Hello, Internet peeps! I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying the week of Christmas! Some of you all sounded like you had wonderful weekend plans with your families and getting some Christmas shopping done. Our weekend turned out to be quite eventful, expensive, and painful...with also special and memorable tidbits. "What happened!?", you may ask. Well, let me do tell.
Matt and I had a fabulous date night on Friday to start our two week vacation off with a bang! We thoroughly enjoyed eating outside on the patio of California Pizza Kitchen, admiring all of The Domain's Christmas decor and the horse-drawn carriage circling the shopping center with enthusiastic children being carted about. It was such a pleasant evening, and a night to remember. I think we pretty much settled on a baby boy's name (at least the first name)! Matt treated me to oh-my-word-incredible gelato at a dessert cafe called Viva Chocolato! And we enjoyed the most recent 007 movie Quantum of Solace. Crawling into bed that night was so pleasant knowing we could sleep in the next day and leisurely enjoy the next two weeks prepping for Polka and being together.
Fast forward to 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. To make a long story short, our washer malfunctioned while on the rinse cycle and wouldn't stop filling up with water. Our neighbor, Rob, was so kind to run over to see if he could help me get the water off because Matt wasn't home. With my frantic call to Matt saying, "Turn back around now!", he of course thought it had to do with Polka. But no. Our house was flooding. Nothing we did with the washer would get the water to stop pouring out, and we had trouble getting the main water line to shut off. The fire department was kind enough to come out to take a look at things and point us in the right direction (I didn't place a 911 call, just called the main fire department line). Many thanks to the fire department because they were so helpful and kind...and the only ones who responded to my calls! The local utilities were no help at all. All to say, we had water gushing through our home for 25 minutes. By the time we finally got the washer to stop overflowing, we had an inch or so of water from the laundry room to the front door, moving steadily into our carpets and even underneath the stairwell into our bedroom closet and garage. We were in shock. After all of my cleaning and checking things off our list, finally ready to simply enjoy the last few weeks with my hubby before Polka comes, chaos ensued. And tears were shed. Thankfully, everyone was ok! And thankfully, we found a great water extraction company who responded quickly and thoroughly. It is so not fun to have an emergency happen like that on the weekend! Ninety percent of the companies I called for help and left a message with never even responded, even though they said on their recordings that they'd respond within 30 minutes!
I had no idea what something like this entails and the damage that can result from water flooding in one's home. The water extraction company did everything from removing carpet pads, to removing baseboards, to drilling holes in the baseboards and in the bottoms of our kitchen cabinets to put vacuum blowers in them. We've had 11 air blowers, 2 dehumidifiers, and 1 somethin' or other machine blowing since Saturday night and they'll run until Wednesday morning. The house is a mess. The combination of water and blowers running showed the parts of the house that I wasn't able to clean very well with Molly's dog food pellets and lint from behind the washer and dryer making their way across our kitchen floor.
Our insurance adjuster left not too long ago and we're looking at replacing nearly all of our downstairs carpets (which we just found out won't be available to be installed until the middle of January), baseboards, a laundry cabinet, the wood paneling to the bottom of our kitchen cabinets, and possibly the bottom kitchen cabinets themselves. We've been at a hotel with Molly since Saturday night and will be there until Christmas Eve morning. Hopefully next week all of the woodwork can be accomplished and we'll get things fairly back in order, and then I guess we'll deal with the carpets mid-January. My doctor this morning echoed the very same words I relayed to Matt, "If the stress of this doesn't put me into labor, I don't know what will!" So please pray this baby stays in me until at least January 9th; we need all the extra time we can get now!!
In the whole scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal with people losing whole homes to fires or hurricanes, or watching the physical or emotional suffering of a loved one. I keep trying to remind myself of the bigger perspective here, especially grateful that we are all ok. But I will not deny that I have wept on several occassions after working so hard to get things in order and in place before our little Polka arrives. My 8.5 month pregnancy hormones are workin' over-time! Matt has been incredible through this whole thing, and very much understanding towards his emotionally fragile wife. I've vacilated between feeling like it was all my fault for wanting things to be in such tip-top shape; to feeling robbed of this time that was supposed to be set apart in quiet, restful preparation for Polka; to wanting to give up list-making entirely. The stanza of the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness" keeps replaying in my mind, however: strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, ten thousand beside. And yes, there are already so many things to be thankful for through all of this that I want to take a moment to mention:
1. For our neighbors, Rob and Leah, who kindly rushed over to help us with the water and corral Molly for awhile. And Leah, who so generously is making a lovely dinner for us tonight!
2. Matt took a hard fall on his back and bottom with the wet floors trying to move furniture, and we're so, so thankful it wasn't such that we were making a trip to the ER in the middle of everything! And he's ok! I had just finished sobbing on Matt's shoulder moments prior and seeing my husband crash to the floor didn't help matters. I'm sure the three water extraction employees were like, "Oh, this lady is off the wall!"
3. Our friends, Chris and Jill, knowing that Sunday was our anniversary and our plans had changed, still made it a special night for us by ordering a meal for us at Macaroni Grill that we could take back to the hotel and eat. My new favorite dessert: their chocolate tiramisu! Matt and I had a lovely evening with Frank Sinatra playing through Matt's phone and even danced to one song (this preggo lady is getting really uncomfortable so we kept it at one)! Despite the circumstances, our anniversary 6 year anniversary was oh, so sweet.
4. La Quinta! Availability at a hotel down the street that welcomes puppies!
5. Laundry mats.
6. Our local fire department...really, they were so kind.
7. The water extraction company who did a thorough job.
8. The timing of getting our insurance adjuster out here...that we didn't have to wait too long! And our insurance company itself (USAA)...they've handled everything so well and could not have been more obliging and understanding!
9. My parents, who have been available at any time to change their plans to come up and help put things back in order. They've generously been at our beck-n-call.
10. Encouraging friends and family who have been so supportive and prayerful!
11. My hubby!! One thing is for sure, it has been a blessing to walk through this with him! He has been so kind, understanding, and a true gift. I will walk through any crisis or chaos if I have him by my side.
I'm sure I'm missing something, but those are the things that are coming to mind at the moment. I planned to blog throughout the week, but I am not going to now, Internet peeps. You'll have to catch me next week sometime, hopefully. Matt and I will continue to walk through this learning how to balance what seems to be a whole new and grueling set of tasks while trying to still salvage precious time together and pondering Christmas.
If ever there was a moment to be thankful for a true and lasting Refuge and Helper in Jesus Christ, now would be it. If ever there was a moment to reflect on Christmas and be still, now would be it. If ever there was a moment to be thankful, now would be it. And despite my flood of emotions and fallible thoughts through this chaos, I don't want to miss this moment. So may the peace and joy of our Savior Jesus Christ fill yours and mine hearts and minds this night, particularly this week of Christmas, dear ones. Much love and Merry Christmas!