So we were gone for two weeks while T.K. slaved away on the house. We took the stomach flu on vacation with us to visit my parents. So, we gave the flu to my parents and enjoyed the beach while they lay groaning in bed. Which was a lovely way to thank them for their generous gift of some time off from the house, I think. They were certainly good sports about it (they didn't send us home). Since we didn't know that this flu bug was hyper-communicable even when we were asymptomatic, I still have visions of everyone on United Airlines Flight #1560 departing from the plane and barfing en masse in the parking lot. Sorry, everybody.
Then the laptop died and we were forced to limit the time that we usually spend working on vacation. Once the symptoms of email withdrawal subsided, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Except for the habit Grace had of waking up at 5:00 am each morning. That part wasn't fun at all.
Upon our return to (cold and grey) Chicago, we moved immediately in with Aaron's parents because the work on the house was still in full swing. T.K. had been very busy while we were away. I'm not used to leaving the state and coming back to all sorts of work done so it was thrilling to unlock the back door and look in at the progress.
Like the dining room where the dirty old wallpaper had been stripped off and the plaster walls repaired.
He organized a fifth level finish on the parts of the wall that had to be patched with drywall and it looks so fantastic, I almost wept with joy.
And they were so careful not to make an enormous mess on the floors. This is why I love, love, love red rosin paper.
Sometimes I don't think contractors and craftsman realize that a homeowner's delight in the finished product is half attributable to the new work that they completed and half attributable to the elements of the house that they didn't destroy in their quest to finish the new work.
Nothing prepared me, however, for the overwhelming delight I experienced when we walked around and opened the front door.
Scroll down for the big reveal.
For those of you following along at home, here is what that space has looked like since we bought the house almost five years ago.
And here is that space now (so far).
Pinch me. I think that I'm dreaming.