Renovation Vacation

Well it's 2017 and I already know it's going to be a much bigger year of accomplishments than last year. The first reason is the fact that we are officially home owners, which is probably the most rewarding, and equally scary, thing that I personally have ever done. Especially when you're only 21 and you know for a fact that your knew house needs an abundance of care, most of which you have no clue how to go about, in order to even move into. I think most people call this "adulting". 

If you haven't already read how we got out house you can do so here.

We knew going into this process that buying a fixer upper would take a lot of time and patients. But let me just tell you that it takes even more focus just to remember to be patient than anything else. I'm constantly reminding myself that we would have never gotten this house if previous owners had taken good care of it. And that the family who originally won the bidding on this property backed out because they didn't want to put the time into fixing all of its problems.

It doesn't help that we are constantly watching Fixer Upper(on Netflix of course because cable television isn't worth it just to watch Wheel Of Fortune) and the biggest projects get done in a matter of weeks because of a large team they have working on any given house. And to take that one step further, one episode is less than an hour. So basically you can watch a full season of Fixer Upper in the time it takes to pull the walls out of your kitchen(a task we still haven't completed). 

We want to have it all and have it all now.

It's nuts that we think this way, but in our fast(way too fast) paced culture we expect results immediately. And we barely give a moment to think about our actions before we throw a fit when things don't go as planned. 
I mean after two years of searching we are finally homeowners and my husband and I took an entire week off of our jobs to work on this house and we still aren't painting our walls yet?? I'll be honest, owning a home and not living in it is super annoying to think about you guys.
But we are a people who focus too hard on how we want to present ourselves and, even more frighteningly, presenting ourselves as someone we are not. 

So today we are not focusing on our highlight reel, like the 90% of all other social media you look at today will be. Today, and for a while, we will be updating you all on the current state our house is in. It's not going to be ideal, it will look gross, and there will be cockroaches(don't worry, I spared photos of those nasty little beasts). But it's our honest and present now. And I believe that living in the present will only help us to build a much stronger, safer and pleasant home in the long run.

Welcome to reality!

Our master bedroom had a sag in the ceiling so we ripped a section out to evaluate the water damage from the roof. It was worse than we thought so we had to take out even more ceiling.

And since it was only about 7 feet to begin with we decided to take out all of the ceiling! We are planning to vault the ceiling to try and make a little more headspace. If I can touch the ceiling with my feet flat on the floor something needs to be done.

This is obviously the damage that went down. But it's also where we met about a hundred little NASTY COCKROACHES. I say little but they were honestly some of the BIGGEST bugs I have ever seen. Yuck!!

Let's move onto the kitchen before I get sick!

Here I'm in the dining room looking into the kitchen. It's not terribly laid out at all! The cabinets are in great shape and the island adds a ton of storage and counter space. But everything seems really massive for the space it's in. Just taking down the cabinets made the room feel twice as big!

I would have taken more "before" photos but the day we closed we went over to our new place and got a little bit too hammer happy! We didn't have power at then so it was already dark by the time we got off work and headed to our brand new place. But you can't just close on your first home and not go give it a big ole hug, right? Well it got a little more than a hug. We started demolishing the kitchen wall that night with a flashlight as our guide. We took out a small section and decided during our "renovation vacation" that we would order a beam and knock the rest of the wall out!

Our living room is super cute and cozy. But we definitely want to make this home one for hosting game nights and get togethers. An open floor plan was definitely the way to go.

And that's where we are friends! It ain't pretty but it's our here and now! We are anxious to be able to move in and continue to work but we are fully enjoying ourselves in the meantime!

We'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! What would you do with this space if it were your own??

Don't forget to follow the progress on Instagram!! #PierceHomeProject

Christmas Came Early!!

Boy have I wanted to write this post for ever! Ever since Thomas and I got married in November of 2014 we have been trying to figure out where and how we want to live. During our engagement we looked at several apartments, but being engaged for just four months didn't really give us much time to settle on a place that made sense for us. We got hitched, moved in with Thomas' parents and planned to build a tiny house... Well that dream was put on the back burner fairly quickly as we found out that it's super complicated to build tiny houses(and actually live in them...) in Richmond.

So we started looking for a house. We figured if we could buy a place and rent it out when the tiny house dream finally comes true that that would give us a lot of flexibility for traveling and extra income. We looked for a year before we found anything in our price range that was even sort of close to where we wanted to be. 

I remember sitting on the computer one day this past summer looking at houses and feeling hopeless(a common adjective to fall in and out of when nothing is happening but you also believe that God's will is set in place for you); I picked up the phone to call Thomas and right when I did his name appeared. He was calling me. We both needed to comfort each other. We were both at a breaking point and needed to chat about how hopeless we felt. We needed to not feel so alone. 

Thomas was talking about possibly finding a place to rent just to get out of the in-laws and be on our own when a new house popped up on my screen. I didn't get my hopes up because at this point I was an expert at that. I clicked on the listing and I looked at the first few photos and I stopped my husband mid sentence and told him that I think we might have found our house. 
"Uh..ok?" said the husband. I made him hang up and look at the house. We saw it as soon as we could and immediately put an offer on it. And...!

We didn't get it. Yep. We were so upset. This was the perfect house! It had double the bedrooms we were looking for, a huge back yard, a fire place, lots of trees, and even a huge workshop for Thomas! But more importantly it was in our price range and in a area we like. It was perfect. And I was starting to get really down on my faith that we'd ever find something better after all this time looking. When we first saw the house and were deciding what to bid with our agent Thomas and I looked at each other and said "we really really want this house. Our agent replied and I quote "God will put in this house who he wants in this house". Ugh, thanks a lot agent. Because now when we don't get it I have to be a good person and be happy for someone else.

So we kept looking and actually put an offer on another place, one we really didn't love but was doable, and when we didn't get that one we actually softened up. We started to accept that this was just a daunting process that would take "forever". But even then I kept looking at the "pending" listing of our dream house. I decided to take a moment to pray over the house. I asked God to put in that house who he wanted in that house and for me to have peace about that. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks, It's another day, husband goes to work early and I take a shower and plan to keep the search going. I come into the bedroom all wrapped up in a towel to find my phone lit up on the bed. "CALL ME" from Thomas. I called and there was a pause.. "Hey hun! So..uh..we got a house!" I'm stunned. And confused. I asked him what happened since we had just put an offer on this last house. He said it wasn't the last house we got, it was the dream house! The other family backed out due to how long the process with all the repairs would be and we were the next highest bid!

I don't have a monumental point to this story. I'm not building up to anything mind blowing. I just want to share about this journey with you because we all go through daunting, stressful, draining and oh so long periods at some point in our lives. I want to share because for so long we didn't understand why God wasn't seeming to give us any clarification towards our future as far as a home. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere for so long with no path in sight. But we realized that we were on the path of waiting and that eventually we would raise our slumped Charlie Brown heads to find that a new path was right there waiting for our arrival. God doesn't do what we want him to. He does what is right for us, always, and that lesson is what we need to remember every single day. 

So with that friends, welcome to our little house!! 
Disclaimer: There are some weird things going on in this house. The previous owners had some issues and really left the place in bad shape. 
But Thomas and I are thrilled to bring it back to life and give it the love it needs!

We are all playing an awful game of Chutes and Ladders. Often times we are two spots from winning and we roll a one and get sent back down to the beginning of the game. It feels like we will never get there. But it's just a game and we all finish eventually.
Whatever you are waiting for, as terribly cheesy as it sounds, remember that you'll end up where you need to be. It's a process. And it's not fun most of the time. But getting there, the feeling of radical relief, is so amazing. 

That's it! Our new little home! It's definitely a fixer upper. We are hoping to be moved in by February but we honestly do not have a clue how long some of the renovations will take. We have SOOO much to do...But we are very excited to start! 
will be documenting our process so keep visiting the blog for updates!!