Last I posted, Bobby and I were renovating our new house together. It was October, and I was 31. The leaves were just starting to turn and fall. The landscape was changing, and apparently, so was I.
It wasn't planned but it also wasn't spontaneous. I'd been dissatisfied for a long time, restless and contemplating if there was a different path forward for me. After nearly a decade together, the nature of our relationship had shifted to something I wasn't comfortable continuing.
And so I moved out. I left behind my best friend, my new house, my dog, and life as I knew it.
There are mornings that I have to talk myself out of bed. Most days, I struggle to get by without hating myself too much. I try to convince myself that I'm not a horrible person. I close my eyes at night and feel fear and self-doubt.
There was a period of time where I seriously considered suicide. I'm past that now, but it left scars that I doubt will ever fully heal.
Physically, I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was in October. Emotionally, I feel as though I'm wading in the ocean with bricks strapped to my feet.
I saw a therapist who asked me what I hoped to gain by leaving. What goals do I have that I didn't think would be fulfilled if I stayed? What do I want my life to be?
I told her I had no idea; I just knew it was time to go. She said it was okay to not know, and that validation from her, a total stranger, brought me to tears. It made me feel almost human again.
The silver lining, if there is one, is that I've learned who my real friends are. The cliche is true - when shit hits the fan, people either turn on you or they'll show up in ways you couldn't imagine.
When I deep-down believed that nobody could possibly love me, co-workers drove through the night just to sit with me. My mother jumped on a plane without thinking and put her life on hold so that I knew I wasn't alone.
On the flipside, I haven't heard from my father and brother at all. People who I'd considered close friends either told me outright that they didn't agree with my life choices, or disappeared without saying a word. It's been inexplicably painful, but, on the bright side, I suppose life has a way of taking out the trash for you.
In three days, I'll celebrate my 32nd birthday. Celebrate. It's something I haven't done much of lately. I haven't felt that I deserve to be happy, but my friends have convinced me that I am, in fact, worthy of a party.
So I'll spend this birthday with the small handful of people who genuinely care about me no matter what decisions I've made. That, in and of itself, is worth celebrating.
The kitchen demo is officially underway! Our contractor, Hugh, and his crew began tearing the ceiling, walls and floors apart on Thursday.
Hubby swung by to discuss lighting options for the ceiling with Hugh, and took some photos of the progress.
The kitchen ceiling was originally a textured eyesore that reminded us of the Golden Girls' house at Shady Pines. It was unusually low as well, and gave the room a cramped feeling.
We were hopeful that there was something beneath the plaster might be presentable if exposed. Hubby took a hammer to the ceiling on his first visit after closing, and was happy to see wooden beams.
Phase one of the ceiling demo was to get rid of the plaster. What a difference!
Phase 2 was to bring the ceiling down to studs. Next on the to-do list is removing the nails from the beams and deciding on the best lighting option.
We like the look of these lights but it remains to be seen if this sort of thing is achievable with the type of ceiling we have:
We're heading to the house this afternoon to work on removing the nails and steaming away the wallpaper in the dining room. Although we have Hugh and his team for the structural work and most of the heavy lifting, we're eager to jump in and do whatever we can ourselves (partly to keep costs lower but mainly because we love this stuff).
So it looks like our weekends are booked until the end of the year! That's a little scary to think about, but, in the end, it's a small sacrifice to make to have something that's completely ours.
They say that New York is a place where dreams come true. I know this is really a reference to the city, but I believe the same can be said for upstate.
After living in the Hudson River Valley for nearly a year and a half, Hubby and I have officially put roots down by purchasing an 1875 farmhouse on the river. Owning a home is something we could only fantasize about when we were living in Orlando and Toronto, but after a few years of incredibly hard work and some difficult decision-making, we managed to make our dream a reality in New York.
We closed on the house two weeks ago and have been making weekend trips out there to put a little sweat equity into it before our contractor and his crew take over for a full kitchen renovation remodel.
This weekend, we exposed a brick wall in the dining room. We rented a power chisel from Home Depot for the day and were able to pry drywall off the brick to show off what we thought was too cool a feature to hide.
This was the wall when we began:
And after we removed the drywall:
Our next step is to whitewash the brick to look something like this:
While Hubby spearheaded the work in the dining room, I was upstairs removing wallpaper from what will be our joint office. There was a thin border on two of the walls, and although I appreciate globes and magnifying glasses as much as the next girl, I decided that the wallpaper didn't quite fit in this modern farmhouse.
The office is a tight 10 x 11 with two small windows and no closet. We'll need to fit both of our desks in there (much as I love Hubby, sharing workspace is not an option) so I mapped them out using measurements I took of the desks and their chairs earlier in the day.
I've been waiting my entire adult life for a chance to paint a wall black, so I'm using this small room as an opportunity to go for it. I sampled two colors from Glidden - Grey Metal (left) and Deep Onyx (right) - and am debating just how dark I want to go with this accent wall (I'm leaning toward Deep Onyx).
The next step in the office is to repair the cracked walls and paint. I'd like to do my black accent wall but keep the other walls a simple, antique white.
I've had my eye on this constellation map from Etsy seller Robert's Maps and think that this would be the perfect space to buy it for:
The lease on our rental house ends November 30 so we have plenty of time to continue working on these smaller projects with feeling rushed. We're also afforded the opportunity to load the Jeep with boxes and move ourselves little by little each time we swing by the farmhouse to work on something.
I'm excited to continue renovating the farmhouse and live our little dream in New York.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.