Sunday, August 12, 2018

Entryway Bathroom Phase 1

It sort of crept up on me, that we were going to be attacking our bathroom this past weekend. So I didn't have any time to second guess it or talk me and the hubs out of it, we just suited up on Friday and got to demo.


If there is one thing I've discovered in the work we have done around the house it's that I do not have the talent for taking good pictures of houses. So instead of before photos, I took a little video (with some of the demo started).



Here's what I know about the bathroom and entryway. This is an addition that was put on the house in 1958 I believe and instead of blowing out the exterior wall and fully including the bathroom and entryway into the house, they just built a second exterior wall around this addition. So we weren't exactly sure what we would find as we started tearing into the walls.


Friday, demo day, went well with the tub being the only thing we had to call for reinforcements for. We did find the white exterior wall that they put stud on, and also we found out our sink pipe had issues, but all in all we cleaned up from demo and got ready for Saturday.


Here's where I should explain the different Phases for this room. We weren't originally planning on attacking this room yet, but then we got windows. And rolled into the cost of the installation is interior trim. Also, this bathroom had the toilet right in front of the window, making it frustrating to get to. Leading us to get a move-on on the bathroom plan. Phase 1 includes demo of the bathroom (lots of wallpaper on top of wall board glued onto drywall) and the installation of drywall on the window wall. That will allow the window guys to install the window into the final wall. We honestly have no idea when Phase 2 will be accessible, but that will include putting up the other 3 walls, replacing the broken toilet and oversized sink, and moving the washer and dryer in place of the tub.



A couple things I've learned in this process...

  • Demo and rebuilding prep is the job that never ends. Just when you think you've gotten that last bit of drywall or pulled the last nail, you find another one. Even once you start putting up the new drywall, you find another nail in the wall. Never ending.
  • Bathroom-sized rooms are a good size to tackle for a first-time DIY home renovator. I can't imagine the chaos that would have been created if we had done a larger space.
  • Putting new drywall on over 50 year old studs does not create completely flat walls. Which in turns makes a first-time drywall mudder quite exasperated. 
Currently the first coat of drywall mud is drying and tomorrow I will sand it and put a second coat of mud on the joints and screws. Once I'm satisfied with my mudding and sanding job Phase 1 is complete. We will then be waiting for the windows to be installed and waiting for the budget to tell us we can go get a toilet. We have all of the drywall we need for the rest of the room, just waiting to put it up until we know where our holes will need to be for dryer venting, electrical boxes, light boxes, etc. and all of those decisions are dependent on the budget.

Until then, we are a 5 butt family using 1 toilet (which 2 of the 5 butts are inexperienced at "holding it" and 1 is still in the process of being potty trained). Pray for us!

Also, if anyone tries to tell you it is no big deal to do home renovation with children around, call them a liar. Our weekend ended with lipstick all over the other bathroom and 2 children; also, there was fighting that ended with a rock being thrown inside the house creating a facial injury. Yikes! Kids don't fend for themselves well.




Also, the bathroom threw up all over my entryway.


Mrs. Troyer

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Design Indecisiveness

We have lived in this house for 5 years now. It's time for me to face facts.

My name is Bridgette Troyer and I have the fear of making design decisions.

When we bought the house, we drew up idea plans for renovations and I picked out paint chips and had Pinterest boards filled with decor ideas. For the next 5 years I had 2 pregnancies and Chad changed jobs 3 times (including a stint where he was unemployed). It is really easy and somewhat valid to blame my lack of committing to design choices on money, time, tiredness, upheaval, etc. But in reality, I've just never felt confident enough to buy the paint and live with the results.

Maybe that's why I'm just so darn proud of our entryway, even if it's only partially done. I made a plan and I actually did it. It gives me hope that maybe one of these days I'll actually bite the bullet and no longer live with our white walls.

You can be sure if I do succeed, I'll show you. Until then, you can find me in my white living room on our hand-me-down furniture.

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, August 6, 2018

Little Thoughts... 08-06-2018

Our new windows are being delivered! It always catches me off guard how excited I get over adulting things like new windows.

My birthday was yesterday. I'm 28 years old. I took ZERO photos of the day, but it was a good one.

Our homeschool material is slowly showing up and we have unofficially started school work back up already. I'll have a 1st grader, Pre-K and Preschooler. Definitely love this part of my motherhood journey.

We are waiting to hear from the dr. office about a referal to an orthopedic doctor. Brian's feet have grown off center and curved and it has affected his balance, strength and walking/running form. This is one of the hardest parts of motherhood.

I tore the doors off of the closets in the entryway. It felt good to have the unneeded clutter gone. Slowly but surely working toward completion.


Sometimes motherhood can feel a bit like solitary confinement. The poor mail ladies and ups guys get a crazy person trying to start conversations with them every time they drop a package off for us.

I keep intending on starting on my Christmas prep, but it hasn't happened yet. I guess that's a good thing. It means I'm staying busier than last year.

I still have easily fatigued joints since a bout with fifths disease the kiddos shared with me. Easily the worst thing physically I've ever gone through.

I've started and deleted 3 different posts in the last few days. Sometimes expressing yourself can be cumbersome and difficult.

Mrs. Troyer

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

a broken hatch, a flat tire, and little blessings

Today is trash day.

When he's not short on time, Chad is kind enough to drive our two bins to the road by placing them in the back hatch of his Subaru.
Chad's Subaru has been having issues. A few weeks ago he had a flat at the dentist office. It sounds like it just might die on you when it idles in park. This week the check engine light turned on with the cruise light flashing. The back hatch sometimes does and sometimes doesn't open.
Today it didn't open.
Today a back tire was completely flat.
So today Chad drove my minivan to work.

Today is my normal work morning.
On Wednesdays my mother-in-law is dropped off by my sister-in-law (who works later in the morning) to watch my kiddos while I go work at the church for a few hours.
This morning I had no minivan.

Very often I let these little things, little inconveniences bug me so much that I miss the blessings.

Today Chad drove to work in a reliable vehicle with working cruise control.
Today I enjoyed the cool summer morning as I walked back from taking the trash to the road.
Today my sis-in-law drove me to my parents and I got to catch up with her for 5 minutes. We laughed. I love her.
Today I stopped in to see my mama who is recovering from surgery. I handed her the "feel better" cards her grandchildren made for her. I moved her chair for her so she could be more comfortable as she sat in the living room this morning.
Today I drove my parent's second vehicle to work because my mama can't drive while she's recovering.
Today has been filled with little blessings. And those little blessings are worthy of being recognized as gifts from God. They make the frustrations worth it and perhaps not as irritating as they could be.

Mrs. Troyer

August Homemaker Check-In

For August, I'm actually going to shoot low and set myself up for success. Since July was an unofficial challenge month, I'm just going to attempt the same 3 goals.

Make Bed
1 Load of Laundry
1 Load of Dishes

I've set up a note on my phone so I can keep track. And you'll notice that I wrote out each step to the Laundry. The one load of laundry doesn't count unless every step is done to completion. But for the sake of motivation, checking off each part of it (and for the reality check that doing that last step really matters and is worth it or it won't count) I will be keeping track of each step separately.


Check back with ya at the beginning of July!

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, July 30, 2018

Unmotivated Homemaker

Besides this blog of mine (which by far was my most loved writing space by me) I have tried to "rebrand" or "reinvent" my outlet space multiple times. I can't tell you why, and since they didn't endure there was definitely no reason my subconscious could find either. I've tried 2 other blogging platforms and 2 separate YouTube channels. Consistently in all the other places I've attempted to mimic other bloggers and vloggers that I've followed, producing similar content instead of my natural writing style that this blog has always held.

One big issue with that is, I'm a terrible homemaker.

You see, the defining points of my life that are the most "marketable" are that I am a Mother and a Homemaker. Despite my mother's valiant efforts at teaching me the skills I would need to be a successful homemaker, I failed to commit those skills to habits. When you throw motherhood and emotional issues in the mix my already deplorable homemaking skills became nonexistent. And when you can't barely keep a house and home in working order, there is nothing triumphant feeling about your motherhood.

At many points in the different "rebrands" I attempted series that would encourage me to become a better homemaker. But the incentive to share my success with the blogosphere never was enough motivation to finally get me to make habits. When I stopped blogging and vlogging in the lowest part of my emotional state I was also at the most defeated household state.

Years earlier I had read an ebook entitled A Slob Comes Clean and had stumbled upon FlyLady (and tried her methods and failed). Apparently, I just need to let thoughts and ideas percolate for a while before attempting to implement them. (Not going to lie, no longer being in the babyhood stage doesn't hurt either.)

So, where is this super long story headed? So glad you asked.

August is just 2 days away. That means my month long homemaker challenge that I told NO one about (because that seems to be a key to success for me as well) is ending. I took ideas from that ebook and from FlyLady and unofficially and loosely applied them to our home. It started with making my bed daily and putting real clothes on. There was an attempt to do laundry daily and keep the dishes clean (not as much success on those two, but definite progress). More mindfulness about clutter, decluttering, and encouraging my kids to also pick up after themselves.

Coming off that success, I'd like to challenge myself to have monthly Homemaker Check-ins. Here's how this will work. At the beginning of each month I would like to outline my general and specific goals, then at the end of the month/beginning of the next month recap how it went and prepare the the next month. The ideas and thoughts for my homemaking will likely come from a few places - A Slob Comes Clean, FlyLady, and Clean My Space.

Here's to more successes to come!

Mrs. Troyer

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Little Thoughts... 07-28-2018

It's Saturday.

I'm feeling slightly apprehensive about my mom's surgery on Monday.

Brian is loving having full accessibility to the puzzles now, I think this is his 5th or 6th one today.


Chad had to work part of the day, so he's tired.

I need to get a better pillow situation figured out so my neck and jaw will stop hurting.

The girls experience the full spectrum of love and annoyance in the matter of 15 minutes. One moment they are playing and tickling and wrestling, and the next they are screaming and yelling at each other.


I'm dreading making suppers this week. The kids are back in their funk where they won't eat anything. 2 of them refused lasagna tonight.


Today I finished the last of the the tote swapping between the master bedroom and the girls' bedroom. Only one bookshelf of my books left to rehome.

I'm planning for phonics to begin in August. We took the last few weeks in July as a July break for school, but now phonics will begin for Alexi in August. Then the rest of school for her and for the two littles will begin in September.

I have a letter that I have been writing for days that I really should just sign and put in the mailbox, but something is stopping me. Probably just laziness, but I'll call it the FOLSO (fear of leaving something out).

I haven't been drinking enough water.

My kids don't drink enough water.

How do you get kids to drink more water?