March 17, 2016

Life status: overwhelmed

Guuyyyysssss. There is SO MUCH going on. I need three of me to even start to maybe sort of handle my life right now. Baby girl continues to get the shaft in this process because she's not making an appearance for, like, MONTHS at this point, and we close in a week and a half and need to make arrangements to hire movers and oh god I need to start packing but that means I need boxes first but also we're not moving right away because we want to redo the kitchen first which means I need to pick new flooring and new counters and new backsplash ASAP and once that's finalized we need to schedule them to come in and measure because it will be another week before they install and I have to be available for that too but we're going away for a week in the middle of April with the in-laws and also I should be looking at appliances too but also my parents just sold their house and we need to make arrangements to go up there and sort through everything and bring back all the furniture and tools they no longer need but we do so I need to rent a truck and also get train tickets but we can't move the piano because you need special movers so I need to find them and get those guys hired and when should I schedule that for but also we need to tour daycares because around here you need to reserve a spot months and months in advance and also we probably need to try to find a pediatrician soon and shit we should take some childbirth and babycare classes also one day I need to actually start researching baby gear and oh maybe name this child but before that we need to figure out when the grandparents will be around and if/when they want to provide any childcare so that I know when we need to reserve the daycare spots for and sometime during this we also need to find renters for our current condo for once we do move but ALL of that is taking a back seat to work which is still awful and I'm doing three jobs and OH. MY. GOD.

This is my brain. At all times of the day and night. It's very sustainable.

The first major change I've had to make is at work. I had been trying to negotiate some perks for myself due to the fact that I'm doing three jobs (including that of my VP-level ex-boss) but just learned that all sort of fell through, so effective immediately I have decided not to work more than 40 hours a week anymore. If nothing gets done anymore as a result, I no longer care. (Easier said than done, but I'm working on this new mentality.)

I more or less finalized movers for us for April, a piano mover for my parents' piano, and a truck for May to cart back everything we want to take from my parents' house now that they're downsizing.

And I *think* I might have decided on floors and countertops for the new kitchen, which has been MAAAJORLY stressing me out. I am very much NOT adept at interior design of any sort. I can't tell what will look good together, I can't look at a 6" square of marble and know if it will work on a 12' length of counter, and I definitely don't know if a floor tile I'm looking at in a different store matches the marble we saw three days ago.

So! I talked the marble guy into letting me take a chunk of marble home with me, and I went to Lowe's and bought one (1) floor tile in the color we're considering, so I could hold them up next to each other:

(They're both sitting on our CURRENT countertop, which will play no role in this at all). I think they will go together? Yes? But I was still having a RULL hard time envisioning whether these materials would work in a larger scale, in a full kitchen. Here's the listing photo of our new kitchen, for reference:

I cannot handle the green countertops, and while I have very few feelings about the floor, it's very squeaky so Chris desperately wants it ripped up so that we can get the subfloor fixed (and then put in something nicer since we will have already ripped out what's there). The appliances are pretty old, so we'll be replacing them with updated stainless steel. And hopefully I can switch out that ugly fluorescent light pretty easily. But the layout will remain the same, and the cabinets are in great shape, so this reno will just be on surfaces: floor and counters (..and backsplash).

BUT here's the other tricky bit: I do WANT to redo the cabinets at some point - they seem solid so there is likely no need to rip them out anytime in the near future, but I'd love to stain them dark sometime down the road. So whatever finishes I pick now need to look OK with that light wood, but also not look stupid if I do go dark in a few months/years.

And I have NO IDEA how to extrapolate any of that from one floor tile and a hunk of marble.

Luckily, the internet is full of helpful tools for helpless people like me, and I found a site that let me mess around with a mock kitchen, changing up the floors, counters, and cabinet colors. This is CRAZY USEFUL for someone like me who desperately needs to see things mapped out like this.

First I started with light wood, what I thought might approximate the floor tile color we were thinking of, and I couldn't find a marble that matched, so I went with a flecked white version in case our marble at large scale read mainly white:

I think they mostly go, right? I don't know? Opinions? (Obviously this is not the actual layout of our kitchen, and we will not have a giant stone (?) hood over our range, but you know. Materials & scale.)

Then I switched the wood dark to see if it would still work:

Ooooooooh. Well that's not terrible. 

Then I went with a more-obviously-dark-flecked marble, which is closer to how I'm *hoping* ours actually reads in person:

The default backsplash I'd been using doesn't work so well here, but LOOK when I change it to dark wood!!

Still not loving this backsplash but I love the marble and dark cabinets together. Uh, assuming that is what my marble would look like. Sigh.

So tell me - what do you think? Am I going down a terrible, regrettable path here? Anyone have or used similar colors or materials and would like to adamantly warn me away from them, for example?

(Next up is dithering on backsplash, because I *think* I probably want glass subway tile or a glass mosaic pattern, but the online tools tend to not have that sort of granularity of choice so I can't see it in context and waaah life is hard.)

Oh right. Also I'm still pregnant! That is still happening! But second trimester continues to be absolutely thrillingly boring, which I love and am extremely grateful for. Assuming I keep this "meh, work" attitude going, I'll hopefully now have bandwidth back for actual pregnancy updates.. not to mention one day finishing recapping the Iceland/Ireland trip. Dream big, friends.


  1. I'm not going to lie, reading all this made me feel a little overwhelmed, and these aren't even my problems! (My problems currently revolve around wondering when this cold will be done with me, with a subnote of whhhyyyy do my colds always linger for 2 weeks or more, because the "it's not fair" defense has gotten me so far in the past.)

    I think drawing the work line at 40 hours is an excellent one, and if things aren't getting done, it will underscore your point to them that what they are asking for is not only unreasonable but unsustainable. As to the kitchen, I'm afraid I'm no good at that, but pep talks I can provide: you can do it! You will get there. It will be worth it. Keep breathing, and reveling in the boring-second-trimester situation.

  2. I'm the type of person that needs to SEE it as well. Have you looked at Houzz?

    1. YES! It's been very helpful in some ways, but searching on a specific tile or granite name has been surprisingly frustrating - I thought if I searched for our specific floor tile, I'd get lots of pictures of it being used in the wild. Not so much unfortunately. But searching for, like, "kitchens with light wood cabinets" is great and I can look through and see what else goes well with light cabinets :)

  3. OMG, I can so relate, MINUS the being pregnant part, and having a hard time working <40 hours a week. (I am happy you're gonna work less). We are having a hell of a time just picking out our kitchen backsplash. I was SO relieved when we finally decided on bathroom tiles! This shiz is overwhelming!!!

    But! I think what you have in the final pic looks fab. Good luck! Ask for help - you do need more of you and this is a great time to get help from friends!


  5. I think it's going to look good. :) Those colors are both neutral enough that they will look good with many different colors of cabinets.
    Definitely stick with not working more than 40 hours a week. That's just crazy!


    B) I think the tile and granite go really well together, and they will look GORGEOUS with a darker cabinet. They will look just fine with the lighter one, but darken those cabinets up and you'll have some seriously jaw-dropping kitchen.

    C) That is all the advice I have, except that you totally went the right route in paying for a piano mover. Absolutely, never again will I move a piano myself.


  7. Wow, this is a lot. Good job on the new work mentality, because all that stuff falling through = eff that so hard. Also, I can't speak to the daycare thing, but the classes and the gear and the naming will still be there in a couple months when this has settled down. I would cross that right off your list of things to worry about. And, with Amazon Prime, as long as you have somewhere to physically put the baby, everything else can be handled after she arrives (even diapers can be brought home from the hospital).

    Good luck, xo, and can't wait to see the new kitchen. And the rest of the house!

  8. Don't worry about Little Miss just yet! As long as you and her are healthy and well, that's all that counts. The rest can be taken care of (even for birthing classes, no need to worry about that right now).

    Uh for the rest, I think there should be a magic wand some where that you can just wave and have everything completed. RIGHT?? (I wish I were design savvy, but alas, I am not.)