Part 1,032,584 of the whole house remodel

About 2.5 years ago, Tommy and I bought this sweet little house we call home.  It was a junker, but it was ours (you can see the before photos HERE).  If you don’t remember (or were for some reason now following my blog?), the south bedroom was where we slept for about 8 months.  We painted it (with the help of Staff and Blake!) the first weekend we lived here.  Tommy made this sweet light fixture.  I bought curtains (it’s the only room I didn’t sew curtains myself for).  And then we moved in.  We lived with it like THIS until we finished the master bedroom remodel.

No sooner than 6 months later, the south bedroom morphed into a living room while the kitchen was torn to shreds.  Once we put the kitchen and actual living room back together (you can check out the actual living room HERE), the south bedroom morphed again into a guest bedroom….with an attached bathroom.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that you shouldn’t have both bathrooms located IN the bedrooms.  So that is where phase 1,032,485 started.  The plan of action:

1.  Demo bathroom and remove hardwood in south bedroom.

2.  Move framing and door openings to make the bathroom accessible from the hallway.

3.  Expand the bathroom to improve the layout and remove that awful corner sink (sorry if you like them…I don’t).

4.  Drywall, paint, tile, lay new hardwood

5.  Decorate!

There it is.  In 5 easy steps, you can have yourself a brand spanking new bedroom and bathroom! Ha.  I can just picture Tommy laughing as he reads this……

Anywho, back to the plan.  Before I go on about the awesome demo Tommy did in a day, let me show you a couple of the before pics:

Door to the south bedroom (notice the end of the new flooring)

Door to the south bedroom (notice the end of the new flooring)

Teeny tiny bathroom shower (toilet is around the corner)

Teeny tiny bathroom shower (toilet is around the corner)

Corner sink and corner mirror

Corner sink and corner mirror

South bedroom looking towards the backyard

South bedroom looking towards the backyard

Door to the rest of the house on the left and door to the small bathroom on the right

Door to the rest of the house on the left and door to the small bathroom on the right

Do you notice the exposed studs in the photo above?  That’s where we had the window replaced in preparation for this part of the remodel.  Who knew that a plan we had 2.5 years ago actually went into action and is happening?  That’s us!  We take action (just don’t ask about the living room curtains please….).

Tommy got to work (I was working on those damn living room curtains) and started with the demo.  The first portion of the demo was actually to add a closet back to that middle bedroom (remember we boarded it up to make a larger master closet?).  So, he made a nice little pass through between the two closets:

Location of closet in middle bedroom

Location of closet in middle bedroom

The end result is to have a wall separating these two closets.  The south bedroom had that whole area as a walk in closet, but it was a little pointless given it isn’t the master anymore (we made the larger bedroom the master…so we could fit our awesome cal king bed).  Anyhow, that was part one.  Part two was demolishing the bathroom:

No more corner sink!

No more corner sink!

It’s a little hard to take photos of such a small space…but I guarantee I will have better photos of the final product.

That was all of the demolition Tommy did in about a day.  Day two consisted of a bit more swinging of the hammer and a lot more trash (I’ll make sure to show you demo day 2…don’t worry).  Then, in no time…..the bathroom is getting put back together!  More on that in the next post, but for now be in awe of how much work Tommy gets done in a day!  Stay tuned for more updates on our bathroom remodel!

P.S. I’ve updated the blog tab “Tour Our House” tab to include some after photos of the rest of the house…including the backyard and exterior….make sure to check them out!

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Replacing a window

This post is a long time coming.  Remember the window we had to replace in the kitchen?  Well, not that the house is painted, I can finally show you the end result.  So, let’s start from the beginning.  Here is what the original kitchen and window looked like (gross…I know):

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Original window and kitchen

 

Well, here is what the kitchen looked like during the remodel:

Boarded up window

Boarded up window

We had a large piece of plywood over where the old window was for about a month.  I don’t know how it happened, bu we ordered the wrong window size the first time (and had already taken the old one out).  So…plywood it was for about a month.  Well, Tommy ordered and picked up the new window.  It FINALLY arrived and was ready for install:

New window!

New window!

So, Don and his guys got to work.

Step one, remove the piece of plywood and install the correct 1st layer of drywall type stuff (can you tell I don’t really know what’s going on?)  Install it all around the window:

New drywall type siding stuff (that's a technical term)

New drywall type siding stuff (that’s a technical term)

Step 2: Don hung the window and fiberflash around it for waterproofing.  Then he added the welded mesh to help the stucco adhere to the wall:

New window and fiberflash!

New window and fiberflash!

Here is a closeup of the welded mesh:

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Welded wire mesh for stucco

Next was to mud around the window and add the stucco texture to the welded mesh.  Our house is a little odd with the fact that we have a mix of stucco and siding.  Unlike the window replaced when we painted the exterior of the house, this window had stucco around it.  Don did the stucco work as well.

Cover the window and mud around it

Cover the window and mud around it

And finally, you have a brand spanking new window with new stucco!  We left it like this until we painted the exterior of the house (note the coloration difference where it was still drying):

New window and stucco

New window and stucco

And now, after the painting, it looks like this:

New window and paint!

New window and paint!

You can tell slightly that there used to be a larger window, but nothing too drastic.  And this window is on the side of the house so we never walk over there anyways.

So that’s how you install a new window!  I wouldn’t really recommend this as a DIY task.  If you want to take a stab at it though, I would recommend reading more than just my blog…

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Buy a patchwork bear next time please.

Alright guys, I’ll warn you right now, this is NOT a house post.  And guess what?  There will be more non-house posts to come too.  As much as I like talking about our little diamond in the rough, I spend my time doing more than just dreaming of what my house will look like (and having Tommy do the work of course).

About 5 months ago I tore my ACL.  I had surgery in August and am still currently going to physical therapy…until August 2015.  I also can’t play any organized sports until then.  If you know me, then you know I played soccer about 2-3 times a week.  Well, I can kiss that goodbye.  Even simple things like running aren’t exactly easy right now.  For instance, it’s been 5 months and I am only “cleared” to run 5 minutes a day…three times a week.  Yes, that comes out to roughly 1.5 miles a week for me.  Plus, I DESPISE running (there’s no point in doing it unless you’re running away from someone…or to score a goal/point/whatever).

So, I’ve decided to take up some hobbies.  But these couldn’t be any sort of hobby the young whippersnapper can enjoy.  I had to look at what like…80 year olds do (I figure they’re in the same boat as me…they can’t run or play sports but need something to pass the time).  So I started crafting, sewing, cooking, and doing any other random crap to pass the time.  As it turns out…I liked crafting, cooking, and sewing (well at least some of it).

My first big project I decided to tackle was to make a patchwork bear.  My sister found out she was pregnant about the same time I had my surgery.  I thought…perfect!  I’ll make a bear while I’m more or less on bed rest.  I had taken this kit from my grandmother’s house after she passed and thought it would be great:

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Patchwork bear kit circa 1981.

I’d buy some fabric, sew a little, and there ya go….you’ve got a super thoughtful gift for my future nephew!  Boy was I wrong.  Let me tell you….no other niece or nephew will be getting one of these bears.  I would also never recommend this dreaded task to anyone.  It started off so well….then….it ended…..with Quasimodo Bear.

So, let’s jump back to 6 months ago when I was eager and full of excitement.  I went to JoAnn’s and picked out a couple of fabrics that I thought would match the room:

Fabric. check.

Fabric. check.

Wow…this was too easy.  I didn’t understand why no one made these things.  Next up, cut the fabric into these patterns they gave you:

2"x2" squares.  Cut 164 of them.

2″x2″ squares. Cut 164 of them.

Okay, I can use a pair of scissors.  This is working out well.   And then I read the quantity I needed.  You see the squares above?  I needed to cut out 164 2”x2” squares.  164!  And that wasn’t even half of the shapes!  The cutting alone took me almost a month.  My hand was sore, the squares were crooked, and I honestly didn’t care anymore.  But, I was determined to make this bear if it was the death of me.

More shapes, 64 of that one, 164 of that one, and a bazillion more of the third.

More shapes, 64 of that one, 164 of that one, and a bazillion more of the third.

The worst part about this bear (I should have known after I read it was “patchwork”) was that once you cut up all these teeny tiny pieces of fabric….you have to sew them all together.  It took my one month to cut them all, and another two months to sew them all together.  So, after one month of sewing, this is all I have to show for it:

Sew those wretched little squares all back together now!

Sew those wretched little squares all back together now!

However, the turning point came at about month 4.  After more and more sewing, I got this:

Patchwork, check!  Now cut it all back up again.

Patchwork, check! Now cut it all back up again.

Don’t look too closely.  The lines aren’t straight, things don’t line up, but I’m not about to take out any of the stitch work I’ve already done.  So what do you do once you’ve got all those tiny bits of fabric sewn together?  You cut them up again…of course.  I then had templates for all the different bear pieces and went right back to cutting up the masterpiece I just made:

Cut two arms, two legs, a head, a back of head, a foot, an ear, and you have a bear!

Cut two arms, two legs, a head, a back of head, a foot, an ear, and you have a bear!

I won’t bore you with the rest of it…it consisted of a lot of cutting…and sewing…and swearing…and hating life.  But, this is the masterpiece I ended up with:

Patchwork bear!

Patchwork bear!

Looks a lot like the picture huh?  I may have bitten off more than I could chew with this hobby….

The best part about the whole thing though, is that no matter what anyone says, My little nephew Luke has to LOVE this bear….because it was made with love for him :).  Ha, Steph and Nathan…jokes on you.  This quasimodo bear has to stay in your nursery now.

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Sports memorabilia that’s NOT tacky

Remember when we painted the house grey with red accents?  If you forgot, take a look at the new and improved exterior HERE.  Well, we got a couple of red outdoor “accents” a while back and I found the perfect spot for them.

If you follow football, you may know the 49ers have a new stadium now (Levi’s Stadium).  Previously, they played at Candlestick Park.  Tommy, me, and a friend Adam had season tickets there for a couple of years until they moved to Levi’s.  Well, they announced before the final game that you could literally take home your season ticket seats (not really…they would ship them to you later…) and we jumped at the chance.

We had a couple different spots we wanted to put them, and decided the entry would be the best spot.  The red would look great with our new red front door, plus Tommy likes to have a bench out there anyways to sit on when he puts his shoes on.  Also, we decided to bolt them down (just in case any of your readers know where we live and want to steal them….).  They sent out these brackets to bolt down first.  Tommy started off by drilling holes in the ground matching those in the brackets:

Drilling holes in the ground first

Drilling holes in the ground first

Next up was to drill the brackets to the ground:

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Attach brackets to the concrete

After that, Tommy built the chairs (he assembled them before the photos above were taken) and then just bolted them to the brackets.  The finished product:

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Finished chair install!

To the right you can see the old bench that was outside.  It’s been moved to the courtyard for now….but will find a good home.  Below is what the chairs look like now:

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Finished!

Notice the little metal animal under the left chair?  That is Tommy’s boot puller.  Not your typical boot puller, but aesthetically pleasing to me and it works great apparently.

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Finished!

And there you have it!  I believe there is such a thing as classy sports memorabilia (if it’s tacky, it goes in a man cave).  I think the chairs look great, are functional, and add a little bit of personality to an entryway.  Couldn’t ask for a better bench!

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I LOVE doing laundry now

Ever since we moved into our house, the washer and dryer have been located in the overpacked garage.  The garage is completely detached from the house. It’s cold, dark, and dingy…and full of Tommy’s dirty tools.  I don’t know if it’s how I was raised or what, but I have a hard time doing laundry in such a dirty area.  I didn’t even want my dirty clothes sitting in the garage, let alone have a clean sock drop on the gross garage floor.

The plan ever since the beginning (or at least MY plan) was to move the laundry into the house somewhere.  Well, the new plan just happened to have room for the laundry (you can check out the new floor plan HERE)!  Tommy redid the electrical and such before drywall and it just took a little effort to get those brand new appliances out of the garage and into their home.  Here is what the space started out as:

New Laundry closet

New laundry closet

The closet is about 4 feet deep and 8 feet wide.  As much as I hate bifold doors, we had to do them here in order for it all to be open at once.  Tommy picked up some bifolds from Home Depot that were unfinished and Nathan stained them to match the kitchen cupboards.

When we bought our appliances, we also bought the drawers they sit on, so they are extra tall.  When we moved them into the closet, they looked MASSIVE.  However, we live in a small house, so you work with what you’ve got.  Tommy bought some wire shelves from Home Depot as well and installed two shelves above and shelves on either side:

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Appliances with wiring shelving

Wire shelving on the right side

Wire shelving on the right side

We contemplated with some shelving that was a little more permanent, but decided against it because the appliances could change in the future and modular shelving is probably the best option to accommodate that.

After Tommy installed the shelves, it was only a matter of time until I started filling them up!

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Shelves around appliances

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Step stool to right of dryer

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Lots of storage!

And there you have our laundry room!  Here is what it looks like when the doors are closed:

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Hidden laundry room

 

It’s amazing how hard that 32 square feet of space is working.  It holds the washer, the dryer, cleaning supplies, all of our linens, our extra toiletries (in the drawers below the appliances), and will eventually hold out dirty clothes in baskets located on top of the appliances.  We even have some extra space on the sides too!

We may lack a laundry “room” or a laundry sink, but with the size of our house, this is the best we can do.  What I’ve learned most about our house is that in order to make a space function, every square foot needs to have a purpose.  Are you maximizing the square footage in your house?!

 

 

 

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Outdoor painting party!

One of my last posts was a before and after tour of the house (you can find that post HERE).  I wanted to do a similar tour of the outside of the house, but there’s one minor post that you should see before then.  Here’s what the house looked like when we bought it:

nice curb appeal

nice curb appeal

I don’t know about you, but the red paint was doing absolutely NOTHING for me.  It made the house look old and tired, which is no good.  Given the “Eichler-esque” style of the house, we drove through a real Eichler neighborhood in San Mateo and got some inspiration.  We decided to go with a dark blue-grey with a bright white trim color.  We also wanted a punch of color on the garage and front doors (you can’t see the front door from the street though unfortunately).

Tommy toyed with the idea of painting the house himself, but since it would take him FOREVER to clean, sand, and paint the house….we got about 5 estimates instead.  We ended up choosing a painter by the name of Derrick lawlor Painting. He was slightly higher than the others, but his methodology and price included a lot more.  A couple of items he included that were considered extras from the other painters were:

1.  Fix any dry rot:  We have a little dry rot (as with most older homes) at the base of the garage and other areas where the roof previously leaked (before we reroofed back in May 2012).

2.  Sand and paint the silver gutters:  If you look closely at the photo of the house, the top of the white trim is actually the silver gutter.  Derrick was the ONLY painter to include this in his quote.  The silver looked very out of touch then, and it still would have…if it was silver.

3.  Sanding the entire house:  A couple of our quotes didn’t include this either.  The other painters were simply going to powerwash the house to clean it, but not actually sand the house.  They would only sand the areas of the chipping paint.  What this ends up with is layers of paint on top of layers of paint and can lead to more chipping of the paint.

4.  Caulking the joints:  Here’s another thing no other painter included.  Derrick actually added caulking between all of the tongue and groove boards.  If this didn’t happen, we would end up with an uneven look between all of the siding boards.  Once again, completely relieved we went with such a good painter.

So, lesson learned to not always go with the low bid.  You may not always be comparing apples to apples so be weary about that.  Thankfully we made a great choice with Derrick.  I’m not painter, but I’ll give it my best shot to go through his step-by-step prep and painting method (with pictures of course!).

Step 1:  Choose a paint color.  I downloaded a handy Sherwin Williams paint tool and got to work.  The paint tool allows you to upload a photo then add different color options to it.  At first, I tried matching the current color scheme with the white showing on the right side of the garage:

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Sherwin Williams Painting App take 1

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Sherwin Williams Painting App take 1

I thought it looked a little odd at the garage where the red, white, and grey all came together.  I also was thinking the grey-blue was a little light.  I changed up the scheme and added another photo that showed the paint color in a shaded area:

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Sherwin Williams Painting App take 2

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Sherwin Williams Painting App take 2

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Sherwin Williams Painting App take 2

One thing I noticed is that the app doesn’t take into account the darkness of the original photo.  It looks like the house is now painted two different shades of grey (not fifty….), but it is really just one.  On the sides, it is painted over the original white, while the middle of it is over the original red.

However, I decided this was the scheme we wanted to go with.  No more two-toned house from the front.  Everything would be grey except for the trim (and the accent doors of course).  I fell in LOVE with the front entry photo that I uploaded and the red was there to stay.

So, Derrick nicely picked up the paint samples and gave us some samples:

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Paint samples at garage in the shade

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Paint samples at garage in the sun (note the silver gutters)

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Paint samples at the front door

We LOVED the grey and the white.  It looked so crisp and clean together.  However, we weren’t that thrilled about the red.  Derrick said he wouldn’t be starting on the red for about a week, so we left that color up in the air and got started on the grey and white.

One more thing that we had to do before the painting started was to make a window in the south bedroom smaller.  Remember this ginormous 12 foot long window:

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Original 12 ft. long window

Well, we needed to update the window in order to accomodate the new doorway into the bedroom (long story…but this is a part 3 of our remodel project).  You’ll see that work soon enough (Tommy started on it today!).

Well, here is the new 8 foot long window:

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8 foot window!

It’s ridiculous to think that we have an 8 foot long window.  It’s even more ridiculous to think that there was a 12 foot long window there.  That is a HUGE window!  Anyhow, we hired someone to replace it (DIY waterproofing…no way).  Tommy took care of installing the new vertical lap siding.

FINALLY, we can move on to step 2.  Step 2 was fixing the dry rot, filling in every single nail hole, and caulking between all of the boards.  This ended up making the paint look smoother around the whole house:

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Infilled nail holes throughout

Derrick also picked up some more accent red paint for us to take a look at.  The samples are on the garage.  He helped us out a lot by choosing accents he’s used before that worked well rather than me stressing over the 5,000 reds that were offered.

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Infilled nail holes and more red paint samples

He also sanded and primed over the new wood siding Tommy installed:

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New 8 foot window and filled nail holes

Step 2 took about 3 days.  There was one guy out going around the entire house and garage filling in the holes.  The next step (Step 3 if you’re keeping track) was to sand the entire house:

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Sanding the house

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Sanding the house

At this point, it definitely looked like we had the worst house on the street.  The sanding took about 2 days, so we didn’t have to look at it like this for too long.

Step 4 was priming the entire house and caulking the joints.  They also taped all of the windows to keep any paint from getting on them.  This took about 3 days:

 

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Priming and caulking the house

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Taped up windows and primed entry courtyard

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Primed and taped courtyard

Our windows were then taped over for about 2 weeks.  He did cut some slits in them if we wanted to get any circulation in the house during this time.  It would have been nice to just open some doors, but we have that pesky BIG cat that would want to escape.

This is also about the time that we had to decide between the reds on the door as well.  We decided on one pretty easily.  I think it is the top left one in this photo.  The middle left one is the original color I chose:

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Red paint samples on front door

FINALLY, Derrick started painting.  This whole process took about 3 weeks from start to finish.  Here are some finished photos.  I’ll have more to show later when I do the before and after yard photos:

View of front

View of front

View of front house

View of front house

 

Entryway

Entryway

Courtyard and new window

Courtyard and new window

Front Entry

Front Entry

As you can see, this was an amazing and drastic change from the dull red the house originally was.  One of my favorite parts of the new color is the way the light shines through the entryway and created the fun shadows on the grey.  Here’s what I’m talking about:

Front of house

Front of house

You can tell there’s still blue tape around some windows, some plastic still up, and a couple of touch up locations.  Derrick is coming back and going to do a walk through and fix up any locations where the paint has bubbled or cracked.

Looks like it’s not just the interior of the house that’s changing!  Stay tuned for more updates from the interior…AND exterior!

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New Year, New Blog!

Happy 2015 everyone!  It’s been approximately 2.5 months since my last blog post….my apologies.  I like to think that rather than writing about my life…I was living it.  Tommy and I have been slowly working on the house (I promise to write about that), but we’ve been spending a lot of time doing other things.  Here’s a quick rundown to catch you up on our lives.

1.  Tommy “retired” from Ironman Triathlon events.  He signed up for Ironman Tahoe 2015, it was cancelled, so we spent Thanksgiving in Mexico for Ironman Cozumel.  Talk about a rough life….

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Ironman Spectating should be considered a sport.

1a.  Did I mention Tommy also grew out a beard until after the race?  He shaved immediately when we got back to the states….then gave the beard hair to Steph for Christmas:

Tommy Post-Ironman with beard.

Tommy Post-Ironman with beard.

2.  I took a ridiculously hard test….then failed it…then signed up to take it again in April.  The studying for this was NOT considered “living life” but rather putting life on hold.  Be ready for a slow down in blogs come March/April too.  And probably in September/October next year (I can apparently take this test as much as I want…I’m assuming it will take three tries).  Also, don’t ask me about said test.  If there’s one thing I hate more than the test itself, it’s talking about the test.  Thanks.

3.  The Niners didn’t make it to the playoffs, but we did manage to make it to Levi’s Stadium:

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4.  I became an Auntie and Tommy became a Favorite Uncle (And least favorite…solely because he’s the ONLY uncle).  The Rocklin duo welcomed an adorable little baby boy just before Christmas!  Although they may not be able to help us out with our house right now, we have been helping out at their house:

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The Rocklin Trio Estate

You see where the carpet changes from blue to tan?  There used to be a wall there.  We knocked it down.  They bought an awesome house in Orangevale close to trails and lakes and such and it will be a perfect house for them to start their little family in!  I just hope Tommy and I can help them out at least half as much as they helped us out.

Anyhow, that’s more or less what I’ve been up to over the past couple of months.  As part of the New Year, I’ve decided I want to step up the blogging game.  Look forward to a blog once a week (don’t hold me to it, but it’s okay to give me a friendly reminder).  I’ve got lots of material to write about from the past couple of months….so look forward to it!

Happy 2015 and happy blogging!

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