Archive for December, 2013

My sister-in-law has such great style and taste… so we really can’t take much credit for how beautiful this session turned out. We loved using her pillows and throws to add in texture and color. It was so fun capturing this family (that we love so much) in the backyard where they play and make their family memories. Here is looking back to their session that we did earlier this year.


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Hey all! We are journaling the adventures of moving into our home. First of all, because a lot of you have been asking, caring, and helping. It is the easiest way to keep you updated. Thank you for your prayers. And second of all, because we want to be able to look back at these posts and watch how God carries us through this journey.

There are some days where we wonder how we are going to make it through, but we go back to the peace about God bringing us to this house for a purpose.

For those of you who do not know, we were on a zero lot line with our previous home and were ready to have a bigger place for our kids. We looked for a place that had a bigger amount of land for 3 years and was led to this place. What unraveled, we did not plan on. And so here the story goes…

Well most of you know that we bought a house and closed on Nov. 1st. We were excited to get in. We knew we had some things to do, as it was an older home built in the 70’s. We planned on changing out flooring, removing wallpaper, and adding some fresh coats of paint.

We were excited to get started! Things changed right away when we got in. Tater called me into the living room shortly after we arrived to the home. When taking down window draperies, Tater showed me where the wallpaper was just falling off. It was just hanging there with a big black wall staring us in the face. The window treatments were hiding this yucky find. How could the inspector have missed this? Why did we not think to check things out a bit more? Those were some burning questions in my mind. That day changed our game plan. We found that there was a leak coming from behind the chimney. The flashing on the roof had holes in it. It had rotted all of the wood in the upper part of the chimney and was now coming into the walls of our home. That day we busted up that wall to check things out a bit more.

Well, some things are a blessing in disguise. We found out that the chimney was not a masonry chimney. Up until now, the chimney was lower than floor level and there was a conversation pit (See pics below if you do not know what that is.) 🙂 Before closing we were ready to embrace the fact that we had a lower level that we could throw Chuck E Cheese balls into and hang out in. It wouldn’t be terrible, but it also wasn’t ideal or what we wanted. When tearing down the wall to figure out the leak, we realized that we could raise the chimney and turn the pit back into floor level. Blessing. Adding more head room in the storage room below. Double blessing.

From there, things just got crazy. That first week was a whirlwind. We filled 1 dumpster in 24 hours. And several more shortly after. We had family and friends bring us food, watch the kids, knock down walls, tear up flooring, rip down wallpaper… the list goes on. It was so humbling and amazing to have the help of those we loved.

The more we looked into the interiors wall of the home, the more things we found:

Insulation with mice holes

Holes behind drywall going to exterior of house (where the mice got in)

Wires going OVER 2×4’s – You all know us and our love for picture frames. We were bound to hit those wires.

Other poor wiring

Leaks in bathroom

At that point Tater and I decided to go down to studs on half of the house. It gave us another opportunity to reconfigure a couple bathroom walls making them bigger. Another blessing amongst the craziness.

On Nov. 17th we had to unload our home items out of 2 pods of storage. Both Tater and I were sick that day. We were achy, had sore throats, and no voices… and so we stayed home from church. We wanted the storage items moved into our home because the next day they were picking up the pods or we had to pay another month of storage for both pods. Yuck, No thank you. Dollar signs were already adding up. As we were unloading, I remember having a little pity party for myself. How awful it was not feeling good, and the task ahead of us felt so huge! It was not fun. I do have to say though… moving into our home in 60 degree weather that day was another added blessing.

As most of you know, that was the day of the tornadoes. Once I began receiving word of the storm, my storm all of a sudden did not feel so huge. I still had a home I was moving into. I had my family all working together. The kids practically thought it was Christmas morning because they were pulling toys, their beds, and other household items out of the pods that they had not seen in months. We were surrounded with familiar things, and we had those we loved around us. Shame on me for thinking that way. We were so blessed and we were able to get through it.

In 18 short days with the help of our family and friends we knocked down the inside on half of our house, removed wallpaper in the entire other half of our house, fixed and added wiring, reconfigured bathroom plumbing, added insulation and made the home more secure, and got existing walls ready for drywall. That was our November.

Thankfully, Mom and Dad (Tater’s parents) are letting us stay with them. To say it has been a retreat during this process would be an understatement. It is so much more than that. It has been such a HUGE blessing in so many ways. Sometimes you just need to get away from the stress and the mess.

Speaking of mess. Here are some beautiful pictures of the mess. Things look worse before they look better, right? 😉

* Roots Photography disclaimer… these are not professional pictures as you can tell. Quick iPhone snapshots. I do not have time for that right now. lol. 😉

Closing Day!

What we saw when taking down the curtains. Our first sign that something was up.
Another wall with water damage.

Getting more answers
Conversation pit before
Taking brick off chimney front to see behind it. Conversation pit quite the mess.
Crumbling wood in chimney area. The other side had totally rotten away and you could see the exterior brick.
Raising chimney to floor level.
Getting rid of old conversation pit floor.
Conversation pit raised. The room seems so much bigger now!Removing old flooring.
Tearing down drywall.
Those mice better stay away!
Hole in wall coming in from garage. The mice were coming in through here. We now have all hole closed off and exterior walls spray insulated.
More rotten wood.
The kids were troopers in doing what we asked of them. One of their favorite things to do was haul old wood out to the burn pile. One day we set it on fire. Yikes! Crazy… stay back kids.Wallpaper getting removed in the kitchen.

Thankful for our stove. With our house mainly down to studs with no insulation, it got cold!! I was so happy that I was able to start this fire and keep taking off wallpaper. I texted Tater to show him my accomplishments only to have the fire go out in 10 minutes. I guess I have some practicing to do.Now to put it all back together again…
Spray insulation. Feeling and looking better.

The storm just went through. Unloading the pods.
Moving things in. The drywallers were scheduled to come the next day. We had to finish up some wiring and organize and tarp all of our things. We stayed up until 5 AM. Thankfully when we transferred the kids back to the other house, they went right back to sleep.Every once in awhile we try to go and look for something that we need. Like a birthday present that I had bought awhile ago for our daughter’s birthday last week. It gets to be challenging! I still don’t know where things are.
p.s. I did find her present. 😉
Going back and forth to the house to work, check on things, and collect our eggs from our hens. One day we watched our neighbor’s dog get several of our hens so we are not getting as many eggs as we usually do. At this point we were almost ready for drywall. December updates and pictures to come!

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