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  • Writer's pictureJessica Doberneck

Update on Life and Our Mild Mild West Home

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

It's been a minute! Hello! Welcome back! Our little family has had quite a busy and eventful October!

We kicked off the month with a little trip to Fort Worth, Texas to visit some very dear friends of ours from college. It was such a great time to visit and catch up. We had some dang-good southern BBQ, went to the zoo, walked down memory lane, laughed a ton, and relived the glory days! I think we can all agree that the best part was seeing all of our children playing together for the first time. What a dream that was!

Our last day in Texas was spent touring Waco and all the Magnolia Home must-sees. That was quite the experience and very inspirational for me as I LOVE Joanna Gaines! I mean... who doesn't?! She's such an incredible woman.

Two days after we came home from Texas we got a wonderful visit from Tyson's mom! His dad joined us later in the week, and his sister in Phoenix came up for all the festivities. We went to the pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, decorated our house for Halloween, and played a lot of games! It's always great to spend time with our family.

Then the following weekend (this past weekend) I surprised Tyson with a little staycation to downtown Phoenix for his 25th birthday - just the two of us! We went to dinner, a stand-up comedy show with John Crist (my cheeks still hurt!), stayed the night at a darling Airbnb (except I didn't realize it had 2 twin beds instead of a queen... We laughed so hard! Oops! Haha), slept in as much as our bodies would let us (is 9 am early or late? Haha!), went on a morning walk to Vovomeena for breakfast (SO YUMMY!), and finished our afternoon at the botanical gardens (definitely a must-see... As long as its cooler than 70 degrees outside).

Despite all the fun trips and family time, I have been ITCHING to start renovating our home! We've finally gotten settled in and it's time to get this ball rolling! As some of you know, I've been playing with the layout of our living room. We got our wall art up, I picked out a paint color, we sold our love seat, and I've ordered a beautiful extra-wide sapphire velvet accent chair to fill in that space. I'll save the long explanation of that layout change for another blog post down the road. While I'm waiting for that accent chair to arrive, I've been dying to get the new paint on the walls! But, I've been a little hesitant to start because I've never dealt with flat paint before. I figured one coat of primer should cover it without any issues, but I've heard some scary horror stories that have made me a little nervous to tackle the project. So, I figured I would paint Callie's room first to get a feel for how needy the project would be!

In a frantic attempt to FINALLY crack into home-reno projects, I started painting Callie's room the night before we left for Texas! A little crazy, I know, haha.

I tend to thrive more when I have a time cruch for whatever reason (I think it's the procrastinator in me), and I love the satisfaction that comes with meeting a crazy deadline! I think I also know that if I don't have a deadline, I will just keep playing with ideas for too long.

At the begining of the month I reflected on how jam-packed our next 3 weeks would be and if I wanted to get her room painted before the end of the month, I really needed to make some headway before our Texas trip. And since Callie would need to sleep in the pack-n-play in the guest bedroom while I painted, I needed it to be finished before my in-laws came in town and occupied the guest bedroom. Once I calculated my "social-pressure" deadline, it was go-time! I prepped the room and did a coat of primer the night before we left for Texas, and the day we flew home I painted the room pink and let it dry overnight. I did some final touch-ups the next day and moved all the furniture back with his mom coming the following morning. WHEW! Check that off the list.

Turns out, painting over our flat paint was not an issue at all. You definitely need 1 coat of primer over the flat paint (no matter the color) but after that, it's smooth sailing! Easy peasy. Now I feel more confident tackling the living area walls.

After we got back from Texas, our friends sent this meme in our group text and said, "This is Jess!"

We all had a good laugh! It's a pretty accurate depiction of me, but it's a literal representation of me the night before we left for Texas except instead of a door, it was Callie's bedroom! Haha.

I know my "when it rains, I make it pour," approach to projects stresses Tyson out, but lucky for him, all he had to do was tape the ceiling for me since I was a hair too short to reach comfortably on the ladder! Other than that, this painting project was 99% done by yours truly!

I went with Magnolia Home "Ella Rose." I think it turned out really well! It's a little be more blush pink than our last house and I love it. Her mustard yellow, velvet curtains (my fave!) are hung and now, we just need to hang up her wall decorations!

I also have another self-made deadline to get our fireplace done well before Christmas (ideally Thanksgiving) and I've been anxious to get cracking on that project as well! Why? Two reasons... 1) Mainly because I want a mantle to hang stockings from! Haha. That may sound silly, but if I'm only going to have 2 years of holidays in this house we may as well make them both as special as possible! Right?!?! 2) I'm also tired of having our TV and console table (which already don't work together) hovering in front of the alcove because they are both about 4 inches too big to fit inside! It's just tacky and makes me cringe!

So, I made a phone call this morning to the most recommended renovation company in the area, Refine Renovations. They are coming out for a quote on Wednesday morning.

We plan to move the fireplace over about 2.5 ish feet to the left (smack-dab in the middle of where the TV alcove and fireplace are currently) and filling in the rest of the alcove. We'll have it protrude about 6 inches with a small ledge to sit on that'll be fairly low to the ground, nothing too boxy. I'm thinking either concrete or white stucco for the finish with an imperfect wood beam for a mantle.

My biggest question for the contractor, however, will be the cost difference between keeping it a gas fireplace (requiring a gas line to be moved) or convert it to a wood-burning fireplace (requiring a flue to be built). I would prefer a wood-burning fireplace for nostalgia reasons, but it'll really come down to the cost. My research says it's 6's cost-wise, so I'm curious to see the verdict - I'll keep you posted on what they say! I'm SO excited!

Tyson's only disappointment with the change is that we'll need a smaller TV hahaha. We'll have to move our current TV into our bedroom and get a more modest-sized TV that fits the room and the fireplace. I, personally, can't wait to have that big-boy TV in our room! Have I told you we've been binge-watching Lost lately?? And to think I can binge-watch Lost from my cozy bed... on a 65" screen... even better! Ha!

As for painting the living room walls, I decided that I'll tackle that after the fireplace is done. I figure there's no reason to go painting the walls to just turn around and touch up the whole fireplace area a few weeks later.

Then, after painting we'll probably get new window treatments... and then after that... [inster endless list here]...

Overall, it's been an active and inspirational month! I love spending intimate time with the ones we love and giving ourselves permission to dream our biggest dreams together! Stay tuned! Lots of fun things just around the corner! And I promise I'll dive into more detail as our projects get more in-depth.


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