7/21/2018

Ridley Family Summer Vacation 2018

Here are a few shots of a spectacular sunset at Leelanau State Park where we went camping for a couple of nights with the Mangione side of the family. 

Such a neat time spent around the campfire!

We came home just in time to get laundry done and get all cleaned up to head to Legoland in Detroit the next day, followed up by The Ark Encounter the day after that, then The Air Force Museum and Kalahari following that, and ending our vacation here at home spending some much needed family time around the house!














7/10/2018

Cecily Turns 3!








My sweet baby turned 3 today! She was moody as can be all morning, but finally switched to her happy self as the day wore on. She was so proud of herself for turning 3! We love this sweet girl! Happy Birthday Cecily!


5/07/2018

Meeting Deadlines

When we closed on this house at the end of September of 2016, Chris said we would be moved in and the house would be finished by the end of December 2016. Boy did he underestimate the work this house entailed. 

We moved in to the house on April 30, 2017 and the downstairs had plywood floors, walls freshly drywalled without primer, and some electrical outlets and switches. Drywall dust was everywhere. 

Somehow we lasted for 6 whole weeks without a kitchen sink, let alone a kitchen, and got by with a microwave and fridge in our garage. Those were cold mornings that were spent pouring cereal for the kids in paper bowls on folding tables amidst our stacked up furniture in our garage. What an adventure that was. 

As hard as living without the downstairs was, I have to admit that the excitement of the new adventure outweighed the anxiety of living with drywall dust and no kitchen. Plus, we were finally all together again. From August 2016 through April 2017 Chris spent every waking moment at the farm and the kids and I were usually at the rental house 25 minutes away. Living without a kitchen was a small price to pay to have Chris come home to us every night. 

When we signed papers for the renovation loan with the bank on September 30, 2016, we signed something saying we would have it all finished by September 30, 2017. Obviously we needed more time and the bank gave us an extension. Our second deadline was April 30, 2018. With only touch ups left, we contacted the bank to say we were finished in time for the deadline and they scheduled the inspection. The inspection was this morning, on May 7, at 9 AM. 

Below are photos I took this morning at sunrise. 

We still have more to do, but what we told the bank we would do is now done. 






Chris is building a door for the entrance to the master bath - he's building it out of the walnut from our barn. It will be amazing.


We have a door that we will put here for the closet that is a door original to the house. We just need to clean it up and hang it.






Notice the missing backsplash in the kitchen? We are also missing open shelving and then we decided to take the microwave out and put a walnut covered hood up, plus a pot filler over the stove. Cannot wait for those changes!







Chris and I designed the island as we did the other kitchen cabinets. Chris built the island out of the walnut scraps of wood we found in our old barn. It's pretty cool to have a piece of history of the house in our kitchen!



As you can see, we have a lot more work to do in the mud room, but for now it's looking a little cleaner now that the walls are painted.




My pink laundry room and entrance to the basement is starting to take shape. We bought some retro penny tile for the floor and then we can trim out the space and build more cabinets for the side of the stacked w/d.

These back panels on the island pop open so we can use the empty space for storage.


The door we used to go between our kitchen and mud room was the former back door that is original to the house. I love the old look of it and how much character it adds to the space! The rug beneath it, along with the rug we have under the piano are mid-century rugs I found at an antique store.



And for our guests who have nervously watched their kids use our stairs without a banister, and for those who have had to witness Cecily tumble down them due to lack of carpet and handrail, here is an exciting change! The handrail is finally up!


Well, it took us 19 months, but I think it is safe to say that our house remodel is about done. And now to sleep. For a long time.

4/14/2018

Cassi Turns 7

Two months ago Cassi and I started planning out the perfect party. She wanted a "puppy" party, which means she wanted all her friends to "adopt-a-puppy" using toy stuffed puppies. We got everything all decided on and then crammed the whole prep in last night. We're talking to 3:30 AM. Since I had been up since 5AM that morning, I was only 90 minutes away from pulling a 24 hour day. 

And then this morning, she woke up acting a little somber. She got sick about an hour later, and then frequently after that until the early afternoon. Poor baby. We had to reschedule everything and she stayed curled up on the couch fighting back tears as she watched me put away all the party games and food. I was heartbroken for her. 


Thankfully, by dinner time she was feeling pretty fine. She ate dinner, kept it down, and said she wanted to blow out her candles and have cake too! It's her birthday, so of course I let her.


She even got out of her PJs so I could take some birthday photos of her.


This girl started out as a toddler so sassy and spunky, and while she can still be sarcastic and witty, her sass has turned to just a joke here and there and her spunk comes out when she likes to run around and play with her big brother, never caring when they wrestle and she gets hurt. She brushes it off because she's tough and gets up to try again.


She's my sweet, gentle girl. She takes care of her sisters, she loves to read, she loves to craft, she loves almost every shade of blue, she loves to please her parents, and she's learning so much about God and how to love Him.


Cassi, I am so proud of the little lady you are becoming. I am proud that you never give up, that you always try hard and give it your best (something I get to witness every week at your gymnastics class), that you make friends easily due to your kindness and keep those friends due to your genuine care of them.


I pray that you continue to work hard, never give up, and continue to discover exactly who you are and what you love. You are unique. You are loved. You are God's girl. You can do anything that you put your mind to.








Happy Birthday Cassandra Rose! We love you to the moon and back!
-Love, Dad and Mom