We don’t have a dishwasher. We never have. We have washed up the old conventional way for the whole six years we have lived in our house. The purchase of our house settled two days after my husband (Matt) and I were wed. Prior to purchasing the house, my father (the king of all things practical who has a really good resume of countless renovations) read our building and pest inspection report and with a few words summed up both Matt’s and my impracticability, “I don’t think this is the house for you.” Nevertheless, we purchased our sweet little home with two windows at the front, a door and a chimney – just like in the drawing!
Upon purchase, our house needed help. The wet areas were old and impractical, the carpet was worn and the paint was three shades neapolitan in some rooms. As a wedding gift, my parents did what they do best and made the house livable. They ripped up carpet, polished floors and turned the neapolitan to a simple shade of vanilla. The house was fine – until we fell pregnant. As with both impending births of our two cute and crazy children (Eva and Casper), we were highly motivated to renovate. We had artic draughts in our bathroom; we still had that carpet; and we didn’t have enough bedrooms. As you may relate, we had a deadline… so, we renovated.
Casper, our youngest child, is almost two and there are doors still unpainted from the last major renovation. In addition to that, there are even more doors still unpainted from the renovation prior to that. The kitchen is about as old as me; the lino laughs at the beautiful polished floorboards and our kitchen benches are so narrow, we cannot fit in a modern day dishwasher! When people come over for dinner, they politely ask, “So, when are you thinking of renovating your kitchen?” Others, who are a little more forward, ask for a pen and paper then slip us a new kitchen plan across the dining table. And as if the writing wasn’t already on the wall, I am also a passionate foodie and cook so you’d think a new kitchen would be at the top of my Christmas list but, alas, it is not.
You see, I am a high school teacher and this year I returned to part-time work after being on maternity leave. Half a year into work, an opportunity came up for me to act in a managerial role at my school. I applied, was interview and was picked as the successful candidate for a ten week stint acting as Head of Faculty – Languages. While I was excited that this promotion would propel my career forward several years in a few short weeks, I was very apprehensive about working full-time and not being with my kids as much as I had planned. The dangling carrot was that we would save some money while I was being paid the highest salary I had every earned and we would take our kids on an epic adventure… Queue the travel blog called “Renovate or Travel” and the decision to go to Vietnam for two weeks in the new year. Yep, two weeks not having to manually wash up – what a treat!