Shades of Gray... or black

Decisions decisions. I have a lot of renovation decisions to make very soon, Keating's room, our bedroom, our bathroom addition... yet the color of the kitchen cabinets will not get out of my head!

I have images of black and gray kitchens swirling in my mind, my email inbox, my photos folder. Its out of control. I like that black is classic and I feel like gray kitchens could end up being a fad, but every time I see a pretty gray kitchen, my heart is happy. Either one I choose will be accented with a shade of white to help lighten up the space. Here are some of my inspiration photos.

The Lettered Cottage

Gorgeous gray and white

I love the shelf under the cabinets.

new project contemporary kitchen
One of my VERY favorites

What do you think? Gray and white or black and white??

And just to refresh your memory of its current state
Things to keep in mind.
*The cabinets above and to the right of the sink will most likely be taken out and open shelving will be put up
*The backsplash will eventually be changed to something lighter
*PLEASE disregard the clutter. Its not ours.

Thanks for your comments and opinions!


Soaking it all in {Im a working mom}

As the great philosopher Ferris Bueler once said "Life moves pretty fast, if you dont stop to take a look around once in awhile... you may miss it" =)

That really is one of my favorite quotes and it is so true. Lately I have been soaking it all in. Soaking it in because starting March 1st, I am a working mom. This is bitter sweet for me for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I wont get to share my entire day with Keating anymore. I'll no longer be a stay at home mom.

Going back to work has been a huge internal struggle for me. There have been many prayers and many tears. I kept thinking things like, "What if I miss something important? Like his first steps?" I prayed for a sense of peace about the situation, and that everything would just work out... And what do you know, everything just seemed to fall into my lap. Gotta love it when that happens!

I have found a job with a great company with a lot of mothers. They truly understand what I am going through, and they really get the importance of family. That was such a relief. I did not want a job where I was a slave to my desk. Also, my office will be seven minutes from my house once we move. You can't ask for a shorter commute than that! I think it is so reassuring that even when we feel like our lives are up in the air, that God's got it covered. When we are struggling to make difficult decisions and even having to do things that literally break our hearts, that God already has everything worked out.

It is still going to be incredibly hard those first few days to leave my baby, but I feel great knowing that he will be staying with my cousin and her little girl. He will have a playmate to entertain him and get real interaction with another kid. Then in September he will be starting a mothers morning out program at my mom's preschool. He already feels right at home there, so it should be an easy transition.

This past weekend was a perfect family weekend. I felt like everything is just as it is supposed to be now. For the past 7 months, I have felt out of sorts. Getting adjusted to being a mom and having a family, and then we moved into my parents basement until we are able to move to our house. We are so thankful that we have been able to stay here, but I am READY for a house of my own again!!

We have finally closed on our house and now we can officially get excited about renovating it and making it home. We spent the weekend furniture shopping and taking advantage of presidents day furniture sales. We went to about 6 furniture stores where we stuffed Keating full of snacks to keep him entertained. He was so good, I still cant believe it. We found a new King bedroom suit that I can't wait to use!! I love Brad and all, but I need my space to sleep! I also decided on new couches that are being custom upholstered. I thought that would be really expensive, but was thrilled when I found it for a steal! I cant wait to show y'all what I picked out! If you try really hard, I bet you can guess what color the couches are!

Well, I am sorry for how lengthy this is. I didn't intend for it to be. I am sure by this point, only my MawMaw is reading! Hey MawMaw!


At last, a home tour

I thought it is about time that I share with yall the before state of our house. We wont move in until all of the remodeling is complete, so everything you see is not ours.

Come on in...

This is the view from the front door, a long narrow hallway. We hope to take all of it out except for the wall at the left. It is a shame that the floors weren't done neutral, otherwise we would probably leave them as is, but the giant red stripe around the perimeter of the house is not our style. Instead we will be staining them dark brown.

This is the view once you step inside. A very typical floor plan for a 1970's ranch. That wall to the back of the photo with the painting hanging will be going too.

We aren't sure yet if we will be able to remove this whole wall or just a very large opening in it, only time will tell.

This is the view if you stand next to our "Built In Bookshelf" and look back toward the door.

I have no idea how I have no photos of the family room. This is the only view I have. It is very large and open with vaulted ceilings{which I love}, 1970's ceiling fans, 1970's wood paneling, and early 1990's light fixtures. I think the biggest thing that bothers me about this room is how the fireplace just stops half way up the wall and there is a random piece of trim at the same height that tops off the paneling. Oh where to even begin!? So many ideas, so little time. If you step around the corner with the fireplace behind you, this is the view to the kitchen. The wall on the left is the one we plan on getting rid of.

As much as y'all know that I love gray, this gray and maroon combo just does not work. Sidenote:: I dont know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I LOATHE the colors maroon and hunter green, Brad hates aqua, keep that in mind as you finish your tour.

We hope to add more lighting to brighten up the space, as well as all new light fixtures.

Since the kitchen is less than 10 years old, we would like to be able to repurpose as much as possible. I am sure that some people love oak cabinets, but we do not. The cabinets are going to be painted, we just arent 100% sure what color that will be yet.

Once again, as much as I love gray, the counter tops just dont do it for me... but we are going to work on loving them. Hopefully a coat of paint on the cabinets will bring out the best in them.

The back splash has to go... I never thought I would say this, but it is TOO MUCH GRAY! Once I realized this, I came to the sad conclusion that my coveted gray kitchen cabinets were out of the question.

Stepping out of the kitchen and into the hallway, this is your view. Lonngggggg and narrrrooowwww. I dont necessarily mind the paneling on the walls here, but it needs to be painted much lower contrast.

The door to the right goes down to the basement. Its a totally wet, creepy basement but its full of old furniture treasures that I want to revamp! The door on the left is the laundry room. I say we should move the laundry room down to the basement and utilize this space as a half bath and large pantry. We havent come to a conclusion here just yet.

The second door on the right is this massive hall bathroom painted a pretty shade of swimming pool aqua. All of the tile in here is new, so I am going to keep it... but I will have to find a paint color to downplay the orangey shades in it. Suggestions? We are also ripping out the vanity and mirror.

This is the smaller of the bedrooms, but still decent sized {much bigger than the rooms in our old house} The lavender will be going. As will the hunter green carpet. Gotta love the lasting effect the 90's had on home decor.

This is the second bedroom, which we will probably use as Keating's room. Its much more room than he needs right now, but plenty of room to grow in to.

And this ladies and gentlemen, is where the magic happens. HAHA KIDDING. There would be no magic making in this room under the current conditions... Luckily it will look nothing like this when we move in. Once again, gotta love the green carpet.
The only perk to this tiny master "suite" is that it has a large window... that will be knocked out so that we can add on to the back of the house. Also the only closet in the entire master bedroom is behind the narrow sliding doors. That just doesn't work for me. Not one bit. Neither does shiny paint on walls.

We are adding on because THIS is our master bathroom. Once again, it was all redone pretty recently, but its aqua, extremely small, lacks storage, has no tub, and its not our style.

Well friends, that's all for now. I hope the pastels didn't burn your retinas! Does anyone have any great NEUTRAL paint colors that they swear by? I have found a few I love, but I am open to suggestions. Shades of greige are appreciated!


The Birthday Boy, Let him eat cake!

Sorry these are so delayed. This week has been full of house stuff, job interviews, and me rushing to finish Blue's 1st year photo book before shutterfly ended their sale. Also, my very favorite camera lense broke RIGHT after we took the photo below... sadly there are only mediocre photos of the day.

We started our day out with Keating's baby dedication at church. This is something that you are really supposed to do before your baby is a year old. But I dropped the ball on this numerous times and we kept missing the cut off date. Alas, Keating was dedicated exactly a year after he was born... which I think is pretty cool. He looked really snazzy in his outfit that his Shonnie bought him. I decided that the outfit I sewed wasn't dressy enough for the occasion. Yes, Lola is in the background eating sticks.
I really slacked off on party decorations, Keating didn't seem to mind. This is really the only photo of decor I have since my lense was out of commission. I found the high chair at goodwill for $7 and fixed it up. I think the red makes it really fun!
Family and a few friends came over to watch Keating smash his face full of cake. I decided to just make a smash cake, {bogo Sarah Lee cake mix jazzed up with homemade almond buttercream frosting.} The adults had cupcakes.

Can you tell he just hates eating?? HA!You'd think he would at least smile a little bit since he was shoveling cake in his mouth... not so much. Too overwhelming I guess?

"It's okay John, I've got this all by myself!"

When you have this much food flying around, you gain a lot of four legged best friends!

Since the weather has been so nice here, we ventured outside to take Keating's last monthly sticker photo. He is hardly in to taking the photos anymore... about as much as Lola is. This is as good as I got of them together. When I attempted to take his photo by himself, he realized the fun of finding sticks and rocks and trying to eat them... Boys will be boys right?

He is also done with wearing the stickers, and has realized he can pull them off... and eat them.

Then tried to stick it back on!

Over all, it was a great low key day. Next year we will have a big shabang, but this year it was perfect. I still can't believe my baby is ONE! The number one has brought along a whole new bag of tricks, but I won't go into that now.



Friends, after a long 7 months of running in circles trying to refinance... it has finally closed! We are so relieved! During this long wait, we have learned a lot about things coming in God's time and not our own. It is a very hard concept to grasp when we are so used to instant gratification.

Tonight, Brad and I are going out on a hot date to celebrate! Yay!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's day. Tomorrow I will come back with pictures of Keating's birthday!


A sweet valentine

The sweetest Valentine I think I have ever seen!

Keating and I made this card the other day for Brad, and then up until last night I completely forgot that today was the sacred day of love. Last year I was in the hospital on Valentine's day, and this year, we were so busy getting ready for Keating's big day, that we forgot all about it.
Valentines day has not really ever been a big day for us. I love all things "Valentine" {red, pink, sweet kids valentine cards & conversation hearts} but I am not crazy about the pressure put on the 14th. I believe you should show someone they are special to you every day, not just one specific day of the year when restaurants jack up their menu prices and florists charge un-godly amounts for a red rose {I'd prefer pink anyways}.

Brad, will get his card from us today, but we really wont be celebrating or romancing... the most romance we may see is The Bachelor tonight... haha! Only kidding Brad. Tomorrow we are going out for a nice dinner because God willing, we will FINALLY close on our home refinance!!! It only took about 8 months. If you think about it, cross your fingers, toes, or say a little prayer that everything works out. Then I will be bombarding you all soon with renovation pictures of our new/old house.

Happy Day of Love Y'all!


My heart grew three sizes that day

It is hard to believe that in the last year, my baby has gone from this...

to this...Where does time go!?

This Sunday is Keating's 1st birthday! A year ago, I had no idea how much my life was going to change and my heart was going to grow more than I could ever imagine! I was like The Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day! This little man is my life and words just can't express how much I love him.

Thank you everyone for reading and giving me advice and suggestions over the last year. Things have not always been easy, and we have gone through a lot of trial and error, but that's life. Our grumpy old man of a baby has turned into a HAPPY little boy! He is funny and sweet, he loves giving kisses {especially to the dogs!} and he has a contagious belly laugh. My kid is awesome! It just amazes me how much he has grown and changed in the last year.

This Sunday is also another special occasion, it is Keating's baby dedication at church {we totally missed the boat on doing this when he was a baby}. I realized that he didn't have anything cute to wear, and in my normal procrastinating fashion... I waited too late to order something. I decided to try my hand at sewing him a little pair of John John overalls. I am PLEASANTLY surprised that they turned out okay, especially since I had to tweak the pattern to make them long enough for my long legged boy.

The pattern to make this was HORRIBLE and the directions were even worse, but I realized that I am capable of sewing very basic clothes. I am going to give it another try for his Easter outfit.

I think that first birthday parties are more for the parents than for anyone else... so we are keeping it simple this year. Especially since we aren't in our house yet, I didn't want to go overboard. I didn't plan to decorate at all, but once again I waited until the last minute to whip up a few things. It wont be anything spectacular, but I think it will be just perfect!

I hope everyone is having a great week! We are supposed to get more snow tonight. I'm really hoping the weather man drops the ball on this. I am DONE with winter, ready for spring!