Sunday, February 22, 2015

My little Valentines, 2015

This year Cory and I were super romantic and bought recessed lights for each other for Valentines day. Nothing says I love you more than spending hours debating can light placement (and even after hours of debate, the first hole cut straight into a duct...whoops...). 

Cory went over to the new house and worked on projects all day, while I hung out with our little Valentines here at home. They are the cutest. We took the opportunity to wear every article of pink or red clothing we own, and take some pictures. I hadn't planned on this, but was feeling the love and made pancakes while Benjamin napped. Then Amelia (who insisted on wearing her pink princess dress and glitter crown at this point) went to town with the heart shaped cookie cutters on them. She liked that, but once she realized she could lick the confectioners sugar straight off the cutting board she really got into it. 

Here's to love! Of every kind! Espeically that of a toddler who has discovered powdered sugar for the first time.

Benjamin says, "Oh dem ladies. Always be kissing on me."
It's a Valentines hug just for YOU.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

We bought a house! ("Before" Pictures)

So, we bought a house last month! After our plans to buy a house last summer fell through in a blaze of fiery glory, I kind of gave up on the whole real estate market. And so did Cory, or so I thought. He randomly started looking at listings in November, and saw that a house that we had begged to look at the beginning of the year but couldn't because the owners were being super shady (it was a short sale then) was back on, and seemed to be bank owned now. It was also reduced a little bit. Our interest was piqued, but not enough to schedule anything. Finally in December, we gave our realtor a call and asked if he could take us to look at it, "just to see".

He said yes, so we went. And it had been reduced by an additional $15,000 the day before we came. And so, we went for it. And then in January we signed our life away and now we own a mortgage. 

We had a few things we were looking for, and this place actually met it all:
1. A window above the kitchen sink
2. Indoor laundry room
3. Not super run down, but also not recently renovated
4. Location, location, location (grandparents are just right down the road!)
5. A nice flat yard for the kids to play in
6. All the bedrooms on the same level/near each other

I'm not on the ball and didn't take any "before" pictures, but I screen shot these from what the appraiser took and pasted into her report, ha. And apparently she is super good at aiming her camera at the floor. But oh well, it's what I've got. We're doing a lot of big projects on the house before we move in, so it pretty much looks like a construction zone at the moment. But in a few weeks its going to look soooooo good, almost all thanks to Cory's sainted mother. She spent hours and hours peeling wall paper, putting down plastic, scraping popcorn ceilings, and running to Home Depot to pick up supplies. I tried to go help her a few times, but my entourage is very distracting. So, I do the shopping. And bring snacks. Cory and his parents have been working on it in all of their spare time, and its super amazing how much they have done. For real.

List of projects to do before move in, or to do until the money runs out (as money is wont to do):
  • Scrape popcorn ceilings (DONE!)
  • Skim coat ceilings (DONE!)
  • Remove wall paper (DONE!)
  • Replace fluorescent light in kitchen with can lights (DONE!)
  • Remove backsplash, replace drywall (DONE!)
  • Fix leak in upstairs toilet, patch drywall in ceiling (This was a surprise. But it's DONE! ha)
  • Replace lots of other lights 
  • Buy stainless steel appliances
  • Possibly replace the A/C (ouch)
  • Lighten grout with grout paint
  • Replace counters with black granite
  • Replace backsplash with with white subway tile
  • Replace sink with a deep single tub under mount
  • New faucet in the kitchen
  • Paint kitchen cabinets bright white, replace hardware
  • Paint ceilings bright white
  • Paint trim bright white
  • Paint walls a very light gray
  • Paint kids rooms bright white (Cory isn't so sure, but its what my heart wants)
  • Add wainscoting to dining area
  • Add board and batten to half bathroom and kid's bathroom
  • Update vanities in bathrooms (with paint or stain, we'll see)

Living Room from front door
Dining area
Half bath downstairs

Upstairs, Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom

Benjamin's room
Kid's/Guest Bathroom
Amelia's Room
Secret playroom in the gable!!!! It makes me ridiculously happy.
So, I liked the house a lot while we were taking our first walk through. But when I opened what I thought would be a pipe closet, and found a tiny gabled room with a circle window I squealed with delight that could not be contained. And Amelia said "Oooooo" and walked in and sat down and patted the ground next to her to ask me to sit down. And that is where Cory found us, and I told him, "I need this house." So, apparently "tiny secret rooms" should go down as a major selling point for me. Or anybody with a 'scope for the imagination, I say.