Monday, July 27, 2009

Finally moved in....kinda!

Well this past weekend was a big weekend for our family. On Saturday we moved the rest of the stuff from the house we were renting to our new house. There are still somethings in the garage at the old place and the house needs to be cleaned before we turn it back over to the family member we were renting it from. However, for all practical purposes we are totally in our new house!!! YAY!!! Nearly 3 months after we took possesion, we are finally living in OUR house. It's kinda weird though. For the first time I can remember, I kept myself awake last night (not for too terribly long) worrying about everything else that has to be done. AUGH!!!! We haven't even unboxed everything....heck we haven't even unboxed 70% of our stuff, but I'm already worried and thinking about what has to be done NEXT!! DANG IT!

However, I eventually fell asleep and everything that needs to be done will eventually get done. God will provide. While I had a moment I wanted to stop and thank EVERYONE for helping (physically or financially) us during this process. I would try to name those that helped, however I am affraid that I would leave someone out. To everyone that did help we owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Without your help we would not be in the house as early as we were. Heck we may not be in the house at Christmas if it was just us working on it!!

Again thanks for keeping up with us on this blog. We hope that you have enjoyed the frustrations, joys, and lessons learned during the process of getting the house done. More will come as we work on the other projects that are keeping me up at night! ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

NYC, Birthdays, and Moving In

Much has happened in the past few weeks. Jack and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by spending the night in our new home. Our bedroom furniture came in a few days before our anniversary and with some help we moved in just enough items that we could begin sleeping in the house. It's been good to start the moving process. After this weekend, we hope to get the last of the boxes and furniture out of our old home and be completely moved into our new home. It will probably take a while for all the boxes to be unpacked, but that is ok. It feels good to be in. Once I can get organized enough to take some pictures, I will post the before and afters (I know, I know, I've been saying that for a while.)

This past week I actually went on a little vacation. (Good timing, right?) Well, last winter my mom suggested that she and I go on a trip for my big 3-0 birthday this summer. She and I used to do alot of traveling together when I was in college so this was an opportunity to do something like that again. The idea was to go to New York for a long weekend. So, back in February we booked the plane tickets. By the time it was over with, the long weekend turned into almost a week because flying out on Thursday was cheaper than Friday and coming home on Tuesday was cheaper than Monday and we found a good deal on a hotel. Anyway, all of this happened way before we knew that Jack and I were going to buy a house and renovate and move in at the end of July. But that's what happened, so last week I packed up with my nerves shot and left for NYC. It was a great trip and a much needed break from reality.

Here are my recommendations for anyone going to NYC:
1. If you are going to stay at least 5 days get a City Pass. The pass is an advanced ticket to several museums/monuments and if you want to go see everything on the pass, it's a good deal. Plus you don't have to wait in any lines get tickets. This saved us a ton of time and helped us schedule our trip.

2. Save your money and plan to bring an extra bag home with items you purchase there. I have never seen so much stuff to buy in one place. There are stores, street vendors, souvenir shops, and markets everywhere. And most of them will reduce their prices when you start to walk away. This is a true test of self-control.

3. Get a really good map, especially if you plan to use the subway. New York subways can be tricky. We met one woman from Athens who said she had taken the wrong train three times. She had been to two other countries where she didn't speak the language and had been able to figure out the subway system but was having a very difficult time in New York.

4. If you are planning to see a Broadway show, get up the day of the show and go to TKTS in Time Square to buy your tickets. The line looks long but they move you through fast. If you are really counting on going to one particular show you may not want to do this (they don't sell tickets to everything) but if you are ok with two or three options, this is definitely your best deal. We got half-price tickets to 9-5 (Excellent show!) and ended up being 6 rows back from the stage. It could not have been better and there is no way we could have done that for that price had we bought them in advance.

So now I have returned and this is probably going to be my last time to post while I am still in my 20's. Looking back on the past decade, so much has happened in my life. I've done most of what I wanted to do and I have changed alot since I was 19 turning 20. If you had asked me then what my life would be like now I would have never guessed it would be like this. But that is the nature of life. I can't even imagine what I will be writing when I'm 39 turning 40. What a decade this will be...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lessons on Home Remodeling - Tip #4

Trimming doors when new flooring is installed.

It's time for the weekly installment of Home Remodeling tips from Jack and Francie!!! (I started writing this and then Francie beat me to the post so I had to slightly modify mine. NO big deal.)However, regardless of that this week you get a two for one deal!!! Call it our summer special! ;-)

Tip #4: Trimming doors when new flooring is installed.
Last week the vinyl was laid in the kitchen/utility room. Because of the people who laid the vinyl having to also lay down underlayment, the doors in the utility room leading to the garage and outside needed to be trimmed. BUT the people who laid the flooring didn't trim doors. SO in mentioning this to others they said that the carpet people should trim the doors. Thinking that the doors to the bedrooms might also need trimming, we hoped to just have him also trim the doors that the vinyl layers did not. In the famous words of Ray Stevens......WRONG! The carpet is being laid today and when asking them about the doors, they also said that they were not suppose to trim the doors either! SO now we have to try to trim the doors ourselves or find someone who will. So tip #3 in the house remodeling of the Jack and Francie's house is...."Ask before you buy the carpet/vinyl/tile/etc if the layers will trim the doors. If they don't develop a plan assuming that the doors will need to be trimmed."

Lessons on Home Remodeling- Tip #3

Never celebrate too early.

We have learned over the course of this house remodeling venture that nothing is as simple as it seems. Most things take longer than they should and don't work the first time you put them up, hook them up, hang them up, or turn them on. Yesterday we decided to go ahead and move the washer and dryer to the utility room closet. There is no hook-up at our current residence so the washer and dryer have been in storage. I am very excited about the idea of being able to do laundry in my own home again once we get moved in! So we discovered first that the dryer will not plug into the current electrical outlet because the outlet and the plug on our dryer don't match. Ok...we have to switch another outlet. So we brought the washer in to hook it up. Everything was connected beautifully. Time to try it out. Hot Cold Warm Hallelujah! Something works the first time!! I did a dance in the utility room. "Celebrate with me! Something works the first time!" But, alas, remember Tip #3. We began to drain the water we had just put into the washer and behold....water all over the floor. There was a bad hose that needs to be replaced. We spent the next 30 minutes or so sopping up water with some kitchen towels we found from the previous owner and a few paper towels. When Jack disconnected the hose...whoosh! another big rush of water. We got it all cleaned up and dry but needless to say we have a washer and dryer IN the house but neither are in working condition at this time.

Oh yeah, and this weekend was the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day, everyone. We did take Saturday off-- away from work AND the house-- to enjoy a break and the festivities. It was a nice day for both of us. Praise God for the courageous men and women who serve our country and protect our freedoms. May God bless us even in our weaknesses.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lessons on Home Remodeling- Tip # 2

When the previous home owners leave you a cabinet full of cleaning products, take the opportunity to use them and assess their value.

Today, I will evaluate three-- that's right THREE-- home cleaning products for you. Kaboom! (in honor of the late Billy Mays), George Foreman Knockout Multi-Purpose Cleaner (our former homeowner must have liked infomercials), and Windex with vinegar (yuck). I cleaned the guest bathroom last night because it is finished. Yay! Both bathrooms are actually done, but I was only able to get to the guest bath last night and I really need to give it another good cleaning, but last night gave me the opportunity to test out these three amazing products. Here is my assessment:

While I mean no disrespect to Billy, the Kaboom! disappointed me. It left a weird white residue on the counter top and just didn't seem to clean well. So it was out. Same goes for the Windex with vinegar. I searched through the 15 bottles of cleaning products I inherited with the house looking for another glass cleaner, but to no avail. This Windex left several streaks that I could not remove so I'm going to have to clean the mirror again. So, out of our triple product test, the winner is....George Foreman's Knockout Multi-Purpose Cleaner! Actually, this was pretty good. It seemed to clean well on multiple surfaces and didn't leave any kind of residue or film. Is there anything George Foreman can't do?