Thursday, July 8, 2010

And so it begins...

With our vacation over, and Holly and Ben back home safely, we are back to our normal (and I use that term loosely! lol) routine.

Only our routine is about to disrupted in a pretty big way: we are renovating our kitchen.

We have hired a kitchen designer to oversee things and we have been busy this past week or so deciding where everything should go to suit me best, meeting with cabinet guys, and heating guys, and tile guys... lol  It's been a flurry of excitement for the past few days!

I have already lost track of all of the names and who will do what!

Yesterday they put giant holes in my kitchen! Looks pretty ugly, I have to say. But as the kitchen had a drop-down/soffitt/bulkhead thing over the upper cabinets, they had to look inside them to see what they were dealing with. So, you know. Pound away!

The good news is there is nothing up there to contend with.

Late last week I met with Amy to look at granite and tiles. I chose a few granites I liked and got samples to bring home. I also made a tentative decision on how the backsplash behind the stove should look and what tiles to put around the kitchen.

Then we went again with Rich on the weekend to finalize our decision, as Rich wasn't fussy on the samples I brought home (they are too small to get the idea). Thankfully, we found a couple of slabs that we are both in love with! YAY!

And double YAY! Rich likes the tiles I chose, so we don't have to think about that any more either.

We also looked at appliances, because if I am to get a red stove, that is custom- and custom takes longer.
I really like the Bertazzoni red stove, it's really lovely. But after looking and thinking, we decided- or should I say I decided because I had final say since I cook the most- on a red Blue Star. It's 36", six gas burners, huge oven- and tons of easy clean things about it. The reviews say it isn't the nicest looking stove out there, but that it outperforms many high end stoves. I know Wolf is supposed to be the best, but honestly, they aren't that nice looking (and they only come in stainless steel), and they are so much more expensive, probably largely due to the name. In any case, I am happy with the reviews and information I have read about Blue Star and I am sure I will love it!

Last night the cabinet guy came to show us preliminary drawings and talk with us about how we really want to use the kitchen. I thought it was pretty cut and dried till we started- then we had all these options that were a little overwhelming. We did make some decisions, but we still need to think about a couple of things.

I have kind of a tight deadline in mind, which is the reason we have been so busy in such a short time. I want everything completed by the end of September. Amy assures me it can be done, and personally, I think the more time Rich and I have to think about and decide on things, the more times we will change our minds. I like making a decision and sticking with it- I don't want to keep adding things to the mix.

Besides choosing things to go IN the kitchen, I now need to be thinking about planning meals that I can manage without a stove for a time. No problem! I thrive on challenge!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer fun!

It has been a busy summer for all of us so far.

Heidi and Chloe got out of school on Wednesday, June 2, and used the rest of the week and weekend to pack for their trip to Ottawa, to spend time with their siblings, Holly and Ben.

They flew out first thing on the Monday morning for their three week visit.

Rich and I flew out the next evening, for our trip to Italy, which I will be starting a new blog for soon...

Rich and I were gone for two weeks, came home on a Wednesday night, and the following Monday morning, all four of my kids flew here from Ottawa.

Usually the only time I get to see Holly and Ben is at Christmas time, when they fly in for a week or so.
At that time of year though, there are nine of us in the house, which means lots of cooking and cleaning for me, and lots going on at any given moment- translating into very little time to spend visiting and talking with my kids.

So this year, we planned for Holly and Ben to come and stay for a week when it WASN'T a family holiday...

We had SUCH a good time! We shopped off and on, we talked, we worked in my studio... all of my kids are artistic, and they enjoyed spending time creating things.

The kids had a day at Elitch Gardens, the amusement park in Denver, and Rich and I took them to the Colorado Renaissance Festival over the weekend. Despite the rain we got in the afternoon, it was a fun day.

We celebrated Canada Day with a nice steak dinner and poppers that we bought at the store. We were at the Renaissance Festival on the fourth- we came home and grilled burgers (with homemade fries too, of course!), and then the kids had fun setting off the fireworks that Rich had bought for them. What a guy, that Rich. He's a keeper!

They all walked up to get ice cream a number of times from Baskin-Robbins, where Heidi works. They bought copious amounts of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for home, as we have flavours here that they can't get in Canada.

There was lots of Beatles Rock Band, lots of ice cream eating, lots of laughing and teasing, lots of joy in us all being together as a family again.

Last night we had to take them to the airport to return home to real life- and NOT, as Holly hilariously pointed out to me, the G-rated version of their lives that they were living while Heidi and Chloe were there... lol

There are just some things that a mother doesn't need to know.

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