Extreme Makeover Update – Day 3


Hey friends! I finally made it up to the construction site and had a fantastic day in the C-O-L-D. In fact, let me start by sharing with you a few ways you know that you are really cold:

1) When someone says to you, “Ugh. Do you know the high today is only 40 degrees?” and you respond with excitement, “That sounds like the perfect day at the beach.” And then you hold onto that fact for the next four hours.
2) You have to get colder before you get warmer. See, there’s actually two levels to being cold: Cold, and So-Cold-You-Don’t-Even-Realize-How-Cold-You-Are. After a few hours, Quentin (my hero!) whisked us into the home builder’s trailer to warm up. Initially, I felt like I was in warmth heaven. Then all of a sudden, my rear and my thighs got reeeaaalllly cold. I realized I had finally warmed up enough to feel how cold I was!
3) Your fingers start to tingle. When that started happening, I knew it was time to warm up my hands again.
4) You sit in the car an extra 30 minutes to let the heat blow on your legs . . . over an hour after you left the build site. I pulled into my garage after picking up my daughter and figured I could go inside where it was warm OR I could sit in the car and have warmth blown directly onto me. I sat in the car.
5) You have sore muscles at the end of the day – not from standing all day, but because they’ve been clenched that long.

We stood in the food tent to get out of the wind and grab a cup of coffee. Bobbie Jo‘s assistant, Trisha, handed her a steaming cup of hot water and walked to the other side of the tent. Bobbie Jo promptly stuck her fingers in it, and then took turns dipping each hand. Her assistant came back, looked at her and said “I was going to drink that, Bobbie Jo!” By far, my favorite line of the day!

A few other favorite moments:

  • I had a conversation with one of the camera men who has worked on the show for five years. I asked him, “Does this ever get old for you?” Without a beat, he replied, “No, not this show. I’m not big on reality TV shows, but this one is different.” I asked another crew member the same question. Similar reply. I think that speaks volumes.
  • Did you know that the house is NOT built in seven days? It’s actually built in 106 hours. (About 103.5 hours for the Wall team – Demo got started a little bit late . . .) You read that correctly. That’s just a little over FOUR days. Demo occurred at about 3:15pm today. Crazy.
  • In watching the behind the scenes, I am reminded that Ty and the design team are actors on a reality tv shows. They don’t always get it on the first take (and even if they do, they still seem to shoot about 5-6 more!). They do stay a little bit separate from everyone else. And everything runs on “Hollywood time.”
  • I am TOTALLY out of my league with the other photographers, but I loved being with them today. Everyone is so amazing, willing to help and teach, and just fun to be around. I loved watching the others work, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the build through their eyes when I look at their pictures. Please go check them out:
  1. Bobbie Jo Majors – her images are breathtaking. I really feel like she captures the essence of who she shoots. And I loved hearing her story of how she got into photography. What a gracious woman!
  2. Don Mamone – Don is a tireless volunteer. Even before photographing, he was helping set up and serve the other volunteers. And his photos are gorgeous. I particularly love his fashion photography – which seems so difficult to capture, but the beauty and creative expression of the designers shines through Don’s photos.
  3. Quentin and TJ – I don’t know if they have blogs or websites, but I really enjoyed getting to know them as well.

Shameless plug time: If you are in the DFW area, I highly encourage you to come out. Go park at the Texas Motor Speedway, and take the shuttles (I think they run from like 7am-7pm or something like that. Check to be sure). I am overwhelmed with the community support. I arrived at 6:30am in 26 degree weather (26! in Texas! I told you it was cold!), and people were smiling, laughing and happy to be there. Isn’t that what community is about? Being happy to serve because we care about others, regardless of our circumstances? If you can’t make it any other time, come on Monday to yell, “Move that bus!”

Okay, I have a few more stories to share. I met some of the extended family members of the Augstins, including Amber’s mom, and had some wonderful conversations with them. But it is late, and I am so stinking tired. I’ll post those tomorrow.

Photo: Don Mamone took this awesome self-group portrait of all the photographers. Technically, I have to have any photo I post approved by ABC before I can post it. So, you’ll have to enjoy the photos on the Wall website and the other photographers (who’ve had their photos approved already) until I can get some up.



  1. Okay, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t get past the statement that 40′ is cold. I dropped Ellie off for school the other day in single digits, not counting the wind chill. Forty degrees in December is a heat wave , people!! 😉

    Seriously, this is so cool. I’m thrilled you get to be part of it!

  2. This is unbelievable! I am so jealous that you are right there getting to see all of this first-hand! But not so jealous of spending time in the cold.

  3. Yeah, cold is definitely a relative thing! (brr in frigid WI!) People who move notice that their relativity shifts according to where they’ve planted themselves…but I had the same initial reaction as Tanya Dennis.

    Glad you’ve got such a great opportunity though. Enjoy.

  4. spaghettipie

    All – Truly, it is so amazing. If you’re in the DFW area – please go by and watch!

    LM – Funny thing – I had long underwear, leg warmers (yes, 80s flashback), and jeans, two pairs of sock, a thermal undershirt, shirt, fleece and wool coat, and two pairs of gloves! 🙂

    TD – Um, yea. It’s relative. Granted, at that moment I was agreeing with you that 40 degrees sounded like a heat wave! But temperatures went back to normal today – which was 60 degrees.

    A – Come up! You have a great view from right across the street!

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