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I love this house, but I hate it.

Allow me to complain for a bit.

So I’ve been thinking this post in my head for a while, and then something happened. A blog I follow, Young House Love, revealed that they’d bought a new house. Ever since they moved into their current one about 3 years ago, I’ve been following along, jealous at all the things they are doing to it to make it their own and awesome and wonderful. Jealous because Sherri doesn’t have to bug John about changing the wall color again, because changing the wall color is LITERALLY their job and what they get paid for. Jealous because they get to experiment every day, and doing stuff like thrift shopping is their job, AND they get to stay home with their baby. I was drawn to their blog because their first house was small like mine, and super happy for them when they upgraded. But somehow this news about the new house actually pissed me off.

Why? I guess because I’m invested. Because I knew they’d eventually move, but I HATE moving, so I imagined them loving the heck out if every improvement they made (they penny tile! the guest room I adore!) and picking it to live with for years to come. I imagined they doing improvements because they loved them and not just because.

I even posted a comment recently about struggling. Struggling because there are SO many things that we would love to do to this house to make US happier in it…but they don’t make sense financially since we won’t (hopefully?) be here for too much longer.

See, I love this house. Love it! I love the location so much. I love that it has a yard. I love that it is not a condo, which is what everyone tried to get us to buy. I love that it’s our first house and where we brought Ainsley home to. I love the gardens, and that those gardens bore this blog.

jennah's garden

(I can’t wait to paint that door yellow!) I do not love that we are currently ohhhhh a lot underwater in it. Despite living with Will’s parents for FREE for an entire year after getting married, this is still the best we could find. I won’t tell you how much we paid for it, but I will tell you we bought in 2007, after we THOUGHT the worst was over. I don’t know that we’d be in that much of a better situation had we rented someplace at that same point and just tossed that money away, but I do know that now we are stuck. Stuck stuck stuck. And we are stuck in a house that is small (960 square feet…I know I complain about that a lot – sorry). And this house is dictating our family decisions (there is nowhere for baby #2 until we move).

And we have put a lot of love into this house. We’ve renovated the kitchen, replaced all the flooring (twice in some places!), gutted and renovated the bathroom, added baseboards, removed old baseboard heating, upgraded the water heater, greatly improved the lawn and gardens, replaced all the doors, renovated the laundry room, and oh so much more. And we will get NONE of the money we put into that back whenever we sell. Obviously we didn’t make those improvements for sale value, we made them for us. But as we now look at moving (and maybe renting this house out?) in the next 2-3 years, there is a long list of things that we would love to do for us that probably don’t make sense financially:

  • add more blue chip to the driveway
  • stacking washer and dryer/make a pantry in the laundry room
  • new roof
  • new front stoop
  • new, larger deck
  • new siding
  • new shutters (I so want black shutters!)
  • addition to add true master bedroom with second bathroom
  • addition to add dining room (moving the table out of the kitchen so there could be an island there)
  • greenhouse attached to shed

…and on and on. And it’s so frustrating!

Also, lately, I’ve been really missing Miss A and lamenting today’s world’s need for a 2 income household. Like so many families, ours requires 2 to survive. And I like my new job, but A is in such a wonderful age right now and is really becoming a person. And I feel like I miss so much of it while I’m sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day.

I’ve even thought about what would happen if I did stay home. We are lucky that we only need a sitter 2 days a week because of Will’s schedule, so that helps financially. But still, our mortgage is more than 1 of our 4 monthly paychecks. It’s expensive to live here. We currently now only have 1 car payment (as long as my car will hold out for a couple more years). But it would still be touuuugh.

So anyway, I know I’m not alone. So if you need to complain about your annoying house/work situation, let me know!


  1. I can relate to the frustration at needing two incomes. We’re definitely in the same situation with that, and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon — economic reality of our times and all that. Our daughter is almost the same age as yours, too, and even as much as I love my job, it’s hard not to feel some misgivings about what I might be missing out on while I’m at work and she’s at daycare. But it is what it is, I guess.

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      It’s so frustrating! I think it makes me even madder because it’s not even like we have the ideal situation (at all) because of our 2 incomes. I realize we’re still young so we can’t have it all right now, but damn if I don’t want it all NOW!

  2. Aunt DebNo Gravatar says:

    Isn’t it a shame that money has such a hold on our lives! I’ve always wanted a bigger house, too. That’s when I go around singing the country song, “Love grows best in little houses.” Ha! It’s always fun to dream and plan. I wonder how in the world folks used to raise so many children in such small houses. Charles’ grandmother’s house was small and they raised 10 boys in that house! Of course, some had moved out by the time the younger ones came along. Whew! Hang in there! You are so smart, crafty and thrifty, I’m sure you’ll get there!

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks! I know I’m not the only one dealing with this, but it is very frustrating. In a house like this, one thing out of place makes everything crazy, and I don’t deal with that well. Someday hopefully we can have some SPACE!

  3. Aunt DebNo Gravatar says:

    PS You have a sweet house. It is nice and cozy and comfortable!

  4. JennahNo Gravatar says:

    How would you propose I change it, exactly? Also, please see the follow-up post to this:

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