Goodbye to Our Beloved House

I have been waiting to write this post for about four years. Seriously, just a few months shy of four years ago, David and I put our house that sits in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains on the market. When we bought the house in March 2010, we thought we'd be in that little 1952 ranch for twenty years, but in February 2012, he accepted his dream job which just so happened to be 75 miles away from our home. So, we decided to sell the house.

With a baby on the way, we quickly listed in March 2012, hoping to sell before HDawg came along in August. That didn't happen. Due to the craziness of having our first newborn, we took the house off the market in August, took a few months off, and relisted in November. All this time, David was making the 150 mile per day commute (through grueling Atlanta traffic... think 4+ hours in the car each day) with a new baby at home. It was time to make a change, we were pretty miserable. In December, my best friend came to visit and suggested we just rent a small house closer to David's new job while we continued to try and sell this house. Genius.

So in February 2013, we packed up our house and headed to a small rental in the city. The house stayed empty and on the market until August, when a family put in a lease purchase offer. It wasn't our ideal state- we wanted to sell that house before we bought another, which tied us into renting ourselves for awhile- but we desperately needed someone in that house to help us maintain it, pay for utilities and the mortgage while we were living so far away! We had been paying for two houses (our house and the rental) for six months, it was time for some help. In August 2013, the family moved in for a two year lease purchase term.

You can imagine how excited we got earlier this summer (2015, two years later) when we knew that the closing with these folks was so close. Their two year term was coming to a close and they had given us every indication they were planning to buy the house; we thought we'd be selling the house in August and then have the ability to buy ourselves this fall. We had been waiting so patiently! It was our time! Spoiler alert: they didn't buy the house. We got a call in May from the lease purchase tenants that they were terminating their lease purchase contract. The house went back on the market, for the third time.

In August, we met at the house with our realtor and some potential buyers. The sweetest, kindest, most endearing missionary family who had clearly fallen in love with our beloved house. We left that meeting with hugs, some new friends and a contract on the house. Fast forward to last Thursday, when we finally closed and David and I signed away our ownership of the house to this sweet family. When we purchased in 2010, we never thought we'd only be truly living there for two years before we'd begin this four year whirlwind process of trying to sell. We never imagined that the market in our little town would be so slow (particularly the market for older homes) and that it would take so long to sell. We never thought we'd have to patiently sit and wait for almost four years to make any other kind of long-term moves in our life. We never thought we'd find such a great family to buy the house who truly loves that house as much as we do. Such a crazy process.

Instead of being bitter or resentful about how the past four years have gone (although, trust me, I woke up almost every day of those past four years stressed and with a pit in my stomach about selling, about making double mortgage/rent payments, about maintaining a house 100 miles away), David and I are really grateful. Truly. In that time, we've birthed two beautiful, healthy babies. David still loves and is thriving at his job. I've restablished my law practice in our new town. So many wonderful things have happened, all according to His plan. And, honestly, if we had the ability to buy back in 2012 when we first started this journey, there's a good chance we would have ended up somewhere else in metro Atlanta. Maybe it wouldn't have been a wrong path, but it would have been a much different path. And we're so madly in love with our little life now, I can't imagine it differently. Everything happened the way it was supposed to, I'm sure.

For those of you who are also in an in-between phase of life or can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, flip to Psalm 46:10, which says "be still, and know that I am God." That verse brings me so much peace. It reminds me to trust in His plan, to follow his path. To know he's got my back. 

I'll be back soon to share some of my favorite highlights from that house for those of you who weren't here four years ago when I was blogging about it. If you can't wait, you can check out the full house tour on your own right here. But today, I just wanted to share our journey and, more importantly, our big news: the house has finally sold!

Behind the Scenes: Life Lately

Hey hey! It's been awhile since I've updated you guys on what's going on behind the scenes with me and the Ten June crew... so, here we go.

Work attire, eh? You guys know (or maybe not) that outside of the blog, I'm a commercial real estate attorney. Ever since our move from our first beloved home, I've been practicing at a firm in Atlanta. It was quite the commute from our suburban town outside of the city, but I worked mostly from home about 30 hours a week. I truly loved the set up, but a month ago, I got a call from a firm here in the suburbs that I interviewed with two years ago when we first moved here. Long story short, a couple of weeks ago, I accepted a position with the suburban firm helping them handle their commercial real estate practice! I love the move so far- the new position is the perfect mix of working from home and working in a great office atmosphere, close to home. We're so excited about my future with the firm!

The last week of September (when, oh, by the way, I turned another year older and slowly set that foot solidly in the thirty-something realm, oy), our little fam went to visit my brother-in-law in San Francisco! We had an amazing time seeing the sights in the city and spending time in Palo Alto, which is the cutest little town. The kids even did pretty great on their first flight- snacks and TV shows in large quantities, that's the key. Our only hiccup on the trip was that HDawg had a terrible allergic reaction while we were out to eat at a vegan restaurant. We thought we were safe at a vegan restaurant (no dairy!), but it turns out H has developed a severe allergy to cashews and pistachios. I won't go into too many details, but thank God we acted fast and David was brave enough to administer the EpiPen on some random San Francisco street as we raced to the hospital. His severe reaction leveled off after the EpiPen and hospital stay, thank goodness.

So, that landed us at the allergists office as soon as we got home. It's really crazy, because H has had a full panel of tests many times and that included all tree nuts (which he has always tested negative for). He has actively eaten mixed nuts, including cashews and pistachios, for the past year or so. But, apparently his little immune system is just extremely sensitive and can randomly choose to react and attack certain foods. Now, cashews and pistachios (and therefore, generally, tree nuts) are his body's enemy. Just like with dairy, it's a major learning curve in terms of reorganizing what food we eat and what brands to buy, etc. but it's coming together slowly!

Other than learning about H's new allergies, the kids are great. I am loving their super fun ages- 1.5 and 3. We've enjoyed all of the pumpkin patch, fall festivals and Halloween festivities so much this year... I can't wait to experience the rest of 2015's holiday season with them. It really is such a blessing to see the world through their precious little eyes.

So that's what we're up to lately! Hope you guys are doing well out there and enjoying fall!

How to Update A Rental Kitchen With Peel + Stick Tile

Boom. That is my pretty new updated rental house kitchen. But let's reverse. 

The kitchen in our rental house is pretty much like "heyyyyy 2004, what up with your orange-toned oak cabinets, stereotypical colored granite countertops, polished nickel fixtures and brown-ish tile backsplash with sea-colored glass inserts?" Not complaining, but not my cup of kitchen design tea. Every time I looked over into the kitchen, my eyes started crossing with all of the orange/yellow oak-i-ness. After two years (!!) of living here, I decided enough was enough and it was time to do something. We threw down some black bordered jute runners on the floor to cover up some of the orange oak-y floors (yes, same color as the cabinets. so. much. oak.) but that wasn't enough. 

My first thought was that we had to do something with the cabinets but I really couldn't come up with a renter friendly solution. Painting the cabinets is off the table. Taking off the cabinet doors and papering the back? So pretty but no one wants to see the stack of rainbow mismatched sippy cups in my cabinets, especially me. Cover the cabinets in pretty contact paper? I almost, almost did this but realized it would be a bear of a project and I just don't have the time, energy or patience for that. So I rerouted- leave the cabinets as is but what about the brown backsplash tile? I thought, if there was just some way I could break up all of the brown/orange with a bright white, maybe that would make a difference. What if someone made some sort of temporary tile covering that did that job? Enter Smart Tiles.

Smart Tiles is sort of the most genius idea ever for renters who hate their kitchens or baths. Or even if you're a homeowner and you want to temporarily redo your kitchen or bath tile without the mess and expense of actually installing new tile. Guys, this tile is a STICKER. A sticker. Or, more appropriately, a self-adhesive wall tile. Like, peel and stick. No joke. All you need to "install" this product is a tape measure, a precision cutting knife or box cutter, a pencil and a cutting mat (I used a cardboard box flap!). No glue, no paste, just peel off the backing and stick on up there. For me, the only difficult part with this entire process was measuring. You have to measure exactly right to order tiles (but they have a handy estimating system calculator on every order page!) and exactly right to cut the tiles to fit around wall outlets and odd shaped areas of your kitchen or bath. I used the interlocking subway tiles so I had to do a lot of cutting and measuring to make sure everything matched up correctly. Luckily, Smart Tiles has an awesome installation video that I watched multiple times for reference. Still, if your hardest obstacle is measuring correctly, that's quite an easy DIY project if I do say so myself.

I will say that there were a couple of areas that turned out a little "off" with the tile. For example, our tile that we were covering up sort of wraps around the edge of our walls and the Smart Tiles couldn't bend and stick on that edge. Also, the corners didn't always match up perfectly and I could see a little gap of the old brown tile, but I think a lot of that is that our walls or the original tile is uneven! So, truly, no glitches with the product but more so with the space I was covering (and probably some user error by me!). Overall, I absolutely love the look, love the product and cannot believe it took me two years to freshen up this space by simply spending a few hours sticking on some new tile! 

Also- I asked this question a couple of times so I can be sure I'm not losing out on my security deposit, but the Smart Tiles are fully removable! When you're finished with them, just peel 'er off. Check out their FAQ section for more installation questions and answers.

For those of you who are interested, you can buy Smart Tiles here at Home Depot, here at Wayfair and here at Amazon. Or straight from the Smart Tiles website.

A little before.

And a little after.

So much lighter and brighter thanks to a STICKER! Amazing. Now I'm scheming where else in my house I can update simply by covering in Smart Tiles. Do you think my landlord would notice if I started laying them over those terrible orangey floors?!

Please know that I was not compensated for this post but did receive product from Smart Tiles. I researched the company and scouted out their great product before partnering with them for the blog so I truly support the product. And, of course, all opinions and reviews are mine.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...