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.
Funniest post ever (well…in awhile). Thanks for sharing the ‘good times’!
lisa s. says
Ok, that’s just funny. Well done!
Blog is the New Black says
It’s a crazy time for all- but you have a fresh slate to get going!!!!
*LOL* You obviously thrive under pressure and love a tight deadline ;o) I have seen worse! Plus, it never gets boring for us who happily shadow all of your home improvement projects – not even over the holidays!
Lol! You guys are gluttons for punishment!
Emily @ Merrypad says
Who doesn’t like to hunker down with a good floor sander and tile cutter when the weather outside gets crummy?
I love your “let’s do it” attitude!
Holly E says
Hmm… This sounds familiar. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without a major project here at the E house! We tackled the laundry room this past Christmas. New tile, paint, and pretties. We actually grouted the floor on Christmas morning! Good times :)
Alicia Parsons | Atypical Type A says
I haven’t taken on anything that big at Christmas, but I must confess that whenever I have a week off (like last week) it’s chock full of home projects.
No doubt you’ll be working super hard on your new house this year so hopefully by the end of it you will take a well-deserved break over the holidays for once :)
Katie R says
Sounds a lot (and looks a lot) like how we live our lives…things would just be way too easy if we didn’t have one (or 2 or 3) projects underway! We moved into our house 2 weeks before Christmas last year and didn’t have a kitchen until 2 days before…it’s still not 100% but we had our 3rd baby this year 6 weeks before Christmas…just to keep live interesting;)
i think you guys need this for the new house:
So cute Steph!
Well take a much deserved break this year! I love how all of us become brain damaged sometime during the year, every year, and completely forget that the holidays are the same time, every year, which results in mass pandemonium, every year. Been there brother.
TG for the honesty! I was beginning to think life was always perfect at only one place – your house. Thanks for the laugh.
Mrs. Money says
Y’all are crazy. That seems to be how we roll too, though!
The most comforting thing about all of your 4-year-in-a-row chaos is that at least you and your familia are not stagnant. You’re always on the move and going to to bigger and better things (…And I thought my husband and I were the only wild ones!), which is GREAT!!
Amy of WhisperWood Cottage says
Well, at least you’re not ones to be bored! :) It makes for great blog reading, too!! I’m glad you are liking your new home, and I’m enjoying watching the new style unfold!!
I just think of it as you guys (1) doing projects when you are prepared/have saved the money/find good deals, which you’re so good at, and (2) maybe subconsciously trying to get all of the craziness over at once! Whatever it is, you do it well!
Amy of WhisperWood Cottage says
P.S. As I know you are not short on projects, you are welcome to link up to my 2011 1st Project of the Year Party over at WhisperWood Cottage! I’m not sure the two of you participate in such events, but I still wanted to extend the invitation. It starts at 11:11 am on 1/11/11 if you are interested!
Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) says
love love love. We are right there with you having 3 rooms finished starting tomorrow! And we moved Thanksgiving weekend ;-)
Gina @ Temporary Nest says
Some people thrive off of chaos! It’s always exciting! :) Loving seeing the new house come together!
a bit of cabin fever perhaps? ;) I know the more time I spend cooped up in our house, the more I want to “fix” it and what better time of the year to tackle big indoor projects than when it’s freezing out.
I can’t wait to see what you do with that long and skinny laundry room of yours now that you’ve got your new appliances on order- I’m just so jealous that it’s 1)full of sunlight and 2) not right next to your bedroom!
Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons says
ahhh chaos! I’ve been in a few of these situations… mostly the moving ones! It DOES make a fun story though! =) I’m curious to see what you crazy kids do next!
I sure did! I put up a picture, and linked it on the blog. The husband ate seconds!
Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons says
I obv do stilly things… liiiike whats at the end of my post.. bhahahahahahaha! I thought I was slick by copying and pasting my name. annnd FAIL =)
Hahah, I wondered what that meant. I thought I just wasn’t getting the joke. Haha.
Oh my gosh…that is really funny. It looks like you guys get stuff done though, so I guess that’s a good thing. Just be sure to keep posting it so we can all feel better about our “hectic” holidays. :) Mine was easy peasy next you yours!
i can commiserate! we did our bathroom last christmas and our kitchen including hardwoods this christmas…the refrigerator is still in the dining room…
Haha December is your month for “change” yikes!
You guys sure are brave! Life wouldn’t be as fun without these adventures.
Really funny post! I know that feeling all too well of things not being in their proper place :)
Looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things you do with your new home.
After the two most recent birthdays in our family, I’ve gotten the itch to paint a room. That’s one last June and one in December. The next birthday is in March, and I think it’ll be time to paint another room. My daughter’s been asking for pink walls for a while now….
Makes me realize I’ve spent a lot of time at younghouselove.com (you know, before it was younghouselove) — I think since just after the dishes in the bathroom sink. And it seems like the bathroom reno was just a couple of months ago. Amazing how time flies. At least you don’t have to work around traditional work schedules now. That’s got to make it a bit easier — unless being there all the time makes you feel like you always need to be doing something?
maybe the big project could be having another bean!! atleast that doesn’t involve sanding, countertops, doors or bathrooms..errr..maybe. haha
[email protected] the Functional Space 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?
No idea! We’ll have to wait and see…
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.
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 )
Cant wait to see what this December will bring! haha I too am a bit relieved all the holiday madness is over.
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!
Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet says
Well hey, at least no one can say the two of you didn’t end off / start off the year with a bang! :D
Happy New House!!
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.
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! ;-)
Kristen @ Just Live Simply says
Looking forward to seeing what madness December 2011 brings to you guys!!
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!
I think the stress makes you get more done! I moved when I was 8 months pregnant and it made it all go faster!
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!
Kelsi @ Modern Mom Redefined 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!
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.
I predict the garage remodel for next Christmas.
You guys are awesome! You inspired me to paint my kitchen cabinets….riiiiight before NYE! Haha.
Also I just have to say one other thing and I apologize in advance for being a grammar Nazi but… You should say “it just dawned on Sherry and me…” as opposed to “Sherry and I.” A quick rule of thumb I sometimes use to get the I and me correct is to take the other person’s name out and just say it as “It just dawned on me or it just dawned on I” and then when you add the other person’s name back in you’re guaranteed to get it right. Sorry its just my pet peeve!
All fixed. I’m mad at myself because I love the take-the-other-person’s-name-out-rule but that typo just squeaked by anyway for some reason.
Oh my gosh, you guys are brave! I am assuming you don’t host Christmas at your house during all of your projects? That would just be too much stress!
Not usually, although that’s the plan for this coming Christmas. Hope we’re not living in a construction zone!
Hilary @ My So-Called Home says
How funny I never realized all those projects were around Christmastime. I think my favorite was your kitchen. Do you plan to do another white kitchen or go a different route? Maybe moody blue cabinets? :D
We’re still on the fence. Right now we’re leaning towards the idea of white cabinets so we can bring in pops of color in other places (a big fabric drum pendant, curtains, art, a bright tea kettle, etc) – plus we love the idea of a huge island that we’ll add and paint the same bold blue-green color that’s on the back of the bookcase. Who knows where we’ll end up though!
jill stigs says
Maybe you will be having a home birth for Christmas 2011!
ha ha ha ha