Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Done Yet

This renovation has been a huuuuge job. 

We ended up gutting two entire floors, rewiring the whole house and added a last minute staircase replacement.  And a deck.  We've been in the house for 3 weeks now and work still continues.  But the deficiency list is now one page long instead of three. 

I can see light at the end of the tunnel! 

Back to where we left off, the outside.


And here's where we were a few days later.


The tall wall covers the back of our neighbor's shed.  It was such bad old siding, there was no other way to camouflage it than to clad it.  The fence is intentionally less private.  The gaps allow for some sun to shine through.  

There's been progress inside, too.  Like window coverings.

Living Room
Dining Room

Ignore those boxes.  The piles are getting smaller and smaller.  Really, they are.


And I'm getting more function out of my favorite 4' x 4' space in the whole house.

That's the thing about a renovation.  Settling back in.  I'm trying to be careful about finding the right place for the right things.  If it doesn't fit, I'm putting it aside and considering Craigslist or Goodwill.  But if it's something I love, I'll wait for a year (sorry, Steve).  It's an Oprah rule: if you don't use it for a whole year, it's a purge candidate. 

Then there's the whole repurposing things I loved in my house before the renovation...remember this little banquette?

Pre-Renovation: Kitchen

It's found a place in the basement!

Post-Renovation: Playroom

I'm so happy it works.  I was afraid it would end up on Craigslist, too!  Right now, it's jammed full of toys and flanked on either end by white 8-square Expedits.  That means it's not pretty or organized enough for a good picture.  I'll leave you with that mental image.

At the end of the day, as disorganized as I'm feeling, I'm loving our house.  We're settling in nicely.   It's feeling like our home again.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And Now...The Outside


Our deck has been so bad for so long.  Falling apart from rotted wood.  So we knew it was inevitable that our new slider would have to open onto a new deck.  And the falling down fence had to go, too.  Even with today's awful heat and humidity, the work is moving along well.

New Fence

Note to self: Virginia Creeper is the worst vine to plant if you don't rip it back religiously.  This one took over the fence, the neighbor's lilac bush near our lot line and traveled all the way through the neighbor's yard to the next neighbor's fence. 

I don't know how much of it is dead, but I plan to get rid of the rest and find another vine that isn't as invasive.  Let's see if that poor lilac bush finds the strength to bounce back...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Random Friday

Today was spent trying to keep calm about the paint on the hardwood.  There is paint everywhere!  Well, only if you look down.  I'm alleviating the OCD by keeping my eyes forward. 

My words to my contractor today: "See, the thing is, I just can't be happy if there's paint on the hardwood."  He said, "Meg, do you trust me!? (Me: yes)  Leave it with me! (smile)"  So I am leaving it with him.  And wondering how it will all come up.  Fingers are crossed.  And I am leaving it with him!!!!!!!!

In other news, I bought a stool.

From-The-Sink View

Side View

Stool requirements:
- comfortable enough to sit in for a long time
- have a back
- hold my father
- cleanable enough for 3 boys
- tuck in as much as possible under the 12 inch overhang so people can walk behind

It was an unexpected purchase today.  I knew it covered #1-4 of the above.  So I brought it home to see if it met #5.  I think it's a success.

Saran Wrap Removed

Today's crew gave it a thumbs up.  So did Steve.  It's a reasonable price.  So I think it's staying.  Now to order 3 more.

Then we went to the park.


It was the first trip ever without a stroller.  #3 had a total meltdown when I tried to put him in it  He is defiant.  Stronger willed than #2.  I'm in trouble.


This week has been the most amazing and the most difficult. 
Moving. In. Sucks.  Stuff everywhere.  Pitch it, use it, store it...?? 

I heard the advice, "when you move, touch it once."  I've touched everything 18 times. 

But this evening brought reflection.  Our view used to be this.


And tonight it's this.

My View

We've been questioning whether it's all worth it.  But I just might think it is.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I think this is the longest stretch I didn't blog.  I didn't like it.  Won't do that again. 

I admit, the move back in thing had lots to do with it.  More than a few things to wifi, then big rainfall, then wifi issues, then back online today.  It helps to have a general contractor who's a master electrician.  Contact me for his info :)

So let's recap the last 10 days.

If you follow me on instagram (lovingalbany) you would have seen this shot of my mom with us after a long weekend of packing up the apartment.  I'm dead serious when I say our move out never would have happened without her.  I don't know what I was thinking when I thought Steve and I could do it ourselves.  Um, no. 

Really.  No.

Then we left town.

For this.

My 10 week old nephew.  Hello, Ben.  Nice to meet you.  Please do not take notes from my boys. 

Also for this.

My brother's pool.  He lives 8 hours away in IL.  Like Jake said, he wanted to go swimming the whole time we were away for the 4th of July.  He almost did.

We also went to the zoo with my nephews.  One pictured below.

It was more fun than Henry made it look.

Back to the trip.  After the first few days, we continued to WI for the 4th of July. 
My home.

Is there anything better than illegal fireworks on the street?

Maybe a parade.

Unless the sun is shining like crazy and there's no shade for the 5 kids you're with.  Then it's sweatville.

Thank goodness Bubba (my dad) was marching in the beginning of the parade.

Somehow, Henry got a story stuck in his head that Bubba shot a bird out of the sky during the parade.  Hard to do with blanks.  But good story, Henry.

After the parade, it's carnival time at the park.

Then back to the house to eat dinner.  Only to return and watch fireworks.

Still with me?  Good. 

So after the 4th of July celebration in WI, we headed back to IL. 

More antics.

More pool.

Then I received a picture from my contractor. 

Progress!!!  Let's head for home.

Notice the haircut?  They all got one.  Buzzed for summer.

Then we got home.


Main Floor

So good to be home.  So good! 

To sum it all up: Beautiful. Boxes. Boys everywhere. 

Then I took a deep breath and ordered pizza.  Our first meal in our new old house.

Fast forward to today.  Henry is happy to be home.  I am happy for the growing pile of empty boxes behind him.

And the detail being attended the barn door handle installed today!

Ignore the wine glass fruit fly graveyards traps.

Opposite view:

But don't be fooled.  This is the other side of the main floor.  Chaos!!!!

Boxes, sheets for drapes, random fans and tools.  Oh my.

But the powder room is coming along.  And getting lots of use.

So is the 2nd floor main bathroom.

Speaking of the 2nd floor, touchups are ongoing.  Can you see it?  I love it.

I leave you with my regret.  I told my contractor I wanted our 2nd floor closet to be a door that you don't see.  Something "disappearing".  He told me he already ordered the shaker door.  I said it needs to disappear.  So he built it.  It didn't work out.  It didn't match.

So today he built what should have been.  The shaker door.

So. Much. Better.  Keep me out of the way, please???!!!

I promise to post more.  With less pictures.  Promise.