it's like i have my own HGTV show.

a while back, i posted a few photos of the progress in the kitchen, and i've gotten a surprising number of people asking questions about the spraying process. so in a weird turn of events, i'm about to give you some DIY home project tips.  seriously.


here are the top five most frequent questions i've gotten:

why did you leave the doors on when you sprayed?
because i'm lazy and wanted it done super quickly, and because i have a friend who did it the same way who swore it wouldn't look like a hot mess to do it this way.

what about the hinges? did you paint those too?
yepper.  my hinges are those kind that mount on the inside, so it really didn't end up being an issue for me, but the friend i mentioned above has visible hinges on her cabinets and i honestly think they looked better painted the same color as everything else.  but i'm also biased because i have this seriously irrational hatred of visible hinges.  i can't tell you why, but they kind of make me angry.  so camouflaged is better than shiny, in my weirdly specific and insensitive opinion.

how did you keep them from getting painted shut?
i don't know.  they just didn't get painted shut.  i had one drawer stick, but i just ran a razor blade along it and it opened fine.

what about the backs of the doors?
they're all brown and ugly.  but it's the inside of the cabinet, so stop being so worried about it.

how long did it take?
i could get a coat of paint on the entire bank of cabinets in less than five minutes.  i did a coat of primer and two sprayed coats of paint.  (a third coat of paint applied with a roller and a brush, to get the little spots the sprayer missed.)  i used benjamin moore 'aura' paint in 'white dove.'

*i will take updated pictures in which the plastic and floor paper are gone and most of the new knobs and pulls are on the doors and drawers, which is the current state of the kitchen.  i'll post those at some point.  obviously not today because i'm feeling lazy and i can't muster the oomph to get the camera out.

kay, unless there are any other questions, i'll take off my poorly-fitting DIY advice hat and put on my normal snarky blogger hat.  everyone's world will be back to normal tomorrow.

head on over to the candeo blog for today's Q & A: 'why 40 days?'

church in the park

yesterday was our church's first big service, held at a local park.  it. was. awesome.  the weather was great, it was wonderful to hear paul teach from the bible, we got to meet lots of new people, and there was a big lunch afterward.  265 people showed up! god's doing some really awesome things here already.

one drawback of having it in the park was that it was right next to the train track.  at least the engineer seemed friendly.

look!  we're all looking at the camera, and mostly smiling!  it's a july miracle!

and because he was so stinking cute about it, here's a bunch of pictures of finneas eating some watermelon afterward:

in related news (related to candeo, not to cute kids eating watermelon), our church will have its first official launch service on september 8.  we are praying god would bring people in to hear the gospel and celebrate with us!  todd's organizing a 40-day countdown blog that starts tomorrow - read along and pray along with us as we gear up for the big day!  even if you're not in the area or able to attend the big event, we would still love it if you'd pray with us.  (i'll be writing a few posts over there as well, so keep your eyes peeled for some snookie references.  on a church blog.  you know how i do.)


this week's 'wutup.'

wow.  this week has gone so quickly.  i feel like i was just writing last's week's 'what's up weekly'  (also delinquently, if i remember correctly).

last friday night we drove the kids down to drop them off with my mom for the weekend, and headed back up to bust. our. butts. working on the house before the move-in on sunday.  we primed (and primed again) and painted (and painted and then painted) the trim.  it made us both want to die and also cuss someone out, but we got there.  the trim is looking all crisp and fresh and like something justin timberlake would probably approve of.

oh, did i fail to mention i'm starting a new 'shabby chic' trend in clothing?  men's boxers + men's tshirt with big rip in it = oodles of feminine charm

then, in a scenario i can't fully remember, i somehow got that 'i'm so tipsy' song stuck in my head, only the words became, 'i'm so thrifty, i'm so thrifty.'  (please don't ask me why on earth that original song is anywhere in my memory bank in the first place).  the modified version was the best hiphop song i've ever heard in my life, and i'm pretty sure it will launch me into stardom someday (which is how i will end up with the clout to launch my new clothing line).

on sunday, a bunch of guys helped us load up our stuff onto the moving van one last time, brought it over, and unloaded it here.  it was a rough day.  i kept seeing stuff come off the truck that clearly would not fit in our new, smaller house, and it was super overwhelming to try and figure out what to do with it.  in a total, god-ordained turn of events, a friend is having a garage sale this weekend and asked if i have anything to throw in.  um, yes, yes i do.  so i'm hoping to make some sweet moolah and rid my life of some seriously unnecessary clutter.  if you're in the market for some new anything (furniture, kitchen islands, kids' clothes, flour sifters), come on down.

anyway.  what was i even talking about?

oh right.  the rest of this week has been a massive effort to unpack and get settled.  we are far from there, but trying.  we ordered bunk beds for the kids, but they arrived without all the pieces, so that half-bed/half-bundle of lumber is just sitting in the middle of our floor, but such is moving.  my friend jenni, who is amazeballs at decorating, came over yesterday to help me paint and arrange my living room, so we're at least closer on that front.

i mentioned that our hot water heater was broken, but it is now fixed and we can wash laundry and we have a lot less money!

and in bakery news, i'm 37 weeks pregnant.  i have three weeks to find the baby clothes in the stacks of boxes.  good luck to me.

you can see that this is the week we had no hot water and i stopped caring.

and finally, in upcoming, you-won't-want-to-miss-this news, JOIN US FOR CHURCH IN THE PARK ON SUNDAY!  not even kidding, this has been so much fun to look forward to, and i can't believe it's this weekend already!  if you come, let me know and we can meet up - i promise to have showered beforehand.

just to clarify, this is in cedar falls.

and in case you missed the rest of the week:

here's how much i hate moving.
here's how nasty our furniture is.  seriously biohazardous.
here's how i managed to soak in someone else's tub by candlelight.

happy trails, y'all.

well, hello there, unexpected silver lining!

i'm just going to come out and say it: we haven't had hot water in our house since we moved in.  not really sure why, although the indicator lights on the the water heater would suggest that the flammable vapors from the freshly polyurethaned floors tripped some sensor that caused it to shut off.  and though we've had two service guys come look at it, we're not sure when it will start back up.  if at all.


on the plus side, not only have i gotten to 'ma ingalls' it by boiling water to wash my dishes (and most things that make me feel like ma ingalls makes me feel better about life), but i have not had to do much laundry this week.  (i'll probably regret this part next week, when we have hot water, and i'm having to catch up on all the stuff that piled up this week.  but i'm enjoying it now!)  additionally, i have gotten to bum showers at my friend jenni's house.

it might not sound like much, but let me paint you a little picture:  i show up at the door all dirty and unshowered, and am greeted by hugs and 'welcome home!'s from the family, like they don't even notice how gross i am.  then they insist that i probably want to take a bath, not a shower.  and they're right.  and then their daughters go and light some candles and gather up some decorating magazines and set out towels.  and then i'm all like, 'it's not awkward for me to just hang out all bath-y in your house?' and they're all, 'no! not at all!'  and then i'm soaking in the tub for like 45 minutes astonished that this is actually my life.  and then i get out and dress myself and otherwise try to be presentable, and they're like, 'how was it?' and i'm all like, 'best thing that has ever happened to me.  ever in my life.'

in related news, another friend watched my kids a couple of mornings this week and bathed them for me while they were there.  who knew that a crazy hot water heater could result in me being so spoiled and not having to do any work?

so.  all in all, this whole 'no hot water at my house' thing really just results in me getting to soak, kidless and responsibility-less, in a candle-lit bath for a while, while thumbing through magazines and letting someone else take care of the kids' hygiene.  i bet you wish your hot water heater was on the fritz as well.

video vednesday: doodoodoodoodurrrrr (that's my best transcription)

(todd wishes he had thought of and made this. i love how much he loves it.) thanks jes!

come and sit a spell. over there on the wipeable leather arm chair.

we bought our couches before we got married.  todd's parents offered to buy us furniture for our new home as a wedding gift, so we got to pick out new stuff from day one!  and you know what?  i'm pretty sure i will still love those couches with my dying breath.  those turned arms.  that camelback shape.  the traditional turned legs.  the extra-wide seat for people like me and abraham lincoln who need a little leg room. (i'm still crossing my fingers that he comes to visit someday.  i realize it's implausible, but if he does come, he will be comfy on my couches.)  yeah, they're a weird gold color, and the cushions are starting to get a little mushy, but i will recover those things a million times before i have to get rid of them before their time.

however, one thing i did not pay attention to when buying furniture as a young, never-been-married, never-had-kids moron (not the wise, educated, worldly woman i am now) was whether or not the upholstery fabric was washable.  i bet you can see where i'm going with this.

it is not.  it is dry-clean only.

so not only is the fabric gold, but it is covered - and i mean COVERED - with all kinds of nasty stains.  three babies later, and those couches are still telling the tale of every episode of baby spit-up, every time a toddler cried and buried his snotty and tear-streaked face in the couch, every time liquid medicine was administered and subsequently spilled or spit out, every time i have spilled my water during night-time nursing (oh yes, water stains them too).  i'm not saying it strongly enough when i say they're DISGUSTING to look at.  all gold and splotchy.

so i'm trying to figure out what to do with them.  i have tried covering them with slipcovers in the past, but a) no company makes a rolled-arm, camelback, T-cushion slipcover and so they always look wonky and fit strangely and cover up the shape i love so much, and b) cotton?!  slipcovers are made of cotton?!  like that's going to keep anything from soaking through onto the couches underneath.  they should make slipcovers out of bullet-proof vests lined with those weird foil thermal blankets.

at this point, i'm hoping a good professional cleaning and some massive scotchgarding action will do the trick, but i don't know, you guys.  they are pretty bad.  maybe someday in the future i will become besties with a seamstress with a bunch of time on her hands and a generous heart, and i can get them recovered in some kind of pretty, stain-repellant, stain-hiding, inexpensive, indestructable, good-smelling upholstery material.  until then...any ideas for me?

this is real life.

i would just like to start off this monday by saying that i hate moving.  hate it.

i hate that we had a bunch of guys moving our crap into a house that is nearly half the square footage of our old house, knowing that we don't have room for it all and that i'll have to sell a bunch of it and so much of their effort was in vain.

i hate not knowing where the baby clothes and baby swing and whatever else is.  i hate that our life and our stuff is in such chaos so close to when this baby is due.

i hate having a smaller kitchen and not knowing where to put everything.

i hate staring at boxes and random furniture arrangements and not knowing where it all will go.

i hate that the piano that i defended so loyally to bring with us (when todd and all our movers wanted me to leave it behind) betrayed me by gouging and scraping and peeling the ever-living crap out of the beautiful floor that todd slaved over.

i hate that our dining room table is about to bite the dust now because it couldn't handle all the pressure of moving.  what a stupid pansy.

i hate that our bed doesn't fit up the stairs and now we have to sleep on a double bed like a middle school girl.  a single, solitary middle school girl.

blah.  happy mondays are for d-bags.  the rest of us like to start out our weeks wallowing in self-pity, am i right?

what's update with us this week.

stuff be cray around here.  i've mentioned some of it already this week, but seriously, we're kicking butt over at the new house, and keeping the kids alive at the same time, so i'm pretty sure we deserve some kind of decorative medallion, or at least some kind of celebrity mention at the next big awards show.

okay, so let's back up.  we closed on the house.

then todd ripped out the carpet and i worked on painting the cabinets.  we got the front porch done.  and, amazingly! historically!, we got all three kids to smile in a photo:

then todd spent nearly 48 straight hours with no sleep so that he could sand and stain, and later poly, the floors.  they look beautiful and made him want to die a little.

after the carpet was torn out, the floor was patched (you can't even tell where he did it! it looks so good!), and the whole thing was sanded.  this photo was taken right around...

...4:42 a.m. when this particular part of the job was finished.  it took a lot more work after that to get it looking like this:

WHA?! yeah. 

next on the list: painting the trim.  please don't have a heart attack.  i'm positive that there's at least one of you out there who's considering unfollowing my blog for my infidel stance on natural wood trim.  but you know what?  my house, my rules.  i will throw you a bone and remind you that we uncovered many more square feet of natural wood than we'll be covering up, so unbunch your unmentionables.

anyway.  here's what else:

i hit the 36-week mark in the pregnancy and am starting to feel a bit panicked, as the countdown continues on only a single hand at this point.  (maybe that's why my face looks so pained in this photo?)

and in kid-specific news, atticus' firewood creations have soared to new heights and we now have a full-on construction site on the back patio:

and finneas pushed through the baby gate i had used to corral him while working on the porch, fell down the front steps, and landed head-first onto the hammer, giving himself a huge goose egg and wonkifying his glasses.

and that's life in a nutshell.

oh, and btdubs, we're moving into the house on sunday.  anyone available in The Valley (that's what i've named our new area since i'm super left-coast and all) who would want to come help out?  i promise i'll make you carry a piano up our porch stairs and do other horrible stuff, too.  who's in?

chaotic interior shots of our new house, and also some words i wrote.

yesterday i mentioned that our kitchen is kind of a hot mess right now:

to be more accurate, the entire inside of the house is kind of a hot mess right now.  we're taking this week to tackle a few projects that are easier to do in a vacant house than they would be if we were living there.  we'll actually move in on saturday.  in the meantime, we're painting the kitchen, ripping out carpet, refinishing the hardwoods, painting the walls and some trim, and generally just giving the house a bit of a spruce-up.

on the flip side, however, that means that, though we've been vagrant for the last few months, and even with the baby due in just a couple of weeks, we're choosing vagrancy for yet another week.  i'm feeling a sense of urgency to get settled!  (and make freezer meals and have, you know, a bed for our kiddo to come home to.  so much to do before she comes!)  so we're trying to book it as quickly as possible.

okay, so without further jabbering, here are some photos.

finn, enjoying the carpet for the last time.  this kid loves to lay on the floor, so i think he might miss it more than the rest of us.  (yes, the carpet is actually decent and only four years old, but there are hardwoods under there.  are you hearing what i'm saying, people?)

our first glimpse at the dining room/living room floor!

and then...bummer.

we had been given a heads' up that things might be bad in a few spots, so we were mentally prepared for this, but seriously.  bummer.

but, in better news, the kitchen is coming along nicely.  here's a 'before' shot (please pretend that the previous owners' stuff is not there, and don't label me as a creep for posting this):

kind of fuzzy, but you get the jist.  and here's an 'in progress' shot:


and just to convince you that she needed a good airbrushing, here's a photo of our sweet oak-paneled dishwasher before:

and, though it's taped off and whatnot, you can tell that it seems slightly less strange with a coat (or three) of paint:

okay, and just because 1) i would like to prove that i have been working and not just delegating, 2) i would like to open myself up to criticism for power spraying my cabinets while pregnant and occasionally forgetting to don my mask, and 3) my husband takes artsy photos, i submit the following for your viewership:

okay, so this post is super long.  sorry.  but i warned you.  (actually, i don't think i did, but i don't feel like scrolling all the way to the top to double-check that, so i maintain that i may have warned you.)

plugging along at the new house.

hey, remember when our house looked like this?

well.  no longer.  it now looks like this:

and let's see her from the front.

oh yeah.

with the help of my parents and sister, i painted the door, made and hung the wreath, changed out the house numbers, hung a new light fixture, set out a couple planters, and putting a whiskey barrel planter around the bottom of the mailbox.  (i should post some closer-up shots...sorry.  maybe soon.)  next summer i'm hoping to plant some hydrangeas under the windows.  although, that would mean that i'll have to remove a bunch of the rock bed, which has proven itself to be the source of hours of fun for all three kids.

it feels good to have part of the house (almost) totally done.  it compensates for the fact that the kitchen currently looks like this:

but more on that tomorrow.

what's up weekly.

yo yo yo wassup wassup!?!?

this week was busy with crows and stuff.  if you know me, you might know i have a thing with crows.  i hate them.  they freak me out.  and yet, this fella found it appropriate to sit on the van and stake his claim on our trash can.

then he started cawcaw-ing out to his crow friends that there were some tasty morsels to be had, and this one joined him.  they clearly tried to get more buddies in on the action, but i don't think the other crows believed that there was a trash can with as many poopy diapers in it as promised, so they didn't bother to show up.  (joke's on those crows;  the first ones weren't lying.)

super freaky.

atticus found a pile of fire wood behind the house where we're staying.  this ensued:

followed shortly thereafter by this:

we somehow found ourselves in the possession of a comically large can of beans.

i turned 35 weeks pregnant and continued to be disappointed in my pregnancy book (it's just now getting around to talking about the possibility of having multiples).

and we're closing on our house TODAY!  oh glory.  we will finally have a home to call our own again!  i'm excited to get in there and start making it 'ours,' so that's probably what i will be spending most of the day doing.  yesssss. 

lemon out.

i'm mad at that guy at walmart. and here's why.

okay, so if you haven't heard, i'm pregnant.  with my fourth kid.  and my oldest is four.  needless to say, i get a lot of stares when i'm out in public.  (maybe not because of the kids thing, but maybe more because of the unshowered-and-desperate-looking thing.  but also maybe because of the kids thing.)

usually, if people say something about the size of our family, it goes one of two ways.  either they're sweet about it and compliment how cute the kids are (this, unsurprisingly, is my favorite way for the scenario to play out) or they say something snarky and/or confused about it.  things along the lines of "you know how that happens, right?" and "are they all yours?!" and "*winkwinknudgenudge* you have your hands FULL!"  i usually head these people off by saying something like, "full of good things!" or something equally cheeseball that shuts up the jerks and steers the well-intentioned toward saying something nice rather than giving me unsolicited advice.

honestly, i usually don't really mind when people comment.  even the jerky things roll off relatively easily because i know people are just sincerely curious or taken aback.  but yesterday i was about ready to punch this one guy.  i'm standing there in walmart, trying to pick out a prenatal vitamin and some tums, and my cart is full of diapers and monkey-children (i was seriously like a walking caricature), and this guy walks past, sees us standing there, then backs up and waits at the end of the aisle for us to finish and walk toward him.  as i pass him, he's all, 'you're going to have your hands full when that baby comes out.'  not smiling, just super serious and patronizing.  and i was all, 'full of good things!'  and he was all, 'no.  seriously.  not that what you're doing is wrong or anything, i guess, but just wait and see.  it's going to be a handful.'

um, thanks, stranger.

seriously.  i have not been so annoyed by someone in a long time.  i keep trying to tell myself that he was well-intentioned, but he was seriously so doomsday about the prospect of me having to do the work of raising another kid that i can't stop imagining him getting mega-wedgied by some random bully who decided to loiter around his cart and ruin his day.

anyway.  here's a tip for those of you in the audience who don't really know what to say to in-public moms trying to wrestle their tiny children through the store:  if you must say something, please say something pleasant.  'you have a beautiful family!' is a wonderful thing for a mom to hear when her kids are unbathed and covered in popsicle juice and climbing under her skirt and opening the granola bars before they've been paid for.  we all know you mean it conceptually.  and that's fine.  just something that doesn't communicate the fact that you regret her decisions on her behalf, or that watching her makes you want to die inside, is appreciated.

my two cents.

philosophical tuesday.

is there anything more depressing than seeing a random, single shoe in some kind of public place?  at least for me, i'm all, 'where's your buddy, little guy?  how did you get all the way out here in the target parking lot all by yourself?  whose foot did you used to grace?  do they even miss you?  what is going to happen to you?'  i imagine that those shoes are just sitting there feeling like adam, all 'i was made to be part of a pair, but i'm missing my mate.'  seriously, at this point in time, i can think of no other trivial thing that's sadder than a matchless shoe.

but really, it does make me wonder how it's a common enough phenomenon that it's a 'thing.'  the other day, i saw three in the same day (one of which was a baby sandal in the middle of a crosswalk.  talk about melancholy).  how does one lose a shoe in a public place without noticing?  and then, once you do notice, what is the protocol?  do you just throw away the other one (heartless but realistic), or do you hold onto it for a while like you do with singular socks, hoping that someday its other half will show up (optimistic but pointless)?  what would i do?  what would you do?  what would jesus do?

lots of deep thoughts to ponder on this tuesday.

the voorst of july.

we didn't really do anything stereotypically fourth-of-july-y on the fourth.  there wasn't a parade, the fireworks were in another town and not until saturday, we don't have an above-ground pool, and my kids are too young to get trashed in the name of patriotism.  so we did what any other countercultural family would do: we ate hot dogs with some friends, forced our kids to play with sparklers against their will, and had all our minors in bed by 7:30 p.m.  WOOHOO!

we started off the night bbq-ing it up with our friends/upstairs neighbors/host family (i like having a reason to use the vocabulary of a foreign exchange student!) and a woman affectionately known as Grandma Pumpkin.  we then busted out the sparklers, which we thought the kids would love.  instead, the predictable-if-i-had-thought-about-it-realistically happened: atticus spent the entire time holding his sparkler as far away from his body as possible, saying, 'i don't want to do this anymore.  i don't want this.  i'm done.  i don't want to do this anymore.'  once his sparkler was burned out, he wandered off to find a patch of dirt to dig in.  penelope, on the other hand (and again, predictably), held her sparkler out in front of her, stuck out her tongue like a maniac, and apparently pretended to stir some kind of imaginary pot.  my kids are nothing if not true to form.

not too sure about holding a stick of shooting fire.  i guess it's understandable.

much more up his alley.

she's a little more into it.

okay, maybe it's not so bad...
after the requisite sparkler-ing, the kids spent a little time swinging, then we busted out the cake, which atticus had a much easier time getting on board with.

and that was our fourth of july.  'and i'm proud to be an american, where at least i know there's cake...'