Hearth & Hammer Homes: Our Story

You guys may remember this post awhile back about dreams and new beginnings. Now, more than a year later, we have quite a story to share. Unfortunately not the perfect story we had hoped but our real life, down & dirty experience. Brian and I had dreamt of flipping houses basically since we were married. While it began as Brian’s dream, it eventually became mine. We could picture it: he had the handy genes and I had the style genes and it was going to be Awesome!

Fast-forward many years later, we were out of college debt (hallelujah!) and started to crunch numbers and work up business plans. (Brian, not me!) We got the funding to do our start-up and we were off to the races. Our good friend & realtor Gary Caplinger showed us every $40K or less foreclosed house in OKC it seemed. We were not finding our diamond in the rough. Too much for us to bite off. Bad area. Etc. Etc. He finally found us a gem but unfortunately out of our price range. Long story short, Gary couldn’t pass up this great piece of investment property, so we made a deal. He bought and we flipped.

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So in September 2014, we broke ground, so to speak. We hired a contractor, and we were just going to oversee the process and do a few projects in our wheelhouse. Another long story short, but after months of delays, issues, and much more, we had to fire our contractor. We made some bad rookie mistakes and were out a lot of money. I won’t go into it, but it was not pretty. We were basically screwed and have never been so stressed, overwhelmed, burdened, exhausted in our lives. So at the end of January 2015, we were left picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what we were going to do with this broken house.

But thank goodness I basically married Superman. Brian started going over there every day after work and worked for 2-3 hours. Then all day Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We only had enough money to hire one hourly skilled worker to help Brian with the stuff he didn’t know how to do (plus a few specialty guys). Thanks Jeff!!! So we trudged on from basically February til now…working our booties off and praying hard everyday! We cannot tell you how happy we are to be at the end of this project nearly a year later. We don’t know where Hearth & Hammer’s future lies (or even our own personal future), but we are ready to hang out with “Daddy” more, work on our own fixer upper, and just recover from this whirlwind of a year. We are so blessed by everyone’s support, and we are very sorry if we neglected our relationship with you this past year. The Ezelle’s are back and ready for you!

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We would like to thank…

Gary & Kathryn- We could have never, Never, NEVER done this without you! Thank you for being patient, forgiving, and loving with us. We value your friendship a million times over and cannot think of the words to thank you enough.

Jeff- for helping us finish this bad boy. Your faithfulness and good work did not go overlooked. We thank you so much!

My parents- for your support and frequent babysitting. We are so blessed to have your prayers, guidance, and love through our hardest year yet.

Roger- for being our long distance, fix anything man! Thank you for walking Brian through so many projects. You saved us so much money, it’s not even funny!

Terry & Walter- for your support and prayers and for running us all over DFW to buy supplies. We are so grateful for your love and long distance understanding! Now we are free to visit more frequently!

Our C-group- for your prayers and support and not forgetting about us! We love you guys and are so thankful for our community : )

Torhi & Jordan- for keeping us connected to the Word during this overwhelmingly busy season. You may not realize but y’all have been our rock during this season.

Tarah & Seth- for sharing and understanding our stresses. We could not ask for more loyal, patient, kind best friends. Love y’all!

Alyson- for always (and forever) being a listening ear. My constant. And my encourager.

I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody, but thank you for being apart of our story.

Lastly, as cliche as it seems, I have to thank Jesus for getting us through…we prayed diligently and you alone got us through. We are bruised and battered, but so blessed and so joyful. We are expectantly waiting on You in this next season.

 

More to come soon:

Hearth & Hammer Homes: Before & After Pics

Hearth & Hammer Homes: Products & Sources

Continue Reading on August 11, 2015 in Hearth & Hammer Homes

Vera’s First Birthday

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Vera’s big day was such a special time for me. I love planning parties but never really get the excuse to bust out my ideas, so I was so looking forward to Vera’s party. I had spent probably 3 months just gradually coming up with everything because I didn’t want it to be stressful and take the fun out of it. Everything fell together (with the help of our family) and I was able to enjoy the day.

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Vera woke up at almost noon sharp which is when her party started. So I quickly got her ready and then walked out into the living area for her to be greeted by an on slew of people. She was confused and freaked out at first. She spent the first 20 minutes of her party clinging to Grandaddy (much to my dad’s delight)! After we got some lunch in her, she started to loosen up. Then, she got cake…

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She started by delicately pinching bits off. Then, happily began to enjoy it more and more! She only wanted birthday cake for the rest of the day. She kept turning down the healthy stuff after that. Can’t say I blame her!

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Next, we were on to the presents. And boy was she spoiled this day! I guess you only have one first birthday, right? She got a wagon, a swing and slide set, a table and chair set, toys, cute clothes, books, and lots more!

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To finish off the party, the daddies gave the babies wagon rides around the soggy back yard. They squealed and clapped…and melted my heart into a giant puddle. I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better day. She is the joy of my life and it meant so much for people to take a pause from their schedules to stop and celebrate our precious girl!

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Continue Reading on June 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Mother’s Day

This year is my first Mother’s Day, and I never would have guessed what significance the day would hold this time last year. A year ago, a certain baby girl was due May 8th. I was praying, hoping, wishing that she would come in time for Mother’s Day. We even had family in town for Mother’s Day (aka waiting on her arrival). Unfortunately, the weekend came and went and no baby! We did celebrate that day as my “first” Mother’s Day. Brian gifted me one of my favorite maternity shots in a handmade frame, and it was beautiful. Vera decided to join us May 16th…5 days after Mother’s day.

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Now, a year later, I can’t even believe what a journey motherhood has been so far. I thought I would try to put it in to words as best I can, but it’s just not going to be easy for me to express what my heart knows.

Motherhood is…

Life-altering

It’s the weirdest thing to go from waiting one day for the unknown (this baby) to BAM! You’re a mommy! You gotta learn how to do everything in a moment. And I knew nothing. Yes, I read lots of books. Talked to lots of people. Researched for hours on end. Took a class. But I had no idea how clueless I would be. I had no self-confidence in how to be a mommy. Thank goodness Brian got me through those first few weeks because he was a whole lot braver than me. I should have known that the change would be hard on me because that’s just my personality. I don’t do change well. I have to have an adjustment period. I would honestly say that it took me well over six months to adjust to motherhood. I spent the first 6 months totally overwhelmed, confused, and stressed. Happy but stressed.

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Stressful

I admire these mommies that seem to live in baby bliss. Sweet sleepy pleasant babies. But that wasn’t my reality and still isn’t. And I can not fake that it is. I have never known the stress levels I’ve had since Vera. She would cry for hours on end. (And still does every once and awhile) I would frantically be trying everything while crying and praying. She is picky as all get out over food. Some days are successful and other days she just eats baby puffs. She unfortunately got her mommy’s eating habits! Bedtime sucks around here. We’ll have a month of good then two months of bad. (And yes, we’ve done CIO and every other approach under the sun) An hour nap is as long as they get. She is particular and clingy, but also the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen!

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Vera has the ability to light up a room (and melt her mommy’s heart). She gets beyond excited to see me. She buries her head in my chest and just hugs me tight. She smiles and squeals and screams at everyone…as long as I’m close by. She has the best sense of humor and knows when she’s being funny. She has a very big personality. She is gentle and loving with other babies/kids. She is an eager observer of people and animals. She LOVES her kitties! She gives them “pat pats” and cuddles with them on the floor. I could list out the hundred ways she makes me smile everyday, but I won’t. I’ll just say that it is nothing short of miraculous watching her grow into her own tiny person.

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Amazing

It really is incredible to watch this tiny newborn evolve into a bubbly one year old. All the “firsts” are so fun to witness and just take you by such surprise even though they are an obvious part of growth. They just naturally figure things out and you think, “My gosh, you are so clever!” We are getting so close to words and steps over here. When we do, I feel like we are walking out of infancy into toddler. And even though I was just complaining about the toughness of having a baby, it makes me really sad to see her getting older!

Oh I guess I’ll throw out a few more adjectives…demanding, messy, exhausting, joyous, caffeinated, funny. Okay, I’ll stop there. Best way to put it is that motherhood touches on every feeling that you never knew you had. So thanks to Vera for breaking me in! It has been a crazy, tough, but totally WORTH IT ride!

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Continue Reading on May 9, 2015 in About Moi