Birthdays and babies

It seems like since Tyler and I got married we have been nonstop on the weekends - and last weekend was no exception. Instead of staying home and staring at the hole in our ceiling, we decided to get up early Saturday morning and make the trek to Aledo to hang out with Collin, Meagan, and baby Grady for the LSU/A&M game. It was also Meagan's 28th birthday, so I surprised her with some funfetti cupcakes with sprinkles - darn it, I didn't get a picture of the cupcakes, but they were really yummy and made Meagan happy. :) I, of course, wasn't really into the football game, which A&M of course lost, but it was fun hanging out with Collin and Meagan and I got some quality Grady time in - he might be my favorite baby ever. There are some seriously not cool babies out there, and Grady is definitely not one of them. He doesn't slobber that much either which is a big plus!

Sunday was also quite a busy day. We were throwing a baby shower for our friends Josh and Stephanie Haney (you might remember Stephanie as one of the readers in our wedding) at Coal Vines in Uptown. Stephanie and Josh have been trying to have a baby FOR.EVER. and they are finally going to be blessed with a baby boy in a couple oft months. So happy for them! Steph loves pumpkins and fall, so we decided to do a pumpkin themed shower.  Here are a few pics from the shower. 

After the shower, a group of us walked over to Nick & Sam's Grill for an early dinner. Now, we had quite a bit of wine at the shower (see shower pictures) and Tyler's manager Tuan was paying for dinner - needless to say, I think I got overserved, as I was SUPER sleepy when we got home. And SUPER thirsty when I woke up at 3am Monday morning.

All in all, a pretty successful weekend! Now just ready to get that darn hole fixed.....


Second Floor Redo: Part 2

So I'm amending my previous blog entry about loving State Farm.  I've encountered my first miserable person at my insurance company - her name will be withheld until all the work is done, but you can bet your booties that I'm going to talk crap about her and that I'm going to write a letter or call their CEO or something to complain about her.  Let's just call her Lady for now.

So since Marty completed his assessment, I am now handed over to Lady, who I guess deals with all the grunt work and paper work.  Last Friday I started to have a bunch of questions:
  • Did the estimate Marty give me cover $290 of the plumbers bill that he said would be covered?
  • How do we go about scheduling our hotel stay?  Do we seek out the hotels?  Does State Farm send us a list and we choose?
  • Can I just provide the builder's name for State Farm to contact to get the original plumber's information?  Do I need to do anything else for this?
So I called Lady around 10am on Friday and left a voicemail stating my name, claim number, and that I had multiple questions to be discussed.  Never received a returned call.  Called again on Monday around 10am, leaving the same voicemail.  Never received a returned call.  Called AGAIN on Monday at 5:30pm (I was getting irritable) and got her voicemail, but pressed zero so I could talk to a real live person, since Lady is obviously incapable of reviewing voicemails or calling customers back.  I talked to Perry.  Perry was kind of dopey, but he answered my questions, and the conversation was noted in my file.

So, 12:30 Tuesday, I got the estimate from the contractor.  HOLY COW, its THREE THOUSAND MORE DOLLARS than the insurance estimate, so that caused me to have more questions.  I called Lady again (considering she still hadn't returned my two  earlier voicemails) and FINALLY spoke with her on the phone.

She is not. pleasant. I told her the situation and...

Lady said, "You have to send me that estimate."  So I asked where to send it.
Lady said "888".  Wait, what?  What is 888?  An address?  The beginning of an email address?  
I asked, "Am I faxing this?"  
Lady said, "Um, yes?"  People still fax??  Fine, so she gave me the rest of the fax number.
I asked, "I have a digital copy, can't I just email it to you?"
Lady said, annoyed, "Yes.  Perry already gave you that email address."

Okay.  I emailed Lady the estimate from the contractor, and, SURPRISE!, no response.

Now today - I received an email from our contractor with a revised estimate.  Marty was shown their original estimate and noted that they had not included some of the repairs that he wanted them to fix in our place, so now the estimate is a whopping FIVE THOUSAND MORE DOLLARS than the State Farm estimate.  Sheesh.  So I emailed it to Lady....with..., you guessed it, no response.  However, Marty emailed me not too long ago and said that I didn't need to find a new contractor and that he approved of the estimate so he would forward it to Lady to finish processing.  I plan to put a call into Lady tomorrow to see when my check will be in the mail.  Hopefully my next post will be about all the construction going on! Get ready!


Second Floor Redo: Part 1

So as many of you know, Tyler and I have been doing a few projects around the house to get it ready to rent or sell sometime in the future (we're really not sure what we're doing, but whatevs, we're just fixing things in the meantime while we get our act together.)  Our BIG project was the deck, which is pretty close to being finished - so that post will be coming soon.  And then we just had a few little things we've been wanting to do, like new stoppers in the master bathroom sinks, and getting the HOA to fix the landscaping in front of our townhome, and I have a few Pinterest projects that are in-progress just to spruce the place up a bit.  Those are the types things I was planning to share in the "Home" section of the blog. What wasn't on the "Honey Do" list was a remodel of our second floor area....but it is now! :)

This past weekend, we had a BIG leak from our guest bath tub, which is on the 3rd floor, to our kitchen, which is on our 2nd floor.  We woke up to what I felt looked like this:

Okay - so it wasn't as extreme as THAT picture, but it was enough to soak the kitchen floor and cause me to almost go into cardiac arrest.  I had to take Monday off of work  juggle conference calls and deadlines from home on Monday while having several people come through our home to inspect the damage.  First was Steve, the plumber, from Baker Brothers.  I was a little unsure about Steve when he first showed up - he didn't talk much.  He came upstairs and the first real thing out of his mouth was, "Woah...your wood floors."  Yeah Steve, I noticed.  Exhibit 1, our bowed wood floors:

I've discovered that taking pictures of bowed wood floors is really hard, and this picture doesn't give it its due justice.  About 30 square feet of wood planks are bowed on the sides, creating what is a very curvy walking surface. When you run your feet over it in socks, you get a nice little foot massage.

I start to give Steve the details of our exciting weekend, and he gets his ladder so he can cut a hole in our ceiling.  Exhibit 2, our hole:


Its a cute little hatch - but it makes me nervous that its an open invitation for little critters that live in our ceilings and walls to walk right into our house.  I haven't seen any rodents yet, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.   In this picture you can also see a nice little line where two pieces of sheetrock meet - there are 3 more lines like that on our kitchen ceiling. Water was coming out of that a/c vent, as well as two pot lights that aren't pictured above.

So now that you're familiar with the crime scene, I'll fill you in on the rest.  Steve goes upstairs to fill up the bathtub, comes back down and gets on his ladder to stick his head up in the hole.  He informs me that there is no leak.  I inform him that there indeed is a leak - hence the situation with the floor and ceiling.  He inspected the other shower, the commodes, and the sinks upstairs, and sure enough, no leak.  I'm insistent that he needs to find something wrong, or I won't be paying him the $450 he had already written down on his invoice.  Soooo, we fill up the tub again, and he sticks his head back in the hole.  Then he tells me "I see the light!"  At this point, Steve has become more vocal, telling me about his past jobs, his girlfriend, and how he works too much at this job, I'm not sure if he's really opening up and talking about religion, or if he actually sees light in my ceiling.  Turns out - there was light in the darkness of my ceiling.  We fill up the tub ONE MORE TIME and let it keep running.  I'm downstairs inspecting the hole, and water comes pouring out.  After all of that - the overflow drain in the bathtub wasn't screwed in tightly.  Sigh.  He switched out a gasket for good measure, and took out his screwdriver, and voila, everything is fixed. Ridiculous. Steve leaves and charges me $459, which includes the $50 discount that I requested because it was advertised on their Facebook page.  Ugh.

Next comes Marty, the State Farm insurance adjuster. Now, I really can't say enough good things about State Farm.  Between my new car incident that happened last Christmas, and the terrifying experience of feeling like my ceiling was about to collapse, they have always been super nice, super helpful, and super reassuring that everything is going to be okay.  State Farm customer for life right here.  Marty was no different.  He came over, took a good look around, and explained everything in extreme detail of what would need to be done.  And when he could see I was starting to become overwhelmed, he took it upon himself to call the water mitigation guy to come out, AND the contractor, even though those tasks were my responsibility to take care of.  He even called a lawyer to see if we could possibly have a case against the builder's plumber, which he THINKS we might have.  He totally went above and beyond...thanks Marty!  So what did Marty tell me?  Here's the skinny:
  • Wood floors in kitchen have to be torn up and replaced with new planks
  • Entire wood floor in the kitchen/living room area need to be sanded and refinished
  • To do that, all furniture must be moved out, including the stove and the refrigerator
  • Baseboards in the entire area must be removed - new baseboards will be installed and painted
  • Sheetrock over the kitchen needs to be torn out and replaced
  • Entire ceiling needs to be retextured and painted.  He suggested we get the walls painted as well, so it all matches
  • Light fixtures and drapes must be removed
  • And finally, Nikki, Tyler, and Max must move into a hotel for at least a week while all the work is completed
Crazy, huh?  So the water mitigation man came out and, thankfully, no water ran down the insides of the side walls - that would have meant tearing out cabinents, backsplash, and basically a kitchen re-do.  Overall, his assessment was that everything is "damp."  No kidding.

Yesterday the contractor came out, and gave me the same assessment as Marty as far as what needed to be done.  And today, I met with the moving company for a quote to move out and store all of our furniture for a week.

Next steps are for the contractor to provide the final estimate and then for us to award the job.  Hopefully they'll let me swing by and check out how things are progressing as they're doing the work - I want to blog about it while Tyler, Max and I are on our staycation in a TBD hotel. :)  Get ready for the second floor redo to begin!



Yeah, I like how this girl thinks.  I like to play on Pinterest and write posts for my new blog when I'm procrastinating - maybe I can be a professional Pinner or blogger. That would be way more fun than doing the work I'm supposed to be doing!

What do you do when you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing?