Checking Off the List

I swear, I’ll never find time to blog again. The fact that I’m getting an opportunity now is slightly ridiculous. It’s all happy chaos though, so I wouldn’t change anything!

First.

We had a baby!

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Patrick David was born on 3/13 at 3:13 pm (seriously) weighing just shy of 9 pounds.

As far as the name goes, I left it up to Tim for the most part to pick his name. Of course, I threw out a couple of helpful suggestions along the way and in the end we both loved Patrick, it just happened to be that St. Patrick’s day was only a few days after he was born. David is after my father, who passed away when I was 15. It was a very special moment for me when we decided to include my father’s name and we think it’s pretty perfect for him.

So far, Patrick is doing great. He’s a champion sleeper, eater and pooper and his sisters love him. We’ve had a couple of temper tantrums from the girls since being home, but there’s a lot going on right now, so we kind of expected it. Otherwise, it’s been a really smooth transition and everyone is adjusting well.

I’ll have more on the birth story later.

Second.

Our house went on the market last Thursday, we had 43 (!!) showings from Thursday to Monday and by the evening on Monday, we had offers on the house! So, as of Tuesday morning, our house is sold!

Our realtor was amazing, we had a lots of help from family getting the house prepped and ready to go and when you take a look at the “before” pictures, we can’t believe what’s been done to the house in only a year and half.

Front:

Front Yard

 

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In the front we ripped out the dead hedges, sloped the yard down towards the sidewalk and laid sod down. It was nice and green in the summer/fall, but now that it’s winter (although arguably very warm for Minnesota in March) the grass is looking kind of lame. I’m sure it’ll be lovely when spring gets into full swing.

Living Room / Entry / Dining Room:

Living Room

 

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Of course we ripped up the carpet immediately. We pulled paneling down, sanded and re-finished the hardwoods, tore out the old bar and installed a bench in the entryway. We painted, added trim and all those little projects that happened in between. The wallpaper in the dining room is original. It’s the only wallpaper that stayed in the house. I still could never figure out how to position furniture in the living room/front porch area because of the dividing beam but now that’s someone else’s issue to scratch their head about. 

Office / Stairway:

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Brighton 9

The real champion of this picture is the staircase. The first photo was taken after we ripped the carpet up, but you can still see remnants of it on the stairs and you get a good look at the old banister.

The funny thing about the banister is that when Tim put the new post in at the bottom, it fit perfectly into the spot where the original post had sat, before the previous home-owners remodeled in the 70s. Maybe it’s kind of like how everyone’s about white trim right now, but the nay-sayers (is that how you spell that?) are all, “Wait ten years and you’ll be sorry you painted your wood trim white”. Maybe, nay-sayers (neigh-sayers?). Maybe.

Girls’ / Extra Bedroom:

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Unfortunately this isn’t even kind of an accurate picture. Normally there would be bunk beds and lots and lots of toys. But you can still see the wallpaper is down, the floors are re-finished and it’s pretty adorable now.

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Brighton 13

Again, not accurate. This room was first an office, then was being set up for the baby’s room. When we miscarried it turned into a storage space and then when we found out we were expecting again, it was back to being prepped for a baby. THEN we had to hastily take everything out and turn it into a usable bedroom for showings. Thus, for the last two weeks, Sophie and Charlotte have been sleeping in separate rooms. They’ll be sharing again in the new house so I hope they’re not getting used to it.

Master:

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Bathroom:

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Brighton 11

The bathroom was the last thing we worked on, right before we listed the house. Everything was in working order, but not everyone appreciates a yellow toilet and vanity so we decided to update a bit. We replaced the toilet and vanity top. We also swapped out the hardware and light fixture. We painted the base of the vanity so it tied into the nice crisp new toilet and then painted the whole room a warm cream color to refresh the walls. Not too shabby and it wasn’t too expensive either.

Eat-In-Kitchen :

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2

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The kitchen was the definition of “making it work”. The only thing we did in the kitchen was take down the wallpaper and add a bench and table to the little nook off to the right of the kitchen. Nothing else changed. But the kitchen had GREAT space for a city kitchen and I had so many plans for it. All the plans!

Third.

We’re less than two weeks away now from our move-out date. I’m getting a little misty eyed thinking about it, but we’re very excited to move, and get settled in the new home. We’ve had our baby, we’ve sold the house and now, it’s time to wrap things up and get ready for more big changes.

So, for now, we say goodbye to our little house. Our little piece of paradise in the city. The first house we bought together, the first house we owned. This is where Charlotte learned to ride her bike. This is where Sophie started to learn to read. This is Patrick’s first home, even if it’s only for two weeks. We are sad to leave, we will miss our neighbors, our friends, the parks, the restaurants, being close to our families and our beautiful city. We’re excited for what lies in store, but for now, we’re just soaking in the last few days here and hoping for sanity as we move our family of five to South Dakota.

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Cheers!

30 Days and Counting

You guys are awesome. Thank you for all the encouragement and love you’ve showered on us during our time of transition! We love you all!

So we’ve got a couple of big events running at us full throttle.

#1 Baby boy is due in about two weeks, so we’re patiently (read: extremely UNpatiently… why does the last month of pregnancy always feel like a million years long??) awaiting his arrival into this world. With my babies being notoriously late, I’m hoping this guy shows his sisters how it’s done and comes sooner rather than later. Come on, baby! Mom and Dad want to meet you!

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#2 Our house is going up on the market in about one week, so we’re painting, purging, cleaning, and trying to simultaneously enjoy the last couple of weeks we’re spending in this amazing house. We’re sad to be leaving it. We never thought we’d only live in this house for a short one and a half years. It feels so bittersweet to be putting it up on the market, but we feel incredibly blessed by this new adventure so we’re taking it in stride.

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#3 We are going to be moving to SD in one month. One. Month. So on top of, you know, having a baby, cleaning our house within an inch of it’s life, and generally trying to pack and prepare ourselves for the move, we actually have to MOVE. Yikes!

The good news is, over the weekend we made an offer on a house and it was accepted! So, barring any unforeseen issues, we’ve got our future home picked out.

The interesting part? It’s a new construction home! Yep, we’re leaving our charming, loved, old home for a completely new, never-been-lived-in house.

Layout- Front

Whomp, whomp.

Alright, so right now it’s kind of looking a little… unfinished, but by the time we move in a month from now, we should have a pretty close-to-finished home. I love the red exterior. It’s really fun in person, it just kind of looks dingy in this picture.

The one thing about this new construction home is that since everything is brand new, there won’t be a lot of the “work” that we’ve had to do with our first home, which is probably a good thing since we’ll be balancing a new job for Tim, as well as our new bitty family member. That being said, there’s a whole unfinished basement we hope to tackle while we’re there to make room for guests that might come out, as well as adding an office/craft room (CRAFT ROOM!!!) and other items. It also means we have a whole outside of our home that will need landscaping which might be something fun for us to explore. I might even go crazy and plant a fruit tree. Does fruit grow in South Dakota? (Just kidding)

Layout- Kitchen

Look! Open concept! Also the appliances haven’t been picked out yet (sorry about the photo quality, we forgot to take pictures). This kitchen overlooks the dining and living rooms which is awesome. It’s a great gathering space. Our house now is pretty open for its age, but the kitchen is still very segregated from the rest of the living space on the first floor, so I’m really excited for everything to be together like this.

Layout- Dining Room

They’ll be building a deck out that back which is exciting! The house is painted completely tan, which is something I’m dealing with. For those who know about my obsession with grey and white… this tan and mahogany combo is going to be a challenge for me. The house is beautiful though, even if you can’t tell from the photos, so we feel incredibly blessed we were able to find it. Tim said I could paint the basement grey. I’ll take it.

Also, did I mention it has TWO bathrooms?

What?!

I might still fight Tim for the bathroom in the morning, just to uphold tradition. It’ll bring us closer together I think.

More updates to follow.

Home Is Where…

We’ve got some pretty exciting news to share, and you all already know I’m pregnant so it’s not that (Baby bean will hopefully be making his appearance in the next couple of weeks!).

In January, Tim went on a pretty amazing snowboarding trip with some friends of his.

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And yes, in case you’re wondering, I was completely jealous. However, it was a great vacation for Tim and a break from his pretty intense work schedule, all the natural stress that comes from being a husband and father (although he assures me he was really excited to come back home afterwards), and gave him some time to do something he really loves but normally has very little time to do, snowboarding.

Almost as soon as Tim returned, he received a phone call from his supervisor at work explaining that there was a pretty exciting opportunity opening up if Tim was interested in pursuing it. Of course we were thrilled by the idea that Tim had been considered for this opportunity and a week ago, after three weeks of necessary interviews and conversations with those involved, we received word that Tim had in fact gotten the promotion!

Woo hoo! Go Tim!

The promotion itself is pretty awesome news, but there’s more to it than just that. Part of this new job is relocation. We’re moving!

… to South Dakota.

Okay, so it might be slightly more exciting if we were moving to Hawaii or the Florida Keys or something but this is still really amazing news for us!

So, though we’re completely pumped about this new opportunity for our family, I’ve got pretty mixed feelings about the move itself. First, we’ve got two months to figure out what we’re doing. Second, we’re in the process of deciding whether or not to rent or sell our house. The tables are tipping towards selling but, let’s be honest, we love our house! We had so many plans! It definitely wasn’t our plan to stay in this house forever but being here only a year and half seems like we’re breaking up with it prematurely. It’s like when someone fakes you out of a handshake… you’re all, “oh man!” Thirdly, let’s not forget, our baby boy should be arriving sometime mid-March. There’s a lot of things in motion right now, and it’s got us slightly overwhelmed.

Either way, we’ve begun the task of finishing some of our less extensive projects, and begun researching our options.

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Last weekend we also took a trip to our new city and scoped out the area. We found an amazing restaurant that has the most delicious caramel rolls I’ve ever had (and Tim’s basically a caramel roll connoisseur so we consider ourselves pretty good judges of caramel gooeyness), visited the lakes in the area and walked through a couple of potential housing options. We didn’t find “the one” yet, but we’re hoping something comes on the market soon.

For now, we’re taking it a day at a time and hoping we can tie up all the loose ends without going insane.

Also, if you’re in the market for a house in Minneapolis, we might have a pretty amazing one for you to take a look at! Just… give us a week or two to get it spiffed up, first ;)

Cheers!

Jen

Christmas Year by Year

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Holidays to you all! Here at the Bean House we’re preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and anticipating Santa’s big trip around the world! It’s a very exciting day!

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is creating a yearly craft that helps keep track of the growth of our girls from year to year. We keep a version of these crafts for us at home, and then the girls give these handmade items to their grandparents and godparents each year. It’s a way for them to be a part of the gift-giving and they are always so proud when they give the items they worked on away to family. All in all, we end up making about six or eight total each year. It started in 2011, the year Charlotte was born, and we’ve continued to add to our collection of handmade memorabilia each year and I love it! Unpacking them from storage is always so fun, and we normally spend a couple minutes each Christmas talking with the kiddos about where each craft came from, how old they were, and how we made it.

In 2011 I tried to make ornaments with the girls. We filled some plain plastic ornaments (bought from a craft store) with glitter, attempted to get a clear hand print of the girls’ using paint (key word: attempted) and wrote the year and the girls’ names on the ornament.

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I got the idea from Pinterest, and let’s just be honest… the pins on Pinterest are always way better executed than the ones we end up with. Even so, these ornaments are very precious to us and the girls love hanging their hand print ornaments on the tree each year!

In 2012 we used the girls’ feet to make a little reindeer print. I especially love this one for some reason. Look at those little bitty toe prints!

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Again, grandparents and godparents got a print of this. I remember this one being particularly messy, and we had a couple of “oops” prints by the time we were done… totally worth it.

The next year we were back to handprints, but I quickly realized that my girls were getting big as their hands barely fit onto the wood cut-outs I used (again, bought from a craft store). I want to do some handprint crafts with the new bambino when he’s born so it’ll be interesting to see if I start from the beginning with him (do the ornament for 2015, then a footprint for 2016 etc.) or if I just incorporate him into whatever we happen to be doing with the girls each year. To be continued.

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Originally I think my plan was to attach these to ribbon so they could hang on the wall… but I got lazy and now they just end up leaning against things. Maybe someday I’ll get all motivated and hang them up, but maybe, and most likely, not.

This year, I used the amazing pictures we got from La Cattura Photography to create a little memento for 2014. The girls took turns using their finger prints to make lights surrounding a picture of the two of them.

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I can’ believe how big they are! This one might be my favorite yet because it’s so simple and it’s actually a picture of the two of them. Next year there will be three kiddos!

Do you all doing anything with your kids each year to help remember that Christmas? How about you and your special someone? Tim wants to start having the kids pick out an ornament each year so we can watch how their interests change year to year but it might be fun for he and I to also pick out an ornament for our family. New tradition in the making!

Little House Completed

Holy moly it’s been awhile. We’ve had a lot of various things keeping us busy the last couple of weeks, but I’m hoping I can get an opportunity to update the blog with a couple of items in the next week or so. First, one of the reasons you haven’t heard from us in a while is because… Bum Bum Bum… our computer crashed. Nooooo!

It’s true, one day our computer just died. It was all, “See ya later, suckers” and pooped out, taking our photos, important files and everything else with it. Since then, after a very stern talk from the IT guys, we have now learned the importance of ALWAYS backing up your important information so when you have a Diva computer quit on you, your files are safe and snug. Lesson learned.

Second, and probably most importantly, we’re having a baby BOY!

It's a Boy!!

Yep! The cake frosting doesn’t lie, Team Olson’s about to become a little bit more blue! We are absolutely thrilled with the news, and the girls are pretty pumped to be big sisters (in Charlotte’s case, for the first time) to a little boy. Sophie needed some time to digest the news. She even asked if we could fix the cake and put the pink frosting in so the baby was a girl. It took some time for us to explain that changing the frosting wasn’t going to change the baby’s gender, but we finally accomplished it and she’s excited about a baby brother. Mostly.

Third, and most relevant to the post at hand, remember this doll house we were working on? Well, it’s done! Hooray!

When last we left it, it was looking like this:

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All hot and natural. The next steps were painting and decorating. The best steps, in my opinion. So one morning I sat down, cross-legged and went to town on it. I lost all the really amazing (read: mostly boring) pictures taking me from this step, to the house painted and “wallpapered”, which could be a blessing in disguise actually, so we’ll just have to jump to the finished product. Jump!

Dollhouse

Phew, if only it was really that easy. The dollhouse itself has two coats of white paint on it, left overs from all the trim in our house, and the wallpaper is craft paper that’s been Mod Podged on. The Mod Podge took me a bit to get used to, and because of that the upper yellow room is a bit crinkled, but it’s not really noticeable so all is well. The little picture in the blue room is just a bitty piece of craft paper on a wooden square chip that’s been taped on… because no room is complete without some artwork? I think I was just getting over-zealous at that point.

Next, we needed some furniture! I used some old gift cards to purchase most of the furniture, so all in all I think the furniture only cost me about $20. Not bad considering all six rooms are completely furnished. You could easily stalk Ebay or Craigslist for furniture and getting a pretty good set for cheap.

Dollhouse II The Bean House

None of the furniture sets came with people, but my girls have a pretty tidy collection of small people and animals so we’ve got no shortage of inhabitants around here, although, all the people are, admittedly, princesses.

Dollhouse II The Bean House

The girls love playing with this house. It’s been done for over a month now (I know, sorry) and it gets used every single day. It’s fun to see how they re-decorate or which animals they bring in to share the space. I could create an entire series entitled “A Day in the Life Of” centering solely on the way the furniture and toys are arranged and it would be pretty humorous. Complete with snarky captions. Obviously.

Dollhouse II The Bean House

You can kind of sort of see the seams on the walls of the blue and yellow room. These rooms were too big for me to just use one sheet of paper on, so I had to use two. The Mod Podge sealed the seams for me and, thus far, there’s been no curling of the ends where one piece of paper ends and the other begins. If it does start to curl, I’ll probably just put another layer of Mod Podge on the back and call it a day. I’m lazy like that.

Dollhouse II The Bean House

So there you have it. All in all, I’m really pleased with the way this turned out. It’s been a great little addition to our play area, and not too expensive. Total we spent $30 on wood supplies, $5 on craft paper, $20 on furniture. You could probably buy a complete dollhouse set on Craigslist for less than $55, but I really appreciate that we got to build this together. Plus, the girls love it, so I’m a happy mama!

What do you guys think? Got any plans to build some DIY gifts for the upcoming holidays? Any advice for a mama to two girls who’s expecting a boy? I may or may not have immediately gone out and bought all the monster jammies I could find for my little guy. Now I just need shoes with trucks on them or something…

Surprise!

First there was this one:

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And then, sixteen months later, we had this little rascal:

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And now, we’re happy to announce, the next little Olson is “scheduled” to make his or her debut in March of 2015!

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I’m feeling good at 15 weeks, I feel like I’ve gotten through the scary first trimester and now am looking forward to a recession of my morning (read: all-day-every-day) sickness, starting to feel little baby kicks, actually looking pregnant and not just like I devoured the entire box of Fat Lorenzo’s pizza (which actually wouldn’t be far off anyway), and, of course because I have no sense of patience whatsoever, finding out the baby’s gender in a few short weeks.

We’ll keep you posted on all developments “bitty Olson” centered. Meanwhile, anybody have good nicknames for our little guy or gal? We’ve used Bean, we’ve used Bun and Schmoopy, so now we’re in the market for something new… thoughts? Suggestions? Hands up if you think this one’s a boy! (Come on baby, all I want is to buy some sweater vests!)

 

Although we are very excited about our new baby, we do realize that the last photo should really read “4”. We continue to remember and love our little one lost every day, and the girls know that they have a little brother or sister in heaven with their Grandpa Dave. We want to extend a huge “Thank you” again to all the support, love and encouragement we’ve received as we continue to grow as a family. We feel so incredibly blessed by all of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!