I can finally say it...3 years worth of home construction has come to a close. Well, at least the areas we live in are ALL DONE. We still have some work to do outside and eventually in the basement. But that can wait...
These 3 years have been marked with many emotions: anxiety, tears, exhaustion, laughter, joy, and most of all, a sense of great satisfaction at all we have accomplished. I never thought this is where we would be 3 years after moving in, but I can say that my joy in standing at the other side of this journey is greater than any of the trials that have marked this time. We ripped down our first wall just a few days after we moved in (which was a week before we found out we were pregnant with Avila), and haven't stopped since. The only things that remain "original" in our house are the toilet and vanity in our bathroom and the trim in our bedroom. Everything else - from lights (Michael rewired the entire house), to floors, to trim, and the things in between have been touched, altered, painted, fixed, destroyed, and/or recreated.
This time of remodeling has taught me life lessons I couldn't have gained otherwise. Plus, Michael and I joke around that because we made it through all this construction together, alongside 2 full-term pregnancies and raising a toddler, our marriage will withstand anything. :) I have learned that I need to work on my ability to trust that everything will turn out fine in the end (despite the anxiety that something like living through dirt and dust for months on end causes). I have learned that I really can live without a lot of things I used to find crucial to my existence (like a kitchen.) Most of all, I learned that my husband is the hardest worker I know. The fact that he did everything himself (despite pouring the concrete slabs, installing the natural gas, and some plumbing) on top of working hard through a stressful financial market, helping to raise a family, coaching football, and still being attentive to his wife (that wasn't always 100% supportive), shows me that his character and willingness to sacrifice himself is beyond anything I could have dreamed of in a husband.
I must also say a HUGE thank you to my dad, who spent countless hours helping us with the construction and for planning things out better than we could've ever imagined. For everyone else who supported us along the way - my mom, Michael's parents, and friends who chipped in hours of labor, we thank you, as well. And to the Lord who provided us with our house and the ability to make it a place that reflects His Love, we owe everything. I know it doesn't take new paint and new lights to make a house a home, but we couldn't be more grateful to God who has allowed us to make our home a peaceful, cozy, and holy place to raise our family.
The last thing I am reminded of is the temporary nature of something like a home. As I approach the last remaining days before our baby arrives, I am struck by how Mary and Joseph were called, at the last minute, to leave the place they had prepared for the Son of God and make an unknown journey - which included giving birth and ultimately raising Jesus in not-so-ideal circumstances. I am reminded that all of this can be taken from us at any moment. And despite the joy I have in having a "completed" home, it is not where my ultimate joy should lie.
I will be posting pictures over the next couple of posts to document our journey. My eventual goal is to make a scrapbook of our house, from beginning to end, but for now, I am going to kick my feet up, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy our quaint little home.