Granite and New Doors

Jeremy, from Majestic Stone, sent me photos of the slabs of granite they had shipped in for the Carmel kitchen and wet bar. I’m pretty sure they know that sending me photos of my granite makes me super giddy.         And check out the “sold” sticker on the first photo. I suddenly started to feel possessive like “Yeah, it’s sold. Nobody better even LOOK at my granite!” I’m pretty sure this was me staring at the photos:    Yes, you’ve seen this granite before. It’s Super White and I used it on the Fall Creek house and in my home. I love it. I would love to use Carrera Marble but it’s soft and it stains. I use the word “granite” loosely because Super White is actually a quartzite that has many of the attributes of granite. Most people mistakenly think it IS granite, but it is not. Here’s  a great article explaining Super White. By the way, I’m still going to call it granite.       Yes, I’m a sucker for Super White. Anyway, the granite will look awesome in the Carmel kitchen. Can you see it?  So, the front doors were installed yesterday.

IMG_3112 Those doors were awesome originals but someone, at one point, kicked in the door and the bottom was destroyed. The doors had to go.       Look at that!!! It’s so beautiful!!!!!  Okay. More about the changes in my next post.  Have an awesome weekend!

Doors, Floors and More!

Well, out with the old, non-working sliding glass doors in the living room and master bedroom and in with the new!



The new sliding glass doors were delivered and installed at the Carmel house this week.


It is amazing how working sliding glass doors can make me so happy. The old ones took a lot of fighting and tears to open and even then they only opened about two feet and that’s it. Stupid doors.

I wanted to save the original front doors and strip them to the bare wood and then stain them, but they were beyond saving.


The new front doors were delivered and will be installed tomorrow.

I know everyone was in love with the solid brick in the entry (see above photo) but it had to go. The rest of the first floor was carpet and linoleum. Lovely, lovely 1970’s linoleum. Remember?


We ripped out all the flooring upstairs and downstairs. I swear, the flooring was super entertaining to look at and talk about, but, eventually we want this house to sell so, we had to replace it.

Tile was laid in the master bathroom and second full bathroom upstairs.

I did choose to stay consistent with the bathroom tile and did the same pattern in all the bathrooms. Upstairs I used gray grout and downstairs, Jesus, our tiler, decided to use white grout. Obviously, Dave forgot to ask me about basement grout color because I have learned that white grout will only stay clean and white for about ten seconds.

The rest of the upstairs is hardwood. I chose hand scraped Oak planks. I wanted a lighter color floor in this house because I have noticed that hardwood flooring is trending lighter. Dave already said “NO!” when I asked if we could change the wood flooring in our house. I bet if Lucy rolls around the wood floors in roller skates I’ll get Dave to change his mind sooner.  Just a thought.


We fully expected we would have to buy treads and risers for the stairs but when we stripped the carpet, we were pleasantly surprised to find beautiful oak treads underneath the carpet. They will need to be stripped and re-stained and the risers painted, but it’s better than having to buy all new.


The tile for the downstairs fireplace is going in, as I am writing this.

After looking at photos of fireplaces on, I chose a patterned, textured mosaic marble. This photo doesn’t do it credit and I will share the finished product later.

All the new windows were installed this week and I love them! Mostly because I can open them. There isn’t anything as annoying as doors and windows that won’t open. Well, except for wallpaper. That is more annoying.

So, tomorrow is a BIG day for the house. The front doors are going in AND the kitchen and wet bar cabinets are going in! I went to our Richelieu Hardware warehouse and chose sleek hardware for the cabinets. I am beyond excited to see how everything turns out.

Until tomorrow!



Just Keep Swimming

Have you ever had one of those weeks, months, years, oh well, hell……just lifetimes, where you just feel numb? I mean, where life has whacked you upside the head with a 2×4 and even though life, as you know it, keeps trucking, you are in a fog? Come on, unless you live in a bubble, you know. I have been foolish enough to have gone through difficult situations and thought “Okay, that sucked. I have now paid my dues and now I’m going to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is about to appear…because after the storm, a rainbow appears.” RIGHT???? And then the Lucky Charm’s Leprechaun shows me where to pick up my pot of gold as a parting contestant in the sucky game of life…and it’s Pyrite, AKA, Fool’s Gold.

That seems to be when the freaking tornado comes and then levels any hope of “easier” I had. Seriously, who ever penned the phrase “It’s always darkest before the dawn” probably didn’t have children, or parents, or a life. It’s more like “Oh, crap. It’s coming down…and it’s going to get even worse so pull out your Hunters Wellies.”

I’m not going to publicize my family’s issues. Every family has issues/problems/losses. Every family has their “real life”. Behind every “I live the dream life. I am a size 00 and have a full time maid. I live in Dreamville with Ken and my 2.5 perfect offspring at my side with my entire family.”, there is the actual realistic story of “I feel like I am barely hanging on. I photoshop my face/body/mean 11’s in photos, so suck it. I clean the section of the room that a photo is taken in so you don’t know that my house actually looks like one of the houses in Hoarders. This is not the life I dreamed about and Lorena Bobbitt might actually be my idol. I’m not sure why my kids hate me but yet they still demand things from me while treating me like garbage. My father figure just died so I am barely hanging on.”  OR, maybe this is just me, but I doubt it.

I am finding that our 40’s are supposed to be terrifically liberating  and way better than our 20’s or 30’s because Buzzfeed, HuffPo and other websites keep putting out lists about why being in your 40’s rock. We are supposed to know more now. We are supposed to be wiser. We are supposed to be able to let things just roll off us and not care anymore, because- hey, we are in our 40’s…so, pass the Gray Poupon.

EXCEPT, this is the time of our lives when some of our kids are leaving us for the real world. Sorry, folks, but if you live under the delusion that once your kids leave the nest, you are done and that life gets easier….stop watching Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton movies on Netflix, ASAP. The truth is, your kids might end up divorced, unemployed after college, have no education at all and need support, have legal problems, become alcoholics, get addicted to substances,have legal issues, be in abusive relationships and the list goes on and on and on. When they leave, the worries don’t lessen, they become more “adult-ish”.  Guess what?? Those worries suck a LOT more than if Timmy is going to do well on his high school math test.

SO, on top of the fact that we STILL have all the “I Need to be the Parent” drama with our grown up kids and our little kids, now we get to deal with the sad fact that our parents/aunts/uncles/etc. are getting older. I mean, OLDER. The kind of “older” that makes us actually THINK, “WTH? My mom/dad/aunt/uncle can’t be THAT sick. They are THE adults!! They run this family.” The sad truth is that, when we are in our 40’s and 50’s, WE are now THAT adult. OUR parents and/or family members that we “remember” being that same age, they are no longer the people we have SET up in our minds. Even when our parents reach the same age as our grandparents were when they passed away, it will seem WAY too soon. They are/were WAY too young. Death becomes a very unwelcome reality with which we suddenly we have to deal. 

The worry, the stress, the pain, the rejection….Buzzfeed and HuffPo, etc, lied to me. Being in my 40’s is NOT easier. Yep, I care a lot less about what the mom’s in the carpool line think when they see me singing Carrie Underwood at the top of my lungs with Lucy. They don’t know that I am trying to build confidence in my kid. I don’t care if I can cook/bake better than other women. I can order out better than anyone I know, so suck it. I don’t care if I am popular/do the right thing anymore, because I have witnessed that life is shorter than you think and other people’s opinions really don’t matter. Here is what matters, family and friends. Not fake friends, or fren’amies, but the “I’ll bury the body if you need to take out some aggression” bff’s. I have been overwhelmingly blessed with these type of friends and I would walk on coals to be there for them. You know who you are.

This household has been under a great deal of strain as of late. Unfortunately, because of many circumstances, I don’t foresee a change soon. However, Life is awesome! Life is wonderful!  But let’s not fool ourselves or our kids. Life can suck, and it can suck HARD. There is happiness and beauty even in tragedy, hardship and sadness. Today, I witnessed three siblings who lost their hero, their father, yet they chose to focus on the good things in life, the happiness, the comedy that IS life. My husband and his two sisters have shown me that even in the darkest of times, you CAN laugh. You can find the humor in situations. You can choose to focus on love, laughter and life.

Thanks for the best description of what to do in life, Dori.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming..

Change, Graduation & Life


 My daughter, Simone, graduated from High School today. I try to raise my kids to be strong, capable adults who want to move away and start their lives without me, BUT….I am saddened when they go. I wish they stayed little. 

Simone submitted a talk, along with several other Seniors, to deliver at graduation. Her speech was not chosen but I feel like it is one of the best graduation speeches I have ever heard/read . Because she didn’t get to deliver it, I am posting it for your enjoyment. 

I love you so much, Simone, you make me proud. Have fun on your journeys through adulthood. There will be ups and downs. Just keep swimming. I will always be here for you. 

Simone’s Speech:

Good morning class of 2015, and thank you friends and family for being here to witness this important moment for all of us. All of us worked hard and are finally done! Since we were little kids, we have had a reputation of having everything in our lives handed to us. We have all brushed our parents and grandparents off when they tell us how they walked to up hill barefoot both ways to school everyday; how they were up before the rising sun every morning milking the cows or feeding the chickens; how they would spend hours in the library working on papers because they didn’t have our best friend Google to consult; and how they didn’t assume they were getting a car when they turned 16 because unless they were paying for it, a car was not going happen; how they worked hard and failed; how you don’t always get second chances; that life is NOT fair. It’s hard, and however tough you thought the past 18 years was, it gets much, much worse. Although they are right, and I can say for sure I did not have to do those things, it doesn’t mean we don’t have what it takes to succeed in the world. After today, each of us is going to be heading out into the world in different directions to become the people we have always dreamed of becoming. Some of us will become doctors, some will be engineers, law enforcement, senators, nurses, entrepreneurs, attorneys, computer techs, designers, writers…the possibilities are endless. No matter what path you choose, unless you are willing to fail over and over again and get back up and fail again, then they were right, we don’t have what it takes. Ruth Westheimer once said, “My favorite animal is the turtle. The reason is that in order for the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out. There are going to be times in your life when you’re going to have to stick your neck out. There will be challenges and instead of hiding in a shell, you have to go out and meet them.” Even if we fail, we have to be willing to get up and fight for ourselves because when we get out into the big scary world, we are on our own. We are a generation of people who deal with being torn down by our peers every day, Zac Efron once said, “I got made fun of constantly in High School. That’s what built my character. That’s what makes you who you are. When you get made fun of, when people point out your weaknesses. That’s just another opportunity for you to rise above.” And we are stronger than the world knows class of 2015, and it’s time we prove that all times people said we couldn’t live our dreams, they were wrong. Because if you want to be a doctor, you’re going to be a doctor and you are going to work you butt off to get there, go ahead and make mistakes because life is about taking chances and learning from your failures. The character J.D. from the TV show scrubs says, “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking chances, and how it’s really just about overcoming your fears. Because the truth is, every time you take a big risk in your life, no matter how it ends up, you’re always glad you took it.” Class of 2015, being students at HSE for the past 4 years has not been a walk in the park. We’ve all experienced the all night cram sessions and the 25 page study guides that you could swear you never learned any of stuff in class. HSE teachers aren’t known for taking it easy on their students, our teachers are known for working us to the bone, pushing us harder then we even wanted to be pushed, Making us work for that A. they didn’t do it because they loved to see us suffer, they did it because there love to see us right now, in this moment where our hard work is paying off and we are all about to head off into our amazing bright futures because not only did they help get us to this point, but they also gave us the tools to succeed in our futures. Because no matter where any of us end up, we will all know we got there because of where we came from. So far our parents, teachers, and friends have helped us build a strong foundation for our lives, but it’s up to us to use the tools we have been given and build the lives we’ve dreamed of the way we want, this is only the beginning. Make mistakes and enjoy failing, life is short and we have to take every opportunity that comes to us. Meredith Grey from Greys Anatomy said, “”Knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying.” Summon your courage, take a deep breath, and go for it!” we did it, we survived high school and now as we leave our families and friends to start on our new paths promise to remember every step of the way where you came from and who helped get you there. Because this is our home, these are our people and this is the place that built us. Take chances and fail work harder and fight for your dreams, as of now our lives are blank canvases and it’s our jobs to turn them into something beautiful. Thank you teachers for pushing us too hard and thank you parents for keeping us up all night not letting us give up. We would not have survived to this point without you. Congratulations class of 2015, let’s go show the world what we have to offer.