An Honest Email from a Reader

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A few days ago, I got one of the best emails I've ever received from a reader. It's not because the author complimented me on my blog, my house, or on cute pictures of Cooper. (Although trust me I love those emails, haha.) Her email was a actually a series of constructive criticisms from the perspective of a new reader. She shared that after spending several hours reading my blog she enjoyed it, but was thoroughly confused about the state of our renovations, our two houses, the adoption, and our little man Cooper. She suggested that I create some sort of timeline for new readers or for people stopping by to check things out.
She was so right.
Right then and there I clicked on over to my "About" page and started rewriting it. I'm pretty sure that I now qualify as a total over-sharer. But at least my new readers or new peeps dropping by can get a little taste of the crazy before they click away screaming.
If you have been one of my dear blogging friends for awhile, you can obviously skip this post because it might be old news for you. However, if you have recently signed on to read Cozy.Cottage.Cute. then here is some updated information about our family and the blog.
P.S. This is copy and pasted straight from my new About page.

Well hi there. I'm Sarah. Just a girl with an unhealthy obsession with anything white, cottage-y, and/or cute. I'm so glad you've taken the time to visit my little blog that I pretend is big. Now here is where I bribe you to stick around with an imaginary sprinkle cupcake. If you do, stick around that is, I promise that you'll grow to love my ADD type personality and frequent grammatical errors. 
Here goes.
The Boy Situation
Aren't overexposed photos just magical for the complexion?
I met a boy named Alex when I was in University. He wooed me with his charming ways and now he's my boyfriend. (Really we're married but I like to call him my boyfriend so that we sound like young hipsters.) We dated for a long time, we were engaged for a long time, and then we took off to Jamaica and got hitched on the beach. I keep teasing my loyal readers that I will share a wedding picture. And I totally will. Pinky swear.
Alex is a cutie-patootie. Before we started dating, I told him that I liked when boys wore hoodies with backwards hats and drove standard cars. I found out later that he went to the mall and bought a stack of hoodies and begged his dad to borrow their manual Honda Civic for our first date. Well of course I kept him around after that. ;)
Alex works for a mining company in the IT field. Translation: computer wizard. He wears collared shirts and pleated pants to work so I assume his job is important. I've been debating whether or not to buy him a pocket protector for his next birthday. (Just kidding honey! I think it is really cute when you attach your Blackberry to your belt on your way out the door in the morning!) Alex is SO supportive of my blogging addiction and always helps me with my annoying computer questions and problems. He even bought my domain name ( as a surprise one day.  
At night and on weekends, he turns into some sort of renovation superhero. He has taught himself how to do almost everything: tiling, electrical, plumbing, drywall, you name it. Alex has recently taken up cooking as a hobby (score, right?) and has started making things like "Brandy Peppercorn Sauce" and "Grilled Portobello Mushroom Brushetta". (Dear Boyfriend: You're making my frozen chicken finger and frozen peas dinners look bad.) Seriously though, he is getting really good. Just don't tell him that I have to sneak into the pantry for granola bars while I'm waiting for dinner because his fancy schmancy meals take hours to prepare. ;) 
Oh yeah, and he likes basketball.
The House Situation
House #1
Our house.
Back in 2006, we bought the old, outdated house of our dreams. It was built in the 1940's in a small mining town just a few minutes outside of the city. We love it. We've been taking our dear sweet time renovating it - 6 1/2 years and we're still not done!!! Yes, we are the pokiest renovators of all time. It doesn't help that both of us suffer from what we like to call...... Project ADD. We'll work on the master bedroom for awhile, then the side entry, then the back deck, then the basement, then back to the bedroom, and so on and so on. I like to think that we keep things interesting that way.
The house still needs major overhauls in the kitchen, second-floor bathroom, and basement. While two rooms have been fully renovated and decorated (Cooper's nursery and the main floor powder room), all of the remaining rooms have the basics but need finishing touches like furniture, wall art, and accessories. 
So that's why all of my house tour photos say "In Progress".
House #2
The Fixer Upper.
This past spring, we did something a little bit wild and crazy and bought a second house. Not only did we buy another house, but we bought the ugliest house on the street next to ours. While I like to think we are building a real-estate empire, really we bought the house so that Alex's parents could move here from out-of-town. We are the owners. They are the renters.
We've called the second house "The Fixer Upper" and Alex and his dad have been renovating it for the last several months. I am way behind in posting updates from the other house, but I hope to share some of the progress we've made when things start to slow down over here. Please tell me that things are going to slow down sometime. Please.
{If you are interested in hearing more about our ugly duckling house purchase you can find the related posts under the heading "Fixer Upper" in my sidebar. Be forewarned. When I say ugly I mean oooooogly.}
The Dog Situation
We have two badly behaved dogs that we love to bits.  
Roary is our 6-year old Golden Retriever and his personality is a lot like Eeyore's from Winnie the Pooh. He mopes around like he has the worst life ever, even though we feed him excessive amounts of people food and let him on the furniture.
Lexie is our 2-year old Short-Haired Collie mix. She was a rescue dog from an abusive home. We didn't plan on keeping her at first but then she pretty much licked our faces off until we changed our minds. She is high-energy, high-anxiety, and extremely loyal. And once she ate a giant raw steak right off of the counter.
The Baby Situation
Alex and I chose to start our family through international adoption in the spring of 2009. We have been on the waitlist in the Ethiopian Adoption Program for four long years. Even though the process has been a difficult one, we are still hopeful that things will work out and that someday soon we will fly halfway around the world to bring a wee little boy or girl home to his/her forever family. 
Since the timeline for our adoption basically quadrupled in length with no end in sight, we decided to switch up the plan and try for a biological child first. POOF! Cooper was delivered by stork (cause childbirth is gross) in April of 2012. He has about a hundred nicknames, and just as many facial expressions. I could just squish his little cheeks all day because they are so darn cute. Okay, okay, I'm a bit obsessed with him. Trust me, the proof is on my Pinterest feed. ;)
The Me Situation

I always stand in the grass staring off into the distance. It's what I do.
Basically, I'm a big nerd.
Things I kind of love a lot include: old houses, pretending I know how to decorate, white powdered mini donuts, furniture and antique shopping, downloading too many fonts on my computer, repurposing salvaged goods, watching girl movies (hello Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal), road trips, watching How I Met Your Mother, hoodies, freshly brewed coffee in the mornings, knitted mittens, making soup on a cold day, taking wannabe good photos of inanimate objects, Etsy, baking sweet treats, getting snail mail, and writing posts for the ol' bloggity blog.
I am employed full-time as a JK/SK teacher, although I am currently off on maternity leave with the Coopster. Ohmygad staying home is the best thing of LIFE. I just may have to convince the hubs that doing more of it is in his belly's best interests.
Oh yeah, and I bought my first ever pair of skinny jeans this year. I'm kind of proud of myself.
The Blog Situation
After discovering the world of DIY and home d├ęcor blogs and becoming the biggest blog stalker of all time, I decided to start up my own tiny blog in 2009. While in the beginning my posts were strictly related to paint and craft projects, I gradually started including more and more about my other hobbies and our little life in general. Nowadays you will find a mish mash of posts related to DIY projects, renovations, decorating, adoption, photography, the Coopster, our puppies, cooking, baking, or random stuff that proves just how dorky I really am. 
I am honoured to be a guest blogger on Bob Vila Nation and Cooper's nursery was recently featured on Apartment Therapy. I pretty much ran down the street kicking my heels like a crazy person when both of those opportunities went down. 
Anywayssss, I'm glad you're here. Let's be friends. I'm making you a giant mug of coffee as we speak.


  1. So when they make fun of Canada on How I Met Your Mother, does it make you mad, or make you laugh?
    I am the mum of two gorgeous boys so I shouldn't say this but...Cooper is the cutest baby evah!! Seriously!

    1. Ahahaha! We LOVE when they make fun of Canada on How I Met Your Mother. Obviously everything is exaggerated to the fullest (i.e., Mounties knocking at the door, the accent, etc.) but I think that's why it is so funny. :)

      Re: Cooper. He just made googly eyes at the computer when I read him your compliment. :)

  2. so yesterday when i was standing in a field of grass, staring off looking lovely, i started to wonder about your timeline. :) so glad to clear it up!

  3. Well... if I lived in Canada i would be knocking at your door suggesting that I babysit while you went out to look at paint samples ! I can totally imagine walking around a kitchen with Cooper on my hip. Yep.

    I am so glad that you are able to create this post. I know that babies, lack of sleep, renovations etc can effect your state of mind. For myself, it would be very easy to read the email and think, " Well, Bleeeeeep! Bleeeeep! " We'll keep your blog clean and I won't tell you exactly what I would be thinking!

    Love the comment by Prim and Proper. I think there should be a club for people who can analyze paint colors in their mind and picture the finished piece WHILE Being completely blind to the piles of dishes and laundry!
    ~ Christie

  4. He is just the sweetest baby ever! Loved reading this. You have a sweet life and attitude:)

  5. Not sure if I have commented before and if not, hi! My name is Kate and I love your new "About Me" page. My own "about" also lists some random tidbits which really do tell you so much about another person. For some reason, I think that talking about bangs and reading and ice cream will make people "get" me, even if just a little bit :)

  6. You're so clever. How dare someone critique you! I've been following long enough to know mostly all of that stuff...I just love how cheeky your writing is ! You can't jump into the middle and have it all spelled out right , well now you can I guess.

  7. Hi, I'm a new reader and this post sure helped to explain things and get me up to speed! Great idea. Happy Holidays.

  8. Friends! Consider it done and done :)

  9. I just adore you. Had to say it. I'm a terrible reader/lurker/non-commenter... but I do come around lots. (Not in a creepy way. Promise!! There is just no way to really say all that without sounding uber creepy. I know you get it.)

    Loved the recap. Already knew most of that stuff about you but sometimes it's nice to get the whole chunk at once. Like a cake, rather than a cupcake. :)

  10. Again you have done a complete fantastic job of what ever you do. You deserve a huge check on this one.
    I think most Canadians laugh when they poke fun at us on How I Met Your Mother. What a great show.
    Oh yes ..... your sense of humour is fabulous.

  11. Your blog makes me smile.

    Hello from Australia

  12. Seriously, Cooper is adorable! I love his little mini mohawk! I think you should give us an early Christmas present and show us your wedding photo! Nothing like beach pics to cure the Canadian winters blues! ;) How did the bed saga end? Great I hope!

  13. Hey Sarah
    I discovered your blog on Pinterest and have spent quite a while reading all your posts. Great idea from your reader to have you give us an update. I love you and your family (not in a creepy, stalkerish way). I love that you're Canadian so those of us from the "Great White North" can totally relate to your frustration finding nice fabrics and punches. Although I'm way, way older than you, I can relate to some of your stories even though my babies are pretty much grown up. I do however have a wonderful husband, a very nice house (wish you could visit and give me some tips) and two Golden Retrievers and a crazy cat. Keep doing what you're doing. We're all so proud of you here in Canada. Can't wait to check in with your blog to see what you're up to. Have a blessed Christmas!

  14. You and your "boyfriend" are the doppleganger of us! DIYers/hubs careers/babies/married in the tropics etc etc... Would be fun to meet up some day - ikea trip perhaps!

  15. I just adore you! and your blog. But you know that! :)

  16. Hi Sarah. I was born in a house nearly identical to yours in 1947 in Virginia. My mom was there until 2007. I am considering moving there again if my health allows. Much happiness to all, Debby

  17. I'm not sure that I believe that a timeline is necessary. If you're married, have pets, have children, have a full-time job, have a second job, do DIY projects and still find just a wee bit of time to write a lucid blog post, and start a blog later in life after starting all of the above, I'm not sure it's possible to NOT jump around a little bit.

    That being said, I do dearly love your "About" page, and you've inspired me to consider writing one for my blog.

  18. AnonymousJuly 06, 2013

    Your Blog is amazing !!!! Love your DIY's, some really great ideas

  19. This makes so much sense. I really enjoy reading your blog and love the pics.


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