This cuteness will definitely be saved to embarrass them later on in life…

…that’s what mamas are for, right?



Give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from the four of us! We all have so much to be grateful for.


We learned this song yesterday & sang it all day long today. Enjoy this little phone clip:

(If you can’t totally understand him, the song goes “Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey, run away, run away, if you are not careful, you will be a mouthful, Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Day.”)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

extreme makeover: kitchen cabinets

When we renovated this house after buying it as a foreclosure, the one “cosmetic” thing we couldn’t quite squeeze in the budget was redoing the cabinets.  Knowing we could just paint them ourselves later on (as much as we didn’t want to), we chose to leave it out of the original renovation plans.

After tackling so many big home improvement projects, we got kind of burned out… and kept putting off doing these cabinets.  Last weekend, Jeff had Friday off so we decided to finally just GET IT DONE – and wow, the difference is unbelievable.

Our kitchen, when we bought the house originally:

Next, in progress, shortly after moving in (new appliances & placement of oven/microwave, flooring, paint, farmhouse sink, lighting, beadboard backsplash, & granite except for the island)…

And now… with the butcher block countertop and cabinet makeover (new paint & hardware) – we’re in love!

So now here’s how it all went down – if you don’t care about the long process, just skip through for the pictures 🙂

We started on a Thursday.  I taped everything off during the boys’ naptime.  That night we did one coat of bonding primer.  The finish on our cabinets was pretty worn down & this primer wasn’t supposed to need heavy sanding… but we had some issues when we put everything back up & had to touch up some places–so from now on, we’ll definitely sand before priming even if it is a big pain & an extra step.

primer coat & chaos - no turning back now!

On Friday, we did the first coat of paint (framing & one side of the doors).  Originally we had wanted to do two colors–gray on the bottom & antique white on top.  Once we started though, I chickened out & decided maybe I just wanted the gray everywhere, so we did that.  But as this paint dried, I wasn’t pleased.  I didn’t like the color, & started second guessing everything.  We already had the antique white bought, so I decided to test one panel of top cabinets & paint it white.  I really liked the way it looked, so I painted the rest of the top cabinets white as well.  This was in the morning.  By the afternoon, I still hated the gray shade on the bottom–it was just too light.  My mom suggested getting it re-tinted at Lowe’s so we took the boys there & they re-tinted it with some extra black. This was kind of a shot in the dark since we’d already used 1/4 of the gallon & they were just guessing, but when we got home I LOVED the color–it was just what I wanted!  We painted the rest of the framing & worked on another side of the cabinet doors (which were laid out in the garage).

late at night after finishing the 2nd coat of paint

This is less than half of the cabinet doors - the others were on the other side of the garage.

On Saturday, we finished painting the doors & let everything dry until Monday night.  Yes, painting got old.  But YES, it was worth it (and Jeff & I talked more than we have in a long time while jamming out to some country).  We used a brush for the edges & a foam roller for the larger areas, & we’re pleased with the finish.  We used a satin paint – it worked well for these cabinets because they weren’t in fabulous shape – I might use a semi-gloss if my cabinets had less imperfections.  The top cabinets were painted Alabaster White by Sherwin Williams (we just got it color-matched at Lowes & used Valspar paint because that’s what’s close to us in case we need more/have issues!  We also got it back when it was on sale.)  The top was originally Sharkey Gray by Martha Stewart (again color-matched in Valspar paint), but like I said – it’s now a custom color because of the re-tinting.  I’m SO glad we ended up sticking with the 2 different colors–I love the way it turned out, even if it was a little risky (for us at least).

On Monday night, we put the new hardware on and re-hung all the doors.  We originally had pulls on all of them, but wanted knobs on the doors–so before we primed, Jeff had filled one of the two holes in each door with wood putty and let it dry. We got our knobs & pulls (cup bin pulls like I’ve dreamed of for ages!) from a shop on eBay called the Knob Shop.  We love them & the price could not be beat–plus they had SUPER fast, free shipping.  We chose an antique weathered pewter finish because it goes with the “farmhouse in the city” kind of feel and also looks good with our stainless steel appliances.

bottom cabinet color & hardware

We also decided to leave the top shelf (above the chalkboard we made) open by removing the door permanently.  I think it makes the wall make more sense.  I love open shelving but don’t want to have to worry about keeping everything neat–so this gave me one little open shelving spot.  I really like the way this sort of random wall (originally it housed a wall oven) turned out!

Re-hanging everything was really the only stressful part other than my momentary paint shade panic – they weren’t simple to re-hang; make sure you mark which door goes on which spot, even if you think it’s easy to tell.  We had some minor touching up to do from spots getting dinged/scratched.  But, we quickly got over the frustrations because it was looking so good & we were so excited!

We hung these a little bit ago but have to mention them because I love them – my kitchen scripture prints from Naptime Diaries.  This is my friend Jessi’s shop – she is super talented & we have more of her prints throughout our house as well.  They’re such a good reminder throughout my day as I see them!

So there you have it… our kitchen cabinet makeover!  We love how it turned out.  It’s SO much brighter, too!  However, we hope we don’t have to paint cabinets again anytime soon.  It was definitely worth it, and really not as bad as we thought–if you’re thinking of doing it, go for it!  Totally doable. BUT… we’re so glad it’s finally DONE!  {Thanks to my wonderful husband for being willing to do this with me & for all his hard work!}

obsessed with chapstick right now…

So after the boys caught me watching this video in a blog I read… (skip to about the 1 min mark to see what I’m talking about – until about the 3 min mark)

They are now OBSESSED with watching this cute little girl… and randomly shout “TWEET!” “TWITTER!” (I promise, come over to my house and say “Tweet!” & they will respond by shouting “TWITTERRRRR” – they have quite the grasp of social media for such a young age) and “obsessed with chapstick right now!”

And they are OBSESSED with CHAPSTICK right now! Must be a two-year-old thing.  Between the two of them, my lips stay as dry as the Sahara because I never get to keep my own Chapstick.  They haven’t quite mastered the art of moderation yet, however – massive globs of Chapstick on their lips are the way they roll.

Their other current obsessions?

Cullen -the “GIANT” at Lowe’s (aka a huge inflatable Santa – nope, he apparently does not know Santa’s name, he just keeps telling me “Mommy, it’s a GIANT like in Jack & the Beanstalk on Super Why! {his current fave show} ); “nola bars” (homemade granola bars), and having a new random thing he’s obsessed with & must carry around each day.  Yesterday it was a child-sized rolling pin, today it is a string of yellow ribbon.  Any bets on what it’ll be tomorrow?

Lane – Raffi songs (youTube it if you don’t know what I’m talking about…gee thanks, Mom, for this!), NOT wearing any pants or diapers (“no, I wanna be nakey mommy!”  Well then learn to use the toilet, child… by yourself.  Cause mommy gets the shakes thinking about potty training two boys at once.), and jumping/leaping off of anything and everything.  I have a strong feeling Lane will see not only the PICU, but the ER for the first time in his life as a two-year-old.

And Jeff is currently obsessed with this…

Yes people – he seriously read all 3 books in like 1 day each.  He was so obsessed that I would catch him hiding in the bathroom to finish it after I’d already gone to bed (I guess because I need it pitch black to sleep?  I’m really not sure why the bathroom).  If anyone wants to go ahead & volunteer to babysit so we can go see the movie the night it comes out, you’d be making a great investment in our marriage…

And me? snuggling with my sons, particularly Cullen’s new way of holding my hand & interlocking fingers.  That’s true love right there.  Also cooking soups like every other night, AND – my new kitchen cabinets.  Coming soon…!!!

Okay, I’m pretty obsessed with these boys, too.


Pieces of the Pyles 11.5.11

Our awesome friend Kelly P. organized a trip to the local fire station last week–a big hit with all the kids! The boys are still talking about it.



Lane became a master escape artist this week so this happened…

Crib tents… AKA toddler prison.. AKA we’re hanging on to cribs for dear life! They’ve done awesome with them so far & are sleeping camping in them great. (you know we played it up-going camping every night is SO. FUN!!)

I got to snuggle these cutie pies-

(Does this look familiar?!  I loved every minute of it) Charleigh & Logan are my friend Devan’s twin baby girls-they are so precious. Dev is a wonderful mommy already, & we can’t wait for fun twin playdates!

I love when moments like this happen (and they do quite often-their twin bond is so special!)-

And finally… Bedtime Tebowing. Or Toddler (not-quite) Tebowing.

If you need a reference please see TEBOWING… And enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Halloween 2011

We had such a blast last night – walking around the neighborhood with great friends & seeing all our cute kiddos all dressed up. Grandma, PopPops & Ash came by too!

Cullen is a professional trick or treater. He caught on immediately & literally sprinted from house to house, pulling one of us with him as he yelled “come ON Mommy/Daddy/Grandma… trick or treat! more treats! more treats!” Candy is quite a novelty as it turns out – shocker.

Lane did pretty darn well too – and then he discovered that it’s pretty awesome to take the lazy way out too, and sit in the back of the wagon eating your stash while Daddy pulls you around. Good call, Laner, good call.

Verdict: They LOVED it… and loved their costumes – they even wore them to preschool. This might be Cullen’s new favorite day ever. He woke up this morning asking for his “punkin” full of treats…then went through his stash sorting them by size, color, etc. Hilarious. Now what in the world do we do with all this candy? If you want some, come on by… I know two 2-year-olds who really don’t need it 😉

and of course – the picture gallery – click photos to enlarge.

And I have to add this pic from my phone… love it. Kudos to Jeff for wearing that banana costume – made my night at least.