Celebrating… House and Yard Progress!

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2015
Print pageEmail page

house and yard progress

No, we’re not completely finished with everything on our “summer to-do list” (and you know there are ALWAYS more projects when you live in a 125 year old home) but we have made REALLY good progress over the past 10-12 weeks!

Although I can’t share all the official “after” photos just yet (because we’re not quite finished) I CAN share a whole bunch of “progress” photos so we can celebrate how far we’ve come in only a few weeks! And yes, I will most definitely be sharing many more before/after photos in future posts throughout the summer and fall as we officially finish all the little details of each project.

Just a quick reminder… if you haven’t entered to win all the fabulous Celebration Week Giveaways, you might want to take a moment to do that (after you finish reading this post!)

celebration week (1)

I think the best way for me to “organize” this post and not totally overwhelm you is just to start making a LONG list of everything we’ve done in chronological order.

Then, at the end, I’ll list off the things we still need/want to do.

.

APRIL, 2015

Although we usually try to wait until closer to summer to tackle house and yard projects, we knew we wanted to get a jumpstart on them this year, in an effort to finish as many of them as we could before the baby arrives.

So the week after we got back from our Spring Break vacation, we had tree trimmers come to chop down 11 trees and grind out the stumps (something we definitely can’t do ourselves).

That same week, we had the roofers come to tear off and replace our new roof (yay for no more leaks in our bedroom and attic!)

After that, Dave got to work finishing the last stretch of privacy fence where the previous trees and stumps had been.

I worked frantically to prune shrubs, deadhead perennials, and clean up all the yard waste, leaves, pine needles, etc. that were in our existing planting beds. I also dug up, split, and transplanted some of our existing perennials to new places in our landscape.

I spent a fair amount of time deciding on (and ordering) our bathtub, shower fixtures and tile for the upstairs bathroom… and picking out paint colors for Simon’s new bedroom renovation. For the record, I did NOT go with a shade of white. I totally branched out to light grey 🙂

MAY 2015:

My dad helped us with some demolition in the upstairs bathroom and then we had a plumber come to install the tub. Then we could prepare the walls for the tile guy to come… and THEN our kids were finally able to enjoy having a “swimming pool bathtub” for the first time ever!

We tackled a MASSIVE amount of landscaping in May — and nearly finished all the landscaping projects on our list!!!

We had a 3-year plan for our landscaping and this was the third year, so aside from a few minor details (like a nice-looking vegetable garden) we are essentially finished with big landscaping “projects”! Of course, we still have lots of maintenance to do, but that always seems more manageable and enjoyable for me than one big project.

This year, the plan was to have several trees and shrubs planted along our driveway and East side of our house, along with hundreds of perennials (many of which I transplanted and split from other areas in our yard). The plants still need to grow and fill in quite a bit — but we’ve definitely come a LONG way in 3 years!

After the plants were in, Dave fixed and tweaked a bunch of our underground sprinklers (we needed to add a few lines and some extra valves to make sure all the new plants got water) and then Dave and I spread 35+ yards of mulch!

Nora “helped” me plant over 500 annuals and vegetables for our vegetable garden, and then I spread a bunch of fertilizers.

When it was too dark or rainy to work outside, I squeezed in a little time to finalize Simon’s one-year book — and then ordered it when a really good Blurb sale popped up (35% off!) I’m all caught up on our 2015 family photo book too — right through last weekend 🙂

JUNE, 2015:

We had our entire house, garage, and extra garage professionally power washed at the beginning of June. We do this every few years as our white siding gets SO dirty and professional equipment does a much better job than our “amateur power washer!”

We took a couple hours one afternoon to clean out our main garage and spray down the floor… and we totally cleaned out our extra garage, selling a bunch of things we no longer needed on Craigslist (including Dave’s car). We made over $3500 in one weekend!

After the outside of the house and garages were taken care of, we switched our attention back to the inside and officially moved everything out of our former “guest bedroom” in order to make a space for Simon’s new big boy bedroom. Then we had all our carpets cleaned (nothing better than professionally cleaned carpet!)

The day after the carpets were cleaned, I gave Simon’s new room a fresh coat of paint, repainted all the trim white, and started moving furniture in.

We have BIG plans for this room down the road, but we just don’t have the time or energy to start a huge messy construction project before this baby arrives. So for now, his new room is cute enough and good enough for him to play and sleep.

In another year or so, we’ll do a complete overhaul, tearing out much of the drywall, adding a 2nd closet to recoup some wasted attic space, a fun wall-treatments (to cover how uneven the walls currently are), a new light, new trim, and DEFINITELY new carpeting! !

I can’t wait to share all of our before and “current” photos with you soon — but I still have a few things to wrap up yet. Until then, you can see what it looks like currently — which is still A LOT better than it looked a week ago!

After we got the furniture into Simon’s new room, I turned my attention back to the upstairs bathroom while I waited for Simon’s bedding and curtains to arrive in the mail.

I hung hooks on the back of the door, finished painting that room and added a few new features. As I mentioned in this post, the upstairs bathroom is another room that we’re renovating “half way” right now. We have BIG plans for this space — including knocking out a wall, expanding it, adding a larger double vanity, and potentially separating the shower area from the sink/toilet area.  But we aren’t ready to do that just yet.

For now, a fresh coat of paint, new storage cabinets, some new towels and rugs, and a beautiful new bathtub are just going to have to do it.

Obviously, we still have several finishing touches to put on this bathroom “mini makeover” — like a mirror, a new light, and a counter over those cabinets… but I’m honestly REALLY happy with how great this room looks (considering how hideous it looked when we moved in).

At this point, I’m OK with waiting a couple more years to do the major renovation since this bathroom is completely sufficient for our needs. And yes, I’ll be doing a full before/”after” post sometime later this summer!

.

The most recent projects we tackled were cleaning out the gutters (Dave’s job) and majorly cleaning out both our cars, and washing all the carseats (my job).

We also rearranged how the car seats are situated in my car to make room for another infant car seat. Wow — was that A LOT more work than I planned… but at least it’s finished.

What’s Next On Our List:

My next priority is to finish Simon’s big boy room and the upstairs bathroom. Then I’ll FINALLY get the nursery ready for the new baby (with about 10 days to spare until my due date!) All the clothes and bedding are washed and ready to go — and I won’t be changing furniture or paint colors in the room. So basically, just giving it a good deep clean, filling the drawers with newborn diapers and clothes, and getting a few of our newborn toys and infant things out.

I’m also hoping to put a few more things in the freezer before the little guy arrives, but that’s not a major priority right now as I know I have plenty of simple go-to meals that I can quickly and easily whip up, even with a new baby. Plus, Dave is home… so he can always grill 🙂

Dave’s next projects are to finalize a couple more things with our underground sprinkling and then put in a new mailbox.

We’re also hoping to build another shed off our driveway. It will be larger than the shed we built last spring, but I’m hoping it will have a very rustic feel to it again. We’re thinking something like this — isn’t it cute 🙂

76b31fbc7501feb40b1eab207dc98bee

After that, we promise to take a break for a while! 

.

Yes, we have A LOT to celebrate in terms of the number of house and yard projects we’ve crossed off our list the past 10-12 weeks… all in an effort to hopefully NOT be as busy the next 10-12 weeks.

Dave and I have had many late nights and early mornings trying to squeeze in a few more projects while the kids are sleeping — and I’m happy to say, those extra hours have paid off.

We are both extremely happy with everything we’ve accomplished so far… we keep saying “I can’t believe how much we did in just a few weeks!”

I think we’re also excited to spend a little more time relaxing after the baby arrives — which is what we’re celebrating here on the blog tomorrow! Make sure you come back! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: HomeOur FarmhouseRenovationsLandscaping

 
 

Leave a comment

29 comments

  1. Barb T.

    06/21/2015

    “For the record, I did NOT go with a shade of white. I totally branched out to light grey :)” This made me laugh.
    By the way, just reading about your projects makes me feel tired.

    [Reply]

  2. Lindsey

    06/20/2015

    It’s so funny to me that we are on the exact same mission about a week apart! I am due July 7 & we have been frantically trying to get all of our projects done before baby #2 arrives…any day now (cross your fingers) Along with all of the yard work, planting, pruning, etc., we just had new vinyl replacement windows installed, got the clothesline in the ground, pressure washed the house, stocked the freezer & so much more. Good luck to you & your family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yay for new babies in the next couple of weeks! and YAY for lots of projects being crossed of our lists (I just finished painting the trim around the front door and sewing a couple pillows for Simon’s new room!)

    Congrats and best wishes to you and your growing family as well 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Crystal clearcutcrystal.blogspot.com

    06/18/2015

    Ok, now I’m motivated to get caught up on my 2015 digital scrapbook!!

    [Reply]

  4. Debbie

    06/18/2015

    You guys are amazing! So much done!

    [Reply]

  5. Emily

    06/18/2015

    Do you plan to hang a shower curtain in your new tub? Just curious how you would work with the slope of the ceiling.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    No, we don’t plan to do a shower curtain right now as no one is taking showers in that bathroom and it would just get in the way. Whenever the time comes, we’ll just hang it lower so it can go from wall to wall. It will still be plenty high for kids 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Gabriela

    06/18/2015

    Great job for all that work. I was wandering about the letters on the wall….where can I find some? Thanks. Many blessings!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Here is the company I got the letters from: http://andreadekker.com/pop-and-lollie-shop-credit/

    [Reply]

  7. Monica

    06/17/2015

    Hi Andrea,

    Congrats on all the wonderful updates!

    I have a question about the family books you make. I have never made a family digital album (aside from a book for my son’s 1st thru 6th birthday and our littlest’ 1st year, but it’s all about them) and I have tons of pictures all saved in the drive, organized by dates, however I find it so overwhelming to create a family photo book since I’d love to begin from when my first child was born. Mind you that for the first 6 years it was just us three and than the 2nd child came; that’s a huge gap to have family photo books when one of the children isn’t in it. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to email me direct as well 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Monica — so I guess I’m not exactly sure what your question is 🙂

    Are you just wondering how I make my books? If so, here’s the link that talks a lot more about my family photos books, what program I use, etc. (http://andreadekker.com/2013-digital-photo-albums/)
    And here’s another post that talks about how I organize all our digital photos (http://andreadekker.com/our-digital-photo-albums-how-i-manage-photos/)

    OH, and here’s one more link to all the posts about organizing photos. (http://andreadekker.com/category/family/photography/)

    Let me know if those help at all!

    [Reply]

  8. Linda

    06/17/2015

    Andrea:
    It looks wonderful! Love reading your blog!

    [Reply]

  9. Evie

    06/17/2015

    Hi, Andrea, and Happy Birthday! Congratulations on all you’re doing around the house and yard! Everything looks super. You know *somebody* has to ask you the name of your new light gray paint, right? LOL. Tell! I’ve still got a couple rooms to go here, and I’m collecting ideas. Also, I’ve been trying to imagine placements of three car seats and would love to know where you put them!

    Evie

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We have Nora and Simon in the back of my car and the infant car seat in the “middle” (there are 3 rows) if that makes sense. We might be changing it around later though — because I’m not sure it’s going to work so well for Simon to be in the back.

    As for the paint color, it’s Behr Silver Bullet 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Jen T

    06/17/2015

    I wish I enjoyed working outside and home improvement projects. I know what I like and what I don’t like, I just have NO desire to DO anything about it! Your house/yard look amazing (I like, lol).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jen — and honestly, don’t feel bad. You are not in the minority. I know SO many people who have amazing ideas but just don’t have the desire to act on them. It’s OK — you’re saving yourself lots of time and money 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. Barb

    06/17/2015

    Andrea,

    I’m amazed how much you and Dave have accomplished in such a short amount of time!!! Especially considering he just finished school a few weeks ago, you are caring for two young children while being 30+ weeks pregnant, and keeping up with your blog and VA work . You inspire and motivate me to do better in my own life. Thank you for that!

    I’d love to read a blog post about how you come up with ideas for your house and yard projects, and make the final decision without it taking (seemingly) forever.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Barb! As for the ideas part — we are CONSTANTLY hashing out idea or “what ifs” or “we shoulds”. Often times, after talking about it for a couple days or weeks, we come up with the “perfect” plan and can then go ahead and implement it.

    And honestly, sometimes our decisions DO take forever. We’ve been wanting to renovate our main floor bathroom off the kitchen for 4 years now but we keep coming up with new and better ideas — and just last week, we started talking about totally switching the bathroom with our laundry room so it would be in a completely different spot. We just keep talking until we hit our “ah ha” moment… and we don’t take action until then.

    Thankfully, most of our decisions don’t take us 4 years to make 🙂

    [Reply]

  12. Bobbye

    06/17/2015

    You and Dave are so inspiring!! Love reading about your organization skills and putting them to use in my life. I have followed you since before Norah was born. Enjoy reading about your sweet family. It amazes me at what yall can get done in such short time!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — thanks for being such a loyal and long-time follower. I really appreciate it!

    [Reply]

  13. Lindsey T

    06/17/2015

    You guys amaze me! I love all the energy you have and you’ll feel so much better that it’s all done when the babe arrives. Do you guys ever get burnt out? And if so, how do you deal with that?! We’re pushing through loads of projects right now too but I’m finding that I’m burnt out and wanting a major break, yet there’s so much to do!! Can’t wait to see more of the before and after photos 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well, yes and no to your burnout question. When we did our kitchen 2 summer ago, we totally burnt out — but we didn’t have the option of stopping because we HAD to finish it. Even my dad burnt out helping us I think — it was just such a huge project and took so long.

    That said, with other projects, we usually have a schedule and then we know we’ll get a break at a certain time. Like right now, we’ve been pushing hard for a couple of months, knowing all the while that once the baby comes, we’ll take a break and put everything we didn’t finish on hold for several weeks. So while I am getting tired, I just want to keep going for a few more days and then I know I’ll get a break from house projects for most of the summer.

    That might not work for everyone, but it has worked well for us so far!

    [Reply]

    Lindsey T Reply:

    That’s what I keep telling myself, if we get all the yard stuff done now and in the next few weeks then we’ll get to enjoy it all summer and get a break from it (except for the usual maintenance). I think I already have a love/hate relationship with the kitchen project because to your point it HAS to get done (and it hasn’t even started yet)!

    [Reply]

  14. Jen

    06/17/2015

    Gee-you didn’t want to keep that fancy schmancy toilet paper holder in the bathroom?? Yikes! 🙂 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love how your home is comfortable and cozy and that you are perfectly content with it–even without the sought-after (for most these days) open floor plan and finished basement! It’s lovely! Hope you can relax a bit today.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — the hooks had to go. We now have the toilet paper in the cabinets 🙂

    Also, I won’t lie, the ONE thing we wished our house had was a nice finished off basement that didn’t get water in it! We definitely don’t need the space right now, but as our kids get older, a basement area would be fabulous. We have fixed a couple of the water issues over the years, but still get some dampness and mustiness on hot humid summer days. Eventually, we might look into getting our basement professionally water-proofed and then at least put an open family room down there… we’ll see. It might cost too much money for it’s worth, but we’ll at least look into it.

    But you’re right, for now, we are VERY happy with our non-open floor plan and non finished off basement 🙂

    [Reply]

  15. Tammy @ SkipperClan

    06/17/2015

    I love these posts! I think over the years of following you here I am beginning to see that one of the things I love the most is realizing that planning for, budgeting, then following through on projects that seem overwhelming is actually rewarding in the end. Now that we are not moving every year and looking towards some stability in our post-military life, I hope to start tackling some things like these. Congrats, everything looks great!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I can’t even imagine moving as much as you did. There definitely wouldn’t be fun house projects going on if we were constantly moving!

    [Reply]

  16. Lisa whitmire

    06/17/2015

    love all your makeovers can’t wait to see your living room Nora so sweet mommy lil helper .My daughter is now 30 yes that’s right she been married 10 years and she is a RN proud i her she also first born like Nora that’s why i love seeing her it reminds me of me and my daughter her name is Candice .Well i also enjoyed my 50th bday also laid back and enjoyed the beautiful day ! And some people get overwhelmed that they are old i feel blessed that The Good LORD has allowed me to live ,well luv u and your family take care can’t wait for baby pics
    Lisa whitmire

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lisa,

    We actually haven’t really done anything different with our living room (it’s one of the few rooms we haven’t renovated yet). We’ll hopefully get to that next spring… hopefully!!

    Happy 50th birthday to you — glad you enjoyed it!!

    [Reply]