Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Taking little moments.

The start of school and the routines seems to have taken us a little bit by surprise.  The kitchen renovation set us back, I have picked up an extra day a week at work, and the kids are moving in even more directions.

I think, for the most part, all the pieces are moving pretty well.

The kids have stayed fed.
We are all wearing clean clothes.
The dog is still walked several times a day.
And it's no small feat that no one has been late for any activity  (Except for me to work...I am habitually ten minutes late).

This weekend we were able to take a bit of a break and enjoy the company of our best friends.

Army came into town to play Eastern Michigan University and this was the perfect excuse for us to schedule a visit together.

It was a lovely day for a tailgate...

And for some Kan Jam...

 And for some Corn Hole...

And for a walk with a buddy...

The kids were all excited to go to the game...

well...maybe not Declan.
They were even more excited when they realized their were bouncy slides and houses!

The game was a great excuse for our family to take a time to enjoy many little moments with friends.

The Eastern Michigan Eagles put on a lovely opening ceremony complete with a bald eagle flying through the stadium at the end of the Star Spangled Banner.

Go Army!

Beat Eastern!

The icing on the cake?  

Army won.

By a lot!  I have never seen them score this many times (cumulative) over the course of the many years watching them play.

So glad we set up this opportunity to enjoy the Morrow's company...

The time was well spent.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I am terrible at tiling.

The house is quiet early this evening.

We are three weeks into school, it's only mid-week, and everyone is tired and cranky.

New routines, the stress of the kitchen renovation, and several various extra-curricular activities has all of us a bit out-of-sorts.

The good news is the kitchen is in its final details stage.

We have all the appliances.
They are all working.
The cabinets are in.
The dust has been cleaned.
And most importantly...cookies have been baked.

I would like to report that the first batches of muffins and cookies turned out perfectly-perfect.

We are only waiting on the new kitchen window and at that point the tiling and trim around the window can be finished.

Speaking of tiling...

What a disaster.

"It's easy."  I heard people say.
"It's easy."  The tiling experts at Home Depot said.
"It's easy."  I told myself after I practically became an expert by watching lots of HOW-TO videos on You-Tube!


In the back of my head I kept hearing my brother's words of advice "Every project will take twice as long and cost twice as much".   I didn't believe those words of wisdom.

Phooey.  This was going to be a morning project.  Easy.

The blogs said this would take just a few hours.  The videos showed me exactly how to do it.

AND I did everything I was told, read, or watched.

It took me exactly 21 hours.  Twenty-one hours.

That's a little.bit.longer. than a morning project.

Leveling.  Sticking.  Grouting.  Repeat.

What a mess.

I persevered.

I loved the look of the tiles.

I loved the look of the dark grout I chose.

This grout turned out to be a nemesis.

It turns out that dark grout stains.  My fingers.  My clothes.  And my new white cabinets.  Grr.

But the contrast is lovely.  

Especially with the stainless steel appliances.

I was pretty pleased when I went to bed super late that evening.

But then, by the time I woke up in the morning the tiles had slipped.  They were crooked.  They were uneven.

I wanted to rip each pretty little subway tile off of the wall.

It wasn't a pretty sight.

Mark was able to gently took peeled pry the sledgehammer out of my fingers.

And slowly and painfully the two of us repaired the worst wall in its entirety.  We replaced several other crooked tiles.  And we decided the bad ones that would hide behind the refrigerator could stay crooked.

The rest we'll fix and repair when the window comes in.

And the next time I have the bright idea to tile an area...I won't.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Nearly each evening, since I last wrote, I have gone to bed often feeling bad that once again I didn't get a moment to write down my thoughts.  I originally started writing because I thought the kids would enjoy reading about our family someday.  

Little did I know that Isabella (and a few others) misses reading my thoughts as much as I miss writing them.

You may notice I changed the heading.

When I started writing, and when our kids were younger, I used to create a list of things that I wanted to do each day.  Now that the kids are older, I have found I don't get to create the agenda like I used to.  Our days aren't filled with trips to playgrounds, zoos, and children's museums any longer.  Instead I now spend my time driving car pools, hosting play dates, and attending sporting events.

I won't write about what 'I wanted' any longer, instead I'll reflect on my thoughts.  The content will remain the same...there will be pictures, projects, recipes, and other things to remember.  Little changes.

Speaking of changes we've had a few doozies here at the Crow home lately...

These four started school last week.

Isabella (7th), William (6th), Abigail (2nd), and Audrey (1st)
And we gutted our kitchen.

In hindsight, we probably could have timed the demolition and remodeling of our kitchen a little better.   More thoughts on this another day.

Instead, I close with this lovely photo... to his first day of middle school.  

So big.  

So brave.