Our New Old House

Giving Thanks

Our New Old House would still just be some creepy old house if not for the help of the wonderful people who’ve contributed in one way or another to our progress. It’s funny, when we first sat down to start planning this project last year we made sure to plan everything on a scale that we thought we could handle all by ourselves. We have been surprised again and again by the thoughtfulness, generosity, and stamina of the people who’ve offered their help and good wishes. It just goes to show you that there’s nothing like a good challenge to bring out the very best in people.

This page will be a running list of kindnesses we’re grateful for. In some cases, I’ve felt really well treated by a particular business or professional and my way of saying thank you for that will be to list some contact information for them here. So don’t feel put upon if a few of these notes look like advertising. I just believe in passing on good word of mouth for a job well done.

The newest additions will appear first in the list.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to…

Kelli’s mom, Ann, for putting us up while we found a house and made it livable, and for being so patient and kind.

Ann’s friend, Craig, for being an unstoppable dynamo of destruction when we needed it, and an organizational mind that would put Martha Stewart to shame when we needed that too.

Kelli’s dad, Pat, for being the Helpful Hardware Man, long before there was such a thing as an Ace Helpful Hardware Man.

Pat’s friend, Jan, for sharing in our excitement over bungalows, and sharing her experience of growing up in a Chicago bungalow.

Brandon’s parents, Ed and Connie, for being supportive even when they were scared for us, for early/late/extra birthday cards, and for providing us a comfortable escape from our labors whenever we visit their house.

Brandon’s brother, Conor, for humoring me when I can’t shut up about this house.

Brandon’s Grandma Joan, for laughing at my videos.

Brandon’s Grandpa Bob, for his quiet wisdom and for just barely being able to hide his pride for Brandon under that wry smile.

Brandon’s Grandpa Jack, for reading every word of this blog.

Brandon’s Grandma Ginnie, for reminding me to keep this house comfortable in the mean time, even if it means giving up a few hours in the day to put up curtains and make the bed.

Brian, Jennifer, and Margo, for their gifts of hardware store gift cards. Those certainly got us off to a great start!

Kelli’s Grandma Evelyn, for finding us the house in the first place, helping us make the connections we needed to buy it, and sticking with us when the time came for the hard work to begin. And for frijoles, arroz, enchiladas, and quesadillas!

Ryan and Marianne Rivera at our local Remax office, for being not only highly effective professionals, but also supportive, motivating role models.

Linda Turner and her staff at Independent Mortgage, for their patience, guidance, and great sense of humor.

Brandon’s Aunt Vicki and Uncle Gerrit for their gift of a Menard’s gift card and a whole lot of encouraging words during our last visit.

Kelli’s Aunt Justina and Uncle Alec for visiting our house this Christmas despite the presence of cats and being as kind as they were about their comments. I know it’s scary, but hang in there! It’ll be beautiful some day!

Steve Wilke-Shapiro for establishing the Des Moines Rehabbers Club, connecting us with so many other good people in Des Moines, and sharing your wisdom, energy, and motivation. It’s always such a boost to meet up with you every month!


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