Week 28 Update

Greeting from ☀️☀️ San Diego! I’m hanging out in CA for a conference for work, which is why I’m late in getting this posted.

My update for this week is a good one! There are some exciting things happening at the house. Teaser: they’re starting cabinet install tomorrow. So next week’s update is going to be epic!

But back to this week. It’s all about wood.

No, no, not Oliver Wood. Come on. Hardwood! Hardwood floors, really hard wood porch floor,  and a wood buffet getting new life.

The hardwood floors are 100% finished. The downstairs is red oak, most original to the house, some new and patched in. The upstairs is a pine of some kind, and again, is mostly original to the house. Jim used Minwax Cherry stain on all the floors, and it’s awesome because it’s light and shows off the wood grain but has some warmth to it. And it looks slightly different on the red oak compared to the pine. Oh, and Jim had to MacGyver a little bit upstairs, because where the new pine met up with the old pine, there was a HUGE color difference. Huge. Like, howarewegoingtolivewiththis huge. So Jim put an extra coat of Cherry stain on it, and then used Minwax Provincial to darken it up. And now it matches so much better. Still not perfect, but then again we’re dealing with a 100 year old farmhouse, so perfection was never really on the agenda. Here are photos of the gorgeous refinished floor. As of this moment, you can only see these floors in photos here, because Aaron, Mary Kay (his mom), and Mark (his step dad) spent the weekend covering them back up with a protective cover, since there’s still a lot of work to be done inside and I don’t think everyone would appreciate me screaming ‘TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF AHHHHH’ at them every time they entered the house.


view from entry way hallway looking into kitchen and living room





Living Room


Heading up the stairs. It’s a little hard to tell in the picture, but the treads have been stained and polyurethaned (yeah, I just verbed that up). The risers will be painted.


Master Bedroom



Another view of the master bedroom


Southeast bedroom (also known as Attic Room and Raccoon Room)


Tom and Brad got started on the porch. We’re using an exotic hard (like, super hard) wood called Cumaru. We ordered it from Advantage Lumber and it’s oh so beautiful. It’s a tongue & groove porch floor, and then we’re doing a deck board “picture frame” around the border, as well as to divide up the really deep part of the porch. From what I can gather from Tom and crew so far, it’s not impossible to work with, but it does require pre-drilling all the holes because the wood is so dense. I’ll ask them for a full review of install when they’re done.



They had to add blocking to the porch framing


The back porch dunzo


Working on the  wraparound

Mom and Dad got new dining room furniture, and we are going to inherit their buffet. It belonged to my great-great-grandmother (did I get that right, Mom?) and I’ll be honest…it was not my favorite thing ever. But Mom worked a little DIY magic with chalk paint, and now it’s just so cute! We still have to decide a color to paint the inside, and then we’ll put baskets in it. I mean, how cute is it you guys?! What color do you think we should paint the inside?


Buffet before = not so much


Buffet after = totes adorbs

Now, we also did some work outside. I believe I mentioned a week or two ago (ah yes, in Week 26) that Aaron used the excavator to pull out some overgrown bushes. This past weekend, we worked on cleaning up that area a little bit. You guys, there is some kind of weird ropey vine thing all up in these bushes, and the adjacent evergreen trees. It looks like the kind of stuff Tarzan swung on. And it grows into (or more likely, up from) the ground and wraps itself around everything. So not only were we picking up brush and trying to smooth out the ground, we were using loppers (is that what they’re officially called? I don’t even know) to hack off these vines at the ground, when we couldn’t pull them out. These vine things are seriously intense. I wish I knew what it was. Anyone out there have experience with invasive vines in Central Illinois?? Help a sister out.


This photo was taken ~a year ago and shows the overgrown bushes



This is from a couple weeks ago after Aaron ripped out bushes


This is a current view with bushes out of sight. Aaron also did some clean up on the evergreen trees. Cleanup with a chain saw. Maybe I should start cleaning with a chainsaw…


Ze house. She eez veeseeble.

So next up is some tiling action, getting cabinets set, having countertop dudes come out and measure for counter, install some lighting, and probably one million other things I have either forgotten or just don’t know about. Thanks for following along!






Week 23 Update

This week’s update is going to seem very similar to last week’s, as the same types of things were on the agenda this week, too. I will tell you a story in photos.

They continued to work on siding, and I just love the blue with the white trim and black windows.

Since I snapped this photo, they have actually finished the East side of the garage there. It’s been too muddy to walk out and get a good photo of it, but I will try to do so!

Aaron and I worked a bunch in the basement this week, on a variety of things I don’t understand. This is a photo of an empty wall, where the ERV (energy recovery ventilator) will be installed.

And here it is installed! This will help keep clean air circulating through the house. Aaron, be sure to comment if I am wrong in what this thing actually does.

Octopus in the basement! I would also note that Mike came over again and he and Aaron got a bunch more duct work hung. So we’re inching closer to having heat in the house (although maybe we won’t need it, with this gorgeous weather we’re having!)

Yesterday (Sunday), the entire day was spent in the basement, drilling holes through the brick foundation, as well as a layer of foam insulation. As you can imagine, the foam was a lot easier to drill through than the 100-year old brick.

See all those things sticking out of the foundation? Those are what were drilled yesterday, in addition to the line sets for the air conditioners.  A total of 8 holes drilled, and it literally took like 8 hours to do.

They have continued to work on the hardwood floors. The couple spots you see in the picture below are some natural wood stains they had on hand and wanted to see how the wood took them. We are thinking we probably want darker than that, but time will tell! They’re still working on patching in areas that need patched, and sanding everywhere else.

Hall Bathroom upstairs is all tiled and oh so pretty! I can’t wait for Cat to come back and take real pictures when everything is done so you can see how truly gorgeous stuff like this looks (Cat, will you come back and take pictures when this is done?!??!!?! )

Stacy getting to work on the master shower. You guys, it’s going to look so good! Subway tile on the walls + hexagon tiles on the floor = swoon.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like by the end of today! And as a reminder, the orange stuff all over the place is the waterproofing membrane that goes under the tile.img_6835

Mark the Amazing, our trusty electrician friend, was back this weekend getting some outlets and switches made up. I tried to get him to pose for a picture, which he refused. So instead, I camped out on the porch and caught him as he was coming around the corner. Muahaha! This is what happens when you are awesome and oh so helpful and I have a blog.


I believe we may be seeing some Crocuses (Croci???) popping up out in the yard. While the place is currently a disaster, I can’t wait for Spring to come for real — it will be so green and lush and beautiful!

So that’s it for this week. As always, more decisions are being made behind the scenes, and we’re just inching closer and closer to being done!