Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How we got here...

So, this is the first post of our new adoption blog. I guess it's not just adoption, but that is one of the main purposes. So, if you don't know us, let me tell you a little bit about how we came to be the Stearns family!

Mark and I met at a high school camp when I was 16 and he was 21. He was counseling and I was a camper (scandalous)! Not really, though, we were just friends until we both graduated (college for him, high school for me) and then we started dating. We were married in December of 2003, and moved to Virginia soon after.

We bought our first house in Virginia, and learned a lot about each other while we fixed it up. We have a ton of great stories, but this one takes the cake. We signed on the house the Thursday before Memorial Day. Mark had duty, so I went right over to the house to start working on our bedroom. It was a horrible fluorescent green with hot pink trim (really!). Being the newlyweds we were, we hadn't even fought over which room to start with. We both agreed that having a finished master bedroom would be best so that we would have a safe haven from the rest of the projects going on around us. I knew that the walls were covered in wallpaper and painted over, so I had bought wallpaper removal supplies at the Home Depot before signing papers.

All day long I dutifully scraped off paint covered wallpaper. It was an arduously slow project, and after 7 hours, I only had a 2 foot square section completed. I could tell it was going to take hours, but I didn't mind. I went to bed that night exhausted, and woke up the next morning and continued with the scraping. After two full days of work, I had a 3 foot square section completed. I was exhausted! I knew, though, with Mark's help we could have this thing knocked out in about a week. It would be worth it, I thought, to have a great bedroom.

The next day I was scheduled to work. I left for work around 8:00 am and Mark was getting getting ready to head into the master bedroom to get to work. I was excited because if he worked all day, and we both worked the next day I thought it would be possible to get a whole wall and possibly half of another completed!

I was excited at work thinking about all that was getting done at home. I got off a little early, so I decided not to call on my way home and surprise him! I couldn't wait to see how much he had accomplished. Surely, I thought, a big guy with muscles his size would be able to get so much more done than I did.

I unlocked the door with anticipation. I ran up the stairs quietly. Oddly enough, I didn't hear the sounds of scraping off wallpaper, I heard rustling and some pounding. Confused but still excited, I threw open the door to our future bedroom.

And there was my handsome husband. Knee deep in lath and plaster. And my wall, my precious wall that I had worked so hard on? Demolished. Completely gone. I was furious.

"What have you done, Mark? We were going to repaint, not tear the entire thing down!" His reply, in a voice mirroring his shock that I wasn't thrilled with the new developments, was "well, honey, scraping that wallpaper is hard work. I got tired of it after about 45 minutes and decided there had to be a better way. Then I thought that if we just tear down the walls, then we can drywall, texture and repaint, and it will look great. Plus, we didn't have much insulation, so this will just be better all around. It won't take that much longer."

I was in shock. "We are married now! We are supposed to talk about big decisions like this! How could you think this is OK? When did we talk about this?"

He stood there in disbelief. "Jenni, why are you so angry about this? We did talk about it. I called your cell phone while you were at work and left you a message!"

I don't remember exactly how the conversation ended, but the story didn't finish for another 18 months, when finally our bedroom was finished. In the end, we rewired, put in new windows, did new floor and crown moulding, refinished the hardwood floors, put in new light fixtures, and put in a new door. It was a lot of work. We are still married, though.

Anyway, sorry for that side note. It really is a great story though. We laugh about it now as we reminisce on the last four years.


To bring you up to speed, we are now living in Kingston, Washington. We have a very busy 16 month old son named Tate, who is the apple of our eyes. Mark just got back from Iraq in November, and we are so glad to be a family again. And, we are in the midst of adoption. This is a huge adventure we're on, and I hope that you stay tuned for regular updates on the process. We thank you for stopping by!

Jenni, Mark and Tate


Rhonda Stone said...

Wow!! Suriving that will help you survive most anything : ) !! Congratulations on starting your adoption process. The next little peanut will be blessed with a wonderful family--including Big Brother Tate!

Love and kisses,
Aunt Rhonda

NanaStearns said...

This is cool! I'm looking forward to future posts and I certainly enjoyed the trip down memory lane (I remember the post-"What have you done?!?! phone call and the knowing smiles Mike & I exchanged)

Much love to you all,
Mom Stearns

uncpdeb said...

I'm so glad yall finally have a blog. It'll be a great way for us all to stay updated. :-) We LOVE our bedroom, by the way.... hee hee

Kara said...

Ah, the joys of home improvement.

This blog is now bookmarked. Keep us posted!

Hugs to all from Texas and the Llamas!