Planning an Attic Bedroom

Well – the majority of what we want to finish construction wise is complete on the main floor. So I am moving on up those stairs and getting my game plan set for the attic.  The girls will be sharing ~700 sq ft with their own bathroom.  I dropped some info into a room builder to play with layouts and I will start with this:

The plumbing lines were already run when I started on this version.  It was pretty easy to decide where the beds and desk would go based on the walls clustered together on one side of the room.  After some exploration, we found some issues with the plumbing that was roughed in.  Based on that knowledge we feel good about moving the bathroom to the center of the attic.  That aligns the plumbing lines with what is on the first floor and basement…..but it does make things more difficult for me in designing the room.

The bathroom will have the only ‘walls’ extending into the room.  I have decided to either use wooden slats or metal rods from floor to ceiling around the stairs to keep as much natural light flowing through the room as possible.  There are only a few furniture pieces that are must haves from the girls perspective:

  • 2 beds
  • 2 desks
  • 2 chairs
  • 2 toy chests
  • 1 set of cubbyholes
  • TV
  • bean bag chairs

Everything else is optional and I think we will keep it pretty minimal as a start to ensure that I do not over fill it!

Jules and Jane came to me with a plan – they would like the base color to be grey and white.  Then they can each pick another color to highlight what is theirs.  Jules would like blue or teal – Jane would like pink.  Color me surprised 🙂   We will pick and choose what from what we have and then do some bargain hunting at the stores we have locally.

Jane’s Room in MT

Jules’ Room in MT


Jules’ Room in ND


and here we go!


Prairie Cape Bathroom

So I got around to naming our new house….Prairie Cape…cause she’s on the prairie and she’s a cape cod style house.  Super original, I know.  Anyhoo, we are just wrapping up the big ticket items on our main floor bathroom remodel.  Yahoo!!!!


look at that wallpaper!  I tried to salvage a piece so that I could frame it, but it mysteriously disappeared. 

First up – we replaced all of the windows inside the house (except the front 3, because they are HUGE and special order).  Our first inclination was not to do a full gut, but once we pulled the rotten pieces of drywall out, we just kept going.  I wanted to keep the retro vanity so badly, but it was damaged when we took it out.  🙁

The boards under the toilet and bathtub were not able to be salvaged so new boards were placed on that side of the bathroom.

A big decision for us was what type of material to use for our shower – we wanted to go full tile but quite frankly neither of us was interested in going full in on another bathroom right off the bat.  It sounds terrible but after redoing 3 bathrooms in our last house….we.are.tired of bathrooms.  lol.  So we did a shower insert and for what we want right now, its perfect.

Itsn’t it pretty??!!

I reused the bathroom mirror which is slightly larger than the vanity, but I have decided to deal with it so that I can have something from the original bathroom in place.

There is still trim work, bathroom accessories and the whole moving in thing left to do – but other than that – We have a fully functional bathroom and I am sooooo happy.


Light:  Design House

Shower Head:  Delta Windmere

Shower Kit:  Sterling Ensemble

Shower Door:  Sterling Finesse

Vanity:  Marrakech from Menards (discontinued)  Similar:  Paige,  Crawford and BurkeOdyssey

Mirror:  Vintage


Planning the layout

Oh man – things are changing even as I speak!  ps….ignore the dimensions that I have for the bedrooms below – they are oh so wrong.  oops.

Anywho – the layout that I have below is what I built to give me an idea of where we were going to put our furniture and what we would be keeping.

main floor 3D

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw us combining 2 closets.  The 2 closets between the bedrooms will now be one big one.  We decided to do that so that we could eliminate a door and have another uninterrupted wall.  I was really looking forward to not sharing with Dave…but the trade off is worth it.

The master and guest room will now flip flop.  The guest room will double as the music room.  Jules and I are setting up an area for her piano and violin – mostly so that she has a place for her lessons.

The girls have opted to share the upstairs – they will have ~650 sq ft to play with when setting up their room.  They have sketched out at least 3 different floor plans for me.  LOVE IT!!!!

Attic 3D

They will have their own bathroom upstairs – we are fighting with some plumbing lines that are already existing and a very slanted ceiling, so it will be tight…..but it will be all theirs.

I love this part of renovation, its all possibility and dreams.  I will just ignore the budget piece of it for now 😉🤣🤣

Prairie House – Small House trend??

Our first house was not even 900 sq feet total.  You read that right, NOT EVEN 900 sq ft – and we were happy there.  The first 2 1/2 years of Jules’ life was in a 2 bedroom 1 bath with a big garage.  We fit well in that house but concerns about school districts spurred us into looking for a new one.  We ended up with more than double the space in the blue house and it was sitting on 1/2 acre of land as well.  It did not take long to fill that house to overflowing with stuff.  A full house, a full garage, a full playhouse and a full shed.  Jeez.

Now we just purchased a new place in North Dakota and as we are planning how to move forward with our plans, I am reminded of a post I read in Life Edited.  Life Edited pulled the below image from a Wall Street Journal article about the book “Life at Home in the 21st Century”(once again you read that right…a post about an article about a book)  It’s really the Life Edited post that opened my eyes with their round up of data on house square footage and the change that has occurred over the past 50 years.  It mirrors what Dave and I did.  We started with less than 900 sq ft and doubled it for our next place.  But how we lived in that larger space is echoed in this image.

the happy crazy house life edited house behavior


The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average newly constructed home is 2,422 (as of 2017) – this is actually a decrease from 2015 where the average reached an all time high of 2,467.

I hope that means that more people are realizing that there are places in their house that they never use……AND that having that extra room invites us to have more crapola.  How can we fight off the inevitable creep of stuff?

Reminder as to what my library clean out looked like:


*and that’s just one room!  I shudder just looking at it.

Does all that extra space make you happy or just frustrated that you have to clean a room that you rarely step foot in or has your ‘stuff’ there for the guests that stay twice a year.

Here are some handy data points from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (I love data points!!)

household activities the happy crazy house

Click here for the webpage

UG!  Ladies!!!!  2 hours and 15 minutes?  Let’s stack your day with work, house work and then free time……The average commute time in the US is 25 minutes.  Say closing time is 5 pm, you will be rolling up to your house around 5:30pm and starting your household chores (not including the actual time it takes to eat the food you prep)….your free time starts at 7:45.  Ew.


Stay tuned for my plans on how to keep this to the minimum for our family.

**Also on a final note – this post on 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own from Becoming Minimalist is an eye opener.



Never Ending List 2019

We purchased our house and cabin in 2018 – the house got a lot of attention…..with good reason.  We really wanted to live in it.  This year will hopefully have a better balance between the two locations.

So here we go


  • Last piece of drywall and trim in the bathroom.  get it to 100% done
  • Trim out the built ins
  •   Replace last 3 windows on the front of the house
  •   Finish trim in the house (affected by the last windows)
  •   Roof – update to metal
  •   Siding is in our garage waiting to be installed
  •   Addition!!
  •   Landscaping, parking area


  •   Re- wire
  •   Reinforce the foundation
  •   Re-work the front porch
  •   Non- lake water
  •   Parking area

We were very successful on our 2018 list and I hope that we are just as dedicated to getting this one done as well.  At the beginning of the year, it is so great to be able to congratulate yourself on a job well done, but also look forward to see where you are going and where you hope to be in the future.  not gunna lie – I am really looking forward to the time when the major construction projects are behind us…..hahahahahaha Wish us luck!


It took a very long time but it’s ours.

A tiny bit of backstory:  We always knew that we would end up in North Dakota.  Both Dave and I thought it would be closer to retirement, but we always kept an eye on the job openings…..and here we are 🙂  A large factor in our decision, is the proximity to the lake.  Dave and I are lake people.  He has had a dream of having a cabin on water since he was a kid.  I added that to my bucket list the first year he took me to Lake Metigoshe when I was 23.

We finally made the dream come true and this original little 1930’s lake cabin is ours.

I get a little misty when I think of how we can host our friends and family at the lake during the summer months. Even more so when I think of the memories that we have begun to accumulate with the girls there.

One of the best thing about the cabin, is the location- directly across from the island that puts off Fourth of July fireworks.

During high summer it gets busy at the lake but come fall, it’s very serene.

Our hearts are full and oh, so happy to call this place ours.

Best –



When we first met, Dave took me to his hometown in North Dakota and I fell in love.  Peeps- it’s small, 20 people small.  But we decided that we would end up there…..granted I always thought it would be closer to retirement, but life happens.  You guessed it.  We now live in super small town North Dakota…..our addition to the town has increased the population by 17%.

Seriously!  We are 20 miles from a town of 2,500 and 60 miles from a town of 30,000.

We rented the only house available – waiting for something, anything.

And lo- a House was available for sale.

It needed some love but we are here for it.

The House is a cute little Cape Cod.  Never thought it would be my style, but surprisingly I have really fallen for it.

bookcases prairie and lake

The upstairs belongs to the girls

girls attic bedroom prairie and lake

That’s the quick story of our Prairie life – more to come on our Lake life.



Our Story

I am going back to the beginning, in time long, long ago and far, far away.  When Dave and I met, I was some months out of a relationship that really broke me down.  I used to imagine myself like a broken piece of pottery.  Horrible image, true but horrible.  Through a series of happy and sad accidents a friend of mine called me and invited me on a day rafting trip with him and his friends.  The only reason that I met Dave was because his Grandma had passed away and he was in town after the funeral.  he is NEVER in town  I was invited on the rafting trip on the whim of a high school friend.  I asked a girlfriend of mine to come along and the next morning we met at Dave’s house.  I turned a corner in the house and there before me was a bearded vision of awesomeness.  I thought he was cute straight off and was pumped to spend the day with him.  Fast forward to the end of the day and we parted ways without exchanging phone numbers.  What?!

**All pics are uploads from physical copies, so please forgive the quality.  Yes – that is how old I am.  hahahahaha

but seriously…..look how young we are!

I forgot something at Dave’s….no seriously, I did.  The next evening I went over to pick up my stuff and we talked and talked.  We were dating by the next weekend, moved in together by the next month.  It was one of those times where you just look at your partner and know that they are it for you.

Dave always tells people that I chose him because he can fix pretty much anything.  no joke, we have yet to come across something he hasn’t been able to fix.  He is crazy smart and incredibly handy.  Best of all – Dave makes me laugh, he reminds me to have fun, he encourages me to talk.  Talking, the bane of my existence.  I dislike talking about things that matter, isn’t that quite the conundrum?

Dave and I bicker and we fight but its all worth it.  We have so much fun together.  Dave’s introduction into my life has really filled it to the brim with great memories.

haha – now this is true for Dave and I sometimes

This just happens to be a pretty close rendition of what our relationship looks like for me.

and this is Dave’s

SO fast forward to us marrying and having 2 kiddos. Our first is Jules Marie

Jules was a ridiculously easy baby.  She slept all the time and rarely cried.  She also had no hair until she was about 2……I am pretty sure she is making up for that now.

Look at those eyes.

the happy crazy house

Jules is a series of opposites that makes her one of a kind:  caring/careless, shy/outgoing, sensitive/thick-skinned, serious/lighthearted………but she is always my Gorgeous (inside and out) Jules

the happy crazy house

Our second is Jane Dagny

Oh Janey, we waited 3 years for you and just when we thought we would be a family of 3….you surprised us.  I am so happy that we are a family of 4.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Janey was not an easy baby.  She was a challenge from the start (I’ll spare you the details and just give you the basics).  No naps, cried all the time and from 3 to 7 every day she scream/cried.  Rough.  She grew out of the fussy but she acquired a nickname that has stuck ever since.  THE. JANE.

look at that face  Janey is our sensitive kid – it doesn’t take much to discipline….a firm no will send her into tears.

Jane has grown up to be such a joy.  She loves to give mom and dad hugs and kisses.  Janey loves her animals and any other fluffy animal that crosses her path.

Well that’s the human portion of our family. 😂 can’t wait to share our Prairie and Lake stuff and alll the animals.