Wow! 2018 has been quite a year for us! Atom and I have found our strides and the building now really feels like our “home” rather than a place we have been staying in for the last 20 months. Our two largest projects of this year have been the second floor kitchen and the basement. A year might seem like a really long time to build a kitchen, but when you really think about the amount of time and construction that was involved and that Atom literally did it all himself, from a space that was just a corner (a HUGE 20 ft x 16 ft corner) of the large open room on the second floor.
The basement has also been a gigantic project. Atom spent countless hours up on a 20ft ladder with a sledge hammer meticulously breaking out the ceiling in order to expose the original steel beam work and to give the basement a more industrial feel. It also made it so much easier to access the pipes and wiring in the ceiling. He could only spend one day a week working on the ceiling because it was so incredibly physically exhausting. Then he would spend the following day cleaning up what he was able to knock down and put it all in the dumpster. Knocking it all down isn’t as easy as it sounds. The ceiling plaster was attached with this steel wire mesh that had to be cut every foot or so. Once he finally got it all down it was time to move on to the walls. We had to fix a couple places where the old drainage pipes had leaked which thankfully was a relatively easy (and inexpensive) process. We were a bit disappointed to find where in a couple of places where there were leaks, there was some pretty awful “patch jobs” that had been done who knows how long ago and if they would have been done right the first time we wouldn’t have the issues we did. But it’s all good- Atom hasn’t found anything he hasn’t been able to fix yet! Knock on wood! Since all of the ceiling is down now Atom has been using his fancy new chisel hammer drill to take off 92 years worth of plaster from the basement walls to expose the original brickwork. This is quite the delicate process as he has to be super careful not to chip the bricks. We will be re-plastering the lower four feet of the wall and sealing the bricks the rest of the way up and painting the ceiling matte black.
These aren’t the only projects we have been working on. In true Atom fashion, there are many other smaller side projects happening simultaneously in the building. Our boys bedroom is also a work in progress and that will take center stage once the kitchen is completely finished. Our master bathroom remodel has also begun although it is in the very VERY beginning stages.
I feel like we brought some of San Diego back with us after we went back to visit in June as it has been unseasonably warm this month. Today it was 54 degrees! We have only had a couple days where we got a little bit of snow which all melted within a few hours.
You might not remember that last year we discovered our entire Christmas light bin was either lost in the move or left behind. We have been slowly building back up our arsenal of lights and outdoor decorations. Hard to believe that we hung 10 strands of large lights and 6 strands of small ones this year. With a building as big as ours is we are going to need A LOT more to even notice!
We had a lovely Christmas that was very low key and perfect. When I was growing up my parents always gave my sister and I new jammies every year on Christmas Eve. We have kept up that tradition with our own kids and they look forward to opening them up on Christmas Eve and wearing them to bed. This year I joined in the fun and found the perfect onesie for myself!
For the past 2 years I have chosen a “word of the year.” In 2017 my word was “trust” as we had to put our trust 100% in God as we packed up everything and followed his call to Indiana. This year my word has been “determination” and we have been determined to stay focused on our goals. For 2019 I have chosen the word “balance.” I thought and prayed about what word to choose for the new year for many weeks. One thing I need to put more focus on is having better work/life/renovation balance. I have been working a ton this year between my hospital job and my medical article writing and moderating job. In 2019 I will try really hard to make time for myself here and there and not feel guilty about it. Back when we lived in San Diego, I was a crafting queen. Making crafts (specifically paper crafts and planner stickers/decals etc) was such a fun passion of mine. Since we moved to Indiana I haven’t had much time to spend crafting and I WILL make time to spend in my library crafting in 2019!
Lastly, I will leave you with a teaser photo as the kitchen will be DONE THIS WEEK! Atom has been working his tail off putting on the finishing touches and last minute touch ups! It has been a long time coming and I seriously am in awe as to what he has single handedly designed (with my input) and built by hand. It shattered any and all expectations and I am just so so happy with it. The next post I make will be of the finished product!
If you aren’t following along on Facebook and Instagram check for the links on the main blog page so you can see a ton more photos that I add there frequently! I will also be doing a live video on Facebook of a walkthrough of the finished kitchen hopefully next weekend.
Happy New Year friends! Here’s to a healthy and happy 2019! I can’t wait to see what is in store for us (and the building!)