Lighting makes such a huge difference in a room, and I like it SO much better!! I even like our cabinets more, because they look so pretty all lit up. I helped by going to Lowe's approximately 7 times in 3 days, choosing the pendants, turning the power on and off and on and off and on and off about 20 times while Dave tested the wires, and painting the ceiling after Dave patched the little holes from the old lights. Jason gave up 2 days of his vacation to help us while Ellen and I chatted and bought supplies. And Anna played with Brennan, which made everyone happy. Dave already knew a lot about electical stuff, but he learned so much, like how to install multimple 3-way lights with dimmers. Now that I know he can do it, I have so many other projects in mind.
Now on to the floors. We had carpet in our dining room, which we HATED. Carpet does not belong under dining room tables, especially with children. Particularly when one of those children is 1 1/2 and likes to dump everything onto the floor, including oatmeal, spaghetti and yogurt. We have a carpet steamer, so I did clean it from time to time. But it was just a pain, and some stains never came out completely. We also had boring linoleum in the kitchen. We finally decided on the wood we liked and had to buy it quick before the money was needed elsewhere. It's a distressed, wide plank, medium brown maple and I love it even more than I hoped I would.
While they had the old baseboards off, I decided this would be a good time to replace them with a wider one. After 4 stores, I finally found the one I wanted. See why it takes me so long to do these things? First I'm extremely indecisive, and then it takes forever to find what I want. Anyway, I painted them while they were installing the floors, and then they put them on for us. You can see the old one on the left, which we'll be replacing soon. I like the new ones much better, and it looks pretty silly just halfway done. I want to do at least the living room and hall also.
Next step will be new carpet in the rest of the house. Hopefully it won't take us 5 1/2 years to do those, because they are in pretty sad shape too. Not as bad as the dining room was, but close.