Friday, January 13, 2017

Changes in 2016

(Warning picture heavy)

I officially said nothing last year, really it just went unsaid. 2016 was a very, very long year. It was not the worse year, but it was far from the best. Not that I keep them tallied. My thought line has been....what does God want next from us? We started out our 2016 really slow, and right after my birthday at the beginning of July, it changed with a great bang. We spent the whole month moving all eleven of us, and we moved twenty minutes away to our current rental. Which we like but has flaws like anything else, but we have an awesome landlord. I've got to say this, though I did NOT realize what a huge luxury it is to have more than one pet. But, I "pause" and a side note here for a fertility installment, as if life could get any more crazy. ( If you're one of the families that always go, go, go that is awesome - we are just not one of them! So this is unusual and stressful for us ) Hubby had varicocele surgery, because of his low T problems, our fertility issues, nothing was getting better until we did the surgery or so we thought. But more on that later. You never realize just how bad the disrepair is in your home, and how much time all the little things add up. I knew it would take a long time because we couldn't just hire it out, well we could have but that probably would have cost a small fortune. So onward we pushed, painting all the rooms in the house, installing new fire alarms, finishing the side yard, cleaning, replacing the kitchen sink, cleaning up the flower bed, a million trips to lowes, setbacks you get it...this list was unending huge. Tons of money spent on fast food for anyone who was working at the house and we all took our turns, a special shout-out to my daddy who spent all of his free weekends for two months helping out and to my hubby to wheeled and dealed for us when we needed items (i.e. carpet, tile, etc.), and returned stuff when it didn't. He is my hidden gem when it comes to this, I would just pay the price on the sticker so God matched us so well in this additional small way.
BEFORE: Replacing the vanities, and installing floor (hired) 
BEFORE: Other side

Flowers for the flowerbed found these for a steal! I think it was $14 for the entire cart!

That time lowes messed up our vanity countertops (both corners aren't rounded, the only did ONE side- on both)  
That time Lowes messed up our carpet order, cannot tell you how upset we were! Turns out someone fat fingered a number wrong. Thankfully the gal who was in charge of the carpets (not the order) went to several different Lowes on the same day and found the carpet we had ordered! She was AWESOME, and it was still installed same day...did I mention all this was going down when we were leaving on a jet plane the same day?! (See what I did there? John Denver fans know. ;) ) 

After - Here we painted, finished dehazing the floor (for the deal we got I was okay with finishing the job), replaced outlet covers, touched up the paint frame on the beautiful mirrors. Assembled, installed the vanities, the countertops, cut the holes for the sinks (no small feat I assure you! I couldn't watch my awesome Dad and Mom did them), installed the sinks and faucets, installed the drain pipes, installed new handles (we hated those icky brass ones we had) grouted EVERYTHING. Cleaned EVERYTHING on last time.
Master Bedroom, the only bedroom we only did touch-ups. Word of advice, hindsight being what it is...just pay the money and paint everything the same neutral color, the whole house. We save money using what we had, finding deals...but spending extra money on paint brushes, rollers, etc. Also, buyers/realtors will notice the lines where the old paint meets the new, and call it unprofessional. It's just not worth it! Trust me, I am a thrifty gal. I want to save every penny I can. The dollars you save might cost you because that's all potential buyers see. Frustrating.
Bedroom #1 - All the walls painted, and like ALL the rooms in the house baseboards, trim, doors painted as well with the trim paint we chose. Best decision we made painting all the trim. You don't realize how stained something is until it's freshly done.
Bedroom #2 - Even though you can't see it, we had to replace this door (boys, that is all I have to say). Let me just say many, many, many hours spent on that thing - over several days. This room was also painted, carpet installed (professionally, I wasn't touching that project with a ten-foot pole!)
Upstairs Bathroom - Walls/Ceiling Painted. Mirror Trim painted. This door also broke, it came apart actually! So again many hours on that massive little project. This bathroom was also strip down, we even had sub-floor that had to be replaced because of prior to us water damage. (That was fun) Happy to say that now it is very reinforced and sturdy. We even waterproofed under the tile with ditra. Cabinet and sink are IKEA finds we used.
Loft/Game Room: Walls/ Trim painted including that closet. New faceplates installed.
Downstairs: Living Room/Dining Room: Minor repair was done on the floor. New DR light installed. Red/Beige walls touched up. All the vents were also cleaned in all the rooms.
Bedroom #3/ Office: Walls/ Trim/ Doors painted.
Downstairs 1/2 Bath: Walls/ Trim/ Door Painted. Since we moved in here this room was also gutted to the bare bones. We did everything from the tile to the light fixture. The cabinet was from IKEA, as was the sink. We installed all the toilets too. 
Now for my beautiful kitchen, I know someone new is going to love it and it is time to move on. I just cannot describe enough how I loved this kitchen. We all put a lot of time and love into it too over the years. (Bought in '09) I wish I could find a before picture and if I run across it I will add it to this post. It was stripped down to nothing, and I mean down to the concrete slab.  Everything was done by us, including hand assembling each cabinet (by my amazing hubby), installing the beautiful tile and backsplash. We are not timid DIY's as you can see, and all helped spearheaded by my amazing Mom who was invaluable!

This home actually came with two places you could have your fridge which was PERFECT with all eleven of us. However, it was silly to keep. Here we extended countertop space with an additional huge upper and lower cabinet! This is where the additional plug was installed (the only one you can see on the right-hand side) by a professional. That is the only thing we do not DIY. The light also had to be done because it went from a hideous out-dated box light to this beautiful track lighting.

Sadly, the beautiful french doors got delayed being installed so they missed the pictures! I could have wept. Oh well, life isn't perfect! However, we installed the huge pantry wall. You cannot tell but it has a beautiful beadboard on the wall behind the shelving. :) New light here too.
Did I mention our island is an IKEA hack we came up with as a family? It was a project that was a LOT of fun. It is 10' long and can move about on the casters we have attached underneath with a wood frame. We used x4 IKEA expedit shelves on their side, which are no longer available to buy. They have been replaced with Kallax. (insert eye roll here). Then we bought the counter-top from lowes and placed it on top! 

Laundry Room: A "before" of the beautiful french doors! Freshly painted walls/door/trim.
View from the entryway. The floor here, a beautiful bamboo one was our first major DIY project on the house. It was back breaking work let me tell you. Let me tell you this, never, ever again will I install flooring by gluing. It was awful.  It was years ago, and I am still debating if it was worth it or not. 
The backyard before the new doors. I hate sliding glass doors with a passion...they break, they are so hard to keep the tracks clean. Don't keep them if you have the money to replace it. 
The beautiful after of the door, I couldn't close it because the paint was still wet and my light was leaving. I painted it the same raspberry color as the front door. (LOVE!) Trim was also caulked and painted since the wood was new. 
Another view and we back up the green belt, it is so lovely. We installed this fence while we lived here and a back gate to the green belt. Something very special to us happened in this backyard. We were married here with a hundred or so guests,  memories are special things. It just will be weird knowing I can't every go back there once it's sold and visit it. Not that I would want to but still...
This side yard that houses the trash/recycling wasn't here. We added the extension on when we replaced the fence. Best decision EVER. We laid the slab for the bins and laid the gravel. 
Even more, clean-up was done to the garden after this, I just wanted everything looking a little greener and lush when photos were taken. I will miss my beautiful rose bushes and flowerbed. Thankfully, those can be replaced I know. 
We listed the house at the beginning of Sept. and anxiously await the new owners so we can take the next step, whatever that looks like.  

  Amidst all this stress and new situations, Josh went in for his three-month check-up in November. We received very discouraging news. None of his counts had gone up, in fact, his Low T counts went DOWN which is critical for him to lose any weight, among other things. I was out running errands with my Mom while Josh went to his appt. The results were basically: IVF is your only option, and we don't know why your count has gone down. With all the stress build-up this topped off the metaphorical cake. I cried and cried...I have no idea what step God wishes us to take next. We would both appreciate your prayers as we prayerfully consider the next step for our family. It can take up to a year for the surgery to take effect more but this was and is little comfort.


I hate to leave a post like this - open and uncertain but such is life and our current path. God has a plan and we are listening to hear and see what He has next for us. I don't know when I will update next. We are packing up our rental house again in June. That is all any of us knows at this point in time. So prayers for (a) Two houses for us and for my family to be shown to us in our search. (b) For Josh's continued healing. (c) What path to take next on our infertility journey. Thanks and love to you all.

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