Monday, December 31, 2012

How We Spent Our Holiday Break

The week before Christmas our oven broke.  It had been on the fritz for the past year or so, but when I finally could not get the oven door open while our dinner was perilously burning inside, I think I may have yanked a bit too hard or applied a bit too much force (seriously, it is amazing the super human strength I am afforded when hunger is involved).  Anyway, Ben declared it beyond fixable and I am now left with an oven that does not open more than 3 inches and does not fully close. 

Normal people would go out and buy a new oven, right?  Well, that is because normal people usually have normal ovens.  We, however, have this lovely 24-inch oven that is custom built into our cabinetry and the cost of a replacement is beyond ridiculous.  Behold our dumb oven:

The dumb oven that is so small that I can't even fit most baking sheets into it.  And, don't get too excited about it being a double oven.  In fact, that whole bottom half is merely a broiler.  Lovely.  Because apparently we really enjoy broiling away in our kitchen on baking sheets used by munchkins.

Anyway, after considering our options....and considering the overall dumbness of our entire kitchen....
Hello amazing 50-year old laminate flooring and wood paneled walls. 

Hello oddly configured cabinetry and chipped countertops complete with fruit-laden soffits.

....we decided it was high time to do some major reconfiguration.  We hired a contractor....picked out a new kitchen....and began work this week on our part of the renovation process. 

First up....get rid of the WOOD WALLS!

After lots of mudding, sanding, painting, and cleaning, we had ourselves a fancy schmancy real wall with absolutely no wood!

We still have some trim work to do, but that will come after the new floor (which I just received a call today that it's in!!  Wooohooo!)

Next up was the basement door frame.  We have a completely finished basement (in fact, Allie's room is downstairs) that we use like a second story to our we were more than ready to get rid of the wood around the doorway, leaving just an opening to the stairway downstairs. 

Here's what we started out with: it looks like I don't have a true before photo, but you get the idea.  After Ben did some drywall work and we did a little painting, we now have an open doorway off the kitchen to the basement.

We also painted the stair well to match the kitchen. 

And, we managed to pick out and order new lights (you didn't think we were going to keep that ceiling fan, did you?!). 

We installed new faux wood blinds (that will come down temporarily with the rest of the kitchen demo...but, seriously, installing new blinds is putzy and time consuming!).

We finished the trim on the kitchen windows.

We went out for dinner and a movie while Grandma and Grandpa watched the kids.

We picked out new appliances (finally, a NORMAL oven!).

We played with the kids' new toys.

We watched movies.

We visited Lowes', Home Depot, and Menard's daily over the past week. 

We went to Cherry Berry to celebrate New Year's Eve.

And, now we eagerly await the call that our cabinets are in and ready to be installed...that's when the real transformation will begin.  We still have a little dry walling and painting ahead of us after they get rid of those soffits...and Ben has some minor electrical work to tackle, but we got a ton done this past week in preparation for the larger jobs that need to be completed. 

And, now, after all that work, I'm not sure Ben and I will even be able to make it to midnight to ring in the New Year! 

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