Friday, September 30

Mexico is not just for cowboys

I cooked my first meal in our new home and it was deeeelish if I do say so myself. I also made Nate tell me that...several times, I have no shame. Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup. I think it will replace Thanksgiving Eve mexican pot roast (which replaced Thanksgiving Eve chili and hot dogs). We love traditions, even those we change about every two years.

Try it. Love it.

This is Pioneer Woman's photo. I don't have such photography skills as focused soup and fuzzy background.

Thursday, September 29

Entering the Final Frontier:: Upstairs Tour

I'm back to give you the rest of the house tour. Let me start with a disclaimer: the upstairs of our house makes the arena from The Hunger Games look like a cake-walk. Yes, I read tweener books...Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, Twilight. I love them, I eat them with a spoon. I may be pathetic.

Sidetracked. Let's get started. 

The folding doors hide a washer/dryer hookup. We plan on stealing some of the space from this closet to create a closet in the adjoining room and turning this into a linen closet. 
Tearing out the half-wall to install a bannister is also in the works. (Keeping the load-bearing portion, duh.)

Get out your hazmat suit. This room was toxic. (WAS: past-tense...we have already gutted it!!)

The conditions in here rival anything I have ever witnessed. The whole room was just crumbling apart...and how about that dormer that they covered up?

Room #1
The floor in this room slopes down several inches towards the back because of a load bearing wall removed in the 1940's. In spite of the slope, the house is as solid as a rock. Maximillian loves sitting up in high in the canopy of trees.

Room #2
No words can describe the carpet in here. It has been torn out and is inhabiting the dumpster in our driveway. Smells to high heaven after 5 days of rain.

Room #3

The Little Elf Room

We have begun with process of progress on the house. We have been selectively demo-ing certain plaster walls that are beyond repair (as I fight Mr. Practical tooth and nail to preserve the plaster in good condition, anyone with me?), the entire bathroom is down to the studs and all of the carpet is up. Meanwhile, I have been escaping the dust and plaster by ripping out the overgrown, prickly landscaping. We have until Monday to finish the demolition because the HVAC guys are coming to re-duct the entire was a no brainer after they showed me what the inside of our ducts looked like!

I realize that I forgot to show you the rest of the downstairs. Maybe tomorrow?

Monday, September 26

On the topic of life

While I have been taking an hiatus from blogging, life happened. We went to the lake on Labor Day weekend with some of my favorite people. Luke lived with us when I was in high school and is like my brother and, bonus point, he has a beautiful family. He is one of the most talented photographers I've seen. Check him out here. Unfortunately, Luke did not wield his photographer-ing skills that weekend and these pictures taken by Nate and Luke's beautiful 4 year old are all we have.

To sum the weekend up: eating, watching two-year-old Zeke spray himself in the face with a spray bottle, trying to convince Zeke to swim, baby Levi swimming for the first time (well, bobbing in his lifejacket), drinking beer (always), Clemson football games, more eating, sidewalk chalk on the deck...etc. Luke's kids are precious...proof is below. Sorry for taking your photos without asking, Luke. 
Haddon is rockin' those sunglasses...
The point is: they are awesome, we were so glad y'all came up, Bugenskes!

Back at the McElveen pad, Jeff was once again building something with Superman speed and precision. After almost 15 years my little brother (who just moved to Atlanta) finally got a wall for his bedroom. And a door. Lucky boy. 
Until this point in his slumbering life, Travis has just slept in the open room at the top of the stairs...just because he was the smartest of the three of us we couldn't let him think he was better. I guess he was suppressed like Harry Potter, goodness knows he has only thrived in this world because Reese and I kept him in line. But I digress. Travis got a wall, and a door, and no longer has to sleep with earplugs because mom bangs the pots and pans around at 6am. Bang away, mom. 

Meanwhile, baby Caleb has been rackin' up the goods at Puddin' and Pappie's house: crib, organic mattress and mattress pad and a B-A Bjorn travel crib (we followed A Cup of Jo's suggestions). 
Oops, looks like Caleb got Lindsay's red hair. 

Saturday, September 24

We're Baaaack

Greetings to you all. I return to this blog as an official homeowner! Boy, it has been one crazy rollercoaster.  It was about this time a year ago that we first walked through the house and in the rare moments of crystal clear sanity we have wondered what exactly we were getting ourselves into. Nevertheless, we managed to convince ourselves to take on this creaky house with crooked walls and floors that make walking something more akin to downhill skiing.

As many of you know already, the short sale process was mind harrowing. We watched at least two closing dates fly by and two banks battle in out and the result was nothing but a miracle. Our realtor (wisely) did not tell us until closing about the banks threatening to pull out the Monday before closing...that would have sent me over the edge. We were kept on the edge of our seats last Friday when, at closing, we were still waiting on an important forward to the next TUESDAY when all of the paperwork was officially in (again) and the deeds office was closed for training. Our deed was recorded this past Wednesday and we officially dug in.

Our plan of attack has changed by the moment, and now that we have lived in the house for a week (yes, we moved in even though the deed had not recorded, risky, I know, but we had no choice, we were livin' on a prayer) some details are suddenly taking precedence over others. My mom came down with my fur-babies on Thursday and has transformed herself into the Queen of Clean. (She told me this morning she almost cried when she walked in).  And the Master Gardener himself is coming up today to plan out our landscaping sitch'. Enough jabberin' here is another house tour.

Living Room
It has been said that our living room is painted like a Mexican restaurant. I must agree. The homeowners kindly left behind their drapes so that people can't see in at night. A lot of citron green eh? Those club chairs are looking at their last days. As is the sofa for that matter... All of these photos were taken during the actual move.
Picture below is our front door and to the left is the dining room.
The view upon entering the front door, if you squint you can see the solo first floor bathroom at the end of the hallway. 
If you are thinking to yourself, "It really does not look that bad..." then just wait. And buckle your seatbelt. And know how to put on the oxygen mask (put your's on first, please, then help your neighbor).

Nothing too notable here except for the floors. Skeevy. Below: the bathroom is straight ahead, master bedroom to the left and kitchen is ahead to the right.

 Stairs that lead to a graveyard of carpet with, umm, animal stains...let's tell ourselves that.
 And for that "wow" factor, a floor close-up.

Master Bedroom

 There is a fireplace behind those boxes. Fan was covered in at least one centimeter of dust. I had to be exact so you would know that I wasn't exaggerating.
Well, I am exhausted just talking about it all. We will finish the tour later. If I know you, and you are not a creepster, and we are friends then please feel free to drop by and take a tour!
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