December Update (2022)

Front door with Christmas decorations

Well, here we are a quarter of the way through December. My kids have informed me we only have 17 days until Christmas (from the Christmas countdown tree) and it doesn't feel like we got access to our house almost 2 months ago already! It's been a busy, fun time for us.

Anyway, I wanted to sit down and reflect on all the things we've already done since moving in. I have a few reasons for wanting to do this.

First, I often forget how much progress has been made when there's so much that still needs to be done. Second, I wanted to record some of these items for future reference anyway, why not share them with anyone who is interested? And third, I don't take the time to reflect very much, but I know it's important.

House accomplishments

So here's a bunch of stuff that's been accomplished already:

  1. I ripped down a bunch of ivy that was growing on the front face of the house. We didn't love how it looked, and it was destroying the trim. I also didn't want it to cause damage to the brick itself down the road.
  2. The backyard had a lot of overgrown plants that I cut down, including an invasive plant called Japanese Knotweed. The knotweed is especially hard to get rid of completely so I'll be battling new shoots of that next spring. It's starting to look a lot cleaner back there, but still needs work.
  3. We had central air conditioning installed 🙌🏼 The prices are going up next year because the way they calculate efficiency ratings is changing so we had it done before 2023.
  4. Just today we had a dumpster hauled away full of junk from the previous owners. When we first moved in, some family helped haul a trailer load of junk away as well. Glad to be rid of it!
  5. I mapped all the circuits in the house to a nice diagram. One breaker kept tripping when we brew coffee in the morning, so I wanted to see if circuits were overloaded or not. It's not terrible, but I'd like to break a few circuits up and to properly ground them. (right now most of the outlets are just two-prong)
  6. The edging in the front yard was brick, but in different spots it was either terribly settled or falling over. I removed all of it and stacked it in the back yard until we decide what to do with it all.
  7. Hannah (my wife) painted the living, kitchen, and dining rooms so far. It's amazing what a coat of fresh paint can do to a room!
  8. Gutters were scheduled to be installed tomorrow, but they're behind schedule so it's been pushed back a week or two. Without gutters, there is a slight leak in the basement when it rains. We'd like to avoid any foundation issues in the future so better just to address that early on.
  9. I've removed the chain-link fence from the back of the yard. Most of that fence was falling apart and there's another fence behind it that belongs to the self-storage company behind us.
  10. For the first few weeks, we didn't have hot water for more than 3 minutes when taking a shower. Turns out, the dip tube was completely missing inside the water heater! My buddy and I replaced that one night and now everything is working as expected. Yay! Hannah is very happy about that!

There are a lot of other small things we've done, but those are the big ones that come to mind. With a list that's 50+ items long, we'll be busy for a while 😅 But we're slowing down our pace so we don't run out of money...

Testing the boundaries

Aside from the house, we've been kept on our toes.

My youngest son has decided it's fun to get out of bed multiple times every night before finally falling asleep ~1 hour after bedtime. So far, none of our punishments have dissuaded him.

Gardening next year

Another thing I've been thinking about is planting a decent garden next spring. I got a book called "Mini Farming" by Brett Markham that's been a good read so far. There's info on how to maximize output with less land, maintaining soil nutrients, raising chickens, etc.

All of this should help save money, reduce reliance on others for food, and be a fulfilling way to spend time outdoors. I'm excited to plan it!

Simplifying digital life

The last thing that's been on my mind is simplifying my digital life. I have well over 300 accounts saved in my password manager. That seems like... a lot. After looking through them, it's clear I don't use quite a few of the accounts anymore.

Beyond the volume of accounts, there is just the shear information overload that happens on a daily basis from browsing online. I'm curious and hungry to learn new things, but at the end of the day it leaves me feeling overwhelmed and drained.

Cutting back my online hyperactivity might be helpful. It's just hard not to click ALL THE LINKS.

Wrapping up the year

As 2022 is wrapping up, I'm thankful for where God has led me and my family. Every year, it amazes me to think about where I was the year before physically, mentally, and spiritually.

See you in the next post!

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