Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New House!

The long awaited pictures of our house! Yipee! We LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE our house! We love it more and more each day. We love our neighborhood. We love our view of the mountains, the sunrises, the sunsets. We love our backyard that we get to share with 2 horses. We love that we are only 3 minutes from the freeway. We love our garage. We love having a place of our own.
Here are some before and after pics
This is our kitchen. It did not originally have a stove or fridge. We bought them. In fact, they wouldn't finish the appraisal (meaning we couldn't go further in our house buying process) without a stove. They said the house was "unlivable." Whatever.
The stone had not been grouted. The stone is very porous with many holes. Our realtor said we would have to tear the floor up and that we couldn't keep it. I love my Dad! He said we could keep the floor, we just had to grout and seal it. So that's what we did. First I vacuumed out each hole and each tile joint. Then I steamed them with my mom's steamer. Then we grouted it - a 12 hour, 3 man project. We put 4 coats of heavy duty sealer on it. It's so beautiful now! I love our floor!!!! Thanks Dad and Matthew! We painted all the walls in the kitchen. The faucet was leaking, so we replaced it. The shelves above the fridge were too low, so my Dad sanded them down so our fridge would fit. I replaced 2 lightbulbs.
This room is our guest bedroom. Don't you love the tree theme? Just wait - it gets better!!! We painted the walls in this room.
This is the rainbow room. Matthew's Grandma came in this room and said she was getting dizzy! Each wall was a different color - red, yellow, blue, green. We painted it. it's now our exercise room.

The bathrooms (2 1/2) were all orange. The bathroom cabinet vents vented into the cabinet, meaning they would heat or cool just inside the cabinet and not the room. My dad installed channeling, so they would vent into the room. He also adhered the counter to the cabinets (which we found were unattached). He adhered the backsplash and caulked it. We painted each of the bathrooms. The master bathroom didn't have the stone baseboards like the other bathrooms, so my dad installed them. We grouted and sealed the bathrooms in the same process as the kitchen. I put new toilet seats on each of the toilets.
This is our patriotic room - red, white, and blue. It is now our office. We painted it.

This is our hallway. Gotta love the corners of this one! Red, yellow and orange all combine in the same spot. What an eye buster! The crazy/sad thing is the people here before us had just painted everything. There was still some painter's tape up. They were so excited about their paint. Painting over all the hideousness of it was the first thing on the list! We have a 20 foot ceiling in our entryway, so my dad brought over his scaffolding, so we could paint all the way to the top. I replaced our air filters. One air filter I had to screw into the wall, because it hadn't been screwed in when we moved in. We have a ceiling fan in our entryway that had literally 3 inches of dust on it. The dust was hanging over the sides! So I cleaned that right up while we had the scaffolding up. One of our neighbors came inside and asked us if our fan was new it looked that good after I cleaned it! We had bird poop on every windowsill and down numerous walls. We're not sure if they had birds before us. We do know there was a bird that had gotten trapped in our house. Shortly after we bought the home we found it dead in the vent. Awesome! We also had a nest of baby birds and momma bird in our dryer vent. We sucked out all the junk then replaced the dryer vent cover on the outside of our house.
This is the master bedroom. Lovely red and yellow. We painted it and the closet.
Here's the front of our house. We have green grass! Once the rain stopped, it was time to figure out our sprinklers. We spent a number of hours trying to figure them out. We had my brother, my dad, and a neighbor help us try to locate our main water turn on/shut off valve. I had a sprinkler guy come, and he found it within minutes! After 10 trips to the sprinkler store, $75, many hours, replacing a sprinkler valve, replacing a sprinkler diaphragm, replacing 8 sprinkler heads, and many, many hours - we have green grass!!! What a project! We've had a few neighbors comment on our grass. They said it hasn't been green for 3-4 years. I love our green grass! I've picked many dandelions, we pulled out a dead tree in the front and dead growth in the front.
I cleaned all the windows inside and out along with the window tracks. I cleaned out our rain gutters. I deep cleaned every part of the house. After all this I told Matthew I had literally touched every part of our house! I put a cage around the lightbulb in our storage space under our stairs. I fixed a leaky pipe in our kitchen. I installed our washer and dryer. I had to get a new dryer cord and new washer washers in order to install those. I installed a new lightbulb socket in our garage.
Our garage had tons of junk and remodeling stuff in it. Most of which did not go with our house. I took all the stuff to "Restore" store. They took almost all of it! They were excited to get it, and I was excited to get rid of it! The rest I took to DI. I cleaned the cabinets in our garage. I swept out our garage. I organized everything in our garage so that we can now fit both of our cars in our garage! I'm so proud of that!

So there you have it. That's most of the work we did in a nutshell. There are still many things we could do, but you homeowners know the list is never ending when you own a home!

Matthew and I all through May would go to work, then come to our house and work on our house for another few hours. It was a TON of work! I don't want to do that again. Whew! Most of my June was spent working on it and moving. I'm so happy now that it's done! Now you can see why I LOVE LOVE LOVE our house! It has my heart, soul, sweat and work in it! Here are a few after pictures. I didn't do very many because the paint is the same throughout the house. Downstairs and the guest bedroom have the two tone color because of the chair rail. All the other rooms have the lighter color. A huge improvement over the multi colored paint! You are welcome to come check it out if you want - we love visitors, and I love to show it off!
This is our kitchen now. I have to show off our canvas collage. Matthew got this for me for my birthday last year. These are all pictures we have taken with our camera on our adventures. I love this collage!!! This is our living room. We bought the couch shortly after we moved in. A day before we got it I told Matthew I wanted a couch that was kind of in a half circle, but I had never seen anything like that before. I didn't think they made it. Matthew considered making a couch the way I wanted. The next day we went to the old I.M. Home store and found this! Perfect! It was really close to what I had in mind!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It is Time!

It is time to finally do a post!!! The question is about what? Hawaii or our new house?? Hawaii wins today.

We got to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks a couple of weeks ago. We had such a great time!!! It was incredible! Matthew's parents have a timeshare there, so they invited us to go with them. We camped for 5 days and were in the timeshare for 7. Camping was way better than I thought it would be. Our tent opened up right on the beach, so I watched the sunrises and sunsets from bed - awesome!

The first day we were there, Matthew and I decided to take the kayak out and do a little snorkeling. We found out you don't want to play games with the ocean - it's not very nice. We went too far out and got pounded over and over by waves. They kept tipping us over every time we got into our kayak. We both lost our nice scuba diving masks and snorkels. Bummer. But at the time the most important thing was keeping our head above water. A big wave took me, kayak and ores into the shallower part. It was fun riding the wave! Terror erupted in me when I looked back to see Matthew out in the rough, and there was nothing I could do about it. He caught a few waves and paddled into safety. We collapsed on the shore, grateful to be alive, grateful for each other. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life.

With so much time there, we did so much of what could be done on Kauai. It was awesome! Loved every minute of it! We did an 8 mile hike to a beautiful beach and falls. We kayaked 3 rivers. We did 2 rope swings. We ate all kinds of delicious food: sushi, thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian. We went to a Luau with yummy food and an incredible show. We did some surfing. We went snorkeling and scuba diving. We took a boat trip along the Na Pali coast. We saw Harry Potter opening night. We did some cliff jumping. I had a different kind of flower in my hair every day - loved that! We took many long, romantic walks along the beach. We took TONS of pictures. Matthew whispered sweet nothings into my ear - more than once. Did so shopping and got some great stuff! 2 weeks of paradise. It was hard to come home. Matthew kept saying we are just
going to stay there and not fly back home. Deal. Done and done.

Here's some pics - out of the hundreds we took
This was one of the awesome views of the sunset from our tentHere's us a the Luau
There was a full moon while we were there - it was fun to watch the ocean waves with the full moon
Outside the condo
During our 8 mile hike - along the Na Pali coastThis was the beach we hiked to - 2 miles to get there. This part of the hike was so fun, because for 5 minutes you would get the beautiful view of the coastline and ocean. The next 5 miles you were in the jungle, totally covered in trees. Loved it!We saw lots of avocado trees. Most of them just had little avocados, but we finally found one where Matthew could stretch his arms and get a few. So fun! They didn't ripen in time for us to leave. We were bummed about that - I totally wanted to eat them! I did bring home a couple of pineapples that I'm going to plant and have a pineapple plant! Can't wait!The second half of our hike was quite the adventure! It had rained a ton the night before! (We would know too, because we were camping in it. It literally rained hard all night long - 2 nights in a row) Our camp was pretty wet. Needless to say, we were excited to get into the condo after that. Because it had rained so much, it was super muddy! There were lots of puddles. There was sludge and mud. It was slippery. It would squish under your feet. It was so fun! I'm so glad we did it! This is our muddy feet afterwards
This is the waterfall we hiked to - well worth the hike. It was beautiful! It was majestic. We dove right into the water. It felt SO good after our hike. We swam up to the water and went behind it. So magical. Loved it!!!!Sushi dinner outside along the Hanalei river - that we kayaked down the following day
A little waterfall right before Queen's bath where we did some cliff jumping
Not a good picture at all, but this is the cliff (on the right) that we jumped off. The fun/kind of scary thing (especially after our ocean craziness the previous day) was the waves would come in and out of this little inlet raising and lowering the water level. What a fun adventure!
On one of the many beautiful beaches

More Hawaii

Another day we kayaked up the Wailua River - this was one of my favorite activities. We kayaked for a while, then we did an awesome hike. This was one of the waterfalls we passed on that hike. We hiked to Secret falls. So beautiful! Again - we jumped right in, ready to get wet after our hike! This waterfall was super fun - we went behind it, under it, and through it - it was so fun! We had a great time!
After the waterfall, we hiked back to the kayaks and kayaked up the river a little more to the Fern Grotto. There is a cave there that used to be totally covered in ferns. It was destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago, but there are still some ferns there.
Here we are ready to snorkel in the kayak. This was the only time we wore our snorkel stuff. We decided after the rough, crazy ocean, that we would stick to kayaking the rivers. Definitely loved kayaking the riversWe went to the lighthouse there - I don't remember the name of itHere's one of our camp site set ups - we were at one campsite for 3 nights but changed our location to a better one each day - we got closer and closer to the beach! Nice!
Here's what we saw from our tent door - yep - I could wake up to that EVERY morning!
The next 2 are from Wailua Falls - Matthew found me the flower for my hair on that day. It was so big! I LOVED it! It was my favorite one of them all - especially because it was from Matthew!

We saw this guy on the beach fishing while we were watching the sunrise. He showed us the octopus he caught that morning - cool! Then he made me a flower and Matthew a grasshopper out of leaves they have there. So fun!!
This is at Kipu falls. You can do cliff jumping - there's also a sweet rope swing there. We had so much fun on the rope swing!!!! It was awesome! Another beautiful sunrise
These are some pics is from our boat ride along the Na Pali Coast - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the water! It's so blue!
Secret Beach
This was another view of the Na Pali Coast. Love the green, green mountains, with the hanging clouds, the beach and ocean. I love Hawaii!!!
We drove to Waimea Canyon