A Renovation Story.

We found the house on November 20, 2011. It's a good story, really it is, even if my opinion is biased.

I actually stumbled upon the property during a long Sunday drive when I should've been finishing an essay. I called J. to let him know that I had found our "dream house", he brushed it off only because I tend to get overly excited about things and we had planned to start house hunting in the Spring. Forgetting all about our "dream house" life went on for about a month or so. On that fateful Sunday we went to brunch, bopped around for hours listening to music and enjoying the day. On our descend back to the city we happened to be close by so we decided to go check it out. Pulling in the driveway J's blue eyes reached full capacity after expanding 15x their normal size. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  How is this possible I have never noticed this place?" Both our hearts were immediately attached and we had not even shut the truck off yet. In no way was this house turn key. Paint was peeling, windows broken, yard matted down with fallen leaves and every single tree branch were hanging down low enough to scratch the roof of any vehicle to pass through the horse shoe shaped driveway. It was love at first sight.

We got out walked around the 2 acre property 100x then discovered that one of the side doors had been unlocked. These kinds of opportunities don't come often so we agreed to check out the interior. The place stunk of mold, great bones but obviously needed a crazy amount of work. Called the broker and set our appointment to officially view the house the very next day. We collected ourselves and decided we need to back to our apartment to see our beautiful three puppies. The only words that were spoken during our 20 minute drive home was "It's my father's birthday today. Thank you, Dad for leading us to this house." Both J and I were beyond excited but had to stay grounded because sometimes such situations are not meant to be. I was already planning next autumns decorations.

To skip over the boring parts, we crafted a crazy agreement and the place was ours. Yard work started before the ink on the documents had dried. Every chance, afternoon, evening, weekend, whenever we were there and if we were home we were consumed with renovation chat always bouncing ideas off of one another.

Every single room had wallpaper, well except the one that had wood paneling. I spent New Years Eve  scrapping wallpaper in a 35 degree house with a sprained wrist. There was no heat- except for the huge space heater that looked like a jet engine, used kerosene so it smelled bad which gave us headaches and could not be pointed directly at the walls, only because the plaster they used in the 1800's was made with horse hair so it was very flammable. (Fun fact of the day, you're welcome.)  The possibility of an electrical fire starting if we forgot to shut the power off at night was scary high. Initially I was beyond terrified that the house would be haunted and that I would not be able to live there.

Often during a tremendous job such as this when it feels like you will never be finished because to move ahead you must go backwards, the part that makes it rewarding is the sloooowwwmoo drive by from a curious neighbor or "Love what you guys have done here!" is what keeps you going. I suppose when a beautiful house begins to fall out of grace and the lot is vacant for 5 years in a small community, the littlest things you do gets you a pat on the back and a "keep up the great work."

After 9 months of home ownership we've successfully renovated the 1960's in law apartment that's built on to the 1865 main house. We've taken down walls, cut down a whole lotta trees, painted, refinished floors and are ready to make the big move. There have been days of tears, laughter, anger, high fives and being so sore that you aren't sure if you can move but you keep going only because if you don't finish your task then the job will never get done. Sometimes I do miss being more girly but I've gotten my hands too dirty to return to my old self and I wouldn't have it any other way.

People have this notion that fixing up a house with a loved one is somehow romantic but I am going to let you in on a little secret.. it is. Well, in our case anyway. I am very fortunate that 95% of the time J. and I work surprisingly well together. He's laid back and I am, well, uhh not so much. We share the ability to give space when needed and since he does this for a living I do believe I have the most talented teacher. It's a wonderful moment when you cross the threshold from a job site to a home. I'm glad we're making our dreams become reality, babe. There's not another human that I would rather go on this amazing adventure with.

Now let's get started on the next job!

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