...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


week of changes

Last week, this is what our family room looked like:

  living room

And our kitchen: its quite a bit outdated, but still... homey.

 our kitchen

We crossed our fingers, took a deep breath, and moved forward with dreams I've been having about our living and kitchen spaces for more than 9 years now... so we started to pack our things away.... and asked ourselves, "is this really happening?"

packing up

Putting things in boxes was an extremely exhausting process. With Ava just starting school, we felt like there was a lot being juggled. We woke up at 2am and started packing on a Sunday night. I knew the place would be changing dramatically - and some of our things... may not make a come back. It's interesting to see our lives temporarily stored away....

So this is what our living room looked like after the first few days of demo:

  living room in demo

In the middle of the week, we have also visited with family, celebrated Eid {will have to do a separate post}, and have started to adjust to the new school routine... well, sort of. We also received a package in the mail from our best friends, David and Corbin. I can't remember the last time I received a package in the mail - just for me.

A copy of The Knowledge Book and The Help, the story that David, Corbin and I had been talking about via Facebook... They had read the book first while I watched the movie and was so moved by it. They convinced me, the book would be better {I knew it!} So I promised myself to get a copy. But they beat me to it!


It really warmed our hearts - because in the middle of all this chaos we are now calling "home" - and the change of events and routines... having these books sent to us made us think -  that yes - even in all of this - we need some "me time," and do one of the things we enjoy so much - reading {thank you soo much David and Corbin}!

Then came this past weekend, when we literally "labored" on Labor Day and focused on the kitchen. The kids spent the weekend with their grandparents, and by Monday, Aaron and my Dad and I, removed all the tile flooring. I also managed to remove all the ceiling popcorn from the living area. By evening's end - I looked like I had showered with acoustic - and oh was I aching...

 kitchen in demo

When the kids got home that night, we all cuddled in our bed and read from The Knowledge Book - the first chapter covering fun facts about our universe. The kids were even quizzing me - which is the hottest planet? The furthest? What's our galaxy called? "The Milky Way" Noah shouts!

Enthralled by the pictures - reminding me so much the first time I got ahold of my sister's science book and imagined myself floating in its pages. Oh how magical the moon seemed to me... the ethereal cloudy dots on the page made me wonder - is this really possible? I cut them out and pasted them into my journal and wrote about myself becoming an astronaut. I was certain I'd become one one day.

In the middle of the night - in between the ruffle of the sheets and the warm night, we all woke up and Aaron moved Noah back into his bed. Ava turned to me and in the dark said:

"Mommy. I'm so happy for you. I'm so happy that you are having the house that you want. I'm so happy and proud of you Mommy. You've worked so hard."

We nuzzled noses and she fell back asleep. I laid there thinking about my dreams. What I felt at that moment about what Ava said - was much bigger than any dream I've ever had.

And with that, I happily cried myself to sleep.


  1. Nice article. Love the gusto for just going for it and re-vamping your house. I expect more pics of me on the wall. ha ha ha. Can't wait to see the after.

    Love, SaraLee

  2. How wonderfully fantastic for you! Someday, we too will make the plunge! I can't wait!!

  3. LOL... i just showed this to a co-worker so she could see the before pictures. She saw out living room and asked what was wrong with it.. then she saw out kitchen and said - 'oh.. those counter tops had to go!'

    I must admit i did put up quite a fight on some of this. I just have a hard time using my imagination for home-design oriented things - but i take comfort in knowing that Zarlacht has a knack for things like this. She has done the homework and has the expertise - and that, my friends, is how i can go to sleep at night with half of my house looking like a bomb has gone off in it.

    Its going to be awesome!

    On a side note, if anyone has any good recipes that don't involve water, heat and can be served on paper plates - send me an e-mail.

  4. Oh, Zar, hang in there. Maybe you can get invites to lots of friends' houses for dinner!! I can't wait to see pics of the finished product!

  5. I swear kids always know the perfect thing to say.

    Ava's words were heartwarming. She loves her mama.

    And you- I am so proud of all the wonderful changes you've made to your house. What an undertaking. I know at the end it will all look beautiful, just like the other changes you've made around your house.

    The Help- YES! A MUST READ BOOK! I loved it. I still need to see the movie.


  6. What a great post, Zarlacht! I'm so glad that the books got to you at the right time :) It took a couple of days after we thought of sending them, before actually getting them in the mail. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished pics! Have fun reading!

  7. "they say if you dream about something more than once, its sure to come true."

  8. Thanks so much Saralee, Bianca, Brittnee, Lisa, David and Nadia! The construction is going slow - but much of it has to do with making all the decisions and choosing - oh goodness - from too many options. Funny... how when it comes time to decide practically anything we want, the choices get harder. Crossing my fingers!....

    Lisa - you are right on. Kids know the perfect thing to say - and it rings so loud and clear when its at a time we need to hear it most. I was so taken by what she said... how random the timing...

    Dreams really do come true. If we believe it. I've always been a firm believer of that too Nadia. In fact, I wrote on a chalk board that I hung in the kids' bathroom - "Dream Big, Ava & Noah" - its a mantra I hope they will never forget.

    Happy weekending everyone... we're tackling the fireplace and powder bathroom - wish us luck!


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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