747 days later… let’s go home!

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Well, it's finally happened. I texted Jamie last Thursday afternoon with a photo, saying “I'm nothing if not relentlessly optimistic” along with this photo:

Among my errands, which included returning unneeded lightbulbs to Home Depot and picking up a faucet for Max's bathroom, I decided to swing by Total Wine and grab a couple bottles of champagne, since I knew we'd have a whole lot to celebrate in the coming weeks.

And so here we are.

Final Inspection is Passed!

After a couple of paperwork mishaps that threw the schedule off by a week or so, we're done. We're cleared to start moving in, and so we begin the next chapter of our lives, After the Fire. We had hoped to be home before Max started his sophomore year, but we missed it about a week. We'll take a bit of time moving in, since we have things in so many different storage spots, including friends and family's garages down in the Bay, so it'll take phases. We've brought a few things home already; our Sleep Number mattress (Save 20% with our referral link!) was delivered a few weeks ago, after postponing the delivery about a dozen times since we bought it on Black Friday of 2022. Our bedroom set (which deserves its own post, it's such a story!) is currently stashed in my workshop, along with a pile of cleaning supplies and basics I picked up at Target the other day.


We started loading things into the garage last week; every time we stop at my parents' house, we bring a car load back to the house. We made a couple of runs from Lucinda's garage too, so lots of what we need is near by. And then of course, don't forget the shed is full as well!

Housewarmings and Homecomings

We're most likely going to end up having a couple/few housewarming parties. We have so many people to thank and celebrate with, we want to have options. If you've filled out our online address book (Message or email me for the link) you'll get an invite when they're ready to go.

And here is the slightly awkward moment where we share housewarming gift ideas. We've had people asking what we want or need for the house, and for so long we've put them off because we simply didn't have storage space. Well, now we have room (all that glorious garage) I do feel like I need a disclaimer here.

We've been using our Amazon registry as a list to remind us of things we need/want for the last two years. It's handy to add things and remove things as we would find them, plus they offer a completion discount, so it's always nice to save some cash that way as well.

A few months ago, there was a post in a local fire assistance group I'm in. A family had lost their home in a fire, and shared a list of things they were looking for. They included the barebones basics, like sheets for beds and towels for the bathroom, but they also included things like a TV, a yoga mat, and maybe crystals if anyone had some to spare. A few of the comments were, frankly, disgusting: “I thought this was about asking for basics” or “We aren't here to give you random things you just want to have.” “Is a television really that important right now?”

Are all of those things absolutely required for functioning in life? No. Do they make a difference in your day to day? Absolutely. All of this is to say, we know that some items on our list might make you roll your eyes, think that it's wasteful, or that they're just things we should/could do without, and you'd be right.

We're incredibly fortunate that we've been able to acquire as much as we have; through careful shopping at estate sales and thrift stores, we've assembled our dream All Clad cookware set for about what a basic set costs at Target. Our $25 Breville countertop oven and $60 vintage teak coffee table are things that we were able to take off our wishlist because we found them for great deals. The things left on the list are absolutely more nice-to-haves and straight up wants. Will we starve without a hamburger press? No, but we had one before, used it regularly, and would like to have one again.

If you would like to send us a housewarming gift, these lists have a bunch of suggestions… everything is appreciated, and don't feel obligated at all. We'll end up buying nearly all of these things regardless.

Gratitude Forever

There are no words for our gratitude. In those first days after the fire, the outpouring from friends, family and strangers was overwhelming. Tools so that I could get back to work, a sweet Baby Yoda bedding set for Max to keep him cozy, pillows for our heads, money for the daily things we needed, and the gift cards that have patiently been waiting in our file drawer, just waiting for this day, for the Target and Home Goods shopping trips for dishtowels and Windex, for toilet paper and shelf liner. I'm one of those weirdos who loves to grocery shop, so the thought of all new ketchup and mustard and jam and Tabasco and worchestershire sauce is just a little thrilling…

We realize that we owe a million words and notes of thanks, and we hope you can accept this as our thanks. The first three or four months were a blur, and by the time we started to feel like we could start being alive again, the process of dealing with insurance and the mortgage company was a thousand pound weight on our heads that we barely kept held up.

And so starting today, August 21, 2023, #TeamPorter closes one chapter and begins the next. Here's to extraordinary new adventures and whatever comes next!

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