Category Archives: Our First Home

Our First Anniversary

Our first anniversary was back on 8-10-13, but I realized I never shared it with you.  We didn’t do anything too extravagant, but as a part of my gift to Noel (and let’s be honest, myself), I scheduled us an anniversary shoot.  I thought I was being all clever seeing as the traditional gift for your first anniversary is paper, and you know, photographs = paper.  Yeahhhh. Anyways, when the photographer asked us where we wanted to take our pictures, at first I wasn’t sure.  But the more I thought about it, it seemed perfect to take them in our house.  We only had about a month left in our townhouse, so I wanted to capture us in our first home, seeing as that house was such an integral part of our first year of marriage.

So I’ll get right to it and show you the goods.

Kirsten + Noel-7N+K House 1 Kirsten + Noel-1 Kirsten + Noel-3 N+K Dining RoomKirsten + Noel-15 Kirsten + Noel-18N+K 2Kirsten + Noel-26N+K RoxyKirsten + Noel-65N+K Roxy2Kirsten + Noel-90

We absolutely love how they turned out…and I find myself going through them when I get homesick for a clean, comfortable finished home.  Soon enough this house will get there, but until then, I’ll just live vicariously through these photos.

All photos courtesy of Hello Love Photography 

that one time we sold our house…

As some of you may know, we officially moved out of our house.  We closed on Thursday, August 29th, and the week leading up to it was an absolute whirlwind.  Despite starting to pack several weeks in advance, that last week was chaos.  We packed and cleaned and packed and cleaned some more, and finished like an hour before the final walk-through.  By the end, we were both too exhausted to be either excited or sad about leaving.  Roxy, on the other hand, was a different story (warning – if you don’t like dogs, or posts about dogs, you’ve been warned).

The night before we moved, we moved our mattress out.  She did NOT like that.  Her absolute favorite hiding spot was underneath our bed, so when we moved the mattress, she crawled under the bed, looked up at us through the wood slats, and was not pleased that we could see her.  

She also loves being on our bed – sometimes I would be downstairs, would notice it was a little too quiet, so I’d go look for Roxy.  More often than not, she’d be snuggled in our bed napping.  Well, after the mattress was out, I was trying to clean up the rest of our room, so I threw the blankets on the bed frame until I was ready to pack them.  I went downstairs, came back up, and this was happening:

“Puh-puh-puh-please ma…not my blankets too.”
She refused to move from the blankets to let me pack them, and when I finally got her off and started folding the blankets, she’d lie on every folded pile, trying to prevent me from putting them in the vacuum bag. 
“Maybe if I lay on it, you won’t be able to pack it.”

By the end, she gave up and let us pack, but made sure we didn’t forget her stuff (this is my absolute favorite picture, I died laughing when I saw it).

 “Fiiine, if you must pack everything, don’t forget my favorite bone!”

The next morning was another story.  We had moved just about everything out the night before, so we spent the entire morning cleaning.  All of our furniture was still there (since we sold our unit furnished), but this is where Roxy spent the entire morning, and refused to come out.  Normally, she likes her kennel, but not usually that much.  In reality, it was a blessing she stayed in there, because then she wasn’t walking through our freshly mopped floors, or trying to eat the dust pile we’d sweep up like she normally does.  It just made me so sad to see her so mopey.

As I said earlier, we finished all of our cleaning about an hour before the final walk through.  We snapped one last picture of the three of us, and I just can’t get over how perfectly it captured all of our emotions from that morning.  Me + Noel: tired, delirious, exhausted, and so excited to be done and moving out.  Roxy: depressed.

The next two hours before closing felt like two of the most nerve wracking hours of our life.   We were so anxious they’d see something they didn’t like during the final walk-through (in reality, nothing at all had changed since they last saw the property, but after having four other offers fall through, you tend to get nervous).  I actually met their realtor at our house right before the walk-through, and just as I was walking down the stairs to the garage, the buyer came in and I heard her excitedly shriek “aaah! I can’t believe this is going to be my house in two hours!” so that helped a bit with the nerves, but we were still all wound up.  We dropped Roxy off at puppy daycare to play with other dogs while we closed (which made her perk up right away and washed away any sign of the depressed doggy), and then, we waited. 
When it came time to actually close, the process was (dare I say), actually a lot of fun.  Everyone was super upbeat, and the buyer was still just as excited about the home.  We signed our name about 382 times, ate some of the world’s most delicious cookies (no joke), handed over the keys, and were on our merry way.  We were homeless, but we were happy.

As for now, we’re still homeless, even though we were supposed to close on our new house September 6th.  So if you pop back in on Friday, you’ll get to hear about all the fun we’ve been having in the mean time. 

guest room sneak peek

You guys.  We finished our house.  I’m basically obsessed with it.  But before I get too carried away, let’s rewind a moment, shall we?

We’ve known for quite some time we wanted to try to sell our house this summer.  Because of that, a good majority of the updates we have been doing were to a) improve the resale value, and b) help the house show better.  Well, we were just about to put our house on the market, but we still hadn’t painted the guest room or the hallway/staircase upstairs.  At the time, I was getting so burnt out with house projects, that I kind of just decided we weren’t going to paint those two areas and just leave them white.

However, the more time that passed, the more I was less and less ok with leaving them white.  Had they just been white, it would have been no problem.  But there were two major issues with these white walls.  First, when the house was built, I don’t think they ever actually painted the walls.  I’m 99% sure that all that was on the walls was primer.  Second, there were marks all over the white walls from us and roommates moving furniture in & out.  So, around 10pm one night, I started painting.

Now here’s the thing about me & painting; we have a love hate relationship.  I love it because it costs about $40 for a gallon and it completely transforms your room, and it’s one of those projects where you see instant progress.  Basically, it’s a cheap & quick update.  However, even though paint itself costs around $40, somehow I always end up spending $100 every time I paint.  So I’m determined to make that stop.  Part of it’s my own fault because I HATE cleaning out roller brushes, so sometimes I’m lazy and throw them away when I’m done.  However, what really adds up is all the tape.  
For me, the blue painters tape never works.  I’ll spend a long time taping and making sure everything is perfect, and then somehow, paint always manages to sneak underneath.  I know the trick is to paint over the tape in the same color as your ceiling or other wall, but that’s just annoying & super time consuming.  The only tape I’ve ever had any luck with is frog tape, and let’s be real, that stuff is expensive.  So in my quest to only pay $40 to paint from now on, I’ve decided to teach myself to cut in without using tape.  I figure I’ll be painting enough in my life that it would be a good skill to have since it will save oodles of time & money.  

Well, after cutting in around all the doors and corners in our hallway (there are 6 doors I had to cut in around, 6 inside corners, plus all the trim and ceiling) I got pretty good at it.  By the time I made it to the guest room, I was going waaaay faster (and feeling awesome for not wasting money on tape).  The whole cutting in process did take a long time (primarily because I went slow at first so I didn’t get paint on everything), but it was so worth it in the end.  And since I’m not going to spend an entire post talking about painting and then just show you a picture of the corners, here’s a peek at our finished guest room.  

Now that the guest room is done, it’s basically my new favorite room in the house.  It used to be the room where we stashed all of the junk we didn’t know what to do with.  However, after some major purging, I was able to clear everything out, and find a home for everything we wanted to keep, so now the room is clutter free and feeling so fresh with its new paint job.  
Have you guys done any painting of you own recently?
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