Monday, July 28, 2014

Family getaway

Hello my friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

We were away with family this weekend and it was wonderful. One weekend a year my entire family -- parents (my dad and stepmom), the kids and all the grandkids get together. It’s a treat from our parents and it’s turned into a wonderful tradition for us.

The problem is finding a location that can fit us all. I’ve mentioned before that I’m one of seven kids – there are full, half and step and I’m the oldest of them all. I was an only child for ten years too, the oldest and only is a dangerous combination. ;)

This time there were about 20 of us – you can see why it’s hard to find a place to fit everyone. Usually we go to southern Indiana in the fall but this year we took a trip down to Kentucky to a spot our parents love.

It’s called Mountain Laurel Lake in Harned, KY and there aren’t any mountains and the lake is really more like a pond, but the name is pretty, yes? We were truly in the middle of nowhere:

kentucky fields

It was SO quiet. And a welcome change from all the activity at our house over the past few weeks.

The main cabin was the biggest so it’s where we ate dinners. The kids (OK, and the adults) loved the horses:

And there was a fenced in area for all the dogs (we are an animal loving family) and plenty of places to sit and swing:

kentucky cabins

Down some steep roads were the rest of the cabins off the lake. We couldn’t swim in it but the view was lovely off our deck:

mountain laurel lake

We sat on the deck during a massive storm the last night and it was spectacular! Actually, we were out on that deck about 90 percent of the time, day and night.

They had little boats we used to just tool around in or get to the other cabins: kentucky cabin

The kids (OK, and the adults) loved them! Since there were so many of us we were in three different cabins and this made it easy to get to each other.

My favorite part was the hike my Dad kept telling us about. I’ve never seen so many mossy rocks!:

mossy rock

They were absolutely everywhere!

Big ones too:

It was really, really beautiful. I eat this stuff up – just love it:

The bugs…not so much. I think Dad was a little over his five girls and our fear of ticks and GINORMOUS spiders on this trip. But seriously Dad. GINORMOUS.

The scenery was just gorgeous though. Dad said there are usually waterfalls coming down but it hadn’t rained much before we went on the hike:

Kentucky hiking

A few of us climbed to the top:

That’s me up there. :)

And we got a hiking selfie while we were at it:

It was another wonderful weekend with some of the people I love most in this world. The only one missing was my husband – he’s been away on a work trip to Singapore for 11 days and is on his way back as I type. We can’t WAIT to see him!!

Did I mention there wasn’t any Internet or cell phone service? Well, we would get spotty service up at the main cabin, but we weren’t there much. So we were forced to bond and the cousins had a ball together. It was nice to get away with my boy too:

family cabin weekend

The heart and soul needs weekends like this sometimes. I love our parents for making it happen for the whole family.

Do you ever get away with your extended family like this? Any favorite spots? Anyone know of a a cabin big enough for all of us within three to four hours of Indy? We’re considering Lake Michigan sometime – that would be spectacular.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kitchen table: to move or not to?

Hello and happy Friday to you! Ya-yah.

I need your help today! I mentioned earlier this week that I was able to start rearranging the furniture since the TV was moved. We are now using our family room space how I’ve been hoping to use it for weeks! SO awesome.

Now that the wall is down we’ve moved the furniture down into the old office quite a bit – so much so that we have a bunch of space in the kitchen. Like, a ton. WHOOT!

One of the main reasons we considered adding on to the house was to give us some more space in the kitchen. Ours is tight and it’s bothered me for years. The rectangle table has helped a bit, but this shot shows you how much space we were working with:

black atrium doorWe had about three feet between the table and the sofa table – maybe four? And no matter what table we’ve had in here the pantry area felt tight. 

Here’s another shot:

DIY farmhouse table

Our original plan was to bump out that bay window a bit to give us a little more room. Now…I don’t think we’ll do it. There’s just no need, which is great!

My plan is to add french doors in the family room so we won’t need the door in the bay window. If we keep the table there we can push it back into the bay area and put a window where the door is. I would love to build some kind of banquet but to do that would mean replacing the side windows.

Here’s that area as it looks today:

Just imagine it pushed into the bay window area some more (and the door gone/light moved).

That black dresser is way too deep and won’t stay on that wall to the left, but I will have something there. The patched floor to the right is where the island will be.

But here’s the thing – look at all this space!!:

Wow! What do I with all of that? It’s feels like too much to just leave as is. The sectional is staying where it is – it moved down into the old office quite a bit.

If you remember – the sofa and table used to sit back to the middle of the wall where that black dresser is now:

corner fireplace

People. SPACE!!!! So much space I’m not sure what to do with it. Am I dreaming?

So. I moved the table over to see how it would work:

IKEA kitchen table

I think one or two of you actually suggested this – I always wondered but didn’t think we’d have enough space. We have plenty. :)

Sorry for the blurry pic – here’s a better shot:

IKEA farmhouse table

The island will be put back but it will be so far off to the right – there will still be a ton of space. Of course I’d have the light fixture moved over the table. I think it could work really well, it’s just such a big change! I’m not used to having it there. 

We have so much space I’d probably get or build a bigger table eventually – you can’t even imagine how exciting that would be for this girl who has struggled to find small tables for our kitchen over ten years! (It’s why I DIY’d that farmhouse table.)

I love that table though and would keep it -- there’s a spot in the basement where I’ve been wanting to put a table and this one would be perfect.

The question is, if I move it, what to do with the space where the table was?: 

black interior doorsThat left end of the patched wood is where the island ended – it will be placed about six inches closer to the door when we reinstall it. My dream for years has been to extend our island for more storage (a whole other post) so if the table is moved then there will be plenty of room for that to happen. But then we’ll still have quite a bit of open space. I feel like it would look odd to just leave it empty. Maybe not with a bigger island?

There are pros and cons to both options. If we leave the table in the area where it's been all along then we’ll be able to keep all that open space between the kitchen and the family room, but it feels a little too open. Not sure what I would do with it. The con is that we’d have that door taken out and replaced with a window and that’s an added cost for sure.

Moving the table to between the family room and kitchen feels like the right move, really. It will just take time to get used to it. And the thought of a bigger table someday makes me all kinds of giddy. I can’t think of any cons – other than the open space in the bay window that I’m not sure what to do with. This option would be lower cost – we actually would probably not even do the french doors if we keep the back door and that would save us money. It would be silly to have the two doors so close to each other.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I’m leaning toward moving the table – I’m plan to live with it there for a week or so to help me decide. :) Thanks in advance for your thoughts and have a great weekend!