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Farmington U10 Box Lacrosse

Dear Diary,
Landen kicked off 2017 Lacrosse with something new.

Box Lacrosse is a little more closely aligned with hockey. In fact, the boys play on a regulation-sized hockey rink that was covered with turf. The nets are much smaller than what is used for "regular" lacrosse, which served to help improve their shooting accuracy.

This year's team 

The Box Lacrosse season played simultaneously with their Spring practice schedule. They wrapped this past Sunday, better prepared to focus on their league play.

Here are some shots of the action last weekend:

1 ... 2 ... 3 ... TIGERS! 

This sequence of shots is incredible. You can see Landen take a couple of hits, get knocked to the ground but still manage to maintain possession. Then, he took the shot and scored. I don't know how this kid does it, but he does it!

This hit is completely legal, though yes, Landen does have the bruises to show for it. 

How does he manage to hold on to it?! 

Another legal hit - the opponent is trying to get Landen's bottom hand and tip the ball out of the net. 

Scoring a point for Farmington!

He then took a couple of face-offs.

Setting up the pass.

The Tigers took possession, and Landen is waiting for the whistle to begin play.

Let's go, #45!

Landen launched a long pass from his team's crease (the area surrounding the goal), and though he intended it for a teammate, he successfully managed to score a goal! He made a full rink shot! The Farmington cheering section was on their feet when it happened, it was so exciting.

At one of the last face-offs of the game, Landen took the mid-fielder attack position. Here, he cannot enter the center circle until possession is achieved, then he helps his teammate either fight for the ball or get it to the opponent's goal.

It is so much fun to watch him play. Ready for Spring/Summer!

Our Tri-Level Split: The Final Reveal

Dear Renovation Diary,
This is the final tour of our Tri-Level. We wrapped the remodel earlier this week, leaving us to wonder what we'll do with our free time now! (Please note that the links are not affiliate, but past posts I've written about this process.)
We purchased the home in 2012.
(Exterior updates: new roof, gutters, down spots, windows, screen door, garage opener and paint.)

The side patio

The interior received a new paint job of gray walls and white trim (with the exception of the lowest level). 

The kitchen updates were purely cosmetic, as the flow of the room was functional. The new flooring really offset the wood tones, which I think gives off a slight farmhouse feel.

The staircase to the upper level is a focal point, and the cathedral ceiling makes the room feel larger than it is. I love the open concept of this space, and it was a major selling point for us. The kids typically played up in the loft or colored at the table while I worked in the kitchen, so the layout was ideal for our family.

The dinette had a sliding door that opened to the side patio. We ate many a dinner al fresco when the temperatures allowed. Also, here's an argument for utilizing silk flowers for your wedding - our table centerpiece is my bridal bouquet! The dining set is a family heirloom, and we try to sit down as a family for dinner as much as we can.

Another angle capturing the dinette, kitchen and patio entrance ...

This shot was taken from the entry. Another half staircase leads to the lowest level in the home. As you can see, we included the flooring between the stairs to maintain a cohesive look.

The lofted living room didn't have a ceiling fixture when we moved in. We added one a couple of summers ago, and the ceiling fan really helps circulate the air in the house.

Related Post: The Details

We painted the support beam, which seems to help separate the eating and cooking space from the living room area.

A small hallway leads from the living room to the two upstairs bedrooms. The kids slept up here. When we moved in, they were 1 and 5 so we didn't want to separate them.

Related Post: The Upstairs Built-in

That meant, Landen slept in the Master.

Madelyn was really excited to see her room photographed.

The Master Bath wins the title of "Biggest Transformation."

The lowest level of the Split consisted of a den, the third bedroom, a 3/4-bath and a laundry/utility room.

Our "corner office."

The 3/4-bath has a stand-up shower, and we left everything original. The only update came in the form of paint.
Related Post: The Final Three

This backyard played host to many a neighborhood lacrosse game and soccer match. We built a new shed a couple of summers ago.

The back of the house.

The past 5 years were some of the most trying, triumphant and rewarding experiences of my life. We learned a lot, but especially about what we're capable of. We took a chance on this Tri-Level in 2012, and I am so happy to have it included in the story of our lives.

Photo credit goes to our incredible real estate team, whose partnership we are indebted to. I decided to post these photos to show our faraway relatives, who may not have had a chance to see the house.

What do you think?

Our Tri-Level Split: The Final Three

Dear Renovation Diary,
This is the Home Stretch.

What's funny, is this all started when Madelyn transitioned to her twin bed. I thought to myself, well we might as well paint her room ...

... Then I realized I wasn't a fan of the baseboards that didn't go with the white trim of the new windows, and the doors were lacking the 6-panel aesthetic we prefer.

... Next came Landen's bedroom and the bathroom makeover. Now, we're wrapping up our project list and closing in on the satisfying finish line.

And finally, in between lacrosse practices and games and house-hunting and the like, check out what has occupied our free time:

1. Painting the downstairs 3/4-bath. It was yellow. Still completely functional, and we opted to keep everything as you see it, except for the color scheme.

I'm not afraid of color, but this sunny bathroom wasn't cohesive with the rest of the house. With leftover paint, I gave it a familiar gray hue. And bonus - since the vanity and baseboards were already white, a quick touch-up was all that was needed.

After about two days, we had this. A pair of sunglasses is no longer needed!

2. New flooring in the entry/kitchen/dinette. I love this flooring. I love it so much I'm going to keep a sample and install it in every house I live in from here on out. Hopefully it's never discontinued, because I'm not joking.

God bless this mess. 

Still a mess, but THOSE FLOORS!

3. Cleaning up the cabinets. I acted on a tip from Nick's stepdad, and used Old English to resurrect the cabinetry. It was all original to the house, and due to a time crunch, we opted to restore them to their original state and shine. You can see a peek of their result in the top right corner. Light just bounced off the surfaces, and seemed to follow us throughout the room.

With the exception of touching up paint, the remodel is finished! Tomorrow I'll post the final tour.

House-hunting: Paradise in the Pines

Dear House-Hunting Diary,

This contains photographs from an old listing pulled from the MLS, which is public record. 

All four of us attended the open house of this property, which I’ve named ‘Paradise in the Pines’ and you'll soon understand why.

First impressions, the house is adorable. It appears small, but I knew from the listing that looks can be deceiving. This house is just under 2,900-sq feet and has a finished walk-out. The home has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a 3-car attached garage and sits on 10 acres. In fact, this property is a mere 10 minutes from where we currently live.

Perks – the location is close the Interstate, which would make my commute a breeze. It is also close to amenities in case I have to run out for bread or some other necessity. I mentioned to Nick that it’s a nice compromise between my desire to be close to businesses, and Nick’s appreciation for wide open spaces.

I love that there is a front porch, and I can picture Nick and I sitting there, just growing old and grouchy. The sellers have since updated many aspects of the home since the listing photos were taken, and it showed nicely on our tour. It was built in 1994, and you could tell this house was very well-maintained.

When you enter the house, there is "faux foyer" that opens to a formal living area. A 2-sided fireplace separates the formal room from the great room. You step down into a family room. Behind the family room is an eat-in kitchen with access to the deck. There isn’t a formal dining room, but I was not deterred.

(The formal living space, as photographed from the home's front entry.) 

(This is the home's family room, and the kitchen is behind this space.) 


The hallway takes you into the master suite, a guest bedroom and a full guest bath.

(The Master Bath, with TWO sinks! There is also a large walk-in closet.) 

I can picture the kids playing in the yard, and around the property. In fact, that is where they spent most of their time as Nick and I toured. I’d catch glimpses of them running around, and I soon realized I hadn't stopped smiling since we pulled up to the house.

I even admitted to Nick later on, that I was looking for a reason to walk away, for a flaw, something that would signal us to continue the hunt. I couldn't find anything. Instead, I found more and more reasons why this was the one. It met all of our criteria, and I was smitten.

(Think of all the summer cook-outs here!)

There are two bedrooms and a large rec room plumbed for a bar in the downstairs walk-out. Plus, there is plenty of storage space and a large laundry room. A 3/4-bathroom is down there too. The walk-out opens to a covered patio underneath the deck (see picture above).

(The downstairs bathroom)

(The kids announced they'd take the downstairs bedrooms.)

Bonus – there is a large shop already constructed on the property, and it is in stellar condition. There is also a network of private nature trails that I know the kids would put a lot of miles on.

(This way to the Man Cave.)

(The pine trees that inspired the nickname I've designated for this property.)

(I foresee the need for one of those triangle dinner bells to call the kids in every night. It's not like we could instill the "in the house when the street lights come on" rule - there are none.)

Verdict – I’m sure my descriptions give you all the insight you need about how we feel. I will continue to provide updates in the event one becomes ready …