small house, BABY boy

Last Saturday the women in the Overway family celebrated the up-and-coming baby d, who will soon be joining the Danello family!

There were gifts:

and many smiles and hugs:

and more gifts.  But most of all, there was excitement surrounding the anticipation of the baby boy that is going to join our family.  So much preparation and love poured into something so small, so beautiful, unborn.

Although I have no personal experience, I can only imagine the dreams a mother and father have for their newborn son, the completion and true start of their family.

And because of my experience with love, I can’t imagine how God, knowing that He was sending His son, His beautiful baby boy, to die on the cross, could follow through with such a sacrifice for me and for you.

I look at all the nursery planning many of my friends have accomplished in anticipation of their little ones, the outfits washed and hung ready to be worn, the books precisely placed on the small bookshelves, just at the right height. Again, the love, the anticipation.

Yet, God’s plan to send His son involved so much more than we can humanly fathom.  He prepared many hearts, completed the trinity, and sent His only Son, knowing so many would miss the message, and knowing His son would ultimately be sacrificed.  It was a raw, but perfect plan.

I don’t know what God’s plans entail for baby d, or for any of us, but because of the gift of Jesus and the price Jesus paid, we get to celebrate the life of baby d and I’m thankful.  New life, new hope, and Easter eggs.

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small house, SPRINGING

With the temperature reaching a balmy 60 degrees today, and the sun trying so hard to shine, I am itching for spring.  So winter in the small house is officially OVER.  

The decor has changed from pine cones and birch candles, to bunnies and Easter eggs:

A few sunflowers both fresh and not-so-fresh:

A hydrangea or six:

An update to the “eclectic things” wall:

Two new matching spring rugs by each entrance:

And one tired Stella bear:

She had a full weekend.

She chased robins:

Played outside and went for a big Sunday walk:

And lastly, she had a second attempt at “puppy” class, which minus me having to literally DRAG her through PetSmart while she attempted to put the brakes on, but had no traction due to the slippery tiles (she’s afraid of the tall aisles, I mean, REALLY afraid), and then getting too excited when she saw the other dogs in the class (resulting in me being told to use the “OOPS” clean up paper towels and disinfectant spray) it was a success by Stella-standards.

So the first “spring” weekend was fun, we are so excited for future spring weekends!

small house, HALF-way there

with what? bathrooms.  And actually, half-way there may be generous… 
The condo we rented prior to buying our small house had a gorgeous master bath.  Granite, double sinks, a tiled shower, bathtub, basically the works.  It was relaxing, warm, and I LOVED it:

Then came the small house.  Here’s a glimpse at where we started the day we moved in, Bathroom One on the main floor:

Bathroom Two upstairs (Master bath):

I would like to say I had a love hate relationship with our new bathrooms, but there was no love.  They were just, ugly.
We haven’t done much to Bathroom One.  We painted (Benjamin Moore, Elmira white), took down all the shelving, hung a new shower curtain, bought a new bath mat, towels, washcloths, and called it a day:
But, Bathroom Two is a slightly different story.  The first time I attempted to hang up towels in the upstairs bath, the hardware fell OFF the wall.  Small house: 1, Sarah: 0.  
So the first step jumped from painting to buying new hardware, trip 143 to Lowe’s.  We replaced the awkward “pearl” hardware in the upstairs bath with simple, strong nickel pieces:
And then we painted.  We weren’t planning on painting the upstairs bathroom Benjamin Moore’s Wheatfield yellow until Wheatfield let us down in the kitchen and we had an extra gallon of paint left over.  So we ended up with this upstairs:

I didn’t mind the Wheatfield, but Matt was NOT a fan–notice the new hardware and light fixture (Allen & Roth from Lowe’s).  Yellow was too much for him at 4:30 a.m. on a daily basis (yup, that was his schedule in July of 2012).

But at least our hardware was now affixed to the wall, progress.

So then came paint job numero dos for the upstairs bath, Peanut shell plus a new mirror:

So it’s better, but not great:

The future: we are currently in the “dreaming stage” for totally redoing the bathrooms.

Our ideas for the upstairs bathroom involve: tile–that looks like hardwood backing the shower, tiled floor, ripping out the tub, and two sinks…

For the main floor bathroom we are thinking tile, ceramic tub, new vanity… EEK, big project.

One step at a time.

But I couldn’t post this without sharing a Stella pic–loving on the new rug:

small house, the MATCH + door.

MARCH–closer to spring, robins, gardening, long walks around Argo Pond, and SUNSHINE.

Last spring, this month brought anxiety and excitement.  It was MATCH month, the month we found out where Matt would be doing his residency.  Our rank list was: 1. U of M; 2. Northwestern; 3. Vanderbilt.

Here we are opening the official letter:

After the official MATCH and knowing we would be staying in Ann Arbor for the next 4-6 years, we decided to start house “shopping.”   Actually, it was more like house “racing.” The market in Ann Arbor moves CRAZY fast.

Needless to say,  March 2013 is expected to be less eventful in comparison to March 2012, and for that, we’re thankful!

We are planning on touching up cabinets, attacking the “mud” room, and selecting window treatments! WHOOT, exciting!!!

I also need to start reading about gardening.  I would love any advice as to helpful gardening blogs, books, or personal experience!  How much to plant? Maybe a garden “map”?

Last summer our side yard looked like this:

We were told when we bought the house that a beautiful garden would grow in.  We waited. Waited. Waited.  August came and went, still no garden.

So this spring we are PLANTING!

Fortunately, we also invested in a new garage door this past winter that goes UP and DOWN by pressing a button, YAY!  Last summer we were dealing with this every time we were in and out of the garage:

The garage door needed to be pulled manually up and down.  This would not have been so bad but for the collection of spiders hanging from the bottom stripping of the garage door.  GROSS!  The weather stripping was also old, cracked, and allowed for potential critters to crawl inside.

Now our garage looks like this:

Interestingly, there is approximately a 70-90 percent return on investing in a new garage door (depending on which article you read).  Here is a link to one: Garage Door Return on Investment.

The Wixsons are ready, Spring!! Bring on the 50-70 degree weather and sunshine!