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.
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!
*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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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…
…then a little more fun…
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!
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…
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.