Little Red House Reno Update

Hey y’all!!  I thought it was about time for a Little Red House Reno update, since I started strong on this blog excited about the project.  I’m beginning to feel like the little engine that could, as he putters up the hill toward the peak, struggling and unsure if he will make it or not.

We have officially fired our contractor!  I’ve bee singing “Ding dong, the wicked contractor’s dead, but not really dead. Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed. The wicked contractor’s deeaaad!”  I know, it doesn’t really flow like the original, nevertheless, I keep singing it in my brain.  As relieved as we are to be free from buildPros (our original contractor) and free from being lied to and lead on, aimlessly in the direction of nothing accomplished in our renovation, we are still without a home, and without an end in sight.  The process to end our contract with buildPros took some time, and the process to get started with a new contractor will take some time as well.  It seems unfair that our contractor gets to go along with his life, detached from our home and our project, skipping about his merry way; while we are left in the same position we’ve been in for that last 6 months.  I pray, and I ask you to pray (if you’re the praying type) that our new selected contractor will be a professional of his word, concerned with quality of work, timelines, honesty, and consideration for his clients.

Just as a refresher…we are still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…

Old garage, soon to be master bedroom!

Old garage, soon to be master bedroom

Master bathroom!

Master bathroom

Framing upstairs!

bedroom upstairs

Boys bathroom!

Boys bathroom












Totally unbelievable!!…I know!

A couple days ago, buildPros came and cleaned up all the debris, took their tools, and hauled away the topped off dumpster.  Seeing the driveway clear of all that sitting, lingering junk lifted my spirits in a small way.  It seemed like the slate was wiped clean to start again.  I hope starting again means finishing as well…preferably before Jaxon chooses a college. 😉

But man, when things don’t happen on my timetable or as expected, my vision of the world around me seems to darken with a low, looming gray cloud, shadowing over every other area of my life as well.  My fickle tendencies are tremendously annoying and translate to an unbalanced, unpredictable reality.  They only serve to compound that human quality we all have of never being satisfied, never having enough.  When things are good, going the way I think they should go, I’m flying high…”God is SO good!  Praise God!”  But the instant trouble arises or a plan or dream is rearranged or erased altogether, I tend to first sink to the level of the raw emotion…”What the heck God?!  This was not the plan!”


Isaiah 55:8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


I really need to work on stabilizing my life by anchoring myself in the word and the full belief in what God has planned for me.   I’ve considered that He could be doing some necessary, amazing work that is incalculable to Josh and I.  Who knows, but God, what that could mean?  Something related to our marriage, our family, or individually…the list could go on!  Sometimes I wish He would send a message from the spirit in email form or a text message, or even a carrier pigeon!!  The note would read, in plain English:

“Just an FYI, the reason X,Y, or Z stinks right now is because I’m helping to make your marriage stronger, and you don’t even know it.  Love always, God, I Am, The Almighty, Creator, Heavenly Father…you get the idea.”

Buuuuuut…since we all know there’s a good chance, a carrier pigeon named Swifty, with a handwritten note from God isn’t going to swoop down and drop it at my feet, I HAVE TO take each step by faith, with the word as my guide book.

2 Corinthians 4:18

“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

ALL of this is transient or temporary.  Maybe if I remind myself that this ‘stuff’ with the house and the kids and our time here in this life are temporary, it will give me a clearer vision of all the ways God is working in my life, even through the ‘stinky’ parts (as I see them).  Perhaps this will give me freedom to focus more on the present joy, the present blessings, and the unending presence of Him in my life.

Til’ next time, be blessed!
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I Blame Joanna Gaines ;0)

It’s official!  I blame Joanna Gaines. (Insert sarcasm here) 😉

If y’all are a fan of Joanna and Chip Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, like I am, then you know the magic that happens when they get their hands on a junky old mess of a house.  They basically turn every home they renovate into my dream home.  In the opening credits she says, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”  And before the red house, I did, for sure.  It was an actual bucket list dream of mine; to get my hands on a neglected and forgotten old farmhouse and transform it into my own personal fixer upper dream home.

So, we did it.  We had the guts to take on our little red house fixer upper! Now the question is, “Do you have the guts to continue on with a fixer upper?”  We are 6 months into the project and there is STILL no end in sight!  All five of us have been crib crashing at my mom’s for just about a year now!!!  I know!  It’s mind boggling.  Josh and I were talking the other day about how hard it was to move the kids away from the only home they’ve ever known in Rolesville, NC and now we are looking at the same challenge; in the sense that we, at some point will have to move the kids, again, from this new home they’ve known for the past year!  We’re not sure what new emotional difficulties this will stir up in the kids, but we’ve recognized that they will be there in some form, so I think we’ll be more prepared for them when they show up.

The current financial/project payout deadline we have with buildPros and our lender is January 22nd.  Our estimated project deadline given to us by buildPros was in early October!  Although, it took our contractor that long just to apply for permits!  Josh and I have come to a point of complete desperation and disappointment.  We are ready to move on!  This probably means pushing back our move in date even further; but we can’t give this guy any more time, money, or benefit of the doubt.   Although, we’ve seen some work happening  since contacting our advocates, it is moving along at a snails pace.  They’ve never even put in one full day or full week of work!  After I drop Jaxon at school, I usually stop by the house, pick up our mail and hang around until 9:15 or so, to see if anyone shows up.  Never.  Not once, has anyone been working at our house before 9:30 (maybe later) or after 4 pm.  Also, some the recent work they’ve completed is not up to code and has to  be redone or adjusted.

The biggest visual change so far is thanks to Josh and my step-brother Justin!  Last weekend they took down the wall and chimney dividing the dining room and the kitchen.  It looks awesome and awful all at once!  The possibilities beam through the openness and at the same time, its got a looooong way to go.  Excitement and terror fight for attention when you see it in person!  There’s no turning back now.

Check it out!





With every challenge life throws my way, I try to look at it through biblical eyes…try being the optimum word there.  I’m having trouble seeing God’s plan in all this, and trusting He’ll have a way to see us through.  I have to remind myself that even though God is there, it doesn’t mean mistakes can’t be made.  Wrong turns can be taken, but I can lean on Him for strength during and after the wrong turns and mistakes.  And, if we allow it, every mishap or misfortune in life can be used to make us stronger, wiser,  and equipped with more and more fortitude.  It’s the oh so familiar, “God, how, why, did you let this happen?”  Our money is running out, our time has run out long ago, and our family is displaced and frustrated.

 Yes, I know, this is not the absolute worst thing that can happen.  No one is sick or dying, we are not homeless or in a refugee camp.  I realize this is small potatoes on the scale of things that could happen or go wrong in a drastic, life changing way. I also realize we are incredibly blessed in every corner of this life we’ve built together. This acknowledgement, however, does not detract from the helplessness we are feeling.

So, back to the drawing board!  We are interviewing a new slew of contractors…hopefully honest, trustworthy, reliable, and competent people who care about their business, reputation, and the families they work for.   Is that asking too much?  If only I could get Chip and Joanna Gaines to take over!!  Is that asking too much?…probably on that one it is. 😉

Til’ next time, be blessed!