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The Story Of The Condo

Each time I post about the condo, I get countless questions about it.  “How much more do you have to do over there?” “How much longer will it take you?” “Why are you spending so much time and effort over there?” “Can’t you just list it like it is?”  “Didn’t it just need a good cleaning before you put it on the market?

I’ve generally let those questions go unanswered just because of the sheer quantity of them and the amount of time it would take to thoroughly and adequately answer every single question I’ve gotten like that.  That’s naturally left some of you to speculate and assume (and a few of you to do so publicly) that I’m just over there day after day, wasting time and money decorating a condo that we no longer live in.  Or that I’m just spinning my wheels in that condo for “blog fodder.”  (Of course, how you explain the “blog fodder”assumption seeing that I took two weeks off of blogging to work over there, and didn’t blog this past Monday because I spent the weekend over there working and had nothing to blog about, is beyond me.)

So I apologize for not answering those questions.  Hopefully this will clear things up.  It’s probably way more information than most of you want, but here it is nonetheless.  🙂

Matt and I moved into the condo in July 2006.  At that time, I wasn’t a DIY blogger.  I was blogging, but not consistently, and my blog had no focus to it.  In other words, we didn’t move into the condo so that I could have projects for a blog.  We bought the condo because we were living in a 2500 square foot house and paying $1200 rent, and we not only wanted to find something cheaper, but also something closer to school for Matt.

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At the time, Matt wasn’t working.  He had been laid off of from Hewlett-Packard in Oregon, we had moved to Texas, and he was taking advantage of the re-education benefits that he had as a result of his layoff.  So he was attending Texas State Technical College and getting a degree in Computer Networking.  I had just started my interior decorating business the previous fall, and things were going well, so all of my time and energy were focused on clients’ projects.  My own home (our new tiny condo) wasn’t really a priority for me.  I was like the plumber with the leaky pipes, or the cobbler whose children had no shoes.  I was the decorator living in a hideously outdated condo, and we lived like that for about three years before I started working on the condo.

As time went on, I did start to do some projects here and there on the condo, but because time and money were limited, my projects never seemed to gain much traction.  Some of the first things I did was remove all of the old carpet and vinyl flooring, paint the concrete floors, and add wainscoting to the living room (which I learned about through DIY blogs I had started reading, back when board and batten was on just about every DIY blog out there).  I also tried to add some built-ins to the living room, but my first attempt was pretty pathetic.

Over the next two or three years, my interest in working for clients began to wane, while my interest and involvement in DIYing my condo continued to grow.  (I explain that more in detail here.)

But my increasing interest in DIYing the condo also coincided with Matt’s declining health due to his M.S.  He had graduated from TSTC a year after we moved into the condo.  He got a job immediately, but only worked at that company for a year before they also began layoffs when the economy began to take a nosedive.  Being one of the most recent hires, Matt was one of the first to be laid off.

Matt’s health and muscle control had already been declining for several months to the point that he could no longer drive and was having a hard time walking on his own, and it was only about a month after his layoff that he started requiring the use of a wheelchair to get around.  His muscle weakness and continual fatigue, combined with his need for a wheelchair, made working impossible at that point.  This new way of life (the loss of his income, my learning to take care of him and help him with things he could no longer do, and my new responsibility of being the sole income earner for our household) took quite a bit of adjustment.

I gradually began to close down my decorating business so that I could stay at home and care for Matt.  (It became increasingly difficult to schedule appointments and be able to keep those appointments not knowing if and when Matt would need my assistance at home.  On more than one occasion, I had to leave a client’s home in a rush after getting a frantic phone call from Matt, and that became increasingly stressful for me, as well as for Matt.)  Fortunately, my blog had really started taking off as I had started blogging about my own DIY projects around the condo, and my blog income more than made up for my loss of income from working with clients, so I finally made the transition to “full time blogger” so that I could always stay at home and be available any time Matt needed me.

Things weren’t exactly smooth sailing, though.  Life in general was challenging, and working on a tiny condo while we were living there was stressful.  But I pressed on, and did what I could around the condo, and continued to blog about my projects.  I started working on our bedroom, which was shaping up to be one of my favorite projects, but then once again life through us a curve ball.

Matt’s brother committed suicide in the summer of 2011, and the sheer shock and emotional weight of that situation sent Matt (and his health) into a tailspin.  That was absolutely the worst time in our marriage, and even now when I think back on that time, it brings me to tears.  Matt was so emotionally destroyed, which seemed to send his M.S. into overdrive, and he literally became bedridden for almost an entire summer.  I had no idea what to do to help him through that, and my time and emotions were spent on just caring for Matt’s daily needs.  It was the most awful, most stressful time in our lives and in our marriage.  In fact, the rest of that year (2011) was just awful.  Matt and I both fell into a depression, and we turned to food for comfort.  We both literally consumed as much fast food as our bodies would allow us — three fast food meals per day, snacks in between, and at least two 44-ounce sodas each day.  Naturally, his health declined even further as a result, and my weight spun out of control.

It’s safe to say that during that time, all of my unfinished projects around the condo were really the last thing on my mind.  Matt and I were just trying to make it through each day, and evidently both trying to commit a slow and painful suicide-by-food.  In December 2011, we both realized that we were on a self-destructive path, and that some serious changes needed to be made in our lives.  We started off 2012 with new attitudes, brand new outlooks on life, a new healthy diet, and a determination to make 2012 a great year.

And it was.  🙂

We both lost weight, got healthier, and gave up our strict junk food and soda diets.  And I finally started to get into a rhythm with caring for Matt and working on the condo.  Despite the hardship of Matt’s health in general, we were enjoying life, and things were looking up.

And it was during 2012 that I finally started making some headway on the condo, after living there for six years.  I finished the kitchen in October 2012, followed by the breakfast room that December.  Then at the beginning of 2013, I finished the hallway and began working on other areas of the condo.

It was during the beginning of 2013 that we really got serious about buying a house.  The problem was that I knew exactly what house I wanted to buy, but it was unclear just when the owners would be ready to sell.  We had already been waiting for several months to get the ball rolling, but things just didn’t seem like they were progressing at all.  So I pressed on with the condo, thinking that if the house deal fell through, we’d be staying at the condo for the foreseeable future, and I’d want it finished.  And if the house deal finally went through, I’d need wrap up the plethora of unfinished project I had going in the condo.

So around May, I started rebuilding the living room built-ins to replace my previous failed attempt at built-ins.  In doing so, I had to rip apart some of the wainscoting in the living room that I had installed years before, but I thought it would be worth the effort for actual, nice built-ins.  Plus, it was such a valuable learning experience for me.  That project alone probably gave me more confidence to remodel my own kitchen (at the house) than any other project I’ve done.  So while it wasn’t exactly a cheap project, the experience, knowledge, and confidence I gained from it were worth every single penny (and more) that I spent on it.

As we waited for word on the house, time seemed to be dragging by, while also flying by at the same time.  (Have you ever had that experience?)  It felt like we were having to wait for the house forever, and I was beginning to think it would never happen.  But at the same time, I was feverishly trying to get things done at the condo, and I seemed to be running out of time quickly.  When we finally did close on the house in August 2013, I had a condo filled to the brim with not only unfinished projects, but small finishing details I had overlooked in rooms I thought were finished.  And all of the “finished” rooms were also in desperate need of repair and touchups after years of Matt trying to get through tight spaces in his wheelchair and scraping against walls, cabinets, doors, trim, corners of walls, etc.  Everything from about 10 inches on the walls (and cabinets, and doors, and trim) and under were looking pretty rough in just about every room.

I knew it all needed to be done before we could put it on the market, but I also knew that it would be so much easier to concentrate on if we were out of the condo completely.  So I turned my attention to making the house livable.  I ripped up carpets, refinished the floors, etc., and we finally moved into the house in October 2013.  And there, on the other side of town, sat our condo that was filled with unfinished projects and needed repairs.

I made an initial list of things that needed to be done before we put it on the market, and I added to that list over the last several months each time I went back and noticed more things that were unfinished or needed attention.  Here’s how that list looked, and you’ll notice that not one single item is “decorating” of any kind.

Tiny Bathroom:

  • Remove the packed boxes from the shower
  • Scrub toilet (the toilets sat unused for so long that all of the water literally evaporated and left behind some really awful looking hard water stains)
  • Install new faucet and drain
  • Repair walls where tongue-and-groove boards separated (I think our neighbor had a plumbing leak that affected our wall)

Master Bedroom:

  • Finish packing and empty the room
  • Replace old hollow core door with new six panel prehung door
  • Install door casing
  • Paint new door/caulk and paint door casing
  • Install new door knob
  • Install new bi-fold closet door
  • Install shelf and hanging bar in closet
  • Replace bare bulb fixture in closet with enclosed light fixture
  • Install tile in closet
  • Grout tile in the bedroom and closet
  • Install baseboards and quarter round
  • Paint walls
  • Caulk and paint baseboards and quarter round
  • Clean spilled paint off of floor
  • Add frosted film to window (for privacy since the windows look onto a parking lot)
  • Replace almond-colored outlets and switches with new white outlets and switches
  • Install new face plates

Hallway:

  • Install the rest of the baseboards and quarter round
  • Caulk and paint baseboards and quarter round
  • Repair ceiling (requires a coat or two of drywall mud and some sanding)
  • Paint touch ups on the walls
  • Scrape, prime, and paint trim around washer/dryer closet
  • Touch up paint on hallway cabinets
  • Empty out cabinets and dispose of all unneeded cans of paint and chemicals
  • Repair broken slat on air return vent
  • Vacuum out air return vent, A/C closet, and air filter

Second bedroom:

  • Remove built-in closets that I started three years ago
  • Built new closets (properly this time)
  • Remove grasscloth wallpaper and repair walls, if needed
  • Remove chair rail and repair walls
  • Patch the hole in the wall
  • Install the rest of the floor tiles
  • Grout floor tiles
  • Install baseboards and quarter round
  • Caulk and paint baseboards and quarter round
  • Paint walls
  • Install door casings
  • Caulk and paint door casings
  • Paint inside of door and touch up paint on outside of door
  • Replace almond-colored switched and outlets with new white switches and outlets
  • Install new face plates on switches and outlets

Hallway bathroom:

  • Touch up paint on trim, door (inside), and wainscoting
  • Paint the outside of the door
  • Touch up paint on cabinets
  • Install new toilet seat
  • Scrub toilet (more awful hard water stains)
  • Repair grout where I spilled wood stain

Living room:

  • Paint walls along the ceiling and wainscoting, and do general touchups
  • Repair wainscoting (wood fill, sand, caulk, prime and paint)
  • Install quarter round on wainscoting and built-ins
  • Caulk and paint quarter round
  • Install tile at front door
  • Grout floor tile
  • Repair the drywall around the two recessed lights that were cut too large (and can’t be covered by a trim kit)
  • Paint the front door a neutral color
  • Touch up paint on cabinets
  • Repair shelf inside middle cabinet

Breakfast room:

  • Finish installing trim on ceiling and around pantry
  • Caulk, prime, and paint trim
  • Install, caulk, and paint quarter round
  • Clean and repaint wainscoting
  • Touch up paint on walls
  • Repair or replace piano hinge on the banquette
  • Replace broken outlet
  • Repair broken rail on pantry
  • Replace broken light above pantry
  • Repaint open shelf area in pantry where the paint is peeling from the water filter leak
  • Replace broken sash lock on window

Kitchen:

  • Three coats of Waterlox on the countertops
  • Touch up paint on the cabinets
  • Caulk around sink
  • Replace broken garbage disposal
  • Replace the dishwasher or have it repaired
  • Repair leak in plumbing under the sink
  • Find illegal electrical junction behind tile backsplash and install new outlet (I buried the junction way back before I knew it was illegal…oops!)
  • Repair tile backsplash and from item above

Front Porch:

  • Clean and re-paint front door
  • Touch up paint around door and windows
  • Remove window screens, vacuum and clean windows

General, thorough cleaning in each room

 

And that’s the list I’ve been working on.  Yes, it’s has taken me an unreasonable amount of time to get through that list, and I’m still not quite finished.  I’ve been working around the challenge of still needing to be home to care for Matt when he needs me here, trying to keep up a blog that is our source of household income (which means needing to work on projects that are actually worthy of blogging about, like a kitchen remodel or a bathroom remodel), while also trying to find time to get over to the condo consistently enough, and for long enough stretches of time, to actually make headway on my list.

And yes, I’ve done some decorating along the way.  That wasn’t for “blog fodder.”  That was for my own enjoyment.  Those two or so day that I’ve taken to decorate each of the bedrooms were nothing compared to the amount of time I’ve spent on the list above.  And frankly, the breaks that I take from the mundane “to do” list in order to focus on some decorating are what keep me going.  Decorating is what fuels me, and if I don’t allow myself that creative outlet every once in a while, there’s no way I could keep going.  Whether I’m working at the house or the condo, decorating is my reward to myself for getting through the mundane projects that need to get done.

I’m almost finished, and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  My mom had wanted to help me in this home stretch, but she sprained her ankle and hasn’t been able to help much.  Fortunately my brother lives locally now.  He’s in the process of starting a new business, and as with most new businesses, things are slow going at the beginning, and money is a bit tight.  So when I texted him the list of things that still needed to be done, and asked him if he’d be interested in letting me hire him for a week to help get through the final things on my “to do” list, he responded with, “YES!!!”  So that worked out to be a win/win for both of us.

We’re aiming to have it all done by this weekend, and then my life can get back to normal.  Or, you know, my normal — staying at home with Matt to be available if and when he needs me, while working on my own house, DIYing to my heart’s content, and sharing my projects and progress with you each day.

And that’s the story of the condo.



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114 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    Heather
    June 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

    It must be so hard to live so publicly through your blog and have your personal life subject to criticism at every turn. HUGS!

    • Reply To This Comment
      PML
      June 17, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Yes! You se amazing Kristi!

    • Reply To This Comment
      kathrine anderson
      June 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

      You know – I don’t understand people. You blog to provide people with information. What you do in your personal life is nobody’s business. Your process for finishing projects, decorating, etc. once again are nobody else’s business. I really enjoy your blog and the information you provide. What you’re doing and when you’re doing it really doesn’t matter. It’s the information that matters and you provide plenty of it! I thank you!!!!

      • Reply To This Comment
        angela
        June 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        Agreed! Also, I liked those small bedroom decorating posts. It was helpful for those of us who don’t have a house of their own, and don’t have huge budgets to completely redo a bedroom!

        • Reply To This Comment
          Michelle
          June 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

          Agreed!! Twice Third! However many this is! For every reader who keeps nagging you with those questions, please know that there are those of us who have faithfully read your blog for years, and already know a lot of the story and why you’re working over there! We’re here for you!

      • Reply To This Comment
        Karen
        June 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        Yes, thanks to our favorite blogger.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Karen
      June 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Sounds like you’ve got it under control. Your honesty gives us all hope. Keeping it real. Cannot wait for the listing and the immediate sale. The best always to you.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Meghan
    June 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I think you’re doing a great job, especially with the challenges life has thrown at you and Matt over the years. Your blog is my favorite and I’m inspired with each post. Be encouraged! You’re doing a great job!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lori
    June 17, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for your honestly and transparency. I, although never asking you, have also wondered why in the world were doing so much work in the condo. After today’s post, it certainly makes sense. Even though your trials have been great, I am a firm believer (along with a paramount Providential element) that “Cream rises to the Top”. Your vision, imagination, skill, creativeness…all falls under that “cream” catagory! What “might have, could have, should have” happened will never be known, but I can say with utmost assurance, is that you have a tremendous following and impact upon many others across the US…and perhaps even broader than that! And thank you for taking the risk of putting it all out there for all of us! Blessings on your day!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Genelle McDaniel
    June 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Love, love, love your blog. And love that you’re getting the condo done even more. You are one brave and strong lady. Cheering constantly for your success.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Janis
      June 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Kristi, you are such an inspiration to me. I am disabled also but I can still do things for myself and around my home. There is a lot that I can’t do like sweeping mopping and waxing my floors. Doing repetitive things always lands me in bed or the hospital. Yet THANKS TO YOU I am doing more things. It took me 3 months to build my fireplace but I really enjoyed doing it. Yes it takes me along time because I am limited at the time I can work on my DIY things but I do finish them. I look up to you because of what you do. We all can tell how much you love Matt and DIYing. I love your blog and you. YOU ARE ONE HECK OF A WOMAN. May God bless you and Matt! Also thanks for doing all that you’ve done for me. You have sure helped me with my depression. Your true followers are standing behind you all the way lady.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Barbara H.
    June 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I’m so glad you are nearing the end. Finishing up big projects is often like packing to move – so close yet the nearer I get to the end, the end seems to be moving away. I’m sorry for your hard years – I’ve had some of those where it just seems like it will never end. Don’t let the commenters who question you get you down – I know, easier said than done. I found your blog sometime in 2013 and have loved it ever since. It’s the highlight of my day. Work hard and don’t forget to play now and then. I’m so glad your brother was available to help out. I’m sending you good thoughts. Thank you for all I’ve learned from you.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Adrienne
    June 17, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Kristi, I’ve been following your blog for years. You are amazing! I am so impressed by your talent and your ability to take care of your family. You are an inspiration and a wonderful person.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Susan
    June 17, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Please don’t feel that you owe anyone an explanation for the choices you have made throughout your journey. No one has the right to second guess you, question your decisions, or criticize you for making them.
    As so many others do, I love your blog and eagerly await each post. You have provided me with so much inspiration and I thank you for inviting me into your life.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Gaye
      June 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

      I so agree…this is your life and no one needs the details of your life any more than they need details on mine…That being said, our hearts are more open to your struggles than they were before…you answered a myriad of questions I had but never voiced that I can remember. Hangest thou in there Kristi! The end is near, the light is visible and you will be the victor. No one knows what is like to be a full time caregiver until you walked that mile and have the treads on your shoes to show it…

      Here’s a cyber hug…

    • Reply To This Comment
      Margo
      June 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Susan took the words right out of my mouth. Kudos to you Kristi! As I’ve told you before, Stay Calm and Keep on DIY-ing! Blessings to you and Matt.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa E
    June 17, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Thanx for your transparency, but it’s a shame you felt a need to in the first place because of so many questions. When you kept working at the condo I didn’t think anything of it because most people try to make things perfect for the sale, even more so from when they lived there. It’s unfortunate simply because you are on-line that so many insist on knowing every little detail. You are so gifted and I have always admired your tenacity. Sure wish you could bottle some of that up and send it my way, ha! Keep being you because you and your blog are simply amazing.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jen
    June 17, 2015 at 11:09 am

    The part about Matt’s brother and the subsequent depression hit a familiar chord with me. My youngest sister was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from dinner one night in 2012. I tried hard to turn the negative into a positive and managed to fool everyone into thinking that I was okay but my weight blew up out of control and I was so depressed that there are gaps in my memories from 2012-2014. I recently started blogging again (it’s one of those unfocused, mostly for family deals) and I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t post from 2013 until this year and then it clicked. People underestimate how hard it is to lose a sibling. I never would have guessed it would be this hard. So I just wanted to say that I understand.
    The condo looks beautiful. I actually found you shortly after you blogged about the color of the condo’s kitchen cabinets as I was trying to decide if I wanted to paint my cabinets teal. I’m finally getting on that project soon. I’m about as quick as a turtle in molasses. 😉

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    June 17, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I saw your blog once and became completely “hooked” I actually feel a kindred spirit with you. I’m sure everyone has enough stories in their life to be on “oprah” but one day at a time, one project at a time, and with love in your life, things are GOOD!!!!

    You are honest, down to earth and simply wonderful. I missed you for the time you were away.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ellen
    June 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I just know that once the condo is done and listed, it will be snatched up so so quickly by some Baylor co-ed [‘s parents, for her, ’cause that’s how they roll!]

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    June 17, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I appreciate the explanation although I don’t feel you owed us one. I enjoy learning how others live. I can only imagine how hard all of that was. I love what you are doing with the condo. Keep up the good work lady.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura
    June 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I also never commented but always wondered about the condo. I knew there must be some reason that you did not put it on the market yet …. and there was. BUT, it is awful that you have to feel you must explain yourself to people. I LOVE your blog and read every one from top to bottom, but it is just for my enjoyment. I would never feel I have the right to question what you do with YOUR house/condo! Hang in there!!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Marianne in Mo.
      June 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I have commented before, but I agree with Laura. I don’t think you should explain the “why’s”, it’s not like you have to be an open book just because you blog. It’s a blog, not a diary, and we aren’t privvy to your diary! I read blogs for enjoyment, not to delve into someone’s private thoughts and feelings. This is how bloggers burn out, by being caught up in the critical comments. I wish people who comment would ask themselves if they would say their comments face to face with the receiver. Choose your words, people, and don’t be so nosey and critical!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Shelagh Sardachuk
    June 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

    You will always have a “to do” list but don’t forget to write a “done” list because everything you have accomplished is AMAZING. Love your blog…..the only one I literally will drop what I am doing to read each post. Blessings and keep doing things exactly as YOU are.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jacqui
    June 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Once again I am compelled to post a comment because you have moved me with your frank and open post. You remain my favourite blogger. My feedback to you: Do not let the criticism of others make you feel you must justify your actions. Everyone has a life with peaks and valleys, we cannot know the joy without the sorrow.

    You are amazing and I am privileged to have a small glimpse into your world. My sincere best wishes and a big digital hug!

  • Reply To This Comment
    cam
    June 17, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Life is hard…but you’re doing a beautiful job of it.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Donna Marchlewski
    June 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Loved your condo story! I always look forward to reading your blog

  • Reply To This Comment
    chris aka monkey
    June 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

    i am new to your blog, and i am so sorry for all you have gone through, my thoughts’ were you were just making the condo beautiful so you could get top dollar for it and you have made it so and that is why i am following you, and i can’t wait to see what you do in the house… being a caregiver is very hard work, so take time for yourself too and as for all of the blabby fools to hell with them xx

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mel
    June 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I will never understand why folks feel the need to be so negative and critical (and even downright nasty!). As blog readers we are benefiting from someone else’s creativity, ideas and hard work–completely free of charge to us!! I see your blog as a blessing to my family and home. I started reading your blog daily because of the condo projects, as I too live in a small condo. I’ve enjoyed seeing all you’re doing on the house. Thanks for all you do! Keep up the good work!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Cindy
    June 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. You and Matt are so fortunate to have each other. Good luck in the condo home stretch!

    Also, maybe this is not premiere blog content, but I too need to waterlox my kitchen countertops. I am completely overwhelmed and daunted. Do I remove the faucet first? Do I strip old polyurethane first? I would like to request a post on how to waterlox a countertop that is already in place, pretty, pretty please!

    • Reply To This Comment
      DAF
      June 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      If you go back in the archives, you will see that Kristi waterloxed hers multiple times (removing stain and seal when she didn’t like the look or whatever).

  • Reply To This Comment
    Len Williams Carver
    June 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

    WOW! I have always admired you and what you do in your home, knew you were a decorator and that Matt had an illness. I was curious but never once did it cross my mind to be so rude as to ask or “dog” you for the why’s and wherefores of your personal life. Maybe because of my mind jumps from project to project as well I understood your process. The thing about this post is the way you and Matt turned to food and unhealthy eating after the death, I have done the same since my daughter was murdered in a domestic incident, we all tend to find whatever comfort we can in times like these. Anyway Kristi you are an inspiration to us all, keep doing what makes you happy and we will all continue to follow your journey, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us, we all learn immensly from you. God bless you and Matt.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Eliesa @ Pinterest Addict
    June 17, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hi Kristi – I wanted you to know that you are such an inspiration to me. You tackle projects and tasks that I wouldn’t even think about starting. I am in awe of your skills, and your creativity. But you don’t owe me a damn thing… not a blog post, not an explanation, nothing. And to anyone that thinks otherwise, tell ’em to pound sand.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kristen
    June 17, 2015 at 11:47 am

    You are doing amazing! So I have maybe way too many blogs (200?) in my reader, but if I had to give them up I would, except for about 4 and you are one of them. You write a fantastic blog and are wonderfully honest. I wish you didn’t feel forced to write posts because everyone is asking all these questions. everyone has personal lives, that are personal! I am glad you are finding a good balance for your life, that actually really encourages me. We went through a similar devastating experience in 2008 and it still very strongly affects us today. Seeing what you do is very encouraging to me. So you are definitely more than a home blogger (to me), you are quite inspiring! I feel excited for when your condo is done, I know you will feel great. And you know great looking properties that have been fixed up sell well!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Vanessa
    June 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Thank you for sharing the condo “backstory”. While I didn’t need to know anything beyond what you have
    already shared about your life, I am humbled by your continued honesty and candor. I love your blog…it and you inspire me!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jennifer
    June 17, 2015 at 11:49 am

    All my inspiration comes form you..You do what you gotta do, when you gotta do it! I think you rock..

    P.S. I used the exact tile with grout..I have a couple places that look like I may not have used enough grout, can I just add more or do I need to try to remove and redo completely? Thanks in adavance.

  • Reply To This Comment
    JenW
    June 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Just a comment from a regular reader…whie not showy or glamorous I do feel that a lot of what’s on your condo list IS “blog worthy”. Your readers may not have kitchen to remodel…but I bet 90% of us have trim that needs mainenance or grout repairs to make. Seeing those unglamour before and afters give me the umph to go work on my unglamorous projects.

    You blog about what you want to blog about…but for this reader not every post needs to include pretty/fun/amazing projects. Sometimes it’s just that regular homeowner drudgery that we all have to deal with.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Merralyn
      June 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! I respect your abilities because of the “blog worthy” projects you have included. But, the little things that you don’t include would help me just as much. God bless you and Matt!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Hallie
      June 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Agree! Little mundane tasks are blogworthy.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sheri Hepworth
    June 17, 2015 at 11:52 am

    You hide the super woman cape, don’t you? I thought I knew why things were the way they were. I was partly right; I figured hubby’s wheelchair had dinged things up a bit back at your condo. But, there was so much more to the rest of your story. Thank you for sharing. I love what you do creatively and in construction. I have you to thank for my own bedside table! Thanks again for your transparency.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Gilmer Gal
    June 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

    The work you put into your condo will definitely pay off in the end. It will sell soooo fast! And for myself, I have been loving the décor and watching it come about. I’m definitely a “before and after” person, and I love watching your process. Thanks, Kristi, for all your great ideas and allowing us into your blog life!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brenda
    June 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Keep up the good work. You are almost there!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lou
    June 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I really never respond or comment to blogs though I do open yours every time. Thanks for filling in the blanks, I only started following your blog 3-4 months ago and you just answered a bunch of things I was pondering. Like why Matt wasn’t helping and why his dad was and didn’t they buy a house – why does she keep mentioning the condo…didn’t realize you still had it! I guess I need to take something from your transparency – when people are they draw you in closer. You have an uncanny way of doing this. What’s interesting to me as well is how nice the people that you follow are…well done!
    All the best to you, Matt and your fans.
    L

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brenda Pawloski
    June 17, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Kristi, you are so eloquent and generous to share your life with us.

    Here I am going to be less than eloquent and generous to your naysaying yappers: Shut The Heck Up! There is such a thing as discretion. Get a clue. Don’t ask the first thing that comes to your childlike mind. Don’t say the first thing that comes into your childlike mind!

    Enjoy what Kristin gives us. She is not an insect on a pin for you to examine at all angles.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Colleen F
    June 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I enjoy all your posts, whether of the condo or house. I also think you write a blog for a living, so even if the work at the condo was “blog fodder” (that term cracks me up) who cares? Really? The stuff you have been doing to get the condo ready to list has been some of your most interesting projects for me, in part, because it was stuff I felt competent that I could do. I’m unlikely to single handly do a kitchen or bath remodel ever, or do any electrical work, but I think I could sew some curtains and throw pillows! So please, keep the “blog fodder” coming girl!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Julia
    June 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Your blog is the ONLY one I follow. You are so talented and FEARLESS! Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa Garber
    June 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    If you weren’t a genuine heroine to me before (pfft- you were) you are now. What an AMAZING story. I wondered how you managed to do all you do because I thought you were still seeing design clients – this is starting to make sense to me! You DO sleep! At least once or twice a week, as it appears.

    You are a great dame, in the BEST sense of the word.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa
    June 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    It’s the challenges of life that make the accomplishments so rewarding. The ability to understand limits, and be flexible can be discouraging to you when you want to press forward, I know! But you are so far ahead of the game by knowing, and you will get there- triumphant- to the finish line! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ali
    June 17, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Wow Kristi and I thought you were superwoman before learning all the back story (new reader from late-2014 and loving your blog!). It truly is amazing what we can overcome with love, support, and power tools :). I would like to add though that I personally would love to learn more about your process for deciding on what/how to fix up a house (condo) to sell. If you were interested in blogging about that I think that would be really interesting… especially for those of us considering putting a house on the market in the near future. All the best in the home stretch for the condo !!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Becky
    June 17, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I am an avid reader of your blog, and I gotta be honest…I never once wondered why you hadn’t listed the condo. I guess I just assumed that you worked on it for so long, why wouldn’t you finish it?

    I am sorry to hear about Matts brother. I recently went through a hard time personally. Although I am sure not as hard as losing a brother. But I have to just say, I hear you! Sometimes life is rough. It’s hard to see that things do and will get better sometimes. Thanks for sharing that. And don’t let annoying people ever discourage you from blogging. I really can’t understand who has that much time to focus on your life.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Karen
    June 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for this insight in your life! As following you for several years by now feels like you’ve become a friend, it’s great to know a bit more of your background, too! Of course I would still read on if you didn’t share so much of your personal history, because your blog is great without it, too, but it just explains a lot of what you’re doing and that’s helpful. Please know that you don’t have to be utterly creative or have to provide totally new projects all the time – what you write about is so interesting (and entertaining) that I love to read it even when you post about electrical outlets, repairing things, how to install trim etc.!
    I’d like to cheer you on on the homestretch for the condo and find, like a lot of the other readers, that your posts on the condo are enjoyable, too, and full of interesting information. All the best to you and your brother for the last days in the condo!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura H
    June 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone asking such rude and nosy questions! You are allowed to have some things in your life remain personal, if you choose. I don’t get what these people mean by “blog fodder” anyway. If we are out here seeing a project you are doing, no matter where you are doing it, and learning how to do something or becoming inspired by your post, then that is the whole purpose of your blog anyway, isn’t it? I don’t care if you’re working on your condo or your house if it is something new I’m seeing or learning about.

    I don’t take a lot of blogs. Yours is by far my favorite and I look forward to reading it and seeing what you are working on and learning how to do it. I’m amazed by all that you have gone through, are still going through and by how much you manage to accomplish with what you have to deal with! Don’t let anyone bring you down or upset you with their rude or nosy questions or comments! You’re doing an amazing job!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lori Jones
    June 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    THANK YOU for sharing your condo story. i think i started following you blog about the time you showed off your kitchen in the condo. you have been such a big inspiration to me.
    and again thank you for taking the time to explain, even though it was not necessary to do so.
    (((hugs)))) to you and Matt both!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rod
    June 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Okay, little sister, enough of this “blog fodder!”

    Let’s go knock out that piddly to-do list at your Tiny Little Condo!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Angie
      June 17, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      And then when you list it, make sure that the sign reads, “For Sale. As seen on Addicted 2 Decorating”. Really use your fame to sell the condo for top dollar.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Gloria S.
    June 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Kristi, I’ve been reading your blogs for some time now, I don’t always comment, but today I feel I must do so. I just wrote a whole page and deleted it to just say “Thanks for allowing us into Your life, no explanation needed.”

    • Reply To This Comment
      Darlene
      June 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      I totally agree with you, Gloria ! Hugs to you, Kristi !!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    DAF
    June 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    You aren’t going to win over the naysayers, unfortunately. There are some blogs that hide things, change timelines, photoshop pics, etc. You could have just told us that you sold the condo when you moved out and no one would have even known. Instead, you’ve been upfront and all you have gotten is grief. I tried sticking up for you on a certain site and the other posters said that it was you creating a burner account or some such thing. I’d go back and set the record straight, but I have a feeling that I’d be wasting my time. My feeling is that these people, the ones who are critical of your blog, your process, your taste and your decisions, are either people who can’t/don’t do anything worthwhile with their own homes or they are frustrated bloggers who hate on those who are successful. Keep doing what you are doing and ignore those people. The fact that you can do what you want, take care of your husband, and work from home means that you are doing everything right, and most readers appreciate that.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Julie B.
      June 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Wait, what? There’s like a site where people are nasty about decorating blogs?

      [googles….]

      Oh yes, that one. I’d forgotten about it. Off to pop some popcorn.

      Kristi, you’re amazing. I love your work, your resourcefulness, and your courage.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Linda
    June 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Talk about a blog you can’t put down! I was emotionally exhausted after reading your story. What a motivational, creative, inspiring woman you are. And here I just thought you were another incredibly talented designer! Thank you for this personal glimpse into your life. If you can achieve all you have with the challenges you have faced, I can do the same. Thank you for being ever so much more than just a before and after picture blog. I love your tutorials and your blog presentation (the tabs for before, after and ultimate) is the best I have ever seen.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Charmaine
    June 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Congratulations on all you have gone through and making it together!!!! Life isn’t easy with its curve balls but it makes it interesting. I believe God never gives us more than we can handle. At times, people may judge and criticize where they have no room to but believe in end you have helped more people than you know. Keep up the great work !!!!
    Thank you

  • Reply To This Comment
    Guerrina
    June 17, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Kristi, as far as I’m concerned, you don’t owe any commenters an explanation. That you did says wonderful things about you. Looking forward with you to hearing “SOLD” on the condo!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marjo
    June 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Kristi, I have also been following you since I somehow found you redoing the kitchen at your house. I want you to know that to me there is nothing too menial or boring in house repair that I would not want to learn about. Like you, my hubby is disabled, he does do some of our remodeling but the process is taking wayyy too much longer than we both would like, and I would put my own work into helping more if I knew what I was actually doing. So all those tiny repair and replace and problem areas I am interested in finding out how to do also. I can’t always count on my hubby being here and will eventually have to take care of my home on my own. It’s blogs like yours that are very explanatory that help me to understand the processes. I am so glad you will be finishing your condo soon and will be able to enjoy just working on your own house again. Thanks for all you do.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Peggy R
    June 17, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Kristi: I enjoy every aspect of your blog. I missed it so much for the two weeks you were away doing the condo. I love hearing about all the details, that is what home repair and decorating are about, the finishing and the details. And if you didn’t decorate after I would feel it was left unfinished. You keep going, their is a lot of us that truly enjoy it. :0)

  • Reply To This Comment
    Matthew Linauer
    June 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I am really grateful for the positive comments y’all are giving Kristi. She works so hard to keep our heads above water. She is my rock star. Negative comments weigh on her so much. Thank you for supporting her.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Pat
      June 18, 2015 at 6:01 am

      We think you are pretty special as well, Mr. Matthew ( my son’s name, means Gift of God and don’t forget it! ) I can’t say how much I admire the two of you. I have followed Kristi’s blog for a long time and it is clear to see she adores you. Both of you are an inspiration to me and never need to explain any aspect of your lives. Thanks for letting me be a part of your journey.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Snowmanluv
    June 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Your condo is awesome. Most recently our oldest is looking for a condo. I showed her how she could make it pretty. Thank you for posting and endearing through lufe. Gotta give you credit you areije a energizer bunny and just keep going.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kathy
    June 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I, for the life of me, cannot understand how anyone could question the decisions you’ve made in your personal life ! It is no one’s business ! The only business of your readers is the content you share on your most amazing blog. I also stumbled onto it in late 2014 & have been following ever since. Everything you do, from the hard manual labor to the gorgeous sewing projects & decorating is so informative & so inspiring. I missed you so & was more than a little worried about you during your time away from blogging. It is a relief to know you were just fine & working away on the condo! It seems you & Matt have faced many challenges and have come through better for it. That is truly a statement of the kind, caring & talented person your followers love. Kudos to you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kristi's mom
    June 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I’m so proud of you, Kristi. I’m continually amazed at how much you accomplish under less than ideal circumstances. And I’m proud of Rod for being willing to drop everything and spend this week helping you finish up the condo. I’m proud of Cathy and Bill for helping you out with things at the house when you needed them. I have a wonderful family!!!

    And I have no doubt that you are going to have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY this weekend with work at the condo behind you!!! Wooooohooooo!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Julie
    June 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Oh my gosh. What is with people? Geez. I really enjoy your posts, regardless of whether they are full of technical details of an intense project, or a relatively simple decorating distraction. Carry on doing your thing, and remember that the silent majority of us are out here appreciating you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    chris
    June 17, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    After reading your note to us and reading all the comments of your fans and family, you are loved Kristi. and Matt. We do share your good times and bad. I so look forward to your email and an opportunity to say a prayer for you and family. God Bless and Keep you. And safe as the wind and rain pounds Waco,(according to the news we get in Ontario Canada, may the Lord give you safety.

  • Reply To This Comment
    JoanneS
    June 17, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Kristi you are just amazing! You are so caring and thoughtful, and give so much to everyone! I’ve been following your blog since your condo bathroom remodel, and haven’t missed a day since. Last year during a super stressful time, reading your blog and building vicariously through you, was an escape that helped me get back my creative ‘oomph’. Thank you so much! I’m eager to read whatever is your blog subject of the day, and am totally blown away by your talent! Your family is amazing too, and I’m so glad they appreciate what a gem you are. I got teary eyed reading their comments. Sending you lots of digital hugs from the east coast! (((( )))))) 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Coranne
    June 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my email in anticipation of a post from you. You truly are amazing and talented. Although I could never come close to what you do, I am inspired by every post. Don’t ever stop. Sending you lots of positive energy and girl power! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brad W.
    June 17, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Wow. Thanks for taking the time to share all of that personal information with us. I’m praying that the condo sells for a butt load of $ ! All the best…

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kathy
    June 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    To summarize the comments so far: no need to explain, #1 blogger, keep going.

    I will add: real, talented, hopeful, humorous.

    It takes great skill to communicate the real you to the masses. I bet every commenter on here feels they know you personally. That’s because you explain your thought processes, you take us down your roads, and you make us feel we are right there with you saying “uh-huh, that totally doesn’t go with the wall color”.

    You are writing about life, gal. Not just decorating or home improvement.

    Another bet: if you published your address (and I don’t condone this) and set a date, you would have so many people showing up to help you finish your projects that you wouldn’t have words.

    Decorate on, my dear.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Judy Maracle Steppacher
    June 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I love your blog, your life story sound similar to mine, I stopped working to look after my husband, he needed a double lung transplant in 2011, we got married in 2009 (both of us in our 50’s) we sold our home Dec 2014 to pay off debt and bought a 104 yr old home in January 2015. It is a major DIY project but something we could afford. I wish you the very best and I look forward to reading your future blogs.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Linda Adney
    June 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Reading your struggles is heart breaking and heart warming…I too only read your blog…I noticed as I was rereading your post and all the answers I need more than a “reply” button which I know if for you but I needed today for “Really”, me too”, ” Agree with _____, ______ and _____”, and so forth…All of us value you and your posts and partly because it makes our struggles not so hard, so many of your followers post to you as Family, even one “Sister”. So when the sun rises in the morning, just know we are behind you 100% and I so agree that you should list your accomplishments for 2015…Remember the bathroom floor?..and I think your timing on selling is perfect…You have a couple of months before fall semester, just hoping for an immediate sale so you can get your HVAC soon…Soar on.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Eileen
    June 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Wow! Now I’m doubly impressed. You are such a talented dynamo and you are are working through life with Matt and I congratulate you for that. I also wondered about the back story and appreciate your level of openness. Thanks so much for sharing a very private part of your lives.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jamie Straub
    June 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Kristi…or as I call you to my hubby “my lady”, you are the first blog I go to every am. We bought our 4th and last (forever home) two years ago knowing that we loved the location and the lake and seriously disliked everything else about our new home and so we started the big demo while we also have to live here. That is where you came in. I have learned so much from you building and remodeling and your decorating style is spot on for me. My hubby is a construction supervisor and he has learned, once I say…my lady says we should…or my lady says this is the best primer…or let me show you a picture of what my lady did in her new kitchen…you get the point:) You really didn’t owe us this post but we needed this post. I think so many of us have included you in our daily lives we just need to know what is on the horizon. Not in a nosy way but in a caring…where did my lady go…way. Sincerely, thanks for the update.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jenni
    June 17, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I echo what other’s say in that your blog is my very favorite to read and the ONLY one where I never miss a single post. It’s primarily to see all your amazing projects (you inspire me like no one else) but it’s also due to how real and honest you always are. I feel like we have a lot in common in that I’ve also been single-handedly renovating my house for the past 6 years (it is not easy!) For that entire time, I’ve always thought “I should start a blog” but I never have because of the amount that you have to be willing to open your personal life and choices up to every stranger in the world. That takes no small amount of courage. Not to mention thick skin and unending patience to answer questions over and over that are clearly answered in the past! Oh, also, thanks to you, I learned about HCG and am currently down 30 lbs so far!! Keep up the good work. You inspire more people and in more ways than I think you’ll ever know. I wish the best for both you and Matt.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Jenni
      June 17, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      *that was meant to say “…that are clearly answered in the post.” 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Pam Till
    June 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Kristi, it breaks my heart that any one of your followers could ever make you feel like you owe anyone of us any kind of explanation! You are an amazingly talented lady! I admire your dedication to Matt and I admire your family’s love and support for you! I can tell you are wonderful people from your posts. Ugly hearts will always show their true colours sooner or later….even when they’re typing from a keyboard, don’t give them a second thought. I am so sorry for the heartbreak that you and your family went through in 2011, and I pray that each and every day since has brought you all a bit more peace. I love following you Kristi! I am amazed by what you accomplish, and I’m always looking forward to each and every post you share! I “assume” you will make many wonderful “memories” with the ones who love you most this week-end! Have a very Happy Birthday Kristi….and don’t paint any pillows! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jan
    June 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Kristi,
    I’m glad you took the break that Matt advised you to take (Yeah, Matt!!) because as I’ve said to you before, take care of yourself! We’ll still be here waiting for you because we love everything about you.

    Your choices all seem well-thought out to me. After all, those choices are all made based on your’s and Matt’s life situation. Since I don’t really know every single detail of it, I would never have the gall to suggest to you what I think would be a ‘better’ plan for how you live it!

    I’m another one who hopes you make a bucket of money on the sale of the condo. I’ve worried for the 2 of you, especially Matt, because of your Texas heat. I have 3 friends with MS and I know heat is very hard on them. I’d love for you to get central air. My American husband tells me tales of the heat from growing up in Tucson and McKinney.

    I’d even feel more cool and comfortable knowing you had AC!

    Jan (Ontario, Canada)

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kim
    June 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Kristi, you are a good blogger but a great wife! Stay strong! You are an inspiration to many.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Betty
    June 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I am sometimes amazed at the cruel and hurtful things that people say. My mother always said ” it’s better to keep your mouth closed and thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” I have enjoyed your blog and you certainly owe no one any explanation. Keep doing what you are doing and remember most of those people who are so willing to voice their opinion, probably could not have accomplished half the things that you have. Carry on and do what your heart says and forget the naysayers.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sharon
    June 18, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Kristi, I hope you never feel you have to justify yourself again. Your personal life should be off limits to anyone outside of your family and friends. Little bits you’ve said hinted at some fairly major struggles in your life. I kind of guessed at some of it and I am sorry that you have had to go through so much. You are clearly a much stronger person that you give yourself credit for.

    I love everything you post. Whether it be stuff from the condo or stuff from the house. It’s all fuel for my imagination. Sure I mightn’t love all of your design ideas but the inspiration I get gives me little clues to what I want to do and I find that help invaluable. Besides, how boring would it be if we all shared the same design ideas.

    As for the critics? Stuff em. They don’t have to read your blog and if all they can do is find fault then maybe they should try reading something else.

    Keep up your awesome work and your awesome attitude and know that the vast majority of us love you and what you do.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Annie W
    June 18, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Dear Kristi,
    This is YOUR blog. We are just your faithful followers/readers! Since this is your blog – U are the boss and can very well write anything you like or do not like…
    There will always be negative people around. Fortunately this is not their blog 🙂
    Life is too short to please everyone everywhere. DO what makes you happy and this year will be an awesome year for you and Matt!
    The best is yet to come. Rock On Kristi!
    Virtual Hugs to you and Matt 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Denise Hans
    June 18, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Kristi,
    I’ve been reading your blog since earlier this year, and am catching up on all posts since its beginning, but I have never commented. I know it’ been said repeatedly, but you have been such an inspiration to me, and I just wanted to thank you. I think you are amazingly talented, and I love how fearless you are! I also think you are an excellent writer, and I really appreciate the humor in your posts.

    Thanks again for enriching my life by sharing yours.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sheila F.
    June 18, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I do not need, but do appreciate, the backround story of your condo. I think, perhaps, we as readers have come to think of you as a friend (albeit one you have never met in person). I think the majority of us worry for you and Matt and care that you do not over extend yourself. I understand how we can seem to pile on you though. I just love to read about anything you do and I am willing to wait for posts and I want you to take breaks and take care of YOU! I must admit that my mind did not go to the fact that you LIVED in the condo after making it pretty. I think my brain just said “OHHHHHH Pretty!” when seeing the pictures and did not think about the fact that while living there walls were bumped and doorways were scraped….. Lots of touchup from living! I am happy that you and your loving family can work together to get it put on the market. And although we do not deserve a story regarding your and Matt’s relationship, I for one appreciate hearing about your committed love and caring for one another. Yours is a true love story! You and Matt are amazing people. I thank you for letting me see snippets into your life. You help me be stronger in my own….. Thank you Kristi! and BIG HUGS from West VIrginia!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jaybird
    June 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Just sending you and Matt a hug…I am so proud to know you!!!
    I agree with the PP who said put “as seen on Addicted2decorating blog” on your for sale sign!
    I love your integrity AND your ambition! I am a lazy old lady, so I do a lot of virtual work through reading your blog :^)
    Blessings to you both!
    J

    • Reply To This Comment
      Jaybird
      June 18, 2015 at 9:28 am

      PS: I think your brother is great too!! and a hug for your Mom…I hope she is doing better and taking care of her ankle!

      • Reply To This Comment
        Sarah
        June 19, 2015 at 8:39 am

        I completely agree! This is your blog and of no one else! Heads up, don’t mind the haters!

  • Reply To This Comment
    JB
    June 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Just want to say that I’m a fairly new fan (I only started reading a few months ago) and I really enjoy your DIY posts. It seems that lately all the DIY and decor blogs I follow only want to feature finished rooms that are decorated to the hilt and professionally staged. I prefer to read/see real projects in their daily form, being recorded by the people actually doing them. And the fact that you (mostly) work on this stuff all by yourself?!?!? An amazing inspiration to me. I hope you keep on doing what you do!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Barbie B
    June 18, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Kristi,

    I think your blog is a great way for you personally to see/reflex and be amazed and proud of how much you’ve accomplished and have it as a record. For you and Matt to come through such difficult times and see new light and move on is a great testimony to your hearts and spirits. There is a saying that one is either in a struggle, has just come out of a struggle or is going into a struggle and you have both definitely been through all of that! I love your blog for your creativity and honesty and in this day and age that’s no easy task. I look forward to seeing what else you create and pray that your condo, once completed, will sell immediately!

    Continued blessings to both you and Matt

  • Reply To This Comment
    DKW
    June 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Kristi,

    I have read many blogs, but have never commented until now.

    My late husband passed away when I was in my 30’s and I was so devastated that I never wanted to marry again. God had other plans (thankfully!) I married a man who had lost his wife and my new husband and I bought a wonderful home together, but we still owned the homes we had with our late spouses.

    Many things have gotten in the way of us getting the other homes cleared out and ready for sale. Here it is, more than 5 years later and we still own those two homes and both are empty! It has amazed me how many people think they should have some input into how we should (or should have) handled these homes. They act as if it has diminished the quality of THEIR lives.

    All of this to say, it’s YOUR condo and YOUR life. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone! I do believe that some of these people mean well by their comments and their questions about you getting the condo sold, however, it really is none of their business. It’s no one’s business except your’s and Matt’s.

    You’ve dealt with much more than most people have to handle. Your readers and supporters love you and support you no matter what you decide you need to do. We just appreciate that you keep in mind that most of us are not as skilled as you are and you give instructions that we can understand. You are a fabulous technical writer!

    I am not easily impressed, but I am absolutely wowed by your abilities (and your abilities are immeasurable!). As so many people have stated, your blog is the first and often the only blog I read or look at daily and I look forward to it. I’ve learned so much!!

    So thank you and Matt, do what you and Matt decide needs to be done, and please don’t take the negative comments to heart. Some people are so miserable in their own skins that they have to pick at others to feel good about themselves. It hurts my heart for them.

    Wow, for someone who never comments, I sure have been long-winded! Keep blogging and know that you are deeply appreciated and loved!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ellen W.
    June 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Oh, that “blog fodder” remark makes my head spin. I’ve been following you since mid-way through your kitchen renovation and therefore didn’t know the full story of your past. The tale of your condo is a tale of your life, as well. Thank you for sharing it with us, although it wasn’t necessary. I’ve found your energy and focus and drive and gumption to be compelling (and inspiring), and I hope that you can continue to do all that you do, and carry all that you carry, without the concern of what others may think. You were and are and will always be terrific at what you do, Live your life as you see fit, and if you choose to blog about it, then that will be our gain.

  • Reply To This Comment
    designdreamer
    June 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I appreciate all the information, knowledge, etc., you impart. Thank you for everything. And blessings to you and Matt. You seem to hold it all together much better than I think I ever could.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    June 18, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I think I found your blog in the summer of 2012 while you were completing your kitchen in the condo and I’ve been a big fan ever since! I love this blog because of your creativity and the way you are ‘real’. There have not been too many days in the last 3 years that I haven’t checked to see what you’ve posted about your condo reno and your new home reno and I am never disappointed. Thank you

  • Reply To This Comment
    Eileen
    June 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Kristi, you inspire so many of us DIY women….I love ALL your posts and constantly find myself completely awed by your self-taught amazing talent!! Yours is the ONLY blog I follow that I find myself nudging my husband and saying “You gotta see what she did now!!!” Wish I lived in Waco, I’d totally keep my fingers crossed every day to bump into you in the supermarket or mall so that we could quickly become BFFs cuz you da coolest!! LOL!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Melanie
    June 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Kristi, that post was helpful in understanding how you think and how you make some of the decisions you do. I admire your courage, your work ethic, your loyalty to your family. I admire your DIY and decorating talent. What you accomplish is mindblowing. I do hope some good things happen for you…selling the condo in the manner you would like, improved health for Matt, or something else happy and satisfying. God bless you.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura
    June 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Okay, so I found you for the first time ever three days ago through Bloglovin’ when looking for DIY and home decor blogs to follow. Your posts about the kitchen are what caught my attention, but your tutorials and projects list inspire me and make me want to continue returning to your site.

    You are awesome! You certainly didn’t have to share your story, and you certainly don’t have to justify your life choices or decisions to a bunch of skeptics and critics on the interwebs, but your candor strikes a chord with me. It’s sometimes nice when bloggers let their readers into their personal lives. You’ve been through a lot and it was so amazing that you shared your story with us. Thank you for being so brave and vulnerable in this post. I bet you will find that you can’t stop all the nay-sayers, but opening up and sharing even more of yourself than you ever needed to only strengthens your relationships with “Regular” readers and hooks new followers like me.

    I will definitely keep coming back on a daily basis. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ruthie
    June 19, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Kristi, I am in awe of your design talent, your carpentry skills and your can-do spirit. You have been such an inspiration to me.

    You are a gifted writer. I swear you could write about which is the best kind of broom to use for sweeping up after a project and make it interesting.

    Mainly, I deeply respect and admire you and Matt for finding the strength and courage to carry on in the face of such adversity.

    Peace.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jody
    June 19, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Kristi,

    Reading your post and the following comments leaves me filled with emotion. Like everyone else, it is a shame people would put pressure on you to explain. Now let me tell you all the positives I gained from reading your post and the comments. You are an amazing human. This world needs more people like you. We all have life issues and deal with them differently, but how therapeutic (hopefully) to be so open an honest about them. Not only do you inspire others to be better, but your openness and honesty give others peace, that they are not alone. When struggling, with anything, it is always comforting to know someone else has been there. I am childhood cancer survivor (22+ years now) and let me tell you, at the time other cancer patients were my saving grace.

    Also, I read all the good that comes from your heart and the heart of the people who commented here. In a world where the news seems to one horrible tragedy after another, it’s refreshing to know the true spirit of this country is still here. You just have to know where to find it. Keep on keeping on, flaws and all!!! (BTW, I think you are perfect) That is the most precious part, you are honest about the difficulties in your life. Not everyone can be that strong!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Susie
    June 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Hi Kristi:
    I love your blog. Your projects are always awesome and your detailed explanations are fantastic.
    For your pantry project, you mentioned taking out the windows. I was wondering if you had considered leaving the windows and just running the shelving in front of them. You could add a strip of molding along the back edge of the shelves to keep things from getting pushed back and falling off. It could look really pretty, and you would have natural light in the pantry.
    Thanks for putting together such an inspiring blog.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Linda H
    June 19, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Good morning, Kristi. Wow. I always read your blog and all the comments too, but this post and comments were so emotional to me that I’ve had to read it in bits and pieces. My teenaged daughter has a language disability and because she looks “normal” (whatever that is) she often is verbally abused for being “slow” or “stuck-up”. It makes me want to scream at people who make assumptions: you don’t know her story; just leave her alone! I felt this way reading your post. My daughter’s situation has taught me that we ALL, even the most gifted, young, attractive, and seemingly put-together people have a back-story. If it isn’t one of struggle yet, it will be before it’s over. That is life. The test (I tell my daughter), is to weather it with grace and remember your own struggle when wanting to judge someone else for something they did, said, or didn’t do or say. Remember the song lyrics, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
    I applaud you, Kristi, for staying the course and weathering the ups and downs of life with grace and humor. I really don’t understand the questioners and frankly, I think it is rather presumptious (can’t spell that, but you know what I mean) of anyone to question your intentions or actions. I have the same reaction to them as I do to my daughter’s “friends”: I want to scream at them and tell them to MYOB and leave you alone.
    I saw from your mom’s comment that you have a birthday this weekend. I hope it is a great day, blessed with love and laughter. Blessings to you, Matt, and the rest of your family.

    P.S. I too would love to see posts on simple fix-ups when you have time. You are so beyond my level of expertise (I have none!) that what you might consider boring and common knowledge would be a step up for me!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Skevit
    June 19, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Its been some time since I have really read some of your posts. Mostly because your more recent posts werent projects that interested me. So I havent really been able to see people asking pointed questions about the condo. BUt I will say I know in the past people asked about the Condo and so have I. Not so much in the “Why do you still have it” sense. But I did see a lot of people asking how things were going, and I asked the same. I havent seen any of those questions be rude, rather curious. For me your projects at the condo are my favorites and why I read the blog in the first place. So I wanted to see the things going on there because they interest me and I like to see them, I now others felt the same. With no updates, pictures etc, if a few months went by with no word on the condo I noticed someone asking how things were going from curiosity. I think thats good to show that people are invested in your condo and whats happening. However, if recently people have been getting on you about how long its taking you to sell or scolding you/being rude about it. Thats kind of none of their business and its crossing the line. So if its gotten to that point lately, I am sorry to hear that. But I hope at the same time that even though this situation is frustrating you can see that a lot of your readers are more curious than they are harsh, and a lot of them just want to know whats going on because they like your work. Hope you finished up with the condo this week, I am excited to see an all done post with before and afters.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Alma
    June 19, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Life has given you some hard blows, but it seems you and Matt are stronger for it. I’ve often wondered what people think gives them the right to criticize others, and least of all people they do not even personally know. What you do with your blog is your business only. If someone does not like it, they have a choice not to read it. Hang in there.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ruth
    June 19, 2015 at 11:42 am

    So love your blog! have been a faithful follower and will continue to be.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Holly
    June 20, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Kristi, you are a superstar.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Carmen
    June 20, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I’m new to your blog but OMG!!! You are a woman after my own heart/home. I’m from Texas but now live in the middle of a small island called Manhattan. I laboriously scoured the city in search of a townhome and found one perfect for my family of four. When my husband fell out from a heart incident while on a business trip last year and was put on life support for two weeks, I realized life was short and I was not enjoying the ride. Then I had a heart attack several months later and instead of being grateful to be here, I started questioning God – “why bring me back to the same rotten circumstances?” Your blog has inspired me to pick myself up, dust myself off and get down to my basement wood shop to finish the multitude of projects I’ve left in depression. Your blog has made me want to start over. Thank you for sharing such personal info and your techniques. Suddenly the world has become one big flea market and all I do is imagine what can be. My husband and I are both here to accomplish our dreams. Of that I’m certain!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Andrea
    June 28, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Chiming in to thank you for the blog. The nasty folks at GOMI have caused so many bloggers so much grief, and made people feel so unappreciated and self-conscious — and the result is that folks stop blogging. It’s a loss and a shame. Don’t listen to them! You are very much appreciated, and 99% of your readers are not indulging in time-wasting mean-spirited speculation about your life. We just like learning from you.

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