Hi, all. It has been a while since we talked about the homestead progress.  Moving while renovating proves to be quite a long arduous process.  This is the first time we have lived in a home while renovating, and the entire game changes!  Bret and I have stayed busy scraping and painting ceilings, painting walls, and refinishing hardwood.  He also chose to do the flooring in the bathroom, kitchen, and dining room himself.  Some of the projects we had planned to hire out turned into DIY tasks by necessity.  In our area, there is a high demand and waiting list for skilled labor.  Is that everywhere?  When we would call about ceilings or plumbing or even flooring, IF we even received a return call, there would be 2 weeks minimum before they would even come LOOK at what we needed.  The blessing in disguise is that DIY-ing it has been friendlier to the budget. Tasks take us longer than the professionals, but if one counts the wait-list time, we are doing okay with our time budget as well.

As one might guess, every single project has grown or taken a complete left turn at some point during work.  For starters, let’s talk about ceilings.  I HATE popcorn ceilings.  Every house we have owned had them, and this time I decided no more.  Our thought was we would do the ceilings first, then walls, and floors last. Seems logical, right?  We knew from research and friends’ first-hand experiences that we were in for a tedious job, so we jumped right in on our daughter’s ceiling.  It was perfect, and we moved on to our son’s room.  There were a couple of spots where we found previous leaks from before the roof had been replaced, but basically all was good in his room too.  The guest room and hall went well, and the bathroom came next.  It was slow and messy, but the result was okay to paint with a little patchwork.  The dining room and kitchen are one large room, with an open floor plan into the living room as well.  The dining room went okay, but over the kitchen island work screeched to a halt.  There had been a serious leak before a previous owner replaced the roof, and the ceiling was painted and popcorned rather than replaced.  Bret discovered this unfortunate reality when, after much persuasion, the popcorn finish came down – along with layers of sheetrock. At that moment, my wish for flat, perfect ceilings died.  Not without emotional response, I admit.  Facts are facts, though, and some sort of texture was required to fix it.  After multiple failed attempts at reaching the professional recommended to us, Bret bought the necessary supplies and rolled on the slight texture himself.  The ceiling color I chose is Valspar’s Mineral Ash, which looks essentially white on our ceilings but has nice hints of grey in it that coordinate well with my Polished Silver walls.

We have also painted the walls, all Polished Silver.  Simple, easy to clean, easy to match, and painting the entire house one color helps with time efficiency.  This is a complete turn-around from my first place that had a different color in every single room.  I am hooked, though, and if I change my mind in the future, paint is the easiest home project anyway.  Each room is coming together, seemingly at a snail’s pace.

 We started putting rooms together in the kids’ spaces.  Partially because their new beds were the first thing delivered and partially to give them space to enjoy while we continue to work.  I will devote an entire post to each of their rooms and choices later, if or when they feel they are ready to share photos of the finished spaces.  The reason I discuss their rooms here is that some of their choices are so sweet and sentimental.   My son was given the choice of what dresser he would like.  Our current place is quite a bit smaller than our last house, and we are purging what furniture does not get used.  He wanted the dresser Bret used as a kid.  To him it was not even optional; his dad used that dresser, and so would he!

Until we finish out the basement, our family will all share one bathroom.  This is completely doable, but after sharing one bathroom while living in the apartment, I knew there were some ways we could make it easier.  One way was having space for fixing hair outside of the restroom.  My daughter chose a Paris theme for her room, so a vanity would fit nicely with her aesthetic.  It just so happens that Grandma had a vanity.  Now, Grandma is quite attached to furniture that had been in her family since childhood, so I hesitated when she offered for my Princess to use it.  I mean, this piece had been her aunt’s and is at least eighty years old. My daughter loves it, and she has really surprised me with how deeply she has taken its heirloom value.  My Buddy is quite sentimental in many ways about physical stuff, but My Princess does not often display that trait like he does.  However, with this vanity, she is already making plans to give it to her grandchildren one day.

I guess they inherited that sentimentality just like they inherited the furniture.  Bret and I love pieces with a back story, and our goal with this forever home is that each item has a story.  The $3 thrifted pillow on the couch will always be a favorite because we bought it from a local mission that I love. I have garden décor that was a gift from a friend, and several of the items we have used (and will again hopefully soon!) for the chickens came from Bret’s Granny when she moved. My green Miss Molly mirror that was supposed to go in the bathroom but now resides by our back door was not even allowed to go to the storage unit for fear of breaking the glass.  The guest room bed will have a summer quilt and a winter quilt, one from my Nana and one from Bret’s great-grandmother. We purchased a painting Bret loved from a local artist to display in there proudly above my inherited desk with chippy paint that I refuse to change.  I search out old plates at thrift stores and estate sales, and I love old mixing bowls and serving dishes.  Part of the reason I like this habit is practicality.  One of my philosophies of counteracting the wasteful habits of our society is to not create demand for new products when it can be avoided.  Why buy a new set of plates when there are thousands of perfect ones available, both cheaper and more unique?  I did buy a new couch because I had a specific size and design needed for the space, but I made the new purchase only after failed attempts at finding it secondhand.  Our getting settled process has been more complicated this time than ever before, but I blame several factors.  The biggest factor is that we plan to be here forever, so we have given ourselves the liberty to fill the home with all the sentimental, quirky, or unique things that fill our souls with joy.  Another factor that must be considered is the sheer volume of work needed.  Always before, we chose fixer upper homes, but we never had unkempt land to restore as well.  But I look out the kitchen windows at what boulders we have uncovered and imagine fall evenings with hot chocolate and bonfires.  I sit on the front patio and envision our road-front alive with wildflowers, and I look through the woods picturing the hours my Buddy will spend wandering with Belle. I come inside and envision a place where friends and family can join us often, and memories of all the hiccups in the renovation phase will fade.  The heirlooms will be used and cherished, and our lives will be full of all the people we love, in a place that rejuvenates our spirits and shares with others a little joy for the journey.

Bethany

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