One year ago, we gained official access into this house. For good luck, we smashed champagne, toasted a new bottle on the porch and ordered pizza with our friends. It was perfect.
The following months (and months and months) were a blur that, honestly, feels like it happened decades ago! We called exterminators (ew), picked out sledgehammers and ate our fair share of fast food for three not-so-square meals a day. We knocked through our first ceiling, rolled nickels on Chicago’s most uneven floor and camped out in the guest room – our safe zone.
Looking back, the thing we remember most vividly is the dust. Dust for days! Jack fell in love with his new daily companions, our contractor team, and he gained a good 5 pounds while sneaking in their sandwich crusts and potato chips for 4 months (no matter how many times I told them not to give in!). Once their work was done, we romanced all the house’s possibilities at once and wanted to start all of them, but we were stunted by our lack of mental energy to think past any singular task at hand (demolish this closet, pull down this door, scrape all the paint off all twenty windows!).
There was so much we wanted to change; we had walls to move and chimneys to expose and bathrooms to tear out (the latter of which is still a someday dream). We’ve come so, so far, and yet there’s still so, so much more ahead – but that’s not to discount every step we’ve taken. (Self, remember that!) There are rooms that have yet to be touched, and there’s a garage that makes our skin crawl. There are danger zones of toppling boxes and tools stuffed into unused (for now) rooms, and have I mentioned (ha!) that we still don’t have a bedroom closet?
Jumping in with both (four?) feet into this house has been much more than we ever thought it would be. It’s been harder than we thought – emotionally, physically and mentally (and I mean this to the fullest extent possible). It’s been draining. It’s been scary. It’s caused arguments, anger and harsh words, but it’s also resulted in celebration, belly laughs and memories that we’ll be talking about for the rest of our lives.
We feel as though we’ve only just touched the surface – the majority of this home still hasn’t even reached it’s starting point, but when we’re in the thick of it, we tell ourselves, this is it! We’re really doing it! And that? That’s a pretty incredible feeling.