Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Exactly one year ago, we were sitting at Waffle House nervously pushing eggs and grits around our plates listening to the guy two tables over brag about what a chauvinist male he is to his friend. We were so nervous about the decision we were making that day. We started out in our totally packed apartment, and quickly realized that we couldn't handle sitting there staring at the now blank walls of our tiny duplex. So we hung out at Waffle House, and then went to the bank to get the biggest certified check we'd ever written. Then we headed to the lawyer to wait for our mortgage broker to finally get her act together and send over the papers, and we signed until our hands cramped and our eyes glossed over.

We bought a house.

That night, as we tried to fall asleep on an air mattress on the floor of our new master bedroom, we just couldn't stop looking at each other and smiling. Even when the WHOOSH of water from our in-laws brushing their teeth upstairs rocketed by our heads. Even though our stove was beeping ever 20 seconds from the minute we walked in the door. Even though the refrigerator the sellers graciously offered to us was approximately 55 inside. Even though the previous owners' giant furniture was covering up some pretty gnarly carpet stains.

It was ours. And we were so happy.

Of course, reality hit us a few months later. Owning a house is expensive. Owning a house is a lot of work. Owning a house can really, really suck.

But oh, owning a house is so rewarding. This place is mine, in a way an apartment never was. It's more than paint and furnishings. That ugly tile floor? Mine. Giant crack in the driveway? Mine. Hawthorne bushes in the front flowerbeds? Mine. A carport big enough for TWO cars to park in it?!? Mine.

When we put the offer in on our house, we knew it wasn't perfect. It's not our dream house. It's a little farther from my office than I'd like. I's prefer if the upstairs bathroom had a shower. I'd prefer a bigger kitchen and wood floors instead of tile.

But it's mine. And in the past 365 days, I have fallen completely in love. I love my house. I know Brett feels the same way. And although we can't wait until we're "done," I know there's a huge part of us that will really miss the time spent working on this place.

Sometimes it seems like we're moving so slowly on the house. I feel like I'm not doing nearly enough, or the budget's just not there, or I've made a mistake, but when I look back at the transformation of our home in the last 12 months, I'm pretty freaking happy.

We started out with the pukey yellow bathroom upstairs. I think we lasted less than a month before we painted it green on a whim.

From here:

To here:

And then after about six months of being assaulted by the GREEN, to here:

Next came our bedroom. My birthday present was new bedroom furniture and bedding, and from my parents I got a gift card to repaint the room (and my mom's help in stenciling the pattern near the ceiling).

From here (with the seller's stuff):

To here:

Then, we decided to take on our leaky, hot sunroom:

And turn it into a bright, breezy screened in porch:

When our oven broke in November, we decided to go ahead and redo the kitchen for Christmas, taking it from this:

To this:

plates 005

Then, thanks to some Christmas gift cards, we painted the guest bedroom:



guest room 023

And the guest room (plus my first sewing project!):




And then we rounded it all off with a quick update for our bathroom, from this:

To this:

When I look back at all that we've done this year, I'm so proud. I really think buying this house was one of the best decisions we've made, and I'm so happy with how much we've grown to love it. I can't wait to see what another year brings us!