll also eventually renovate the kitchen.  Taking all of this into consideration, we placed a super-low bid (offer) on the house - not sure if anyone else was planning on placing a bid.  We'd been told that if satisfied with a bid, the owner would cancel the auction all together, and the house would go under contract instead.  Part of our offer included the request to rent the house from the owner while we are waiting on the closing of our present house - we have to move out of Surrey Lane before June 30th, so we need to find a place to live and store our possessions stat.  After a weekend of negotiating, we are so excited to say that we are under contract!  The owner has been a dream to work with - already having the house professionally cleaned and having an extra key made for us to access the house as soon as this week.  We plan to start taking boxes over daily and move in officially next Saturday.  We can't wait!

Don't forget to pack the baby!

Here's my proud husband after cleaning out the pantry - this was an amazing undertaking.  I think the pantry fought back, but in the end, my husband was the champ!

Here are a couple of sneak peek photos of the "bones."
Standing in the foyer looking upstairs into the laundry room

Downstairs bath - this will be the first bath to be renovated

Master BR - notice that you have to be super short to get into the closets.  Just kidding, there's a regular size closet in the MB, but the small nooks will be fun hideouts for Mc.

Upstairs bath - notice moisture damage on ceiling - one of many things to change in here.

Also, this is off the subject, but are any of you on Pinterest?  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, drop everything you're doing and check it out right now.  Here's a board I started a few weeks ago to stockpile design inspiration.  The rest of my boards are located here.  As you can see, Pinterest is my new favorite thing.  I think you'll like it too. 

Stay tuned in the coming months as we document our progress on the renovations. For sure, this will be a
slow work in progress.