Month : February 2015

Crew: One Month!


With all the unpacking on top of caring for our little guy, Crew’s first monthly post is coming just a few days shy of his TWO month birthday ha! We will get on track…eventually. 🙂

In some ways, the first month lasted forever, and in others, it absolutely FLEW by. Perhaps of most importance, we all survived! At one month, he loves the ceiling fan and hates diaper changes, makes hilarious faces, snores LOUDLY when he sleeps and snorts just as loudly when he eats, loves to be swaddled but HATES his arm movement restricted, is constantly flashing jazz hands and opening/closing them, and even when there’s a pacifier in his mouth, he is cooing and groaning his side of the conversation to us all day long.


To recap the first month, the first couple days home were rough because we had to keep taking Crew into the pediatrician’s office for Jaundice monitoring. Aside from testing his blood, they were also closely monitoring his weight loss and diaper counts, since a side effect of Jaundice is that it makes babies only want to sleep and consequently not eat much during those crucial first days. First journeys out with a baby are nervewracking to begin with, but more so when it’s in bitter winds and negative temperatures (with no garage and a wind tunnel apartment building to navigate), and when the destination ends each time in your sweet pea screaming while they poke his heel yet again for more blood. Add in new mom, sleep-deprived, hormones and I was a blubbering mess. And poor Page was just trying to hold it together for everyone. It was a new kind of stress that we both managed in our own ways, and we had to learn what worked for the other.


Fortunately, the clouds parted pretty quickly and after a couple visits back, they finally declared the Crew man out of the woods and we could just stay home for a couple of days and work on a bit of a routine, rest, and recovery. Page’s parents came to visit as we turned this corner, and it was a nice break to have someone step in and help a little, as I ended up needing a couple days in bed or on the couch, trying to get back on track with healing. We were so preoccupied with getting HIM well, that I admittedly forgot to still think of myself as a patient as well and my body responded. By the time Crew was a week old, everyone was starting to feel more like themselves and the second week flew by with visits (and MUCH appreciated meals) from friends, a couple more positive outings, the ability to start focusing again on real life (primarily…the house!) and a visit from my mom and brother.


Your body does adjust to the lack of sleep and I’m constantly learning to be patient with myself as my to-do lists get checked off, albeit slower than I would like. There was a lot to do with the days counting down until our move and I’m not one to sit around anyway (Page says I’ve always been bad at relaxing and vacationing ha!). My way of enjoying this time has been to make it productive and keep stress off Page’s plate as he ran point on just about all aspects of our lives during those first weeks as a family of three.


Despite this funny picture of his squawk, I’m happy to report that Crew is a pretty easy baby. He took very quickly to nursing, even with his somewhat rough start to eating. Thanks to his appetite, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight after a couple weeks post-delivery, although my core was definitely softer than before ha – I was cleared for workouts last week, and am anxious to start toning up and I’d love to continue to lose some additional weight I’d planned to drop prior to becoming pregnant. For now, I’m just focusing on eating healthy and getting rest while settling into our new home environment.

Back very soon with Mr. Crew’s TWO (!!!!) month update!

the kitchen table.


Between squirreling away our extra dollars for our down payment and for the pending expenses of Crew’s arrival, we knew we needed to keep budget in mind as we planned for new furniture. So I was particularly excited that instead of buying a new kitchen table to better fit our new dining area (the ones we were pricing were approaching the 1k mark), Page shot up his hand, wanting to MAKE one.

table in progress

We went for a farmhouse feel, Page building it based on a few different plans we found on Pinterest, and I helped to stain it. Our friends were kind enough to let us build it in their garage, with their tools, and we later moved it (and by “we”, I mean three guys – this sucker is HEAVY) to our storage unit at the apartment complex to finish it up.

poly coat

After a coat of wood conditioner, we mixed a couple Olympic stains to get this deep gray-brown color. Combining one-part grey stain (Weathered Grey) to two-parts light brown (I want to say Beechwood??), I love how this turned out after a couple thick coats were applied. Two coats of poly-acrylic to seal it all, and it spent the last couple months in storage, until we closed and could move it into the house!

Farmhouse Table

We wanted a big square shape as opposed to a rectangle this time around. This will make it harder to find linens, but I figure I can use runners/placemats and perhaps sew (??) a couple basic tablecloths to have on hand as needed. And while I still need to find two more coordinating chairs or maybe a bench for the fourth side, I’m excited about the possibility of fitting eight people around this bad boy that’s totally one of a kind. And our total cost to make it was under 200 bucks, which has us both pretty happy!


There’s a joke in my family about the kitchen table. On the rare occasion that all of us are back home and gathered around the one in my parents’ house, my dad mock-cries and bursts out with, “this table just paid for itself!”. 🙂


Good stuff happens around the kitchen table. I’m so happy to have this one that Page built, as we start our new family in our new home!


10968454_792519800822950_8994550191762960589_nWE MADE IT.

…and those three little words have so much more behind them than I can adequately express.

From the craziness of selling our first home faster than expected…to moving into one of the only immediately available apartments in town and finding out a week later we were expecting… to an anticipated five-month build taking all of nine months…to packing and moving with a newborn in the middle of winter…to the many headaches I won’t go into with ensuring all the final items of this build came together as we were told they would…have I exhausted you yet?? 🙂

What weighs out in the end is how grateful we are to be home and ready to make this place our own. While the process of building is NOT without stress or frustrations, we are thrilled with the end product, and ultimately can’t complain about the stress of moving with a newborn, since it is all stress we signed up for, and a mere symptom of our blessings – a healthy baby in our lives and the opportunity to build and move into our new home.

With that, I give you what I’m calling the “90% complete tour” pre-move in, before some last minute items arrived (our shower door, a cabinet door and handle, and all exterior finishes were completed due to the season – paint, landscaping, etc)…



Welcome to our home! (Picture the timber all stained a cedar color, the shake painted a dark navy-grey, and a front walk poured out front, among some green sod) 🙂



The front entry.

Kitchen |


The kitchen.


The dining area (the french doors will eventually open to our patio, to be poured in the spring).


The great room. (Page installed speakers throughout the house as he did in our last home…a huge task!)

1617439_792522694155994_475653695906108489_o Sherwin Williams Anonymous |

The flex room, which will double as a sitting room and studio space for ClickSmith.



The powder room (which has since received its cabinet door – and I’m excited to show the cool piece of hardware we put on it!). We also LOVE the herringbone pattern and tile material in here. Fun and unique from the rest of the flooring throughout the house.


The laundry room. Love these built-ins which house the washer/dryer below.

Laundry Built-Ins |

The mudroom/garage entrance. SO grateful for a transitional drop zone that we did not have in our previous home.

Mudroom Built-Ins |


The master bedroom, one of my favorite spaces in the house, complete with Page’s built-in wardrobes!


Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |


The master bath…

Master Bath | 10945912_792526187488978_514179667726111513_o


The laundry pass-through that connects from our master closet to the laundry (and also to a chute from the upstairs loft)…

Laundry Pass-Through |


The stairway up to the loft space…


We would like to make this spot (eventually) a kid media/homework area.


Crew’s room…

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt |

Page’s office…

Sherwin Williams Anonymous |

The guest room….


And the upstairs full bath.

10981081_792526460822284_5967306577607751384_o 10988526_792527090822221_6826618515979243670_o


That’s all for now — more soon!!

The final two weeks…

We are officially in our home as of two weeks ago and working through the mess of unpacking, at a slower pace than we are used to, thanks to a certain tiny person. 🙂 I’m finally getting around to recapping the last month. First up are the final days of the build, followed by a final reveal of the home, inside and out pre-move in, and in the coming days, some first shots of the inside as we start to furnish and decorate!

building 2.0 |

At two weeks out (end of January), these last days of progress went very quickly. Aside from the stone being added to the exterior this week, the remaining outdoor items (sod, irrigation, landscaping, paint, patio pour, sidewalk) will be completed post-close in the spring. But everything INDOORS was coming together — pretty exciting!


All paint is complete – walls, trim, and stain. Even dusty, I’m in love with our built-ins….


…and the flooring!


I’m so excited to have a landing space when we come home each day…already have my eye on some bright and cheery elements to make this space functional and fun to come home to.


And it’s the little details like this laundry room pass-through from our master closet that will add functionality and make life just a tad easier. No more hampers (or excuses to drop something on the floor!)


The final stages include light fixtures, interior stone, and more…all in time for our final walk-through. Stay tuned!

our built-in IKEA Pax bedroom wardrobes!

built in IKEA wardrobes |
built in IKEA wardrobes |

My handy hubby has built several things over our seven years of marriage, but this latest and greatest project takes the cake for me…it’s our wall of wardrobes in the new master bedroom!

Even before moving, we had discussed the idea of ditching dressers in favor of some more upright vertical storage, for a less-cluttered-with-furniture feel in our bedroom.

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

We certainly aren’t the first to incorporate the IKEA Pax wardrobe system into some built-ins, but the plan that Page put together was entirely new from anything else we saw online and perfectly fits our needs in the new room.

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

After drawing up some initial plans and armed with the bedroom blueprints, we hit IKEA back in late summer to load up on all the pieces, selecting two of these frames in white and two sets of these doors as the backbone for our plan.

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

With a wardrobe designated to each of us, we used the planner system in the store to pick out every shelf, drawer, basket, hook, and tray as we separately planned a layout that made the most sense for each of us. We both THOUGHT we had a pretty straightforward idea of what we wanted going in, but this step took over an hour in the store just to figure out – there are WAY more possibilities and combinations to think through than I was prepared for!

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

Fast forward to December, when the drywall was complete at the house and it was time to put these bad boys in. Here’s Page building the wardrobe frames…

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

My preggo contributions at this point were limited to unboxing all the smaller pieces, and swooning over the doors…


It was hard to get the size to translate in photos, but in person, we had a moment of WHOA these are going to be huge! We planned accordingly for our higher ceilings in this room, and by the time these 93″ frames would sit on a base, they were going to be eight feet tall!

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

Once the frames were put together, Page built bases to go underneath them, so that when the baseboard trim went in around the room, it could seamlessly wrap around these, completing the “built in” look.

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

Next up, he went about building the center portion shelving. (The one alteration he ended up making from his original drawing was to do two rows of three cubbies at the top, as opposed to one row of four.)

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

It’s so crazy to me how much he had to keep straight in his head as he went, making sure not only that these pieces would work out the way he had measured, but that they’d fit among the many factors in the room – existing windows and doorways, the ceiling heights, the baseboard height, etc…no wonder he was making notes like these on the boxes as he worked! 🙂



I was able to help a little with the puttying of the finish holes, and Page gave everything a final sanding. At this point, the plan WAS for Page to prime the wood pieces, add some shaker trim around the top, and and wrap the IKEA portions in plastic, just in time for the painters to arrive the following day and paint the rest of it to match our trim. As it turned out, my water broke the day he went over to do this, and our trim carpenter GRACIOUSLY stepped in to finish up for him and keep things on track. It takes a village!

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

By the time we were ready to be out and about the week after Crew’s birth, paint was nearly done (we are firm believers in Sherwin Williams’ untinted trim paint “Extra White” – it matches Ikea’s white well!) and we could swoon at the latest:

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

The last steps were to put together the drawers and other interior pieces, and install them in the configurations we had worked out months before. This was a fun part and one I could help with by unboxing everything to make it go that much faster.

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

Page built and installed everything inside, hung the doors, and voila!!!

Our IKEA Pax Built-In Wardrobes |

In just a few days, I’ll be unpacking and organizing these, totally geeking out…I’m counting the days and will share some pics when they are fully loaded!