Light and Bright!

For the past few months or so Ive been struggling with all of the super dark trim in my house and have been searching for ways to brighten up our living space without resorting to painting everything white. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that Im home all day staring at it, but I digress.

Ive made pretty significant progress since our impulse sofa purchase at Home Goods back in January; Ive removed all of the area rugs downstairs, added solid, classic white accessories in each room and simplified my storage. Im still itching for more white though. My reasoning behind switching is mostly due to the fact that the wood trim is pretty inconsistent–the mudroom, bedrooms and bathrooms all have white trim while the rest of the house has varying hues of dark, and my back hallway where my big and beautiful stairwell resides gets zero sunlight and feels like a dungeon. To be perfectly honest, the only thing really holding me back from going white is my wood built-ins that separate my dining and living room. They’re in such perfect condition and in such a beautiful shade of wood that I just can’t bring myself to cover it—I just wish the rest of the house matched it. Thankfully, my small changes here and there are letting me embrace it a little more.

With all of that said, it dawned on me one day last week that I should be trying to resolve this issue in the one room I spend most of my time in. The kitchen. So I searched for DIY’s on Pinterest for refinishing wood cabinets and then texted Jason at work to see what he thought of it. He joked to add it to my “laundry list” (har har) but then admitted he was totally on board with it. He agreed that if we were going to wait a couple of years before replacing our old blue countertops, then we might as well make the kitchen look better by working around it. YEAH!

See how dark everything is? The wood really is beautiful and Im sure my feelings would be different if the room was able to soak in more sunlight and if the counters were a lighter color, but the color scheme just doesn’t work for me. I know the shades are drawn in the lower photo, but honestly, even if they were up it wouldn’t really make much of a difference. Replacing the floors isn’t an option right now either, because our Master bedroom floors are on the top of that list.

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So I mustered up a whole year’s worth of courage, saved that DIY Pin {here} (because lets be honest, Ive painted a ton of rooms but I don’t know the first thing about refinishing cabinets), took a ride to good ol’ Lowes and loaded up a cart with everything we needed to make this project happen. Jason kept telling me to make sure it was something I really wanted to do because once we dropped the $120 and had paint mixed there was no turning back.

I have to admit, I knew the task would be extremely daunting, but I completely underestimated the overall scale of the project. Leave it to me to overlook the custom carved detailing on every single cabinet and drawer opening until I bust out the primer and paint brush. Ha! Kitchen-1, Amy-Zip.

Day one consisted of cleaning my kitchen(because I mentally cannot start anything in a mess), removing 32 knobs and pulls, 50 hinges, approximately 480 screws, 28 doors and 8 drawers. Woof. Why does custom cabinetry have so much hardware?! I don’t think Ive ever been more thankful to own a power drill.

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Each bag is the temporary home to all of the hardware for each cabinet door. The bags are labeled to correspond with the labeled cabinets so that when it comes time to reinstall the doors, I don’t lose whats left of my sanity trying to match everything up. We also bought all new magnetic closures to replace the existing ones—finally!—because there isn’t anything much worse than cooking up a huge meal in a kitchen to turn your head and smack it into a door that just decides to open because the magnet is old and tired.

I then grabbed some rubber gloves and went to town deglossing all of the fronts. I was able to prime the first seven upper cabinets, which doesn’t seem like a lot for the start of a big project, but looking back, the prep actually took the longest. And honestly, babies only nap for so long. My inlaws were gracious enough to come the next couple of days to hang with Q so that I could get the bulk of the kitchen done, like priming and painting EVERYTHING. My father in law even deglossed all of my cabinet doors for me out in the garage while I was working inside. So thankful!

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Its weird exposing the insides of your cabinets for the world to see…its like my kitchen is standing there in its undies! Ha! Pardon my messy baking cabinet there to the right of the microwave. You just can’t be organized in all aspects of life.

Fast forward a week later and Im almost done applying the final coat of paint to my cabinet doors. Ive been working on them in batches because 1) there.are.so.many and 2) my garage can only hold so many work spaces.

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Im sure I could have gotten this done in a few days if I wasn’t juggling a baby with a jetpack attached to her and millions of other things that require my daily attention, but thats life. I could also be painting at night when Q goes to bed but Im usually completely wiped out at the end of the day, mostly because painting for hours on end in 90 degree heat in a garage is just downright exhausting. Im convinced that the weight Im suddenly losing is attributed to the fact that Im sweating it all off. Well, that and Id rather not hang with the giant mosquitos. Its like they’re on steroids this year!

Im hoping that life cooperates with me enough to get this project done by the end of the week so that I can focus on Quinns birthday party prep all next week. Yep, I said it. BIRTHDAY party.

First birthday party. What. The. Eff.

For now, Im off to slave some more in my hot garage and batten down the hatches for the huge storm we’re getting later on today (possible tornado! Yikes!). My husband has a big project of his own at work this week which allows him to be home during the day with us and I couldn’t be thankful to have longer paint sessions so I can bust this out and get it done. But Im happy to say that 9 doors are completely finished and are ready to be hung! The light is finally shining through the end of the tunnel!

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Q Update

A moment of confession: this blog is becoming increasingly harder to commit to on a regular basis as Q becomes more mobile so I have to apologize for the random, super long hiatuses. Speaking of which, she crawls like lightning these days! Im talking about the kind that has you crawling into bed at night with one eye open because you’re so exhausted from spending a whole day trying to keep up with her. All of you momma’s out there who have this down to a science and still make time for yourself at the end of the day without falling asleep…how on EARTH do you do it?! I suppose this is just another learning curve that comes with the joys of early parenthood.

Teething. Another joy.

I may have previously noted that she sprouted two teeth back in January, on the 30th to be exact, and I say may because its sadly been so long since I have last posted that I can’t remember if I actually did indeed note that important tidbit. At any rate, her third tooth happened to be a k-9 (is that what they’re even called?) instead of the middle two that I was expecting. I joke that she’s going to look like Sloth from The Goonies but in all seriousness, those pearly whites just accentuate her cuteness even more. With that said, my poor babe has three more following suit and all are up top. I remember when I was younger and had my braces tightened every month, I always dreaded it because the top would hurt like a mother trucker for DAYS after; this completely reminds me of what Q could possibly be going through in terms of pain.

I completely sympathize with her.

Alongside the teething we have been demoted to the long, sleepless nights category of parenting. Since Q was four weeks old she’s been sleeping a good, solid and completely uninterrupted 10 hours a night. It was perfect — I would always say that I was more tired in college than my early days of motherhood. Then I’d follow with cracking a joke about waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well it finally did about two weeks ago. We were down on the Cape for vacation when she started waking up in the middle of the night and refused to go back down unless we pulled her into bed with us. Fast forward to now and we’re still in the same boat. I know, I know. If we keep letting her crawl back into bed with us at night we’re creating a monster for down the road. Well guess what? You can sleep train, and you can let them cry it out but when she gets so worked up that she throws up then its time for a serious snuggle session with momma bear. In addition to the nighttime teething woes, naps have also been a struggle. Its amazing to see a tiny little human wake up at 6am on the dot and go go go all day with NO nap. She crawls at a speed that has you thinking something is chasing her, babbles non stop, and just when you think you’re going to get lucky with a few hours of quiet time, she fights it and keeps going. I need a nap just thinking about it! So you can imagine how much harder it is at night when the fight continues at bedtime. I laugh every time I read the label on her bubble bath–“Clinically proven to help baby sleep at night”.

Yeah, okay.  You haven’t met my kid, Johnson & Johnson.

Despite how exhausted and frustrated we are, Jason and I are taking the challenges of teething in strides because we know it’ll pass. Thankfully it doesn’t take away from the joys of witnessing everything else, like hitting major milestones. Q’s personality gets bigger everyday and she’s developing an imagination thats so much fun to watch. Crawling has turned into pulling herself up, which has turned into cruising around all kinds of fun surfaces and will eventually very soon turn into walking.

Over the weekend the hubs had to work so Q and I headed to his parents house to celebrate his dads birthday. At the end of the day when we were all chatting in the sunroom watching the babe squatting on the floor picking up every tiny little speck she could find, out of nowhere she just stood up on her own. Just like that. I think we were all in a moment of shock before we realized too late that one of us should have whipped out a phone and gotten that on camera. As much as I wanted something like that documented so I could send along to Jason to see, I was thankful to just have seen it. Its moments like that that make me so grateful for being able to stay home full time with her.  She does it more often now and its still cool to see, but I think it’ll be a little while before she’s full on walking. You can tell that she’s still uncomfortable standing on her own and she always slowly lowers herself back down. Im okay with that though. Crawling into bed at night completely exhausted from chasing a crawling baby around all day is a far cry from what it’ll be like when she’s actually full on running around the house. I hope Jetta has some good hiding spots scoped out.

All exciting and dramatic baby news aside, Ive been keeping myself busy with some big and some small diy projects around the house and Jason and I–well, lets be honest, its mostly me…ha!–have committed to taking on the daunting but exciting task of refinishing our kitchen cabinets. Woo! We have pretty much the original stain on all of the woodwork and trim in the house and its dark, so Im holding back on painting it white by finding other ways to brighten up the house. My cabinets are beautiful, but the two wood tones just don’t go very well together and I had a sudden realization the other day that the kitchen, a room that I spend a huge part of my day in, needs to be brighter.

With that, I promise to be more diligent in the blogging part of my life and leave you with the color we chose for the cabinets: Del Coronado Tequila.

How fitting. 🙂