Before & After

What, you might wonder, would make freakishly busy new parents, their itty bitty baby, and 2/3 of the grandparent contingent travel 400 miles out to Arizona for three days? If you guessed a reunion, a holiday or fun-in-the-sun, you'd be wrong.

The official answer: To see the final renovations at our Arizona place.

The real answer: To see The Varmint and I take a wild leap into maturity.


With the help of our parents, we've rolled the dice with shaking fists (and puckered backsides) that a little chunk of real estate in the Tucson Foothills will be the foundation of our fiscal future. It's a big deal for us, and the fam knows it. They're lending support as our quivering knees buckle at the number of zeros in our new mortgage.

CdL_LivingRoom_AfterThe truth is, The Varmint and I have never bought anything in the five-digit range together before. Nope. We've hit the fours a few times (computers, furniture, car repairs), and those caused nervousness to the point of diarrhea, insomnia and that reeky underarm smell only stress can manufacture. So here we are, jumping straight to the sixes, as if we were, you know, financially responsible. (I wonder what weird stuff we're in for now? Shingles? High blood pressure? Bald spots?)


Anyway, thanks to Varmint Senior and his Merry Band of Troopers, the renovations to the place are nearly complete. (These are all before and after shots - we'll let you guess which is which.) Lots of the fixtures and stuff The Varmint and I chose blindly, with fingers crossed. Then, we'd ship the stuff out or enlist Varmint Sr.'s cool management to install, long-distance. We had no idea how it would come out, but gambled that a renter wouldn't notice too much if this or that didn't match. 

The results are wonderful and horrible. Wonderful in that WOW! what a difference kind of way. And horrible in that "isn't it weird that our investment property is actually larger and nicer than the house we actually live in now?" kind of way. 


I guess that's the price we pay for living in San Diego, and skipping the summertime butt blisters. On the positive side, three people in our 960 square feet also means we are a very close-knit family. Not to mention, when things get really bad, there is always the

Man-Shack (a.k.a. Our Studio) for use as an escape hatch - and since it's perpetually sunny and beautiful, the great outdoors.

Can't forget that! CdL_GuestBath_BeforeCdL_GuestBath_After


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >