Well, there’s only one excuse good enough for not having posted in the past month…
WE ARE HOMEOWNERS!!!!
Yay us!!! Years of hard work finally coming to fruition – so exciting!!! Those years of paying off pesky student loans, living in a tiny 400 square foot apartment, the divorce battle to move back to VT, and sleeping on the top bunk of Avery’s bed for the past year and a half… it’s all finally over and we’ve started a brand new chapter.
It was almost surreal – and easy! We were so lucky to buy from family, free of realtors and the hassle of home searching… since this house practically fell in our laps a year ago! We signed the closing papers almost a month ago. A bunch of signatures on a stack of papers and we were homeowners! Luckily, we had our close friends from high school visiting from California when we closed on the house, so we had a nice tour and celebration with them on our first night. Since then, it’s been maddness…
I took two weeks off from work, which by far wasn’t long enough (my co-workers will argue it was the longest time EVER and the amount of overtime I worked before and after vaca to make up for it… yeah, won’t be doing that again!) I spent a couple days with our friends visiting from California, two days helping my uncle pack up and move to his new apartment, and then it was time for us to move!
For the past year and a half, my life’s (material) possessions resided here… in my parents attic.
A couple more moving days, and a bunch more ‘construction’ days… and a week later, we were all ‘moved in’… aka, living and sleeping in our new house amongst the construction zone. It wouldn’t be home unless we knocked down and put up a few walls, right? At least not in my world 24 hours into home ownership and our living room looked like this…
So, if know know me, it was only fitting that even before moving in, I had a to do list…
- Project #1: Close up doorway to garage in Avery’s room.
- Project #2: Paint 2 bedrooms.
- Project #3: Remove upper cabinets over island in kitchen.
- Project #4: Remove stairwell wall & add banister.
- Project #5: Remove wall between kitchen/dining room & living room.
But before I go into detail about those projects, how about a mini house tour? This is the front of the house, looking at it from the road.
My great uncle John built this house starting in 1990. He built the house first, and added the garage later. He was actually the first resident of our private development/road (My parents live 9 houses down the road). We are so thankful for his hard work, and diligent labeling! The house is sound – we didn’t need an inspection and everything (cable wires, water valves, etc.) is labeled and he left all the instruction manuals and information about servicing, etc. We couldn’t have been any luckier.
The house is situated on 1.2 acres. We have a cute grassy front yard. The back yard is wooded and goes downhill slightly, hence the walk-out basement level.
The OUR house is just shy of 3,000 square feet. I know!!! You wouldn’t have guessed that from the front of the house, right?! On the first floor, there is a living room , dining room, kitchen, full bath, and two bedrooms (well, there was. Now we have a great room…
LIVING ROOM: (Above) Top = 10/22/15, Bottom = 11/2/2015 (That’s only 11 days… !!)
OH and a fireplace (one of my favorite features!) in the living room. So, with the goal of keeping things manageable, we renovated the first floor (notice the missing wall???) so we could live only on this floor (with the exception of my office on the second floor). This will hopefully save on heating and cleaning/furnishing all the other rooms in the house. And although I could see under them (thanks for pointing out how short I am, Krystle :-P), we took out the cabinets over the kitchen island to open it up even more…
KITCHEN/DINING ROOM: (Above) Top = 10/22/15, Bottom = 11/2/2015
I absolutely love that I can be in the kitchen making dinner while playing a game of ‘Guess Who’ with Avery sitting on the couch. The ‘great room’ we created is everything (and more) that I expected from removing the wall. Sooo in love!
Now, onto the bedrooms. Avery’s room was Uncle John’s office and had a door to the garage. To have two bedrooms on the same floor, we needed to close up the doorway, and as much as Grampy told Avery he was going to make him a secret doorway so Grampy could sneak him out at night, we still closed it up. Don’t fret – there’s a door on the front of the garage, back of the garage, stairs from the second floor, and stairs from the basement – plenty of other ways to get in there.
AVERY’S ROOM: (Above) Top = 10/22/15, Bottom = 10/31/2015 (Only 9 days!!!)
You have no idea how great it is to see those bunk beds in Avery’s room and not sleep on them!!! For the past year and a half, Avery had the bottom and me the top – a sacrifice I made to save up for this amazing house – so worth it! We repainted the bed, and walls to match the comforter set my grad school friend Victoria (thank you!!!) so sweetly gave us. Avery is loving having all his toys in his own room and we use that table (originally for trains on Avery’s 2nd birthday) to play all kinds of games. He especially loves the blue wall he helped build and paint!
And our room…
MEG & STEVE’S ROOM: (Above) Top = 10/22/15, Bottom = 10/29/2015 (Only 1 week!!!)
This room got the least work downstairs (not counting the bathroom). Paint, carpet shampooed, re-hung drapery, done. The second floor has a bedroom, bathroom with laundry, my office, and the FROG room (I’ll share more soon…). The basement level was a finished seperate apartment, so down there is a living area with a walkout patio, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom with laundry. More on those areas later… We are LOVING our new home. There have been some more renovations since the pictures taken weeks ago (and so many more to go!!), and some additions to the furnishings like a new TV and pool table in the ‘man cave’. Speaking of new additions… it’s about time for the AND part of the ‘We bought a house AND…’ Last weekend we added a member to our family…. meet Rosie.
Rosie is 8 weeks young. She is a mix – boxer, lab, and spaniel. She’s a riot – full of energy and love. Her favorite things to do are chase Avery around, play tug of war with Steve, and cuddle or sleep with one of us. Just tonight we found her sitting on Avery’s pillow, trying to cuddle with him because Steve and I were both upstairs and she was all alone and wanted some company. Rosie is named after Steve’s Mom, since he names everything after her. Our dishwasher is even named Rosie. Her nickname is ‘traitor’ because she’s Steve’s dog, but she spends the whole day with me (since I work from home) and she always leaves Steve and comes to find where I am. Steve and Danny call her ‘traitor’ because of that, haha. She just knows we now have a balance in this house and us girls gotta stick together!
A special thank you to everyone that helped us move, clean, renovate, donated furniture, and visit us already – Thank you Mom and Dad!!! Thank you Aunt Candy & Uncle Paul. Thank you Candy Man. Thank you Mike, Rose, Danny & Breanne. Thank you Nana & Papa. Thank you Tom & Diane. Thank you Andrew. Thank you Kate & kids. Thank you Ayla, Jessie, & Ava. Thank you Krystle & Zach. And a BIG thank you to Uncle John, for selling us his house
We’re living the dream !!! More to come… I promise it won’t be another month before you hear from me again!