Craigslist, to me, is kind of like chili cheese dogs. At first you’re like, Yeah! Let me dig into that! But then you’re all, Ugh. What did I do?
Craigslist kind of makes me nervy. I guess I have too much of an imagination and I have a knack for getting caught up in shams. I’m leery of the Craigslist killer, or picking up a chair with a rodent inside. I guess it doesn’t help that we had a couple just show up at our house unannounced after we posted a Craigslist ad for our trailer. That was a bad move.
But this is a story of redemption. A story of a Craigslist miracle. No shams, or killers, or rodents here.
Timothy and I had been wanting a piano in our house ever since we moved in. I have a keyboard, but we wanted a perfectly worn in piano with chipped keys and slightly out of tune notes. Well, I don’t know if Timothy wanted the worn and out of tune qualities, but I most certainly did. Timothy is a song writer and spent most of his life writing songs on his grandmother’s piano. (Which was worn, had chipped keys, and was out of tune. It was awesome.)
Timothy spent a few months scouting out Craigslist, because he has faith in the process. But most of the good pianos went within a day or a few hours. Then Christmas came, and armed with some Christmas money, we decided it was time. It just had to happen.
He found an ad for a gorgeous black piano about two hours away for $300. The price was pretty comparable to what other pianos of that quality were going for. It had some scratches and a couple of chipped keys (score!), and a lovely black finish. Timothy called the family immediately and we made a plan to go up and see it.
We don’t have a truck, so Timothy asked the man if it would fit in a church van. The man turned out to be a Christian and talked to Timothy a bit about our church and the fact that Timothy was an Associate Pastor. The man said the piano was pretty heavy, so we bribed my dad with Qdoba to make the two hour trip with us. We needed all the muscles we could get.
The big day comes and we go look at the Craigslist piano. On the way up there, I had a random thought that I should pray about the piano. We recently had a guest minister at the church who spoke on how much God wants to bless His children. That we should pray that God would place His favor on our lives. You know that whole, “you have not because you ask not” thing? So I whispered a quick prayer that God would help us with the piano situation and for some reason prayed, and God, if it’s Your will, can You let them give it to us for free? After I prayed that, I felt a little embarrassed. Where did that come from? Why would God care about something as small as a Craigslist piano?!
Well, we get there, see the piano, and we fall in love. It was perfectly worn. Perfectly lovely. We find out that the family is selling it because they are moving closer to their church. Their sons were becoming teenagers and they wanted to make sure they were able to be involved in every church activity throughout those impressionable years. Yowza.
Timothy shakes the mans hand and says “we love it! If you’re still selling it for $300, we’ll take it!”
The man replied that he would be glad for us to have it, but they couldn’t accept our money. After the phone convo where they learned Timothy was a pastor, they decided that they would give it to us for free if we wanted it.
… ummm …
That, my friends, was a Craigslist miracle. We jumped and shouted all over their garage. I barely asked the man if he minded if I hugged him before I tackled him with a hug. And it wasn’t until we got home that I remembered my rushed, whispered prayer asking for God’s favor. Silly me, God does care about the little things. The big things, the little things, the worn things. He’s in it all.
Every time I walk past our piano, or hear Timothy writing a new song on it, I’m reminded of the goodness of God. (And the fact that I need to get on hanging a gallery wall above it. I’m nervy about that, too.) So many times I equate God’s goodness with my health, my happy marriage, food and shelter – the big major things. But this piano wasn’t a big major thing. We would have been fine without it. It was an extra. It was just a little way that God chose to remind me just how much He loves us.
So one point for Craigslist. (And a billion for God, of course.) What about you guys? Any Craigslist success stories? Horror stories? I’d love to hear.
The whole buying our house and then moving in process felt like a whirlwind. Well, it felt like riding on the back of the world’s laziest turtle at times, but mostly it just sped by. I didn’t blog a ton about the whole process because I was too busy pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But we’re still in our house. It’s apparently real. Ha!
The day it became official, we wanted to move in, but we had quite a bit of construction work to do first. So we settled on moving in one item and celebrating with McDonald’s afterwards. We’re pretty hardcore around here.
There was no real thought process. I just quickly glanced around our trailer, it caught my eye, and I grabbed it.
Growing up, I got teased quite a bit for being so dramatic. It actually never stopped. I just married someone equally dramatic. At times it can lead to interesting moments. But then there are times like this. When he doesn’t make fun of me for taking 836.5 pictures of us carrying a globe inside our first new house. Instead, he just smiles right along and embraces it. Firsts are my favorite.
So a few months ago I was roaming around on Pinterest when a certain pin caught my eye:
In case you can’t read the caption, it says “a nerd living room … Sheldon could live in here.” And in case you didn’t recognize, that is our old living room.
Thank you dear Internet reader. Although I’m not sure if the label “nerd living room” is a compliment or an insult. For the sake of my pride, I’m just going with compliment.
I loved our trailer. It was the perfect place to learn how to be married together. It was also a great place to experiment with paint colors and decorating styles.
When we first moved in, it was a blank canvas straight from the ’90s. Decorative frosted mirrors and wallpaper border included.
These pictures were taken on move in day – the day after our honeymoon. Also known as 15 pounds ago. But moving on.
About a month after moving in, we attacked our trailer with a paint brush and all the colors. Um, yikes. I would never choose these colors today, but at the time I loved them.
We kept the walls for about a year and added a whole bunch of accessories like pillows, rugs, and curtains. The more colors and textures I added, the more I wanted to tone down our walls. Finding the green leather couch of our dreams was all the motivation I needed to repaint and restyle.
And that’s where we ended up. Nerd style? I don’t know about that. But I do know that our little trailer was filled with love. The kitchen update was my very favorite thing in our trailer. And if I’m honest? Looking at these photos made me tear up a bit. It was such a good first home. We put so much effort and love into it.
Looking at the transformation our trailer went through in less than three years really encourages me in our new house. In their book, John and Sherry from Young House Love mention several times that decorating a house is a process. If you do it thoughtfully and right, it can take years. While I’m itching to DECORATE ALL THE ROOMS NOW in our new house, there is something to be said for slowing down and enjoying the process. Painting a room, then repainting it. Deciding on a color scheme, and then finding the perfect area rug that changes your whole plan.
What about you? How long does it typically take for you to get a room or house where you want it? Do you like to switch up your decorating style often? When you switch things up, do you rely on pops of color in rugs and pillows, or do you repaint rooms and start from scratch? Do you enjoy the process? Or just want it to get there? Let’s talk :)
We have been working away on our new home and are loving every minute of it! There isn’t one area that I can point you to and say “there, that’s done!” Yet, we’re slowly but surely making our house feel and look like us.
One of my favorite areas in our home is our kitchen. It’s so big and open with the most amazing corner window. We’ve done a lot of work in there, but before I show you the progress shots I’ll remind you of what it used to look like.
The change that has made the most impact has been opening up this wall. Don’t worry, painting that trim is the next thing on our to-do list. We’re not trying to go for the raw wood look.
My Dad tore the wall out, moved the light switches and outlets, and installed the gorgeous woodwork. He’s pretty much amazing at everything.
In our old home we had very limited counter space. Now we have enough counter space to just decorate it for fun! Isn’t that cross-stitch piece adorable? My sweet friend designed it and stitched it herself. It’s one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received!
After we knocked down the wall, we took the decorative trim off the cabinet tops, ripped off the wallpaper, painted, ripped out the carpet, and installed tile. Phew. It was a lot of work, but so much fun!
I adore the paint color we picked, but we plan on repainting. After we painted, Timothy’s Dad called us and offered to pay for some tile and the install in our kitchen and basement. Say what?! Yeah, it was pretty awesome. His dad wanted to get it from a specific store, so he sent us a picture of the tile and said that if we liked it he would get it. Umm, yes. Yes, please. Ha!
We really like the tile, but we don’t love it with the paint color. I’m thinking of going with a much darker gray. A room this size could handle a moodier color. I’m also itching to tackle those cabinets with a paint brush. Crisp, white cabinets are calling my name!
Oh, and can we take a moment to just admire that gorgeous oven (and crooked hand towel)? I’m still pinching myself. The old range and wall oven were original to the house and desperately needed updating. Timothy and I made plans to start saving money immediately to replace them. But my sweet, sweet parents had something else in mind. They have been looking to buy a big freezer, and our house just so happened to come with one (it was in the basement). They asked if we were interested in a trade – we would give them the freezer and they would give us an oven. Umm, yes, again. That rocks.
Well, they went over and above and took me to pick out whatever I wanted. Literally. They stood me in the aisle filled with ovens and said I could have my favorite one. Oh mylanta. Our “trade” was nowhere near even. Haha! But I have never cooked more delicious food. This is our first brand new appliance since being married, and sometimes I just catch myself gazing fondly at it.
The kitchen light is just begging to be put out of its misery. It’s pretty ugly. I’m going to try to fix it up, but I don’t know if it can be salvaged. Ha!
As far as other lighting goes, there’s a light in the corner window and there are lights under the upper cabinets. They’re pretty camouflaged, but you can see the one on the right peeking out a bit. It’s a long metal light fixture with a fluorescent bulb and two outlets. Outlets on a light fixture? Yes. I tell you, the previous owners thought of everything.
The other wall of the kitchen is basically an empty slate aside from the pantry. Timothy and I are thinking that this wall is pretty much made to be a chalkboard wall. We’ll get on that, too, eventually.
This is my favorite view in our whole entire house. It is a joy to do dishes here! Well, partly because of the huge windows, but mostly because of the dishwasher. But back to the windows. Currently there are four shutters on the windows, but eventually I’d like to put up some wooden shades and some brightly patterned curtains.
A kitchen redo is a big undertaking, but I’m so glad we’ve crossed as much off the to-do list as we have. Here’s sort of where we stand:
-rip out carpet and install tile
- remove wallpaper and paint
-update light fixture
-paint the trim on the wall opening
-new window coverings
Whew! I get giddy just thinking about it! Already this little home is so full of love that it’s just busting at the seams. It has been an honor every step of the way to work on it and live in it.
I am so excited to be sharing our very first new home tour! Eeeeeeeeek! I wish I could invite you all to a real home tour, complete with cookies and chai, but alas, the internet will have to do. Unless you live near me. If so, then give me a call, yo.
Be prepared for a gillion pictures. I narrowed them down from a gazillion. You’re welcome.
So, we have a front door and we have a screened-in porch with a side door. It’s one of those situations where visitors use our front door and close friends use our side door. You guys would obviously qualify as the latter. So as of moving day, this is what you would see when you came in our side door.
The home was built in 1953 and the oven and range are original to the house. Pretty cool. Oh, and yes, that would be carpet in the kitchen. You can tell it’s been there awhile, but there were no stains. These people were meticulous!
The corner window above the sink was one of the first things I noticed about the house. Before it was ours I would park in the driveway and look through that window like a creeper. I couldn’t help it. (Thankfully, no one lived in it at the time of my “creeping.”)
And this would be the other side of the kitchen. The side door is on the right and the sliding doors are the pantry. Also important to note, whoever wallpapered this kitchen? They knew their stuff. It took four hours just to remove the paper on this one wall.
If you were to go in our front door, you would be met with our living/dining area. Prepare yourself.
The living room is a really great size. That giant window just makes me melt. And those curtains? There are two layers of curtains on each window and both are operated on a pulley system like hotel windows. Prett-ty fancy.
There’s also another closet which has an entrance to the attic in the top of it. The bottom part of the closet, however, flips out and turns into a little step stool to help you get into the attic. See? The previous owners were so cute.
I forgot to take pictures of our bedroom until we had already moved our bed in. This does look like a sad “before” pic, but we love it. Well, we love the size and the potential of it. Not so much the greenish cream walls and the lacy curtains.
Under the mint green sink is a laundry chute (LAUNDRY CHUTE!!!) that leads to the laundry room in the basement. That will be fun when smaller Gothras fill the home. Who am I kidding, this adult Gothra adores throwing things down there. And then running downstairs to make sure my dirty laundry safely made its way to the laundry room. Love it.
And on that note, I think this concludes the first tour of our new home! Yay! I’ll share a tour of the basement asap. Just envision rows and rows of storage shelves and a storm bunker and that will give you a good preview.
After writing this, I just feel so unbelievably blessed and humbled. God completely orchestrated this whole thing, and I am overwhelmed at His goodness.
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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