A long time ago, this blog got a fair amount of attention for a post I did on buying a home.
Back then, Ross and I were so young! Babies! Flush with naivete and hope! We closed on the house, and wept with joy as we moved our things in.
But two years later, we are hardened first-time home owners.
We now say things like, “can you believe this grout?” and, “what I wouldn’t give for some crushed granite right now!” In short, we have entered Phase 2 of Home Ownership: Home Improvement.
Like many young couples on a budget, we try to DIY as much as possible. Young House Love this blog isn’t, but I’ve thought about creating a tab called “Home Improvement Projects!” that would chronicle our progress on residential beautification. Then I realized that would bore you to death, so I held off – but not before popping open my laptop for one little dispatch.
Construction begins. Our carport, soon-to-be yoga studio.
Currently, Ross and I are remodeling our carport, and turning it into a private yoga studio. Which is AWESOME. We are also attempting to:
-Save $ to refloor our whole house
-Salvage a really awful gravel path job
-Manifest a redone bathroom, our only bathroom, averting our eyes from the falling-apart wooden trim in the meantime
-Knock out walls in our kitchen / knock out walls separating said kitchen from the office / debate if we even need walls at all and should just live in one big huge room
-Birth a unicorn.
Whenever we get talking about the things we want to do to the house, it spirals down this imaginary tunnel until we either a) realize that we don’t have a million dollars and my God wouldn’t that be nice wait a minute how much money do you make WAIT why aren’t you making DOUBLE THAT?! or b) look up and notice that the curtain rod I installed a year and a half ago kind of sags down in the middle and we should probably address that before we knock down all the walls in our house.
Yoga studio progress as of last week, showing the helpfulness of walls.
So what I’m saying is, it takes time to home improve. Sometimes, good hearted people will try to help us, by saying things like “to fund your projects, you should refinance your house!” or other things we really don’t understand.
“Interest rates are really low!” they’ll cry, and we look at them as if they’ve just spoken to us in Olde English.
It’s like, we kind of get what they are saying, but actually executing their suggestion sounds really hard and time-consuming and we are too busy hustling to pay for our current project to look into it.
Speaking of hustling, our conversations have gotten more and more gangsta the more we do this together:
“I’m gonna HOOK you the fuck UP!” Ross will say to me, in reference to a sanding power tool.
“I just denailed this shit,” I’ll proudly gesture to a two-by-four.
These things are said without a trace of irony and only serve to emphasize our incompetence, particularly when there is an actual crew there working on the carport, being all professional and fast while we have to take breaks to Google everything and take bites of quinoa.
Quinoa is very gangsta.
At times, it’s hard on the relationship. We’ll disagree on how things should look. Ross has actual clients coming to our house for his job, and feels self-conscious if things are in disarray, which is pretty much all of the time. I tend to nag and fixate on stuff, and rush out to do projects myself (badly) just so I can have them done-right-now! This strategy works sometimes (we have grass in the front yard, which wasn’t there when we moved in), but does not work at other times (see: sagging curtain rod, in constant danger of falling on people).
These days, I’m fixating on our house floor, since we have nice, pretty, new floor going into the studio, and it’s making me jealous for the old floor. I fear people judge our floor, and by extension, us. I worry that they think we are dirty because our chipping away concrete floor is so weird.
I worry that I’m becoming materialistic because I worry about this so much.
All the time, this process is making me wonder how people know how to do stuff. Like, when I’m hosing down our flowers, both the ones that bloom and the ones that refuse to bloom no matter how much fertilizer I pour on top of them, I think: “how did people acquire the knowledge that they did? How are they good gardeners? How do they know how to install shelves? How did these procedures magically appear in their brains?”
The one thing that gives me hope as Ross and I attempt to make our house more beautiful, scraping up money for one project at a time along the way, is that one day I will read this blog post and laugh because I’ll know how to do it all.
I’ll be like, “Spackle, prime, and paint the northwest exterior wall? Just give me 30 minutes, yo.”
Because, I feel so stupid and incompetent doing all this stuff now, but maybe eventually I will be one of those people with all of the procedures grafted onto their brain, and it won’t seem so hard and daunting.
An honest-t0-God flower I coaxed into existence one time.
In all seriousness, my big dream (<-hilarious that this has now ascended to the level of dreams) is that the studio will be done and gorgeous, our house’s floor will get prettier, and our bathroom will be mildly improved by this fall, so that we can have a Christmas party with a bunch of people over. I have a dream, brothers and sisters. I have a dream.
I used to think that home improvement shows were so ridiculously over-the-top in their emotions, that people would shed actual tears over marble countertops, but now I totally get it.
I understand why people feel bad about inviting friends over if their house isn’t perfect. It’s a little messed up, but I understand. You want to delight people. You want them to feel comfortable. You want them to feel like you’ve pulled out all the stops for them. You want to not just win their eyes’ approval; you want to penetrate through to their hearts.
You want them to say and to feel, “it makes me so happy to be here.”
Friends and I partying FOUR YEARS AGO. I want this to happen more.
One day, we’ll get there.