Home Improvements

As I write this we have been in our home just over a year. It amazes me looking back at this folder of pictures I’ve accumulated documenting the home improvements we tackled in such a short time. When we moved in in mid-November we had the interior walls and ceilings repainted and by the 28th we had a guy ripping out the counters and backsplash in the kitchen. Bright white quartz counters went in and then we lived with the walls in the kitchen torn up over the holidays. In January and February we hired John, our favorite painter who did our Bellingham house, to paint the kitchen cabinets the same color — alabaster — that he painted our last house. It was fun getting to hang out with him some more, he’s so nice! We also had a tile backsplash installed to tie in the kitchen and switched out some of the lighting. In April we had new front doors with windows installed, which completely transformed our entryway and opened up the house, allowing so much more light to stream in! During this time I also decided I could paint the bathroom cabinets alabaster if Jonathan would sand them. So that is what we did! Shortly after that we freshened up the exterior and had the shingles and trim painted. The rest of the paint still has a few years of life in it, so eventually we will do the whole exterior, but this will get us by until then. Once the weather warmed up Jonathan could do some sawing. We thought it would be pretty simple (and relatively inexpensive) to put up board and batten on the lower floor ourselves. After all, we still had a ton of alabaster paint leftover, so that was already paid for. I got the laser level out and started drawing on the walls. The board and batten did go up pretty quickly, but we drastically underestimated how much wall there was! Oh well, we got through it! And that gave Jonathan a lot of practice with the saw, which came in handy when it was time for our next project, built-in bookshelves. We started with the playroom, where there was already a cutout in the wall. Jonathan built three bookshelves over two weekends and then I primed and painted them. He installed them in one afternoon and then caulked and I threw on one more coat of paint and patched. Now we were ready to do the harder bookshelf installation, four 7′ shelves in Jonathan’s office with cabinets underneath and crown molding on top. Fortunately, I convinced Jonathan to do an Ikea hack and buy cabinets there and build the shelves on top. This made the job much simpler, and the end result looks more like a large piece of furniture. Plus we have some much needed vertical storage on either side. Once we completed these projects we were able to move onto the exterior and make improvements to the yard. I just realized I forgot to mention Jonathan also installed four new toilets, new flooring in the kids bathroom, an additional shelf in the family room, and a beautiful dining room chandelier. New carpets and refinished hardwoods are on our 5-10 year plan!

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We spent Thanksgiving at Grammy and Papa’s this year. Uncle Scott and Aunt Manivanh drove over the mountains with Andrew and Nicole to spend a few days on this side of the mountains. We had a great time together and the kids had fun catching up. Avery and Silas stayed the night so they could help Grammy set up the Dickens Village on Friday.

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Horse Lessons

Kieron has been taking horse riding lessons this fall. Here are some pics from a couple of his lessons.

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Jonathan and I got a couple of opportunities to dress up and go out without kids in October and November. In October we attended a friends’ 40th birthday party at Infusion Bar and Grill. And in November we went to the Wine Gala at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. So much fun getting out together!

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It was a memorable Halloween this year. The boys had their costumes planned for months. Over the summer we watched (and rewatched, and rewatched) The Three Amigos. It quickly became one of the kids favorite movies and they frequently quote it here around the house. It didn’t take long for them to agree Avery is Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Kieron is Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) and Silas is Ned Nederlander (Martin Short). Layla was determined to fit into the group as well, so when she spotted the llama costume at Marshalls things started to come together. She calls her llama Senor Carrots, after the donkey from one of her favorite cartoons, Spirit. Jonathan and I dressed as Westley and Princess Buttercup, from another 80’s classic The Princess Bride.

I don’t mean to brag, but the neighbors loved the boys costumes! From the sidewalk we heard exclamations of “It’s The Three Amigos!” A few even asked where El Guapo was or threw out quotes from the movie. I’m so glad the boys are such good sports and I’m thankful they wanted to do a group costume and go trick-or-treating together. I know they won’t always want to do that. Layla’s costume got quite a bit of attention too. I’m glad she was warm and didn’t trip over the llama!

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