Friday, December 23, 2011


Days, weeks, and months fly by. A year. Two years. Five.

Five years ago today, we walked into a vacant house. It was not yet ours.

Entry way - 12/23/2006


Our home is a fixer upper for sure. We basically bought it without seeing it first. I told John that if it had walls and a roof, we'd make it work. I feel like we have made amazing progress in five years.

Dining room - 12/23/2006


Most of our family members saw the house before we moved in. John's Dad and Step-Mom owned it. John's Mom and Step-Dad live right down the street. My Mom came that year for Christmas, and I brought her over to show her our next home. I think they all thought we'd lost our minds.

Master bedroom or as Mary said today "what's that?"

I said "it's our bedroom, Mary."

This one caught John off guard. Ellie's room - 12/23/2006

Ellie's room today.

The thing that gets me in that comparison is that in the before there is not a vent in the wall, but there is in the after. We had central heat and air put in before we moved.

Hallway bathroom. John said the broken curtain rod really made the room.


The floor near the tub was rotten. We had a new subfloor put in before we moved in. John replaced the vinyl which is why the floor is mismatched. I'm going to miss the blue cabinet when we remodel some day. It was one of the first things I painted in this house.

Living room - 12/23/2006

Lovely subfloor, huh? The carpet was worse. We wouldn't even let Mary out of our arms as we walked through the house. We had everything primed with a sealing primer and have never had an issue with smells.

Living room - 12/23/2011

I'm keeping it real, people! What can I say? We live here.

And of course the main reason we moved here:

Mary (almost 11 months old) - 12/23/2006

It's hard to believe that it was before Mary's first Christmas or her first birthday. She was scared of all of her grandparents. It broke our hearts.

Mary (almost 6!!! years old) and Ellie (3.25 years old)

We moved here to be closer to our families. We moved here so Mary would know her grandparents. We moved here to live in the country with a big yard. We moved here so that Mary could go to an awesome school. Heck, we moved here so that someone could stay with Mary so I could go to the hospital to have the next baby.

It seems like it was just the other day that John's sister told us that his Dad had agreed to buy this house from the previous owner. It feels like we've blinked and five years just magically flew by.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finally sunny!

It's cold today, but it is sunny. It's been raining or snowing for days now.

FYI--there's still a hole in the ceiling where the old light used to be.

I pretend that the hole isn't there. I'm hoping to patch it sometime in 2012. Ellie even asked the other day why it is still there. Mary gets up every morning and plugs in the tree herself. I'm glad she loves the Christmas decorations as much as I do. She, Ellie, and I did the tree ourselves this year while John was outside playing with his chainsaw.

Ellie watches educational TV while I take pictures of the furniture.

In my defense, she was out of the room making some play-doh pancakes for me when I took this picture. She was making them on her grill. They were raspberry pancakes, and they were delicious!

I put my normal Christmas decorations out on the TV cabinet this year, but I didn't like them. So I took them down and looked at it for a while. Then I had one of my wonderful ideas. Ah, the ones that send John out to the freezing cold garage at 10pm to cut, glue, and nail things for me.

He used some of the left over wood from the barn door. And no project would be complete without adding some old dining room paneling to it. It's on the bottom. When the glue dried, I stained it inside and out. John even drilled a hole in the back so that I could run the cord of lights through it. I love how it turned out!

Tree number two

Once again, it was John to the rescue. I had the tree. Then I bought the pail. We had thought of about 10 ways to get it in there, but none of them seemed easy.

Pinterest to the rescue!

I showed the above to John, and he said it would work. Thank goodness we have a huge pile of wood in the yard from the storm in May. John just drilled a hole into a piece and set it in the bucket. Then we shoved the tree into the log. It actually looked pretty cool with just the pink tree shoved into the the log, but I wanted to use the bucket since I bought it specifically for the tree. It's really steady which was my main concern.

I have all my Christmas decorating done! I even started my Christmas knitting last night. I think I'm at least two weeks ahead of where I was last year.