Day 111: It’s done…mostly

Well, the kitchen is done. Mostly. There are a couple tiny things to finish:

  • put the island light in
  • outlet covers
  • install the backsplash that we picked
  • some trim here and there

But, for all practical purposes, it’s done. We’re using it. We’re loving it.

The first night we had some people over, I ended up sitting the kids on the island while I made them plates for dinner and our friends gathered and spooned their own bowls of chili from our crockpot. I wasn’t planning for the kids to eat their dinner on the island, but they ended up doing so, snuggled next to the adult friends standing beside them, regaling these friends with tales of silliness and teaching them broccoli games. We all eventually dispersed: the kids to bed, the guys to the football game, the girls to the dining room for tea, but it was a lovely first evening spent using the beautiful gift God has given us.

I want to thank David Kurn for all his hard work, skill, and integrity. We are lucky to have him as our contractor, even more lucky to have him as a friend.

And I want to thank you, Reader, for reading, smiling, and sharing in the joys and angst of transition with us. We might live here, but this is also for you. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll keep you updated with pictures on the laundry room and bathroom as they get finished in January/February. 

But here’s some more exciting news…I’m ready to move on to my next social/spiritual experience (experiment). I plan to shave all my hair off on New Years Eve and then I will be blogging for a few months about the experience of having no hair, how having no hair affects my identity, and how others react to my having no hair. So, stay tuned….

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Day 99

It’s official…after 99 days we have running water!!! No more bathroom dish doing.

Day 94

Some exciting photos are coming to you next week, but I thought I’d get one last post in here before that happens. Here’s where we’re at:

  • Cabinets are fully installed.
  • The door was put in.
  • I bought faucets.
  • We picked out and bought a countertop.
  • We picked out the floor tile.

Coming up…

  • Countertops, sinks, and faucets go in on FRIDAY!!
  • For the first time in over 3 months we’ll have running water and a dish washer!
  • Flooring is being purchased and picked up next Tuesday.
  • We need to pick a paint color and back splash tile.
  • We need to pick a flooring for the bathroom and laundry room.

I’m all over emotionally today. On one hand, it’s sunny outside, our lives will soon be a lot more back-to-normal with running water, my birthday’s coming up, and since the kitchen will be mostly done soon we’re hosting a gathering on Christmas Eve. On the other hand, this is the busiest time of year for both my husband and me work-wise, we’re getting closer to running out of money for the remodel, and yesterday was my beloved-boss’s last day at work. Oh, and Christmas shopping, don’t forget that.

And I’m sure you’re in the same boat. So to spread some Christmas cheer, here’s a little relic from my childhood: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Vince Gill.

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Day 50

The contractors are moving so fast now. All the hard stuff is done so here’s what happened in the past few days…

  • Framing out the new bathroom
  • Finishing the subfloor
  • Putting up drywall 

Next week we’ll be framing the new pantry, installing cabinets, widening the doorway between the new kitchen and the dining room, opening a passthrough in the same wall, and picking out all the bathroom stuff (sink, shower, toilet, flooring). The pictures coming up will be fun ones!

Now for the rest of the post…

I realized this past week that I’m always most successful at connecting with people when I’m talking about the ways in which I have failed. Failed at friendships, marriage, parenting. Failed in jobs, at logic, or in social graces. Failed at being good at even the things that I’m known for being good at.

I wish that weren’t true. I’d be much more proud to connect so often over successes, but when I imagine that conversation it just feels icky: “You’ll never guess what happened! I got promoted to senior editor, nominated for best artist, and won the PTO bakeoff all in one day! And my husband said because of me he’s the happiest he’s been in years. Isn’t that crazy?! How was YOUR day?”

It’s possible that it’s just the circles I run in, but the world seems to be a pretty broken place, and that world includes me. I’d always like to say the loving thing to my husband. I’d like to have hair that just perfectly cascades. I’d like to host every open mic night with precise pacing and delivery. But the truth is, I have a much greater impact on the world when I feel the need to apologize, when I feel ugly, when I feel embarrassed…and live to tell the tale.

Sure it’s not fun, failing. It wasn’t fun being unpopular in high school. I definitely didn’t enjoy accruing the student debt of two degrees only to realize that I DON’T have a knack for teaching. And don’t even get me started on the Mommy guilt that built up as my kid refused to sleep for 3 years.  These things might get resolved in 2 hours on the big screen, but in real life they leave scars.

Fooled you though because scars are cool. You thought I was going to say scars are bad. And maybe they are if you plan to be the perfect sort. But, obvious and slow to fade, scars are the bearers of good tidings to those who hurt in secret. Scars let others know that you’ve been there too. And we all need to know that we’re not alone.

So try as I may to have it all together, to be a great parent, a great graphic designer, a great leader, a great daughter, a great housemate, a great creation, etc., it’s probably better that I don’t always succeed. And I genuinely hope God hears me when I say, ” I don’t want any more failure…but when it comes, thanks.”

 

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Day 45

First, I have to mention that our contractors have kept our washer and drier up and running this entire time. That has not been easy, so I really appreciate their thoughtfulness and effort. That being said…

I love laundromats. This weekend is the first time that our washer and drier are not in commission, and I realized yesterday that the kids have no clean underwear, so today the three of us are at the laundromat.

It’s not that laundromats are all that awesome. On the contrary, a lot of them are dirty and need remodeling, they’re expensive, and the crowd there can be dicey or just plain awkward. But I love laundromats because they remind me of grad school when I was starting to visit the l-mat for the first time. Sure I’d technically been an adult for 4 years already, but grad school was the first time I felt like I was doing very adulty things. I lived in a house/apartment instead of a college dorm. I bought my own groceries. I chose my own bank. I was no longer a college “kid.” And it was always nice to go do laundry because I was stuck at the laundromat without my computer (a desktop) so I really had no choice but to spend an hour or so reading and, of course, people watching.

So it’s fun to spend this morning sharing the experience with my kids. They’re using the time alternately between playing with toys and watching “The Magic School Bus” on my phone (with headphones), but they’re not bothering anybody. We are definitely being people watched, though.

This week the contractors…

  • Found and replaced a cracked sewer pipe.
  • Rebuilt the laundry room subfloor.
  • Finished the electrical in the kitchen. 
  • Insulated everything.
  • And Gary and I remade decisions about cabinets and flooring.
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Our contractors discussing the electrical. There’s another guy in the other room digging out the sewer pipe.

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