Shhhhh… it’s a secret!

I have a secret.

I have been keeping it for months.

… and now it is finally out of the bag!! So I can finally post about it! woo hooooo!!

We recently took on a renovation project at my moms cabin in Big Bear. And she had zero clue it was going on! We have had the place there since 2003 and used to frequent it often. But in the last few years.. well.. things happened and it wasn’t getting the use it had been. Things went by the way-side and it became a little, sad, neglected cabin in the woods.

poor little neglected looking thing :(

poor little neglected looking thing :(

The hubs and SIL and I went up to check in on things last fall before it started to get too cold and hatched a devious plan to put some time and money into it so that we could all fall in love with it all over again. After all, it had been such a fun place to be just a few years ago. But it had since taken on another life and needed some help to get back. So we made a quick list on the back of something I found in my purse (go figure!) and set out to make it happen.

I roped my sister into getting on board, and asked my aunt for some guidance and support in the process. We decided we would wait until early spring (when things started to defrost and warm up a bit) to really get started, with our reveal goal being Mothers Day in May. We started hoarding items as we found them, in our garage, keeping them tucked in inconspicuous places so my mother didn’t find them while “being helpful” around our house (she frequently comes over and cleans, even when I just want her to come keep me company when the hubs is out of town). We finally got started the weekend after Mother’s day, of course. Our first trip up was probably the most physically demanding. We had lots to get done before we could start most of our other projects. We had tons of cleaning to do (and this was just the cleaning so you didn’t feel nasty-dirty-as-soon-as-you-walked-in type of cleaning, not even the deep clean type), drywall to tear out, planning and measuring to get done, it was a tall order. Oh and of course I had to take plenty of before photos.

The next weekend was painting. We did a few other small items on our to-do list, but mostly we painted. Every freaking square inch of that place, well except the wood paneling… wouldn’t want to paint that wood paneling now would we?!

We took a break for fathers day weekend, so we could spend  it with my FIL. But we were right back at it the very next weekend. We changed every light fixture in that place removed some, added some, replaced some and just cleaned up others. We replaced the toilet and all the tub/shower knobs and spouts. The kitchen cabinet doors came off and got a really good scrubbing and got new glass knobs installed, we got new furniture, new dishes and linens (everything.. bathroom, kitchen, bedroom the works!). We hung things on the walls, we had new carpet installed and finally deep cleaned every inch of flooring/cabinets/storage/etc in the place! All in all it took close to 2 months of weekend visits and lots of blood, sweat, and tears. But it looks and feels like a whole new place now. I think from now on it will be that happy, memory making place we all remember and loved so dearly. I can see spending many weekends and vacations there now.

Oh, and boy was mom surprised!

Here are some of the before and after photos.