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While I Was Eating. (A House Update.)

When I was busy eating Italy, my lovable husbandmunch did some work around the house.

He did it intentionally, he says, to surprise me with his home project prowess, but we both know he didn’t so I couldn’t hover over his shoulder telling him what he’s doing wrong.

The nerve.

At first, while I was over there, he told me he was doing something, but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. Fantastical images of a completely finished home whipped through my mind — of completely painted trim and walls, shoe molding galore, a kitchen backsplash and shelving, artwork hung, garage cleaned out, every inch gleaming and sparkling and clean — all in two weeks without costing us a dime, mind you, because our bank account? She’s seen better days.

True to my wily ways, I coerced the secret out of him soon enough.

“But what if I die in a horrific plane crash without knowing what you’ve done to our house?” I cried over Skype.

Below the belt? Maybe. But it had to be done. “You’re not going to die in a horrific plane crash,” he responded, un-moved. “But even if you do, I doubt your last thoughts will be wondering what I’ve done to the house.”

I gave him a withering look, and he knew — If I died in a horrific plane crash, my last thoughts very well might be wondering what he did to the house. I’m just that kind of girl.

He caved.

“I’m refinishing the hardwood floors in the sunroom,” he said.


I mean, I know it’s all very Aidan from Sex and the City and everyone loves Aidan from Sex and the City, but…



Refinishing the hardwood floors in the sunroom wasn’t even on The List.

The List, which exists only in my head of course, consists of tasks imperative to re-sale that we need to complete before putting the house on the market. It’s a carefully curated assortment of tasks that will increase aesthetic appeal and/or functionality enough to make them worth the cost to complete — either in investment returns or quickness of sale. As the newest floors in a 60-year-old house, the sunroom floors were hardly in bad shape. They were just a different color than the adjacent new kitchen floors, a flaw that I — and I’d thought he — was willing to live with.

My finished kitchen fantasies vanished and were replaced with visions of every item in our home covered in flooring dust, once again.

“Before you say anything,” he said because he knows me, “I know the floors weren’t on The List. But removing the laminate bar was, and the shelf that was supporting it left a huge mark on the floor.”

Now listen. I’m game to say that most relationships, no matter how harmonious, have at least one point of contention. Especially when it comes to home renovation. Justin and I have had several, not the least of which has been this ugly counter running the length of the wall beneath the kitchen pass-through.


Here’s the ugly counter on move-in day. Already it’s a collection center for all of the things we don’t want to deal with.

Usually we can come to terms — either me convincing him in a logical manner of a decision’s legitimacy, or him convincing me due to the fact that he rarely has a strong opinion about anything, so dammit, he should win. But this counter was a sticking point for us.

I wanted it gone because:

a) It makes no sense for the layout of the room. It leaves very little seating space around our one-and-only television, which makes the whole room feel smaller than it is.

b) It’s not functional. No one can actually sit at the counter because the sofa needs to back up to it.


c) It only serves as a collection center for junk. Not cool.


But Justin wanted to keep it because:

He didn’t want to deal with the issues — like drywall or flooring patching — that might arise if he removed it.

Well. Life’s a gamble, my friend.

“I don’t think they were complete idiots when they built this addition,” I argued. Admittedly a bit of a stretch. “The counter is probably barely attached to the wall, and I highly doubt that one leg is really attached to the floor.” But despite my entirely fact-based arguments on why we absolutely had to move the bar location in that room, he wouldn’t budge. But neither would I. So I left for Italy with a stalemate on my hands.

“So… that’s why I’m refinishing the floors,” he continued.

A huge smile broke across my face. The bar was gone. More importantly, the bar was gone and I wouldn’t have to live with any of the mess or hassle that goes with refinishing hardwoods because I WAS IN ITALY.


Sometimes I love him so much.


Here it is now, with so much more room:


Yes, that’s an antenna taped to the wall. Stop judging us.

But… um… you might’ve noticed a little problem beneath the passthrough:


Yep. The two problems Justin was worried about — holy walls and damaged floors — most definitely existed.

Unless he created them while I was gone so he could be right.

Which he totally would never do.

Would he?


But really — would he?

Moving on.

Now I just need to finish painting some of our leftover kitchen wall cabinets so we can put the bar on a different wall.


I know.

I’m infuriating.

Also, the idea of painting more cabinets makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and day-drink from a straw.

Aside from making the two different floors in the photo above actually match, he also finished putting up the crown in the kitchen:


Once he caulks this, I’ll be able to paint all of it to match the cabinets.

Installed our old kitchen light in the laundry room (which still isn’t technically a laundry room since we haven’t shelled out the cash to get a washer hookup in there and where we previously didn’t have any overhead or switch lighting at all):


I won’t give up on you, would-be laundry room. I won’t give up.

Added the transition from the tiled entryway to the living room:


Yes, that’s flooring dust (he re-finished the hallway floor too) and nasty grout and a zebra carcass. I don’t have time to clean everything before I take pictures.

And probably watched a lot of football and sci-fi and farted loudly because I wasn’t there.

And no one can blame him for that.


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That was a productive 2 weeks! If it had been me, I would’ve waited until the day before you came home and stayed up all night to do one thing on The List so it looked like I accomplished something : ) Just kidding (maybe….)! House is looking good!


Ha! I’m exactly the same. But for him, me being gone lights a fire under his butt because he knows it’s his window to do things the way he wants to do them. ;)

Colleen Brynn

That counter, total junk collector. I love the potential that space has, and it looks so much more spacious without the counter! Your eye for interior design is good. I will call on you one day yet, haha.


Just wait until I get up the motivation to PAINT! It’s going to be like a whole new world up in here. :)


Nice! Also, when did “day drinking” become a term? I’ve heard it a bit on Netflix shows. Why are we differentiating it from night drinking?


I’m not sure when it became a term, but I’ve been using it for a while to differentiate from night drinking because it’s less socially acceptable — at least in the U.S. when sports aren’t involved — and alludes to an issue on the part of the drinkee. ;)


Weird that it’s less socially acceptable. I mean, unless you’re at work. Drinking at work seems like a bad idea.

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