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For my birthday, Kyle bought me a pair of Snap Spectacles.

You know, the sunglasses with the built in camera that let you take video from your face and post it straight to Snapchat? They’re like Google Glass, except much less expensive and wearing them doesn’t make you an epic douche?

(They admittedly probably make you a mild douche, but not an epic one.)

First chance I got, I convinced Kyle to go for a walk downtown with me so that I could try them out. As we walked through the park and went for bubble tea, I took little video snippets of ordinary things, just enthralled with the ability to effortlessly and unobtrusively record my experience. I loved the way that I could start a video and then not think about it again as it recorded and automatically stopped when time was up, allowing me to fully experience the moment instead of actively shooting and posting on the spot. The videos were probably of the mundane variety, mostly just me talking about bubble tea and looking at the storm clouds in the sky (and once tripping over the sidewalk,) but it showed me the possibilities for the technology. Something tells me that they’re going to be very fun at the track this summer!

But, if I’m being very honest with myself, there was a little extra excitement that didn’t have anything to do with the tech. It came from the fact that I felt very, very hip, and very, very cool. See, I’ve never seen a pair of Spectacles in the wild; the only person that I even know of who owns a pair is a technology blogger that I follow. Up until very recently, they were hard to even get, since they were only available for purchase at these weird little yellow R2-D2 vending machines that moved locations daily, and without announcement. And the fact that they (mostly) resemble plain old sunglasses only added to my perception of my own hipness; it felt like I was so trendy that no one we passes even realized how much cooler I was than they were.

But as I was strutting down the sidewalk, chewing on tapiocas and complaining that it wasn’t nearly as good as the bubble tea we had in Chinatown, a though popped into my head. It flickered like a neon sign in the dark, there for only a moment and gone, a ghost of it floating just behind my thoughts as we walked.

“Am I actually hip and cool, or just one of those sad adults who thinks they’re hip and cool?”

You know who I’m talking about. You see them walking down the street, wearing what they think “the young people” are wearing. They declare things, “on point fleek” without actually realizing what they’re saying. They make things like glitter eye shadow and embellished jeans that ride way too low part of their signature look, and they pick up their kids from school in “hilarious” raunchy graphic tshirts and cargo shorts.  And even though you say out loud that you admire their confidence and encourage them to let their freak flag fly, secretly you’re embarrassed for them. No one wants to be that person, and (at least I think) it’s fear of becoming that person that drives us to become more fashionably conservative as we age. When we get to “That Age.” After all, if you don’t try, you can’t fail.

And I wondered, is my rocking a pair of Spectacles actually hip and cool, or do I just feel hip and cool because I think that this is what hip, young people are into? I posed that exact question to Kyle, who unhelpfully answered, “Yes.” I don’t know if that was his way of saying, “A little bit of both,” or if the consequences of a wrong answer terrified him and he panicked, but since I love him I didn’t make him elaborate. I think my answer is a similarly, “Maybe…” It’s quite possible that I am not even remotely hip and cool, I just feel that way because the perceived cutting-edge exclusivity of this product makes me imagine that everyone else admires them as much as I first admired the blogger who got her hands on a pair. It’s also quite possible probable that most people aren’t paying a lick of attention to things outside of their own corner of the world, so they don’t notice me at all, let alone my sunglasses. And those that do would probably respond with an anemic, “Neat,” because Spectacles are a straight-up grown up toy, and one that most people probably don’t have a strong desire for.

But even if my Spectacles don’t make me cool (or even make me decidedly uncool,) the answer to the cool-uncool question that I’ve landed on is–

“Maybe…but I don’t give a shit.”

Let’s face facts, my very fashion style–with all its hits and misses–already broadcasts to the world that I don’t really give a shit about what’s cool or not. From my collection Dr Marten boots (which a relative initially dubbed my first pair “zombie drag queen boots,”) to my love of army jackets paired with floral sundresses, to my technicolor hair, I’ve always been more interested in pleasing myself than the fashion world. I do things and wear things that make me happy, and my Spectacles definitely make me happy. So I will wear maroon jeggings with flannel shirts, I will paint my nails glittery purple, and I will walk around talking to myself while my sunglasses take a video of ducks, because those things make me happy.

Even if that makes me uncool.

 

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An Apology to Size 12

Hey there, size 12. How’s life treating you?

Silence, huh? Yeah, I know. I have been pretending that you’re not with me when we’re out in public. I get it. I’ve been letting my shame over our being together pressure me to keep you hidden. But do you maybe understand why I did it? I mean, no one wants to be seen with size 12. We want the world to see us with size 2 or size 4. Even size 6 can hang out while I hold my head high, and on a good day, most of us can feel good about chilling with size 8. But size 12? No one wants the world to know about their relationship with size 12. Size 12 is the first step into fat.

Okay, okay, I know, that’s not true. I was just feeling mean. But that’s kinda how the world tells us we’re supposed to feel, you know? Not in words; in words, they tell us that we’re all beautiful and hire “plus size” (which just means that they’ve eaten a plate of pasta in the last fiscal year) models for their ad campaigns. In words, they tell us not to focus on the number, that we’re just supposed to love ourselves no matter what size we are. But in actions, samples are still consistently a size 0-2. In actions, stores either stop at size 10 or stock a single token size 12 in each piece. In actions, they encourage us to wear dark colors and belts that accentuate our waist. I hate belts! In actions, they design pieces for a size 2 and simply stretch it out to accommodate our frame without making any design changes to flatter our curves. No, the world tells us that big is beautiful with their words, but their actions impart upon us shame. And despite my best attempts to exorcise that shame with words of positivity, it’s nearly impossible not to internalize them. And so I was ashamed of you, size 12.

I also didn’t feel like we really belonged together. I was with size 10 for so long that I felt like it was going to be my forever size. It’s who I was. It’s who my wardrobe was! We were together all through college and size 10 stayed with me as I entered adulthood. But then… Well, I don’t really know when our relationship went sour. You know how easy it is to take a long-term love for granted. It was gradually, without my noticing. A Taco Bell run here. A splurge there. One too many brownies leftover from catering and destine for the garbage, mindlessly swiped as I left work late at night. Suddenly, size 10 left me, and you showed up.

I wasn’t really emotionally ready to embrace you, size 12. I felt like a size 10 in a size 12 body. Even as I bought pair after pair of size 12 jeans, I always told myself that I was only with you temporarily. That aaaaaany any day now (without making any noticeable changes to my diet, of course) I’d lose a little weight and be back in size 10. I even still have a hidden drawer full of my size 10 jeans, for when I finally get thin again. I just…didn’t feel like we belonged together. I’m not a size 12. I can’t be a size 12.

This past New Year’s, I made the resolution to lose weight. I did this partially because I am a giant cliche, but also because I kinda…holidayed hard. By the time January 1 rolled around, everything was tight and I felt like I was sweating eggnog. I tried “just eating better” for a couple weeks, to no avail, so I broke out the big guns: calorie counting.* (*Of course, calorie counting is not for everyone, results may vary, do shit in a healthy manner, consult your doctor, blah blah blah.) And it worked. It wasn’t easy; moderation sucks. But almost 60 days later, I’m down 10 pounds from where I started. (Not very dramatic, I know, but I’m trying to approach this from a place of overall health, not just how small I can make the number on the scale.) And I’m pretty damn proud of myself. 10 pounds may not be significant enough to justify a whole new wardrobe, but it’s certainly enough to enjoy clothes fitting better than they used to. Those tiny victories where things don’t pinch or strain like they did before. As the number on the scale crept down at a agonizingly slow pace, I secretly began to wonder every time I dressed for work if this time would be the time when I pulled on my jeans to find them joyously baggy. Surely, with every lost pound, I would eventually find myself back with size 10 and be rid of size 12 forever.

But it hasn’t happened. Jackets close easily, I can wear a fitted tee without having a pooch sticking out, and that skirt I bought last summer that was juuuust a little too tight now fits beautifully. But my size 12 jeans? Still fit just fine. Sure, the waistband doesn’t bite into my stomach like it used to. But I still find myself having to do the bend-wiggle-hitch when I put them on after washing them. (You know. That move where you grab them by the waistband, do a deep knee bend, wiggle into them a little, then quickly hitch as you stand. Don’t pretend like you’ve never done it.) And it was during this ritual one morning that I realized why I will never again be reunited with size 10: it’s my thighs. My jeans are tightest in the thighs.

My thighs and I have a complicated relationship. I don’t like how big they are; I wish they were smaller and didn’t rub together when I sweat in summer. But more unyielding than my dislike of their size is my love of all the things they can do. Because my thighs are strong. I can leg press my own body weight, and more than once I’ve shut Kyle up by carrying him around the house on my back, piggyback-style. And I do a lot of really kickass things with my thighs. I run half-marathons, I ski black diamonds, I hike mountains, I lift gear into trucks, I hold my own at work. My thighs are my strongs, and I’m proud of the things we do together. And since they’re mostly muscle, they’re not getting any smaller. Not if I have anything to say about it.

And that’s when I realized, size 12, that we really do belong together. Size 12 doesn’t mean that I’m fat, like snooty little boutiques want me to think, size 12 means that I’m strong. So I’m sorry, size 12. I’m sorry I was ashamed to be with you, and I’m sorry that I was so eager to leave you. As long as my legs are strong enough to help me kick life’s ass, those legs are going to be attached to a size 12. And I’m definitely okay with that.

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A Year of Home: The Outside

Hey there, friend. Welcome to part two of this post! If you missed part 1, feel free to hop back a post and check out A Year of Home: The Inside. Or don’t. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.

Seeing as we moved into our Sage Bungalow around the first of last year, it’s understandable that our primary focus was on the interior of the house. Even if the weather hadn’t been cold and the ground hard, the previous owners hadn’t kept up with their raking, causing a seemingly-impenetrable layer of frozen leaves and pine needles to encase the ground. Since there wasn’t much that we could do to the outside until everything thawed, we just pretended that it didn’t exist and waited until spring to attack our new outdoors.

But once it did thaw? Boy howdy, did we attack. Our eyes might have teared up and our hearts swelled with pride every time we looked upon our new little home, but those were some pretty fucking rose-colored glasses we were wearing. The reality is that the exterior of our house was drab, tired, and completely void of any personality whatsoever. So as soon as it was warm enough for the ground to thaw, we took to spending all our free time outside, making it ours.

And I don’t want to brag, (too late,) but our efforts? Totally worth it.

 

The very first thing we did, before spring, even, was hang new house numbers. This might seem like a tiny change, hardly worth mentioning, but for us, it was huge. This was the first visible personalization that we made to our house, a tiny way of saying, “Hey, we live here now, and this is who we are,” to the world as it drove by. Those house numbers, along with the staggered- shingles style of our siding, also set the tone for the rest of our exterior decorating. I chose the number plate, with it’s beautiful shiny treated-copper numbers and patinaed untreated-copper background, while Kyle stained the backing-board a lovely dark chocolate brown. (Which he would later rip down and re-stain to match the stain of our DIY shutters. What can I say, we’re perfectionists.)

Our first big project for the exterior of our house was the landscaping in front of the house. The original design of the landscaping when we first moved in was…well, there wasn’t any. There were four different bushes, one of each, lined up in front of the porch, as if they’d just gone to a nursery and gotten one of whatever was in the discount bin. There was nothing architectural framing the bushes, and since it was winter, half of them looked dead. It looked unintentional and uninspired, and it had to go.

So in late spring, when the ground had finally thawed and the weather warmed, we ripped it all out. Well, most of it. We did keep one holly bush, because Kyle took a fancy to it and I was okay with it because it was an evergreen. (It’s winter for half the year here, people, I don’t want my house looking like shit for half my life.) We bought a second holly and a quartet of Mediterranean heather, which I’d set my heart on after hearing about its love for acidic soil and hardiness in frigid winters. (And who am I kidding, its romantic blush of purple blooms, which I thought brought out the green in our siding.) Red mulch, which played off both the green of the holly and the purple of the heather, finished off our little garden.

And that’s where we figured the project would end. I mean, we wanted to lay down rocks or bricks or something to edge the plantings, but it was going to be pretty expensive. (And I mean, we had just bought a house.) So we figured we’d just do our planting, lay down some mulch, and wait a while until we had a little more spending money to do our edging.

Then Kyle stuck his shovel into the dirt to dig out a dead ugly bush and hit a rock, one that once we dug it out, looked exactly like the fieldstone that comprises the retaining wall framing our driveway. Another shovelful produced another rock, and another, and before long we had a whole pile of fieldstone, enough to edge our entire box! And I gotta say, we may have chosen this material for its price (free), but I adore the way that the fieldstone cohesively goes right from lining our shrubbery into the retaining wall. It makes it look purposeful (and not like we dug them out of the yard!)

There were even enough rocks left over that Kyle was able to embed them into the soil at the bottom of our deck stairs, making a little landing pad!

 

Next on the list was to repaint the stair railing on our porch. Not only was it rusted to hell, with paint flaking like dandruff, but the black just didn’t make sense when it was framing a white pillar. Luckily, this was an easy project. All it took was some meticulous masking…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…a healthy dose of personal protection…

 

…and about 7,000 misted layers of white spray paint.

 

And did I mention patience?

But what a difference it made! More than I gave the idea credit when Kyle first pitched it to me. But painting that hand railing white brightened up the front of our house immensely, and I’m really proud of the way it turned out. It’s one of my favorites of all the projects I’ve done on the house, because it took only a little bit of work and had a huge payoff!

 

Painting the railing may have been my pet project, but nursing the lawn back to health? That’s Kyle’s baby. As spring came and we cleared away the layers of debris, it became clear that there had been no lush green lawn lying dormant under the snow. There was dead growth and weirdly sandy soil. But Kyle is a stubborn man, and it became his sole purpose in life to get grass to grown in our yard.

Which, we learned, is weirdly hard. Who would have thought it’s so difficult to grow grass? I mean, the shit grows between the sidewalk, shouldn’t it grow like crazy in our dirt? (The answer was no.)  We probably could have gotten grass more quickly if we’d sodded, but have you priced out sod? That shit is expensive! Not to mention the fact that there’s no guarantee that the sod will take, meaning that you could spend an ass-ton of money and still have patchy, brown grass. No, Kyle was steadfast in his determination to make grass grown the old fashion way: from seeds.

Even if it killed him.

There was a lot of raking. A looooooooot of raking. Raking debris out, raking seeds in, raking for what I’m pretty sure is no other reason than he likes raking. (Not true.) Two cubic yards of topsoil that were spread throughout both our front and back yard, which is a weird unit of measurement, but I assure you, is an absurd amount of dirt. Kyle seeded multiple times and fed the lawn over and over with different nutrients. And the watering. Religious and continuous watering. He put a lot of work into that lawn.

And while (much to his disappointment) our lawn still can’t quite compete with that of our neighbor across the street with the in-ground sprinkler system and twice-a-week mowings, I think still think it looks pretty damn amazing compared to where we started. I could not be more proud of all the hard work Kyle’s done on our grass, and I think it goes a long way towards making the house look loved and cared for.

By far, the project with the biggest visual impact on the exterior of our house (and the one I’m most proud of!) has been our new shutters. I hated our old ones from the moment we moved in. The same vinyl louvered shutters that everyone else in the whole fucking neighborhood has on their house, ours came in the only color that Home Depot stocks in stores: lifeless black. To add insult to unoriginal injury, the house right next door to us has that exact same color siding and had the exact same color shutters. If it weren’t for the landscaping, you wouldn’t even be able to tell them apart. It bothered me to no end that not only was our house identical to the one next door, but they shared the same severe, dull look.

Which is boring. Which is not okay.

The problem is that we knew what we wanted, and (do you notice a theme here?) what we wanted was expensive. We had our hearts set on board-and-batten shutters, which for some inexplicable reason are the fucking Rolls Royce of shutters. (Seriously, someone explain to me why they are twice the price of louvered or raised panel shutters. I don’t understand it.) So once again, we were resigned to put the project into that distant future named “someday.”

Until Kyle saw a ridiculous sale on cedar fence boards, and we said, “Fuck it, we’ll make our own.”

Over the course of a couple days Kyle cut the boards, I stained them, and together, we assembled them into lovely board-and-batten shutters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time they went up, I thought they were more charming than any of the expensive ones we’d priced out, and more than a little of their beauty came from the pride that we’d made them ourselves. They’re not just one-of-a-kind because no one else in the neighborhood has wooden board-and-batten shutters; they’re one-of-a-kind because they’re the only set made by us, together, in existence, and that makes them special.

Our little Sage Bungalow has come a long way in the last year. When we first moved in, it looked stodgy, tired, and banal, as if the person tending to it previously cared only for filling check-boxes as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Now, I think it looks more than just unique; now it looks uniquely ours. But even more importantly, I hope to the world it looks charming and warm, like it’s full of laughter and friends. I hope it looks like people live there who are interesting and fun, the sort of people who would love to have you over to play original Sonic the Hedgehog and drink beer, who will make you fried chicken and then sit with you long into the night on their deck and talk by the light of a torch, the sort of people you’d like to know. I hope it looks like a house full of love.

Because it is.

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A Year of Home: The Inside

December 29th officially marked one year since we first moved into our Sage Bungalow. Or as we call it, our little house. A whole year of living, of laughing, of hoping and dreaming. Eating and sleeping and studying and playing and drinking and fucking and working and cleaning, and all the things that people do in their safe place, away from the eyes and insecurities of the outside world. Oh, and there’s also been projects. Endless, endless projects. It may have the same floor plan as a quarter of the houses in our neighborhood, but a year later, the Sage Bungalow could belong to no one but us.

 

We’ve made it ours.

 

 

 

 

The Living Room and Kitchen

The living room has remained relatively untouched, save some interior decorating. (Good start, Stephanie, way to live up to your own hype right out of the gate…) But we’ve got a really good reason for that. (Trust me, I wouldn’t continue to force myself to live within the world’s beige-est walls without a good reason.)

 It’s because of the kitchen. The kitchen is also more-or-less it’s original (and not our personal taste) decor. We installed the under-cabinet lighting, which has made for a much more functional work space. (Also, I’m a sucker for architectural lighting!) The addition of a rolling kitchen island has doubled our usable prep space, and the garbage disposal Kyle installed has made washing pots significantly less gross. Oh, and we installed all the of cabinet hardware, which we found in the garage in a ziploc baggie but for some weird reason the previous owners had never bothered to install.  But all of these little additions have been minor, and while they’ve done gobs to make the space more functional, they’ve done little to pretty up the place.

And believe me, the kitchen is definitely slated for a makeover; the cabinets are okay, but the fake-tile linoleum and faux-granite counters have got to go.  But kitchens are fucking expensive, and Kyle and I have no intention of cheaping out on our dream kitchen; Kyle’s already announced that can’t have a budget for our stove, and the counter tops I have my heart set on ain’t cheap either.  If that means that we need to wait a couple extra years in order to afford the kitchen that we want, so be it; I’d rather wait 10 years to redo our kitchen exactly as we want it than get a shitty one right away. So if that means embracing contractor-grade cabinets and ugly laminate counters while we save up the money, I can make it work. After all, the food will be tasty out of any kitchen Kyle and I are in!

I suppose I can mention that there has been one semi-major addition to our kitchen/dining/living room: our aquarium! Both the tank and the stand were castoffs from my parents, and while the tank took little more than cleaning and some new caulk in the corners, the stand took a lot of work. It was in good shape, but it was stained…walnut? Deep brown, but with some orange undertones? It was pretty, but didn’t go with the rest of our decor even a tiny bit. So I sanded the stand down and gave it a coat of semi-satin black, to match the wood trim of the rest of our furniture. I’m pretty damn proud of how it turned out, and now it’s a perfect home for our menagerie of tetras! (And one cory catfish. And their upstairs neighbors, the marimo moss balls.)

So the main living area may not have seen much in the way of personalizations beyond the fishies, but the three bedrooms are a different story. If there’s one word that describes the transformation the bedrooms have gone through, it’s this: paint.

 

 

Soooo much paint. All the paint. So much paint that I actually donked up my shoulder when we first moved in from all the sanding and painting. But it’s been beyond worth it.

 

The Office

Our office was first. You may remember that when we first moved in, this room was referred to as “the giraffe room” because it was bright fucking orange and featured a picture of a giraffe on one wall. (Which, luckily, turned out to be a decal sticker; otherwise, I think I’d still be there trying to prime over it!) And while I love bright and vivid color, this was the singular room that couldn’t be a bright color; so much of our work involves how light interacts with color, and there’s no way having bright orange walls wouldn’t fuck with our eyes. So our office went a soft neutral gray.

The Bedroom

Our bedroom was next, not because the beige was particularly painful (other than the fact that beige is inherantly painful,) but because we knew that we would be buying all brand-new furniture a few weeks after we moved in, and this was our one chance to paint without having to take all that shit back out. We chose an aquamarine that some might call “jarring” or “obnoxious,” but I call “vibrant” and “striking.”

There was also one other fun little addition to our bedroom: a ceiling fan! Easy-peasy little project, especially once Kyle figured out that maybe my suggestion that he wear eye-protection and a dust-mask was a good idea after all. (Funny, that.) Kyle loves it because he can’t sleep without a fan, and I love it because I no longer whang my toe trying to walk through the dark room to turn on a lamp!

 

 

The Guest Room

The guest room came a few months later. I suppose this room didn’t need to be painted as early as it did; after all, how often do we have guests? (Also, guests who get a free room instead of a $400/night hotel room tend not to complain about things like the color of the walls…) But since I use the dresser and mirror in the guest room as my vanity, I see it every morning, and seeing it in its nondescript state made me sad. Besides, despite what everyone since…ever…has taught us, white doesn’t always make things look bigger; in fact, the all-white walls meant that the ceiling blended in with the walls, which made it feel like the room was going to close in on me. So the guest room became a lovely lavender/periwinkle color that looks bluer in the daylight and more purple under warm lamp light. My dresser/vanity also received a makeover, since, like I said, bland things make me sad.

 

The Bathroom

The bathroom, beyond the addition of our accessories and my painting the shelf, doesn’t appear to had any changes made to it. That is, it doesn’t look like we’ve done anything in the bathroom, when in actuality a whole metric ass-ton of work was done in there, thanks to a pipe rusting out and raining water down the back of our vanity and through the ceiling of our laundry room in the basement. At midnight. Ten hours before we had to be at work for a 16 hour day. 36 hours before we had family coming into town for Thanksgiving.

Yeah, it was awesome.

Kyle ended up taking a personal day and spending the entirety of it replacing a good half of the plumbing in the house. Miraculously, he was able to get the entire thing plumbed and the wall closed back up in a single day, and we were able to clean up that night. We may not have gotten much sleep before family rolled into town, but had we not told them, they never would have known that 24 hours before, the vanity was in the hallway and the toilet was in the bathtub!

We’re still planning on redoing the bathroom, hopefully sometime this winter. We want to replace the vanity with something that doesn’t look like it was purchased from the as-is section, and replace the flooring (even though I love those tiles) with something that doesn’t involve so much grout that refuses to come clean. And, of course, paint!

The Basement

The basement hasn’t gotten much in the way of changes. Even though we’ll probably replace the carpeting at some point in the future, there’s one thing we’ll never change: the wall color! From the moment I laid eyes on those turquoise walls, I fell in love with them, and I have no intention of ever getting rid of them. Probably the biggest change to the basement (besides the initial addition of furniture) is our bar. That’s right, a real grownup bar! That contains more than just handles of mid-level rum! My favorite part is most definitely the lighting that we added inside the bar. (Duh.)

 

The Garage

But by far, the most dramatic change to the interior of the house has been in the garage. When we first moved in, the walls had drywall hung, but not finished in any conceivable way. There was only one outlet in the whole garage, and the only light was the one in the garage door-opener. For two people who are as into projects and tinkering as we are, this was not going to fly.

The first thing that happened in the garage was Kyle mudded and sanded the drywall. Which, god bless him, is quite possibly one of the shittiest jobs a person can have to do in a house. Once that was done, that left me to put two coats of white on all the walls and the ceiling. (Plus a little splash of color for my work space!)

After that, it was time for electrical work. Together, (you didn’t really think we’d hire an electrician, did you? The only dirtier word in our house is “contractor,”) we installed four more electrical outlets and four bright-as-fuck LED lights. Seriously, those things are so bright that if you’re in there late, you have no idea that it’s night. More than once, Kyle’s accidentally stayed up until 4am, working on projects, because he lost track of what time it was. So yeah, fuckers are bright.

 

Sometimes I worry about the choices we’ve made for our little house. How they’ll affect resale value someday. If guests will feel welcome and comfortable in the guest room. If people walk around our house thinking, “Christ on a cracker, what acid trip did that color fall out of? Talk about no taste!”

But then you know what I think? Fuck other people and their (admittedly, probably imagined) opinions. This house is ours, and we love it. Our friends feel comfortable here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. And that’s all that matters.

Stay tuned for next time, where I tell you all about the fun things we did to the outside of our house and all the ways I got into more trouble with paint.

(Kidding, our house is still greenish-tan. Or is it…)

(It is.)

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