Monday, May 19, 2008

Moving, remodeling, and keeping a thin grasp on sanity

We closed on our new house on Friday. Everything went well, with the exception of that moment of panic when I called Ruthie (4) over so I could brush her hair a few minutes before I took her to the babysitter. She said, "I don't feel so good," then proceeded to throw up all over the kitchen floor.

So (instead of going to the babysitter's house) she got to ride the hour with us in the car (I brought towels and plastic bags, just in case). She played tic-tac-toe with our realtor while we signed our names a hundred times, gradually gaining health (and antsy-ness) as the meeting dragged on. By the time we left, she was ready for a Cobblestone Muffin at Panera. Oh, if only I could recuperate as fast as she did!

That day, our contractor got started on demolition work. You might remember these teeny windows:
Well, they are being made bigger - from 48" high to 72" high. The dining room window (on left, above) is being enlarged to match, so they will both be 72" wide as well.The bedroom windows (on the right half of the house) are especially getting a makeover. The original windows are 16" high (Neal's-13 comment was, "I feel like I'm in jail!").

The insides of the windows are now framed, and tomorrow the brick will get cut out and the sills reworked. Unfortunately, the windows themselves don't arrive until Friday, so it's going to be plywood for a few days. But I can envision the change, can't you?
Here's the entry into the formals. We are widening the opening to be about double in size. With the larger windows, even this 1962 house will seem much lighter inside. And doesn't that yellow and orange paint job just inspire you to have a nervous breakdown? Me too. (I'm sure the previous owners had a good reason for painting it that color. Maybe they were trying to go off coffee?)So the painter is starting. This will be the first of our four houses that we have EVER had painted BY SOMEONE ELSE before we moved in. It's almost as wonderful as getting a full-body massage.

Not sure why I seem to be cursed with "blue kitchen disease" (Note the itty-bitty roses on the wallpaper, and the cows on the border. So pastoral.). The cows will be going, but I will be stuck with the blue counter tops until Phase 2 of the remodel. Hopefully sometime this summer, if I have to PAINT them myself (I have done this before and it works!). Meanwhile, MOO.

I must say, NOT living in the house while it's being worked on is much better than what we went through here just a few months ago.

We are moving on Saturday. This may or may not be my last post for a while, as I am up to my eyeballs in BOXES. (And as an aside, never, EVER pack boxes while listening to Jim Brickman, unless you want to dissolve into a puddle of sentimentality, which was me yesterday.)

Back to packing!


Family O'Foxes said...

Thank you for the update! I was wondering what was going on in your world. :)

I hope your little one is feeling better!


Marian said...

Wow. Look at the changes already! I'm excited for you.

Anonymous said...

The kitchen cabinets have a nice look to them. Do you usually paint your house yourselves before moving in?

Susanne said...

Oh no, Jim Brickman and packing? What were you thinking, girl?! ;v) I totally know what you mean.

Very exciting. I can't believe how fast after you signed the papers that the contractor was there. You guys really get on top of things!

Dimple Queen said...

Well, let me say we have painted ourselves and then we had someone paint for us, and while I LOVE painting, my hubby does not and therefore, having someone else paint was WONDERFUL and I will not do it any other way! Unless the budget wont allow it.

Anonymous said...

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Beck said...

I'm going to send this post to my husband with a comment about TIMELY HOME RENOVATIONS. For example, we have had a peice of plywood in a former door on our porch for the SIX YEARS WE HAVE LIVED HERE.
Things are looking great and I'm so happy for you guys!

Dana D said...

I think you can make the blue countertops work for you if you bring in some browns/khakis and perhaps some sage greens. Blues with browns are all the rage right now (per Martha Stewart). Happy Moving to you!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, OH MY GOODNESS!

I'm so envious and sympathetic all at the same time! It will be so lovely to move into a (mostly) renovated house! We did that once - had all new paint, carpet and wallpaper done before we moved in. Almost like moving into a new house.

I agree with Dana who said make those blue countertops work for you. You could even go really vintage or retro. Me personally, I'm cottagey, so I love the curves of the cabinets, and would even slap a couple coats of paint on that built-in in the dining room(?).

I'm so excited for you guys and can't wait to see how everything looks with your stamp on it.

And as always, Hang In There!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Camden ended up coming to our closing three years ago, since he was sick that day as well...

Love the new windows. And I agree that working on a house you are NOT living in at the same time is far easier.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

We are so "right with you" in the process. Doing our remodeling and painting right now. THEN we'll move in :)

Keep the pictures coming...they'll give me ideas.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your family on your new home. I just love the kitchen. Very cute and homey.

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...


I cannot wait to see what you do with the new house.

Is it "hot as Hades" in Texas right now or what?!

I do not envy you getting out in that yard to plant this time of year!

Julie said...

Hi there, I am new to your blog - I too have five kids ages 15 down to 2.
We are just beginning a new addition to our home. I am both scared and excited! We are living in the house while we are adding about 1900 square feet - larger kitchen, eating area, sitting area off the master and playroom off of our five year old's room. Then the really exciting room - AN ACTUAL LAUNDRY ROOM instead of a walk through from the garage to the kitchen laundry space!
I will be checking in on your updates to assure myself I am not alone!

Oldqueen44 said...

I was so glad to read that the yellow was not your chosen color. What were they thinking?