Sunday, May 6, 2012

The House: The Open House

I am sitting on my recliner in my living room.  MY living room.  MY recliner.  MY internet.  (and by my I of course mean Cody and mine... I'm not that selfish...)  This is one of those weekends in life you never forget, along with getting married and having babies.  I will always remember this, and how I feel right now.


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.

Master Closet

Inside of Master Closet

Living room from top of stairs


Dining Area


Front Door

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

Kid's bathroom, linen closet

Laundry 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

Master bathroom

Master Bathroom, linen closet


Coming back up the stairs
 And there you have it.  We love our new home!


Laurie Fifield said...

I love it too. Thanks for all the work putting up these posts. They've been so much fun to read, and I've even heard the story from your own mouth.

John and Anna said...

Your home is Beautiful!!! I'm so happy for you guys. I told John that I really wanted to go to your open house. Not only to see your home but also just to say hi to you guys. I really admire how much time and effort you put into building your home, and a great neighborhood. I can only imagine what it must feel like, after all that hard work to be able to come HOME.

I hope you get to enjoy every minute of it and that you get to stay close to your neighbors. What an amazing experience.

Again, I'm just soooo happy for your sweet family. :)

John and Anna said...

Oh, I should explain that we had to be out of town during your open house. That's why we weren't there. Sorry. :(