Turning a house into a home

As the months drone on, with some weekends bringing big improvements and some none at all, we find ourselves in a rut. “Going to the house” becomes something of a chore. It’s just a thing we do, as the passions fade and the work never seems to end.

Some days, we go to the house and do almost nothing at all except walk around looking for something to do. The most miniscule things derail us: Oh, a wire didn’t get run, oh a tool was lost, oh we didn’t buy a tool we needed, oh we’re waiting for this… or that… or this…

Since this project began, one thing has been consistent: The times we really got a ton of work done were the times we were motivated and kickstarted by friends and family; when people show up to help, things really move quickly.

The rut manifested as the house becoming a job, or a “project”, in our minds. Other than ploddingly slow progress on the bathroom and kitchen, it still hasn’t felt like much more than a big job site. The things we do are things that don’t accelerate the move-in date. We repair walls. We move stuff from one room to another in a large-scale game of musical chairs. We do landscaping. We run network cables. We’re not contractors, and our expertise isn’t in things like HVAC systems and electrical.

What we needed was a morale boost.

What we needed was a party.

Icrontic Meatfest 2012Icrontic Meatfest

We have a long tradition of naming our parties within the Icrontic community. With at least four a year, naming them has become critical to keep track of our history. We always start the name with the word Icrontic and give the party something that can be easily abbreviated and conveniently hashtagged. #ICOK is Icrontic Oktoberfest. #ICWB is Icrontic Winterblast. Expo Icrontic became #EPIC, and so on.

Let's Party

Let's Party

We haven’t had an Icrontic Memorial Day BBQ since 2007 (it tends to be too close to Expo Icrontic, and usually by the end of May we’re scrambling to get ready for Expo, which is the biggest Icrontic event of the year). It was somewhat of a surprise, then, when the other day Lincoln turned around in his office chair and said to me, “We should have a Memorial Day BBQ at the new house.”

ICMF Kids and Bubbles

Yeah, that sounds just right.

ICMF Blanket Sittin'

He dubbed it Icrontic Meatfest, #ICMF. We invited all the usual Icrontic friends, as well as some of our own local friends and family.

ICMF 2012


It wasn’t a big gathering, but the weather was stunning (despite false reports to the contrary), the company was awesome, and the food was delicious. We had a ton of leftovers and I was even able to bring a plate of cheeseburgers across the street to our extremely appreciative neighbors.

ICMF 2012 Fabulous

Utterly Fabulous!

We didn’t even really use the house (other than the now-working temporary toilet and bathroom sink). People who haven’t seen it yet came in and walked around, oohing and ahhhing at the pocket doors, the carriage house, the attic, and all the other details that make this house so freaking awesome. It helped remind us how far we’ve actually come from the dirty, garbage-filled hulk that we first found in February.

ICMF porch sittin'

As the day wound down, and kids and dogs played on the lawn and on the amazing front porch, it sure did feel like a home, even if just for a few hours. It was a harbinger of many truly awesome days to come.


It’s things like this that serve to remind us that this is a lot more than just a big project. This is our new home. This is the new home of the five of us and the bigger Icrontic community at large.

Now, back to work…

3 thoughts on “Turning a house into a home

  1. Had about two dozen friends show up, which was a good capacity for the front yard & porch (which makes me realize the truly huge capacity we'd have including the rest of the first floor & back yard one day). I had to leave an hour early (I was so tired I felt ill) but we were out there for a good 9 hours. Thanks to everyone for coming out!
  2. Glad you had some good times to make the grind of work worthwhile. :)

    I was with family (the Naples, FL part) for Sunday afternoon and early evening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *