singin' in the distance

Our porch is moving right along. And let me tell ya- we are getting SO excited as we watch the progress move along each day.
So here is where we are since my last blog post...

The first day, the contractor pulled out the windows and carved out the openings back to where the original archways once were. Already that was such a major difference! They also pulled up the floor that was laid down over the original wood floor. There are definitely some patches of dry rot, but they are manageable and we will be replacing those boards to preserve it.

The next days were slow moving visually, but we saw progress with continuing the demo. They opened the center external doorway and just mainly put their focus on making sure there were plenty of supports so the house didn't collapse.

The last few days have been spent pulling down the drywall to reveal novelty heart of pine siding from 1926. There are a couple of spots that need to be patched with imitation novelty tongue and groove planks since the heart of pine is now extinct. I love how at this point the porch is making our little fixer upper come back to life.

We cant wait to be able to kick back a cold one on some of these upcoming hot summer nights, or sit and read a book while a rainstorm passes through, or have some house church porch parties...ahhh, a girl can day dream right?
Over the next few days, our contractor is going to be building 4 tapered columns for each support across the front, and will be adding windows back into the wall where they once were.
More updates to come!
Now Im off to juggle babies while flipping through old discontinued issues of Cottage Living to seek inspiration on color schemes. (any ideas?)


“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.”- Wolfgang von Goethe

Some of the primary reasons you buy a home in a historic district, are
1) the gorgeous architecture of the historic bungalow.
2) the hardwood floors.
3) the charming curb appeal that comes with matured oak trees and white picket fences and
4) the front porch.

Well we had none of the above at the time that we purchased our home in the historic district of Seminole Heights. My dad always said to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. Im not saying we live in the best part of Tampa by any means but with the exception of our hip-hop DJ neighbor to the right of us- which who by the way, we actually really like despite our vibrating living room from 6-8 every night and all day on weekend afternoons- every home surrounding us is quite charming and well kept. We are the eye sore of the neighborhood.

For some reason, the previous owner (who was a slum lord) thought it would be a great idea to remove the pillars of the front porch, add a bunch of crappy aluminum single pane windows, remove the front windows on the existing exterior wall, add drywall and close in that beautiful front porch to gain some extra square footage. The whole neighborhood groaned in unison as they watched it happen at some point in the 80's (so I've been told). Did I mention they painted it neon marigold?

Despite the condition of the house when we first bought it, we feel extremely blessed to have found a home that we have been able to gradually restore back to it's historic charm over time. We have been focused on renovating the interior for the last year and a half and are finally (thanks to our tax return!) able to start moving toward refining the exterior a bit.

So I say all that to say this : Today marks a very special day that we have been anticipating for the last year and a half. Today marks the day we begin our front porch renovation.

I will be documenting the progress of this renovation every couple of days, so stay tuned!


roly poly Penelope!

Im not exactly sure why time flies so much faster as we get older, but alas I truly feel like it was the blink of an eye ago that I was holding Penelope for the first time. I cannot believe she is FIVE MONTHS. That is one month shy of 6 months- which is half of a whole year old!

My little girl is growing so fast. She is the master of rolling over. She has been doing this for the last month or so, and without fail, every time I lay her down, she defaults to her position of choice- the belly. I can already see her starting to do these swim-like motions in place- so rapidly in fact that I swear her knees are going to catch the floor in mid stroke and she is going to be up and off on her first crawl.

Penelope is about the smiliest little thing I have ever seen! I mean to tell you, all you have to do is blink in her direction and she is one big gummy grin. Now there were a few weeks there where we had some separation anxiety, but she seems to be a happy camper as long as mommy, daddy or her big brother are around. She has quite the sense of humor already- she just laughs and laughs any time you have a silly face or some peek-a-boos for her.

Preson is also learning to really love and play with his baby sister. I will catch him sneaking her a kiss or laying on her playmat with her showing her all of his stuffed animals.
Penelope is following in her brothers footsteps in so many ways. One of them being that she is a lightweight. She has been exclusively breastfed and at our last visit to the pediatrician, she was recommended to supplement a bottle of formula to ensure she was getting enough calories. Well of course she decides to be stubborn about it and refuses any kind of formula (can you blame her? gross.). So we just try to supplement a bottle of breast milk instead. Note- she has taken many a bottle on the occasion that mama is not around...until now. She decides that she will NOT take a bottle of any kind. Its like she KNOWS. So after much prayer and fear of having a repeat of what we went through with Preson, we have decided to simply continue to exclusively breastfeed since we at least have that down. I am just increasing the frequency of her feedings. I have learned to be ok with my little ones being little.

We are waiting to present solids to her until she is sitting up like a champ (still working on those back muscles!) and very interested in food. I am very prayerful of this first feeding- which I am guessing will happen sometime within this month or next. I am giving my fears of any feeding adversions to the Lord daily. She has followed in Preson's patterns of feedings almost to the T, so of course the thought of it being a possiblility is there. Please pray for Penelope to be interested in eating- and to eat well. Please pray that she will thrive. And please pray that her mommy would give her fears to her Lord and trust him to take care of her baby.

All in all, Penelope has been a dream baby- Happy except for when she is tired or hungry. Sleeps through the night- from 730pm-8am! I love how she will just curl up and snuggle with me or lay on my shoulder and fall asleep. There is something so special about having a baby girl. She is perfect in my eyes and I cant wait to make new memories each day with her.