Here we are, almost 5 months into our new chapter of life in middle Tennessee. Despite being obsessed with planning, we actually don’t always plan things so well. In 2019 we sold our beloved CrossFit gym, Ronny finished his online degree, he left a career in medical device, we packed up our home and life in CA, and we had a 3rd kid. A life planner during 2018 might have been useful, but anyhow, a week before Christmas 2019, after achieving a barely functional level of existence, we drove out of San Jose, CA, at 4am. We had our 4Runner crammed to the brim..literally..with our three baby girls, a Thule roof rack (essential car accessory for every overpacker), everything we would need for the month ahead, and my beloved palm plant (which caused several hours..ok several days..of marital strife).
I’m not gonna sugarcoat it; the trip was scarring. So bad that at this time, nearly 5 months later, we are saying it will still be several years before we travel by car with our children for any distance over 2 hours. Granted it could have been worse. We were safe, had no accidents despite some crazy weather, and only got pulled over once for speeding. The Oklahoma cop said I looked tired and asked if I was indeed tired. Umm, did you peek in the backseat yet? tired?! More like so exhausted my eyeballs constantly burn and my hair is falling out and I would sign up for an IV drip of cold brew if such a thing existed. And it would help if there was SOMETHING in your state moderately interesting to look at on this drive. So tiredness is a given sir, but it also goes on the list of questions to never ever ask a woman (…along with “are you pregnant” and “how much do you weigh”..) Despite my slight attitude, he surprisingly let me go with a warning to slow down. Eventually we made it to Omaha to spend the holidays with family. We seriously considered just setting our roots down in NE since no one wanted to get back in the car. But eventually we got some more coffee and made it back into our seats for a couple more days travel to Nashville. Just before New Years we got to Franklin where we have been since.
We had only spent a weekend in the Nashville area before moving here but we knew right away that this was going to be where our next phase of life would take place. We moved here 3 months after visiting for the first time, with quite a few blanks that needed to be filled in: career for Ronny, home to buy, my capability of handling being a SAHM…we weren’t sure at all how the cards would play out. We definitely knew the first year would be tough. What we didn’t know was that 2020 armageddon was just around the corner. Several months into the year and Ronny had taken a job in investment real estate, we were house shopping, we had both started back in CrossFit, and our girls had gotten going in some activities. Just as I was working up the guts to ask a mom I had met on an official playdate (if you know my darling children you may understand my concerns), a few big things happened; we bought a house from an auction and the world essentially shut down. Fast forward a couple months (cause let’s can just skip over the quarantine part) and we are trying to figure out how to renovate a house. Seems like we are drinking through a fire hose as we navigate this project. In a sense we feel like this house kind of just happened to us. It is in an area that we were not initially looking in, it is not the style I ever envisioned myself choosing, and to be frank, it’s dilapidated. I am drawn to nice things and there’s very little that anyone would call “nice” in this house. If you’ve ever read Great Expectations, it reminds me somewhat of Ms Havisham’s house…you can tell it was once something back in the day but then…well, the jungle overtook it and hoarding crept in.
So this is the story of the process of restoring our home. We are not doing everything ourselves because, well Ronny has a full time job, we have three crazy kids and we are really quite average on the skilled/construction/handiness side of things. I’ll try my best to keep you moderately entertained, provide some DIY projects here and there, let you learn from our mistakes, give plenty of before and afters, and hopefully offer some design, product and renovation tips & ideas for you to steal. Given the amount of work ahead, I think we will be done by 2040!