What’s Wrong With Us?

We’ll admit it. We’re a little relieved that the holiday season is over. As fun and exciting as all of the hoopla is, December can be a stressful month with all of the last minute shopping, long distance traveling, family gatherings, and weather madness that come along with it… which is probably why lots of people called us certifiably crazy for adding moving-into-a-new-house to the mix.

It definitely was a bit crazy of us, but it just dawned on me and Sherry that this wasn’t the first year that a major project fell over the holiday season. In fact, it’s happened for the past FOUR YEARS IN A ROW. Update: Five years in a row – see the bottom of this post. So it seems that we’ve got a chronic case of making Christmas-time more complicated. Observe.

In the last month of 2007 we were at the tail end of our kitchen remodel. By Christmas we had already lived sans kitchen for two months and our new cabinets were installed, but we were still waiting on our counters to arrive and officially make the room functional again.

Oh yeah and did we mention that we didn’t have a kitchen sink, so we were washing dishes in our tiny bathroom vanity. Yeah, that got old real quick.

In 2008 it was our floors. Right before leaving for a family Christmas out of town we shoved all of our belongings into the kitchen and den so the rest of the hardwood floors in our entire house could be professionally refinished.

It was more than a bit “disruptive.”

Then 2009 welcomed the bathroom remodel, which commenced the weekend after Thanksgiving. So by New Year’s we found ourselves in the midst of tiling. Which meant that our only full bathroom was still a few weeks away from being functional again.

Let’s just say we did our fair share of showering at the gym and at my sister’s house. Sherry even hosed me down in the backyard after a particularly dusty day of work (she wouldn’t let me get in the car and drive to have a proper shower for fear of getting the car all dirty). Brrr.

And we had more than a few adventures when it came to this year’s mid-December move, which involved packing up every last possession and loading it into a UHaul…

… which then slipped into a ditch about .05 minutes after beginning the journey to our new house…

… which ended up looking a lot like this while we unpacked…

But now that we’re more settled, in hindsight it wasn’t so bad. Which is kind of how we feel about all of our other annual end-of-year adventures. So I guess we’ll just have to wait about 11 months to see what crazy project we’ve got going on at the end of 2011 to keep the streak alive for a fifth year in a row. Maybe we’ll be in the midst of a simultaneous kitchen remodel, floor refinishing project, and bathroom tile job. You know, just to put the other years to shame…

Update: Looks like this wacky tradition of ours is still going strong since we tackled a major kitchen reno just in time for Christmas in 2011 and were in the middle of a pretty chaotic book tour along with hosting Christmas for the first time at our house in 2012. 


  1. Lesley says

    maybe the big project could be having another bean!! atleast that doesn’t involve sanding, countertops, doors or bathrooms..errr..maybe. haha

  2. says

    When I first glanced at this post I thought you were taking it a step further by going ahead a painting your cabinets now! I know you guys are industrious but I was about to be floored by your progress. So what do you have planned to demolish this coming Christmas?

  3. Michelle says

    I find myself in similar situations… I think for me it is because I want to start January fresh so I feel the need to tackle projects late in the year… whether it has been a bathroom remodel or just cleaning out all of our closets in the house at the same time. Also gives a good sense of accomplishment for the year… even if it means a little proscrastination may have been involved.

  4. says

    Hi John and Sherry,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I love it SO SO much. I think i’ve read through most of your posts. You’ve helped me to decorate my tiny apartment and given lots of inspiration.
    Just thought i’d let you know. thankyou for all that you do!!
    Oh and i love burgers blog too. I’ve told my husband that I want a Chihuahua, he’s not keen – so i’ll keep trying :)
    ( Australia )

  5. penny says

    Cant wait to see what this December will bring! haha I too am a bit relieved all the holiday madness is over.

    xoxo Penny

  6. LindseyR says

    thanks for the recap! looks like you guys tend to end the year with a BANG! :-) keep up the good work and cheers to a wonderful new year!

  7. says

    You guys are amazing for keeping your cool (or at least appearing that way on the bloggy!) through all of the craziness. I think I would have moved into a Marriott at that point.

  8. LauraC says

    You guys are crazy. But that’s why we love you! JK. I’m excited, this is the year for us to redo our upstairs bathroom; we even got our first bid! Nervous though too, off to reread your bathroom remodel . . . wish us luck! ;-)

  9. says

    want to come over and help us put a bathroom in our basement? I’m kind of bummed we went away for the holidays so we couldn’t deal with that drama in December. Oh well, there’s always January!

  10. says

    Ok, all I saw of this post was the “sans two months without a functioning kitchen” and the pictures of the dishes in the bathroom sink!

    I am about to remodel my kitchen.

    I guess my dream of going to work and coming home with it completed is slightly unrealistic?

    We’re re-doing the basement, too. At the same time.

    I will DEFINITELY be rethinking THAT!

    Seriously, you guys are superstars. A lesser couple would have cracked and started chewing their shoe laces in the face of so much upheaval!

  11. says

    Ok, you guys are officially nuts (I say that in a good way when it comes to being nuts for your casa)! I think next year you owe it to all three of you to just kick back and make “playing Santa” your Christmas chore. Although knowing you two, you could probably turn that into a “look, Clara, what Santa did to the house in one night while you were asleep!” =) I love living vicariously through your blog!

  12. says

    Ouch! Does not look like fun, but I look forward to trying my own house on for size one day. :) I love your blog – you guys are great at what you do. I’ve enjoyed your comments about saving money and how you afforded your remodels in the past. Those have been some of my favorite parts of reading YHL, so it would be awesome if you could share any more of your tips.

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