Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Fun

I don't have much time to write (moving in roughly 60 hours), but wanted to post some pictures of all the Easter stuff we still tried to squeeze in while packing, I believe in frequent breaks while packing {and altogether avoiding packing}.

Spring Bloom (the last picture of them in front of our tree)

Egg Dying


Greendale Easter Egg Hunt

Spring Pictures

Easter Bunny

He couldn't do it...just she went alone. Hopefully next year.

Easter Baskets

Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Bunny stand-off

he's all business


Happy Easter!!!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Moving On: An Homage to our Home

So, I've mentioned a couple of times that we are moving...we's the story...

We had always planned that this house would not be our "forever place", for a couple of reasons, mostly because of it's size (only 1200 sq. ft.), school district (MPS) and being closer to my family (my mom takes care of our kids a lot during the week and I currently have about an hour commute to get them by her and then get me to work).

But we had always planned that when the time came we would build. Mostly because Chris (although organized and neat), isn't really a handy man, and we wanted something that would be done (unlike the home we currently live in, that we are constantly updating) and clean (we are both sort of neat freaks - Chris more than me).

The house we currently live in is a cape cod. Chris bought it in 2001 (before I met him) for a steal (you'll see why). After I moved in, it was makeover madness on the rooms. I'm not sure Chris would have changed anything in the home had I not moved in?!

Here are some before and after pictures of the progress that was made (sorry about the quality on some of the pictures, they were taken before we even owned a digital camera):

outside of house - before

OMG - do you love the Seafoam Green and Yellow? We hated it too...and right before Lily was born, we started slowly having all the windows done (as you can see in the picture, half of the house is done, and half isn't - it was like this for a year as we slowly updated everything). We also had the siding redone in beige and the soffits, fascia and gutters redone in hunter green. In 2010 we redid our roof (tear-off), and opted for a darker color. We also had the cement step re poured on the porch because it was crumbling.

outside of house - after

kitchen - before

kitchen - before
OMG - the kitchen! The cabinets were wallpapered...yes, you read that correctly, I said the cabinets were wall-papered. That yellow part behind the doors, Chris ripped wallpaper off of that. Also, did you catch the sweet linoleum floor? And I can't say much about the yellow counter top because we kept it, up until this fall when we finally replaced it. As far as updates to this room we painted it light green, the cabinets were painted white and all the pulls were replaced with brushed nickel. We also replaced the light fixture. Chris helped my brother-in-law Steve put down a Brazilian cherry hardwood floor (or "supervised" as Steve did it). We also replaced the sink with a stainless steel sink and got a new black granite counter top and had California Closets come in and do the pantry, so we would have adjustable shelves in there.

kitchen - after
kitchen - after

Living Room - before
As far as the Living Room goes, we didn't do much. There was gold shag carpet in it that was pulled up (before this picture was taken). We painted it a darker gold tone, so that the crown molding would "pop" more, and we ripped off the gold fireplace surround, and eventually had a custom fireplace door made to keep the cool air out. In the front hall closet we also had California Closets come in and do a design, so we could utilize more space in there. (Oh and I finally got Chris to take down the hideous vertical blinds that he had put up when he moved in...because who wants to live in an office?)

Living Room - after

The bathroom had pink and black tile. I don't really know what to say about that...the tile was plastic, they fell off all the time - I hot glued them back on a lot (notice that the hot glue gun is even in the picture ::dies::). It had to go. The walls were full of glue, so we decided to do wainscoting up to where the tiles went. We purchased a new vanity, toilet, ceramic tile for the floor, light fixtures and a tub surround. My brother-in-law installed everything while we were in Florida for our babymoon with Lily (Chris saved one of the pink plastic tiles and went to an award store and had a plaque made for my brother-in-law with the tile, so we can always remember).

The spare room, which has been changed twice now, probably has had some of the biggest changes. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the room before. It was stark white and had the gold carpeting in it. We used it as a guest room and had a full size bed and two dressers in there. But, when I got pregnant with Lily we started the slow process of cleaning it out. It was not cleaned out before Lily was born, but we eventually got it done and painted (my mom did the bottom half) and had carpet put down, all while Lily was still in the NICU. We also had California Closets done in this room.

Spare Room first floor - first redo
Then when we found Liam was going to be a boy, we decided to move her upstairs and repaint the room again for him.

Remember when I had to do this?

Spare Room first floor - second redo
The master bedroom was originally white with gold shag carpet. We just ripped out the carpet, painted, changed the light fixture and had California Closets do the closet.

What we currently use as our office, is the upstairs room that you walk through to get to the third bedroom. Not a lot was done in there, just new carpet, new paint and a new light fixture.

The room you walk into (the third bedroom) used to look like this.

Third bedroom - before

Third bedroom - before

Third bedroom - before

Hello knotty pine! But what is awesome about that room, is the two built in beds. And actually before we had children, I had a vision for this room. And fortunately, when we moved Lily out of the first floor bedroom and upstairs, I was able to make that vision a little girl's dream bedroom (or at least I think so) come true.

Third bedroom - after
the corner of her room - her kitchen (we love it!)
We only made a few changes to our backyard. We planted a ton of perennials and shrubs on the side of our house going around the back and then down our property line. The patio (which was painted Seafoam Green {apparently, they loved that color}, I used concrete paint to paint it to look like a stone patio.

This is an old picture of the side of our house, where we have a ton of Lilies planted...we will have to plant some at the new place.
look at how little she looks...aww (Summer 2010)

So, that is the story of what we have done with the house over time. We don't consider it a "flip" by any means, it's been a slow process, but we have definitely fixed up a thing or two.

Now, onto the story of our new house...

In the beginning of August Chris emailed me a link to some pictures of a house that wasn't on the market yet but the owners were going to be building in spring and were just putting the house "out there" to friends (he works with their son-in-law). I looked at the pictures and liked the house, it was built in the 90's but has been updated, it was super clean and neat, the yard was amazing, it was more than twice the size of our current house and what I really liked was the location - in my mom and sister's neighborhood.

That day we went to State Fair and in the car ride on the way there Chris asked me what I thought about the house. I said I thought it was nice, but I would want to see it in person. Chris was a little shocked. He absolutely thought I was going to shoot it down. I asked what he thought and he said he really liked it. I was shocked because I thought he was dead-set against buying an existing home.

We agreed we would want to see it. We did. And we loved it.

So the week of Liam's first birthday party (timing wasn't the greatest), we were working with an attorney to get an offer together. They accepted it.

The first week in October we put our house on the market through We had a couple of showings in October and then things fizzled. The first week in January everything picked up again. We had at least one showing every weekend, but usually two.

The second weekend in February, after going like gangbusters on showings every weekend, we didn't have one booked. I was bummed. I sort of knew there was no way we were going to get an offer before our deadline of February 28th...after all the housing market is terrible right now, we didn't have a real estate agent and we hadn't been on the market that long.

That Sunday afternoon after Chris had finally gone to bed (he worked third shift that night), I received a call from an agent that would like to "come in a couple of hours". I was sort of looking around the house when she said "a couple of hours" and as I said "sure" while I was figuring out how in the heck I was going to have it ready for a showing...I didn't think we were having a showing, so I actually let the kids have fun that weekend and didn't care about cleaning....laundry baskets, sippies, blocks everywhere to kill people trying to walk, crumbs on counters, sticky floors....I was going to have my work cut out for me. And then I also had to wake up Chris and tell him I booked a showing, to which he replied "call them back and cancel, I'm sleeping"...he did get up and help me clean, but he was MAD. We didn't talk the entire 3 hours.

They came...they saw....their real estate agent called within 5 minutes of leaving to say there would be an offer coming.

Chris thanked me for taking the appointment.

Their final offer was 1K under asking price with 4K to them...essentially 5K under asking price. We sold our house by ourselves in 4 months. We made a good profit. We could hardly believe it - still hardly can.

We move in a week.
It is bittersweet.
These four walls have seen a lot.
We brought our babies home to this house.
And it's not just a house, it's a home.
I will miss it.

I will miss their rooms the most. I've started crying rocking Liam to sleep in the glider at night, thinking of how I rocked Lily to sleep in that same room when she was a baby. And when I start tearing up thinking of all the memories we've made here and if Lily will remember things or just see pictures and think she has memories, I have to remind myself that we will make more memories in the new house. We are the same family that made this house a home and we will make our new house our home. We made the memories. We will make more.

And we're bringing the glider, so that helps.

We move in 1 week.

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