Dude, We’ve Lived Here An Entire Year

Which means this time last year, we woke up to a surprise snowstorm…

… that resulted in our UHaul slipping into the gutter of our old driveway (more on that here).

Man, it feels like that was just yesterday. John and I still remember every word of that truck-snafu conversation…

JOHN: Hey Sherry. Walk-through went fine. They’re off to go close and I’m headed to the new house.

SHERRY: Okay, be very careful. It’s snowy out there so drive as slow as you need, even if people are honking at you. Just take your time.

JOHN: I will. Don’t worry.

SHERRY: Great. I just don’t want you ending up in a ditch or anything.


JOHN: Crap, the truck is in a ditch and I think I knocked over the mailbox.

SHERRY: You’re kidding right?


On the other hand, it kinda feels like we’ve lived here forever. And sometimes we forget little things about the old house (like where a certain light switch was located, or whether a door swung in or out to open). And that makes it feel like we haven’t lived there in a very very long time. Then again, there are a few light switches here that are still a complete mystery to us, so this house can’t be too “old” to us yet, seeing as there are probably going to be more discoveries as we renovate and decorate and spread out into a few rooms that we haven’t even started to really live in yet as our family grows (like the sunroom and the playroom for example). And no, that’s not a baby-on-the-way hint Mom! But back to reminiscing… it’s so weird to look back a year in our archives and see what our first house looked like empty:

Some of the angles that we shot it without furniture were never possible with furniture, like this one (I stood where the media cabinet used to be)…

You can check out more empty first house pics here. Now let’s take a look back at how our current house looked exactly a year ago on move in day (I literally ran around snapping these pics with our rented UHaul waiting to be unloaded in the driveway):

You can check out more empty house pics here. The funny thing is that a few of those spaces have come a looong way in 365 days…

… while others are virtually untouched (like all of our bathrooms). And a few other rooms haven’t been tackled at all except for plopping down furniture or using them to store a bunch of stuff that we have to garage sale/craigslist (like the sunroom and the playroom):

You can see a full play by play of “before” and “progress” pics here (and all the before and after pics from our first house here). But enough looking back, let’s attempt to peer into the future. We thought it would be fun to list a few of the projects that we have in mind (after we wrap things up in the kitchen in a few months of course), just in broad strokes (there have been a bunch of requests for an updated Listy Mclisterson post, so we’ll have to do that soon for ya in more detail with some fun red cross outs). In the meantime, here’s what we have in mind for taking this still very much in progress house a little further in year two (and beyond!):

  • build a wooden deck for dining (beyond the glass sliding doors in the hallway right next to the kitchen)
  • convert the carport into a garage (that’s going to be one of those big with-the-help-of-a-contractor projects)
  • build a trellis arch/pergola around the new garage door so it’s all lush and pretty
  • build a big media cabinet to balance the large console table that we built on the other side of the room (and a bench for the foot of the bed and a cabinet for the inset-wall in the master bedroom?)
  • refinish the floors in our bedroom (along with the other wood ones in most of the house, but we can’t do them all at once since we need a place to offset furniture)
  • add wainscoting to the hallway that leads to the nursery, playroom, and guest room
  • actually paint/furnish/use the sunroom
  • actually paint/furnish/use the playroom
  • redo/update/spruce up all three of the bathrooms (with varying degrees of actual renovation – some just need a little cosmetic stuff)
  • continue tweaking rooms like the living room, dining room, nursery, bedroom, guest room (all of which have entire walls devoid of frames and key items of furniture missing)
  • create a defined entryway with a large buffet, art, and a rug by the front door (among other things)
  • add crown molding to a bunch of spaces (like the playroom, nursery, guest room, etc)
  • double side the fireplace in the kitchen so we can enjoy it in the living room as well
  • build a backyard swingset/playset along with a pimped sandbox for the bean (and a play kitchen, and a dollhouse – so many bean plans)
  • paint the siding/trim/shutters on the house along with framing out the porch columns so they’re chunky and square (and add another light near the door, stain the concrete, etc)
  • take on tons o’ outdoor landscaping stuff (in the front, side, back, and beyond)
  • build in the master bathroom vanity so it’s symmetrical (for more concealed storage since we don’t sit there and use it as a vanity)
  • build some raised beds in the side/back for an edible garden
  • retrofit the daybed in the playroom so a trundle bed can be slipped under it for future bean sleepovers or overflow guests
  • add french doors between the dining room and the office (for privacy and added architecture)
  • change the roofline out front (add some peaks for dimension and to make it more cohesive with the house’s shape from the back)
  • DIY a pool someday (John thinks this idea is insane, mind you)

Of course we’ll do a lot of this stuff over the course of the next few years (our first house took us 4.5 years to finish) so there’s no rush. We just like to remember to relaxxxxxx. Seriously, you can get all crazy and stressed and frustrated if you rush through things instead of taking projects one day and one small victory at a time and remembering to enjoy the ride. And we couldn’t ask for more amazing people to have in the car (the house?) with us. Wait, that sounded weird. We just mean that we’re so honored and excited to have you guys drop in and encourage us as we go. So thanks! You all have a huuuge part in keeping our morale and our momentum up, so we owe you at least ten holiday cookies each. With extra icing and sprinkles. Picture yourself enjoying every last crumb (remember, fantasizing about eating ten cookies = zero calories).

Oh and as for the method to our “project order,” we don’t really have one. We jump around from room to room to stay excited and keep things from feeling monotonous or overwhelming. After a big project (or a string of big projects) sometimes we’re happy to take a breather and tackle the little stuff for a while. And other times we’re psyched to keep our momentum up and start planning the next big undertaking right away. Who knows what’s next. Gotta keep trucking on the kitchen for a while, so who knows what we’ll be in the mood for when the renovating dust clears in there. But one thing’s for sure… if year two is half as exciting and rewarding and memorable as year one in this house, we’ll be over the moon. Is it weird to love a house like it’s a member of the family? What do you guys hope to tackle in the coming year (and beyond!)? Every time you read “and beyond” do you think of Buzz Lightyear, or is that just me?

Psst- Clara is obsessed with big dogs and has no concept of personal space. More on that here.


  1. says

    Ha! I was just reminiscing about our former house last night (thinking about Christmas memories and decorating, etc.) and was wondering on how ya’ll are handling the “new” house. You know, if holidays bring on the nostalgia?
    I think when we are finally in our new house I will be ready to move on.
    P.S. Congrats on your anniversary! What a year it has been!

    • says

      I think a few holiday “firsts” (like a real tabletop tree and adding lights outside for the first time ever) are helping it feel really special to be right where we are. Of course we always look back with fond memories of the first house though. That was our first love!


  2. Katie says

    Congrats on a year in your house — so exciting! Also, I think in this point you need to take out “future” — it really is your dining room now!! “add french doors between the future dining room and the office (for privacy and added architecture)”

  3. says

    congrats on one full year!!! you guys have done more in your house in one year that I have done in 6 years! :) great job!!! I love watching it all go down!!! and thanks for being a DIY inspiration.

  4. Sam says

    I can’t believe you’ve done well that in a year! I had a tin of paint sit around longer than that for my bathroom and I’m pretty sure I’ve been meaning to paint my bedroom for two. I’m also pretty sure I’ve been following your blog for nearly 2 years now, which is quite scary. I’ve “known” you guys longer than a few people I know in real life!

  5. says

    “… while others are virtually untouched (like all of our bathroms)”

    Typo alert. :)

    It’s amazing what you’ve done in a year. Makes me feel like a total slacker! Love watching the progress.

  6. Kate says

    December 1st marked 6 month of us owning our house! Here’s my list of 2012 projects:
    – Spray paint the two older lights in the bathrooms, plus the outside garage lights
    – Overhaul our (kind of rusty) mailbox
    – Paint the wood trim on the house
    – Build a garden
    – Do something with the finished but largely unused basement
    – Build a farmhouse bed ala Ana White and finish out our bedroom a bit
    – Insulate the garage
    – Paint a couple walls that I don’t like but didn’t get painted before we moved in
    – Get things all put in the right place!

    And the “someday” projects:
    – A patio in the backyard (maybe with a hot tub!?!)
    – Replace the sort of worn out carpet
    – Replace the kitchen floor (and maybe new counters and a tile backsplash)

  7. says

    This is AMAZING! It’s crazy to see the progress in one fell swoop (rather than the day-to-day, even though that is impressive, too). I can’t wait to see what the next year brings! Oh, and I prefer gingerbread cookies, if you have any thankyouverymuch.

  8. says

    Awww – so sweet! I can’t believe a year has flown by that fast! I still miss your old house and I have never even been there – I followed your blog probably ever since you were a year into it, so I’m still pretty attached to that house, but I love what you’ve been doing with this one. It definitely has a lot of options and spaces yet to fill up.

    As for what you plan to do – I nearly choked on air when I saw that you are planning to do a trellis around the garage! Is this what you are thinking: http://pinterest.com/pin/201043570835209099/ I pinned that a while ago and have been dreaming of it ever since. I hope you do it because it’s so gorgeous!!! Plus, then I can have a tutorial for the day when I have a house (and a garage) to build one for!

    Oh…and what exactly is a “pimped” sandbox? hahahaha

    Can’t wait for the upcoming years (I love reading about them without having to do any of the work :P but I’d gladly come out and help if you needed any helpers)

    • says

      Yes, something like that! I have it pinned too! Haha. The funny thing is I saw something like that five+ years ago in Better Homes and actually tore it out and put it in my inspiration binder and even wanted to do one in our first house (just never got around to it). As for a pimped sandbox, I’m not sure. Haha. Maybe bench seats or a cover to keep cats from thinking it’s a litter box? Maybe it’ll be in the shape of a P or a chihuahua. Haha.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *