Jeff and Randy now have lots of floor joists cut to length, waiting to have joints cut. The huge pile of trees (where the kids find lots of cool lizards) isn't quite as huge as it once was. A new mini-project has been started... a solar kiln. To be honest, I'm not down with all of the details. I just know there's a lot of sweat being produced and muscle being used.
The floor joists are resting on the foundation beams.
While the grandparents were out of town, Jeff and I had to make arrangements to get Addison to aikido Tuesday night. Taking all the kids is just, well, a nightmare... so the plan was for Jeff to make his way home in time to take him. Of course, he was running late leaving the office, so it was a mad dash. Jeff had called me several times for progress updates on dinner, kids, Addison's readiness, etc.
Jeff rushed in the door, grabbed Addison, and left in a flash. On the way, he called me to ask about a cut through that I use.
I didn't answer.
"Good grief. I hate when your mom does that. I KNOW she has her phone. I KNOW that it's charged. Why doesn't she answer?"
Addison looked up from his book and casually said, "Sometimes, I think she gets overwhelmed."
Jeff asked, "Why would you think that, Addison?"
"Well, she does have a lot of kids," he replied.
"Well, Addison. Aren't you one of those kids?"
"Well, Addison. Do you overwhelm your mother?"
Addison looked up with a smirk. "Well, she answered the phone when I was at home."
Me: "Okay, girls. You can get up and watch a movie until the storm passes." Olive: "That wind just gave me a present."
"You know when Peter Pan grabs Tinkerbell and shakes her and all the
Pixie Dust comes down? That's like the stuff cats pee in."
Olive, reluctantly eating a piece of lasagna (after first refusing): "Oh! This is the kind with stuff in it? I like this kind!" After realizing it was a bit liquidy... "This lasagna is like meat jelly."
Me: "Olive, you can choose to be grumpy, or choose to be happy and sweet... It is all up to you.". Olive: "I just want to be a little bit happy........ But I don't know how."
"All these errands make me boring."
(Yells, SOBBING, from her room) "I need HELP! I can't stop the whininess from coming out of my mouth!"
"Daddy's annoying my song."
Olive refuses kisses, unless they are on the cheek. "I don't like how mommies and daddies smell."
"I feel like I'm four."
"No, mommy! I wasn't whining! I just make that sound when I stretch."
(In the bath) "Ivey! Smell my mermaid feet!!"
"I don't want to be nice to people. Maybe just a little bit nice.".
After being offered a green slushie: "No thanks. I will try it when I'm 13."
"Ugh. The e in my name doesn't do ANYTHING."
"I can't. I have lost my clean-up powers."
"I can't clean up," (Writhing on the ground, whining, and moaning...) "my legs are too cold."
Olive, give Daddy one of those super big hugs! "I can't. I can only do one."
The many Olive-self-portraits that I found on my IPad
and Randy have finished cutting, jointing, moving, placing, and
leveling all of the foundation beams. They are all set on the mocked up
foundation pillars in the backyard. I must say, at first I was
disappointed at the size of the house's footprint, but the bottom floor
is only the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a half bath. Plus,
as I told Jeff, I would much rather see a smaller foundation than
expected, but have the possibility of actually building the house, than
to see a large and roomy space with the looming fear that it will never,
ever, be finished!
The next step is to finish cutting, jointing, and assembling the floor joists. I think we have 30 or so rough cut, which would be enough for the 1st floor.
continue to be on the lookout for trees that are big enough to serve as
the tall posts for the house. I think we have 2, and need 10 more.
Ivey has declared that she wants to have a costume party for her 5th birthday (which isn't until October, mind you). She wants costumes and scary decorations. This, I can do. A masquerade party for my little quirky girl is just perfect. However, what I cannot accommodate is her desired location.... The Courthouse Tavern. Sure, it has live music and cool decor in October. Ivey has informed us that she wants to stand at the front door and greet her guests, in costume. Sadly, a 5 year old birthday simply cannot be held at a bar. I'm sure we will be taking her out for a birthday dinner, though!
"For my next birthday, I want an army of nice and mean little ponies, and skeleton people, and a toy little brother that picks his nose. Not a real one."
I had a little breakdown this weekend. A good thing has happened. Someone is buying our house. Not just anyone... but the right couple is buying it. They are young, and energetic, and I can tell that they are just quirky enough to accept that house for all of its unique imperfect perfection. It is a great house. I love it. I love it because we worked so very hard on it... and because our children grew there... and because it was like a living, breathing member of our family. We molded it and helped it to grow and flourish back into its beautiful self. It had lost itself for a while... and it needed us. I love that house.
It just hit me like a ton of bricks that we are in this in between spot, and the only way to get out is to dig to China with a spoon. Somehow, we have decided that we can accomplish this monumental task of building an entire house from nothing... from trees. I feel so far away from a place to call my own... from a place where I can unpack all of the treasures that have no place to go.
It hit me that, for 14 years of marriage, we have worked on things without enjoying the comforts of our hard work. I am 35 years old... and I just want somewhere to make pretty. Somewhere that is my own that I can be proud of... that I can have guests visit without a long explanation of its state. For my entire adult life I have had to explain the process we are in, why there are piles of crap everywhere, and why things around us are in a half-finished state.
I had a pitty-party.
Our 10 year plan began about 4 years ago. We moved almost three years ago. Phase I was selling (ok, so that part took longer than expected) & moving, Phase II was to work on the house in Inman, so that we could move to the very long and hard Phase III... building our home. I think that, unlike working on the house in Bethlehem, it's hard for me to get my head around this process. This leaves me with a panicky feeling of just not knowing what to expect. What I do know is that Jeff is working his tail off. We are deep in the trenches of work, where he and Randy are working on it about 5 days per week, after work and on weekends. I bet Jeff puts in 20 hours a week, on top of a full time job, farm, and family. The foundation beams are cut, joints cut, and they are in place. Now, they will move to the downstairs floor joists. A lot of times, I am focused in the day to ay running of our family and not thinking about the 10 year process that we are in. But, times like this weekend make me feel like I am in the middle of an ocean, on a tiny piece of wood. I cannot even see the shore.
Part of me is jealous of all of the normal people out there, who sell their house and move into a new one. Jealous of those who move into a house where they choose their paint colors, unpack their boxes, hang their curtains, and live there. What are we thinking? What are we doing? What if we work this hard and don't succeed?
And then, Jeff sent me a text.
"Family isn't a house."
He reminded me that, by the time the beams are in place and the structure is erected, my kids will be old enough that I can really be a huge help... like my pre-mommy self was on our past house projects.
I know he is right. I just have to trust, and I have to learn to be very patient.
Five years ago, I cried because I wanted to have a closet and a master bath. This weekend, I cried for the same reason. The thought of not having these things until I am over 40 years old takes my breath away.
But, I have to learn to trust.... and to be patient... and to let go of the weight of embarrassment.