Ah, the art of nesting. Some of us lady lovers master the skill early in our dating careers, while others such as myself struggle to make such seemingly life-altering decisions. It seems as though I’ve made a multitude of huge, life-changing decisions within a relatively short amount of time. In just two years, I have met a girl, fallen in love, proposed to her, and most recently, purchased a house. After months of planning, saving, and preparing, we finally found the perfect place, and have since set our minds to making it our home.
Sadly, I’m one of “those” girls…the ones that aren’t very good with their hands, at least not when it comes to power tools. The only thing I know how to use is a screwdriver, and even that gets confusing at times, but luckily, I have a sidekick whose skills pick up where mine leave off, and together we have embarked on a lifelong journey to tackle almost any project that comes our way. And though it hasn’t been all rainbows and kittens, it’s been real, and it’s been a growing experience that we can look back on and laugh about (or so I hope).
As someone who doesn’t add “detail oriented” to the list of skills on her LinkedIn profile, painting is the bane of my existence. I don’t even want to know how much time I wasted lining the walls with painter’s tape, peeling and re-peeling to make the lines straighter. There were so many times I almost lost it, but the end result was a beautifully new second floor with just the right flares and touches. There’s something so special about having an accent wall, or looking at a particular color of paint and remembering that she let me pick it out. It will serve as the perfect backdrop to watch our kids take their first steps.
I have to admit: I think they should offer a community course on “Contracting 101.” I’ve never worked with a contractor before, and after researching and having several estimates, we settled on one that we both thought would do good work. Too bad summer is busy season. After many emails and months of patiently waiting, it took us approximately five months to have our kitchen fully remodeled. It might have been a big headache, and an even bigger inconvenience, but we can finally cook in our own home, and when we sit down at the table with our future kids and enjoy a family meal, I might chuckle at the memory of learning how to cook 101 recipes in a crock pot.
And of course I can’t forget the cabinets. We are down with the DIY (do it yourself) mentality. My fiancé, who continued to shock and surprise me with her household knowledge throughout the entire process, sanded down cabinets, stained them, and put on all new hardware to give the kitchen a complete makeover. Of course I helped, but she really put in most of the elbow grease. Our finished product is a stunning white and grey kitchen that says: “Home, yes I am home. Home is wherever I’m with you.”
I’ve learned a lot about myself and my partner throughout the entire renovation process. The stress, pressure, and anxiety of all our do-it-yourself projects have forced us to put our guard down, pick up a tool, and work together to get things done. It’s shown us a completely different side of each other. I’ve been able to prove myself and we’ve been able to work together to compromise on a place that truly represents both our styles, values, and preferences. Now all that’s left is to hang that rainbow flag on the front lawn.
Sitting in our new home, with photos of friends and and artwork from talented family around, I take pause and reflect on where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I’ll be going. I never really dreamed of the big white house and picket fence. It was never my dream to have. And it’s surely not all about the big house, the granite counter tops, the stainless steel appliances: it’s about that feeling of being home. And I, finally—after so many years—have found it.