Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How Gratifying

It seems like I've had a ton to post in the last two weeks or so. Do you know what that means? It means we are making some significant progress! Yay for progress! Over the weekend, we borrowed a power washer from our new neighbor (yay for nice neighbors, too) and Sam got busy on that skanky siding and the filthy gutters. Can you see the dirt in the photo? Believe me, it looks amazingly better now. Not to mention it just feels better, knowing that the house has been soaped and sprayed clean. Just right for spring :)

Sam was able to complete the front of the house (where we will be doing all of the painting) and also the north side (which was by far the worst off). Hopefully, he'll be able to borrow the washer again sometime in the next two weeks and finish the other two sides. He did a great job :) Thanks, Babe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Operation "No More Pumpkin Pie"

We've actually done something to the new house!!! After closing on the sale of our previous home (and second mortgage) last week, it took all of three days before I was ready to head over to the local Sherwin Williams and nab the paint we needed to get rid of the pumpkin-pie-colored walls so thoughtfully left by the previous owners. Everything in this kitchen was a shade of brown - brown cabinets, brown tile flooring, orange-brown walls, and even our old kitchen table was practically the same shade of brown! Time to change all that. Bye, bye pumpkin pie!!!

Here are the before pics (with the walls all cut-in with primer)...

We've painted the first coat on the walls now. It already looks so much better!! We still need to:

  • paint the second coat done!!!
  • replace the outlet/switch covers (they were plastic and smoke-stained) done!!!
  • sand the cabinets 1/4 done!!!
  • prime the cabinets 1/4 done!!!
  • paint the cabinets 1/4 done!!! - NOTE: finally finished painting the cabinets in OCTOBER, for pity's sake.
  • replace the cabinet hardware 1/4 done!!!
  • replace the lighting
  • decorate (yay!)
  • maybe, maybe, just maybe, replace the countertops (moolah permitting)

And that will be all for the first kitchen go-around. We hope to do a more involved kitchen "remodel" down the road, but these cosmetic changes will have to hold us for now. I'm just pleased as punch to see something happening! I think these little changes that make the house more "ours" really help out with the transition. Right now I don't feel like our previous house is home any longer, but I also don't really feel like we've made this new house home, yet. It will come, I know. And more quickly if we can keep a steady pace on our to-do list :)

Since No One Is Reading This But The Two Of Us...

Somehow, when you dive into this whole blog thing, you think your own blog is going to be wildly popular and you'll soon be receiving comment upon comment. Then, reality sets in and you realize that your life is, well, BORING - to anyone, that is, except you :)

We've come to that realization here at Home for the Better. No one is reading this blog. But, that's okay. Readers or no readers, we still want to have a record of the changes we have made to our (now) home. Because, at the very least, we may need to look back from time to time and remind ourselves of what we have accomplished so far. Nothing is more motivating than progress, right?

We would love a comment now and then, of course, but we are determined to post, come what may. When we finish some of these projects, we want to be able to look back in amazement at the "before" pics and then feel that sweet satisfaction as we behold the "after" shots. Basically, we're going to keep this blog for us :) If you'd like to read it too, that would also be lovely.

Because it's a little more fun to type away as though you have some huge audience spellbound in rapt attention, we might sometimes post as though that is the case. Like right now, for instance. I'm explaining how I might be posting and declaring my purpose. Would I need to write that to myself? Probably not, but it's kind of fun to think that someone might give a rip and to imagine that someday one of our many, many faithful readers will stumble upon this post in our much-linked-to archives and chuckle.

But, even if that never happens... we post. Maybe not super often. Maybe not super interesting. But, we keep this little record of home-making nonetheless :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Goodbye, House

We closed on the sale of our house today!!!

I am truly thankful. I know we are tremendously blessed to sell so very quickly in this market. Still... there's always a bittersweet aspect to leaving a home. You have lived there. You have loved there. And now, well, it's someone else's. That part is always a little strange to me.

Strange and, if I'm honest, a little hard. But, we're closer than ever to family now. Closer to friends. Closer to where we've really been investing ourselves over the past five years. It's a very good move for our family. So, goodbye House. Goodbye nine foot ceilings. Goodbye brand new tile. Goodbye gleaming white bathrooms. Goodbye fresh, bright windows.

Goodbye House.


With all of those perks, though, that house couldn't give us what matters most to us in a home - people to share it with! So, no more sniffs. That's enough of that. There's no time for sniffling when we have so much thanks to give! It was too far away from everything! Now, we're 2 minutes from my sister's house and our closest friends live just 5 minutes away. We're warm and safe and healthy. Plus - now we get to make our new house into a home! There's plenty to do, for certain, but we're doing it together... and we have time :) With the second mortgage gone (praise God!) things are going to start happening around here - and soon.

That will really be fun to see :)