Saturday, December 19, 2015

Hardwood Floors

When we did the inspection on our house we realized that underneath all the carpet in the bedrooms and living room on the upper floor was oak hardwoods. I felt like I was on a HGTV show and was so excited to find them, jackpot!

The bedrooms would be our new dining and kitchen, our main space when you walk in, will be restored hardwoods. The problem was that where there was a wall, there was no hardwood. Well I took on the task of patching all the hardwood. It was hard work but so worth it.

The first video is taking pieces out so that I could weave new pieces in. Basically you drill a hole on each side of the piece you want to take out and then run a saw down the middle of the wood on each side of the hole so you can take out a chunk from the middle of the wood. This allows you to pry out the nailed down side and the interlocked side of the piece of wood.


If only I really did that much in 1 minute! The next video is me patching a few pieces back down where there was once a wall. Our kitchen island will be covering up where it looks like I missed some patching. You can see me coming back and forth because I was cutting down the wood to the right size outside. I also put down construction adhesive (Loctite PL Premium) prior to nailing the wood down to help prevent the floor creaking and just to make it a stronger floor. 

This was by far the hardest part. It took a REALLY LONG time! Sometimes the places I was patching were very difficult. In one part I had to rip the wood down because I couldn't fit a whole piece in. If you don't get it just right, it does not look good. Sometimes you have to keep rearranging the wood to see which ones work best. This is probably the biggest project I did. My mom helped when she could and pushed me to keep going.

Marks dad cleaned most of the hardwood floor after I was done patching. We had to be careful what cleaner we used to not damage it.  The carpet pad that was against the wood left spots of carpet pad that had basically turned into a sticky mush that had been hardened. Not easy to get off.

Here is a picture of a heat register I patched (sorry I should have taken a before picture).

One of the few things we hired out was refinishing the hardwood. I knew I could patch it but I wanted to make sure it was refinished professionally. With 3 kiddos running throughout the house it needed to be scratch resistant. Here is a beautiful picture of  the floors after they sanded them down. I couldn't believe it!

 And here is the finished product with stain and a Swedish finish. 


It feels great knowing that the original hardwoods are still in our house and got to come back to life. I am a nostalgic person and also one that doesn't like things to go to waste (which can sometimes be a bad thing) but in this case a win.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tonasket - looking back at summer

My Grandpa lives in Tonasket, WA. Each summer we try to make it over there. I love being unable to receive texts, phone calls, etc. To be forced to unplug is so healthy for me. Plus he lives on 60 acres and me and the boys can just roam free. My mom came too and we had a lot of fun.

The boys beating the heat, mid 90's, with an ice cream bar

There was a robins nest that I was able to reach with a ladder to take pictures. Each day I would get up to see if the egg had hatched. Our last morning I snapped the picture of the new born birdie

Miles and Luke working for Great Grandpa picking up Ponderosa Pinecones with their grabbers.

A Gardner snake we found. Luke wasn't quite ready to hold it yet but Miles loved it.

I remember drinking hot chocolate with my brother and sister out of these same mugs. Its not going to Great Grandpas if he doesn't offer you hot chocolate EVERY DAY, his signature.

Love the memories made at Grandpa's!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Electrical & Plumbing

So much has happened since my last post. Almost all of the electrical and plumbing that needs to be done before insulation is finished. There has been so much that has gone into both of those. There is no eye candy when you are working with wire and pipe. Without knowing what Mark and Dave (our plumber) were working on it was pretty hard to see what they had been working on for hours after the major items had been completed. Here is just an start of all the work they have done. 
  1.  Removed all the current electrical and replaced with new wire and lots of outlets, lighting, etc.
  2.  Upgraded the panel
  3.  Gutted all the old copper pipe and ran Pex throughout
  4.  Added a new drain line that involved tearing up the concrete and joining to the existing main sewer drain (for the kitchen sink and washing machine)
  5.  Installed new drain and water pipes for kitchen sink, island sink, additional bathroom upstairs
  6.  Ran coax and ethernet throughout the house
  7. Run gas line for the stove top

Here is one of the downstairs bedrooms where the concrete had to be taken up. Mark and his Dad can attest to the hardness of this 65 year old concrete. We had to do this to connect a new drain to the main drain from outside.

After the plumbing inspection. which we passed with flying colors, it was nice to see the holde covered up in the bedroom. No more dirt for the boys to play in!

Here are our cutest workers on the crew.

My future kitchen sink.....

My favorite Electrician hard at work

I did get my hand in running the wire for the fire alarms. It was fun. Headlamp needed because Mark was working on something else that required him to turn power off to the lights. I feel so cool pretending to be an electrician. Don't worry, Mark double checks all my work.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

first marathon

Last month I ran the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon. It was such an amazing experience. The process started 4 months ago when I found out my sister, friend, and cousin were all running the marathon.  

I have done a handful of half marathons and the last one I did, as I was running the race, I told myself, "DON'T RUN A MARATHON!" at that point in the race I was so sure that running a marathon would be crazy because I was so tired and I hadn't even finished 13 miles. It has always been something that I wanted to do but didn't think that I physically could. I am pretty sure my sister believed in me before I believed in myself.

It was three and a half months of training. Here is my training schedule and cheerleader section I had posted by my bed to make sure I stayed on track. It consisted of 5 days of running and long runs on Saturday. I was able to complete almost every day until my knee started getting upset with me. Thankfully with help from a PT and my amazing chiropractor I was able to keep it under control. Well, and a little help from KT Tape. Towards the end it was hard to stay on schedule. My body was feeling old and tired. But I am so glad I stuck to it.

The night before the race I was fairly nervous. I still wasn't sure I could actually finish a marathon. During training I got up to 22 miles but felt pretty done at that point. Plus you never know how your body is going to feel and react on race day.
Here is a selfie right before the race started. It was a beautiful morning. Just perfect!! As soon as I got to start running my nerves totally calmed down and I was so excited to be running.
The race didn't necessarily go how I dreamed it to go. But I got the time I was aiming for which was under 4 hours and most importantly I really enjoyed the whole experience. At times my body felt tired but most of all I felt very thankful for having the ability to run. It was a very spiritual experience and I am pretty sure I was praying for at least an hour total during the race.
What really spurred me on was seeing my friend cheering for me on at I-90. Which if you know the race then you understand how awful it can be. It totally boosted my spirits. Then around mile 25 I saw my dad, who I wasn't expecting to see. It totally got me teary eyed. Then right before the big climb to the finish I saw my husband, my three boys, my mom and my best friend cheering for me. I felt overwhelmed for how the Lord had blessed me and booked it up the hill.
Once I crossed the finish line it was kind of surreal. I guess since I didn't have anyone there right at the finish line it almost didn't feel like I had just ran a marathon. Almost 4 hours of running and then I stopped. It was over. I took another selfie since I wasn't sure what else to do but I wanted to have something to look back on after what was a huge accomplishment for me!!
I ran the marathon myself but it was a team effort to have the time to train. A huge thanks to Mark for allowing me to take up evenings and Saturdays to train, my Mother in Law who sacrificed many mornings so I could get my run in without children, my sister, Amanda and Tricia who kept me accountable for my long runs and who motivated me, and my mom who watched the kiddos on a whim when Mark needed to work on the house.
I really want to run another one! :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

beams & vaulted ceilings

I am so excited that we got the beams installed. It looks amazing. The upstairs feels so much bigger and its going to be such an amazing space.

This was the downstairs before the post was removed and the beam was raised and replaced. 

Here are the temporary walls Mark had to build before the beam could be removed to make sure the joists didn't fall down. To be clear, that isn't Mark in the picture but his awesome friend who came to help. He and Mark get a lot of work done together and talk just as much ;) It's fairly impressive.

Once the guys cut the joists so the beam could be raised higher than the old beam and got the beam on the lifts, they slowly raised the beam. The pictures make it look easy but they still had to pound a sledgehammer to get the beam to settle into place, about 6" higher than the old beam. Makes for a lot of additional head room.

Here they are again cranking the lifts on either end of the massive beam.

Here is another view of the joists cut and the beam placement.
And Voila!! Since we increased the quality of the beam (it was the same size as we had before), we were able to remove the post that was in the middle of the floor.

Here is Shane walking the plank!

Basically the same process was done upstairs too. Mark built two more temporary walls to support the rafters.
Then they raised the beam and connected it with hangers.

Then the rafter were raised up and connected to the beam. Wow!! It makes such a huge difference.
Another angle.

 Next up, the stairs!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Luke's Birthday

I was only going to show our house projects on the blog but decided to share Luke's Birthday Party while I am at it.

Luke turned 3! He had a FISHING party at the park. It was a lot of fun even though it wasn't as sunny as I was hoping for. The kids looked adorable in their makeshift fishing vests.






Now its back to work! Up next, the beams.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Finally we got to start doing demo on the house. We had a structural engineer come out and let us know if and how we can vault the ceiling which was necessary before we could demo so that we knew if our plans of tearing walls down and moving the kitchen was possible. I was nervous waiting to hear if we could vault the ceilings because my entire layout of our house was based on that!

I feel like demo always starts off strong. It feels good to break drywall. There is just something about demoing that releases stress. But it does get tiring after about an hour or two, HA! Its not like the HGTV or DIY shows where all the demo is done right before your eyes while you are siting on the couch eating ice cream. By the time you are done with your bowl they have moved onto painting!

"Breaking Ground" Our friend Aeron was able to come and give us a TON of help with the demo.

Mark's dad is recently retired from his job but hasn't had much time "off" as he has been at the house helping with demo almost every day Mark is out there. He has a servants heart and we are so thankful for all his hard work. In the picture below Mark's dad is standing where one of the three bedrooms were. In front of him was another bedroom. That will be the new dining room and kitchen.

Finally a shot of Mark who has been behind the camera most of demo. He got all of the insulation out of the ceiling one afternoon. It was blown in insulation and lets just say a nasty job to get rid of it all. You don't want to breathe the air without a good ventilator. When I looked in the attic it didn't seem like it would be very much. But when he continued dumping it down I felt like I was bagging it up forever.

Luke really enjoyed helping break things too! Anytime someone hands him a hammer and the okay to hit anything in sight with it, he is a very happy guy.

It was crazy and hard to look at all the mess. There was a lot of time and energy spent getting rid of,
  • 4 rooms and a flight of stairs of carpet  (with lots of staples and tack)
  • duct work and furnace
  • 6 walls
  • most of the ceiling on the main floor
  • insulation from the attic (definitely the low)
  • flooring
  • bathtub
  • kitchen cabinets
  • bathroom cabinets
  • huge cast iron drain pipe
  • electrical wiring, outlets, fixtures
We had a large dumpster sitting outside our house for about a week. I couldn't believe how full it was. The dumpster is gone but Mark has still made even more dump runs. I am happy to say that we are pretty much done tearing things apart.

Next on the list is installing a huge beam in our basement so we can raise the ceiling and get rid of a post. Then installing the beam on the main floor so we can vault our ceilings in which will be our living room, dining room and kitchen.

Friday, May 15, 2015


In order to entertain the kids while we are there working on the house we invested in a play set from Costco. It's a LOT of work getting it all set up. First we had to remove over 150 sq ft of sod and lay a weed barrier down. Thankfully my sister and a friend came over to help us remove the sod and play with the boys. Also, a Dick's cheeseburger and beer is pretty much all I need to motivate me for hard work!

Finally, the play set came on a big UPS Freight Truck which was fun for the boys to watch. It took a long time to put it together. Miles and Luke wanted to help. But they enjoyed riding in one of the boxes it came in more than helping I think. Mark and I got a good start while my sister watched the boys, then a friend and neighbor volunteered to watch the boys and have dinner waiting for us. How awesome is that??!! Can't beat a cold Big Sky beer and Philly Cheesesteaks with salad or just any meal you don't have to make yourself. but it was a wonderful dinner and great company. We had a great start but still didn't finish. Mark and his dad were able to get the rest of it put together the next day and the boys were thrilled when they got to come back and play on it.

I am still not even quite done. I have the bricks down but still need to attach the weatherproof wood frame around against the bricks and then get a load of woodchips. There are so many projects and to-do's right now my head is spinning.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Our special visitors

Since we have been going over to the house to analyze and draw up some plans on what we want to change, the neighbors have been stopping by and introducing themselves. They are all very friendly.  There are quite a few original owners on our block. It's great listening to the history and hearing about the 28 kids who used to live on our cul de sac!! Most of the homes were built in the 1960's including ours. Our next door neighbor has the exact same floor plan as our home (at least for now). What is great about our house is that the bones are awesome. Its a very well built home. During our first few days we encountered some fun "neighbors" Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.

Can you see them? They are kind of hard to spot.

Here is our backyard! We are in love with our backyard, minus the dandelions. It definitely needs lots of work too but we love having a large level space for the boys to play and us big kids too. Okay enough eye work, time to let the sweat start pouring down! To be continued...