Bernard and Liz, Erin’s folks, stayed with us for the last 10 days, arriving the day before Jillian’s birth and leaving yesterday. Having them here was extraordinarily helpful in easing our transition from two kids to chaos. Not only did their presence help make the birth experience easier for us, it also allowed us to move forward on our remodeling projects.

For example, we now have curtains for the family room; some Gladiator garage organizer tracks up in the garage (meaning tools are finally off the floor); and the mudding, taping, and most texturing completed in the family room. For this bit, Bernard deserves an unending stream of praise since the work looks absolutely brilliant and the professional bid I received was $1100. (This easily dwarfs the value of any computer consulting time or work I did setting up their totally spiffy new MacBook, but at least I was able to give back a little bit.)

In terms of the family room now, I’m going to try to complete the texturing and the painting this week. Our new picture window is in manufacturing and due within the next two weeks. After that, we’ll get some trim and molding put on everything, put in a closet organizer, put on closet doors, and probably call the family room “done” for this year. Sure, there will be more to do, but it’ll probably be next year (or the year after). For now, let me just thank Dave Van Driesche, Dave Morrison, and the Lillys (especially Bernard) for all their work. We couldn’t have done it without them, and we very much appreciate their help.