Tuesday, April 30, 2013


[Because I feel dramatic today...Muhahahaw. Women!]

I remember the day really well. I was at work, anxious, excited, overwhelmed, and browsing blogs like a mad woman looking at a million and one DIY projects. I talked my bosses ear off about all the plans I had for my house, asking for advice, and just getting pumped about the possibilities. "Today I'm officially an adult! I am going to own my own home with my husband...Is this real life!? Ohhh, I definitely want a white kitchen...I'm going to need to take down the wood paneling, replace with some really cool backsplash, ohhh and we are going to have to get brand new white cabinets, all new appliances...oh and the floor. has. got. to. go. There is SO much cleaning to do. The floors don't match, so we will be replacing those. Shell sinks need to be demolished. We need new fixtures, new outlet covers, we need, we need, we need..."I probably said all of this at a million miles a minute.

These were my over-committed and super unrealistic thoughts on the day we signed the dotted line and bought our new home. 

I took off of work early, met Drew at the real estate office, and on our way in, we passed a couple in the hallway. I knew they were the previous owners...you could just tell. They had just signed over their home, to two young newlyweds ready to move into our very first home. Adulthood was waiting for us just past that door. I kindly stopped the middle-aged, sweaty palmed, nervous looking couple and said, "Oh you must be Mr. and Mrs. Jones (changed the last name for privacy reasons). I reached out for hugs and they hesitantly gave me a hug back. " Oh, Hello." I stepped back and with all the excitement in the world I said, "Ahhh! We are so so so excited!!! Thank you SO much! We can't wait to move in! Was the home good to you!?" "..."Ah, yes, yes. Congratulations!" They quickly rushed out the door and didn't look back.

I replay this moment in my head almost every day now thinking, "How could they look at me in the eye...and say congratulations? I wish they would have just said, "Muhahahahaw, GOOD LUCK! PEACE OUT SUCKAAAAS! It's ALL YOURS!" 

Now when I look back, I can't even imagine the feeling that middle aged couple had when they saw us in the hallway that day. I can only imagine the excitement, the guilt? and the incredible RELIEF it was to sign over OUR home to us that day. They probably wanted to get out of that building as fast as they could. I can't say I blame them.

We were both celebrating that rainy, dreary day...but for two completely different reasons. 

We quickly rushed down to the room at the end of the hallway where the blunt and gigantic stack of papers awaited us. We signed them all, and I took pictures on my phone like a crazy woman smiling from ear to ear. Then before we knew it, the real estate agent said those four words that would haunt us in a few months:

"Congratulations! It's ALL yours!" as she slid the keys to our home in front of us. 

I remember looking at Drew with tears in my eyes, and admiring my husband's proud face. Drew and I hugged, laughed, and danced our way to our home. I turned up the radio and danced like a fool and kept saying, "WE OWN A HOME BABE! WE OWN A HOME!!!!" 

We pulled up to our house. 

There she was. Neglected. Beautiful. Big. Outdated. Rough around the edges. It was a project. It was the ugly duckling waiting to be loved on. It had an awesome layout. Tall ceilings. Bigger closets. Not the best neighborhood by any means...but it was perfect, for us. It was ours.

We hopped out of the truck, and Drew said, "Alright babe! I guess this is what people who just bought a home do..." and he picked me up, and carried me through the threshold. He sat me down in the middle of our empty home full of  possibilities with a smile on his face. We hugged and just stared at each other like a deer in headlights thinking "OMGGGG what do we do now!? AHHH! Let's run through the house!" And that we did. Like two crazy newlyweds in love. I will never forget this for as long as I live. 

We went to pick up our dogs, and then to Olive Garden to grab our favorite food to go, along with our favorite dessert (Chocolate Tie Mousse Cake), stopped at our new grocery store and grabbed a bottle of wine and rushed back to our house. By this time, it was dark and we had no plans on leaving anytime soon. We took my childhood blanket that I packed up that morning, and had ourselves our very first dinner in the middle of our empty living room. We made a game plan and made a pact right then and there. We were going to give it our all and do it all ourselves. This house was going to get some TLC.

We both used a vacation day and took off of work that Friday. We woke up early and were at Sears before it even opened. We were ready to dive in to beautifying OUR home.  

Here we were ready to make our first home purchase (rakes, trimmers, and some saw for cutting bushes lol). You know, real man tools. We were ready for the blisters, sweat, blood, and tears that awaited us. 

We worked all weekend long, from the early morning into late at night. That weekend we raked close to 40 bags of leaves and pulled up all the bushes in our front yard. This is no exaggeration either. See?

We cut trees, we made endless amounts of trips to Home Depot and Lowes. Drew celebrated his first moment on a roof. I celebrated getting my hands dirty and working like a boss in the yard. Sadly, there were no milkshakes involved, and no boys came either...what's up with that?

We were tired, boy were we tired. However, we were happy and we were proud. We didn't let the older home scare us. We were exhausted already, but the idea of us flipping our home was a dream and we couldn't wait to get started. Just seeing the progress we made that FIRST weekend was rewarding and such a RUSH. 

We also tackled the upstairs bathroom. Y'all...it looked like a smurf family exploded inside. The toilet was wood and obviously had been pee'd on A LOT...because there was a whole lotta proof. We took that room by the horns and did our best to cover up the smurfsplosion. 

 Gross is right.

Don't worry little bathroom. We gotcha covered.

Oh heyyyy bum bum. Lookin' good.

 And our house after three days...SO much improvement.

The backyard: Again, a smurf exploded in the back. Drew built some stairs, and I painted the concrete brown. 

After we moved in, our game plan was to start on one room, and then once it was complete, we'd move to the next. We also wanted to leave the expensive things for last, so that way we would have time to save. We both had never done ANY type of renovations, EVER, so we figured we'd start small, with the smaller rooms, also meaning smaller projects. We saved up, purchased, saved up, purchased, and on and on. Little by little we started improving our home. After the yard was picked up, and the smurf bathroom was improved (but not finished), we decided to start on the entry way. Why? 

Because it looked like this. 

Blue/Gray tile that was greeted with berber carpet. Not exactly gorgeous or welcoming for visitors. 

Drew broke up the tile, and layed down some new tile that we found for reallllly cheap at Habitat for Humanity.

Don't worry, we finished the trim but I never got a picture of the finished project. 

Then we moved to the small bathroom in the hallway downstairs. 

We then moved to the laundry room. 

Added some paint, new fixtures, some trim...

 Drew later laid the same tile in the laundry room as the small bathroom...but I can't find the finish product anywhere right now. This will have to do for now. :)

 A picture of Drew, Drew's eyebrows (dangggg babe), and yours truly looking sweaty, salty, and ohhh so sexy. You're welcome. I did work too, I promise! :) 

We painted our bedroom next. (Before, and After)

Then one day...we were watching TV in the living room when we heard a HUGE BOOOOOOM come from upstairs. It scared the absolute crap out of us both...and when we ran up to see what the heck it was...we saw this: 


They ate their way through the tile. Unexpected expense. PAIN in the butt. Palm to forehead...WHAT. IN. THE. WORLD. We never saw this coming...that is for sure.

So, we took all the tile down, sprayed and sprayed and bombed the mess out of this bathroom. We patched it up, and Drew retiled our entire shower. I don't have an after photo right now either, but will def. make sure to update this when I do. So, basically, we had to take a few steps backwards and work on the first room we started out with in the beginning. 

After this unexpected cost, we had to wait on renovations for awhile. After we saved up a little, I told Drew that if the kitchen looked better, I'd probably cook a lot more... ;) 

Obviously that was just my way of trying to get started making progress in the house where we spend the most time... so we decided to nix the idea of new cabinets, and painted them ourselves. We searched Craiglist for appliances, and got our fridge for $600 cheaper than it was in the store, and we found our dishwasher from Habitat for Humanity for half the price as well. We did have to save and splurge for the oven and microwave at Lowes. Obviously, the floors and the countertops have yet to be replaced because they aren't quite in the budget yet. Here is the progress thus far: 

Kitchen before: 

And After: (Pics to come) but here is best one I could find:

 Overtime, and with seasons changing, we added grass to our yard where the bushes we pulled up used to be.

So here we were...thinking "Alright, I guess let's get these floors replaced! That will really pull our home together, don't you think!?" We wanted the hallway, the livingroom, and our bedroom to all match. We savedddd and savedddd and then we finally bought new dark hardwood (laminate) flooring. We got them home, and since Drew had never layed laminate, he started in the hallway. At about the time Drew started to finish the hallway flooring...was when we started noticing some changes in our home, and at a very rapid pace at that.

I started to notice that the bathroom door wouldn't shut. 

"Babe...something is wrong here. Why won't this dang door shut!? It's driving me crazy!"

So, Drew shaved the bottom of the door so it wouldn't catch on the floor. 

Next thing we know, the door frame was cracking, and had moved so much, our door wouldn't even fit IN the frame to close. 

Then our pantry door wouldn't close. I tried not to think TOO much about it...but then we noticed a bright light (outside) coming from under our door...then a crack started...and grew, and grew...and then another wall started to crack, and another, and then another door wouldn't even open. Our front door was no longer able to be used, so we would always enter through our garage (which was our crap room for projects). It was a HUGE eyesore, but there wasn't really any other options. Our sinks started to back up...a lot, and all to often. Our electicity bill was HUGE because all of the air was going through our cracks and doors. This was so frustrating, and as much as we hated putting towels around our doors...we did. It helped a little, but were still paying a good $150-$200 over the normal amount a month. 

Then one night, we found this little fella in our toilet. 

Something REALLY wasn't right. This shouldn't be happening. Am I right or am I right?

I still look at this photo and can't believe it happened. After this run in... we knew. We KNEW we were about to have to face reality. 

Cracks dominated our dry walls. You couldn't look up without wanting to cry. All the trim and baseboards Drew slaved on? They were about an inch or so off the ground. 

We were both in denial and ignored it for a couple months because we both knew that the next thing we would be seeing were dollar signs...dollar signs that we didn't have. 

We got our house looked at and quoted, and that's when reality came crashing down around us. We put off all of our renovations for about a year. We had no option but to live in a home that was falling apart around us, and also half renovated. We were forced to see the work we had done this far...start to crumble little by little. 

I was starting my business during all of this mess...so editing photos became my way to take my mind off of what was happening around us. I wanted to be a photographer, and I just kept that as my therapy.  I would close the door and edit away until the wee hours into the night. 

However, I have to be real. I worked in this mess for a really long time...ready for it? 

See me? Barely? Oh, hey girl hayyy. 

Oh, and that desk over there to your right? That's what I worked on...for months and months. FINALLY, I got the room cleaned out and it looked like this: 

Isn't she lovellllllyyyyy? ;) 

We had laminate floors sitting in the garage ready to be used in the living room, but since we knew that our foundation was going to be worked on at some point, then there was NO reason in laying down a brand new floor that was going to be eventually be pulled up. So...we felt the itch, ripped up the carpet, and got to work. This was the room that had the least amount of damage...and I really craved a workspace that inspired me. 

And I know you have all seen the after: 

Now it might make sense as to why this space means the world to me. 

You see, I think the hardest part of ALL of this was just knowing, and seeing that all of the work that we have poured into this home...well, was a waste in a lot of ways. Knowing the tile and trim Drew had worked so hard on was going to be pulled up in the blink of an eye? Knowing all the time we spent painting our walls were going to be re-painted...all of it...was done to be re-done. The icing on the cake? Finding out that the flooring we bought...got discontinued. It's exhausting thinking about it. The feeling of knowing this made us feel sick. The dollar signs at the end of all of these quotes made us feel hopeless. I did most of the crying, naturally. Men deal with stress much differently. They get quiet. They get quiet for a long time, and then once they hold it in long enough, you see the damage it does to a person and it breaks your heart in a million pieces.  

We were in over our heads and the more we thought about it, the more we stressed we became, and the harder it was to be just be happy. It was one thing after another. More cracks. More movement. More headaches. 

This is where we finally took this unfortunate situation and decided to face it. We sat down and had a long discussion one night, made another game plan, and that's when this post happened. 

No more complaining. No more anger. NO more.

How can we take this and turn it into a positive?

What went wrong? WHAT did we do!? HOW do we fix this? 

What can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again?

When we really sat down to think about this situation, all we could do was say:


NEXT TIME we will do this, and this, and this, and this. 
NEXT TIME we will know better. 
NEXT TIME...well...will there even be a next time? 

Drew and I would never, ever, in a million years wish this experience on anyone. This is why I have been wanting to write this post and share with you the things you need to make sure you do when you buy your next home. Obviously, we are not professionals. We are not experts. We are just young, naiive, inexperienced adults who bought their very first home. 

Hopefully our advice can help you...atleast I hope and pray it can. I know when and IF we ever get to buy another home, we will do all of these things I am about to list. It's really simple advice, but if you are anything like us and brand-new to a big decision like buying a home...these next things I am about to tell you will help tremendously. Buying a home can be a wonderful, rewarding, and amazing experience. I have NO doubts about that as I have friends and family who have all purchased beautiful, loving, amazing homes. However, not everyone gets so lucky, and not everyone knows what they are doing...*cough*us three years ago*cough*. So, let's get on with it shall we? 


Know about the side of town you live on. Is the soil soft? Run. Is your neighborhood safe? Do you like the area you are in? Research everything. Ask people in your city where the good/safe places are to live. If a house is in a part of town you aren't familiar with? Research it. Ask questions. FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU CAN ABOUT THE CITY YOU LIVE IN. The school district? The crime rates? Are people wanting to move in to your neighborhood or move out? That's a big sign.


We bought our house when the home buyer credit process was happening. We didn't realize this was even going on until my brother told me about it. We had a time limit of one month to find a home (if we were going to buy under the first time homebuyer credit). Rushing means just that. We rushed our home buying experience. We looked at probably 10 homes and decided on our home based on the size, the price, and layout. TAKE YOUR TIME. THIS IS A HUGEEE decision. If you feel rushed, chances are if you wait until the perfect home, you will be better off. We weren't 100% on board with our house, but...due to the time frame and the options in front of us, we just went with what we thought was the best option at that time.


If you know of someone who had an amazing experience with buying a home? Ask them who their realtor was. WORD OF MOUTH people. WORD OF MOUTH. Just because their face is on the sign...doesn't mean you should use them. If your realtor seems to be unorganized even in the slightest bit? Find another one. If your realtor is rushing you? They just want the sale people. Make sure your realtor understands your wants, your needs, and is familiar with the neighborhoods you want to live in. It will do WONDERS. 


We hired a home inspector. He was a nice guy. We had a nice chat. He came out, inspected the home to his best ability (meaning, he inspected the surface things of our home), and all looked good. This is where you then need to pay the extra cash that might not feel great on your pocket book at the time...but Y'ALL...if we would have had an engineer come out...he would have warned us of the foundation problems that awaited us. The dollar bill signs that were going to bury us. HIRE THEM BOTH. NOT just one or the other. PAY for it. It will save you a headache in the long run, I promise promise promise you. 


This is an absolute must. If we would have had our plumbing checked by a plumber...he would have said, "Yes, there are breaks under the home...and you're going to be paying X amount of money here really soon. Right then and there Drew and I would have been able to let go of the house. It wasn't budgeted, and there was NO way we would have bought the house knowing that all of these expensive problems awaited us. *Face palm*


If you're anything like me, and you watch HGTV...you realize how FUN and AWESOME it looks to buy a home. AND in our case, a fixer upper. I mean, HGTV can turn an outdated home into a masterpiece in 45 minutes...surellllly it couldn't be THAT bad...right? Wrong. Rome wasn't built in a day, and those beautiful rooms you have on your Pinterest boards are A LOT OF HARD WORK. You will have to be real with yourselves, your budget, and your timeline. As females, I realize that we like things NOW, but really... we know deep down patience is a virtue. 


Realize that if you choose to get a fixer upper...that yes, it can be cool, it can be fun, and the reward is SO awesome. However, it is A LOT....AAAA LOOOOOT of work...and a whole lot of money. You have a budget? Expect to double it...and know that nothing ever goes as planned. If you can handle this...then go for it. 

If you don't want to get your hands dirty, and want to buy something move in ready? By all means, DO IT. However, this will also most likely mean a heftier price tag at the beginning and a higher mortgage than that fixer upper down the street. It could be worth it. Especially in our case now.

Just make sure you weigh out the pros and cons, and really analyze your budget. Everyone's situation and preferences are different. Just make sure you are SURE you are 100% on board with whatever you decide. 


This is coming to you from the girl who got excited when we found out that our neighborhood didn't have HOA. You mean, we are going to be able to save a couple hundred dollars a year? HECK YES!

Oh...HECK NO. 

Our neighbors never mow their yard. One of our neighbors has...wait for it...wait for it...EIGHT jetskis sitting in his drive way. NONE of them work either. If you ever want to sell your home, you're going to wish for that HOA. Nobody wants to live next to the house with the 3 foot of weeds and grass and a driveway full of broke down jet-skis. 

HOA is worth it. I promise.  I'd pay good money to go back and make this a priority in our house selection process. 


I wish more than anything Drew and I would have gone around our neighborhood and asked our neighbors this question: 


After conversations now with our neighbors...they are in the same boat as us and we all can agree that we are up poop creek without a paddle. 

Too nervous to knock on a strangers door? I feel ya...I do. However, I guarantee an awkward 2 minute conversation with a stranger could have changed everything. Ask questions. Ask away! 

If someone were to knock on my door today and ask me that, I'd tell them to run far far away! :) 


I hope this helps friends. Like I said, it's common sense...but we had NO idea. We were just excited to find a fixer-upper that met our price point and had a nice layout. We thought we were making an awesome decision, and honestly it could have been a good one...but we didn't do any of the above things we listed...and that would have made ALL the difference in the world. 

Lesson learned. 

In light of all of this, we are very thankful for a home, and are so so so excited to be moving back in to our home again. She's starting to look like a home again, and that is the best feeling. She's getting fixed, and I know if anyone were to ever buy our home, I'd be confident to sign her over because we got all the hard work done and out of the way. There is still A LOT of work in our future...and you can bet that I'll be documenting our journey the entire way. 

P.s.) Thank you for reading this post. I know it was a long one...but I sure do hope someone can benefit from it. XO!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Road to a Solid Foundation: House Problems

That picture above sums up my last week in a nut shell. If you saw me right now, I would put money on it that you'd say, "Whoaaaa Shay, rough week? WOOF!"

And I would be okay with that, because well, it's true. I look like a zombie that just got beat up by a pack of crazy ninjas. I am currently sitting here with a sore throat, a fever, bruises up and down my legs, a thrown out back, a headache, sore muscles, aches, pains, as well as an extreme case of fatigue. I feel like I'm 1000 years old. ;) Last week and this week have just been insane. My world is upside down, and I am trying to get back into a routine. Gee, can I complain some more!? ;) I'm just being honest.


Run down? Two Friday's ago>Drove 2.5 hours to Jewett to drop off my dogs>Drove back to Austin 2.5 hours>Worked>Packed>Drove to Houston to see Steph and Katie>Drove back to Austin>Crashed out>Worked all day Monday>Volleyball game>Tuesday>Worked all day>Drove to Lakeway (45 minutes out) to help my best friend Jenni move furniture>Home at midnight>Home to clean house in bed at 2>Apartment Therapy Photo Shoot in my Office (YAY!)>Drove to Mom's House 2.5 hours away to get her and my dogs>Visited grandparents for 10 minutes (only :()>Drove back to Austin 2.5 hours>Softball game>Packed up living room>3 Trips to Storage Unit>Thursday: Worked in the morning>Drove to SXSW for my best friend for 3 hours>Back home to pack all night til 3:30 AM>Friday: Drove to Houston which took 4 hours with traffic>Shot bridals for one of my beautiful brides>Turned right back around (3 hours this time) and drove to Austin to pack and move things into storage unit until 3AM>Saturday: Up at 7:30 AM, Moved til' 2PM>Home for Shower>Drove to Driftwood at 3PM>Shot our 2nd wedding of the year from 4 to 11:30PM>Home at midnight>Took another load to the storage unit>In bed at 2:30>Sunday: Up at 8AM with "Wedding Hangover" as photographers and wedding planner's call it>Moved until 5PM and got another storage unit :(>Lunch with Drew's parents and sister>Drove things to my brother's house and had dinner>Went back to house to pack up the closet and bathroom>Trip to Wal-Mart for more totes>Packed up cars and in bed at 3:30PM>Up at 6AM, Took truck load to brother's house and dropped things in yard>Back to house to get the last of it all>Foundation company showed up as I put the last load in the truck>Walk Through>Handed over home>Drove back to brother's house>Unloaded Truck>Re-loaded Truck with my sister-in-law's Mother's Yard Sale Items (tables, chairs, etc) and drove them back to Jewett (2.5 hours), unloaded truck at sister-in-law's Mother's house)>dropped off my Mom and baby boys :(>RED BULL and I don't even like Red Bull>Made it back to my brothers>Carried things up the stairs for an hour>Washed face>Drew got home from work and we headed back to town for our volleyball playoff games>Dinner after playoff games>Back to brothers house>CRASHED. Yesterday I spent the whole day unpacking my temporary office, our bags, our closet, you name it. To say I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off...is an understatement. It feels good to be back at  desk and settled...atleast for the next month. OKAY, so if you read that (probably very few of you, thank you!) If not, you're probably glad you didn't. 

Moving right along...

As you might have seen on instagram, Drew and I packed up our entire house and then moved everything we own into a storage unit...just the two of us. All of our friends had plans, weddings, sxsw, and work. My Mom came in to help pack (THANK GOODNESS), but as far as lifting goes, just me and Drew. I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, and I have a broken back to prove it! ;) (You can roll your eyes now, I approve).

I def. need some cheese for all this "whining" I'm doing. But for real, this is my life right now. This is what my blog is for. To be real...to share the good and the bad. The happy and the sad. Right? :)

You see...I haven't talked much about our house since we bought it. I don't know if you have been reading my blog for awhile, but if you have, you will know that we purchased an older home, in an old neighborhood about three years ago. We were SO excited y'all. We had plans to invest, flip the crap out of it, and sell it for more money one day. That was our business plan anyway. We are both handy, we love projects, and the thought of beautifying a home just the two of us seemed like the best idea at the time. What it really was is that we watched a little TOO much HGTV and got in well over our heads. Truth.

 It was the perfect starter home and really cheap as far as mortgage goes, but we did not realize what was in store for us about six months later down the road.

We started to notice that our front door wouldn't open, the doors in the house wouldn't close, and then before we knew it, our dry walls were cracked...everywhere. Deep, very noticeable cracks took over every door way and interior wall in the house. None of our doors worked. They wouldn't shut. At all. You couldn't even swing them out because the floor would catch them.  When we would have guests over we would have to have them enter through the garage that would shortly accompany the, "Please excuse the mess that is our house schpeal" that was everything more than embarrassing to explain.

Before the foundation in our house took a huge fall, we re-did the floors and trim in the laundry room, 1/2 bath downstairs, the hallway that connects our living room to our bedroom, and the front door entryway. As soon as we were done with these projects, we quickly realized that we had to stop rennovating because the work we had invested in and worked so hard on was already falling apart. The trim no longer touched the tile, and you could see the OUTSIDE from the INSIDE. When I say it was bad...it was bad. We have been having to put towels around all of our doorways so snakes and bugs couldn't get in. Our electricity bill was insanely HIGH every month because it was all going through the walls and the doorways. It was heartbreaking to see, and I'd cry a lot. Who would have ever thought that flooring, CLEAN trim that touched the floor, and working doors would mean so much to a person? If you currently have a home where your trim boards touch the tile, and your doorways open...be thankful. Seriously. I can't even begin to explain how lucky you are. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.

We have been saving up for 2 and a half years here and there to get our house fixed. The quotes were high, and Drew and I literally looked at each other and started crying when they told us how much it was going to cost.

Next thing we know... our sinks didn't work. You would turn it on, and the water would back up almost immediately. It smelled terrible, and we were forced to only use one of the three bathrooms in our home. We got our plumbing checked, and because of the foundation moving, the plumbing broke. Everytime we would go to the bathroom, use the sink...you name it...it was sitting under our house. Gross I know, but I'm just wanting to be real here. We have been living in a money pit of problems for the past 3 years, and it's time I wanted to share that with you. It's added more stress than you can imagine to our lives, and it's one of those things that you say, "Well, you live and you learn."

We both are super thankful we have a house. We are thankful there is a roof over our head. We are so thankful for that, trust me. It's just unfortunate, a pain in the butt, and one of the biggest learning experiences EVER. We had NO idea this was going to happen.

You might be thinking, "Well, didn't you have your house inspected before you bought it? Dummies!"

Yes. Yes we did. That's where it gets sucky. We had a home inspector. He said everything looked fine. As far as foundation issues...this is what he said:

"Your house, along with EVERY single house in this area of town can have foundation issues. BUT it's not anything out of the norm. You might notice a small crack here, and maybe a cracked tile here and there, but it's not anything to be alarmed about."


I asked him, "SO, if you were our age, and in our shoes...would you see any reason why we shouldn't purchase this home?"

The guy said, "No, I think this would be a smart investment and a great home for a starter home. It has great potential."

Trust me guys. We've looked into lawyers...we've done just about anything to see WHAT we can do. We have exhausted all of our options, and made sure that there were no loopholes we were missing. Our home insurance dropped us last year and we were forced to find another home insurance because when we had it quoted and couldn't afford to get it fixed immediately, the first homeowner's insurance chunked the deuce on us.

The best part is...plumbing is expensive. So, so expensive. The reason the inspector didn't tell us about plumbing issues is because a.) inspectors can only inspect what they can see. b.) there is a HUGE possibility that the previous home owners knew that the plumbing was messed up, BUT they chose NOT to have it tested, because if they did, then they would have had to disclose it to the people buying the house. Smart...very smart.

So, the house was sold...to two, young newlyweds excited to create and rennovate their first home together...which later turned into our biggest nightmare.

You win some. You lose some.

I just know that when we are in the market to buy our next home, things will be much, much, MUCH different.

We are now getting our house completely fixed. Thank the Lord. As much as it sucks, I'm still thankful. I'm thankful for loving, supportive family members who are offering their homes to us while we wait for our foundation and plumbing to be completed. Once they are, we will be having the cosmetic work done. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

This is also a reason I created the office I have. It was the only room in the house with the least amount of damage. Sitting and living in a home that is falling apart around you is depressing, aggravating, and heart-breaking. Drew and I one day got SO fed up with it all, we decided to create atleast ONE room in our house that we could completely make beautiful from start to finish. I bet you didn't know that did you? :) That office was and is my piece of heaven in that home full of problems. It means more to me than you even realize.

I am SO passionate these days about home buying. When I know my friend is looking to buy a new home, I am quick to tell them what NOT to do. I'm obviously NO expert but if I can prevent this from happening to anyone...I will. I would never wish this experience on anyone. Ever. Ever. EVER.

So, please be on the look out for the "WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN YOU PURCHASE A HOME" post coming soon. I hope it will help you, or if not you, someone out there in this world who it could benefit.

Alright guys, I just wanted to share what's been going on as of late. Moving, driving a ton, weddings, sessions, house stuff...y'all...I'm pretty tired. BUT I am also so excited to know that our home is being fixed. What a blessing.

I also realize that some of you might be shocked to see this or read this. When I post photos of my home, generally, it looks like it's pretty nice. When I tell people who have never been in my home, and have only seen what I put on the web...they say, "Shay, I've seen your photos, your house looks great." Then that's when I chime in and say, "That's only because you see what I put out there...trust me. It's bad. You only see my home from eye level. You don't see floors. You don't see the ceiling or walls."

Then they visit and the wide eyed, "OMG Shay... Wow... This is crazy" sentence comes. Just goes to show you that life isn't perfect. We all have problems and guess what, we are real life people guys. I just wanted to share this with you because I want you to know that as happy as I am, and thankful and blessed as I am to have the life I have, it doesn't come easy. Attitude is EVERYTHING. I do NOT have it all...and I am more than okay with that.

Glass is half full...it has to be. With foundation problems and all. :)

Oh, and because no post is a good post without photos...

Here is our home on the first day of demolition foundation work:

 This is the wall above the living room and that connects to the upstairs. Basically, our entire ceiling.

This is our master bathroom. It isn't shown here, but our bathtub has a huge crack along the side and you can actually SEE under our home. Not kidding.

This would be our front door. That light? The outside (obviously). That's what it looks like when the door is shut. Cleaning our home became so hard. It was pretty much impossible. 

The door to our bathroom from our master. Honestly, I could post 100 pictures from our home in every single room that look like this. These are just ones I found on my phone. 

Monday was the day they started. As soon as I left, they came in. Drew stopped by after work to see what they had already done. Y'all this is DAY ONE. DAYYYY ONE!? Crazy.

That's our driveway...in our driveway. This was taken on Monday. My heart was in shambles all day. Handing over our garage door opener to the guys was hard. It's funny I can't say "handed over the key" to our house because that is currently broken off in our front door LOL. I'm telling you. That front door would NOT open. It got so bad, we couldn't even lock it. Thank goodness the deadlock worked though. (Whoo!)

I looked at the foundation guy and said, "Please, please...PLEASE make her beautiful again. That's all I ask..." and I found myself tearing up  with a quivery voice. That's when the man looked into my eyes and said in the kindest, most genuine voice:

"M'aam...I've been doing foundation work on homes for 20 years and this is one of the worst I've ever seen. I promise you I will do my best to make sure she's beautiful again."

I have a feeling that this is the same guy that was responsible for this kind act.

Drew tried to cement this hole by our house in the back yard when we first started noticing the foundation shift dramatically. Opposums would get under our home, and come out in our toilet (remember this!?), so we tried to close it up with this quick fix...and he drew the "A heart S" (such a muffin he is) in the cement. Whoever broke up the cement around the house could have easily broke this up and never thought twice about it. But, he cut it out and set it by the tree. Melt. My. Heart.

I'm such a sucker, I know. Emotional much? Um, yeah. It's so bad lately y'all but I guess for good reason.

I'm so thankful we have people working on our home who have good hearts and appreciate little things like this. This isn't just a job for this guy...I mean it is, totally, but he really made me feel like our home was in good hands.


Have an amazing hump day friends. Make it a good one. Don't mind me...but I have a LOT of catch up work to do. :)