the state of our [home]

as of tomorrow—february 26, 2010—we will officially celebrate the one-year anniversary of owning our home. i remember the day we closed...there was a huge snowstorm and after the closing, we didn't even go up to the house!

that day, i started this blog. i posted this verse:
"unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain."
Psalm 127:1

what a blessing this home has been! God has sustained us through demolition and construction. there was minimal bloodshed. but on top of the physical structure, God has built our home spiritually. ben and i have settled in and we often think about and pray for the children who, Lord willing, we will raise here. just last weekend we were able to host two gatherings and afterward, i was filled with joy about having a warm, comfortable place to host friends and family. wow. Lord, thank you for all you've done for us!

so what's next for our home? i'm so glad you asked. :) well, we're starting the last project that will complete the entire re-do of the first level of our home: the master bedroom. we'll start the demo this weekend.

but before i get into that, i thought it might be a nice time to post some current photos of the house.

today i'll start with the living room. i'm not sure i've ever posted a picture of the changes we've made! let's recap. when we bought the house, the living room looked like this:

today, it looks like this:

one of the first things we did in the house was rip out that carpet. we eventually framed in the wall to close if off from the previous dining room (now the mudroom—layout here). once the drywall was installed and taped, we tackled that eyesore of a fireplace. it was in such sorry shape and kind of overwhelmed the room. we built out the hearth and paid for tile to be installed. (we're beginners when it comes to tiling and because it is such a focal point, we wanted it to be done right!) we also had our cabinet designers make us a mantle. it is huge, but we love it. we got an estimate to install a gas insert, but it was kind of spendy. so maybe we'll save up for it in the future. for now, we've got a chimney balloon helping to stop cold air from coming down.

we don't have any window coverings up yet, but we'll get there. we are borrowing those comfy chairs from ben's sister and her husband. once we figure out how we really want to use the room (tv? computer? etc.), we'll get some new things and i can really "decorate" it. can't wait!

i'll do another entry on the kitchen soon. thanks for sticking with me! it's been a very good year.