The progression of the home renovation project

I never thought I’d be grown up enough to own one house… much less two.

Mr. Right and I currently own two houses – we had a “his” and “hers” before we got married, then combined into “ours” and after letting his old roommates rent “his” after we got married, we’re now ready to have just one. ONE.

But before we can sell the house, we needed to give it a small facelift. He bought it as a foreclosure and did some major upgrading to it about two years ago. But after phase one, his plan was to start phase two… and then he fell in love with me. So phase two got put on hold.
So now we’re on week three of the house facelift, which has included some major landscaping, repairing a fence, grinding a stump, painting two bathrooms, completely refinishing the kitchen cabinets, refinishing two sets of bathroom cabinets and some built-in shelves, painting trim, door ways, and touching up paint. Oh, and cleaning, installing new lighting and bathroom mirrors, getting the carpets cleaned and stretched, replacing outlet covers…
The list is never-ending.
And here is how it has gone so far.
Day 1: This is going to be a breeze. I bet I finish painting these two bathrooms before lunch – they’re small, how hard can they be? I’m going to be just like one of those girls on HGTV. Maybe I could start a design blog like this couple. Or this girl.
Day 1… 10 hours later: Oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into? After 10 hours of hard labor, all I have to show for it is one painted bathroom and a half-finished one? Seriously?! Thankfully I got to work indoors, whereas my husband spent those 10 hours doing major landscaping tear-out, then came inside to install new bathroom lighting.
Day 3: My friend was so sweet to come help me paint the kitchen cabinets. See, this work stuff isn’t so bad! I bet it only takes two coats.
Day 5: I’m smart – I downloaded a book on tape to listen to while I paint those cabinets. By the time I finish Water for Elephants, I bet those cabinets look amazing! But… not sure two coats will be enough.
Day 7: Still working on those cabinets… and everything I own (including my clothes, my purse, my phone, my hair, my car, my dog) has white paint on it. And after the third coat… it still needs more.
Day 8: I have the best mother ever… she worked a whole day helping me with those kitchen cabinets. And yet we’re still not done… uh oh. Who knew it would take one coat of primer and THREE coats of paint?!
Day 11: My husband spends a whole day getting rid of junk left behind at the house, going to the dump, and doing various manly things around the house that involve copious amounts of sweat. For the record, he looks really cute in a tool belt.
Day 13: Well, I just finished that 14-hour audio book… and yet the cabinets are still there. I may not see a swimming pool until July at this rate. Mr. Right grinds a stump and tills some dirt… more manly things that I’m thankful he knows how to do, because I don’t. Anxiety has started to build as I enter my third weekend of painting.
Day 15: Kitchen cabinets are done! Now on to the 25 other projects on our list. Thankfully, my mom came back to prime bathroom cabinets, and my mother-in-law spent the whole day cleaning for us. My father-in-law helps us take down window screens so we can wash windows. My husband builds a fence. Oh, and the air conditioning goes out (just a minor break, praise Jesus), but $250 later, we’re back in business. After everyone leaves, I have a minor nervous breakdown about the 24 other projects still on my list. Somebody pass me some chocolate, or a Mexican wedding cookie (my current obsession).
Day 16 (Today): I can completely cross off one bathroom and one bedroom off my list. And the kitchen. And the living room. And I’m about to cross off bathroom #2. Things are progressing… maybe we will finish this after all. I download another audio book.
Tomorrow marks Day 17 of our extreme home makeover. For the first time since the morning of Day 1, I think I can see an end in sight. My hope is to be done next weekend. And after we sell, I can all but guarantee you that I will not (1) paint anything at my house this summer, (2) start a home renovation blog, (3) take my leisurely weekends for granted.
One more week.

My newest hobby

Last year I ran a half marathon. My goal was to finish without dying or puking, and somehow I managed to avoid both.  Just when I thought I was a weak and lazy whimp, I somehow trained to run 13 miles. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. Go me.
But that was sooo 2008. This year I need a new challenge, so I’ve chosen a different sport–one that I am equally as clueless about, but one that I think will take me far in life.
I’m learning to salsa.
Two friends and I are taking weekly salsa lessons at a local dance studio. Every Monday night you’ll find me in my strappy high heels, jeans, and a tank top (a la Dancing With the Stars), shaking my tushy to the reggae flavor of the month. It looks like I’ll soon be hanging out at the local salsa club on the weekends, dancing it up with my new-found friends. Maybe I’ll find myself a latin lover, learn a little Spanish, and and kiss the single life goodbye… all because of this new salsa class.
Nah, probably not. But it’s still excellent exercise and provides endless amounts of entertainment. And it’s the only workout I’ve found that I can do while wearing cute shoes.
In our first class, I learned the highly-choreographed sexy hair-comb move. Seriously, we practiced it for 15 minutes. I’m not sure if mine is sexy, or just awkward. I plan to practice it constantly over the next week… I’ll be doing the sexy hair-comb while stopped at stoplights, while standing in line at the grocery store, while checking my mail… that’s not weird, is it?
This highly-choreographed sexy hair-comb move might just be my ticket to stardom.


There’s a simple explanation for the dire lack of blogging activity over the past week… I am so consumed by work and school at the moment that I don’t have a single brain cell left to think of something interesting (or uninteresting, for that matter) to write about. 

Now don’t go feeling too sorry for me. Yes, I just pulled a 14-hour day today, and a 12-hour day yesterday, and several 12-hour days last week. In fact, if you add up the hours I will be either working or in school over the next six days, it adds up to around 75. Including Friday night and 14 hours on Saturday. Gulp. 
But in between school district advisory board meetings, organizing galas and putting on marathons, I’ve managed to fit in a few hot tub nights, a drive-in movie, neighborhood dinner parties, a little Bachelor watching with girlfriends, and a huge blow-out party at my sister’s new house. I may feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train (that’s what a full week without a decent night’s sleep will do for you), but as I drove home tonight at 9:00 after a long day of work, singing at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swift’s Love Story, I was quite happy.