Monday, October 26, 2009

In Which We Have An Incredible Announcement To Make

I have incredible news, folks.

This morning after we dropped Connor off at school we drove over to the local home improvement store and picked up a lawn mower, a big set of hedge clippers, a rake, and some seriously heavy-duty garbage bags. When combined with the gloves I already had at home, my ivy-killing arsenal was now complete! The rest of the visit was spent wandering around the store looking at all of the home improvement items and divesting Jeremy of the various tools he'd picked up with the intention of strapping them to his wheelchair. I made him put back the hand ax he found in the gardening section, and had to physically drag him away from the chainsaws. I swear I can't take the man anywhere.

While that was a lot of fun, it's not the incredible news.

After a break at home for Connor to have some lunch and a nap, we headed back over to the house to give a friend the tour, do some more preliminary cleaning, and to wait for Becky, one of the owners of Signature Custom Homes (the company doing our remodeling) to meet up with us and show us the recommendations for the remodeling. However, while we could spend a lot of time waiting around outside the house, getting in was a whole other story.

See, whenever we'd stopped by the house before and were planning on having everyone go inside, we'd always been with someone else-- the real estate agent, a friend, a contractor-- someone who could help me get Jer's wheelchair up the two steps in the front. This time it was just the three of us, and Connor wasn't exactly going to be doing a whole lot of the pushing.

In the past, I've tilted the chair backwards and pulled straight towards the door while someone at Jer's feet lifts slightly to get the wheels moving up the stairs. Jer helps by steering and pushing back towards the door. The wheelchair goes up without too much trouble. This time, not only was there no one to give us that initial lift, but the porch was slick from the rain and my feet were sliding all over the place. We tried for a good long while before realizing there was no possible way that Jer's wheelchair was going up the stairs.

So Jer ended up maneuvering himself out of the wheelchair, crawling across the porch, through the door and into the house in an awkward sort of scooting motion on his hands and rear with his feet and legs in the air, and getting back into the wheelchair (which we set down in the sunken living room so he could reach it) inside. Then all I had to do was haul the chair with him in it up one six inch step out of the living room rather than two eight-and-a-half inch steps. So now we've figured out that we can get Jer into the house sans a ramp in a pinch, but it isn't something that we're going to want to do very often. Especially since my back is not thanking me for it right now. Oh well.

Definitely not the incredible news.

Anyway, we gave our friend Anna the tour, and then after she left Becky came over to present us with the remodeling plan. I've been talking about pretty much nothing but this remodeling for the last few weeks, so you all probably have a good idea about what we were talking about doing: basically a ramp, a pretty major bathroom remodel, a much less extensive kitchen remodel, and the floors. Becky unrolled the plan on the kitchen counter and dropped a bombshell on us.

Everyone at the company got together and talked about our circumstances and the remodeling project. They decided they wanted to do more for us than we'd be able to do on our own. And so they're keeping the same budget we originally gave them, but through donated labor and materials they are redoing the entire house.

The. Entire. House.

A totally redone, expanded kitchen with all new accessible appliances and a two-level island that Jer and I can work at together. All of the doors in the house expanded to be wheelchair accessible. The sunken living room floor raised to be level with the rest of the house. Completely remodeled accessible bathroom with a curbless, roll-in shower, and the other bathroom modified so that it's at least partially accessible as well. Accessible porch (no more crawling). No more popcorn ceilings. New lighting. New floors. New paint.

And my library. They're building me my library. I'm in tears just thinking about it.

So that, my friends, is our news. They start the demolition this weekend, so we don't have to worry about getting a maid any more. We're going to stay in the apartment an extra month so we're not living in the middle of the remodeling, which would be much more difficult given the scale of what we'd originally planned versus what they're actually doing. And if all goes well, by Christmas we should be living in a beautiful, updated, fully accessible house.

What incredible people. What an incredible day.

~Jess

24 comments:

Sweet Lorraine said...

Oh, Jess. This makes me so happy that I'm almost crying. You all deserve every amazing thing which comes your way. Wugaboo.

Niksmom said...

Holy cow! What an incredible gift. Just goes to show that good things DO happen to good people. Congratulations!

Lin said...

WOW! Doesn't it make your heart just swell with the kindness that is in this world?? Gees, I'm gonna be smiling all day after hearing your news--couldn't happen to a better family. Wow.

xraevision said...

I am so thrilled for all of you! What an amazing gift! I hope you enjoy the whole renovation process, as it can be very energizing. (Perhaps Jer can return to that home improvement store for his ax and chainsaw and get right in there with the demolition crew . . . ) Please do post lots of before and after photos!

My apologies for being absent for so long. I've been super busy, but have been following along!

Julia O'C said...

Oh, my God, Jess! What fantastic, amazing news!!! I'm so happy for you and your family!!!!!

Kristin said...

I'm just thrilled for you guys!! This is just an amazing gift now while Jeremy is recovering, and its going to already be done as Connor continues to grow and become more mobile. You won't have to worry about future renovations! I'm just so excited! Your positive energy is certainly coming back to your family 10-fold. :)

therextras said...

Happy for you!

Barbara

Helene said...

What a Christmas this one will be! Great news.

AphroditeBeauty said...

And the tears flow for you. So happy and excited for you!

Jess said...

What awesome news!!

J. said...

Oh Jess I have goosebumps for you! That is amazing news! Yipee for generosity and goodness!

Becky Davis said...

Jess, that is the best news ever! I have been keeping Mike posted on how everyone is using the infamous blog. LOL This will really cheer him up. You and Jer deserve every kind thing that happens to you. Enjoy!

*Tasha* said...

WHOOO!!!

That is fantastic! :D I always read your blog but JUST had to comment on this one! I'm so glad for you!

Let me know if they need any extra hands; I DO live in Seattle which isn't too far away!

Elizabeth said...

How wonderful. I felt, somewhere, that this was coming to you beautiful people.

Tom said...

Surprise! Now that the cat is out of the bag I can finally talk to you about it! They are awesome aren't they?

Sassy said...

My heart is bursting with joy! Joy for you all and this miraculous gift, and joy that there is such generosity and love in the world. Congratulations!

~Sarah

Julia said...

WOW!!!!! You guys just have this effect on people, don't you! I'd better be careful not to meet you in person, lest I immediately feel compelled to give you my house, car, and the tonsils of my first born! (Don't take the car, unless you want to invest a lot of money in constant repairs for the short remainder of its natural life.) Seriously, congratulations on this latest beautiful development, and good luck with renovation!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

That is SO incredible! What amazing news! What an incredible blessing!

Rachel said...

I am so, so thrilled for you all and this is so well deserved.

Jess - you, Jer and your amazing son Connor have helped me through a difficult time as I am currently pregnant with my second child and a variance in chromosome 15 was detected via a CVS test. I found your blog whilst trying to understand what this could mean and it really helped me to cope through all the stress and worry. Further tests and scans have shown that my husband carries the variance without effect and our geneticist is confident the baby will also carry it this way.

Your story gave me hope during some very bleak times and I will continue to follow your blog and wish you all the luck in the world in your new home. You are an amazing family.

Rachel

Anonymous said...

Bravo! A standing OVATION for Signature Custom Homes! Fantastic! People are good.

Mel said...

WOW! That is truly amazing. I am SOSOSOSO happy for you guys. That is just ... wow! Congratulations times a million!

Anonymous said...

That's amazing! No one deserves it more than you!!
-Jing

Katy said...

So amazing!!!!!!

Rachel said...

That just blessed my heart. Blessings to your family!

 
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