It has been almost two years since we moved back into our home. . I cannot begin to explain how wonderful it is to be in a place that is ours that we love and where we feel we belong. How great it is to sit in the living room and be able to look out at the Pine Valley Mountains. The view is one of the reasons we bought our home in the first place and we have spent hours watching the storms come over those mountains, watching sunrises and sunsets on the mountains, and enjoying the snow from a distance. Over these last years, I have watched our children regain their emotional footing as they have once again put down their roots. Even for those who don't live with us full-time, this is home. I know it is because we have invested more in this house than any of the other ten homes we have ever lived in.
This weekend I attended my annual Women's Retreat that focuses on scrapbooking/ taking time for yourself to complete projects/ or just taking time for yourself. It is a nice break away from the day to day that I only seem to make it to every other year. I have posted about this event before here and here. I went with two projects to finish. During the weekend I was able to complete one of the albums, except for about 10 pictures that I forgot to print and I was able to get a good start on the second one. The second album was one Rick requested that would be dedicated to the scouting experiences of his sons from Cub Scouts through Eagle Scout. I think he is feeling sentimental since this year marked the end of our family having a son in Boy Scouts. It is one I plan on finishing before Valentine's as his present.
I want to say that to me, scrapbooks are more than just pictures on the page. They are the way I tell my family history. Along with this blog, I use our albums to share with my children the stories I want them to remember. Since the house fire and the subsequent events have become such a pivotal part of our family history, the first project I took was an album dedicated solely to this time in our lives - from fire to finishing the landscaping on our new home. I wanted to take it so I could be surrounded by the wonderful and supportive women that attend this retreat. I knew that I would need that emotional support as I looked back on those sometimes dark days.
As I worked on the album, it gave me time to remember all the miracles that we witnessed during that time. First I need to express my appreciation to all the wonderful people that supported us. I reread cards and letters sent to us then and when we first moved in to the house. Last night as Jon looked through the album, he told me he got choked up reading the things people sent us and seeing the pictures. Emily looked at it this morning and said it makes her both happy and sad.
Next a big shout of thanks to Rob Burdick, TruMax Inc. He was the most amazing General Contractor and was perfect for us. I had a vision of what our home would look like, what would be important to help us rebuild the foundation of our family. His role was crucial in turning that vision into reality and he did an incredible job.
Then there are all the other contractors who worked on our home. There were so many others who did incredible work and some others who did not. Isn't that the way life is though? I am still amazed at the efforts of Sheral Construction. During some of the worst weather we had had in a long time; weather that resulted in flooding and Southern Utah receiving a disaster declaration, these men braved the elements and literally built our house from the ground up since very few preformed elements could be used. The pictures of the main beam across the roof and their attaching the supports still leave me in awe.
We are still involved with the final stages of the insurance claim. Who knew that it would go on for 2 1/2 years, but it finally seems to be winding down. Hopefully that part of the experience will soon be behind us. From this experience, my testimony in the goodness of people and the love our Heavenly Father was reconfirmed. I also gained a greater understanding that while He wants to help His children, He needs us to serve as His hands at times. I think Jon summed up all our feelings best when he told us that walking in the door after school on the 31st of March 2011 was the first day he felt like he was truly home in nine months. This is the story I want my children to remember.