So this post is about our renovation project on the exterior of our home. It’s lengthy, probably long winded, annoyingly upbeat, sprinkled with pithy remarks and a quirky sense of humor, filled with strange stories, and oodles of pictures.
When we stopped our traveling lifestyle almost 3 years ago, we decided to stop for a couple of reasons:
Number one and most important, our oldest daughter missed being with friends. Greg and I always maintained we would stop if any of the kids expressed a desire to do so. As soon as Abby started making her feelings known, we knew the gauntlet had been thrown.
Number two, after visiting Alaska, where were we going to go? What is the next thing after seeing the biggest item on your bucket list? It has always been a dream
borderlines obsession of mine to visit Alaska. It was a lifetime bucket list item for me.
Personally, I needed to regroup. As a couple, we needed to reevaluate and perhaps more importantly rediscover new hopes/dreams to share and experience with one another.
All I knew and could articulate at that moment in my life, was my inexplicable desire to get my hands on some power tools. I wanted a nail gun.
And I wanted my own damn power drill. preferably pink or leopard in color. Super horse power,
heavy substantial in weight, but small enough to fit perfectly in my hand!!!
Both Greg and I knew we wanted to find a neglected treasure. We both wanted to spit on it, shine it up real good, and make it ours!
And this is the point in the story where I segue into my own little philosophical definition of “home”. The motor home or “murder home” as Phoebe referred to it (just laugh cause she didn’t know what she was saying…but it was SUPER funny and SUPER awkward around strangers) changed my whole perspective on “home”.
When we bought our 3,000 square foot home in Florida, it was beautiful, new, and huge. We lived there for 3 years. Somewhere during our second year in that house, life in The Spranger Household became stressful and we all became sour versions of ourselves.
I was becoming resentful of everyone for not wanting to keep our house in my definition of “working order”. I was constantly cleaning, home schooling the kids, fixing all meals everyday, tackling laundry, and just trying to keep all the juggling balls in the air.
Weekends came and went. I spent a majority of my time cooking, cleaning and yelling at everyone for not caring as much as I did.
In short, eventually, I didn’t want to be around me. Yes you read that correctly. I didn’t like the person I was becoming. When Greg brought up the whole “Live in the RV and sell all of our belongings and kind of reset our lives” as a joke, I surprised us both with a really loud “Hell ya”!
The “murder home” allowed us to reset our lives as a family. And because it took us 6 months to sell our home (we used that time to set clear expectations and really understand what we wanted from this adventure) when it came time to move from the 3,000 square foot home onto the 300 square foot home on wheels, there wasn’t that feeling of, “Oh my holy shit what have we done” panic.
We were mentally prepared. We took that 6 months to kind of visualize where we would put all of the kids school stuff, where our clothes would go and of course how much personal belongings each person would be allowed (because a 2,700 square foot reduction in space is significant) and we really had to assess what each of us “needed” rather than “wanted”. What kitchen stuff was coming with us, where Greg would work, how Cecilia would get her medication and if there was a risk to her health with us making this decision.
And before I continue, I want to make it clear, we had a great community, met so many wonderful life long friends, and made unforgettable experiences while living in Florida. And I got to see and bond more with my sister. Which is a gift, I can never repay.
My point in this little pivot is to put into words what living in such close quarters for a year and a half with 5 people did for my definition of “home”.
IT JACKED IT UP! That’s what it did.
All I wanted was to replicate the experiences we had on the murder home, in a similar living situation that didn’t have wheels. Did you read that last part closely? “Didn’t have wheels”. And stayed in one place all the time. And to be apart of a community. To be a part of a whole.
Which brings me back to the main point of the story. I really wanted an ugly, broken, sad, forgotten, and neglected
So, when I came across the train wreck that was to be our future home…I saw that defeated little red house basking in the golden glow of winters light and it sang to my heart, “Come inside…I’m goofy and oddly sophisticated, just like you! We can heal each other” sang the little red house in my ears. How could I resist?
First of all, there were so many strange but intriguing points about the house…like the fact the ceiling or roof slope in the front area is not symmetrical is both charming and annoying to me.
I appreciate symmetry, but as an individual with quirky and in my personal opinion “charming” characteristics (totally joking…sort of), I certainly recognize and value those characteristics which like human beings, are atypical.
Another strange yet intriguing point about the house is the fact our realtor initially refused to show me the house on the basis that it looked as if the house had been “spray painted” red and the ceilings were unusually low in the upstairs area.
Both were true. And both are “fixable”. Is that a word? It is now. FIXABLE.
So without further ado, below are the pictures of the renovation on the exterior of our home. The picture above is what it looked like before we bought the house.
This is what it looked like after we moved in…
And as of today, Saturday, October 17, 2020, this is what it looks like…
In all fairness, we still have a couple of things to do during the fall like:
1. level the backyard, replace grass along our old walkway and rebuild new walkway from our front porch to the driveway
2. fill in a lot of divets around the yard, a
3. add some landscaping in both the front and back, LOTS AND LOTS OF TREES and bushes!!
4. replace the old driveway
5. add a patio on the back
6. build a garage and possibly add a fence.
let’s start with the things we’ve accomplished thus far,
my most favorite thing EVER is (drumroll please)
Greg and I bought the wood, built the box, and I stained the entire piece. It was the first time I’ve ever used stain and I am so pleased with how well it turned out. And my plant (thanks to my great friends at The Greenhouse down the street) has blossomed into the most voluptuous plant I’ve ever owned. I cannot believe I haven’t killed it!!
The picture above is brought to you from Greggy’s phone (hence the super low quality. And don’t think I’m hurting his feelings with that comment. He’s totally aware and could care less.) So we rented and hauled the lift home behind our car. It was scary, but I took an online class on how to operate it, used a harness, and spent 3 10 hour days up there wrapping both sides of the house while Greg was working. I was so proud of myself for conquering a fear!
Below is a picture of the back of the house before…
And the new and improved as of May 2020…
Again, we have a lot left to do concerning the outside yard, driveway, walkway, and a gazillion other things. But as of this moment, I’m enjoying our progress and decorating for fall!!!
And I’m enjoying being able to spend time with my family in our cozy little blue house.
Happy Monday…have a fantastic week!