Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Been Real, 2012

It's the last day of 2012 (y'all didn't know that, did you?)  Another year has passed and while the past 365 days have gone by far too quickly, they've had their share of ups and downs (mostly ups).

We began the year knowing we were just a few projects away from selling our first home.  January and February brought the kitchen renovation and the finishing touch of pendant lights came in March:

I still maintain that holding drywall above my head for the ceiling was the hardest project I've ever done.

April was my birthday month and I was not at my best.  J had jury duty the entire week making our "birthday week" celebration not so fun.  He would have to go into work after each day at the courthouse and not get home until 9:00 at the earliest.  To say I was a complete and utter brat on my birthday is an understatement.  It didn't help that I had something great planned for his 40th two months later (which he obviously didn't know) and little did I know, he had something utterly amazing planned for me.  We'll just pretend like 28 didn't happen and just jump ahead to 29...

Things got a little hairy in May.  I had just retained a new client at work which resulted in signing my life away for the following 6 months.  J continued the projects to get the house ready for sale and we visited friends for a long Memorial Day weekend to help them put together a new play set for their kiddos:
June started off like any other month.  Things at work were insane with a huge fundraising event at the end of the month right before the July 4th holiday and end of the quarter.  But I'd be damned if I didn't celebrate J's 40th birthday with a week long celebration capped off with his big gift: a day long sailing trip with his BFF and his BFF's wife.  Minus one bout of sea sickness, it was an amazing day and seeing J so happy to be back on a boat made me fall in love all over again.  Are y'all throwing up yet?
Two days later, I planned an amazing day-of birthday dinner of veal chops and broccolini (two of J's faves) complete with a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.  At this point I was 5 days out from my fundraising event and beyond stressed, but looking forward to celebrating the big 4-0.  I finished my day at the office and came home, only to have J's birthday end with our engagement!
All was right with the world for three days until Columbus was hit with one of the worst storms on record.  80 mph gusts of wind took down trees and power lines everywhere, including the power lines that ran to our house.  Nothing like getting engaged and then spending 6 days without power, in the middle of the summer.  We debated getting a hotel for sure, but knowing we were heading on vacation 6 days later and not knowing when exactly the power would come back on, we toughed it out.  Major props to J who pulled a mattress from the second floor to the basement so we at least had some relief from the heat at night.  And thank God for basements.

July came in like a whirlwind.  My huge work event was on July 1st, in the middle of the power outage, and July 4th involved walking in three parades for work before we headed north to the land of electricity and air conditioning for our vacation.  Needless to say my first night back amongst these amenities was joyous.  And J planned the best trip to Northern Michigan where we had both vacationed as children.
August was ridiculous.  We had our hardwood floors refinished and by September the house was ready to sell.  We were on the market, officially, something like 14 days.  Within 24 hours of listing, we had 2 showings and averaged  2-4 showings per day and ended up receiving three offers.  We were set to accept the highest of the offers when one of the other bidders, having not heard back from us, assumed her offer was too low and countered it--making it higher than the one we were set to accept.  Amazing, right?  So we accepted and once her inspection was complete, we set a move out date of October 15th.

In October, we loaded all of our belongings into a POD and headed to a 500 square foot apartment for a month while we waited to close on the new place.  Again, not my best time.  We were closing in on Election Day and I, in my infinite wisdom, thought it would be okay just to "start looking" for a puppy.  And one week before said election, we adopted a Cavapoo and named her Minnow.
the night we brought her home--the ragamuffin look isn't common, I swear

We chose the name Minnow after seeing the most adorable pug while on our vacation back in July.  A nice woman was walking the beach with a group of puppies and one, particularly ornery, little girl puppy was named Minnow.  All I knew was that I needed a puppy named Minnow.

November brought with it an election and moving day and Thanksgiving.  While house hunting and seeing a ton of fixer uppers but never quite "the one," we ended up finding the perfect house in a perfect suburb of Columbus.
And after a whirlwind year, we find ourselves in December and closing down another year.  I'm looking forward to all that 2013 has in store! Until then, Happy New Year's Eve and, as the cliche goes, I'll see you next year! 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Updates

Today marks the one month anniversary of our closing on the new house/moving in day! 

J has been working like a dog the last two weeks to get ready for our carpet installation THIS FRIDAY!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am to get the new carpet on the second floor and in the basement and finally get all of the guest room furniture out of the living room and into their respective places.

I didn't want to do a series of pictures of bare floors and primed walls, but that's what we're working on so that's what you're gonna get! 

This past weekend, J finished tearing out all of the carpet and padding upstairs.  A tip for anyone replacing their carpet: if you can remove your old carpet yourself, it will save you a lot of pennies come install time.  

J began by using a very sharp knife and cutting each room into strips.  He rolled each strip up like you would a sleeping bag, and duct taped it closed.  Thankfully the town we live in will remove all of that stuff for free on trash day so for the past three weeks we have set out about 15 rolls of padding and carpet for them to take.  The last of which (for now) went out today! 

So for a while, our upstairs looks like this:



J spent 13 hours alone removing the border in this room!

 Then J primed all of the rooms to get them ready for paint:

As you can see, we've hardly been sitting still the past month!  My role has been to keep things clean, keep J fed, keep up on the laundry and work on unpacking my office space while J has been doing the heavy lifting upstairs. 

Oh, and I got to pick out the paint colors!

As I mentioned, carpet is coming in two days and J and I could not be more excited! Here's a preview of the carpet we picked out:
The patterned piece will be in the basement and the shaggy will be upstairs.

This weekend will officially mark the end of a two month long venture of living with our clothes stored in plastic tubs and various pieces of luggage.  That dresser you see above?  Yeah, that holds next to nothing when you have to share it with another person! 

Thus, I leave you with the final picture in today's montage: "Playtime With Minnow" 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let the Renovation Begin!

If there's one thing I love about my hubby-to-be, it's that he is a total doer.  Very rarely do I ever have to ask twice for him to check something out.  Where I will procrastinate, he executes the to-do list without complaint.  And I love that he applies that attitude toward everything: work, home, our relationship.  But enough with the swooning, and on with some updated project pics.

The second floor of our house is carpeted, as is the basement and two rooms on the main level.  Our first order of business upon moving into the house is finishing the upstairs enough so that Minnow and I can hang out there and do girl things like watching Hallmark movies and snuggling in bed with a good book.  This way, we could move the rest of the furniture upstairs into the respective guest rooms (and out of the living room where it currently sits) and not have to move it again for the carpet installation.  

And in case you're wondering, the carpet was not salvageable--the previous owner had let whatever animal they had run wild and do its "business" all over the house.  Everywhere.  There is not a room that doesn't have spots in it.  Gross.

Last week, J began the upstairs renovation by stripping the wallpaper border in one of the guest rooms and in the master bedroom.  But for now, you get to see the guest room:


you like that sponge paint job?

Once the wallpaper was down, it was time to strip the carpet.  Now the rooms all look like this:



We are keeping the carpet in our room until the last possible minute.  A girl has standards, you know?

Today, J will be working on fixing the squeaks in the floor--and this house has plenty for being just over 20 years old.  We'll also be getting the walls ready to paint so everything is done before the carpet arrives.  Hard to believe it's only been two weeks, yet it almost feels longer! 

{In an attempt to get back to the regular blogging schedule while "helping" with the projects and working my day job, I'll be posting every other day for now; with the hope that we are back to 5 days a week after the first of the year.  Thanks for reading!}

Monday, December 3, 2012

House Tour


In the two weeks since we closed, we've traveled for Thanksgiving, unpacked a LOT of boxes, unloaded a POD and a storage unit, and began stripping some of the God awful wallpaper that we inherited.  

Several people have asked, "Wasn't it hard to leave the home you just finished fixing up in order to move into another one in need of work?"  Yes, it definitely was hard.  J and I had a lot of beautiful memories in the that house.  It was our first home together, it was where he proposed, it was where we spent 7 nights without electricity in early July sleeping on a mattress on our basement floor.  

But I didn't cry (I completely blame the Zoloft for that) and I was, and still am, excited for all of the memories and projects the new house holds.

We have a garage!!
The beautiful entry way...and yes, that wall paper is peeling away from the wall.
The formal living room just to the left of the entry way.
The den located at the base of the stairs, and to the right of the entry way.
The dining room which has access from the formal living room and the kitchen.  And more wall paper peeling away from the walls.
The kitchen.  I don't know about you, but I see some granite countertops and new appliances in this lady's future...
The eat-in section of the kitchen, with a door leading out to the back porch.
The family room that sits just off of the kitchen.  Check out all of that sweet wood paneling!
 Guest Bedroom One
 Guest Bedroom Two
Guest Bedroom Three
The Master Bedroom.  I am thanking God that the blue walls are just sponge painted and not wallpapered!

Random space off of the master bedroom that overlooks the living room.

And now, prepare to become insanely jealous over my master bathroom!
Pink window coverings, pink wallpaper, pink tub, pink tile

And we are also fortunate to have a finished basement, complete with water lines for a wet bar! Naturally, this has been reserved for the man cave (I laid claim to the den) and I'm really excited to get it dressed up for J!

And in closing, the back of the house
The gutters need cleaned out desperately (hence the staining on the stucco) and the back porch needs completely refinished.  New landscaping and this will be the perfect back yard space for entertaining! 

As you can tell, this home is in need of a lot of updating and I cannot wait to show you the progress as we go. 



Friday, November 16, 2012

Is This Thing On?

I don't know about you, but if I get out of the habit of doing something I've done routinely, I find it extremely difficult to get back into the swing of things.  Almost like I need to rip off that band aid but I'm too lazy to do it.  So to anyone who is still reading this blog, thank you for being here! 

Since my last post on September 6, many many many things have changed...and mostly for the good!  J and I had the house listed for approximately 24 hours before we were bombarded with showings.  Multiple showings a day led to our little house being sold in just two weeks.  Much faster than we had anticipated and it just so happened that we hadn't found our next house yet.  Insert panic/stress/Melissa pouting because she didn't want to leave the house, etc.  

It took multiple trips out with our realtor and some tears on the phone to my mom after finding the true "fixer uppers" are quite terrifying, to find the perfect house.  It hadn't been listed more than a day when we got the call that this was a must see.  We booked it on over and fell. in. love.  It was a hot piece of property in the most perfect of part of a suburb we had been scouting.  We put an offer in before we even left the house.  A bit of a roller coaster ride ensued, with competing offers also put in, but ours won!  

Naturally, it takes a while to close on a house so we were fortunate enough to find a small (read: 500 square foot) furnished apartment that we could stay in until we were able to close and move into the new place.  With all of this together time, J and I had been talking about all of the fun things we're going to do in our home and even how we could look at adopting a dog once we moved. 

Obviously I took "once we moved" to mean it's okay to start perusing because you never know how long it would take to find the next member of the family.  Well, it only took me an hour of Googling and I found her!  On Friday, October 26, we officially became parents to our baby girl, Minnow.

And she does all kinds of adorable things like this:


We're pretty much obsessed and can't remember our lives before this ball of fur came running into it.

As of right now, we are set to close on our new house on Monday so there will be more on that later--with pictures to come of my pink tiled, floral wall papered master bathroom.

Until then, have a great weekend! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY Wreath

It's been a while since I've done anything remotely crafty and unfortunately, that streak has yet to be broken.  But someone, of the male persuasion, wanted something pretty to put on our front door as folks arrived for showings.  

Inspired by this pin, I set off to Jo Ann's to buy a grapevine wreath and some faux flowers.  That was five months ago.  The goodies sat in the basement for months and each weekend J would ask if I was going to make the wreath.  I'd say yes and then inevitably forget.  This weekend, he was done asking and decided to take matters into his own hands.

I was out of the house for several hours running errands when he called to see if he could make the wreath.  After giving him a rundown of how I wanted it done and that he better take pictures, he sent the following:

Step 1: Gather Materials

Step 2: Cut Stems off of Flowers and Affix with Zip Ties and Hot Glue When Hot Glue Alone Fails to Hold
Step 3: Arrange Flowers Nicely on Wreath
Step 4: Hang the Finished Product on the Front Door
Not too shabby for a boy, huh?  I'm thinking we need a weekly segment called "J's Kraft Korner" in which he completes all of the projects that I've bought supplies for but have failed to execute.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Finished Product

Be warned, this post is going to be 99% pictures and 1% narrative.  

Before putting the house up for sale, our realtor brought in a photographer and had professional pictures taken of the house.  Having done a ton of scouting on the MLS website, I can tell you that there are some pretty jenky pictures out there of homes.  And I truly feel that the pictures below represent our house so accurately.  So let's get started!













 I'll miss this view!

As I mentioned, we've already had several showings in the one week the house has been on the market and we've began our search for our next home.  Don't worry, we'll be taking you along for the ride!





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