We are soooo close, I can taste it!


Oh, dear friends.

It’s been a long year.

A very, very long year.

We moved into our 1400 sq ft ranch in June of 2011, and began renovating a couple months later in August.

Renovating takes a lot more time when you are DIY’ers.   Since Cy has been doing most of the work himself, it’s been a slow process.  But one in which we are saving a lot of money instead of spending it by contracting the work out.

In the past 12 months we have added a 1400 sq foot two story addition to our home.  DSC_0889 (2)We have wrapped the new addition in hardy board siding and put new shingles on our entire roof.

exterior 001

We were hoping to have the exterior painted by now, but we have been so busy with the inside of the house that we have had to move that job lower on our priority list.  (And hopefully in a few years, we will have a gabled front porch on our house too!)

We have completely renovated our kitchen from floor to ceiling.


We installed pine wood flooring in the kitchen and den.  Then we ripped it up and installed utility grade oak in both rooms. (Yep.  We’re insane.)

floor 002


We have added a master bath, refinished on old claw foot tub,

tiled a shower, installed plank walls, painted all the walls and ceilings, and refinished old doors.bathroom 012

We also replaced our entire AC unit this past spring when the old original one finally died.  Sad smile

So basically what I am saying…We’ve been living in a construction zone for over a year.

corn maze 015

(I really didn’t think I would live through the kitchen renovation.)

My boys think this is just normal life, bless their souls.

However, as of tonight, the wood floors in our den are getting stained.

sept 041

Our couch is still in our kitchen…

sept 040(I cannot believe I just showed you that picture.)




But here is the good news!

I am FINALLY seeing a teeny tiny light at the end of the tunnel!

When our floors are finished this week, or entire downstairs will be “live-able.”

Notice I did NOT say “complete.”  Smile

We still have to renovate the downstairs “guest” bathroom and the boys’ rooms once they move upstairs, BUT the downstairs will no longer be a construction zone.

Just the upstairs will be a construction zone.

And I am totally down with that.  It will be out of sight, out of mind.


So will be able to move the couch back in the den, and the boys will have a tv they can finally watch.

And my den will look something like this…


Aaaah, Come ON! 

Can’t ya let a girl dream a little! 



Well, I just had to share the good news with you.


Is there a home project that you are almost finished with, and you are as excited as me?


  1. Girl, I give you guys major snaps for all that you’ve done with a house full of boys no less! Living in a construction zone can grate on your nerves very quickly, even if you know it will be totally worth it in the end. Moving the construction mess upstairs must feel like you’re moving to a new chapter in all of this. :-)

    It’s looking fantastic – can’t wait to see what you do next.


  2. It will all be worth it in the end! I just love everything you have done. I love the DIY power you and Cy have used. My husband is also super talented with carpentry and I keep him pretty busy. Haha! He asked me if I could please quit thinking about projects, but I can’t shut my brain off when it comes to decorating and improving our home. It’s just my passion and hobby. There is no greater compliment than when people tell me we have such an inviting, comfortable home! Your home is the same! I’d love to see it in person!

  3. :) Baby steps, and so worth it!!! You have done so much and it all looks great!!!! I am so in love with your bathroom!!!

  4. Considering that you’re doing this work yourselves you have accomplished a LOT in a year! And you’ve kept your sanity! Soon the mess will all be just a bad memory and you’ll be living in a totally beautiful home.

    <3 Maggie

  5. Hey Traci! It’s looking good girl, I know you’ll be SO happy to have a live-able downstairs! :) My kids wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have at least 5 projects going on at once. so I can TOTALLY relate! lol At the moment that would include, re-upholstering two chairs, building a farmhouse table, building a spice rack, and about 15 little projects. :-D (and I have about 5 other projects in my head that I want to start on, but TJ says, “honey, you do know the holidays are coming up right?”) Psh!! I’ve got plenty of time! lol
    When you get out of some of the construction zone that’s going on in your house, we should get together sometime for lunch or some shopping!! :)

  6. HOORAY! That’s so exciting! All I can think of is… oh crud, what’s that band’s name? The one that sings, Whooaaa we’re halfway there, WHOA OH! Living on a prayer! Bon Jovi? Anyway, I’ve loved following your renovation story. I’m also happy you shared the couch in the kitchen picture. Sometimes it feels like bloggers are so stinkin perfect. It’s nice to see mess every once in awhile. ;)

  7. Congrats on a job well done! Beautiful home and beautiful family!
    My fav is that georgous bathroom, claw foot tub and that brick wall…oh be still my heart!

  8. Oh, Traci, this has been so fun to watch, & I absolutely love everything that you have done.
    Can’t wait to see it done for your sake…
    We are currently almost finished with a renovation… we bought a re-po cottage on the lake & it has been a full year of just weekend renovation… but not an inch has not been touched..
    2500 sq. ft. & we did everything ourselves… ( I honestly lost 23 lbs… just climbing ladders : )
    It is good to see the end in sight, so we can just enjoy it….

  9. This post could have been my own (substituting our particular details for yours). We started major rennovations last September and have been living in a construction zone for the past year. I feel your pain – kinda. We don’t have four boys living in the house with us. It is just me and my husband and the baby on the way. :) We are deperately trying to get everything finished before Little One makes an appearance! Hopefully we have until March. But at least our downstairs living area is almost finished as well. Congratulations!

  10. Slow and steady wins the race……you can check into the asylum AFTER you cross the finish line :) Unfortunately,yet thankfully, as any homeowner knows, there is no finish line when it comes to houses. Your house looks awesome and is definitely worth the time and effort. GO TEAM “H”!

  11. I LOVE your writing! I’ve been reading you for over a year and have so enjoyed watching your life unfold…we own a resort in northern MN and we have 13 cabins…so if you count our home, we have 14 “homes” to decorate, remodel, rebuild, etc….don’t you feel better now?? Ha!
    We love the life, but there are always projects hanging to be done…decisions to be made…can we afford that…will the guests appreciate this??? But God is good and He has blessed us with this heaven on earth and we are having fun…along with our 4 kids, spouses and 10 grandkids!
    Keep writing your life story…I very much enjoy reading!

  12. You do yourself an injustice. I recall you last LR was just as beautiful as the phot, and warm and inviting too. I love the hardee board exterior. I theought the currnent finish WAS paint as it complements your brick and the surroundings so well. Kudos on the roofing..Did you guys do that yourselves? If so , .can we borrow Cy up here for a couple of days?
    You also need to remind yourself that the addition is really far along as we.. At least in my eyes, so you really are almost there.
    I’m working on painting, redecorating quite a few rooms.It’s sometime so discouraging. Reading your blog helps keep me motivated. Thanks. CTD

  13. You guys are amazing! I’m sick of having my guest bedroom unfinished and it’s not the construction zone that your home is. Good on ya for being patient.

  14. Woo hoo!! You are my hero, Traci! What an amazing journey for you, Cy, AND your boys… every room in your home will be full of memories, blood, sweat, and tears. :-) I’ve got such a long list of rooms that need updating/upgrading, it’s not even funny. But I just keep plugging away… think I could borrow Cy for a few projects?? My hubs isn’t the least bit handy!
    xo Heidi

  15. I have a question….are ya’ll for rent? Maybe give lessons? Gracious me…what an undertaking and how blessed you both are to have the knowledge and the energy to renovate your home. It has been fun watching all of the changes. My favorite change is the kitchen, but I love the bathroom. Can’t wait to see the upcoming posts.

  16. You have accomplished a massive amount of work in one year though I bet living in it may not feel that way. Looking beautiful and I love that den-to-be picture! Would love to curl up in there with a book and a up of coffee…well, maybe after checking out that new master bath!

  17. Your posts about your renovation have so inspired me! We are moving into our first home (first one we’ve bought) at the end of this month and we have a lot of projects planned. No major renovations to speak of, but a lot of projects bigger than we’ve ever overtaken, so it’s reassuring and inspiring to watch other families do it successfully!

  18. Oh My Goodness, Traci. You and your hubby should be so proud of yourselves!! What an amazing job you both are doing. I have really enjoyed reading and following along with the renovations.
    Do not focus on the goal(a beautiful finished home)but rather look at the task that that is right in front of you, whatever is next on your list, and before you both know it you will have reached that goal. Thanks for all the wonderful updates, pictures and videos.

  19. You guys have made amazing progress! Especially for how long you have lived there, and for doing it all yourselves, and having 4 busy boys.
    Wow! good job.

  20. I am so happy for you. Just think, almost there. I don’t know what is next for all of you but I am sure you will come up with something. You have kept our attention for so long. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Wow, you guys have done so much. Everything looks so amazing and I know you all are very proud of your work. I sure am!!

  22. Yep, you are crazy, lol! But, it might make you feel better knowing that I spend all my time watching your blog for updates, rather than getting my own work done! I enjoy it much more, lol!

    Good luck, I don’t know how you do it or put up with it.


  23. AWWW Way to Go!!!! I feel your pain, well sort of. I told my husband that our house looked like a tornado hit each room three times before it left. It is a hot mess and we don’t even have kids or construction for that matter!!! JUST LIVING LIFE!! No worries, its all good here though.

    Can’t wait to see the next step in the renovation!

    Hope you and the family have a wonderful week!

    Hugs & Blessings

    Marilyn C.

  24. I don’t think your remodel has taken very long at all considering that your husband works full-time and EVERYTHING that you guys have done! You two amaze me at your progress! I’m sure that it feels alot longer in your eyes, living day to day in a construction zone though. lol I love watching the progress & even though I am extremely primitive in my decorating, I still am able to pick up some great ideas and tips from your posts. Thank you for all of the information that you provide to all of us DIY’ers! Have a great day!

  25. Whoa – it’s looking fabulous and I’m so glad I found you this summer and get to join in on your journey! :) We added 600 sq. feet to our 1600-ft ranch house when we bought it by converting the garage and it wasn’t completely finished for three years – and we even hired some of it out! (before and after shots, if you’re interested: http://www.anoregoncottage.com/2012/09/garage-living-space-before-after/)

    You guys are doing great – hang in there. :-)

  26. Traci,
    It is so great to see that you still have a sense of humor through this whole yearlong renovation. I can tell you that I could not handle my house as a construction zone for a lenghthy period of time….however, if it meant saving us a ton of money I probably would get over it pretty quickly. You and Cy have done wonders with each room you are doing. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the boys rooms and their shared bathroom.

    But for now girl, I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND CY AND THE BOYS that the lower level will be liveable! Yep, there is teeny tiny light at the end of the tunnel. : )

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