Our House: Making Progress

So here we are. Photos of our house-in-progress. Before and after shots would help, I know. So would a wide angled lens camera. Anywho, our main staircase above. It was carpeted and we were quite pleased to find this underneath. Tegegne was surprisingly good at pulling the staples out with pliers. Not Handy Manny tools…they were the real deal! The window on the landing is light pink leaded glass. Blurry in the photo, but it’s pretty. We have about 3250 square feet here, and often my mind races with all of the projects we’d like to do. Good thing Michael is such an enthusiast! 

Here’s the family room with Michael’s record collection. My mom found this sweet chair and ottoman at an auction. Most likely at one of my dad’s auction’s. A while back I got a phone call from my dad saying, “Hey Kristyn, are you into Eames furniture?…Um, yes dad. I totally LOVE that style.” Since that conversation he keeps his eye out for all things modern.  It’s quite the deal!

We opened up the butler’s staircase and cut some random holes through to the kitchen. It has been so fun to peek our heads through to each other. There are five openings. I foresee that as us needing to have one more child (Lord willing, we will adopt again in a few years!) to get a peep-hole family photo. For now Owen get’s a square (He really does peak his head through and it’s so funny).

A view through a peep-hole to the kitchen. Exposing the brick walls (aka removing messy plaster) was Michael’s project today. We were excited to find the arched detail above the window. I’ve always wanted exposed brick and here it is! That means that each exterior wall of our house has this same brick. I think there will be more “exposing” down the road!

This was taken in our second floor laundry room. Don’t you love our “ericfon“? Ironically, my brother “Eric” is the little guy in the photo hanging from the oversized clothes pin. Our giraffe is from Ethiopia. Oh, and this is my toolbox. Michael borrows from it all the time, but I let him. 

And this is how we communicate ideas. I draw them up in 3D. I did this type of thing at work, (but with better rendering capability!) and it’s so fun to do it on our own projects. 

Our peep-holes with one little peeper. 

Our back porch is home to most of our kitchen belongings until we get cabinets underway.

Michael has three more weeks until school starts. A friend just stopped by and we were discussing a major project that we are considering. Tearing out the bathroom and two walls that divide the kitchen and family room on the first floor. Opening this up would make the house awesome for hanging out, hosting, and just living. (Kitchen is currently11’x12′) It would be way more open and lofty-urban feeling. Exciting. Okay, I think it’s a go. Michael’s renting a dumpster and will get started right after his bike ride in the morning! 


Hensley Ruth: 5 Months Old

Okay you may notice that these are not your “month photos,” but I will have to get to those tomorrow. This was you in Austin as we toured the South Congress shops. The progression of the photos goes like this: at the top you were saying “Oh wow, this is going to be fun! I love to shop!” Middle photo – “Okay, did any of you realize that we are in Texas and it is seriously hot. Like, I’m not even sure it is safe for a baby like me to be in this heat.” Bottom photo – “That’s it. I’m done. But, did I mention I love my daddy?”

Hens, you are seriously adorable and we are crazy about you. Thanks for being a real trooper on our trip. 


Mom, Dad, and Tegegne

Summertime: Swimmy Swim

Pool time has been ubber fun this summer. We have two little fishes. Hensley you LOVED being in the water almost as much as your big bro. I’ve got a lot to catch you up on, besides pool time though. Little Hens you are growing and it’s your 5 month birthday! Hooray! Wake up so I can take your monthly photos, or sleep…for just a bit longer. We had a blast in Austin, and I can’t wait to share about our trip. And lastly, we are taking full advantage of Michael’s days off and our house is in remodel mode. Especially the kitchen. Stay tuned to keep up with the Joneses. Our bicycle basket is overflowing with summertime fun. (wow, that’s super cheesy talk and I like it.)

Henri Nouwen: Feeling vs Knowing

red collection

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are

Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood swings: from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen to us rather than being created byus.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God’s beloved children.

– Henri Nouwen

Nothing Beats It

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Nothing beats late nights with Michael in the kitchen, slowly enjoying his delectable chocolate chip cookies.  Seriously. I usually scoop them off the hot pan with my fingers because I can’t wait for them to cool. Ummmm. With a cold glass of milk in a mason jar of course. A good time to chat, which currently means that I am learning a lot about The Tour. I love it. I can even sort of hold a conversation about The Tour these days because I’ve been a good listener. 

Nothing beats it. Except the early morning cookie that didn’t get eaten the night before. Or the late night cookies that he promised to make with our awesome friends in Austin, Texas this weekend! We are taking a last minute trip to Austin, and we cannot wait to explore the city but especially spend time with our friends. Michael and Johnny G go way back and they are ridiculous together. Tanya and I usually can’t stop laughing. And we’ve both become parents since we’ve hung out last. We are in for quite a weekend. 

Sorry I’m having weekend talk and it’s only Wednesday.

Hopefully yours will come sooner than you know it!

Tegegne: Memory Lane + First Moments Together

It is fun watch these videos and remember how special those first moments were. You were a thirsty little guy. You held onto that yellow airplane so tight. We had no idea what the next weeks, months, or years would bring. We were stopped in time and so mesmerized with you. It took a while for you to smile, but at the end of our time together you did. You also kissed us.

You love watching these as well. Especially since Hensley came. You are so curious about what it was like when you were a baby. You just asked, “Mommy, did I come from your tummy or birth mom’s tummy?” You ask questions like these, and it is so neat to see the story unfold in your mind. Yes, there is sadness (which will eventually come I’m sure) but our story has unyielding joy. Because we are meant to be together.

We are watching videos as I type this and you just discovered that we were not wearing seat belts in the van. Your mouth dropped!