Category: A little bit personal

Last week and an addition to the firehouse (4 more paws!)

Last week was one for the history books. And I’m glad that it’s finally history. It was a rough one.

Let’s start with the good stuff. The highlight by far was bringing a new addition to the firehouse. Meet Hank!

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When we moved into the firehouse (after a few cocktails one evening) we got it into our head that with so much space we could totally handle another dog. Mojo is AHmazing, but sadly she won’t be with us forever. She has always been great with other dogs and puppies so we reasoned that we should get another dog (Great Dane was an easy decision) while she was still around to help an maybe instill some of her good qualities. Plus we figured having a playmate would keep her active.

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Thus far she isn’t quite sure how to handle Hank. We think the size difference is making her leery of any sort of playing. Mostly she tries to sleep on a different bed than him, even if it means wedging herself into his puppy-sized bed. He’s doing his best to play with her, but is appeased with the million toys we’ve pulled out from her younger days.

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He is absolutely adorable, which totally makes  up for all of the pee I’ve cleaned off the floor. But seriously, he’s really smart and already doing great in the kennel overnight.

Unfortunately, he (and we) walked into the most chaotic week we’ve ever shared as a married couple. I owe you SO many posts, but we started some of the contractor-fueled parts of the living room/dining room makeovers. First up was cutting holes for three new windows! Working through three layers of brick stirred up a lot of dust and a tear in the plastic + complete oversight at blocking the top of pole closet left our house a complete disaster. (In case you don’t know/remember the floors in the picture below are actually dark brown.)

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When we filmed our House Hunters: Where Are They Now episode, they asked for any and all crazy renovation stories. The only one we could come up with (which I talk about briefly in the episode) was when the paint started melting off our studio walls. That was bad. This was so much worse.

Not only did we not see this coming, it totally ruined (albeit, temporarily) most of our second floor. I’ve talked about it briefly before, but I firmly believe the way we get through renovations is by creating a sanctuary. It’s any no-reno zone that we can retreat to. Usually it’s our living room and on Tuesday it was coated in a 1/16 inch of dust.

Our newly refinished guestroom actually took the brunt of the dirt. It was basically like the dust dancer from Adele’s Rolling in the Deep video… except with less dancing… and more tears. Basically it was horrific.We were both completely overwhelmed. And the dust wasn’t done. Wednesday, Thursday and even Friday created a cloud that really couldn’t be stopped even when we doubled down on plastic and tape. The stairwell, the kitchen, the guestroom, the outdoor patio and garage were all coated. Not to mention the scene of the crime – the living room/dining room.

We kept the upstairs living room at a tolerable level and opted to tackle the living room/dining room/construction zone ourselves on Sunday. For the rest, we called in reinforcements. Today (literal) angels  from Green Angels descended on the firehouse and restored peace and order. Over the course of a day, they cleaned nooks and crannys that would have taken us weeks to address. My kitchen has never been so clean. I keep noticing things they touched, places that sparkle and being amazed. And, for the first time in a week, we are both able to breathe a sigh of relief.

I owe you SO many posts (more puppy pics, plans and windows in the living/dining rooms, more pics of furniture in the guestroom now that is has been cleaned), but I wanted to drop in and document this moment, even if it’s only for us to look back on. We’re doing so many things (puppy, new windows) that will pay off over time. I want to be able to look back and say “That really sucked, but it was really worth it.”

In front of the camera

Sorry for the radio silence. We have SOO much going on right now and not enough hours in the day. So I’ve been prioritizing wine and the couch over blogging. I’m sure you understand. We’re friends like that.

A few weeks ago, before things got crazy, we coaxed our friend, Stacey, to this side of the state to take our picture. We can be incredibly awkward in front of the camera, which is why Stacey’s “day in the life” session was perfect. It doesn’t hurt that we’re already friends, and he and Aaron bond over the love of film cameras. #photonerds Stacey brought a bunch of film (!!!) and we took him out to our favorite spot in St. Louis: a beach on the Mississippi River that only exists in the winter months when the water level is low. It’s the perfect spot to explore: cameras for us and nose to the ground for Mojo.

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And, because it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t WORK on something, we also used the trip to grab some (too much?) driftwood. The shot below is one of my favorites from the day!

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Then we headed back to the firehouse for some forced cuddle time out front. Because when you have a firehouse blog, people will ask you for pictures of your FACES in front of the firehouse. Weird, right? So we decided to get some proper blog profile pics.

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The only problem is that now I want to redo this shoot when everything is leafed out and green…

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Then it was time for dinner and relaxing in the courtyard, as you do.

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I love all of these images. They really do capture what life is like for us right now…. well, the days we’re not working on the firehouse. Trust that we basically killed ourselves before Stacey arrived to make sure the guestroom was ready for a human occupant.

I’ll be back (maybe next week?? It’s going to be a crazy one) with some more substantial updates. As always, if you want a sneak peek or a real-time look at our lives, feel free to follow me on Instagram.

Real life

I’m working on some posts for the captain’s bedroom, but what I’m thinking about is life and our project list. Over breakfast this morning, we recapped all of the projects we’re into at the moment. Spoiler alert: it’s WAY too many. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, especially with weeks like last one that included a work trip for me. So in the interest of keeping it real, here are all of the semi-finished (or semi-started) projects in flight right now.

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Trailer – Ugh the trailer. Seriously, who can I pay (yeah, right we’re way too cheap for that) to just finish this thing. It’s dragging on, mostly because we’ve lost all the joy. (Like I said, keeping it real.) We really wanted to use it before our wedding season kicks up this spring, but that is looking highly unlikely.

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Captain’s suite – We’ve already talked about how this project has spiraled a bit out of control. In truth, it’s gone much further. We bought a new rug and duvet cover. We also snagged a few vintage pieces for the space. They’re not perfect so instead of finalizing the room we tacked on “refinish furniture” to the list. We can’t start on that until we have some space in the living room and that won’t happen until the trailer is done.

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Workshop – It’s been partially framed for over a year. It HAS to get done to let us work on the living/dining room.

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Living/Dining room – We are so excited to start on this project. So excited that we are already lining up contractors for a few of the pieces we can’t do ourselves. THIS is what we want to work on. I have to remember that we didn’t plan to tackle this until the summer so anything we do is actually ahead of schedule.

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Exterior – There are a handful of smaller projects that need attention in once the weather gets warmer. We’ve been trying to seal our concrete for years, other things (like the garage) get in the way. The electrical in the garage isn’t 100% finished. And there are a few yearly maintenance needs, like seeding the yard and planting some herbs.

That’s our crazy list. I’m sure we’re not the only ones? We’ll take any show of sympathy, like stories about the time you also took on the renovation of an entire firehouse… or wine…

We’ll be on TV tonight!

This is just a friendly reminder that our episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters: Where Are They Now” is scheduled to air tonight at 9 pm CST. It may or may not include riveting footage of Aaron smoking meat.

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Ok, we literally have no idea what footage it will include. Find out with us! Tonight! Live! 9 p.m. CST. Then drop by here and let us know what you thought of the episode.

House Hunters: Where Are They Now? March 9

Where ARE we? Well, right here, of course. But I guess all of TV land doesn’t follow our blog. So the kind folks at House Hunters offered to have us back on national television. We said, “Yes!” and then promptly made a bunch of updates in the fall (like making the courtyard come to life.)

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This round of taping we spent one really easy day with the same producer (Hi Darcy!), same video guy (Hi Kevin!) and a super nice, new sound guy. Because our segment is only part of a half hour show and the focus is squarely on what we’ve done around this place, we spent more time off camera than on. That was fine by me! Less pressure, only one wardrobe change and potentially less time where my face literally fills the screen. (Yikes!)

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Anyways, I digress. The whole point of popping in here is to tell you that we have an air date: March 9th at 9 pm CST! So set your DVR and grab your favorite snack, because the firehouse is coming to the big… err little screen! If you’re a regular reader you won’t be surprised by any of the changes, but we always hear that it’s easier to grasp the firehouse once you’ve seen it in person. So this is a great way to invite all our virtual friends into our humble a(fire)bode.

Oh, and because I’m sure everyone wants to know whether Mojo will make an appearance, she did get in on some of the taping. But mostly she spent her time like this (because being a TV star is hard, guys):

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Seriously, she slept on her bed in the studio (behind the couch you see in the middle picture) for most of our interview. Occasionally we would have to stop shooting if she sat up because you could see see her over our shoulder. What I wouldn’t give for footage of some of the bloopers from this whole experience…