shower glass

installed! yahoo yahoo. i'm kinda nervous to take off that blue tape. i mean come on, we've all read the green ribbon. and the reflection makes it look like there's a big window in the middle of the shower. i assure you, that is not the case. we're only giving a peep show to each other, not the entire neighborhood. [was that bad? come were thinking it.]

someone asked if we were installing frosted glass. the thought didn't even occur to us. we both like the look of the clear glass and this way we can see all that gorgeous tile! i'm really glad we chose a slider, too. a space saver that looks good.

the trim is installed, caulked, and puttied, so i'm off to do one last coat of white paint before carpet is installed tomorrow. hip hip hooray!

hex tiles on the floor

it was brought to my attention that no pictures were posted of the installed main floor tiles. here they are!

we are really happy with the final outcome of all the tile installed. the look is very clean and simple, perhaps even a little vintage. a lot of white with a little gray. i'm partial to solids, but the tile selections give the floor a bit of a pattern and definitely up the interest factor in a way that isn't trendy.

a few things: 1) these hex tiles were very affordable, which is good because we needed like 100 square feet. 2) however, the tiler said they were incredibly difficult to install. (and he knew what he was doing—he was a pro and did a great job all around.) the hex tiles came mounted on a 12" x 12" mesh backing but the tiles themselves were super thin. they slid around a bit when he was installing them, which is made obvious by a wider grout line in a few areas. oh well. i'm not worried about it.

oh yeah—we decided to go with corian countertops for the vanity (and it has nothing to do with the fact that someone from dupont posted a comment here the other day). like i said, i'm picky about speckles, and as beautiful as the quartz was, it competed with the marble tile and the "patterned" floor and didn't match as nicely as i'd like. conveniently, when we had our white corian countertops made for the kitchen, they cut out a large hole for our drop-in sink and gave us the extra material. well, i plopped the cutout on top of the vanity to see how it would look and it was love at first sight. (see above.) clean white. love it. (also, a phone call inquiry revealed that the high corian estimate we had received was due to the fact that two integrated sinks would cost almost $500. ouch. so we reworked the plan to include undermount sinks instead, which brought the cost down considerably. so lesson learned: ask!)

i've met with a few vendors to get bids for glass shower enclosures. we bought faucets and a toilet. looking at carpet tomorrow, still need mirrors and light fixtures. we've painted the closet, finished painting the trim, and will paint the bedroom tomorrow night. oh yeah, we need a closet system! we'll be out of town next week, and while we're gone, the trim and doors will be installed. as weird as it sounds, coming home from vacation will be fun because we'll see progress made while we were gone!

even more thrilled.

today, our tile guy grouted the shower floor and installed the white 3 x 6 ceramics in a subway pattern on the shower walls. they still need white grout and the curb isn't finished yet, but it's taking shape! there was shrieking involved when i came home, and it wasn't ben. i think it looks great!

tomorrow, he'll lay the small hex tiles on the main floor and finish the curb. wednesday, he'll grout the shower walls and main floor and be done!

we also had our cabinetry delivered and installed today. here's a sneak peek (it's a little dusty):

we've had some ups and downs with both the cabinetry and the tile. we had planned to use a gorgeous gray-and-white marble tile as a thin "stripe" through the shower. i was seriously crazy about this tile—probably a little too crazy about it. ben picked it out, and i just couldn't stop staring at it in the store. you can see it in this pic—it's the tiny subway-style marble one on the bottom right.

we knew it was special order, but i placed the order with enough time to allow for shipping and transport. well, long story short, it was back-ordered until the end of july, which we found out rather late in the game. at first, i was really mad. i mean, i thought this tile was going to


our bathroom. then i took a step back, prayed about it, and realized it is just tile. really not worth getting mad about—in fact, it would be rather ridiculous to stay mad about it. so we went ahead without it, and i'm so glad we did. the shower walls look great just plain white. [we put in three white corian corner shelves. the low one is a shaving step.] i know God worked it out the way He did to teach me to let go and to remind me that this is all just "stuff."

we had trouble with our cabinets, too. they were supposed to be delivered last monday. we got home from work and they weren't there. when i called to check in, i found out there had been a miscommunication and they weren't scheduled to be delivered until july 1! eek. thankfully, we were able to have them delivered today, but once again, a lesson in patience and a reality check that this is really not that important.

we ordered a double vanity and a seven-foot linen closet in the corner. the wood has an espresso stain. of course, i thought white would be nice, but with all the white on the floor and in the shower, i thought the bathroom needed some contrast. we're happy with the dark color, but now we have to decide about those countertops...

getting there!

tile attempt #2

i just can't say enough about God's faithfulness. saturday was a really sweet day, and God certainly blessed me in more ways that i can even know.

i get in so much trouble for assuming. we all know what assuming does...and if you don't, you can ask me and i'll finish the joke for you. :)

ben and i went and looked at tile on saturday morning, and i had been praying about it throughout the week. ben and i have really, really different taste, and i was concerned that we would end up frustrated, unable to find something we would like. a lot of times, we can find common ground, but i worry that i'm steering things a little too much. this is something i wrestle with in general—i vowed to submit to my husband. my heart's desire is to honor him. yet, the "home" is my responsibility. ben called me the CFO, the "chief food officer"—and that is just one example. i'm in charge of cleaning, meal planning, grocery shopping, and in general, decorating. [side note: please don't misunderstand. ben is not oppressive. we both believe in biblical gender roles and embrace them, with the Spirit's help. so he has his areas of focus (the marketplace, as mark driscoll calls it), and i have mine, and we work together—but the household is my "specialty."]

okay. so back to tile. the bottom line is that ben and i are going to use this master bathroom every day, and i want him to love it. i want him to feel comfortable, relaxed, able to prepare for his day. so i felt an especially heavy burden over this choice. [side note: when we were at the tile store, i was thinking about how small and unimportant this is in the entire scope of things. people live in mud huts, you know? anyways. the decision needs to be made.]

ben woke up saturday morning after having a bad dream about tile—we found something we liked, but the store wouldn't sell it to us for some reason. so that was kind of a funny start to the day! we went to the tile shop first, partly because they have tons of installations to help visualize the big picture. ben pointed out two bathrooms that were okay to him, and both had plain white porcelain hex tiles on the floor. that was fine with me, so we had a good start. [let it be known that i am not the only one in our house who likes white!] he surprised me by veering toward a marble pillowed subway tile shower. i loved it, so we were on our way. we picked out a pretty greige glass accent to run as a thin line through the shower. there were a few tense moments, but we got some pricing and i think we left feeling pretty good.

but ben never takes a first offer [wise man!], so we headed back to kate-lo. i had to return the


i had pulled last week and assumed ben would like (but he did not! trouble for assuming!). after looking for a bit, ben absolutely blew my mind by suggesting a carrera marble basketweave tile for the shower floor and a similar accent to run through the shower wall. again, trouble for assuming. i never in a thousand years would have thought he would like those tiles. and what a happy surprise, because i liked them, too! i was so happy that he had selected it on his own, not by me pushing it at him.

anyways, enough talk. here are a few snaps of the samples we pulled from kate-lo. i threw a few paint chips on top for some color, but nothing is final. if we go with the kate-lo options below, we'll do a plain white subway tile on the shower walls.

then we went to taco john's for lunch. [yum! i'm slowly being won over from taco bell.] we spent the afternoon working hard in the yard. it was a really sweet day. i crashed early, exhausted. God commands us to work, and it is for our good! He knows what we need, and His commandments truly are for our benefit. kaylee, thanks for reminding me about the sweetness of psalm 119!

"your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. the unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple." verses 129–130

a snapshot of the past few weeks

life has been full of events, both at work and at home. here are the highlights:

1) this past weekend, i heard andrée seu speak at the bethlehem women's conference. she was awesome, unconventional. i want to be her friend. she even described herself as "melancholy." she was a bit stream of consciousness, and entirely practical. God used her words to speak into my life about how to tackle fear. what a blessing she was. (and what a vocabulary! she's definitely a writer. i even got to meet her and she signed my book! i told her i was a bit starstruck and she looked around and said, "why, did someone walk by?") our pastor's wife blogged about her here, too.

2) i've got the itch to garden. i planted some basil, parsley, and chives to keep in the kitchen window. they are practice, so we'll see how they turn out. i have a beautiful ranunculus plant out on the front step, and a few house plants i'm learning to care for. oh yeah—the hostas my mom and i split last summer are coming up! i had a long conversation with my managing editor today about gardening and plants, and i'm totally motivated. however...

3) our side yard looks like this [see above!]. at one point this was a nice garden, according to the reports of neighbors. but now it is overgrown and unkempt. we tore out the stakes and wire (and the random oar???), and ben started tilling it. we'll seed it and it will hopefully be grass before too long.

4) in other yard news, our neighbor painted our shed for us. here's the before pic. the after will come before too long (i've said that before, though...). let's just say ben and i are like-minded in our preference for blue.

5) speaking of like-mindedness, we need to pick out tile for the master bathroom—floor and shower. i pulled some samples from kate-lo, but ben didn't really like any of them—and that was fine by me! it kind of made me laugh afterwards, because i picked ones i thought he might like, but they weren't ones that i was particularly crazy about, either. shows how little i know about his taste! anyways, we'll go look again on saturday, and hopefully we'll put our heads together and find something we both like. because, like taylor swift says, "two is better than one!" [cheesy, i know.]

dust barrier

on tuesday night we put up our zip wall, which means the dust is now contained in that part of the house. so when we go in, we are free to kick up as much dust as we want!

it's kinda cool. you stretch plastic across two poles, and then install zippers to make a doorway. ben was stuck in there until we put on the zippers! ;)

then we got to work. we have an old 5-disc cd player that's all dirty and perfect for such occasions. first, we listened to the used (which is fitting music for ripping down walls and tile). but the next cd was ben folds. not quite ben asked me to see what was next. when we heard the first few notes of "brightest" by copeland, i head ben yell from the other room, "i don't want to shave my legs...i want to rock!" i almost died laughing and changed it back to the used.

the tile came down easily because it was so rotted. yuck.

i shed blood relatively quickly...but it's not from what you might think. i gashed my finger opening the zip wall box! so klutzy.

weekend update

the weekend isn't over yet, but it has been fantastically productive. ben took friday off of work to work on the house, and we accomplished quite a bit: taking down wallpaper, taking off siding, narrowing tile choices to two for the fireplace surround, picking up roof samples, and other small things. our new front door, garage door, and a window were delivered, too.

kristen graciously volunteered to spend her saturday morning helping me and ben outside. we started tearing off the masonite siding on the back of the house. man, was it hot and humid!

(kristen takes it to the house. literally.)

(and she holds the rope for my man on the roof, while i snap pictures.)

(hanson sisters unite!)

(at one point, i'm sure it was "the lovely white house on the corner.")

(ben takes a sledgehammer to the fireplace.)

(admiring his handiwork. better already.)

(today, three tiles came off the vanity. i heard a crash and this is what i found. this bathroom has to last us for a while, though...)

(decisions, decisions.)

we are going to push hard to get a lot done in the next month. we're finally getting the summer weather here in minnesota, but fall isn't too far off and we want to have the windows, siding, and roof finished soon. then we are going to take a break.

visual update

we've been hard at work. the tile in the mudroom/half bath is grouted and ready to be sealed. paint is on the walls. and perhaps most exciting of all, our appliances are here and (mostly) installed. here are a few pictures. it is still a construction zone, but i am looking forward to moving into the kitchen later this week (and giving it a thorough cleaning!). tools out, dishes in!

we hope to have the fridge for a long time, so we bought the biggest one we could afford.

klaas stayed over late last wednesday night to help us install our sink, faucet, garbage disposal, range, and fridge. and of course he shed blood.

the dishwasher went in tonight. it was relatively painless, except for a quick trip to menards/home depot. but that is typical.

ben did the honors of the first load. we got a bosch because of good reviews on consumer reports. man that thing is quiet!

yes, that is a toilet in the garage. it will (Lord willing!) be installed tomorrow night in the half bath. we also have to install the microwave. close to having a working bathroom AND a fully-functional kitchen!