It's been a while since we posted.
The fireplace project is temporarily on hold. See, I have this thing. I love starting new projects - before the old ones are complete. If there's a cure for this disease, please let me know.
I (we) started doing a bathroom "facelift". It's not a full-on remodel, because we have neither the time nor money to do it - but it will be part of the greater scheme we hope to begin next year. Anyway, I bet Parker that I could make a silkier purse out of the functional but ugly space for under $500 (thanks Joan Steffend). It was only going to take a weekend, and would require no help from him.
Long story short, I think we're into the 6th weekend of the project. I painted, and with Parker's help, I vinyl tiled the floor after removing the toilet, (mind you, this is our only bathroom) and made a vanity out of an antique dresser. My weekend time estimate did not include priming, dry time, wax rings, or compression fittings. The project is sort of finished (we can use the toilet and sink, but can't hang up our towels), and now I have a very large punch list to go through. So far, I'm pretty satisfied. I'll post the details of the project with pictures at a later date. Thanks to Parker for all his help.
Oh, and something happened this week that will prove to delay the project just a bit more. We brought our newest family member home. Meet TJ.