One year ago we moved into our house. Our new house is a good stone's throw away from the cabin we used to rent, so we basically moved next door, country-speaking. Our house is a treasure to me. Probably ordinary to most, but to me it's magnificent and perfectly dreamy. From it's concrete floors to our apple green door, it's nothing short of Trask. You can see Josh and myself everywhere you look, from the perfectly straight walls (thanks, babe), to the quirky interior design, to the lovely girls who leave their marks everywhere, it's Trask city. I love it! It's extra special because every bit of it, (minus the air conditioning, insulation and sheet rock), were done by my husband. From the plumbing to electrical, to the sticks and stones, it was all Josh. And Jesus! And a few brave friends that helped out, and blessed us along the way, (thanks Whitleys, Strombecks, Davis', Pettys, Austins, Websters, Williams, Roberts, Christensen's, and Phillip Lowe too).
Building a house is a lot of fun...and a lot of hard work...but mostly fun, or hard work, or? I don't know. It's a good balance of both. It's tricky business. A game of balancing budget with desire, practicality with imagination, and time away from family (for the sake of the family) with time with family (for the sake of "the work can wait until tomorrow"). It's a walk of deeper faith, and great victory. Kris Vallaton once said, "Vision gives pain a purpose." I agree wholeheartedly!
April 2009 Construction began!
April 2010 We moved in!
April 2011 Happy One Year Anniversary!
Construction, especially when it's the construction of your own house, is so fascinating. I loved stopping by our new house to see Josh, and to discover something new that wasn't there the day before. The girls and I planned many picnics for Daddy and us. We'd bring tablecloths and towels to sit on so we could eat properly. (I am, Jenny Trask, after all.) We'd picnic and swap stories with Josh. He'd tell about his project in progress, and we'd ramble on about our everyday girl lives, as only girls can do. From nail polish, to loose teeth, spiders we had to kill on our own, to appointments, bills, jokes, and life, the construction site heard it all. It was the bones of our new house, so it was only appropriate to acquaint it with Trask life before it actually got to house us. And the land. We beat life into the land, or rather, a new, unfamiliar, rowdy, ruckus-y kind of human life into it. We'd romp around, picking out our favorite trees, throwing rocks, rearranging pine cones and acorns, and even trees (that was the saddest part). I'm not a tree-hugger, per se', but I am a tree-lover. I deeply hated the crisp cracking sound of a tree coming down. It's painstaking and devastating to hear/witness. I still cringe at the thought of it. I hated that part. The only comfort I could find in clearing trees was that maybe, just maybe, they were prepared for it. Like what if they purposely spent their whole lives protecting the place we'd someday call home. Like, maybe they knew of us before we knew of them. Who says God doesn't speak to all of His creation? Who says they didn't agree to laying down their lives for us? (Fantastical and fairytale-like, I know. This is the world I live in.) I even wrote a children's story based on trees being cleared so a house could come in. (Maybe I'll share it with you someday.)
** Nature lovers, please refrain from commenting on my simplistic take on clearing trees. I am as green a girl as they come. I love trees and I hate to kill them. Period. **
Whoa. I digress.
Anyway, here are a few of my favorite building moments:
The foundation. A house without walls, ready to hold all of our hearts and dreams. Claire, Avery and I are in the lower left corner picking out the perfect place for our hand prints. Notice the concrete finishers eyeing us. (This is one of the fun parts about being a homeowner. They can't say, no. It turns out we're the boss.)
The girls did their fair share of building too. Avery especially loved to build with her Daddy.
And just like that, a house came to life.
This is the day I almost passed out. Pregnant (did I mention I was pregnant during this?), with 2 little girls at home, and I find my husband like this. I ordered him and our brave friend, Brian Webster, to come down immediately. They disobeyed. We have a roof. Thanks Brian. Thanks babe.
Another favorite: The day they dug our well. I was like a little kid. So fascinated! A huge truck lifted off the ground by the force of an enormous, person-sized, drill bit. The drill bit wrestled with the earth for hours. Grinding, clanking, clamouring and pushing through layer after layer of long established, precisely placed rock in the ground, and then, finally, water! Life! And a giddy Jenny! It was thrilling!
Sheetrock. I could finally see the size of rooms. (Josh could imagine it all along, but not me, so needless to say, this was very exciting for me.) I was immediately hanging pictures and arranging furniture in my mind.
And then the snow came. Josh took time off to play. And when the freeze froze the fun, he trekked through the snow, back to the new house to work in the cold. No time to waste, Noelley Belley was on her way.
We moved in 25 days after Noelle was born.
Now that we've lived here a year it feels like we've lived here forever. This is my home. I am satisfied and in love. Our house isn't a "dream" in the sense of stature. It's a dream in the sense of us having something we didn't have any right to have were it not for the grace of God in our lives.
So, happy anniversary house! Thanks Jesus! And thanks Jim! And a BIG thanks to my babe!
PS: One day a Miranda Lambert song came on the radio. It's called, "The House that Built Me." Josh happened to be in the car with me when it came on. I told him that this part of the song reminded me of us...
"Mama cut out pictures of houses for years
From 'Better Homes and Gardens' magazine
Plans were drawn and concrete poured
And nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to Mama's dream"
I cried. Josh said, "Aww." I'm sure we kissed. I'm so grateful!