That picture above sums up my last week in a nut shell. If you saw me right now, I would put money on it that you'd say, "Whoaaaa Shay, rough week? WOOF!"
And I would be okay with that, because well, it's true. I look like a zombie that just got beat up by a pack of crazy ninjas. I am currently sitting here with a sore throat, a fever, bruises up and down my legs, a thrown out back, a headache, sore muscles, aches, pains, as well as an extreme case of fatigue. I feel like I'm 1000 years old. ;) Last week and this week have just been insane. My world is upside down, and I am trying to get back into a routine. Gee, can I complain some more!? ;) I'm just being honest.
IGNORE THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW STEP BY STEP WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO LATELY. I'M WRITING THIS DOWN BECAUSE I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THIS ALL.
Run down? Two Friday's ago>Drove 2.5 hours to Jewett to drop off my dogs>Drove back to Austin 2.5 hours>Worked>Packed>Drove to Houston to see Steph and Katie>Drove back to Austin>Crashed out>Worked all day Monday>Volleyball game>Tuesday>Worked all day>Drove to Lakeway (45 minutes out) to help my best friend Jenni move furniture>Home at midnight>Home to clean house in bed at 2>Apartment Therapy Photo Shoot in my Office (YAY!)>Drove to Mom's House 2.5 hours away to get her and my dogs>Visited grandparents for 10 minutes (only :()>Drove back to Austin 2.5 hours>Softball game>Packed up living room>3 Trips to Storage Unit>Thursday: Worked in the morning>Drove to SXSW for my best friend for 3 hours>Back home to pack all night til 3:30 AM>Friday: Drove to Houston which took 4 hours with traffic>Shot bridals for one of my beautiful brides>Turned right back around (3 hours this time) and drove to Austin to pack and move things into storage unit until 3AM>Saturday: Up at 7:30 AM, Moved til' 2PM>Home for Shower>Drove to Driftwood at 3PM>Shot our 2nd wedding of the year from 4 to 11:30PM>Home at midnight>Took another load to the storage unit>In bed at 2:30>Sunday: Up at 8AM with "Wedding Hangover" as photographers and wedding planner's call it>Moved until 5PM and got another storage unit :(>Lunch with Drew's parents and sister>Drove things to my brother's house and had dinner>Went back to house to pack up the closet and bathroom>Trip to Wal-Mart for more totes>Packed up cars and in bed at 3:30PM>Up at 6AM, Took truck load to brother's house and dropped things in yard>Back to house to get the last of it all>Foundation company showed up as I put the last load in the truck>Walk Through>Handed over home>Drove back to brother's house>Unloaded Truck>Re-loaded Truck with my sister-in-law's Mother's Yard Sale Items (tables, chairs, etc) and drove them back to Jewett (2.5 hours), unloaded truck at sister-in-law's Mother's house)>dropped off my Mom and baby boys :(>RED BULL and I don't even like Red Bull>Made it back to my brothers>Carried things up the stairs for an hour>Washed face>Drew got home from work and we headed back to town for our volleyball playoff games>Dinner after playoff games>Back to brothers house>CRASHED. Yesterday I spent the whole day unpacking my temporary office, our bags, our closet, you name it. To say I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off...is an understatement. It feels good to be back at desk and settled...atleast for the next month. OKAY, so if you read that (probably very few of you, thank you!) If not, you're probably glad you didn't.
Moving right along...
As you might have seen on instagram, Drew and I packed up our entire house and then moved everything we own into a storage unit...just the two of us. All of our friends had plans, weddings, sxsw, and work. My Mom came in to help pack (THANK GOODNESS), but as far as lifting goes, just me and Drew. I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, and I have a broken back to prove it! ;) (You can roll your eyes now, I approve).
I def. need some cheese for all this "whining" I'm doing. But for real, this is my life right now. This is what my blog is for. To be real...to share the good and the bad. The happy and the sad. Right? :)
You see...I haven't talked much about our house since we bought it. I don't know if you have been reading my blog for awhile, but if you have, you will know that we purchased an older home, in an old neighborhood about three years ago. We were SO excited y'all. We had plans to invest, flip the crap out of it, and sell it for more money one day. That was our business plan anyway. We are both handy, we love projects, and the thought of beautifying a home just the two of us seemed like the best idea at the time. What it really was is that we watched a little TOO much HGTV and got in well over our heads. Truth.
It was the perfect starter home and really cheap as far as mortgage goes, but we did not realize what was in store for us about six months later down the road.
We started to notice that our front door wouldn't open, the doors in the house wouldn't close, and then before we knew it, our dry walls were cracked...everywhere. Deep, very noticeable cracks took over every door way and interior wall in the house. None of our doors worked. They wouldn't shut. At all. You couldn't even swing them out because the floor would catch them. When we would have guests over we would have to have them enter through the garage that would shortly accompany the, "Please excuse the mess that is our house schpeal" that was everything more than embarrassing to explain.
Before the foundation in our house took a huge fall, we re-did the floors and trim in the laundry room, 1/2 bath downstairs, the hallway that connects our living room to our bedroom, and the front door entryway. As soon as we were done with these projects, we quickly realized that we had to stop rennovating because the work we had invested in and worked so hard on was already falling apart. The trim no longer touched the tile, and you could see the OUTSIDE from the INSIDE. When I say it was bad...it was bad. We have been having to put towels around all of our doorways so snakes and bugs couldn't get in. Our electricity bill was insanely HIGH every month because it was all going through the walls and the doorways. It was heartbreaking to see, and I'd cry a lot. Who would have ever thought that flooring, CLEAN trim that touched the floor, and working doors would mean so much to a person? If you currently have a home where your trim boards touch the tile, and your doorways open...be thankful. Seriously. I can't even begin to explain how lucky you are. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.
We have been saving up for 2 and a half years here and there to get our house fixed. The quotes were high, and Drew and I literally looked at each other and started crying when they told us how much it was going to cost.
Next thing we know... our sinks didn't work. You would turn it on, and the water would back up almost immediately. It smelled terrible, and we were forced to only use one of the three bathrooms in our home. We got our plumbing checked, and because of the foundation moving, the plumbing broke. Everytime we would go to the bathroom, use the sink...you name it...it was sitting under our house. Gross I know, but I'm just wanting to be real here. We have been living in a money pit of problems for the past 3 years, and it's time I wanted to share that with you. It's added more stress than you can imagine to our lives, and it's one of those things that you say, "Well, you live and you learn."
We both are super thankful we have a house. We are thankful there is a roof over our head. We are so thankful for that, trust me. It's just unfortunate, a pain in the butt, and one of the biggest learning experiences EVER. We had NO idea this was going to happen.
You might be thinking, "Well, didn't you have your house inspected before you bought it? Dummies!"
Yes. Yes we did. That's where it gets sucky. We had a home inspector. He said everything looked fine. As far as foundation issues...this is what he said:
"Your house, along with EVERY single house in this area of town can have foundation issues. BUT it's not anything out of the norm. You might notice a small crack here, and maybe a cracked tile here and there, but it's not anything to be alarmed about."
I asked him, "SO, if you were our age, and in our shoes...would you see any reason why we shouldn't purchase this home?"
The guy said, "No, I think this would be a smart investment and a great home for a starter home. It has great potential."
Trust me guys. We've looked into lawyers...we've done just about anything to see WHAT we can do. We have exhausted all of our options, and made sure that there were no loopholes we were missing. Our home insurance dropped us last year and we were forced to find another home insurance because when we had it quoted and couldn't afford to get it fixed immediately, the first homeowner's insurance chunked the deuce on us.
The best part is...plumbing is expensive. So, so expensive. The reason the inspector didn't tell us about plumbing issues is because a.) inspectors can only inspect what they can see. b.) there is a HUGE possibility that the previous home owners knew that the plumbing was messed up, BUT they chose NOT to have it tested, because if they did, then they would have had to disclose it to the people buying the house. Smart...very smart.
So, the house was sold...to two, young newlyweds excited to create and rennovate their first home together...which later turned into our biggest nightmare.
You win some. You lose some.
I just know that when we are in the market to buy our next home, things will be much, much, MUCH different.
We are now getting our house completely fixed. Thank the Lord. As much as it sucks, I'm still thankful. I'm thankful for loving, supportive family members who are offering their homes to us while we wait for our foundation and plumbing to be completed. Once they are, we will be having the cosmetic work done. Crazy, crazy, crazy.
This is also a reason I created the office I have. It was the only room in the house with the least amount of damage. Sitting and living in a home that is falling apart around you is depressing, aggravating, and heart-breaking. Drew and I one day got SO fed up with it all, we decided to create atleast ONE room in our house that we could completely make beautiful from start to finish. I bet you didn't know that did you? :) That office was and is my piece of heaven in that home full of problems. It means more to me than you even realize.
I am SO passionate these days about home buying. When I know my friend is looking to buy a new home, I am quick to tell them what NOT to do. I'm obviously NO expert but if I can prevent this from happening to anyone...I will. I would never wish this experience on anyone. Ever. Ever. EVER.
So, please be on the look out for the "WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN YOU PURCHASE A HOME" post coming soon. I hope it will help you, or if not you, someone out there in this world who it could benefit.
Alright guys, I just wanted to share what's been going on as of late. Moving, driving a ton, weddings, sessions, house stuff...y'all...I'm pretty tired. BUT I am also so excited to know that our home is being fixed. What a blessing.
I also realize that some of you might be shocked to see this or read this. When I post photos of my home, generally, it looks like it's pretty nice. When I tell people who have never been in my home, and have only seen what I put on the web...they say, "Shay, I've seen your photos, your house looks great." Then that's when I chime in and say, "That's only because you see what I put out there...trust me. It's bad. You only see my home from eye level. You don't see floors. You don't see the ceiling or walls."
Then they visit and the wide eyed, "OMG Shay... Wow... This is crazy" sentence comes. Just goes to show you that life isn't perfect. We all have problems and guess what, we are real life people guys. I just wanted to share this with you because I want you to know that as happy as I am, and thankful and blessed as I am to have the life I have, it doesn't come easy. Attitude is EVERYTHING. I do NOT have it all...and I am more than okay with that.
Glass is half full...it has to be. With foundation problems and all. :)
Oh, and because no post is a good post without photos...
Here is our home on the first day of demolition foundation work:
This would be our front door. That light? The outside (obviously). That's what it looks like when the door is shut. Cleaning our home became so hard. It was pretty much impossible.
The door to our bathroom from our master. Honestly, I could post 100 pictures from our home in every single room that look like this. These are just ones I found on my phone.
Monday was the day they started. As soon as I left, they came in. Drew stopped by after work to see what they had already done. Y'all this is DAY ONE. DAYYYY ONE!? Crazy.
That's our driveway...in our driveway. This was taken on Monday. My heart was in shambles all day. Handing over our garage door opener to the guys was hard. It's funny I can't say "handed over the key" to our house because that is currently broken off in our front door LOL. I'm telling you. That front door would NOT open. It got so bad, we couldn't even lock it. Thank goodness the deadlock worked though. (Whoo!)
I looked at the foundation guy and said, "Please, please...PLEASE make her beautiful again. That's all I ask..." and I found myself tearing up with a quivery voice. That's when the man looked into my eyes and said in the kindest, most genuine voice:
"M'aam...I've been doing foundation work on homes for 20 years and this is one of the worst I've ever seen. I promise you I will do my best to make sure she's beautiful again."
I have a feeling that this is the same guy that was responsible for this kind act.
Drew tried to cement this hole by our house in the back yard when we first started noticing the foundation shift dramatically. Opposums would get under our home, and come out in our toilet (remember this!?), so we tried to close it up with this quick fix...and he drew the "A heart S" (such a muffin he is) in the cement. Whoever broke up the cement around the house could have easily broke this up and never thought twice about it. But, he cut it out and set it by the tree. Melt. My. Heart.
I'm such a sucker, I know. Emotional much? Um, yeah. It's so bad lately y'all but I guess for good reason.
I'm so thankful we have people working on our home who have good hearts and appreciate little things like this. This isn't just a job for this guy...I mean it is, totally, but he really made me feel like our home was in good hands.
Have an amazing hump day friends. Make it a good one. Don't mind me...but I have a LOT of catch up work to do. :)