Life is reconciling our ideal w/ reality & making the best of it

9:25 AM

4 years ago when we moved into our "updated" (in the early 90's) 1940's brick rambler I loved it's simple charm with lots of mature trees, mountain views, large master suite and restored wood floors.  But that is pretty much where the love ended.  The rest I knew would be a lot of work, but together my husband and I, along with the help of our families could do it.  I was also excited at the prospect of our weekends being filled with home improvement projects.   

Well, you know that saying about how you can make god laugh?  Tell him YOUR plans. Apparently the above was one giant joke. NONE of it would come to fruition. I've been married 11 years, but I found out about 3 years ago that my  husband hates home improvement projects and when we first tried to do projects he was miserable and it always ended in a fight.  To add insult to injury, both of our parents became incredibly busy with their own projects.  My in-laws started and currently run a farmers market and my parents are vendors at a farmers market, both ventures take up 100% of their time from May-October.  

So, 4 years ago when I walked into this house I didn't see:

~ almond color appliances - I saw stainless steel appliances
~ square kitchen tiles, really? why couldn't they be subway? - I saw an awesome backsplash
~ leaf print laminate countertops - I saw granite or honed marble countertops
~ stark white walls - I saw warm hughes with beautiful pieces of art
~ functional doorways and window - I saw decorative molding and trim
~ functional/minimal base boards - I saw tall substantial looking baseboards
~ old levelor 1" blinds - I saw plantation shudders
~ outdated faux oak ceiling fans (there were 8 of them!) - I saw bronzed or silver updated light fixtures
~ almond color kitchen sink with old faucet - I saw a deep stainless steel sink with updated faucet
~ weird single beams in our bedroom - I saw thick beams with large bronzed bolts
~ brass hardware on every door and cabinet- I saw oil rubbed bronze hinges and pulls on all the doors (oh and the doors needed to be replaced/updated as well)
~ unfinished 1,000 sq.ft. basement - I saw a lg. family room and another bathroom. Laundry/craft room and theater room. 

The list could go on and on.....

For  a while there I felt a little deceived, foolish and stuck.  Stuck in a house that was far from what I envisioned and left with no resources (except my 2 hands) to get all the grand projects in my head finished (not to mention I had 3 younger kids, a demanding church calling, I still volunteer too much at my kids school and we had and have lots of extra curricula activities).

Without sounding too dramatic or ungrateful, I was pretty sad and bummed out about it.  I was stuck in a late 80's looking, 'diamond in the rough house' all day every day with the constatnt visual reminder of how naive I was.  It's still hard sometimes, but I decided one day that even though I can't do any of the big projects above, the ones that require expertise and a lot of $$, I  CAN do small improvement projects that make a big difference.

I am NO expert and I'm NO perfectionist, I'm pretty good at looking at something and saying, "good enough".  I think if a contractor ever saw what I did they'd be mortified.  But I've done most of it on my own, with limited knowledge and no experience.  

There are a hand full of projects (big ones) that we had help on and I will give props to those who helped us when we get to those projects.  I am going to start blogging about these small home improvement triumphs.  Triumphs achieved with my limited knowledge, expertise, time and funds.

In the words of Andy Dwyer from Parks & Rec:

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. 
I read that one on a can of lemonade. 
I like to think it applies to life."

What would I do without these guys to help me laugh and "lighten-up" when I've reconciled reality with my ideals and seen how far I am from where I want to be?

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