Married Life // Home Ownership

White Hexagon Tile

And now for your entertainment on this fine Monday morning, a (slightly disgusting) tale from the trenches of marriage and home ownership. Warning, guys: this gets a little real.

So. Before we moved into the new house, we had the original hardwood floors refinished and new kitchen and bathroom floors put in. We chose this most gorgeous, white, lovely hexagon tile for the bathroom floor and it was the very last thing to get installed before we moved in. It was grouted and sealed and we moved in while it was still setting, so we couldn’t walk in that bathroom for a day or two.

On the evening of our third night in the house, we started having plumbing problems. The other bathroom wasn’t draining properly and we were trying to fix it with a good old fashioned plunger. About an hour later, I walked to the back end of the house, passing by the bathroom with the new tile floor. And I stopped dead. Flooded. It was flooded with you-don’t-even-want-to-know-what. The toilet had overflowed and flooded the new tile, into the hallway on the hardwood and all the way into our bedroom. Just thinking back on it right now I have a sick feeling in my stomach, it was so out of control.

So there we were, three nights into our new home, a guest staying with us, barely-sealed tile completely buried under a soggy mess, all of our towels packed away in some box somewhere. We panicked for about three minutes, and then we got ourselves together. Mr. Lovely was so distraught about the tile his reaction was to just kind of freeze. My instinct is always to clean. So I made a plan and he helped me execute (keep in mind that I’m about 8 months pregnant at this point, making lots of running and fetching extremely slow). Eventually we got into a rhythm of cleaning, rinsing, scrubbing, sopping up water with rags, and we got it all cleaned. I think I scrubbed the floor three times over that night.

My point is this: home ownership is a nonstop thrill ride of things that break and things that cost a zillion dollars. And that early initiation made us realize that when terror (or an overflowing toilet) strikes, we have nobody to lean on but each other. I’m hoping that whatever else comes with owning this adorable little home will be equally manageable as a team. And by the way, the tile is fine.

Do you own a house? I would love to commiserate about your crazy tales of home ownership! xoxo

13 thoughts on “Married Life // Home Ownership”

  1. It’s a thrill but there are definite ups and downs in home ownership I think. I’d always much rather spend my money on the fun stuff but that doesn’t always go to plan. I had just spend all my savings on a beautiful new kitchen which I loved when my boiler broke! It was AWFUL. And I own by myself so there was no one to commiserate with just had to get on with it I guess. But done regret the decision to buy one bit.

  2. I am in a similar situation..while, i’m not married and i’m not going to have a child any time soon (college student) but my boyfriend just got a new apartment and I am here trying to get everything organized and cozy. But, there is bath tub that take years to drain, lights bulbs that doesn’t work, shower that has rust in it and so many other small things. Like you said, we have nobody to lean on but each other. I hope the rest of your little home doesn’t explode with little things to fix <3 wish you the best.

    http://www.sillycrazylove.com

  3. I know your situation is different, but we’re in the middle of buying a new house right now too and we’re being as thorough as humanly possible with inspections so there are no surprises. I don’t think I could handle moving in and dealing with a bathroom flood!

  4. dude- this happened when i lived downtown for a few years with robert, only our poop-pipe exploded into the front yard – ripping through bushes and plowing a poop/toilet paper hole about 5 feet wide through our lawn. and when i lived in london – we had a bug infestation of EPIC proportions… you don’t even want to KNOW what it’s like for a bug-phobic person to wake up covered in spiders… just…. my gawd. those old houses are a KILLER. my current home is 27 years old this year, and i’m just waiting for it all to start falling apart </3 peace be with you, my merms. (ps- that tile makes my heart super happy 😀 :D)

  5. OK I just pushed aside my lunch and lift flexed my fingers for this one but I’m not sure I can compete with poo and bugs ^^.
    The night we moved in…the carpenter came to look at the bathroom for our remodel and asked where the water pipes were.
    Us: “uhhhhh…”
    He finds them and goes “That’s DEEP. Where do these go?”
    Us: “Uhhhhhh…”
    Come to find a TRAP DOOR UNDER THE WASHER that leads to a PIT under the kitchen where you can access the water pipes that the home inspector didn’t find. Also? There is a 2×4 holding up the aforementioned washer that rests on…WAIT FOR IT….A ROCK.
    Then there was the time a bunch of potato peels backed up the disposal into the washing machine so hot dish-water from the sink (and peels) were going into the washer. Why all the peels you might ask? Isn’t that what you put down the disposal ON THANKSGIVING?
    end.

  6. Oh goodness. What a mess! Homeownership certainly is interesting, and the problems you run into are unpredictable.

    We’ve owned our home for a little more than two years now, and within the first few months, our bathroom ceiling fell in (due to a leak in our heater!) and our washing machine flooded the laundry room and part of the kitchen.

    You aren’t alone in the craziness, and I like to think problems like these make us even more thankful for when things aren’t breaking all over the place in our home. 🙂

  7. Oh gosh, that’s awful! I’m so sorry and such is home ownership, right? We had some pretty upsetting moments since becoming homeowners as well and it’s all pretty brutal. We bought a relatively new home and have already had to replace the hot water heater and some appliances…. But a journey it still is and so many things to learn about our homes!

  8. AHHH What a nightmare. But thank you for sharing. I love you and this wonderful blog because of your real life honesty! I can’t wait to see you take your honest approach into motherhood!

  9. Oh no!!! I’m so glad your tiles are ok! My now-husband and I bought our house about 4 years ago… about 6 months after we met. So not only have we had to learn everything about home ownership (in a 124 year old house) but also all the learning about each other. Once you’ve survived a major renovation together (or a poop disaster!!), I’m pretty sure you can do anything! Best of luck with your new house, Chelsea!

  10. Sounds like what I felt last month after the Napa earthquake. After getting our toddler back to sleep, between the broken glass trying to clean up bottles of alcohol all over our prized wood floors, all while pregnant. Yes those moments and memories forever bond us.

  11. Hi Chelsea! I took Blogshop with you in NY years ago and have been reading ever since.. so yes, home ownership. We bought in June. Since then… we’ve had to replace the dishwasher, the ceilings under BOTH bathrooms fell into the apt below us because of bad plumbing from the renovation the seller did before we moved in, a kitchen cabinet door and molding fell off, we had a gas leak from the oven not being hooked up correctly, the oven stopped working, we had to re-do our floors because the recently competed floor work the seller did was atrocious. BUT… we have 1350 square feet in Brooklyn at a reasonable price. So.. tradeoffs! You can’t get upset about these things, right? Best, Erin

  12. I don’t own a home, but my mom recently bought one. One freezing night during the winter I was sleeping over there when I woke up to a rushing sound. The upstairs water pipes had burst and water was dripping from the plaster of the ceiling and running down the walls! The walls honestly looked like they were crying. My mum understandably froze up when she realized what was happening, but I told her everything was going to be okay and she managed to snap out of it and burst into action. It’s good to know seemingly everyone runs into crazy problems with their houses though, because it makes our own problems seem like not the worst thing in the world!

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