Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To Us!

Big, huge, from-the-bottom-of-our-hearts thanks goes to brother Adam for his AMAZING work! The kitchen is (almost) complete -- just in time to host Christmas tomorrow.

And here is the reveal!





Friday, December 11, 2009

Kitchen Remodel Update!

Did I really miss the entire month of November? I'm sorry! But I have a good excuse. Remember that kitchen remodel I mentioned before? Well, we're almost done! I know our goal was originally Thanksgiving, but that was kind of my goal, and I didn't really talk to the man in charge. "Do you want it done right, or do you want to rush it?" my super smart and lovely brother said. So, we pushed the timeline out a month. And good thing we did, because we've run into all sorts of problems (mainly that every wall in the kitchen is ridiculously crooked).

So I know I promised updates along the way (with pictures!), but better late than never, right? :)

It wasn't until Trip started demo-ing that I realized we hadn't taken a "before" picture. So here is the kitchen after he started taking off doors, taking things out of the cabinets, and I was rushing to cook a bunch of meals before the stove would be gone. What a disaster!


Notice the lighting. Ew.


Cabinets off!


All cabinets out!


The last piece of linoleum to rip up. Definitely something you should be doing in flip flops.


Peebs inspecting the work. I believe he was satisfied.


Walls painted. Now time to install cabinets.


Adam helping Trip. (Hahahaha -- we ALL know who's really been doing all the work.)


Pantry cabinets installed!


All cabinets built! Pantry cabinets installed! Lighting done! Backer board down!


The doors on the back pantry. Trip demonstrating how it will look with the pulls.


Got the fridge panel and the microwave vent installed. Cheers!


Look how dedicated he is! He even worked through an injury.


Microwave installed and working! (They had to test it.)


Placing the range for the counter plywood measurements.


How he is so happy with all the mess around him is beyond me. It's making me slightly insane.


Range fits like a glove!


All cabinets installed! Notice the cabinets all the way across. Gaining a whole cabinet. Woo hoo!


Starting to place the tile.


Look at that gorgeous 18" porcelain tile.


Last tile!


Kickplates installed and tile placed and grouted!


Cabinet doors installed in pantry. Just need to install baseboards and we're ready for the new washer and dryer.


Other side of the pantry.


All shelves, drawers and doors installed! Lemieux's turn to inspect.


Countertops installed!


So pretty!


CaesarStone Quartz in Pebble.

What's left:
  • Install sink fixtures (faucet, soap dispenser, filtered water faucet)
  • Install sink cabinet door
  • Backsplash
  • Place appliances (fridge, range, dishwasher, washer and dryer)
  • Install all cabinet pulls
  • Install beauty bars under cabinets
  • Install under cabinet lighting
  • Replace all outlets and switches
We're getting there!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Reason to Not Eat Meat. (I Hope.)

Being a vegetarian, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into discussions where people feel the need to justify to me why they eat meat. Becoming a vegetarian was a personal decision I (well, we), made. I have never given unsolicited reasons as to why I made this decision. I have never preached to others that they are morally and ethically wrong for eating meat. I never get defensive. I never ask people to not bring meat into my home, or to not eat meat around me. I never expect people to go out of their way to create a entirely vegetarian meal when they have us over for dinner.

So why do some people feel it necessary to explain to me why they choose to eat meat? Do I think it is morally and ethically wrong? Yes. Do I think the "excuses" are pretty lame? Yes. Do I wish more people would really stop to think about how eating meat is affecting the world we live in? Yes.

Do I say that? No.

Like I said, it is a choice. A very personal choice.

I came across this op-ed today, and I wish I was as eloquent and educated as Jonathan Safran Foer. He says so many things that I wish I would have said during one of my I-eat-meat-because-humans-were-made-to-look-at-our-teeth discussions. It's intelligent, informative, and just... real. (Please read the comments, too. Some interesting -- and annoying -- discussions going on.)

I'm very excited for his book, Eating Animals, that's due out on Monday. At first I didn't think I would read it -- I don't think I can bare to read another horror story about factory farming. But after reading the synopsis on barnesandnoble.com, I can't wait to read about this very personal decision he made, and why (and am particularly interested in how his child affected his decisions).
Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood -- facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf -- his casual questioning took on an urgency. His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told-and the stories we now need to tell.
A celebration and a reckoning. A CELEBRATION AND A RECKONING!

I'm hoping -- praying -- that because he is such a known and respected writer, this book will peak the masses interest, and the overwhelming evidence as to why a vegetarian diet is so positive will change some lives. One can only hope, right?

I read a quote from Toby Maguire (I know, right?) the other day that really resonated with me:
“I’ve never had any desire to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all. It had to be the perfect bite, with no fat or gristle or bone or anything like that…. I don’t judge people who eat meat—that’s not for me to say—but the whole thing just sort of bums me out.”
Totally and completely bums me out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumn is Here! Kind Of! Not Really!

This past Sunday we took The Peanut to his first pumpkin patch. It was a perfectly overcast Autumn day. And then the sun peaked out. And then is was 80° out. Whatever.

We got some great shots of him that you can see on his blog, but I also got some Autumn-y shots. Let's just pretend the air is crisp and we don't need sunglasses, k?















Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh My Goodness! A New Post!

June 2nd was the last time I posted here. Over four months ago. Wow. To be honest, I kind of forgot all about infectious joy. It's been hard enough finding the time update Kieran's blog once a month.

But I went on one of my lame rants the other day, and it reminded me that I do have a forum for such rants! Where people don't judge (okay, let's just pretend), and I can say whatever I want (kind of)! Dur.

The rant itself was stupid (Why am I constantly seeing commercials for dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups but have yet to see them available ANYWHERE!), but I realized how much I've missed blabbing to you, my peeps of the interweb.

Obviously with a soon to be 7 month old (on SUNDAY! Why The Face!), my life has been a juggling act. Now that he is in daycare full time, though, I actually have a tiny bit of time to myself. Which I didn't realize was so important. My son -- our little family -- is my life now. How could I not want to spend every minute with him. I find myself missing him while I'm at work, knowing that smiling face will always make me forget how stressful my day was.

But let me tell you, being able to run to Target at lunch without a stroller, Ergo baby, or car seat is kind of amazing. Like, the highlight of my day. Grocery shopping -- almost too good to be true.

So it's taken almost 7 months, but we're in a routine now and have pretty much figured this whole baby raising thing out (I just laughed out loud as I typed that). The first three month were rough. Not awful, just rough. If we knew then what we know now, we probably would have done a few things differently, like, accept help and not insist on taking care of the baby by ourselves. So ya, having someone watch Keiran for 7 hours a day is a huge help. Balance is key. We all need family time, work time (debatable), and "me" time. It's so nice to... breath.

But the Johnson household wouldn't be complete without some kind of life changing thing going on. That's just so not us. Thus our decision to remodel our kitchen. By ourselves. (Okay, not really by ourselves since Brother will be doing most of the work, but we're not paying anyone we can yell at. Only each other.) So, taking advantage of Grandpa and Grandma visiting and being able to watch the baby, we began demo on Sunday... and life is crazy again! Hooray!

Kieran could care less, thank goodness, even taking an hour and a half nap through Daddy taking a crow bar to the counter tile. Mommy is slightly stressed, though. Being in a house of chaos and no stove kind of makes me break out in a rash. But it's temporary, right? The goal is to get it done by Thanksgiving. I mean, our kitchen is the size of a walk-in closet. This can be done, right? Or are we completely delusional?

Anywho, I'm back and can't wait to share with you how the kitchen remodel goes. I promise to post pics of the progress, and to give public praise to my brother, who we are the mercy of for the next few months. (Insert eyelash batting and big smiles here.)

Oh, and if someone can tell me where I can get those dark chocolate peanut butter cups, I'd be forever grateful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

In Case You Haven't Been Reading Kieran's Blog...

Yes, I am still alive, and yes I am still blogging.

I just haven't been here (look here).

So being a mom is a lot more time consuming than a previously non-mom thought (that previously non-mom being me). Being a mom and finishing up your last semester of college is even more time consuming. Being a mom, graduating from college, and trying to keep your house clean is pretty much impossible. Try and throw blogging into the mix and, well, I'd rather sleep for thirty minutes. Sorry. Those are the priorities these days.

And really, I haven't blogged on my own site because my life has just been baby baby baby. I can tell you what my favorite diapers are (Nature Babycare). I can tell you all about how awesome the Quinny stroller is. And I'm an expert on relieving clogged milk ducts (after TWELVE, I had better be).

Not that it's bad that these topics have been my life. In fact, let me know if any of these subjects interest you and I'd be happy to discuss further. I just figured nobody would be particularly interested in the things that have interested me the last two months. 

So anyways... Yes, I have officially earned my BFA in Computer Arts, New Media from the Academy or Art University. I'm super stoked, super relieved, and slightly... missing it? Is that crazy? Okay, I guess it's more the design work that I miss. Although that void will quickly be filled NEXT WEEK when I return to work. 

Oh my gosh... How did the last eleven and a half weeks go by so fast? I am actually looking forward to getting back to work, but I start to cry whenever I think of being away from my son. I haven't been away from him for more than a few hours. I'm really really really not okay with leaving him. But knowing he will be with Grandma and Grandpa eases my mind a bit (that and knowing I can call them every hour). 

And don't get me started on missing watching Martha and Ellen everyday.

But anywho, so far motherhood has been more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. The first six weeks were pretty challenging, and I spent a lot of time crying (man, people weren't kidding when they talk about postpartum emotions), but half as many tears were of joy. Every day he does something that overwhelms me with joy. 

Now that things have settled and we're in (some what) of a routine, I hope to be able to blog more. And yes, it will be about diapers and strollers and all the challenges that come with raising a baby. But I do still have my own life (I keep reminding myself), so I'll throw in some creative stuff as well.

Speaking of which, it's time again for the annual Academy of Art Spring Show! If you haven't been before (or even if you have), this is a must see. The artwork always impresses, and there is often some great work for sale. It's running through June 11th, so try to get there this weekend if you can!

Where: 
Academy of Art University 
601 Brannan St. (at 5th Street) (map
San Francisco, CA 94107

When: 
May 21 – June 11 
9 AM – 5 PM (ongoing) 
*Closed Sundays and Holidays

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kieran's Blog! And Week One Wrap-Up. :)

I created Kieran's blog the other day, and will try my best to keep updating it as much as possible. Of course, it all depends on the little man. :) 

So far, everything has been great. The sleepless nights are to be expected, but did take some getting used to. I think we've gotten into a pretty good routine already, though. We let Daddy sleep as much as possible during the night, as he has become our full-time housekeeper -- doing all the cooking, laundry, cleaning, and shopping. Although Grandma and Grandpa did start us off on the right foot, by cleaning our entire house while we were still in the hospital, as well as stock our freezer full of Trader Joe's goodies. Oh, and did I mention my mom weeded and pruned our entire patio?? And bought us flowers!


We went on our first trip outside the house yesterday. We had an appointment to have our car seat checked at Tiny Tots, and then went and visited Uncle Adam at work (look for pics on Kieran's blog!). We were going to go walk the Campbell Creek Trail, but decided it would probably be a bit much for me so soon after the surgery. It was just so good to get out of the house, though. And such beautiful weather!

We've had such an amazing time with him so far. And we can't thank our friends enough for all the love they've given both us and Kieran. Thanks to Amii, Rhonda, Nick, Tim, Jeannie, Andrew and Cindi for visiting us in the hospital (as well as bringing some great treats). And a big thank you to Mariyah for bringing us the most amazing salad ever one night, and LeeAnn for bringing dinner and Kieran's first birthday cake to celebrate his one week! :) 

And I don't know what we have done without Uncle Adam, racing over and putting together the playard before we arrived home! Not to mention soothing Kieran to sleep with his radio show. :) Thanks Uncle!!