Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break - A look back at Chandler

My Chandler Barn.  Before.
 The year 2009 had our heads spinning.  It started with rumors of a recession and followed with Jace breaking a foot and selling our house in the same month....this all led to a whirlwind adventure of oil fields, a move to a far away place called Vernal, UT, escaped prisoner on the run breaking my front door down, tears, fear and then a move to Chandler, AZ where we bought a barn, camped in a 5th wheel trailer for 3 months, demoed, destroyed, burned, rebuilt, renovated and fell in love with our new home.

It was ugly.  I get a medal for bravery, right?

Spring break this year took us back to the neighborhood where our Chandler life all went down.  We stayed with our good friends and old neighbors who live right next door to our Chandler Barn Home.  We woke up every morning to the sight of our old beloved house and yard.  We drove by really slow everyday, hoping to get a glimpse of something that has changed.  But really besides a new chimney, everything is the same.  Their swing set sits in the backyard, the chicken coop sits next to the garden in the eastern part of the yard - just like we had it.  It was heart wrenching.  Ezra told me that he was going to go to live at our "big house" more than once.

My Chandler Barn.   After.

I really wanted to take a picture of the house.  I'm sure the new owners wouldn't have appreciated the creepy lady with the camera snapping photos in their direction, so my old after pictures will have to do.

Back patio.  After.

We built a garage, poured a driveway and landscaped the front yard right before we sold it (why?!!) and I never took a picture of the finished project.  Blame it on the pregnancy.  I was 7 months pregnant and the temperatures were quickly creeping over 100 degrees everyday.  When my husband said, "SOLD!  We are going to home." I couldn't have pack my boxes faster.

Do you see how thick our walls were?
I felt a twinge of remorse looking at that house last week.  I am sick that I wasn't able to enjoy our life in the big city more.  Vernal, UT and my home intruder left me feeling terrified of life, raw, exposed, and out of control of my life.  Never saw that trial coming.  Life had completely blindsided me on a random Tuesday night. By the time I was able to be alone in the dark again and fears were semi-conquered....I was pregnant.  Nauseated.  Tired.  And Hot.  I wanted to go home.

Family Room/Kitchen.  Before.
I am thrilled to live in the mountains again.  But as I looked across my neighbor's irrigated, green yard last week and remembered our life there - I decided that I am oh so glad that chapter in our life happened, that we experienced it, but most importantly - that we survived it.   I survived with my sense of humor and marriage in tact, happy kids, a new baby, and a sane mind.

Family Room.  After.  The beams were eventually stained and looked amazing. 
I told my Mom how hard it was for all of us to see the house again and she wisely reminded me..."Ya, right now you miss it but come a couple weeks when it's 115 degrees you'll be so grateful you got rid of it."

Kitchen.  After.

She's right you know...the heat does funny things to me.  I experience Arizona's "seasonal depression".  I will not miss that this summer when my kids are outside playing every single day and when I'm dancing in the monsoon rains.  But can you agree with me that it was a pretty cool house?  Tell me that we accomplished an unbelievable task.

I can only hope my kids will forgive me one day for selling it.


  1. It was pretty amazing what you did. I only wish you could have kept it as a second home. So I could stay there. Cash still talks about that house.

  2. Wow, you guys are good at accomplishing startling transformations. What a beautiful home.

  3. I LOVE what you did with that house. It's sooooo gorgeous. Too bad that it's so hot in AZ!

  4. Amazing, you two are very talented, and have a great eye!

  5. This really is such an amazing transformation and an even better story! I'm so glad I clicked over from Better After. :) Wonderful job!

  6. Of course your kids will forgive you for selling it. You do what you have to!
    You did a great job!
    *Sent via better after!

  7. This looks wonderful. I live in Gilbert and graduated oh so many, many, many moons ago from Chandler and taught school there as well. I am going to be on the look out for your wonderful make over as I drive around living my AZ life.. we escape to the mountains in the summer!

  8. I would've never guessed that was Chandler AZ that's were I was born and raised. You did an awesome job! The trees look too green for Chander, haha :)

  9. Those Afters are amazing!!! An accomplishment like that is one you will certainly never forget and I'm sure you will always think about it fondly.

    Your kids are happiest where you are happiest. :)

  10. Just dropped by from Better After and what a transformation! Love the outside! And were also in the White Mountains, I got pretty excited finding a blog from here!!!

  11. Wow awesome job! You definately get a medal for bravery ;o)

    I have a cousin named Lindsy Baum:o)