Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oh May Oh May

So May was a rough month for me and this old house.



On May 4th, this happened.  My oh so sturdy fence blew right over in the wind.  It happened due to a combination of factors: a lot of rain, a strong neighbor dog and a poorly repaired fence post.



My dad so wonderfully came over to help me fix it.  We He spent two hours digging and repairing.  I tried to help where I could, but I'm mostly just in the way.  The worst part was underneath what had fallen over.  When the previous owners repaired the fence (as mandated by the borough before i could move in) they didn't dig out the original post and concrete.  We got the top layer out in a matter of minutes, but then we spent an hour digging out what was underneath.



See that giant piece of concrete?  It's 30 inches tall and weighs about 100 lbs.  We barely managed to get it out of the ground.  Eventually, we had repaired the fence.  Phew.  Crisis over.



Nine days later, this happened.  A two-car accident ended with one car on my sidewalk and one car hitting the porch.  I'm so thankful everyone was ok.  As bad as it was, it really could have been a lot worse.

One depressing part about this was missing the work day - my family was going to come to my house that Saturday and we were going to whip this place into shape.  We were going to mow, weed, mulch, pull out bushes, plant flowers.  It was going to look like a nice yard for once!  Instead, it'll be another year of looking like the white-trash house.



Thankfully, the roof stayed in place, but the whole bottom section shifted. It's currently being shored up with two 2x6s.  It's all seemed pretty steady, but we had it shored up just in case.  The porch was sectioned off with caution tape and I started calling insurance companies.  Second crisis over.



Nine days later, we got hit by a major hail storm.  And I'm talking MAJOR.  Even if you aren't local, you probably heard about it on the news.  Almost ever car was totaled and almost every house needs a new roof, along with many other things that need to be fixed.



The hail knocked off every leaf and small branch.  I spent 2 hours racking them from my yard to the curb for pick up.  There was so much debris that the borough closed streets for cleaning and used a bobcat to pick up the mess and dump it into a truck.

This is where the porch damage was a blessing in disguise - if we did have that work day, all of that hard work would have been ruined.




I ended up with 10 broken storm windows, a chipped up door and totaled fence. My family and I like to joke that my house looks condemned.  After a while, it stopped feeling like a joke...

We did a photo shoot at my house and the photographer called a coworker to make sure he was at the right place.  "I think I'm here, but there's caution tape all over the house."

Yup, this is how I've been living since May 22nd.  You might be able to say that I'm really sick of the way my house is looking right now.



It's July 6th and the house is still a mess, but the good news is that the works starts TOMORROW.  I honestly couldn't be more excited.


The porch will be getting a complete overhaul.  The roof and columns will stay, but the porch and railings will be replaced.



Since they will be redoing it all anyway - I figured this was the perfect time to get them to add a front railing and gate.  Soon, Charlie and I will be able to enjoy that porch together. I can't wait.



Only one more day of having to look at this mess.  I was out mowing when a couple walked by.  The girl looked at the house, looked at me and, with the utmost sympathy, said "I'm so sorry about your house."  It was very sweet, but I'm very much ready to not be "that house" anymore.



This fence is one of the reasons I bought this house.  Not because it's gorgeous (it's obviously not) but because of the privacy.  I've been enjoying doing my devotions out there lately and it was perfect for our 4th of July party.



The fence has never been in good shape, but the hail pushed it over the edge.  The sides that got hit by hail are full of chips.  The tops look like, well, they look like they got hit with hail.  It's just a mess.



It's obviously not in great shape, so putting any money into a repair is a waste.  Instead, everything will be getting replaced, except for the main posts.



It's going to be really nice to have a gate that actually shuts!  Though I think Charlie will miss this old one.  She loves to stand at the gate, stick her nose through the crack and sniff. 



Once all the repairs have been made, I plan to get my family signed up for another work day.  In the very near future I won't look out to see a beat up fence, weeds, broken windows, shards of glass (more fall whenever it rains) and a giant chunk of concrete.

If you look back at the post from the 4th of July party - you can see my mess of a house in almost all of the photos.  I cannot wait until it's all finished.

It's safe to say that my house and I have had a rough year.  But I'm so thankful for God's protection through it all - though my house seems to be falling apart, nothing major has happened and no one has gotten hurt.  It's been a huge lesson in assertiveness for me (don't you just love working with insurance companies?) and has been a good financial wake up call.

I've learned a lot, but I'm tired of learning :) so I'm hoping and praying that nothing else happens!

Our 4th of July Celebration

All week, we suffered through 95 degree, super humid days, but God gave us a beautiful weekend to celebrate the birth of our nation.  It started with a sleepover at my parents house.



Est and I stayed over at the rents' house to help out with the kids.  Mom had gotten both of the kids a new lego set (Han got duplos).  Cam had a blast putting them together.



This is his new thing - turning away from the camera.  I don't love it.




The long island is the best thing my parents did when they put in the new kitchen.  We are always at the island.  The adults can make dinner while the kids play.  I usually am on the kid side of things :)



Coloring can be pretty exciting.



Hannah washed this ear of corn about 100 times.  Whoever ate that piece had a very clean piece of corn.  She also gnawed on it a little bit, so maybe it wasn't that clean.



Right after we sat down to eat, the electricity went out.  We lit the candles and got out a few flashlights and continued eating.  Losing electricity is pretty common in that house.

Thankfully, it came back on a few hours later.  It gave us enough time in the evening to prep food for the party the next day and make a batch of brownies.



We held our little gathering at my house this year.  The fireworks are a 1 minute walk from my front door.  It's perfect.  Dinner, dessert and then fireworks = the perfect evening.



I took this photo right after I told Hannah she couldn't get up there with Cam - she was not happy with me.



She got over it pretty quickly.



We were very excited to have our favorite neighbors join us for some dessert.  I love that things always get a little crazy when we are all together.  It always feels like home.







Esther bought a few small fireworks and sparklers for the kids.  It's amazing how much fun those things are!  We had a blast.




Hannah was a bit concerned when it all started.  But she warmed up to it eventually - just as long as it didn't get too close to her.





Tommy and Est declared themselve to be the most patriotic.  We'll just let them have this one.




This might be my new favorite photo.  I love everything about it.



Another new fave.  I love these people.  Plus, Annie looks like she could be my sister!



In case you are wondering what the heck is going on with my porch - it got hit by a car and is currently being held up by those 2x6s.  Thankfully, work starts on Monday and by the end of July I'll have a brand new porch.






Cam spent a few minutes catching fireflys.  Might be the cutest thing I've ever seen.  He's good at it, too.



This was about the time we realized we should be heading to the fireworks.  It was utter chaos getting us all out the door and i loved it.  I love spending sweet time with family.

Cam went to his very first fireworks show this year.  We were all a little worried that he wouldn't like the noise, but he was fascinated by all of it.  Est and Dad got really close seats, so Cam had the best view.  Halfway through the show he wanted it to be over (he was probably really tired) so I took him to Mom and he sat on his grandma's lap for the rest of the show.  He LOVED the finale.  I can't wait to take him again next year!