Sep 10, 2010


I just know you have been waiting in anxious anticipation for the big carpet reveal. Am I right? I flatter myself...

Well, Tuesday was the day. When I scheduled the installation for September 7, I didn't realize that school was out the day after Labor Day. I also couldn't have foreseen that Zach, Gavin, and Lexi would have croup or that I would be feeling lousy, too. Life felt pretty overwhelming when Chris rolled up with his truck at 8:30 a.m.

Our beds spent the day in the dining room. The kids thought this was fantastic. Before these mattresses made it upstairs, the kids had to play on the stack. They proved to be an amusing distraction all day long.

We spent nearly all day in this manner: on the couch in front of the TV in the kitchen, which only plays DVDs. Gavin is used to having sole possession of the remote control, and he was the sickest of the group, so most of the fare was Diego and Clifford episodes on disc. We also had a steady stream of snacks, water, and ibuprofen for fevers.

As Chris and his partner (I'm sure he has a name...) banged and whacked and drilled and scraped and ripped, I edited photos from our family photo shoot and just tried to keep the peace in our 200 square feet of living space for the day. At one point Chris emerged with this paper, which he had found underneath the pad of our old carpet. Pretty funny. I love the way Tyler is holding it -- like it's a remnant from a toxic waste dump.

Around noon we ventured out of the house and met Garry for smoothies. Carribean Passion was the flavor of choice for most of us, and those Jambas sure soothed our sore throats. The company was great, too! Poor Garry had a crazy-busy day at work, so we were glad to steal him away for a little while.

When we came home, we found this: new carpet! By early afternoon, the upstairs rooms were finished and most of the worst scraping and banging was through. I set up a port-a-crib in Lexi's room and a mattress in my room and the Littles napped. Ah.....bliss. I believe that's when I posted our family pictures to the blog.

When I saw Chris's partner (poor nameless fellow) working on the stairs, I knew we must be in the home stretch. I actually had to walk over the guy to get Zach's football cleats from his bedroom closet at one point. Zach couldn't exactly practice in flip-flops, and I had forgotten that detail when cleaning out rooms in the morning.

We returned home after dropping off Zach. Garry got home and we ate nachos for dinner while the carpet guys finished up. (I mention the nachos specifically because Gavin poured two cups of taco seasoning in the simmering meat while my back was turned.) At 6:15, I had to run to a parent meeting for Tyler's music class, which starts next week. I left the check for the carpet payment with Garry. In hindsight, I wish I would have left an extra couple hundred bucks and had the carpet guys move all of our furniture back! I felt guilty for leaving with our house in such a state.

However, I was thrilled to come home to this:

Garry diligently vacuumed the whole house to pull up stray carpet fibers and staples. He vacuumed all of the carpet in two directions. It looked fantastic. I am completely thrilled with the color. I LOVE IT!! I can't believe how much it warms up the place. Everything seems richer and newer and brighter. The carpet is super soft, too. We especially notice the difference downstairs (pictured above).

The bummer, however, is that for two more days, the state of things remained exactly the same. I began to get sick (the same croup everyone else had), Garry worked crazy long hours, and the home teacher who helped us move our furniture before was out of the country. It looked like the weekend would arrive before we would have access to dresser drawers, couches, printers, and any semblance of normal family existence.

Enter my thoughtful friend, Melanie, and four young missionaries.

On Thursday morning, as I was talking to Melanie in a gravelly voice about my sleepless night and upcoming Relief Society lesson (not related), it became clear to her that the stress of having an upside-down house was taking its toll on the family. She pushed for me to call for help--any help--with moving our furniture. I was reluctant. Melanie offered to make calls for me. I finally agreed. So, from Arizona, Melanie got to work.

One hour later, four Elders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were on my doorstep. They would fulfill a portion of their weekly service requirement at my house. For the next hour they moved couches, beds, bookshelves, desks, boxes, chairs, a treadmill, and food storage. They were young and strong and cheerful...and fast! I couldn't believe how much work they accomplished in just an hour. And the sweet young men wouldn't even let me feed them. I took the picture above and emailed it to their mothers instead.

So today we are a little more settled. Garry put most of the beds and the treadmill together last night. We have places to sit and places to sleep. The kitchen isn't quite so full of clutter and laundry and tools. Rooms like this one are still a mess, but that's mostly normal!

I love the way the paint turned out in my room. The carpet is a perfectly complementary color.

Lexi's room is pretty fun, too. I still need to fix curtains and make a pillow case, but I love the palette of colors.

With more family illness and other commitments, it will likely be several more days (weeks?) before we find "normal" again. Getting new carpet has been almost as much work as moving. In fact, the night before the carpet came, I felt quite desperate to just move instead. That still sounds quite appealing! But I am glad that I can enjoy the luxury of new carpet while we wait for the rest of life to unfold.
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