Sunday, February 14, 2016

Basement finishing update. My gym is moved in. Sigh.

 Jeff and I have toyed with the idea of finishing our basement for a few years. The problem is, we were perfectly happy using our basement as it was for a gym and food storage. We just weren't really motivated. At the end of November, we really started to feel strongly though that it was time. We contacted our friend who runs framing crews and asked him if they had any free time to come help us in the next couple of months. He told us that he could start the next Monday, or we would have to wait 6 weeks. All of a sudden we were in the midst of a remodel. Right at the start of the Christmas season. I was a little...stressed for a while! We moved all of our gym into our theater room --the only part of the basement we had done. All of our couches from there had to come upstairs.  The gym in the theater room was doable, but a little squishy!  I really wish I had taken progress pictures as we went. There was so much dust, so much dirt, so much noise.

This is what's left of the theater room gym. I'm so glad we're out of there. I have four sets of people working out here Wednesday mornings, and by the end of that morning, you would come halfway down the stairs and feel the steam. I tried not to think too hard about that!

 But this weekend, Jeff and the Ari and Kai moved it all over for me while I helped Tia with cupcakes. This big opening will eventually have barn doors over it. They are sitting in the garage, waiting for our carpenter to come back. We call this room the "flex room" because we will call it a bedroom if we ever sell the house, but we just are using it for....gym. hehe.
 Mostly we wanted just a big area of mats for wrestling, crunches, etc.
 In front of it is the big room with the bulk of our equipment. Notice we saved our stained concrete floor. I patched the stain myself and resealed it shiny. 
In the girl's room we will add this room size rug with a nice pad.

 Back to the big room. We love how bright it is in here now. I chose a soft gray for the walls instead of the tan in the rest of the house. For every other decision, I let the house I already had guide me. Same texturing, same trim, etc.
 We were hoping to remove this wall, because it is totally unnecessary for the floor plan of the house, but it was load bearing, and we didn't want to pony up for the engineering to remove it. At least we have the nine foot ceilings to help it feel more open. 
 This is our food storage room --which we feel could also be an office for someone. 
 No windows. but plenty of outlets and space.
 Our poor utility closet is still full of insulation and travertine tile. We're working on it!
 The bathroom is turning out really pretty, with the same color travertine, cupboards and matching hardware as the upstairs. We still need our finish plumber to come with the toilet and faucets (tomorrow first thing), and we need to stick the mirror on the wall.
 This is the girls' new room. Jeff and I are stumped as to where to shove the ping pong table. Hallway? Sigh.
 This is the crowning glory of their room -- a huge new walk in closet. Jeff and I are jealous. It's one and a half times the size of ours.

 Last but not least, this will be the "cardio theater" part of the big room. The big screen T.V. will go on this wall, and behind that door will go all of the components. 
 Our carpenter friend put tons of shelves in that t.v. closet, and we love it.
 Here's our unedited life! I just wanted to show how crazy it's been upstairs. Our theater room couch had to go in the formal living room, so the piano went in Jeff and I's master bedroom. Also this love seat in front of the end of the bed is relocated from the theater room.
 Jeff's office is being shared with Kai's bedroom. That's been....interesting at times. ("Wake up Kai! I have a skype meeting right now!")
 All of the other random stuff from the basement was shoved in the laundry room. I can barely walk into here. 
All of the food storage is in the garage. Jeff's truck has been parked in the driveway the whole winter. This was especially rotten for the girls going to swim team practice at 5:00 am. 
 But I'm not complaining now! We're so grateful we could do this. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kind of the opposite of Snow Canyon: Snow. (and snowshoeing in the canyon).

Last winter we hardly got any snow. I enjoyed being able to get around easier, and not having to shovel the driveway, but it sure made snow hiking and snowshoeing kind of a bummer. This winter we have had El Nino come through with a vengeance, and we have had more snow than I know what to do with! It was particularly beautiful last Sunday morning. I put on my snow boots and went out. 
I actually woke up having a panic attack with all of the things I needed to do for my church calling -- or volunteer position. It was perfectly quiet except for the occasional snowblower, but most people weren't out yet. It calmed me right down.

My friends decided to take further advantage of the storm the next day, and we went snowshoeing up the right fork of Hobble Creek, and up the Kirkman Hollow trail. It was lovely. 

So interesting that the stream was thawed and full of green plant life when everything else was so frozen and dead.
I took a picture to remember this trail. It was so cool.
We had a great group, and now I'm Jonesin' for more.