30 September 2011

Claire = squish.

Immaculate house, my Aunt Fanny. (But isn't he adorable??) This place is pretty much crashing around me. And Molly's nose is so snotty that it almost seems better to wait and peel it off in layers than to wipe it every 30 seconds. Seriously. I haven't blogged in days because this week has killed me. That's right, I'm blogging from Purgatory.

Wouldn't it be great to blog from Purgatory? I'm pretty sure that this week has shaved several years from my eventual stay there.

Okay, you non-Catholics. Here's a short rundown on Purgatory. Sheesh. In short, Catholics believe that while sins are forgiven on Earth and that God does want to share with us His happiness in Heaven, most of us will not go directly to Heaven. Most of us will look upon Him and know that we're not yet worthy to be with Him there, and will choose to go to Purgatory first. It is generally believed that there is a moment after death where souls are able to choose between Heaven and Hell one last time, but most souls are not yet worthy of Heaven.

Sort of like your children playing outside all day - you call them in for dinner and realize they're completely filthy and there's just no way you're going to let them sit on your nice furniture. Of course you want their company. You love them. But goodness if they're not caked with grime after hours of playing and foolishness! They don't want a bath - they never do. But you know that their faces will be shining in their cozy jammies and the reunion will be all the sweeter. So into the bath they go. Some of them stay in the bath longer than others, but they're all eventually welcomed back to your loving arms. Bath = purgatory. Simple.

Claire is napping in her carseat, the little gem. Let's see how long THAT continues. She is just such a perfect little peach. Grandma Susie (who is most likely in Heaven by now) is probably looking on her and smiling, because Claire really is the picture of baby cuteness. She's round, smiling and fuzzy. She has the best smile ever. The Claire Cooke Triple Dimple is a KILLER. Lucy has a serene, peaceful smile that makes you just want to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. Molly has a silly smile - she's always giving you the side-eye at the same time. Trouble. But Claire? Claire's smile turns on from her eyebrows and goes to her toes. Her eyebrows raise, her eyes double in size, her cheeks turn red, her mouth opens wide, her dimples start to show, her hands start to pump, she starts to breathe faster, her little feet kicking like crazy. Pure joy. Claire is the only baby I've met who will lie on the kitchen floor on her belly, just happily staring at a spot while everyone steps around her. She really doesn't care where she is, as long and someone is squealing at her and asking, "IS YOU A PRETTY GIRL?!?!" The look in her eyes is just priceless. You can tell she's screaming inside, "Yes I is! I'm a pretty girl!"

Claire will be 5 months old this weeked - I just can't believe it. Awwwww man...gotta go. My 5-month-old doughy peach is awake.

29 September 2011

Ring, L's serenade

And... She hasn't blogged it yet, probably put a status on that dumb thing called facebook; we found (in large part because of my frugality and keen searching) the diamond from Laura's wedding ring. Yikes that was a close call!

She hasn't gone to see that movie alone yet. Diagnosed Poppers with ANOTHER double ear infection so that explains some of the recent crazies. I suppose she'll want an IOU for the movie which I will lovingly oblige. She works so hard. This house and our girls and our entire being is immaculate because of her.

If I could only blog the snoring serenade you'd get the full picture ;-)

Goodnight world,

Horticulture nomenclature serenity

So tonight Laura and I stumbled upon a name for the lot between the house and course.

We paused big bang theory season 4 (great show) and were outside on the side porch watching a thunderstorm roll through and I asked her if we could just call the "side lot" the "front yard" even though it's on the side and adjacent to the backyard. She laughed adorably and rolled her big beautiful eyes as she always does at my late night banter. Between "oohs and aahs" regarding the lightning (which yes, was impressive) and spirited debate about the direction the storm was headed, she quipped "how about the SOUTH LAWN". We both chuckled knowing immediately that's what we'll call our outdoor side-yard space from here forward.

She is SO witty and funny. It comes out a little on the blog but ya'll only hear about 1/8th of it :-) South lawn. Can't wait to teach the girls THAT one. Lol. Geographically accurate and very fitting given the number of princesses we entertain out there!

Auto-correct tried to change BETWEEN to VETERANS and OOHS to PIGS. Just... FYI.

Goodnight south lawn. Rest up for another day of entertaining Cooke princess royalty.

Love, loverboy. Aka dad (the luckiest in the world), aka Husband (luckiest in the world), aka "Coo-Coo-Boo-Boo!!!!" (Popper's recent nickname for Everyone...)

23 September 2011

So many things of importance.

1) I am fairly certain that I have a 20-pound squirrel living behind my house. Every day at naptime I hear what sounds like John Robie the Cat Burglar running across my roof, and then I see the tree next to me shudder under the weight of whatever has jumped into it. I feel sorry for the tree, and I'm pretty sure that my 3-year-old roof isn't going to stand the test of time with that kind of daily activity.
2) I lost the center stone from my wedding ring after I smashed the back of my hand into a shelf in the laundry room. It's still missing. I now refer to the laundry room as "The Mine."
3) Claire's need to suck is startling. If it's not a pacifier, it's my hand, her hand, her sisters, the leg of the coffee table, her crib rails...it's almost as disturbing as having Chupacabra on my roof.
4) I haven't napped today. Got up at 5:30 to go grocery shopping. Haven't slept a full night in...5.5 years. I'm tired.
5) Having company tonight. Off to make it look like I clean my house more than once a week.


22 September 2011

Nothing left.

Nothing. I am so completely devoid of thought, patience, motivation, emotion and reasoning. Today has nearly killed me. I just walked up to Andrew and said, "I'm going to bed. I'm done with today.". He laughed. I think he feels the same way...
From Claire screaming happily through my NFP meeting to Lucy screaming at Molly to Molly screaming "MY BED IS STINKY!" as she cried hysterically at bedtime, I'm done with the noise, the complaints, the whining and the tears. Andrew has been fully warned that I'll be taking in a movie this weekend, in a solitary way. Mama needs a break. Love that guy.
My pillow smells musty. This is definitely the straw that broke the camel's back. Damn linen closet.
I'm going grocery shopping at 6am. Gotta sleep. Now. Good night, noisy world.

21 September 2011

Nervous Nellie

Claire is sleeping soundly in her bed. On her tummy. This would be a first. I'm totally freaking out. She's just barely rolling! She can't sleep on her tummy! There's a wall between us! Does the crazy mommy worry ever go away? I think I could have 1 kid or 65 kids and I'd still be a wreck over the whole "independent sleeping" thing.

Claire's crib is definitely her happy place. She's just like Mo was at this age. Perfectly happy in any setting. If she's conscious, she's grinning from ear to ear. If you hint that it might be naptime, she passes out. Put her in the crib while you find a diaper and an outfit for her? Out cold. Pick her up to move her to the swing? Grinning. Put her in the swing while you visit the facilities? Snoozing. Pick her up to move her to her crib? Grinning. Complete the transition? Knocked out again.

And did I mention she has fat rolls and red, fuzzy hair? Oh, Claire. She's just a ball of jolly squish.

Claire has started eating a tiny bowl of cereal once a day. She's almost 5 months and this kid is just dying to eat. I bought her a soft-spout sippy cup to distract her here and there and she popped it right in her mouth like a pro. Seeing my third baby so aware of exactly how things work is just mind-boggling. Not knowing a baby's capacity for learning really makes you take things for granted. On those occasions when I realize that Claire, at just 4.5 months, really understands something, it just blows me away. I think that the more kids you have, the more aware each child is. Lucy was completely led. Molly seemed to "get it" early on. Claire was born ready. The difference between the three is really something.
Well, I hear movement in the next room. That means I have to go stand next to her crib and make sure the darkness doesn't impede her ability to lift her head. I've heard of that happening. Wow, and Lucy's talking in her sleep, too...this could be quite a night.

17 September 2011

St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

When I hear people around me speak of being saved by their belief in and personal relationship with God, it seems so simple. When I compare that to my own faith, I think of one thing I love more than anything: chocolate. To me, the faiths around me are M&Ms and the Catholic Church is a big, rich truffle. Complex, deep, satisfying and just right for my needs. I mean, sure, sometime M&Ms are fine. But when it comes to chocolate (and faith) I like to know that what I'm taking in is presented with intensity and truth.

I know that winning souls for Christ is part of my life here on earth. I'm so deeply flawed, afraid of offending people and losing friends. I'm sure that if Jesus were on earth today, His Facebook count probably wouldn't be at the forefront of his concerns. God must be just shaking His head at me as I sit here worried about whether people like me or not. I'm working on it, I really am...

In my mind, people attend church for several reasons. 1) It's what decent people do. These people know that you should go to church on Sunday. It really doesn't matter where, so long as you can drop it in conversation around the water cooler. Your kids may also mention it to their friends, making you uber-decent! 2) They're lost. They don't know what's going to solve their problems, but hey, it may be God! 3) They're truly searching for a relationship with Christ.

# 1's will probably need to hit bottom before they care about the "why" of the whole church thing. #2's will probably beg God over and over for a miracle. It will either happen or it won't. Whether is does or it doesn't happen will put into motion whether that person abandons God or pursues a deeper relationship.

#3's? Now we're talking. These are the people who are either hate the Catholic Church, or love the Catholic Church. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it so correctly:

"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church....As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do."

Catholicism. Now there's a tricky bunch of idol-worshippers! I have a hard time explaining my faith to people, because there are just SO. MANY. REASONS. that I love being Catholic. You'd have to start asking me about all the tiny little things to get any specific answers, I think. But my main reason for loving my faith is that it's one, holy and apostolic. I love that wherever I may roam the earth, I can walk into any Catholic Church and find the same words I've been hearing since birth. The same words that have been spoken for centuries. That kind of soul-satisfying peace comes from one place, y'all.

Here's a little video for you. He says it better than I do, anyway.

Whatever you're thinking tonight, and whatever you're questioning, you're in my prayers.

Check out this link for more information!

15 September 2011

Lucy Soccer First Practice! Photolog

Lucy has grown like a weed in the past 2 months. Look how TALL she is! She is absolutely blossoming in the cutest thing ever. It struck me when she snuck cookies from the far back of the kitchen counter the other day and when she got her own water from the fridge. She just started getting her own water in the past couple wks. And her spelling, artwork, everything! Improving literally overnight. So big. So fast. Sigh. My little girl is... well, not so little anymore!!! Watch out Mia Hamm! Lucy Cooke is now entering competitive team sports!

Lucy's "game face". All that pink and the cutesy stance w/ the foot/ankle roll somehow takes away from the mean game face!

Protecting the ball from.... hey, where'd everyone go???

Hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin' love. Lover boy. AKA out-of-bounds referee!

#1 FAN! Claire Cooke reviews team talent and strategizes for game day.

Head and shoulders... um, BELOW the rest but WAY TO GO BABY!!!

Lucy paused about every 5-8 minutes (for the 45min practice) and gave us a big thumbs up & smile. Think she likes it???

With those kids... this is the only place that Molly's soccer ball was safe!

Lucy Cooke, throwing elbows on day one! Pay no attention to Socrates on the right.

Molly wanted to wear shin guards "wike Wuccceeee" (like Lucy) so we found in the closet event-appropriate leg warmers

I've decided I always need a todder within arm's reach. I love 'em on my shoulders! They keep your neck warm, massage your head and make even the scrubbiest guy like me look half-way decent b/c they're so cute. Crocs + leg warmers. What's not to love!? "Daddy up there??" she says. Glancing longingly up my frame. When I lift her to a hip she keeps crawling north until she's comfortably on my shoulders. It just melts my heart each time. Love that little Poppers.

Action shot! Look at those "Fancy Nancies" (shoes)! You ROCK those pink shin guards girl!

" Goooooo...


(actual team name! How cute!)

Sigh of relief. Successful first practice!

Quick glance to the adoring fans on the sidelines while breaking rule #1 (no hands!)

Quick smile for the family photographer(s)!

True beauty.

A dinosaur sitting in the grass.

11 September 2011


As the Lord intended.

An actual conversation.

"Mom, do you want me to show you the right way to jump off the couch? First you put your arms like you're running. Then you put a mean look on your face.. The meanest one you can make. Then you go for it. Just jump!"

Nothing cuter...

...than a 4-year-old's mind coming to life on paper.



Claire accompanies Mama to help in the church nursery.

There's fun-loving, and then there's Claire.

Big helper!

Lucy sweeping the driveway on a beautiful Texas morning!

Molly rocks Lucy's shin guards (backwards, mind you) on a recent trip to the gym. I'm predicting that shin guards and sundresses will be big next season.

10 September 2011

Claire just woke up from her nap. 14 pounds of delicious, sleepy, cheerful, loving, pink baby.

Her sweet smile is how I know that crimes against human life are wrong.

When she was inside me, she listened to my voice and I was all she knew. Long before I could feel her, she could hear me. She rocked inside me, safe from the world.

When Claire was born, she fussed until she heard my voice. When her eyes met mine, she knew me in a different way. Up against my skin, she was safe from the world.

When she wakes up from her nap, she rolls from side to side, searching for Mama. When I pick her up and she begins to nurse, she crumples next to me, smelling her Mama, safe from the world.

Claire knows that wherever she is, Mama is there. Holding her, nursing her, talking to her, smiling with her. Claire travels the world wrapped against Mama's back, listening to her voice and seeing things through Mama's eyes. Mama always rushes to her when she cries, pats her belly in the night, shooshes her crying. Mama keeps her comfortable and teaches her things. When Daddy and the sisters play too long or too rough, Mama swoops in to take her back into safe arms.

What would Claire think if she knew that millions of babies never meet their Mamas? What would she say if she knew that a so many of her peers aren't safe from the only voices they know and trust? That whether or not her generation survives is based on whether or not they're convenient to have around?

Sometimes Claire isn't convenient to have around. Babies aren't here to be convenient. They're here as evidence of God's perfect plan. I don't know about everyone else, but I don't mess with a perfect plan. When I look down at Claire, I know that she's not here by accident. She's a perfectly timed, perfectly planned piece of Andrew and I.

October is Respect Life Month. If I could rename it, I wouldn't call it "Respect Life Month." I'd call it "Take a closer look at the miracles around you and admit that the right to live is the most basic and beautiful thing on earth Month."

If you're a Mama right now or long to be a Mama in the future, realize that the future of the world lies in our tender, loving hands. Mamas protect their babies. Not only their own, but the babies of other Mamas. Mamas are the people who nurture the entire world. We Mamas are what will bring future generations into existence and love them into life. We MUST demand better of the people around us. Our fellow Mamas, our children, our men, our medical professionals, the media, the government, the world. The hand that rocks the cradle truly is the hand that rules the world.

The power that we have as women is undeniable. If ever there were a time to use that power, it's now, to stop the genocide happening within the borders of our country.

Go to www.40daysforlife.com and find a way to stand for the most helpless of our citizens. They'd thank you if they could, and you need to because they can't.

Big Yard Bliss!

We're in heaven.

Lucy and Molly are on a picnic blanket in the driveway, eating cinnamon rolls and watching Andrew putter around in his oversized garage. Claire and I are lying on the couch while she nurses, listening to the morning sounds.
Happiness is watching Molly run until she's out of breath and seeing that she's still safely in our yard. Happiness is watching Claire roll around in her pack and play under a live oak, staring at the leaves in the wind. Happiness is Lucy with a pile of rocks in the yard, naming them and throwing a rock tea party. Happiness is knowing that unless they're looking, no one ever knows we're here. Perfectly hidden in our little brigadoon. Time stops when we drive down the hill, and that's why we love it so much. Happiness is having our own piece of the world.

09 September 2011

Mind Bullets.

I wish I could blog just by thinking things. I'd just think, "Blogger, take a note" it would just start writing a post. At the end I'd think, "Publish" and it would be done. Of course there would be those awkward posts where I forgot to tell Blogger to publish and it just kept recording my thoughts and the entire world would know that I just sweep everything on my counter into my junk drawer when I'm "cleaning. Or that I can't sleep unless I shave my legs, even if it's midnight. Or that I can't figure out how to work my can-opener and Andrew thinks I've done lost my thinker. I'd hate to let those things out.

Life in the World of Cookes is just fantastic these days. Except for the fact that I missed a voicemail from Lucy's soccer coach and we ended up missing her first soccer practice. Ever. Fail.

I'll update you on each of us. That'll be nice for you.

Andrew is cute and muscular, and he's watching Avatar as I type this. Hee hee, I typed "Avatart." That sounds like one of those re-done adult movie spoofs. (I should say that I only know they exist. I don't have time for that stuff - I'm too busy eating ice cream and planning Thanksgiving. Well, and looking out for my eternal soul.) He just looked at me and asked, "Was any of this Pandora stuff filmed live?" I answered, "Pandora doesn't really exist." And then his face turned sort of blue while I cried laughing. I guess you had to be here.
Okay, back to Andrew. He's doing pretty good these days. His car doesn't have AC and we're too cheap to fix it, so he's been enjoying the cooler weather on his drive to work! It should be nice enough to start riding his bike (motorcycle) again soon, so it'll make his commute a little more enjoyable. He's going to be hosting a poker night next weekend, and is looking forward to our family vacation coming up in October - have i mentioned that yet?

And then there's me. I'm doing fine; same as always. My mom's group starts next week, and since I'm one of two secretaries, I've been trying to get organized and get things on our calendar and so on. Our Executive Council meets over the summer for business, but I'm excited about getting back to our regular meetings and getting busy for awhile! The summer is always SO long when you're waiting for Daddy to get home every day.

Bought a shower curtain today. That was a pretty big deal. I suppose you had to be here for that, too. We moved from one bathroom to the other and had to take the shower curtain with us, so we had a naked tub. We all know how that looks. Ugh. So I took tomorrow's grocery money and we went to Target for a little shopping. We ended up with a shower curtain, a rug, noodles for dinner tomorrow night and a big square pillow/cushion thing. Living the dream, y'all.

We're back at the gym now that we've moved, which has been wonderful. I'm going to spin 2 or 3 times a week and doing Pilates pretty often. Tonight Lucy and I went to family yoga - she had tried to attend a class last night and couldn't join because they had to have tennis shoes, so I made it up to her tonight by letting her come to class with me. We did about half of it, and she was just so excited! She did all the poses and stretches and had a blast, but the quiet got to her and she wanted to "check on Molly," so we took off to find Daddy. She ran up to him in the weight room and said, "Daddy! I learned to do a cow-down!" You know, cow pose...downward dog...they're all mammals! 

And speaking of Lucy, she's doing just fine. She's very busy, what with all her imaginary kids and learning to read and preparing mentally for the soccer season, you know. Being a first-born worrier, all of these things just swirl around in her little head. She's learning to write b's and f's right now, and writes them all over the place, which is adorable. We're doing Explode the Code and she's just loving it! I think she'll be reading pretty well by her 5th birthday, which will work well for us. I think we're going to be starting her kindergarten year next May so that we can work through the summer. I can't see any reason we'd waste the AC all summer when the nice months to take a break and play are during the holidays in the Fall. So we'll be working May-September and then taking October, November and December off instead. I suppose we'll try to plan any future babies for the fall to make things a little more convenient. Not to mention, we're full up on spring birthdays. One more May baby and I'm going to do things Vietnamese style and just celebrate everyone on Tet.

Now I've gotten off topic. As if you need information on our family planning. Or maybe you do. People seem to care about those things. I suppose I can try for the fall, but when push comes to shove, we really don't make those decisions in this house...babies come when babies come; we just clear our calendar! That aside, I'd LOVE to have Lucy reading by the time baby #4 arrives. Ideally she'll be homeschooling her siblings by the time she's 8. Like I have the time to eat bon-bons, watch my stories AND teach my kids.

Right, okay. Lucy's fine. And adorable. I need to talk to Andrew about potentially getting her a decent haircut. It's a massive battle to brush her hair every day, and I'm losing. It would be nice to get her hair thinned out a little and maybe a little shorter so that there are fewer tears every day. Hm. We'll talk about that.

Molly. Molly is...a treat. Well, she's usually a treat. This week, she's two and a half and I'm afraid one of us is going to go insane before she hits three. Where did my mild-mannered angel go?? Molly's got some weird cough this week and she's been wearing her monkey costume nonstop. If I suggest she do anything but what she's got her mind set on doing, she loses it. That said, even with all of her tantrums she's about the funniest kid I've ever met. Tonight she wore Lucy's shin guards, backwards, to the gym and Target. I can't get enough of her weird ways. Nothing ruffles her, and she just doesn't care what people think. I love that. Her speech is really just leaping along and she's really not running into anything she doesn't have the words for. Molly's favorites these days? Potato chips, skittles, getting water from the ice maker by herself, yellow cloth diapers (only yellow) and her bestie Reesie. Oh, and the monkey costume.

Claire? Claire is about the happiest, cutest, chubbiest, most patient baby of all time. She's just along for the ride, doing whatever babies do. She loves riding around on my back in her carrier and lying on the floor while the girls watch TV. She's just sweet as pie and and always grinning. She doesn't even know what she's grinning about. She's always got this big, glazed happy face, waiting for someone to squeeze her, kiss her, tickle her, nurse her, change her, roll her over and carry her around. She just sleeps wherever she is when she gets tired and wakes up chattering to herself until someone notices her.

Claire is eating about 5 times a day, taking 3 naps a day and bouncing happily into her own crib around 8 or 9 every night. She sleeps there until about 2 am when she comes to bed with me to nurse and roll around. She nurses once during the night and sleeps until about 8am or so. She naps in her swing most days, I think. She's not really a big napper. She dozes throughout the day and does a 3 or 4 hour nap every couple of days to catch up. I'm pretty sure she'll be 5 years old and napping in that swing.

She's still taking her paci pretty much all day long - she takes after her big sister Lucy that way! She had a bottle of formula a couple of weeks ago on her ride back from San Antonio. I thought she'd have an absolute fit when she tasted it, but she didn't even blink, just like Lucy did when she tried it. She was just thrilled to be in her carseat (happy place!) and eating at the same time.

All in all, we have nothing but joy in our newest model. Her hair is coming in bright orange and her eyes are...brown? Gray? I can't tell yet. Another couple months should help. I'll look tomorrow and report back.

Well, Andrew is out cold on the couch. Apparently Avatar didn't do it for him. Of course, after the week he's had I don't even think "Avatart" would keep him awake either...he's so silly. He's asleep on the couch with Molly's pacifier strap AND one of my hair bands wrapped around his fingers. I don't have to look far to figure out why Molly falls asleep with her legs trapped in her bed rails...

04 September 2011

NOW we're cookin'!

Well. It's done. Don't scroll down, now...you'll ruin the big finish.

We moved into our house and started out with quite the kitchen. It had been the recipient of several small upgrades recently, but you could tell it was one of those weird realtor things. Granite countertops? Check! Tile floors? Check! Stainless appliances? Check? Rest of the kitchen completely ignored and dated? Er, check? Yeah. We had a LOT of work to do and very little money with which to do it. So we started stripping the place down. And of course, the first to go would be...

Did you guess "popcorn ceilings?" Of course you did, you big smartie pants! So we pulled out the knives, razorblades and spray bottles and went to town. It was a nightmare, like every other room. But because we're incredibly hard core, we pretended it was nothing and spent a couple of weeks on ladders, chatting and having fun.

From there we went on to easy stuff. Removing hardware, ditching what we couldn't use and spray-painting the rest, removing light fixtures and putting up curb alerts on Craig's List. Huge flourescent kitchen lights with plastic covers? Mmm. Yes, please!

Brass hardware, meet Rust-Oleum. We've been friends since our first home-ownership go-round and we meet up regularly.

When the Deacon popped down to the Lonestar State last week, he and I got to work on the cabinet bases. I'll post a separate post with Cabinet Transformations pointers and tips, since we learned a lot and really like the finished product. It had it's pros and cons, but mostly it was a big PRO. Deacon Daddy-O and I painted cabinet bases until our eyes crossed. It didn't seem like that many before we started, but it felt like the more we painted, the more little cabinet babies were born, just waiting to be painted. I would guess it took about 4 days of straight painting to get the bases de-glossed, 3 coats of white paint, one coat of glaze and one coat of protective top coat. Gag. And that was just the bases. After living without cabinet doors for about 2 weeks, Andrew got all "I'm the boss and what I say goes" on me and announced that Labor Day Weekend was going to be it. He spent Friday night finishing the walls and trim around the cabinet bases. He was up until 2am, and he did a fantastic job.

And he still loved me when he was done!

Saturday - getting ready to show the cabinet doors who's boss.

Don't look to closely. It'll make you seriously question my position as the daugher of a professional organizer. Girlfriend just moved in and has a 4-month-old. Let's not judge to hastily.

We had thirty doors and one 6-foot table. As you can imagine, we had doors everywhere.

They were on every flat surface we could find. It was like a maze of cabinet doors.

Ah, glazing. I'm still having nightmares. This is seriously the worst part of the process. You have to work very fast, you can't leave a single fingerprint, it's sticky and gets everywhere, and the results are totally hit or miss.

Once you've painted it on, you have about 2 minutes to wipe it off and get the tone you want. Yeah. For someone like me, it's enough to drive you to distraction.

And it's disgusting.

We got our final door glazed around 11:30 and we just turned out the lights and passed out, not really caring what they looked like when we woke up. Not a smart way to work.

I was volunteering in the church nursery this morning, so Andrew and Lucy stayed behind to add the protective top coat and start hanging doors!

Yeah...there's a reason she can't find a job. She requires far more sippy cup breaks than required by Texas law.

My big strong man, hanging doors!


Something's seriously wrong, here.

Okay, get ready....

Here it comes....

Scroll back to the "before" pics just one more time to refresh your memory. It's worth it.

We still have a couple more things to tweak/add/do, but all in all, it's just about done and we finally feel like we can walk into the kitchen without feeling all discombobulated and overwhelmed. Ahhhh...peace.