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Saturday, April 10

The Story of Our House (What I've Been Doing Lately)

Here's our house in the very beginning...
Two years ago last month, we bought our first house. After two months of actively searching for the perfect place, we stumbled across a cream colored cottage in the heart of Memphis. We had always said we'd never live in Memphis. This neighborhood, with its sidewalks, beautiful old trees, mid-century homes, and its very own grocery store, pizza place and pub, didn't feel like Memphis. It immediately stole our hearts. We knew our house was the house for us the very first time we saw it. It was far from perfect - the windows were original and didn't open, the kitchen had nasty linoleum floors and the bathroom had a bit of a mold issue. The bachelor who owned it also had a thing for wild game, so there were stuffed critters on the living room walls. How attractive. But I didn't care. I saw the kitchen's white bead board cabinets that touched the ceiling, the perfect hardwood floors, the yellow tile in the bathroom, and a backyard with potential. Jonathan wasn't completely convinced at first, but after a few more visits to the house (I think we saw it five times in all), we made an offer. A few weeks later, we were buying our house. In the meantime, I was a total house stalker. I work three miles from the house, so I drove by every day at least once a day, sometimes more. If anyone was watching me, they probably thought I was trying to rob someone. I just couldn't wait for the house to become ours. I'll never forget the day I saw the SOLD sign in the yard. I have a camera phone picture of it. I called Jonathan and screamed. It was such a big moment for us. Closing day was terrible. The bachelor and his girlfriend were way behind schedule, so we weren't able to see our house until after 5, although we closed at 1! Finally the time arrived, and we were in. Some intense cleaning ensued, but I was carried over the threshold - how is that for sweet? We closed on a Monday, and Tuesday night I had to work. Jonathan and my mom moved from cleaning to painting without me. By Wednesday, we were living on a mattress in the floor. On Friday, we were still painting when a snow storm moved in. We spent our first weekend in our new home snowed in without furniture. The power went out for a while, so we were painting in semi-darkness. It was interesting to say the least. Memphis (at that time) rarely saw snow, and it was the first week of March. It was some sort of weird phenomenon. In the two years since then, we've had snow multiple times. The phenomenon continues. Paint was the beginning. We kept our projects small that first year as we were adjusting to life with a mortgage. The scariest project was the bathroom (I tackled wall paper and mold by myself while Jonathan was on a work trip) and the kitchen (three layers of wallpaper - one of which had been painted over!) took over our Thanksgiving break and then some. Jonathan kept asking why we had to remove the wallpaper. I was insistent. We had to remove the wallpaper. The second spring, we had tile installed in the kitchen and sun room. The sun room had painted concrete floors, only one step up from the gross linoleum. The difference was incredible and worth every penny. Now here we are in our third spring. We've been here long enough to know what we really wanted and needed, so we took big steps and invested in new windows and a deck. The windows were a must, and the deck was pretty close. With a giant Labrador, the sun room was more like the mudroom. These two projects haven't been too time consuming, but while we were at it, Jonathan cleaned and stained our cedar fence and shutters, and we built a new bed around the deck for my roses. The next projects will involve painting new siding on the sun room, cleaning and repainting the window sills, and painting our guest bedroom a lovely shade of vanilla (it's currently orange). When you're a homeowner, the projects never end. When you're a homeowner whose house was built in 1950, the projects never, ever end. So, if you were wondering why I haven't been blogging very much in the past few weeks, now you know. I promise to post some pictures very soon.... We have a lot of hard work to show off!

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