Saturday, August 21, 2010

What we’ve been up to

So we arrived in the great Pacific Northwest almost a month ago and we’ve been off the grid a good bit. So what have we been up to? Well, probably our biggest project has been our house. When we arrived, our house was not nearly in the condition that we all (including the family we’re renting from) expected. Evidently, the previous tenants pretty much bolted from the property. So they left the house a wreck and left a lot of trash behind as well. We knew we were going to have to refinish the hardwood floors and paint, but when we arrived, we realized we needed all new floors (kitchen, playroom area, halls, bath) on the first floor. And hopefully before the moving truck arrived with all our stuff.

We arrived at our new home on Thursday night, July 15th and we knew the truck would be here between Sunday and Monday. So we got to work first thing Friday morning. Ethan ripped out all the existing flooring and began to lay the new laminate. Then when I took the girls back to the hotel for bed, he refinished the hardwood floors. I worked on painting the whole house while trying to keep the girls occupied and out of all the fumes, dirt, etc.

Tuesday morning came and we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the truck. Tuesday morning came and went, then so did the afternoon and dinner time as well. Around 8 pm, it arrived. With a crew of 4 guys we figured it would probably take about 3-4 hrs. Well, somewhere, 2 of those 4 guys disappeared. And after they all stared at the truck for a good hour, they began to unload around 9. I decided to put Hannah Gray to bed and we hid her in the master bedroom bathroom to try to shield her from the noise.  Around 11, we were told it’s looking good, almost done. 1 Am came and went. I sent Ethan to bed at 2 because he had to leave to head to Spokane for training and trips the next afternoon. So by 4 AM I was told not much longer. But I realized that much of our big furniture was not in our house yet. So around 4:30 I woke Ethan telling him it would be about an hour, but we were missing a ton of stuff. We were both anxious (the first 4 boxes off the truck were only held together by the tape we sealed them with). Finally everything made it’s appearance (including a table that didn’t belong to us) and we bid farewell at 6 AM. I think the whole neighborhood knew of their departure as they let the huge semi diesel engine idle for a good 45 minutes. 

So, we got to work immediately. Furiously opening boxes and trying to unpack the kitchen while the girls were still sleeping. Praying that I could get that part done before they woke. Thankfully they slept in a little bit and I had a good chunk of the kitchen done.  We had the duct cleaning and internet guys come all before we had to run some errand to get Ethan to the bus station by 3. So we did what we could and kissed Daddy good bye.  I had no groceries so we went to the store and decided we were going to eat at the grocery store’s cafe area. I knew Ethan felt horrible about needing to leave when he did and I felt as though I was in pretty good shape. We didn’t have our bedroom furniture yet (we had to sell some furniture to rebuy some out here b/c it was more expensive to ship it), but we did have a great air mattress and the girls had their beds so they were sleeping well. We were in a functional spot. So I thought. By the time I got home, the internet was not working anymore (only connection to outside), we didn’t have our tv working (broke on the way out), I couldn’t call the internet company because the power cord for the laptop had gotten lost somewhere amongst the boxes, and that’s when it happened. About 10 PM and I broke down. Not because of any doubt of where we were supposed to be. But I think it was more of the fact that I had been up for about 40 hrs straight with two kids and trying to figure out this new place with no resources to do so. I was absolutely exhausted and Ethan was supposed to be gone for the next 8 days. There was house remodeling trash, tools, saws, dirt, dust, etc everywhere. All the signs of a house in progress.

Freak out happened. Talked to Ethan. I calmed down. Went to bed. Thursday was much brighter. Peak 7 crew helped me find a babysitter and I went out canoeing with them for a community event. It refreshed me so much to have a break, be with adults and see some beautiful scenery right in the heart of Seattle. Much, much better now.

We were hoping to have the couches we purchased off craigslist delivered before Ethan left and we just didn’t have the time (or room with all the boxes). So Saturday morning arrived and Ethan called to say good morning around 8:30. I was still in my pjs and we were chatting when he said the couches were going to be dropped off before 9 and just then my doorbell rang. I kind of freaked out b/c I was still in my pjs and the couches were being dropped off by some Peak 7 crew that I had not met yet. So I timidly went to the door to answer and there was my very own knight in shinning armor! It was Ethan (with a starbucks in hand)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just dropped my head into his chest and cried. And cried. I had been doing really well all things considered, but when I saw him, I just lost it. My reinforcements had arrived. He worked SO, SO SO hard that weekend to get our house a home. It has been absolutely amazing what all Ethan has done and in the timeframe he has done it all. Especially considering the fact that during our month here, we have figured out that he has actually been here for around 9 nights. He’s been out on trips or in Spokane the rest of the time as the summer is quickly dwindling and it’s imperative that he gets to actually see things in action first hand while the high season is still going.

And despite all these crazy things, God is good. There has been absolutely, positively no doubt that this is where we belong. We feel at home here. I see my husband in his element on a daily basis. He loves what he does, who he does it with and he is even in his ideal weather climate! (For those of you that know Ethan, you know he hates the heat and humidity as he’s a walking furnace). During the middle of summer he gets to wear flip flops, shorts and a shirt with a vest. It doesn’t get much better than that. Pulling onto the main drive by our house we see Mt. Rainer in all it’s glory on clear days. We meet people like us all the time- young families with kids that love the outdoors. Church is great and 5 minutes from our house. Our YMCA is fantastic and 4 min from our house. The women that are there regularly are just like me. Normal. Not wearing velor sweats or tons and tons of jewelry. They are friendly and personable. Hannah Gray likes going there. Before, Hannah Gray was just a number at our gym, we didn’t meet families outside of our small group (which was amazing), it was hard to meet other moms, I couldn’t find a good craft store to save my life. We have been so tremendously blessed in every place we have lived. We’ve been given life long friendships that are absolute gifts and we wouldn’t have traded that for the world. But it’s here that we feel like we are meant to be. Before we knew we were supposed to be there but it just didn’t seem permanent. It felt like work in progress. Maybe that would be 5 years, maybe it would be 10, we didn’t know and lived like we would spend the rest of our lives there, investing in relationships. But to see my husband this way, to see Hannah Gray love it here, for me to genuinely feel like this is home, is amazing. So it’s official, the Petros LOVE the Pacific Northwest! The ONLY thing to make it better is if our family would join us, not that will be our work in process…. :)


One of the first boxes off the truck. By the third like this, I had to walk inside the house.


A “before” picture of the front of the house. I am going to post after pictures, but I want to have it actually finished and decorated before I post those.

Tenley’s 3 month picture

IMG_1203 IMG_1218

HG in her big girl bed

IMG_1197 (the painting is now finished in here :) )



This is HG playing in the yard (the owners had ripped a HUGE amount of junk out of the yard to help us get started on the yard and HG loved, loved, loved playing in the dirt). She was so good staying in the one room while we worked, that I just let her get good and dirty and have fun then we’d go back to the hotel and wash her up and go to bed. This kid loves to be dirty.


martowen said...

So glad that everything has come together for you guys - and what an amazing story of God's provision for your family! Can't wait to see your life and home out there. ;)

Heather Manifold said...

Great story, Joni. You have reason to breakdown! What a whirlwind this has been for you guys. I love hearing that it's been more than worth it though :)
Gotta say, I'm totally jealous of the weather. Our summer has been so ridiculously hot & humid. We've barely been able to enjoy the outdoors :( As Josh would say "remind me again why anyone lives on the East coast??" :)
And...I'm feeling lame, because the other day, after cleaning up after Laird (the world's messiest eater) & the kitchen for the umpteenth time, I literally, out-loud, said "Lord! I can't do this anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!" with a few tears in my eyes. Hahahhaha!

Joni said...

we are excited to have you guys visit marty, can't wait! and heather, i know how you feel! i have had several of those days. i wish i could have been there to give you a break, or heck, to have the boys take the kids and we'd go out to that cool bistro we went to or go find some cupcakes, or make some cookies or something else fun like that. hang in there friend!