Ode to Bob

My sweet uncle Bob who was a retired electrician and was a huge part of Nellie Mae passed away suddenly this morning. We grieve his loss… technically some would say he just wired our house, but he did way more than just wire our house.
Bob gave his summer to get us into gear. He stepped in our lives at a time when a lot of people would have wanted to step out. You all saw Nellie Mae Pre-Renovation. Bob was there from the beginning with us and saw Nellie Mae at its worst. And well, he saw us at our worst. The days we told him about how Tim had lost his job. How we were starting over. How Tim was working, going to HVAC school, and renovating that darn house. How all our things were in storage. How nothing we did have in storage was going to fit into Nellie Mae anyway. Bob would listen. Offer advice. But mostly, he was just there. He just wanted to be there.  And keep us focused on what needed to be done. Day to day. I owe Bob so much. On days I knew Tim wanted to just roll over and not move forward… because it was so hard to move forward… Tim would say, “Bob is going to be at Nellie Mae in 30 minutes! And he is going to want coffee! I have to go!” Bob came over daily the mornings we were in the electrical phase. Without fail. He wanted nothing in return for helping us. Tim figured he could try to pay him in coffee, so every morning Starbucks would have the order ready. We also opened a home depot fuel points card for him hoping he would have eternal rewards with all of our purchases!
Bob had a sweet spirit, a gentle and kind heart, and he just loved people. He was also there during a time of celebration with us. When we finished. When we celebrated at Stoney River. When Tim got the big job. And heard the news when we were ready to do it all over again! He was excited about our current house project and I am only sad that he won’t get to see it finished.
Yes, he did more than wire our house. He was more than an uncle to me. He took us in like we were his very own. I have no question that Bob is sitting with Jesus right now because at a time in our life we needed Jesus the most…. Bob was a very clear reflection of Him to us. We love you Bob.
We also wanted to post pictures of Nellie Mae, Renter style… We had the most perfect sweet renter move in and it looks like a dollhouse. A young girl with a son are living here. Her style is “shabby chic” and it is absolutely adorable. The house looks like it was made for her. With her permission, here are some pics.
Thank you to Bob for not just making Nellie Mae a home and place of hope for us, but now for many that will reside there.
I love that our renter has a sign on the wall that says, “Welcome to Nellie Mae”. Blessings are poured onto this house because it was built with so much love.


Our sweet renter and son. We found our way here…. and pray that many will too.

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Bathroom Finished!!

Well holy moly our bathroom is finally done!! The walls are grey to match the grey hairs we both probably have by now! No grey hairs yet, but this bathroom has seemed to DRAG along!! Mostly because this summer we moved 2 months ago, became landlords, Tim hit record hours with his job because of peak Heating and Air season, I took on a very part time job with Marietta Farmers Market, our oldest is about to start kindergarten, and we like to feel like we have a life outside of renovating a house!!

The depth of details was a pretty big deal this go around. Never underestimate the amount of time that demolition takes. It is a huge factor that requires a lot of time, clean-up, and preparation. When you hang slate, there is a sealer you have to apply, wait, then grout, and then seal everything again. I hand picked every piece of slate in the order we hung it so that it would look random, but still flow together. We cemented the underneath side of the bathtub which is a really neat way to stabilize it so it feels really solid. Tim watched drywall videos on You Tube and that was a tough job. It turned out great, but we will stick to hiring that out for future projects because of the time it takes. Drywall really does take extreme skill because you can tell if it looks crappy! In most cases, other than a small space or repairs, hire it out!!

Either way, an hour here, an hour there, a few hours on the weekend…. and BOOM! The bathroom is complete!!

We were a little discouraged we were thinking we would hit right at $750 for the bathroom, but it came in right under $1000.00. I know all in all that is pretty good for a brand new high end bathroom, but plumbing was expensive. I will start a budget breakdown but the $1000.00 included: New studs and sub-floor, wonderboard, drywall, new plumbing for sink, toilet, and shower. New electrical for lights, outlets, and vent fan. Vanity with granite, slate floors and shower, all Kohler appliances, and Venetian Bronze Delta hardware for everything.

We are very in love with it. And very grateful it.  The slate looks incredible, I love the wall color, and the dark venetian bronze matches some of the flecks of granite. Ahhh! You saw what it came from, so needless to say… we are excited to actually enjoy showering here =) It was really fun to do an expensive renovation as well. We actually have no idea what the exact value we added was, but we think it would have cost a normal person around $5000.00 – $7000.00 turn-key.

Our next project is the entrance to the house and the addition.



The Journey:


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Boats, Bugs, and Beemers

What is it like having an almost 6 year boy old in the house? Well, anything related to boats, bugs, and beemers and you have his full attention. *Note: we do not own a beemer, but somehow our son was born knowing about them and wants one.

Anyway, we had to incorporate all those things into one room. He also has a huge spiderman tent that he prefers to be up at all times in the middle of the room. I did take it down for the photo shoot. I bought for this rug from Pier 1  on clearance and with a 20% off coupon it was $43. I also bought the shelf above his bed from a yard sale months back for $5. The nightstand was from Goodwill for $15 that I refinished. Baskets are from Target on clearance, $5 and $10. His bedding is the boy version of Mackenzie’s quilt set also on clearance at Target, $40 for each of their quilt sets.  I had the Ikea cube shelf already as well as the curtains from Ikea. The paddles are from Tim’s old canoe. Ask Tim about what happened to his canoe sometime. I’ll give you a hint. He went down some rapids with it. Anyways, he told me I could have the paddles. So I painted them and drilled holes through them into the wall…. we don’t want paddles falling off the walls now do we?!? David is pretty happy. Since he will be a rising little kindergartener, we threw in the map and a place to hang his back-pack! (1 of the 5 backpacks he thinks he has to have on a rotation).

Here is little man’s room!

And, what do normal couples do on a date night? Dinner? Movie? Romantic Getaway? Well, over here in Renovation Land, we are going to finish the bathroom while our 2 little ones go to grandmas overnight! Laying slate, spreading grout, and getting our new bathroom in will be a huge step forward in this project being one step closer to DONE!

We still have a huge section of the house that is not live-able. The “addition” is our next demo and restore phase. It includes re-arranging the floorplan and a new front door. We wanted at least one of the bathrooms to be finished before we did that. Rooms that are done so far: Family Room, Mackenzie’s room, David’s room, and almost the bathroom. Rooms liveable, but not how we want them: Master bedroom and bathroom and Kitchen. Rooms completely out of order and not functioning- everything in the addition- dining room, sitting area, & mud-room. After the addition is finished, kitchen and master bath will be last. We are planning on being completely done by Christmas and we are on budget so far, come on Hope House!!!

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Pretty in Pink

Tim is making awesome headway with the bathroom this weekend. My help includes: cooking, cleaning, running to Home Depot, keeping the kids happy and not overly “helpful” to daddy 😉 If I can keep everything smooth, he can work fast and efficient. I also help set the bathtub, learned almost every tool so I can bring it to him when he needs it, and I clean up behind him so we don’t have too much drywall tracked all over the house by 12 feet (dog included!) Today, I finished both of the kiddos rooms! They have shared a room for a while, so it was very fun for them to make their own little space in the new house.

When moving, all I could get out of my little 3 year old daughter is that she wanted a PINK room! And, that was pretty easy! I made her room all about fun and toys. Her closet is a good size so all of her tiny clothes fit in there!

The only thing I bought for this room was the pink sheers for 6.99 a piece at Ross that my mom actually found.  Behind them is the oh-so-famous drop cloth curtains just to give them some depth. Everything else we already had or one of the crazy grandmothers bought her 😉 You know I love you both.

Bedding: Target clearance, Dollhouse: Target, Princess Tent: Kohls, Princess Chest of Dresses: Costco. Huge poster mattes: Pottery Barn Outlet 1.99, Rugs: Pink- Target, Freize Area Rug: Home Depot Clearance.

Which by the way- I LOVE the dollhouse because of the curtains it comes with… you can just pull them shut to hide all the clutter like my littlest one likes to put in there.

Let me just share this story. While Mackenzie is so tiny and very petite…. she has extreme attitude. She also can hang with her big brother and has an obsession with finding bugs. But, gross bugs. While moving in, I discovered (along with my mom and best friend Jessica), that she had taken worms and snails from my flower pots and put them up for lodging inside the dollhouse. No. Joke.  She had the worm tucked into the doll bed and the snails were taking a ride on the ferris wheel. And do you know what I being the good mom I am did? I just shut her door and let her be. Sometimes you just have to go with it- life lesson across the board.

We later put the worms and snails back into the flower pots after their field trip inside. Oh my.

I have one happy little girl! Can’t wait to post the boy room…

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Demo and Deals

Well, the heat about took us out! When we hit triple digits, Tim goes MIA to handle the commercial accounts he has! So, I close the doors to the demo and just think about the progress ahead =)

So, one thing I love about my job as the supportive-wife-of-a-house-renovater, is I get to do all the shopping. And I really hate shopping and spending money. BUT, when it directly makes the value of something sky rocket…. it doesnt feel like shopping to me, but investing! And I like that. It’s win-win for me and the man.

So, here are some super duper deals! Because of the location of this house and what we are going to do with it, it warrants a higher end renovation. That has also been fun trying to find the most high quality things for really cheap…. and it’s possible!

We decided to go with slate for the floors and to do a slate shower wall as well…. pretty much like tiling, except with slate! We found a left over palate from Floor and Decor and got these long rectangular pieces for $1.30 (to give you a price comparison…. really cheap tile is .79-.99 cents….. so this was a GREAT deal!) We have wet saws so we are doing all the labor ourselves. Here is our slate. And my 3 year old added her toys to the pile of it.

Light fixture. These can run upwards of $100, but I found this iron one from craigslist for $15. The bronze color is off, so I bought a $3 can of oil rubbed bronze to match everything else I have bought. I am not a big spray painter….. but, if it is going to be on something that isnt “touched” or “handled” a lot, no one will ever know the difference. Obviously a no for anything that will ever get wet as well. Yay for craigslist!


Okay! The shower and faucet pieces! These can cost A LOT, especially for a nice finish on one. I found the shower head, lever, and all those pieces in the clearance section in Lowes. It was normally $146 marked down to $50. And when it rang up, it came on the screen for $25…. CRAZY! The cashier just said, “lucky you!” I told her, “Sometimes. Only sometimes.”

Next, background info, I came from Whitewater so the kids and I were a little worn out. I start rifling through the clearance section at another Lowes. The college student that worked there asked if he could help me and I said I didn’t think so. 10 minutes later, he came over again. He kind of stood there looking at my kids and said, “My girlfriend just told me she was pregnant.” As I try to figure out mentally why this guy is telling me this, why my own kids are acting crazy, and why I can find tons of clearanced faucets minus the finish that i need…. I calmly respond, “Well, congratulations.” I mean what do you say, really? I know they are like, 18, but a baby is on the way now! He was a little shell shocked looking, so I finally tell him it will all be ok, I met Tim when I was 18, was married at 21 and pregnant with my son at 23 and its really fun to be young parents. That they will figure it out. And that it will all be okay. He says he hopes its a boy and then asks me why I am taking all the faucets off of the shelf. I explain to him I need one specific finish and I will find it if it takes me all night 😉 He then tells me to just pick out whatever faucet I want and he will sell it to me for the clearanced price. Can he do that?? So, sure enough, he walks me to the front with my faucet and tells the manager to give it to me for the clearanced price so I don’t have to keep searching with my kids. HA! Also, I have never had that happened to me before… but shopping with 2 preschoolers for a house renovation…. I’ll take it!!! Sink Faucet- $60, normally $120.

Oil Rubbed Bronze towel bar and toilet paper holder- Target clearance, 1/2 off. 9.98 & 4.98


Here are the demo pictures in timeline of the bathroom:


Bathroom demo- $12 trip to the dump….. but wait, I took the cast iron tub to the recycling center and they paid ME! $24!

*Oh yeah, and I definitely sold the used 20 year old toilet for $25 on craigslist as well. It was kind of a joke that i put it on there, but someone actually came and bought it and wanted it! There ya go!

So bathroom demo was a profit of $37. Yay!

Demo is over, now for the fun part.

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One Step Forward

I had to have one, just ONE room kind of normal. There is something mentally helpful about one room of the house not really needing anything while you are doing a live-in renovation! The family room was the perfect candidate. After we scrubbed the floors to death, I had everything ready to go in there. All I bought for this room was a $39 mirror from Home Depot in a clearance box. My mom gave me the super old bookcase she had in her room as a little girl. It is a really cool piece and I’m leaving it as is, naturally distressed.  *I will eventually replace that white ceiling fan, but I am going to ignore it right now.  This is probably my favorite room in the house because it has the 3 giant floor to ceiling windows across the back. Our backyard has trees and a beautiful magnolia tree so we don’t even need blinds which is a plus.  Anyway, it’s pretty comfy. When I don’t want to deal with the rest in the house, I pull out a book and pretend the rest of the house is just as finished! The wall to the left where you can see the edge of a box is coming down….. but that will happen when we re-do the kitchen. It will be a huge cased opening  from the den to the kitchen, instead of a small doorway.

Bathroom gutting is underway by Tim and I am slowly painting the exterior of the house, not the brick, just the siding. I am also re-landscaping the outside. It’s all a big mess because I have mainly ripped out a bunch of things and the house is painted in sections!! I shop deals constantly and work on things that a girl can do, haha! I don’t gut bathrooms- especially one from 1958 that is underlying with mold. And meth. Okay, probably not, but you get the idea.

We are in the hardest stage where we have so many things that need to be done that it gets overwhelming. You have to just pick one thing and try to finish it without getting side tracked by other issues. After the bathroom, we will begin to re-do the horribly awkward addition with sliding glass doors in the middle of the house and the washer and dryer next to the front door. I am the most excited about the new floor plan there- it is going to be awesome!! Here is the family room- enjoy!

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Bathroom # 1 Deals!

I have to admit, my favorite part is doing the shopping!

We are about to gut the teal bathroom. The sub floor is rotted out, black mold in the vanity, the grout is the grossest thing going…. need I go on? Here is a reminder!

So, I found this awesome new wood vanity with a granite countertop, backsplash, and undermount sink on craigslist and got it for $90. Very excited and probably worth $350.

I also got a new toilet off craigslist. It is a Kohler Wellworth 1.6 gal per flush for $60, valued at $190.

Lastly, Lowes had our tub! There apparently was a damaged shipment of them. There is a hairline scratch which doesnt hurt the tub at all….. It is a Kohler Ensemble Tub, normally around $350…. and it was marked down to $220. I asked them why they had so many, if they wanted to keep them or sell them, and what their lowest price would be. Hey, I have to negotiate, I’m renovating a whole house here! The nice lady gave it to me for $170, the store’s cost. Sweet!

Very excited to get this bathroom project underway! So there is a sneak peak of what is going in there! Wish us luck- cheers to finding a lot more issues when we rip it all out! Good times!

What the bathroom would have normally cost, not on sale- $890.

What I spent- $320. Booyah!

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