When does the pretty stuff start?

We are about a month into this project (a little less) and there is still nothing pretty to discuss about our home remodel.  But there is a lot going on.  First of all, Scott is my hero for life.  When both our plumber and electrician upped their bids, Scott decided he could probably just do all that himself.  “That will give us more wiggle room for fun things like spray foam insulation,” he said.  He added a metal roof and a sonic ice machine to convince me. But I think it was the spray foam insulation that motivated him.  We have talked a lot about spray foam insulation for about the past two years.  Anyway.

As of now, the outside of the addition is pretty much framed.  In this bad panoramic picture, you can see the pantry/master closet on the left, a big kitchen space, and the mudroom and nook on the right.


The framing in the bathroom is also coming along.  Our shower is going to be huge.  We could sleep in there.  This is the view from the middle of the bathroom, into the shower.  The doorway beyond will be gone.  On the left is a half wall, the rest of which will be glass.  On the right will be a glass door.  You can see in the foreground on the left side a little framing for another half wall.  The toilet will go in between the two.


Scott has spent every waking hour at the house when not at work.  He has worked on the rough plumbing.  And I think he would call all this beautiful.  I think the bike pump is there so that he remembers what it was like to have time to ride his bike.  Otherwise, no clue.



Look at all that PVC pipe running floor to ceiling!  ThanksRyan for the help.  This is the other view of the master bath.  Where Ryan and Scott are will be counters and two sinks.


Here’s a better picture of the master closet and pantry.  On  the left side, where the door is, that will be our pantry.  The door will be gone.  The door now leads to our bedroom.  On the right side is our master closet.  The window will be removed and a door will be added.  The pantry will be accessible from the kitchen (obviously), but the closet will just be accessible from the bedroom.


Here’s our expansive kitchen, right in the middle of which will be a big 4 foot by 10 foot island.  On the far wall is the mudroom, from which the garage can be accessed.  On the left is just a little bonus room.


Here’s a better picture of the bonus room off the kitchen.


And here it is from the back yard!


I was able to sneak in a little fun this weekend.  I got a pedicure with this sweet girl who just finished her first week of second grade, and her mom, and her (and my) mom.  Much needed after a long week.


And we celebrated Megan’s birthday with dinner, swimming and an ice cream cake.  (Doug takes this stuff very seriously.)


This was pretty much my view for the rest of the weekend.  I think between the two of us, we did 5 visits to Lowes, Home Depot and Breed & Co.  Nice legs, Scott.



Demo is hard work.

About a week ago, we were able to determine the timing for framing our new space.  And that meant it was time to move out.  That means we have a foundation, which is a big step.  Now on to framing.

We planned to move out, but the timing snuck up on me.  We are so grateful to have Scott’s mom’s house as a home base while ours is under construction.  Bonnie spends the summer in Paris, and this year she doesn’t come home until the end of October.  So we are “taking care” of her house, but mainly avoiding the remodel dust.  So each night last week we packed, and then actually spent the night at Bonnie’s starting on about Wednesday.  By Friday night, we had all of our furniture in the middle of the living room covered in plastic, and the remainder in boxes stowed away in other rooms of the house.

And then the demolition began on Saturday morning.


This was our bathroom after about an hour of work.


This was the end of the day Saturday.

And then the kitchen….




We had some incredible help.  Thanks to Brantley, Ryan, and Todd for leaving their newborn children (and other loved ones) to help us with such painful work. I figure we saved about $1000 over the course of the weekend, which is pretty helpful.  We owe you mucho.

As I was pulling trim from the top of the walls in the kitchen, it rained rat poop, which was a tad bid disconcerting.  You don’t realize how gross your house is until something like this.


My body hurts, but I am glad the heavy lifting is done.  We filled a 20 foot dumpster.  I can’t even believe it.  I am ready for choosing light fixtures and paint colors.  THE FUN STUFF.




Construction begins.

First, this guy turns 65 today and I am just so grateful he is my dad.

Chelsea and Scott Wedding Card A 388

He was my very first dance partner and still, I love dancing with him…and living life along side him.  I need him to live at least another 65 years.  At least.

Now.  For construction.

I have been a terrible blogger, but when you do a blog primarily to document home improvements, and those home improvements stall, well, there isn’t much to say.  We have had to practice our patience with waiting for the permit (again) but we are now on our way.  I think it will be awhile until we get to the pretty part, but I still plan to document the progress.

I recently looked back to where we started when we moved into our house on April 4, 2011.  The owners left a lot of junk behind (the 1950’s house had never been on the market and been passed down through the generations).  We basically acquired all in the house that nobody else wanting.  We found dining chairs under the house.  An upholstered rocker in the garage, cedar planks in the rafters, glasses in the mounds of leaves, car parts, and so much more.  We quickly rented a 20 foot dumpster and filled it up.  Here’s my first post about the house.  Mainly, I am really grateful to live here.  It is a good house in such a great part of Austin.  But the day we moved in, Scott researched how to “return” a house.  He was overwhelmed by all that we needed to do to make it safe and livable.  Fix gas leaks.  Update electrical stuff (get rid of extension cords running half the house).  Clean up the grime.  I think the seller’s realtor was pretty shocked we did not tear the place down.  But it is too good for that.  And since then, Scott has become the hero of the house.

It never occurred to me that we would take on such a big project.  But I am grateful to have the opportunity.  We will add about 500 square feet, move our kitchen to that new space, add a master closet, make the master bath bigger, add an outdoor shower, add a mudroom/laundry room, and a small room off the kitchen.  By moving the kitchen, we will gain a dining area.  We will knock down some walls, replace all the windows, replace the siding and refinish all the wood floors.

Right now, our house looks like this from the front.


I want our color scheme to look more like the below when we replace the siding.  I love the dark charcoal siding, with white framing.  Then we will have a pop of color from our door (green?  blue?).  Ignore the shingles.  We will do horizontal siding.  We will have wider, more gradual steps than what was there previously.  A new handrail.  New columns. And Ike, the concrete guy, is evening up our porch, so that water doesn’t hang out there when it rains.


Currently, Ike, the concrete guy, is working to form the foundation for our new kitchen.  Our back yard looks like this.


That, my friends, in our new master closet, kitchen, mudroom, and bonus room.  It doesn’t look like much, but this is the sign of PROGRESS.

House update and Stitch Fix

First, wow.  I didn’t know my post about parenthood/pregnancy/fertility would generate so much love.  I am grateful and humbled by the kindness each responder showed to me.  The day I posted, I heard from so many people–on Facebook, texts, emails, comments on the blog.  At the end of the day I fell in bed, exhausted by all the goodness.  Thank you for your offering of words and love.  For anyone who thinks the world is all bad, this day showed me how wrong they are.  There is so much good in this world and you showed it to me generously.  I am grateful.

Second, a house update: We received word that we are approved for a permit and that it is now “available for purchase.”  Fantastic.  So we pay for an application, we pay for various steps along the way, and then we pay when it is ready.  Then we try to close the permit, we have the pleasure of paying for an inspection.  Name of the game: payment.  Fun. Times.  We have a concrete bid, which is good.  We were worried nobody would want to bid on our little project because the Austin building market is nuts right now.  Everyone is busy and not in need of extra work.  Timing is everything and while we bought our house at the right time, we are renovating at the wrong time.  Oh well.  No demo yet.  We need a few more bids first.  Stay tuned.

In other news, I am now into mail order shopping, with a stylist.  Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  Megan got her fix last week and she loves it all!  I got mine a few days ago and kept 2 of the 5 things.

Here’s the concept.  You fill out a fashion questionnaire in which you answer questions like, “how much of the items in this picture do you like?”  “How often do you dress for work?  date night?”  “What body part do you like to flaunt?”  “What colors do you love and hate?”  You can connect the stylist to your fashion Pinterest board even, except I don’t have one.  It is fairly thorough.  You give them your weight, height, sizes, etc.  (THERE IS NO POINT IN LYING!)  And then, a stylist picks out 5 items for you.  Megan got all tops.  I asked for work clothes.  You can customize it.  Each item is $50 or $60.  You can keep it all and get a 25% discount, choose a few things, or send it all back.  If you send it all back, you have to pay a $20 styling fee that is otherwise credited towards the things you buy.

You can subscribe monthly or occasionally.  It seems perfect for people who don’t really like or have time for shopping.

So I got my box with this nice note.


It also came with these flash card things for how to style the items they sent.


They sent me a pair of earrings, a sleeveless shirt, 3/4 length-sleeve red shirt, a cardigan and a dress.  I am keeping the red shirt and the dress.  The other stuff is a little boring.


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I scheduled another “fix” for April.  Oh, no.  This is a little addicting.  I will tell you how that one goes.

I can get free clothes if I refer you.  Tons of people are doing this, so don’t feel like you have to use my referral.  But if you would like to, click here.