As I mentioned yesterday, we are currently in the process of remodeling our bathroom. The first step was demolition…here is Josiah helping to take the potty off. Yes, even before having a kid I called it a potty.

This is what the bathroom looked like when we first saw it:

Not bad; pretty much a blank slate. But I have never liked that window in the shower: I figure if I can see into the neighbor’s yard then they can see me. I have never liked the puffy toilet seat either. I think a toilet seat should be cold and hard. Squish is weird. But the worst part was certainly the linen closet right inside the door. The bathroom already has a narrow doorway, and with the linen closet there, it was like you had to walk through a tunnel before entering a then very small bathroom (and this is the main bath).

Still, it was nothing a closet door and a few decorations couldn’t pull together. For over a year, the bathroom looked like this. The closet door came from the nursery and all of the decorations were either wedding gifts or things I had purchased for our apartment before this, so the price tag was $0. You know how I said that there are little touches of our personality throughout the house (see here)? Exhibit A would be that little blue frame sitting on the towel rack. That is something I picked up from a calligraphy shop in Branson, MO. It says, “All I ask is that you treat me no differently than the Queen.” I love it. I wish I could show you a closer pick, but I don’t have one…and all of these decorations are packed away, so I can’t take one. Exhibit B is in the picture below. That leaf in the frame above the potty was something that I brought home from Thailand tucked between the pages of my Bible (We lived there in 2007). It is really very beautiful. I bought a framed picture on clearance at Hobby Lobby or JoAnns (I can’t really remember which) and replaced the picture with my leaf. Again I wish I could show you a better, closer picture. Hopefully someday soon both of these items will find their place somewhere else in my house. I’ll zoom in then.

But what the decor won’t tell you (although the molding base boards might) was that the shower leaked. It had leaked since the day we moved in. This was a huge bummer since we could tell that some places had been patched in the basement ceiling below the bathroom on our walk-through and asked the inspector to check it out before we closed. He used his fancy infrared tool to see inside the walls and said their was no moisture and no mold…which meant no leak. I am guessing that since this was a foreclosure that had sat vacant for about a year, the clean read was due to the fact that it hadn’t been used in a long time. I clearly remember the day we moved in. Sweaty and tired we searched for the box with the shower curtain, dug it out, and hung it up. The shower felt great, seeing the water pour through the basement ceiling did not. Still, it was livable/usable because (1)we didn’t have the money to fix it, and (2) the basement shower is right below the upstairs one, so the water dripped from one shower to the next. Still, it did need to be fixed, and was #1 on our “home projects priority list” as soon as we had the money because, as I said yesterday, the problem (and  mold) would only grow bigger the longer we put it off.

In order to find the leak, we had to rip all the tile off the wall. And as long as we were tearing the room apart, we decided to tear out that silly linen closet which so severely cut into the room. So all the linens and decor went into storage, all the toiletries moved downstairs, and all the tile and drywall came down. The past couple of years our main Christmas gift from my parents has been work on our house. We love it!!! Last year, Grandpa (my dad) insulated the floor of the elevated addition on our house. This year, he worked on the bathroom: rewiring electricity, putting in a ceiling light/vent, re-“plumbing” plumbing, tearing out out old moldy stuff, leveling the floor, putting up new insulation & cement board, and putting in a new glass block window. He said that when I take pictures of him working it makes him think he shouldn’t help us anymore. I hope he is not serious, cuz I don’t actually have any pictures of the bathroom with no walls except those with him in them.

After checking all the pipes and running all sorts of tests, we discovered that the water was actually leaking through the tile, which clearly wasn’t properly sealed. (There were, however plenty of other issues with the old plumbing, including a broken stink pipe…gross!) Anyway, water would pool up on the window sill and then run down through the wall and along the floor, and eventually leak through to the basement. The reason the leaks were were the shower drain and toilet were was just because the floor was slightly lower there. The mold that was growing revealed the path. But a little (ok, a lot) of bleach…and voila…good to go!

Here is another picture of Grandpa working. It’s just a dirty constructions site, but I think it is kind of artistic.My dad, husband, and brother-in-law got A LOT done while the family was in town for Christmas. Thanks Grandpa!! Thanks Uncle Joel!! Since then, the progress has been slower (which we expected and planned on). But it has been so fun to watch the progress. Here is Josiah overseeing as Daddy and Sam build shampoo shelves for the shower. Sam is our good friend who has been an amazingly wonderful blessing in our lives (and in our home)! Thanks Sam!!!

And here is what it looks like today:

Isn’t it great!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new window. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new tile. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the detail strip and shelves. Next step: tiling the floor. Which is a story for another day. (As in tomorrow I need to get your opinion on it.)

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