Monday, January 30, 2012

5 x 5 Update #4

Great news, friends.  We have completed Week Four of the 5 x 5 Challenge.  I know several of you are still hanging in there with me, and I have heard from even more people this week that you are organizing, simplifying, and de-cluttering even though you are not formally in "the Challenge."  That is great!  My goal is simple: Start 2012 by crossing some biggies off my list, make my living space less cluttered, give to those in need, and set up other parts of my life in a way that is more maximizing of both time and energy.

This last week Dave traveled to Des Moines for work Monday-Saturday.  Please know that this trip caused me a lot of anxiety.  I know lots of women who have husbands who travel regularly and let me just ask-- how do you do it???  I was the most nervous about the middle of the night, especially when I had to work the next day.  I was secondly worried about getting out the door and to work on time.  So my sweet friends came along side me and helped me out in incredible ways.  I only hope I can repay them in _some_ way someday.  Cari stayed with me Monday night and through the pre-work morning Monday night.  Aanna and Spencer stayed late after small group on Tuesday night and helped me get the boys to bed.  God was so gracious in that Tuckers best night was Tuesday night, the only night I was alone.  Wednesday and Thursday night Beth stayed with me, and helped me get to work Thursday morning.  Tucker was in rare form Wednesday night-- Beth and I literally got about 4 hours of fragmented sleep.  I'm still not sure what happened, but I will tell you that I had to apologize to Beth the next day and that my attitude and behavior in the middle of the night included a shower at 12:30.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Friday afternoon I went to my parents and got home in time for bedtime Saturday night.  But, in the background of all this I decided to pull off a "5x5 Surprise" to my husband.

Dave's birthday was almost totally neglected this year.  We had a 10 day old and ended up at Bergan Urgent Care.  Thankfully, my mom gave him a card because I didn't.  He had no presents under the tree at Christmas because I was just totally overwhelmed, sore, depressed, whatev-- you name it-- and I was struggling just to keep up with the family Christmas celebrations we went to, and to get a few gifts under the tree for Dekker on Christmas morning.  Did I tell you that we took Dekker to the toy store with us and bought his gifts right in front of him???  Hahahaha. Anyway, I wanted to do something extra special for him.  So I decided to give him the gift of "more time and less stress" and I finished the office in the basement.  It has been done, and we have occupied it, for some time now. But there were a few finishing touches that I knew were driving Dave nuts.  Like the trim wasn't all done, and the floor needed to be laid in the closet, and the new windows, doors, door frames and trim needed painted, and a bi-fold door over the water main needed to be hung.  And... we needed to pass the final inspection.... before the permit expired in July.

So Monday night, Cari and I, Beth and Derek cleaned out the office.  We kept Dave's desk all together and didn't unplug one thing.  I knew that he often remotely got into his computer, and I knew unplugging it would throw up all kinds of red flags, so Derek wisely advised me to just pull it away from the wall and drape it.  It was perfect.  We cleared the rest out.

This is kinda what it looked like "before."  A lot of the trim was
done, but not all of it. 
This is us "clearing the room."  It wasn't too big of a job.
I took a before pic of Dave's desk so I could put it back exactly as it was.

Tuesday the carpenter, Brian with Icon Home Improvements, came by and did the last carpentry work and then coated everything with primer.  I hosted small group, then spent some time in the evening researching a new desk chair for Dave.

Wednesday: Brian was back for a coat of paint.  I called the inspectors office.  This was so totally out of my league I am still surprised that I did it.  Thankfully, I found our permits on the fridge and scheduled the final inspection.  I just knew it would be easier when the room was cleared.  I had no idea what was going to happen, or when, but I knew it was worth a try.  That night Beth and I assembled Dave's new desk chair.  When I cleaned the room out, I was appalled by the state of his desk chair.  He sits in that thing for 8-10 hours a day, and it was so broken down.  He has never complained about his chair, but I knew it had to be awful.  I thought the new chair would be icing on the (birthday and Christmas) cake, so to speak.

Here is the "Tall Chair".  He is trying it out all week before deciding for
sure and says he likes it so far.
Thursday: Brian comes back for the final coat of paint.  The room is still a pretty big mess. The inspector calls me.  I agree to meet him at my house around lunch.  Are you kidding me?  I have no clue what is about to happen but he seems nice.  I warn him that the room is still a mess and sweetly tell him that if he can't do his job I "totally understand, Sir."  I make awkward jokes.  I try to act like I know something about what is going on.  Then he signs this little thingy and says "we're finished here."  I was so excited I threw up my arm for him to High Five me.  And he did!  He was pretty friendly and we talked about our extra huge garage for a moment and he left.  Suz came over after nap so I could paint, and later that night Beth and I finished painting the office walls.  Because nice Brian had over-sprayed the trim, windows, etc to his hearts desire and it was everywhere.  This was my only major shock to the project-- I did not expect to have to repaint so much.

With this much over-spray I can only guess he thought I was re-painting anyway.
These are new windows Dave and Steve installed.  They are terrific!
The space for the bi-fold door
Preserving the desk...
... and cords...
Heck Yes!!
Friday: Brian is back to hang the doors and "touch up."  He leaves and my friend JoLynn is holding the baby and playing with Dekker while I move everything back in.  It looks... great.

Dave's desk, complete with new chair.  And a foot rest I will promptly be returning.
Great looking bi-fold door hiding the water main.  Panted and hung.

These are pics Dave took with his camera.  I hope to get them framed to
hang in the space real soon.
Saturday: Dave came home late.  I was So Nervous.  I had really worked myself up that he was going to feel like I went behind his back, or that I had taken away from him a chance to complete his "hobby", blah blah.  He was just totally thrilled.  He said he was "floored" and "shocked" and I almost cried.  Then we laid in bed and talked about how I had done this crazy, sneaky thing until 1AM, which is not so smart when your baby gets up at 2 and 6.  Oh well.  It was a great ending to a great 5x5 Week!

On the journey,

PS I also finalized that Health Savings Account and Flex Savings Account for Daycare!!

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