Full Of Words Wednesday: The Houseful Builds #thehfbuilds

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

Today, I’m honored to reflect back on our first volunteer day for this week’s Full Of Words Wednesday. The journey has officially begun! Mr. Houseful and I completed one of many large volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity to get started on the building of our house. We are so lucky to have friends and family who could and would take an entire Saturday and help us earn the hours we need as agreed upon with our collaboration with Habitat. 

Before going on, I did want to answer several questions in this post that have been asked, so that everyone can be clear as to what type of journey this is. 

As much as I would love it if it were true, we are not getting a free house. Had that been the case, I think that I would have passed out from disbelief. We will have a mortgage, and we will have to pay it on time just like everyone else. The joy of working with Habitat is that your mortgage is interest free, and the funds that are paid each month actually go back into an account to allow more families to participate in this program. It truly is a great model of Paying It Forward. 

Each working adult is responsible for volunteering in order to make sure that these houses are built. Whether my extended family would like to believe it or not, I’m a working adult. 😉 We as a family are responsible for 300 volunteer hours, and we can tap into our friends and family for 150 of those hours. We did put our desire out there to help other families in the future, so we’ll see where that takes us. 

Once we build, the house is OURS. We can personalize the way we want, knock down walls if we want, add walls if we want, etc. It’s OURS, and it’s going to be glorious. 

The first volunteer opportunity didn’t happen to be on a build site. We happened to be one of the first to see the new warehouse where Habitat will be housing their supplies. Beforehand, our affiliate was limited to building only during the spring and summer as those temperatures were prime for outdoor work. Now they’ll be able to build the walls even if it’s super cold, or snowing, or raining outside, so that when the weather does break, work can happen as efficiently as possible. Their desire to get families into houses in the quickest and safest fashion is definitely there. 

I can’t lie, the work was hard. My back was hurting by the end of it, and we didn’t even finish cleaning the warehouse out. It was previously owned by someone who, we THINK,  may have been a hoarder.  That person donated the building, which we really are grateful for it, but it was up to Habitat to clean it out. Enter Team Nicholes!  We were able break through a little bit. We found all sorts of interesting things including, but not limited to, a grill, several white water rafting boats, a lawn mower, an oven, a snowboard, several coolers, and a host of manuals and odds and ends. We kept up with the laughter, and got pretty dirty. It was, as my girls would say, YUCK! 

Like any great blogger, I took photos of the entire day, and I’ll continue to do so each time we attend some sort of event for our home journey. I usually tweet, Facebook, Instagram and include the hashtag #thehfbuilds. Here are some photos from our warehouse cleaning. Enjoy! 

Here is the warehouse before we started cleaning. The two Habitat volunteers had managed to clean a workspace to walk through in the two hours before we got there. That in itself was a feat. We all spread out and tackled different areas, and I did as I tend to do while cleaning. I moved from area to area (please tell me I’m not the only one that does that,) since it’s hard for me to focus on one spot until it’s through. Thank goodness it wasn’t just me helping! 

Windy City Habitat for Humanity #thehfbuilds

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

Here’s the other side of the warehouse. Below in the lower left quadrant of the photo, you can see the huge oven I spoke about earlier. It’s going to be turned into scrap metal with those proceeds going back into helping Habitat! What a way to recycle. 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

This is one of my friends, Jessica who found a snowboard. Yes, it was indeed necessary to cover up fully like this. I didn’t have anything on my hair, and my afro suffered big time! 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

Here we are at the end of the day! Three of our friends left before we grabbed this photo, and I’m pretty sure that they were as tired as we were. 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

My afro started the revolt early. I’m not sure when the triangular peak started forming, but I definitely had to go home and show it some love after torturing it all day. 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

This is probably blasphemous, but I worked the day away in what is turning out to be one of my favorite pairs of jeans. These are also from Lee, and they are the Perfect Fit Morrison Boyfriend Jeans.  Obviously they don’t crop on me, because of my fun sized frame, and I’m just fine with that. I also threw them in the washer (okay, okay, Mr. Houseful threw them in the washer) and they came out sparkling! They are so comfortable! I won’t wear them the next time we go on site, because we’ll be painting, and I can’t bear to think that I won’t be able to get paint out! They were wonderfully loose though to work in, and well, yeah, I love them. 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

You can rest assured that Mr. Houseful and I came home (after volunteering some MORE in the ReStore – which I’ll explain in another post) cleaned up and slept like babies do when their parents are wide awake. Soundly.  Stay tuned for more posts as we continue our journey to completion and move in! 

Until then, you’ll just have to live with my excitement! 

Windy City Habitat #thehfbuilds

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  • Reply
    March 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Will you have a say in the design of the house?

    • Reply
      Natasha Nicholes
      March 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      We don’t. We do have a choice in what type of home we want. We can choose a bungalow or a cottage styled home. We haven’t chosen yet, but we’re close!

  • Reply
    Margaret @MargsWorld
    March 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Yay! Congrats. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

    • Reply
      March 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Neither can I! I can’t wait to take those photos of the groundbreaking. It’s going to be so awesome!

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