...because home doesn't happen overnight.
02.10.16 / Liked & Linked

snow day

snowy night

Last week was a doozy. Steve was out of town. The kids took turns not sleeping. I swear they got together and planned their wakings so that I never logged more than three hours of sleep per night. Tantrums and bickering were at an all-time high.

Cheetah is usually pretty chill, but even her temperament leaned toward ornery. She went missing one night after I took the trash out. (I must not have closed the door all the way behind me.) I didn’t notice until hours later when I went to feed her and she didn’t come running. It was late and the kids were already in bed. I expected to find her sitting outside the back door but she wasn’t there. I quickly slipped on the first pair of shoes I could find (Layne’s high tops), grabbed a spotlight and locked up the house. I jumped in the car and drove around the block with the window down yelling, “Cheeeeetaaaaaaah.” About three-quarters of the way around the block, I spotted two glowing eyes and gray fur peeking out from under some bushes near a house. Cheetah! I pulled into the unsuspecting homeowners’ driveway, dimmed the headlights and sprinted towards the house. I was on my belly reaching into the bush for my cat when I came face-to-face with a opossum. “OH $#@*!!” Abort, abort! It’s funny now but I was totally freaked out at the time.

Eventually, I did find Cheetah in a neighbor’s fenced backyard. The house had recently sold and, luckily, was unoccupied when I slipped through the gate to retrieve my cat. Can you imagine the first impression I would have made if the new homeowners had been there?! Crazy trespassing cat lady in her pajamas and Air Jordans.

Not surprisingly, I came down with a fever, chills and extreme fatigue Thursday evening. I was so weak I collapsed on the couch and told the kids they were going to have to put themselves to bed. The mom guilt! I drifted in and out of consciousness while Layne helped Mabrey change into her pajamas, brushed her teeth, read her a book and tucked her into bed. The boys sat quietly at the kitchen island drawing for a while. During a foggy moment of awareness I heard Everett say, “I love Mom. I hope she makes it through the night.” I laughed on the inside. They readied themselves for bed, gave me hugs and went to bed with nary a complaint. It was probably the least dramatic bedtime in our house in the last few months. I thought, “Huh, maybe I’m raising decent human beings after all.”

A few links…

*Steve made paleo jerk chicken in the crockpot for the game on Sunday. So easy, so yummy.

*A brass tripod floor lamp on sale!

*The next kitchen trend?

*A tiny bathroom makeover. (Love the lil’ gold lever on the toilet.)

dreamy kitchen

black faucets

*House stalking via instagram: a dreamy kitchen and black bathroom fixtures.

*This affordable rag rug is popping up all over the place. For good reason!

*The kids and I watched Big Fish during a recent snow day. (I forgot how much I adore that movie.) Layne requested the book for his birthday.

May your kiddos and kitties be well-behaved this week ;)

images: 1 & 2) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 3 & 4) Bridget Ambrose

47 Comments

10.February.2016

“I love Mom. I hope she makes it through the night,” had me laughing out loud. Thank you for the post. I needed the humor. I’m happy you found Cheetah in pajamas, Air Jordan’s and despite the opossum! I hope you have a better week. xo

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10.February.2016

I’m glad you made it through the night! Lol.

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10.February.2016

A couple weeks ago I was so sick I told my 5 year old daughter to make lunch for her 3 year old brother. She did really well! Put jam on a soft tortilla, rolled it up, cut up a banana into circles with a butter knife, poured him some milk and some applesauce! He was happy, and I didn’t have to get off the floor to feed anyone. Its like they just knew to behave. Hope you are feeling better!

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10.February.2016

What a week, I cracked up about the opossum and Everett hoping you’d make it through the night! I just stained the fronts of my bottom cabinets but in a dark stain I didn’t know it was a trend, my husband and I just wanted to try something different and we love how it looks I can’t wait to share a pictures this week! Have a better than last week, rest of the week!

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10.February.2016

So glad you found Cheetah safe and sound!

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10.February.2016

The visual of you getting a faceful of possum! HAHAHAHA! I am laughing with you btw, I did that once with a coyote, not funny. Do not try to pet your dog in the dark! Not your dog….

I liked your link to the warmer woods coming forward in kitchens, I am tired of sterile white kitchens with marble counters, subway tile backsplashes and open shelving…blah blah blah. Why can’t kitchens have personality too? I hope this is a trend.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

I have a thing for warm wood tones in kitchens, too. (just not the orangey oak) It makes them feel more homey and not so trendy.

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10.February.2016

“I hope she makes it through the night.” ROFL

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10.February.2016

I don’t have a cat, so I can’t relate, but I definitely snorted when I read your Cheetah story!

I love that you share the not-so-great with us, too. It’s lovely to see that other people’s lives aren’t all unicorns and rainbows — not that I would wish lowering storm clouds in their skies all the tim, either). And banish that mom-guilt! I think it’s extremely healthy for kids to have opportunities to realize just how much mom (and dad!) does for them each day. We all take our parents too much for granted.

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10.February.2016

Glad you survived the night, lol! And, holy crap, possums are the most terrifying creatures. I would have died.

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10.February.2016

You should consider writing a book. Your writing skillz are spot on with the finest bits of humor.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Best compliment ever!!

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10.February.2016

Bahahahaha. We had a skunk incident with our dog and my husband let her in the house and went back to bed. She was sprayed by the skunk and rubbed it ALL over our house until I smelled it upstairs!

The Flu hit our house hard. My husband has Wintertesting right now for work. So my 5 and 6 year old have been bed buddies all week. Luckily we have had snowdays here in Michigan so no missed homework.

I am loving the new kitchen trend! We have natural maple cabinets and cement colored countertops!

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10.February.2016

Oh Dana, I hope you’re feeling better!!! How cute that the kids were so sweet while you were sacked out!! ; ) Take care ~ and BTW I always enjoy and look forward to your “Liked and Linked” posts..
Leah: )

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Thanks Leah. I sometimes wonder if I should even write them, but it sounds like most readers enjoy little peeks behind the scenes.

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10.February.2016

Hi House Tweaking! I have been following you for a while and I’m inspired by so many of your ideas. This week I especially love the sliding glass door with three horizontal panes in the shaker style. By any chance is there a source available for these doors?
Thanks, Marion

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10.February.2016

Loved this post! Especially the picture with Cheetah sitting on the table. I’m glad I’m not the only who has cats that walk all over the table. So sorry you’ve been sick. But it sounds like being forced to rest had at least some benefit. Wishing you well in the future.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Thanks Ivy. As you can tell, we have a very strict ‘no cats on the table’ policy. I don’t remember when it stopped working, but it did.

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10.February.2016

The rectangular sink in bathroom is very unique.

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10.February.2016

I love these liked and linked posts! I literally laughed out loud when I was reading about you searching for cheetah! I would’ve shit if I came face to face with a opossum! Omg! So glad you found Cheetah. And I have the same nasty cold right now. I’ve basically been sleeping for 2 days straight. Yuck. I’m glad you made it through the night :) Hope this week has been better for you!

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11.February.2016

Playing dead is a great game not just for dogs but moms too! Glad your feeling better!

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11.February.2016

I’m glad you found Cheetah!
It is amazing how our kids have the power to really step things up. I have 3 kids <10 and I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago. I was overwhelmed with my kids' ability to comfort me; breakfast waiting in the morning, lovely cards of a little baby in heaven, and an overall calmness born from love.
Sometimes as moms we feel a pressure to do it all- and we have a special way that it 'needs' to be done. But at the end of the day, our family is the only thing that matters:)

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replied on February 15th, 2016

I’m so sorry for your loss, Katie. How awesome that your kids are comforting you.

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11.February.2016

I love this post for two reasons. The opossum encounter seriously made me laugh (although I would have FREAKED if it happened to me, opossums are CREEPY), but mostly, I loved the story of Layne putting Mabrey to bed. He will be a wonderful father some day.

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11.February.2016

LOLd at your depiction of finding Cheetah and also Everett’s comment about making it through the night! Too funny! Did you use Blue Apron to help with some of your meals since Steve was gone?

Also, I’m intrigued by the “is this a new trend in kitchens?” article. I love that wood makes the kitchen look so much less clinical than the ultra-trendy all-white kitchen (which looks great now will be a huge complaint on House Hunters in 10 years – “ew, it’s all white! This has to be GUTTED” ;P). But, the blonde wood + black counters/appliances still screams 1990s to me. The darker wood tones or lighter woods with white look great, and I hope we start to see kitchens with more color soon!

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Yes, I did! Blue Apron to the rescue.

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11.February.2016

Ok, Cat Lady, I just busted up with that story! Sometimes a little adventure is just what is needed when things get rough. This may also be the first time your boys REALLY realized how hard it can be on the whole family when a loved one is absent for awhile from home, “Just hang in there” kitty! Do you and Steve have any things you do to keep each other close while apart?

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replied on February 15th, 2016

I’m not much of a phone talker so we usually text. He usually travels to a different time zone, too, which makes communication even more difficult. I’ve learned to have very low expectations the entire time he’s gone. I don’t accomplish much while he’s away!

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11.February.2016

Warm wood kitchens? Count me in! Love the walnut ones.

I had a good laugh at your son hoping you make it through the night! So sorry you’ve had a rough week – hope your weekend and next week can make up for it!

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11.February.2016

Thank you Dana for the link to my tiny bathroom makeover. That was really sweet of you. And I’d also like to thank all of your readers who took the time to call me out on my grammatical errors. They have now been fixed, and hopefully they can now enjoy reading the content of the transformation.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Haha! Grammar shmammer. I just wanted to share your ideas!

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11.February.2016

Oh my what a week. They say when it rains it pours – not sure how to change that to match the snow outside :) Here’s to a better upcoming week!

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11.February.2016

I’m glad to hear that wood cabinets are coming back. Mostly because I dig the warmth that wood brings into a space, but also because I have wood cabinets that I’m not painting and I’m tired of feeling like I should want to! Ha. I inherited them from the last owner of my home and they’re good quality and well designed, so it would be silly to change them. Now I just need to save up the cash to change the backsplash and countertops and I’ll really love my kitchen. :)

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11.February.2016

! Thanks so much for the honesty of this blog post and sharing some of the tough times. I work full time and have an 18 month old. Of course, he got a 24 hr bug on a super important/tight deadline work week. I tried so hard to not let it bother me and to catch up on work when he was napping and not make my husband feel guilty because his work was less flexible than mine. But then I was struck by the bug on Wednesday and UGH!! Now I am behind, stressed out, and sick. My husband had to call the in-laws (who live 2.5 hours away) for back up today so I could go back to work. Sometimes I feel like I try so hard and instead of things going smoothly they just keep getting worse. Here I am at work today, probably with a fever (no, I do not recommend this), and my boss is being a jerk about “things not going out on time” (BTW, technically nothing is late until it doesn’t go out tomorrow, which it will). I haven’t had my redemption moment yet. And this round, I might not. But your life comes across so organized and sweet and bright sometimes that I really appreciate your giving us a glimpse of the tough stuff.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Things are definitely NEVER perfect over here so please PLEASE don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong!! I had to take some time off and am just now feeling better. Meanwhile, it has gone through nearly every person in our family. Grrrrr.

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11.February.2016

I’m glad everything worked out in the end and you were able to find your cat. I too really like the gold lever on the toilet but my favorite part of that bathroom makeover was the faucet on the sink. It looks really cool!

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11.February.2016

I hope you get back to chipper soon. So glad you found Cheetah.

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12.February.2016

Well, you had quite a week!!! I, too, am so happy you made it through the night. What a great son you have for helping his little sister. You are lucky you didn’t come too close to the opossum. they are mean creatures – and sorry, but one of the ugliest creatures you can ever come across. Hope next week is better for you.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

SO UGLY…especially when you’re expecting a cat!

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12.February.2016

I love how your kids got themselves to bed. Maybe one day that will happen in our house…
“I hope she makes it through the night” !! Hilarious !!

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12.February.2016

Lol Ev! We are all so glad you made it through the night!

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12.February.2016

Thank you so much for sharing this real peek inside you life…I was simultaneously laughing and feeling your pain! A possum, aaaghhh!!!! Here’s to a great weekend and a better next week!

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14.February.2016

Bless you! Hopefully you are feeling better and things next week will be much less eventful.

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15.February.2016

I feel for you Dana! All week alone with the kids is super hard, not to mention being sick during it! I got the stomach bug this year while my husband was away so I know where you are coming from. I hope your week goes better! I also love the inspiration pictures.

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replied on February 15th, 2016

Thanks Becky! Finally feeling better today but it has gone through nearly every one of us now :/

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03.March.2016

ohmygosh – i am so happy i found your blog (and your IG) – what a thrill to see some of my house here given your amazing style and decor skills. is the photo you have on this blog of the playroom with swing chair yours? I love and pinned that photo nearly 2 years ago as inspiration for our new/remodeled house that we just moved into this November. though my little one isn’t so little anymore, i loved the idea of a chill room with no electronics where we would read, play games etc. not quite there yet – takes a lot longer than i’d anticipated to settle in and figure out spaces.

xx

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replied on March 4th, 2016

Love the peeks of your home on your IG account! The first image is inspiration for my daughter’s room. It is not an image of our home, but I wish it was! I also LOVE the idea of a “chill room.” And you’re right! Making a house feel like home takes time, patience and even a few mistakes. It makes the end result that much better :)

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