Posted in Florida Fun, Randomness

Before…and After!

[portfolio-gallery include=2139]We’re finally into our new house!  Completely!  After spending a full day last weekend moving the rest of our junk into our new garage, we’ll have the rental cleaned next week and will be DONE with renting forever. Now comes the unpacking, sorting, and putting away all the stuff we’ll keep, with the rest of it left in the garage for a future sale.  But that’s down the road a bit. The past couple of weeks have been filled with cleaning, painting, and shopping, with poor Thom taking the brunt of the work because of my job. The garage and the outside, which is in desperate need of a paint job, had to wait while we re-did the inside. Kevanna is coming next weekend, and we HAD to have it ready for them! Thom’s  brother-in-law was down this past week and installed a beautiful set of French patio doors that just make the room. Here’s some befores and afters:


P1010637First, the living area looking out to the front door. We removed the curtains, then Thom took down the wallpaper border on the left. We decided to stay with the same color as the rest of the room, and since there was a can of paint in the garage with the name on it, we were able to match it perfectly! We put some 2″ white wood blinds in the front window. A new front door and screen door are in our future.




The kitchen had some big changes. We had to put a new counter top in as the old one was actually warped. Thom spent days sanding and painting the cupboard doors and drawer fronts, including the wood around the light fixture. We were forced to get a new (used) fridge, so we went for a big white side-by-side. We hope to replace the stove and microwave with white ones down the road.

But I have to say our most favorite improvement is in our beautiful little lanai!  Here are a couple of before and a couple of after pictures. The lanai was just filthy when we got in there. No one had lived in the house for over two years. Once we cleaned it, we realized it had beautiful tile under all the dirt. But the slider had to go. It wouldn’t slide; it kept falling off the track. It made all kinds of noise. It just begged to be replaced! Huge thanks go to Bobby for such a great job installing it with some help from Thom. The perfect housewarming gift!

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So, aside from the bedrooms, which really didn’t need any big fixes, I think we’re ready for our first company! (We just have to keep them out of the garage.)

Posted in Family & Friends, Randomness


an·tic·i·pa·tion1 : the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation;                                                                       2 : visualization of a future event or state

I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with anticipation. I love surprises, the spur-of-the-moment, the let’s-not-think-too-much-about-it-in-case-we-talk-ourselves-out-of-it kind of impetuousness that began in my teens and has not yet left me. I’m not saying I like living on the edge, but I’m all for jumping into the car and just driving, or getting short notice of a trip home and really enjoying the whole experience, the good, the bad–all of it. But I also love looking forward to things, thinking about them, trying to decide the hows, then whens, the wheres.

So here’s a rundown of the past few months regarding the theme of ‘anticipation’ and how it has applied to my life lately:

  • Anticipation #1:  Buying a house on a short sale. If you’ve ever heard about how difficult this can be, you’ve heard correctly. While not impossible, it is definitely stressful. This kind of anticipation I can do without. You actually do not know until you sign the papers whether you have a done deal or not. The ups and downs of that roller coaster ride will not quickly be forgotten.
  • Anticipation #2:  Going to Disney Flower and Garden Show and looking forward to that Soarin ride. Awesome!!! And trying to fit this in with packing, working, beaching, packing and working.
  • Anticipation #3:  A stupendous, impulsive acceptance of an offer to fly home for my son’s graduation party, a quick overnight totally worth the stress of missing the first leg of my flight (see previous post about Amy).
  • Anticipation #4: Finally moving into the new house (even though half our stuff is still at the old one); sleeping here, waking here, driving to and from work from here (1 mile!). But tomorrow should be the end of the dreaded anticipation of renting a truck and moving the rest here. To. Be. Finally. Done.

And then these little anticipations, like looking forward to having our wretched patio door replaced with lovely French doors that will open out onto the screened lanai (must wait 4 days!  Anticipation!). Like seeing the kitchen come together after Thom took all the doors and drawers down and repainted them. Like going to work with the broken old counter in the kitchen, only to come home to a beautiful NEW gray counter to go with our now white cupboards! I love leaving the house in the morning and coming home later and seeing new things on the walls, new paint on the lanai, a slightly different room arrangement. Those are FUN surprises!

  • Anticipation #5: Kevanna. They are flying down in 14 days. 14. This is when I love/hate anticipation. I love to look forward to having them here. I love that I know they’re going to love it here and have a great time. I love that they’ll love our new place, because that’s the kind of people they are. Frankly, I love having that ‘deadline’ to get things moving more quickly around here so it’s more than ready for our first visitors in our new home. What I hate about this sweet anticipation is that the hours are going by in a jumble of preparation, and I have to spend all my days at work where time seems to drag slower than a bored manatee. I could be doing soooo much more around here. So while the days are, on their own, going slowly till they arrive, I know without any doubt that we’ll be looking at 5 of the fastest days the earth has ever seen while they’re here with us.
  • Anticipation #6: Caitlin’s wedding. It’s at the end of June. I’m flying in the 27th, a Thursday. I’m still debating whether to spend the money on a car. I don’t want to pack much, but I’m thinking all about that, anticipating the unpredictability of Michigan weather, what clothes to bring, where I’ll be staying, who I’ll be seeing until I leave on the 4th.
  • Anticipation #7: The moving south of my knittin’ sista’ ‘Neet and Dean. Never in a billion, gazillion years did it ever even take a baby step across my mind that she would really want to move down here.  I can’t put into words how very happy — just really HAPPY — this makes me. And I look at hundreds of houses online and send link after link to her, sometimes even going to the house itself and taking pictures of it and talking/walking though it with her on the phone. Her cabin sale just HAS to go through. C’mon Dad, C’mon Murph, Amy, Ria…this little project shouldn’t be hard for any of you, so let’s make it happen!

Yes, anticipation can be fun if you’re the patient type. I’ve been told it’s not my thing  Instead of I’M PATIENT, I’m more without the apostrophe: IMPATIENT. I do think the life lesson I’m here to learn has to do with patience and my lack of it., and I will say that at least I do feel like I’m more patient than I was even two years ago.  Sure, I still stew and worry about how things are going to get done and when. But I’ve also learned to try and step away from the project so no one gets hurt, especially Thom. 

Leatherneck MummaSo yes, lots of anticipation going on around here. The vast majority of it is good, for a change.Summer is coming, family is coming,the beaches are calling our names. I’ve got the days off work to just enjoy being with the kids. I hope there’s a good Florida thunderstorm while we’re at the ocean. I hope we see dolphins and pelicans. And I wonder, were we to get up in the early hours of the morning, if we might just spot a female leatherback turtle, one who has spent the past 10 years of her life in anticipation of moving her nearly 6-foot girth up the very beach where she was born to the dunes to lay her hundred eggs and then turn and slowly make her way back to the water, never to see her offspring again.

Or will she…….?  Something to anticipate!