January 31, 2016

Cal Expo Home Show

What a week! This last week has been everything all rolled up into one ~ stressful, crazy, fun, exciting, nerve-racking, and amazing!

Last October or November the designer we work with, Ron, mentioned in a meeting that he would really like to do the Northern California Home and Landscape Expo at Cal Expo in Sacramento in January. We have participated in this show before but don't do it every year. Usually we just pay for a regular booth (10'x 10') but this year Ron wanted to go for one of the big booths. He described his ideas and we said "let's go for it!"

In order to get one of the big booths, you have to enter the Landscape Design contest. You submit your design and then they choose the 5 they liked best. We were chosen as 1 of the 5! It is pretty exciting just to win a big booth (it is a 20' x 50'). Now we had to construct it!

For weeks we planned, ordered, welded, built and prepared as much as we could. Then last week came. We had 3 days to put it all together. 3 DAYS!!!!! Oh man, was the stress high! Everything had to go according to plan to pull this off!

We found out the Friday before that winning one of the big booths meant that you also got a LIVE tv interview! Yikes! Ron and Kurt were going to do the interview together but Kurt wasn't looking forward to it! Then we found out it was on Tuesday at 11:30. Well that just didn't work for Kurt's schedule because we couldn't start setting up until Tuesday at 9 am and there was no way that he could get away to do the interview. He had to be at Cal Expo to make sure everything came together. So he decided that I needed to go on with Ron! Double yikes! It was all fun and exciting when Kurt and Ron were going to do it but now that I was involved, it was scary!

Tuesday came and I found myself down at Channel 10's studio. Here is the set.


It was a lot of fun to watch how tv works from this side of the cameras. You think that lots of people are in the room but there isn't anyone! Ok, there was 1 lady. I think she was the stage manager but other than that, no one is in the room. All the cameras are run by computers from other rooms. Crazy!

Next thing I knew, Ron and I were up and ready to go!


Here is the link if you want to watch the interview (click here). I was so nervous but I think I did ok. Not too bad for my first time!

Meanwhile, Kurt was at Cal Expo getting the party started!

Here is the very beginning of the set up.


 We had, and I mean HAD, to get the concrete poured Tuesday night. There wasn't any other option. In order to get the concrete in though, we had to partially construct the walls and then get really creative with how to form the concrete. You can't drill into the existing concrete floor for the supports so forming the concrete was completely different than what we are used to.




We were not the only crazies pouring concrete - all the other booths had concrete too. So crazy since it all gets destroyed on Monday!




 They were finally done with the concrete at midnight. The following picture is from when Kurt left that night. Whew! Tuesday was a do or die day and we did it!


Kurt was back up at 5:30 the next morning going again. I took the boys and Kayla down on Wednesday to check things out (Hailey is back at school so she couldn't go with us). We are a family owned business so we put the boys to work!



T helping Kurt move things around.



And of course, being boys, there has to be some silly play time too! They are sitting inside the fireplace.



Wednesday was another work until midnight day and Kurt was back up at 5:30 again Thursday morning. That boy was tired but he had to keep going! After school on Thursday I took the kids back down so Hailey could go too. Thursday night Kurt was home at 10:30 and the booth was done! We had done it! 3 days! 3 amazing, crazy, marathon-running kind of days and we had finished the booth. It truly was a miracle and a testament to how hard our guys worked!

And now for your viewing pleasure:







Once you build your design, judges come in and judge the 5 big booths. Friday morning at 10:30 was the judging. We were nervous. You can't be at your booth while they are judging. Kurt needed new shoes for the show so he went shopping at the local mall and I was up in Roseville trying to get our brochures and signs all picked up (you couldn't have any signage out for the judging). I was driving to Sac and talking to Kurt (who was back at the show) on the phone (hands-free, don't worry!) when Stephanie (who runs the show) walked up to him and congratulated him because we had won!!! 

WE WON 1ST PLACE IN THE CONTEST! 

I immediately started crying. Crazy I know but after all the hard work and stress, we had won and it just felt so validating as to how hard we work for our business. It was truly a blessing and we feel so honored to have won. 



This is Ron with Kurt. They make an amazing team!


Today is the last day of the show. Kurt is exhausted! That is actually an understatement. Kurt is so far beyond exhausted! We have a double chaise lounge with pillows and a blanket in the booth and I keep joking with people that one of these times were are going to look over and Kurt is going to be out cold under the blanket! Ha ha!

My house is a mess (too many days of mom gone and kids taking care of themselves), the laundry is out of control (not one load of laundry got done this week) and we have no food in the house (except for the left overs from restaurants we ate at this week) but these things don't matter. They will all be there waiting for me when this is over. Right now we are enjoying this weekend. We are enjoying talking to people at the show. We are enjoying watching their surprised faces when they take it all in. We have been so blessed this week and we are going to enjoy every minute of it. We are so incredibly grateful! Seriously, tears still come to my eyes when I think of everything that happened this week and how it all had to line up just right and we know we had some heavenly helpers with us. Next week will come and I will get all caught back up but for now, we are enjoying the moment!

3 comments:

Lloyd Dillon said...

Excellent. You guys do work hard at doing good work, and you're right - the award is validation for everything you guys do. Congrats from us.

Andrea said...

That's awesome! I loved reading the details, watching the news clip and seeing the pictures. Way to go!

BJ Nelson said...

That booth is amazing!!! Wish I could have seen it!