Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ree's Bi-annual Blog Post {Full of life announcements, changes, and what I have in common with Angelina}

OK, I'm a terrible blogger. I should probably just shut Le Blog I have a grand average of 2 posts a year. 

Y'all just come friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'm much better in small, short doses.

Anywhoo, since my blog has been reduced to major life announcements, here's the latest!


Probably a lot of people out there saw the recent news story of Angelina Jolie's preventative mastectomies and reconstruction surgeries. Other minor celebs have made similar choices in past years, such as Giuliana Rancic, but Angie is by far the most well-known person to have this done.

However, there's a whole network of Previvors out there...just normal women, moms, sisters, wives...strong and resilient women who make bold choices for their health and well-being. "Everyday" women have been making these choices for years now before Angelina Jolie has made it chic. And please understand, there's some criticism out there about AJ going public, but I am glad she did! She says in her own article that she wants other women to benefit from the choices that she made.

Some of you out there know mine and my family's journey with this disease and the BRCA gene. I am beyond thankful for you and the support and prayers that have been offered on behalf of all of us!
My personal experience with breast cancer came in middle school, when my mother's sister was diagnosed at the age of 33...not ironically, the age I am now. It rocked our world and unfortunately we lost our sweet Noela before her 40th birthday from metastasized cancer. I was 16. I think the fear associated with breast cancer has lived in the back of my consciousness ever since.

My mom and my aunt on Noela's wedding day. 
I'm the flower girl on the left at my aunt's wedding.

In the past 3 years, we have survived the diagnosis and treatment of 3 more family members with breast or ovarian cancer. We thank God everyday that He chose to preserve the lives of our dear ones!
But starting with my mother's breast cancer diagnosis in 2011, we became aware of the BRCA gene mutations. Every woman who has had a diagnosis of cancer has tested positive for BRCA 2 mutation, and last July, I tested positive as well. You can read my Previvor Day post below.

Me visiting the aunt who has fought and survived ovarian/fallopian tube cancer
Me, mom and my sister. Thankfully, my sister tested negative for the BRCA  mutation!

After consulting with doctors and surgeons, praying and thinking, Scott and I have decided to move forward with a prophylactic mastectomy (PBM) and breast reconstruction.

I scheduled that for July 11...just a bit over a year after I found out I was BRCA+.

So, with less than 30 days to surgery, I write this, not to make other feel sorry for me and my family, but to help raise awareness. Investigate your family history. Please have your yearly exams. Speak up if something isn't right.

My reasons are my own, for having the PBM now instead of waiting, having kids, etc. etc. I am happy to answer any questions though, so just email, Tweet, or Facebook me. Every woman who faces this has to do what is right for them and their families. After all, it's for our families that most of us make these hard choices-if I am able to have children, I want to see them grow up! While the thought of having cancer does scare me, what scares me more is my family having to go through that again.

Some have called me brave, and I guess that I am...there's a lot of times that I certainly don't feel brave. But I constantly remind myself of the positive outcomes of my decision and most of all, that the Lord has placed me in this time and season by design, and that He is here. I'm thankful for the support of family and friends and for the excellent medical care we have here in Birmingham. I'll be cared for by two wonderful surgeons at St. Vincent's, both of whom cared for my mom with her surgeries.


After 10 years of working for a local OB-GYN office, I am moving on. A job offer came out of the blue, and Scott and I really felt that it was God's leading for a change. OB GYN South has been a family to me through the years, and it's been a joy to also see many of my friends come through as patients and watch their families grow! I will miss my OBGYN South family, but considering all of my medical stuff going on, they aren't getting rid of me completely!

I'll be tentatively starting at the first part of July, getting oriented to the new place, then be on medical leave for my surgery. Evan Terry and Associates have been so understanding, generous, and flexible with me, even before I have a chance to be an employee! I'm excited for a new opportunity to learn and grow as a professional and very grateful for the chance to do so with ETA!

And worry not, I'm still running my wedding planning business, Tres Beau Weddings and Special Events and my studio, Bluff Park Weddings. I'm not going anywhere as far as that's concerned, and I'd love to be booking some new brides for 2014! 

Final Thoughts on the Crazy That Is My Life

The last several weeks have been very, very stressful, and I have many more weeks of the same anticipated, considering the above situations, plus some others that I will not go into here.

 I know that the Lord allows trials and suffering into our lives, and at the end of each day, we have to cling to the Lord's promises. 

David Crowder said it best, when he sang that "He makes everything glorious". I have to believe that, even the crazy messes of our lives, are for His glory and He is here....and that is enough. I pray that Scott and I will have grace and endurance through everything we go through, and I am BEYOND grateful that God graciously gifted me with Scott as a life partner. I literally do not know what I would do without him!

Scott and I at his cousin's wedding in march of this year <3 br="">

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

National Previvor Day-My Story

September 26 is National Previvor happens to fall on the week that span September, national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and October, national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Both of these cancers have touched my family over the last few years....and PRAISE GOD for His healing and care for my mom, my aunt and my grandmother, as they are all beating it. One member of my family was not so fortunate, and died from metastasized breast cancer when I was 16. My dear Aunt Noela was not even 40 years old. But that was 16 years ago now, and cancer research and treatments have come leaps and bounds in the last 16 years.

One of those advances is with genetic research in female cancers. Physicians long theorized that breast cancers might be genetically linked, but they weren't sure how. {SIDE NOTE: Know your family history! On both sides of your family! It's important!!} But now, they have pinpointed genes, that when a mutation occurs, increased a woman's chances of developing ovarian and/or breast cancers. They are called the BRACA 1 and 2 genes.

Part of my mom's diagnosis a year ago for breast cancer included genetic testing, particularly when her surgeon found out that my mom's sister died from breast cancer and another sister was in the middle of battling ovarian/Fallopian tube cancer. So along with the news last September that she found out she had breast cancer, mom was also told that she was "BRACA positive", meaning that she has that gene mutation.

We were devastated, of course. Especially since the family's energy had been focused the last 18 months or so on my aunt battling ovarian cancer. But my mom is a SUPER positive and energetic person (if you know her, you are laughing right now) and that certainly helped buoy everyone. But after the surgeries, there's still that BRACA gene mutation to deal with.

With mom's positive BRACA, that sent all the women in the family off to be tested. We can't be sure, but the doctor's think that my aunt who passed away 16 years ago was probably positive, particularly since she was so young with a cancer diagnosis. My aunt who just battled ovarian cancer is positive. My mom's mother is positive. Thankfully, their other sister, the youngest of the sisters, is negative.

I'm the oldest of 4; two girls and two boys; my sister is the youngest, with the brothers in between. We ALL had to be tested, even the boys. {While men DO develop breast cancer, even with a positive BRACA mutation, the risk apparently isn't that much higher. A positive BRACA male's risk is in passing that to his children.} Turns out, the youngest, Jacob and Abby, are negative {so they fall into the "normal" risk categories for breast/ovarian cancers}. The other brother, Noel, and I, are both positive.

{So are you keeping count here? It's confusing. BRACA positive family members: my mom, her mom, her sister, my brother, and myself. I think my mom's cousin and my grandmother's sister were tested too, but I don't know their outcomes}

So getting back to the Previvor Day. "Previvor" is a new-ish term, meaning someone who has the knowledge {eg-BRACA results} to "outwit" cancer, so as to not have to be a survivor. Lord willing, this means that with proper screening,  testing, and other preventative measures, I will not have to one day tell my family the dreaded words of "I have cancer". Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, and I now have extra knowledge to deal with my risk of cancer.

I was really upset about my BRACA positive diagnosis. And all kinds of unexpected feelings and thoughts went through me. {"I'm a genetic freak!"} Definitely, fear is the over-arching feeling. Trusting the Lord in this is hard. {"Why would He create me like this?"} Feeling alone and isolated. Doubts about having children are lurking. {"Do I even want to knowingly pass this gene mutation on to kids?"}My typical reaction to conflict or bad/hard situations is an ostrich-response: stick my head in the sand, and it will go away. Pretend that it's not there. Avoidance. {It took me 9 months after mom's diagnosis to eve go get my genetic testing.}

 So, you may be wondering what to do with this knowledge of a positive BRACA mutation. Well, for now, I'll be having mammograms, breast MRIs, pelvic ultrasounds, and blood tests....every six months. They will monitor everything (breasts and ovaries) very closely to track changes. Honestly, it's going to be exhausting. But not as exhausting as chemotherapy would be. {AND I happen to work at my OBGYN. What a blessing is that?? Super convenient!}So, IF something changes, the docs can catch it super early. Eventually, I have no doubt that I'll have prophylactic mastectomies and a hysterectomy. As to WHEN to do that, Scott and I are still thinking and praying. Obviously, we haven't had children yet, so that's a major factor.

I am also making lifestyle changes, as has been hinted at on Facebook. Being overweight and inactive increases risk for cancer, and plenty of other modern diseases. {And heart diseases and diabetes "run in the family" too...that could do me in before a cancer does!!} I'm exploring a Paleo/primal lifestyle to make dietary changes. Avoiding all processed foods, cutting WAY back on gluten (because it has been shown to be inflammatory, even without a celiac disease) and carbohydrates in general, cutting sugar, and focusing on high-quality proteins and plenty of veggies and some fruit. I'm trying to at least go walking everyday, and do short strength workouts.

Even if I cannot change my genes, I can help my body do what it can in reacting to my genetic makeup. And a healthier lifestyle never hurt anyone, right??

So, back to today: National Previvor Day. Some of y'all who know me IRL may be shocked or whatever by this post. I haven't told many people at all, even though I've known my BRACA results since July. I'm sorry if you ARE finding out this way...I just honestly have been dealing with how to tell people. So, I figured this was as good a day as any! {I live a "social media life", but somehow, this wasn't something that one tweets out immediately. And I don't blog very often anymore, but writing about this helps, I think.}

What I want to do on this Previvor Day, is to encourage others (women AND men) to:

  • Know your family histories! Ask about even your father's side...I met a girl in her 30's who's BRACA mutation came form her dad's side of the family! If you discover more than one family member who's had a female cancer, ask your doc about genetic testing!
  • Do your hear about it all the time, so just do it.
  • Do your yearly check ups at the doctor. It's not fun or enjoyable, I know, but it could very well save your life. Mom's breast cancer was caught by mammogram at a really early stage. She still had to do chemo, but not as much or as long, because it was early staged.
  • Almost all of us could make positive changes for a healthier lifestyle. So take and honest look at yours...cut out processed foods, cut out fried foods or start taking a walk everyday. {This is a daily struggle to overcome 32 years of poor eating habits and a loathing for exercise, so I'm mostly talking to myself here folks}
Psalm 139:13-16
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. 
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 

Questions? Just ask me!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ree's Cookbook: Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I have made this casserole countless times, revised it and perfected it. And have told many of my friends who wanted the recipe that it was on my blog...except that it wasn't! Major oops! So sorry to any of you who I told to just "look it up on my blog"! This is a staple recipe for me and I truly thought it was up here! 

So, without further a do, here's Ree's Chicken and Broccoli Casserole, or if you prefer something fancier, "Chicken Divan". 

Makes one 9x11 casserole (and doubles, triples, etc very well!)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on size)
1 LB. frozen broccoli cuts
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
16 oz. mayonnaise
shredded cheddar cheese
curry powder
Ritz crackers

1. Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts; boil in a large pot OR bake in oven until cooked through.When cooked and cooled slightly, chop into bite-size pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Boil frozen broccoli until JUST cooked through. {I hate soggy broccoli, and it will cook more in the oven, so I usually cook mine "al dente"}Drain and add to the chicken in large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the soup and mayo. Add in some curry, to taste. {I think the original recipe gave a 1 TBS measurement, but you can certainly do more or less, depending on taste. I do more.}This is what I commonly call the "goo".
4. Toss the chicken and broccoli with a handful or so of shredded cheese {again, no measurement, go with what you like!} and pour the "goo" in, combining all ingredients well.
5. Spread in 9x11 baking dish. Top with crushed Ritz crackers and more shredded cheese. {I usually use one sleeve of crackers per baking dish, but Scott likes more}
6. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour, until bubbly and internal temp is at least 170 degrees. {PSA: everyone should have a kitchen thermometer!}

Enjoy y'all! This is not a fancy dish, like I am prone to making, but its good, homey comfort food! I have people all the time tell me they don't like casseroles and/or broccoli, but they love this casserole, so give it a try!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scott & Ann Marie: 10 Years!

In some ways, I think, "I couldn't have been married for 10 years already!"; but in other ways, I cannot remember what my life was like before Scott!
Of course, at 21 and 23, we were children when we married! ;)

So, here's a fun "then and now" comparison! 

10 years ago, Scott had just finished college the May before and finished the Managment Associate program at AmSouth Bank (now Regions). He was opening new branches, managing branches, poised to become a junior executive. 
10 years ago, I was almost finished at Jefferson State Community College with my Culinary Arts degree, working full-time at Saks, Inc. Corporate Dining. (Remember when Saks 5th Avenue was headquartered in Birmingham??) I was the catering assistant and deli chef. I liked my job, but really, all I wanted was to be a homemaker. I wasn't really keen on working full-time outside the home.

Now, Scott just began seminary at Beeson Divinity, and works part-time for SMIC and Berney Points Baptist Church. He is the College and Young Adult Minister for our church, and we couldn't imagine a better ministry! Over the last 10 years, his focus for a career has certainly changed!
Now, I still work outside the home for an OB-GYN office, doing secretarial work, and I own my own business, Tres Beau Weddings and Special Events, planning and designing weddings! I had quickly learned that full-time chef work was not what I wanted long-term...I still keep my hands in food (so to speak!) but doing some catering on the side! I also cook dinner for the college group weekly Bible study and the Young Adult Bible study. 

10 years ago, we were attending Shades Mountain Independent Church, our home church, where we've both grown up. I sang in the choir, and if my memory is correct, we still had two services back then. Scott led worship in the Youth Group with Jonathan. (Ah, the pre-cursor to Adoration Band!)

Now, we still at attending SMIC! As mentioned above, we do the College and Young Adult ministries. Scott went to work for the church about 4 months after we were married, to do the church administration. We thought that this would be short-term job, then he would either start applying for grad schools for economics, or go back to the banking world. Eventually, we felt the Lord's call to full-time ministry. (This realization took me much longer!)

10 years ago, Scott and I signed for our house the day before the wedding (happy birthday to our house!); however, the house was not "live-able", and required 6 weeks of intense remodeling after our honeymoon! We were so grateful for our families who helped non-stop and several friends who worked long hours with us! We bought our 1948 cottage, thinking that it would be a good "starter home", and that in a promotion or two, we'd upgrade.

Now, we are still in remodeling process (I've already re-done the bathroom for the 2nd time). We love our little home, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else! Our most recent (still not finished) projects include re-doing the outside from the old siding to cedar shingles, adding on a laundry/mud room, and a re-configured deck. 

10 years ago, the September 11th attacks happened right before our wedding. We changed our honeymoon plans because of this, because international travel was so if-y. We went to North Carolina instead and had a wonderful, relaxing time. But patriotism abounded at this time, and the Afganistan/Iraq War was beginning.

Now, we all know that the wars are still going on...but we caught and executed Saddam Hussein and more recently, Bin Laden. Scott and I made it to London and Paris for our 5th wedding anniversary, and have also been abroad for missions. We are planning our big 10th anniversary trip to Paris for January!

How about some pop culture and price comparison info! This should be fun!

Gallon of Gas:
2001: $1.47
2011: $3.45

Pound of Coffee:
2001: $3.06
2011: $10.00 (depending on your brand, of course) and/or $5.00 for an espresso-based drink

Postage stamp:
2001: 34 cents
2011: 44 cents (wait, people still mail things??)

In 2001, Wikipedia came online and Apple released the 1st iPod!

Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, was released that Christmas (totally went to the midnight release!). Shrek began his movie franchise, as did the Ocean movies. And Harry Potter began his 10 year reign (while Southern Baptist preachers were denouncing him from pulpits) with The Sorcerer's Stone.

On the music scene, we had a weird mix of "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias, "Here's To The Night" by Eve 6, "Beautiful Day" by U2, "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado, "Fallin" by Alicia Keyes, "Independent Woman" by Destiny's Child, and "Lady Marmalade" (Moulin Rouge soundtrack!) for some of the good stuff. Unfortunately in 2001, we heard, "Drops of Jupiter" by Train (over and over and over), "It's Been Awhile" by Staind, and "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed....

Happy Anniversary to me and Scottie!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Thousand and Eleven

I'm sitting here in front of my computer screen trying to think through all of the things that have happened in our lives over the last 10 months...that last time I blogged was last November, 2010! But alas, words are escaping me.

Me and Scott in Zurich, Switzerland, en route to Montenegro this August
We've travelled--North Carolina, California, Montenegro/Switzerland/Italy/Croatia. Anniversary trip to Cali and missions to Montenegro (by way of the other countries). See Cali pics here! And my pics from Camp Monty here.
Us with the Cali nieces and nephews!

College group Spring Break trip!
We've closed one book of our life and opened a new one--Scott started post-grad work at Beeson Divinity. He is no longer employed full-time at SMIC, although we are continuing in our college and young adult ministry there. And the Lord provided a full scholarship and other employment!

Scott's stack of books for seminary...semester one! Many, many, more books to come!

I'm trying to grow a small business, while still working full time--Tres Beau Weddings and Special Events is growing so well, and I'm so thankful to be able to do what I love! I'm formulating a new business plan for expansion, with possibly a store-front! Learning as I go, of course.

One of my biggest weddings of 2011, Josh and Julie Payne!  

And the other big wedding this year just happened to be my cousin's! Chris and Natalie!

We've also had some hard times this year--job changes, and circumstances thereby, were hard emotionally. Scott still struggles with pain from his two shoulder surgeries, and probably will for the rest of his life. And last week, cancer invaded my family once again, with my mom's diagnosis of breast cancer. It's early for her, and she'll have a double mastectomy next week. But her genetic testing came back also with a positive for BRCA, or the "breast cancer gene", so that has some serious ramifications for me and my sister.

Mothers Day 2011 at Mimi's house

So, there's the BIG highlights of 2011...see my Twitter if you want the specifics, and my Facebook if you want pictures....I'm MUCH better at keeping up with Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scott and Ree's Guide to New York City: Part 1, Restaurants

We are not experts (whatever that means) on New York, but plenty of people ask us all the time about what to do/see/eat while visiting the Big Apple. It's one of my favorite places in the world (right behind Paris, duh) & we go at least once a year,  so without further ado, here's Part One, Restaurants.

Our Short List:

Brasserie Les Halles

This French restaurant is owned by Anthony Bourdain and has traditional French cafe-type dishes. Surprisingly, its affordable too! We first went there for my 30th birthday last year and also visited last summer. It has a bustling, dark interior, wood paneling and white tablecloths. No reservations are needed, but might be useful if you are visiting on a weekend evening. There's two locations in New York, but we have only been to the Park Avenue South location.
I've ordered the steak frites and the steak au poivre and both were excellent. (Randomly, they have the best butter that I have ever tasted! Its cold, smooth and creamy, not too salty but has an amazing fresh taste. And I cannot figure out who their supplier for that butter is either, or I would buy some and ship it to Birmingham!)

This Brooklyn classic is tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge and is a short subway ride away from Manhattan. In nice weather, and if you feel like some exercise, it is fun to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. You can get some great photos of Manhattan from the bridge!
Be prepared for a wait--we've never caught it when there isn't a wait. But the pizza and atmosphere are well worth it! While you sit and wait on your order at the checkered-tableclothed tables, you can watch the pizza chefs toss the dough, throw the toppings around and slide the pizzas in and out of the ovens. It's a noisy, crowded, fast-paced New York pizza joint, and so much fun!

Great views from across the Brooklyn Bridge!

Worth the wait!

This bakery's popularity exploded after being in a popular TV show, but it remains a nice little spot to grab a snack and explore a unique NY neighborhood. We usually go to the one in Greenwich Village, but have stopped at the Rockefeller shop too, out of cupcake desperation.
There's no seating at the Greenwich Village location, but in nice weather, we like to sit in the little park thats across the street and enjoy the neighborhood while enjoying our cupcakes. And cupcakes particularly are the draw here, my favorites are the ones with sprinkles!
In rainy or snowy weather, take your little cupcake box and head to Grand Central Terminal or to Rockefeller Center to people watch while cupcaking!

This restaurant is always crowded as well, as it's a popular tourist spot. The main thing here is their signature Frozzzzzen Hot Chocolate. It's like a chocolate milkshake/sundae thing, and its reeeeeally good. Its topped with plenty of whipped cream and served with a spoon and a straw. It's more than enough to share with a friend. However, they have a minimum charge per person that is required here. So if you only come for dessert, everyone has to order a dessert and a drink to spend enough. So, that's kind of a bummer, unless you go and also order regular meal. So we reccommend Serendipity with these reservations. 
Chocolaty goodness!

The restaurant is very cute, decorated in fanciful Art Deco style. Its a fun girls place for sure!

Fun Lunch Options in NYC:
Shenanigans in Central Park after lunch

Enjoying our lunch, just watch out for the squirrels!
  • Find a deli or sandwich shop that's not a huge chain--grab a sandwich and head to Central Park. Find a shady bench and enjoy! Hands down the best way to eat lunch!

  • Bryant Park- There's lots of options around the park to grab lunch and there's also a cafe. We haven't eaten at the park cafe, but I'm sure its worth trying out! This is personally my favorite spot in the city! Its a small park, but it seems to be where locals eat and enjoy good weather on their lunch breaks. In the warm months, they have an abundance of cafe tables and chairs set up on the lawn. In winter they convert the lawn to an ice rink and have little booths set up for shopping. Southwest Air sponsors a patio that sells drinks and appetizers and even provides Snuggies and patio heaters in cooler weather!

Even though it was rainy, Bryant Park was still a great lunch spot!

Fun Dinner Options in NYC:
  • Little Italy: Yes, its a tourist trap, but decent Italian food can be found here. We don't have a particular favorite, so take a little time and look at menu boards and decide what fits your craving and budget. In the summertime, most restaurants have patio seating. After dinner, find a gelato stand and you can't go wrong!
  • The Upper East Side: This posh residential area of Manhattan is sprinkled with restaurants of all price points. Do a little research and find something that sounds good! We've eaten at a couple of good places, so be adventurous and try something new!
Our General Advice:
  • Try to eat local! Why would you spend all that money to go to the best city in the world and eat at a place you have at home?? 
  • Your meals don't have to be expensive either--we are usually dragging a group of college students around, so we definately can eat on the cheaper side! And work deals like hotel breakfasts too. 
  • I haven't done food carts or trucks, but that's a huge trend right now in bigger cities. Great for lunch and late night. Next trip I'm wanting to research that and see what I find!
  • Avoid Times Square area like the plague...I try not to go there in general anyway, but its worth seeing the spectacle, especially at night, if you've never been. But don't eat there. Please. The restaurants will be sub-par and over-priced. 
  • Remember that you are in arguably the food capital of the world--try a new type of cuisine! Do a little research ahead of time if you know you want a type of cuisine. Rachel was in the city at the same time I was last August, and she had researched Greek restaurants, so we met at one of them for lunch!

Bon appetit and happy travels!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Home Improvement Afters

I finally blogged and told yall what we've been working on, showed you some "before" and "during" reno pictures, but I suppose you'd like to know how our projects turned out, huh? :)
Here's a few from our almost-but-not-quite-finished home improvement projects:
My fab aqua trim in the re-decorated bathroom!
The Bathroom: got a complete redesign, going from black and white toile wallpaper to soft gold walls with antiqued aqua trim on the window and door frame. I haven't finished getting all of the accessories, but we did buy a new mirrored medicine cabinet and did away with the over-toilet cabinet. I found rugs the same color as the walls, but haven't decided on fabric for a shower curtain...still searching for just the right thing!
Wide-shot of the wall color with the trim!
Shot of the inside door trim...still deciding on painting the entire door aqua...what do you think?
The trim work was painted aqua, then sanded down with the power sander and then glazed with 2 coats of brown glaze to tone-down the blue and antique it.

This was my inspiration for painting and antiquing the trim:
This was taken in our room at the B&B we stayed in in Montreal last year for our anniversary!

The other major project we tackled was the laundry room addition! I haven't taken a lot of afters with the shelving in and my new, fun laundry sorter, but these few pics will give you a good idea of what it looks like!
My brother Jacob & Tommy hard at work, with my dad supervising :)
You can see how the room was extended out to the right, enclosing what was the outside door from the kitchen (you can see the white door behind the ladder). The room was also doubled in width! And then, you can see the window that's now being enclosed, right in the center of the new room. On the other side of that window is the 2nd bedroom (that we use as a den), so that window got taken out and drywalled in.
Here's the new room with walls! That hole is now the door to the outside, which will walk out onto the new deck (yet to be finished)
So you can get a good idea of how it looks now! There are two windows that were cut out after this pic was taken, and of course a door installed. We changed the roof-line so that we can accommodate any future additions!

I painted the walls a nice light tan. For the flooring, we finally chose a tile that looks like travertine. Maybe I'll get pics of the inside soon...