will 2017 end soon?

i won't lie. this year has been the shittiest i think i've ever had. it's been emotionally, physically, & financially draining & there have really been no signs of it letting up. the spider incident ruined my summer, the hospital bills took our savings, we lost our smallest dog suddenly, the vet bills took our credit cards, the work on our house that we thought was exciting has turned out to be a nightmare that won't go away & my depression hit full force (of course!) during all of it.

i say that to say; bare with me. there have been a lot of things i’ve wanted to come here to say & update on but also, if i'm being honest, it's been a real struggle to get out of bed to work on any house projects myself. i've just now gotten motivated enough the last week. so. a few things.

the first being that after our contractor offered us a price on our house i realized just how much i care about the integrity of it. between realizing how much i truly love my little piece of shit, it’s also not a realistic time for us to even consider moving. i will always have that spirit in me that wants to leave, that wants to start over, that looks for change & wants to experience new things. it’s a part of who i am. but i’m also not a dumbass. ryan is in a really great place professionally & really loves what he’s doing right now. i want him to see it through & really, i want to see our house through. the changes i make, i want to make for us, as if it's for the long haul, whether it is or isn't. that means that my list of goals just got a shit ton bigger. oy.

second, we’re not painting the exterior of the house. if you want to know why & don’t care to listen to me go off on a tangent, you can ask me why sometime. in the long run, as exciting as i thought that was for our house, i’m glad it’s not happening. turns out, no matter how arrogant you are, you really shouldn’t paint old bricks. soft-fired bricks (generally bricks before the 1960s) need to be able to breathe. when you paint them, moisture gets trapped inside & eventually, the paint will peel & the bricks will deteriorate. so, educate yourself! instead of paint, come spring, i will be power washing the exterior & redoing the mortar. i feel really good about it & i feel really confident about that decision.

third, we’re still waiting for the insurance work on our house to be done. it’s been a very good learning experience for so so many reasons & i honestly hope i never have to deal with a contractor ever again, although, i’ll be much better prepared next time if i have to. it's been a much longer & more frustrating 3 months than i expected but our gutters finally went up this week and holy. shit. i was not prepared for how happy pieces of metal hanging off my house would make me.

it's funny how things can change so much in a year. one thing that hasn't changed is my dedication to the house. to make it right. to honor it. so that when we do leave it, somebody doesn't find it a worthy candidate to gut the entire thing, rip out the original windows & vault the ceilings.

oh, & happy thanksgiving!

 

new roof

we came home last month to a brand new roof. turns out, our roof had 4 layers of shingles on top of plank sheathing, not decking. apparently, it’s way too much to ask for the previous owners to do anything correctly. our contractor said that the amount of weight on our roof was more than a dumpster could even haul. WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE.

our old, sad, sagging roof is now so very happy & up-to-code. we went with a “storm cloud” patterned shingle at a recommendation from our contractor who has used them a lot & seen a lot of positive feedback when it comes to resale (always a plus).

the roof is exciting & all but DUDES. the next part is so much better. like the answer to so many of our nightmares. all the fascia is being replaced next week. i know, it doesn’t sound all that exciting. but in our world, this is huge. part of the reason that our roof was out of code was that there was no drip edge (or flashing) between the roof line & the fascia. this means two things. one. our gutters were useless. there was no point in ever having them. cue all our tears after realizing all the time we’ve spent cleaning them. (okay fine, we didn’t clean them all that often but it still stressed us out.) two. every time it rained the water was just running directly down the side of our house, slowly rotting all our fascia. rotted fascia makes it super easy for squirrels to eat huge holes into your attic & live up there for 8 years, driving you insane in the middle of the night & haunting you with nightmares of creatures coming down into your bed while you sleep. rotted wood on the outside of your house is also ten million times more embarrassing than a roof that has too many layers. that work will hopefully start this week & then PAINT.

fuck-ing paint y’all. like the entire house. bricks & all.

i know people have very strong opinions on painted brick. there are definitely strong camps on each side & i get them both. i love brick… if you have pretty brick. our brick is in horrible condition & apparently, nobody thought it was important to tape off anything ever before painting the gutters, windows, shutters, etc. there are literally old gutter outlines running down our house all the way around. the previous owners will never stop amazing me.

we picked paint colors last week & i’m so goddamn anxious.

 

so before long, our little house is going to go from this (so sad, so overgrown, so swallowed by trees, so shitty)...

to this (new roof, trimmed trees & everything else still shitty)...

to this! just use your imagination & add some new landscaping & grass...

the color we picked is called "barely white" which i love. i didn't want to do stark white even though i love an all white exterior. i felt like i needed to pay my tudor style house some respect & go with the traditional three color scheme. 

now. on to the debate. those windows. my plan for two years has been to paint our window frames black; just the frames, not the trim. traditionally, the window frames should be darker than the trim but i also just really love the look of a light house with dark windows. my contractor thinks they need to be white to match the trim. so tell me. who is wrong?

 

closets & trash

i've not been on my house game for a couple of months (obviously) but all of a sudden i hit a huge surge of energy last week & feel like there isn't enough time or money to keep up with my thoughts/plans/actions. maybe it's that spring cleaning bug that people get? it's like "nesting" for normal, non-pregnant people? well. whatever it is; i have it. my mind is racing with house projects & i'm trying to work on keeping myself focused on one thing at a time so that i don't get too overwhelmed. luckily i'm pretty good at finding satisfaction in being able to mark off just one task (big or small). to me, it's easy to find joy in the fact that it's one less thing staring at me, even though if you zoom out & look at the big picture, it's so so tiny & seems like it doesn't matter. i'm trying to get ryan on that train of thought so he doesn't lose his mind helping me in the yard. he has been so much help getting some of my least favorite things done (i.e. anything outside). we spent saturday cleaning our garage which - is a big fucking deal for me to even go out there. i hate that garage. i just imagine it full of poisonous spiders & critters, just waiting to get me right as i walk in. i also imagine it collapsing in on my head & nobody makes it out alive. when it's a mess (like it has been for years now), it heightens my fear. needless to say, i don't store things in there like a normal person. who needs to keep paint in their garage when they have empty kitchen cabinets that work just fine? right? when we bought our house, we spent 75% of our time in our garage. we had all of our friends & family over weekly, battling each other in ping-pong, grilling hot dogs & sitting out by the chiminea. somewhere along the way, we lost our excitement for having people over & our garage slowly turned into a ghost town where we would occasionally throw shit we needed to donate or put out on the curb for big trash day (aka shopping day in our hood). i didn't take a before picture but i wish i would have. kind of. i’d probably be too embarrassed to show what it looked like, how much shit we pulled out of there & how little actually goes back in there but man, it feels so good to have it cleaned out & organized. when ryan got his boat, we had to make room for it & now we have room for the boat & still have room to pull one of the cars in if it storms. plus i know where everything is & i’m not AS terrified to retrieve a rake now. we pulled everything that was too big or too much of a pain to load up & donate (i.e. a washer/dryer, bikes, furniture, etc.) out to the curb & someone took everything within 30 minutes. you're welcome neighbor.

that project then spiraled to trying to get as much as we could out to curb by wednesday so yard work was next in our sights. it's not like we won't have the opportunity again next month but we know ourselves well enough to know that we need to strike while the iron is hot. & right now, it's hot. we've bagged so many goddamn leaves & i'm pretty sure that will never end, but progress is progress & every single bag makes me feel better & better. so for the last two nights we’ve come home from work, grabbed a quick bite & then headed outside to work on the yard until the sun goes down. what feels like a thousand bags later, we only have the front mostly done but damn, it feels good.

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once the sun sets, i've been heading inside to finish up my closet. i'm not going to lie, i've been using our bar as my closet for weeks now. i've had to apologize to 1 too many guests for why all of my clothes are in the kitchen & it had been long enough that i actually got used to getting dressed for work in the living room. it's fine guys. it's the new thing. the reality is that i removed all my clothes, did a lot of prep work on the molding, primed it & then let it sit for a while because i was completely unmotivated.

but then i cleaned up the doorknob & felt an urgency to get the door hung so i could admire them all the time which meant i really just needed to finish the whole closet. my light has been broken for..... years? the lightbulb doesn't stay in place & i get really sick of grabbing a step-ladder every day to screw it back in so i've just gotten used to it being dark. i'm not sure if it's just because i'm not used to having a light on or if it's the once yellow, now white walls but it's so bright. & beautiful. & organized. & very very monochrome. & once again, i hate myself for taking so long on such a simple project.

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i know i never did an "after" of the bedroom. it's because i was waiting on the doors to be done. well, i just now hung those doors & one of them doesn't close so i have some adjusting to do. also, now i think i should finish the windows before i really show you what it looks like because with everything else done, the window frames stick out like a sore thumb. it's never-ending.

please send wine.

tour: part I, exterior

last week i tried to give you a look at the floorplan so today i thought i'd start taking you on a tour. i'm going to break this up into multiple posts because even though it's only 1200 sq ft of space, it comes with a load of gd baggage.

exterior: front

summer 2009

i almost forgot just how cute our house can be when someone actually loves on it! i would say not much has changed because we haven't actually done anything to it (which is a big part of the problem) aside from take down the metal awnings over the windows but holy shit, it looks so different! the exterior has the biggest & most expensive repairs needed so i try to ignore it because what am i supposed to do when there is no money to fix it? i'm pretty sure that putting your head in the sand always works for problem solving. the roof, wood siding, gutters & fence all need to be replaced & we need several piers placed; just to name a few totally inexpensive things. (insert eye roll emoji)

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2010

 

a year into living here i was pretty good at keeping up with it. i discovered how beautiful black mulch was & just went with whatever plantings were already there. i wanted to be that person that enjoys gardening. weeeellll. i am not. i hated the amount of landscaping that came with this house. i just knew it wasn't realistic for two people who have no interest in yard work so shortly after these pictures were taken in 2011 when everything had pretty much died already, i ripped out the flowerbed around the tree & let the grass grow up to the house. i am 100% at peace with that decision. i'm about to rip out the foot wide bed that follows the sidewalk too because i just can't keep up with it. i'm horrible, i know!

side note: why do people paint their porches red or green? it that just a oklahoma thing? i see it a lot & i hate it. i've managed to scrape most of it off the top but the stair treads are so stingy!

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from 2011 to 2015, i just kind of let everything do its own thing. we mowed & occasionally weeded the flower beds but that was it. i had our yard guy (i miss you homero!) completely clean out our remaining flower beds last year (they were insane!) so i could start from scratch. 6/8 of the plantings are still alive so i am a success in my eyes. i worked really hard to lay weed blocker down along the west side of the house with the best of intentions to lay rock but that took me another year to get to. oops!

2016

at this exact moment, the flower beds are a wild mess. i need to get out there & pull a bunch of weeds. alison @ deuce cities henhouse has actually motivated me this year to get our yard back in shape. (if you don't know who she is, you should check her out!) the lawn had become a mud hole over the last year so i seeded, weeded & fertilized this year. it's made some progress but still has a long way to go. i am now seeing that i need to do some serious pruning & tree trimming out there. when did our house get swallowed by the crate myrtle's & pecan tree??

exterior: back

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2009

i could sit and cry looking at how good our backyard looked when we bought the house. it is a disaster zone now. that fence that looked brand new & so pretty when we moved in turned out to be a cruel joke. it didn't take long to realize that it was put up in haste just to look good for the sale so now there are parts that are falling down & all of the boards are warped & curling inward because they used 2 horizontal support beams instead of the regular 3. the grass has also taken a lot of damage from our dogs & all of the flower beds have either been removed or died & left to rot. the placement of the flower beds in the back of the yard are very awkward & i've never been able to figure out what to do with them. i don't have a good picture of them but they are 2 half circles that float about 3 feet off the fence. one is around the tree (makes sense to have a flower bed there at least) & the other is a couple of feet west of the tree. i should probably just take them out & go from there. we used to use our backyard & garage for "entertaining" (getting drunk & playing ping-pong) on a weekly basis but it's been years since we've done that so we've had no motivation to make it look good. the dogs don't seem to care what it looks like.

one day i'd love to paint the brick a dark charcoal or even black (everything is better in black). i personally love the look of painted brick but even if i didn't, the idiots before us apparently didn't know how to caulk or paint so the brick is ruined around every area with trim. not to mention there are a lot of differences in the mortar between our bricks from all of the repairs over the years. once the weather is not awful & 100 degrees, i'll be working on rehabbing all 18 windows. they all need to be re-caulked, painted & sealed. it will be a huge undertaking but i think it will pay off with our utility bills & the complete look of the house.

anyone paint their brick themselves before? how horrible of an undertaking is it/is it even worth it rather than hiring it out? i tend to have the mindset of "how hard can it be?"