Personal Posts

My Brother And Me — A Dynamic Duo

My brother, Rod, came over yesterday to help me out with some things around the house, as he does pretty much every Sunday afternoon. And at some point, we got to reminiscing about all of the projects we’ve tackled together on my house. The fact is that this house wouldn’t be as transformed as it is today without my brother. Certainly other people have helped me along the way as well — my brother-in-law Bill, my sister Cathy, my father-in-law, my mom. But Rod has definitely helped me on more projects on my house than anyone else.

And that’s kind of funny, because when my brother walked through the house for the first time back in 2013, before Matt and I had closed on the house, I asked him what he thought of it. His response was, “Ha! Well, I’m just glad it’s you and not me.”

Little did he know. 😀

Yes, little did he know at that time that he would soon be helping me take down a wall between the kitchen and breakfast room…

…and installing a new header.

And little did he know that soon after that, he’d be helping me pour the concrete countertops in my kitchen

There’s no way I could have mixed and lifted all of that concrete myself. Absolutely no way.

There’s also no way I could have installed the plywood subfloor in the breakfast room and pantry all by myself…

But the biggest project we tackled in the breakfast room and pantry was removing the front and back walls completely, reframing the walls, and installing new windows.

Without Rod, my front porch wouldn’t look like it does today. He helped me with the most tedious, frustrating, and hardest part of that project, which was getting all of the risers cut, leveled, and screwed into place.

Those risers gave me something to screw the porch boards to, and allowed me to end up with a level front porch.

And then there’s the portico…

I built the basic structure on the ground, but he helped me lift it into place, then helped me remove the temporary brackets and install the very heavy decorative brackets when those arrived. And then he helped me install the decking, flashing, and shingles on the roof of the portico.

And most recently, he helped me get all of my junction boxes installed for lights and switches in the studio, and run all the new wiring for six new circuits all the way across my attic, from one end of the house to the other, so that I could actually have electricity in my studio, half bath, closet, and carport. It’s still not wired yet, but what’s left is the easy part. Getting all of that heavy wiring unrolled, measured, cut, and then fed from one end of the house to the other was the hard part.

And those are just the highlights. That doesn’t even include the countless times he’s come over to do smaller projects, like help me organize the sunroom so it’ll fit all of my tools, or help me hang the exterior shutters, or help me clear out this area or that area so that work can be done, or move furniture, or do any number of other smaller projects.

The fact is that the progress on my house wouldn’t be as far along as it is without his help. I’m just so thankful for all of the help he’s given me over the last few years. Little did he know five years ago that my project house would, at times, become his project as well, but he has graciously lent a helping hand when I’ve needed it, regardless of how big or small the project is.

I think we’re a pretty dynamic duo. Perhaps some house flipping should be in our future. 🙂



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34 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MARA SMITH
    July 23, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Sounds like he’s a great brother. Can you share a picture of him?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janpartist
    July 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Nothing like family, you’re so fortunate!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CeeCee
    July 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Oh to have such a brother :)!! Invincible Duo also suits :)!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    July 23, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Cherish every single moment…. Make a memory out of each and every minute together. I had a brother just like yours. I miss him so much. He left me way too early.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandy
    July 23, 2018 at 10:32 am

    You are so blessed to have the family you do…just as I am with mine. How would we ever get along without them? I am so glad neither of us has had to find out.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    July 23, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for the link to your brother and niece. I remember that you and your mother redid her room but I didn’t remember this post preceding that. It makes a great story even greater. Thanks for sharing your thanks to your brother.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol
    July 23, 2018 at 10:40 am

    I have been wanting to see pictures of Matt and the whole family as well!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl Smith-Bell
    July 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    You are blessed for sure! Thank you brother from all of us who follow along!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Casey
    July 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’m so glad you have a wonderful brother to help you on projects. That is priceless. And it’s so refreshing to hear someone praising and giving credit to the person who is always there helping them out. All too often those “second fiddles” get overlooked when the complements are pouring out. Hardly anyone in life does much that is difficult without some help. I know you make your brother feel appreciated and loved. That’s why he wants to show up and be your partner in these projects. You have a wonderful family and you appreciate them. That’s one of the many reasons I follow your blog. You are such a good real person with all the struggles that life throws at us and your strength and goodness comes through in your posts. You and Rod keep up the great work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen
    July 23, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Wonderful to have someone like him in your life. Lucky you, lucky him.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri A Hepworth
    July 23, 2018 at 11:28 am

    You’ve got good men in your life?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sheri A Hepworth
      July 23, 2018 at 11:29 am

      That was supposed to be an exclamation mark, not a question mark!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cyd
    July 23, 2018 at 11:30 am

    So sweet! Kudos to your brother for pitching in.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle hoebbel
    July 23, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I have 3 brothers that help me. They came when I bought my house 2 years ago. Stayed for a month and put my house back together after my 4 children and I did all the demo. Now I have a brother visiting me for a month doing all the things I can’t do. Of course my house is like yours always something to do. There are a few things original to the house that I kept but not much.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Guerrina
    July 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Brothers are amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Devra
    July 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I have always wanted a brother. Can i adopt him?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    July 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Brotherly love! How lucky you are to have him in your life!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sami Fye
    July 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I see a brother, sister show on HGTV in your future……..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    July 23, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    What a great brother to have!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeannie
    July 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I adore my brother. He’s really talented at building & all that construction stuff. I appreciate him SO much because he was in the Air Force for 23+ years so I seldom got to see him. After he retired he was home for Thanksgiving in 2003, re-met my best friend from 1963, married her in 2004 & moved back to PA so I get to see him a lot more. Yay! I try not to bug him too much!

    Bless your wonderful brother, Mom & you & Matt.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carole Prisk
    July 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    What a good brother. My brother died eight years ago and I miss him a lot. He was only 60.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy
    July 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    You are blessed!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Monica
    July 23, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    There must be something special flowing through your family bloodline to have a brother/sister team so talented. To work on those home improvement projects alone is never as much fun as two great minds and similar work ethics, creating something beautiful. It almost doesn’t seem like work, but just enjoying time with each other doing things you like to do. I’ll definitely watch your HGTV show.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    KathleenC
    July 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    He’s a great brother and a good man clearly. A good, supportive, loving family is the best!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jaybird
    July 23, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    And he has a great sister too ;^)
    Blessings,
    J

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    July 23, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Kudos to you and your brother. Pooling talent lifts everyone. And no doubt you are claimed as special sister, aunty and daughter.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy Talley Rickard
    July 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    What has happened to Matt’s dad?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie
    July 23, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I wish I had a brother Rod. How very nice of him to help you and I am sure you would do the same for him and probably already do help him when you can.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    July 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    How lucky you are to have a giving family. Mine is a mess, and I don’t have any connection with them any more. But I have my husbands’ giving family, and two great son in laws who all would be here whenever asked! I know you both would do anything you could for each other, and that’s a special bond.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate Hollingsworth
    July 24, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Great idea! Emily Henderson just flipped a house with her brother (you can see the sneak peek here: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/the-portland-house-is-for-sale-listing-sneak-peaks-party-details). I’d love to see what your style would be like if you were building for someone else 😀xx

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    July 30, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I have been blessed with five brothers, two of whom have passed just within the past year and a half. While we don’t live close enough to get together often, they have always been there for me when I really needed them. It is wonderful to have brothers like that, and I am very happy for you and Matt to have such a loving family.

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