My Home Renovation: Hello Lovely Fixer Upper {week 2}

Oh guys.


I’m moody and tired. Send beer.

All that manic energy from week one?

Gone, baby, gone.

So it was a major blessing


niece and parents

Fixer uppers are not for sissies, and how lucky

that young folks from Arizona showed up

to paint, shop, swallow Alleve, and cry

about unexpected subfloor surprises.

a little floor removal in the living room led to:

more removal

Instead of continuing with the main bath reno,
the drama of the subfloor lives on for my husband
(who incidentally is a busy litigator, not a contractor)
since it needs to be perfect before
flooring is installed.

a peek at marble mosaics for main bath

um…thought this laminate was hardwood we could refinish…to be continued

See these innocent sweaty exercise tiles on the basement floor?

Attached with industrial strength adhesive,

they weighed a ton, and their removal (and hauling)

took my father, sons, holy ghost,

and the apostles several days.


The floors were then scrubbed and bleached.
The hideous walls will get a coat of paint soon.
My best guess is a few toddlers were aiming for
‘navy blue animal print’ but created ‘galactic eye cabbage.’

Many many walls were painted by this adorable man
and me this week.

Just beyond this dining room is the kitchen

for which we placed an order for Schuler custom cabinetry

this week.

One of the Arizona reinforcements just turned 12
and learned her way ’round a paint roller and…

downtown Chicago.

Lessons learned in Week 2:
*I lack Nicole Curtis’ skills and Joanna Gaines’ grace. I’m just me.
*When your husband demos the living room floor, don’t waste perfectly good Xanax…flee to the city instead.
*Energetic, positive family members offering a hand? Golden.
*We need a furnace + central air = we need to sell the children.
*Hidden defects? It doesn’t help to shout at them in a British accent
“I SMITE THEE” but it feels good anyway.

Please come join me
in this DIY adventure by
clicking here for all my fixer upper update posts!
(And thanks for subscribing here so you don’t miss an episode.)

Coming soon:
Bozeman reinforcements arrive!
We need appliances!

How did we wind up with a fixer upper anyway?!?

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. July 13, 2015 / 3:55 am

    Okay……I will send beer asap;) I hear ya sista.. This 30 yr old home was taken to it's knees (just the foundation) starting a year ago and we are still work-in it. Living in it when the walls came down and roof (now a vaulted ceiling) was removed. Yes….. beer or something stronger:) helps. (side note that's probably TMI: we both had physicals 8 months into the project and our blood values never looked so good ~ result of grilling outside because no kitchen was available + wine etc.. 😉 So don't worry about that extra glass of whatever! Love seeing the pictures Michele. Today I painted baseboards in the mudroom and powder room so those sinks can finally go in. Enjoy the process, it will be worth it and consider this project a labor of love. Putting your blood, sweat, and tears in this makes in YOURS. Have fun picking out all the new appliances etc.. !! xxooL

    • July 13, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      oh it helps so much to hear your stories of the joys and pitfalls, leslie. thank you thank you, and i'm so happy you are making such great progress. this cottage has now claimed blood, sweat, and a few tears so we must be on the right track. it is hard to imagine at this juncture we will ever actually move in but maybe we will. 🙂

  2. July 13, 2015 / 6:03 am

    Oh my dear, you do have your hands full and how wonderful for the family to back you up with good reinforcements. Soon you will turn a corner where you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and you will know that your loving hands have touched every nook and cranny of your new, soon to be beloved home, Hang in there, I am cheering you on from Calif.
    xo Kathysue

    • July 13, 2015 / 12:25 pm

      thank you, cali girl. i can feel your loving support and am on your new nest journey with you as well, honestly loving all discussions of grasscloth to the kitchen sink. 🙂

  3. July 13, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Wow you are a busy girl but I loved seeing this as a family affair and with people still smiling, that is a good sign. A VERY GOOD SIGN:) I remember well during the "ugly stage" feeling so beaten down and then all the pretties start to arrive and THEN it gets very exciting and you feel a new surge of energy and gumption to get it all done and you will……have total faith in you! Enjoy the process and look forward to seeing the progress:) I also found a glass and on occasion a bottle of wine to be a very good way to end a day of dealing with building stress:)

    • July 13, 2015 / 12:27 pm

      oh thanks, tina. our support system is ALL IN, and i am so tickled that they are so interested in transforming this place with us. no wonder we have this fixer upper itch. of course you get it, and i can't wait for the details but am willing to be patient so our guests don't fall though the floors or suffer from heat exhaustion.

  4. July 13, 2015 / 12:13 pm

    haha You are going to look back one day and say it was kinda fun and oh so worth it. But not for a while. I am glad you have a team on your side, it should go a lot faster!!

    • July 13, 2015 / 12:30 pm

      i hope you're right, friend. already i have these moments of WHAT THE HAYULL HAVE I DONE TO MY POOR HUSBAND AND FAMILY? and also DOWNSIZING MAY BE THE MOST CRAPTASTIC IDEA I EVER HAD. change is always so nutty! hopefully we will all grow from the experience and laugh a year from now!

  5. July 13, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    Isnt family wonderful! It will all be fine you will see!!

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      thanks for your optimism, beautiful!

  6. July 13, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    Wow! I'm really impressed with how much you have gotten done! An Aleeve with a chaser of wine is called for after a hard days work. It's cool that your family is there. Fresh energy from loved ones is so helpful. Bless you. Keep laughing.

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      bless you, too, karen. it is very cool that both sides of the family are totally into DIY and all things home related. they are amazing.

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      thinking of you and yours, julie. best to you.

  7. July 14, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Lots of progress there!! And what a gorgeous family! Can I borrow them to work on our place in Maine? I'll serve lobstahs 🙂 Cheers

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      they would definitely work for a lobster roll, loi. i have no idea how i will repay this debt!

  8. July 16, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Haha! Oh my God! smh… and off to catch up!


    • July 18, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      can't wait to place some of your artwork in the new place, cindy! 🙂

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