Our House: Looking Back on the First Year

As of the fourth of July, it’s been a whole year since we moved in to our house — and it’s come a long way from the bare, empty, blank slate that we unloaded the moving truck and all our belongings into.

A collage of photos from the first year in the house.

The following is a partial list of some of the projects tackled and memories experienced in the first year since moving into this house:

And even with a few other house-related items still in the pipeline to be posted on the blog, it feels like this is just the tip of the iceberg. They say the whole “make a house into a home” thing never really ends, so it’s fun to wonder how many more changes and memories will be added to the list when our next “house-iversary” rolls around on the fourth of July another year from now.

Speaking of the fourth of July: Over the past week, we’ve been having a bit of a heat wave here in Chicago, with temperatures over 100 degrees for several days in a row. Thankfully it’s cooled down a bit now, but at the height of the heat wave, a lot of fireworks displays ended up getting cancelled or rescheduled due to the heat and drought. Sadly, this included the one we’d been planning on attending up by my uncle’s house, although maybe it’s for the best — we had some concerns over bringing Lillian to a noisy and exciting event that would likely keep her up past her bedtime, even though my mom reportedly had no problems doing so with me or my siblings when we were babies.

How was your Fourth of July? Anyone else have problems with the weather putting a damper on their plans? And if you’ve had any experiences with bringing a baby to a fireworks display, either this year or in previous years, I’d be curious to hear how it went.


  1. The house is looking wonderful! I can’t wait to come see it in person one of these days. You all have had a wonderful and exciting year, and I know there are many more happy times in store in your beautiful home.

    It may have been for the best that the fireworks were cancelled. Lillian may have been frightened by the noise, and she really won’t remember them right now anyway. All three of my kids were scared by them at first. By next year, it may not bother her as much, and she may actually be able to enjoy them.

    Our 4th of July here was a bit stormy the first part of the day. The fireworks did happen, though, but we skipped them this year. Amy had been off with her dad all day and was tired, and Bill and I didn’t feel like braving the traffic. Besides, we just went to Disney over Memorial Day, and any other fireworks pale in comparison.

    Hey, has Joe heard of a book called Redshirts? It’s about what happens when the doomed red-shirted ensigns from starships get together and compare notes. It sounds interesting. Love you all!

  2. Our fourth was only a little exciting, as the weather had been either hot or damp with lightning for several days prior.We went to my mom’s for dinner, and a few fireworks were set off in both her and our neighborhood, but their was mist everywhere. But AFTER the Fourth – way too much excitement!

    I had been building rabbit hutches with the expectation they’d be ready before our annual SCA July event at the fairgrounds (just got back today). I also had built a birthing box for the pre-bred doe I bought on June 8, expecting her to deliver sometime last week, but she was still only sleeping in the box, not fur lining it or anything. I had somehow misread that they did this 1-2 weeks before giving birth. On the 3rd, the OTHER doe (the spotted one who I had gotten on May 26, along with her “boyfriend” with whom she shared a cage)started pulling fur, so I thought SHE was pregnant, with hers being due in a week or so. I started seeing what I could make HER a box from, but meanwhile, we went to mom’s for the 4th . . . Thursday, we worked on on the hutches until afternoon, when we feed the dog. The dog took one bite, and started trembling, fell over, and then was staggering as if drunk. She kept launching herself at her food, and finally managed to eat it, but I called the vet, who said bring her in. She is STILL at the vet’s (coming home Monday), but much better after IV fluids. We think she fell out from the heat, due to following us around during building, rather than hiding under the house as usual midday.

    Friday morning, and we still have no hutches, so we decided to get the newer rabbits out of the front garage, so they’d not overheat while we were at the event and house them in the back garage with the older pair. This also entailed moving THEIR rollaround hutch, so we could put a fan in for better air circulation. As Stephen was doing this, he heard a rustling AT HIS FEET where he was positioning the fan – it was six, count them SIX, baby bunnies. Between the time we’d fed her that morning, and the passing of the morning thunderstorm, SPOT had her babies, and they crawled right out of her cage, since there was no birthing box edge to stop them! I scooped them all into a cardboard box for a “throwaway” nest, and they are still alive, so it appears mama doesn’t mind.

    Luckily, the event being only 20 minutes away, I was able to come home Saturday and Sunday early morning to feed them per usual. The event was exciting too . . . we had visiting “royalty”, a fellow was “knighted” (which all was scheduled) and luckily, because these 2 things were a big deal, not always happening at this event, I took some really fancier than usual garb with us. I say luckily, because Stephen and I were both given “Awards of Arms”, which means we are now called Lord and Lady in the SCA . . . wow, a most unusual week!

    I like your word, “house-iversary”!

  3. What a wonderful year you have had! Who would believe so much could happen in just a year. Good Job!

    Here’s some tips I picked up on the net: While some babies absolutely love fireworks, others can be terrified. It is always good to have an escape plan, if your baby is overwhelmed or frightened. Make sure that you are in a spot where you can easily escape from the noise if needed.

    One thing that was recommended when introducing baby to fireworks for the first time is to view them from the car. This way, baby may be less frightened. If all goes well, you can stand outside of the car for a better view.

    Best 4th for me was having family here!

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