Just let me state for the record, we’re giving love in a family dose…*

*Lyrics from We Are Family as sung by Sister Sledge. I debated about which of the several horrible videos to share, but settled on the one from Solid Gold. The pyrotechnics alone make it worth the viewing. The outfits, well, they’re just the cherry on top of that sundae. (Oh, and the Solid Gold link is solid.gold.)

Between the after effects of Tropical Storm Irene (hurricane to some of you), and closing on a house for my mom, I’ve had barely a moment to reflect and enjoy the last fleeting moments of a summer that practically sprinted by. Labor Day, traditionally considered the ‘last day’ of summer (though summer lasts well in September, if we’re lucky) became a reason to enjoy not one last lazy day filled with sunshine, hammocks and cookouts, but to enjoy discounts on appliances, toilets and sofas for the new place. And due to the gap in schedules at Mr and Mrs K’s kitchen/bath remodel, I was able to switch gears and get into full remodel zone for my mom’s new condo. So long, summer. I wish I got to know you better.

New condo, you ask? Yes! Jeff and I had been secretly plotting since the spring to try to get a small place for my mom (who is currently renting) so she can have some stability and security (and freedom to decorate as she likes!). We kept it a secret from her for a long, long time, but eventually discovered (after many a failed attempt to secure a place) that we needed to include her so we could make sure she’d like what we picked. After a several-month-long hunt, and several failed offers (including one that we had inspected and then thought better of) we found her a sweet little 2 bedroom 1.5 bath place that needs work. Some work that we’ll attempt ourselves, and some that we’ll invite our trusty crew to undertake for us, but not so much that it isn’t going to be livable after swapping out a few appliances and changing out some finishes.

So far, since we closed last week, we’ve: chosen a color palette; ordered furniture, fixtures and appliances; stripped wallpaper; discovered well-hiden mildew; drafted chicken-scratch plans for the kitchen layout; and, driven back and forth through semi-closed roadways (and over-volumed adjacent roadways) to try to do all those things as quickly as possible. It’s been a little exhausting, but exciting nonetheless!

The plans for the first year are modest – changing flooring, appliances, some bath fixtures and paint – but the impact will be huge. My mom will have her first real, permanent home since we were kids. We’re so grateful to be able to do this, and to help her experience the sense of joy and freedom that comes with home ownership. And, lest anyone think differently, the whole family was involved (and will be involved) in helping to spruce the place up. It’s totally a family affair, and one that I am proud to be a part of.

Some pictures of the place as we found it. Enjoy! xoxo