Why my family went 9 months without a kitchen sink

Yes, it’s true.  Our family of 5, with 3 kids 5 and under, went 9 months without a kitchen sink. No, we are not crazy, as many of you might think. (ok, maybe a little)

Don’t get me wrong, we still had a sink….a utility sink, around the corner from the kitchen, in the bathroom, with no surrounding countertops.  That’s where we did dishes, washed out rollers and paintbrushes from painting, and washed hands when we were downstairs.  It was far from perfect, not even close to ideal. But it was usable, and it worked.  We still ate and cooked yummy food, and were clean.  It was just a little different. And we used a lot of paper plates and plastic spoons.

Isn't it lovely?!

Isn’t it lovely?!

Some people have asked me regarding the remodel, “Why is it taking so long? You have lived there since September.”  If you have ever completed a kitchen remodel, or better yet, lived in the house where the kitchen is being remodeled, or even better yet, lived in a house where you are remodeling the entire first floor, you know that it takes a long, long time.  Here are our 2 main reasons why:

1) We did most of the work ourselves.  My husband and his dad/brothers/my dad are very, very, very handy people.  They can do just about anything.  Toss that in the mix with a very large extended family that know how to do even more stuff, we have quite a bunch.  When you are doing the demolition, building, and finishing yourselves, it takes awhile.  We hired out part of the electrician work, installation of countertops and drywall and cabinet making.  Other than that, it was US.  And, beauty takes time 😉  Our cabinets are hand made, not something you buy at a store.  That means they took awhile.  They were made just 6 miles from our house in the same woodworking shop that made our cherry queen- sized bed that we got as a beautiful wedding gift that I still love to this day.  They were definitely worth the wait!!! My dad, our kids, and J stained and varnished all of the cabinets and doors. Things have to come in order in a kitchen.  I learned you cannot install a sink before you have countertops, which comes after all lower cabinets, which comes after the floor is installed, which is after all the paint, mud/sanding, drywall, plumbing, electrical, gas……there’s definitely a pre-determined process.  We did the plumbing. We hung the cabinets (ok maybe with a little muscle from others). J and brother installed the faucet, garbage disposal, sink plumbing. We installed the floor. We took out and replaced all the windows. We hung the microwave and moved the gas lines from one side of the room to the other for the stove/oven. We still have one wall of pantry/desk/additional cabinets to go in, but it will probably be next year and are not a necessity at this time, just something that will finish it off!

There were more than 1 several numerous moments and days where I was at my wits end with not having a finished kitchen. But guess what? I got over it!





2) THE KITCHEN IS PAID FOR!  That pretty much sums it up!  It’s not on a loan, and it’s not on credit.  We saved until we paid cash for everything that you see here (plus the dishwasher on order), except the floor. Our mortgage is smaller because of it and it feels great!


And that, my friends is why we went 9 months without a kitchen sink. And we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome!

-The {enjoying the fruits of our labor} Costellos


The birthday party that was

Lucy has been counting down the days until her birthday for……quite some time.  She just couldn’t decide what she wanted for a party.  We finally agreed on a *small* tea party gathering at our house.  I did the entire party very frugally and much of the decor and crafty type stuff I already had.  I was very pleased with the outcome despite my lack of tea party experience:


Would you like some tea, perhaps?

Would you like some tea, perhaps?

Lucy got to have 3 friends over for the party, and we invited some close family as well.  I was just trying to keep things simple.  We dressed up like princesses, played pin the handle/spout/lid on the teapot, each made our own little purse, and, of course, drank ‘tea’ out of miniature tea cups, complete with finger foods fit for royalty!  It was fun!  The kids also played outside and Lucy got some presents.

View from the top






Lucy requested a birthday cookie instead of cake, so I did my best.

Lucy is 4!


In the middle of the party, I see our neighbor delivering loaders full of dirt to our backyard.  He had been planning to bring the dirt for several weeks, and the birthday just so happened to be the day he could deliver it.  You see, our 90-ish year old Maple Street Estate had a cistern in the backyard.  We needed to cave it in and fill it, hence the loads of dirt.  So every time I looked out the window amidst the tea party, the dirt pile was getting bigger.

Well, one thing leads to another, and soon my brother in law is down in the cistern hole, and the next thing I know there are 4 men busting out the old cistern blocks with sledge hammers.  This went on until well into the evening.  “Make hay while the sun shines”, right?  So I guess we’ll fill the cistern in on Lucy’s birthday…..


Just the beginning...

Just the beginning…

Hard to see, but they are completely underground and the cistern is about halfway full. That hole is deep!!!


We have been listening to the Little House on the Prairie books in the car lately, and one thing that Pa always says is “All’s well that ends well”.  I guess this would be a prime example of such.  The cistern got filled in and Lucy had a fantastic 4th birthday party!

And to end this short post, here are a few from just today:


Gabriel, the "Navy water-man person"

Gabriel, the “Navy water-man person”

Mud toes

Mud toes


Amazing garage sale finds this morning!

Garage sale finds for kids this morning: 15 shirts, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 pants, 3 shorts, 1 pj’s, 3 dresses and 2 toys. *PSYCH*

– The {birthday season} Costellos