Updated Bathroom For Six


In another life, before getting married or becoming a mom, I went to school for interior design. One of the things that has stuck with me from those classes is the importance of form and function in design. That it should look good and meet the needs of the people using it. The challenge of marrying beautiful design and great function is invigorating to me. It's one of the things that drew me to a 50-year-old, 960-square-foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bath house. After a year, I am still thriving on planning out and decorating our space. 

Fortunately, our one bathroom is a decent size. It has an 8' wall across from the shower/tub that, when we bought it, only had a very small toilet and a 24" vanity on it. There was also some weird open shelving, which seemed like a climbing hazard for toddlers. Also, I don't know about you, but there are very few things I want on display in my bathroom. I didn't take any pictures of it, but the shower had an old sliding door that, aside from being rather dirty, was semi frosted glass on one side and mirror on the other side. Right across from the toilet. No thanks. If we were going to go from three bathrooms to just one, I knew we would need a few things. First, lots of storage. Lots. Second, a space that was easy to keep organized and clean up. A place for everything. Third, an open door, closed curtain policy. We decided to replace the vanity and mirror, the toilet, and the shower doors.

Less than a week after moving in, we set off to Lowes and Ikea to gather our supplies. For the vanity and mirror we went with the Ikea Hemnes 39" set. This was one of the only vanities I found that had just drawers. I vastly prefer drawers to cabinets in the bathroom because you can pull them out and see everything without having to get down on hands and knees in the bathroom. They also make clean up a breeze. I can't say enough about the mirror. One of the best purchases we've ever made. It has two sides, four shelves on each side. And thanks to the Scandinavian geniuses at Ikea, it has mirrors on the inside of the doors too. This medicine cabinet fits almost as much as most vanities would. One thing I didn't fully think through was the faucet. We really like the lines of the one we chose, but it is tall. I didn't think about the mirror needing to be above the faucet, and the open shelf below the mirror. In the end, the mirror was higher than I would have liked, but after a full weekend of plumbing and Ikea assembly we just went with it. And then put a full length mirror on the door, so the kids use that when they need.

I had never installed or removed a shower door before, but after perusing a few DIYer blog posts on the subject it seemed fairly straightforward. Remove screws, score caulking, remove frame. As I was about to discover, and as has been confirmed in every project since, the former owners of our house didn't do anything conventionally. I removed the screws, sliced through the caulking and...nothing. The frame wouldn't budge. Every square inch of that frame was glued down. After hours of prying and pulling and then scraping off glue, the doors were removed. Truth be told, we still haven't completely finished cleaning up the residue of that glue. Nothing a shower curtain can't hide! My husband introduced me to curved shower curtain rods. Do you use those? They make the shower feel so much more spacious. The shower curtain makes bath time a much more simple, if not a less soggy affair. And having a curtain means the kids can still use the toilet during showers and we have at lease a semblance of privacy.

We replaced the old toilet with a bigger, dual-flush toilet. It's supposed to save money and water, although I'm not really sure how well that works for us. I'm pretty certain the kids just push both buttons half the time. Next to the sink we have a large hamper that makes clean up from baths super easy. It also doubles as a seat/stool for the kids. They say if you have a small home, every piece should be multipurpose. So, check. There are two doors into our bathroom, one from the hall and one from our room. The back of the first door houses the full length mirror, and the the second is home to a set of hooks for robes and extra towels. 

We've been using this bathroom for a year now, and it works very well for us. There is plenty of space for the things we need in here and it's easy to straighten up. There are still things we'd love to update, but I think it's a great improvement over where we started.


// faucet
// toothbrush holders - target, similar
// hand towel - nate berkus for target, similar
// bathmat - target, similar
// hamper
// shower curtain - target, similar

Our First Year


As of this week, we've spent a year in our house. A full and wonderful year. Over the last two years we've hit the restart button on so many areas of our life. It's not easy to start again, but I'm so grateful we have.

The listing photo for our house. 

We wanted to find a house that was livable, but that we could update over time and we found just that. I'm excited to share some of the projects that we've tackled this year. One of the more simple projects, but also one of my personal favotires, was our front door makeover. I'm not an orange person, and I especially didn't like it with our house color. I debated painting the door for a while. Then one day I grabbed some extra paint we had and just went for it. The previous paint job was so bad I comforted myself with the thought that I could only improve it. It turned out really well!

Once the door was painted I added more modern house numbers and switched out the light fixture. That was my first experience dealing with anything electrical. I was SO nervous that I would shock myself, or that the fixture would explode the first time I switched it on! But after carefully shutting off the power and watching several YouTube videos I attempted it. And it worked! I love driving up to our house and seeing the clean, white front door. It looks so crisp and fresh. I'm always amazed what a change of color and a coat of paint can do. 

Today I am grateful for one year in this little house that's starting to feel like home. And I am looking forward to the years and projects ahead. 

Happy Birthday, Jack!


Dear Jack Valiant,

Today you are two! It's hard to imagine a time when you weren't in our lives. You fill up our hearts and we love who you are!

You don't say much with words, but you notice everything. You squeak a lot to point out what you're observing and you're very motivated to keep up with your brother and sister. You are incredibly strong and a go getter! But you are also very soft and loving toward people. You love to say bye to anyone and anything. 

You are OBSESSED with cars, trucks, trains, planes, tractors. If it has an engine you love it. Most days for the last 6 months you have carried a toy car or two around with you. Of the few words you do say "ca" and "nane" are among the two most used. 

We are so proud of you son! Happy two years Jack man!

Hello, there.


Hi Friends. It's been a while. I've thought about blogging a lot in the last few months. But it just hasn't happened. I think mostly because we've been through such a tremendous amount of change in the last year and I've just been processing a lot quietly and internally. I've actually taken a step back from most social media, though not intentionally. I guess as I've been sorting through things personally I haven't felt the need or desire to "put myself out there" so much.

Anyway, I've been wanting to post and here I am! I don't really know a great place to dive back in but I can start with a few updates, which you may or may not know. First, we're having a little girl at the end of December! The arrival of Violet Grace DeeAnn is much anticipated by everyone in the house.

We've experienced some challenges with this pregnancy. All my babies have been small, but Violet measured the smallest at her 20 week ultrasound. There was some concern and after a number of tests and continued monitoring the general consensus is that she is indeed healthy but small. I have weekly appointments to monitor her growth and so far so good. But if you think about her please say a prayer that her growth will continue at a healthy pace, and that I won't have to be induced early.

One year ago this month we sold our first house. The house I thought we would raise our kids in. The house we brought two of our three babies home to. We didn't even know where we were going from there, just that we needed to sell. We lived with Ross' family for almost 5 months, then rented a townhouse for 6 months. In the last year our decision to sell has proved such a blessing to our family, but the process of figuring out where we're going now and what that looks like has been long, and at times rather painful. We narrowed down in the spring that we definitely wanted to settle in Kirkland, near Ross' work and our families. And then spent the next several months looking for a house that met our criteria. Just about a month ago we found the place and last weekend we moved in. It's felt slow and fast all at the same time. But as we settle into this new house, I feel my soul settling from the upheaval of the last year. I know there are good things ahead of us.

Right now, we're unpacking, nesting in preparation for Violet, enjoying a beautiful PNW fall, and loving having a backyard! So cheers to new beginnings!

Our Summer in Pictures


Hi Friends, we've been having quite the adventerous summer, although I've literally spent every spare moment flat on the couch growing this fourth baby. But I'm actually sitting up on the couch today so I can share some pictures with you from our summer so far. :)

We started with swim lessons for Ross and Ida. For their first swim lessons they did fabulous, and if you're in the area we highly recommend Peter Kirk Pool.

This is Ida doing "starfish". She LOVES being underwater and literally spent over half of her time in the pool floating around like a dead body. 

For Father's Day we suprised Ross with a day trip to our favorite little spot on the Olympic Peninsula. It was a cool grey day but lots of fun.

When I was a girl we would sometimes go pick strawberries at the farm. At the end of June my sister Sarah and I took the kids to Beringer farms to pick berries. Ross and Ida were amazing little helpers and Jack was our official taste tester. :) Now we have over a dozen jars of freezer jam so we'll get to enjoy those strawberries through the fall and winter!

Oh, and I cut Jack's hair. He has amazing hair, but having it in his face constantly and literally longer than Ida's was driving me crazy. I'm loving his big boy look.

And we've also spend a good bit of time on the water, both sailing and exploring the shore. It's been a good summer so far and we're looking forward to more adventures.

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