getting our ears lowered

‘Ello and welcome! I decided to start this blog to chronicle our journey in our first home and life in general. I’m about two years behind so yes, there’s some catching up to do. Put your speedy pants on and try to keep up.

I knew I always wanted to own a home. I remember having a strong design opinion at the ripe age of five. Now, I didn’t know it at the time but what I did know is that I thought my babysitter’s metal butterflies and knick knacks were super tacky. Don’t get me started on the couch. I found the charm in our old home and loved how each step had a different creak and the old large grates allowed for spying. I loved Uncle Bob’s house even though there were boxes and a mess in every corner. It had substance and character. I know, I was a deep and thoughtful little girl.
By the time I was a teenager I started getting into design magazines and shows. I had met my best friend, Katie, and she had introduced me into rearranging bedrooms. Excuse me? You mean to tell me this furniture is not bolted down and I can make a room feel completely different by moving things around??? Sold. 

I’m pretty sure that there were some weekends we re-arranged rooms at least twice- once even ending up in the same arrangement as we had begun. But it didn’t matter. Allowance was spent on candles and Hanson posters.

You take that back. They were awesome. And they still are. That’s right, they’re still mmm-bopping it out all over the place. Well I’m glad we’ve come to an agreement. Yes, they're awesome. 

As I got older I dreamed of having an entire house to decorate, watched HGTV non-stop, and had stumbled onto the blogging world. Holy moly. There are a lot of blogs out there, let me tell you. And you can go from one to the other to another and so on and so on. Addicting. 

Now my husband and I are fixing up our first home and I love it. Sure, there are days like when your HVAC repair man tells you to start drinking or when you find a leak under your sink but it’s pretty awesome most of the time. I have free range to sand, paint, cut, or tear down whatever I please. 

We have a pretty small lot. I cant remember the actual size but its something between small and average. It’s enough. Mind you, I’m not a plant person. Many people can attest to this, but namely the plants in the valley o’ death on the dark side of the house. It wasn’t their fault. I was young, irresponsible, busy… But mostly, just not good with plants. 

So its no surprise that I had several dead trees and I was blissfully unaware. Although we have a tiny lot, it came packed with about 25 trees. Let’s take a moment of [holy-crap-I-cant-imagine-what-fall-is-like-for-you] silence for me. 

Sometime, and I have no idea when as I didn’t hear it, a biiiig branch fell about five feet from the house. 

Talk about scary. It was too close and even made my shutters shudder. That’s right.
So I had some fancy-dancy tree guy come out and tell me I was going to spend money. No, he didn’t say that, but that’s all I heard. We had about 5 dead trees [including what I like to call a double header] and many branches that needed to be trimmed back from the house. There was also a tree right on our neighbor’s line that had some identity issues. He didn’t know who he belonged to and neither did we. So my neighbor asked if we could have it cut down and we went halfsies on him.

In all, we had 6 trees removed, a TON of branches cut, and all brush [which we already had a lot of before they arrived] removed, for $1750. We thought it was a good deal for everything that they did. One tree was leaning over the neighbors house, two over ours, two over our garage, and one over our shed. And the ones that were close to the house were apparently very unhealthy. He even kicked the bottom with his foot and it started falling apart- it was rotten and leaning heavily over our home.Yikes.

Although my bank account is looking pretty sore and sparse, I feel so much better. We’ve had quite the rash of storms this summer [and very windy ones at that] and I cant believe something bad didn’t happen. But every time it did storm I would hold my breath considering we had so many trees and I didn’t know how healthy they were. I would’ve fainted if I did know!

So have you had enough chit chat? Are you ready for your first before and after? Be prepared to be blown away.

This is my house on crack trees:
And this is my house after arbor-rehab:

Crazy right?
We couldn’t believe it. It’s like when you get a drastic haircut. You catch yourself in the mirror and think whoa! What happened here? Am I me? It felt like we were missing something. Even in the front- we didn’t take a tree except one on each side not pictured. This was all trim work. I knew you were supposed to trim your trees but I obviously didn’t know to what extent. 

The amount of sun that entered the house was just phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong. Shade has its upside like lower utilities and all but it made my yard depressing. In the back we couldn’t grow anything but moss. But mostly, it seemed the mosquitoes had a field day. With me.
I hated being outside and it seemed nothing I did would work. I never wanted to work on the lawn or our deck because I'd be eaten up within minutes. I’m hoping the lack of shade [sun= more standing water evaporation=less skeeters] will really help in that department and will keep you posted. 

Here is the sunlight before:
 And after:

I keep saying that it looks like a real backyard. I feel like it has so much more potential. Now I cant blame the shade for lack of plant growth :o
This is what we were working with before just to give you an idea:

I wish we had done this in the spring so I could have had the chance to plant some GRASS- something the backyard has never known.

The 5 man [okay 4 men and 1 woman] team took about 6 hours and had to come back the second day for 3 hours to finish the job. They ended up borrowing my ladders and rake which I thought was unprofessional but they were friendly. However, there were some check cashing issues (think check-n-cash) late at night and them telling me I had no money. But I did. It was very uncomfortable and I was on edge. I felt like I was being scammed but they never asked for any of my information. I'm only guessing it was an attempt to get cash and keep things under the table. But I still randomly check my account to make sure our monies are still there!

But my house is still in one piece so I'm happy. Being a nurse and seeing people who have had accidents all the time, I could barely watch them work. It’s what I imagine a mom must feel.
‘oh he’s going to break an arm!’
‘he’s not even wearing a seat belt!’
‘I hope they’re drinking plenty of fluids….’

And in case you’re home biting your fingernails: no they didn’t, I guess its ok, and yes they did.

I have only just begun to work on the outside. We have stained the front porch, re-done the mailbox, and added some accessories but we have big plans for it so don’t judge it just yet! And I apologize for the poor photo quality- I had to use my older camera on short notice since the grande cannon had been left on. I have no idea who would do such a thing.

Hoping to have another outdoor before and after for you within the month!


  1. your post had me snickering and giggling the whole time! screw nursing, you're meant to do THIS! :D


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