Okay, so before we get to that exciting title, I’ll try to put you out of your misery on the wood (and “wood”) samples that I teased you with last week.

I showed you these three options and hinted (okay, flat out told you) that only one of them was wood.

wood floor labeled

It’s the one on the right. Which…was my favorite (BUT I totally forgot to write down the name…sorry). But it’s also over twice the price of the other two, not to mention about half as practical.

It’s actually engineered hardwood (which means only the top layer is real wood), and we considered laying it in part of the downstairs, but ultimately, as much as I love the white-washed plank look, I think I’m better off going with something super durable in the kitchen and dining.


At this point, we’re seriously considering going with this combo instead.

wood floor3

That would be Option 1 (on the top), which is a Shaw porcelain tile product called Napa Noce in Cask, in the kitchen/dining and Option 2 (on bottom…y’alls fave by far) in the rest of the house (minus the bathrooms). It’s actually a laminate wood product by Mohawk (Rare Vintage Fawn Chestnut), which is supposed to be super-durable (but still is not ideal for kitchens since you can’t wet-mop it, and, boy howdy, do we put the wet in wet-mopping round here. “Flood mopping” might be a more apropos term for what the boys do).

It’s hard to see from this picture with the harsh fluorescent lighting and angle how closely the two tones match, but they really do. They’re a different width, but there’s a cased opening between the kitchen and the living room, so our plan is to run a plank under the opening to create a divide between the two “woods” and then have porcelain on one side and laminate on the other.  (Contrary to what the picture suggests, they will be running the same direction, not perpendicularly). Even the owner of the lumberyard was impressed with how closely the styles and tones matched in person.

Also…remember how I mentioned how consistent I am once I like something (i.e. picking the same paint color we were already considering from across the room at Lowe’s)? Well, I went to a different store the other day juuuuust to see if they had something I liked better at a comparable price and picked out a “similar” look…which…when the sales rep actually looked up the name, ended up being the Fawn Chestnut AGAIN! Just change my middle name to consistent and/or obsessed.

So! That’s the current plan. It could change. But I think, no matter what we finally end up with, I’ll probably go with a wood-look tile in the kitchen, since it gives me the style I want with the price/durability our big, mess-making family needs.

(Unless, of course, some of you have laminate in your kitchens and have had a great experience with it, in which case…CONVINCE ME!).

Oooooookay! So, that was pretty much a blog post all its own, but I couldn’t let the week completely get away without blogging a belated Happy Birthday to the twinsies.

They turned 4 on Saturday, and it’s still a bit surreal to think that it was that long ago that this happened.

twins birth

(Oh man, I look tired…and they’re sooooooo TINY! And look at Nola’s double-chin!! I am suddenly very proud of how much protein I ate during that pregnancy to give a TWIN that level of chub)

Of course, they are tiny no longer.

rockstar twins

(Evy, left. Nola, right. This was from our homeschool co-op’s Nerds vs. Rock Stars day, and the twins were only too happy to, ahem, rock their “wock star gwasses”)

I’ve admitted here several times before the unique challenges that I’ve encountered with mothering twins–especially after they hit age 2 1/2 (up to which point they were actually considerably easier than I expected).

It’s been a constant process of adjusting and tweaking and finding new ways of implementing old tricks. Oh, and prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.

twins are 4

{Nola, left. Evy, right. All the girl cousins on my side of the family, decked out in Peppa Pig gear)

On the one hand, they are some of the most joyful little creatures you’ll ever meet. Smiling and jumping and squealing with laughter. They’re suuuuper snuggly and thrive on attention and loving touch.

But all of that touchy-feely emotion definitely has its downsides, and we’ve muddled through a good 18 months of meltdowns and tantrums the likes of which I would love to say my kids never do, but–um–apparently they do.

It’s been getting steadily better for the last six months or so, but we’re still privy to an impressive display of fireworks every so often (or 4 days in a row, depending on how rested they feel).

Still, I know that the experience of parenting two very sensitive, very quintessentially female  little humans ((who are very different from their mama in this respect) has been so, so good for me.

And seeing their characters develop–their desire to help and nurture and mother (Evy) and encourage, cheer-lead, and comfort (Nola)–has been such a testimony to the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in my children’s lives.

And mine.

Because motherhood is sanctifying. And hard is not the same thing as bad. (Can I get an amen?).

Honestly, I’m excited about year 5 for the twins. I can’t wait to see their personalities blossom and their friendship with each other (and others) deepen.

I have great confidence that he who began a good work in them (and me) will carry it out until it is completed. (Philippians 1:6).

Praise God for that!

Now, I just need to find someone to teach one how to play violin and the other one to play cello, and I’ll be all set.


  1. We’ve had laminate in our kitchen\dining room for 4 years now and it’s holding up nicely with three little boys. But they are shiny, so you can see every spill…
    I remember when your twins were born. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years now! 🙂

  2. I can’t believe they are so big already! And i totally get you on raising sensitive little ones: My daughter is an extremely nurturing, sensitive, physical-touch-thriving, feminine little thing…. SO unlike her mama! It has been so sanctifying to learn how to be soft from her.

    I’m very interested in the flooring options you’ve been looking at! We have some flooring to replace and I feel delaying because I don’t know what I actually want. I love the idea of the wood-look tile, but I’ve always wondered if it is too much of a fad.

  3. My girlfriend did a combo that looks just like yours. It’s lovely in the house and it took me a moment to realize that one was tile and one wasn’t because the color match was so good. She loves the tile in the kitchen and used it in the bathrooms also so the whole house has a very cohesive look.

  4. We had laminate in one of our rentals that we lived in for 2 years. I hated it! Maybe it was low end laminate, but it was so hard to keep clean. Mopping, swiffer wet jet, every “streak free” floor cleaner I tried, all had the same result. Streaky dirty looking floors. We have a house with hard wood now and it’s great!
    We have friends who just put down laminate and she is having the same problem with trying to clean them.

    Happy Birthday girls!!

  5. I’ve had my laminate hard wood flooring in my kitchen, dining room and living room for over 12 years now and LOVE IT!!!!! With 3 kids and an open loft concept let’s just say these floors have been kid tested and mommy approved. My youngest dropped a die cast tractor from the loft down to the living room shortly after we moved in 12 years ago and not one scratch or dent. And the spills, oh my. Now I have 3 teenagers, a dog and a cat roaming these floors daily and they still look brand new. Easy to clean and no worries about spills or drops.

  6. Just be oh so careful. Is there a chance you could do a call/shout out on social media to see if anyone has the specific brands you are buying? I’m sure the porcelain will be fine, but the laminate would scare me. I live in Portland Oregon which has had a surge in new houses or rather redone houses. We’ve been looking to move and I can’t believe some of the insanity I’m seeing out there. Now realize these are houses in the 5-800,000 price range generally recently redone. One was trashed in under a year from the lady of the house coming home in high heels. Yes simply wearing heels destroyed the floors. Dogs from the smallest to the heaviest, ripped up floors. Move a piece of furniture get gouges. Dull, sticky, odd color changes….honestly I haven’t seen a lot that stood up to the test of time. But maybe they’re all using inferior product they absolutely could be. At any rate, I know your going to need them to stand up to whole lotta busy household so be sure to get some valid reviews from people you can trust.

  7. So I have three dogs ( 2large doodles and a small nine pounder) , a nineteen month old boy and twin girls who just turned one. AND in my kitchen we have laminate floors. They have lasted for seven years and are going strong in the kitchen. Needless to say- we have a few messes per day that need cleaning! We do wet mop. My negative experience with laminate floors is if there is a leak from outside or our air conditioner had an issue…. then they had to all be replaced because once moisture is under there… that’s the only way out! Our floors are continuous except for in the entry. However in the ten years of having laminate flooring, we have never had an issue in the kitchen.

  8. Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of doing a wood tile AND a wood… wood together before. Duh! Sounds very practical. The water-proofness of tile is SO appealing, but I always wonder how fast we would go through dishes with it. No bounce factor to tile! : ) We need to deklutzify for sure.
    Happy birthday to your girls! Year 5 has been a step in the easier-to-live-with direction for my twins. More independence = gooooood things. : ) Now if only we could get them to stop competing in “who got up first”… why???

    1. I did. I just don’t like the way the ones I’ve seen look. And the ones I like the most are nore expensive than I want to pay.

      1. Having lived with laminate in 3 different houses, I beg you to reconsider! It is SO.LOUD! Two of the places we had it were before noisy kids! Missed that bit of water, or puppy accident? It swells! High traffic area? It wears through! Drop something pointy? Big chunk gouged out! Mop to a streak free shine? Fugedaboudit. Not gonna happen. And did I mention how loud it is? CLACK, CLACK, CLACK. Ok, sorry about the rant. Look into vinyl plank, it trumps laminate hands down and is much more realistic looking. My brother just did almost his whole house in it and my parents house has one room with it and the rest laminate. The vinyl is winning the test of time. Rant over. Love watching your progress!

I love hearing from you guys!