Thursday, June 02, 2016

Learning and Living Through Remodeling

Our remodel project sped along for a month with very little impact to our family. Sure, we couldn't use the backyard, or enter the house through the side door, but for the most part we lived in the home as we always have.

This changed when our kitchen was demolished about a month ago.

The shell of our old kitchen.

Our new "kitchen," aka desk.
Not only do we not have use of a water source on the first floor, but our house is cut in two by way of tarps over the kitchen doors. For the first week, in order to do laundry in the basement we had to go out the front door, back in the house through the side door and down the stairs to the laundry room. Talk about airing your dirty laundry.

The path to our laundry room from the side door of the house.

The first week we had take-out nearly every night. That got tiring. And expensive.

I spent a weekend morning at my sister's house preparing slow cooker recipes that could go from freezer to slow cooker, and prepping spaghetti sauce that could be frozen and used in small batches. Winner!

We accepted an invitation to dinner at my sister's house, and had a divine and relaxing evening, visiting and eating food she had prepared. Such a treat!

The girls had to move into a bedroom together while Marissa's old bedroom is converted into our new master suite.

 So what have we learned?

1. Gratitude. I am grateful that we have the resources to take on this remodel, to make this home our dream home. Nearly every evening I come home from work to a pleasant surprise. Oh look, they took out the kitchen cabinets! They put the arch up in the new entryway!

2. Appreciation. The crews working on our home have a very high work ethic. The framing crew in particular was incredible to watch. The speed and skill at which they could frame a window was amazing. I remember struggling for hours to put together a dumb shelf in shop class -- they framed a window and a wall in 30 minutes. All of the experts who come through our house do their work with efficiency and skill, and I am humbled by their talents.

3. Neatness. It only takes two items out of place in our "kitchen" to make the whole space unusable. Sure, the girls' shoes are left all over the floor because there's no room in the closet they are sharing, but for the most part everyone understands that they need to pick up after themselves so we can all live in the space.

4. Creativity. I learned how to cook pasta in a microwave, we've improvised a pantry out of a dresser, and discovered all the kitchen essentials aren't really essential when you don't have a kitchen.

5. Tolerance. The girls are getting along in their shared room better than I had expected. I hear them chatting together at night, and they negotiate the use of a favorite lotion or book. While I know Marissa will be excited to move into her new room, I suspect that both of them will be a little sad and miss the camaraderie of sharing a room.

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