I can't believe that this week, we will have been in our home for one year.
Not only is it much colder outside than it was this time last year, but the house looks 100% different than the day we got to call it ours.

In the past year, my appreciation for home renovations, painters, construction workers, installers and frankly anyone who knows how to properly use a table saw has skyrocketed. Through the roof. I'm thankful that everyone still has all fingers and toes, although all of the nails may be in question.

I look back and think, "what on earth were we thinking." But, then I look around at our beautiful home and I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness and pride that we did it. It has been quite the journey that felt much longer that it has actually been. We learned quickly that when we put our mind to something, get out the way..
(Maybe I should change that to when I...)

I have never sat down and constructed a complete list of what we have done, so it feels appopriate to make it on the one year anniversary. I had to walk through the entire house and think about what we had done- it seems like a big blur :) I happen to have a very selective memory, so I don't tend to remember how just how stressful or even fun it was, I just look at the end result and think it was worth it. Maybe that's why we have ambitious goals for year 2! Forced ignorance is still bliss people.

Year One "We Did It!" List

  • Paint: Every room, every closet, every ceiling 
  • Installed wood flooring (entryway, kitchen, dining room, living room)
  • Installed new carpet (bedrooms, hallway & stairs)
  • Retiled half bath and laundry room floors
  • Painted kitchen cabinets 
  • Installed new hardware 
  • Built and installed a kitchen island
  • Replaced countertops
  • Installed kitchen backsplash
  • Resurfaced entire fireplace
  • Replaced light fixtures in kitchen, living room, hallways, all bathrooms and entryway
  • Installed recessed lighting in dining room nook
  • Renovated the laundry room closet turned entryway nook
  • Painted exterior
  • Tore out all existing plantbeds 
  • Planted 60+ new plants & trees
  • Installed new exterior lighting and security system  
  • Installed a gas line in basement for kitchen appliances
  • Installed new kitchen appliances  

Year Two To-Do List

  • Clean out, organize and FINISH the basement!
  • Complete 1/2 bath: install new vanity and mirror
  • Redo our master bathroom
  • Re-paint office and construct built-ins
  • Paint all baseboards
  • Paint sunroom   

I think the reason I don't remember all of the stress, was because in the midst of being covered in dust and redoing trim five times- memories were formed. Because most of all, I look at that list and it draws forward all of these memories that I simply treasure.
Eating pizza on the subfloor surrounded by family, having friends visit in scrubs just to help paint a bedroom, late nights of pulling up nails from the old carpet, singing random oldies with my dad while convincing him I could balance on a ladder, installing the baseboards with my sister, celebrating Thanksgiving sitting on the recently-moved, unpacked boxes while we watched football from rabbit-ears we purchased at the only store in town open, attempting to install light fixtures with my sister-in-law, Kyle and I finishing our cabinets, hosting Christmas Eve with our families, the many trips to Lowe's where we became friends with the workers, growing our first garden, making friends with our neighbors, the first fire we built in our fireplace and the first cookout on our patio. The time we were rolling on the floor laughing because nothing seemed to be going right, and we were too tired to care anymore.
If this house has taught us (or reiterated) anything, it's that a house is simply that- wood, cement, drywall, and brick. A simple structure that is only made complete by the people within it. Those people, those relationships, the conversations it fosters and the warmth it gives, that's the list that matters.


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