A Whole Lotta Firsts

First off in this “Firsts” post, we want to wish everyone a happy New Year! We hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday season, and one free of falling trees (more on that later).

Since we last posted in early November (we’re such terrible bloggers, I know), we’ve moved into our new town house and made some (painfully slow) progress with the renovations (as listed by Brandon). Here’s a recap of the last two months:

– Our first order of business after signing the papers was to bring salt, rice, a bottle of champagne, and a blowup air mattress to the new house. We spent one uncomfortable night there, unaccustomed to the sounds, sights, and smell. It didn’t feel like home yet. Back in Silver Spring we started packing up (we had one month to move out of the apartment). We were very excited, making long list of things to do at the new house before moving in. In the end, maybe only about 20% of those things were completed since we a) underestimated how long projects take (not to mention that we lived an hour away from the new house, so we couldn’t just stop by anytime to work on it), b) overestimated our energy level, and c) we just didn’t know how to do these projects or where to start! Luckily our dads and Brandon’s brother-in-law are super handy, so we got a lot of hand-holding from them. — first time wearing big homeowners’ pants

– We also promptly changed the locks and dead bolts on the main door and back door. Because who knew how many copies of our house key were out there and if there was a disgruntled ex-boyfriend of a previous tenant?

– We tidied up outside, installed a new exterior light (the old one was just a bug cemetery), and trimmed branches that were too close to the window. — first time using a pressure washer and wiring electrical (Misou)

– We primed and painted the walls and ceiling. (We wanted to put as many coats of paint between ourselves and the old walls as possible.) — first time using a power sander (Misou)

– We cut a window in the wall knocked out a whole wall and rebuilt it to create a pass-thru bar between the living room and kitchen. (This also deserves its own post, coming later.) — first time cutting and installing drywall, using joint compound (you’ll get to hear how much Brandon hates the stuff)

– We ripped up carpet on the second floor (Misou) and installed laminate (Brandon) — another two firsts!

– Brandon put up new blinds on three of the five windows we have. (This is both a blessing because there are only five windows in the house, cheap to dress, and a curse because there isn’t enough light in the house.) Also, we were surprised at how cheap the blinds are! We spent about $15 for three. Granted, they were the regular white vinyl blinds, nothing fancy, but we were expecting them to cost a bit more than that.

– Bo helped install this custom closet kit for my closet (Brandon gets his own closet in the second bedroom!)

All in all, most of the things we did were cosmetic. The bathrooms are also in dire need of a face lift, but for now we have only changed the lights and hardware and painted the walls and the vanity cabinet of the one upstairs. The basement and its bathroom will have to wait, as will a million other things we want to tackle. But we have been telling ourselves that we can take our time since we are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so we can do things right and make this a place we call home.

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