best laid plans

I’m gonna get personal & real here…..  One of my favourite bloggers is “Story of this Life”.. Esther Anderson is a mommy blogger from Rochester, NY who shares real life.  If you’re on Facebook,  where she posts more often, follow her.  Go ahead, I dare you to feel normal, especially if you’re a parent of small kids, or have been.   The good,the bad, the mess.  She makes the reader feel that they too are normal.  So i too, will attempt to do that… Be real. Honest.  Oft times messy, and hopefully encouraging.

As organized as I **think** I might be, ahead of the game, ducks in a row etc.. ‘something’ never fails to come along that blows that theory completely apart – then I do just that… fall apart.   When I’m on track, focused, in full steam ahead mode..  “someone”, we’ll call him “Guillermo” will ask a simple question that will knock me off that track…  mad emoji  and that  full steam comes out of my head.  I’m ashamed to admit that.  Especially when I’m tired or have had a crazy day at work.. which is more often than not.  Last night, Guillermo asked me a simple question about one aspect of the building process that I thought we had dealt with, signed/sealed/delivered.. and well.. yah.. i didn’t respond well.    SIGGGGHHHHHH..   Hear me on this:  being tired or stressed is not an excuse…  I’m not looking to be excused. I need to strive for better. 

One of my Dad’s favourite quotes by St. Jerome goes like this:


A short month ago, when we first made this decision to demo/build/add, I shared with Bill that my biggest fear was how it would affect our relationship.  Face it..  ANY big life change is a huge stress on any relationship.  And if you know us, you know that we both LOVE to argue.. we get a kick out of it…  but here’s the thing:  I want to argue WELL.  Bill is much better at it than I.  He doesn’t get personal.  He doesn’t raise his voice, get offensive or defensive. (man, i am blessed!)

When i’m tired, stressed, and then de-railed.. i lose my ability or desire to argue well.   So yah.. i need to be cognizant of that, breathe, count to 10, assess the question.. pray,  wait to respond.  I don’t want to fight in attack/defense mode, when i have no resources left but that of an angry cat.  We’re just starting.. and I need to work on this weakness of mine as much as i’m working on the project.  Thank GOD I’m not alone.


Ok.. ENOUGH about me… let’s talk PLANS!!!

TADA!!!   here’s the “new” front elevation.  ignore my horrible colouring skills with a mouse.  and the window grilles – please do ignore those.   Amy don’t do grilles.   Just last week the old garage door sprung a spring.. BOING.. our dear friend Gord came to the rescue and fixed it for us temporarily.   He will install a much needed new door after the double wide driveway is in.  🙂  (refer to last post.. when that was our initial plan.. haha.. now you have some insight as to how I dealt with THAT particular derailment!)North Elevation

Below is our floor plan.  Yellow line shows the addition.  For now we are leaving the existing bedroom & office out of the project.  We have some ideas there, but we’re not doing them yet.  Everything, i mean EVERYTHING else is being gutted.

New Ground Floor

Thanks to the handy dandy free on-line Ikea room planners that are pretty user friendly, I started having fun.  This is a very early iteration, before we added 3′ more to the front addition. It’s still cramped, even with the open space afforded by taking out the guest room.  What I like most about this early plan is the flowers  and the lighter floors – i may go back to that.   layout 2

birds eye w butler's pantry


I believe these next 3 views are Version 5.3    seriously.. there have been many revisions!  Our main goals: open living space that could house a large Small group comfortably, and also be able to change and move with needs.. larger living area, no prob, shrink or pull out the dining table, or add another one for large dinner parties.. NO problem.

Also, moving our personal entry to come in from the garage, using the new “Butler’s Pantry” for our coats/boots, recycling, bringing the W/D to the main floor, adding storage/pantry space.. larger front entrance, and most importantly, a powder room.

again, ignore the window grilles.  and that the basement steps are not shown, and our bathrooms have no doors, and the island is much too small..  (hrmmm. i just brought attention to all the things you need to ignore..)  this does however flesh out what the new living space will look like.

view 1View 3

So here we are.. our contractors are working on their quotes, final plans are being drawn up, and we should be able to apply for our building permit early next week.  EEKS!!!  Our HVAC installer visited last night to look at the plans and our current system, and gave us great ideas.    It is so helpful to have personal relationships with many of our trades.  We are indeed blessed.  I know and trust these guys, respect them and their work.  I can’t imagine what our clients feel, when they don’t know us (Lincoln Construction) or our trades at all.. This will be quite the journey to making me more empathetic to our clients, I’m sure!

I’ll stop for now.. it’s time to get busy in Bill & Amy’s Kitchen … where Guillermo is doing all the work right now…



Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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