TLDR: This post is basically going to be about how busy I am. I wanted to write it 3 months ago, but, like I said, I’ve been super busy …. I am forcing myself to bust this out today, because when things are just too chaotic putting them down in writing always helps give me some clarity, and I really need that right now.

In case you missed it, our family purchased a second condo in Big Bear last summer with the intention of turning it into a rental property to list on Airbnb. We had family visiting from Poland at the time, so we didn’t officially start any work on the place until they left in August. Our original goal was to have it done and ready to rent by Thanksgiving (actually dying over the optimism we had back then, lol, so naive). When that didn’t happen, we promised we’d have it good to go by Christmas. And here we are, mid-January, nowhere close to ready. My dad swears it’ll be done by the end of the month. That’s adorable. 🙄

snow day, big bear

Why is it taking so long?! Well, besides the electrical, granite, tile, and drywall, we’re doing all the work ourselves. Thankfully my dad and I both work from home, so this is even possible. Our days look like this:

  • Living in a construction zone, complete with sleeping on mattresses on the floor since we don’t have room to set up the beds yet, using a make-shift plywood counter while we wait for our granite guy to cut and install our slab, washing dishes in the bathtub since we don’t have a kitchen sink yet, yelling out from the bathroom not to come in because we don’t have doors installed, and lining the edges of the condo with blankets and bubble wrap because our baseboards aren’t in and cold air keeps seeping through the holes from the crawl space. I’m sorry, but this is why I have to laugh when friends ask me if they can come up and help…. this is not a glamorous HGTV before and after special that wraps up nicely within an hour with time for commercial breaks. It’s messy, stressful, and exhausting, and if you don’t know your way around the chaos, you’re in the way.

  • We wake up, try to get as much done as we can on the condo before the sun sets at 4:30, still checking email throughout the day in case a client emergency comes up for either one of us, and then switch gears once it’s dark to work on our actual jobs.

  • And of course everyday that we set out to do a specific task on the condo we run into a million problems slowing us down (ie: it starts snowing unexpectedly the day we set out to paint the doors outside, we discover the faucet we planned to install doesn’t fit with the old plumbing structure, my dad accidentally drills a hole through a pipe in the kitchen while trying to install cabinets and it literally starts spraying everything down like a fire hose - yeah, that happened)

  • Oh, and since we’re in the middle of peak rental season in Big Bear, every other day my mom and I are back at the first rental unit cleaning and flipping it between guests.

Even though it feels like this is dragging on for an eternity, I have to keep reminding myself that the money we’re losing by not renting yet, we’re saving by doing this all ourselves. And since I’ve always dreamed of taking on a fixer upper, I really can’t complain. I’ve learned soooo much that I can’t wait to take with me to my future home (assembled and hung up cabinets, installed toilets, and fixed a faucet to name a few! 💪🏼)

Despite all the chaos, my business has been hitting its record months since October! I guess being limited on when I can work has really pushed me to make the most of the few free hours a day I do have.

But you can’t have it all, right? My social life is in the shitter right now. I actually can’t remember the last time I’ve seen most of my friends, and Eric and I have only spent 3 weekends together since Halloween. Since cooking here is so inconvenient, we either eat out or I live off frozen dinners and snacks. My diet is absolutely terrible right now, and if it weren’t for the SIX DAY stomach flu I welcomed 2019 with, I would probably be at my heaviest ever right now. Yes, six days… I lost 10 pounds.

kitchen remodel, construction, renovation
installing cabinets, kitchen, remodel
kitchen remodel, cabinets
kitchen island, cabinets

So there it is. What life looks like right now. I think I’ve slept in my own bed ONCE in the last 3 months. I’m tired, stressed, and over it, but somehow still in love with every single day. This project is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not just physically, but the mental exhaustion of not having a routine, and carrying the burden of knowing how much this is all costing and feeling the pressure to make it all back and know this investment was worth it.

Wow! I was not expecting this post to turn into such a pity party for myself, but if that’s what came out, then clearly I needed to get that off my chest! 😳 Hey Eric, you ready to do this with me all over again when we move into our fixer upper? 😉

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