Remodel Mode

Well, we survived the move. And it was a beast. Thank you for all of your sweet comments about the house. We have almost finished our remodeling projects, and we've even hung a few things on the walls, so really, we're doing pretty good!

We moved in on June 27, in the middle of the remodel, and spent the rest of that week clearing out and cleaning our old house. We were blessed to find buyers who could mostly work with our time frame, and we closed on that house on June 30. That was the first home we've ever sold so we don't know what it's like to struggle to sell a home, but I'm so thankful we had a pretty quick and easy time with it. There are so many hard things about moving even when it goes well that I have so much sympathy for those who don't have it easy or quick.

While the contractors finished the remodel, we lived in the three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. It worked out well because we could somewhat unpack the kids' stuff, and we had plenty of room for everyone to sleep and play. The last thing to be installed was the kitchen sink, and let me tell you, it does not feel like a real home until your kitchen sink is working! We lived off fast food and paper plates for those days and did dishes in the laundry room sink. Not ideal, but we managed. 

Once the kitchen sink was put in and the dishwasher was installed, we breathed a sigh of relief. I had a washer and dryer, a sink, a dishwasher, and our beds were put together! It didn't quite feel like home yet, but we were getting there! 

The last day that we met with our contractor, we made a list of any little touch-ups and said our goodbyes. We'd had a great experience, and I was really happy with how the house had come together. 

And then I ran the dishwasher for the first time. 

And then I found a leak.

And then a few hours later, Soren went to the basement to find something. And it was raining IN our basement. 

We were in total disbelief and immediately called our contractor right back. The entire basement ceiling was dripping, and there were water lines all across the sheet rock. The carpet was soaked. One of the walls had huge water spots. It was such a shock. 

Soren hurried and turned off the water, and plans were made to investigate the next morning. I didn't quite know how to feel about it except that I was getting really tired of the unsettled-moving-mess stress. What we found out the next morning was that it was a really unlucky leaky connection from the water pipe to the dishwasher. It was tight, but it wasn't sealed. And when the water got turned on, a small amount of water started spraying out the back of the dishwasher into the sub flooring. Because our dishwasher is in the island, the leak didn't easily show until it had been running for hours and had thoroughly soaked the lower level. I felt so bad for our contractor because it was just a really unlucky problem that no one could have really known would happen. Unlucky for everyone. 

Thankfully we were able to get a clean-up crew out really quickly, and they installed a bunch of fans and blowers and dehumidifiers. They did a great job, but boy was their equipment loud! We had it running in our kitchen from Friday to Monday, and it sounded like ten vacuums running non-stop. Your brain kept waiting for them to turn off, but they never did. Talk about maddening!

The good news is that those fans really did work. They were able to dry almost everything with very little damage left over. Our contractor accepted total responsibility and is paying for everything to be fixed. And it's such a blessing that there's not a whole lot left to fix. The carpet pad needs to be replaced, and then the carpet needs to be re-stretched. The trim and speakers and can lights all need to be put back in. But nothing else needs to be ripped out, and nothing even needs to be repainted. It's really amazing considering the damage we were expecting! 

So that's been our month! Thank goodness we have a pool in the backyard that we've been able to get running, get cleaned, and keep maintained. The kids have been able to swim almost every day, and I've been thankful for that easy summer activity to be just in our backyard. Even if the inside of the house has been chaos, at least we can escape to the backyard!

This last weekend Soren and I worked all day Saturday and really whipped the house into shape. I probably unpacked fifteen or twenty boxes, and we cleaned and organized a ton. By 10 p.m., we were hanging decorations on the walls and it was finally looking like HOME! Sunday morning was the first time I felt like I could enjoy this new home we've put so much time, stress, money, and effort into. I woke up to a clean house (well, a clean kitchen and living area), and it felt like "This is our house. And I love it."

Through all of this, I continue to see the same lesson that I see repeated in all areas of my life: there are no rewards or nice things that come for free. Every good thing comes with difficulty and downsides that equal the good. And every hard part of life can have an upside that is just as good as the hard is hard. We're so blessed to have found this beautiful house, but it didn't come for free. It took a lot of hard work before, during, and even after we moved in. There have been just as many times that I felt like crying in frustration as I've felt like crying with happiness. I'm thankful for both. (Although I really can't wait to have all of this moving stuff behind us!)

I've shared some updated photos of our home on Instagram, and I'm planning to a blog post with lots of after photos at some point. I'm not sure the house will ever feel "done" enough to share, but I am really happy with how it's coming along, so I'll be sure to keep you posted. 

I hope your summer has been as "good" or better than ours so far. I feel like we don't have much of a summer left, so I'm looking forward to squeezing some fun into the last month before school starts!


  1. Looks amazing! What color are your cabinets?

  2. We just moved 4,600 km across the country for a military posting with 2 toddlers and a pregnant mama! I feel you on the good, the bad, and the stressful. Getting settled in takes a long time with kids running around and problems popping up. Our washing machine was broken in the move which has been a headache and we have a lot of work to do to update this 25 year old builder's finishes special! We will get there though... hopefully before the baby comes haha

  3. Love your rug layering! Mind sharing what the under rug is- there are so many kinds on rugsusa! Also what dimensions did you get- trying to work out how the layering would in our living room.


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