Fixer-Upper-Roller-Coaster (Part 1)

posted in: home, prose | 1

(In which I summarize two months of crazy into a long list of emotional thoughts.)

There are actually a lot of houses in our price range!

There are a lot of houses in our price range that should be torn down. Or used to house cats (again, but this time just cats).

Hey, Ryan, look at this one! Look at that attic! It could be my office!

I bet there’s something terribly wrong with it. I bet it reeks of stale smoke like that one house we looked at and has a mold infestation in the basement like that other house that we actually put a low-ball offer on.

Wow, this one has character! This is the best one we’ve looked at! This is our dream house! And it doesn’t stink! It just has a bit of old church aroma! Let’s make an offer!



We just made an offer on a house. That’s kinda scary.

Let me start researching plaster repair and deciding how I want to do the kitchen!

They rejected our offer. Our realtor is out of town. Their realtor is out of town. The world is coming to an end, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Everyone’s back in town! They accepted our second offer and they’re going to pay for closing costs! This is actually happening!

Wow. Look at this list of extra little problems that the inspector pointed out. Those kind of add up to a lot of work.


It’s a good thing we’re handy! And that we love to do projects together!

What? The guy who did our mortgage pre-approval was an idiot and we can’t actually get a mortgage?

Oh, but this other bank can help us!

No it can’t.

Oh, but this other bank can help us!

No it can’t. We can’t get the house. We can’t get any house. The end.

Hey, we finally got the correct papers to correctly verify the correct information and we can get a mortgage! This is really happening!

our new old dutch colonial

This is really happening. Like, no backing out now.


You know, apartment life is really easy. I’m going to miss this.

But you know, apartment life is really boring! And confining! Let’s get packing! I love packing! It’s always part of a big adventure! Time for change and growth!

We have so much crap. So much crap. How did we get all this crap? We’re always so busy packing and moving that we don’t even have time to use half this crap. I hate packing.

Look at me go! I got all the books packed! This might be the last time they are packed for a really long time! And then they are going to be on some beautiful shelves that Ryan is going to build special for our beautiful house!

I probably should have sorted out some books to get rid of while I packed them.

Closing day is coming soon!

Closing day is coming way too soon.

It’s closing day!

Hmm. That seemed anti-climactic. I don’t even feel like a homeowner. I feel like we just bought a really expensive project. Maybe because that’s what we did.

Let’s rip off some paneling!

ripping off paneling

Oh my goodness. What is wrong with this wall? This is even worse than we expected.

Oh, ha! We just happened to rip off the piece of paneling that just happened to cover the absolute worst section of the wall! It’s all patchy because they re-ran the plumbing back in ’97, which is a good thing! It’s not all going to be that bad!

But it’s not like the rest of it is very good or anything.

I love these high ceilings! Now that we’ve got that false ceiling out, this room feels so much bigger!

Is that wallpaper on the ceiling?

I found a video on youtube that shows how to get wallpaper off easily!

That video wasn’t talking about 112-year-old wallpaper.

It’s off! We’re done!

With that step.

Mudding the closets– this should be fun! I’ve always liked to play with mud!

Skim coating a wall is kind of like frosting a cake. Except that you don’t get to give up and eat it.

I wonder why they put a false ceiling in this room– the ceiling is basically perfect!

taking off false ceiling

Oh just kidding.

We’re getting a lot done! We have two rooms de-paneled, four false ceilings off, the tile out of the basement and the wallpaper out of three closets and off of one ceiling! Look at us go! We’re going to have two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs done by the time we need to move in! And it’s just going to go faster once we move in because then we won’t be spending an hour every day getting ready and going back and forth! And we’re going to get so much done this coming week when Ryan takes his paid vacation!

It is absolutely impossible for Ryan to take his paid vacation when other employees keep just not showing up.

We’re going to get stuff done anyway because we are the champions my friend!

We really need to make sure the stove is working before we move in. And the water heater doesn’t really seem to be getting the water hot. Also, let’s get all the mudding tools out of the bathtub before we need to use it. And when is your friend going to have time for you to pick up that washer and dryer he’s going to sell you?

Moving day soon! I am so ready to be done with this going back and forth crap!

We’re not going to get two rooms on the main floor and two rooms upstairs done.

But we’re going to get two bedrooms done!

We’re just going to get one bedroom done.

One bedroom done will be great! It’s going to look so good!

The hard part about painting is all the prep work. I forgot about the prep work. Didn’t we already clean around these windows? Why are they so dirty? And it looks like the last paint job was done by a drunken monkey.

It’s so cool that these windows have muttons! I think that’s what they’re called. Why would they be called that? I don’t know! But they are pretty!

It is hard to paint muttons.So. Many. Lines. I still don’t know why they are called muttons.

Ooh, pretty blue!

blue painted paneling, white trim, and muntins

What? It’s midnight? I thought it was like, eight thirty or something. What movie should the toddler watch next? Cars again? Yeah, that’s fine.

Almost done! Teamwork!

Ugh. It dripped again. Someday someone’s going to say, “This looks like it was painted by a drunken monkey.” So tired. Don’t care.

It’s move day! Exciting things are happening! I’m making extra coffee!

That extra coffee is not cutting it. And the trailer that a friend was going to lend you is nowhere to be seen.

Donuts! You picked up donuts and a u-haul trailer! I’m going to make more coffee!

It’s noon already.

I’m so glad people can help!

Where does that go? Um, just stick it somewhere. Just stick it in the attic. Just stick everything in the attic and we’ll deal with it later.

More people to help!

So much stuff. All these people are going to think we are hoarders.

We’re not hoarders, we are people who are active in many creative pursuits! We are abundantly blessed! We have books to share! We have stuff for our kid to play with! We have a deep freezer full of food!

Seriously, more empty bottles? When are you even going to have time to homebrew?

I told you that both beds would fit in this one room! Ta-da! We’re going to sleep tonight!

But I’m not sure how we are going to cook breakfast.

There is a lot of light coming in that curtainless window– I must be waking up in… OUR house!


One Response

  1. love this! I am so jealous of your fixer-upper old house! I always wanted to do this, but alas- the house we wanted to redo didn’t work out, so I only got a 75 year old house. Maybe you’ll be kind and let me come scrape wallpaper and patch plaster, and refinish wood floors with you once in a while so I can get my “fix” of refurbishing! Lol! I LOVE old house restoration- it’s my passion! Glad to see I’m not the only one. Though I’m probably not as brave as you- to attempt it with a small child in tow!