The slab going down this week became a very emotional time for myself and Mr Reno.
We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for this time for what feels like an eternity.
And I’m not talking just about the time it’s taken to get these plans ready, council approval etc.
I’m talking about how long it’s been since we’re not living in a constant state of anticipation..
Putting plans on hold.. putting life on hold.. because we’re waiting..
Just putting up with things not being right because “when the renovation gets done……”
I realised the other day that our kids can’t remember living any other way and are so used to hearing these kinds of phrases:
“when we have our own house you can …….”
“when we move you can….”
“when the new part of the house is built……”
“when you have your own room …”
When, when, when!
Not to mention how often we say “It’s happening soon…”
It’s amazing how stressful it is living like that – you’re not living in the moment, you’re always waiting for tomorrow which is not a healthy way to be.
And I’m sure our kids, as well as our family and friends are sick of hearing it and really thought this time would never come!
Now to get a handle on what I mean, let’s rewind back a bit to see how we got here:
We built a courtyard home back in 2002, before we were married. We built the house cheap as I worked for the builder, it had everything we needed and more, and we loved it. BUT it wasn’t in a great area and sided onto a main road which was noisy so it was always a “5 year plan, 1st step on the property ladder” home.
When our first born was about to turn 1 (almost 5yrs later), we decided it was time to find that home that we could raise our family in, in a nice family friendly location. Of course, location and budget don’t often see eye to eye, especially when you’re on one full time wage, and we ended up buying into a great, quiet street, 10 minute walk from the beach, but the home was a small 80’s built 3 bedder.
We could always see the potential though to do some cosmetic reno and then build an extension in the back and/or up. We renovated the house including a full new bathroom and laundry just as our daughter arrived (literally, I was in hospital talking to the tiler!). However, many things were left untouched, including the tiny kitchen, as it would be ripped out “when we do the extension“. We had plans drawn and builder’s quotes done in readiness, but after 3yrs, a work transfer was on offer in Darwin and we headed north (3 weeks after baby no 3 arrived, don’t even ask!).
Whilst in Darwin we rented as we didn’t think we’d be there long term – first a big, brand new house and then an older house with a pool. Obviously in renting, I had to let my renovating and decorating desires wane and the kids were constantly being nagged about taking care “because it’s not our house, we’re just looking after it”.
Then after 2 years, hubby was offered a transfer to Perth. We decided to take it, contracts were signed and we waited to move. We sold the Adelaide house we’d been renting out all that time, ready to buy in the west.
And we waited – a job replacement for him couldn’t be found so 6 months later we were still waiting when lo and behold, his management role of choice became available back in Adelaide! After lots of swearing and tears, more swearing and then eventually joy, we moved back to our family and friends in SA.
However, we were so mad we no longer had our reno home as at that stage we could’ve just bulldozed it and built a gorgeous 2 storey instead!…
Of course we did a quick reno to make it bearable enough for us to live in while plans were being made, but we’ve put up with a mouldy vanity unit, a broken shower cubicle with bad plumbing, as well as barely any storage, or heating, or space, with our family of 5. And another 2 years have passed.
So there have been many tears this week. Tears of joy and relief.
The looks on the kid’s faces when they saw the concrete being laid was priceless and their excitement for the project has far surpassed mine (which I thought would be impossible).
We feel lucky to be able to share this building experience with our kids, and then to give them a beautiful home that’s truly theirs is something we’re so proud of. It will be worth the wait, absolutely, and we hope that finally then we can enjoy the moment, and live each day as it comes.
Just a little bit longer now..
PS. I think we’ll have to get the kids that dog they’ve been asking for though cos I’ll be out of excuses 😉