Me llamo Rocky

Octopus Hands

What a last 6 days it has been for us.  My brother and mom flew into San Diego last Friday to check out our new house and help with anything they could.  Having 8 hands hard at work REALLY made a huge difference to our house.  We pretty much put Derek and mom to work the second they landed off the plane and didn't stop until literally minutes before heading back to the midwest.  And, even through all the blood and sweat, we all loved every minute of it.  We made a great team! 

When they first got here, we started to dabble into a little bit of everything that needed to be worked on, but the most important thing was to get our old house into really good shape so we could hand over the keys to our landlord in hopes of getting our full deposit back.  The task was bigger than what we once realized, but after working day and night through the weekend, we accomplished our mission and impressed our landlord with a very clean house and left there Monday night without our old keys.  Oh, what a great feeling that was!!

At our house, the guys used their big muscles to move things, fix things, and replace old windows.  My mom and I stripped wallpaper, painted, cleaned, cooked, and made our house look more like home.  Being that our kitchen and bathroom had some very outdated wallpaper, I had been dying to get rid of it as soon as I had the help.  Dana and I have thought that maybe in the future we would like to remodel both of these rooms, so in the meantime, I didn't want to put too much into it.  We just freshened up the rooms with new paint, and boy did it make a difference to the appearance.  Here is the transition from my stripping wallpaper to painting:

For the boys, the process of replacing windows started off a little shaky, but once they got the right tools and rhythm of working together, the pair make a dynamic duo.  It was even enjoyable watching them work together.  And, actually this had been the first time I saw my brother doing what he typically gets paid to do.  He really impressed me with his knowledge and strength...(Dana, too, of course, but I always see him working).  Derek said it was all common sense, but it really is a natural ability that not everyone has.  Being his big sister, I guess I always thought I knew better, but he showed me that there was a lot I didn't know about and he knew it all.  The first pic below was just too cute not to share.  All the boys looking at the window, getting ready to put it into our kitchen, the next pic is of Dana taking out the old window, and the third is putting a window above our kitchen sink.


Of course, there had to be some down times, too.  We couldn't work hard ALL the time.  After all, Derek and mom were on vacation.  Rocky's job these past few days was to make sure everyone had their relaxing time.  His Grandma's favorite kind of downtime was to sit in the sun with a beer and her little grandson close by to cuddle.  I tell you what, those two were a match made in heaven.  They did everything together.  Rocky also really liked his Uncle Derek.  He would run right to the couch in the morning to find Derek and cuddle with him until he got up...and even then, you could find him curled up in Derek's clothes during the day while Derek was working.  As you can tell, Derek liked having him around, too.  At night, we all got onto my mom's new computer and showed her all the cool things she could do with it.  Hopefully she'll remember everything we showed her because she caught on quickly.

After eating breakfast and dinner on a plastic table and chairs for most of the time, my mom surprised us with a special treat.  She allowed us to find new patio furniture to go with our house.  Dana and I were super excited for the great opportunity because we knew that had she not offered, we wouldn't have gotten to the patio furniture for a long time later.  We found the perfect set at Home Depot and also added in cushions for the seats and two reclining chairs to lay in the sun.  And, after putting the furniture together, my mom and I went shopping to find special added touches to spruce up the new parts of our house.  We found placemats, napkins and a center candle for our new table and also some bathroom decor, which we are still waiting to put together.   Thank you, mom, for treating us with everything that you did.  We are incredibly thankful, and love it all! In the first pic, you see my brother and I assembling our new table, and the second pic is of the new furniture with the table set right before we ate dinner.

All in all, we accomplished so much more than we had in the last few weeks that Dana and I had been working together.  We all had fun doing it together, and now Dana and I are cleaning up after the big projects to watch as our house becomes a home, unfolding right in front of our eyes.  It is such a wonderful feeling and we are sooo thankful for the help.

P.S.  After installing the last window today, Derek realized that now we have accomplished more work on our house than he has on his own house.  Ha!  I guess that means we'll have to plan a trip his way to return the favor.  Sorry, Derek.  But if it means anything, you are the best brother that anyone could ask for.  We love you!!

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