Tag Archives: DIY

10 Years of Home Ownership

Yesterday, May 18, 2017 marks 10 years since this day:


Hooray! We just bought an ugly kitchen. Closing day 2007.

Ten years since we excitedly closed on the ugliest house on the nicest block. We were 28 years old, childless, poor and probably had no right to pay so much for a house that needed so much. But as you can see from above, we were happy, clueless and ready to roll.

In less than one month, this house will belong to someone else.

Next month we are moving to a new house, about 20 minutes away from this one, but miles closer to where we want to be long-term. A big yard, a much larger house, an award-winning school district.

Because these last 10 years? We’ve grown two human beings. We’ve lost and gained new jobs. We’ve grown up.


Easter 2013


We’ve had happy times and sad times. We’ve taught two kids to ride bikes, to eat their veggies, to look both ways before crossing the street. We brought home a playful, adorable puppy, who has grown into a slower, chubbier, older, but still so happy and lovable dog. Basically, every single thing that’s happened in the last 10 years has happened in this house.

And now it’s going to belong to someone else. And that’s really hard.

But sometimes the hardest things are the things most worth doing. We’ve worked and saved and sacrificed to purchase a home for our family that is what we’ve always wanted. Finally, a two-story house so we can watch TV as loud as we want while the kids are in bed. A huge yard, with a beautiful pond where I envision us sitting on the deck watching herons and ducks and frogs visiting. Our kids are smart – scary smart – and we want them to have all the opportunities in the world to become what they’re going to be, and we are hopeful that this school district, and this community, will help them get there.

So this is the right decision for us.

But it’s still really hard to let go of this house that we put back together after years of neglect, that we know like the back of our hands, that feels like home.

I’ve written about our home remodeling projects dozens of times on this blog. Check out our progress over the last decade here, here, here, here and here.

And wish us luck on this new chapter. Because, you know we weren’t about to buy a move-in ready house. That’s just not in our DIY blood. So stay tuned as I hope to chronicle this new chapter of us remodeling our forever house.


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The Kitchen is Done, Dude!

Finally! I present to you, our finished kitchen. Cue the trumpets!



Let me remind you what we were dealing with:


And this:


Which is now this!


Opening up the wall between our kitchen and living room has made me happier than a hole in the wall should make anyone. I can see the kids when they’re playing in the living room. I can spy on them and know who stole what from whom and why. I can see people walking their dogs past our house while I’m making dinner. If someone didn’t pick up their dog’s poop, I could be over to the front door to yell at them in a flash. These are real benefits, people!

Check out the new fridge that I MAY have shed a tear or two whilst shopping for. Apparently when your fridge opening is 1 inch smaller than standard fridge size, the powers that be make you have a nervous breakdown until you find ONE fridge in the entire universe that will fit. ONE.


It’s been a few weeks since we completed the kitchen and some days I still can’t believe it’s ours. We’ve lived in this house for seven years, but this is actually the second kitchen remodel we did. When we moved in, we didn’t have the money to do a full remodel like we wanted to, so we just installed stock cabinets (which we actually kept for this remodel) and laminate counters and sticky tile floors. Remember?

Why yes, those cabinets are made of wood paneling. Thanks for asking.

Why yes, those cabinets are made of wood paneling. Thanks for asking.

It looked like a dungeon, with lots of wasted space. And now it’s just a distant memory.


I’m so in love with our back splash and the little shelf to hold my plants above the sink.

Read the earlier kitchen updates here and here.

Just about everything in this kitchen is from Hobo. The cabinets were purchased there 7 years ago, but we bought the large pantry and a few more base cabinets that worked with our new configuration. We were so lucky they still had the same cabinets available! The backsplash – Hobo. And expensive, but worth it, IMO. The counters are quartz and again, from Hobo. They were also expensive, but still cheaper professionally installed by Hobo than Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards.

All the work was done by my husband. And no, you can’t have him. He’s all MINE!


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