Is it really possible that another year has passed?
I feel like I blinked and missed it!
Do you ever roll into a year with BIG plans, only to find yourself on plan B, or C, or D within a few short weeks?
We started our year gearing up to do some really big projects on our beach house, and to take the business in new directions, and to blog lots more. Then I got an email from a sweet older gentleman asking if I was still interested in buying his waterfront condo -- um, yes! Isn't it funny how our best-laid plans can go flying out the window?
We already had one condo in the same building, so we knew we liked the location, but this new condo actually hangs out over the water and is an end unit with lots of windows.
In the Pacific Northwest, windows and views are a really big deal. So, by the first week of January, we had moved to plan B.
Of course, we were still not finished remodeling the first little condo! We scaled back some of our plans for the original condo, as it was going to become a rental unit after we moved out.
The old unit was really cute when we finished, and I staged it and took some cell phone pictures and listed it on Craigslist. We had over one hundred interested parties and people were competing for a lease -- who knew? I wish, oh I wish, I had taken better pictures for the blog, but everything happened so fast, and I was watching the calendar in order to get the place rented during prime "renting season".
The new unit got a much needed face lift. It was an odd combination of eighties oak, and Ikea modern. We knocked off the funky little bar (it looked strange and intruded into the living room space too much). We removed the out of place oak fireplace surround and gave that entire wall a make-over, including built-in shelves, tongue and groove paneling and a new mantel.
We were really excited about the renovations for the new unit, and were just about to start a bathroom remodel when we received a heartbreaking phone call. My husband's beautiful mother had passed away very suddenly. We put the bathroom remodel on hold indefinitely while we attended to her funeral and her estate. Somehow, the bathroom just didn't seem so important after that.
I decided to take a break from blogging for a while, to be more available to my family. We continued to work on projects, and will share them here and there in 2014.
Our inherited seventeen year old insulin dependent kitty, Oscar, was not doing well and we had to take him for a quality of life appointment. Just a few weeks later, our sweet old Australian Shepherd became too frail to get around easily.
We thought our hearts were going to break in two when we said goodbye our sweet old pup. After seventeen years, he was a huge part of our family story. Later in the year, we had to say goodbye to our twenty year old dark tortie... sigh... she was the last of our family pets.
We spent tons of time at the beach house in 2013, which was wonderful! It's still such a work in progress, but we don't let that prevent us from having lots of visits from friends and family. Our beach house has always been a bit cold and drafty, so we had an energy audit, and ended up getting lots of new insulation and new windows.
We decided we wanted the house to be all electric, for convenience and safety, and after months of scouring Craigslist, we found a replacement stove for our beautiful vintage Caloric stove.
The new stove is a vintage Thermador. The oven is small, but it has tons of storage and I am in love with the built-in grill. Even though the oven is small, it still managed to fit a big turkey and side dishes at Thanksgiving, so it passed the functionality test!
Somewhere along the way, I learned to reweave a rush seat. This stool had belonged to my mother-in-law, and had lots of lovely memories associated with it. It had actually been thrown into the dumpster when the siblings were emptying out my mother-in-law's home, but I made my husband climb in there and get it out.
My husband and sons did some "landscaping" in the backyard at the beach house.
They widened the beach path, and planted these enormous logs! When asked why, they replied "because we can". This was a manly task, involving trucks and winches, and lots of digging -- these logs are set about six feet down into the sand. It's been fun to watch tourists climb upon the logs to get their pictures taken this summer!
Earlier in the year, we had some work done in our courtyard, which we will pick up again in 2014.
We also finally had the flagstone floor patched in the dining area of the beach house. I shared here how we restored and care for our natural flagstone floors.
We have several in progress projects going, 'cause that's how we do things! It's become the new normal.
We especially enjoy creating a huge dusty mess the week before a houseful of guests arrive for Thanksgiving (still haven't blogged too much about that)!
To stay sane, I've continued to create small manageable craft projects, like these folded origami stars, and these woven paper stars.
The highlight of the year was a nice long visit from our beautiful daughter and her handsome husband and their sweet little toddler. Who knew having a grandbaby would be so amazing? We adore her so much, and having her in our lives puts everything perfectly into perspective! One of our favorite family activities was an electric boat tour of our city.
Looking back on 2013, I realize we really did accomplish a lot, but it wasn't necessarily what we thought we were going to accomplish.
We learned a lot, we loved a lot, and we sure did cry a lot; and in the end, we realized we sure do have a lot.
Best Wishes for you all in 2014!