Extreme Makeover: Frey Home Edition

1 Dec

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to post here, but believe me, that’s a good thing!  Jarrod and I were fortunate enough to have nine consecutive days off over Thanksgiving together.  Did we ever get some work done.  Sunday night while we were laying in bed thinking about the looming Monday back to normalcy ahead of us, Jarrod said, “I’m ready to go back to school, vacation was too much work!”  I knew exactly what he meant.

Now, I say that “we” got a ton of work done.  That’s not an entirely true statement.  An even greater blessing than our days away from our weekly obligations is the wonderful, and handy, family that we have.  It’s no secret that the two of us are doing everything we can to get by with our heads consistently taking in oxygen above water.  And, I’d say we do a fairly good job at it.  However, as the Beatles eloquently put it, “I get by with a little help from my friends, er, family.”

The Saturday before thanksgiving, my mom and sister came over and basically kicked butt upstairs in the nursery.  Calling in Debbie and Katie to accomplish a decorating task with precision and efficiency is like calling in the Geek Squad to network an office.  It’s what you do.  You go to the pros.  There’s a system to accomplishing the feat, and in some cases, discovering that perfect system is half the fun.  Needless to say, the nursery looks fantastic, and Jarrod and I owe a big, big thank you to Mom and Katie for their time and effort.  With the completion of the painting in the nursery, now we can focus on making our little nest ready for our little one.  This makes the anticipation increase exponentially.

After a weekend of baby nursery, Monday we decided it was time to move into the kitchen and push it to the next level.  If you’ve seen our house, especially before we remodeled any of it, you may remember the tangerine orange countertops, peach colored trim, and the appliances that were ancient and covered in grime.  Well, that’s all gone now.  We’ve refinished all of the cabinets–stripped, stained, and sealed.  Replaced all the appliances with brand new, white ones (except the fridge, we plan to let the future buyers make that decision for themselves).  Pulled up the grimy, nasty laminate floor and refinished the hardwood.  We replaced the countertops (which would have made a Syracuse fan proud…get it…Big Orange…okay nevermind) with nice neutral laminate countertops from Hoods.  Replaced the ceiling with new drywall, two new light fixtures, and safer electrical wiring.  Of course, that didn’t all happen Monday, but all of that has happened over the past 2 years, and we’re just so close to a finished product.  All we had left was to finish one bottom set of cabinets and one set of countertops and then to finish sanding the remaining drywall on the ceiling.  Once that sanding is done we can install the new light fixtures waiting impatiently in their boxes.  Last thing–a fresh coat of paint. So Monday, Jarrod sanded the ceiling, I sanded and stained the cabinets (don’t worry, I wore a mask!).  The kitchen is well on its way to completion…I can’t wait!

On Saturday, we were back at it again.  And again, by “we,” I don’t just mean Jarrod and me.  The Frey crew came out in full force and did some serious home renovation butt kicking.  Sometime earlier that week, Jarrod and I purchased new baseboards for the entire bottom floor.  (We’d actually been living with none for two years, but hey, when money’s tight, baseboards aren’t exactly at the top of the list.)  Jarrod’s mom, Ginny, had the baseboards all laid out on my dad’s saw horses in the driveway and she painted away.  After around 2 hours or so, she had them all glistening white.  Jarrod’s dad, Mike, went to town on a closet upstairs that we’re turning into a half bath.  He ripped up what was left of the floor (which isn’t easy) so that we can lay down a new floor after the plumbing is all installed.  After he tackled that job, in true Mike fashion, he went straight to the next job, then the next, then the next…weeding, sanding and remudding the bathroom ceiling, helping Ginny with the baseboards.  Jarrod’s youngest brother, Caleb, came out and helped out everywhere–de-siding the north side of the garage, carrying baseboards, sanding in the bathroom, and creating one AWESOME brush fire (on purpose…).  Matthew, Jarrod’s other younger brother, helped with electrical work on the front of the house putting up two new porch lights, sanding in the bathroom, replacing kitchen countertops, helping put up our new full view storm door, and generally using muscle whenever it was needed.  Matthew’s new bride, Melissa, did the job that I consider the hardest, and that’s touching up paint around the ceiling in the lower level.  I have no attention span for a job like this, which is why she was doing it…because when I was painting the rooms, I was probably too careless in the first place!  After she was finished with the touch ups, she helped Ginny and I paint all of our doors on the front lawn…also white.  They look so clean!  At the end of the day, Jarrod and I were giddy with all that had been accomplished.  And even more so, exceedingly grateful for the help that we received from family.

Then, on Sunday, my bro-in-law, Jason (Katie’s husband) came over and did work on putting up all of the baseboard in the house.  Jarrod helped him, but it would have never been possible without his know-how, attention to detail, and his awesome array of power tools.  As Jarrod put it, “Jason’s an ass-kicker.”  So Jason, thanks for kicking ass!

Anyway, as you can see, we scored some major assistance this past weekend and there’s no real way that Jarrod and I can explain how grateful we are for all of the help.  We’re reminded daily of how drastically our lives are going to change in the very near future.  But, even more so and especially in the last week, we’re reminded of how family is about caring, giving, and sharing.  It’s a lesson in selflessness and compassion.  When we needed help, our families were there.  Just like when Tater Tot gets here, and he OR she (don’t think I’m letting it slip now!) needs help, we’ll be there for him or her. 

Becoming a parent is something I don’t think anyone can really, truly prepare you for.  It’s an experience that will last the remainder of a lifetime and until that day comes, you’ve always been on the other end of the relationship.  The only thing that we can take into this new venture in our lives is the knowledge that we’ve gleaned from our parents, and how they’ve raised their families.  Of course, no family is perfect.  But, what I do know is that all four corners of our baby’s grandparents have instilled a “faith first, then family”
mentality into the minds of their families.  And I have to say, it’s worked nicely in all those who abide by it.  I’m definitely proud to be both Rathert and Frey.  And I’m really proud, excited, and grateful to be adding a new member to both of these families. 

Only 4 more weeks.

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3 Responses to “Extreme Makeover: Frey Home Edition”

  1. Kara December 2, 2009 at 12:01 AM #

    Wow!!!! You guys have been BUSY!!!!!!!
    How blessed you both are to have such wonderful, generous & supportive families! Can’t wait to see your house!
    Kara

  2. Beth December 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM #

    I heard you guys have been busy…can’t wait to see! Let us know if you need anything!

  3. kristin December 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM #

    now that is a lot of work! Call if you need more hands!

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