He’s Back

Matt was away all week for business in Boston.  We spent the night laying on the couch.

Back in Boise

I wish I could say this snuggly picture was how our night went.  It started this way.  And ended with Perry painting himself with poo.  Lord, I know he’s ready to potty train.  He’s been ready, but it didn’t happen pre-move, then we moved.  Now that we are settled I guess I need to get going.  I’m taking bets on who gets trained first Perry or Sadie…

Aging Beauty

She is getting old.  She acts it too.  She nips at you. She growls. She has terrible cataracts that make her practically blind.  She is almost fully deaf.  She has a shoulder that pops out of joint.  She can’t jump on or off of things anymore.  She is not aging so gracefully.

When Sadie comes I think she is going to have a tough time.  At 4 weeks Sadie was already twice Dink’s size.  By the time Sadie comes home, Dink is going to look like a muskrat to her.  We will have to teach Sadie that Dink is a friend not prey.  I think Dink will do her own teaching in that department, as well.

My First Girl


I have repurposed several things in preparation of our move.  I reupholstered the vinyl stools in our kitchen, painted the white wicker chairs on the porch, painted the white stools in our kitchen, made new covers for the outdoor pillows, cit the legs and painted the study stools, the list really goes on and on.  My favorite one is that I used an old lamp, my dad’s old tripod, and created a new lamp…


Repurposed Lamp

My dad was a surveyor.  His grandfather was a surveyor.  When he was a teen he and his older brother, Jack worked with my great grandfather and learned how to survey land.  My dad then went on to college and law school.  He never finished law school because my brother cried too much, or at least that was the way the story went.  He got a job at US Steel and worked there for many years.  At one point he was forced to relocate to Columbus, OH.  My parents decided that, because of family commitments, they were not able to do that.  So, he left US Steel and did one of the hardest, scariest, and bravest things one can do, he started his own business.  He chose to do what he had fallen in love with so many years ago, surveying.  He enlisted my Uncle Jack in that endeavor.  One thing my dad treasured was the old brass transit and tripod he had from his grandfather.  I have the transit packed away and this is that tripod.

All I did was remove the plumb bob connector at the top of the tripod.  I had an old lamp that I removed the socket from and strung that socket through the hole left at the top of the tripod.  I used some chain to create this holder so the legs wouldn’t slip out.  I bought a shade and, voile, a lamp that Pottery Barn charges $200 for.  It definitely isn’t as sturdy as the Pottery Barn lamp, but it is sentimental.  Besides I have it in the Studio behind an easel, so it is safely tucked away.

My Boise Running Partner

I love running with my boys.  In fact, we went onto the trails yesterday.  Marley joined us and surprised himself with how well he did.  But I have been longing for a long term, always ready, will never say no, full of energy running partner.  I found her today…


It Is Going to Be a Long Month

She is 4 weeks today.  We get to take her home in 4 more weeks.  When we walked into the room with the puppy pen, she ran right to us.  I knew we would pick the one that came over to us.  She is beautiful.  A german shorthaired pointer, liver head, grey with liver ticking body, and a couple sweet little liver spots on her back end and legs.  I know she is our family dog and the boys are going to be in dog heaven with her.  Sadie, though, will be my girl.

Down We Go

Onto the next floor, but we are heading down, not up.  This lovely house has the second living area in the basement.  Down the stairs we go…

Down to More Excitement

These art installations were both inspired from this house.  When I first saw the house online, I had several creative visions.  It is strange to say, but I knew I wanted to create both of these pieces.  The first is the tapestry I knit.  These were several squares knit one by one, like a quilt.  They were then all knit together as I knit the back.  Each square puffed out as I knit it, so I stuffed them to give dimension.  I followed their lead.  The second installation are tree slices with the rings painted on them.  As Matt’s birthday approached I went searching for something for him.  I found an artist on Etsy that was making these.  I fell in love.  It was exactly what I wanted.  It complemented the circles of the tapestry perfectly and I could use the same colors.  However, the price was not so perfect.  But I knew I could make them.  No problem.  So, I worked feverishly in the evenings after the boys were in bed to complete them.  When Matt made it back to Chicago for his birthday they were done.  I could not wait to put them up.  It turned out better than I ever dreamed.

Tree Rings

Okay, now we can go down.  The house has a walkout basement, with almost as many gorgeous full floor to sealing windows as we have upstairs.  There is even a separate outside door and porch down there.  Right now we have that door with an interior key lock.  I am not risking a curious child exploring in the middle of the night.  It is unlikely that would happen since there has been some adjusting to not being on the same floor with us, but as they start to feel more comfortable I can anticipate the sneaking outside adventures.  The main room is our game room.  Ziggy has a permanent place in the back.

They Have the Run of This Floor

In preparation of moving we asked the boys if they wanted to room 2 and 2 or all together.  Matt and I were hoping the answer would be all together, but we wanted them to feel like they were creating their space.  They decided they would like to all be together.  Perfect.  We had a room PLENTY big enough for 2 sets of bunk beds, Perry was ready for the big bed, and we would have extra space for all their stuff.  They asked for a red room.  I was not about to paint the entire room red.  However, it is their room and I wanted to give them most of the control.  The compromise was a red wall and red bunk beds.

Four Bunks For Four Boys

Another perk to the boys choosing to all be together… the big bedroom was right next to the second laundry room.  The BIG laundry.  The laundry room where I could insist they put their clothes right after taking them off.  This is the one room in the house that will be my project.  It is original 1970’s vinyl, old cabinets from the old kitchen, the cat den, but does include my very new and perfect washer and dryer.  The original (and I mean original harvest gold 1978 washer and dryer) set was left in the room.  I used them once and the dryer burned out.  I continued to use the washer and load the wet clothes up to the dryer in our bedroom for weeks.  Last week we finally went shopping for the perfect set and found it at the last store.  My beautiful washer and dryer are calling me to make-over this room.

A Little Love Needed

Out the laundry room and down the hallway.  This hallway is our gallery.  We have it set up with all our favorite memories and lots of pictures of my family, so my boys can at least remember seeing their faces in photos since they can’t in person.

The Galley Gallery

At the end of the hall you hit the door to the only bathroom downstairs.  Not as nice of a set up for guests as the last house, but this is the perfect bathroom for the boys.  Matt and I fell in love with the 4 little drawers under the sinks, one for each of our guys.

Four Drawers, Can It Get More Perfect

The boys choosing to room together meant that we could utilize this bedroom as a study or playroom.  Or as it now has lovingly been dubbed, The Lego Room…

A Place to Work

The lego creations are not the only reason we call this room The Lego Room.  The closet is a lego builders wonderland…

The Lego Center

Finally, we come to the end of this part of the tour with the place you are welcome to stay, if ever in Idaho, the guest room.

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest

Finishing Up Our Floor

Matt and I have the whole main floor as ours.  It is great to have the ability for the kids to do their thing and we do our thing.  The like it.  We like it.  I only hope it doesn’t separate us more as they get older.  But I choose to think it may make life even better.  We will be happier in our time together.  That’s what I’m going with.

So, our bedroom is right on the main level.  Be prepared, this master suite is not the popular master suite.  There is no massive amount of space.  There is no expansive walk-in closet.  There is no shower the size of a small bedroom.  For us, though, this is the perfect space.  We hated all the room we had in our last room.  It felt cold and like wasted space.    We have a gorgeous view of the mountains every morning and a little Juliet balcony off of it.

The Perfect Slumber Spot


Our bathroom is a good size.  We do miss the double sink, BUT we have created a perfect little area to get ready for the day. What we love even more is the open shower.  Who needs a massive shower stall when the whole bathroom is your shower stall.  That’s the case when you have an open shower.  This was a concept Matt and I were introduced to in Europe.  Matt thought he would hate this.  He loves it.  I thought I would love it.  I love it.

If You Have Never Open Showered You Have To Try It


Finally is Matt’s masterpiece, the closet.  When we bought the house, the washer and dryer in the closet was a HUGE plus.  It is so nice to throw our workout clothes right into the washer in the morning.  However, as nice as that washer and dryer are it eats up a lot of space.  So, we knew a closet organizer was a necessity.  Matt added them to our closet and the boys’ closet so that all our clothes would have a home.  They look like professionally installed closets.

Matt’s Masterpiece

In case you’re wondering there are 14 pairs of running shoes lining the top of the closet.  What can I say, I’m a runner…

I almost forgot the powder room.  Nothing too special except that original 70’s wallpaper.  First I loved it, then I didn’t, now I’m back to loving it.  I remember having a metallic wallpaper like it in my childhood home.  It just feels like it goes with this house.  A little funky, a little kooky, a little off the beaten path… pretty good description of our family.

Bringing Back the Seventies

Welcome to the Abrew House

Will you come through the front door or the side door?  If it is summer or winter when you visit, probably the front door since the side door will be closed.  Come on in…


Here’s the foyer.

Front Door

But this would be your first view of the house…

Welcome to Our Abode

This is the living room, the adult room.  Matt has made it very clear that the boys take care of this room.  We liked this house because we could have our space to watch television and relax, while giving the boys the entire downstairs as their own.  But we will get to their areas in another post.

Matt and my retreat…

Finally Our Own Space

This turned out pretty much exactly as I had envisioned.  You can’t see the television cabinet, but it is an old radio and phonograph from the 50’s.  The radio still works and the phonograph just needs a little tlc.

Next to this room is the dining room.

Eat and Be Merry

There is a door to the back porch off the dining room, which is great for entertaining.  It also has this bar connected to the kitchen.  These bars were another perk to this house.  My guys love sitting at the counter.  We have 2 bars for them to sit at in the kitchen.  This one connected to the dining room…

Bar and Hoosier

Here is also the Hoosier cabinet we bought in Chicago.  In the process of purchasing this house storage was the one concern.  It has some storage, but you have to be creative with 6 people’s stuff to store.  One thing the kitchen lacked was a pantry.  It actually turned out to be a good thing because I love my Hoosier cabinet much more than I would love the look of a pantry.

The other bar is an island in the middle of the kitchen.

Bar II and All the Other Kitchen Necessities

Running Mama

Happy Trails

While getting ready for my run this morning Brodie, unprovoked, asked if he could come with me.  I knew I had a very easy walk/run workout today, so him joining me was a real possibility.  I warned him that we would be running and we would be gone for a full hour.  He was still game.  Not only game, but excited.

We set out and we talked about cycling, moving, running, brothers, bugs, dirt, bearded dragons, and puppies.  We climbed hills, slid down paths, got sand in our shoes, hopped down trails, and felt the warm sun on our skin.  He wanted to keep going.  In fact, when we got back he took each of his brothers out to explore.  Even though I have a rest day tomorrow, when he asked if we could go again, how could I say no?


More Exterior

The interior is coming.  But the exterior is one reason we fell in love with it.  We love how it is built into the hillside.  We love all the trees and the woodsy feel of our yard.  We love the rough and rustic landscape all around the house.  We love that the house has at least 4 outdoor seating areas.  The front porch, by the front door you have already seen.  That porch wraps around to the back of the house.  This is the side porch…

Side of the Wrap Around

I’m not even counting this side area as a seating area, although it has a bench and our grills.  It goes back to the back porch…

Back Upper Porch

From this view you can usually see the Owyhee mountains in Oregon.  Not this week and probably not for at least a few more weeks.  This is the one downside of Boise, the weather inversions.  During the summer it happens when the wildfires ignite in the foothills.  The temps are lower in the valley than they are in the mountains and it causes everything including smoke, smog, pollution to be pushed down into the valley.  This also happens in the winters too.  It can be difficult for asthmatic individuals.  So far Marley hasn’t mentioned any troubles.  Looking the other way on the back porch is a view of the foothills.

Foothills View

The other 2 porches are a lower porch out the basement door and a juliet balcony off of our master bedroom, but we will get to those.

When you come down the stairs you end up in-between 2 doors, neither of which are our front door.  It leaves people a bit confused.  In an effort to move traffic to the front and show a bit of our sense of humor, we labeled our side door the “Employee Only” entrance.

Employees Only Please

I Have to Interrupt the Tour

I promise I will continue the tour of my house, but we had an unexpected event today that has to take precedence…

The wienermobile!

I lived in Pittsburgh for 30 years and never saw the wienermobile in person. Matt and I travelled to Europe and saw one driving around. We freaked. We could not believe we saw one. Then we moved to Chicago and right down the street from my house… the wienermobile. I was in awe. I even posted about it here.

When I pulled into the grocery store today and saw it again I was as happy as a wiener covered in mustard. Last time the boys could have cared less. They were asked whether they wanted to go inside and they said “no!” I was staring at them wide mouthed and wishing I could just leave them on the sidewalk at 4, 2, and under 1 and check out the wienermobile interior. But I couldn’t do that so they got their whistle and we went on our way.

This time there was no tour of the inside, but they did get to dress up like pork products…

Two Bacons and a Wiener

For doing that they got another wiener whistle. This time the wiener lady told them no blowing them in the store. She’s a wiener genius.

A Little Wiener