This past 12 months has been one of the most stressful & hectic of my entire life.
I mean it.
Forget planning a wedding, preparing for a baby or whatever… they are a cinch compared to what I have endured.
Building a house.
Yep. You read correct. It has taken up the largest part of my life for the past 11 months… and not just like your average build….. walking into a building company, choosing your guys, colour theme & then having a couple of choices for your taps, tiles, paint etc… then one day 16 weeks later you get the call your house is ready!!! ……. Oh what a dream!
You see, my father-in-law is a builder. He lives on the Sunshine Coast & in September last year, he & my Brother-in-law arrived in Cairns to start our home ….
#chateaudeboyce (it’s on insta if you want to stalk)
So not only are we dealing with the monster that is building stress… but we have been living with it!!! (Sorry FIL, not you… just yanno…. Building in general ;) )
24 hours a day building. If something goes wrong – we deal with it – at the block & at home. All day everyday!!!!
Then throw in some pretty serious family issues, my anxiety & panic attacks, a couple of deaths of very dear family friends, monsoon season; build up humidity, Christmas, birthdays, merging businesses, a pop up shop, making a website, surgery, school runs, swimming, kindy & a husband who I have spent next to no alone time with who works away 5 weeks on / 5 weeks off……
Well, to say it has been hard is an understatement.
As we approach our move in date in a couple of weeks, everyone who comes to see the house remarks “Oh but it is SO worth it!” And it is. It’s just that it has been hard.
Did I mention that I feel it’s been stressful yet?
But in all seriousness, I never anticipated how much this would consume my entire life. At times I felt like I have been drowning & that I might just go out for milk & never come back. (But then remembered that neither Josh nor my FIL can do the girls hair or choose their clothing adequately.)
This is mine & Josh’s first home, because he was in the Navy for 16 years we liked travelling around & whilst we were being forced to move every couple of years we didn’t want to commit to something so huge, plus we had no idea where we wanted to live!
I think I have dreamed of having my own home, much more than I ever did a wedding – I love interior design & architecture & everything in between so it was a no brainer for me to start a “House Scrap Book”. I have had it for around 10 years, and whilst fashions, trends & my tastes have changed quite substantially, I never once stopped to think what it would actually be like to have our own home – let alone build it with family.
It is all well & good to have said scrap book with all the pretty things in it, but when you then have to choose…. Like, make an adult, informed decision on taps, tiles, colour/style of floor boards, wall colour, doors, door knobs, colour of window tint(?) types of floor waste, which ways your windows will open etc.. from 7.3 million choices… well… it doesn’t become fun anymore! Ha!
Having said that though, I have questioned my taste all along the way through & wondered whether my industrial, modern, vintage Queenslander vision would look as good in real life as it does in my head…. And yanno what? So far so good!
Being our first home & amateurs at this building gig, I know once we move in there will be things we want to change, and things that I go “WTF was I thinking?!?!” at… but that’s ok J
Those really close to us know the trials we’ve had, how many times I have walked into work & burst into tears while Emma tries to stop me rocking back & forth. How many arguments & tension there has been added on top of other issues that alone were enough to tear a family apart. And it hasn’t just been hard on me, I am not saying that at all… Josh, who for 5 weeks at a time relinquishes all control to go to sea – and who hasn’t had a break in a year! My FIL who is away from all he knows, my MIL & his elderly parents and not to mention his BOAT & his fishing club cronies. (although he has enjoyed being allowed to eat salt & drink rum ;) )
My MIL has had it tough too with both of her best friends passing away within months of each other, leaking toilets, leaking roof, flat car batteries & just life in general.
There have been so many times that I wanted to just set the entire thing on fire & make everything go away – but one day a couple of months ago I walked in on the day the plasterers had finished & my FIL had laid the entire (4km’s!) of timber flooring on his own… and I cried. I just stood there & cried. And cried. Then made my FIL cry.
Because I could see how hard he had worked at giving us our dream. How hard every single one of us had worked. I could see that this would be our home, we’d all made huge sacrifices but indeed the stress had been worth it.
And do you know what the best part of this is?
Not just us getting this AH-MAZING house that my FIL has pretty much built on his own, but my girls have had their “Pa” live with us for the year. I have watched him become a part of their “norm”. We don’t have any family at all living with us here in Cairns so the fact that they have had him here has become a very important part of their little lives. Not many children get that opportunity so I think it is pretty precious.
They do say that nothing worth having comes easy, and whilst I don’t entirely believe that statement, I do believe that you must take each day as it comes. We have had bad days & then some pretty bad days, but we have had more fantastic days than we all think. There has been a lot of laughs, rum drank (omg we have drank some rum!) and lots of lessons learnt. It has been so heartwarming for me to watch my FIL do this project with Josh & my brother-in-law while he was here – a very happy dad working with his two boys. Another opportunity most don’t get.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt is patience. Patience for all things. And that every day is a new, fresh beginning.
And nothing… NOTHING is more important than family.
It doesn’t matter how much stress there is, how much bitching, arguments, fights, disagreements, going to bed without speaking or ill thoughts. Family first!!!
So, I am guessing through all this you are asking if it was worth it?
Yes! Most definitely!!! I will ensure to post photos once we move in – which is hopefully in a week or two!
Will I ever build again?
You’ve got more chance of Tom Cruise coming to roast dinner or marrying Channing Tatum.
The original house on our block - built in 30's/40's
Demolished in 2006.
We are the first people outside of the family to ever own the land.
The all important fixtures in the ensuite.
Main Bathroom & my EXQUISITE claw foot bath!
Main living area upstairs. Kitchen to be left hand side. Bi-fold doors out onto deck.
After much distaste from many people about wanting a black front door - I think it is fabulous!!!!
Believe it or not... these pictures are of my...wait for it.... PANTRY!!!
OMG storage & organisation heaven!!! <3
One of the many awesome things about building on an old block - the discoveries we made once earth work commenced!!! Vintage bottles, a car! motor parts, household items & just your average gun.....
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