The patching and sanding did not take as long as I had anticipated. Another thing I did not anticipate – the amount of dust that would be produced. Thankfully we splurged on some nicer tarps and covered all of the floors. We also covered the doorways and all of the cabinets/kitchen fixtures. I am so glad we took the extra time to do that. Cleaning took about 30 minutes when it could have taken hours of sweeping and wiping. Granted, there was still quite a bit of dust to be dealt with once the plastic had been rolled away. Without the plastic, however, I might have just lit a match to the whole thing – new ceilings and all.
Many lessons were learned in our first major home renovation.
- Perfection is unattainable. There are definitely areas on the ceiling where we could have patched and sanded a little more. At first Bradley was more disappointed than me. Could I see the imperfections? Sure. But I was primarily focused on the fact that nothing catastrophic had gone wrong. And for at least one of us having no clue what was going on, I thought we did pretty darn good. The more Bradley looked at it, the happier he was with it. We will tackle the problems areas in the future. For now, it is time to enjoy our hard work and blow the dust out of our noses.
- Sometimes it is worth the splurge. This seems the case for paint, paint brushes, and most certainly plastic tarps. We caught Sherwin-Williams when they were having a 40% off everything sale. We got the nicer ceiling paint and it was easy to put on. Which is important because everything has to be done over your head. And this makes everything about 5 times more difficult. Having to fuddle around with cheap paint – at the tail end of the project – would have only made me angry.
- Take breaks. We did a good job of knowing when we needed to rest. We took a mid-morning Corona break, a pre-lunch fresh air break, and a lunch break. When we got back from lunch, both of us were just ready to be done with the darn thing. We also knew that we couldn’t cook dinner until we finished – this was a very motivating factor. The breaks kept us level headed, were necessary for our spirits, and prevented us from getting short tempered with one another. Always take breaks.
- If you have dogs during a project like this, don’t trust them. We trusted the smallest one to stay in the house while we worked. She respected the plastic over the doorways for a few hours. Then, she needed cuddles. So, she pulled out her best Houdini impression and broke free of the plastic barrier. It’s a little funny to think back on it. Bradley and I are covered in an inch of dust and wearing masks. Honey comes tearing in with a goofy grin on her face, dust stirring up everywhere in her wake. She was so pleased with herself. All it got her was some crate time, and all it got me was a trail of dust through the house. You think it will be the big dog to cause the destruction. That is how the little one gets away it.
- When you are done, be done. I’m not great about that. I get a bee in my behind and can’t stop working. Even after the project and mess were done, I kept running around the house unpacking boxes. Bradley was great about pouring me a drink, cooking dinner, and taking a seat. I would have kept up my manic pace if it wasn’t for his subtle reminder that the boxes can wait.
- The next day, if you have chores to do, do them outside. We spent all of Sunday outdoors. We didn’t do this intentionally, but it has been great for my soul. We did yard work and washed the cars. We ran errands and drove through the countryside. I needed the sunshine and fresh air after having been cooped up in the house with my face inches from a ceiling.
The next major project will be the living room shelves and painting. Bradley has finished one set of shelves, and they look terrific. A set will go on either side of the mantle place, giving us more storage space and adding more character to the room. I’m always amazed at what he can built and grateful for his skills. Having a handy man around is very useful. I highly recommend one, ladies.
As I’m writing this outside, Bradley is finishing up washing his truck. It is 4:00 pm on a Sunday. This is just any other 4:00 pm to most people. To us, it is the time when one of us has to load up for the evening and head back to our end of the neighboring state. Not today. Many of our friends and families get lost in the excitement of our new home. And it is certainly excitement worthy. But Bradley and I are also getting a chance to try out a more normal schedule for a somewhat-young couple. We get to evolve our relationship and see what life is like when the other is around. We are developing a routine and learning more about our individual quirks. Don’t take those moments for granted. If you don’t get to enjoy them every day, then you know how insanely precious they are. This probably sounds sappy if you don’t know what I’m talking about. And that’s fine. Part of me is glad you don’t know what it is like to live in a different state than your partner. But I’m counting my blessings, one by one, and making certain I don’t let these moments pass me by.
This blog also marks one week in Virginia. I am proud to say that I have not cried a single tear. Check back during the week of May 17th. Bradley will be out of town, I will have the wild women to tame all on my own, and the lonely feelings might set in. Lord help me if “Sweet Caroline” comes on the radio during this week. It will be a mess.
Thanks for reading, folks. Please let me know if there is anything you want me to write about or are curious about. We would love to hear from all of you.
Pictures will be posted to Facebook. I’ve been taking pictures on my phone, but they don’t translate well when I upload them to the computer. They are all turned on their sides. I’m not savvy or energetic enough to figure out why. Hoping for a new camera in the very near future!