5/12/14

For My Birthday My Husband Bought Me A 100-Year-Old House!

It's true, last Friday we FINALLY closed on the 1920's fixer-upper. After almost two months of stress and more stress, we were given a closing date, that just happened to be on my birthday!  What a gift, huh?


The former owner's key... 
Let it be known right now, I am a wanna be writer, and FTD works for a school that caters to children with 'learning difference,' so while our income is above the poverty line, it's not anywhere near six-figures... so, saying my husband bought me a house for my birthday, and meaning it, is CRAY CRAY!

It's just so 
unbelievable we own a house.  Three months ago we never dreamed it really possible, with my lack of gainful employment and FTD's limited credit and employment history in the States.  Not-to-mention, thanks to our different nationalities (I'm American, FTD is Australian), it feels like we have spent our time and money proving that we should get to stay together. We never really felt like we should put down roots anywhere since immigration could pull them up at anytime during the residency process. I still feel like he could be taken from us at anytime.  Seriously. When I was pregnant with Ollie, we had a routine interview with immigration to verify our marriage and proof of having a true relationship. 

When the interviewing officer looked through our ultrasound photos, marriage certificate and letters from friends, she said, "I need more proof."  
I looked at her with my best, go right to hell, face, and said," I am carrying his child!,"  
She replied with, "I don't know it's actually his."  

You all, I wanted to climb over that desk and unleash my wild pregnancy hormones on her ass.  Yes, I know she was just doing her job, but for f'k's sake!

Sorry, I digress,  Our new house...

We finally closed last Friday, on my birthday.

Magic!

The day was absolutely magical.

I kept finding myself so overwhelmed by emotions that I just kept breaking out into tears. I honestly did not think the day would come.  Between Adam not holding a permanent residency card, to me not having an income worth a damn, I was sure the bank would pull the plug. I had to keep giving them more and more history of payments, tax forms, the promise of Ollie's first born son... It seemed like every time I gave them something, they wanted three more things.  It was never ending... Then the appraiser insisted on things being fixed, and since we bought the house, "as-is," we had to make the repairs or give up the house! The LONG, incredibly invasive, process was absolutely insane! Then, last Monday, I got the email with the closing date confirmed.  SAWEEEET!! No more 800sft, one bathroom, third floor walk-up, with no backyard and a toddler to remind me of that EVERYDAY!


FTD opening the door to our new home for the first time.


My friends, FTD did it...  He carried my rather plump derrière across the threshold into our new home. It was SO AMAZING!!! After tears, hugs and kisses, we turned to look at our new house... a.k.a the fixer-upper.  Lawd have mercy, we have our work cut out for us! Luckily, we bought a new grill and plenty of beer to take the sting out...

In all seriousness, we have elected to stay in the shoebox walk-up for three weeks while we tackle the place.  From hideous wallpaper, to asbestos tiles, to FILTHY carpet in Ollie's room that is covering horrifying linoleum that appears to have been super gorilla slime glued onto the near 100-year-old wood-- that we still have no freaking idea what we are going to do about--to a mystery leak in the garage, to cast-iron pipes that are corroding... and a yard full of amazing plants and flowers that are being strangled to death by euonymus--LOTS and LOTS of euonymus. Did I mention that we LOVE THIS PLACE?


I spent a good part of Sunday HACKING away at the euonymus.
I felt like an archaeologist trying to unearth ancient bones the way I had to carefully cut around the poor plants being strangled by the evil weed.

On our first night, we did what any new home owners would do-- We (FTD) put together our new grill, then invited our new SUPER AMAZING neighbors over who have a two year old boy that Ollie already talks about non-stop, and drank beers and grilled out in our new backyard.  BLISS!  Freaking. Bliss.

Then... Saturday morning rolled around...

The time had finally come for the renovation madness to begin. I tackled the hideous wallpaper, while FTD began the process of figuring out the electrical system and measuring the floors and windows. Thankfully, the house is structurally sound, so even though it needs quite a bit of love, it's not going to fall on our heads while we fix it up.

I'm not gonna lie, I hugged the walls and even kissed one.  I was finally home, and madly in love with every square inch of it... Happy Birthday To Me!

Ready for some #RenovationMadness DIY Photos? Don't worry, I will tell you all about my adventures in peeling the wallpaper, and FTD laying the hardwood over the horrible asbestos tiles.  But, for now, I am SO SO SO exhausted from our first weekend dealing with the madness, photos will have to do.  But don't worry, no way would I not let you in on the details of the insanity renovations. I learned quite a bit about stripping wallpaper this weekend... 



That Wallpaper... 
And while I'm at it, that green paint! and those WRECKED blinds... No really, I LOVE this house!
FYI: If you put wallpaper in your home,
one day someone will say VERY VERY VERY bad things about you... 


I started in one corner and... yeah, it sucked!
Thanks again, Shay and Hannah, for pointing out that mirror looks like the mirror from the ring.
I locked it in the closet...



This Instagram pretty much sums up how bad removing wallpaper sucks...
To see regular updates on the renovations, follow me on Instagram...
http://instagram.com/firsttimemomanddad 
 
Bye-bye asbestos tiles!
As much as we wanted to remove them,
our bank account and time decided otherwise.
FTD laid a floating laminate floor over them instead while we figure it all out.  

Look how pretty my kitchen floor is!


I am SO pleased at how nice the color match is between the new floor and the 100 year old original wood floors are!
YAY, FTD!
As I type this, he is still at the house finishing up the breakfast room.
He is so awesome!!!!


And last, what about the little guy you ask?  He is already over the renovations and wants to move in, "NOW, Mommy!" 


That second chair is for his new best friend.
I am SO happy about this.
What a blessing to have a super Two across the street! 

In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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