Well, that's an exaggeration really. Ok, it's just a lie. But for lengthy periods of time over the past few months, I have spent an inordinate amount of time in my shower, with my in-laws. Luckily, my in-laws are great people in which to share small spaces. And more luckily than that, they're incredibly handy with tile saws, trowels, and grout. What I'm saying is this: my in-laws tiled my showers along with me, and I will always awkwardly think of them while washing my hair.
The point of all this is to say that we are finally, actually, seriously on the downward slope of all the interior finish-out work that needs to be done to call this house complete. Things that I'll still be doing years from now include, but are not limited to: installing doorknobs, screwing in faceplates, hanging curtains, scraping paint from windows, adding baseboards where they were forgotten, etc etc etc. Do I care about these minor annoyances? Meh. We've come a long way, baby. I don't need a door knob to sleep well at night.
All the major stuff was knocked out in furious fits and spurts in the midst of our mild winter. We are both leaner and meaner because of it and, in the end, I'm so glad we did it this way (but don't tell Jer I said that). Because now I have endearing stories to share with my kids about the time their mom, dad, grandma and grandpa crammed into the shower to accurately measure and cut tiles for a soap cutout and then held tiles in place with a toilet plunger to help fight the effects of gravity. I actually have photos of this ridiculous feat of engineering (that I currently can't locate), an idea that occurred to us around 12:30 am on a Sunday morning after sniffing mortar fumes for more than 8 hours.
Or the time my mom and dad came by to help us pick up and place what has proven to be the world's most obnoxiously large and heavy sink. This task was achieved by the heavy lifting primarily of Jeremy and my father while I put my hands under one end (just for show), and mom jumped around us making alarming gasping sounds, saying things like, "You're back's gonna go out! Oh no! Be careful! Just put it down! Here, I'll get the door! PUT IT DOWN. Stop! Ok, the door's open. Be careful! That looks so heavy!"
Or the time Jer's somewhat tipsy man friends pushed, heaved and set the oven while I bit my knuckles - not unlike the heavy lifting they already did for Big Bertha.
Or the time my mom and sister came by to help put together the IKEA kitchen cabinets which involved my sister creating assembly-line like efficiency from the IKEA instructions which read like gibberish (Swedish?).
Or the time Jer's mother and Aunt swooped in to expertly clean and grout the remaining tiles when the thought of looking at another tile or another bag of dry grout caused a gag reflex so strong that I now equate tile = vomit.
Get it? It truly takes (took) a village. I'm not done saying thank you yet. Mostly because I'm not done asking for help. And the pictures below do not come close to illustrating the extent of what's been done here. In fact, one picture I believe shows nothing more than my dog passed out and a bowl of mostly eaten cereal. So forgive the random photography. I am the mother of 24 new chickens. Things are foggy.