Covid project…patio ceiling…

When we did the kitchen remodel almost two years ago we recognized a leak in our patio ceiling. We knew we wanted to add can lighting to the patio so we took the opportunity to rip out everything since we were already in construction mode. I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took for me to address this eye sore. However, it wasn’t on me entirely.

We quickly had someone come out to repair the roof by tearing off the old roofing and installing a new patio roof. I had the enough foresight to wait until a large storm passed through before I closed it up to make sure there weren’t any surprises. We live in Arizona and it’s not as though we have a surplus of rain falling from the sky so we waited months for the first storm to roll around. It’s a good thing we kept it open because our newly repaired roof was still leaking. Over the course of a year, the same company came back three separate times to repair it and I waited through two large storms before I called it good and was wiling to close it up.

And then I debated what material I should use and that took another couple months! 🙂

Covid was the best excuse to get it done. I suddenly had more free time than I knew what to do with and I went to work ripping down boards and installing them. It was hot. It was exhausting and I wish I could say it’s finished, but it’s not. I got it primed just before we left for the summer and now it’s far too hot to even consider painting it. So it’s still mocking me as an unfinished project waiting for some lipstick!

The cursed project…

You would think the more I work with wood and the more projects I do – the better I would get! My latest project, a barn door, is proof that is just not the case. It doesn’t matter my experience – I always seem to mess up something in my projects. Usually it’s easily fixable.

This project, however, just about did me in! Perhaps I’m a little rusty and out of practice but every step of the way I seemed to mess something up and then had to backtrack. This should have taken an afternoon to finish…instead I managed to carry it out over several weeks. WEEKS!

I’m pretty sure I called my dad after each major issue and he just laughed at/with me. I had to laugh, or else I would cry. And then he’d give me feedback as to how to fix it. I just kept plugging away and Steve patiently waited for me to clean up my mess in the garage.

It sat in the garage finished for over a week. Steve asked why I wasn’t installing the hardware (the easiest step out of the whole process) and I told him I was afraid I would mess something up and I didn’t want to damage the door I had finally finished. I finally installed the hardware and you better believe I made a mistake that I had to fix. It sat for another couple days untouched. It was a cursed project from the beginning. Clearly I need to get back in the saddle soon and freshen up these skills!

Kitchen backsplash…

I love a good project and I have a lists of home projects I’ve completed over the years. I’m not a fan of hiring things out unless I have to because I often see the finished product and think, “I could’ve done this and it would’ve been cheaper and I would have given it a little more attention to detail.” And then there’s some projects that I know my limits and I know there’s no way I would be able to do it with any degree of professionalism.

From the day we planned our kitchen, I planned on personally installing the backsplash. But the kitchen was finished and I needed a break from projects, so it went on the back burner. And then a couple months later I thought about it but work was busy…or the kids were home from summer…or we were on vacation…or work was busy.

The bottom line is I never prioritized it. I did other things around the house, I just didn’t tile the backsplash. We hit a year in our new kitchen and it was finally time to finish it. But then the turkey trot rolled around and…you get the idea. I realized I wasn’t going to get to it anytime soon. So I hired it out. Gasp. And it was hard to do. I looked at a lot of tile jobs and even had people come out to bid it before pulling the trigger on someone.

He’s actually the same one that worked in our house a year ago during our remodel. I liked him and I liked his work – although I did hover a little. I can’t help it, it’s in my nature. I want to make sure it’s right. And it’s a good thing I did – after he was almost done, I was inspecting his work and realized somehow there was one glossy tile among our boxes of matte tile and it had been placed on the wall. Luckily it was easily fixed because the thinset was still a little wet.

I love that it’s done. I just need to make the floating shelves now. 🙂

Just keep finishing, just keep finishing…

This may be considered the remodel that never ends. It was a year ago that we got our last kitchen appliance hooked up and running water again. The very best day.

I switched out my nail gun for a dewalt cordless nail gun (Aff link) and it is a game changer. I was nervous as to how it would compare to the compressor and hose – its way better and far more convenient! I haven’t had any jams or misfires which is why I made the switch initially – my old nail gun was just not performing how I needed it to.

And yet a year later, we’re still here plugging away. Finishing trim. Filling holes. Caulking. The finishing work that I just stopped noticing was not complete. But every time I went to wash the filthy hand prints off the trim work, I was reminded that it had yet to be painted which made it look like it was never clean.

When I thought my parents were coming for a visit, I kicked it into ultra high gear to get it all done and painted. The thought of company always gets me to finish a couple things that I had been putting off!

The trim. The doors. The moulding. It’s all painted. Finally. Its like a new house all over again!

One year ago…

It was exactly one year ago that we embarked on quite possibly the most stressful few months of our marriage. Living in a home during a large scale remodel is not for the faint of heart and is not recommended for many!

However, this particular day we were full of excitement. We had dreamed of this day since we first walked this home and we were finally ready to take the plunge. We had in our minds what it was going to take and we had prepped ourselves for what was ahead. Or so we thought. I now believe you can’t ever fully prepare yourself for living in a construction zone…ever.

And here we sit a year later and we’re still chipping away at projects. That’s what happens when you do the finish work. It lingers and it takes a lot of time. And at some point you stop seeing the little projects everywhere that need to be finished!

I see these instagram stories of complete DIY kitchen makeovers in two weeks and somehow they maintain their beautiful manicured nails in the process. That was far from our truth! In fact I’m not sure my cuticles will ever recover from the drywall and brick fireplace destruction we took on.

But somehow we lived to tell about it…barely. I like to compare a home remodel project to having a baby. Eventually we’ll forget about it to the point that we’ll consider renovating something else. But not now. Still too soon! It’s a good thing we absolutely love the space we have created.

Organized game closet…

This closet used to give me nightmares. It’s in our hallway and because the doors are always open most everyone who walks into our living room gets a good look at the mess that it is. I walk by and shut the doors multiple times a day, but it is the most popular spot in the house with my younger kids and they always have them open grabbing toys and games.

A year ago, I saw someone organize their games in matching boxes so they would stack better. Genius! I love buying containers anyway so this was the perfect solution. (These are sterilite containers from Target)

There are games that have large boards, so they stayed in their original boxes. But you wouldn’t believe how much space you save when you get rid of the oversized packaging. (This was also a good opportunity to purge the games that we liked, but never played and the ones that were missing pieces.) And now instead of being a complete disaster, it’s only a mild disaster that is easy to recover from. Inevitably a game is played and pieces don’t make it back in the box. I find them in the house and put them on the shelf, figuring eventually it will make its way back into the box. And then pretty soon I have a shelf covered with mismatched pieces and one of the kids ends up with the Saturday chore of straightening the closet.

But we’ve managed to keep it this way for over a year which I’m going to classify as a win. And I’m still using the paper storage I built years ago and I still love it. Double win. I’ve been slowly chewing the elephant that is the kitchen remodel, it’s nice to have a little win in the game closet!

Organized Game Closet