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Dancing in the Middle of the Mess

Posted by on June 29, 2017

I spent 2 hours this afternoon cleaning out, scrubbing, and organizing our refrigerator… only to have the freezer start leaking water out onto the floor when I was finished. It’s not the first time this has happened; I was just hoping that last week’s plumber visit would have solved the problem. But here we are, faced with another expensive house item to replace. It feels like this has been our life lately!

We spent a week and a half in Europe (which was fabulous!) and have received quite the “welcome home” — Steve has been sick with a nasty coughing virus for 2 weeks, our kitchen faucet broke and was leaking water under the sink (which led us to discover that our water pressure valve was shot — $900 in plumbing right there), our air conditioner and heater are acting up (appointment next week for that), our garage door wasn’t staying closed (but just needed a $99 tune-up and seems fine now), we received a notice in the mail from our HOA stating that we have 30 days to remove all the dead branches from our tree in the front yard, and to top it all off it seems that every lab in and out of the state are having difficulty making Steve a new pair of glasses with his prescription. Whew!

I closed on my condo nearly a month ago now, right before our trip, and that in itself was a headache — long story short, the title company failed to pay off my mortgage, we ended up having to call from Italy to wire transfer money, and we’re still getting all the last little kinks worked out of all that. Regardless of the hassle, we’ve still been excited to get right to work on some house projects since we now have some money to do it! We came up with our own plan, but it seems we are being driven in a different direction with where to begin with upgrades…

It’s frustrating to think about your house being under construction for who knows how long. It would be so nice to have everything just the way we want it, but that’s not how it works. Remodeling takes money, and it also takes time. Sometimes we may think to ourselves, “If only ___, then I can just enjoy life. I can’t wait until ___!” But life isn’t a neat gift-wrapped package with a bow on top. And if we continue waiting through the mess until everything is cleaned up, we’ll miss the majority of our lives.

I took the picture above last December when we were in the middle of some other house projects. We had just gotten half of our windows replaced and decided to recaulk and repaint the window sills before replacing the blinds and curtains. Meanwhile, we ended up hosting our first Thanksgiving at our house last minute and then decorated for Christmas despite the unfinished house projects. There I was one December day, resting on the couch with one of our cats snuggled at my feet, enjoying the colors and music of Christmas, with a ladder and painting tools smack dab in the middle of my view. But that’s how life is — the ugly and unfinished right alongside the beautiful.

And when I think about it, memories of that project come to mind — Steve working tirelessly caulking and painting by himself one evening when I wasn’t feeling well, dancing and joy as we worked together with Christmas music blasting, laughter and smiles as we belted out “All I want for Christmas is you!!!” That project wrapped itself right up with our more traditional Christmas celebrations of stringing ice cycle Christmas lights on our house, reading from the Bible on Christmas Eve, opening special gifts from each other, and driving to visit both our families. Our first married Christmas wouldn’t have been the same without every part.

And now, as our house projects start up again, we’re already making more memories. Like when Steve splashed water on himself in his inspection of the broken faucet and our adventures as the Turner-nators getting rid of dead tree branches. Though broken appliances can be frustrating, some of the best memories are made while dancing in the middle of the mess.

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