Tag Archives: Around the House

Finished! Garden is going, grass is trying to grow.

Backyard Project

Work on the backyard was one of the items that got cut from our renovation project because of budget issues, so we saved to do the necessary work for the first year we were here. And when we found out we were having babies, we knew we had to get it done or it might never happen!

We didn’t want anything fancy – just something besides a wasteland. It took several steps, but we finally got there and are so happy to have it done.

Before...look at all that concrete! (2012 garden)
Before…look at all that concrete and the janky fence! (2012 garden)
After we got the concrete removed the first time
After we got the concrete removed the first time
The more legit guys finishing up the concrete removal and grading the yard
The more legit guys finishing up the concrete removal and grading the yard
Framing for pouring the walk
Framing for pouring the walk
The walk is poured, and Joel and I spread several yards of topsoil
The walk is poured, and Joel and I spread several yards of topsoil
Our nice craigslist friend, Victor, built us a shed
Our nice craigslist friend, Victor, built us a shed
Shed is done, and Joel spread several thousand pounds of rock in the areas we didn't want grass (I did not help with this part!)
Shed is done, and Joel spread several thousand pounds of rock in the areas we didn’t want grass (I did not help with this part!)
Finished! Garden is going, grass is trying to grow.
Finished! Fence is built, garden is going, and grass is trying to grow.

 

I can't forget...we got air conditioning! This really saved me at the end of pregnancy when I was spending so much time at home (and was so large).
I can’t forget…we got air conditioning! This really saved me at the end of pregnancy when I was spending so much time at home (and was so large).

 

 

 

 

The House, part 2

Here are some pictures of our house as it is today (sans baby items that are starting to take over everywhere). These make me realize how we never got around to painting anything differently than the way it started, except the nursery!

Living room from inside the front door
Living room from inside the front door
Eating area into the kitchen
Eating area into the kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen
Downstairs bathroom (it's a jack-and-jill with another toilet/sink on the other side of the shower)
Downstairs bathroom (it’s a jack-and-jill with another toilet/sink on the other side of the shower)
Guest room
Guest room

 

Our room
Our room
Nursery
Nursery – curtains, bedskirts and pillow sewn by my mom and tree decals painstakingly put up by Joel
Nursery
Nursery

 

 

 

 

 

The House

*I wrote this 6 months ago but never posted it for some reason? Post with completion pictures to follow…

We began looking for a house in September 2010 but weren’t having luck. In May 2011, I found a post on Craigslist about a house being renovated down the street. It sounded promising, so we checked it out. Although it was gutted, it seemed like it had more potential than anything else we had seen, so we went under contract. As the months passed, nothing happened. Our closing date (originally July 2011) got pushed back a few times as nothing and nothing and nothing happened. We were buying it from a lady who was flipping it, and everything basically fell apart for her. We felt very sad for her in the process, but a lot of the problems were because she hired a less-than-honest and non-licensed contractor to do the job (we didn’t know this until after). It got to the point that she couldn’t complete the project, so we bought it from her as-is. We didn’t get a steal because of her loan situation, but it still seemed like a good option. We  finally closed in November 2011.

We then hired our own contractors to begin/complete the project, and we were we glad we did! They said the work the previous guy had done was the worst work they had ever seen, and it all had to be ripped down. Overall, the project turned into a bit of a nightmare for most everyone involved, mainly because of an improper bid and some misunderstandings. Regardless of all of that, we moved in March 2012, 10 months after going under contract. What a year! The house has some issues of course, but overall we are happy to be here and have had a great first year.

Here are some pictures of the renovation, starting with what it looked like when we went under contract.

When we went under contract
When we went under contract – she’s a beaut!
Upstairs room add-on by the fake contractor
Upstairs room add-on by the fake contractor
Inside the house: future eating area and kitchen.
Inside the house: future eating area and kitchen.
The back, once our contractors got started. They tore off the other guy's work and had to rebuild the back room on the bottom because it wasn't up to fire codes.
The back, once our contractors got started. They tore off the other guy’s work and had to rebuild the back room on the bottom because it wasn’t up to fire codes. And yes, snow got in the house! To the right are trusses ordered by the fake contractor that don’t even fit the house.

 

Work inside - new hole cut to move the cellar stairs.
Work inside – new hole cut to move the cellar stairs.
Work inside - building the stairs
Work inside – building the stairs (extreme math project for someone)
Work inside - Joel standing by the frame of the back bedroom window
Work inside – Joel standing by the frame of the back bedroom window

 

Work inside - hardwood on the stairs
Work inside – hardwood on the stairs (more math)
Work inside - hardwood in the kitchen
Work inside – hardwood in the kitchen

 

Work inside - tiling the upstairs bathroom
Work inside – tiling the upstairs bathroom

 

The brick is scraped, the old porch is ripped off, and the new porch is framed
The brick is scraped, the old porch is ripped off, and the new porch covering is framed
Planting our new tree in April!
Planting our new tree in April! (before we fixed the grass behind us)

 

 

Other 2012 Highlights

Since there’s no way I’m going to make posts about all of these things, here are some other highlights from 2012. We did move in 2012, but I’ll actually make a post about that!

Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
We went to Memphis for Rebecca's wonderful wedding
We went to Memphis for Rebecca’s wonderful wedding

 

Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a fun snow climb to the Citadel
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a challenging snow climb to the Citadel
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a fun weekend
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a great weekend
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey's Peak with Sarah & Patrick
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey’s Peak with Sarah & Patrick
Some of our community group took a fun trip to Annie's family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Some of our community group took a lovely trip to Annie’s family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Fun on our block!
Fun on our block!
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Joel's mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
Joel’s mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
Our 2012 garden
Our 2012 garden

 

We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak...our 3rd way to climb it
We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak…our 3rd way to climb it
Joel's parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards
Joel’s parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards

 

Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick
Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick

It’s going to happen

I planned to try canning this past year, but moving fell right at the time I would can anything. So this year it is, and today marked the start. Here are my purchases of today:

Large dusty canning pot (or whatever you call it): $3 at an insane estate sale.

Box of 12 Le Parfait 1/4 liter  jars: $17.50 on eBay ($1.45 each). The best price I found elsewhere on 1/2 liter jars was around $5 each, so this seemed like a steal. Regular jars are cheaper, but I know some people are becoming wary of the BPA in the coating on the lids. Since I hadn’t bought any jars yet, I thought I’d go for the old-timey glass lidded type. Oh, the seller was in a Denver suburb, so I saved $12 on shipping by picking them up. And, when I picked them up, he had a bunch more for sale at 5 for $20…I win! :) Ok, I have to stop or Joel will reprimand me for going on about my deals.

We love renting!

Although we were sad to leave our old house, have I mentioned that we love not owning one right now? We were having a “little” trouble with the water from the washing machine and kitchen backing up into the downstairs bathtub (gross). What do we do? Call the landlords! Although they had just gotten home from Spain a few hours before, they called the plumbers right away. Zero dollars later, we were good to go!

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Welcome to Colorado…Love, the snow.

Yes, this really is Joel.

I absolutely love snow, and I think God knew that I hadn’t met my snow quota in quite some time.  I had heard some talk of a major snowstorm, but I’ve become jaded by promises like that after so many years in the south. Tuesday (Oct. 27)  evening after work it started snowing. Wednesday morning I woke up to 3-4 inches and it continued snowing throughout the day. Tenopardgyse By the time I got home from work, about 10 inches had piled up.

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I was feeling adventurous last night and drove to visit my friends Gabe & Nina in Arvada, which is about 10 miles away, but it took me 1 hour to get there. I’m sure people were afraid when they saw my Tennessee plates.

It snowed about 5 more inches over night bring the total to 15 or so inches. I happily worked from home today!

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I hate that Lauren had to miss all of it falling (she was in Nashville), but she knows I would have been much sadder if I had been the one out of town.

Enjoy more pictures on Facebook.

Bikes!

Last Saturday, we went to the quarterly police bike auction (bike theft is apparently bad here), and we got bikes! Mine was $30 (but needs a number of parts), and Joel’s was $60 (doesn’t need any work). Unfortunately, we didn’t know you could get there an hour early to actually view the bikes before you bought, but we’ll know if we go again. Joel rode to work 4 of 5 days this week, so that is great!

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The Many Looks of Joel

If you’ve been around Joel lately, you might have noticed his hair. The only scissors that had touched it since November were for the swoop trim featured in an earlier post. His hair really doesn’t bother me much, but it was driving him crazy.

joel hair long

After a few weeks of regularly asking if he set up an appointment, I finally offered to do the job for him…at his own risk. I don’t mean risk of danger (despite past injury) – just risk of unhappiness. He agreed, and we began. Well, we had a little fun first…

joel curly

…then a little more fun…

joel straight

Finally, we got on with the cut. I’m glad he can’t see my face, as it is often stricken with looks of horror after certain snips, but we had no disasters. His hair looks alright – not as good as a real haircut, but it will do for now!

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Swoop Be Gone…well sort of

For the last couple of months, Joel has been working on quite the swoop. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, but it was bothering him big time. Since Martha was having her baby, he didn’t schedule his next hair cut, which for Joel means, it will be a very long time until he gets around to it. If you’ve known me for a while, you may know about a tragedy involving me cutting Joel’s hair several years ago, but I won’t go into that. Suffice it to say, it is surprising I’m wiling to go near him with scissors. I’ve only given a few full cuts, but the occasional swoop trim is necessary. Getting ready to trim…

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Mid-trim

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Happy Joel. He can see without hair in his eyes! Yes, I understand that it still looks like a bit of a swoop to the untrained eye, but trust me…it’s way better. It will at least hold him over for a while.

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