Tag Archives: House

The best birthday gift

I’ve started this post about six times. Each time I came at it with a different angle, a different lead, yet none of them felt right. Until it dawned on me, it’s kinda like finding THE ONE. You just know it and dressing it up or trying to be creative with it takes away some of the fun, the excitement, the awe. So here goes:

I’m a homeowner. Of an actual HOUSE. With a yard. In Omaha, Nebraska. (Whew…there, I said it.)

It took months, lots of discussions about what was important to us and what we could live without, and plenty of Saturdays traipsing through other people’s homes silently (and occasionally not so silently) judging them. But on my birthday, we found the one. And while I don’t believe in signs, I should have known it was the one based on that. It took me about 12 hours to realize it was the one, but Jeff says he knew it the moment he walked in. And I’ll admit, I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I’d thought about it often, even looked at houses shortly after moving to Omaha nearly seven years ago. I never went through with it because I always thought I’d end up back in California or Chicago, or somewhere else. Plus, I really wasn’t interested in putting down roots. But, since Jeff and the kidlet became a part of my world, it’s become clear we all could use a little more space and roots aren’t so bad. And I was finally pissed off enough to do something about the obnoxiously large monthly check to my landlord.

It’s a nearly 50-year-old house, that’s been impeccably maintained by a sweet old couple who spent the last forty years living in it, loving it, and raising their family in it.  We closed on it this afternoon, so it’s official. And with that, the next stage of life with a side of chaos begins…homeownership.


It has many things to love: it reminds me of the home I grew up in (more on that in a later post), it fits our lives today yet is also something we can grow into, and it has tons of potential for us to make it ours (yet another post there). It also has plenty of things to loathe: carpet (the sellers said its 30 years old…I refuse to walk barefoot on it), wallpaper (probably of similar age – ewwwww), bathrooms that haven’t been remodeled since 1964, and many other things needing some TLC or just a dumpster.

I’m going to try and chronicle the slow evolution of our home here, with before and after photos, as well as all the things we learn (about DIY, about ourselves, about each other) along the way. I hope you’ll share your DIY stories, lessons, ideas, and all the other things that come with homeownership…cause while finding the one may have been the best birthday present I could have ever received, there are many signs pointing to what will also be the most nerve-wracking, stress-inducing gift ever.