Heavy lifting

We Love To Cancel Our Vacations

For the second time, Mark and I are cancelling our beach vacation to work on the house.

This happened last September.

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That was when we were still living with my parents (best time of our lives) and we were THIS CLOSE to getting the house to a point where we could move in.

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Fast forward 365 days and we are in a similar position. We (again) are THIS CLOSE to FINISHING all the major rooms in the house.

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We cleaned out our back bedroom and did the demolition work during the Labor Day holiday.

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Now, we need to put up the metal stud walls, insulate it, put up the drywall, paint, put in carpet and furnish it.

I cancelled our flights and used the money to buy 20 cases of Red Bull.

Mark and I both really needed this vacation, but we officially make all our decisions based on our house. We’ve lost our minds.

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

A Total Craftsman

I am blown away. COMPLETELY. BLOWN. AWAY.

Who is this man I married and how did I not know that he is SO FREAKIN TALENTED?!

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In just 8 hours, Mark finished building this GORGEOUS basement door hatch.

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Not only is it beautiful, it is sturdy…look at me standing on it all nonchalant.

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This was one of those projects that came together as seamlessly in real life as Mark envisioned in his head.

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From the design to the execution, Mark was super happy with how it turned out and there were no big disasters or meltdowns. Mark for the WIN!!!

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

I’ve lost my patience

It’s gone. I’ve reached my limit. I tried to be a really good and understanding wife, but I can no longer live in a construction zone.

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Mark knows that we’re coming up on our 1 year anniversary of owning this house, and it’s time to finish it so that we can actually have people over.

He started working on our basement door hatch. You’ll remember we moved the original staircase and that’s why we have a huge hole in our floor.

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Mark sawed metal brackets to fit the 2 squarish pieces that will make up the hatch.

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He then had plywood cut to these exact dimensions as the base of the hatch. We’re using reclaimed wood pieces from other parts of our house to go on top of the plywood.

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Theoretically, the hatch will fit in seamlessly with the wood floor.

Right now, it’s going VERY WELL. Fingers crossed, people, fingers crossed.

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Amazed. Totally Amazed.

I am completely blown away by my drywall finisher, Mark.

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What he can do with a bucket of mud while on stilts is an art form.

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Drywaller Mark mudded and taped our downstairs walls and ceilings…fixed some of the finishing work that was already done…and had the whole thing sanded and perfect in about a day and a half.

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He also put up plastic to minimize the dust from the sanding.

I know this is a DIY blog, but the best thing I’ve done so far is write this man a check. 🙂

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

My knight in shining stilts!

My knight in shining armour did not arrive on a horse, but on stilts.

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Meet Mark. Not my husband, Mark, but my drywall finisher.

He is the best thing to happen to me this week.

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Drywall Mark started early Tuesday morning and the hardest thing I did all day was make him a cup of coffee.

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He is fast, precise and perfect. Drywall Mark gets more done in 5 minutes than my Hubby Mark and I get done in a day.

Why oh why did I not bring him in sooner?!!! 🙂

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

How many blondes does it take to fix a lightbulb?

The answer is two blondes and a brother-in-law.

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Mark and I had temporary bulbs in our can lights downstairs, and they would shut off periodically because they would get too hot.

I bought the correct wattage and my brother-in-law, Kevin, and I changed them in no time flat. Blonde sister Kelly took the pics.

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I also blew a fuse. The lights in the upstairs hallway went out and we can’t live forever in the dark.

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Kevin showed me the fuse box and how to fix it.

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We are now prepped and ready for the drywall finisher who’s coming this week!

I’m so excited I can’t stand it!

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Boss Lady got this thing on lock!

I met with my drywall finisher yesterday. Not only was he terrific, but it turns out that he is friends with my cousin.

Pittsburgh is such a small town…there are always connections!!

Anyway, I felt very FANCY and IMPORTANT during this meeting while explaining our renovation project.

I told Mark he doesn’t have to worry…I’ve got this project (like my dance moves) on lock.

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Didn’t know I was such a good dancer, did ya? You should see Mark…

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I like to imagine myself as Beyonce. And she’s a TOTAL Boss Lady, so I think I could get used to this lead renovator position. 🙂

We’re supposed to get started next week. Can’t wait to show you the progress!

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

My 1st order of business

As the newly minted LEAD RENOVATOR of our DIY home renovation project, my first order of business was to put on my Boss Lady glasses.

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No doubt who’s in charge now, huh Mark?!

My second order of business was to call my Aunt Trudy. Aunt Trudy is married to Uncle Warren and Uncle Warren knows everyone. He’s the guy who hooked us up with our electrician, Dominic. Dominic is now part of our family, and Mark is on his weekly bowling team. 🙂

Uncle Warren put me in touch with someone who can come in and help me finish the drywall on our first floor. We’re supposed to meet early this week.

Look out…Boss Lady Courtney is ready to get. things. done.

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And don’t be giving me any flack for needing some help. I am not as handy as my husband…he’s a freak of nature.

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

We’ve got déjà vu fever at our house…the mudding and taping and sanding is back!

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That means Mark’s rotator cuff injury has reared its ugly head once again.

Pop a few Motrin, drink a couple of Heinekens and he’s good to go!

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There’s not as much drywall downstairs, but the ceiling is a bear.

Time is of the essence because Mark will be very busy work-wise when the new year starts, and we might only get to work on the house 1 day a week.

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That combined with the fact that we are DYING to take a beach vacation (and I already got a pedicure for that very purpose) means we should be like busy renovation bees…key word here is SHOULD.

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Our family is now complete

If we sent out a Christmas card, it would look like this…

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Merry Christmas from Mark, Courtney and Sally (our staircase.)

We love this staircase so much, we took 20 different pictures of it. It’s like our baby.

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On Friday, our electrician, Dominic, brought over 5 burly men, and Mark and the burly men lifted the 760 pound staircase and got it up.

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Mark poured concrete in the basement and put in a support post to help with the weight.

He fastened in the oak trends and covered them with paper so they don’t get ruined while we finish the downstairs.

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We have a cable wire railing we’ll be putting up next. Three cheers for how it turned out and for not climbing a ladder anymore!

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