Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I like to move it, move it

We moved!

Life stayed nuts to the bitter end, as we stayed up til 2 a.m. Sunday night, woke at 8 to load kids and remaining items into the 2 cars, signed closing papers at 9, and hit the road at 10 a.m. to begin our drive to Colorado.

We were helped SO MUCH along the way, and I love photos and didn't get nearly enough of everything and everyone I wanted!

When we hit last-minute project frenzy these helpful and handy men stepped in and moved rock, installed sinks and a water heater, and drilled and put in every single knob and pull in the entire kitchen. They also brought donuts and lots of inappropriate humor and we laughed the night away, and it was amazing. Thank you Ian, Nathan, and Chris!!

This sweetie sent boxes, then brought herself with more boxes, then went on a wild goose chase for boxes, then helped me LOAD those boxes, and THEN MADE US DINNER. Much sanity was saved thanks to Stephanie Crook! She deserved this smooch plus many more

Jamie and Stephanie are two of the greatest leaders and friends a girl could ever hope to work with, I was so blessed to be called into Young women and get to know them (and all the leaders, I think everyone else was gone this day though! But they appear elsewhere). Jamie deserved many smooches too as she gifted me (ok, the kids) with a giant package of fun things to do in the car, plus snacks. 

The poor kids got dragged to the construction site nearly every day, so as people were asking how they could help I honestly said, "if you could take my kids, that would help!" One neighbor in particular took that very seriously and had Eli over the dinners, playdates, 2 sleepovers, and out the Menchies for Frozen Yogurt. Eli was saved! And we all know that doing anything with just one less kid is so much easier, so I was saved, too.

Caroline was saved by her dear friend from church (and here, her older sister Whitney) who picked her up from the flip house to have playdates until whenever the heck we could pick her up to go to bed. It was really insane, and insanely nice. They happened to move 2 weeks before us, and Caroline cried herself to sleep that night.

3 families were moving in January so the ward threw a shindig after church one day and we gave many, many hugs. I love and will dearly miss Chelsea, Elicia, and Tamra!!

Another shindig (this time without kids or husbands, which is always a blast) at a local bakery. We laughed probably too loud and too long, but the cake was delicious and these women are AMAZING (have I mentioned that already?) Thank you to amazing Raya for always making the get-togethers happen (often at her own expense and at her own house), and for making a get-together just for me happen. But Raya! Jamie! Stephanie! Becky! Becca! Joy! Amy! Rachel! Erika! Amanda! Frankly I need more exclamation points to do this crew any justice.
Raya even made me this lovely art that will hang in our new home

Our neighbors, the Mondeaus, had the kids over a BUNCH and always fed Patrick and took him to basketball practice on Tusdays so I could have one less crazy thing on my plate. The kids loved going to basketball games so they could play in the hall with younger siblings while the big boys played ball.
Caroline LOVES Avery and Bailey! They made friendship necklaces out of yarn, and declared they would never, ever throw them away.

The INCREDIBLE Duke family, who bought the home on Ken Lake (I can't call it "our" home, now it's theirs! And I am so happy for that!). They also had us over the New Years celebrations, baby showers (not for me, but it was fun!), and a wonderful 4th of July weekend at Hood Canal. We have been SO BLESSED to know their family! they and their 4 kids are going to love the neighborhood

The moving truck always makes things official, doesn't it?
As does an empty house. 

Now our goodbyes are done, and the hello's are about to begin. I'd better get some sleep so I can greet this new adventure with bright eyes and a bushy tail!

To market, to market

The flip house is on the market! We staged it for the listing, but the furniture was only there for 3 days until we loaded it back up to move it to Colorado. Looked good while it as there, though ;)

To see an official listing for our flip house, Google 2415 92nd court se, Olympia WA.

While they had a professional photographer come do the photos, there are not nearly enough pictures for my taste! Having touched EVERY SQUARE INCH of the house made me feel compelled to take photos of every square inch, so that's what you're about to get!

New exterior paint, new windows, new front door (with great new paint), and new landscaping made for  great first impression - the official listing is bettter than this because it a) doesn't have my van in it, b) has the pile of rocks spread out, and c) doesn't have the empty bags from mulch lying in the yard. But DO notice the new cedar shingles over the front door to match  the existing cedar shingles over the garage! That turned out cool.

Walking in the front door we did get the weird closet thing changed back into a coat closet, but I think Joe and I both failed to capture that. Instead, if you turn to the right you walk into the living room. We staged with our own furniture (plus a new rug from Walmart, we are fancy).
Going toward the dining room and looking back into the living room you see the awesome new window, all the lovely trim, and a cute little setup.

The built-in looked pretty dang cute with these ikea plants.

From the dining room, toward the kitchen. Love that cute island! We didn't have chairs the entire time we worked there, and once we put in staging furniture we just GRAVITATED to this island. It is a great gathering spot.

From the kitchen looking into the dining room, we love the pendants - they're actually just $10 fixtures from Ikea! But they turned out great. The island cabinets and butcher block countertop are from Home depot, and also turned out nicely. In these few photos you don't see the gold knobs and pulls we put in, but they got there eventually thanks to a few wonderful friends and their wonderful patience and tools.

HUGE run of counterspace! So awesome

Similar pendant light above the sink as over the island. The tile turned out very cute and sleek!

More tile, more counters, a great range hood over a great new stove.
From the kitchen going toward the hallway. I loved how this photo fit into the space and made a functional space turn into a furniture space - I think it warmed the kitchen up. I don't think the listing even showed it (wah-wah!) and now it's not there because we took the frame home with us, but it looked good while it was there! It's hanging on the wall outside the new bedroom, which ended up being labeled an "office/den" because the septic system is rated for a 2 bedroom house.

But seriously, it's a bedroom. There is the egress window and the closet.
But I staged it with a desk instead of a bed because this desk is so much smaller and easier to move than a bed, and I just love this rocking chair of ours. The pillow was a going-away gift from the girls in YW and I adore it, it has all their signatures on the back.

Straight across the hall from that bedroom is the laundry/mud room. With beadboard up and trim painted it looks pretty dang smart!

Sorry about the black spot on the cabinet door, that was an oversight when I saved out the right size of door (from the 50 or so cabinet doors he had squirreled around the house) and then we had no more doors, so up it went. Oh well. But there's the washer-dryer hook-ups.

Next door to the laundry room (there used to be a door between the two of them) is the guest bath, All white tile shower felt clean and simple.

Navy blue cabinets to carry over from the kitchen

We kept the existing wall cubby and painted it blue, which turned out cute. We kept the existing mirror, which turned out to be a mistake - there were some deep scratches on the left side of the mirror that we ended up covering with a plank. It wasn't our finest moment, but it got the job done.

We liked the long run of shiplap! Hooks instead of towel bars is one of our favorite little swaps to make. Easy and updates, and my kids still have never figured out how to re-fold a towel over a bar so at my home it's a personal favorite.

2nd bedroom - one of the original 2, and quite frankly THIS would make a better office, it's darker and more enclosed in here.

Though it DOES have a more traditional closet.

Remember when this wall was a giant dinosaur head?!?

At the end of the hallway, walking into the master bedroom. They obviously all have new carpet, and it is just lovely. Although it's a flip we didn't go for the absolute rock-bottom cheapest option on anything, and this was one of those examples - it was inexpensive but still nice to look at an soft underfoot. And for how easy it is to have someone else install the floor, I swear next time we are installing carpet EVERYWHERE, bathrooms and kitchen too, bad taste be damned.

With vaulted ceilings and 2 windows, it is so light! This is the wall that had paper towels shoved in the holes.

Seriously great walk-in closet. since we closed off the door between the closet and the bathroom (because who need 2 doors into once closet?) we had room for a third wall of shelf and rod

Over by the windows, looking toward the bathroom. See that lovely door? ALL the doors are lovely 6-panel doors and they ALL are a pain in the butt to paint. I recommend NOT doing 6 panel doors on a flip, but whatever.

Walking into the bath, we have the matching sinks/lights/mirrors and the bump-out wall to hide the plumbing which gives a nice shelf for daily basics and, shown here, a handy tube of caulk.

From the sink looking rightm, more caulk. And also the wainscoting paint job we went with - make things a little more interesting. Because pedestal sinks obviously have no storage, we hooked the bathroom up with some shelves that keep your necessities close but out of sight.

A closer detail of the mosaic tile around the tub. Although IT WAS a pain in the butt, we still really like the finished product, and it got lots of compliments. And that's what we go for!

In the shower stall, just on the right side of the toilet and handy storage cubby, we did the same white tile from the guest bath, plus a vertical accent run of the floor tile. A vertical run of the mosaic would have been great, and would have been another $150 so we said "nah."

And that's it! That is the house! It will be a really great place for someone - they just need to BUY IT. Pretty please?

WILD things

Our lives are crazy right now. We should probably be in the insane asylum... but instead we've settled for the Nut House, right?

When we started the flip house, and I started blogging about it with no inkling of the sharp turn our lives were about to take.  Then it felt weird in the middle of "project - project - project - project" to be like, "Joe left his job and we're moving to Colorado!" It felt especially weird since they are intimately connected, but it's hard to see unless I get it down from the very beginning. Which I didn't, but I will now.

Here's why: we did the flip house because Joe needed to be done with his job at Target Distribution here in Olympia. It was such an opportunity when we moved up! A promotion to Senior Group Leader, a pay raise, some cool scenery to go with it... we were in heaven! It went south quickly, though, and before a year had passed, incompatibility with his General Manager had Joe browsing local job openings online. Just when we though he was stressed to the max, the GM quit and Joe was left working in a building as the only Senior Group Leader, where there should have been a minimum of 3, and without a GM. "Max" had reached a new level! Rather than find simply another job to tide him over, we pursued a long-term dream of ours as a couple: flipping houses. When we bought this Nut House he intended to stay at Target one more stress-filled year while we would flip multiple houses, and at the end of that year he could comfortably leave Target and we would just flip full time. So while he was still working at the Target DC I couldn't write anything negative about his job situation - that is biting the hand that feeds us! What if he mentioned the blog to a co-worker so they could see pictures of the house and BOOM, negative comments got him fired? Far better to simply be excited about the project for what it was: a cool opportunity to flip a house. So that it how I presented it here - no secret hopes attached!

Come Thanksgiving, Joe was sat down by his District Manager (because he had no direct boss, remember) and it seemed clear to him that Target was heading one direction and Joe was heading another. This A) Scared the crap out of us, and B) Left us with some big decisions to make. Should Joe re-direct himself and stay with a job he didn't love, but that had a steady paycheck? Should he look for a different job? Jobs here or jobs outside Washington? Stay in Distribution, or go back to Construction Management? There were many good options, and we sorted through them a little bit like an optometrist checks your prescription; "which looks better, A or B? ... now B or C? .... " They make a few adjustments and do it again, whittling out what your prescription ISN'T until they find what it IS. And we found that what we want IS to move back to Colorado, it IS to live in Grand Junction, and it IS to do something Construction Management related. We needed to get to work.

Enter: Facebook. (Who knew Facebook could save you? I could sworn it was just a time-waster!) But it saved us this time, as I connected with old friends who live in Grand Junction, who have husbands in Construction Management, who were able to get Joe some interviews with General Contractors in town. My dad, who is King John to the Grandkids but could usually be called King of Keeping Out Of Your Business, made it his business to find contacts and job leads for Joe.  It seemed like a long shot at the very best, but everyone was warm and welcoming in spite of the random connections, and LO AND BEHOLD - Joe interviewed for, and was offered, a job.


If life seemed wild and stressful and maxxed out before, we just hit a new level! We leveled up! Suddenly our time frame was much more real, as Joe had "last day of work" and "first day of work" to bookend "get this crazy flip house on the market, and oh yeah, don't forget to sell your own house too." His last day in the building at the DC was December 15th and he has worked at the flip house every day except Sundays since then, and we are closing in on it.  We have been blessed beyond measure with the things that have fallen into place during the process, from installations to inspections being completed earlier than planned and without a hiccup. We have also been blessed in general health, which has allowed us to work as hard as we possibly can. We have been DOUBLY blessed because without even trying to, our house here is under contract and we have a home ready to move into when we do finally get to leave. A close friend with 4 kids approached us after I broke down to her during the "I don't know what we're doing!" phase and said she and her family would like to buy the Ken Lake house. Of course!!!! Not having to deal with putting the house on the market, intense cleaning and staging, scheduling showings, ALL of that, would save us SO MUCH HEADACHE. Blessings!!

So that is life. House under contract, flip house nearly on the market, moving truck scheduled, new job lined up, new house to move into... life is WILD.

Monday, January 8, 2018

We're, like, totally popular

The kids bathroom was in a serious state, and the thickness of the paint from the murals wasn't something paint could hide. The framed in door from the bath to the laundry needed to be cobered, and instead of redrywalling the entire bathroom we decided to go for a totally new and totally popular project: SHIPLAP!

Thanks you, queen Joanna, for giving us a way to cover ugly walls in an interesting way.

We used 1/4" pine plywood, and had the good team members of Home Depot rip 3 sheets of it down to 8" lengths. The guys helping me wondered what we were doing, so I described the process and finished look. He shook his head and said, "sounds like something from pinterest." I laughed so hard! But I laughed to myself, I didn't want him thinking I didn't appreciate him doing all the hard work for me. Incidentally, I notice there is a SKU for cuts, they can apparently charge you 50 cents per cut, but in spite of ripping down 5 boards for me, I wasn't charged anything extra. Good thing I held in those laughs, huh?

We primed the walls gray to cover the various colors because the shiplap will be white, and would be difficult to do multiple coats through the narrow gaps. The shiplap boards will be painted tomorrow.
Joe noted the stud placement, got his finish nailer hooked up, and tacked those planks to the wall with 1/8" tile spacers.
Going up!
A view with the tile backer board and new tub Joe also installed today.
All the way to the ceiling!

Across the room we kept the giant mirror up, it will be trimmed out with a frame
The room already had a built-in shelf thing (it used to be Giant Octopus Red), so we painted it and kept it, I think it will be a cute and functional niche 
Tub, backer board, and shiplap - that was quite a day! And all installed by Joe, who is quite a guy.