Adventures in Home Owning

Written by Carrie Christensen

Taking a break from our regularly scheduled obnoxious wedding posts to bring you the latest and greatest from the riveting saga that is homeownership.

We’ve begun making a minuscule dent on the 14 encyclopedias worth of home improvement projects that need to be completed around here. Starting with tearing out roomfuls of icky, old carpet and refinishing the original wood floors.

I would not wish this punishment on my worst enemy. It was, in a word, Awful.

We made our way over to the local Home Depot one bright early morn to rent their finest industrial floor sander. To prepare, we had watched every season of Ask This Old House and about 16,000 YouTube videos on how to refinish a floor (seriously, what did DIY home renovators do before YouTube, read books?!)


We got home and the sanding began. We sanded.


And sanded.


And sanded some more.


And cursed the 1970s for their love of all things ugly.


We sanded for TWELVE HOURS STRAIGHT. Do not be fooled by these photos. I know they make it seem like Gunnar was doing all of the work but I assure you, I was not eating bon bons on the couch. I was in charge of detail sanding (far worse than operating this modern contraption) and have the bruises to prove it.

We fueled up on beer and crappy Hy-Vee Chinese. Then sanded some more. I got this fortune, which seemed more like a punch in the face at the time. This home was not as “wonderful” as it seemed.


When it was all said and done, They. Looked. Amazing. Okay. They just look okay. Most certainly not perfect but nothing a few strategically placed rugs can’t camouflage. At least no one will be asking us to help refinish their floors next weekend. Seriously. Don’t even think about asking.


About the author

Carrie Christensen

Hi, I’m Carrie! I reside in the lovely Lincoln, Nebraska with my husband Gunnar, cat Mr. Bibbs, and dog Brodie. We are new to Nebraska, hailing from Colorado, originally from the Midwest, and happy as clams to be back in the land of four seasons. When I’m not blogging you can find me working at my dream job at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, cooking vegetarian food, traveling, bicycling and canoeing… at the same time! Glad you’re here!


    • You are sweet, Ashli! I’m starting to forget all of the pain and suffering they caused. “Okay” might have been a little harsh. We’ll go with nice. They look nice. 🙂

      • I think they look beautiful! But I say that as someone who looks at her 1950s wood floors every day and tells them to forget about ever being refinished!

  • I feel your pain! We did our whole house, room by room, weekend by weekend. Took months, looked ok…everything was always dusty. Waited 4 years to do the stairs, best thing we did was hire it done. No dust, no pain, was dry by the time we got home from work. Enjoy every second of the projects, but get them all done before the babies arrive 🙂

  • Tabby, I need to pick your brain… a kitchen gut/complete remodel is in our not-so-distant future. Did you guys do your own cabinet installation? I’m trying to decide what we can actually take on ourselves and what jobs we should leave to the professionals.