Thursday, February 17, 2011

First House, First Post!

So I’ve been debating for a while now what would be the “best” or “right” topic for my first blog post. The most obvious choice would be an “all about me” post…but I felt like I would be repeating the exact same info I’ve shared in my About  tab. I have a growing list of over 100 posts I am so excited to write for this blog, but which one to pick??? Write about my DIY curtains? Kitchen cabinet redo? Easy and cheap wall art???? I knew I wanted to pick something to stand out and give my readers an immediate sense of my style and the kinds of posts I will be writing…and that the 1st post had to be great….but how should I go about doing this??? For all of you bloggers out there, this is totally normal, when you first start out, right??!! Kind of like when we stand in our closet, look around at our clothes and still can’t find anything to wear???! I realized last night that I’m going to have to let go of that fear and just dive in with my post. The longer I spend debating  what to write and worrying about it being just right, the longer it will take me to get started….and I’m already kicking myself for not creating this blog sooner. So, I’ve made my choice and I’m sticking to it! My first blog post will recap one of our first (and largest) home projects. It was by far the most physically challenging project we have tackled so far and the end result was a big transformation that we are pretty darn proud of. 


Here is a picture of our house when it was still on the market back in April '10:


Side note – my husband was already working up in MA (location of our soon-to-be-new house) while I was still teaching in the NYC area. He looked at most of the houses alone after work and put in an offer on our house even though I had never actually seen in person. Crazy, huh??!! We did have many conversations about each house he looked at and he emailed hundreds of pictures before we made any decisions.



So as you can see (or not?!) our house is hidden behind a forest. While some might consider these trees an asset (they provide shade, privacy, etc.) they really weren’t doing much for our curb appeal. All the same, we decided to keep the trees around throughout the summer. My husband travels a lot for work and once we moved into the house, I spent many nights by myself in our new house and during that time period I liked that our house was so hidden. But...as time went by and my nesting/decorating side began to take over, we agreed it was time to say goodbye to some many of those trees. Apparently my sweet hubs had really, really wanted to do this all along, but understood my hesitations and decided to wait until we were both on the same page. So, we took a trip to Home Depot and much to my husband's delight, purchased a chainsaw. And throughout the course of the next month, 5 replacement blades. 





The first step was to remove the thinnest trees. My husband did all of the chainsawing, by the way. While he was busy with that, I would drag all of the fallen branches into our backyard.



Once the small trees were cleared away, Brian trimmed down the overgrown branches of the trees that we wanted to keep, but that were obstructing too much of the house. Finally, the last (and scariest) step involved cutting down the gigantor-sized trees.









Did I mention Brian did all of this by himself? He did an amazing job...however, I don't recommend tackling a job like this solo. Removing trees, particularly tall trees can be extremely dangerous and in many cases it may be better to hire a professional. However, we did our research and after previous experiences helping friends remove trees from their yards throughout the past few years, we felt confident we could safely attempt this project ourselves.





Not gonna lie....it was really exhausting work. My job was not nearly as tough as Brian's, but dragging all of those branches to the backyard was both time consuming and tiring. This is what we looked like around 7 pm each night after a day of tree removal:






But.....it was so worth it, because here is our house now!!!!!!






Yes, the ground is currently covered in snow, and has been this way since early December....so it doesn't totally show a clear before/after perspective. But let's focus on the fact that we can actually see our house now!!!! As my neighbor's daughter's best friend commented: "Wow! I didn't even know there was a house back there!"
As happy as we are with the way our home exterior now looks.....we aren't entirely done with this project. Once the snow finally melts, we will have to chop down and dig out all of the remaining stumps. Has anyone out there removed trees and/or stumps on their own? My parents' vote is to rent a stump grinder. Any other ideas out there?

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