How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck if a Woodchuck was a Roe?

 ^^ the existing dining room floors ^^

the wood floors are {finally} going in after sending back the defective first batch.  it put us back a little over a week but, as i've said many times, such is the way of a renovation.

two rooms in the house were already wood {dining and formal living room - to be our playroom} so we had to match the species {red oak}.  the existing floorboards were of varying width - all the way up to 8" wide - but there was no pattern or rhyme or reason so we decided to just stick with 5" boards in the new areas of the house.

^^existing planks {trying to scale them for my floor guy}^^

the great debate was whether or not to do carpet or hardwoods in the master bedroom/emorys room {they are on the same side of the house and were previously carpet}.  after much back and forth, cringing all the while at the numbers, we decided to do hardwoods.  this is mainly bc:
everywhere else in the house is hardwoods or tile {laundry room}.
even upstairs is completely hardwoods
it didn't make much sense to do the only carpet in the house in what is one of the most important rooms for resale {not that we are re-selling!!!!!!!!}
also there is that dander aspect - carpet adds a whole extra element of DUST to the equation

i love carpet, we've always had carpet, but for this house = wood

and since we were at it, i decided to run them into the master bathroom ;)

i have worked with the couple who is laying/staining our floors for years - around six to be exact.  they are like family and its a joy having someone who is as particular as i am {if not more!!!} working on our house.

^^scaling for the hearth^^

part of me always wants to just keep the floors as-is {unstained} when they go down

the smell is amazing and the feel is just so raw, which in this case is a good thing!
but we will be staining them, bc thats what you do, so updates on that in a few weeks after we let these floors sit for awhile and "adjust" to their surroundings.

wood floors are so particular ;)


OK I've had it

i need to post something r. e. a. l.

^^bout as real as it gets...no makeup, no pose {ok ill admit we do have coordinated outfits...}, just a family of five smiling over their son's first buck {not pictured}^^
ha! its been a year since i've posted anything of note in this form and after a few factual posts i feel like i need to WRITE.  

so, how is everyone??? i miss the blogging days of old - it was such a fun and encouraging outlet when i was up to my eyeballs in burp rags and mastitis.  but as my children grew, everyone seemed to grow out of and away from blogs, as did i.  there are still some good ones out there but i feel like everyone gets their "fix" from instagram and other quick, instant gratification type things {snap chat?? im not cool enough to "get" the point of that....twitter? not my jam....}.  blogging has definitely fizzled out but it was such a creative release for me that i know i would love bringing it back {not bringing it back as a whole - but, you know, like bringing it back for ME ;) }.  the house is definitely an excuse to start documenting life again, so i am going to try to take it and run with it. which means i need to start taking pictures with my nice camera again bc honestly i think those pictures gave me the ammo to blog!

so, some random thoughts on a wednesday, a la vintage blogging days

if you suffer from ibkcfmh syndrome like i do ... thats "i buy kids clothing for my high" syndrome... i have found the following instagram clothing sites quite addicting...so addicting in fact that i have unfollowed all of them.  so while during this lenten season i will not be partaking in the high that is gorgeous childrens clothing, i will allow you to taste and see.

i love you too much to share any more of them...

 my youngest child kills me daily.

he's the kid that does not drive the car buggy but scales it.  and uses the cucumber as his "very cold weapon" and and tells me he must "get away from the cops" as he climbs to the top of the buggy - bc he is a "robber" and "must escape".  he also is my only child who begs for pictures.  "momma take a picture of my face like this."  "here momma get your phone you need a picture of me like this." he is clingy and whiney right now, but also really fun and up for anything.  ill take it. and ill take that his hair is a bowl.  he wears it well. #straighthairdontcare

speaking of hair i gave this one a haircut bc it just had to go.  it defied gravity and conditioner and refused to cooperate.  the bob suits her and the curls are still there, thank goodness.  ive realized she finds much of her five year old identity in her curly hair and glasses.  she wears both proudly and likes to talk about them to complete strangers regularly.

and then i have an eight year old, but in true eight year old form he does not pose for the camera.  so i usually steal shots of him in group settings with his siblings ;) here are a few i could find from over the past couple months...

 ^^our christmas gift from bennett - and WOW he needed a haircut!! ha!^^

 ^^he wanted a guitar for his birthday and just recently started lessons^^

^^at emory and jacobs preschool mardi gras parade^^

speaking of bennett i gave him my old iPhone 4 with the cracked screen and you would have thought i gave him a new car.  he quickly built a lego backdrop for the home screen and has deleted all my old information off of it.  i very clearly told him it is not his "phone" {bc im sorry but i think kids under the going-somewhere-without-an-adult-age with phones is asinine - just keeping it real here}... but since our kids don't have their own "devices" i thought it was ok for him to use this {only works with wifi} to hold the few apps and games he loves and uses {app to control his BB8, minecraft}.  baby technology steps people. baby ones.  but i'm taking them...  

i have a new addiction {we all need a few...} and it is the dark chocolate covered ____ section of our local grocer.  you know, those serve-yourself little portholes of heaven over near the produce? it serves double duty as i get to feel like i'm being healthy {cashews, raisins, blueberries...all good things} but yet a wee bit naughty at the same time {hello dark chocolate}. not to mention the kids love them too...but then again we aren't talking cauliflower here...
and if i was a girl who cared about "hand-self-image" i would be very alarmed at the awkwardness of the claw holding what looks like rabbit pellets pictured above.  but, alas, i am not said girl, and those are dark chocolate covered blueberries, so we are good on both accounts.

this picture may look scary:
and its is.

i am attempting to strip the lacquer off of our new kitchens existing knobs {i love them but not the lacquered brass}.  it is proving a trying task.  lots of boiling in baking soda water and rubbing with acetone.  ill update when i have one! {hopefully with a before and after type post...and not a "do as i say not as i do" type post}

note to self: don't scrub items with acetone {even while wearing gloves} three hours after getting a manicure.  EVEN while wearing gloves.  ;( bye bye $30

i took pictures of these following two portraits at my inlaws over the holidays and i am trying to figure out which child stephen looks like.  honestly i don't see it as a whole but can see bits and pieces of him that look like his kids.  this first one is jacobs eyes to a "t" {the rest of jacob i think is all me}

and i think the previous one is bennetts face shape, but again can't really say it exactly matches up with any of our kids.  not sure my baby pictures do either, but for giggles lets take a look 

^^me, circa second grade - gotta love the hair {my mom did not}^^

 ^^im not real sure either of us look like any of my kids but i love this picture of us^^

 ^^this one too :) ^^
 ^^this is my youngest sister rachel {who is expecting her first baby - a boy - any week now!} and i see jacob in that expression^^
^^and then i see emory in this one. she actually made that face at me thirty minutes ago. ha!!^^

what do you think??

i kind of put all of the "normal" things in life on hold in the rental house - partly because i can't seem to find a place to put or do everything, but also because i frankly don't know where everything is! {storage? under a bed? in a closet? thrown away???!}

that being said, one thing i just could not stop doing, and have been TRYING to do more of recently is read to the kids.  i really, i mean REALLY, want to start reading the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe to them but since all the books are packed my only options are the ones they have recently received.  we gave bennett where the sidewalk ends for christmas and i have been reading it to the younger two before they go to bed recently.  {bennett is currently reading anything he can get his hands on by roald dahl}

emory and jacob are OBSESSED with shel silversteins poems and i am loving it.  i memorized so many of these ridiculous poems in grade school for different memory assignments.  sarah cynthia sylvia stout would not take the garbage out???  i cannot go to school today said little peggy ann mckay...i have the measles and the mumps...a gash a rash and purple bumps???? 


and here is where this little bit of rambling ends! 

{for now!}


The Hearth in this Home

was O.O.C.

this is what the fireplace and surrounding areas looked like when we first looked at our house

and here was our plan of action:
1) cover up most of the brick - i love brick but i just did not love how the tv worked over it - with the random pieces of wood covering up cords and such.  these were some inspiration pictures i used in the initial planning of the fireplace

^^our hearth wouldn't have been as flush with the floor as these but i still loved seeing the original brick as the surround^^

2) if possible remove some of the width of the hearth - it extended so far on either side and since we originally wanted to completely remove the wall to the right we knew we would need to alter the hearth at least to the width of the fireplace itself and not so far past it.  however, the wall had to remain as is so instead of removing it for the open wall's sake, we wanted it gone so we could add some bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. but then once we started chipping away at the hearth, as most things go in a renovation, we just decided to take the entire thing out.

^^after floor was removed^^

3) which leads to where we have ended up...once the hearth was removed the brick on the side was thankfully found to continue on to the floor, but the brick right in front of and below the firebox itself was a non-matching gray brick.  soooooo here we go again... now it all must be covered {spot the trend?? :)}.

 ^^the great tv debate...showing stephen his options, since we are NOT after the look below^^
^^yeah... not going to happen {and sentence in search bar is not by me}^^

so now to pick a stone - i originally wanted bluestone, or the look of bluestone, but after calling around and tapping resources no bluestone was to be found.  a few examples of the look i was going for:

i found a greystone

which is gorgeous but mucho expensivo.  i also found blue bateig limestone that, googled, looks very similar to greystone but in real life looked more like cement - of the dull/just poured sidewalk variety.

so i visited a local stone supplier and they showed me this lagos azul limestone that i fell in love with

and thankfully the price was right.

since we went ahead and removed the entire hearth, AND we are replacing the floors, i thought this was the perfect chance to add a planned-out "touch" to the house and inset the hearth in the wood floors similar to these pictures

the perimeter of our room is vertical paneling, so i decided just to continue that around the fireplace itself.  originally i wanted a "waterfall" look for the mantle, like this

but as of today just can't seem to coordinate the trim and details like i want...still a work in progress.
so this picture below serves as my inspiration as of now, just to prepare a spot for the limestone to be placed with the time comes, and to buy ME some time in the mantle design...
^^see that simple square trim piece surrounding the stone?^^

and here is where we wait.  i still have to design the mantle itself but for now we are in a good place and the stone and flooring people can do their work without me having to come up with the plan as of yet.

all of the paneling will be painted so its been relatively easy to hide imperfections in the wood and difference in finishes between new/old.  paint is a renovators best friend!!

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