my heavy heart.

|| saying good-bye to our home on Harvard Avenue in Salt Lake City ||

It's been a little over a month here in New England.  And the reality is settling in to my heart that we are not going "home."  Home is here now.

Except it doesn't feel anything like home.

It reminds me of my darling dear friend who moved to our neighborhood in Salt Lake City right before we did.  She missed her home & life in San Fransisco so much and wished so badly to go back.  And while I totally sympathized (hello. it was San Fransisco she left. . .), I also wondered "how could anyone not want to live here in this charming little neighborhood?!

Isn't it interesting how everyone's ideal is so different?  To me, our tudor home on Harvard Avenue on our tree-lined street, all nestled up inside the big city . . . that was perfection!

And yet it is so beautiful here in New England.  It is quaint.  It is earthy and simple.  I see the beauty with my eyes.  But it has yet to sink into my soul.  I think it will eventually.  And I have a sneaking suspicion it will occur when the thermometer is consistently above 50.

I hope to fall in love with this place, like I did our last home & neighborhood.  But there is this persistent quiet pinging in the back of my head that keeps faintly saying why? . . .  why? . . . . why? . . .

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the great pumpkin patch.

one of our favorite things to do each fall is go to a "pick your own" pumpkin patch.

when we lived in farmington, we had a couple that were quite close, but now we have to drive a little ways to get to one.  last year, not really feeling like making the drive, jimmy and i suggested that we go to a pumpkin stand in front of a grocery store instead, and the kids just. about. died 

not pick the pumpkin from the ground?! 

heaven forbid.  what were we thinking?!

i didn't realize that we had created such a tradition, but indeed we have.  


today on the way home from the pumpkin patch, andy said "this is my very favorite thing about halloween.  i like it even more than carving pumpkins . . . and even more than trick or treating!"

kids love special traditions don't they?

there is something about walking through the dirt and vines, breathing in the crisp fall air and finding your very own pumpkin that is pretty magical.  i love this time of year!
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surprise! a brand new bedroom for ashlyn

so the minute ashlyn headed out the door to camp, we all jumped into action putting together her new room.  i had been drawing up plans and ordering her bed and finding fabric, during the previous month or two and i was pretty sure she was completely in the dark about it.  she's been such a good sport about going from her own room, to sharing a room with her little sis, to sharing a room with her little sis AND two brothers(!) and back again to sharing a room with her little sis and now finally a (pretty, functional) room of her own!

this light fixture was a hanging flower basket that was in my parents garage.  it's really pretty easy to retrofit a light fixture like this.  i followed ashley anns instructions and they worked great.

i turned this ikea frame into a small bulletin board by tracing the frame backing onto a piece of foam board, cutting the foam board out and then wrapping it with linen (painters tape works just fine for adhering the linen to the foam board and is easy to adjust as you're going along)

we tried to make the room really functional with a small table light for late night reading, a new dresser, a desk area, bookshelf and little chair for friends to sit in or to lounge in and take in the pretty backyard view.

when i'm on a tight budget, these are my go to window treatments.  they are really popular in sweden and since i love gustavian style, i am always seeing them in my design books.  so inexpensive and easy to make!

she and her friends have made good use of the chalkboard doors; always writing the lyrics from their favorite songs and other cute doodly things.

we had about three days to get the room all finished.  at the end of the week, on the day she was returning from camp, jimmy made me promise i'd call the second she got home so he could be there to see her reaction.  after all that work, we all wanted to see the big pay off of her beautiful stunned face!  that morning she got dropped off earlier than we expected--i think jimmy probably had just walked into his office when he had to immediately head back home!

as she sat downstairs on the sofa telling us all the adventures of camp, and showing us all the crafts they made and notes they wrote,  we were trying really hard to keep our cool, but we could. not. wait. for her to walk into her room!  the other kids kept saying "ashlyn do you want to go up to your room???" and she would say, "no that's okay..." completely oblivious.

finally jimmy pulled up and i said something like, "so why don't we go put your things up in your room?"  so while she gathered her things up, i ran upstairs to capture the moment (which i failed at).  when she opened her door, she was so, so surprised!  her reaction was priceless.  unfortunately i am truly horrible at capturing big moments.  (i almost always forget to watch through the lens and get caught up in the moment and forget to take the picture).  by the time i remembered i was supposed to be documenting, she was all teary-eyed, which made me all teary eyed (oh yeah, it was just like those emotional design shows!) and anyway all my "big reveal" pictures are extremely fuzzy. 

but these are some that i snapped later on after the excitement of the moment had died down.  it was hard for me to capture the entire room since i don't have a wide angle lens, but hopefully you got the idea...  oh how i love transforming a space!  especially for my girl.

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yalecrest house: ashlyns room before

so i think i'll start with sharing ashlyn's room.  it's the first room that we have completely completely finished.  the bathroom still has one tiny run of baseboard left to paint and the laundry room needs a couple things hung, but ashlyn's room. . . ashlyn's has a big checkmark next to it.  and you know how i love that!

so here are a few shots of her room from the day we moved in...

this stained yellow shag carpet covered her room, as well as all the floors throughout the house.  it was the first thing to go.  we left all of our furniture in our two storage pods on the driveway until every last bit was hauled away.

under the shag and the disintegrated pad, there were hardwood floors everywhere(!)  which actually we suspected since the home was built in 1928--in the days before wall to wall carpeting.  but still, it was a happy sight for sore eyes and fingers. . .

we spent a couple days removing carpet, padding and staples from all the floors & the staircase.  the kids were so very helpful and really good at getting all those staples out.  after our nomadic year and a half, we were just sooo happy to finally be in our own house again!

buh bye stinky carpet. . .we filled our little trailer many times over

for the first several months, the girls shared this room and the boys shared the other bedroom until the basement was in a liveable condition.  in these bedrooms, we just basically had room for a bunk bed-- almost all their toys and other furniture were stored up in the attic.

lots of space up here in the attic--it just was not useable at all until a bigger access was cut, and floors and shelving were installed.  (pictured in update 2.)

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now fast forward to this summer. . . everyone now has their own bedroom, but those bedrooms are just bare bones, not really decorated or very functional even.  

so this summer while ashlyn was away at camp for a week, we decided to surprise her with a finished bedroom!

on DAY ONE we completely emptied out her bedroom.

on DAY TWO we painted.  we painted one wall a pale, pale blue.  since this room has so many ceiling angles, i decided to leave the other three walls white. those angled ceilings almost disappear and feel much more spacious with both the ceiling and walls being white.  since she loves to doodle and sketch, we also painted her closet doors with chalkboard paint.

on DAY THREE we arranged the furniture, retrofitted an vintage metal hanging flower basket into a light fixture, hung some sturdy hooks and sewed the window treatments.

on DAY FOUR we hung everything else on the walls and added all the finishing touches.

here i am trying to decide on a collage or a large piece of art.  guess which one i ended up with?!

also a couple months ago, we did put carpet down in the upstairs bedrooms to make it a little quieter on the main floor (it was so noisy when anyone was upstairs playing or walking around!)  also the upstairs floors have a ton of paint and all kinds of stains that have accumulated for the past several decades, and we weren't ready to commit to redoing all the hardwood yet.

next up. . . surprising ashlyn with her beautiful new room! 

other updates here:
update 1
update 2
update 3
update 4
update 5
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yalecrest house: an update

i've been working on compiling all the pictures of our yalecrest home remodel up until now, so i can start sharing our progress.  as you may know, we waited a couple months after we moved in to begin any work, and then went full steam ahead for several months getting lots of the "behind the walls" work done--new plumbing and electrical, hvac, attic storage and central vac installed.  it was oh so messy and chaotic and exciting all at the same time. 

 new plumbing lines going in last summer/fall

while digging out these lines, we found an old whiskey bottle in the dirt labeled "for medicinal use only."  prohibition days were here when this house was built!  i love uncovering little bits of history as we go along and imagining all the people that have lived here in this home and neighborhood before we did.

last fall right after we finished pouring the new concrete floors in the basement--when we could have started the pretty stuff--i ended up taking on a lot of client work, so our house sat on the back burner for several months.  

this fall I decided to hold off on taking on any new outside projects, so that I could focus on finishing up our home.  it's been sooo fun to dream about my house again!  so far, we've completed ashlyn's room (surprised her while she was away at camp for a week.  oh boy this was so fun!!) and the laundry room/office addition, and our new downstairs bathroom.  things are starting to happen again!
other updates here:
update 1
update 2
update 3
update 4

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a little tea party for ava carmel.

oh ava carmel stop growing!  i am starting to dread my children's birthdays these days. . . not because i don't want to plan birthday parties, oh heavens no, but because these happy days are just zooming by at lightning speed.  i want to hang on to these moments forever.

but despite my wishes, ava's birthday did come, and so we celebrated with a proper tea party (it's been the plan for oh, about nine months. . .) 

she spent hours with me the saturday before the party, shopping for all the food & supplies.  on our way home from the last stop i said, "wow ava! i'm sorry that took so long!"  to which she replied, "oh i don't care!  i love shopping!"

 < < ava carmel picked out several little tea cups & plates from a thrift store.  i literally spent about $2 more than i would have, buying (cute) paper plates & cups.  and now i have tea sets on hand for 10 guests!  you should totally stop by for tea! the place mats were papers we found at a scrapbooking store > >  

< < beginning the party with a paper doll craft.  they are at the age where they probably would have been perfectly content doing this for the entire party! > >

< < the place mats from the tea party turned into markers for our cake(bite) walk > >

 < < a mysterious letter appeared at the door leading the girls on a wild goose chase to find a basket full of marshmallow treats.  always a hit, these wild goose chases. > >

< < happy birthday to my littlest girl.  how i love you! > >

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