The kitchen has come along way. The walls and ceilings are mostly done (with the exception of some trim), the hardwood floors are installed, the cabinets are installed and the countertops are in! This all seemed to happen so quickly. The floors are engineered hardwood glued down on the concrete/tile subfloor. This was my first experience with gluing hardwoods and it is a messy and slow process. It came together well and it looks great.
I bought the cabinets online as ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets. Basically, you get a major reduction in cost when you buy standard sized cabinets and assemble them yourself. Much of traditional cabinet cost are in shipping/assembly/installation. With the RTA cabinets, I was able to save enough money to get P's dream countertops. The cabinets are espresso stained shaker-style and are surprisingly well constructed. I did order a sample door before I bought the set to be sure we would be happy with the look. We went with no upper cabinets as there is very little wall space for upper cabinets because of all the windows. This made the installation easier. We also modified the refrigerator cabinet to add a shelf for P's cookbooks.
Since we started the project P has dreamed of Alabama white marble countertops. I was very skeptical about marble based on all I read about it - expensive, stains easily, chips easily, etc. P has always wanted marble and it is really good looking. It also fits well with the age and style of the house. I agreed to at least price it out and see how much it would cost. We set a budget prior to looking and when we priced it out, it came out to almost exactly to what we'd budgeted. P assures me that it will change color with use, but that is the charm and look that marble is supposed to have. We'll see how it ages, but right now it looks great.