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House Challenged or How to restore woodwork in 12 steps

So you bought a house and have decided, after previously agreeing to put a fresh coat of paint on the woodwork, to restore it to its original glory. Here’s a few steps to get you started.

Step 1: While using the hose attachment on the Dyson one night, notice how some paint flakes off on the baseboards.

Step 2: Get a plastic putty knife and scrape away some paint.

Step 3: Start scraping more paint and decide, against all good reason, to restore the woodwork.

Step 4: Tell your spouse. Be enthusiastic in the face of his doubt and the declaration that this project is “All you.”

Step 5: Go to the hardware store and get better scrapers.

Step 6: Scrape. Scrape. Scrape until your shoulder and wrist hurt and you wonder why you are so insane.

Step 7: Your spouse and sibling pickup some gel paint remover. They have luck with it. You, while seeing the value of it when you run into the doorways with 4 layers of paint, hate the gummy mess it makes.

Step 8: Pass off the gummy, paint-bubbling doorway to your mom, who is crazy enough to offer help. Resume scraping paint by hand in places with only 1-2 layers of paint.

Step 9: In what is possibly the Best Christmas Gift EVER, receive a loaner heat gun from your brother who happens to be a professional carpenter and is helping out free of charge.

Step 10: Try out the heat gun. Declare it’s the Best Thing Ever, and try not to burn yourself. Or melt the carpet. Or set the house on fire in any way.

Step 11: Curse your husband while he’s at work for painting the walls before you could get all the paint scraped from the baseboards.

Step 12: Even though it’s tons of work, consider every piece of paint that comes off a victory and love doing it.







Thirteen. A lucky number for some, unlucky for others. An odd number to celebrate. Today that is what I am doing. Rather, my husband and I are celebrating the number thirteen. Today marks thirteen years we have been together. Now, I know what many people think, and have often told me: When you get married, only that counts. You can’t celebrate how long you dated.

I’m gonna go ahead and call bullshit & shenanigans. (Shenanigans??? Yeah, yeah, that’s how wars get started.)

It can be hard to find someone to spend the rest of one’s life with. For some people, it takes years, or maybe even a few tries. 🙂 If you are one of the lucky ones, then why not celebrate? Why not celebrate anything you darn well please? Who cares if a couple chooses to single out one day a year or seventeen? I’ve seen people get almost upset about us choosing to honor a day that matters only to my husband and I. Excuse us for injecting a little ooey-gooeyness into our relationship.

I know, everyday, that I am a lucky person. I have a great family, friends, a job, a home, usually enough money to pay the bills, and a husband who loves me. I have a relationship that has outlasted marriages of couple’s weddings we attended. It’s hard work and worth it. We choose to celebrate being together since we were nineteen, for living together for the past twelve years, and in a few months, five years of marriage.

So thank you Tim. Thank you for bringing me out of my shell and helping me be the person I am now. Thank you for making me laugh every day, and for always pushing the shopping cart at the grocery. Thank you for still caring enough to be bothered about the way I squeeze the toothpaste, and how I put the dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher. Thank you for fighting fair in the rare times we have fights. Thank you for telling me you love me, each day, for the last 4,700-ish days. Most of all, thanks for knowing where I put my house keys, and for yesterday, when you called my cell phone because of the one millionth time I couldn’t find it.

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