Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The House....One Year Later


One year ago today, we closed on this new house.  From late January to March 31, we had headache after headache getting financing.  It was such a nightmare and Shaun was trying to navigate all of it in the middle of tax season.  When they asked us for yet another ridiculous piece of information, or maybe it was information we'd already given them weeks ago, I don't remember, I gave Shaun the green light to tell them to take their house and....

But alas, he has infinite patience, and is NEVER not level-headed and so he persevered through their ineptitude at dealing with self-employed people who have very complicated tax returns and financial statements to weed through.

When they finally gave us the closing date, I thought how fitting....April Fools' Day!  (My original post is here).  The day we closed I had pictured in my head setting up outside for a family photo but it poured that day and Shaun had to work.  So, we brought take-out over into the freezing cold house with no running water and shared our first meal and prayed over the house.

The year since has been FULL of challenges and we've questioned our decision more than once.  One big issue is that we've now gone an entire year without any renters in our old house (but the town still wants their taxes, the bank still wants their money, etc). And so many other small things, but in the end, we recognize that God is always faithful.  

It all seems worth it when we can tell our agency, yes, we can take foster children #'s 2, 3 & 4 into our home and easily house them (space-wise, not logistically in the day-today....just thought I'd clarify that :).  We believe He has a very important use for this house and we're so grateful to be a part of His plan.

It also seems worth it when I am brushing my teeth in a bathroom that I share with only one other person and there is not pink toothpaste smeared all over the sink.  Just sayin'.

Throughout the year, I kept up with the remodel progress on a weekly-ish basis, but I thought it'd be fun to do before and afters, side by side.  A that-was-then-this-is-now kind of thing.

Its definitely not where it will be, but MUCH progress has been made.  You'll see there still aren't very many pictures on the walls or curtains on the windows.  The pictures I hope to get to, but the curtains are on purpose...I love open windows with beautiful light coming through and don't have a great need for privacy.

I was telling the girls yesterday that today will have been a whole year that we've owned the house.  Avery said, "Its been a year??  And there's still stuff that needs to get worked on, like this and this (pointing to bare wood in the kitchen)?  Most people don't have their houses unfinished like this."

I will grant you that, Honey Girl....we are not like most people!  :)

Third floor, Master bedroom.  Originally it was part of a master bedroom suite, so what you see here is the walk-in closet/dressing area/sink (??).  Since I had exactly four hanging articles of clothing and a handful of shoes, we thought the closet space would be better put to use as an additional bedroom.

BEFORE
AFTER
Master bath
BEFORE
AFTER

Still on the third floor, this was the bedroom part of the Master, now the girls' room
BEFORE
AFTER

 Second floor, front stairs/landing and nook
BEFORE
AFTER
(No, I didn't switch those....this is how it looks now and I don't regret removing the black wallpaper.  It was everywhere...except where it was pink!
 Aiden's room
BEFORE
AFTER
 First floor, my office
BEFORE
 AFTER
 Family room
BEFORE
AFTER

Kitchen
BEFORE
 AFTER
BEFORE
 AFTER

We replaced about 75% of both the plumbing and electric, much original from 1901.  We put in new windows, insulation, built new walls, gutted some bathrooms and the kitchen, stripped thousands of square feet of wallpaper and replaced almost all of the flooring.

Shaun is THE man. Just in looking through these pictures and doing some reminiscing, I am completely amazed by him. He does everything with excellence, which is evident in each project throughout the house. And he knows how to do everything, which completely astounds me. How can one person be so good at so many things??

He has fought fatigue, discouragement, stress, disappointments, a constant barrage of questions from "helpers", exhaustion and the temptation to just walk away.  Somehow he summons the strength to get up everyday and do it again. He provides well for his family and I'm so very grateful.


Thank you, Shaun, for persevering and not telling that crazy mortgage guy to shove it like I wanted to do. Thank you for the millions of sacrifices you've made for us, for building this house for us that we're making a home. I love doing this crazy life alongside you.




As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.  They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  Luke 6:47,48

3 comments:

Ashley Beth said...

Beautiful, meaningful progress on your home. Clearly God is already using this place for His glory.

I'm with you on the hanging articles of clothing. I think I have 3-4 too! Foldable clothes are so much more comfy! Good choice on turning that space into something useable!

The Bug said...

I'm the opposite on hanging clothes vs. folding ones - but that's probably because I have to go to an office AND we have more hanging space than drawer space (I hang things that I would probably fold otherwise).

I've really enjoyed the house journey - & I've thought more than once that Shaun IS The Man :)

Amy said...

Wow! A year! You guys are troopers. It's really coming together! I think my favorite room (from the pix alone) might be Aiden's.