My father has his own wallpapering and painting business, but his skills extend far beyond that, he has done almost everything himself in the house I grew up in; electrical work, plumbing and construction etc. So growing up I definitely wanted to find a man that would be as handy as my dad was.
Well thankfully the man I married has that handy man instinct. He loves to be able to do everything himself, and when we bought our first home in January 2014, we realized that we both really enjoyed taking on different projects and renovations together. We made a good team, my husband was the brawn and I was the brains. Okay that gives me way too much credit, but what we were able to do is work together to find the best solution to a problem, and my husband wasn’t too proud to listen to his wife’s suggestions.
The first thing that we did after getting the keys to our house was to rip up the carpet in the first floor bedroom, a dirty hideous blue carpet that desperately needed to go. We literally opened the door, did a quick walk through(I stomped on the floor in celebration of not having any neighbors below us) and then ripped that carpet up. Thankfully there was hardwood flooring underneath!
We moved in in the middle of winter but had a glorious 50 degree day to make the move quite pleasant. Of course two days later we had a big blizzard that put New Jersey in a state of emergency and had us very grateful that we had decided to buy a couple snow shovels the day before, but also kind of wishing we were back at the apartment with no shoveling responsibilities.
A snow day in New Jersey is of course the best time to meet your neighbors, and we met our 84 year old neighbor Mary as she was shoveling her driveway despite having just had eye surgery. What we found out after insisting that she let us finish up was that her Father-in-law built the house that we had just bought! Apparently he was a local plumber (the irony of that will be revealed in a later post) and it was one of the first houses in that area. Mary stated that there was always a lot of love and children and happiness in the house which made us feel even better about the move. That winter we painted and sanded and stained every chance we had, thoroughly enjoying the snow days. We learned a lot of lessons the hard way and I will be sharing some of those stories with you here.