So…let’s back up a bit. Last winter Tom and I casually dipped our toes in the hunt for a home. We had a few criteria – I wanted an open space concept (duh) and Tom wanted a nice master bathroom. We knew we needed either a three bedroom home with a dedicated office area, or a four bedroom home and one room would be my office (all signs have been pointing to my job allowing me to work from home once the baby was born – fingers crossed I find out this week!). In addition to these items, we had to both seriously consider our commute times. Tom would be driving to Brooklyn every day and I still needed a reasonable commute to Manhattan for meetings and the chance that I would need to commute regularly. We ended up concentrating our search in a few towns in Union County, New Jersey, and a few towns in Nassau County, Long Island. We quickly eliminated Long Island because we just weren’t getting the feel we wanted in the homes that were in our price range. Jersey it was…
One weekend in April, we went out with our realtor and saw about 8 houses in one day (this had become our typical weekend). This was a particularly long day for us, and it had become unseasonably warm, and I think we were just sweaty, cranky and hungry. We went in to see the last house of the day. There was a huge office that was like a time capsule – wood paneling, black leather chairs, and brass pineapple hardware. I fell in love but kept my mouth shut because I thought Tom was going to hate it. We sped through the house in about 15 minutes – after about 30+ houses we had gotten good at speeding through – and we went out to the car. Tom said something to the effect of “Ok, let’s buy that house”. Super nonchalant like we were trying to decide between sesame or cinnamon raisin bagels. If I wasn’t already sitting in the car I would’ve fallen off my seat. I didn’t even really pay attention to the house because I didn’t think he was going to dig the hefty 70’s groove this house was giving off. I insisted we go back in and walk around again and we started to get excited. There is a big part of me that still believes we bought this house because we were tired and hungry.
Fast forward to June 30th, after muuuuch stress (don’t get me started on the chimney inspection fiasco) we bought the home. The next week we interviewed a few local construction companies to give us quotes on gut renovations of the kitchen and master bath. Luckily for us, this home had been relatively untouched since it was built in 1959 and we got it at a good enough price that we could afford our down payment as well as a pretty exhaustive renovation to these two spaces. As much as I would have loved to take our time and attempt to DIY some of these spaces, we have never actually done anything more than binge on HGTV and oh yeah, I was about 7 months pregnant at the time. We decided cutting our teeth on these spaces was not the smartest thing to do. There are plenty of other rooms in the house that need some TLC that we will get to over time. A company was hired and demo started the first week of August. Thankfully we had the foresight in mid July to extend our rental to early September because, remember, this little guy joined us earlier than planned.
Over the course of the summer we boxed up pretty much our entire apartment and brought it over in carloads. We were taking turns running into granite yards with a three day old in the car, and our son saw the inside of more Home Depots in his first few weeks of life than I probably had in my entire life before this summer. Was this the ideal way to spend our first few weeks with our son? Definitely not. Was it terrible? No, not really. We just accepted our current situation and made the most of it. We discussed putting off the renovation for a year, but decided having to displace ourselves shortly after getting situated and having a toddler running around probably wasn't the smartest idea. We did discuss living in a construction zone with our pediatrician and we are taking as many precautions as we can to minimize dust. End of the day, it was the right time for our family and I was totally willing to camp out in the family room with the cats and baby all day.
|Don't tell Tom I showed you this mess.|
So life lately looks like this. One month ago we moved the furniture into the house and officially left Brooklyn (don’t get me started on the moving truck fiasco) and me, William, Ella, Allen, and Poe hang in the family from about 7:30 am when the workers get here til about 4pm when they leave for the day. I’ve got my little kitchen set up like I’m in a dorm, my dishes in the guest bath, and we are all sleeping together as a happy family in what will be the guest bedroom at the end of the hallway upstairs at night. Certainly not for the faint of heart, but I actually feel less stressed now than I did prior to the move. I was really stressing about the idea of driving three cats and an infant from Brooklyn to New Jersey, a whooping 45 minute drive. That drive that morning was a very anticlimactic goodbye to my apartment in Brooklyn that I had lived in for seven years. There’s still a part of me that believes my stuff is still all set up and we are about to drive home to Bay Ridge one of these nights since we haven’t really been able to unpack here yet. It’s very surreal still. But I know even this is temporary.
|Classy tooth brush/bottle nipple/steak knife pic. Oh look, an apron on my dish soap!|
If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know we are nearing the finish line - the contractors finished up on Friday and now we are in serious clean - paint - unpack - repeat mode. It's happening a bit slower than I'd like (I swear this kid hears me crack open a can of paint and decides nap time is over). I know we made the right decision by doing this now. All of those “someday when we own a home” ideas are actually coming to fruition and it’s a little unbelievable and awesome. I am actually in my Someday Home. And it’s gonna be pretty freaking great.