Gratitude is one of many emotions as we move away. We are also sad to leave our wonderful home.

IMG_0114Nick and I moved into our condo as soon as we were married; he moved in a couple months before. We’ve lived there 11 yrs and now it is a memory. To celebrate the memory here are some top things we have enjoyed over the years.

  • Remodeling: particularly the kitchen
  • Ivan’s birth in our bedroom
  • Parks and playgrounds nearby
  • Neighbor friendships and hosting friends
  • Location (access) to downtown, light rail, highways
  • Could clean whole house in an hour, if I wanted

We look forward to a new adventure but for now we say goodbye to that part of our life. Here is a look back in time of the changes and some gatherings we had in our condo.


Click on this link to see the video:https://vimeo.com/242130605


After 10 years of being in our condo (as of July 2016), it became time to invest in a few upgrades to our home.  In 2012 we had already remodeled the kitchen, which was a major undertaking since we did the work ourselves (with the help of Kara’s parents).



Ivan eating in his chair in the only space in the house…


This round of renovations included replacing the worn-out carpet and ugly bathroom vanities, so we elicited a contractor to help.  In addition to those upgrades, the bathrooms and master bedroom received a much needed new color and coat of paint.


In all, the project began in early November, but do to complications with our flooring order, it was only completed a mere 2 days before Christmas!  Just in time to share with family visiting for the holidays.

Video of the transformation: https://vimeo.com/197095887


While I was away in WA, helping my grandparents, Nick was busy working on finishing the back splash of our kitchen. After finishing most of the remodel we just could not make any decisions about back splash, so we didn’t. This fall, I brought home every possible tile out there for back splash, and we finally asked around, got some advise, picked and purchased our tile.  Nick used the time to finish. Thanks to a friend, Nick got for help with the cuts around the outlets.  I came home to a terrific surprise and together we finished grouting and sealing the tile.  We are pleased to be finished with remodeling for a while.


Nick got Bean as a kitten almost 8 years ago. bean1

She’s a great cat, you know cuddly on her terms, greats us at the door provided we’ve been gone long enough, begs anything white or meaty off our plates, sleeps with us at night: most of the time, lays on whatever you happen to be reading or looking at, and calls our attention to her lack of food every morning.  Here’s some fun pictures of her over the years in the many places she loves to lay, sleep and eat.

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We will be framing 4 pictures on large matte photo canvases.  Please vote for your favorite two combinations below!







“Original” kitchen

We are very fortunate to have the time and talent of my dad to come and help us remodel our kitchen this fall.  It started 9 months ago when Nick started noticing the cabinets in the corner separating from the soffit, and our fridge beginning to freeze things then melt. . . yikes.  So we started looking, thinking, praying and pricing.  Knowing that we use our kitchen for everything and love hosting and entertaining as a part of our ministry together we wanted this to be a decision that we would be happy with for a while. So we finally put down the money and purchased tickets for my parents to fly out to help.

Prep work by Kara

  • tear up 6 layers of flooring
  • pack up the entire kitchen
  • remove handles/knobs to reuse

Day 1

  • pick up parents from the airport
  • remove countertop
  • remove sink/faucet/disposal and give to friendly neighbor who has been helpful
  • remove some base cabinets
  • move all appliances to office or living room
  • dinner with Sellars

Day 2

  • dad: chiropractor and an eye dr. apt
  • show mom around garden for her to help as we work
  • tear out closet sheet rock and studs
  • remove tile backsplash
  • remove and give away all cabinets
  • haul out trash to fill the three dumpsters near by us
  • shopping to Lowes and Home Depot for some supplies
  • Paint ceiling
  • Lay a floor leveler overnight on some low spots

Day 3

  • Patch wall holes
  • start rebuilding walls/ceiling/soffit
  • replace the water turn off switches which were leaking
  • put up new lights
  • dad had a meeting/conference call
  • Nick comes home from working in Salt Lake City to see the house a mess
  • dinner with neighbors

Day 4

Day 5

  • sand down new areas
  • Buy tiles and supplies
  • paint ceiling again
  • Prime walls
  • Church in the park

Day 6

  • more sanding and spackling
  • new texture on walls/ceiling
  • paint color “Bay Sands” on all showing walls
  • Lay out and measure tiles
  • Rent tile saw for an hour and cut pieces
  • dad phone conference/interview

Day 7

  • Lay Tile
  • Mom spend some time cleaning up the garden

Day 8

  • Grout in between tiles
  • clean tiles 6 x’s
  • pick up cabinets with a U-haul
  • move upstairs wall cabinets
  • dinner with neighbors
  • dad’s meeting and interviews

Day 9

  • Put upper cabinets on wall, starting with corner
  • Fight with cabinet company on the replacement of one they made a mistake on
  • hang cabinet above fridge
  • struggle with studs and hanging in the right places to have studs to stabilize
  • Borrow neighbors to move base cabinets upstairs
  • Lose Bean in the process
  • Find Bean hiding around the building

Day 10

  • Finish upper cabinets
  • Begin lower cabinets
  • cut/level/sand/cut/place/level/cut a tad more and level with some shims
  • dinner with neighbors

Day 11

  • Nick and Dad finish the bottom cabinets
  • Finish the electrical outlets
  • Mom to the garden for the final time
  • clean up, get dinner and take mom to the airport

Day 12

  • Find out about the passing of our dear friend Jan Cowles – mourn, cry
  • Work on knobs/handles
  • cut and mount toe kicks
  • Screw and glue 2*4s to the floor for the peninsula
  • Screw the peninsula together and put in place
  • begin to clean out the inside of cabinets
  • Put doors and shelves in cabinets
  • install trash/recycling bin in cabinet
  • Church at Curry’s to pray for each other and discuss/process grief

Day 13

  • screw peninsula on to the floor mounter boards
  • cut the back panel
  • finish the toe kicks and trim
  • add a few pieces of scribe to finish things off
  • more doors and shelves
  • cleaning
  • new outlet stops working
  • problem solve with neighbors

Day 14

  • return a pile of stuff to Lowes and buy a new breaker
  • try new breaker to get the outlets to work
  • clean up
  • return table saw
  • dad to chiropractor, dinner then the airport

Day 15

  • airport run for Nick’s brother
  • cleaning
  • dusting
  • granite template/measured
  • pick up pictures for video/slide show for memorial service

Day 17

Day 21

  • Granite installation
  • sink installation
  • cleaning
  • move all the way into cupboards (except one)
  • connect faucet and plumbing

Day ?? (Many days later)

  • Final cabinet installed
  • finishing cleaning
  • pick out backsplash (in progress)
  • tile backsplash (future project)
  • PARTY to celebrate (evening of 11/10)

Completed kitchen!

Slide show of all the pictures from this adventure of remodeling the kitchen!

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So this summer is my time to relax as well as save us some money by DIY around the house.  Yesterday I tackled the plumbing under our bathroom sink, the one in our bedroom.  It’s been draining very slowly for a few months now and has been on the To Do list since the fall.  Yikes. In the mean time I’ve tried various home remedy (not super chemically see other posts on my philosophy of chemicals) products to try to clean it out, it’s not been great and cleaning is really annoying when it doesn’t drain right away, so it was the day to take it apart and truly clean it out.

I began by removing the drain stopper and cleaned that out. I then pushed a wire brush down the sink hole and into the plumbing only to pull it up and have it spray black gunk all over the sink/mirror/wall/floor and me. At which time the brush went away and I started taking it apart.

I unscrewed the “pea trap” I think, the uneven U shaped piece off.  I do know enough to have a bucket under the sink at this point, which was good as the piece was full of gunk.  This doesn’t show how gross it was or how gunky, but I proceeded to wash it, yes even with soap to clean it up.  I then unscrewed the next piece which wasn’t U but had a bend in it and also through the gagging cleaned that out.

Now this was what my pipes looked like and I continued to smell something nasty, so I briefly put my finger into the pipe on the left.  BIG MISTAKE.  All I felt was gunk, no hole or anything.  So I started trying to unscrew that pipe which is attached to the pipe sticking out of the wall.  I couldn’t do it, so after a while I sent a picture text to my dad with a note to call me when he could.  In the mean time I started looking for a wire hanger I could use to dig out the gunk. I even took a picture to confirm the gunk inside the pipe.  Here you can see where it comes from our wall through the half painted cabinet (I didn’t do that) to connect to the sink.

He finally called and confirmed that I couldn’t take it apart due to being glued together so after hanging up, I started digging with the hanger.  I pulled out so much gunk it was really grossing me out. Here’s the hanger in most of the way working on getting the black gunk out of the pipes.

Finally I got what I could get out and put it all back together.  I must have loosened the pipe from the sink because then it started leaking a bit, so I waited till Nick came home to see if he could tighten everything further to prevent the leaking.  I will still probably put some Lye (I have for soap making) down the drain to fully clean it. Anyway, that was the adventure in plumbing for yesterday.

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