Robbed

My apologies. I’ve been on something of a blogging sabbatical since last Monday, so I’ll explain why. I probably needed to add to it the blog. Just for memory-sake… I mean, this is probably one of those experiences that God will somehow use to shape me in a significant way.

Monday morning, I awoke to an empty bed. Paul is never awake before me, so I was a little alarmed. Both the boys were stirring, so I grabbed Simon from his crib and headed out to the living room.

Paul was just coming back in the room, too, and without even a good morning, he said: “The Honda was broken into last night. They took the car seat and the stroller.”

My heart sank. We’ve had some increased activity to the ONE shady house at the end of our otherwise quiet neighborhood – new, broken down cars in and out at practically the same hours every single day. People, strung out on God knows what, wandering from the house and down the road to the main road. It’s so unsettling, because the road we live on is a quiet country road… our neighbors to the right have several small kids, and a family member of theirs lives in a nice house set back off the road behind some trees. The other homes, towards the main road, are quiet and well-maintained. We’ve had MANY neighborhood meetings about this house, and the house seemed to vacate a few months ago. The owner of the property (who doesn’t live there) cleared trees and cleaned the place up, but now… the insane traffic and random people are back. We’ve had so much drama with this house over the years, from the people that frequent it:

  • A guy lit our mailbox on fire. He went to jail.
  • A guy stole my father-in-law’s truck… crashed it down the road and we got it back the same night
  • A lady hopped our backyard fence and hid in the bushes, because she said her boyfriend was beating her. She was strung out and pregnant and when we told her we were calling the cops to get her help, she ran.
  • We’ve had people from the house at our front door demanding to use our phone
  • We’ve had cars FLYING down our quiet road at 50mph… which is what I hate most. We have kids that sometimes ride bikes or play ball in that street in front of our house, and they are oblivious and careless.
So, you can see my immediate train of thought: now, we can add theft to the list. And to take Simon’s entire car seat system and our stroller?! For some reason this felt like even more of a violation. It just became way too personal.
It wasn’t until minutes later I realized we had accidentally left Porter’s iPad in the car, too. We had been taking in a bunch of groceries the night before, and never made it back out to get the iPad. It was gone.
Paul’s leather jacket, my new green raincoat, a pair of boots I’d gotten and changed out of when my feet needed flats…. gone.
The most frustrating part of all of this: the cops won’t do anything. They just tell us to keep calling in and filing complaints. We’ve been doing it for 5 years, and the only time they’ve come out is when the mailbox was set on fire/truck was stolen. 
And, we had about $1,300 worth of stuff stolen, but it’s in our best interest to not file an insurance claim with homeowners. My insurance agent is a friend of mine, and told me our home insurance would go up for 3 years, and we wouldn’t get enough money to replace all the items since we hsve a $1,500 deductible. Insurance enrages me more than anything… I pay monthly for this, and I can’t even use it when I need it. I work hard for my things, and I pay bills and have insurance… and I’m not even truly protected, in any way.

So, yeah. I was challenged. I prayed for God to show me the silver lining. And then I got an email from my father-in-law, who forwards me and all my siblings Joel Osteen’s daily devotion every morning, and this was the scripture for the day:

“Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].” (Colossians 3:2, AMP)

I laughed. Perfect timing, God. And then He reminded me through the day – I have given you the means to replace these things. We headed to the store to buy Simon a new car seat and I told Paul this, too (he was dealing with some serious rage, haha – such a male response – they desire to protect and provide, and when someone messes with that it’s no good). I also told him I was praying that whatever pawn shop our stuff ended up at, that it was bought by people truly in need, for their newborn or children. He replied that his prayer today had been that the people who took our stuff would be so sick with guilt, that they’d either anonymously return our things or get their lives cleaned up.

It’s been over a week and we haven’t gotten our things back yet, so I’m just hoping that somewhere, there’s a sweet newborn riding in style, or a child playing with an iPad that his parents wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford (we’re not sure what’s really up with the iPad. It hasn’t been turned on since we got it stolen… we have a notification set up to alert us and track it when it does). 
Anyway, praying for the best outcome helps me to me sleep at night, for sure.

Seek Peace and Pursue It

Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good.
Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:12-14

This is so perfectly simple and beautifully profound. As a mother, I spend a lot of time thinking. Analyzing. WORRYING. I ask God for discernment, for direction, for peace… and what a perfect reminder that everything I need to keep on loving life and seeing many good days…
is right in front of me.
Open your Bible. Start a devotional. Talk to God. FINISH a devotional. If you need a recommendation, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is absolutely amazing. 
This is a reminder to myself, as well as anyone else seeking purpose, encouragement, or peace.
Surround yourself with positive people – in person, and ONLINE. Seriously. Unfollow anything or anyone that makes you feel lifeless. I had to unfollow some major news outlets recently, because, in the words of many a white girl: I LITERALLY COULD NOT EVEN.
Do good.
Seek peace.
And when you find it, CHASE IT DOWN.
Happy Friday, my friends.

Weekly Roundup: 100k

I missed posting this on Friday, because, well – life. I was out of town starting Thursday for a work retreat with all my San Francisco peeps, and realized I hadn’t officially scheduled this to post. Blogging fail. The question was:
If you were given $100,000 with instructions that you could ONLY spend it on yourself and your loved ones, tell me how you’d spend it?

I told them not to say things that are responsible, like saving money. Haha! But, truth be told – that’s what we’d do. We’re adults now… it’s actually a little hard to think of ways I would be with ok blowing money. But, if I was just going to list out some other actions I’d take… here’s where my 100k would go.

Ok, this wasn’t so hard.
  • Tithe
  • A couple great deal fixer-upper rental properties in our city – something that could get us started flipping some houses. As painstaking as this process has been with our own home, we’d love to do it again with a house we’re NOT trying to move into.
  • A family vacation. A Hawaiian/Disney adventure sounds perfect.
  • Christmas for the whole family in a huge log cabin somewhere in the snow
  • A weekend trip with my girls to wine country
  • All the liptsticks in Sephora
  • A chunk in the boys’ college funds
  • A trip to NYC with just my hubby!
How would you spend a free 100k?
instagram.com/stringfellowandco
Shirri: Well, first off, I would have to buy my husband the truck and boat of his dreams. How does that song go? Money can’t buy happiness but It can buy you a boat and a truck to pull it right?! I’d make an awesome play room for my boys, and include those cute little tee-pees. We’d also have to take a trip to Sea World: as I was writing this, my oldest son asked me what I was doing so I told him. His exact words were: “Holy crap, mama! You better take us to Sea World!”. Finally last, but surely not least, I would get myself a nice little hot tub, a stock pile of wine, a MacBook pro, and a new nightly tradition. That sounds heavenly!
instagram.com/thewholesky
Andrea: Easy. Travel, travel, travel. We had the opportunity to go to Europe twice last year, and I would love to take my family back to Iceland for a few weeks to go hiking, waterfall hunting, and hot-spring soaking. My husband and I went to Australia for our honeymoon five years ago, and while we vowed we would NEVER take that 17 hour flight again, we find ourselves itching to go rent an RV and drive around New Zealand. I think 100,000 should cover both of these trips quite nicely!
Courtney: As a wife to a pro-basketball player overseas and full time online fitness + nutrition coach, it’s pretty easy to spend $100,000 on loved ones! First, I would tithe 10% because I believe anything I receive is by God’s grace. Then, I would pay off my remaining student loans. Third, I would put $20,000 as a down payment on a house. Eek! This is so fun! Fourth, I fly my husband’s parents out to visit us in California. He’s originally from Australia, so his parents reside in Sydney. Fifth, purchase several “Jesus Calling” books by Sarah Young to give to friends!
Kelsey: The first thing I’d want to buy is a new car! Honestly, I’ve learned that there’s a reason moms drive mom cars. Have you ever tried doing your monthly Costco trip with two kids in carseats and a stroller in your trunk while driving a 98′ Corolla? I pretty much have loaves of bread and fruit snacks on my lap while driving home. It’s ridiculous. I love traveling, so I’d definitely want to take a trip to somewhere overseas with my husband and no kids (can I get an amen!?). And of course, I’d put on my “boring adult” hat and make Dave Ramsey proud by paying off some of our debt.
instagram.com/coles_brittingham

Nicole: If I was given $100,000 and I could only spend it on myself and my loved ones, I would put a down payment on a little farm house I have always dreamed about, and send my parents on a nice and luxurious vacation. They have worked two jobs most of their adult life, to support their kids and let us have an amazing life, and I would love to give back to the most deserving people I know. I would also take my girls and husband to Disneyland!

I’m Dreaming Of Carbs

I had a really vivid dream last night about being on vacation, and at the end of the vacation, I was floating in some turquoise blue water, kidless, because they were napping in our little bungalow. I came in and out with the waves, the sand was really velvety soft and white, and the water was so clear I could see to the bottom.

Img Source: Ambitious Kitchen

ANYWAY, the point of this post. When I was done frolicking in the water, I told my friend Jen I was going to make some zucchini bread. So random. I never eat any sort of dessert-y bread, because if I’m gonna have some dessert, it’s gonna be flourless chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and nutella somewhere in there, as well.

So, then I woke up, and all I could think about was zucchini bread. Mom’s classic zucchini bread. This lemon raspberry zucchini bread (yes, I’ve been on Pinterest because I am making this happen). Or this fall-inspired pumpkin chocolate chip zucchini bread. And wait, am I reading this right – it’s actually healthy? YUS. Trying this one immediately.

Does anyone have a failsafe recipe for amazing zucchini or banana bread that they want to link me to? I’m sitting here drinking coffee and wishing so bad that I had a loaf slice of sticky, sweet, dense-but-light zucchini bread to enjoy along with it. I know it’s random, but how good does that sound right now?

The One With Coconut Oil For All The Things

I’m a huge fan of coconut oil, and I have gotten many friends and family members hooked on it as well for various parts of their daily routines. I mean, how many products can you moisturize with, cook with, and brush your teeth with – all out of the same tub?

I’ll tell you. None. Well, none aside from coconut oil.

I have three case studies I’d like to quickly review for you. When you’re done, feel free to run out to Costco and buy the giant tub. You’ll never regret it.

The exact one I use 


#1 – The One Where Waterproof Mascara Actually Worked
I accidentally bought waterproof mascara one time (I usually HATE waterproof makeup) and I literally couldn’t get it off my eyes to SAVE MY LIFE. I started to have a little panic attack. Eye makeup remover, hot water/wash cloths, soap, prayer… Nothing was working. I didn’t even have any smudgy raccoon eyes from almost getting it off. Nope. It was STAYING PUT. I mean, on the bright side… it works. But on the flip side… I want to go to bed, and if I sleep in makeup, I wake up with swollen, itchy eyes that don’t go away for hours.

I had one more option: coconut oil. I scraped a small amount from the side of my nearly empty jar, rubbed my hands together, and gently massaged my eyes. When I looked in my mirror, I was so excited: racoon eyes FOR DAYS. The black practically slid off my face. All I did was wipe it off with a hot wash cloth after that. I’ve been using nothing but coconut oil to remove my makeup since that fateful night.

The One With The Glowy Skin
People compliment me on my skin a lot on social media.

I confess: I am very quick to use the filters in PicTapGo to edit my pics, or redo shots 100x for better lighting, or even do a little smoothing of my under eye circles in other apps (YOU have two kids and then tell me you don’t want to hide those things a bit for your memory books). So, I always feel guilty accepting compliments about my skin. Like… I’m such a cheater.

But, I felt this way UNTIL a friend of mine IN REAL LIFE told me that she thinks my skin looks just as good in person as it does in my pics, as she was sitting across from me at a local restaurant after our manicure date. Like, in real life. No phone in sight. Ok. I can accept that.

I was like “Yeah. It’s gotta be the coconut oil.”

The One Where Lavender Oil IS NOT SOOTHING

I love lavender oil, and to make a long story short and slightly less embarassing, I accidentally got some in my eyes. LAVENDER OIL IS NOT SOOTHING IF YOU GET IT IN YOUR EYES. I thought I was going blind. I remembered that coconut oil will immediately get rid of the sting/burn (which is why it’s recommended as a carrier oil), and it does. It’s instantaneous, and it floored me! I wish I could say I’ve only done this once, but I’ve done it a few times… so, yeah, I know this for sure.

Let me know if you use coconut oil for something totally random that I should be using it for, too!

Twenty Questions: Best Friend Edition

Jess created this little feature for her blog, and I’m so excited to be jumping into this with her: Twenty Questions! We sent each other our list of questions at the same time, and we cracked up over how similar they were, and how much we had to avoid talking about just food.
So, here were my twenty questions + Jessica’s answers. Enjoy!

1. If you had to travel for a month with one of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, who would if be? And now, let’s open that up to ANY reality “star”. Who would you tag along with, and why. Aaaaaaand that is the thing that would do me in. End of story. I wouldn’t even make it 2 days. I can’t even look at their Instagram Stream for more than 6 photos before getting irritated. But if I could pick ANY reality star, it would be Lauren Conrad and we’d go on a cruise. Because then she’s literally trapped on a boat with me. We’d gab about fashion and I would have a semi-serious conversation with her on why she thought a sequel to LA Candy was a good idea.

2. If you owned a restaurant, and you had to create a signature dish, what would it be? Angel hair pasta in a tomato cream sauce with breaded chicken fried in an offensive amount of butter, with a side of bread and balsamic vinegar, a salad with citrus honey vinaigrette and Godiva chocolate cake for dessert. #WhyCantILose15Pounds

3. What’s the secret to a healthy marriage? At the risk of sounding like a whore, lots of sex.

4. What’s the secret to healthy FRIENDSHIPS? At the risk of sounding like a Stage 5 Clinger, making time for them.

5. What movie do you wish everyone would see – old/new/big budget/indie. Harry Potter. Spanglish. Love Actually. Lord of the Rings. About Time. Pride and Prejudice. The Lego Movie. The Hunger Games. I know. I can’t pick one.

6. Best cookie? I don’t looooove cookies, but I will ALWAYS make the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies at Christmas time. The French know what they’re doing.

7. Favorite traditions? Loving our newest tradition of Tech Timeout. Although I don’t know how much our friends are loving it, since no one can get a hold of us in the eveningsbut I’ve noticed way more communication between the 5 of us since we started.

8. If you were on the verge of tears, but didn’t want to cry, how would you gather yourself and regain control? Wait. Do you ever cry? I very rarely cry. I don’t know why. Most of the time, I don’t take things personally and I’m not super emotional. However, the smallest things will sometimes set me off. Like, I’ll see an AT&T Commercial and be a mess. But when I was carjacked at gun point? I was all, that guy’s probably going through a tough time in his life.

9. What is a bad habit of yours that you don’t readily admit? Showering. I take a shower about twice a week. I know. I’m disgusting. But it’s such a process to get ready and you know what’s so much easier? Sleeping in.

10. What is your favorite thing about your home? That it’s mine. We rented for 13 years and the fact that we own a home now is something I’m grateful for every time I pull into our driveway.

11. What is your most commonly used emoji? In fact, why don’t you go ahead and take a screenshot of your “recently used” emojis and insert it here. The wide-eyed emoji. Hands down. I don’t even have to look at my most commonly used emojis, I use that guy 23 times a day.

12. Who are some women you admire? Can I get back to you on this one?

13. Choose your ONE favorite beauty product… What is it, and why? Lipstick. I’m obsessed with lipstick right now. I love bright, obnoxious colors and muted, pale neutrals too. I’m realizing that when I’m not wearing lipstick in photos, something looks off. I don’t recall who said it, but I’ve heard that a face without lipstick is like a cake without frosting. And who likes a cake without frosting?

14. What is the hardest thing about being a mom? Balancing taking care of the kids’ needs and giving them attention. For example, tonight while I was making dinner, Aidon wanted to show me this collection of drawings he’s been working on. And I really did want to look at them. But I also didn’t want to burn the chicken fried steak that was frying on the stove. So when I told him he’d have to wait and his face dropped with disappointment, I thought: what’s little burnt steak for dinner? Turns out? A little burnt steak is gross, that’s what it is.

15. If you could be famous for anything, what would you WANT it to be? Winning the lottery and giving hundred dollar bills to random strangers, in the most awkward way possible. Under the stall door in the public restroom. Tape it to my kid’s back at the park and see who notices it first and then yell STRANGER DANGER when someone tries to touch my kid. Yes. Definitely thought about this too much.

16. Describe a perfect Monday evening. Dinner with the family at a restaurant where I don’t have to do the dishes. Doesn’t even matter where it’s at…as long as the utensils are disposable, I’m good. I’ll even settle for takeout, as long as no one dirty’s a plate.

17. If you’re at a Happy Hour, what’s the first thing you order off the food menu?

Bread. All the breads.

18. What are some of your must-read blogs? (This isn’t a trick question, you don’t need to say mine. But if you don’t…) Do I have any must read blogs? I always read Corianne’s, mainly to see if it’s about me. 🙂 And I love Pink Pistachio, her photos are gorgeous.

19. How do you sleep? Tons of covers and pillows? On your stomach? One leg out and one leg in? NEVER WITH SOCKS? Never with pants or socks on. But I absolutely cannot sleep with a thong on. Has to be full, bottom-covering underwear. And a tank top. I love to sleep with the windows wide open and an electric blanket on high. There’s nothing like breathing cold air. Sometimes I’ll even put my pillow up against the window so it’s nice and cool at bedtime. I think I start out on my stomach, but I usually wake up on my back with both arms above my head. IDK.

20. Why do you blog? Hmmmit started back in 2012 when the kids would go to bed and I’d have a chance to collect my thoughts during the day. But now that they’re older and I’m not having to leave myself a To Do List of “Go to the bathroom” I think I just use it as a place to keep my thoughts. An online diary of sorts. Things that inspire me, things that I’d like to remember about the boys, feelings that I’m going through at that time, bucket lists, wish lists, to do lists, etc. I love going back and reading something I wrote about the boys 2 years prior, because chances are, they aren’t doing those things any longer and I’d forgotten about it. It’s my version of their baby books. 🙂

Frosted Fingers

One of the best parts about being a mom is learning how to be the fun mom.

Porter and I made a cake. A chocolate cake, with milk chocolate frosting. He was beside himself with joy, but I explained to him that we couldn’t frost the cake until the cake was totally cool.

“Cool? I cool, mom!” (We always tell him how cool he is – when he dresses himself, or uses his imagination, or keeps a really great beat on his drums).

“Yes, Porter, you are SO cool. But I mean, like, we can’t put frosting on the cake when it’s warm because the frosting will slide off.”

“Into my mouf? Frosting will swide off into my mouf? Dats ok mom!”

“No, no… onto the floor. It would probably slide off onto the floor. And that would make us so sad, right?”

“I lick it off da floor, mommy.”

Me too, son. Me too.

So, we waited for a painfully long time before the cake was cool. Then, I sat him up on the counter and began to spread the chocolate frosting around the top of the cake. His little fingers were shaking, and I watched him swipe little bits of frosting as I turned the plate… And I didn’t admonish him. I just smiled and smoothed out the dents.

Then I let him eat a big mouthful of frosting off the knife (a butter knife, it’s ok. I‘m fun, not murderous). He kept dragging his finger across the side of the cake as I turned it, and I kept smiling at his not-so-secretive efforts to sneak frosting and smoothing it over.

He got so excited when we were done, he ran into the living room to announce to everyone the the “CAKE WAS READDDYYYYYYY!” And then he split a slice with his dad, and gazed at this dessert so lovingly. He was so proud of the process.

I hope I’m always the mom that doesn’t hesitate to let down my hair so that my kids can eat the frosting with their fingers. In a world where structure is king and rules are rules and omg that’s not vegan/gluten-free/of the earth/free of preservatives and colors and BPA will keep you up at night, it was great to let Porter have a little fun without worrying that I was a total failure.

I try pretty hard every other day, but indulging with the littles is truly the ultimate treat for the soul. Try it this weekend: eat some frosting from your fingers, have a bowl of cereal for dinner, split a milkshake, let them top their ice cream with whatever they want, and think of us!

Weekly Roundup: Guilty Pleasures

THE QUESTION THIS WEEK:
As a mom/wife/female… What is your guilty pleasure?
Do you zone out with Dr. Phil every day at 2pm during nap time?
Do you hide candy bars in the freezer?
Do you say you are going to take a shower, but sit on the bathroom floor scrolling Instagram – uninterrupted – for a good 20 minutes?
(I don’t do any of these things. Err… Examples from a friend)

Here are this week’s responses from some lovely ladies! I hope you enjoy and maybe get a little inspired to INDULGE yourself this weekend/next week – it sounds like a lot of us have the SAME guilty pleasure – food we don’t have to share, and TV that isn’t animated. This cracked me up!
If you’d like to participate next week, let me know! It’s a fun question, promise. 🙂

instagram.com/allisonwall

Allison: Every day, once my babies are down for their naps, I pour myself a small glass of chocolate milk (like the sophisticated 25 year old that I am) break a couple oatmeal chocolate chip cookies into the bottom of the cup and enjoy it while watching an episode of ‘Friends’. There’s just something so nice and necessary about being a couch potato for a few minutes amongst my day of toddler chasing and baby wrangling (plus the chance to watch something other than ‘Dinosaur Train’ and to not share my cookies!)


Ann: As a busy stay-at-home momma of three, it’s pretty hard to have any alone time. As far as a guilty pleasure: I would say mine would be getting up a bit early just to enjoys those extra 15-30 minutes, which in my opinion, every momma needs to herself. I try to have a hot cup of coffee and start my day off on a positive note, which helps myself and my littles. My other guilty pleasure is BRAVO TV. Believe it or not, I enjoy my Housewives. I believe some of the drama is staged, and some of it I find pretty comical. Those women definitely give me a reality check on how blessed I am to have my family and a simple life.

Blanca: My guilty pleasure is saying I am not feeling well and want to rest quietly in my bedroom. Once I make my way down the hallway, I am feeling a sense of victory. I lay in bed checking all forms of social media. Once I’m ready, I will come out and pretend I feel better! Haha!


instagram.com/mishafrench

Misha: As a mom/wife/female aged THIRTY EIGHT (gosh, I’m old) I feel like I have more than one guilty pleasure. Is that bad? So, being a parent now for 7 years I’ve not only realized that we need these guilty pleasures – I’ve also come to stop feeling guilty about needing them. I really need to get out with the girls 1-2 times a month and have an amazing dinner, and a few glasses of wine. On the daily, I have gravitated towards exercise. There are these really great trails close by my house that make you feel like you’re not in the city. I take 45-60 minutes and just run. If I have to go with the kids I take them. It chills them out, too. There is just something about fresh air and exercise endorphins that fix you right up. And Cheez-its. There’s always Cheez-its.

Devon: My guilty pleasure as a mother is as soon as Chloe is down for a nap, I turn on Grey’s Anatomy and grab some junk food. It’s one of my only times I get to watch a TV show that doesn’t involve talking dogs, and when I can chow down on chips without a toddler begging me for some. (Devon’s IG is: @dbdevonbrownnn)

Brenae: When Silas goes down for a nap, I make myself a chai latte, sit on the couch and watch a show (usually Gilmore Girls or FRIENDS – something I’ve seen a million times) before laundry and dishes call my name. I‘m usually sketching or drawing while I watch, but those 30-45 minutes of being still and relaxing just help make the chaos of the day so much more manageable. Every mama needs some “me-time”!


instagram.com/itsrachelschultz

Rachel: My guilty pleasure? My husband will shake his head at my craziness for sharing this, but I LOVE my fuzzy pink bathrobe. Josh HATES my fuzzy pink bathrobe. It’s not really the bathrobe, but what I do while in it. When I slip myself into this robe, I never come out. Seriously. Normally you use a bathrobe after a shower, right? WRONG. I get out of bed, slip it on, drink my coffee, read the bible, do work, clean, blog, Instagram, etc. And what do you know, it’s 1 pm and I’m still un-showered and in my fuzzy pink robe! I love it. But husband (jokingly, yet somewhat seriously) hates it. Oh well. It’s a guilty PLEASURE for a reason!

Walk In The (Laminate, Distressed, Grey-Undertoned) Park

This past weekend was a fun weekend for all things #restoringwoodland. We got to look at floors, which, I thought was going to be a walk in the (laminate) park.

It’s not.

It’s brutal.

Like the abundance of shades of white available for your frustration, did you know there are 450 variations of “hardwood” flooring? We’re going for laminate, but that didn’t do much to narrow it down. There are grey undertones, gold undertones, yellow undertones, green undertones. Texture or no texture. Wide or thin (or, for hair-pulling fun, multi-width!). Long or short. I think we stressed out over samples of Smoked Chestnut and Seared Chestnut for a good 45 minutes before we realized they were virtually exactly the same. I mean… literally the same. We were actually looking at two samples of Smoked Chetsnut.

We went to a few different stores, took multiple photos and grabbed multiple samples, and finally have it narrowed down to what we think we want. As we were paying for two samples at Lowe’s, the well-meaning cashier asked us if we were picking our flooring (oy) and then held up our two samples for her own analysis. “Hmm,” she announced dramatically. “I have a definite front runner. But I won’t say which one.” It was a ploy to get us to ask her, eagerly, which was her pick, but I was so tired and annoyed I just took the bag from her hand and said. “Ok. Thanks!” Paul stayed back to ask which one she preferred, politely, as I flounced off to the car. I didn’t ask him which she picked though. So, take that.

Anyway. The photo above is close to what we like – but not the exact one that we consider our front runner right now. We’ve decided we’re grey-undertones, texture, vintage/reclaimed inspired, wide-plank fans.

While looking at flooring, we passed by the toilets – and Paul about had a meltdown. “Why are there, literally, 175 different toilets to choose from? Are they really THAT different? I can guarantee you, no one ever sits down on a toilet to proclaim: ‘oh. This feels like a $179 toilet… not a $350 dollar toilet…'” I agreed with him out loud, although I thought back to a few rickety-toilets at gas stations, for example, that I’d eyed cautiously before deciding I was better off holding it. Those definitely weren’t $350 toilets, amiright.

Pray for us. Haha. We’re getting down to the final phases of this restoration, and the light at the end of the tunnel is dim but approaching. New home, here we come!