Shotgun Rider

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that Scott and I went to a Tim McGraw concert on Saturday.  And you might think, “What fun those two have!  So glad they are enjoying their weekend.”  To which I would say, “Fooled you!” IMG_5443

Don’t get me wrong, the concert was a blast. It was an absolute lifesaver from the sheer amount of home improvement that consumed our weekend.  I’m still finding paint and caulk on my arms and legs.  I think my hand will forever be a claw that can only hold a paintbrush.

IMG_5447

But. We have finally…FINALLY…finished every project we have started.  I’m so excited to share finished pictures this week.  This has been such a long, grueling process.  And frankly, I’m just so happy I married someone who I can do home projects with all day and turn around and head straight to a country concert together.  We weren’t sick of each other and had so much fun dancing the night away.

IMG_5458

Tim McGraw always puts on a good show.  You know all of his songs and can dance and sing along all night.  He’s like Kenny Chesney – always a good bet for a live show.

IMG_5453

And he looks darn good in a hat.IMG_5450

The “During” Stage of Life

{House} facelifts don’t just happen.  But weren’t those “After” pictures nice?  Working on the house has been consuming our weekends and weeknights for awhile now.  I wanted to be sure to document the people doing the “during” work, not just the “after” pictures.  Because one day we’ll be able to just enjoy our house and our weekends, and I don’t want to take that for granted.

IMG_4952

IMG_1905

We have had some incredible help from our family and friends.  Look at this sooty fireplace.IMG_5416

My family visited for a weekend at the Shore, but cold, rainy weather turned it into a work weekend!  Hi Megan!  Poor girl got roped into re-painting our fireplace.IMG_5172

And it looks so much better!IMG_4317

Mom helped me weed.  ALL the weeds.  They are the absolute bane of my existence.IMG_5178

Dad and Scott replaced rotted boards on the deck. IMG_5175IMG_5174 IMG_5179

And then Scott and his dad re-stained the whole thing.  It’s a BIG deck.IMG_5232IMG_5245

We also painted our 2 downstairs bedrooms.  Somehow we talked our friends, Todd and Allie, into helping us.  IMG_5235

You go to bed thanking Jesus for that sort of blessing.IMG_5238 IMG_5239

And when it’s all done – or feels like it won’t end – I employ my good friend, tequila.IMG_5217We have one more weekend of housework to push through.  Send good thoughts, prayers and maybe tequila!

House Face Lift

We have been working on our house like crazy recently and we just finished some curb-appeal projects this weekend. Mainly, we painted the shutters black and stained the front porch.  Here’s the house, looking all spiffed up.  I couldn’t be happier with the new black shutters.  Buh-bye faded merlot eye sores! IMG_5412

Here is the “curb-appeal” progression. When we moved in to the jungle:Front Yard

Post-ripping out all of the trees and bushes.IMG_1253

After laying sod.IMG_1320

And the finished product!  With black shutters and a stained deck.  And pretty pink hydrangeas.  I’m debating painting the front door black (we have leftover paint).  Or a different color?  Thoughts?

IMG_5412

Bizzare-o Weekend at the Fitzgerald House

The past two weekends have been domestic bliss, I tell you.  Without an ounce of sarcasm.  We have stayed home, worked on the house, gone to church, caught up on movies, saw friends and enjoyed the glorious weekend sunshine-y weather.  I literally couldn’t want anything more out of my weekends.  Except a trip to Greece, I suppose.

Friday night, Scott and I went to one of our new local favorites, The Robinson Ale House.  We followed it up, no lie, with a viewing of How to Train Your Dragon 2.  If you ask me it was even better than the first one.  And apparently, dragons are just big cats.  Because Scott and I both kept laughing at the bizarre behavior similarities between the dragons and Prince.

Saturday was gloriously beautiful.  We hit up an estate sale (two lamps for $1 a piece), drove to the ocean and came home and put our new (to us) weight set to use.  Yes, that is right, I pumped some iron.  First time since a brief, week-long stint in weight training class in high school.  You know I promptly dropped that class in favor of aerobics.  Do they still offer aerobics as a legitimate class these days?  Anyways, I’m still sore.  I would love to know why my elbows hurt.

IMG_4293

And in the afternoon, Scott continued to build doorway headers as we slowly inch our way to a completed downstairs. I can’t wait to show pictures of the final product.  Especially considering the amount of painstaking work that goes into making an old house level.  IMG_4434

Believe it or not, this is what level/90 degree angles looks like.IMG_4432

And I planted a vegetable garden!  It’s success is doubtful, but I’m hoping to get some fresh veggies and a few gardening lessons out of it.  Lesson 1: Stick to the list you go to the store with, which was informed by garden research.  Don’t get fooled by the fact that they are selling brussels sprouts! Because you might come home to learn from Google that brussels are more of a fall crop and should not be planted in the heat.  Well then.  I planted spinach, mixed lettuce, cauliflower and the doomed brussels.  And some marigolds, since they are apparently the garden equivalent of a bouncer and “keep pests away.”

At one point, Scott came outside to inform me that Prince had escaped the deck and was halfway under a bush.  He pulled him out and then we saw a MOUSE run out from the bush!  So basically, my fluff ball went hunting. Outside. Without any claws or real world know-how.  And I lifted weights.  Bizarre-o land for sure.

I also finished a small makeover/DIY project. Our house came with this massive (4′ x 5′) mirror.

IMG_4427

So I used up some leftover Annie Sloan Antique White paint on the frame.

IMG_4430

And voila – it’s hung in our entryway, bouncing around more light and filling the wall nicely. You can see that the sunny weather didn’t last past the weekend, but I’d rather have sunny weekends than work weeks anyways.

IMG_4457Next up: Building a grey-washed shelf or table under the mirror.  And then pretty candles and vases and decorations. Hopefully my massive muscles and the aggressive mouse hunter don’t get in the way.

Not for the faint of heart.

Demolition of half of your house is not for the faint of heart.  It is tough on your sanity, your comfort and your marriage, if I’m real with you.  Picking contractors (or picking a different contractor than the one your spouse prefers…), making decisions, deciding how much money to spend and where to cut corners in your home.  The home where you live and have to stare at said decisions for years to come.  It’s quite a bit to take in.  And then there is the deadline of visitors on Labor Day Weekend.  Everything must be done by then! Gah.

photo 1-14

Scott was at a bachelor party last weekend.  Which meant I was alone with nothing but the studs of our house and no window treatments.  I met with contractors galore.  Electrician’s, dry wallers and flooring, oh my!

And then I was out of town for work the past few days.  Needless to say, this project has been a logistical spider web.  We’ve had to get ok with strangers coming into our home while we aren’t there.  And hoping that tape boxes on the wall properly communicate where we want the TV mounted.

photo-8

When the electrician stopped by to get his check the other day, Prince greeted him like an old friend.  So there’s that.

But here’s the good news.  Demo is DONE.  As of 3:20 pm yesterday. And electrical is as done as it can be until the dry wall is up.  And the dry wall – yeah, its getting started on WEDNESDAY!  Like, in two days, people.

And living in a state of craziness continues to provide unforeseen marriage strengthening exercises.  Scott and I could win one of those marriage competition reality shows at this point.  For example: Fish your house key out of the debris-filled hole in the floor.  That is too narrow for either of your hands to fit in.  In under a minute so you don’t miss your train.  If you fail, your contractor can’t get into the house to do his work and then you will be behind schedule.  GO!   (We totally rocked that challenge – thank you, salad fork!)

Demo Demo Demo

Much to my surprise, we started demolishing our house this Saturday.  No, it was not the plan when we woke up Saturday morning.  But now, it’s Tuesday and my house looks like this.IMG951307We knew we wanted to have our walls redone.  We just couldn’t bring ourselves to paint (and live forever in) a room with walls that looked like this:

photo 2-13

And this:

photo 1-13 photo 3-11 photo 4-10

And lets not forget the ceilings.  Which are either popcorn or the below.

photo 5-9Lovely, no?  NO.

So while there was no structural issue, we knew that everything either had to come down, get skim coated (messy!), or have new drywall put right over the top.  Saturday morning we received a quote to have the drywall replaced in our living room, dining room, entry way, awkward extra entry way and hallway.  It was a fair quote, so we decided to go for it.  We went to Home Depot, bought a sledge hammer and a pry bar.  We didn’t like the idea of piling drywall on top of what we thought was plaster, so we were going to demo it all ourselves.  We felt better about taking everything down to the studs and starting fresh.

We discovered that the “plaster” was some sort of wall treatment on top of drywall.  Huh?  And under the “plaster?”  Three layers of wall paper.  Snowflakes (just what I want up year round).

photo 2-12

Lace on lace.photo 3-10

And the sixties.

photo 4-9

After Day One and Two we had the main room and entry way done.  And pieces and parts of other areas.

Main room before and after:

photo-6
photo 5-7

Main entry before and after:

photo-5

photo 4-8

After Day Three (aka yesterday evening for 2 hours) we have the rest of the hallways and most of the dining room done.photo 1-11

photo 2-11

Tetanus anyone?  Seeing these all around makes me chant the date of my last tetanus shot in my head (July 2011, well within the 10 year limit).

photo 3-9

The only major change to the layout includes closing the second archway in the entry.  There is no reason for that little arch below.

photo-7

So now she is all framed up and ready to be a wall to my new mini-mudroom!IMG_6468Tonight should be the last day of demo.  Just need to finish up the dining room!  And then we’ll have an electrician come to run wiring for recessed lighting and to the TV mount before the dry wall is put up!  Giddy doesn’t even begin to cover it.