I will never forget the first time I met Joey. He was tall, dark and handsome. Well – as tall, dark and as handsome as a seventh grader at a school dance could possibly be. Although we never actually shared a dance together that night we have been sharing our lives together ever since.

Joe-and-ChristieNo. We were not a hot and heavy junior high couple but we did belong to the same close group of friends. I knew his family and he knew mine. We asked each other to high school homecomings and were each other’s first kiss. After high school graduation, we ventured together into the unchaperoned world of college. Both of us, as well as many of our close friends, attended the University of Dayton, which is only a few hours away from our home in Toledo, Ohio.

At what point during the four years of partying and studying did Joey decide he wanted to marry me, I am not sure. But soon after we received our college degrees, I received my sparkling engagement ring.

Our parents were elated with our engagement so we stuck them with the wedding planning while we moved from Ohio to North Carolina where we lived in separate apartments for a year. Shortly after our wedding, we purchased a beautiful home located in a woodsy neighborhood in Charlotte.

If you are asking yourself, “What the heck does this have to do with home ownership?” The answer is everything. We have been together for so long that the idea of creating a “homey” space had less to do with nice rugs and a fireplace but more to do with creating an environment that constantly reminds us of everything we know as home.

Being in Charlotte has its perks but living so far away from home is sometimes hard on the heart. We do what we can to our home to make ourselves feel less homesick. For example, we painted the walls of our dining room the exact same shade of red that Joey’s mom had in the house he grew up in. Instead of splurging on a new fancy lawn mower – we use an old one very similar to the ones used by both of our fathers, you know, the ones you start by yanking with a string. Our walls are covered in blown up pictures placed in old-fashioned frames which we have spray painted silver. The frames include snap shots of friends, family, pets and vacation spots which all have sentimental value to the both of us.

There is however, one part of our new home, which is completely unfamiliar to us. We bought a house with a pool! And now we both understand why our parents never allowed us to have one in our homes as children – pools are a ton of work! Our first pool project was to build a cover for the pool filter, which was just hideous looking. This project was actually a major hassle, so much so that I was constantly posting our progress on my social media accounts.

My friends and family back in Ohio loved hearing about Joey and I “playing house” while making silly DIY mistakes such as neglecting to put a layer of primer on the hallway before we painted it a light tan color. The pressure for more stories mounted so we started this blog.

Our blog is a great way for our loved ones back home to keep track of what we are up to in our new home. The blog is also great for other couples that can read it and learn from our mistakes (such as improper budgeting – who knew hardwood floors could be so expensive?) We hope people will take some of our ideas as well. Thanks to excessive HGTV watching, we have done some cheap and creative things to our home, such as whitewashing our second-hand bedroom furniture.

Whatever your reasons are for reading this, we open our home to you and invite you to share in our fun of first-time home ownership.

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