We have officially been in New England for 1 year. I really can’t believe it has already been a year, it feels like 3 months. We haven’t done that much exploring yet, but we know where all the beaches and playgrounds are, ha!

I will say that where we are located is much busier than I expected and that has been a big adjustment for me. When we started looking into moving, I was really looking for places that were not in the country. I love living in the country, but we had done that for over 12 years and we were both ready for a change. We had also lived in a city for a few years too, so this time around we were ready to try being more apart of things, maybe even in a neighborhood or small town, but actually in town instead of miles away.

However, our current situation is not exactly what I meant. We are for sure in the middle of it all, and I wasn’t prepared for it. I am a very private person, so to feel so on display hasn’t been easy for me, honestly it has been really hard for me and my anxiety. Every time I am outside unless it’s super early, which is what I have been doing, I feel a lot of anxiety that someone will stop by to talk to me as there are constantly people around. I realize that might sound nutso on my part, but if you’re someone that is truly an introvert, the idea of unexpected random conversations feels overwhelming.

My husband does not share my anxiety and almost relishes all the attention our house is receiving, and even all the people. I feel like it gives him a high, while it gives me hives.

I will say everyone has been absolutely lovely to us. I have been blown away by it and have never experienced such genuinely kind people. We were told that New Englanders were not friendly, often abrupt and even snobby, but we have not experienced that at all. Every person that has talked to us has been so gracious about all the work we are doing on the house and that has meant so much to us.

Andrew and I have fixed up over 5 places now and have never received such engaged and kind feedback. They’re truly happy to see us investing in their community by fixing up our home, and that is how it should be, and yet we never ran into that until now, so that I have been really grateful for.

However, I keep joking that we have a long ways to go on our house, and there might be something that I do to the house where they all turn on us and we start getting a lot of criticism, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen, ha!

One of the sweetest and heartbreaking interactions we’ve had when it comes to our house is the woman that owned it before us passed away, she was young (in her early 60s) and became ill. She had only lived here for 3 years, but her siblings and their children have such fond memories of that time with her in this house. The other day one of her siblings stopped by to tell us that the work we’ve done on the house is healing for them all, to see us bringing new life to what was such a meaningful part of their lives and that their sister would have loved it brought me to tears. Losing a loved one is so painful, and to know that we have added a tiny bit of comfort in their lives from what we are doing is humbling for us, and I think about it often while working on everything.

There is so much work to be done, and I have felt rather depressed by it all lately. Inflation has really taken a toll on us financially, so most of our ideas have had to be paused or reordered by most affordable to least…meaning there are lots of things we will be doing this year, but it won’t be anything major and of course when you own an old house, it’s hard not to want to get the major projects finished.

We have done a lot of work in the year we’ve been here though, painted the majority of the interior of our home, wallpapered several rooms, landscaped nearly our entire acre yard, dealt with countless disasters/things breaking, and are forever ever ever working on windows, BUT the biggest project we took on upon moving here, was renovating our homes shingle siding. I thought that would be nice to focus on as I close out this post and say, happy first year to us!

When we first got here. The dark brown stain is a poplar color for shingle style homes, but to me it really masks the beauty of the design of the home.
This was after we had the stain soda blasted off. You can read more about that here.
After the soft wash. You can read about that here.
Staining was absolutely brutal. I do not recommend, and I didn’t do it, ha, my husband did! But it was awful, took forever and was soooo messy, but we absolutely love the final results, he did a terrific job!
This year will be painting all the trim, and I can’t wait!