We're Expanding!

... My closet, that is. (You thought I was going to say "our family", didn't you?!)

As you saw at the end of this post, one Saturday night Evan spontaneously decided to demo my closet. We had talked about expanding the opening to both of our closets since we moved in a year and a half ago, but we didn't decide on a timeline, nor did we talk logistics (like where we'd put my clothes during this dusty project and where we'd sleep!). So this spontaneous project turned into quite the adventure. But we aren't novices when it comes to being uprooted by a house project. In fact, our entire bathroom re-haul began Superbowl night 2010 when we decided to see what happened if we started ripping up our old peeling laminate tiles. As you can imagine, we didn't necessarily plan on living like this for a while:

Yea, those shoes are stuck in place. But that's a story for another day. I got sidetracked. Back to the closet!

After Evan tore down all of the trim, my closet looked like this:

And our bed looked like this:
Which is when we realized we wouldn't be sleeping in our bed until all of my clothes found their home back into the finished closet. We honestly didn't think the project would take that long, but when you start tearing down drywall on Sunday at the tail end of spring break, you are setting yourself up for a week on air-mattresses upstairs. The good news is we had fun with a change of sleeping-scenery and discovered that one of our air mattresses has a hole in it. (Wait, did I say good news?)

Here's Evan with his Sawsall, ready to cut through some sheetrock

Phone consultation with his dad. I think the problem had something to do with cutting through the baseboard. We ended up making a quick Craigslist purchase and are now the happy owners of a dremmel (and about 500 attachments we'll never use!)

They were having some trouble cutting out the header and were hoping to manage the task without ruining the sheetrock.

But to no avail ; ) Looks pretty nice with that new support beam!

Evan got to work on his sheet-rocking, taping, and mudding skills!

Pops knows best!

It's typically a good idea to cover up the flooring before you start a project that involves dropping wood splinters and drywall ...

This is what my living situation looked like after about five days. I think half of my clothes had migrated to a living room chair, some items were strewn about in the office, and the rest were a big tangle of hangers, sweaters, and sheets! Suffice it to say I was ready for this project to be done.

Shadow time! Evan gets to work nailing in the new door jamb

It might not look like the largest closet to you, but check out the flooring on the left of the doorway that used to be filled in with sheetrock ...  yea, this doorway feels HUGE to me! 

Wondering how we decided on this seemingly arbitrary size? We had considered making the doorway even bigger, but then thought about future home-owners who may not dig the whole shower-curtain look. So we did a little research and decided to make the opening a standard size to fit a bi-fold door. That way when it's time to pack up and move we can just pop on a door and away we'll go!

I forgot to take pictures as Evan nailed up the old trim. But here's the almost-finished product, with my new curtain reinstated!

And open. That's just primer you see above the door, waiting for a fresh coat of Behr's Tuscan Beige. And the trim is also primed but will soon be a fresh, crisp white. Notice how I strategically placed my slippers? 

They're covering up this eyesore until we buy wood to fill er in.

I love walking into the room without a closet door cutting into the space!

Let's look at the before and almost-after one more time:
itty, bitty, tiny entrance, door ajar and clothes belching in your face (honestly, that's how I felt!)

Now my clothes are nicely tucked away behind that fun patterned curtain that can easily be flung open thanks to shower hooks!
(can't wait to finish her off with some paint!)

Ahh, much better : )

Egg Toss

Every year for as long as I can remember, my family holds an Easter Egg-Toss. No matter which members of our extended family are together, we whip out a dozen raw eggs, grab a partner, line up in an open yard/field, and take turns tossing the egg to each other -- taking a step back after each round of throws. As you can imagine, eventually the eggs break (after all, they are raw!). But you'd be surprised how far you can throw an egg and successfully catch it. The Toss usually elicits such comments as "are you sure these aren't hard cooked?" from the egg-toss newbies. Of course, in order to survive to the end you must have some egg-tossing skill: 1. A nice, gentle arch, to minimize impact on catcher's hand, 2. A gentle, cradled, cupped-hand catch, to minimize impact, and 3. Catcher brings egg to the side of body and often spins a little to help slow down momentum while minimizing impact. It's a great skill to have, tossing and catching raw eggs, and one that our family is proud of ; )

Sarah and Caleb were the winners this year!

Here's a little video, recapping the final moments of the egg-toss:

What a graceful catch by Sarah! She's a seasoned pro, but this was Caleb's first time!

Perhaps you noticed someone wearing a garbage bag? That's common practice for egg-tossers you see. To protect Easter clothes from raw egg, of course.

And here's the whole gang!

Last year I introduced the Egg-Toss to Evan's side of the family. It was a hit -- they wanted to play 5 rounds! Here we are at the starting lineup:

Fond egg-toss memories of yore ...
(Photos courtesy of my dad!)

Calm and focused


What an egg-toss athlete!

Nothing like having a raw egg hurled at you across the yard

Classic egg break ... too funny not to post. Notice the strand of yoke? I promise it didn't come from her nose!

The grandparents are in on it too, you betcha!

Sometimes we sport this lovely egg-toss gear. Quite the fashion statement, dontcha think?

My all-time favorite egg-toss picture, taken by Kirsten on a manual film camera back in college. You can't see the thrower but look at those spectators! This was one of those epic egg-toss moments where the throwers were so far apart they no longer had room in the front yard and had to move to the side of the house! Trees, boat launcher ... these are all obstacles egg-tossers can handle.
Green Lake, Minn., 2003

It's fun when you get to celebrate Easter with sisters! My parents are in New Jersey, my younger sister Karrin is in Southern California, and my older sister Kirsten is in St. Louis. This year it was just Sarah and me from our immediate family ... and of course a bunch of other relatives and friends!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the day wherever you were!

Curtain Call

I must confess, I have a thing for shower curtains. Sadly, we only have one shower in our house, and it's already decked out in full attire, so I've learned just to admire all of the fun patterns and colors as I pass the shower-curtain aisle in Target. But a few weeks ago I discovered a way to turn my obsession into something practical.

No, we didn't build a new shower. Although wouldn't that be nice... Actually, my mini closet makeover took only ten minutes (maybe 30 if you include driving to the store) and cost only around $27:

I know, it looks a little cluttered and busy there right now with the bookcase and the circle patterns, but I love it. One of these days I'll paint the trim a glossy white to really help balance out the space (and hopefully make the wall color pop a little more - it's Sage Tint by Behr).

Why did I ditch the door and opt for something that is meant for the bathroom, you are wondering? This closet is in the office, but it happens to be Evan's clothes closet, as we only have one closet in our bedroom. Since Evan gets up at the crack of dawn for school, it just made sense that he store his clothes in a different room. But Evan, like most people (myself included), doesn't like to close doors all the time, so this little corner of the office usually opened up to a wall of clothes, belts, and ties, and the bookshelf was completely hidden. A while ago my mom ditched the doors in my sister's bedroom and replaced them with sheer curtains, so I thought I'd try something along the same lines. But when I was in Target looking over my options, I realized that shower curtains were a whole lot cheaper than window treatments, and most window curtains would require significant hemming. Of course, this shower curtain is a bit too short, but I figured I could add a swatch of fabric across the bottom some day if it bugged me. And for now, it looks kind of like a dressing room at a cute shopping boutique:

... at least that's what I like to think.

Next I turned to my closet in the bedroom, which always sat awkwardly open, usually draped with various sweaters and scarves:

Ten minutes and $37 later (this curtain was more expensive), that eyesore became this:

Ahh, much better. Another reason I chose the shower curtain above a regular window curtain was because shower curtains are meant to be flung open; no fabric sticking to the rod as you try pull it across.  So now I can go from a clean and tidy closed "door" to an open viewing of my clothes in seconds (well, quite possibly one second)!

I'm also loving not having that door jut out into the room. In such a small space it's nice to have some room to breath.

Actually, we have plans for the little space to the left of the closet ....

Which Evan may have started on secretly while I was away the other night. Check out this video:

Progress was made on Project Closet-Enlargement today, but I'm pretty sure we'll be sleeping in a different room tonight thanks to sheet rock dust and a bed piled high with clothes. More updates soon!

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