Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Second Year In Review

Well, hi there, everyone :) We're officially back from what turned out to be a rather lengthy blog break. Three months! It was needed, though, and it was in all ways a good thing. I'm so excited to see that we haven't lost anyone from our little list of blog subscribers. Thanks so much for hanging in there and being patient with us. It means a lot to know you guys are still around.

So, March 2011. This month marks the two year anniversary of our first house project. We've lived here for two years and three months, now, but the projects didn't begin right away when we moved in. At that time, we still had the mortgage for our previous house in addition to this new one, and there was zero spare cash to delve into paint, trim, and all that good stuff. But, you'd better believe that as soon as we signed off on the sale of our previous house, we were right in there. The first item on our massive "to do" list was getting rid of the pumpkin pie colored paint in the dark, depressing kitchen. That was March 2009.

The first year was a complete whirlwind of frenzied activity. I recapped it last March here, if you're interested.

The second year? Well, the second year has pretty much been the antithesis of the first year. It started out as more of the same and then, halfway in, kind of fizzled. But, it was sort of purposeful fizzle. Does that make any sense? Well, let's just take a look at the year in review, and I think you'll see what I mean.

We had been going non-stop from March 2009 to January 2010, and decided to take a break in the last part of January and all of February. Funny, I hadn't realized that I took a blog break last February, too. Huh. Interesting. Anyway, when the sun began to peek back out in March, we were ready to get on with business. We started work in Bedroom 3 (which, currently, is Punkin & Little Dude's bedroom). This room has had a number of different bed configurations over the last 2 years. At first it was for all 3 girls while one of the bedrooms served as a sitting room to house the furniture that had to move out of the family room so we could redo the carpet. You know those little hand-held brain teaser games that have 8 tiny tiles that you slide around in 9 spaces trying to get them to make a picture or line up or something? That's exactly what living in this house is like. Slide one thing here, slide another there, always working toward that finished picture.

Here's the bedroom "before", back when all 3 girls were spleeping there. We had just removed the hollow, fake wood bi-fold doors from the closet.

And here's the same room, at this point just for Punkin and Little Dude, as we wrapped up the first layer in mid-April (Sam working after a dislocated shoulder, too!).

We kind of kept piddling around with this room all year long. Someday, when it's even remotely clean, I'll share updated photos. You can also read all of the Bedroom 3 posts here.

Around this same time, I posted an "ugly Craigslist bench"
before & after...

And added some fun fabric to troubleshoot problem drawers in Shug & SweetP's room.

After finishing up the foundational work in Bedroom 3, we moved right on to Bedroom 2 during the second half of April. This bedroom serves as the "extra" bedroom. It's the empty space on the brainteaser game - it gets shifted into and out of regularly. Here's the "before"...

And empty...

The single most important thing we did in this room was enlarging and replacing the window in December 2010...

From there, we started completing the rest of the first layer. Sam worked on this room throughout the remainder of April and on through to... July?! Yes, friends, July. And even then, I apparently never managed to post official after shots. I'll fix that soon, though. For now, here's one that gives you a good idea of the finished paint and trim.

And just in case you're interested, here are all of the posts on Bedroom 2.

That sums up March through July. Well, except that we welcomed
my new little niece in June :) She lives just half a mile away, so we got to see her lots. What a blessing she is!

Projects took a backseat to living life in the moment. We enjoyed the new baby and pretty much spent every spare moment at the pool we belong to. Many days. Many hours each of those days. We weren't even thinking about the house. It was so great. After nearly 15 months of concentrated effort, it was like a project summer vacay. By the way, I never say "vacay" in real life, why did I type that? Weirdo. But the rest was sooooo nice. And that continued until Labor Day. We said goodbye to some dear Air Force friends, then (we're not AF, but we have a thing for making AF peeps our bestest friends and then sending them off 2-3 years later, sniff) and got started on the new school year.

I didn't post at all in October as homeschooling was in full gear and we were all adjusting to the new schedule. We did, however, start painting our dining room chairs under the blogger radar and also installed some shelving from IKEA to help corral the massive amounts of crap educational resources that accumulate when you teach at home. But, the shelves fell out. See?

Sam secured the wall and reinstalled the shelves. I'm happy to say they're still up months later.

The chairs, however, are still not finished.

We've been using these folding chairs for, what? Like, five months now?

By the time November rolled around, we weren't really wanting to start up another project right before the holidays, but we did think it might be a good time to start replacing the old furniture in the living room and maybe shop around for an area rug. Not at all "first layer" activities, but that room is our primary living space, and it needed done. Sam practically punched the couch everytime he tried to sit in it. The time had come. So, in November and December we scoured the 'net for living room inspiration and I came up with this design board.

And, here's the living room as of this week.

In uploading the photos for this post, I was struck by how cohesive all of the "after" shots are looking together. The rooms are all actually beginning to flow with one another and not look so random and disjointed. We still have a long way to go, for certain, but it's encouraging none the less.

So, that's it! The second year in review :) This week officially marks the beginning of the third full year of projects. There's this little saying in perennial gardening that says, "Sleep, Creep, Leap". This just means that the first year you plant, you can't really expect much. The plants need time to settle in and get their roots down. The second year, you see some progress, albeit slow. But, by the third year, a solid garden will really boom with noticeably larger, fuller, bloomier plants. So far, I'd say that adage has held fairly true in regard to the house, too. If it continues, this coming year will be the year we see a big "leap". Wouldn't that be awesome?

Thanks so much for sticking with us during our long break, guys. It meant a lot to see that we didn't lose any of you. We'd love to hear from you!


Renae said...

Was LITERALLY just thinking of you yesterday and was going to send an email. Am happy to see that you continue to update your blog, even if you took some time off. Your LR looks wonderful! Can't wait to see your continued progress (esp. on the chairs...they're so pretty!). Happy Spring to all of you!

Sarita said...

I'm glad you're back! The new window in your guest room makes it look so much bigger! I love it!

Sara said...

Thanks for the year in review! I love seeing how your house is coming along!

Deb said...

I've been checking regularly and I'm so glad you're back! Your living room looks great, I love the sofas and the rug. I'm also glad to see you don't finish up projects in a hurry either. I'm the queen of procrastination.

Jacci said...

Thanks, guys! :) So fun to hear from you. Hopefully, we'll get rolling here this spring and next year's recap will be a big one!

Melissa said...

Glad to see you back! It's great to see the cohesiveness of your first layer. I love that style and would like to add more of it to our house. Slowly...

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

I love how your living room turned out! The rug and the pillows and the sofa - it all looks GREAT!!