It has been a little over a year since we closed on our house.  I can still remember in the midst of all the loan wrangling and frenzied phone calls and camping out at the Ramada Inn, driving through our neighborhood at dusk, sprinklers going, streetlights just coming on, the clean wide streets, the peacefulness, and squeezing my hands into fists and thinking “please let us get this house. Just please let us get this house.”

Sometimes I think I lose sight of all we have accomplished this year.  There’s so much left on the to do list and funds are lacking.  And it’s easy to feel like a failure while you’re moving from a place where you announce “we will ALWAYS buy each other presents!” to a place where you just don’t have the money for a Father’s Day present and all the announcements in the world won’t change that.  Happy Father’s Day Honey! I got you this tub of old spackle!

Anyway, I thought maybe I should tally up everything we’ve done in just this one year so maybe I would feel better about the fact that our floors are still awful and there’s no new front door in sight, because this transition from spoiled brat world to real world does get old sometimes and I could use some motivation to keep on keepin’ on, as they say.


1. bought and installed dishwasher

2. bought and installed refrigerator (more complicated than it sounds. Sawing was involved.)

3. painted dining room, half of living room, and hallway.

4. Bought new furniture, including: sideboard, couch pillows, side chair, rocking chair, dresser, dining room chairs, rug for Eli’s room,new sheets, bathroom rack, hall table, laundry room shelves, bathroom shelves, living room bookshelves, filing cabinet, and desk.

5. bought and repainted blanket chest

6. painted china cabinet

7. moved water heater out of kitchen, replaced with tankless on the back of the house

8. roofed garage

9. replaced gate to the backyard

10.  pulled out old juniper and roses, planted peonies, dahlias, lilies, nasturtiums, mandarin and orange trees, daffodils, tulips, tomatoes, beans, carrots, cucumbers, poppies, zinnias, mint, basil, and half a truckload worth of succulents.

11.  had asian pear tree cut down, graded, filled, graveled and edged side yard.

12.  Began restoring fire place.

13. Added outlets to the kitchen.

14. Buried live wire in trench in backyard.

15. had two pipes replaced and gross water sucked out from under the house.

16. Bought stacking washer and dryer

17. Pulled old rebar stakes out of the backyard.

18. bought new lawnmower and electric weed whipper

19. Added window boxes, hose reel, doormat, and hanging baskets to the front of the house.

20. Repainted the trim on the front of the house.

21. Installed gutters and rain chains.

22. Installed chandelier in dining room.

23. Replaced weird orange lamp.

24.  Started scraping hall way paint.

25. Put up living room and bedroom curtains.

26. Purchased and assembled stainless kitchen rack and pot rack.

27. Spackled holes in the hallway.

28. Installed rolling racks and bag holders in kitchen cabinets.

Mr. E, what am I forgetting?

Here’s What’s Left To Do:

1. sell kidney, buy leather sleeper for living room.

2. paint living room, E’s room, our bedroom, back hallway.

3. install shelves, hooks, etc in the back hallway, and figure out how to make the trash can less annoying.

4. Paint kitchen cabinets white and add hardware, move them up, add crown molding, install subway tile, add shelf, add pot rack from the ceiling, new lighting, new counters, new floor.

5. Restore original hardwoods.

6. Buy one more gray pillow for the dining room.

7. Mirrors and artwork for the living room and our bedroom.

8. Figure out the unworkable vanity situation in the bathroom.

9. Ebay a shag rug for the living room.

10. Put the windows back into the living room, cover with sheers, redo the window treatment on the front window.

11.  Crown molding?

12. Deck

13. Tile the front steps.

14. Flat screen tv.

15. replace bathroom door.

16. figure out some kind of closet/shoe organization

17. buy a new dresser and a trundle bed for Eli, and a new bed for us, and construct a dog/future babies trundle system.

18. Paint my desk legs red.

19. Finish the fireplace.

20.  Hang black and whites, either in the hallway or dining room.

21. Finish scraping and painting the front porch trim.

22. Hang new light fixture in entryway.

23. Repaint entry way

24. Replace front door and screen.

25. Put french door on the back door.

26. Find something to hold dog food.

27. Build a potting bench.

28. Adirondacks and umbrella for backyard.

29. New backyard furniture.

30. Bauer orb for side yard.

31. Trellises with climbing plants to cover side of garage.

32. Plant roses along side of house in fall.

33.  Make an ottoman

34. Put the shutters back on the house.

35. Redo the carport and add shelving.

36. Train the grape vine to cover the carport.

37. Add stainless steel bulletin boards to the kitchen.

38. replace stove with gas.

39. get new flatware from France

40. buy a new laundry basket

41.  replace all the switchplates

42.  buy new wine glasses, a shop vac, a brown runner, and a glass cloche

43.  paint garage trim black

44.  build Eli a sand box

And that’s it! 6 items less than the last time I made this list! We can do it!


6 Responses

  1. That’s an insane amount of stuff. BE PROUD, FRIEND. Also, gifts can fool us. We think we have to have something new and shiny wrapped in a bow to be loved but I was given a nap for mother’s day and it’s all I wanted in the world. Or cook for him. Or make his favorite drink.

    Also, why are doors so expensive, yo?

  2. I kind of want to go lay down just reading that. Wow, you guys are amazing.

  3. Yeah, this stresses me out beyond belief. I wonder if I could say we got HALF that much done if I hadn’t gone and made that pesky human. I DOUBT it.

    Question: how hard was it to install the sliding racks in cabinets? This is a priority for us.

  4. I’m thinking that everyone who is coming to visit in September should help you check one of those to-do’s off your list! 🙂

  5. wow – i’m overwhelmed just reading that list of things you’ve accomplished this year! considering i can hardly make myself fold the laundry (for only one person, mind you), i’m constantly in awe of anyone that can actually cross things off their to-do lists.

    you definitely deserve about a zillion gold stars for all that work 🙂

  6. Wow. What a year! We’re just now starting to look for a house and I had to stop reading before I got too stressed out! How exciting for you guys – how wonderful it will be once you’ve totally made it your own! Congratulations!

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