October 22, 2018

Finally, Some Renovation Progress!

Yikes--I can't believe it's been a week since I've written!

For once, it's not because I haven't been feeling up to it... it's simply because I've been crazy busy. Last week was a very busy week for cross country (the season is now over, but we are having an end-of-season party for the kids on Friday). I think this has been my favorite season so far!

Yesterday was the Detroit FreePress Marathon (the one I ran in 2012 with Rik). There are also two half-marathons (international and domestic). I love spectating this race. The (marathon and international half-marathon) runners go over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, and then through a tunnel back into the States. The tunnel exits at mile eight, and that's my favorite spot to cheer on the runners.

Dave, Renee's husband, was running the international half yesterday--his first half-marathon! Dave is a fantastic runner (along with the rest of their family) and a coach for high school cross country and track. He's always done 5K's, however, and this was his first time doing a distance race. Naturally, I wanted to go cheer him on!

So, Jerry and I went up to Detroit early yesterday morning, and we got to our spot right as the first runner came through the tunnel--the timing couldn't have been more perfect. It was super cold (33 degrees) so it was great that we didn't have to stand around waiting. I figured Dave would come through about an hour into the race.

spectating the marathon

We met up with Renee and her son, Noah, and cheered on the runners. My hands were SO COLD. I had on gloves, but my fingers were hurting/numb from the cold, so I picked up a pair of mittens that a runner had discarded and I wore those on top of my gloves.

We finally spotted Dave, and Jerry yelled his name REALLY loudly so he would see us. I thought Dave looked tired, but I'd never seen him race before, so I had no idea if that's how he normally looks. I later learned that he'd started feeling pretty rough by that point. Renee and Noah headed to the finish line while Jerry and I stayed to watch for Stephanie (who was running the full marathon) and my sister, who was running the half with her friend, Audrey.

We somehow missed Stephanie going by, and I thought we'd missed Jeanie and Audrey. Right as we were going to head to the finish line, Jeanie and Audrey were passing by. We talked to them for a second because they stopped to eat a Gu. Then Jerry and I went to a spot about a half mile before the finish line and cheered there until Jeanie and Audrey passed by again. Then we headed home.

Dave ended up doing great! He said he was pretty much jogging the last four miles or so because his legs were definitely feeling the extra miles. This made me laugh, because he ended up finishing in 1:40. That's quite the jogging pace! haha

I'm still having issues with my right arm and hand. I went to the neurologist last week, and I wasn't very happy with him. I don't feel like he really listened and I felt rushed. But he said it's probably carpal tunnel syndrome, and prescribed a wrist splint and steroid, and scheduled an EMG test to confirm. The wrist splint hasn't helped in the slightest, and the EMG appointment isn't until November 6th. I see my general practitioner on Thursday, so I hope that he can suggest something in the meantime.

We are FINALLY making some real progress on our kitchen! I spent a few days last week making cabinets to extend up to the ceiling. I had no idea what I was doing, and I just made it up as I went along, but I love how they turned out. (I wish I'd taken pictures of my first two attempts--I wasn't happy with them at all, and had to start over.) This is what they look like right now:

extending cabinets to the ceiling

The whole top layer of shelves wasn't there before:

wasted space above the cabinets

These new cabinets will stay open (I don't have doors for them, and I'm not going to buy any) so they are more like shelves than cabinets. I just didn't want all the wasted space on top of the cabinets, so I thought making use of it would be a good idea. I have no idea what to put up there, though! Here are a couple of progress photos:

building shelves above cabinets

DIY shelves above cabinets

I also finished painting the cabinets, but I haven't started the doors yet (that's next). So, please imagine that the cabinets have doors. I don't know how people have open cabinets that look so pretty! I have way too many clashing things in my cabinets, and I count on the doors to hide it all.

Anyway, I LOVE the cabinet paint color! As soon as I started using it, I knew it was exactly what I'd hoped it would be. However, I thought it clashed with the color of the walls. The walls were a light gray, which looked okay on the color swatch cards, but it didn't look right in the kitchen. It was bothering me, so I decided to paint over the gray with white (only in the kitchen area). I think it looks much better with white!

This is the gray walls/blue cabinets combo from before versus the white walls now:

blue cabinets with gray walls

blue cabinets with white walls

I have to put up trim or something where the color transitions are, but I'm really happy that I switched to the white. I cannot believe the difference in the kitchen (and living room and dining room) since we started this whole thing! I'm super excited to get the painting done so that we can start on the floor. I still have to paint the island and the doors (the cabinet doors and pantry/laundry room doors). Hopefully, I'll have that done this week.


  1. Looks great! Thanks for sharing - love seeing the updates!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. UPDATE: Spoke too soon! Overnight my shoulder & arm flared up in even sharper pain. It's been a day of misery. And guess what? The frozen bag of peas did not even touch the pain. So never mind me! Do whatever works for your pain. Everybody's body is different. :)

  3. Looks great! You are quite the inspiration, I wish I had the motivation to tackle renovation projects like this.

  4. Wow! It looks SO professional. You might want to make a career change one of these days! 😊

  5. Looks awesome, impressive to be doing all this yourself!!

  6. I am in LOVE with your kitchen! Those colors are so bright, its just drawing the natural light in! Great job, I can't wait to see more of it!

  7. The kitchen looks great! I am especially impressed that you are building your own cabinets!

  8. Last year I started having excruciating pain that would radiate down my whole arm and I was having numbness and tingling in my hand. I was ultimately diagnosed with a ruptured disc in my neck (which was weird because I wasn't having any neck pain). I was prescribed Gabapentin (a miracle drug, I'm telling ya!) for the nerve pain and with some PT, I was able to heal on my own without surgery. An MRI was what ultimately showed the ruptured disc, so if you don't get any good answers from the EMG, perhaps see if you can be seen by an orthopedic spine specialist. Good luck and I hope you feel pain relief soon! It's no fun!

  9. Your hand numbness/pain sounds just like what I get periodically- a pinched nerve just above my shoulder blades. I would go to physio, do some at home exercises, use heat and it's been good. The numbness in the fingers were consistent, but that progressed to the arm pain during the daytime too prior to treatment, but at night it was pain, and the only relief was to sleep with my arm raised above my head. Within a few weeks of physio the pain was gone, and the numbness subsided. Just something to maybe consider as your medical team tries to figure out your pain. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

  10. WOW!! I love those extended cabinets. They look great!

  11. You did a great job on the cabinets. I love that you made your own to give it a new look up above. Can't wait to see the rest!

  12. I wish I would have seen you at the race. I could've used the excitement of meeting you right at that point. Coming out of the tunnel was rough for me.

  13. If your insurance doesn't cover Physical Therapy, check out Youtube. I know you have an injury right now that needs attention, but you can strengthen your hands and shoulders to help prevent future issues. I'm not a doctor, obviously, I just really believe in prevention and doing what you can by yourself. After the pain is gone, not trying to minimize that! I've been looking for myself, and my girlfriend, so this is on my mind. I found these guys, and I enjoy them so far. I don't know if you allow links, but this is searchable: "Famous Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck." https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmTe0LsfEbpkDpgrxKAWbRA


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