Almost twenty years ago, a good friend of Joe's from college told us that his grandfather had given him two pieces of advice. This conversation has really stuck in my head, because even in the inexperience of my early twenties, it seemed like really sound advice, and it still seems so now. Anyway, here's the advice.
1. Always have a project.
2. The most important decision you'll ever make is who you marry.
See? Isn't that brilliant advice? There may have been a third thing, I don't remember. But it doesn't matter, because I'm about to add a third thing of my own:
3. If you have the urge to fix up an old house, purchase it and fix it up before you have children.
This is our wedding anniversary, and as is traditional, my parents have both kids for the weekend. As is not traditional, we are not away at the beach. Rather, we are at home, working on the house. And let me tell you, we have made outrageous progress on several long-standing projects, made possible only by the removal of the two short people who live here.
Here's what Joe did:
That's the corner of our porch, and unfortunately I don't have a before picture, but the length of fancy cut-outs that hasn't been painted yet was missing. The other three railings of the porch have also been secured, so I can relax when kids are climbing around the outside edge of the porch. Yahoo! I might paint this tomorrow, or I might continue working on inside projects.
Here's what I did today:
This is before. The treads have been refinished, and the stringers and risers have been sanded and are ready to paint. They'd been ready to paint for, oh I don't know, months. More than just a few months. Way too many months.
Here's how they look now, after two coats of primer, some spackle in the nail holes, and a finish coat of trim paint. We got all this done even though we took lots of breaks for hanging out, eating, watching the new LOST episode, and going to two garage sales!
We're having a great time together, and it is sheer bliss to be uninterrupted as we go about our day. The house is quiet. Nobody complained when we decided to walk to the garage sales. Nobody fought over the latest Lego magazine. Nobody asked for a snack sixteen thousand times.
Next we're going to go grocery shopping, just the two of us. Isn't that a romantic thing to do on the evening of our 12th wedding anniversary? We can hardly wait.