life update

I should have been keeping a better record of this.

It’s been…
-almost two months since I made an offer on a house
-almost one month since I closed on it
-just over a week since I started sleeping there

My parents visited this past weekend, for a 3-day weekend that turned into a 4-day weekend when we were all too excited to wait until Friday. For them, the excitement of seeing my house. For me, the excitement of having two more sets of capable hands to help bring my house dreams to life. Okay, we also wanted to see each other, though that was somewhat tempered by a knowledge that our three strong heads might be butting repeatedly. (They did, but we’ve learned over the years how to manage that better.)

So right now I’m still processing the work that my parents did for me:

My house elves are here! šŸ˜

This isĀ 2pm on Thursday. We’d already gone to Lowes to buy those 12-foot boards plus brackets, drove them home in a Prius, installed the brackets, sanded the boards, and Mom is painting them while Dad is replacing a light fixture. After this photo, we drove to Ikea. Late that night, Dad and I unloaded the car while Mom painted a second coat on these shelves.

Friday morning, I unpacked all of my books and arranged them on the shelves. Dad assembled every piece of ikea furniture while this was happening. After lunch, Mom and I went thrifting and when we came back Dad was watching a video – turns out Ā he’d pre-downloaded a plumbing video from youtube when I emailed them a description of how my shower handle was incorrectly installed. (He realized that theirs is installed the same way, and is going to fix theirs as soon as he gets home.)

I can’t even remember the sequence of events after this. At one point, both of them were clearing kudzu in my back yard so dense that they found a child’s bicycle underneath. We drew the attention of some neighborhood kids after the second trip to Lowes for lumber, and I now have a team of “helpers” for my raised bed vegetable garden.

I kept trying to feed them. I tried to thank them at least once an hour. I knew that Mom would fall asleep the moment she took a sip of wine, so I tried to pour a glass for her each night. We rented a movie from redbox and returned itĀ on time.Ā 

On Sunday night,Ā my kitchen sink clogged. Dad and I had to drive to the third-closest Lowes because two others were closed. I watched while he fed 25 feet of auger through the pipes, and now I will be able to tackle this project on my own if (when) it happens again. It felt like a homeowner initiation, and I’m so thankful I wasn’t alone for this one.

(This doesn’t even mention the dozens of friends who have helped me before this weekend. Maybe I’ll have a chance to tell those stores soon. If not, these instagram photosĀ are a few examples.)

a few new things

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I kicked off the new year by making an offer on a house!

I took the photo above the day after I submitted the contract, when I realized that I’d need to pack up my multi-purpose bedroom and thought I might want to capture some of its whimsy.

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Of course, these photos also capture the chaos – the nearly constant, relentlessly managed chaos of having a bedroom, a closet, and a sewing room in one open space. I cannot clear a surface without claiming it with a new project within a week.

The excitement I’m experiencing right now is directly related to the excitement of paying off my debt last year, and is only due to the budgeting skills and financial confidence I have acquired in that process and since. It’s also due to some generous money gifted from family, which I am quick to acknowledge because it’s frequently a part of home ownership and often helps to explain why Person X is able to be in a particular place while Person Y is not – generational financial stability, plus the knowledge and emotional support of parents who have navigated this process. I am hugely privileged in this way, and I need to acknowledge that.

Where do things stand now? I’m under contract. (I’m always tempted to say “we” – “We’re under contract!” – Ā which is partially my own acknowledgement that IT TAKES A VILLAGE and that I couldn’t do this without the support of my realtor, lender, inspector, etc…but I think this is also a piece of my amazement that I’m buying a house as a single woman. This is honestly one of those financial/emotional hurdles that I would actively name in my 20s – I was sad to be single because I didn’t believe I’d be able to own a home by myself. The fact that such thoughts didn’t even occur to me in this processĀ speaks greatly about the maturity and contentment I’ve grown into.) I’ve been sending hundreds of financial documents to my lender, and I just had the house inspection. We’re (my realtor is doing the bulk of the work, so I just can’t claim it) bringing in a few professionals to look more closely at systems, but it seems like the seller is motivated to resolve any issues and to get to closing.

My planning nature has kicked into high gear. I have at least a dozen secret pin boards, gathering ideas and inspiration for furnishing this particular space. I have a google spreadsheet that is tracking my cash balance and my planned expenditures IN ADDITION to my regular budget (which should, despite all this activity, stay fairly stable in the midst of the transition – a bit of a reminder that higher spending should not be contagious across categories). I am immobilized with frustration that I cannot start DOING these things that I’m planning to do, that I have to wait almost another month, which means I’ve also started creating project management charts to track how quickly I can tackle each task once I have keys in my hands. (Perhaps the benefit of a spouse in this scenario would be someone to forcibly drag me away from my lists.)

I’m not sure whether I intended to say anything else, before this devolved into lists of lists (which has always been a deep theme of my blogging) – it just seemed important to mark this moment, to immortalize it in some small way, and to give a slight warning that I might turn into a home decor blogger for a brief stretch of time. (Is there anything more satisfying than a before and after shot? NOPE.)

The house will have three(!) bedrooms, which means I will have space for a sewing room AND a guest room – and will not be forced to magically combineĀ them in one space, which is what I’d expected to happen. There is enough room for the giant table I built last winter. I will not have to share a fridge or freezer with anyone for the first time in ten years!(!!!)

Okay, that’s enough for now.