Short update

I am the worst – I cannot sit still long enough to write anything of substance.

We arrived in Maryland March 26th after a very long four days on the road. Two amazingly kind friends/family flew out to help drive the 3,000 miles…would you do that for someone?! I don’t know many people who would. These two hopped on a plane in the middle of a snow storm (last flight out kind of storm) and we could not have done it without them. They helped clean, pack boxes, load the trailer, make our windows so damn sparkling, and on top of it all, they drove 46 hours with us. [Also, pretty sure those crystal clear windows sold the house!] Mick is loving being back to work with his brother; I am absorbing every pilates class I can afford, and hope to start my treacher training mid-June. Our house is under contract and we are praying it appraises well! I think that’s everything? Oh! The dogs are in heaven – despite Buddy eating every toy and piece of paper he can find (and being sick for four days) – they are transitioning seamlessly. Sorry this is so short but it’s about all I can manage at this point.

Thank you for all the texts and voicemails – we seriously have the best people in our lives, near and far!

words on adventure

The thing about adventure is: it is fluid – it is not limited to space and time, and requires an open mind and heart. It will be uncomfortable, at times painful, and scary. But, it can also be life altering – bringing joy and personal growth. Moving to Idaho has been epic in ways I never imagined. The air is ripe with juniper and pine – which, to a gin enthusiast, is basically a dream. The landscape hosts the most extraordinary parts of this country – the conservation of wilderness, the mountains, the massive sky, and the lakes/rivers – it is phenomenal. The people are some of the kindest you will meet outside The South. When they ask how your day is, they actually want to know. Everywhere you go they smile, and offer assistance above and beyond. You might wait 45 minutes at the DMV, and once you get to the counter, you are greeted with a smile and delightful conversation. Honestly – I still cannot get over that part – it’s like Mayberry or a movie lot. For two East Coasters this was the most jarring of culture shocks.

These last four years have been some of the most enlightening of my life. The seemingly organic ways I have grown, perhaps matured, have always felt bigger than me. Even in the trying moments, something in my gut whispered, you are being prepared for so much more. I am still clueless to what that, more, is; however, I would not change a single thing. The relationships we built are of monumental proportions. Seriously. To think in four years we have secured depths and heights with such beautiful souls, makes my insides a little bit mushy and warm. It’s weird…but I kind of like it. These people are kind, generous, broken, loving, forgiving, freaking hilarious, gracious, and stuck with us always and forever.

You may be curious why I am suddenly sentimental, verging on sappy; It looks weird on me, right? Unfortunately, it will continue just a bit longer, bear with me. Our trajectory is taking a sharp right turn – one both unexpected and exciting. In a few short weeks we will be embarking on a new adventure, one taking us back East. It is filled with a lot of excited anticipation, many unknowns, and a constant state of pinching ourselves. If I am being honest, we have been emotionally dehydrated these last two years. We are looking forward to some serious soul feeding times with family and friends. A reset, a filling back up of sorts. Our exit is incredibly bittersweet – it has been a beautiful chapter of life – leaving a permanent bookmark in our story. We are humbled by the love and lives so richly shared with us. It was beyond our wildest hopes to know this place and its people. We will definitely be back here to visit; however, we cannot wait see our Idaho peoples on our coast very soon!

To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Image found via Pinterest 

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!

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…

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.

house updates | bathroom

We are finally gutting one of our bathrooms!!! I don’t know that you can appreciate in letter form the amount of free form dance moves that occurred when Mick told me. I can never recreate it but trust me, it was epic. We have a nagging leak in the bathtub and it’s only worsening – fast tracking our remodel. Mick started by demolishing a built in cabinet – this was to check out the pipes because the previous owners did not create an access panel. They did almost all renovations DIY, however, lacked the knowledge and skill to produce quality and function. The built-in cabinet was made of seventeen year old plywood and painted what we thought was a horrible brown stain/paint mixture. When taking the remnants outside to Mick’s truck we realized the cabinets have been purple this whole time – Baltimore Ravens purple. Of course they were. Also, two words – drawer liners – blech. Without this cabinet we acquired an additional 10 square feet of usable space AND the tongue and groove ceiling was put in before that cabinet!

We picked out tile (see below) and are currently writing a pro/con list regarding free standing tub/shower combos. If the Pros outweigh the cons, that means even more usable space and taking out a wall which will make this bathroom feel twice as big (Pro). Cons so far: the shower curtain being it’s own animal since it will wrap 360 degrees – I hate when shower curtains touch me – ew. Another con: re-directing the plumbing to run through the floor instead of the wall (sounds expensive), and finally, the cost of a nice clawfoot/freestanding tub vs. a regular ole wall unit. Mick is going to build a vanity which I am super excited about – his furniture building skills are amazing. The design is traditional – an open concept, however, the fixtures will be modern.

I am so excited to be rid of tiled countertops, purple cabinets [who knew?!], poorly insulated windows, orange trim & doors [pocket door for the win!], and glued on mirrors. Other than the plumbing, we will be tackling everything else ourselves. And by we, I mean Mick. I may attempt to lay a tile or two and look forward to taking a sledgehammer to our current vanity, but mostly, I will work on all things design related. If anyone has experience with a free standing tub/shower combo – we are all ears – give us the good, the bad, and the ugly! This house has so much potential, we are excited to modernize it but keep its original character.

  1. the tile – we will likely extend this into our entry way as well – so in love.
  2. Before shots…and Maeby || that vanity is supposedly purple, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Ignore our mess – 90% of our storage is gone with the built-in, another con.