Year 5

   Our house is a kindergartener! Okay not really. The house itself is over 100 years old, but it has been five years since we moved into this lovable train wreck that we call home.

   As we head into the next year, I’d say the past 12 months have been some of the best we’ve spent here. The big highlight, of course, was the recent bedroom remodel. I’m looking forward to not sleeping in a blistering hot room this summer. (So excited!) But more than that, the new bedroom has become a restful haven for me. I’m finding that I enjoy simply being in the space. Now there are nights when I turn in earlier to spend a little more time in there, with one or both cats curled up nearby as I read.

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   Beyond the bedroom, we’ve made smaller adjustments or changes to the house and yard as well. At Christmastime, we upgraded the back pantry room by adding desperately needed shelf space. We painted the weird little square hall, painted the living room (more on that later) and upgraded the garden in the back.

   Have we accomplished as much as we had hoped to this year? No. And it’s likely that I’ll say that every year. Occasionally I wonder if the house will ever be “complete”, worrying that we’ll be stuck in an endless remodeling nightmare. When I think of what still needs replacing, painting, or moving – it is absolutely overwhelming. But I make it my goal to count my blessings and focus on what we have finished. There’s new furniture, flooring, we’ve drywalled and replaced outlets. The list goes on and on.

   All in all, though, I feel that the house is finally becoming “ours”. Even though we’ve lived here for a few years, what we’ve worked on over the last 12 months has made it much more real to me. This being the first house I’ve ever owned, all the painting, decorating, even shopping for home improvement items – it’s almost fun. (I’m certain we spend as much time at Home Depot as at our actual house.)

   Despite all the joy, there are still plenty of days where I want to pull my hair out dealing with this house. Once one thing works then another thing breaks. Monday, for example, mid-way through mounting baseboard trim, we realized that one of the walls bowed out in the center. Days like that it feels as if all the prayer and wine in the world won’t be enough to help us make it through. I tell myself if one more thing in this house goes wrong I’m going scream, cry and curse all at the same time. But I take a deep breath and remind myself that it is what it is and somehow we will make it work. And we do. Yes, it’s exasperating, but yet it’s not world ending and if nothing else it’s a learning process.

   So here’s to continuing in the craziness! Bring on year five!

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