Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Love of Tia Ana....(a kitchen makeover story)

After only five days of being home from Hawaii, I was on a plane to Bismarck, North Dakota to help my tia (aunt) do some home improvement projects. She had asked me a few months ago if I could go out there and help her get the house ready for my cousin, Ammon's, high school graduation open house. I really wanted to help and since I couldn't go out for Ammon's graduation, I knew that this would be a great opportunity to spend time with him, Sam, and my Uncle Al.
When my sister Evelynne, found out I was going out there she wanted to tag along too, but she wanted it to be a surprise. So when we landed in Bismarck, she waited until I met up with Tia Ana and we were loading stuff into her car. Ev sneaked up behind her and scared her half to was awesome!
We landed at around 4pm. I went straight to work. The past few weeks Tia Ana and I have been emailing pictures, paint swatches and other ideas so that when I got there we could get started. We had only planned on doing some painting (kitchen, dining room and family room), but I realized right away that the kitchen was going to be my main focus and this is why....




Here are some "during" pictures....

I really didn't realize I would be taking on such a huge project. I had done back splashes before but never a counter top. I usually have A there to help me out so this really was a big job.
We borrowed a tile saw from someone, but it has some issues...I had to have someone hold a part that was broken so I wouldn't get sprayed. Poor Ammon and Sammy had to be my helpers. 
me and ammon
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. My brother Ben found out about our tile saw problem and offered to put up the money to rent one as a "Mother's Day" gift to Tia Ana. So Uncle Al went and found one, the only one available in the entire town of Bismarck. We could only have it for 2 hours and it cost Ben 4o bucks, but it was sooooo worth it!
My Uncle Al is hands down one of the best men I have ever known. He has been blessed with many talents, but being handy is not one of them. He was in awe/scared of my skills.
While we were there, Ammon arranged for us to go to his choir class. He is an amazing singer and he is in two of the elite choirs in his high school. We got to listen to his concert choir sing. They were so fantastic. They performed three Chicago songs. I could have stayed all day and listened but I could only drag myself away from the work for an hour.

My other cousin, Sam, was in a play one night, so we got to go and watch him perform.
(he's the "girl" in the pink)
He was the lead and he stole the show! I am so glad we got to watch him perform.  Thankfully his play lasted only an hour so we were able to get right back to work again.
So I was in Bismarck for five days but only four of those days we were able to actually work. We didn't go to bed before 2am and we were up and working by 9am. It certainly was not Maui but I loved every minute I was able to be with my family. My Tia Ana and Uncle Al have done so much for me.
My love for them is deep...go here to read more about that...they helped raise me and they have supported me and loved me during the most critical times in my life. Doing a kitchen reno is the least I can give back to them.
So now you know where I have been and now I am back. I have lots of Maui to share and SO much more! Stay tuned...

Oh I almost forgot!....this is what was waiting for me when I got home last night...
Look closer...ignore the hideous picture of me...
Yes, I am going to Tim McGraw next week! Yeee Haaaw!


Lindsey said...

Seriously girl. Seriously. Could you pleaes get a life! All you do is sit around and blog all day. Sheesh. :) PS- Come visit me and Nat next. Thank you.

Natalie said...

Holy cow! Do you rest? Your skilz are amazing! I love your confidence and follow through. it's admirable.

ditto what lindsey said! come here...bring the fam. it'll be fun!

Also, enjoy timmy. he rocks. i'm going to james taylor next week! I can't wait!

Mrs Ana said...

Thanks a bunch Jess I love you more than words can say! Thanks for bringing your beautiful sis I love her so much too! You are amazing in your skills and talents. I love my kitchen. You girls look beautiful but I could use some work. Not such a cute picture of me. I know I can be do better.Haha! Anywho, I miss you girls so much.:( Can't wait to see you again. Next time you girls come out we'll only have fun.

calibosmom said...

Looks FANTASTIC! What a fun project to do for such wonderful people. I'm going to redo my bathrooms. Can I fly you out to help me?

Leah said...

Triple Wow to all of it! Geesh. You've got MAD skills. I am SO impressed. What a very generous thing you did and it turned out beautiful.

I can't wait for the Maui pics!

Ilene said...

A kitchen counter, really?

You deserve your own show.

I like how Aric even signed Tim McGraw's name. Nice touch.

the wrath of khandrea said...

you are forgiven for missing a potential lunch date in favor of this.


doodooguru said...

um, hello. A home improvement project with only adults and without kids running around for 4 day in a row. That may just be my dream getta away!

Jean McKendrick said...

You guys did an awesome job. I want a kitchen makeover! You are amazing!

♥Shally said...

Holy crap you are the most talented person I know.


What can't you do?!?

Great job on the kitchen and a big WOO HOO for Tim! Have fun!

Lauren in GA said...

You are absolutely, teeee-totally amazing, girlie! The kitchen looks FABULOUS!!!!!

Did you spray paint the metal and hardware of the ceiling fan and paint the blades white?

Ammon and Sam seem like they are incredible!

I also love that your sister surprised your Tia! So fun. ☺

Erin said...

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!! It looks gorgeous! Makes me think that maybe I shouldn't be so scared to paint my scary early-80s dark wood cabinets. :) They can't get any worse right??

Can I just tell you that I have been thinking about you on every single one of my runs lately?? I am so excited for your marathon!

Christie said...

I am in awe and fear of your sawing skills. I am terrified of the power tools. Didn't think we girls were even allowed to touch them. I think you need to come here and make me learn.

Elena said...

I've got the desire, I've got the energy, aah, if I only had your organizing skills & talent. Truly a selfless thing you did for your tia. I know you will be blessed, you've created a monster though. Now all your buddies want make overs. ; )
P.S. to tia. Although Jess did wonders with your light fixture, I will donate to buy you a new one to go with the rest of the very chic kitchen.

Elena said...

P.S. Yes you do have an outstanding husband!

Penny said...

Wow, what a difference! You guys did a great job.
And how fun to be able to spend the time together.

I can't wait to see your Maui pictures!

Oh, and I have a couple of tile questions for you...

kthom said...

You are one impressive gal. I let Kyle do all the tile sawing around here. Where did you learn such a feminine skill? The kitchen looks fabulous, what a fun project! And Tim Mchandsome.....I'm impressed there too!

Rochelleht said...

I tried and tried to leave you a comment yesterday, and Blogger wouldn't let me. Let's hope it works today!

WOW! You are the amazing queen of amazingness. You have crazy skills. I'm so beyond impressed!!! And Tim McGraw is GREAT in concert. Check out my pic with him. Tee hee!

AMY said...

You are super talented! I may have to use your talent soon.

Happy Mother's Day, you lucky girl.