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March 1, 2013 - Author: Amy

The movers did finally arrive on Wednesday to pack.  Thursday was moving day.  Thursday night was cleaning night for Amy… except we hit a little snag.

done done2 done3

Apparently the moving company sent their B team.  Which was unfortunate because we close today, so I didn’t have the option of making them come back to finish.

Once I was done cursing and came down from my panic attack, I begged my parents to bring over some boxes before their Rascal Flatts concert.  I probably made them late, but in true Stearman fashion, they didn’t complain at me.  Then I begged my in-laws to come over with their truck so we could store this stuff at their house.  They didn’t complain at me either.

Our realtor sent me a text regarding our relocation experience: “I’ve never seen anything like this.  I believe you’re being tested.  Keep the faith.”  He’s an old family friend and a good man.  So I kept the faith and said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  But then I paid for that because Kelly Clarkson was in my head the rest of the night.  Hmpf.

We got everything moved, and I mopped my way out of the house for the last time.

done4 done5

And really wasn’t too upset to close the door behind me.  It occurred to me later that maybe the move was supposed to be maddening instead of easy, so that I would feel mad rather than sad.

Things happen in a certain way for certain reasons, and this cluster eff of a move ensured me some closure.  I’m done.

Dear “O” Family,

Welcome home!  We sincerely hope that you are happy in your new house, and will enjoy many years there.


D, Amy, Junior and Bill

32 Comments - Categories: Home Building

That Time I Failed at Life.

February 26, 2013 - Author: Amy

Remember that time that Kansas was under literal feet of snow when we were supposed to be moving out and I almost starved to death

The saga continues.

So there I was, home alone, minding my own business because like a genius I’d already cancelled the satellite and didn’t have anything to do BUT mind my business when I heard the sound of footsteps on the front porch.  I froze, half terrified it was a zombie, half hopeful it was Meals on Wheels.

I froze, because I knew I’d been spotted.  See?


And reality was so much worse than zombies.  It was a dude in a ski mask.  Legit.  Like that scene in Fargo.

But my momma raised a lady with manners, so like an idiot I answered the door.  He was actually very nice and apologetic about his appearance.

Masked stranger/likely murderer: “I know I must look like a monster, but wanted to offer to plow your driveway.”

Me: “NO!” ~slams door, runs away and hides under covers~

Where was my trusty sidekick/protector?  The people want to know.

trees 028Judas.

 Saturday was my poor husband’s birthday.  Before admitting that I had neither a gift or a card for him, I feel it necessary to remind you that I’d been snowed in for DAYS, almost starved, had a near-murdered experience, and also suffered from boredom due to lack of HGTV.

Somehow none of those things stopped my mom (that shower-upper) from making him his favorite treat – a sour cream raisin pie. 


Some of my favorite FB comments after sharing this picture: “Did your mom make him the sun?!”, “Do sour cream raisin pies normally glow in the dark?”, “He must be older than he looks because that pie is on FIAH!”.

To thank them for celebrating his birthday so sweetly, we kicked them out of their bedroom and moved into it.  Then D left for Texas for two weeks.  ~le weep~

Junior is bunking with me for the duration and nap time in the transition has proved… tricky.

nap What’s this?  Delicious mints grandma left on all our pillows?


Don’t mind if I do… 

nap3 I know mom almost starved to death this week, but let’s be honest, the last thing those hips need is chocolate.


The look of sweet victory.

D?  Lack of birthday festivities on my part in no way reflect my feelings towards you.  I still think you’re the bees knees and I’ve got some big impressive birthday plans in the cooker for when you get back – hopefully sans snow.  Miss you and love you!


Wifey of the Year

28 Comments - Categories: Critters, Home Building


February 25, 2013 - Author: Amy

You know how I said the movers were coming last week?  And you guys were all really sweet with the well wishing?  Well.  The Blizzard of Oz hit and they postponed for Tuesday.  When round two of snowmageddon is scheduled to hit.  However, it’s only supposed to be another foot on top of the foot currently on the ground, so I’m not really worried.


Except that my pants are on fire because I’m completely worried!  We close on Friday, y’alls!  They want two days to pack, and one day to move.  D is in Texas for two weeks, and I’m at a complete loss because since this is a company relocation, I have zero control over the rest.  We’ve cleaned everything but the floors, so I need to get back up there one more time to make sure the place is shining for the new owners. 

Which, by the way, I heard from and they are completely delightful!  Hiiiiii, Mrs. “O”!

Backing up.

Jr. spent the night Wednesday night with my in-laws, because they usually get him at least one day a week.  D went to work.  Then it started to snow and my office closed.  I was home all alone, and my boys were snowed in where they were.  I’d already cancelled the satellite and we hadn’t gone grocery shopping because we didn’t want to move food.  It got dire, friends.  I was down to a little wine and half a box of girl scout cookies.  I was about to gnaw my way through the snow to the nearest Chipotle.

But it was kind of nice to have a little time to say goodbye to the house.

home2 home3 housey

I didn’t starve, and my boys eventually made their ways home.  After working for 48 hours straight,



D came home and shoveled the driveway, made Junior a snowman, AND an igloo.  Daddy of the year!



Bill also really enjoyed the snow day.


We did make our way over to my parents, but this post is already kind of long so I’ll tell the tales of their insufferable hospitality on another day.

Until then, wish us (and the movers, and the new home owners) luck!


26 Comments - Categories: D (Also known as Tex and Hubbylovepunkinpants), Home Building, Junior


January 25, 2013 - Author: Amy

We sold our house. 

I feel :) and :(, but mostly just relieved. 

We were down to a week left to sell before the company bought us out.  Which would have been ok, because at least we wouldn’t have had to carry two mortgages.  But, they don’t exactly give you market value so we were really praying we wouldn’t have to take that route.

A not great but not terrible offer came in last weekend.  With their offer came several requests – mostly for our furniture.  *pout*  We went back and forth with them until we’d finally decided we could live with it and gave our realtor the green light.

But then.

Then, they decided they wanted to add one more request – they wanted belt driven garage door openers installed.

Sighhhhh…. I know that sounds like small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but you must understand.  D and I are done.  We are done working on this house.  We are done spending money on it.  We pumped the brakes on the negotiations.

In the meantime, my father in law called to tell us that he’d heard from some people whose friends had been to a showing at our house and wanted to make an offer.  But unfortunately for them, it was MLK Day, and their bank was closed.

D called our realtor back and told him that we believe in things happening for a reason, and that God’s timing is uncanny.  We asked for 24 hours to decide to accept the first offer, or see if a second came in.

The second offer came in early the next morning, and it was better than we’d dared to hope!  But more than that, they had attached the sweetest letter telling us how they sympathized with our having to move out of our dream home, but that it is their dream home too, detailing why.  It was such a welcome salve to the final step in the process.

We accepted without countering, and we close March 1.

We need to get serious about buying.  We are going to look for a third time this weekend.  The houses we’ve seen so far have all been very nice and look like your average heartland home, but I swear, all we see is:


Lord help us.

43 Comments - Categories: Home Building


January 8, 2013 - Author: Amy

Our house is still on the market.  It makes me be all tidy and make the bed every morning.  Bright side?

We’ve had lots of showings.  Looooots of showings.  A full price offer came in, but then they were all “LOL/JK.”  So that was neat.  Another family who came through decided it wasn’t good enough to just not buy the house.  They needed to leave some scalding feedback about everything they hated.

Here’s the deal.  We built this house for US.  To live in forever.  Not to sell six months later.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea because it’s our cup of tea.


This process is hard enough, you know?  And like a very wise girl told me “Just because others may be fighting tougher battles than you doesn’t mean that the crossroads you and D find yourself in aren’t hard and difficult to face.”

It got me to thinking.  We’re all facing battles.  All the time.

I’m trying to be more present, right?  And enjoy my gifts?  Sounds a little selfish on the back end.  Soooooo…. I’m adding a third meaning.  A trifecta, because I run deep as the lyrics of a Taylor Swift song.  I want to be more of a present, a gift, to those around me too.  We’re all facing hard battles.  What if I could ease someone elses load, however slight, rather than tear them down and call their finishes cheap when they’re already struggling?  What then?

I aim to find out, with at least one conscious, thought out, outward kindness every day.

D requested I begin with him so I fished his misplaced wedding ring out of the dryer and gave his rear end a nice slap.

It’s a start.

Now to the real nitty-gritty of this post.  Who else thinks Daniel Day-Lewis is a complete bad a**?  We found ourselves on a kidless date last weekend and went to see Lincoln.

You guys.  Go see Lincoln, even if you are late and forced to sit on the second row.



PS – You caught the irony and sarcasm about the Taylor Swift song, right?

28 Comments - Categories: Home Building


October 9, 2012 - Author: Amy

We have been working on wrapping up several loose ends around the house.  None of which are earth shattering, but nonetheless I was happy to see them get done.  If you follow me on Instagram (@amymccarter) you may have seen some of these pics already.

D found two sets of doors salvaged out of an old country club with an “M” sketched in the glass.  This was handy, as our last name begins with “M”.  We painted both sets black.

One set is in our bedroom, the other finally got hung in the office.

 We have a light post off the old Kansas Avenue bridge in Topeka.  The pole has been set for a while, and D installed the globe over the weekend.  This thing lights up the entire front yard!

We have two decks off the back of the house, but just one is covered.

Sorry, the only pic I could find of it is when it was under construction.  But you get the idea.  The interior, we hadn’t worried about because it was just too blasted hot to work on.  But now that it’s nicer out, D and his heterosexual life partner, Nate (on the right) started adding the tin.

And finally, the thing I am the very most excited about…. our dining room table!  It’s in the works!  We’ve just had a gaping hole in the dining room where a table should be.  D has started on it, and so far, it is looking awesome.

We stole the legs off a table we bought at an antique store for $20, and painted them black.  The tabletop itself is made from applewood planks taken out of the old wine box cars.

  We found them on Craigslist and bought them all.  We figure we’re at about $12 per plank, and we used three for the table.  So we’re only into it for about $56.  I can’t wait for the finished product!

21 Comments - Categories: Home Building

Fireplace Pillars

September 27, 2012 - Author: Amy

We did just a little updating in the living room a couple weekends ago.  I’ve shown you our fireplace before.

D did all that rock all by himself!  Still just blows my mind.  Anyway, we had some pillars we knew we’d wanted to add but they were pretty crusty and gross. 

Originally, I wanted them painted black to match the kitchen cabinets.

But once he started to get the old paint off, the wood below was really pretty.

So we decided to set them up and see how we liked them.

Junior supervised.

Mmm, leg muscles and food network.

And we liked them.  We think leaving them natural, while still being noticeable, is not overpowering.

 But what do you think?  Should we leave them natural, or do you vote black?

32 Comments - Categories: Home Building

Framing Flowers

September 5, 2012 - Author: Amy

Or weeds, whatever your 17 month old picks out of your yard and hands you.

Like everything else he does, the gesture made my heard explode and I wanted to hang on to them.  So I dug around in the basement for a frame I wasn’t using.

I graduated.  Go me!

Yank the photo, insert weeds memories just like Lindsay.

Find a spot to display said memories. 

I wandered around for a while when I realized I’ve never shown you guys the half bath.  Probably because it isn’t finished yet.  But that’s where I sat my weeds memories so I guess I’ll go ahead and do that now.

It’s behind this barn door.

Cedar wall, old timey light, Hobby Lobby mirror (that isn’t hung yet, but just balancing on the faucet), special order faucet that comes directly out of the wall, $7 Hobby Lobby bucket turned sink, and one really old carpenter’s chest on a set of claw feet.

It’s actually already one of my favorite spaces.  It needs trim, and the paint touched up, and a few other details before I can call it finished.

 But for now it’s a good home for my weeds.

I mean memories.

29 Comments - Categories: Home Building, Home Goods

The Post You’ve All Been Waiting For!

July 12, 2012 - Author: Amy

I heard you.

Out there in bloggyville, whispering, wondering, waiting.

When, oh, when will Amy show us her new shower door??


Today, my friends.  Today.

Get out your party hats and Dale Jr coffee mugs.

Because this one is going to be a doozy.

Not.  (Party on, Wayne)

D and I really did agree on almost everything throughout the build.  And we each had one thing in particular we really wanted – I wanted my tub, and D wanted a big shower with dual shower heads.

And now you know what brand shampoo we use.

One lesson learned – if you simply must supersize something, you’re going to pay.

ie: supersized shower door.

Paying for it was the hardest part though, as it turns out. 

Now I would rather listen to a CD of Fran Drescher’s laughter than read through how-to instructions, but lucky for me, D is a natural at ciphering them.

And in no time he was measuring, cutting, leveling and drilling.

Honestly, I was surprised by the amount of time it didn’t take to get it installed.  And it is tres better than the temporary shower curtain we had up… flapping in the breeze… sticking to my leg.  Bah!

Here is Junior Vanna White-ing the new door.

~wolf whistle~

And here is the door itself.

My apologies for posting this so early in the day as I’m sure it will most likely be a high point for you. 

Yep, it’s all down hill after Amy’s shower door post…. :(

41 Comments - Categories: Home Building, Home Goods

A Real Life Home

June 21, 2012 - Author: Amy

To say that we have been dreaming about and working toward this house for a long time would be an understatement.  From the moment we got together, we began talking about what we wanted for the future, and a home to raise our little family in was top on the list.

We’d both bounced around quite a bit.  I don’t think I’ve lived in a house longer than two years since I moved out of my parents in college.


D traveled for work and was barely ever at his house.


We wanted it to feel cozy,




 and function well.

It was a long time coming, and we aren’t done yet, but we are thrilled with where we are so far.

 Which is home!

37 Comments - Categories: Home Building