I've been anxiously awaiting the debut of "My Big Family Renovation" since Jen Hatmaker announced the collaboration with HGTV on her blog last year. I'd recently read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Jen's fantastic memoir about her project to examine and "fast" the indulgences of modern culture in order to be mindful of God's heart for the poor and needy. I fell in love with her writing voice and enormous wit, and I just knew a reality show about her Texas-sized family renovating an old farmhouse would be right up my proverbial alley.
I confess now a long-suppressed addiction to DIY home renovation television shows. For years prior to owning a home, I consumed many days worth of "Trading Spaces" and the like, falling hook line and sinker for the idea that renovations can be fast! Fun! Exciting! Add value to your home! Bring immediate gratification!
Here's what I learned when we bought our home. Renovations are expensive. When you're working two jobs to pay your new mortgage, there's no time for working on projects. It takes a long time to save up the $10,000 you've anticipated new kitchen cabinets will cost, and even longer when you save $1000 in six months time but have to spend $1500 on month seven for emergency repairs.
Also? While I have the desire to learn how to lay tile and replace woodwork and install fixtures: my enthusiasm often wanes when a project actually begins. Eric's enthusiasm, however, doesn't even make it that far. His desire to complete projects from start-to-finish with total perfection butts up aggressively against my belief that it's ok for things to be a little "off" as long as they're done. He has no desire to begin a project unless he's already conceived every possible scenario and a solution for it beforehand.
In the seven years we've been married, I estimate that 70% of our disagreements have been about home improvement projects and whether (how, when) they should be be completed. Therefore, I don't suggest projects unless they are absolutely necessary to the functionality of our home. Which means that the projects I would like to tackle for aesthetic reasons... just don't happen. A simple painting project that should have only taken a month or two, tops? Stretched out over more than a year and eventually came to a close only after I hired a painter to finish the work. And my kitchen cabinets still have no doors, sixteen months after they came off.
Therefore, it's with more than a little vicarious interest and dare I say- even jealousy?- that I am tuning in to watch the Hatmakers move in, demo and repurpose, dream and decorate a 100+ year-old home in Buda, Texas. My DVR is set to record every episode, which I will watch on Friday mornings while Seth is in school over the next few months.
I watched the first two episodes this morning and it did not disappoint! I'm not much of a TV watcher these days: it's truly hard with small children in the house. I'm happy to sit back in my pajamas and let someone else do the sanding, painting, bleeding and sweating. When those someones are Brandon and Jen Hatmaker, it's guaranteed to be entertaining.
Sort of on-topic, I thought I'd let you guys know that I contacted a real estate agent agent yesterday. Eric and I've been casually tossing the idea of moving over the last few years. Now that Seth is school-age and we have Hawk following in just a few short years, I know it's time to give our options serious consideration.
I'm afraid our options aren't glamorous enough to be prime HGTV material, and our budget is laughable. I've been considering a separate blog post about our home situation for some time, but I haven't even begun to write it yet for fear it'd come across the wrong way. I want this blog to always be encouraging and I don't want to be a complainer or a whiner- ever. But we're in a situation that, to me, feels so impossible and I crave someone who can come alongside me with honesty and wisdom and help me see clearly.
Maybe next week I'll share part of my heart for our home. In the back of my mind, I'm hoping to turn this blog in the direction of home decor and interior design because I've always had such passion for the topic. Seriously, I was the ten-year-old girl reading Southern Living magazine. For whatever reason, God is leading me through this season in the desert and I'm trying to soak up everything He's teaching me along the way. Meanwhile, I have to believe He put a passion for hospitality and home in my heart for a good reason!
So, how about you: did you watch the premier of "My Big Family Renovation"? Are you also addicted to home and garden shows?