Okay, I thought the stairs looked good yesterday. Look at them now! (And they look even better with the blue tape removed! Guess I should have waited a little longer to take pictures.) They are so amazing even the kids love them. In fact, Owen's favorite new game is to start at the bottom--the very bottom (see bottom picture)--and climb all the way to the top--the very top--then turn around and sit on his bum at the very edge of the top stair and clap and laugh with giddiness and scare us half to death as he momentarily contemplates going down. I'm afraid he may have to learn how to get down the hard way. The kid just won't give up on the stairs.
A big thank you to Peter, who helped us with the initial phase of staining, and Trent, who installed the carpet so wonderfully today. And let me just say that I highly UN-recommend Columbia Millworks. I wasn't going to say that publicly, but since they are still getting paid in full from us, even after we have had to wait sooooo long for them to finish (see June 11--and they won't be finished until THURSDAY ... or so they say this time), and they have not been the slightest bit apologetic for it (when we can even get a hold of them, that is), I think they deserve it. I would recommend the actual workers who came and did the work. They were great! But having to deal with that company is more work than it is worth. If you are going through a contractor, it might be a different story, but if not, I would take your business elsewhere. That being said, I love our new stairs.