Shooting Wide Open: We Bought a House // Pardon our Progress


Appropriate background music

Hello friends! Summer is flying by and we haven’t blogged in a minute. Our excuse? Well we’ve been shooting like crazy and bought a house in the middle of wedding season. Need I say more?

If you can’t quite relate… I’ll paint the picture. I’ve been painting so much this should be easy. Most weekends and evenings have been dedicated to shooting. Mornings have been full of meeting contractors and making progress on projects. During the day we work work work. We load ourselves up until it’s time to sleep. Overall I’d say It’s been a crazy yet satisfying journey so far.

There have been some bumpy moments. I’m never one to shy away from real talk and I’ll say the process of buying a house was not an easy one for us. Especially not in a market like the one we’ve been hunting in for the last 2 years. Homes that fit our somewhat obnoxious needs (downtown, older but not crummy, and at a decent price) have been flying off the market the same day there are listed. I don’t make big decisions that impulsively so I had written off the idea of buying a house for the then foreseeable future. So when we were given first dibs on a FSBO house that happened to be conveniently neighboring two of our best friends (who own the most adorable bungalow in town), we had to get serious about evaluating our seriousness about buying a house. We love our apartment and with my busy season around the corner, I was reluctant at first. We knew however this was the kind of house that would sell fast if the owners decided to list it. We did our walkthrough and luckily they gave us the luxury of taking our time to discuss it (*shout out to the many friends and family who counseled us at this time*). Soon after we put in an offer and it was quickly accepted.

My anxieties about homeownership haven’t necessarily gone away. Growing up in a blended (and unblended) family I’ve lived in a lot of different “houses” and the concept of a “home” has always been tied to wherever my family lives and not necessarily any particular place. When people ask where I’m from I don’t have a straight answer. “Southern California” is the easiest but then that all depends on what year of my life we are talking about and usually people aren’t interested in the full story. However Bowling Green is where I’ve called “home” the majority of the last 10 years and we have very much put our roots down socially and career-wise. I suppose buying a home creates a sense of permanency in a location that is very new to me.

It is a space that although we don’t fully own, we are investing our love, energy, and money into. It is a space that we are responsible for. Owning a home is a lot of  learning while doing at the same time. It is accidentally leaving out open paint cans over the weekend and learning that 100 ways to clean grout. It is being okay with mistakes. It is a constant assessment of what is there and what potential it may have. There is a psychology to all of this that I’m learning to process and embrace instead of feeling overwhelmed.

Much like throwing a wedding, owning a home can introduce you to a lot of worries and societal expectations of how you *should* do things. I have to believe there’s more to owning a home than merely striking off one more thing off the societal “to-do” list or because it’s the most natural step after marriage. I do not believe in much of the lore surrounding home-buying that it’s a “must or you’re throwing your money away.” We honestly just found the right opportunity at the right time to create a space that reflects our values, styles, and way of living.

Neither of us are particularly handy and the phrase “I have no idea what I’m doing” is practically our anthem. We are lucky to have eager teachers in our friends and family.  People quick to grab some tape, a paintbrush, or to lend tools and bring some beers over to keep us sane. Some of my favorite nights include the very first night when a few friends came by to sit on the empty floor the night we got our keys. There were the many nights of eating dinner  and chatting on the deck after a long day of painting with Ganer’s mom and Aunt Jackie. The night Ganer and I put on oldies and stayed up until 2am finishing paint in what will be our “record room”. I keep reminding myself that we are doing this for the memories we will create instead of the things we will put inside these walls. Although we haven’t thrown any kind of party, the house already feels so “warm.”

We still have a long way to go, but I’m giddy with what we’ve done so far. I have mostly only been documenting our progress with our phones. Honestly when my hands are full of paint tools I’m not exactly reaching for my “real” camera. However I want to do better. I believe in documenting the progress and not just the milestones. If I waited until everything was perfectly updated and furnished, I may never post any photos of our new home. I don’t believe in perfect. I don’t know that we will ever be “finished.” As we near the last phases of painting, I am already nostalgic for these busy days of us trying to figure out what the heck we are doing. For the days of picking paint, cleaning messes, and being proud of even the small accomplishments.

We won’t be moving in for a few weeks so we’ve been taking our time to slow down the speed and really enjoy the process. We’ve been trying to take the same advice we give our clients in planning their weddings:  hit the pause button as much as possible and refocus onto each other. What is the point of stressing out for months so you can best enjoy one day? Similarly, if we don’t deliberately seek joy in the craziness that is fixing up an old house, how can we expect to enjoy it once we actually move in?

So last night we grabbed the camera instead of the paint brushes. This is us trying to enjoy this stage of liminality. I’ll try to do this more. For now I just feel really fortunate. For now I want to appreciate how this house, this home, and our story evolves.



Future site of SLL office.


Always on the phone.


Nobody puts baby in the corner.


Demo days.


First (of a few) champagne bottles.


^^Creepy cool things that live in our basement.

MORE TO COME! Maybe. I’ll try! Now I’ve got to edit some weddings y’all!

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