Our House Story – Part 3

Part 3 will go down in history as that one time Jerm was able to trick me. Up until this point, our house progress had been slow (see Part one and Part two for a reminder). We weren’t living there, so we weren’t in a hurry to finish. We did have plans to rent it out, but since we were able to buy the house without a mortgage, we weren’t going backwards with any lost rental income either.

Here is where it left off:

At this point in time, March 2009, I was still in my Junior year of college. I was majoring in math, and had been asked to work on a math research project with one of my teachers and a few other students. Part of the project was that we had to go to Provo, UT to present our findings at a math convention—I know, very exciting.

We left on a Friday morning, and we wouldn’t be home until Sunday night. My teacher’s husband was driving us to the airport, so Jerm dropped me off at the oasis along the expressway to be picked up. We were off to Provo. Once the presentation was over, it was a very enjoyable trip. I had the best hot dog of my life at jdawgs – definitely get it with everything. I seriously want to plan a trip to Provo just to get another hotdog. We also got to spend some time hiking in the mountains (hills?) around Brigham Young University. Sunday morning, we packed up and headed to the airport to fly home.  

Jerm picked me up from the oasis later that night. While I was on the trip, I had talked to him on the phone a couple times each day. He had told me he patched the hole in the floor left by an old air return vent, so I suggested that we stop by and see it. Little did I know that this played right into his plan of getting me to the house.

When I opened the door, I immediately knew something was different. The floor looked so glossy and smooth—not rough and dirty like it was when I left. Jerm flipped on the lights and my suspicion was confirmed. While I was gone, he and our friends had finished the whole kitchen and living room to surprise me. I had no idea.

I knew what was coming, but before it could happen, my brother walked in. He had seen lights on and stopped by on his way home—almost ruining Jerm’s proposal. We all chatted for a few minutes, and after he left, Jerm got down on one knee in the middle of our kitchen and proposed. Of course I said yes! He picked out the ring all by himself. One of our neighbors makes custom jewelry, so he had him make the ring. He guessed a bit big on the sizing, but I don’t wear rings so there was nothing for him to go by without giving away the surprise.


We went back to my house to tell my parents (of course they already knew since Jerm had asked my dad earlier that day). It was bittersweet because my mom was battling cancer and ultimately wouldn’t make it to our wedding day. Since it was late at night, we went out for a celebratory dinner at the only place open—Steak and Shake.


Back to what he accomplished in two short days:

  1. He finished all the painting. I had picked Benjamin Moore Silken Pine before we knew we would be living here, but luckily I loved it. It is a soft green that reads differently in daylight vs. artificial light, and I love it both ways. All of the beadboard and trim is painted white. 

    via benjamin moore

  2. He hung the upper cabinets and suspended the upper cabinets about the peninsula from the ceiling using two metal poles.


  3. He laid our whole floor. We just went with cheap $.69 per square foot laminate from lumber liquidators in a medium oak look. He laid it at a 45 degree angle to add some character, which was a lot more work. The cheap floor has served us well for the past 4 years, so we are pleased with it. Someday we will upgrade to real wood, but this is just fine for now.
  4. He installed all of the appliances. Since my family owns an appliances story, my dad had fixed us up some appliances that were used or taken out of customer’s homes. You’d be surprised at how many people replace working appliances for cosmetic reasons.
  5. He replaced the ugly door separating the front porch and the living room with a nicer door and a decorative door glass.


  6. He put in a stainless steel backsplash. He went to our local steel supplier and had them cut a piece to size. I think it only ended up being around $120 or so.


We had a 5 month engagement, so we spend that time finishing up the rest of the house. I will post more of what we did to each room later, but they are still constantly evolving.

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