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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thrifty Thursday - My dream fixer-upper

Several years ago, my husband's job transferred him to a new state and we set to work finding a new home.  We both fell in love with a large home on two acres...plenty of room for our eight children and pretty inexpensive because it hadn't been lived in for a year.  Its main drawback was that it was a home stuck in the 1970's.  Previous owners made a few changes but most of the house was still vintage 70's.  I remember walking through the house with the realtor, pointing out changes that had to be made...new carpet throughout, new flooring, counters and cabinets for the kitchen, new bathroom fixtures (heck, the entire bathroom needed to be replaced), new furnace, new septic system, new roof...the list was endless but we still saw the potential in that house for our family.  I'm a sucker for an unloved house  :)

So, we bought the house and over the first two years we took care of the major, structural issues...new roof, heating system and septic system.  I was fine waiting for the cosmetic changes because I wanted to get a feel for the house before I started making changes.  Well, two years after moving in, my husband got laid off.  All projects were immediately on hold.  When he got a new job teaching, the pay was quite a bit less than what we had previously.  So, the projects were still on hold.  I got increasingly frustrated because I hated the avocado green bathroom and the carpet and the kitchen.  Then I had a realization...we had a comfortable (although in need of remodeling) home that was structurally sound and well within our budget.  Our children were happy.  My husband had a job.  I could still be a stay-at-home mother.  Even though I didn't like some of the things about our house, everything worked and was in good enough condition.  Sigh...I needed an attitude adjustment.  I took that hideous avocado green bathroom and painted the walls a soft shade of avocado and the trim white, bought a shower curtain that picked up the green of the bathtub and walls, and basically changed the way I looked at it.  It wasn't ugly.  I didn't have to be ashamed of it.  I went through the rest of the house in the same way.  Those things I could change with very little money, I did.  If I couldn't change something, I changed my attitude.

We still live in that home and the bathroom is still avocado green but I don't mind.  Sure, someday I hope to have gleaming white fixtures but today I'll be content.  Slowly but surely, the things that need to be replaced are getting done and I'm thankful for the lesson my dream fixer-upper gave me...it's all about attitude.


8 comments:

  1. I have had to come to this conclusion too... One day, right?

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  2. I really like this post! It makes me think of the importance of focusing on what I have, rather than what I don't have. Also, that my attitude toward something is what I have the most control over. :)

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    1. I have to keep reminding myself that :)

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  3. When life gives you avocado, make guacamole.

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    1. Yes! That's where avocado belongs - in a sandwich or on tacos, not on bathtubs!

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  4. I am glad you were always able to stay at home with your family. I have worked most of my life, even though I worked from my home most of my life (except for a year but all the kids were gone then.) I totally understand the attitude readjustment. There are still things I want to fix and change but I have learned to live with most of them. Some I no longer even see. :o)

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    1. Our lives are made up of choices...and having a good attitude makes everything easier!

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