Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Hopefully Blake, Thatcher, & I will be moving into an apartment later this week. It's not a great location, but we're beyond tired of living in a small hotel room and out of our suitcase. Thankfully we're both feeling less anxious, angry (at the adjuster), and exhausted than we have over the last 10 days. Last week was pretty awful. We were preoccupied by ridiculous comments by our adjuster (which could constitute an entire post), uneasy feelings about the structural engineer hired by our insurance company, and our inability to sleep through the night in this small, uncomfortable hotel bed. I struggled a lot with anxiety.

Last Saturday we had a 5 hour meeting with our adjuster and her structural engineer (our insurance company refused to pay for/use a local engineer and insisted on using the firm they use "all the time"), and it was a really frustrating and disheartening experience. While we know that in the end everything will turn out fine, we're realizing that it may be an exhausting battle to get there (at least with this adjuster).

Thankfully our relocation company is more reasonable than our adjuster, and while they initially suggested we consider an apartment complex that was totally unsuitable, as soon as I located an acceptable place, they contacted the leasing agent and got the ball rolling. We're just waiting on our adjuster to decide whether the insurance company is going to pay to move our belongings (which is the logical choice given the construction and refinishing of our floors that will occur over the next few months) & furniture to this apartment or if she's going to insist that we use rental furniture, etc. Based on what contractors have told us and the lag time with insurance, we're thinking we won't be back in our house for 3 months or more.

The highlight of the last week has been how beautifully Blake and I have worked together and encouraged each other through this ordeal. Despite being exhausted, we've been patient and kind to each other and worked well as a team as we make numerous phone calls and decisions(engineers, electricians, contractors, remediation companies, utility companies, relocation company, and the list goes on) and meet for appointments, etc. I've felt so grateful to have him at my side--and that he has an engineering and construction background--because I do not understand a lot of this. Thankfully I do understand our insurance policy...Blake & I both see how uneducated insureds could be taken advantage of easily.

p.s. I'm grateful for your prayers. I know this isn't a tragedy like the loss of life or an illness, but it's been a really overwhelming experience for us.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

So Much for Settling In

A fierce windstorm (perhaps a tornado) swept through our neighborhood yesterday afternoon while I was at work and Blake was in Florida. Thankfully no one in our area was hurt, although a man in a nearby community was sadly killed.

Here's a photograph of our house from yesterday afternoon:

And here is the view from part of the interior of our second floor:

The corner of our living room; sadly there's water in the walls, ruining our newly painted walls (doesn't pismo/baja dunes look great though?) & part of our crown molding:

We were so thankful that our new neighbors could rush over and get Thatcher from our house; he was hiding under our bed, which he's never done before. Our neighbors also cleaned up some of the water and set out buckets to capture the leaks.

I cleaned up water as soon as I got home as well, but our brand new hardwood floors are buckling and uneven now from the water that must be trapped underneath the floors. Part of the roof, siding, and gutters are destroyed; the upstairs bathroom walls and ceiling have been destroyed along with the storage areas; some windows are cracked or misshapen; and we fear that the foundation may be comprised given the enormous weight of the tree and multiple cracks throughout many walls. Our front stoop is also destroyed along with part of our driveway. We met with a general contractor today, and he said it could be 2-3 months before things are fully repaired. We're in the process of getting quotes.

Thankfully the tree crew finished up today, and a remediation company is coming tomorrow to more fully and securely tarp the house (in case it rains again) and begin the process of drying/removing water. Given the significant damage & odor (wet insulation I guess) and lack of electricity, we're in a hotel for at least a few days. Thatch is enjoying life with the "grandparents."

It's been an incredible 24 hours, and we're exhausted. Thankfully Blake was able to fly home last night, so we can navigate this insurance/rebuilding process together. Please pray that we have a reasonable and fair adjuster. We should meet her on Saturday and hopefully get approval to start putting our new home back together. We're not looking forward to handling this ordeal, especially after the last tiring 6 weeks of remodeling, but God's faithful provision is already so evident. He is good.

p.s. I'm grateful that so many friends, family, and new neighbors are reaching out to help us and that only things were damaged--after all, they can always be replaced.