We moved into the new house on Friday, and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know that it’s the best house ever, I love every last inch of it, and I really can’t stop talking about how much I love it.
For a minute, though, I am going to stop talking about the new house. Because in all the craziness that was packing and getting ready to move and then moving during the busiest possible time of the month at my job, I didn’t have much of a chance to bid a fond farewell to the old house. While I’m not sad to have left that house behind, it was a very good house for us for over six years, and I feel it deserves a moment of reflection.
While I was very ready to move on and won’t really miss living in that house, there are three things that I will miss quite a bit:
1. My 5-minute commute, which allowed me to go home for lunch. My new commute is only 15 minutes, which isn’t bad at all, but it’s just a little too far for me to justify coming home for lunch on a daily basis. I loved being able to take a break in the middle of the day, go home, snuggle the dogs, and cook up a yummy lunch. Now I have to get back in the habit of packing a lunch, which is something I’ve never been good at. It’s a small price to pay, though, for the privilege of living in this beautiful new house.
2. The decks. Tim and my dad (with help from my mom, Tim’s dad, and a few friends) built a couple of really nice decks at the old house and, man, did I ever love those decks. They made hanging out in a somewhat pain-in-the-ass back yard very pleasant, and we spent a lot of wonderful summer evenings out there, grilling burgers and brats and roasting marshmallows in the chiminea. Tim and my dad are already discussing plans for a deck at the new house, and I know it’s going to be really great, but it’ll probably be at least a year before we have the budget to build it. I am thankful that last Thursday, on our last night at the old house, the weather was nice enough for us to take a break from loading the moving truck and enjoy one last dinner on the deck. It was the best Last Dinner at the Old House we could have had.
3. The bar. Remodeling the kitchen was our first major project at the old house, and as part of the project, we installed a beautiful solid wood bar that we’d found at a thrift store months earlier for a ridiculously low price. The bar has built-in cabinets and a wine rack, and we hung wine glass racks above it to add a little extra sparkle (and, let’s face it, we really had nowhere else to keep wine glasses in that little kitchen). It’s a gorgeous bar, and I am still a little sad we couldn’t bring it with us to the new house. However, the old kitchen would have looked weird without the bar, and we really don’t have a place for it in the new house, so it would have been stuck in the basement, alone and unused, for years until we got around to finishing the basement and finding a good spot for it. And, really, it fits perfectly in the old kitchen. I am sad to have left it behind, but deep inside I know it belongs in that kitchen where it hopefully will be used and loved for years to come.*
The old house is finally under contract and scheduled to close at the end of this month. We put a lot of love and hard work into that house, and I hope it’s as good to its new owners as it was to us.
This morning we signed a contract with a builder to construct a beautiful new home on this gorgeous lot. (Check out that mountain view!)
Something tells me I’m going to be updating the blog more often in the months to come…
So long, old, torn-up couch. You were good to us while you lasted.
Hello, fabulous new (to us) couch!
And comfy new (to us) chair!
We love you so much! Even the dogs have given you an enthusiastic stamp of approval.
We were so happy when we found you on Craigslist, and even happier when we saw how incredibly affordable you were. All we had to do was write a relatively small check and pick you up, and you were all ours!
Sure, you’re not our dream furniture or anything, but you are pretty darn great. Your khaki cushion covers don’t show too much dog hair, and they’re made of durable enough material that we’re not terribly worried about wear and tear. Plus they’re so easy to pull off and wash when the dogs manage to jump on you before I clean the mud off their paws.
You’re neutral enough to fit in just about any room with the addition of a few coordinating throw pillows, and even if we decide to buy our dream couches in a few years, you will definitely be excellent basement furniture.
Let’s talk size. You’re definitely bigger than the last couch, but still not too big for the room. We love that the chair allows us to have multiple guests over without cramming everyone side-by-side on the couch. And your deep, comfy seats simply beg for quality snuggle time with husband, dogs, and blankets.
Welcome to your new home, couch and chair. We’re so very glad you’re here.
Here in the SangriaLover household, we have a bit of a couch conundrum happening. Our current couch, comfy as it is, is starting to come apart at the seams. The seat cushions and armrests are fraying, and the back cushions have all but detached from the couch. It’s gotten to the point where we’re embarrassed to have people over and ask them to sit on our sad, split-cushioned couch. It was a good couch, while it lasted, but it’s past its prime, and it’s time something be done.
What, exactly, to do, however, is what’s causing the current conundrum. Last weekend we went couch shopping while Labor Day sales were still going on to assess the situation: What’s out there? What can we afford? Can we possibly fit both a couch and a loveseat in our living room so we’ll have more seating when friends come over?
What we learned was this: There are a lot of couches out there, most of them ugly and/or uncomfortable. We can afford a couch/loveseat set we like, but we’d have to spend more than we were planning…the furniture would probably end up being our Christmas present to each other (admittedly, not such a bad Christmas present). And no matter how many different layouts we try in the online room planner, there’s just no good way to put a couch and a loveseat in this room without making it feel too crowded.
So we moved on to option B: slipcovers. I’ve heard all about how ugly slipcovers are, but somehow I convinced myself that everybody was wrong and a slipcover would be just the thing we needed to spruce up our poor little falling apart couch long enough to tide us over until a couple of years from now when we can better afford new living room furniture and have a house with a more appropriately sized living room for the furniture we want.
Off we went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where we selected a camel-covered slipcover and marched it up to the register with a 20%-off coupon lovingly donated by Tim’s sister. We felt good about our purchase. We’d looked at our options online before buying and had seen several examples of non-hideous slipcovers, and we were confident we’d picked a good one. We took it home, put it on our couch, and…
…and our couch looked like a big lumpy piece of poo.
I’m sorry for the vulgarity, but that’s the only accurate way to describe the crappiness that was our couch in that slipcover. I’d choose frayed cushions over the poopy slipcover look any day.
Here’s where we stand right now. The slipcover is in its packaging waiting to be returned for a full refund. Craigslist has some non-hideous couches, but they’re not much less expensive than the brand new options we saw on our shopping trip last weekend. I’m tempted to buy the couch and matching chair (smaller than loveseat and therefore more likely to fit in our living room) we found last weekend but still hesitant about dropping such a substantial chunk of change. I’d rather wait and buy something specifically for our next house, but we don’t intend to move for a couple of years, and I’m not sure the current couch is going to last that long.
So what do we do? Do we go ahead and invest in some new furniture? Do we get something used and less expensive, but still drop a sizable sum on something we don’t love? Or do we just buy a few more throw blankets and strategically place them to cover our ever-disintegrating cushions any time we have company over the next few years?
Help me out, friends. Your input and ideas are much appreciated.
- Tim is currently on Fall break, which means he hasn’t had to work last week or this coming week. Of course, rather than dwell on how hard he’s worked first quarter and what a great opportunity this will be for him to relax, I immediately start thinking about how I can make Fall break work for me. At first, I thought I’d get a deck out of Fall break. We want to build a deck off of our dining room, where the new-ish door is, and Tim had made noises about maybe building it over fall break. Of course, now that fall break is upon us, Tim is busy “organizing his classroom” and “attending teacher trainings” and “relaxing.” So, I will not be getting a deck. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a clean garage, a mowed lawn, and maybe a clean house. A girl can dream, can’t she?
- Speaking of the garage, ours is now home to two bikes. I’ve missed having a bike (mine was stolen a few years ago), so I took advantage of end-of-summer sales and brought my bike-less state to an end. I intended to ride it to work — I even did a test-run of the route a few weekends ago and determined that it’s a 15-minute, mostly downhill ride to my office. It’s uphill coming home, of course, but I’d rather come home from work sweaty than arrive at work sweaty. So, anyway, I kept my eye on the weather and picked a particularly warm day to ride to work. I was all ready to go, went out to the garage . . . and discovered both my tires were flat. So, no riding to work that day, or any other day until the weekend when I learned how to change flat bike tires. And now that my tires are fixed, Fall is setting in full-force, making the mornings extra chilly. And I may be too much of a chicken to brave a cold morning bike ride. There’s always next spring…
- Speaking of exercise, one of my favorite at-home workouts, as I may have mentioned, is Dance Dance Revolution. I have been stuck on one song for ages now, and last weekend I pulled out the dance mat and plugged in the game, determined to get a higher score than the computer opponent AND complete the song with 3 or fewer “boos.” Not an easy task, my friends. Five tries later, I DID IT! FINALLY! I did a little victory dance while the dogs gave me strange looks. Then I looked back at the TV to see what the next challenge would be . . . and the game credits were rolling. Turns out I beat the game — no wonder winning that song was so hard! The workout’s not over yet, though. As soon as the credits finished rolling, the game invited me to start again, only on difficult mode this time. Y’all, it’s kicking my ass, but it’s so much fun. The best part is I’m not stuck doing the same song over and over and over and over. And over. There’s a lot to be said for variety when it comes to enjoying your workout.