Wednesday, July 3, 2013

House Anniversary

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of the day we closed on our house and it officially became our first home.

Happy house-iversary!

We spent the day the same way we've spent our days for the last two weeks.  Jared worked all day, came home early to view a couple houses with us and our realtor, we ate a quick and not very healthy dinner, and then we got busy on projects here at our house.  I spent the day trying to clean and finish my house projects.  I also spent my day snapping at my children and refereeing their fighting.

We've all had more than enough of this house business.  We haven't done much fun stuff with the kids, so they're going crazy and turning on each other.  I just want to get my house "chores" done, so I have very little patience for their interruptions.  But then I feel guilty because I can't expect them to entertain themselves and get along perfectly and stay out of our way all the time. 

It's hard to even explain what's keeping us so busy.  And I do mean busy.  Jared and I both feel exhausted like when we had tiny babies.  Or maybe a better analogy would be that it feels like the most exhausting part of college.  Only it's been "finals week" for two weeks straight already.  And the only time Jared and I have spent together has been when I need him to lift/move something or when he needs me to okay his plan or progress.

I've decided there's an order to the projects that you have to do around your house when you want to sell it:
  1. First, you fix all the things that have bothered you about your house over the years.  You do all the projects you've been wanting to do but never quite got to (or never finished).  These are satisfying to see actually completed.  These projects make you think your house is fantastic.
  2. Second, you fix all the things that you had simply learned to live with all along but suddenly realize that other people might not like.  These aren't quite as fulfilling as the projects on list #1, but they're bearable.  These projects make you think your house is marketable.
  3. Finally, you fix all the things that other people (your realtor or people who have walked through your house) tell you need to be fixed.  You don't necessarily want to do these projects, but you're trying to please other people in order to sell your house.  These tasks are unsatisfying and frustrating (and time-consuming and costly).  These projects make you think about hurting someone that you better get every penny of your asking price...and then some.
This week we're living on list #3.

I spray painted a gutter that had some rust stains on the outside but is still solid and functioning perfectly.  I painted a small strip of wood under our front door that was bare wood before.  Jared scraped old paint off the cement block wall in our basement, and then he painted several coats of water-sealing paint.  Our basement also has one end wall that's covered in faux bricks.  The previous owners glued each individual fake brick onto the painted black wall.  They didn't fill in any sort of mortar.  Our realtor wanted us to paint it all white.  It was easy to roll on white paint over the brown "bricks."  Filling in the space between the uneven bricks has been a different story.  Jared and I took turns using different brushes, but the finished product still leaves something to be desired.  Three long nights of work for something that looks like it needs work. (And all this for an unfinished basement.)

How 'bout that floor, huh?  We have plans for that as well.  That's today's job.

Here's a closer look at the "bricks" after a coat of paint was rolled on:

And this is after we worked and worked to get paint into the cracks:

When preparing to get a house on the market, there's just no way to know ahead of time that you're going to spend three days just trying to paint fake bricks.

So now you have a glimpse into why our world is crazy, busy, tiring, and just not quite as we'd like it.

As my stress level is climbing at an alarming pace, I'm trying to turn to thankfulness as a way to keep my anxiety in check.  Last night as I felt myself nearing panic, I tried to list blessings for which I'm thankful.

A sampling of my list:
  • Health--Jared and I are both healthy, strong, functioning people who are capable of doing all this work.  Also, our kids have been perfectly healthy for months, which is a huge miracle.
  • Jared and I still like each other despite all this house stress.  We actually miss each other.
  • Our kids still like us despite our crabbiness and busyness.  They're still three of the most beautiful things God has ever created.
  • So far, we've managed to keep up with other responsibilities (Jared's work, my Sunday school class, a bridal shower I hosted last weekend, etc.).
  • Somehow we've been able to afford all of the supplies for all the projects we have to do right now.
  • Neither of us has ballooned into a fatty even though we've been eating quick/easy/unhealthy foods and haven't been exercising at all.
  • The weather was cool and breezy yesterday, which also happened to be the day we needed to open windows to air out the paint smell in the basement.
  • We've been able to work our schedules to meet with the realtor every time she's asked us to.
Even with my efforts to focus on our blessings, I think we've all about hit our limit.  There's no real "end" in sight.  We will complete the basement today (hopefully).  Tomorrow we'll have family time for the holiday.  Friday, our realtor is coming to have us sign all the papers and take pictures to actually list our house (hopefully it will be live on Monday).  Then we'll start the craziness of keeping our house spotless and leaving for people to walk through our house.

So we are carving out some family time tonight.  Several weeks ago Griffin saw an advertisement for the movie "Despicable Me 2."  He told me, "It's coming to theaters Julie 3."  He was reading the word "July" but pronounced it "Julie."  This morning he ran into my room and woke me up early to tell me that today is the day the movie comes to theaters.  I immediately talked to Jared (already on his way to work), and we made plans to take the kids out to the movie tonight.  We're all looking forward to some much-needed family time.

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July tomorrow!


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