Mariana’s New Bedroom!

Last weekend, we took on the weekend project of re-imagining Mariana’s bedroom. This has been her bedroom since her birth, but before that, it was also Clara’s nursery. While upgrades have been made to her room over the years, her room has still been virtually based on the same color scheme and layout up to this point.

A baby nursery with blue walls, a pink stripe on the salls, a brown chair and a wooden crib.
Clara’s Nursery back in 2013
Mariana standing in her blue room with a pink stripe, filled with a bed, table, desk, and toys everywhere.
Mariana’s room in 2022 (it normally wasn’t this messy, but she created one of her many shops out of her room).

With Clara being busy at a dance competition all weekend, this was a great opportunity for Mariana and me to be productive in the house. Mariana picked out the colors, and we took to Pinterest to get some ideas. After exploring many options, Mariana narrowed her choice down to a grey bedroom with a light blue accent wall, rejecting complex shapes and patterns that were floated to her.

The project went into full force last Wednesday when I took all of the furniture out of her room (Maraina was with her mom for the next two nights).

Mariana's blue room with a pink stripe, mostly empty, with a white bed turned on its side.

The next night I focused on getting everything off of the walls and doing a lot of patching.

The same bedroom, but now with the walls bare and covered in white spackle.

When I got the girls back Friday morning, we picked up the paint and went to town. My mom joined us and both girls were amazing helpers, and we were reminded how satisfying painting can be.

By day’s end, the paint dried enough to set up Mariana’s bed and move some furniture back into the room. She was excited to sleep in this in-progress project.

Mariana (and George, who we’re pet-setting for Shannon) spending the first night in her newly painted room

Saturday came, and Clara spent the day at her dance competition. My mom came over, and the three of us started getting the lights, shelving, wall fixtures, and all of the furnishings into the room. We had a lot of fun playing with string lights, threading them along the ceiling down her dresser wall. We swapped the location of her bed and dresser, and I replaced her nursery dresser with an amazing wooden dresser I got in an estate auction. My mom also replaced Mariana’s desk with a new-to-her desk. I also mounted Mariana’s TV to the wall to open up her dresser space. We tried to be more selective about adding things back into the room, taking the opportunity to de-clutter as much as we can.

Here is the current result, with a few more decorations to add, along with some on-the-wall shelving that will arrive next week.

Mariana's finished bedroom, with grey walls, with a sky-blue wall on the right, her bed, brown dresser, desk, and shelving.

Mariana is excitedto offer a tour:

I’m so very grateful for all the people who helped make this happen: my mom, who helped paint and decorate; Shannon, who helped me get the dresser. Next up: Clara’s room this summer? Stay tuned!

Selling our home: 1 month in

It’s been a little over a month since our house has been on the market, and during that time we’ve gone through the whole cycle: 

We showed our home, received and offer, accepted the offer, looked for a home, walked through homes, found one we liked, decided it was little above our price range, walked away from a counter-offer, found another home, made an offer, got under contract, got our home inspected, fixed the identified items, found out that the house-selling contract was falling through, had to terminate our house-buying contract (as it was pending a successful closing), now putting our house on the market again.

So we’re pretty much back to where we started. The showings are starting back up, but unfortunately not at the pace we had out the gate. If I were to guess, I think that the High Park fire may be discouraging people from wanting to come up to Fort Collins and look at houses. We’re taking all of this as a lesson in patience, and looking forward to see where this will takes us. We’re a little bummed that we may miss out on the home we wanted to buy, but consider ourselves blessed to be in a position where we can be patient, and we know God has a plan for us and are anxious to watch that plan unfold.

HOA’s prove that apathy can make you miserable

Given that we’re currently showing our house, it’s probably not the best time to write about our Home Owners Association. However the issues I experience with my HOA are simply an example of the problem with the institution of HOA’s as a whole.

As you know, we’re selling our house, and like most sellers we put up a sign in the grass next to the sidewalk and our front steps on Friday.  Apparently it took all of three days before we got a letter in the mail from the HOA management, informing us that our “For Sale” sign is three feet out too far and cannot be in the grass.  For the grave offense I may be fined for causing all of this trouble, unless I go through the pain-staking process of moving this sign the three feet it will take to restore balance in the universe.

Yes, I guess we technically broke the rules, but the worst part about this is that rather than our neighbor actually being neighborly and saying something to us, they go to the trouble of tattling to the HOA management company that has to get someone to draft the letter, buy a stamp and mail the letter us.  This typical “hall monitor” stuff is gutless.

While this is the first time we’ve been held in contempt, this is not the first time I’ve been infuriated by the actions of our dear leaders in the HOA board.  We have a swimming pool in our neighborhood, and last summer the dear board decided to cut the funding for having a lifeguard, and instead divert that money to getting a card-access security system for the gates.  The problem there: the system didn’t work for most of the summer, and the times you were there, people just left the gate open anyway.  So much for security.  When it became apparent these state-of-the-art measures weren’t working, the HOA board decided to then increase the height of the gates – but guess what – we’ll put some cool looking sculptures at the top of these fence posts.

The problem is that these examples aren’t isolated to our own HOA, and I’m sure many of you have dealt with some form of absurdity.  Virtually every HOA has asinine rules and ridiculous decisions.  Unfortunately there is only one person to blame for the irrelevance of the HOA: me.

My problem: I don’t care. I don’t go to any of the meetings, I proxy my vote on issues.  My apathy stems from my schedule and priorities – I simply have too much going on to help decide what kind of shrubbery people should put in their yard.  I think My apathy has given way for two kinds of people – people who have a specific agenda (or special interests), or people who simply have too much time on their hands and want to feel important – rise to leadership positions.  Since the majority of people can’t be bothered to attend the meetings, these crazy policies get passed with little opposition.

In thinking about HOA struggles, it helps me explain why we end up scratching our heads about governing bodies like Congress.  The collective masses are too apathetic to be involved in monitoring the day-to-day operations, and it takes something as crazy as SOPA & PIPA to wake the sleeping giant.  Given the amount of expense and grief we give candidates, no reasonably-minded person wants to go through that experience, once again giving way to special interests and people with a sense of self-importance.

The moral of the story: as mundane as it may be, we need more people with common sense to step up and play a role in decisions that impact everyone – otherwise you may find yourself 3 feet inside “crazy”.

We’re selling the farm! [Announcements]

This has been several weeks in the making, but we finally took the plunge and decided to sell our house!


Our Rock Creek home has been an awesome place to live for the past four years.  For a couple starting out, this home provided the perfect amount of space, is located in a beautiful neighborhood that is full of life, and is a short walk away from the Front Range Village shopping center.  We definitely loved living here.  There last few weeks getting it ready to list have been pretty busy. You don’t realize just how much extra stuff you have until you try to de-clutter from it.  If you’d like to see the results of our effort, you can check out the pictures at our listing.

We’re now looking for a single-family home that’s a little more in between of our two jobs, as well as something that will host a few chapters of our lives.  We’re anxious to see where these next few weeks and months will take us and are excited for the opportunities.