Well, we are finally starting to feel like this remodel might get done sometime this decade but man alive it has been a frustrating and exhausting experience. We decided Paul would do the lighting, texture, painting, electrical, door installations, etc. but that we would hire out installing hardwood floors, cabinet installation, plumbing, and countertop installation. And with almost every person who has come out there has been issue after issue after issue. It's not like we don't anticipate problems coming up in a remodel, but these have been particularly bad in terms of quantity and scope. Our flooring guy took 5 days to lay a handful of rows of flooring because he kept leaving the job early complaining that his knees were killing him. We finally fired him and got a crew of 3 guys to do the job in 1 day. The plumbing guys installed the wrong valve for the gas line so when the appliance guys went to hook up the new range they couldn't do it and we have to reschedule plumbers to come fix their work. The cabinets that we ordered from Lowe's came with the wrong drawers in one place, wrong height measurements, crown molding that is too tall for code compliance, missing baseboard to finish the island, and with multiple additional pieces that we didn't need like two different kinds of light rail and 4 lengths of baseboard for a spot where we weren't putting any baseboard.
Anyway, I will spare details but suffice it to say the process has been a total headache but at least we are nearing the (sort of) end of it. We actually have counters to prepare food on now and have been able to move all of our food and dishes, etc. out of the make-shift "kitchen" we had set up in the garage. As of late last night and thanks to Paul's hard work we have running water in the kitchen. Doing dishes in an actual kitchen sink feels luxurious after 6 or 7 weeks of washing them in the tiny guest bathroom sink. The fridge also got set in place yesterday and it is so nice to have our living room space back. Fingers crossed, we will have our range installed tomorrow (although we already know of a couple issues that might delay that and are hoping they can be worked through in the morning when the plumber gets here). After that we still have backsplash, crown molding, solving some pantry issues with the cabinet manufacturers, installing hardware, putting in new kitchen lighting and so on, plus baseboard, trim, and crown through the rest of the living, dining and family rooms, along with installing the new front door (supposedly arriving late March) and finishing floor installation (sometime after the door goes in) before everything is really truly finished (we are looking at mid to late April at the earliest, is my guess).
Sigh. It will all be worth it once it is over. Right?
In the meantime, here is a sneak preview of how things are coming together. I actually took this picture just because I wanted to remember how beautiful Clara's hair is. She honestly has the most stunning hair ever and when she was watching me get ready for church this morning asked me to curl hers just like mine (a first - in the past she has freaked out everytime I have tried to curl her hair so I gave up on it ages ago).
Clara the Sunbeam
Clara is in the 3-4 year old class in Primary at church called Sunbeams and every week we talk on the car ride home about what Primary was like and what she learned. Last week's conversation went something like this:
Me: "Clara, how was primary today?"
Clara: "It was good. I was good at listening and I was patient. The boys were not."
Me: "Oh, that's too bad that the boys weren't listening. Were you setting a good example?"
Clara: "Yep. I tried setting up a good example and I got a special sticker. The boys did not."
Me: "What was your lesson about?"
Clara: "We learned about Jesus. And that's all I have to tell you."
This wasn't a first abrupt end to her recapping of Sunday events. The week before it went like this:
Paul: "Clara, how was primary today?"
Paul (not to be deterred): "What did you learn about?"
Clara: "How we can be grateful for the things Heavenly Father created for us?"
Paul: "Oh yeah, what are you grateful for that Heavenly Father created?"
Clara: "Hmm, the world."
Paul: "I'm grateful that Heavenly Father created families for us."
Amy: "And I'm grateful that Heavenly Father created good food for us to eat."
Clara: "Hey guys?"
Both of us: "Yes, Clara?"
Clara: "I'm done with this conversation."
Today Clara gave the opening prayer in Primary and neither Paul or I were there to witness it. She was supposed to give the prayer next Sunday (they send around a notice a few weeks in advance of assignments like that) so while I was curling her hair this morning we actually talked with her about what that would be like and what she might say. We were planning on doing FHE on giving prayers in church tomorrow but apparently we were being prompted to give her the cliff notes version this morning. The primary leader stopped me in the hallway later in the meetings to ask why we weren't there for it because it is traditional for parents to sneak in the back to watch and felt bad when she realized they had asked Clara to pray a week in advance of their schedule and that we hadn't been informed, but she said that Clara did a great job, which isn't much of a surprise to us because Clara loves Primary and participating and has no qualms about talking in front of a crowd.
I snuck this picture during the opening hymn last week. I couldn't help myself. The girls were settled in with Paul and looked so cute in their matching dresses and cardigans (first time I have ever done the matching thing and I kind of loved it) with their fancy necklaces on (our girls are totally into jewelry).
And that's pretty much what our week has been like. We have had to stick close to home so I could deal with construction workers and supervise so we have spent a lot of time playing in the backyard or going for walks around the block. Looking forward to more freedom and flexibility (and a clean, organized house!) once everything is done.