Wednesday, February 27, 2013


These pictures are not news to most. If you know me on FB then you have already seen the big reveal. Still I wanted to try to remember the blur that was those two weeks between closing and moving in. So I am going to reminisce one room at a time. 

The kitchen was so much more of a mess than we originally thought when we bought the house. We had two weeks to get the place ready to move in and it seemed the more we prepped to get started to the more mess we found. Mouse droppings were the least of our worries here. The house simply needed a major face lift. The cabinets looked as though they had never been updated. The particle board of the shelves was so filthy with grease and water damage that in some areas it was literally like trying to clean a pile of saw dust. So thankful for my dad. 

We wanted to paint the cabinets white. We knew we wouldn't be able to do it ourselves and get the rest of the house ready to move in. Mom and dad gifted us the paint and one of my dad's painters on his crew. My parents live 90 minutes away. That's a lot of driving back and forth each day. Dad had the bright idea of seeing if Scott would be down with camping out in the house for the duration of the job. Scott was game. So, after I dropped the girls off at school every morning, leaving Frankie with Mary who was packing anything and everything she could get her hands on, I would come to the new house and be greeted by a cheerful Scott who had spent the night in our house. It was kinda crazy but it worked. Scott worked his tail off. So much went into this room I really can't remember it all. I do remember my dad replacing cabinet bottoms and covering others in linoleum to make them usable. I remember the new gas cooktop that Aunt B bought us. The new range hood Dad came back from Lowes with. The remnant granite counter tops from Mom and Dad that replaced the old ivory ones that were there before. I remember Jann coming to help me choose the perfect white that would work for the cabinets and the trim in the rest of the house. I remember painstakingly removing all the hardware from the cabinet doors. We had decided to try cleaning it instead of buying new. I was in love with the design and the look of them. They were original. I was supposed to let it soak in dish soap for a few hours and then scrub each handle, hinge and screw with a tooth brush. I forgot about that little bucket of metal - tucked away in one of the bathrooms on a sheet of cardboard - for three days. Late one night - exhausted and looking for something I could do while sitting down - I remembered that bucket and sat down to scrub. As I scrubbed a layer of varnish peeled off and what was left were bright copper plated handles. It took me several hours to scrub each piece and dry it. Then we had to put them all back on. I think Aunt B helped with the handles. I remember helping Scott to screw the hinges back on barely dry doors and hanging them back on the cabinets - leaving them slightly ajar so they could continue to dry. I remember choosing a dishwasher and then having Dad call me frantic because they had delivered the wrong color. I was walking into the girls Christmas party in their classroom at that moment in mismatched socks and a random assortment of clothes cobbled together to attempt a presentable look. Stephen handled it. Dad bringing his electrician to fix what was wrong in the kitchen. Add an outlet under the cabinets for the range so it wouldn't have to be plugged into the outlet at counter level. Add an outlet inside the cabinet over the stove for the microwave. Take down the poorly wired under counter lights over the sink and redo it properly. Safely. The day the new sink went in to the new granite counter tops. When Brookie came to install the garbage disposal and the dishwasher and check all the drains. I haven't seen Brookie in more years than I can count. He is the plumber my Dad has always worked with, since I was a little girl. I remember seeing him on job sites that my Dad brought me too. Jumping down off the front seat Dad's van and closing the door, hard to make sure it shut properly. He hugged me tight when I walked in the front door of our new home that day. Putting this house together started to feel more like a family reunion than a job.

So much love and work went into this room. I won't lie. There were moments when I looked around and wondered if it would ever be done. If we would make it out alive. Then I would look at my original gas oven from 1966 that worked perfectly and cooks like an absolute dream and energy would rush into my veins and I would scrub the radiator a little harder, a little faster.  And then it was finished.

It is kind of amazing what a little know how (Dad) and a lot of hard work and long hours can accomplish. Stephen coaching swimming at 5:30am practices then teaching all day and running home to change clothes and come to the new house to paint. Matt and Cole sanding cabinet doors in the basement while Stephen painted our room. Matt and Stephen painting the girls rooms. Amy watching all three girls so we could work all morning on Saturday. Friends supported us through this. We couldn't have done it without them.

This room is the heartbeat of our home. Full of light and warm cookies and breakfasts eaten at the butcher block counter top with Daddy every morning. 

We can watch the birds in the bushes outside the windows while we eat lunch. We work on art projects at the table and make granola. The kitchen chairs that I picked up on the side of the road that were always in the way at the old house have their place here. They are a place for little knees to kneel while little fingers steal snippets of cookie dough from the mixing bowl. 

This kitchen is so easy to love. I am so thankful every time my eyes run over the granite back splash, every time I wipe down the cabinet fronts. 

Hope to be less long winded with the rest of the rooms. This room just makes me so happy it's easy to keep finding things to say about it. It's a happy room in a happy house.


pyjammy pam said...

it's beautiful! everything a kitchen should be. warm, useful, and full of memories. :)

Larry said...

Oh Sarah, such a beautiful narrative of gratitude and thanksgiving. A sweet story of love and grace. There's so much joy in seeing and appreciating His goodness. Thanks for unfolding the crazy miracle and telling us of so many helping hands and full hearts.

I knew when I walked into that kitchen in December that it was special. Always, daily creativity occurring; laughter, instruction, learning, sharing and caring. All good... All God honoring... Such a beautiful home...

Summer said...

A labor of love if I've ever read about one :). I hope to see it in person someday!