Rewinding– January

I haven’t taken many pictures this year, so it’s difficult for me to remember what all we’ve done. We rang in the new year with Chris still down with an infection after getting hit hard by the cedar during our post-Christmas camping trip at Inks Lake. We had planned on spending the evening with the Decarlos, but instead, we laid low. I think I remember the kids and I went up the next afternoon to join the Decarlos for lunch after church, but my memory is terrible! If I didn’t take pictures, I can’t remember! He still wasn’t 100% by the next weekend, so I flew solo to my cousin Brent’s wedding outside of La Grange. It was an outdoor wedding and reception and it was freezing cold, so we didn’t want him to have a relapse. I’m glad I went by myself because the kids would have been miserable and complained the entire time. I got to see my aunts and uncles and a few cousins I hadn’t seen in a while, so that was nice.

The following weekend, Chris and I attended a marriage retreat put on by our church at a resort on Lake Conroe. We met Dan and Linda for dinner in College Station so they could take the kids for the weekend. It was a long weekend, so they got an extra day with them.

Near the end of the month, Chris traveled to Rome for a couple of weeks for work. While he was away, the kids had math/science night at school. A local high school robotics team brought their remote controlled ball throwing robots to show the kids. They would scoop them up and then throw them back to the kids. They loved it. They also had a scientist doing cool experiments for the kids and a discovery dome from the museum. The line was really long though, so we never got to see inside of it.

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Robert made a house out of Dots and toothpicks. The goal was to build a structure that could withstand being blown down by the Big Bad Wolf.

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And they also got to build with these huge legos. Robert made a couch. Clara made Pandora’s Box, because of course she did. Still loves her Greek mythology. These legos were a bit of a pain for me though. The math/science instructional coach was in charge of the event and she was really overwhelmed as the event got closer. I was helping her out making copies, cutting, things like that. She was going to be borrowing these from another school in the district, but the school is clear across town and she was panicking trying to figure out when and how she was going to get them in time. I offered to drive the 30 minutes to get them, loaded them up myself and then unloaded at the school. These things filled up the entire back of the land rover! There is no way she would’ve been able to get them all in her car. Several weeks later I saw they were still in her office, so I took them back for her too :)

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That Saturday night around 9:00 p.m., I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t really accomplished anything, so I said, “I’m going to clean one room in the house from top to bottom so I’ll feel accomplished.” Yes, that’s all it takes for me to feel productive. Fast forward fifteen minutes and somehow this happened.

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I decided to keep it a secret until he got home 😉 That would be thermafoil laminate that covers all of the cabinets in our house. It’s peeling in lots of places where you grab to open the doors and drawers since there are no knobs. I had been doing some online research to see if it would be possible to repaint them. They’re mdf, but are in fine condition. New cabinetry would have been such a huge waste, not to mention massively expensive, but they definitely needed a facelift after 18 years. I knew I wanted to experiment on the bathroom cabinets before undertaking the kitchen, but I just hadn’t been able to convince myself to start peeling. I just needed to be left unsupervised for a bit to get the ball rolling. It peels right off and there’s not even any glue to remove except for a bit on the edges.

Since it’s mdf, I made sure to use an oil based primer and I used cabinet paint to get good, even coverage. I wanted to do it right, so I removed doors, sanded the boxes, primed and painted the insides, the boxes, drawers, everything. By the time Chris got home, I wasn’t anywhere near being finished. Oopsie. May have been a bigger (and dustier) job than I anticipated.

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Here are some before and afters. You’ll notice a big grease or cleaner spot that had eaten through the top layer of the cabinet floor there in the corner, but now it looks good as new!

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And there were lots of spots where the paint had peeled and the previous owner had done a poor touch up job. I bought knobs so hopefully that will keep from damaging the paint job as much. The cabinet paint includes some type of urethane or acrylic or something that is supposed to help prevent chipping. I put 2-3 coats of primer and 3-4 coats of paint on all of the doors and boxes. It took for-ever! It looks so nice though. I just hope it holds up. It’s been four months now, and so far, so good.

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Here is the inside of one of the drawers with a bunch of chipped spots. After painting everything, I put heavy duty shelf liner down to hopefully keep things looking nice and new for a long time to come.

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While I was knee deep in my impromptu home improvement project trying desperately to get it done before Chris got home, I had stopped in the drive-thru at Chick fil one afternoon when my mom called to tell me my Aunt June had passed away :( She had been sick for some time and had been in and out of the hospital, but it was still a shock. As soon as I hung up with my mom, warning lights on my dashboard started flashing, there was beeping, my ac went haywire and my suspension was making weird noises. Tire pressure, seatbelt, overheating lights, everything was going crazy. I pulled into a spot to gather my thoughts. I didn’t know what was going on so I quickly turned it off. Went to turn it back on and it wouldn’t turn over. I skyped Chris in Rome to ask him what I should do. He called his co-worker Scott to come rescue me :) In his nice work clothes. Long story short, we eventually got it home (barely), it sat in the driveway until Chris got home while I drove the Jeep.

Chris came home to a half finished project, we were a one car family for a week while Chris tried to figure out what might be wrong with the land rover. I was taking him to work one morning in the Jeep when he said the brakes felt really squishy. We stopped at the auto parts store and he added some brake fluid. That leaked all out onto the ground below :( We pulled into a brake shop a block or so down the street and were officially car-less. Chris called his co-worker Vance to come pick us up and take me home. Got it back that evening and got the land rover in to the shop the next day. I think we shelled out about 2k that weekend on car repairs. :(