With some graph paper and the kind cabinet guy at Home Depot all sanity has been restored. I was actually making sense, it seems and it took all my willpower to refrain from doing the "I told you so" dance."
Our first project is the kitchen, because it is the center of our lives. Ours is a house where people always hang out by the stove, poking spoons into pots, nibbling samples of dinner, sipping wine---so we want this kitchen to be big enough to allow for this.
We started by gutting the kitchen and removing massive amounts of wallpaper. Every wall in the house that was not covered in barn board was covered in wallpaper. High quality vinyl wall paper with bold designs that made me dizzy just looking at it, but gleeful ripping it off: each piece came off in a perfect strip, no ripping, no sticking.
Last night DH and I went back to the house ourselves and just sat in each room on the floor, imagining. It is so facinating to be at this point of BEFORE. Before new paint. Before floors. Before daily life fills the spaces with laughter and talk and running feet. Before we've grown accustomed to living with those stairs and those windows.
It was snowing gently, and we ate jelly beans, and did other unsayably lovely things. I'm still smiling as a result.