At the moment, the house is in a very similar condition to when we bought it in March. Yes, the backyard no longer looks overgrown, but the house itself hasn't changed much because the changes we've made are mostly "invisible": insulation, removal of mould, putting in an attic hatch etc.
The reasons for that are many, but mostly it's to do with lack of time: I spend long hours on schoolwork, The Man works, Saturdays I work, too, and the spare time we do have together, we try to spend it relaxing and enjoying ourselves, so as much as it'd be cool to do more house stuff... at the moment the priorities are different.
However, there's a silver lining: it means that we get to plan slowly and calmly. We don't rush into renovation or restoration, and we get to think and then re-think a lot of the ideas we come up with.
Part of my study involves learning to sketch well. By sketching, I don't mean just "proper" architectural sketching (where I sit behind a table with rulers and good pencils - although next year I'll do that, too) - I mean sketching on the go where I jot down quick, hand-drawn lines to explain an idea to someone, or try to figure out on my own if something I want to do will work.
In the future, it'll be a skill I will most likely need as I move around construction sites, discussing things with builders and architects and project managers, needing to grab a pen and quickly sketch down a diagram on the back of a business card or a restaurant flyer or whatever.
Basically, I need to know how to jot something down quickly, with very basic lines, and have confidence in my ability to explain my ideas through drawings.
And the reason I am telling you about it is that... I sketch our house a lot.
In spare moments of my days - arriving to class 5 minutes early, sitting in the library waiting for my kids, having lunch, whatever - I take out a notepad and sketch.
I visualise what garden beds in front of the house would look like.
I think about built-in shelving we'll put up once we take down chimneys and fireplaces in all three bedrooms.
I think about how to set up the laundry.
I plan the kitchen.
When I show The Man these sketches, it's much easier to discuss things with him: we know that we talk about the same things, and it helps him visualise, too.
And to me... it helps both to plan the house, but also to do schoolwork well.