The two things we had done was we had our bedroom painted and we had closet organizers put in four of the five closets in our house.
The bedroom painting project turned out phenomenal, and we clearly see the benefits of paying professionals to come do the job right. The walls had so many plaster cracks and they found them all and plastered over them. They also removed the "crown molding" around the room (read "cheap-ass 1970's floor molding that some do-it-yourselfer nailed to the wall but not quite all the way to the ceiling and called it crown molding") and smoothed it out all the way to the ceiling. Oh, yeah, and the ceiling and walls had literally cracked apart from each other, and they filled that too.
Then they proceeded to paint three walls a medium blue and one wall a chocolate brown. It looks so warm now! We are very happy with the results.
We also had them paint our fireplace -- who thought a white fireplace was a good idea? Yeah, let's show every soot mark and smoke stain when we use our fireplace. So the same chocolate brown went on the fireplace as well. Here's a photo of the fireplace. The highlight has to be the two girls in front of it, of course, wearing their spring dresses because it is finally getting nice enough out that they can.
Lastly, we had closet organizers put in our closets. This turned out to be the bigger project, ironically, because we decided to do the prep work for this transformation ourselves. What were we thinking?! Wayne took two days off work, I took one, and Wayne still had to spend half his Saturday finishing it up. Prep work meant taking everything out of the closets, then dis-assembling whatever shelves/rods were in them, patching, sanding, then priming and painting the walls, and while we are at it why don't we touch up the woodwork too. Whew!
And what the hell do you do with four closets worth of STUFF when you only have five closets to begin with?? We ended up piling a lot of our clothing in a big file in our family room until we could hang them back up.And better news of all is that our rummage sale pile is substantial!! That's the one really good thing about being forced to take everything out of your closets -- you finally go through it and decide not to put everything back.
Home improvement projects are very different now than when we used to tackle them pre-kids. On Thursday we dropped off the girls at daycare and Wayne raced the clock to get as much done as possible before we had to pick them back up again. He has an incredible work ethic and used to work hard before we had kids -- you should've seen him literally racing around the house these two days!
Same thing on Friday, and then I played parent while he finished up on Saturday. We used to enjoy these projects, stretched them out over a weekend just for something to do. Now we've got much more important things to do, like play hide and seek, Old Maid (Lindsey's newest favorite card game), or teach Marissa how to ride a bike. (She may learn before Lindsey does!)