A House in Progress

So much excitement everyone: as of two weeks ago we FINALLY had our AC unit installed! Now our life doesn’t feel so much like camping… just living in a fun house :). Considering, however, that it’s only 54 degrees out right now, we may end up using our new furnace more than the AC.

We have had a couple other projects underway over the past few weeks, too. One of the most exciting has been starting the process of banishing honey oak from our home, beginning with one of our bathrooms. We still need to change out some hardware before we can put everything back together, but below is a little preview of the new color.

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Tyler’s parents came for a visit over Labor Day weekend, and Eric and Tyler rebuilt the landing at the bottom of our basement stairs. The original landing was donated to the garbage bin due to high mold content (ick).

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Possibly the most exciting news we have is that we are finally at a point where we can begin to change paint colors! We decided to start “small” and paint the spare bedroom. Below is what it used to look like… Not really attractive.

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We decided on a blissfully neutral color for this room and most of the house. After staring at stripes and rainbow-colored sunbeams for 3 months, we are ready for something easy on the eyes. It feels so good to have one more room look clean and polished! The trim is being painted as we speak, so we’ll be sure to show full before and after photos once everything is put back together.

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And last but not least… A few very exciting trips have been made to the Home Depot to pick out paint samples for the other bathrooms and laundry room. Colors have been decided and we can’t wait to get them up on the walls! More to come on this later :D.

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The Battle of the Bulge

It’s not exactly what you think…

While yes we will be starting our race training diets next week, this bulge has nothing to do with shedding a few pounds. When we first looked at the house, we noticed that a 4’x10′ section of the wall along the staircase arced out a solid 3 inches. At some spots, the handrail was unusable because the wall was pushing up against it. Everyone we talked to was dying to know what had caused the wall to bulge, because they had never seen anything like it. In fact, a realtor who lives in the neighborhood and had shown our house while it was on the market stopped by on Wednesday just to ask what had happened to the wall – she was that curious!

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We knew this bulge could mean trouble, and we wouldn’t know what that trouble was until we bought the house and cut into the wall. Our neighbors told us the wall had been like this for the past three owners, and was probably part of the original construction. We feared some of the studs had warped and would need to be replaced, and who knew what structural issues we would need to deal with while sorting it all out. Luckily, it turned out that the real cause was not quite as dramatic as we imaged.

Four screws and glue. That is all that was used to adhere a very large piece of drywall to the studs. This, friends, is not how you install drywall.

And so our work began! Lucky for us, this guy called Lonnie (some people in Karen’s family call him “Dad”) used to flip houses for a living and came down for a weekend to help us get started.

Step one was to cut out the bowed drywall. Normally, ripping a wall apart makes things seem less put together, but in this case the house actually seemed nicer with the flat, exposed wall.

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Step two required getting a little creative in order to reach the high parts on the wall… and nailing some boards and a step ladder into our stairs. Our motto is obviously ‘safety first!’ at the Sadlo residence…

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Lonnie did a great job supervising… (jk he was up on the scaffolding just as much as Tyler!)

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Step(s) three – mud, wait, sand, repeat. And just look at how beautiful the almost-finished product is! The paint job wasn’t that great to begin with, and now the whole wall is flat! Perhaps one more coat of mud and a few more sandings and this baby will be ready for paint!

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In other good news, we are very excited to announce that our basement is now mold free!! Never did we think we would be so excited about something like this, but here we are… What’s more – we just had our air ducts cleaned and have a few heating and coolings companies scheduled to give us quotes for a new HVAC. It feels like we are finally hitting a point where we are making progress. Not to jump the gun, but we might actually be able to start painting by September!

The Basement’s Wrath

We dreamed of fun projects like painting walls and installing carpet… but all of that was put on hold when we started poking around in the basement. What we thought was a “slight presence of mold” when we had the home inspected turned out to be nothing less than a complete infestation.

Remember how nicely(ish) the basement was finished?

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GONE. All gone.

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Since those pictures were taken, we’ve also cut off the bottom two feet of drywall around the entire basement, and ripped the flooring out of the bathroom. People keep asking how finishing the basement is going, and it’s hard not to laugh because we have torn more things out than we have put in. It’s a bit like we are unfinishing our basement (which makes it hard to feel like we’re making much progress).

Despite the fact that it’s hard to find much satisfaction in spraying every surface with hydrogen peroxide, there is satisfaction in making headway in other areas.  We got to spend last weekend out in the backyard, and it was nice to breathe some clean air and actually see progress being made.

And thankfully, the cats have been able to keep themselves occupied while we are working. They seem to be growing accustomed to their new beds sinks.

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In other exciting news, we will be getting a washer and dryer on Sunday! No more trips to the laundromat :). And, as soon as we get the basement cleaned up, central air conditioning will be coming to the Sadlo residence, moving us one step closer to joining the 21st century.

Grandpa B

Hi everyone,

We want to share with you that two weeks ago, Tyler’s grandpa passed away. We were very lucky that his entire family was able to see him and say goodbye, and that both his daughters were holding his hand as he passed away. Duane Burr was very loved and will be greatly missed.

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I (Karen) have two thoughts I would like to share. First, grandpa treated me like a granddaughter from the moment I met him. It takes a special kind of man to do that and it meant a lot to me. Second, and I’m not sure I can find the words to describe this accurately, standing next to someone who is moments away from being face to face with Jesus is one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. There was deep sadness as we stood around grandpa’s bedside because we were all going to miss him so much, yet at the same time there was a sense of great anticipation for the wondrous new life grandpa was about to enter.

I (Tyler) got to spend 25 years with Grandpa B, and for each of those 25 years, he treated me like a prince.  Whether it was teaching me how to drive, bringing me along on errands, or building just about anything with me, I got to enjoy my grandpa’s unconditional love through a lot of time spent together.  It was only fitting then, that we all got to make it out to Hastings to see him in the hospital and spend just a little more time together. In the last conversation I had with him, I brought up the projects we had worked on together.  I mentioned that I remembered the last thing we had built together – a desk for me to use at college – but couldn’t remember the first.  With a surprising amount of energy, he perked right up and, without even having to think twice about it, told me it was a miniature sawhorse (that I still have).  His excitement about that topic, even with so little energy left, let me know that that time together was as special to him as it was to me.

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From a purely logistical standpoint, traveling to Nebraska two weekends in a row forced us into overdrive regarding things back in KC. We left for Hastings the weekend we were supposed to move into the house, leaving most of our boxed belongings piled in the living room. During the next week we spent every evening cleaning and packing up the rest of our apartment so that we could move out as soon as we got back from the funeral that weekend. We are not sure we have ever had so much to get done with so little sleep and emotional capacity. For a solid two weeks we felt we were functioning in a state of limbo where our bodies just kept moving but never really rested. Did we mention we had leaky pipes, a moldy basement, no refrigerator, no hot water, and no air conditioning during all this?

But things are now slowly coming together – we have cold food and hot water, and no longer have to clean or pack until 11pm each night. The mold from the basement is nearly gone (thank you Sally), and we are looking forward to spending our 4th of July weekend at the lake with Tyler’s family and getting some much-needed R&R.

We Got the Keys!

Yesterday we bought new locks and rekeyed the entire house – so it is officially officially ours!

To give you an idea of what we had to work with, here’s a before photo of the front door…

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There was gold and bronze and room for a screwdriver! There are many things in this house that we just can’t explain, and that hole in the door is one of them. But, we can say that our first home project is complete!

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It feels great to have a real set of keys to our home on our keychains. What’s funny is that instead of having one pair of keys, we actually have three, since we had to buy three sets of locks. So now we have six keys in total! Good to know that if we ever lose a key we’ll have an ample backup supply…

 

We’re Back!

So. It’s been a while. A good long while in fact. We knew we would be taking a hiatus from blogging for a while, although we admit we didn’t expect it to be for quite this long. But we’re back! As much as we can be that is. We’re in for a packed summer so we’ll try to keep you updated as much as possible.

Now for the fun stuff: we have a lot going on that we want to tell you about!

We just celebrated our second anniversary! It feels great to have been married two whole years, and we are excited to hit the ground running in year three! To celebrate our anniversary, we spent a weekend on the Plaza, essentially trying all the restaurants we’ve been interested in but haven’t made time to go to. We found a great wine bar/restaurant that serves a flight of wine with a delicious assortment of cheeses (obviously a win for Karen). And for a special treat, we had dinner at the restaurant where our rehearsal dinner was held. They now make a jalapeño mojito which was quite an experience.

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Karen is interning at Hallmark this summer. Anybody need a card? Or high-quality Christmas wrapping paper? We can hook you up. Tomorrow will be the start of Karen’s second week at Hallmark, and she is both excited and a little nervous. Excited for obvious reasons, and nervous because she also has a night class the entire week and won’t get home until after 10pm :(. Her first week at Hallmark went very well, and she will be spending much of her time on a project for the space and assortment planning team – a group that determines the best mix of products to put in every individual store where Hallmark products are sold.

We both set personal records for our half-marathon times. Towards the end of April, Karen ran her third half-marathon and finally finished with a pace under 10 minutes per mile (9:59 to be exact). If you would like, you can check out the blogging Karen did while training for the race. Tyler’s race was a few weeks later and was part of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge. Tyler participated in a few events last year, and enjoys getting to run for free. In a couple weeks he will be completing the sprint triathlon!

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We are finally homeowners!! For real – we close on the house this Friday! If you were really interested in how we spent our cold winter months, this was it – we were house hunting. This process took much, much longer than we expected, and we went through a series of ups and downs as we put offers in on four homes and kept finding out none of them were accepted. We quickly discovered that this is one of the most emotionally taxing purchases you can make, especially if you are looking at foreclosures, because you oftentimes have to wait a week to hear back about whether or not your offer was accepted. But the home we have is beautiful, once you look past the ugly paint and holes in the wall (not to mention the broken toilets and missing cabinet hardware…). It’s a foreclosure, and therefore needs quite a bit of love and fixing up. So, if you’re wondering how we’re going to spend our summer… tah dah! You’re looking at Kansas City’s newest soon-to-be home renovation experts. It’s likely we’ll keep everyone updated on our progress via the blog, so keep an eye out for before and after pictures! Below is a picture taken soon after we found out we got the house… it’s of us enjoying a McDonald’s dinner date sitting outside our new home :).

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Thanks for keeping up with us – we’re excited to keep you updated on our summer!

Holiday Wrap-Up

Get ready for lots and lots of pictures! So many things happened over our holiday travels, namely… 4 long car rides, 3 different states, 4 Christmases, 2 cats in the car, 2 shopping trips, and lots and lots of cookies.

Our first trip took us out to Hastings, NE to celebrate with Tyler’s family on Christmas Eve. It was fun to visit with his cousins and sing Christmas carols at their church in Grand Island. We enjoyed the traditional (Sadlo) Christmas Eve meal of French Onion Soup served with a ham and cheese plate and broken glass salad (considered a main course for this occasion). It sounds a little mismatched, but actually works really well. And for dessert? We made a small dent in a giant plate of Christmas cookies.

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Nancy, Kent, Besty, Abby, Grandpa, Haley, Sally, Karen, Eric, Tyler

Also continued was the tradition of a white elephant gift exchange that was started last year. Unfortunately, we left the best gift ever in a different vehicle and couldn’t bless anyone with it… until next year.

The next day we traveled to Omaha to spend Christmas day with Karen’s family. And we had some exciting new additions this year! Steph and Hannah both brought their gentlemen friends home, which was a lot of fun because the whole day felt like one big triple date! Lonnie was thrilled to have more men in the house, too, and showed it by doling out extra presents to Derrick and Dylan (tire gauge anyone?). As you may have noticed, Steph and Hannah both decided to date guys whose names start with the letter D, so the pairing of Steph and Derrick, and Hannah and Dylan, often got muddled.

We had a fun day cashing in on after-Christmas sales at the mall…

Then, instead of being smart, we left the mall and immediately drove 6 1/2 hours out to Bloomington, IL to spend the next 4 days with the Sadlos.  The cats survived this trip much better than the drive out to Hastings, but they were more than happy to finally settle at a location for more than 36 hours.

And of course, another house to visit meant another Christmas to celebrate.  We enjoyed Eric’s short rib gumbo (a holiday tradition) and fitted the rest of the Sadlo family with Fitbits.  Game on. Haley even caught Sally in the act of “kindly offering to get the car” in an attempt to get more steps than everyone else!

Man time watching football at Pub II, a little bit more shopping, and introducing the Sadlos to Doctor Who rounded out the rest of the weekend.

The cookies were all finished off before we left Bloomington, which means the only thing we have left to do is work off the holiday weight that we seem pretty reluctant to leave behind us.

Geronimo!