Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I've been working on a Super Secret Project....

Maybe you've been wondering where I've been...or maybe not. Either way, here's the scoop:

Okay, so Ande's parents are pretty much the best parents in the world. They have been SO wonderful to us, and even before Ande and I were married, they accepted me, Bubber, and Bug into their family as though we'd always been there. Seriously, if there is anything we ever need at all, Ande's mom and dad are the first ones to offer help, whether it's a prayer, kind word of advice, baby-sitting service, or even financial help. I feel truly blessed to have them in my life.

My mother in law also reads my blog, which is why I couldn't write about this until now.

Ande's brother and his family live in Oklahoma (right near Amanda!!), and recently went to visit them. I found out about this trip back in January, and that's when the wheels started turning.

You see, my in-laws have the ugliest kitchen. EVER. Seriously. You don't believe me? Check this out:

This is after about half of the tile has been removed...I didn't think to take a true "before" picture.

This is after the first of several layers of wallpaper were taken off. Again, no "before" picture (yes, I realize I'm a little slow...). The one wall has not had wallpaper since I've known Ande, as he apparently stripped it off years ago...

Yeah, can you see what I'm saying? UG-LEE.

So, way back in January, I started thinking, "What if Ande and I could take down those ugly plastic tiles and wallpaper, and do some painting and stuff??" I knew it would be a big job, but this kitchen was just crying out for help! I didn't mention it to Ande's mom and dad, but did say something or another about it to Ande on more than one occasion.

Ande's parents left several weeks ago (I believe it was June 26th). Sometime shortly after that, we went over to their house and I decided that it was time to get serious. I started pulling those yucky plastic tiles off the wall. Ande and the girls started peeling wallpaper. There were about 3 or 4 layers of wallpaper, and under the tiles was this adhesive that did NOT want to come off.

You can just see a strip of green patterned wallpaper at the top of this picture...that's what covered the walls before we started. Oh, and the pattern was textured, too. LOVELY. Under that was some sort of floral pattern with a blue background, and of course the ivy print underneath that. At some point there was also a print that had kitchen appliances all over it, although it was mostly removed and we only found bits and pieces of it.
Ande ended up buying a floor scraper and scraping the stuff off the wall, which took him about two days. Taking the remaining wallpaper off took about the same amount of time.



Did I mention that Ande's parents had NO IDEA what was going on at their house?

In the process, we discovered that this kitchen has been a mulititude of colors. You've seen the green, but there was also pink (as pictured on the right wall below), pale blue, yellow, and another lighter shade of green.

So we got the walls cleaned off, and holes patched. I cleaned out all of the cabinets so that I could paint. (That alone took two days) I was even the victim of an adhesive-related injury. My arm got stuck to one of the shelves that had TWO layers of contact paper to remove. Don't think that adhesive stuff is dangerous? I had a bruise the size of a baseball on my arm from it! (and no, there will NOT be a picture of that)

The insides of the upper cabinets were a lovely shade of salmon, while complimented by this garish contact paper. Then I dropped the bomb on Ande. I wanted him to build a new tile countertop. I mean, you can't redecorate a kitchen and leave this:

Yes, that countertop is PINK.

I had done some research online, and found several sites that showed step-by-step how to install a tile countertop. You know, since neither Ande or I had EVER done anything like it before. Ande was able to borrow a wet saw from a friend (Thanks, Jackster!), and his friend even came over to show him how to use it and give a few pointers.

New countertop base made of 3/4" plywood and 1/2" cement board

Tile and backsplash has been laid
After a bit of a rough start, and a few minor mistakes, we (okay, ANDE) got the counter installed. At this point, it was now a couple of weeks into the in-law's trip. I panicked when I got a call from Ande's mom telling me that they were going to be home probably the next day (which would have been July 18). You see, they STILL didn't know what was going on.

I tried not to freak out too much, and ended up calling her back and asking if they could stay away for a couple more days. I didn't tell her what we were up to, just that there was a project going on, and she needed to be gone a few more days. Let me tell you, my heart sank a little when she asked, "You're not painting the house are you? Because I haven't decided what color I'd like." "Uh, no, we're not doing that...." I said (it wasn't entirely a lie, since we weren't painting the whole HOUSE, just the kitchen...)

We got the grout done on Sunday night.

Ande, the Tile Master

Monday afternoon, Ande came on his lunch break to install the sink. It didn't fit. WHAT!?!? PANIC SETTING IN!! PARENTS COMING HOME IN A FEW HOURS!!!!!

And that, my friends, is where I have to leave the story off for today....(man, don't you just HATE IT when you're left hanging like that?)


Destini said...

How fun! I love surprises! If ever you want to do an extreme home make over/while you were out surprise, I'd gladly leave my bedroom for re-decorating. I love hardwood floors... :)

Destini said...

By the way, your project is looking great!

12-arrows said...

I knew something had to be going on but WOW thats a "something" alright. What a gift for you to give Ande's mom espcially. I am sure she was absolutely thrilled, touched and blessed all in the same breath! You are one awesome daughter-in-law!

amanda said...

you are such a good story-teller... I am at the edge of my seat for the finale pics...and be sure to include lots of details about the reveal!!! What a splendid way to show your appreciation for your in-laws...and what fun memories for you and Ande!

Devin said...

Yes. I do hate you. You shouldn't stop in the middle like that. It's just plain rude.


I know it turned out great, anyway--what else, right?

That counter really looks great--Ande did an awesome job! Kudos to you again for doing all this. You're one special girl!

amanda said...

the suspense is nearly killing me here, Julie

Shelly said...

wow! what a cool project--i'd love to come home to a new kitchen =)

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

When you get done I'd like granite countertops in my house. Thanks. Heather