Usually I take photos of houses that other people build. Today, I'm going to share some CELL PHONE pics and a snippet on the last two years of our life. I'm sitting at my new desk, in my new office. And if you told me 3 months ago that I’d be sitting here, I’d have said, “I BETTER BE IN THE NEW HOUSE BY THEN!” I actually thought I’d be sitting here 3 months ago when having said thought. But building a house is hard. Like physical hard work. I lost 9 pounds in 2 months and I ate potato chips and Wendy’s 6 days a week. And in total, I worked about 10% of the hours that Tommy worked on this house. Hold on, let me whine for another second.
We did an owner build. Essentially after the drywall went up and paint was on most of the walls, we (and by we, I always more-so, am referring to Tommy) took over. He laid the flooring, framed and installed the fireplace, installed cabinets and appliances (in two kitchens), hung the trim, hung the fans, hung the lights, laid the tile, cut and mounted the sinks, installed the faucets, installed the showers, installed the bath tubs, built our front porch, installed railings on our deck, fixed things, fixed things again, and then fixed them again…. There’s more. There is so…much…more. But you get the point.
Things the rest of us did (kinda like my Grammy winning “Thank You” speech coming up here.)
Tommy’s brother, Justin. HUNG EVERY DOOR IN OUR HOUSE! Have you ever hung a door? Yeah me neither. But I watched him hang…. 1, 2, 3…. Like 30 doors. Or 15. Something like that. They’re gorgeous, 5 panel doors (pain in the a** to paint though.)
Tommy’s dad, Tom. Because of Tom, I have a kitchen of a Hollywood movie star. Tom was able to get us UNBELIEVABLE deals through his company on the most gorgeous kitchen cabinets as well as faucets, sinks… so many things. I have this super cool cabinet that is designed just for pans and cutting boards above my double oven. He sent us tons of samples for all things bathroom and kitchen. (A lot of you asked if it was overwhelming to pick out colors. It was. But Tom had select brands that I was able to choose from, which helped narrow the field.) He was also responsible for shipping out the poop pump that sat in my dining room at the condo for a month (Ya know.. the thing that pushes the waste up? Fortunately it was new.) Our HVAC systems were all managed through Tom. Things that I don't fully understand, but it's clear where Tommy learned his tricks of the trade. But wait, Tom lives in Indiana??? ‘Bout that….
John, my dad. John started off probably thinking, “I just gotta design a little house for them, deal with Katie’s indecisiveness, and I’ll be done.” 18 revisions later (thanks to the Design Review Board, town of Eagle, and Eagle County….NOT ME), that’s what he did. And he came out for a couple visits to make sure Tommy was on track ;). It was going great. And thennnnn he signed himself up for another job. To haul everything that Tom ordered for us from Indiana to Colorado. So he picked up a truck from Louisville. Drove 3.5 hours to Muncie to Tom’s work. And then drove 18+ hours across the nation in a UHAUL with our stuff. And then Nick and Tommy unloaded it…. Wait, there's a Nick?
Nick is one of our most wonderful Colorado friends and one of Tommy’s assistants on this project for the past 12 months. I don’t honestly know what all Nick did, because when Nick was helping Tommy, it meant that I had the night off. Or the opportunity to work. Or I bribed Nick to work because I COULDN’T help Tommy at times. I know that Nick did a little of everything. And in return, I gave him my dining room table. I think I came out on top in the situation. Don't tell Nick.
Tez and James. More of my saving graces that allowed me some time off. Up until James went down for the count and tore his ACL (or MCL?)… well let’s be honest, even after he tore his knee apart, he still helped. He was falling out of windows for us. Literally. (I learned why construction workers have such a foul mouth. Side bar - Tommy sliced his hand open on some flashing while installing our decking. I've never heard so many consecutive curse words in a row. Job sites = vocabulary expansion 101..K, sidebar over.) Tez made a habit this winter in the mountains. He’d show up late Thursday night, get some time on the hill on Friday, and then he and Tommy would be hard at work Friday night and Saturday. We did allow him to leave at some point on Sundays.
Ethan. Ethan is a college friend who is now a flight attendant and is LITERALLY AT OUR SERVICE! Ethan visited us for a total of like 55 hours. And he spent 44 of those hours at our house, working. And 4 of those 44 hours Tommy stuck him up in the attack with Tez to install insulation. TRUE. FRIEND.
Momma Sue. We scheduled her a week long trip back in February. We thought we’d be packing up our condo for sale by that point, and that she could help. We didn’t estimate the timing right. So she came back in March (after dad came out… and went home and told her that she needed to come help us. I guess we looked a little sleep deprived.) So she came for 3 weeks in March. And for 3 weeks…. She caulked. You see, when you hang doors and trim, sometimes there’s little gaps (or big gaps). So she caulked them. All of them. And I thought, wow, she did a lot. And then… as Tommy says, she abandoned us. And I had to learn to caulk. And kids, let me tell you, CAULKING is the WORST. We nearly had to replace our floors because I had caulk everywhere! Over the next month, I think I only called her once in tears. Sleep deprivation does that. So she came back out again in May. And she left last Friday. She packed, she cleaned, she painted, she stained, she unpacked, she cleaned, she painted, she spackled… oh… and she caulked. (And we might have gone to Target a couple times.)
Who else? My Pure Barre family… whether they were here at the new house helping me touch up paint, or at the condo helping me pack, or picking up my shifts, or simply texting me to come over and take a wine break, they are the best!
Branden, Tommy’s Otha’ brotha’. Thank you for responding to my texts of indecisiveness design decisions.
Miller Ranch. This is where we used to live. Four solid years as first time home buyers. And let me tell you, it IS possible to make money on 850 sq ft of deed restricted affordable housing. So thanks, MR.
Evans Chaffee. We love leftovers! And giant fork lifts.
Jessica and Andy Halminski. I blame you guys for this! 2 years ago Easter we gawked at the view from Andy and Jess’s deck, and 2 months later, we owned a little piece of land 6 doors down from them. Thanks for introducing us to the Bluffs.
Oh, big shout out to Wendy's in Edwards for being the only fast food place (or place, in general) open after 10pm. You kept us alive.
I think that’s it. If I missed you, it’s probably because I was sleep walking when you were here. I’m not going to do some sappy ending. We’re in the new house. It’s just as amazing as I thought it would be. I really just needed to journal my thanks. <3 I’d probably cry if I told you how much I appreciated all of you in person. Much like Chandler Bing, I have used my sarcastic side to cover up the uncomfortable sappy-ness I needed to share.
Tommy’s rolling his eyes right now (if he's reading this... probably won't.... sorta like PTSD.) <<<joke.