Sunday, May 27, 2012


The last 2 weeks have been filled with activity as we move along with the various projects related to staging and re-inventing our house.

Our realtor and an interior decorator that he has teamed up with have been hard at work bringing in artwork and antiques to complete their vision for what our house is going to look like.  They started with new rugs in the dining room and great room, and this weekend added some antique furniture and artwork.

new desk

This antique kidney-shaped desk was apparently quite a find, and Patrick was very excited to get it.  Tom & I paid for it initially, but Patrick really loves it and is planning on buying it back from us after the house sells – either for himself, or to use as inventory for his staging business.  In fact, he’s probably going to buy most of the furniture we’ve bought for staging, which is a great deal for us!

Tom and I were able to find a replacement dining room table this week, and it was a really good deal . . .

New dining Room

We thought it looked pretty good on it’s own, but then Patrick found an antique buffet and framed tapestry that really dressed up the room!

dining room

Last week, Patrick and I hit some garage sales around Ann Arbor, and I managed to find a wicker set for the sunroom.  With the addition of some cushions and greenery, the room looks pretty good!


Most of the changes were making are cosmetic . . . replacing our furniture with new stuff (or old stuff that’s new to us), but one room that we’re actually spending some money in is the kitchen.  Every realtor we’ve ever talked to, including our current one, has wanted us to replace our vinyl floor with wood or tile.  We fought it for 3 years, because we really liked our floor . . . it’s warm, comfortable, easy to clean and durable.  Two years ago, we compromised and replaced the carpet in the living room and the vinyl in the breakfast nook with wood floor.  We really liked how it looked, but still weren’t crazy about re-doing the whole kitchen. 

This time we gave in, and we were able to get enough of the same flooring to finish the rest of the kitchen and mudroom.  So, instead of camping this Memorial Day weekend, our plan for the long holiday weekend was to get the new wood floor installed in the kitchen.

Oak floor

With the boxes of new floor stacked in the garage, we spent Friday night pulling off shoe molding and moving the refrigerator out to its new home in the garage.

Frig in garage

Empty frig spot

Old home of the refrigerator . . . and the vinyl floor being replaced

On Saturday, we were up bright and early, and hard at work . . . our plan was to be done by Monday afternoon.

Tom and Nick at work

Tom & Nick tackled the difficult spots – working around the door jambs!

Bryce at work

Bryce quickly came up with a system for measuring and made lots of progress!

Tom was in charge of the cutting, and the boys and I did all of the measuring, marking and installing of the floor.  We were really proud of how hard the boys worked, and it was a great family project!

Nicolas working

Bryce not working

There was minimal complaining (contrary to the pictures!), and we made excellent progress . . . in fact, we were able to finish the entire floor on Saturday!  Things got a little tense in the evening, when it took Tom and Nick about 2 hours to finish the coat closet in the mudroom (the danger of putting 2 perfectionists together!), but by 10pm we were all done!

new kitchen floor

We are really happy with how it turned out, and wish we had done it years ago . . . LOL!!  Seriously, we really do love it, and hopefully so will all the potential buyers who come to see the house!

Next up, we’re having a slate backsplash put in, and replacing our white appliances with stainless steel . . . that will finish off the kitchen, and should eliminate all of the “negatives” that buyers had when they came to our house.

Since we all worked so hard yesterday, we took the day off today and drove up to Frankenmuth for one of our favorite dinners – world famous chicken!  It was delicious, as usual, and a nice break from all the work around the house!  Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it . . . replacing the shoe molding and shopping for appliances . . . and Patrick & Jim will be back to continue the transformation . . . I even heard they have a sewing project for me!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Birthday Weekend & House Update

Our “On again, Off again” potential buyer is currently off again, so we sent one more email off to his realtor, and now we’re moving on to “Plan B”.  We’ve selected a new Realtor to list our home, and he has lots of plans for effectively staging the house for a quick sale at a higher price.

Step 1 was to remove the carpet from our stairs. 

stairs without carpet

When we built the house, we went with solid oak treads, although we covered them with a runner made from our living room carpet.  So, while Nick and I were out on Saturday, Tom & Bryce got started with ripping off the carpet.  We weren’t sure what they we going to look like – they had been under carpet for almost 15 years – but we were surprised to see that they didn’t look too bad!

Tom and Bryce got all of the staples pulled out, smoothed them out with steel wool, and wiped the down with lemon oil.

Tom and Bryce at work

The finished product looked pretty good!  We just need to be careful when going up or down in socks! LOL!

finished stairs

Meanwhile, Nicolas and I got home from his Driver’s Ed class, and I got started making the birthday cake for today’s dinner.

birthday cake

birthday cake_2

Today we celebrated Mother’s Day and Tom’s and my birthdays.  We met for an early dinner at Paesano’s in Ann Arbor, and then back to our house for coffee, cake & ice cream.

Mom opened her Mother’s Day presents, and was really excited about her new Tiger’s jersey!  Who’s your Tiger, Mom??!!

Mom's Tigers jersey

Birthday couple

Tom and I enjoyed our birthday celebration, and are looking forward to another great year!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baseball season is underway!


Bryce’s team is the LSU Tigers . . . purple & gold, not green & white!

Bryce is playing baseball again this spring, and his team has gotten off to a slow start, with 2 losses so far.  We didn’t have high hopes for tonight’s game, as we drove toward the field with black clouds looming overhead!


The boys were just getting warmed up when the rain started, and soon it was pouring and they ran for shelter under the overhang of the bathhouse!  We hung out there for a few minutes while a couple of the coaches tracked the weather on their phones (what did we do before smart phones!?!). 

The rain only lasted a short time, and they were able to get the game started.  The first inning didn’t give us a good feeling as our first 3 batters resulted in 3 outs, and the opposition got a couple of runs on the board!  The 2nd inning was much better with our team getting 8 runs with no outs (mercy rule ended that half of the inning), and holding the other team at the 2 they already had.


Bryce is fast . . . and a good stealer!


Bryce sliding into home . . . and he was safe!!

With the rain out of the way, the sun finally came out and it turned into a pretty good night for baseball!


It was still a little chilly, but at least we were dry!

The next couple of innings continued to add runs to the scoreboard for our team, and they were doing a great job of holding off the the other team!  Bryce had a couple more at-bats, and made it home each time!



The game was limited to 2 hours, so they only finished 5 of the 7 innings, and ended with a score of 21 – 4!  Yea!!  They got their first win of the season!  Now, we’ll see if they can keep this momentum going!!

On the home front, we’ve been negotiating on & off with one buyer for the last month, and now we’re waiting for him to put his latest offer in writing.  Hopefully, he’ll get to a number we can live with, and we can get moving with our plans!  In the meantime, we’ve been talking to a new realtor and making tentative plans for getting the house back on the market if this doesn’t work out . . . I really hope we don’t need to go there!