Jane Austen once said, "There is nothing like staying home for real comfort." How true that is! It has been a fun adventure the last four months minus one week creating a home with Ty. I must admit, I was kind of sick of staying at home all day in July and August while I was studying for my Chinese test, especially when the house looked like this (don't judge me):
We called this our "leaning tower of boxes" and it only grew from here. If ever you need a box, we have only about a million in our basement!
I put Post-it notes everywhere when I was trying to decide where to put everything.
Scary...I know. Unpacking everything was quite the chore, and yet as I did so, I was overcome with gratitude looking at everything people gave us for the wedding. Thank you all so much!! We have been so blessed that truly "my cup runneth over" (Psalms 23:5) and there is not "room enough to receive it" (3 Nephi 24:10).
But as disgusting as that was, we were finally able to find a spot for everything and it looks much better now!! I LOVE our apartment! It is becoming more than just a house; it's becoming a home. It's where my loved one and I are and where we are building our family. It's where we can feel the Spirit and feel close to God. Though we are definitely not perfect, we are growing closer and closer together as we grow close to God here.
Because most of you aren't able (or want) to spend your vacation here in "balmy" (haha) Wisconsin, here are some pictures of our home so you can see it!:
Here's the outside of our home. We rent the first floor and another couple rents the second floor. They are really nice and super smart. I think they are both scientists of some sort and are in their thirties. They also have a nice, really old Golden Retriever named George, who we lovingly call Jorge (sounds like hor-hay for you non-Spanish speakers). He has cancer and struggles going up and down the stairs to go outside, but he's really sweet and his favorite thing to do is shed....which he does really well, just ask our stairway and the cobwebs to which his hair sticks.
Look at all our cupboards! I love them! Except they are a little high so it's kind of funny to watch me get on our step ladder and try to get things down from there.
Our kitchen....it's cute and old. We have a pretty big sink, which is nice, and I'm pretty sure it is the original sink that was in this house! Our gas oven works well, and I'm glad we finally figured out that it is 25 degrees cooler than it says. For the longest time we couldn't figure out why nothing was cooking very fast or well in our oven. Now we know.
This is our dishwasher!!! I am so grateful for it because I can't imagine what it would be like having to do all the dishes by hand (Grandma, I have a whole new appreciation for you). It took me a while to figure out how to hook it to the sink and even longer to figure out that if you pushed the little button on the side when it was done, it would drain the water and not squirt you in the face when you took it off the tap...yeah....
This is our pantry in our kitchen, which we lovingly named "the cupboard under the stairs." Sometimes I pretend I am Harry Potter. I may or may not be a little obsessed.
When you walk out of the kitchen (which is at the back of the house btw), you come to this little hallway where we put up a Chinese scroll Bridgette gave me. In front is the bathroom, to the right is the bedroom, and to the left is the dining room/family room.
Minuscule bathroom with a cool black and white checked floor:
I love our toille bedspread we got from Ikea. Ty didn't want a "girly" one but he said this one was okay.
Yes, there are golf clubs by Ty's side of the bed. A few weeks after getting here, we had the window air conditioner on (used to be in the window by the clubs) and didn't know that if we didn't shut the door tightly, the air conditioner change of pressure would slam it shut. It scared the living daylights out of us the first couple times it did it because we thought someone was in the house. Ty has kept the clubs by the bed every since...haha.
Wait, Kelsi. Aren't those supposed to be bookshelves? Why yes, yes they are. But they were WAY cheaper than nightstands, so we converted them:
This was a project I started before I got married, and here is the finished product!
Now my necklaces won't get all tangled!
This might be getting boring...sorry...but look how cute this is!!!! I am in love with our dresser! We got it on Craigslist for $80 and it is really nice and in great condition. It fits perfectly in the house! I wish I knew more about this company who made this, but I do know it is Wisconsin based and it's pretty old.
Here's a cute little dining room with our lonely Chinese scroll on the wall (we're working on getting more pictures up). I love our table! Our upstairs neighbors were giving a bunch of furniture away in June when Lisa (my mother-in-law) and I came out. So they just gave us the table for free! It's beautiful. A few months later, after using card table chairs (thanks Beth and everyone for those chairs or we would have been toast) we found these chairs on Craigslist. I love them...some have mystery stains, but we'll take care of them. They are really nice looking, and I am pretty sure the same company who made them made a bunch of the furniture in the Chicago temple (which is the one we go to).
Here's our family room. It's nice and spacious with higher ceilings so it doesn't feel all dungeon-y.
Our first fire in our fireplace! Ty was feeling pretty manly after this amazing feat. The spark of pyro in his eyes was a little frightening. We roasted marshmallows over the fire on a wire hanger and Ty had fun looking at the fire. For some reason, our house smelled a little campfire-ish afterward....hope it doesn't always do that!
AAAAANNNNDDD last but not least, here is our little study/sun room. This is my happy place. Is that a piano? Why yes, yes it is. I love my husband. He. Is. Great. He actually has a friend who moves pianos for a living and he got this one from him for FREE!!! It may or may not be almost a half step flat in some areas, but an out-of-tune piano is better than no piano at all. We could spend the money to get it tuned....but we're only going to be here for less than two years and aren't planning on bringing it home (it's not great quality).
Kind of a blurry picture, but this is from the study looking into the family room. I love the glass french doors.
Our cute piano and more bookshelves. Can you tell we love books?!
Aside from how fun it has been cleaning and organizing and decorating our physical home, it has been an amazing journey so far building our family spiritually. In The Family: A Proclamation to the World it says, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreation activities." On my mission I would teach people about this and how the gospel blesses families. I don't think I ever realized to what extent it really does bless families. Ty and I are striving to build our family and our relationship on these principles. We pray together every morning and night and read scriptures together. We strive to help each other build our faith in the Savior, forgive each other when we mess up, and try to plan fun, wholesome recreation activities for FHE and date night. I have noticed that as we do these things, there is a feeling of peace in our home and a feeling of security. It brings me closer to my God and closer to my husband. I am so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know it is true and that it will improve the quality of our lives. If you are wondering how to improve your family relationships, I would encourage you to visit this website http://www.lds.org/topics/family/happiness?lang=eng. Our message is powerful and true and will bless your life. I love the gospel, and I love our Savior. I am grateful to have a wonderful home with a family built on the gospel of Jesus Christ.