Recovering from the hurricane, keeping the kids alive & goals for the week

I haven’t had much “insightful” to post about lately, so I figured I’d catch you up on what’s going on with me! A few of my favorite bloggers do this, and I love hearing about their lives. #imnosey

Well, Hurricane Irma was a doozy, and we are still recovering. Those 7 days leading up to the storm were some of the most stressful and terrifying days I’ve ever experienced. The storm path kept changing, and at one point, Irma was headed for a predicted direct hit on our city. The day before the storm, the 5 of us ended up boarding a plane for California and spending 10 days there, enjoying some much-needed time and adventures with family.

While it was tough to balance the “I’m so terrified my house could be washed away” with the joy of seeing family in those few days, we got through the storm.

And thankfully, despite living on open water off Tampa Bay, and in flood zone A, our house did not wash away. We were so grateful, we cried.

A few days after the storm, my husband and our oldest son (who’s 6) left California to go back to the house and start cleaning up. Because we had turned off our power, both our fridges were full of rotting food. Also much of our belongings from the first floor and garage had been moved up to the second floor, so they needed to be put back. The windows also needed to be “un-boarded” and the doors needed to be “un-sandbagged.” (Don’t you love my technical terms?) And most importantly, our house didn’t have power yet and I was NOT about to go home, 5 months pregnant with 3 kids under 6 in 100-degree temps and not have AC. I mean, honestly, a girl has her limits.

Now that we’re all home, we’re assessing the damage to our home. And, well… there’s kind of a lot.

And I’m not just talking about what my toddler did to our house on Saturday.

Seriously though, our house got pretty thrashed. 

First, the storm stripped much of our vinyl siding on both sides of the house. The good news is that we had planned to replace all the siding on our house with more durable fiber cement siding, eventually. Well, that “down the road” idea for redoing our home’s exterior has been moved up to “right now.” While it’s exciting and awesome to be able to redo your entire home’s exterior, it’s also daunting at the same time.

(A lot of you might be saying, “That’s so awesome that you get to have insurance pay for all of this.” But, the short answer is: “Nope.” Hurricane insurance is based on a percentage of your home’s insured replacement value, which usually means hurricane deductibles are very high. Our deductible is $21,000. So if we see any insurance money, it will be minimal. If at all.)

And like all house projects, 1 thing has turned into 10. Since we’re replacing our siding, we are also changing out a few windows, removing our pool cage, repainting the house, adding Bahama shutters and many other little details that you never think of, until you start doing a project like this.

We had the pool cage removed over the weekend, and the kids were playing in the pool while the aluminum pieces were being unscrewed and cut around them. The contractors were kind of freaking out, and we were like, ‘They’re fine.’ The kids even used their goggles to dive and find screws at the bottom of the pool to add to the rubble pile. Would I be a bad parent to say it was actually a fun game for them? Either way, the parents got 10 minutes to themselves. *wink*

The hurricane also took various chunks out of our shingle roof, so we have also decided to completely replace the roof with a metal one.

So, yeah… with the new roof, the new siding and all the other details… this has basically turned into “we are totally redoing our home’s entire exterior.”

That being said, I am living in a glass half-full mentality. The bottom line is, we wanted to replace these items anyway (at some point *wink*), and I’m grateful that we are financially able to. I’m also grateful our family is safe. I’m also grateful for so many other things. (It’s amazing what you realize you’re grateful for after you think you could lose everything. But I’ll save that for another post.)

And then, there’s the flip side: it’s a lot of work and planning, and money. And, I’m trying to take it 1 day at a time. Even a small decision, like deciding what type of siding we want, can take 3 afternoons. Picking a roofer, finding out what type of windows you want, it all takes time, research, phone calls and thought. This project is taking what precious little brain power I have (had), and at times in the last week, I’ve felt like my mind was bouncing around like a bouncy ball in a tiny closet. Boing, boing, boing. Never stopping, just rebounding blindly to the next task. I don’t know which way is up, and I can’t focus on any one task long enough to be productive.

It’s in those moments that I know I need to do one thing: Take a deep breath, know that God has it handled, and focus on the bigger picture.

For whatever reason, during those moments, I’ve started turning on Christian music, and it’s really eased my anxiety. (I’m loving the Chris Tomlin station on Amazon Music right now.) And, the other night, I decided to leave the house and go to a couple stores with the specific purpose of finding fall decor and a pumpkin candle. A very unpractical errands, and something I wouldn’t normally do. But, somehow in all the madness, I needed to feel like this season wasn’t just going to pass me by, as I lived in a tangled mess of stress, contractors and wasted hours on Houzz. (#obsessed)

In the next couple months, we have some big projects ahead, but I’m also climbing a much bigger mountain. It’s a climb I’ve been working at for 6 years. Raising good people. Keeping tiny humans alive. Feeding and loving and nurturing my family. And that has to happen, come hell or high water.

Goals for this week:

For me:
  1. Listen to Christian tunes when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Thank God for His overwhelming mercy and protection over our family.
  3. Order new maternity tanks. (Gosh, I lead an exciting life! But honestly, after 3 pregnancies, mine are thrashed.)
  4. No cell phone or social media after 7pm.
  5. Food prep some salads and veggie-centered meals for healthy eating and good energy!
For the family:
  1. Meet with insurance adjuster.
  2. Meet with siding contractors, finalize bids.
  3. Prep kids/fridge/sitter for out-of-country trip next week. (Costa Rica with no kids, and my birthday! Woo hoo!)
  4. Plan 2-3 home-cooked meals.
  5. Finish daily tasks before kids get home from school, so I can focus on them and be present during the evening hours.
For the blog:
  1. Shoot new brand video for She Just Glows! (Stay tuned for more details on that!)
  2. Write 1-2 new posts.
  3. Move office to the guest room, and set up new furniture! (Office will be baby girls’ room when she comes in February.)

I hope this post wasn’t too boring, or too long, but I wanted to update you on what’s going on with me lately! Don’t forget to leave your comments below or come hang out on the Facebook page!

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