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Renovations, Part One

Oh, hi there.

Just popping in with a little update.

It’s week three of our house renos and let’s just say that this is generally how we’re feeling.

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In the mornings, Joel and I haggle jokingly over who woke up with more anxiety and whose body parts ache the most. We fluctuate between giddy euphoria over this home we are building together and our dreams finally playing out, to wanting to sign divorce papers and then sleep for ten straight years. The F word gets thrown viciously at each other and we fight over tap ware, and then by nightfall we say sorry, admit how much work this is and hold each other while we watch the sunset from the verandah in the new house, stunned that we ever got here, grateful for all of it.

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May I preface this post by saying that I have shot weddings for 12 hours straight, I have owned and run my own acupuncture business and I have pushed two babies out of my body without a drop of drugs, but nothing has tested my emotional capacity for sanity and survival like hauling two kids through Ikea to order and pick up a kitchen and bathroom has. It was a five hour round trip of hell, interspersed with a code brown alert so serious it completely blew up the scales. Smack bang in the middle of Ikea WHICH IS A MAZE WITH NO EXITS I was dealing with a faulty nappy that had leaked poo completely down Billy’s legs, through his shorts, up his back and all over his t-shirt. I had brought along zero spare clothes. This was 40 minutes into my experience and four hours later, as I was hauling the six trolley loads of flatpacks plus a 90kg oven onto the trailer while my kids screamed in the car because the ‘sun was too sunny’ I wondered if I might actually be having a stroke.

When I was telling the story to a friend that night, she made all the right sympathetic noises but in the end, all she could do was laugh.

“Imagine yourself on The Block,” she said.

“Shut up.” I replied.

She laughed harder.

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My comprehensive Ikea Do and Do Not list:

Do:

  • Not take your children to Ikea

Do not:

  • Take your children to Ikea

I’m going to put together a before-and-after post to stock pile our renovation memories when our home is finished, but for now, a few phone pics of our progress:

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I’d like to take this moment to officially add “escaped from serial killer” to the house’s memory stock-pile. All I know is that one day last week I found myself driving to Rocksberg. Oh, where’s Rocksberg you ask? Well who in the bloody Sam Hill knows because I’m passing signs that say Upper Caboolture and I’m seeing cows and not a lot of people until I pull into a long, windy driveway to a rundown hillbilly house. It looked more like a deserted scrap yard than anything. A nervous looking guy approaches my car. Eyes all darty. My blood instantly spikes. IS GUMTREE REALLY SAFE? I thought. DO PEOPLE REALLY DO THIS? JUST DRIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF ROCKSBERG AND BUY STUFF? Later, when I retold the story to our builder friend he said, Oh yeah, it’s just like that story of that chick dying on a Tinder date and the guy getting charged with murder. 

Gee thanks, Tom.

Really reassuring.

“You here for the windows?” the man rasps.

“Yes,” I reply, flashing a glance in my rearview mirror at my sleeping kids.

“They’re just this way, in the back corner of the property. Behind the shed.”

OF COURSE THEY ARE.

OF COURSE THEY ARE IN THE BACK PADDOCK BEHIND A BIG RUSTY SHED WHERE NO ONE CAN SEE ME GETTING RAPED AND MURDERED.

“I got everyfin’ here,” he says.

“Mmm-hmm,” I reply, giving him the signal I am not here to talk.

I drive the whole way because my car is my safety and I get those windows and get out of there, thanking the universe for keeping me safe but I’m straight on the phone to Joel asking about this whole Gumtree thing and DOES ANYONE GET KILLED THROUGH GUMTREE BECAUSE OH MY GOD I JUST ESCAPED FROM A SERIAL KILLER AND WE ARE NOW ORDERING PIZZA FOR DINNER BECAUSE I’M FAR TOO STRESSED TO COOK.

I’m pleased to report that the casement windows are beautiful and I will never be purchasing another item through Gumtree again.

Our forever home is already gathering stories, and it’s just the way I like it.

More to come…

Happy Wednesday.

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