The Grand House

Taking SHAPE!

We filled up another dumpster! (And by we, I mean, Mark!)

Mark and my dad spent the last couple weekends clearing out the remaining debris from inside the house we are renovating.

This gorgeous house was built in the 1800s and (we think) was a funeral home or maybe a doctor’s office. It then became one family house…then was turned into two apartments…and then finally turned back into one house when we bought it from the previous owners.

Because it went through SO MANY changes, there were weirdly shaped rooms, awkward spaces and strange staircases. Mark and I gutted the entire inside to start FRESH!

Mark designed all new floor plans for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors and we have framers coming in to help us build the new walls and staircases!

I’m attaching several videos of a recent walk through we did with Henry.

We are VERY EXCITED about the vision for this beautiful house!

I don’t care if we have to eat baked beans out of the can to have the money to get it done! HAHAHA!

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Family

Born This Way!

To quote the bad a$$ Lady Gaga…”I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way!”

(I’m really talking about my husband)

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Do you recognize our Marky Mark?

That’s 14-year-old Mark in his parents’ Toronto garage helping his dad renovate their house.

Check out those safety glasses…such a stud.

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I guess he was meant to be a DIY home renovator from the start!

We found this picture when we were in Toronto this past weekend visiting my husband’s relatives who were in from Holland.

His cousin, Eline, is a professional basketball player. So, of course, I picked her to be on my team to shoot hoops at the bar.

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The cousins told us that a lot of the houses in Holland are cool rowhouses like ours. But bigger…definitely bigger.

We’re already thinking of visiting. We want to take a picture just like this…it’s Mark’s dad and his grandparents outside of their Rotterdam home.

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First, I have to convince Mark to have a baby. 🙂

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Moving In

A $2500 table? No thanks, we’ll make one.

Mark and I were in a very cool furniture store looking at a very cool table.

Then, we saw the price tag and thought we could totally make that.

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We knew we had this old wooden work bench in the basement.

It was left behind with the house.

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It took several tries but we finagled it and managed to fit it in the basement door hatch.

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A couple of Heev-Hos and we got it upstairs.

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The plan is to even out the legs and refinish it. We’re going to put it behind our couch.

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You know this is all playing out in my head way easier than it will be in real life. 🙂

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Moving In

DIY Doubles As Marriage Counseling

I keep looking around our house thinking, “I can’t believe it…I can’t believe we did this.”

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Our house was so dirty and yucky and crappy for so long…

And now, it’s not. 🙂

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This DIY home renovation project took a big leap of faith. But I always knew, deep down, that Mark and I could do it.

Same thing goes for this blog, I didn’t know if anyone would read it.

But here we are rocking and rolling…every week I meet someone who reads the blog and wants to say hello!

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As for my marriage, I would say PATIENCE and ENCOURAGEMENT is something Mark and I have gotten wayyyyy better at.

It really makes a world of difference when your partner builds you up and lifts you up. It also helps when you dress alike.

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I was trying to get Mark to show everyone his new summer loafers. He is going to be so mad that I posted this. 🙂

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Moving In

Grownups with furniture

I no longer have to live in my bedroom…it is a miracle.

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We bought a chair…our first piece of legit furniture for our downstairs. It only took an entire year.

You’ll notice we also have a rug.

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A love seat is being shipped to us, and so we’ve got 2 folding chairs in its place. Classy.

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I know my house is a work in progress, but I think it’s the bomb-dot-com. It definitely won’t be featured in a magazine, but it’s not the SIZE or LOOK of your house that matters…only the LOVE inside its walls.

And we’ve been lovin’ on this house for a VERY. LONG. TIME. 🙂

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Moving In

Living in the moment!

With Mark’s work and my schedule, we are like ships passing in the night.

We see each other for about five seconds when I get home at night. Mark opens his eyes, says hello and then we both crash.

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It’s not good or bad…just the current situation we find ourselves in.

That means we are EXTRA GRATEFUL for the few hours we have together on the weekends (when Mark’s not working and I’m not teaching spin class…woot woo!)

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We are still making progress on the house, it’s just going very SLOWLY.

Thank heavens for this guy…

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After being down and out with a terrible case of shingles, my Daddio is back and helping us paint the downstairs.

Bromance is back on!

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Moving In

Sock Party!

You know what’s amazing?

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Not having to put on shoes to walk downstairs.

With our newly refinished floor, I can go down in my socks…or barefoot.

I can even eat on the floor if I want. (Just a possibility, we don’t really do this)

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With the floors done, we brought our kitchen furniture and appliances back in.

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I then promptly put all my dishes and pots back in my stove.

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That is where you store things when you don’t cook.

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