Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So we are in. And we are settling. I can't say settled, because the garage is still piled full of boxes and I have no idea where my red, vintage juicer is so that I can make some fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges that grow outside my kitchen window. But we are getting there.

I found these before pictures and I am kind of blown away. Because, for all the doors without knobs, the kitchen counter tops that remain ugly brown, and the dining room table that sits without chairs, this place looks amazing! It is fun to see how much we have done.

It is also fun to be doing this. I will be posting some of my projects on Picnics in the Park (I changed the name of my other blog) There have been a lot and I hope you will enjoy them and maybe be inspired to bust out your own can of spray paint. Every day another thing, little or big gets checked off the, very big, list, and I like this. I don't think Aaron liked building our IKEA bathroom sink, but he likes doing other stuff. Like building shelves in the closets with his new tools. He is my handy man. And let me tell you, when you see the after pictures of the bathroom, you will be impressed by the handy work of my handy dandy man.

I'm posting these before pictures for 2 reasons. 1: It is great fun to see the before and after. 2: I have been missing this spot so much and finally have the computer up and running enough to be here again. However, if I download my current 500 or so pictures onto said computer, I might crash it. So, I am using old footage until tomorrow, when I will hopefully install my new external hard drive and be back in business. (I've been having technical difficulties with the external hard drive. Tomorrow includes a trip to the Apple store. Do you think Aaron would mind if I just get us a new computer? He was wondering what I want for my birthday...)

So here's hoping tomorrow might find us looking over the after pictures. Until then, here's where we began.
This avocado tree was one of the first things we loved about the house. Our own avocado tree? Just like the days of our youth in the avocado capital of the world? Come on! This is also a perfect spot for building one awesome tree fort. Our tree has GROWN since this picture was taken in February. In fact, I am looking for deep shade plants to grow in that flower bed because not one drop of sunshine makes it back there any more. The boys and I have emptied the flower beds of their sad, gangly rose plants. I can see the yard looks different now.

Kitchen. It was one continuous shade of brown. It looks yellow, but I assure you, brown. Floor, walls, counter top, cabinets, stove, ceiling. Partly due to color choices and partly due to years of grime, grit, grease and smoke. Don't ask my Dad about this kitchen. He is the one who repainted it and got it into its current, operating room, white shape. It was a tortuous process, involving many dirty buckets of water and coats of white, white paint. It is now clean and bright and without a trace of brown. Except for those counter tops. We can't get someone to do the kind of counter top edging we want. We'll wait until we do.

Oh the bathroom. More brown. The whole house, in fact, was basically many shades of brown. Aaron and his dad demoed that lovely vanity. We even took out those globe chandeliers. Can you imagine? My dad said the transformation is dramatic. I think I agree.

This isn't really a good picture of the living room, but it is the best I've got. When we first saw the house, this lovely window overlooking the back yard was covered with heavy curtains. The room felt dark and small. The tan carpet was dirty and smelly. It was pretty dismal. But now the carpet, the smell and those drapes are gone. I look out that beautiful window all day long and see my boys playing happily in the back yard. I love my living room now.

When my friend, Erin, saw the house in its before state, she admitted that she could not see what we could. Potential. She said it was a good thing we could see the potential in the house, cause even without a vision we had our work cut out for us. She was right. But so were we.

1 comment:

Erin McDonald said...

You and your family amaze me! You do have Vission and you can take a huge project and tackle it with success! I am so proud of you guys, not only living with in your means but working hard for what you have! Your home is going to be a haven for your husband when he comes home from work. A play ground for all your kids friends, a nest for you and place full of childhood memories for your kids! I am so happy for you guys and for your new home! I can't wait to see the finished product next year!