Home Sweet Home: One Week In

One week in

On Saturday we marked a week in our new abode.

And it’s still looking like a construction zone, pretty much, but a lived-in construction-zone-turned-storage-facility-turned-pet-shop.

Or something like that.

The dresser-turned-entry-table (man, I’m loving the hyphens today) is the only thing I’ve decorated.

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Last Thursday I spent all day at home waiting on the washing machine repairman and unpacked a few boxes of home decor accessories. I lined things up on one of the built-ins because I’m not really at a decorating point, what with this house still under renovation in some areas, but I think some Instagram and Facebook followers thought this was seriously how I’m decorating? Oh no, no, no, my friends. No, no, no. For now it just kinda looks cool, maybe like a thrift shop and a beach gift shop threw up on my shelves?

It was kind of like Christmas, unpacking those boxes, until it wasn’t anymore because I kept finding relics from my broken family. It’s one thing to run across something you’d forgotten you had and are excited to discover, it’s quite another to run across framed pictures from your first dance that you’d forgotten you’d framed to hang in your old bathroom. Heart? Yeah, it broke a little bit and then this funny wet stuff came out of my eyes.

And then there are the things that aren’t photos.

The Ball jars are from my grandmother’s cellar – true story – and were used in our wedding, then in our home decor. The little bud vases (that I don’t think you can even see here) were a wedding gift. There’s a framed postcard that we picked up on our honeymoon and, of course, the conch shell my first husband and I picked up on our honeymoon in the Bahamas. (Let’s not forget Bob Seagull (up top), but he’s staying because he looks mighty handsome in my new living room.)

I know one day those painful reminders will stop, so I’ll keep pressing forward.


Speaking of the living room, this is how it looks. Please know I’m not ever going to share messy house pictures, ever, unless there’s a reason to. Anyway. There are piles of boxes that (1) contain yard sale items, (2) need to be tossed into the trailer and taken to the dump or (3) need unpacking and organizing once they have some place to go post-renovation.


I’m so sick of the boxes, people. So sick, in fact, that I texted my poor mom last night at midnight and went on a rant about it. I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and night last night.

One note before we move on, because I’m looking at them: I am LOVING having the dressers between the french doors and as a TV stand. Because of the lack of storage space, I can utilize those drawers for all kinds of things, like my Scentsy stash, dog leashes, Wii paraphernalia, DVDs, etc. The antique one between the french doors will stay as-is, but the chunky, broken-handled piece under the TV will eventually be made over; I bought that guy for $30 at my little dive of a crackhead flea market in town.


Over the weekend I hung two pair of sheers on my side porch to help filter the sunlight. I am totally digging them. I need a couple more pair, plus some really long tension rods, for the longer sides of the porch. It’s been nice and breezy the last few days, so it’s been a great place to sit and watch the curtains blow around a little bit.


My favorite room to walk into and swoon? The kitchen. Hands down. (I really want to say ‘hand towels down’ right there because I’m super fantastic with puns.) I need a few more pops of color. And I have drawers that need to be repaired so I can put my silverware away. And I need to put my (stupid Paula Deen) pots and pans away, but I need to find a space. There’s really not a lot of cabinet storage space up in hurr, but it sho is purty.

I have a gas stove and … it’s intimidating me? The first time I ever used one was the day after we moved in. I like it, but it really heats the kitchen up. I have to run a box fan in there when I’m cooking, otherwise I’m sweating.

We have plans to paint that island white and recondition the butcher block so that there will be a little extra space (you’re looking at the entirety of my counter space, really; my slow cooker is sitting above the dishwasher). Still trying to work out a solution for that, but for now the island will suffice.


Here’s a gratuitous shot of Bo, because Jaiden actually got something in focus, and my allen + roth oatmeal-colored shag rug.

I’ve already mentioned that the dogs are doing well with crate-training, but yesterday we had a few incidents with accidents and knocking the trash can over, spilling EVERYTHING from a full bag on my kitchen floor, to get to table scraps. And they’ve been getting out of the backyard. And barking as ferociously as two little Buggs can at the three Boxers next door. At 6 a.m.

We have bird nests in the chimney and the birds won’t shut up. Ever.

There was a cricket in the hall bathroom, the room with the most outstanding acoustics (!), for an entire week and he’d get crunk and chirp his little heart out all night until I finally located him and annihilated him with my flip flop last night.


Also in the last week we’ve celebrated Jaiden’s 11th birthday, thrown a birthday party, I’ve done a lot of homework, kept up with laundry (including washing everyone’s bedding), made breakfast and packed lunches every day, kept up with the dishes, cleaned ceiling fans, studied for midterms and tried my best to hook up our stupid smart TV to the Internet so we can stream. We’re a no-cable, no-satellite household and the antenna gives us one local station and 12 church stations, so we can watch church in Chinese if we want; I tried everything I could think of doing, bought a Roku box, streamed Netflix through the Wii (and it crapped out when I’d use my phone) and we finally have a wifi signal in the living room after buying a router extender.

Oh, and my health insurance premium tripled, effective today, so there’s that fun new expense on my already tight budget.

I’m in kind of an Eeyore mood today, but I promise I feel blessed by all of the goodness in my life.


I’m off all next week, so I’m planning to get the house into shape and just … relax. Without a lot of stress, except for the anxiety that is my Bio I class (for real). We’re working our way into a groove, which is great. The kids are loving the new place and I’ve been shocked more than once for them to ask to go home when we’re at my parents’ house, which is their favorite spot to hang out.


I’ll leave you with the craziest photo that I’m embarrassed to even share, but this is my bedroom. It looks small in this photo, but it’s not. It’s just that full of boxes and junk that needs to find another home (it’s become the catch-all). Jaiden, who was sleeping with the dogs in my bed in this photo, told me this morning, “Mama, this room will look great … once you clean it.”

Thank you, Jaiden. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home: One Week In

  1. Aimee
    July 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Echo so happy you are keeping us all posted on your blog with all these great pic.:) You are doing an amazing job! Btw, love the sheer curtains on the porch.

    1. Echo
      July 2, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Thanks! That’s one of my favorite things so far! 🙂

  2. Linda
    July 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Ah hell, it’s a process…what are ya’ gonna do!! LOL…(this is me with too much “drink” in me!) Anyways, we all know you know you’re blessed, sometimes you just gotta let it out, and that is totally fine! I totally thought that was how your shelves were gonna look, what does that say about me?! 😉 Can’t wait to see the transformation. How long till you’re done with Bio?

    1. Echo
      July 2, 2013 at 12:16 am

      I have a midterm tomorrow morning – pulling an all-nighter, because I also have work-work to finish up – and so … another month?

      I think the book shelves look too cluttered. You can see where I reach my limits on reaching, though, because there’s nothing on the top 2-3 shelves. lol. I’m 5’6″ or so.

  3. Lulu
    July 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I was re-reading your post on the Bob Seagull print – where did you have the photo printed on canvas? At Hobby Lobby?

    1. Echo
      July 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Lulu! My ex-husband works for a company that builds trade show exhibits and the art department there printed it, then he stretched it.