So, we're moving.

After a whole lot of thought and back and forth, we've decided: we are doing a crazy thing and leaving this house that we have worked so hard and long on.

(looking out his new living room window)

A lot of pictures and thoughts after the jump:

When we bought this house three and a half years ago, we were temporarily living in Austin. We put in a bid without seeing it in person (crazy!), the shortsale madness turned into an auction madness (crazy!) and we ended up getting to see it in person before heading back to Austin to purchase the house...online during a live/internet auction. Yep, crazy again! We loved a lot of the features of the house, and that made up for the fact that we basically had to gut and remodel the entire enterior. We immediately put up solar panels on the south-facing roof slope and rejoiced when the clerestory windows had the perfect overhang to let light in in winter but not too much in the summer. We turned to giant (for a city) backyard into a big garden, green house, and chicken area.

And then we grew weary. The original plan when we bought this house was to get the remodel done in one year with both of us working really hard on it, and live in it a few years before we started having kids. Well...we found out I was pregnant the day we got back to Portland from a second stint in Texas, and that changed everything. The remodel, like most gut remodels tend to, ended up being MUCH MUCH more work than we thought, and now we were short on what I could help with. Pulling up the bathroom floors revealed powder post beetles which meant tearing up the subfloors down the the joists, tearing up the back half of the exterior walls, which led to having to replace siding. A "quick" squaring off of a funny shaped landing revealed that our second story and roof were so poorly supported that unless we opened up the walls and ceilings, jacked up the second floor, and installed a new, much bigger beam, we were likely to come tumbling down before too long...and so on and so forth.

Fast-forward three years from buying the house and what we have is a 75% completed house with drywall still exposed in a lot of the main room, no floors in the bathrooms, and a very very tired Josh and Annie. Paying for each step of the remodel up front has forced us to slow down a bit. To say we are drained is an understatement. We are BEYOND DRAINED. This house remodel has taken almost every single weekend from us (no joke), has kicked up my anxiety into high gear, and has kept us from feeling peaceful in our home. While I am not one that needs fancy things in my house to feel happy, I have hard a really difficult time with this whole journey. I have not been able to decorate one single room in our house because it's always one project or another going on in each and every room, and really- how cute could art possibly make a room look if there are still exposed studs and drywall screws behind it?

And so, we are moving. We are moving back to a house that we own that has been rented out by the same great tenants for the 4.5 years we've been married. When we got married, we realized that that house is just way too big for four people, but now we feel like it's just the right fit. It is twice the size of our house now, with enough rooms that Jacob can have his own (his "room" has been a large closet/tiny office nook since he was born), the shop will have a good space, and we can even have a guest room! We'll get to enjoy having a dining room once again and once again having friends over for dinner all the time! We will have a garage and a decent sized yard. Best of all: THE WORK HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE to this house. Well, it needs a fresh coat of pain in the entire house and some floor refinishing, weeding, etc, but that's it! Josh and I have already put in a lot of work into that house, mainly in the backyard, bob-catting up the whole thing and landscaping it, and we are looking forward to a summer of just sitting in the yard enjoying life and friends, and not having to keep Jacob away from a pile of lumber we pulled out of the house because we don't love tetanus.

Our current house is still being worked on everyday, and seeing the pieces finally come together is both rewarding, frustrating (why won't we get to enjoy it!?), and a good affirmation that as great of a space this will be, it is definitely time for us to move on.

Our renters have moved out, and we have people working on the other house every day. It should be ready to move into in about two weeks, and oh man, I can't wait. This past month has been beyond exhausting, and we anticipate the next two weeks to be the same. We are keeping our eyes on the price of a spacious and COMPLETED home and powering through remodeling two houses, pushing back or skipping nap times because installing floors is loud. Pray for our strength and sanity!

Long story short- we are looking forward to not having huge projects literally looming over our heads, and to go back to conversations about anything besides remodel plans. Here are some pictures of the house we are moving back in to. These are some "before" photos, I'll share more once things are done.

(the dining room and living room and huge tv the tenants left)

(the upstairs room that will be a playroom area. Under the carpet and four other layers are the fir floors original to the 1911 house!)

(the kitchen and BREAKFAST NOOK!!!)

(The biggest project will be to grind down these concrete floors in the basement that were under carpet and stain them!)

(digging out egress windows for basement bedrooms, waiting for the concrete foundation to be cut)

(the back patio that I can't wait to spruce up and live in this summer!)

(detached garage and a back area for the chickens)

(my favorite part of the yard- our huge Japanese Maple tree! It's perfect for a little boy to climb on)


  1. It looks like you guys are going to get a lot of very needed space! I had a similar situation with our first home. It was a gorgeous fixer-upper built in 1938. I loved our little capecod and thought we'd only need to paint and do some small projects to get it the way we wanted, but the projects kept coming and growing more in-depth--two bathroom remodels back to the studs, extensive work on the slate roof, etc. While it was 1,300 sq ft, we planned to stay a while since babies were not in the plans for another five years. Well, after a year in the house, we decided to start a family. After three and a half years in the house, we finally got it where we wanted, but moved (with baby #2 on the way) to a more finished, larger home. We still have work to do here, but NOTHING like the last house. I love that old house, and we're friends with the new owners on Facebook, so it's great to see them enjoy it. I don't miss the work, though. :)

    1. Oh, man! What a journey this all is, huh? I'm glad to hear that you have a nice space for your growing family. And it's nice that you still get to see some photos of the hard work you've done! We are renting our house out when we move out, so we will get to see other people enjoying it. :)

  2. We too just started to refinish the hardwood floors in our home. When we purchased the house, it had old lime green shag carpeting that was tack stripped over hardwood floors. Being short on cash at the time, we decided to recover it with carpeting. After 3 years, we have now decided to refinish the floors, but the new carpeting was put in place with carpet glue over the entire surface.We had to remove all the glue from the flooring and used an adhesive remover product that we bought at home depot and its really a tough job. Thanks to floor refinishing nj firm for helping us out.

  3. wow! amazing! i can only imagine how exhausting all of that has been, and i'm so glad you have such an amazing husband who can work so hard on creating spaces. what a blessing. i am excited to see the transformation of your new space - i know how important it is for us mothers to have a peaceful space to rest and create in. XO

    1. I am so glad to have Josh, too! I can't believe his hard work and dedication to our house, on top of a very full time job. It will be nice for him to have a nice break now, and for us all to relax and be creative together. :)

  4. I always felt for you when reading about your remodeling. I've never remodeled anything (miles and miles away from that kind of material commitment,) but I have had a baby, and just imagining those things colliding exhausts me. Good for you two, for letting go and knowing what's best for your family. And cheers to decorating and stability!

    1. Yes, these worlds colliding has been tiring! But no need to feel bad for us, it's been a season of learning and growing together in ways we never knew we could. This house has been a good home for the three of us, but a new season in life will be better lived in the new house!

    2. Oh no, I never felt bad for you! Especially when you were always so hopeful and genuinely excited. I just FELT for you. If that makes any sense.

  5. i'm excited for you! we're sort of dying to buy our first home and we'd love for it to be a "fixer upper." we've rented for so long, it would be nice to have a place that 1. we can call our own and 2. we can do what we want with! i know it can be a lot of work, but there's something exciting about making that grown up step in your life. (remind me that i feel this way when things go wrong and i want to go back to renting. ha!) i can't wait to go on this new journey with you. :) ps. when did jacob get SO BIG?? he looks so tall in the first photo. they grow so so fast.