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It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I last posted an update on the progress in the bathroom! Needless to say things were moving slowly, but we’ve picked up some momentum in the last month or so. Since our last update, we installed a new window, sheetrocked, put the cement board on the floor, primed and painted. Although the paint color isn’t what we were hoping for so we picked out a new color last night and hopefully that will be the last coat of paint. The pictures below are from the post priming phase.

2014-07-06 13.08.31 2014-07-06 13.08.38 2014-07-06 13.08.44 2014-07-06 13.08.51 2014-07-06 13.08.58 2014-07-06 13.09.04

The biggest change in the bathroom is the color of the tub/shower surround unit. Late last month we hired a local company to come and spray the unit and make it white. It looks AMAZING! Mark had also done some work to patch where the old faucet was and make way for the new faucet and you can’t even tell where the old one was. I’m so impressed! Here’s one view of it, with the paint color that is going to change. 🙂 

2014-07-22 15.06.13

We have the tile and pretty much everything else we need to finish the job so hopefully my next update will be a) in the near future and b) of a complete bathroom!


Last weekend we started tearing out our upstairs bathroom – our first big internal renovation project since we bought our house a little over two years ago. With the exception of the bathtub and shower surround everything has been removed: toilet, vanity and sink, tongue and groove below the ceiling level, linoleum and the plywood that was under the linoleum. We now have a blank slate to start fresh. The next step is to get quotes on refinishing the tub/shower and sink. Here are some before and post-demolition pictures.



Between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening we got 10 inches of rain which caused flooding and devastation throughout the Duluth/Superior area. Waking up Wednesday morning and turning on the news was a shock – to see all of the road closures, flooded homes and businesses and just general craziness was a little bit overwhelming. I made the decision to stay put and not try and brave the weather to go in to work. So Tucker and I stayed home together and just hung out. When we went out to check out what was going on on the road, he enjoyed swimming in the ponds and rivers that had been created in our neighbor’s driveway and the ditches!

I am so incredibly thankful that our damage was limited to fixing the driveway (which we did last night). I know so many other people who are dealing with flooded basements/houses and others who can’t leave their homes because of damage to roads. We were very fortunate and so were most of our friends and family. Someone was watching out for us!

After Mark came home from work we took a drive and here’s a bit of what we saw.

Today I spent some time planting and I’m super happy with the results! Everything I planted went into various containers because we haven’t really figured out our landscaping yet. Here’s what I did.

French Marigolds in a pot by the well



Hydrangea and Begonia by the front door

Impatiens in a Hanging Basket for the deck

Double Impatiens in a Hanging Basket for the deck

3 Tomato Plants, Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper. Originally I put the pots in the area where we think we might put a garden eventually, but we moved them inside the fenced in dog kennel (that we don’t use) to keep the animals from getting them.


Tucker had to give them his sniff of approval.


Cilantro and Chives are now residing in their home on the deck.


Along with a pot of Basil

All in all it took me a few hours and 3 cubic feet of dirt and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything grows!!

One last picture of the little man intently watching the hummingbirds at my in-laws last night. They have probably a dozen or so flying around. It’s so fun to watch them!!



These are our save the date magnets! 🙂


Well, it certainly has been awhile. 🙂 Here’s what’s been going on in our neck of the woods.

November was filled with unpacking, getting used to the new house and then Thanksgiving! We celebrated with my family a couple weekends before and then spent the day with Mark’s side of the family. I think Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it doesn’t involve a lot of fuss – just eating! Mark was gone every weekend in November deer hunting, but we now have a large freezer full of venison. Yippee!!

December was busy with an audit at work, our nephew’s dedication (kind of like a baptism), a Christmas Party with friends at our house and then of course Christmas! With everything going on the month just FLEW by.

January has been a blur so far. We rang in the New Year with friends. We had dinner, watched the Cirque de la Symphonie at the NEW Ams0il Arena, made a short visit to the Bl@ckwater and ended the night ringing in the New Year and playing games. It was a fun time!

We spent a good portion of the last part of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 making a big decision. After a lot of talking, Mark decided to resign from his position at C1rrus and accept a position with Ams0il which is headquartered in Superior, Wisconsin (just across the bridge from Duluth). His last day was January 21, 2011 and he’ll start his new job on February 14, 2011. He’s going to be the Product Manager for the Heavy Equipment and Diesel area. I’m super excited for him. His old company has been experiencing a lot of turmoil as a result of the economic changes over the last couple of years and things haven’t seemed to be getting much better. This move will put him in a management position and he’ll be at a more stable company. So between now and his official start date he’ll be traveling a bit and hopefully getting a few things done around the house.

We’ve been back in wedding planning mode ever since the first of the year. On January 8, 2011 myself, my mom, Mark’s mom and my gramma went to the Duluth Br1dal Sh0w. They had a lot of vendors and everyone got to taste a lot of cake. It was a really fun day out that started with brunch and ended with a fashion show. Last weekend I went up to Gr@nd Superior L0dge with Mark’s parents to check out some of the accommodations and try and figure out where we’re going to have the rehearsal dinner. It was awfully cold, but it was a fun and worthwhile trip. In about another month we’ll be back up there for the Gr@nd Social where they have vendors, champagne and a buffet dinner that features different dishes from their catering menu. Maybe after that we’ll know what our guests are going to eat! 🙂 Right now I’m working on booking our photographer and have Maria helping me look for bridesmaid dresses. On Friday I went up and tried on MY dress for the first time. It’s more beautiful than I remembered. 🙂 I just stood there for a long while looking at myself in it. I can’t wait to wear it in August!

That’s all for now…

It’s been a whirlwind week and a half, but it’s been nothing short of amazing!

On Friday, October 29th we closed on our very first home. The stats:

House: Approximately 2200 sq. ft.
Garage #1: 2 1/2 car garage
Garage #2: One car heated/insulated (aka the Shop)
Garage #3: A 40×50 garage
Property: 15.2 acres and heavily wooded.

The weeks preceeding closing were full of stress and anxiety, but once we sat down at that table the only feelings I had were ones of excitement and anticipation. I couldn’t wait to get the keys! Following closing we did a few errands and headed to the house where Mark and his dad tackled cleaning the garage and my mom, Mark’s mom Sue and I took on the downstairs. We were able to get the bathroom and downstairs bedrooms cleaned before we left, exhausted, on Friday evening.

Saturday morning, early, we were back at it. We had so much help from our parents over the course of the weekend that I’m still beyond amazed. They showed up with scrub buckets, ladders, stools and smiles to help us create a spotless house. We washed walls, blinds, scrubbed cupboards and carpets until all you could smell was Mr. Clean. 🙂 We left that evening exhausted, but happy because the next day was moving day!

Sunday morning, early again, Mark and I got up and finished loading the trailer with our things at Trav’s. After some minor issues getting the trailer attached to the truck we were off! When we arrived our house our parents were already there cleaning away and getting ready for us to move everything in. My mom and I headed back to Trav’s to get the last few things and do a final cleaning while everyone else unloaded the trailer. When we got back there were boxes and furniture everywhere! We did manage to do some unpacking and organizing, but not much. Sunday night we slept at Mark’s parents so that we could pack up everything at there house right away on Monday morning.

Monday was another early morning, but after some coffee and cereal we loaded the trailer with everything else and were once again on our way to our house to unload. (It’s a really good thing Mark purchased the 26 ft. enclosed trailer!) We unloaded that and continued with the unpacking. Mark’s parents, my parents and Travis all came to visit us and help throughout the day.

Tuesday it was back to work to recover. 🙂

It was a whirlwind weekend and ever since we’ve been slowly unpacking, organizing, and rediscovering all the things that we forgot we had! It’s been fun and exciting, but also very exhausting at the same time. There hasn’t been a single thing that’s gone wrong (knock on wood) and both Mark and I are just so happy and greatful to have a place to call our home.

We’re also BEYOND greatful to our parents who went well above and beyond what is expected of family to help us. They were all amazing and we really, truly couldn’t have done it without them.

So without further ado, here are the pictures.

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So if all goes well, 2 weeks from today we’ll be closing on our very own house! Please keep your fingers crossed and send good vibes our way. Things have been quite the struggle getting to this point and it’s not over yet. It seems like every time we turn around someone screwed something up. It’s been a long and frustrating process, but hopefully in 2 weeks it will all be over and we’ll be homeowners. I’ll post pictures once I have some. 🙂

"To live. And as much as possible, to use your money in pursuit of a life so well-lived that people will never remember your clothes, your shoes, your handbag--they'll remember the interests you shared with them, the love you carried, the meals you ate together, the miracle of your family, the joy you took in your work, the arms-wide-open you brought to life itself."
April 2018
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