Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When it Rains...It Pours

Sunday was demolition day. The walls and cabinets were out in just a few hours leaving the lad work and the soffet above the sink. Chris had received information that the soffet was hollow, so he and Josh proceeded to chip away at it just as they had with the cabinets. (We probably should have known better than to actually believe this. Of course the soffet wasn't hollow! It was being used to support the ceiling! But I digress...) During one particularly big swing a deafening crack was heard. Looking up the guys saw the ceiling giving way. Josh threw himself up against it as best he could while Chris ran outside and up into the attic to try and save all of the brand new wiring that was run for our new lights. Just as he finished cutting the wires, the entire ceiling collapsed, revealing this:
Who doesn't want a pink plaster ceiling with a giant white diamond in the middle?! I mean really. This kitchen must have been remodeled during the seventies... Thankfully, no one was hurt and the demolition continued.

Monday was cleanup day. Mom, Alex, Chris and I spent the afternoon and well into the night working on the kitchen. Alex handled the lad work at the very top of the ceiling, Chris the electrical work, Mom the shop vac, and I (yes, platinum) found my inner carpenter and attacked the lower lad and insulation with a vegenance. (That's what a few difficult patient's parents will do for you.) Chris and I are so thankful for all the help and are proud that our kitchen now looks like this:
The last task on Monday was to draw out the island on the kitchen floor so the contractor could rough out the location for our lights. We attacked this task eagerly only to find out the end of the island cleared the door by a mere two inches!!! So this morning I headed into to see our kitchen designer at Lowes with words in my head taught me by my grandma, "I am a Kirchoff woman, hear me roar!" After many designs and breakdowns with both Mom and Chris, we have the design we want! The tile is being laid tomorrow and the drywall put in Friday. If all goes well, our goal this weekend is to paint.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming! Goodness knows we are!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Top Four Reasons We're Gutting Our Kitchen (Plus a few more pictures)

1. Our "grade school gym" kitchen floor:
2. The old cabinets: *Disclaimer* I don't live here yet. Please excuse the bachelor pad accessories. It's the latest trend from Paris.
3. The entry way into our dining room. Apply *disclaimer* again:
4. And the pantry/side door entry/stairs to the basement:
This is where the "desk area" is going to be:
And last but not least, the construction guy, hard at work:
More pictures to come!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Get Excited!

I know Chris and I are. So much has been happening lately and it's all falling into place. (Hence my complete lack of posting.)

For those of you who don't know we decided we didn't have enough to do planning our wedding and decided to completely gut the kitchen at Chris' and start from scratch. (Pictures of why it needed to be gutted coming soon.) We went to our friendly neighborhood Lowes and picked out new cabinets and countertops and with the help of our new BF Perry, designed a kitchen where every item in it has a purpose. We couldn't believe it!

Perry told us our items would arrive in 3-4 weeks so we began searching for a remodeling company to do drywall, finishing, lay tile, electrical work, and plumbing. Who knew this could be the hardest part? Too many bids later we finally signed with Briddell Remodeling: Ron has been great to work with so far and we can't wait to see what he does.

We also received some very much appreciated help from our good friends with our appliances. They will never know how grateful we are! We promised them dinner from our brand new kitchen ASAP.

Yesterday Chris got an exciting phone call. Our cabinets are in! They will be delivered on Wednesday. Chris has recruited some of his friends to come in and help with the removal of the existing cabinets this weekend so that Briddell and his team can come in and start Monday or Tuesday. We went to Lowes last night and purchased our hardware for the cabinets, tile, sink, faucet, and lights. We are so excited and cannot wait for these next few weeks to pass so we actually have a functioning kitchen.

Lots of pictures to follow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Limos, and DJ's, and Videographers, Oh My!

I'm officially a day nurse again! It feels like I've been on nights forever. To celebrate this blessed event, I've used my two days off to fully immerse myself in house flipping and wedding planning.

At the end of last week Chris and I got our official kitchen design! We kept looking at each other in disbelief. If you could see the kitchen now, you would completely understand. The gentleman who lived there before us had unique taste, and that's being quite nice. The kitchen floor looks like grade school hallway flooring, there's only one wall of cabinets, there's wood paneling on 3 of the 4 walls, and there use to be an island with a base covered in orange carpet. (Thankfully, I never had to bear witness to that, Chris had it removed before we started dating.) And of course, there are no appliances; just the fridge and microwave that Chris bought when he moved in.

Our new kitchen has lots of cabinets (all with a specific purpose), a built in dishwasher and fridge, and an island (no carpet) with a built in cooktop and oven!! We are so so excited. We went to Lowes and priced our appliances and tile last night and I picked up extra shifts at work this morning! Between the kitchen and the wedding, it a necessary evil, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We are so excited and thankful to be given the opportunity to finish our kitchen before the wedding.

As for the wedding planning, I spoke with Pastor Hemenway today and the latest the wedding can be is 3:00 pm on a Saturday due to the 5:30 church service. So 3:00 pm it is! We are hoping to serve cocktails and appitizers at the AFB from 5:00-6:00 with dinner around 6:30.

Yesterday I researched 68 videographers, 56 DJ's, and 32 Limo companies. After lots of website visits, phone calls, and emails, we've picked out of DJ, are pretty sure we know our limo (and by limo I mean bus), and have narrowed it down to two videographers.

Our DJ:

Our Limo Bus: (This is what happens when you tell your wedding coordinator you have 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen and she says "Holy Wedding Party!" That about sums it up.)

And our top two choices for videographers: OR

Watch the sample videos and let us know what you think!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooo I Wanna Take Ya..

Yesterday afternoon I was curled up on the couch with a book, hot chocolate, and Skittles (the puppy), when a Southwest "Wanna get away" commercial came on. This prompted me to go up to my office and call the Aruba Marriott, the wonderfully warm resort where Chris and I were pretty sure we wanted to go on our honeymoon.

As the Marriott woman and I were talking I found myself falling more and more in love with the resort. I thanked her for her time and told her I would be calling her back once I spoke with my father (the Marriott king), and fiance. Little did I know I had just inquired about the last room available on the Tradewinds Club. It's marketed as "the hotel within the hotel." It has private hotel staff, priority to everything at the hotel, complimentary breakfast and lunch, appetizers, and an open bar every night. Even better all the rooms are king/queen suites with balconies overlooking the ocean.

So after a quick debate in my head, I decided to book the hotel. I promptly called Chris and told him what I had done. I held my breath waiting his response, hoping he was in his office where he couldn't get too upset. ;) Thankfully he was perfectly okay with my decision.

Next, I began to Google flight options from St. Louis to Aruba. I understand we're leaving on a major travel day, but the lack of flights and $$$ for them is crazy. Basically we are going to have to go to Chicago or Indianapolis a day early so we can catch super early flights to Charlotte, NC or Atlanta, GA to make our connecting flights to Aruba.

Looks like it's time to start learning the lyrics to "Kokomo"...

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooo I wanna take ya, to Bermuda, Bahama, Come on pretty mama...

(All pictures are courtesy of

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Security Clearance: Check!

Sara, Mom, and I bundled up and headed over to the base to meet with the catering coordinator. It was great to see the ballroom again, especially since it was set up for a 300 person luncheon. Even better, I got to see my future father-in-law who was there for a meeting, and Dale Carey, the wonderful gentleman who is sponsoring our reception.

It looks like we're going to be able to have everything we want including an extra large dance floor, plated dinner, open bar, and chair covers (my personal favorite, something Chris just doesn't understand. We'll just chalk it up to testosterone.) Let no one say you can't have a beautiful wedding on a budget. And if someone asks how, I have two words: wedding coordinator. Sara is absolutely wonderful and the only way Chris agreed to let me plan the wedding. She takes away the stress and knows exactly what and how to ask questions so we get all of the information we need.

I'm amazed at how much we got done in just a day and a half. I'm also sending the official contract to our photographer tomorrow and have reached out for information on limos and string quartets. Now I just need to focus on one day at a time, because I only get to do this once.

We're down to just needing one more idea for centerpieces. If anyone sees eggplant or deep purple candle holders like the ones below, please let me know. Below are the pictures of the ones we have. It looks stunning at night with the candles lit, but you'll have to wait for the wedding to see it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wedding Day Countdown: 320 days

I've decided to start keeping a blog in hopes of keeping our family and friends up to date on all that is going on with our wedding. The first part involved in starting a blog is coming up with the name. I decided to go to my favorite place for creative ideas: Google. I googled every way I could think of to come up with a creative, unique name for our blog and came up with a big fat nothing. So, I decided to use a line from "There is Love," the song that is to be sung during the wedding.

Today was a big planning day. Our wedding coordinator, Sara O'Shea, is a good friend of mine from Bradley. She came down today to help us with the preparations. We went to my dressing fitting, looked through hundreds of invitations, and designed our centerpieces. I'm so, so excited about them. Chris even humored me and told me how much he loved them.

Tomorrow it's off to the Air Force Base to see the reception site, the church, and the florist.

Let the games begin!