Monday, January 21, 2013


I'm not sure what the best measure of time is.  When we first purchased our home I knew it was temporary.  I hated it.  I cried when we closed escrow.  It was tiny and ugly.  I figured we would move in 2 years.  Then the market crashed and we weren't going anywhere.  We painted, revamped the kitchen and painted the outside sunshine yellow (to the dismay of some of our neighbors).  It was too crowded, messy all the time and had crayon on all the walls, but it was our home.  A home that our children were comfortable in.  A place they could go outside and dig a hole in the middle of our grass or pull all the buds off of our flowering bushes because they were collecting "candy".  I didn't care.  I didn't like the house so I didn't work on keeping it pristine or beautiful.  I kept it functional and comfortable.

Then we hatched a crazy plan to add 1,200 sq feet, 2 bedrooms a bathroom and a basement.  We would have no yard left.  I hated the plan.  We wouldn't be able to live in the house during construction.  We scrapped it due to cost.  William was a newborn.  I remember going to the meeting with the architect with William in the baby carrier, just a few weeks old.

Then we hatched another crazy plan; buy the house next door and join them together.  I wasn't on board with this one either.  We would be over-leveraged and I didn't want to be a landlord.  But I was willing to go along with the first part of the plan and we became landlords in 2009 to the best tenants in the world.  I could set my clock by their rent check, to the hour.  The kids loved playing with the neighbor-boy.  The tenants never had a question or complaint in 3 years.  They were fabulous and I was sorry to see them go.

After the failure of our first plan I was hesitant to tell a lot of people about our crazy plan.  We had no idea if we could afford it, if the county would let us join two properties together, if we could find an architect who would be willing to work with us, our crazy plan, and our strict requirements (like living in the home and doing some work ourselves).

Then on April 7th, 2012 we started the second part of the plan - join the two houses together.  It was a whirlwind of activity every morning at 7 am workers would come to our home and see me in jammies, there were last minute decisions to be made every day, furniture and boxes to be moved, fixtures to be purchased, lots and lots of discussion - sometimes internationally when Caskey was traveling abroad.  Seven months later we were done . . . sort of.  We were living in the house with the workers gone.  A few more weeks and knobs were installed, mirrors delivered.  Its beautiful and I love every bit of it.  It was worth every single decision, napless naptime, fast food dinner, cranky children at the tile store, no vacations for 2 years, every budget cut.  All of it.  It was worth it.

The upstairs:

Master Suite - aka: sanctuary 

Eleanor's very own bedroom: 

Girl's Bathroom

Boy's bedroom

Lainy Ann's Bedroom

Kitchen (no longer 'eat-in')

Living Room

Family Room

Dining Room (old living room):

Boy's Bathroom

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