So much painting…

There is a lot of prep that goes into painting an entire house. Especially when the house was previously owned by chain-smoking, animal-loving, hoarders that had not painted or even cleaned the house in decades. All of the walls had to be washed, that alone made a huge difference. But the sludgey brown water that constantly needed to be changed was just gross. Then every metal window frame needed to be scrubbed, it took at least an hour probably 2 or 3 for each window to wash all that nicotine off. Then all the woodwork had to be cleaned just so we could stick tape on it. After all that came peeling off the loose wallpaper that covered all the plaster walls. In some places it felt like it had been absorbed into the plaster and was not going anywhere. And in other places it peeled off in sheets. Unfortunately, just about every where it peeled off revealed large cracks in the plaster that needed to be repaired. So lots of mudding and sanding ensued on the walls and the ceiling.

I did have some help through this process, Megan came over and helped clean windows one day and Beth was in charge of her bedroom. She has done all the scraping, mudding, sanding and painting in there. While Thomas didn’t really help with the walls or windows he did scrub all the hardwood floors several times, trying to wash off the brown gunk that was left behind under the carpets. A mixture of animal remains and grime. It was completely disgusting. And while the floors still need to be sanded at least they’re not gross to walk on anymore.

So after several weeks of prepping the walls and ceiling I was finally ready to paint. As soon as the painting started my mom was there to help. Not only does she come over and help paint but she also buys me lunch. She is the best helper!

I started with 1 coat of primer on everything, then 2 coats of ceiling paint. But I could still see stains bleeding though so my dad came over and did a 3rd coat of ceiling paint in the dining room and living room. I should also mention that while I have been working on all the flat surfaces in the house, Dan has replaced all the plumbing and is now replacing all the electric. Which means all this painting is being done with no lights, or heat or air conditioning. And depending on the day we have needed all 3. Some rooms have great natural light and they are so much nicer to paint in. The office only has 1 window so its like painting in a dungeon. When we finally have lights again it will be interesting to see how that paint job really turned out!

Once the ceilings were all painted the fun finally began. The dining room and office are completely painted. Here is the dining room with it’s freshly painted creamy yellow walls. It is so bright and cheery in there.


And here is the office, one wall was painted with chalkboard paint and the rest of the walls are a grayish/blue. I can’t wait to see this room with the lights on. It’s a weird feeling painting a wall black. But I kinda love it. I’m pretty sure my dad thinks I’m crazy. That chalkboard wall will be a great place for Beth and Megan to work on their creations or maybe Daniel will solve some complicated programming problem. Most likely it will be full of obscene words and dirty jokes.


And Beth’s room is almost done. The walls are finished but I’m still working on her ceiling. After removing the drop ceiling in her room, I’ve had quite a lot of repair work to do on the plaster.

She chose to do 3 walls white and I wall sea-foam green. She has lots of plans for this room. After spending most of her life in a basement she is really excited about having a real bedroom with windows and closets!


I’m going away next week but once I get back home we’ll finish painting the rest of the rooms and hopefully Dan will be ready for me to start working on the kitchen and bathroom.

It completes me…


Beth really tries not to be just like me, I’m sure it’s not cool for an almost 21 year old to be anything like her over 40 mom. But try as she might she just can’t escape all of my influences. She saw the house for the first time this week and after walking through it and squealing with delight she said, “this house completes me.”  And I know exactly what she means because that is exactly how I feel about the house too.

When Thomas and I first walked in with the realtor, that we had never met before, he didn’t know what to expect from us. This house was a foreclosure, it is not in good shape. There are falling down ceilings, holes in the walls, a bathroom that needs to gutted down to the studs. Carpet stains that look like blood and plenty of animal urine. He said that he shows houses to a lot of people that want a fixer upper but when they see what that means they leave without even looking at the whole house.



Not me, I fell in love! All of the door knobs are glass door knobs, most all of the lighting are antique fixtures. There are built in cubbies and cabinets in almost every room. IMG_3832



There are arched doorways and nice solid wood doors throughout the house. I didn’t see the stained carpet only all the hardwood floors underneath. None of the wood trim or doors have been painted, how awesome is that?



There is so much light coming into the dining room with all those windows, even if only half of them work. That’s still more openable windows than you would have in a new build.



Yes the windows are old and several of the cranks seem to be broken, but the outside storm windows are wood, and actually hinged to the house so they can easily be opened up.


The kitchen cabinets are seriously dated, but they are sturdy and built well and only need to be cleaned up and painted. The yellow Formica may not be for everyone but I kinda love the vintage feel it gives the room.


The kitchen layout does have me a little stymied. Where will I put the stove and refrigerator. How much should I change it to make it more useable? I’m glad I took so many pictures so I can start planning what we will do.


One week away from closing then all the fun begins.


The past 6 months have been a time for changes in Bethany’s life. Not all the changes have been good but we’ve fought through the dark times and it looks like we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

You can see her journey through the changes in her hair since Jan.

First Beth cut bangs into her hair. Pretty benign considering what’s to come…

Dec 31

Next she died it black, while I didn’t like it at the time it was much better than what was to come…

Feb 3

For some reason she decided to add pink tips to her hair, and it looks like she’s done quite a bit more cutting of layers into her hair at this point.

Feb 26 (2)

Then she must have been bored with the two tone black and pink so she decided to switch it up buy trying to go platinum. This was a process that took some time and some shades of orange along the way.

March 22

Next up was BLUE! Which really started to grow on me. It was always easy to spot her in a store. For this color she did finally go to the Aveda salon and let them do it.


A little blue head popping out of the beach.


The blue started to fade so….


She decided to add some purple. At first on just 1 side of her head but then she added it everywhere. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the colors did not survive the water parks at Disney. By the end of vacation her hair just looked gray. So when we got home (literally the night we got home from Disney) we died Beth’s hair a more natural color. And then on her own without planning to…


She had it all cut off with a free haircut from Aveda. My first thought was: now she’s going to have to get her hair cut too frequently (I’m always thinking about the money.) Then I remembered she’s going to school to cut hair, it shouldn’t be a problem.


We all love the new haircut and color and she seems to be back to her happy self. Also the gauges are gone out of her ears, but she is sporting a couple new pieces of body jewelry, in her nose and belly button. Overall its a whole new Bethy.



It has been a very long blogging break, almost 3 months since I have last wrote a post. The summer really got away from me. We had a couple great vacations but besides that it was mostly a lot of chaos surrounded by an unlivable heat.

It has also been a summer of change, lots of changes! We spent the summer planning for Beth to go away to Kent State in the fall. She had been planning on going to Kent for a couple years. Last year she was enrolled and decided to defer for a year while she travelled the world modeling. (I wrote about her acceptance here.)

Beth look so young in this picture from last year.

After a year of modeling she decided she was ready for college, so home she came and we set about getting everything in order for her to leave in Sept. We turned in all the paperwork, paid all the fees, filled out the FAFSA, spent the weekend on campus for orientation. She chose her housing, picked a room mate and scheduled her classes.

We had all our ducks in a row and then life happens and things change. Going away to school was no longer the best thing for Beth and that was a very hard decision for her to make. She struggled but finally decided that she should defer for 1 more semester while she finished up some things at home. Then she decided that she was no longer interested in going into fashion design, her plan since she was 15 years old and the entire reason she chose Kent State. It didn’t take her long after that to decide that she really didn’t want to go away to a 4 year college at all.

So today we went on a tour of the Aveda School of Cosmetology. God knows she’s spent enough time over the past several months dyeing her own hair maybe that was really her calling. She loved the school and felt that this is where she was meant to be. So we filled out the paperwork, put down yet another deposit and she is scheduled to start classes Set. 24.

It’s 1 year of classes Monday-Saturday form 8:30-5. Every day with no breaks, except for 1 day for major holidays. No spring or summer break, no break over Christmas. No time for the 2 week family vacation we have scheduled in North Carolina next summer. She can maybe squeeze out 1 week for the vacation as long as she doesn’t have any sick days over the next year. Also not much time for a job unless she can find something at night. Which means no money for her to move out until after school is done, much to her disappointment.

I’m glad she has a plan and that she’ll be close by so we can keep and eye on her and make sure she’s doing OK. It will be quite an adjustment, hopefully she’ll be up for it.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Runway Show in L.A.

While Beth was in LA she did a few runway shows. One of them was for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. She walked for both Pamela Love and Joseph Altuzarra. It was hard to find any pictures of her from the shows, this was all I could find floating around the internet.

Vogue Daily — Frédéric Fekkai with models.Donato Sardella/

Donato Sardella/

Beth was excited that she OPENED the show with a look for Joseph Altuzarra and he chose her to accompany him on his walk out on the stage.

He was also the Winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Challenge.

John Shearer/

Being in the show and having her hair done by world famous hair designer Frederic Fekkai landed Beth her picture in the January issue of Vogue:

Here’s one of the pictures of Beth in Vogue, there is also 1 more small one of her in the Pamela Love look.

And here is the video of the runway show that Beth did in LA. You may see a fleeting image of her right after Pamela Love speaks, then the video ends with the same picture that made it into Vogue.

Watch for Beth at :58 (I think that’s her) and again at 2:46


No trip to Seattle is complete without someone getting a tattoo. This trip both Beth and Daniel got their first tattoos. It was a family affair with Dan, Thomas, my sister, Aunt Chris and me all there to witness the event. In the end my sister also decided to get a tattoo. I was feeling very left out but I had left it up to fate (meaning I didn’t make an apt) and the tattoo artist didn’t have any more openings that evening. No worries though, Dan and I have a tattoo artist in our neighborhood and I am already scheduled for my orchid tattoo.

Daniel was first on the table, his design ended up being a little larger than he anticipated meaning it took about 2 hours and cost a bit more than he was expecting. I think he was a little shocked by how much it hurt but he held up just fine, not needing any breaks.



Everyone was getting orchids to show their solidarity to Bethany and Isa. Both the girls share a genetic mutation that Shauna and I are carriers of. While it’s not a life threatening condition it is life altering and this was our way of showing our support. I think it is incredibly sweet that Daniel wanted his first tattoo to be an orchid and that he was doing it just for his sister.


Bethy was more than a bit nervous when her turn came up. She was really excited to get a small tattoo and had been talking about it forever. But after seeing her brother’s pain she started questioning it. After several attempted starts only to have her stop the tattoo guy it wasn’t looking like she would go through with it. But she finally pulled herself together and let him begin.


Eventually, after the initial pain, she didn’t think it hurt too bad after all.


The picture doesn’t show it but she’s giving me a peace sign for the camera.IMG00250-20110718-1433


Here’s Beth sporting her new orchid tattoo:


She decided to not have a black outline (thank you cousin Nicole for that idea.) Since it’s in her bikini area and will not ever be exposed to the sun it should not fade away.


Shauna has several other tattoo’s so this was no big deal for her. I think this was the first time that I’ve been with her for one of her tattoo’s though.



Everyone was very happy with their tattoos and there are many plans for future tattoos…far, far into the future!