Don’t stair at me

So remember when I asked for opinions on what to do about our stairs? (here, here, and here)

We ultimately decided to leave them au naturale for the time being, i.e. original dark trim, spindles, and newel post; Kendall Charcoal baseboards; white risers; and refinished/stained treads.



We talked about if we should do a runner up the entire length of the stairs, but we worried it would look out of place with no other carpet anywhere in the house (aside from above the garage), and we didn’t know how to treat the landing (the stairs do a 90 degree turn at the landing). We also talked about just getting carpeted or even clear treads, but just couldn’t find one we loved. So again, “as-is” was the name of the game. And so far, we’re really loving them this way!

And then I read this blog post today on Bower Power blog. Do you guys follow that one? Tons of DIY posts, sweet family posts (they have 4 young boys…and she’s super pregnant with her first girl), etc. It’s a great one to follow, if you don’t already.

ANYWAY, today she posted that she wallpapered her stairs. Say whaaaaaa? The picture below is from her website (i.e. it is not my picture…it belongs to Bower Power…and she is awesome…go visit her site…)

Bower Power Blog — their finished staircase. Don’t  you love it???

Obviously this decor option would in no way affect the slipperiness of the stairs, which is why we were considering the other options. But…it’s so pretty. It’s so cute. It’s so funky. It’s so not permanent. I’m not actually suggesting we’ll do it (I haven’t even shown Aaron. I bet we can all guess what his opinion will be). But I wanted to share, because it had never even crossed my mind as an option! And y’all were so helpful when we were exploring our stairs options, I thought you might like to see it. 🙂

So there you have it! What do you think?? Yay or Nay on wallpapering the stairs? And if you fall into the Yay camp — what pattern of wallpaper???

General update


Is this thing on? Hello? Hello?

I know I’ve been a little radio silent these days. The thing is, we’re just kind of trucking along. With the nice weather, we’ve been working on some outdoor cleanup around the house. We’ve gotten some new furniture, which is mega exciting. We still need to finish unpacking some rooms (I KNOW). So not a ton of blog-worthy stuff, especially compared to a year ago when major things were happening all the time (for reference, here and here is what was happening around the same time last year).

Anyway. I thought I’d share just a  few pictures of what’s going on down our long lane, in case anyone was wondering. 🙂

So, first of all, this picture was clearly taken before the weather turned spring-like. So pretty, right??

Aaron did all kinds of work cleaning up around the fallen-down barn. When we bought the property, half the barn was still standing(ish). On one windy day in 2016, she blew the rest of the way down. The next few pictures show then and now shots of the barn remains.


After it fell down more…


Action shot of Aaron hauling off some of the cleared out trees

With this nice weather, I’ve also been spending some time digging through all the sheds/barns out on the property. There is lots of trash-to-me/treasure-to-other-people. LOTS. It’s actually been really fun posting a lot of this for sale on various local sites and having people come out and do some “picking.” For fun, I’ve included pics of some of the stuff we’ve found…

I mean, this wasn’t “found.” We’ve always known it’s there. But still.

This was tucked back behind the barn, with trees growing up through it. It’s a torture device and/or farm equipment.
We also did more clean up on the South side of the house to ultimately prepare for changing up the driveway. The pic below is taken from the driveway now; there used to be tons of bushes/brush all up in the way. So much better now!

For fun, I thought I’d do a little before and after of the Big Teal Monster. For a refresher on this bad boy, see Week 18 post. So the first pic below shows the built-in on the right side of the photo, in the old kitchen (in what is now our dining room). And the next two show her in all her teal glory in our upstairs laundry room. It’s so fun to see befores and afters, right???

kitchen 1


And last but certainly not least, we got new living room furniture! It’s not all in yet, but I couldn’t resist showing you how pretty is. The pictures below show the progression of the living room, ending on the latest, prettiest version.

Living Room — Before we bought the house

Living Room 1
Living Room -After we bought the house but before we started demolition

Living Room – mid-construction

Living Room – later-mid-construction

Living Room – with old furniture in it

Living Room – after old furniture out but before new furniture in

Living Room – with pretty new furniture!!!!

So that about does it for now. Hopefully we’ll continue to have fun exterior updates for you as we get serious about cleaning up the craziness. There are so many beautiful trees surrounded by little ugly scrub trees and brush. We’re going to focus on getting that ugly outta there to highlight the pretty!!

First post of 2017

See how clever I am with my post titles? My last one was nearly as amazing as this one is…

So get this — we are coming up on 2 years since I wrote the very first blog post on this here little corner of the internet. And that post was about a year after we first started exploring this path of remodeling this 100-year-old farmhouse down a long lane. Whoa. What a crazy ride! And we’re still on it! Let me tell you what you’ve missed over the past few weeks.

Aaron and his dad finished up the skylights on the porch. They look SO GOOD. Basically, the windows themselves had been there for a really long time, but they were missing the final trim out stuff. That’s the official name of what Aaron and Steve did. Final trim out stuff. Basically – they made the skylights look prettier. I’m sure there were plenty of other reasons they did what they did, but to me, they definitely look prettier.

We. Got. Mirrors. You guys. We’ve been 6+ months with no mirrors in our master bathroom. And as of yesterday, we have mirrors! I realize everyone likely knows what mirrors look like, but it’s just crazy how much of a difference they make in that bathroom! And I mean, being able to blow dry my hair looking in a mirror that isn’t teeny tiny and propped on the top of the vanity? It’s miraculous.

Upstairs guest bathroom
Master Bathroom – Gina’s vanity
Master Bathroom – Aaron’s vanity

Another big thing in the past few weeks is that we ordered new living room furniture. Yay! It’s so exciting, but won’t be here for weeks (if not months *sigh*). So for now, just bask in our excitement!

Look at the cute pillows Mom got us for Christmas

And look at this amazing photo of the house Aaron’s mom got us for Christmas!

And now for a few quick Then and Now pictures….

Porch – THEN
Porch – NOW
Laundry Room – THEN
Laundry Room – NOW

Roofing – THEN
Front Door – THEN
Front Door – NOW
Back Door – THEN
Back Door – NOW

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!!


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!!

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!