A One-Year Love Story: In Which I Celebrate Our Housiversary

I’m gonna sound like an overly proud parent in this post, so if that isn’t your thing, go read some other blog. :)

One year ago today, we signed papers until our hands cramped, handed over a lotta money in one tiny slip of paper, and began zooming around with a trailer carting our possessions to and fro.

It was very snowy and the house was very beige…both inside and out.


The house was essentially a blank slate, which was exactly what we wanted. The first day we had possession of the house, we began ripping out carpet…and we haven’t stopped ripping things out since.

Updating the floors right away changed the whole feel of the first floor completely. And it was the perfect time to do that sort of project, since we really had no furniture to speak of.


In the picture above, you can see one of the things that bothered me the most when we moved it…it’s a small thing, but I think it really dated the house–those black outlets and switches! The entire first floor had them (…and one bathroom on the second floor still has them). I slowly switched the main floor’s out during the first few weeks in the house and we took the opportunity to upgrade the flip switches for Decora switches. It feels much more fresh and updated.

We also painted the entire main floor walls right away, before we began adding in furniture. Paint costs less than furniture, so it was good for both our wallets and our souls. ;) The newly painted sunroom (from brown to a light Palladian Blue) was the biggest paint change we made.


Then we turned our attention toward the kitchen. If I had to choose a favorite update we’ve made to the house thus far, it would be this.

Cabinet trim 1

Building the cabinets up to the ceiling (and loosing the unibrow light!) brought the house from 1993 into the 21st century. We think the cabinets are original to the house (all our bathroom vanities match these cabinets), but this project definitely gave them some new life. You can also see in these pictures that slowly been replacing light fixtures…we’ve replaced every fixture on the main floor (6? 7?) except for 3 recessed lights and a ceiling fan.

While we bustled around working indoors, our outdoor space slowly morphed from winter into spring and we realized just HOW lucky we actually were. (Have I mentioned before that I’m never moving? Because I’M NOT. Wild horses couldn’t drag me away. <–no idea what that phrase means but it seemed appropriate.)

We’re on an acre of land that abuts a little lake, and it’s a lot to take care of, but it is SO worth it. (Plus we have a dock. We are dock people now! I never saw that one coming). Want to come over and drink coffee and feed the turtles with me on our dock?


As soon as the weather was warm enough, we began puttering about outdoors. “Puttering” is now my favorite thing…just give me a day to putter and I’m a happy camper. It’s cheaper than therapy. We hung string lights over the deck, made a $50 pit o’ fire,  built garden boxes, and mowed the lawn 1 gazillion times. No blog post yet on mowing the lawn because I can’t think of a good way to spin it…yet. I’m still brainstorming that one. ;)

Even foggy days are magical out here. Ignore the jungle that was our shoreline and bask in the magic.


We also removed the front porch railing, built out craftsman-style columns, and painted the shutters, trim, and garage door (not all pictured below). And mowed the lawn some more.


Surprisingly (at least to us), we actually use and enjoy the basketball hoop you can see in the picture above! It took us a few months to decide to keep it, but once we actually got ourselves a basketball there was no turning back. Who are we?!

Once fall/winter came around, we once again turned our attentions indoors and tore into our main-floor half-bath. This is the most extensive room renovation we’ve done so far.

Half bath before and after!

But while we were working on the half-bath, we decided to do something about the adjoining mudroom as well and we added this built-in. These two rooms (mudroom and half-bath) are now: done. Which is a weird feeling amidst the past year’s organized chaos.


Our latest project has been our stairway railing–we’re hoping to finish that any day now.


We’ve barely touched the 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, and we’ve done next to nothing in the basement. So it should come as no surprise that we’ve got big plans for year 2. We’re hoping to add a patio outside, rework the upstairs floorplan (knocking down walls?), retile/rebuild the fireplace, build a downstairs laundry room, and install a kitchenette/wall of cabinets in the basement. And beyond year 2, who knows? I want an outdoor kitchen, a basement bathroom, a basement bedroom/craft/workroom, a new kitchen, new siding/rooflines, a new deck, and oh yes, a billion dollars. Regular stuff.

A year ago I had only used a table saw once (you read that right: one time!), and now I am the proud owner and operator of not only a table saw, but a miter saw, jig saw, circular saw, coping saw, hand saw, drywall saw, tile saw, and more. But that’s a post for a different day. :)

Beyond the improvements we’ve made, the skills we’ve learned, and the wisdom we’ve gleaned, what is my favorite thing about the house? Making memories here with Kenny. We’ve laughed, cried, fought, and done so much more this past year within these walls, and we’ll continue to build our lives here until God moves us elsewhere.

I’m so thankful.



  • gorgeous! Especially love the storage by the entrance. That’s what this mama’s dreams are made of- enough space for every member of the fam to hang backpacks and coats, store mittens and hats, and even to put shoes and boots out of the way! :)

  • Love to see you loving the house! Boy do I miss it!! Saturday was the anniversary of the day I cried until I reached the Indiana border!!! And I’ll come and sit on the dock and feed my turtles any day!!!! Glad you didn’t take down the basketball hoop. I was a little taken back when you first mentioned that, as I thought kids may like to play with it someday! Enjoy! Happy Houseversary!

  • Your house is incredible and you are making it so much better! Good thing you waited for the perfect one. I can’t wait to see what you continue to do, and you’ve inspired us to take bolder steps to turn our traditional home into the Craftsman style house we want! Unfortunately, you posted about your stair makeover about a week too late (jeez!) as we are just a few steps ahead of you on our stair redo. I wish we had waited and copied yours!


  • I love what you guys have done with your house! And I thought you guys were always so crafty and DIY-y (that’s not a word, sorry) but crazy to read that you had only used a table saw once a year ago. It gives me hope! BTW I love love love your blog and read back into way many archives (I feel like such a stalker) and so excited to see what else you do with your house. :)

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