Slow Goes It

“It”.  Such a non-specific, tiny word to mean such a tremendously significant thing.  The thing?  The it?  Well, of course I’m referring to the Little Red House Reno!!  We’ve been plugging away on this track for so long, I’m starting to wonder if this is just our life now.  We will live with my mom and have this perpetual renovation project that never seems to come together and the more progress we make, the more projects pop up, pushing us further and further away from our target.  It reminds me of getting swept away by an ocean current and the more you try to correct your path back to where you started, the more you are carried in the opposite direction.

And, like I said, some progress has been made, but not enough for me to feel like it’s all going to work out somehow.  I thought, from our recent estimated project timeline, we would be moving in now…this week!  But, it’s apparently the contractor code.  Whatever time frame they specify, you should double it, maybe even triple it!  I can’t understand why they don’t take a page from the restaurant industry.  If you come in and there is a 30 minute wait for a table, they’ll tell you 45, so when your name is called around 30 minutes later, you’re pleasantly surprised…pleased, even with how they managed to get you a table in 30 instead of 45 minutes.  It feels like you are being treated especially well…like a VIP guest.  Contractors on the other hand, want to please you up front, just to get you in the door, because once you’re there, you can’t leave…or at least its’ very difficult to.  You can’t just say, “This is taking too long, let’s just go someplace else.”  It’s frustrating.

And, we are not unhappy with the new contractor (PJC Remodeling).  We actually really like him.  He shows up, everyday and works…a full day.  Amazing!  In that aspect, our expectations were super low.  I mean, just show up and you’re winning already!  You know!?  He even did some tile work that Josh and I were not totally satisfied with and he took it all down, bought new tile and fixed it the next day!  That impressed me.

So, where are we now?  All walls are up and plastered (except the kitchen), the upstairs bedroom is completely done, except for some baseboard trim, new windows are in, new entry doors for the mudroom and the master bedroom, most electrical and plumbing is in, the floors have been refinished (except the living room which is serving as a storage room right now, and the 1st floor bathroom has been tiled.

Check out the pics:  (Please excuse the horrible quality…I gotta work on that) 😉

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This is a couple shots of our master bedroom with a door leading to the backyard and future deck.  (another project) 😉 …and our his and hers closets.  I’m thinking the space above the closets could be book cases with a sliding ladder??  I’m open to suggestions up there! 😉

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These are the beautiful floors upstairs!! 🙂

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Master bathroom with a HUGE walk in rain shower!! 🙂

So, it’s getting there.  We’ll get there.  And when it’s done, it will be beautiful.  I told my step-mom the other day, “When we die in this house, I want whoever comes in to buy it say, ‘Eeewww, this kitchen has been redone since 2016 probably!  We have to replace everything!'”  Or, at least, that’s what I say right now. 😉

Til’ next time, be blessed!!
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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

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dining/kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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!”

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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.

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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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Thank you so much for reading!! 🙂

Killing Time vs. Spending Time

After I dropped Jaxon, my oldest, at school a couple days ago I had a dentist appointment.  (I know…we all spend more time at the dentist than anyone in the world I think!)  The appointment was scheduled for about an hour after Jax got to school.  What to do with that time?  I decided to go to a local coffee shop, Junk & Java in Westerly, to work on my book (that I’ve been writing for 597 years) and get a latte.   My mom kept the little two with her so I was completely alone…which doesn’t happen too often with three wee ones!

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As I approached this vacant hour, I saw it initially as an hour I had to waste.  Later on, I told my sister, I had an hour to “kill”.  This is an ongoing problem with me; the way in which I look at every precious moment we get here.  I consistently see time as something to pass until some other thing arrives that I’ve been waiting for…even  the dentist apparently!!  I routinely miss the opportunities in the present moment, since I’m too busy waiting for the next one.

I had a whole hour!  All to myself!!  How was I not seeing this as a complete gift and a perfect time to slow down, relax, and focus on…anything or nothing at all! It was an opportunity to actually live out, in practice that “small town vibe” I talk about so much.  I had some time to spend in exploration of our town a bit, check out a local establishment and mingle amongst people who live where I live…or will live, hopefully, eventually, someday. 😉 (Check out the little red house reno)  Retrospectively I did enjoy it.  It was calm and peaceful and relaxing.  The trick is to recognize these things as they arise, so I can see the magnitude in the moment.  Some might say, “So, you said you had an hour to ‘kill’, big deal, its just a word.”  But I couldn’t disagree more.  Words have weight.  They can strengthen or weaken any point of view, position, or intention.   And it is the specific words I use that reflect my specific emotions or focus.  If instead I said, I had an hour to ‘enjoy’ or even to ‘spend’, this would have indicated an entirely different frame of mind.  Enjoying or spending an hour assigns worth to that irreplaceable, invaluable time, as well as the activity, or even inactivity; which can be equally as important sometimes. 😉

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I’d like to start seeing the immeasurable value in every minute I have, as well as the substance held in each moment.  I think that starts with language.  “I have an hour to spend.”  Changing the words I use, changes my approach to life…which is really just a big accumulation of each precious tick of the clock.  It sounds like simple semantics, but its all about a changing heart; an adjustment in approach.  Matthew 12:37 says, “…for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Also, Proverbs 18:21 says, “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.”  These two passages exemplify the power in language.  The words we choose are the main, and sometimes only instrument we have in communicating the direct intention of our hearts.  They have the ability to convey or reveal (sometimes to ourselves) our outlook or perspective on all things; even something seemingly minor or so easily taken advantage of like our time.

Just like a word, this change is small, but can mean something big in my life. We’ll see!  I’m just going to try.  Maybe the act of speaking value into each moment will be the thing that helps me capture more of the beauty.  (As I catch a glimpse of my 2 year old, Braedon playing peek-a-boo with me from behind a table.  There it is.  True beauty in the moment.)peek-a-boo

Til’ next time, be blessed!