Before and after

You know how some people say "I don't know what I'd do with myself if I wasn't working?" As much as I genuinely enjoy teaching math, I could always think of PLENTY of things I'd rather be doing than planning lessons or grading papers.

When you're a working parent (or working, period), the errands and the laundry and the meal prep tend to be afterthoughts at the end of a long day. Now that I'm staying home, I find that by 4 o'clock, I'm beat, there's more laundry waiting to be folded, I don't know what to cook for dinner...sounds like I just got home from work. Except now, I have no such excuse. Jeez.

Eventually I hope to get my act together and actually keep up with the laundry, follow a meal plan, post some favorite recipes, or even just write here more often. For now I'm grateful that this year, I didn't have to book a substitute teacher in order to attend the elementary school Halloween parade (it was so fun!). I am totally loving being around for my kids, and I want to honor this gift of time at home.

Unfortunately, I have battled extreme fatigue through these first four months of pregnancy. Much worse than I recall in previous pregnancies. Russ insists that I need take a closer look at my nutrition—am I getting enough iron? protein? I know the Cheetos probably aren't helping...

I flipped through some photos since our move in September and can't deny that in spite of my feelings of idleness and general exhaustion, I have, in fact, been productive during the past two months. Aside from incubating a small human and keeping the other three girls alive, fed, and mostly entertained, we have almost unpacked and made some decent improvements around the house. 

Here are some "before and after" pictures for your enjoyment:

Dining Room

We lived on white tile floors for two weeks and I could have lost my mind trying to keep it clean. It is the most impractical flooring imaginable for a family (or for anyone?).


We hired Carpet One to rip out the tile and install new laminate flooring. These planks weren't actually my first choice, but I am so happy with how they turned out. They have a real hardwood texture and this particular shade hides all of the dust and dirt, great for messy kids!  Laminate ➳ Quick Step



We set up this corner of the dining room as a "kids table." 


I love the copper metal bell! Thinking of replacing those brass door knobs on the closet with some pop of color, maybe teal?  Pendant ➳ Pottery Barn


This old chandelier was a real gem. If you want it, it's in my garage collecting dust until I can get it over to Goodwill. I thought maybe I could spray paint it and make it cool, like vintage-chic, but then I thought, no.


Ahhh much better. Taking suggestions for what to do with that big wall behind the table!  Chandelier ➳ West Elm


I could have lived with the lighting in the dinette, but since we were replacing the others...


...we put in this one!  Pendant ➳ Pottery Barn



This was how the kitchen was staged during the Open House. Aghh! Blinded by white tile.


Here it is today. Eventually I'd like to replace the cabinet pulls for an inexpensive face-lift, but otherwise the kitchen is totally functional with lots of storage space.        
Clock ➳ Rick's Picks.



Tiptoeing through the construction zone!


Did I mention that I am in love with my floors?


I don't have a "before" picture of this part of the hallway, but now it's one of my favorite parts of the house! A mud room of sorts. Soon my mom and I will work on re-upholstering an old bench to place under the coat rack, so we can tuck away the bags and backpacks.  Coat Rack ➳ Etsy.  Calendar system (had it since college!) ➳ Pottery Barn

We still have a long list of improvement projects for the house. It's fun to dream! Next up, we'll install some window coverings that don't consist of bed sheets and thumb tacks.

But the projects can wait.

Right now, it's 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon and I'm ready to put my feet up. As I finish typing this, the kids are watching The Great Pumpkin and inhaling a bag of Boo Chips. When Halloween falls on a weekend like this, it kind of feels like a mini holiday break! Time to carve pumpkins tonight and start sneaking candy when the kids aren't looking. 

Happy (almost) Halloween!