Last post of 2016

Yeah, I’m going out on a limb and saying that this post, despite being written more than 10 days before the end of the year, will be the last one I do this year. 🙂

As promised in my last post, I’m back with a few goodies for you! Some pictures of the exterior of the house that shows how lovely the white trim is, some pictures of the house decorated for Christmas, and some “then and now” photos. They are all jumbled together below. Onwards!

The room above the garage. New comforter!


Aaron has been working on framing in the porch skylights. Just need to put the white stuff over the top of the plywood!
Front exterior of house with pretty white trim
Southwest stairs
Back exterior

Christmas Decorations

Some Then and Now

















And that pretty much wraps up the year. Thanks so much for following along the past year (plus) as we tackled this project. It’s still far from over, so I’ll be back with updates as we have them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!!



*Sigh* I’m so bad at blogging.

Uh oh. You guys. Turns out I need a weekly posting schedule to make sure I don’t forget to blog altogether. Oops. To all my adoring fans, please accept my sincere apologies.

On to the good stuff!

So when were together here in Blogland a few weeks ago, we had gotten the stairs built and some of the trim material put up. Well, a lot has happened since then! It may not all make for the most exciting photos, but I’m obviously going to post them anyway.

We finished putting up the trim board. We got the flooring all oiled and it’s so so so beautiful. The first bajillion pictures are of the small porch at the back entrance to the house. I snapped tons of pictures on that part, because it was before I was covered head to toe in this oil stuff and didn’t want to pick up my phone anymore. So the last 3 photos in this series are of the ginormous front porch… You’ll just have to come see the rest of it in person!

We also happened to have enough material left to redo the stairs from the garage into the house. Even though they’re stairs that really will only be seen/used by us, it is nice to have them so spiffy and pretty. We still need to oil this staircase.

Sadly, I am a loser and haven’t gone back out to the front yard to take a good picture of the front of the house with the trim up and the stairs done. DANGIT. I guess that’s something to look forward to for the next blog post, which will come out in roughly one million years, apparently.

A few miscellaneous pics:

Autumn comes to the Marshes


Life is good again. We have the smokers out.


Mat at the front door! *insert heart eyes emoji here*


My personal favorite thing: Google Earth has updated the view of our property!!

I don’t have good “then and now” photos for you this. I’ve done a good job capturing the “then” photos…but not a good job getting the “now” photos taken. DANGIT AGAIN.

How about this — I vow to blog again this month and will include some more photos of the outside, more “then and now” pics, and first-year-in-the-new-house Christmas decoration photos. Maybe that will make me actually get our tree and decorate. Maybe. Or maybe you’ll end up with a bunch of pictures of the house with elves and ornaments drawn on. Or maybe I’ll go find lots of gorgeous pictures on Pinterest and pretend they are mine. I have a lot options, you guys.

Bye for now!

Another then & now

Hello friends. I’m putting this lil post together while watching my Cubbies in Game 4 of the World Series. I’ve got another then & now picture to show you, and the difference is striking. (See what I did there with the baseball pun?)

Aaaand I’m doing this all from my phone and moving the photos around in the post is not going well. So…photos are going to be willy nilly. 

All the corn is out from around the house. It’s so weird now!
Then– View from the West

Now – View from the West

Exciting news — the porch floor is completely down!!! You guys, it looks so good. It’s a home run, for sure. So next up is getting the 4 sets of stairs built and oiling up the floor. Woo hoo!

Working on the final board
Mark and the porch
Mark and Aaron and the final board
The end! The end! (of the floor)
When I got home last weekend, the floor was done, and I have a decent idea what fueled the progress…
A lil snapshot of the front of the house 😍

We’re still chugging along around here… 

Then & Now

So now that we’re over a year into this lil house project, Facebook and timehop keep reminding me of photos I took a year ago. This is awesome, because a lot has changed in this last year! I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been reminded of, along with a more current photo of the space.

There’s also a porch update AND a special bonus at the very end….

THEN – View from stairs towards living room
NOW – View from stairs towards living room
THEN – View towards staircase
NOW – View towards staircase
NOW – View towards staircase
THEN – View of stairs
NOW – View of stairs

There will be many more of these then and now moments, and I’ll be sure to round them up into a post every so often. The hardest part when one of these photos pops up is taking the time to go get a ‘now’ picture! You see, we’re still working our tushies off on the porch so we don’t really have free time these days. STILL. It’s an epic project but you guys, it’s looking sooooooooo goooooooood. I’m going to have to take more photos to share with you, because these last few days I’ve only been taking pictures on snapchat. Oops.

Back when we starts re-laying the floor.
Progress shot
More progress

Since I took that last picture, we have actually finished the entire section of floor, and have moved on to the outer part of the big porch. I will take more pics and share them. I can’t wait for you to see it!

Slobber monkey Wyatt

How in the world that picture end up in here?!? 😘 I haven’t a clue….

1 year house-iversary

You know what happened 1 year ago today, y’all??? We bought this house down a long lane. What a long/short year it’s been. This feels like forever ago, but it also feels like it just happened.

Us with keys right after closing!

In the past year, we have cleared out trees to be able to access the house, completely gutted the house and rebuilt it, added on, finished it, and moved in. While we aren’t still totally done, it’s pretty impressive what can be accomplished in just 365 days! Don’t get me wrong – I’m ready to be D-O-N-E with all this big stuff so we can have at least the occasional downtime in the next 365 days (and maybe even a vacation?? Just maybe??!).

Below are just a couple quick photos that demonstrate how far we’ve come.

House before
House now
kitchen 2
This was the kitchen
Now this is our kitchen

I’m still anxious to do a true before-and-after post, but just am not there yet. We’ll get there!!

The Porch and The Cow

Well, apparently I cannot be trusted to blog with any regularity when I’m not tied to a weekly schedule. I don’t have tons of updates for you, but I’ll give you what I’ve got!

The porch has been our main (read: only) project these days. It takes a looooooooooooooooooong time to get 1100 square feet of porch level, particularly when that involves planing it down with a hand planer, board by board, inch by inch. But — the porch is officially level and ready to have the Cumaru wood reinstalled. We have yet to start installing, however, because we had to order more material from the company, which took time to come in….and it was all damaged….so then we had to wait for them to ship new and schedule a time to pick up the old….and now the wood has to acclimate for 1-2 weeks. So, in the nearish future, we’ll be ready to start installing some porch floor again.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten started on the steps. There are 4 sets of stairs off the porch — 3 on the wraparound front porch, and 1 set on the small back porch. Guys, stairs are hard. There’s been lots of math and planning and then staking things out and digging holes and pouring concrete and measuring and cutting stringers…it’s a big friggin’ deal. This had better be the best porch ever.

Oh, another thing we did on the porch was to go through and fill in the columns.The structure of the porch includes lots of big support columns (the outer ones are bricked) and we didn’t want critters building nests or anything under there. So we used mortar to fill in the gaps/holes to hopefully discourage any unwanted visitors. We all know that our property is like jumanji, so…

Them is some holes.
Mixing concrete was surprisingly fun
Preparing for the stairs
The ground over here on the north side is lowwww so the stair columns look reallllly high
First stringer cut and ready!
If you use your imagination, you can pretend there are stairs here

Literally the only other thing of note is that we finally hung the first thing on the walls! The rest can wait, but I bought this cow like a year ago and have been DYING to get it hung up pretty much since we started the project. Do you love it like I do??? I bought it from These Four Walls in Monticello. It’s huge and so adorable.

I mean, come onnnnnn

A few random things:

Harvest has started!! They got the end rows out near our house.


So beautiful
The yard looks a little barren, but picture stairs coming down from that red front door! Won’t it be fun to have STAIRS!?
I’ve had this rug for years (thanks, Grandma), but I just seriously love it in front of the kitchen sink!

Insert title here

Guys, I see now why I named all my blog posts with Week XX Update. It was so much easier than coming up with actual titles!!

Anyway, just dropping by to show you some fun and exciting updates happening down our long lane!

We have uncovered the stairs (which I think I told/showed you in a previous blog post), and we are really loving them just the way they are. They are this funky old-and-new multi-tone thing, and we are really loving them. And the treads are MUCH less slippery than they were back when they were first done, so….we’re going to live with them for awhile and see what we want to do as our “final” decision. I got some samples of the sticky gripper things, and they are hideous on the stairs. So we’re thinking if we do anything, it’ll likely be a runner. Stay tuned!

FYI, the banister, newel post, and spindles are the original color. We haven’t so much as cleaned them up yet. The treads were refinished at the same time as the rest of the floors, and are stained with Minwax cherry. The risers are painted Benjamin Moore ballet white, just like the walls. And the trim was painted to match the rest of our trim, which is Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.

I got a super fun little stool for my vanity area. It’s cushy and comfy, and is light and slides easily. Very perfect for that area! I got it on sale at Target.

The shelves downstairs got some major TLC from Aunt Anne, Grandma, and Mom last week. They surprised us with arranging everything, and words can’t describe how much I lovelovelove! I’m sure we’ll do some editing over time, but at this point, I can’t even imagine what we would edit! Doesn’t everything look just awesome??


They couldn’t help but put up this adorable picture of Emily and me. We’re probably still this cute, right Em???

As I mentioned in a previous post, the big wraparound porch is giving us fits. We spent this past weekend (with lots of help – thanks everyone!) taking up all the Cumaru tongue & groove boards so we can level out the structure before re-installing the floor. So in this instance, we sort of went back a couple steps by going back to just the frame of the porch. But – it’s progress towards an end goal, so here it goes in the blog! 🙂



South side of the porch
Oops, how did this picture of our pretty front door get up here!?!?
East side of the porch
Dad, hard at work
And now the South side of the porch is the home for all the porch boards

We also spent some time outside over the weekend trying to get a handle on the weed situation. No, we are not getting into the medical marijuana business; I legit mean giant weeds. Button weeds, mare’s tale, ragweed, and probably thousands others with names I don’t remember. Now, it’s still wildly overgrown. BUT we made a pretty awesome dent into things yesterday. You probably have to see it in person to appreciate, but we’ll see if some photos can do it justice….



Before – notice how you can kind of see a stack of wood in the brush there??
Here is part of that stack of wood, uncovered


And another part of the stack of wood, uncovered. So much better, right???






Ladies and Gents…

…it’s the end of an era. No more “Week XX Updates” (for what it’s worth, this one would’ve been Week 45 Update). This DOES NOT mean no more updates ever. You can’t get rid of me that easily. It just means that we are at the point where the type of things we need to finish up in the house are purely aesthetic, and will take some time — like figuring out how to decorate my many built-in shelves, where and what to hang on the walls, etc. I already have some fun ideas – I can’t wait to show you guys!

The other big thing we’re still working on is re-laying the porch. It’s a slow-moving work in progress. And the “good news,” if you choose to see it as such, is that we have roughly 27 years worth of work on the yard to do, so there will always be something to talk about!

So here is what I vow: I will continue to update y’all, whenever there are things to tell you about. I will share pictures of fun and wonderful things inside and outside the house. I will invite you all to one or more parties at the house, once we are ready to have something.

Speaking of a party – we are mega focusing on this porch situation at the moment, which is the final (known) piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is closing on our house. But we really and truly cannot wait to show the house off and invite every last one of you over to see it!! I’m thinking our open house/party won’t be until probably October?? But stay tuned!

The other thing to stay tuned for is an updated House Tour. Right now, that page is full of “before” photos of the house. It’s already kind of crazy to go look at that page, if you’ve been following along at all, because things are SO different now! And as our house gets more done, we’ll get updated photos up there, so you can really see the befores and afters side-by-side. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about seeing!

So for today, I’ll sign off and leave with you with a picture of our house. Still not done (I mean, stairs up to the front door are probably necessary), but….it’s home.


You guys. I get to live here.


Week 43 Update

We spent many many hours unpacking and attempting to get settled-ish. We still have a long way to go, but it feels good to be making progress.

Before we get to the few pictures I snapped, a general update: We aren’t officially DONE done with the house until the porch is done. Unfortunately, there’s an issue with the porch. Somewhere between delivery and installation of the Cumaru wood, something went wrong. There are gaps and humps and general not-awesomeness with the porch currently. So this means that what has been installed already needs pulled back up and redone. Which delays the whole end of this house remodel process. Until the porch is done, we can’t install steps. Until steps are installed, we can’t have the appraiser come back out for inspection. And until that day comes, we can’t close. So…. send positive thoughts our way as we figure out how to navigate this (hopefully last) road block between us and happily ever after down a long lane!

On to the pictures!


Every kitchen has to have a junk drawer, right!??!
Shower curtain installed downstairs! I love the blue in there.
We ordered an 84″ one from Bed Bath & Beyond
And we also got the one hung in the upstairs hall bath!
I couldn’t really get a good angle of this one (obviously). But it also came from Bed Bath & Beyond.
My side of the closet
And Aaron’s. Somehow his isn’t as full as mine?? And somehow the only thing of mine that spilled over to his side are a few pair of boots!
Guest Bedroom #1 – we just need some slats to finish putting this thing together (the box spring wouldn’t fit up the stairs)
Office, i.e. raccoon room, i.e. room with attic access, i.e. maybe someday nursery so that child can be taught to not fear scary attic monsters from an early age
Guest Bedroom #2 – This bed does actually have a headboard, but I apparently want you to imagine what it looks like. And we need a comforter…
We did a fun little craft project!
Spice drawer! It’s so pretty. Sometimes I just open it up to look at the pretty.
I mean, come on.
Amazeballs FLW trivet that will never actually be used as such because it’s so gorgeous
Quick glance into the pantry. Not exactly organized yet, but somehow very full already. Shocking!
We got all boxes unpacked but I didn’t get anything actually set up in its new home. Except for Hedwig & Errol and the HP books. Because of course.
One of many items I need to find a home for. But how brilliant is this?? I get to change the calendar every. single. day.
At the end of a busy weekend, time to watch some GoT. And notice that sheepskin?? It’s so soft and Brenda wins the prize for animal-themed housewarming gifts from foreign locales. (Sidenote: It’s not actually a blanket. But it’ll do when your feet are freezing)

So there we are. We also got the risers on the stairs painted again, so will hopefully be pulling up paper tonight and making an ultimate final decision on how to proceed with the stairs (treads, runner, nothing, etc). Stay tuned!


Week 42 Update

I’m just going to leave these here. Everything is a work in progress. But we’ll get there. 😀

i mean, swoon. right??
living room getting ready for living
kitchen fully ready to go!
built-in booze cabinet. ready for all the moscow mules!
living room still with much mess. but also, couches