Zerendipity Baby #3

Posted by JT , 8.03.2009 10:32 PM

So, we went to get our 20 week ultrasound today. Start the drumroll and watch the little vid.

There is No Place Like Home....

Posted by Heather , 4.04.2009 4:51 PM



So, you know how in The Wizard of Oz Dorothy goes on this long difficult journey, trying to get to the wizard and fulfilling all of his requests, and in the end she had the answer all along.  Glinda sweetly tells her that all she has to do is click the ruby slippers and say "There's no place like home," and she would be on her way?  Well, I am having a serious Dorothy moment.

After a long arduous journey trying to figure out a good home for us to live in with Nick, we have come full circle and have decided to try to make our home work again.  It's a long story, but in summary, this is what happened.  Originally we were planning on making our basement into a sort of apartment for Nick.  For that to work, we needed a fancy lift to get him into the basement and back up to the main floor.  It would cost $18K.  After thinking it over and over, it just didn't seem like a good solution.  It would leave us only 2 bedrooms upstairs for the rest of the family, and would be a huge investment that would not add value to our home. So we started the search for something that would work better.  We looked at MANY houses.  A few of them had some good features, but none of them were an obvious fits.  The one we wrote about earlier looked pretty good until we found out how expensive a lift into the basement would be.

After looking at a ton of mother-in-law apartments in basements, we decided maybe an apartment wasn't the best idea after all, so we started looking for homes that had at least one good bedroom and bathroom on the main floor that Nick could use.  Again, we looked at MANY houses, and found a couple that could potentially work, but had other issues....like no yard, or they were far away from anything Nick could get to, or far away from the rest of our family.

After a long afternoon of looking at houses with our wonderful agent, Jed (my bro), we came back to our house to grab something.  Someone started measuring our doorways, and hall.  They looked a little tight, but not any worse than some other properties we were seriously considering.  Hmmmmm....this got the wheels turning.  The next morning I called our lift guy and he said a lift that only accesses the main floor would be about $9K.  We would probably be able to get a little grant to cover part of it.  $6,000 sounds much more reasonable.  Heck, I'd pay almost that much not to have to move.  

So, we have come full circle.  And, I am feeling a bit silly, like Dorothy.  The answer was staring us in the face all along: There is no place like home.

If I had known two months ago we would be back where we are, I would not have dragged everyone along for the ride.  We did what we thought was right in the moment.  So many of you have helped get our house ready to sell.  I don't think the yard has been this well-maintained since we moved in.  All I can say is,  "thank you."  It always seems ironic to finally get things fixed up right before you sell a house.  Then someone else gets to enjoy all the work. Well, we get to enjoy it this time....bonus :).

There are a few  projects we need to do to make the main level of our home work for Nick.  Our plan is to let him use the large master bedroom upstairs, and modify the upstairs bathroom to work for him.  We will use the bedrooms in the basement with the kiddos.  

At the bare minimum, we need to tear the stairs off the deck and put in a lift, and widen the doorways upstairs.  If we get really ambitious we may make the bathroom more spacious by moving a wall, and installing a roll-in shower.  We'll see how far we get.

Many of you have expressed a desire to help us out.  We will get busy making a plan of what we are going to do when.  The timing may be a little tricky with Easter and Spring Break coming up. We don't know how long we have until he comes home.  We are just waiting for his Medicaid to come through.  It could be 2-5 weeks.

Thank you for being so patient with us as we muddle through this.  Nick is doing really well.  He is ready to come home.  We are all looking forward to when he will be safely home, and happily settled in with our family.

We are also looking for someone to help us with home health care.  We can either use an agency, or find individuals on our own.  We are looking to fill 2 2-3 hour shifts in the morning and evening.  The pay would be about $9.50/hr.  If you know of someone that may be interested, please let us know.

Thanks again!  
love,
Heather & JT



Our house is officially for sale!

Posted by Heather , 3.27.2009 9:40 PM



I have to start by saying THANK YOU to everyone who responded to our "plea for help email." We are feeling very loved and supported. Especially thank you to our sissies, brother, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors who have watched kids, raked leaves, scrubbed walls, folded laundry, cooked meals, donated funds and supported us in every way imaginable so that we can support Nick and get our house ready to sell. There is NO WAY that fancy Prudential sign would be out in front of our house with the yard and the inside all pretty and clean without help from all of you. So thank you, thank you, thank you.


The reality of it all kind of hit today (along with the total lack of sleep). I couldn't help but cry a little when my brother put the lock box on the front door and the sign in the yard. This home has been a place of healing and miracles. We will miss it. At the same time, we are excited about the next part of the journey for our little family.

We've already had 2 people look at it today, and I've noticed a few cars slowly driving by, checking it out. We are very hopeful that we will be able to find a buyer quickly, even in this cruddy economy. If you know someone looking for a home in the Orem area, please pass this info on.

Thanks again for all you've all done! We love you.

Heather, JT & Kidlets

Here are a few more photos:

Service Anyone?

Posted by JT , 3.19.2009 2:38 AM

Y'all probably got an email like this recently:

Dear Friends and Family,


For weeks now many of you have been asking if there is anything you can do to help us in our current situation with JT’s brother, Nick after he broke his neck and became paralyzed. (If you don’t know the situation, check out our blog entry: http://bit.ly/2BUFY4 ) Many of you have helped watch kids, visited with Nick, remembered us in your prayers, and have supported us in every way imaginable. Thank you so very very much. The time has come that we actually have some really specific areas we could use a little more assistance. As Dora the Explorer (and Eli) would say, “We need YOUR help.” Please don't feel obligated in any way, but since so many of you have specifically requested to help, we're responding with a specific list of things we need help with. :)

Over the last weekend we found a home that is for sale in north Orem that would be a very good set-up for our family. It has a separate living area where Nick could have some space, and room for us to grow our family. The home would need some modifications, but nothing like our current home. It has been a difficult decision, but we feel that all things considered, this home would be a better space for all of us.

So, here’s where we could use some help. Many things need to happen over the next few weeks for this all to be able to work:


Get Our House Ready to Sell


First of all, we need to sell our current home ASAP (sniff, sniff). We (our entire extended family) have worked really hard to update the inside, and it really is cute right now with lots of new paint, moldings, doors, fixtures and flooring. Despite our ignorance and neglect, the yard is still a dreamy oasis in the middle of the city. There are a few very specific little projects we could use help with to get it ready to start showing. For example, we need to do some basic spring clean-up of the yard, like raking pine needles. There are also a few projects we have been putting off, outside and in that would be good to get done, like fix the garage door opener and replace a broken light fixture in the kitchen. We are going to be having a workday next Saturday (3/21). We could also work on weekdays, and evenings if we plan it in advance (What a great FHE idea). We have brainstormed a list of things we’d like to do. Here’s the link to the list: http://bit.ly/1mSgap


Find a Buyer

There are many ways all of this could work out on the financial end, but they all depend on our ability to find a buyer for our home as quickly as possible. We don’t feel really worried about it because our current home is such a unique house. We have always felt like this home and yard has a special spirit to it. In so many ways it has been a place for healing and miracles for our family. We love it here, and hope to pass it on to someone else it can bless. Please spread the word to anyone you know who may be looking for a five bedroom house in north Orem with a fantastic yard in a really great location. We will be forth coming with an official listing and marketing materials shortly.


Make Some Modifications to the New House


Assuming we are able to buy this house, there are a couple projects we would need to do to make it work for Nick. First, we need to build a ramp into the home. There are only 3 steps into the main floor, so it should be pretty straightforward. We will need to have a simple stair lift installed for Nick to be able to get into the studio apartment in the basement. (There isn't a lot people can do to help put the lift in except fundraising :).)We may need to modify the shower in his bathroom by removing some glass panels and tweaking the threshold. We would like to reconfigure his kitchen sink a little so that he can roll under it.


Move

Ideally, we would like to move in and get a little settled before Nick comes home. He will most likely be coming home sometime during the first part of May. We'll see how it all works out. When the time comes, we could definitely use some help moving.


Help With Fundraising Efforts

Anyone who would like to donate money and/or materials/labor to our cause is invited to pitch in. It’s amazing how quickly costs can add up. We’ve already extended our resources about as thinly as we dare in working through the situation so far. We know everyone’s budgets are tight right now, but if you are in a position that you could help us and Nick out, or if you would like to spearhead a fundraiser of some sort, we would be super grateful. JT has set up an account for fundraising/donations. We have a PayPal account plugged in. You can make payments to it by sending a payment to nickluvrs at gmail. We'll also post 'Donate Now' buttons on our blog and his blog. It won't be tax deductable initially, but if we continue to get a bunch of donations we'll set up a foundation. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.



So, there you have it. We are excited about the opportunity of getting into this house, but are a little overwhelmed at all that would need to happen to make it work. We really appreciate all of your support. Even if you aren't able to get involved in any other way, we still appreciate prayers and spreading the word about selling our house. Please contact us if you would like to get involved on any level, even for things not on the above list. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'm Embarrassed to Post...It's Been SOOO Long.

Posted by Heather , 2.17.2009 1:01 AM

Life has been crazy since my last post. JT's previous job started really faltering around Thanksgiving, and JT got laid off the week before Christmas (excellent timing). Then it was Christmas, with the normal craziness of presents, parties, and creating the family video, etc. I didn't think life could get crazier.



Then, on January 7th, our world was really shaken when JT's brother fell from a balcony and broke his neck. He shattered his C5 & C6 vertebra which left him paralyzed from the chest down with limited use of his arms and hands. He has handled the injury with optimism, patience, and grace. It has been a blessing to share this journey with him, as difficult as it has been. He is amazing. I didn't have a very close relationship with him before, but I consider him one of my dearest friends and a true kindred spirit after spending a lot of time with him over the past month. His is the tall cute guy with braids in this pic taken last summer.

You can track his story at:


Needless to say, we've been busy. Thankfully, Nick was moved from NC to Utah to do rehab at the U of U. He's working hard and is doing really well.

We are getting ready to have him come and join our family after rehab. I hope he realizes what he is signing up for :). We aren't the quietest house on the block. We are excited to have him and his puppy, Alley Dog join us.

JT found a great job that he really likes at Lead Media Partners doing really cool geeky things. We feel super blessed that he was able to find something so quickly, working with super smart people, doing stuff he finds really interesting (data mining?). He'd have to explain exactly what it is. I am just thankful to have a happy husband and paychecks on the way. Unfortunately he doesn't work from home, which is a major adjustment for all of us.

So, here's a special little treat. Many of you have already seen these, but some of you may not have. Every year (at least the past 2 years) I have made a family video to give as Christmas presents. I don't scrapbook, or journal nearly as much as I should, so this is my big effort to record a little bit or our lives.

Here are my two favorite segments from this year:

Brother's Highlights


and

Sissy's Highlights


I hope you enjoy.


Also, a HUGE thanks to everyone for all their support and prayers over the past month. We have felt very loved and supported. I am convinced we have the awesomest family and friends in the world. We literally couldn't do it without you.

Loves,
Heather

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