Sunday, October 8, 2017

Basement Project

The basement is one part of our house that is completely disgusting. Right now, we use it as storage and a place for all the kids junk (aka toys). It is not a place anyone really wants to hang out.

We had hoped to have some money to redo our basement, but our major kitchen remodel last year sucked us dry. So until we are able to save up for a total basement renovation, we decided just to spend a couple thousand bucks and "upgrade" the dingy basement.

What seemed like an easy project of painting concrete walls and floor, turned into a month long ordeal.

First here is what we started with (well after I had already cleared out all the toys/junk, washed all the concrete walls, vacuumed 25 years of dust/spiders from the walls, ceiling and swept...) This is what we had, still a pretty dingy looking basement

The next step was to prep the space for painting. I had to seal off the area where we would make the utility room with plastic, then taped all the floors with painters paper

Next, we rented a sprayer for a couple days to spray the ceiling. Since it was a mixture of bare wood, plastic & metal, we had to spray a few coats of primer over everything:

After the primer dried, we were able to spray it all black:

Then, I continued on to paint all the pipes on the walls black

Next, it was on to the floors. Originally I wanted to polish or stain the concrete floors. But after many frustrations we discovered that was not something we could do ourselves and it was not in the budget to hire someone to do it. So we had to move on to plan b, paint the concrete. You can see some of our paint choices in the picture above... 

But before we could paint, the floor had to be prepped. Meaning I had to scrub every inch of that floor, multiple times. I had to buy a shopvac to assist in the process. It was scrubbed with soapy water, then 3 coats of TSP water, then back to 2 coats of soapy water. This was the worst part of the whole job...
And after all that cleaning, I finally painted the floors with several coats of concrete floor paint. And then I forgot to take a picture before I moved all basement junk back in. Here you can kind of see the painted floor underneath everything. You can also see the next part of the project which was framing out the wall for the utility room. 

We had someone frame out the utility wall, and then Luke took on the task of drywalling that wall, as well as drywalling the previously framed section under the stairs

And then I totally forgot to take pictures of the finished project.

***UPDATE*** November: here are a few pictures of the basement, it is still holding up nicely. 

And to compare how far we've come, here are a few before/after shots:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

More September.. Papi 60th Bday

The girls and I made a trip to Golden, CO one Sunday to pick up a dance floor off craigslist. While we were there, we decided to make a side trip to check out the downtown. It was a super cute town, and the girls loved taking pictures with all the statues. 

Another night, Luke went out for drinks with his work buddies

My dad turned 60 this year! We celebrated by taking a group on a ghost tour in downtown Ft. Collins
It was mostly a drinking tour as we went pub to pub to drink and hear ghost stories

We celebrated with Papi again the following weekend
My parents had brought back some fancy wine from Italy, so we had our own little "snobby" wine tasting experience. Turns out we all preferred the cheap wine anyways :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


School is back in full swing! Here are some pics back on the first day of school. Lily is in 1st grade and Jack in 4th grade. 

Scootering to school

Reunited with friends

When school starts, all the other activities start. Including piano lessons for Jack and Lily. Here is a picture of Lily's class this year:

And after school playdates with friends

During the day, Josie and I are super busy! Mostly doing volunteer work, but we are able to squeeze in park playdates with friends.

And Josie started her big kid swim lesson class

Josie and I are also part of a little kids French group on Friday mornings

Finally, here are the kids school  pictures
Lily 1st grade

Jack 4th grade

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Camping

We had our 3rd Annual Labor Day camping trip. It is always hard to find a group campsite to fit everyone. I started looking for sites back in January and found one up the Poudre River. After I had booked it, the campsite owner decided to give the site to another group with more people... but she referred me to her friend across the road who had a site that was only rented to friends and family. That is how I found our site for this year: Rustic 420. 
The name was enough to make me a little uneasy, but we booked the entire site including all four cabins so there was no need to worry about strange people joining our group. And since it was wintertime I was not able to go check out the campsite, so I just booked it not knowing anything about the site. 

In July we were driving to Steamboat Springs for the 4th of July. We stopped by to check out the site and we were less than impressed. Everything was truly "rustic." But there was no going back now, so we continued planning our trip for the fall. 

Fast forward to Labor Day weekend. We drove up Saturday afternoon to get settled into our cabin. The plan was for Luke and Jack to sleep in the truck and the girls and I in the cabin. But we were surprised to find our cabin was pretty big with two rooms and a pull out couch. However, when I pulled out the couch for Jack to sleep on, there were many, many doppings in the bed. So we all ended up cramming into the 2 twin beds. 

Soon enough all our friends started showing up. There were many kids running around and having fun

There was even one small cabin dedicated as the "game cabin" with a TV and games. The kids loved playing in here

Sunday morning we all took off for a hike:

We were a pretty big group on the trail

After our hike we were ready to go play in the water. We pumped up Jack's inflatable boat
Our campsite was right next to the river, but getting down there was a bit of a challenge. There was a pretty big, slippery drop off that you had to scale down. We ended up making a human chain to bring all the kids down, and then drop them into the raft and have someone shuttle them across to the other side of the river. It was a long process, but worth it!

We spent the afternoon exploring the river.

Luke and our neighbor Chris even decided to be the first ones to attempt taking the raft down the rapids.

After their successful trip, everyone else wanted to try it! Jack and his buddy had so much fun they even hiked further up the river to make their raft trip longer.

It was probably one of the funnest things I've ever done camping.

Afterwards, we headed back to camp to start dine

Jack was thrilled when his buddy Sam showed up!

Charlene brought some lawn games to play

Josie and her little friend

Monday morning we all packed up to head home.

cleaning up the campsite
We managed to get one big group photo before everyone went home
And our yearly family photo

Instead of going home, several of us decided to make a detour over to Bellaire lake for some fishing

We caught several crawdads

And a few fish

Josie and I went "fishing" for chipmunks (no hook on the line, just a cheese-it)

We got home Monday night and after unloading the car I was reminded of how much I hate camping.
But once I had everything cleaned and put away, I can honestly say that this was a surprisingly fun trip.