It was very hard to keep it a secret from my In-Laws that myself, my husband and his siblings were planning a surprise makeover to their parents home.
It all started when my Father-in-Law had told my daughter that one day he had hoped to have some toys there for the kids to play. Then the wheels started turning! I contacted my sister-in-law and we plotted a surprise makeover.
Our Parents (My In-Laws)
Four years ago Leo’s Dad and Soon-to-be Officially Step Mother made the most amazing choice. They turned to God and started to lead their lives through Him. Since then we have been able to develop the most beautiful relationship. I appreciate for one, after losing My Dad, that our kids have someone that they love and trust to call Grandpa. Also, with my Mom and Leo’s Mom being absent we are beyond blessed that the kids also have someone to call, Grandma. OH WAIT. She hates that, they call her Mamas. It’s the sweetest thing ever. They are wonderful people I am happy to call them my in-laws.
Leo and I felt that the way their little home was at the time may have been a constant reminder of the life they lived before turning to Jesus. With them being engaged to get married this summer we thought, let’s makeover their home and help them have a fresh start, a fresh beginning in their new lives. I know my sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws felt the same.
My sister-in-law and I were constantly texting back and forth. Both Grandpa and Mamas had been talking about redoing their home for some time. She spent the most time over there so she knew exactly what they wanted and was our go-to for this whole operation. “Operation Parents’ Home Makeover” is what we called it.
Now, none of us are millionaires and with the Operation being between the Holidays and only a month away we knew we’d be scraping change to make this happen. Also with everyone’s work schedules we wondered if we would even pull it off.
We were all pretty resourceful though! We took to Craigslist, LetGo, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace to find gently used or even brand new furniture for either FREE or close to it. My Sister-in-law and her husband did a lot of refinishing and painting. She knew her Mama had always dreamed of having a hutch, they found an antique hutch for FREE, refinished it and did a few repairs and it looked better than new! They built a breathtaking kitchen island out of pallets, complete with a drawer! Found a dresser, repaired and painted, among other just amazing and creative pieces. They did an incredible job! My husband and I found new appliances for them either FREE or next to nothing, a perfect petite little couch, and we built a bed frame out of red wood left over from a job. Although, I should give my husband most of the credit for the bed. ha! We were patient and spent a lot of time trying our hardest to find things to fill their “new home” with everything they’d always wanted.
As the date neared we called the parents and asked them if they would be available to watch our kids from Friday-Sunday, telling them we were going up north to meet our friends newborn baby. They agreed and the date was set!
The Weekend We Made it Happen
My Sister-in-law was able to get a key that morning. She hung out with her mom almost all day anxiously waiting for them to leave so they could get started. We were 45 minutes away also anxiously waiting for them to get here! I had the suburban filled up at 8:30 in the morning, ready to go! I was so excited to finally make this happen. When Leo got home we loaded the truck with the big things and parked it around the corner and waited. Of course those 45 minutes of a drive felt like 3 hours. When they finally arrived we left! I drove the suburban around the corner, dropped my husband off at the truck and we were on our very merry way. I received a text just moments later with a picture, my Sister-in-law and her Husband were already there prepping to paint. They were also VERY excited!
Once we arrived we went straight to work, we used paint we all had left over from our own projects. First we’d concentrate on the living area, next the bathroom, the kitchen then the backyard. We had that night, a full day Saturday and half a day on Sunday to get this done. We were determined. By midnight we had the whole living area painted, bathroom ready to go and decided to call it a night.
The next morning we were at it again, 8 A.M. To our surprise both of my husband’s brothers showed up to help! They really surprised us, we thought for sure they’d be working. Boy were we happy to see them! Saturday we finished the bathroom, prepped the kitchen, stained all cabinets, painted the kitchen, brought in all the furniture, placed and filled the closet, we basically did everything but the staging and backyard all in a days worth of work. Running on empty the whole time but having a great time spending time together. We all had the same goal, to surprise Grandpa and Mamas with their renewed little home!
Sunday the guys did the big stuff outside, took down a structure we knew they no longer wanted, built a fence for their dog and did some tidying up. My Sister-in-law and I spent the day doing all of the final touches. Putting up the Christmas Tree and Stockings, making the bed, hanging pictures, doing everything we possibly could for their house to feel like a home. Another Sister-in-law arrived with my sweet niece and nephew to help us do some of the final touches. She wished to have helped the entire weekend but she’s pregnant and we had to convince her to stay home until the smell of paint and chemicals went away.
We waited in the kitchen to hear them open the gate. A few false alarms and here they came. We could hear Mamas asking my husband questions like, “Who was here this weekend” “Are you sure you weren’t here?” “Where’s Meggan?” and finally a “Who painted the front door!?” then as they opened the door a big “SURPRISE!!!!!!” from all of us waiting inside.
In the 6 years that I’ve known my soon to be mother in law I had never seen her smile so big. And that right there made it all worth it. All the straight hours of hard-work, the anticipation in the month leading up, the patience it took to wait to find the perfect items for their home, sleeping in the suburban in near freezing weather(only the first night we did that.) The expression on My In-law’s face made it ALL worth it. They were happy with their cozy new little home. Mission accomplished.
I praise God for making this happen. With so many things that could have gone wrong he looked over us, saw the kindness in our hearts and saw that this weekend operation, this “Operation Parents’ Home Makeover” was sought through. I could not have asked for the weekend to have ran any smoother. It was a family affair that I will remember for the rest of my life.