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The kids sometimes bring home that book series like “If you give a Mouse a Cookie” and “If you give a Cat a Cupcake,” where the basic premise is you give on one thing and it leads to another and then another and everything spirals out of control until it all circles back to the end and wraps up tidily and sweetly.

That’s just about how the last few weeks have been around here. It started with me saying to Derek, “Hey, let’s do those kitchen counters already.” We’ve been talking about it for four years now; our counters don’t include a bar shelf and the kids eat breakfast at the counter every day, plus many lunches there as well. At this point, poor 5′ 9″ Kate’s knees have to go sideways because there’s no counter hangover and it’s gotten well past the point of ridiculousness.

Then I added, “If we’re going to get countertop quotes, we might as well get quotes to add some kitchen storage too.” Since we moved from our old house with its Craftsman built-in dining room cabinet, my grandmother’s china and cranberry glasses have been in storage in the basement. I need to get them out because, at the very least, I can’t seem to make chocolate mousse without those cranberry glasses to serve it in. Derek said, “If we’re going to spend all that money on our kitchen and our house is already getting crowded, we could just put that money into more space.”

I thought, “Yeah, right.” And I went on Trulia and look around (to be perfectly honest, I’m a real estate freak and I basically already know what’s on there plus all the neighborhoods and everything else because I’m on there all the time), and I text him a single link: “This is the only house on the market right now that’s decent.”

Fast forward a few weeks, and we’ve:

  • Gone under contract on “the only decent house on the market.”
  • Signed said contract early Monday morning before school started Wednesday, necessitating a last-minute school transfer for both Sophia and Jonathan which was accomplished by the skin of my teeth, plus in-person begging sessions and phone calls at the central office, new schools and soon-to-be former schools.
  • Spent several anxious nights (me, obviously) not sleeping and worrying about all the nuances of the kids in the new schools, all of which proved to be 100% unfounded; in fact, the transition has been so smooth it doesn’t feel real.
  • Begun making plans for what will be our first majorish renovation: carpet removal, flooring installation, wallpaper stripping, painting rooms and doors and trim, and what feels like many incidental issues and a few major ones.
Hello, 1979 wallpaper.

Hello, 1979 wallpaper.

  • Gotten our place ready to list, including the weekend we got ready for pictures and I wanted to throw the entire contents of the kids’ rooms into the trash because none of it was picture-worthy.
  • Gotten the listing pictures out of the way so we can go back to our normal selves, which used to feel tidy but feels slovenly when imagining a camera trained on the rooms.
  • Decided not to get too crazy about showings this time; people will come and look and love it or hate it regardless of how much I worry or care. The beauty of doing this more than once is understanding that and knowing it doesn’t matter as much as I used to think (case in point: the place we’re buying doesn’t seem to have been cleaned in months, yet we like the bones of it and are prepared to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves).
  •  Alternated between feeling totally overwhelmed at all the work there is to do at the new place and knowing it will all happen, even all that stinking wallpaper, and it’s going to be all right.
  • Understood that even a year from now, all this craziness will be mostly over, and what we’ll have in return is much more space, a lovely office with room for Derek and me, lovely landscaping with a flat yard and a playset, and the potential to meet new friends in a new neighborhood. What’s not to love about that?
And hello to you, giant converted-garage-turned-office. All you need is new flooring and a cheerier wall color and I can write all kinds of amazing copy in here.

And hello to you, giant converted-garage-turned-office. All you need is new flooring and a cheerier wall color and I can write all kinds of amazing copy in here.

So, if you follow me on Pinterest and have seen my boards blowing up lately, now you know why. If you’ve climbed our hill and cursed us in your mind while trying not to have a heart attack at the summit, you’ll be grateful. And if you haven’t yet been to visit us in the decade we’ve lived in east Tennessee, hint hint. This place has a whole lotta room. Just saying.