Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category

I Get By With A Lil Help From My Friends

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Posted by Rebecca, July 19th, 2011

I am very very happy to report that Darwin is back home safe and happy. He ran straight to his food bowl and is currently sleeping in his usual spot, next to his toy 🙂

His oncologist called him an amazing cat today, which we already knew, but to have someone who you are trusting your animal’s life with say that is very reassuring and melts my heart. After getting his updated blood work, she could not believe that he is eating, drinking and playing when he is so sick. My baby’s a fighter and I couldn’t be more proud.

He’s very happy to be reunited with his dadda, his toy, his food bowl, his water bowl and his spot in the family room… despite his little shaved legs and belly.

I’m seriously overwhelmed with all of the responses we’ve received about Darwin and I haven’t had a chance to reply to them. THANK YOU. Seriously. You all make me feel less crazy and make me feel like we’re doing the right thing for him.

I said yesterday that I’m going to be taking it easy this week, but if you miss my house rants, today (I know it’s almost midnight…) I guest posted over at Decor and the Dog!

Who wouldn’t love a blog called Decor and the Dog?? Michelle also has a new construction home and she does some amazing things with it. I couldn’t resist her offer to bring my cat-y self on over. Don’t tell my kids I crossed over for the day…

Since I am forcing myself to stay somewhat away from blogging this week (I’m busy at work, in my last week of summer classes with 2 final projects due Friday and spending time with Darwin), I am fortunate enough to have some amazing bloggers who volunteered to post for me the rest of this week.

I could not be more thankful for every single bit of this post tonight. Thank you oncologist, thank you readers, thank you Michelle and thank you to my guest posters (who will start tomorrow!) 🙂

Feeling Empty

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Posted by Rebecca, July 18th, 2011

We took Darwin to the oncologist tonight. After discussing our options, we decided to leave him there overnight to begin chemotherapy.

There is a very small chance that he may not make it through this first round. The oncologist has had one cat that reacted badly and the chemo began to attack healthy cells. Hearing this made it extremely, extremely difficult to leave him there tonight. But we know that without trying this, he’s only expected to live several weeks. With it? He has a chance to make a full recovery. It’s going to be a very long and complicated road for us regardless, but we had to give him that chance. The form of cancer he has (renal lymphoma) is very aggressive and we didn’t have time to wait to start treatment or second guess ourselves.

Our hearts are empty tonight, missing baby D, wondering what he’s wondering about, wishing we could pick up the phone and talk to him.

I’ll probably be keeping it light around here this week. If anyone is interested in guest posting for me please shoot me an email at rebecca@thelilhousethatcould.com.

Old vs. New

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Posted by Rebecca, June 23rd, 2011

I recently started reading a new-to-me blog, House*Tweaking. Yes, apparently I live under a rock for not finding it sooner, but it is wonderful. Want to see my favorite part so far?

(via Dana at House*Tweaking)

This picture made me all giddy. You see, Dana is selling her new house and is renovating an old house. I not so secretly wanted an old house that I can gut, a la Dana.

Don’t get me wrong, I love by brand spankin’ new house and bought it for a reason. But sometimes I am envious of the creativity that goes into the befores and afters I see all over blogland. I recently told Mike that if we had to buy another house? I don’t think I’d want a new one. Mostly because I want to wield a sledgehammer and partly because I felt like many of our choices were limited. There isn’t too much room for customization when you buy a new house, in a new neighborhood. Generally, you get to pick from tile group a, b, or c and floorplan 1, 2 or 3.

We missed the opportunity tile our bathroom seamlessly, like Ashley and Greg of 7th House on the Left did in when they renovated their ranch….

(via Ashley & Greg at 7th House on the Left)

Or gut a kitchen to our exact needs, like Katie Bower’s kitchen renovation in her previous home complete with peninsula…

(via Katie at Bower Power)

Ooor paint some paneling, like the so dramatically different it’s famous den of John and Sherry at Young House Love

(via John & Sherry at Young House Love)

And give an old fireplace life, like the fireplace makeover of Layla and Kevin of the Lettered Cottage

(via Layla & Kevin at the Lettered Cottage)

After being inspired by so many great makeovers, I find myself watching House Hunters or browsing Realtor.com and playing the “how would I renovate this house” game. Once, I was watching an episode of House Hunters that took place very near my house. The people walked into a house with wallpaper and green carpet and I’m sitting on the couch yelling “Don’t pass it up!! Tear up the carpet! Paint the trim!! It has great bones!” While we have torn up some carpet, added some trim and painted some walls, I know that I won’t get the dramatic befores and afters of those who tear up some 70’s shag carpet, or the satisfaction of tearing down a wall (though we have added one :)).

Even though I’m envious of those who can make unwanted homes into dream homes, I’ve also learned that a new home doesn’t have to be boring! There are also many wonderful bloggers with new homes that don’t look like your run of the mill model home.

Like Dana, once again from House*Tweaking’s current home…

(via Dana from House*Tweaking)

I had hopes of extending our island and adding a butcher block countertop quite like Dana did, but after we moved in we realized we didn’t have the space to do so. But, I am still inspired to take our house to the next level. I know it’s going to take some time (especially with our busy schedules), but I think even the simplest changes, like removing all of the builder brass and adding some more trim work will make a world of difference. I think I’m in a much more different place design-wise than I was just a year ago. Thank you, blogs and Pinterest for pushing my limits 🙂

Maybe someday I can be a house flipper to get my extreme makeover fix in, but until then, anyone see any great makeovers lately? Do you prefer new homes, old homes or just a great makeover wherever it takes place? Please share 🙂

On Priorities

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Posted by Rebecca, June 20th, 2011

Lately, we’ve been having a bit of a issue with Darwin and the litter box. I mentioned when we tore up our carpet upstairs that he has a neurological disorder and sometimes has accidents, but lately we haven’t been able to re-train him. After trying everything under the sun for over a month, we thought that maybe he had a urinary tract infection and made an appointment to see the vet on Saturday. The vet informed us that our youngest baby has kidney disease at just 3 years old.

To describe my feelings as anything less than heartbroken would be a lie. Anyone who has been reading for a while knows that we’ve been to hell and back with our cats, Mac and Sunny, but I never expected something like this to happen again. It is likely a genetic disease he has had his entire life.

I can say, without a doubt, that this is the first weekend I did not think about the house one single bit. Not knowing how long my little guy has left in this world consumed my thoughts all weekend.

We received a little relief tonight when we learned that Darwin’s blood results were not as bad as the vet expected. I had prepared myself to hear the words “kidney failure”, but hopefully some special food, vitamins and possibly subcutaneous fluids will help him stay with us longer.

There is a lot that I could say, and a lot that I want to say, but I’m not sure I have the energy or the right words. A few months ago, I read this piece in the NY Times written by Anna Holmes that really hit home with me. She put into words what I have a hard time saying. It’s a must read for anyone with cats.

One of my favorite parts:

Unlike dogs, whose wagging tails, endearing clumsiness and panting smiles are evolutionarily manipulative and endlessly entertaining, interpreting the narratives of a cat’s inner life takes extraordinary concentration, which makes the relationship all the more poignant. Mindfulness, I like to say, is what separates true cat lovers from the unenlightened. Without it, a cat is just a sleeping, eating, potential killing machine. With it, a cat is the most amazing of mammalian creations: A balletic, apex predator; a perfect package of physical economy and exquisite Darwinian design. (When someone tells me she doesn’t like cats, I assume she isn’t trying hard enough.)

But the focus they require and their intrinsic self-sufficiency is also what makes watching them die especially devastating: there is a heightened awareness not unlike the way the children of alcoholics or depressed people are said to monitor every move of a sick parent; every cough, every patch of dirty, matted fur and loss of balance is a shared indignity; to have to carry your friend to his food bowl or watch him pause to catch a breath before settling down into the soft nest of blankets you’ve lovingly constructed feels like a heartbreak like no other.

Any maybe my favorite part:

It frightens me too — not just the fantasy but the present-day reality, a heaving that begins low in my abdomen and thunders slowly upward every time I catch a glimpse of a well-worn paw or brush the back of my hand over a soft underbelly. I feel it when I see them sleeping, their beautifully composed tight, little spirals of fur and ears and legs and tails; I feel it when I hear them moving, softly clacking up and down the apartment hallway or ker-thumping from the bed to the floor and back up again.

It feels crazy.

They’re just cats, after all.

That pit of your stomach, nauseating feel? It doesn’t go away.

Maybe I am crazy, but I am proud to call my cats members of my family. And this family is full of fighters.

Holy Inspiration

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Posted by Rebecca, June 16th, 2011

Have I mentioned before that I love Pinterest? Every single day something on there makes the little hamster in my head jump on his wheel and start running. I have never seen so many amazing things I would never think of on my own. I consider time spent on Pinterest as research and development time for the casa, which is even more important than time spent doing projects 🙂

I usually hop on Pinterest for a little bit after I finish my post for the night. Last night I spotted these fabrics and were instantly drawn to them…

(via, I always try to link to the original source, but the link in the pin isn’t working :()

When I look at them closely, I probably wouldn’t choose any of these fabrics on their own but the color scheme is glorious. It reminds me of Kerry’s new nursery and the pom mobile she just made

So I was thinking, since my living room is taupey with blue gray shades, maybe I can incorporate a little yellow?

Liiiike, maybe in those bookcases I wanted to add?

(via)

I’d probably go with a softer yellow than in that image, but I was totally feeling this plan last night. Our living and dining rooms connect and our Target dining room chairs have a hint of gold in them. It would be a nice way to bring everything together!

And just for fun, here’s the view of the kitchen from the dining room I’ve never shown you. It’s from Thanksgiving time and was taken at night, which is why the curtains are drawn and I never posted it here.

So as much as I’d like to change it up, all of our rooms are fairly open. I definitely want to keep the living room classy, but I think I’d like to mix another color in. That is, until I discovered this picture also on Pinterest last night…

(via)

It’s a subtle color scheme, but not at all boring. It’s not overly matchy or themey either. After attacking the original source, La Dolce Vita, I found this close up image of those shelves back there…

Hm bold blue accent bookcases? Perhaps 🙂 Regardless, I am now totally inspired to take my living/dining room combo up a notch!

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