Monday, August 25, 2014


Phase 1 of this kitchen makeover has lasted way too long.  It involved removing doors, stripping old polyurethane, cleaning, and buying supplies.  Unfortunately each of these also involved days - sometimes many days - of  waiting for my schedule to clear so I could move on to the next step.

Well, today was the day.  With boring - albeit necessary - prep work done, we moved on to Phase 2.  

Here is my lovely assistant working on Coat 1.

Even after one coat, I could see that the white was really going to lighten up the space- a major factor in my decision to go ahead with this crazy idea.

This is what it looks like after two coats.  

I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It's not as forgiving and wonderful as everyone says.  My brush strokes are very obvious (and, yes, I used the natural bristle brush recommended.  Actually I felt like the brush strokes became less obvious on the small section where I switched to an evil synthetic bristle brush.).  

I watched yet another tutorial on YouTube and this one explained why my brushstrokes are so obvious - I have a harder, non-porous surface to paint on, whereas an untreated board would soak up the paint and make for a smoother surface.  Fair enough, but still kind of disappointing to me after all the glowing praise I've heard for this "miracle" paint.

I'm hoping that a third coat will make everything wonderful.   

The white cabinets definitely are going to transform the look of my dark, little kitchen, and I'm still hopeful that the chalk paint and wax will come through for me and I'll have the updated white cupboards 
I'm hoping for!

Next up: Phase 3 - waxing and waiting

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Kitchen Makeover in the Making

When we picked out this house, I said it was "the perfect" house.

What John heard was, "This is Anne's dream house.  She is entirely content with it.  She will feel no need to change any of it.  She will not concoct strange and frightening ideas of changing anything because it. is. perfect."

Oh, foolish man.

What I really meant was that the house has a great lay-out, plenty of room for our large family, updated features, many pleasing aspects.

I also meant that it has room for the kinds of improvements that fall within my fairly limited range of diy abilities.  Namely, paint.

At the moment, I have the kitchen and the master bedroom in my sights.  These are the two rooms wherein I spend a majority of my time, so their deficiencies, such as they are, are constantly before me.

In an attempt to deny the need for paint, I took one of the kitchen cupboard doors and stripped it of the shiny polyurothane.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) this also took off bits of the dark wood stain, thus making is impossible for me to simply seal it again and be done.

So, I am taking the plunge.  Paint.

I know the risks.  I know the potential hazards.  Truly.  You don't have to tell me.

Don't quote me the price when I haven't got the time.  Not entirely sure what that means, but it seems to fit.

I have done my due diligence: read tutorials, tips, and tirades; compared and contrasted; weighed the options, and...  

Annie Sloan chalk paint seems to be the best.  Many bloggers and pinners swear by it and seem to get excellent results.  

What I need to decide now, though, is color.

Here is how the kitchen looks now.

Should I do all white?  White on top and something dark on the lower cabinets?  Lighter and darker shades of the same color?  Something darker on both?

Here are the available colors:

Paris Grey on top and Paloma on the bottom, or...Old Ochre on top and Duck Egg Blue on the bottom, or...Old White on top and French Linen on the bottom, or...all in Versaille, or...

I'm stuck. 

I know some of you have excellent taste in these things, so I'm looking for your help!  What do you think?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

End of July

Two weeks ago, we drove down to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for our first FAC Retreat.

FAC stands for Faithful Adoption Consultants.  This company works with adoptive families and adoption agencies and facilitates matches for their clients.  Two years ago, we were one of their clients; they helped to get our profile book into the hands of Evie's birth mom, and then they prayed for, encouraged, and advised us all the way through the process of adoption and beyond.

One of the perks of being an FAC family is the on-going support from Courtney and Jessica, but also from the other adoptive families who are former clients.  This annual retreat is one way to help and encourage each other, particularly as adoptive families.  

This picture is of Courtney, founder of FAC, and Jessica, the other consultant and the one who worked with us a lot on Evie's adoption, and some of the kids they have helped to adopt.

It was a fun weekend and we all made new friends and rejoiced in the blessing of adoption. 

The weekend was also exhausting with long days at the pool, late nights out, and long drives there and back.

Monday after we got back, Johanna and I were both under the weather so the boys were supposed to watch out for Evie.  This is what happens when the boys are left in charge - Evie gets into an entire loaf of bread and brings it up to my bedroom.  She occasionally took a bite from one armful or another so I guess they weren't feeding her enough, either.

See the dog back there, too?  She's supposed to stay downstairs in the family room.  At least she was cleaning up behind Evie.


This is where I start singing, "Let it go...Let it go..."

One day won't harm anyone, I suppose.  Thankfully, the next day Johanna and I were back up and around so order was restored.  More or less.

This is just Evie being silly.

So is this.

Evie is quite the kisser, now.  She loves to give out kisses and hugs and we are all happy to return them.  

There's a lot of love around here.