I always knew this project would be a challenge. In fact I distinctly remember saying to Luke when we first viewed the cottage ‘huge potential, but a lot of money and work involved.’ But it didn’t seem to phase Luke at all. This has always been his dream, to buy a project and do it up. So we did.
I knew he had done lots of projects like this before so he had the experience and he would make it work, and if he didn’t know something he’d find out. He’s a complete perfectionist and very good at what he does so I knew everything would be done properly and he wouldn’t cut any corners. It’s what he does, his trade is plumbing, but he has also completed numerous property renovations for clients. But this time it is a bit different, as it’s his own home and our budget (of which we don’t have much of!)
This project has tested us both to our absolute limits, and as I write this, we are still sat in the caravan with yet more news that we won’t be moving in for ‘at least’ another 3 weeks. I have no idea how I have even lasted this long to be honest… it was only supposed to be for a couple of months!
The caravan has been fun (in a way). I just said that through gritted teeth. The summer is hard as it’s like a sauna, being tin, well you can imagine. In the winter, we have no central heating in the van. The heating comes in the form of blow or oil heaters. And let’s just say the electricity bill could have paid for a new kitchen.
When you buy a house there’s so much excitement. You could say a house is just bricks and mortar, but there’s so much more to a house than that. It’s a place where you make memories. We bought the cottage as a family home, a place where we’d bring up our children, a place that I hope they’d look back on with lots of cherished memories. But, I don’t feel like we have made that family home yet, and so far I feel like we’ve just been in limbo. My favourite saying is ‘when we’re in the house, we can…’
I thought I could finally see the finish line. I thought next week we’d start sorting through some of the boxes we had packed away at the end of 2015, ‘stuff’ that I haven’t seen since, and I could start thinking about where things could go. And one of the things I am most excited about was doing the boys bedrooms and seeing A’s face when he sees his new big boy bed and all of his toys in his bedroom. Toys we have had in storage for way too long.This was A’s bedroom, which is now split into two. Originally to be the office, but now the nursery until we extend and build the fourth bedroom.
But, as I have learn’t so many times during this project, not everything goes to plan, as is the case with a lot of things in life. But some of the things that have happened during this project, well you couldn’t make it up. Honestly! Each time though we have dusted ourselves off (excuse the pun) and carried on.
I really surprised myself today. We thought the lounge and stair runner were being fitted next week, allowing us to start getting everything ready to move in, but found out after re-booking the fitting, (because we were all struck down with flu and our youngest W was admitted to hospital), that there was an error with the re-booking and we hadn’t actually been re-booked at all. True story. Unfortunately. So the carpets aren’t being fitted next week.
Whilst being told this, I thought I might cry, but I didn’t. There’s some things that you just can’t help can you? Some things that no matter what you just can’t change. And after all it’s just a carpet. I mean I’m not saying I’m happy that we are going to be living in this caravan for at least another three weeks, but what can I do about it?
During Easter, we were all so poorly with flu which put the project back once again, and W was admitted to hospital for 4 days. All is ok now, he’s fully recovered but it makes you think and reassess. Our situation right now is far from ideal, living in a caravan with a toddler and a baby, but we do have an incredible family home that one day, very soon, we’ll all be enjoying together. And all the blood sweat and tears will have been worth it.
This is the thing with home renovations, I’ve heard it from lots of other people who have done or are doing exactly the same as us. You can’t and don’t plan for these unforeseeable problems, but they are inevitable. Nothing can prepare you for some of the things that happen. I have gone through all sorts of emotions with this project, but most recently its been frustration and disappointment.
There’s a slight sense of urgency to be in the house as soon as we can though, as A, our eldest is still sleeping in his cot, and I am keen for him to be in his new big boys bed that we’ve bought for him. I am preparing for a few sleepless nights to begin with, as we are so used to him being unable to get out of his cot if he wakes in the night or in the early hours.
Then there’s our youngest. At the moment he is in with us in his Moba basket, which very soon he will have grown out of (why do they grow so quickly!) The caravan is only a two bedroom anyway, and there isn’t enough room for him to sleep with A, which I wouldn’t want for either of them anyway, as they’d probably keep each other awake or wake each other up. A likes to play with toys in his bed and read books before bedtime, and W is at the age when its all very quiet, dark and relaxing for bedtime, which at the moment works for us, so I wouldn’t want to mess that up.
Everyone keeps telling me they won’t remember any of this and to stop worrying, but as their mummy I can’t help it. I want them both to have their little bedrooms and all their toys. There’s so much stuff in storage.
I’m also desperate to just start buying things like tea towels, throws and rugs for the house. I’ve bought a few things for the boys bedrooms but haven’t actually unpacked any of it yet so just going to wait to unpack it all and see what there is.
I just hope that there aren’t anymore unexpected glitches ahead, and we can all move in to our new family home and start making memories.