It hasn't been terrible

Whenever people ask me about the whole process of moving I have been telling them "it hasn't been terrible."  I wouldn't say it was fun but it could have been worse.  Truthfully, the process of looking for a home was worse than actually moving.  Our home sold quick which left us scrambling.   The house we wanted to buy went under contract before we got an offer submitted.  We got out bid once, had to back out of a house because of the results of a home inspection, and a plethora of other real estate woes. In fact, because of all our issues we ended up homeless for 10 days.  Thank god for good friends and cheap hotels. In totally we looked at upwards of 30 houses in person.  Guys, we saw some things.  Weird houses, dirty housed, house with homeowners in them.  One homeowners had her dog faces tattooed on her leg.  We went in a house that had what we liked to referrer to as a death room. It once served as a hospice room complete with hospital bed and hand written notes of farewells, scriptures and affirmations scribbled all over the walls.  Creepers.  Basically our experience was the opposite of House Hunters.  It is funny because I wasn't really even that interested in the house we ended up with.  It is a split entry which I loath with a fiery passion. In fact, I didn't even want to go see it because of this.  But, after another round of bad houses I added this one to the list.  And, I like it.   I wouldn't say love.  It was in a conveniently location and had lots of potential without needed to much work to the main living area.  Plus, it had a jetted tub.  I know, trivial but a nice perk.  The house has space but isn't a large home.  It has a very cozy feel to it.  After Jason saw it we put in an offer and the rest is history.  It funny because I was never very attached or really crazy excited about the house. I think it was the fact that it wasn't downtown and I was in the mourning process of selling my old house.  Even after closing I just felt blah.  I was convinced our stuff wasn't going to work in our 70s split and I was stressed about the work that needed to be done.  The first night in the house I couldn't sleep.  I was up all night.  Then, when we finally started getting stuff set up I finally started to feel settled.  I won't go as far to say I am in love just yet.  I am still dealing with the end of my first real estate love but I am getting there.  Our stuff looks great in the space and we are starting to get settled.
Other than changing out a few light fixtures all we have really is decorate. We only had to repaint one room. Our guest room it was hideous. Well that and the beige rectangle on our landing. The previous own decided to paint around an old dusty mirror.
Ugly . .
Better . . . (thanks to our DIY fixture that helped us win $50 gift card to the ReStore)
Ugly . . .
Better . . .
I also rushed to set the boys room up, in hopes of helping them settle. Untitled
Lots of pretty natural light in the house. Untitled
Yeah, my head boards aren't actually mounted yet because I still can't find the hardware. It is in a box, somewhere.

We also got some furniture that used to be Jason's grandparents along with a new mattress and bedding for room. All of which I love and when the room is all put together I am sure it will feel like home but right now it just feels like I am sleeping in someone elses rooms. Someones room with pretty bedding ;)

I do like the open living area.

Hopefully we still start to feel settled.  Making a new house feel like home is a challenge.  Right now I still feel a little bit like we are crashing someone else's house :)

PS. This photo of the boys on the stoop all dressed up for Halloween helps. Untitled


Evolutation of Light Fixture, Part 2

Our new house is a split entry.  I hate split entries.  So, I knew one of the first things we need to tackle was making our entrance awesome (not boring).  We still aren't done gussying it up (yes, that is yellow paint on the ceiling . . who knows why). But, we have at least addressed the worst part.  This UGLY, dusty light.


I wanted something funky with a little bit of an industrial vibe.  I found several lights I love but with price tags upwards to $200 plus I knew that wasn't going to happen.  My decorating philosophy is cheap.   Also, I love originality.  So, when I saw this little fella at our Habitat ReStore  I knew he had to come home with me to get a new lease on life.


It was also 25% off day . . . which made this guy extra affordable.


Now, let me just say spray painting a chandelier is probably the least original idea ever. I have seen tons of painted lights floating around on the internet.   But still, I love the idea of taking something old and giving it a new lease on life.
Jason used some self etching primer. I told you guys, we is the master of spray paint. He does it so well that you can't even tell that he painted.

 And, the finished light . . . Untitled Jason actually rewired it to make the fake candle things shorter. I'm lucky to love someone who can re-wire a light (and not burn the house down).
Untitled Untitled Still trying to figure out the rest of this space but this light is a HUGE step in the right direction (also this photo sucks). Here is the entry when we moved in. Of course, when we moved the giant dusty mirror we discover the last owner had just painted about it.
 Oh, I was so annoyed but Jason happened to find half a gallon of the gray paint in the basement. I guess I will stop complaining about all the crap they left now that it served us so well :).

That little things make such a big difference.  This light changed the whole mood of the house.  If you want, feel free to follow me on instagram (@jaimebarks).  I've been posting project photos there too.  And, a lot of picture of my kids.  I can't help myself :) 

PS.  I know these photos are super lame. They are just iphone pictures.  Confession, I don't know were my camera is.  I know it got packed . . .  I guess it is one of the few boxes we haven't unpacked yet.  Hopefully we will find it this weekend. Perhaps it is with out coats and throw pillows which still haven't turned up ;). 


The Evolution of a Light, Part 1

We have been busy rehabbing new home. Luckily, we haven't had to paint much.  So we jumped in and started tackling lighting.  I know that seems odd but the lights in the house weren't are style and with 8 foot ceilings (oh how I miss my 9 foot ceilings) it feels like they are in your face.  In totally we have created two new lights, rehabbed one existing light and put a new shade on one.  This is our kitchen island light we rehabbed and a couple photos of our DIY shade for our dinning room table.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Did you know that some lights have arms that can be turned? Untitled
This is our terrifying basement that is in desperate need of a work. Soon. For now it is a great place to let lights dry after being painted.  Jason is the master of spray paint. There is an art to getting a lovely even coat.  I suck at it.
Fancy new shades, via the restore. I love vintage (cheap) things. Untitled Untitled 
Lights are hard to photograph and the only time my house is quiet enough for photos is early in the morning or late at night.  This is early this morning (very early). I do love my new kitchen and open floor plan.

This is our dinning room light.  It is a colander.  This isn't an original concept, I saw it floating around on Pinterest forever ago.  The previous owner had a string globe light shade that was just awful.  It was sagging and resembled a certain part of the male reproductive anatomy.  We cut it down right after closing.  So fast I didn't even snap a photo.
The best part is the pretty light reflection. 

Tomorrow I am going to post picture of our incredible entry chandelier Jason created.  It is so pretty.  We make a great team.  He lets me dream up crazy ideas then makes me happen for me. Here is make a house a home, one little change at a time.   


Saying Goodby to Our Home

We sold our home. I feel weird writing that sentence.  I suppose I should say we are under contract, I feel like no real estate transaction is official until you've signed what feels like 400 papers.  But, at this point we are cleared to close and all the is left is the final walk through.  I need to embrace the fact that this is really happening.  We are moving. Someone else is going to live in our house. Our home. My house.  Our first grown up home. It is hard for me to leave this house.  There are so many reasons why it is time for us to move on.  So many things about our new place that will be so much more comfortable.  Two toilets and an actual closet in our bedroom, for example. But, our little house downtown feels like home to me.  We poured ourselves into this house.  We spent countless hours slowly rehabbing the house.  We did more projects than I can list.  In addition to all the work, this is the only home our boys know.  They spent their first nights in the world here, they learned to walk on our 100 year old floors.  They grew up here. We grew up here.  We became our family. 

When we moved in 2007 our family looked like this.

Untitled In 2014, it has doubled.

IMG_0097 Also, the purchase of this house was one of the last life decisions I got to share with my mom. She passed away a week before closing.  My life looks so different now then it did when my mom was alive.  She missed so much of my transition into becoming a woman. But, I did get to share this house with her.  It has made it all the more hard to leave.  When we scheduled the closing for our house I cried.  I've been in denial.  I may have decorated a little for Halloween.  It wasn't until we scheduled a time and place to sign it over that it hit me.  We are leaving our house. So many emotional connections to this house.   I know it is time.  We are ready.

Here are few little farewell photos. Most the house in already boxed up. It feels so empty now.


So many conversations have a happen on this porch.  Some serious, some silly.
  walker3 IMG_0088 
We all hang out at the kids table.  Jason and I too.  Jason built that little table and chairs and they have got so much use.  One of my favorite spots in the house. 
  w7 w5 ww 
This drop cloth hides our closet area, which isn't a closet. Apparently a 100 years ago people didn't have as much crap. 


Alex decided to help me take photos of his room.   Do you know how hard it has been living in a house that has sold with two active boys?  We are constantly reminding them not to damage the house.  Alex started to swing on the door, because little boys do things like this, and Henry called out "don't hurt the house!  We are under contract, we can't break things!" To which we cracked up because it was true and awesome that our 5 year old knows we are "under contract."


The boys wanted posters for their room, which I hate so I made these little canvas for them.  They love them.  Alex actually slept with his Thomas painting a few nights.  Toddlers are weird.
Henry helped paint the background of this big owl painting when he was 18 months old.  The owl was an after thought, because Henry decided the painting was too scary. I should add the only reason I made this big painting for the boys was to hide the breaker box ;).
  IMG_0075 IMG_0077

520 Walker St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311
And lastly, our one and only bathroom.  I don't think I am going to miss this.  I will however miss my lovely claw foot tub that you can't see in this picture. 

It is hard not to feel emotional all over again looking at these pictures and all the projects.  We built an out building, put up a fence, put in new light fixtures, a new bathroom sink, we painted (and re-painted), we knocked down a wall, closed in a door, built a deck and landscaped (and landscaped again).  We left a mark on our 100 year old house and now it is time to let someone else love it.

We did buy another home (in Cleveland).  Which was an insane process, so insane we could not get our closings together and now we will be homeless for 10 days. All our worldly possessions are in a storage unit. Which Henry referred to as "the place we put all of our crap."  I reminded him that most people call it a storage unit but followed up by saying his explanation might better way to describe it.

Basically October is going to weird month. A month of ending and beginnings. Now, I've got to finish packing . . .

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