Monday, February 16, 2009

Many, Many Updates

Well, to forewarn you, this is going to be long. I will be telling you how the last week and a half or so of my life has gone, and honestly, it could've been stretched out over a month and I would have been way happier. Much easier to deal with it all that way. I would have posted all this last week in more sizeable chunks, but I was super drained and recovering for all of the week. So, here we go!
As you all have deduced, (because you're smart like me or you wouldn't be my friends and family), we had an emergency at our extra house last week. The water meter ruptured. Our basement flooded, the sump pump turned the yard into a lake, and some of the water froze in cracks in the basement. We drove into town expecting the worst. We saw the yard first, and a lot of the water was already dried up, which was a good sign. We went into the basement, and a lot of the water had been pumped out, much to our vast relief. There were still a few inches in the lowest room in the basement, but all in all, not too horrible. Something we didn't plan on dealing with (or we'd have brought a saw) was that up north they had had an ice storm, and we had several ginormous limbs down in the yard. We piled them up, and that pile would easily have filled my living room. And these were not little twigs people. Some of the limbs were a good six to eight inches in diameter. Huge. So we were faced with the question of how on Earth we were going to get rid of it all...? So we started calling people we know in town, hoping someone could give us a lead on someone who could possibly want all this wood. The very first person we called had fireplaces and that was the main way they heated their house. They wanted it all, and they came that night and took it away! Hooray for Candy and Joseph!
That was Saturday. On Sunday, we got ready for church, and went out to our car, and saw we had an almost-flat tire. So we had to find some change (which we stole from the friends we were staying with, after they had jokingly told us as they were going out the door to not touch as it was their vacation fund or something) and found a gas station, and aired up the tire. We were very late by this point; about a half an hour. As it was cold, and the parking lot was filled to bursting, and I was uber tired from the day before, John dropped me off at the entrance. I got halfway up the walk when Jessica, a super cool senior in high school in that ward, came running out to meet me. I got a huge hug, and we walked arm-in-arm into the building, where most of the teen population of the ward was waiting to meet John and I. It was way cool. There was lots of hugging, and a couple of tears, and it was one of the best welcomes I've ever experienced. We got to see all of our old friends (well, truthfully, it's a small and elite group of people there, and you know who you are; you wouldn't be reading this if it wasn't you!), and hang out and have lunch with some, and then it was time to go home. John and I really stuttered over this for some reason. We just couldn't seem to reconcile in our heads in the right way the decision to go. We prayed three or four times. We called everyone who needed to know to tell them we were leaving. We gassed up the car. We were on the road headed out, and we just felt awful about it, so we decided to stay, and work on a few more things at the house on Monday. We felt immediately better. Calm. Peaceful. We didn't know why, but we needed to stay an extra day. So we called everyone back, and said, "Erm, never mind, we're staying tomorrow too."
So on Monday, I slept in a little to recover some stamina, and we headed to the house. John had called a guy from a contracting company that our friend Candy had given us a reference for, who specialized in basements and water damage and things like that. He told John that he didn't have time to meet with us that day, and we were severely disappointed. We really needed some answers, and we really wanted to meet this guy, but we were going to have to let our realtor meet him instead. The morning wore on. We went to the house and started analyzing what we needed to do, what supplies we needed, what we could get done that day and so forth. After we had made a priority list, and a supply list, we still hadn't heard from the meter repair people either. We were getting worried. These were the main reasons we felt we needed to stay an extra day. We decided to pray about it. We asked Father for a miracle, that we would be able to be here and somehow meet with the people we need to meet with. We finished, and I prepared to make a supply run, while John stayed to clean up the yard a bit more. (I have to insert here that the weather on the days we worked at the house was awesome. Saturday and Monday were beautiful, but on Sunday, when we weren't working outside, it was freezing. Thank you Heavenly Father) Five minutes, literally, after we prayed, our cell rang. It was the contractor guy. Someone had just cancelled on him, and if it was convenient for us, he could be at the house in fifteen minutes. Hallelujah! Five minuted after he called, the meter repair lady called us to say she was on the front porch, and nobody was answering the bell, were we home...? We had been in the basement and didn't hear her. Such immediate answers! It was nice to know The Big Guy was still aware of us. And the reason we needed to stay on Monday? To talk to the basement guy. He was awesome. He gave us so many affordable, workable solutions to try to make the basement better and less wet, so we could sell it, and so much good advice, that I will sing his praises forever. He didn't even ask for a consult fee. There was nothing for him to do for us, but he just stayed and worked scenarios with us until everyone felt we had a doable plan of action. For the first time ever, I feel like there's something tangible I can do to make the house more sellable. How unbelievably awesome to know that my family has not been abandoned after all. That God really is still fighting on our side. What a relief, lol!
We need to go back and finish up some things in the next few weeks, and get the ball rolling on our plan of action. The reason I'm not hopping to it right away is because the people who wanted to buy the house but couldn't get financed are interested in renting until they are eligible for a loan. We are trying to work that out with them, so I'm just waiting to see what happens. If that falls through, then full steam ahead! Hopefully, though, that works out. It seems on the surface the perfect solution for them and us. We'll see.
So, in other big news, Jonni turned six!! Her birthday was February 3rd, just a two days before we got news of the Big House Disaster, so it got sort of swallowed up. She still has some presents to open, so I will post pics of those all together. We'll probably finish up the present opening tonight, so I can post it all tomorrow. For those who were wondering, yes, I made the cake this year, and yes, it turned out perfect. Another miracle.
Also this past week, our stake held a Winter Ball. I wasn't sure if we were going, so I didn't get one of my many bridesmaid's dresses dry-cleaned, I just wore what had been in my mind for a back-up dress since I found out about the ball. I got it at a shopping trip with Timpani months ago, but hadn't worn it yet for some reason. I was glad of that though, because I got to Wow everyone, lol! We went to dinner with some other couples from the ward beforehand, and we had a blast! The people in this ward are so welcoming and fun! I just can't get over it. We made fast friends with them, and most of them I had never met before that evening. It was great.
By the time we made it to the Ball, I was exhausted, so I didn't do much dancing. However, there were some truly really stellar dancers there, so I had almost as much fun just watching them. Made me want to go take some classes and brush up. Maybe after I work on my endurance a little....
Trent, John's little brother, spent the night to watch the kids for us for the Ball. The kids had a way fun time with Uncle Trent, and John had a way fun time hanging out with his brother the next day. I had a way fun time watching everyone have a way fun time. I was super tired, lol!
So that about sums it up. I will post pics now of myself all dressed up. My mom did my hair. She's a friggin' genius. I looked great to everyone but John. He didn't give me one compliment until I had undressed, taken off my make up, and was taking my hair down. Then he tells me I look gorgeous. Weirdo.
The Almighty Liz
Okay, this picture above, and this one below are of the hair. These were taken at my mom's house before I could put on make up and good clothes. I just wanted everone to get the full impact. It was gorgeous!

Seriously, was I HOT or what?! Thanks, I thought so too.


Karen said...

You are always gorgeous, but you definitely looked like hot stuff!!!! :)

Renae said...

Well, I'm glad there is some good news from your house nightmare!

Yes, you looked gorgeous! My silly brother!

Your Favorite, and Mine - Mary said...

I was showing Jeremy the pictures. He goes, "Wow. She looks different."

I think in a good way. :) I wanted him to see the difference with the makeup because I want to get a sample kit, so I pointed out the eyes especially. I can't tell if he was know how he is.

Your Favorite, and Mine - Mary said...

Hey, Renae and I were on at the same time! Hi 'Nae!

timpani76 said...

You looked great! I especially like the way your bangs are fixed. I now want to try that, but I will probably need a straightening iron.

We were praying that the house thing "would turn out ok". Yay!

Bruce said...

you know the whole "undressed" thing might have had some thing to do with it. i wish i could have come to help with the house. there is not a lot i can do to help people, but manuel labor is one of them. glad things are looking up.

lizS said...

thanks everyone! especially for the prayers. we can really feel them; i didn't know what people meant when they said that until this experience.
and thanks for the compliments! it was the first time in a long time i felt really pretty.
and bruce, i so knew you were going to say that, lol! as i was writing it i thought to myself, 'bruce will say something about the undressed comment. i just know it.' thanks for running true to form. ;p

Jeanette and Jason said...

Ooh La La. What a hottie. :) I'm sorry for all the problems you have been having with the house. It sounds like a nightmare.

Hoba Chi said...

Liz, you looked mahvelous!

Glad things are starting to look up.

Dana Cheryl said...

Yay what a happy post!! It's nice to be reminded that God is a God of prayer. I love when people share cool stories like that.

I love the hair, the dress, the makeup, and you!!! Gorgeous!!

Anonymous said...

:D i love how my name is in the post!! :D i was so excited to see you guys that day!! (even though it was because of some bummer flooded basement!)

oohh!! you looked sooo pretty!!! haha and the undressed part is a gag!! i was thinking the same thing as that bruce guy. lol.

~jesy newell