Always, Katie: October 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home: Family Room Inspiration and Plans

If you guys remember our list of "would love to have's" for our new house, a gas fireplace was on the list... it was practically a must-have, but as relatively easy as they are to install, it wasn't QUITE a deal breaker.

Happily, our new house comes with a nice, big family room with a great fireplace!  Yay!!  It's open to the kitchen, which I love for entertaining and for spending time together during supper prep, and has four big windows that provide a ton of gorgeous natural light.

In another happy little detail, we like the color of the walls.  Maybe not - "Oh my gosh, that's the exact color I've always dreamt of having in my family room!" - but more - "Hey, this is pretty and it will definitely work with the overall style I want this room to have."  It's a little less olive in person, and little bit softer and more neutral.

We love the entertainment center we bought together before we moved to South Carolina, and are so glad that it will blend with the hardwood floors and cabinets in the kitchen!!  And there just so happens to be a wall that is plenty big enough to accommodate this massive piece of furniture :-)

Ashley Furniture, from about 2010

(Forgive the grainy phone pic - two thirds of this is in the POD, and the little middle part is in the basement, so I had to dig to find this old photo!)  We love that this is big enough for our big TV, and all of the storage it offers.  All of our DVD player/Wii/whatever other gizmos I don't recognize, binders of DVDs, video games and accessories, etc fit in the glass part, and the drawers hold board games, camcorder, books, blankets... all kinds of stuff! Love it!

We went out last week and picked out furniture for the family room - a couch and a loveseat - and put a deposit on it.  We'll pay it off as soon as we close, but for now... we are being very careful not to derail our mortgage process!  I can't wait til these arrive... I love the soft blue!  Light enough to go with the soft, calming, clean look I want for the room... but not too feminine for a man to enjoy ;-)

via Ashley Furniture - Kreeli Sofa (and Loveseat) in Slate
The couch and loveseat both come with the pillows shown, which actually, I don't like as well in person as I do in the picture.  Ethan agreed with me that they didn't stand out well and were awkwardly matchy-matchy with the sofa fabric.  But they're still really pretty, so we will use them someplace else in the house, and we are getting pillows in this floral fabric to toss on them and provide most of the palette for the room.  We were able to see the pillows in the show room, and put them on the couch to see how we liked it... perfect :-)

via Ashley Furniture - Kylee Accent Chair

We're planning to use a recliner we already have for some additional seating, and we want to get a storage ottoman/bench like this one to put in front of a window for some extra storage and seating.  We also kind of suspect Charley will make it his spot for squirrel-watching :-)

via Kohls

Our old coffee table and end tables will still work in the new room, so we don't need more of those... I would like to eventually get a console table to kind of anchor the loveseat that we think will probably float beween the kitchen and family room, and our beloved "periodic tables" will be the additional surfaces needed for any entertaining we do...

As amazing as these windows are, I don't want to do anything to darken them too much.  I'm thinking maybe some buttery yellow curtains that will pull in the yellows from the accent pillows?  

And I'm picturing something simple for the mantle, along these lines but with a big mirror instead of the multiple little prints (and leaving the mantle as-is, not painting it white).  Some silk flowers should help tie in the colors from the pillows that aren't necessarily already in the windows, furniture or walls :-)  I'll echo that in some of what I put on the display shelves of the entertainment center, too.  


The appraisal on the house was done a couple of days ago, so we're just waiting for the mortgage company to compile the paperwork and we should be ready to close... probably in the next two weeks... then we can take immediate possession and I can start putting these plans and pictures into action!  I SO can't WAIT!!!

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PS: If you missed it, here are my plans for the formal dining room!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Infertile Rite of Passage

I am really not sure why I have put off writing this update for so long.  Part of it may be that the things that are already written on the subject are often contradictory and ultimately intimidating, and I hesitate to be a part of it at all, even though my story is one of the more encouraging, because it may just add one more confusing voice to the din.  Part of it may be that I’m still not 100% comfortable talking about the more nitty-gritty details of infertility testing and treatment in a public forum.  And part of it may be the sense of dread that fills me when I think about medical procedures of any sort – past or future – no matter how well they may have gone (long story, bit of trauma from all my DKAs and stuff years ago).   

But.  Last Friday, the day before we toured those six houses, I had my first hysterosalpingogram (HSG).  I had counted myself extraordinarily lucky that none of my doctors had ever suggested doing one (because, like, EVERY infertile woman gets at least one!), but the results of the CT scan I had had a couple of weeks before warranted a closer look at the integrity of my right Fallopian tube.  As a blogger and reader in the infertility community for more than 3 years, I had read plenty of horror stories about them, and how much more painful they can be when a tube is blocked (which I surmised from my radiology report, was a good possibility with the 3.6 cm x 6.3 cm cyst currently hanging out in the vicinity, as it could have been pressing it from the outside or lodged inside).  Several of my wonderful infertile Facebook friends (love y’all!) tried to comfort and reassure me that it was less painful than menstrual cramps, but I prepared myself – mentally and physically – for the absolute worst.  

Thankfully, Ethan was allowed to hold my hand for most of it, the radiologist was skilled and kind, the RE had recommended a LOT of ibuprofen, and my tubes are (presumed) CLEAR (praise God!!), so my pain during the procedure was manageable.  In all honesty, I have pretty rough period starts (the first 12-18 hours or so, especially), and this was a little bit worse than that.  However, the cramps were a breeze compared to a rupturing cyst!  You’ll hear that the cramps only last about 30 seconds, and I would agree that the worst of it is pretty brief.  But I cramped pretty steadily for the rest of the day, and felt pretty tender.  My pain level fluctuated (as high as what I would call moderate pain, or strong cramps) for the next couple of days, but by Tuesday, I felt completely back to normal.  This is a lot slower than what the doctors’ offices tell us to expect (go back to work that afternoon? Uh huh!)… but that may also be because of my other health issues making me a slow healer.  All in all, it was a small price to pay to learn that my tubes are most likely clear :-)

I am headed to the doctor in the morning to find out the official results of the CT and HSG, as well as all of my blood work.  Please pray that all of the good news from the preliminary results makes it to the official report as well! 

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