2014-07-20 20.06.01-1Not sure if one could really call this a weekend. Other than the fact that I didn’t have to work at the office. We worked like crazy around the house, getting everything ready to … MOVE!

2014-07-20 19.24.47Though two pieces of our mudroom cabinets finished up last weekend, Matt and I still had to finish all the pieces for the broom closet and all of the pieces for the bookshelf/counter 2014-07-19 16.23.12as well as the bench-top for the boot bench. This is the only piece that is not painted white, but is instead gorgeous cherry. I loved the way it looks as you work with it. I’m really excited to see it installed with the white cabinets. I think the contrast will be striking.

2014-07-18 19.51.09-1

So while Matt was still cutting and assembling, I was finishing. I am once again covered in paint, and he in sawdust. The kids got in on the action too. They can now sand things and help steady boards as they are cut.

2014-07-20 20.23.14During drying times, I worked on packing. Kelly came to help on Saturday and we got the kitchen almost entirely packed as well as a good portion of our bedroom. I packed up the bathroom last night and the kids’ room today. It’s getting tricky to walk around here.

2014-07-20 21.11.02Of course there’s lots more to do. We have just a few finishing touches to put on the cabinets tomorrow. It’s mostly touch-up painting, but there was an unfortunate incident where the main structure of the broom closet got knocked over by a gust of wind and the top was damaged. Then we have to finalize packing (those last few things you can’t put away until the night before or morning of). And we’ve got to make phone calls and pick up things like the air mattresses we’re borrowing from our friends and the barstools from storage so we have a place to sit the first couple of days.

It will be kind of a pain in the butt to be living in our house without many creature comforts, but not having the drive to deal with in the evenings will be worth it!

2014-07-19 19.04.55Of course it wasn’t allll work and no play. We took time off yesterday evening to go to dinner with my dad. He’s headed off on an extended fishing excursion so we had to get some last minute hugs in. He’ll be back in time to celebrate his birthday in mid August just before the kids are due to start school.

We also took some time to do some extra reading. The kids and I finished Little House in the Big Woods and I finished Eleanor & Park on audio as I worked. I also played a few rounds of Civilization Revolution …. Civ on the iPad!!

Dream House

back yard
When we first came to check out the models, never intending to move, one of the things that sucked me in was the outdoor space. Here in Colorado, we are blessed with the most awesome weather. That probably sounds crazy to an outsider who thinks of CO only in terms of snow and skiing, but while we can go very low (and usually do a few days a year), we have very nice, temperate weather (random 60 degree days in the middle of winter!), tons of sunshine, and the most gorgeous summer nights – crisp and perfect. In short, perfect to be outside. A room like this just extends your enjoyment of our great weather, taking that little nip out of the air.

Add into it, the fact that this yard is significantly bigger than our old one, and I’m actually pretty excited about decking out the back yard.

outdoor furniture
So back in January, when the snow was still flying (we were actually skiing at the time), and the ink had barely dried on our sales contract, I saw a screaming deal on an outdoor patio set (above) for the fireplace area, i.e. outdoor living room. I ended up buying it sight unseen. It arrived a few weeks later. By then, we were in the throes of staging/moving and all I could do was toss it in my sister’s garage and hope for the best. To this day, I still haven’t seen it. Here’s hoping I like it as much in person next week as I did in the online photos because I don’t think it’s going back now …

you are here

This area will also need some ambiance. I plan to achieve that with some string lights, and possibly this fun sign from Dot and Bo.

To keep the area cool when necessary, we have a few ideas. We had the area pre-wired for a fan. This is nice as well because it keeps bugs away. We also just saw a house where the owners had installed DIY low-pressure misters along the edge of their patio. That was a nice feature, but I’m not sure about the extra added moisture. We are also considering making – just saw a great tutorial on this - or buying curtains to hang along the outward edge of the porch both for shade and privacy.Since we will also likely be having our outdoor movie nights here, so this could be a good surface for the projection screen if we choose wisely.

The dining area (to the right in the photo), is pretty boring in my mind. We have a very serviceable table for six that we will not be replacing. The one thing we will eventually do to this area is add a fan above, both for the chill factor, but also for bug control!


The rest of the backyard is a complete blank slate. This is both thrilling and terrifying to me … I am not much of a gardener. Overall, I want to keep it pretty simple, plant wise. I know what I like … hydrangeas, honeysuckle, sweet peas, daisies, sunflowers, shade trees and a bit of grass, but I know squat about keeping up and maintaining that stuff. So vegetation wise, we will see. I’m talking to a landscaper we work with.

One thing I know I want is an outdoor shower. The house we rented in Hawaii when Tabby was a baby had one and it was great! Happily, it’s a pretty inexpensive thing to do when we are doing plumbing for sprinklers anyhow. There are solar solutions online for around $100 or we could have hot water plumbed out as well. I think it would be awesome for hosing off the kids and the dog!

playhouseI’d also like to have a nice little secluded spot for the kids. I’m not 100% sure what it can be. We have space, but not a ton and we are also bound by HOA regulations … and of course time and money. I have found a bunch of cool, but not crazy playhouses and I think it would be lovely for them to have something like this. They’re not going to be interested for too much longer!

We will also, possibly foolishly, put in some raised beds again. We’re not great gardeners as mentioned before, but we have had some success with the few things that you can pretty much just dump in the ground and leave, including: herbs (these go in pots with drip lines), tomatoes, raspberry bushes (along any fence with a little water) and strawberries.

I am most excited for the kids to be able to just go outside and play. Tabby in particular loves just sitting on the ground, checking out bugs (many of the same ones that make her scream in fear indoors) and “getting some peace and quiet.” And it will be great for Ben to have a place to run out all of his excess energy!


Dream House


We’re getting close! And I find it fun and great that only now in the crunch is when some of my plans are starting to gel for certain spaces. The master bedroom was spurred along by my need to choose a paint color for our painter that will come in the day after closing and do the few custom colors we want in the house (mostly bedrooms). In the old house we never really decorated our bedroom. And while it was fine and cozy and really served us very well for years, it never felt very put together (see above). So we want to actually do it up right this time!

nimbus grayFirst, the inspiring new color. It’s called Nimbus Gray and it’s a nice grey with just a subtle hint of blue (less than in this photo, IMO). I’m really in love with it.

bed2Though it won’t be for a while, with money not growing on trees and all, I’d like to get some new bedding to fit in better. I keep going back and forth between something subtle and colorful (like the above from West Elm) …

bed1Or white with texture (like above from Target) with some colorful shams. The white with different shams seems a bit more versatile and this specific choice ($80) would be more affordable.

nightstandOne of the big things our bedroom was always lacking was nightstands! We always had one – first it was a 3-canvas drawer affair that actually came from my childhood bedroom. It finally fell apart sometime after Ben was born and then we pulled an end table that was actually part of the furniture when our house had been a model before we moved in that came with the house. I’m actually still currently using that at the rental house. Matt has never had a nightstand. So that is a priority for us. The one above from Wayfair is a definite possibility.

lampEither way, once we get the nightstands, we will have something to put on top of them. We picked up these cute little Klabb lamps from Ikea a trip or two ago. umbrellaAnd of course we’ll need some fun accessories, like maybe a gallery wall of framed black and white images of us and the kids? And/or this awesome pour deux print from Society 6?

fanAnd we will be needing some kind of light fixture since we opted to not have overhead lights put in the master. We will have the option of using the fan from Ben’s old room (he is getting his new earth/globe/stars one). But we’re not sure it will be big enough for the room or provide enough light. So … we will need something. And in the simple, modern family, me thinks. I do like a fan, even though they’re not so much the thing.

So that’s it! Looking forward to having a “grown up” kind of bedroom.

Dream House

2014-07-12 10.10

This guy has been working his tail off.

He’s been in his shop (the teeny garage in the back yard of our rental house), at crazy hours, late on weeknights and quite a good percentage of our at-home weekends, working his magic. He’s been turning my sketches into reality – mud room cabinets! Read More



A few days before we were going to celebrate Father’s Day (about a week behind schedule since we were in New Orleans on Father’s Day), I saw a post on FB from our local magazine, 5280 about the B17 that was going to be at the Centennial Airport that weekend. Since my dad is a big history buff, specifically into WWII, I knew we had to take him.

1Not only is it an authentic B17, but it’s one of the few remaining ones in the country that can still fly. The whole event was a bit on the squirrely side (hard to find, etc.) but once we got there, we got to see it land and then take a tour!

4It’s a really interesting thing to see technology of this era. It’s amazingly outdated and oddly advanced all at the same time. And what our pilots did with it was amazing!


And it’s just really cool to look at.

6Dad of course had tons of questions and really enjoyed chatting with the volunteers that were there to show us around.

2It was a fun and serendipitous kind of day. I loved finding something for him he loved so much!



Camping, Travel


Well I had no idea that when we tentatively planned a trip to South Dakota for 4th of July weekend that my kids would be SO into it. We didn’t know when we’d be closing on the house, so we booked a cheap campsite with the intention of backing out (and only incurring a $20 fee) if we needed to stay close to home. What I didn’t know was that there was NO WAY my kids were missing out on seeing Mt Rushmore. Seriously!

Anyhow, so as July 3rd dawned, we piled in the car and towed the pop-up to South Dakota. It’s 6 hours away and unfortunately, most of that 6 hours is a super desolate drive through Wyoming. Population 12. With 2 gas stations. And no where to eat.

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Dream House

2014-06-27 15.49.41

We are almost there! We close in 20 days!!

My close-quarters (799 sf, people!!) meltdowns have become more frequent. I spent a good portion of my afternoon on Saturday cleaning up the house – it hadn’t looked so good in weeks!! Only to have it completely destroyed yesterday when we had a sewer issue and the house had to be dismantled to get to it. We lost Tabby’s music book for two whole days when a bag of dog food got set on top of it. It was only on the floor because the 3M hooks I’d been using had failed … repeatedly.

2014-06-27 15.50.07So our shiny new house is my happy place. I am in love with this kitchen. I cannot wait to cook in there.

2014-06-27 15.49.46Our fireplace turned out great too. Of course someone has a giant TV to mess it all up with ….

2014-06-27 15.52.17And this shower … oh boy. Can’t wait to try that out!

2014-06-23 16.33.36It’s big! and it has two heads! !


And our porch is getting really close. It’s decked and has most of the trim.


Today we have our pre-flooring walk. Basically all that’s left to do is our carpet and wood floor. But in practicality, it’s more than that – drywall and paint fixes, some miscellaneous electrical work, and of course our landscaping. We have to take care of the backyard ourselves, but they put in fence and anything outside the fence they put in and the HOA maintains, including snow removal (yay!). It seems like a lot for 20 days, but the experienced crews and big equipment make the job much quicker.

2014-06-17 14.39.35And we’re getting ready to move in too. We filled my teeny rented Nissan Rogue (was in a little fender bender right before vacation and borrowed this while my car was being fixed) with flat-pack boxes from IKEA. Those are for the office.

2014-06-17 08.56.05We’ve also been considering lighting options. Fans and a chandelier for the dining area don’t come with the house and I think the pendants over the island are too small, so we’ll replace those. I like this one from Home Depot a lot, but I’m not sure where we’ll end up on that. We saved the kids’ light fixtures from our old house …

ben's fan

… but Ben saw a fan he was in LOVE WITH. It’s a bit on the tacky side for my taste, but what the heck? He’s only a little boy for a little while and he loves it and it really doesn’t fight with his whole treehouse bed decor. So we will probably take his fan (it’s a pretty classy mid-century modern affair) and put it in the playroom or our bedroom.

2014-07-01 10.24.31

So the countdown is on! Matt is hard at work practically every evening making the cabinets for our mudroom in the new house. Estimates to have these done professionally ran over $6k, but Matt bought everything he needed to make them for less than $1k. Since they’re more typical cabinet configurations, the savings might not be as pronounced for our laundry room and bonus room, but we’re going to price things out to see what the best course is.

Once we close (on a Tuesday), we have a bit of work to do before we can move in (on a Friday) but we will be arriving to closing with our cars packed to the gills with everything we need to get to work on (IKEA furniture, for example) and enough provisions so that we can spend our first night in our new house. It’s getting so exciting!!


beach_bumsIt’s been a bit of a whirlwind since we got back from our Florida/New Olreans vacation. Fo sho.

But that’s not entirely why I haven’t written about it. A tragedy occurred while we were in Florida with our Nashville family – Matt’s Dad, stepmom, sister, niece and brother. My sister-in-law’s ex-husband and father of their beautiful daughter died suddenly a few days into our trip. It’s a sort of an “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” kind of situation. The tragedy trumped everything and we were bound in place, trying to sort things out and cope. And yet there were three little people all but incapable of understanding and still very much at the beach wanting to have fun so we went on.

And I don’t want to let go of the many nice memories of the trip we had. So here are a few of them.

Read More

Dream House

I really didn’t mean to go on this long without an update. I thought I would post while we were on vacation. But yea… that didn’t happen. We were just having too much fun hanging out. We had lots of long days beaching and sunning and practicing keyboard (not kidding). And we went to NOLA and had good food and saw cool stuff. It was rough, but someone had to do it. Updates on vacation later.

We got back Monday late and I offered myself up to the office if they needed me, but happily, they did not. So Matt and I spent the day catching up on all of those little things you have to do … and the house. They got quite a bit done while we were gone.

2014-06-17 08.19.41They painted. It still needs to be cut in and touched up, but painted it is, and I’m really happy with our color selection. Interior color is beige and really not too interesting, so no photos.

2014-06-17 08.20.27They finished all of the masonry, including the rock around the fireplace. LOVE IT.

2014-06-17 08.22.49And they did a lot of trim work including the fireplace area inside

2014-06-17 08.22.36And our railings. This was a piece we’d selected that I didn’t know how we’d feel about, but we’re SOOO happy with it.

2014-06-17 08.20.49And in continuation from what we saw right before we left, cabinets are all hung and we have hardware on them!!!

They have also started to tile on the bathroom walls but I couldn’t take a photo of it because the windows were all blocked off to mask for painting and it was DARK.

In a couple of weeks we have the pre-flooring walk and then 2 weeks later we have the final walk, followed a week later by closing. YAY!



DSC_6949So we raced home from camping to attend this cutie’s pre-k graduation ceremony. The more practical side of me balks at the goofiness of all this – he hasn’t even started “real” school yet. But he’s had a great couple of years at this school (he won’t actually leave until the end of summer) and made lots of friends and learned a TON. It was also dang cute.

They had the kids sing a few songs about leaving preschool and going to kindergarten and then they marched them out one by one onto the stage to receive their certificate.

DSC_6958They also had them tell the audience what they want to be when they grow up. There were lots of painters and policemen, one “Yoda” and a couple of “Elsa.” Ben changed his mind from his blood-thirsty assertion of a few days before when he professed to do anything where he got to have a gun to “Veterinarian” – each syllable carefully enunciated.

Most importantly, he had a great time and felt very special. Can hardly believe he’s ready for kindergarten!!!


Hi! I'm Jess, a 30-something Colorado native making the most of life with my husband and kiddos. By day, I run the marketing department of a local contracting firm and in my ridiculously scant spare time, I love to run, ski, cook, travel (camp!), photograph and read. Thanks for stopping by!


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Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World
When He Was Wicked
It Happened One Season
First Comes Marriage
Simply Unforgettable
The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills--and Leave a Positive Impression!
The Naked Duke
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The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent
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