the trials and tribulations of owning a home

First of all, thank you all so much for your kind words on my posts last week. So many kind comments and emails that I appreciate more than I can say. I will get back to all of you. I've been spending the last 4 days painting and getting ready to move this weekend. Be patient with me!

The last few days have been...chaotic. And wonderful. And stressful. And so, so tiring.

Our realtor rushed in during closing and told us a bathroom pipe had burst. We were literally in the middle of signing the papers. It had started the day before when he took it upon himself to fix the leaking tub faucet, which led to him fiddling with the main water valve to the house, which led to it breaking which meant the house had zero water. He called an emergency plumber to come fix it while we were at closing. The sellers happened to come by during their last 30 seconds of owning the house and KICKED THE PLUMBER OUT. This was just as he was checking an issue under the bathroom sink that led to a burst pipe, which he couldn't fix because he was kicked out. But on the bright side, the water was still off so at least there wasn't a flood. I was in such a state of heightened emotion that the closing agent brought me her secret stash of chocolate from her desk.

The funny part is that our sink at our townhouse was plugged and not draining, so we were having plumbing issues at both homes. We rescheduled with the plumber for the next day. I woke up the next day with a dental emergency. I had an infected abscess brewing on my gum over the tooth I had gotten a filling in two days prior. I immediately called the dentist, because I've been down this road once before and it led to an emergency root canal. The only time they could get me in was when the plumber was going to be at our house. God bless our realtor for stepping up and letting him in for me.

The dentist doesn't think my infection is from the filling since it would be a bit soon and it's in a weird spot, but he has no idea what happened. He was so perplexed he gave me his phone number and has texted me to check on me and see how it's doing.  I'm on antibiotics, but if things don't improve soon I'll be dealing with another root canal. If you're wondering if I handled that well, I didn't. If PTSD from prior dental trauma is a thing, I have it. It's all I can do to get myself to a cleaning. My root canal at 12 years old was completely traumatic and I have no desire to relive it.

On Saturday, we went to our house to start painting over the brown and red walls. I was tense from the past few days of stress and not in the best frame of mind. The laundry room light didn't turn on, and I immediately assumed something was wrong with the wiring and OMG WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS NOW. James was like "Michelle, it probably needs a new lightbulb." We also found a crack in the bedroom we had both somehow missed the half dozen times we've been in the house prior. I had nightmares that night that it was due to water damage and termites. No one can ever accuse me of assuming the worst! On opposite day.

James determined it was a simple drywall crack and filled it. Yesterday, I flipped a switch to turn on the garage (I HAVE A GARAGE) light on, and the laundry room light came on. The switch I had been using was turning on an exterior light. And then there was the debacle with the 1964 window that we had to eventually close from the outside. I went to wash my hands Saturday morning and realized we had no hot water. I knew our water heater needed to be replaced soon, but I wasn't expecting to replace it this soon. After a frantic phone call to my realtor who seemed to know everything about the house, he told me how to turn the water heater back on. This house has a steep learning curve and I am clearly no expert.

Other than that drama, I've calmed down and am now greatly enjoying the process of fixing up our house. I've been harboring secret dreams of a dark teal living room for awhile now. It's risky, it's bold, it's a bit scary, but if I'm going to do it, now's the time. I dreamed about paint swatches and lost sleep wondering if it was a terrible idea. I decided to go for it. I know it's not most people's thing, but now that it's almost finished I couldn't love it more. It's cozy and moody and so me. James wasn't sure at first, but now he's sold. Clearly I am not one for the all white trend.

We painted half the kitchen a light, sunny yellow. We covered the dark red walls and we'll tackle the rest of the kitchen and attached laundry/mudroom after we move in. Our bedroom had the same ugly tan/chocolate brown walls as the living room, and we're painting it a very light grey.

On Saturday night, I came home and cried. Something about moving and change flips me inside out, no matter how much I've wanted it. When we moved into our townhouse, I was happy about it but cried the entire evening after we moved in because I'm that terrible at adjusting to new things. The house still smelled like a musty church and it didn't feel like ours at all. I was so scared something would go wrong and we'd have to find a way to pay for it and maybe we even bought the wrong house. It didn't help when we drove 45 minutes to the house Sunday morning and realized we both forgot the house key.

My friend sent me some Bible verses Sunday morning, and it hit me that I was dwelling on fear and had my eyes on my circumstance and not God. That sounds trite and cheesy, but it's true. I had a full attitude adjustment, mostly after we drove back home and got the keys and then drove back to the house, and that combined with getting more painting done made a huge difference for me. The more we paint, the more the house starts to feel like ours. I pulled down the chicken curtains that were covering the big, beautiful windows and it's so much lighter and brighter.

These days together have been so nice. We've been painting like fools, eating pizza on the living room floor amid the paint supplies, and painting until we've pushed Gracie to her limits and we have to go home. We listen to Christmas music in the car and come home to watch a Christmas movie. Gracie runs around, having pretend conversations with Mickey and Goofy, and constantly touching or leaning against the wet walls no matter how much we tell her not to. When she's napping, we listen to sermons or podcasts. We're all covered in paint and I don't even care. We've dripped paint all over the carpet and I don't even care, mostly because I'm hoping then I can convince James to replace it sooner rather than later. Carpet should never, ever be in the kitchen. James accidentally hit the stark white ceiling with his roller covered in teal paint. I can't be mad since I've basically ruined the baseboards with paint splatter, but it cracks me up every time I look at it.

We've been to Lowe's more times this week than in my life combined. There's a giant inflatable Nutcracker Mickey, and Gracie has to hug him and talk to him every time we go for another can of paint, or a mailbox because we discovered ours has been smashed. I got carsick on the way to the house this morning, and it was one of those rare times it never fully went away. I painted a few minutes, and then would have to curl up in a ball on the greasy carpet and wait for the worst of it to pass. If nothing else, I reaffirmed my promise to myself to never get pregnant again. But it's been really special to work as a family to fix up our first house, the three of us together. I know we'll look back on these days fondly.

Let's just hope I can stay away from the dentist for awhile. If I don't stop having dental issues, we'll never be able to afford new kitchen floors.


  1. Yes! You do that teal wall, girl. I can't get on board with the boring white trend either- give me all the blues, greens and earthy tones!

  2. Hi Michelle! Congrats on your new house, so exciting!! I do have a question for you- you’ve posted many times about your horrible insomnia. I have been experiencing it so bad since my son was born 14 months ago. Do you know what triggers it at all? Does anything help? How do you deal with just being depressed that you’re up when everyone else is sleeping? Any words of wisdom appreciated!!!

    1. Oh No!! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with it too! I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. For me, I’ve figured out that pms and stress are the worst triggers. Occasionally it happens for no reason and that sucks, but it’s almost always due to hormones or too much going on in my brain. It seems to be cyclical...it usually hits for a week or so a month, and then it will get better. When I know it’s coming or if I can’t fall asleep, I take melatonin and that helps 90% of the time. When it’s REALLY bad or I can sense it coming, I’ll take some Zzzquill. It always helps me sleep, but I have to use it sparingly so I can function the next day. A doctor might have a medication to help you. Mine told me to keep doing what I’m doing 😒 the worst is when everyone in the house is sleeping soundly, and you’re so stressed about not sleeping that you can’t sleep. I’ve had many middle of the night breakdowns. Medicine and prayer are the two things that help calm me down, and lots of caffeine the next day. No matter how tired I am, I try to get some physical activity in to wear my body down to the point that it has no choice but to sleep. I hope it stops for you soon.

  3. This makes me so happy. I love that you and your beautiful family finally have a permanent place to call home and to make yours. I can’t be any happier for you guys! I also LOVE your paint choices. I think one reason why we haven’t painted much in our house is I’m not confident in choosing colors. Like, do you pick a whole theme for the house? Or only for a particular room? It overwhelms me HAHA

  4. Thank you Jo! I think the correct way is to pick cohesive paint colors, but I didn’t 😂 They don’t clash or anything, but they aren’t in the same scheme. I think it will all work in the long run. I like things slightly wild and funky, so it works for us. And no one else has to live there but us! Buy lots of samples and test them out. I hate to say it, but Pinterest gave me the courage to do the teal living room.

  5. Home owning is simultaneously the best and worst thing. Hahaha. It's FINALLY yours but all the problems are also yours, lol. When we bought our first house we replaced the furnace within MONTHS of moving in. In the time we were there we painted almost every room, remodeled the half bath, added air conditioning, and replaced the hot water heater. When we moved to our new house it was a new-build and we were expecting 0 problems. Hahahahaha- we're so dumb. K fixed like six things within our first 3 days. UGH. lol
    but also, congratulations ;) Lol!

  6. I love the teal living room! I can't wait to see it all decorated!

  7. I am in love with your teal walls!! I'm too big of a chicken to do large swaths of color like that (I usually stick to bathrooms and the like...) so I'm living vicariously through you. I'm so happy you guys are finally fixing up your OWN HOME! I cannot wait to see what else you guys do to the place.

  8. That teal wall looks awesome! Some of my good friends have one teal wall in their dining room, and it's totally awesome. I'm kind of tempted to maybe consider that kind of thing someday down the road (every single wall in our house, except for the bathroom, is this beige tan color. It's not awful, but it's not very exciting). House buying is just a really stressful thing, I think. Having the inspection for our house was great, but awful because we saw everything that was wrong with our house that we know we'll eventually have to fix (some things sooner, some things later). But like you said, it's a great time for good family memories fixing up and travelling to Lowe's and that kind of thing!

    I'll be praying for you and the dental stuff. Ugh. I used to love the dentist, but a couple months ago I went for the first time in 3-4 years, and it was so stressful because I found that despite what I thought was a good dental hygiene routine, I have a ton of problems. I was a bit traumatized by the experience of hearing that, though it's nowhere near what you've gone through (and I'm still in denial about all of this and haven't gotten the courage to get an appointment, partially because I want to find a new dentist since I have horrible feelings associated with that one). Anyways, all this to offer a little bit of solidarity and prayers!

  9. Praying for you and your teeth! And I love that teal color!

    Also, "No one can ever accuse me of assuming the worst! On opposite day." made me laugh so hard.


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