house updates | plumbing & drywall

Yep – we’re still remodeling! Let’s hope the next bathroom doesn’t take nearly this long – Life gets in the way and we’re just rolling with it.

Mick rerouted plumbing and electric, took creative license in a few areas to make space work, and got the drywall up! We still need to mud, paint, tile (we’re subbing this out) and finish the vanity – hopefully that’s it and we can move on to the next project!

Most of the documentation has been in my instagram stories (@misiesface) so below is a small gallery of the last month or so –

Mick snagged our faucet from the remodel he was doing (what a joy it must be to do this 9-5 only to come home to a wife staring you down and glancing over at the gutted bathroom). It took some finagling to install but he rocked it – very impressed! Our vanity light fixture is by Allen & Roth from Lowes – we think a double will work but they also make a triple version just in case – this was such a steal too, only $50! The linens are from CB2 – towels and matching shower curtain – not a steal but, they make my heart happy.

The pocket door is framed and set – just need to refinish our old door, change out hardware and we’re good to go! We never claimed to be “fixer uppers” and if this project has taught us anything – it’s quit your day job. Mick has been so stressed creating beautiful spaces for other folks that it’s a chore to make ours exactly what we want. We should probably revisit our priorities; it would be a lot easier to walk away if he weren’t so damn good at what he does.

Nothing too exciting but progress nonetheless!

being known

Interrupting our house updates (because nothing is happening) for words on, being known.

We are slowly watching This is Us – and by slowly, I mean, it takes me a bit to recover before the next episode…and by a bit, I mean, weeks at a time. Believe it or not, I am sensitive; I tend to absorb whatever feeling is being portrayed which is obviously the desired effect of exceptional acting. I don’t mind feeling things – I do like to control how I receive it. If I can almost guarantee something will make me cry, make my soul ache with sadness – no thank you. So, why the heck did I start watching this show?! Well, if I’m being honest, I have a thing for the actor who plays Jack – aka Milo Ventimiglia circa 2002/2003 when he played the bad boy to Rory’s good girl on Gilmore Girls. I own this fact; that character will always have a spot in my cold heart. Then he went and played Rocky’s son in what turned out to be a cheesy addition to the Rocky series, but it was truly perfect casting. (if I have to hear “Hey Lil Marie” one more time….) Anyways, this is not about him….Right?!

This show is blowing minds everywhere – the acting, writing, storytelling – it’s top tier. If there were enough time in a day I would elaborate on how William instantly stole my heart and how I love Randall just as much – those two slay me. The character development on this show is absolutely incredible! This requires a separate series of gushing and not what brings us here today. No, what has me fangirling is the story and portrayal of family. My whole life I was surrounded by big, loud families. You would think a family like that would cause the introvert inside to cower, retreat to a tree and read a book. Surprisingly, these people were a force by which I was controlled. I loved loved being around the chaos, the banter, and being an audience member to their love and dysfunction.  When I was 17 I lived with one of my best friend’s family – it was a revolving door of kids, lacrosse sticks, instruments, debates, sarcasm, and laughter. A tornado of extroverts spinning around me as I sat quietly, taking it all in.

As I watch this show I can’t help but see all the reasons I love loud families – families that talk, laugh, play, and love being together. There is freedom facing a relationship without fear and the comfort in being known. This has been a theme for me this last year – I keep coming back to the idea – resting in it – craving the crap out of it. I am so very private – I trust few people with my heart, my true free self. It has very little to do with insecurity and more to do with me weighing their worthiness. I by no means think I am the most fantastic of people; that you would be SO honored to know me and love me and diiiiiine with me (said with an uptight British accent)…it’s more that I am flawed by introversion and self-preservation.  I have always been choosy as to who sees me…really sees me. I desire authentic relationships; I want to be with people who talk about things – like REALLY talk about things. I value my time, I value the time of others and find it difficult to project anything ingenuine.

Being known doesn’t just mean someone knew that at 16 you may have worn your great grandfather’s clothes; thought make-up was for suckers, and bought a pair of steel toed Doc Martins two sizes too big because you couldn’t part with them. I would say, whoever that weirdo is, they are lucky if they have friends. Being known is not only one of the greatest parts of any relationship but also the most difficult and most jarring. It takes an incredible amount of vulnerability – to trust you are embraced for whatever “ugliness” you bring to the table; to know love is the foundation even when anger and hurt make everything blurry.

I believe there is an emptiness we carry when no one knows us, Humans are meant for relationship. We are hardwired to be a community, to carry each other’s burdens, to rise up when we see others falling. We were created to love and show kindness. I can’t think of a better way to be love, to be kind, to be strong than to just be yourself – no matter what that looks like.

I cannot express the gratitude and freedom I feel when around those who truly know me. I find joy in their honesty, their grace, and I am so thankful they love me. These are the ones who push through my silence and my distance; they seek me out when I try to disappear. They will have week-long conversations with me strictly through giphs (yes, this is real life people!). These people hold me as dearly as I hold on to them and that’s something…truly something. To exist with people who have seen you at your worst and stick around even if in fact, that wasn’t your worst; the beauty in this – this state of being known – is one of such purity…there is joy, there is honesty, and there is light – so much damn light.

house update – b!***$ be shoppin

We still have snow on the ground and the forecast is showing a chance for more – insert eye roll here… Mick braved the frozen tundra for a second attempt at locating the main water shut off. Instead of a six hour round of snow shoveling – it only took 20 minutes!!! Guess where it was….under the snow pile he created last time when shoveling. I, of course, find this amusing because I’m dead in side 😉

While he is sealing off the pipes and tearing out the existing tub today, I busted out the Southwest credit card and did some shoppin (heck yes, MILES!). I figure if a 125lb tub and 115 sq feet of tile arriving in less than a month isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is.

The first image is pocket door hardware, by Emtek. Mick plans to take our existing solid wood door and turn it into a pocket door – the below hardware is $$ but totally worth it; it has a secure locking system and is incredibly sturdy and comes in quite a few awesome finishes.

Mick is building the vanity, although I really wanted a mini farmhouse sink, this one is much more affordable and will look better on a piece of custom furniture. That is NOT the faucet we are getting – Mick was able to acquire a modern wall mount from a remodel he is doing in town. 

We already have a sample of the tile and love it’s matte colors and smooth finish. Each tile is 8×8 – Mick will love | hate the puzzle of laying it. [Mission Stone Tile]

We opted for a modern claw foot tub – both of us fell madly in love with this black and white tub – SWOON. I love their streamlined interpretation of the claw foot – so fancy. Tub is AKDY but we found it on Wayfair.

Next up – research bathroom lighting, pick out a mirror, shower hardware, and find the time to get this done!

house update – bathroom stall – as in waiting…

Welp – the bathroom – let’s share the good stuff first. Mick ended up having to gut the bathroom – down to the studs…why? Well – as noted before the previous homeowners drywalled TO the cabinets and fixtures, i.e. lights and mirrors and behind the drywall was 70’s wood paneling in a lovely shade of sage green. We also discovered – they applied additional wood paneling, BEHIND the green wood paneling to cushion it to the studs. Mick also discovered vintage sage green marbled formica counters hidden beneath the tiled counter tops. Fantastic. Once he removed the vanity, walls, and sink he tore the floor down to the original subfloor – this will give us a much more even base once we put the new floor in.

Now, for the reason we are stalled: our tub faucet has a constant drip that gets worse every week. After ripping everything out from around the plumbing, it seems to thankfully be a flaw within the faucet, not our plumbing. The quick fix is: shut off water to the house, remove the faucet and temporarily seal the pipes. Excellent – simple enough…IF…our house had a main water shut off…that wasn’t located on the street under 2 + feet of snow. Whomp whomp! SO – waiting for the snow to melt since Mick already spent six hours trying to dig looking for it…to no avail. So – that’s where we’re at guys – baby steps. If anyone wants to come stay with us – may want to wait till June! Kidding…maybe…

the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
-Emily Dickinson

happiest birthday lil bird

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stillness

This year we have been busy, distracted, remaining in forward motion. Yesterday we received a flat package, smaller than a #10 envelope…with my out of control christmas shopping, I could not remember what I ordered. A small wooden bird shaped ornament fell on the counter, graced with the sweetest of names; along with it a note from one of my dearest friends. I was caught off guard – my vision blurred and all I could see was her perfect little nose, the points at the top of her lips; feel the grasp of her hand; see the flutter of her eyes; hear the beautiful sound of her breath. Although I think of her every single day – I rarely rest in the stillness of her memory. Most days there is no time for the tears that will come, the pit in my stomach, the swelling of my heart and the lump in my throat – it’s overwhelming. And so – when I am forced into this space by an unassuming piece of mail, I am thankful, because for a moment, I am with her again. I remember the joy she brought, the lessons she taught us about how life is MUCH bigger than work, a house, having all the “things”- We are blessed with friends and family who remember Miss Birdie’s impact and love us richly from afar.

We wish you all a blessed holiday season from our little corner of the world! We hope you find stillness this season and are surrounded by those you love most.

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House update – adios tile

The bathroom is coming along…ever be it so slowly. Mick decided he needed a break from demo and chose to demo his finger instead. “Hi Sweets – Don’t want you to worry….but I’m at urgent care…” The skill saw and and his finger had a falling out. It’s been healing up OK – he swears it’s better since he decided to take out his own stitches. I guess when you ask for a strong, confident, self-sufficient man – you realize early on, they don’t ask for help – even that of a professional who can prevent appendage loss. Anyyyywayssss…it’s healing and we’re moving forward.

While I was out Christmas shopping, Micky spent the day busting up tile and trim. Only a couple surprises, and some likely red flags; Yippee! The first – our tub is below the subfloor; behind the drywall is sage green wood paneling; the original floor radiators – although replaced with a furnace years back, still work…and when they’re not attached to the wall and the breaker is shut off – their wires still pop and carry electric currents…….so…there’s that.

The vanity is on it’s way to being in many pieces and the tub soon to follow. Once the room is empty, it will likely stay that way through Christmas and then off to various showrooms to find the perfect free-standing tub/sink/fixtures/lighting, order the remaining tile, and build a vanity. OK, that rehashing got me overwhelmed…I should probably offer more help. [I dream of this tub, this faucet, and this vanity] I’m currently torn between a mini farmhouse style sink and one that rests on top of the vanity and would love the faucet to come out from the wall instead of the counter. I also bought a strange iron hand to hold our hand towels…it creeps mick out but I love it! I believe every room needs one “wtf” accent piece.

On a side note – if you’re the praying kind, please remember my Friend who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She is a fantastic person and making all the right moves – send her positive thoughts if you think of it. I know you guys are good for it.