Monday, December 8, 2014

In Lieu of a Christmas Letter, I Bring You a Post!

Many of you might not know how renovations really happen. You start out with a "to do" list, get some contractor quotes, settle on someone to do the job(s) and then they tell you when they are available to work.


In theory.

But really, not ever.

My Christmas present from Dave last year was the promise of a sidewalk and a blacktopped driveway. I was pretty thrilled, because here is what our walkway looked like.

And our driveway was concrete patches with some gravel, but mostly weeds. Not terribly appealing.

When spring rolled around, we started asking around about getting the sidewalk poured. We got some extraordinary quotes (thousands of dollars, really?), had a few promising leads, and then life happened.

First we had to landscape.

Then we had to get drainage dug out back. 

Then I was gardening and freezing veggies. 

Then contractor machinery broke. 

Contractors backed out.


6 months later all of the major projects that needed done are finally being finished, all in the same week.

Sidewalk was poured. 


Watching the cement harden....

Driveway was paved. 

Logan loved watching the skid steer at work!

The finished driveway.

Dave and his new contractor completed barn renovations and fenced in the back pasture for the new tenants.

Our new "neigh"bors! Actually, there are four of
them, but they are typically only out two at a time.
I LOVE living next to these guys!

I suppose the moral of the story is that if it's gonna happen, it's all gonna happen at once. At the end of the season. Right before the holidays. At least it is done, and we have a sidewalk that can be shoveled, and a driveway to be proud of. And I enjoy looking out my kitchen window to see horses frolicking in the back yard :)

A few other projects of note...

My living room shelves are complete!

I had the boards sanded and poly'ed this summer, but it took a while to make it from the garage to the living room walls.

Good old barn wood. If you look at the top piece, 
you can see little white dots on the wood. Those are
air bubbles; the wood was so dry that once poly went 
on it, the board sucked it up and pushed the air out.
I literally had to put six coats of poly on these before 
the smooth surface was created.

Dan stuck the shelves flush in the corners of the 
living room so that we have room next to them to
display his photos.

And Dan finally got to put his surround sound speakers
up where he wanted them!

I think sometime I'll write a post on a dozen ways to use barn wood in your home. So many ideas! I really like the rustic charm these add to my house.

I finally finished up our master bathroom! I taped the room up, picked a color for the wainscotting and trim, and went to work during Logan's napping hours. I was so pleased with how the colors turned out, and I rejoiced.

And then I pulled off the painters tape.

I was left with this.

I would like to tell you just what went through my 
mind, but I'm not proud of those words...

It was everywhere. I cried.

So here is a tip for anyone that DOESN'T want to have this happen; use oil based primer on bathroom walls. It helps prevent your paint from peeling due to high moisture content. I put the tape on and didn't remove it for nearly a month (because let's face it, getting any project done with a one year old takes more time than necessary). Big mistake! Between the tape, a steamy bathroom with taped walls and a lack of proper primer, I have a mess on my hands. 

What to do? I need to scrape off all the loose paint, sand down the peeled spots, re-primer, re-sand, and repaint. Ugh. This is going to take a month of Logan's naps to accomplish. 

If you're painting your bathroom, please learn from my mistake. Only YOU can prevent a peely bathroom!

Merry Christmas to everyone! This might be the only proper Christmas letter that anyone gets. Between post-partum depression, a needy growing child and a house that still needs finishing, it has been an interesting and challenging year. I think I'm on the upswing of things, though prayers for us and our sanity are always appreciated. We love you all, and hope you have a merry Christmas, in whatever state or country you may find yourself.

Mommy's Christmas helper :)