I should back up a bit, though. This is, after all, entitled "The Open House," which was a roaring success. The houses were all sparkling and the yards were pristine (and done) and we power washed the curbs, gutters, driveways and sidewalks. Over in the empty lots by House 5, a hot dog cart was set up and our lumber company sponsored that, so there were free hot dogs, chips and drinks for all attendees. Next to the hot dogs was a big blow up bouncy castle, which was a blast for the kids. Representatives from the corporation we built with were there answering questions, handing out maps and pamphlets, and directing traffic. All of us new homeowners wore matching green T-Shirts that said "Ask me how I built my house" on them. And, from just a few minutes before 10 AM until 2:30, we had an average of ten people in our house at a time. I only had about a two minute break when the house was empty, which I used to quickly run to the bathroom. The hot dog guys said they went through 370 meals, so we estimate about 400 people showed up. Many were family and friends of our team, but many were people interested in the program or getting ready to build. Our program manager said that this was, by far, the best open house they've ever put on. (In previous groups, the open house has been a few signs put up and an email invitation, and maybe a hundred guests.)
We were exhausted by the end, but we still had a post construction meeting to attend. We had pizza with our team and then got our homeowners book that includes a manual on homeownership, copies of all our receipts and contracts, and other things like that. It's a hefty book! We also got certificates of completion that stated all our hours. It was pretty amazing--even though I got a sneak peek since I tracked and recorded all those hours--to hear each one listed off. Everyone was over 1400, but our highest was 2030. Cody and I came in second at 1906. Required for the whole build was 1300. Incredible. After the meeting, it was fun to come back to the house and watch what people did. Both our next-door neighbors rolled their already loaded U-Hauls and trailers into their driveways and instantly started unloading stuff. One neighbor started covering his carpet and repainted into the night. Some went back to apartments to take a nap. As for me? I came inside, sat down on my floor and cried for a while. Then we got our kids, got our beds, brought them all here, and went to bed. As soon as I had my whole family in my house, that's when the stress melted away and I felt the peace I mentioned at the beginning of this post. We are home now.
*sniff* okay, hows about something more fun? Would you like your own little photo tour? Okay! Here's a bunch of pictures I took on Friday night, right before we left. Everything is clean, everything is empty, ready for the open house. All we did after that was put plastic runners on the floor to protect the carpet from all the foot traffic, put some pamphlets on the counter, and set up our laptop with a montage of the build.
|Inside of Master Closet|
|Living room from top of stairs|
|Living room, stairs, master bedroom from the hallway|
|Entering the hallway from the living room|
|Girl's Bedroom, to the South|
|Girl's closet, and the hallway|
|Inside of Girl's Closet|
|Kid's bathroom, linen closet|
|Lee's bedroom to the North, and looking back at the hall|
|Inside of Lee's closet|
|Hallway, laundry closet, and Girls' bedroom, from Lee's doorway|
|Master Bathroom, linen closet|
|Coming back up the stairs|