A Home Built on Gratitude

I don't care what people say about New Year's Resolutions: I love them. For some reason, I'm really good at sticking to them. Some standouts from the last few years: swearing off all shopping minus basic toiletries and groceries (yup, I did it, with the exception of a couple of cheats); the infamous "join a gym" (yup, did it, stuck with it, went down three dress sizes and got fit and felt great); promising myself I'd only buy Canadian-made clothing and accessories (yup, minus a couple minor misses), and last year's ambitious "buy a house" which we accomplished a mere 6 weeks into 2010 (we hadn't even met with a realtor before Jan 1st).

The "buy a house" resolution was by far the most ambitious and naive of all my resolutions, though I'm glad we did it, as it'd just been talk with no action for years. We were buying a house in the country, because we wanted to be in nature, have lots of space and get a house we could afford. The resolution ended up taking over our lives for the entire year, from looking to finding; negotiation to settling; getting approved for a mortgage (no small feat for a self-employed cabinetmaker and jeweller); taking a month of from our businesses to rip out carpets & install our own heated floors.

a deer on our property

We were blown away and very touched by all the friends and family who helped us renovate and came up to celebrate Aaron's 30th by lugging scrap metal off the land and starting a massive garden plot from scratch.

And then there was the Thing.

We discovered the Thing in early August, one month after we finally moved our furniture in, set up our studios and returned to "real life". It started by noticing a small patch of black mold in the laundry room. It ended a week ago after 2 inspectors, 5 contractors, intense negotiations with the previous owners and $20 000 worth of reconstruction wherein the back of our house was completely demolished and rebuilt.

construction cover at the back of the house

It's over now, despite the debt on our credit cards, the still-lingering layer of plaster dust, the unpainted walls and plywood floor, the trimless windows, doorless rooms and the broken thermostat to the precious heated floor in the jewellery studio.


So our New Year's Resolution was a bit of an anti-resolution: we resolved NOT to let 2012 be the year of the house. Instead it would be WILL BE about thriving in our lives, & BUSINESSES (thanks to the house).

We are grateful that we can turn our attention away from the house. Grateful that the majorwork is done. Deeply eternally grateful that family and friends eagerly and earnestly offered us legal, financial and emotional support. We are grateful that the previous owners met us halfway. We are grateful that the mold is gone. We are grateful that Blisscraft & Brazen enjoyed such a warm and wonderful reception during our first ever holiday season which helped make a big dent in  our electrician bills (note to self: if business fails, become a certified electrician). We are grateful our relationship survived the stress.

A house is never done and we could go on endlessly upgrading windows, putting moulding on our new floors, stripping wallpaper and painting drywall. There's plenty of time for that later. But 2012 is the time to let our souls LIVE in this house. This big new home with space for both of our workshops, for each of our offices, for friends and family to visit and a proper dining table to have them sit at. And that is A LOT to be grateful for.

us on the dock


Rachel (and Aaron)