Our Ugly House

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Kortni takes a trip (Copenhagen)

This past year has unloaded some heavy stuff… We have encountered the whole adulting gamut. I needed an adventure. I needed some time to refresh. To get inspired. I needed to conquer a major fear and be alone. And you guys, I’m totally doing it. Pictures of Copenhagen below.

After a bloody long day of travel I landed in Copenhagen, hopped the metro, and tucked into my airbnb for some much needed rest. I woke up the next morning feeling like a new human and ready to adventure. I got ready to brave the cold and began my day searching for coffee. After stopping into a cute cafe for some much needed caffeine, I headed over the Rundetaarn (round tower) for some stunning views.


While looking out over the city, I spotted an epic looking garden (Kongens Have, or better known as the King’s Garden) and made that next on my list to explore. It’s still the tail end of winter here, so everything was dead… but it was still nice to take a brisk walk through a lovely outdoor space.


The whole day felt so easy. I didn’t have to do much planning for things to fall into place. Across from the gardens is the SMK, a huge art museum on my list of to-dos. It houses an impressive collection of both traditional and modern art. One of my favorite sections was a room filled with statues, draft paper, and pencils to let people work on their drawing skills. I spent a better part of the day wandering the halls and admiring the works.



I purchased a Copenhagen Card, and highly recommend them for anyone visiting. It costs about $80 for 3 days of unlimited public transit, free access to a bajillion attractions, and discounts galore. Though I had heard Nyhaven was touristy, it has picturesque buildings lining a canal and I couldn’t help myself. I took a tour boat (hella free yo) over and grabbed some lunch.

Once I had replenished with lobster soup and an IPA I made my way to the Experimentarium. I didn’t want to be the creep snapping pics of kids… so I just caught this epic copper staircase. Getting some serious Guggenheim vibes.

I read on another blog about this amazing spot for seafood and steak, just the right dinner for a solo traveler. I went big. It was worth it. Yolo.

Night y’all.
xo,
k

This is a rough one.

In September 2015 I got married. A month later I purchased my first home. It was a really good year. The following months were labor intensive, and super exciting. We worked every spare second on making this dated lump of junk into our dream home. We also had time for other things (like making a baby) meow. And make a baby we did. In February 2016 after trying for a month, we found out we were pregnant…. with our first.

Fast forward 4 months. Our house was coming along at flying speed. I had grown a cute little baby bump. Fur was sprouting from places no one should hear about. And then the unthinkable happened. At 20 weeks, we lost her. And just like that 2016 went from a year of great things, to a year of shit. Losing a kid at any age sucks. It was brutal and it was fucked up, and somehow we got through it. We met with a genetic counselor, we met with specialists. We were assured this was bad luck/ just the pits/ one in a million odds.

We spent some time healing. We worked on our house to take things off our mind. In July 2016 we went to Japan and felt our first escape from the pain that was so fresh. We had an epic trip that allowed us to focus on each other in a place so foreign and beautiful. It was an escape from the hardest parts, there were no looks of pity and questions of when we would try again. Halfway through I started feeling a little sick but thought nothing of it. I had been shoveling my face with food/beer and was on the go non-stop; my body was just adjusting. But the nausea continued. I made my way to the local convenience store and signed to a non-english speaking clerk “baby”, “pregnant”. She got it and showed me to the the wall of pregnancy tests. I rushed back to our apartment in Kyoto, and there on the robot toilet with a heated seat and rain sounds was a test with a little pink plus sign. Hello pregnancy part two. As I mentioned earlier I had been active (roller coaters, miles of hiking, beer on the regular). When I started bleeding a few days later I was not surprised. Of course this didn’t work out, my body was not exactly the prime environment for housing a kid at this exact moment.

After our trip we got back to business with the house, and back to the business of babies. Being a parent was always on the docket, and it was about time we got that part of our lives straightened out. In August 2016, just a few days before our dear friend’s wedding our third little pink plus sign made its debut. I had been eating kale like it was going of style, I was working out regularly, getting lots of rest, and laid off the rosé. The wedding celebration started the night before at a big beautiful house on Mt. Hood. At 2:30 in the morning I woke up to pain like someone was kicking me in the stomach. This loss was a little more startling. What did I do wrong? I ate so much kale!? The morning of the wedding I sat with some close friends, cracked a beer and announced, “I was taking a break”. This was getting hard, and I felt like some time off might help.

October 2016 was when things started getting really fucking hard. It was my birthday, and also happened to be the due date from my first pregnancy. It was a rough reminder of the sweet girl I had lost. Curtis and I had not been trying, but to be truthful we had not not been trying either. Two weeks before my birthday, like old faithful came the nausea. Welcome four to the pregnancy test saga. This time I gave myself permission to just be. I ate kale, and a burger; get off my back. I had a half cup of coffee somedays… Then it happened again, a toilet full of blood and plummeting HCG levels. And this was the very first time I realized that something was wrong. I spent my birthday at the coast with my best friends. It was a weekend of seafood, lots of booze, and so many long talks and sweet hugs as I cried my way into my 30th trip around the sun.

For those of you new to the world of recurrent miscarriages let me share some facts: 1% of women experience 3 or more miscarriages in a row. No one wants to be a statistic, but I assure you this one is especially lame. We had genetic testing and our results showed a clean bill of chromosomes. I had enough blood drawn to feed the entire cast of Twilight. Things looked normal outside of a Thyroid problem I had always known about. No one ever shared that an under-active thyroid makes pregnancies difficult. The doctor upped my dosage on medicine I have taken my whole life and said hold off for a month. I was to wait for things to level out. We said we would, but we failed.

November 14th I got sick when I got out of bed. How the frack did this happen!? We told no one, not even a call to the doctor. With our history we decided to wait. 5 weeks passed. This was new win for us. 7 weeks passed. Whoa… it was hanging in there. We finally got in contact with our doctor for a blood test and ultrasound. The blood work showed doubling levels, the ultrasound an empty sac. The said not to worry, our dating was off. We came back a week and a half later…. a slightly larger, but still empty sac. Intuition is a bitch. I knew it was over. One week later; our third and final ultrasound a showed the ultimate failure, a still very empty sac. The worst part of this loss was my body was still in total pregnancy mode. I opted for medication to end things at home which failed and the day before Christmas eve I had surgery.

This leads us to today. This month I will meet with an infertility specialist. We will assess our options, and I am slowly coming to terms with the reality that I may never have kids. This is a private, and weird part of my life (no one knows how to handle this kind of loss, hell I hardly do). But I have changed since this started. And I just want people to know. I want my friends to understand why I don’t go out as much. I want my family to accept those grey hairs as war paint. I am a mother of 5 babies that never were.

xo,
k

Phase 1, complete.

Almost a year ago, we bought this gorgeous hunk of shag carpet, wood paneling, and horrific wallpaper. This was a grandma’s wonderland, but no longer. After some really killer weekends of all night madness, I am pleased to announce we have wrapped on phase one of The Zinn-tini make-over. To recap, we have gutted and remodeled every room in the house minus the bathroom and basement. We intend on tackling those next year after a few months of rest.

The last weekend was final touches. We hung wallpaper in the hallway from Hygge & West, had the new carpet installed (again, thanks so much for the shit show Home Depot), and finally took on the daunting task of drilling through the kitchen back splash to hang some open shelving… oh, and we bought a wine fridge. Why? Because chilled rosé. All day, every day. Also Home Depot owed us some scrilla form the botched carpet install.

This was my first time installing wallpaper and it was easy as pie. It was not nearly as messy or difficult as expected. See below to the install process and final touches!

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This specific brand of wallpaper comes unpasted. First you measure and cut your pieces, then apply paste to the the back with a standard paint roller. You fold the wallpaper in half and let the paste soak in.
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After the paste has soaked in (10 minutes per piece), you apply to the wall smoothing out from the center to remove any air bubbles.
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As you apply use a sponge to wipe up any extra paste that squeezes out.

img_5827And the final look after everything was complete:
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The open shelves are pieces from the original cabinets we tore off this wall.


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Now excuse us while we hibernate for a bit!
xo,
k

 

 

 

Life Man

You might think that this is just another lazy post, totally lacking house content updates. And if you were thinking that, you are indeed correct. The thing is living in a job site means your life is a work sandwich.

Let me break it down for you: I have a full time job, as does my husband. That means at least 40 hours of our weeks are devoted to a thing that pays us. The joy in doing a major remodel is the 40 hours of work week you get paid for is just the beginning. When you get home there is a much larger pile of work to attend to. A pile that is large, messy, overwhelming, and most of time a major pain in the ass. The pile is always there, always waiting. You work 40 hours a week at one job, and then you come home and keep on working. Since life has thrown us some hardballs in the past few months, we have given ourselves permission to not let the home work be all consuming. But have no fear… we have not given up.

We have officially completed two rooms in our house. Like, done done. My phone camera has broken… so instead you can gander at the the awesome backpacking trip I took last weekend. We hiked the Siouxon Creek trail and it was rad. Also, my garden is killing it. oH, last our amazing friends got married and their wedding had the most epic sunset view of Mt. Hood.

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xo,
k

 

Japan Part 3 (Kyoto, Nara, Miyajima Island, and Kawachinagano)

We had seven full days to spend in Kyoto which could have easily occupied all of our time. After our stay in Kyoto we were headed to a small town outside of Osaka to wrap up in a traditional Ryokan for some relaxing after our non-top adventuring. When we booked our trip we opted to purchase a JR Pass which gives foreigners unlimited access to most of the country using the rail/bus/ferry systems. We decided to take a few day trips to get the most bang for our buck. Miyajima Island was the most epic, hands down.

Our recent highlights included Curtis getting attacked by a giant Cicada, me enjoying the best fresh oysters of my life/guzzling local craft brew, being treated like locals at our fave Tonkatsu joint (ok we ate there 3x, no shame in our game), and walking over a 100 miles through this crazy beautiful place with my person. I have laughed until it hurt everday. We both stepped out of our comfort zones, and to share that journey side by side is everything. It’s all I could have hoped for in this: “get it together people, time to move on journey”. Adventure pics below:

xo, k

Japan Part 2 (Kyoto)

We spent our first 4 days wandering Tokyo; a perfect introduction to Japan. It was beautiful to see such a vibrant city. Curtis and I loved that every street, even the tiny alleyways contained shops, businesses, and restaurants often times stacked 5 or 6 stories tall. It was a whirlwind exploring and then we were off on a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.

What Tokyo has in tall high rises and neon signs, Kyoto matches with old world grandiure. It’s a taste of what Japan was during a different time, with hundreds of temples and shrines. The culture feels different here, a bit more laid back. Here is a sampling of time so far:

xo, k

 

 

 

Let there be gas

I am fairly certain not a single person actually reads this… so I could say terrible things. Shit! See, not a single person saw. When a tree falls in the forest, does someone hear it? The answer is no, no one hears a damn thing. You are a lonely tree in a forest, stupid. Regardless of any person reading a single word of this, I write because it makes me feel better. So to the nobodies that are not reading, enjoy.

Getting married has proved to be amazing, and also super freaking hard. After you have a wedding you essentially clean up an atomic bomb that destroyed your prior life. Personally I enjoy pain and suffering, thus decided to multiply my wedding life bomb with home ownership/remodeling. If you are reading this, and you are about to get married but considering buying a house please listen to me. DO NOT DO IT. I repeat: abort, abort.

I am three months in. I work a full time at a rather hectic design job. When I get home from my 8ish hour day, I work a few more hours. I paint. I screw shit in. I sand, and dust, and try to live a life of normalcy. It is basically the worst.

Enough of the rant. Here is the progress: We ran a gas line from the furnace into the kitchen, and finally I have a thing to cook things on. Also, we hung some sheetrock.

I turned into Krampus and decided I didn’t want Christmas shit because my house still looks like a hot mess. Enter mama bear Bottini. See below for how she brought the Christmas spirit into my sad home.

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Let there be gas!! I finally have a shiny new range!

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And my new fridge. It could probably fit a keg, which is just my style.

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And remember that wall with cracked plaster and two types of cray paint? Bye byatch.

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Thanks mom. My house looks festive because of you!

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to every single person not reading.
xo,
k

Stained (and I don’t mean that really terrible band)

It was my birthday this past weekend! What did I do to ring in the big 29? I drank a case of beer and sanded/stained my miles of hardwood floor. My husband also brought me Taco Bell for dinner…. so it was pretty awesome. Can you tell how much I loved it? Ok, my birthday was sort of lame. But the floors made up for it. They look so pretty. And my dad finished sheet rocking the bar section of the kitchen. Hello cocktail party!!

IMG_2209Removing all the trim and carpet tack strips. My fingers look like I was attacked by a small snake.

IMG_2211Pre-birthday sanding extravaganza

IMG_2213We opted to use an orbital sander instead of a drum sander because there is less room for totally f-ing up the floors.

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IMG_2221Ta-freaking da!

 

xo,
k