So a year ago right about now we moved into our very first house. We bought it. With our money. Well a bank helped a little bit too, I guess. At the time Derek and I weren’t making much money so we could really only afford a “fixer-upper.” Fine, no problem. Derek’s super handy. I can follow basic instructions. Our dads are uber handy. We’ll be fine.
So here is a blog I wrote for a friend’s home improvement blog. It chronicles our journey. Complete with before and after pics. My muscles ache and I feel like I need a shower and a cold beer just reading this again.
I thought it very important for the blogosphere to know that my office mate Liz (who we like to call Lizzerd) unknowingly showed up to work today with caulk smeared on her arm. I then had to spend the next several minutes informing her of the importance of showering before coming to work. She’s lucky I didn’t get HR involved.
However, I can’t be too upset with her. Only mere months ago, I was just like her. My husband, Derek and I were (and well… we still are) renovating our first house. A fixer-upper, they call it. I called it a time warp and an eye sore. Imagine my disappointment when we first walked into the house with the realtor and saw this:
We loved the neighborhood, the double lot with big, beautiful trees, and the fact that it was a good-sized ranch house. However, with months of hard work, lots of sweat, a few tears, several Band-Aids and more swear words than a George Carlin show (RIP), we turned that 70’s eyesore into this:
The kitchen, complete with cabinets made of wood paneling and linoleum flooring used as a backsplash (not to mention a dryer next to the fridge.) went from this:
So I like to remind Liz that I’ve been there. We knocked out walls, started a small electrical fire, got a rash ripping out carpet older than me, removed wallpaper from the ceiling in the living room, breathed in asbestos, took many trips to the city dump, and worked until all hours of the night only to go to our day jobs the next day (probably with caulk-smeared arms) and start it all over again that night.
But even now when I’m relaxing on the couch, I look around at our handiwork and can’t believe we live here. And though we had help from family and friends, we did it together. We’d sit in our backyard after work every night, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner in our dingy paint encrusted work clothes, before we’d spring into action to get the saws, sanders and paint rollers going. Never once did either of us threaten divorce. At least not to each other’s faces.
Next project – our ugly bathroom.