Friday, May 26, 2017

House Love

We knew when we moved into this big old old house that we had our work cut out for us, but thankfully I am married to this guy who just doesn't know how to sit down and relax.  If there isn't a project to at least be planning for he gets restless.  This house makes for a very happy husband!  Turns out it makes for a happy wife too...this place gets more and more amazing with the completion of each project.  In fact, even with the giant projects on the horizon that are incomplete or not even started, I have a hard time imagining how it could be more perfect for us.  I think it is safe to say I am smitten.  We are all smitten!

Let's see...since we moved in not quite 4 years ago we (by "we" I mean "mostly J") have finished the basement (it had sheet rocked walls and drop ceilings and horrible outdoor carpet placed right on the concrete and was CREEPY), re-did the half bath on the main floor, replaced the horrible carpet on the main floor with hardwood, got a new roof and gutters, built a giant chicken palace/shed and built a tree house in our tree line.  There have been countless smaller projects and honey do lists in there and a ton of tree trimming and tree removal.  We have already seen huge transformation, but our house isn't even close to the place it will be when we are done with it.

We have had this problem area right off of our back deck since we moved in.  Let's be honest...we live in the country.  We don't grow grass, we grow weeds...but only in the places where weeds grow.  The rest is mud.  The previous owner put this little brick path from our deck stairs to the back door entering the garage leaving this giant, awkward space where only weeds grew.  It was too big of a space to landscape, so it was just ignored and shabby, to be dealt with when we eventually decided to add a big patio or something.  Well, that time came upon us suddenly.  As spring moved in, our mud pit became as annoying as it does every year.  Chickens scratching up what little weed growth there had been and dogs and kids tearing up the rest meant momma was cleaning up little muddy paw and toe prints all day every day.  I started noticing this trend of loose rock patios in pictures as I perused for other home improvement ideas.  This was doable for this space!  We kept putting off the idea of a true patio because of our leveling issues with the tree you can see in the picture and the roots that are all around there, but this would cover the mud and make this space usable.  No sooner had I mentioned the idea to J, then we were placing our order for rock to be delivered that following weekend (you can see the giant piles in the background of this picture).

By the weekend following our initial rock delivery we had a new patio!  Don't get me wrong, we paid for this with our bones...we were so sore for days following the completion. However, this space has seriously changed our lives...the amount of time we have spent here has already paid for itself.  I couldn't be happier!  AND...the rain just soaks right through the rock and the amount of mud prints in the house has decreased drastically.  I am a happy momma!

View from the north facing south.  You can see a child in the fire pit that J built as well.
I should have been happy with that alone, right?  Nope.  I insisted that J tear the front railing off of that deck and extend the stairs all the way around to open up that whole space.  It had just the effect I was looking for.  Now it is all one big open usable space.  We can plop down on the steps and watch the kids play and the chickens range.  I am so in love!

Ella Forever can swing to her little heart's delight without her mom having to say, "'s too muddy!"

The finished product!  Even the dogs are happy...this has become their favorite lookout.
It's become our favorite picture taking spot too!

The kids (with a smidgeon of help from Dad) got me this bird house and bird bath for Mother's Day.  I had J bury this old post that was left up in the rafters of our garage and mount the bird house and feeders on it and then laid the brick around it.  I'm trying to grow native wildflowers in the dirt around it and have the area fenced off from kids and chickens to foster that, but so far haven't had much luck.  This WILL be my bird, bee and butterfly garden, though.  I WILL get my wildflowers! ;)

And then there's this!  Nothing more perfect than sitting near a crackling fire on a beautiful evening and watching the sun go down.

Upward and onward!  The first day we looked at this old house, everything was completely livable to me.  The basement was creepy, but we didn't need that space right away.  The carpet was not my taste, but it would work until we could rip it up.  The roof was old, but it was doing its job.  The upstairs bath, however, was atrocious and I hated it from the day we moved in.  Life happened, though, and other things took priority.  Ella Forever came to fruition a few short months after we moved in and we needed that extra space in the basement, so J finished it.  We fell victim to a giant storm and the basement flooded (leaving it needing finished again, unfortunately) and the need for a new roof became imminent.  What was once a white carpet (its best days were LONG before we moved in) became my biggest adversary in my war against mud with 5 kids and 2 dogs and the mud pit in the back, so J got rid of it.  My lovely bathroom remained as lovely as it was the day we moved in.  Until now.  We hired a contractor to come in and get the job done and he will also be redoing our kitchen later this summer. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!  This is just the beginning of the journey, but I have promised several people pictures of the progress, so here we are. Now, don't get jealous when I show you these before pictures! ;)
I have asked the contractor if there is any way we can salvage the trendy peach and seafoam green seashell border.
Sadly, I think it has to go (I hope you are all reading my sarcasm here).

The luxurious jetted tub that I refuse to let the kids run no matter how much they beg.  I am not sure the filter had ever
been cleaned in this thing and I am so ecstatic that it is just out of my house now.

This gives you a good idea of the layout of the bathroom currently.  And the gorgeous 80s theme going on. 

Giant bank of cabinets...this space will be our future walk-in shower!

I've never been so ready to say goodbye to something in my life.  This
shower is gross. The tile around it just keeps popping up and we have just
glued it back down knowing it would be gone eventually.  

 I just think this is so beautiful! Think of how much work this would have been 115 years ago! <3 td="">

This is where we are left!  Confirmation that our house has good bones.
Up next, Plumbing!  Totally new layout and a return to its former
farmhouse glory.  Maybe glammed up a bit. ;)

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