A few weeks ago, Chris and I took the kids to the hardware store to get some supplies for our kitchen renovation.  Did I tell you we were renovating our kitchen?  Apparently, we are.  It was an accidental renovation, though, that started with a simple conversation:

“I need a project,” Chris whined one Saturday morning.

“What about painting the kitchen?” I responded harmlessly.

And the next thing I knew, this was happening in my kitchen.


In case you can’t tell, that’s Bean putting a hammer through our kitchen ceiling. Demo Day is always a family favorite. 🙂


We had dropped ceilings with fluorescent lighting in our kitchen. So very 80’s and so very attractive. When Chris poked around up in the ceiling, we discovered that there was no reason for the dropped ceiling and that we could raise it by at least a foot.


So, that’s what we did. In the process, we not only raised da roof (which Chris forbid me to say anymore because I must have said it 10,000 times while we were working…), but we put in canned lighting, scraped the ceiling in the dining room, and painted the kitchen green. We also bought this gorgeous antique white tile for a backsplash and will be painting our cabinets antique white over the next few weeks.


My job was scraping the popcorn ceilings in the breakfast nook.  I used a scraper that had a water bottle attachment and allowed you to attach a grocery bag to catch all the ceiling as it peeled away and it saved my life.  Definitely go for the one with the squirt bottle attached.  It was still pretty messy, so I kept my hair covered and glasses on, but the squirt bottle scraper made it much easier than it could have been.


It has been quite the project. But it isn’t terrible to work around. By Sunday night, we had the kitchen back up and useable again. The ceilings looked so much better, the kitchen looked brighter, and the lighting was much more contemporary. It wasn’t even halfway done and it already felt like a brand new kitchen.


This is Chris putting insulation back over the new ceiling. I forgot how awful insulation is. It’s almost as awful as working inside an attic during July in Orlando. Holy cow. We were in a thick cloud of heat for two days in the kitchen. It was pretty awful.

(And, yes, we know he is not supposed to be standing on that top step. But the kid’s been on ladders for almost half his life. There’s no telling him anything at this point, so I just hover close by and hold my breath…)


This is the “finished” kitchen, at least for the weekend. All total, we raised da roof the ceiling by 18 inches. A huge difference! The new drywall above the cabinets will be painted green to match the kitchen and the ceilings will be painted white. We’ll also add crown molding to finish out the seams between the drywall.


ANYWAY, back to my original story about Gracie. So, we took the kids with us to get some supplies for this renovation and while we were at the hardware store, we picked up a few packets of seeds. We wanted to try to grow a few things in these cute boxes that Chris had built for our fence in the backyard. We picked up a few vegetable seeds and were on our way to check out when Gracie came squealing around the corner and threw a packet of sunflower seeds in with our stuff.

“I want to grow something!” she announced.

When we got home, we planted everything. Gracie was driving us crazy about planting her sunflowers, and to hush her up, I finally said, “Fine, Gracie, plant them wherever you want, sweetie.” And while Chris and I carefully plotted and planted our little garden, Gracie took handfuls of sunflower seeds and chucked them all over our backyard. I thought nothing of it and focused on my little patch of cucumbers.

A few weeks later, our vegetable garden was sufficiently baked. Everything had died from the heat and the sun. They don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothin’… But you know what was growing EVERYWHERE? In random places all over my backyard???

Gracie’s sunflowers.


Everywhere she planted them, they were blooming and full of life. And she loves those giant things. She comes out to visit them at least once a day. And I catch her sitting in her room, looking out her window at them all the time. Looks like we have a natural green thumb around our house now! I’m so proud of her!


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