We felt the best way to start the Expose the Heart blog off is to let you know about what is new in our life and the changes and challenge we have had this year. You might want to grab a cup of your beverage of choice. I have a feeling this might be a long one.
It started as a short conversation while I was getting ready for work.
Irene – I want to paint the walls
David -You know we can’t (it was in our rental contract)
Irene – Well then maybe it’s time for a new house
David – OK. Find the house you want and we will see what we can do.
I really didn’t think much of it, but apparently Irene did. When I got home from work she had a realtor, a lender, secured financing, and had a list of houses for me to look over. Now in this moment I stop and think “now this is why I marred this woman (among other reasons). She knows how to get things done and she doesn’t mess around!”
We found two houses that evening that we really liked. The first one seemed to be the perfect house. It had all the room we could need and was well under budget. The second house was even nicer. A nicely remodeled home in the Art Deco District in San Antonio, but alas, it was more than we really wanted to spend. We set an appointment with our realtor and went to go see the first house with no intention of checking out the second. We walked into the house with high hopes and walked out with a nice dose of reality. Now one would think that as photographers we would know that pictures can be deceiving. Well, we were deceived by those pesky low resolution images on Zillow. We were distraught. OK, OK, “distraught” might be too strong of a word, but we were at least frazzled.
In a moment of clarity, we remembered that the other house was only a minute or two away. We quickly asked our realtor if she could call and check to see if it was possible to view the house the same day. As luck would have it, no one was living in the house so it was available to view immediately. Without haste, we were off to take a peek at this little treasure.
The view when we pulled up is of a little bright yellow house that is straight out of Better Homes and Gardens, well at least in our eyes it was. We were speechless as we walked in. It had everything we were looking for: a fire place, hardwood floors, plenty of counter space and storage in the kitchen, and the coupe de grâce . . . a sunroom.
Now you have to understand, a sunroom is something I have heard Irene talk about since we met. Sunroom this and sunroom that. She had all these visions of the house we would live in, and they all had a sunroom in them I’m sure. When she walked into the sunroom all I heard her say was “I can see myself giving birth in this room!!!” While probably not your typical response it was truly an “Irene” response, and yet another reason why I love her. She just puts her self all out there for the world to see with no reservation or fear, something I am trying to “learn” from her, but I digress.
As soon as I heard those words leave her lips I knew this would be our house. Our home. It would be the place we would start our lives and family together. But then it hits me . . . Isn’t this the house that was not really in our budget? Also you aren’t supposed to fall in love with the first houses you see are you?
After our visit to the “Yellow House” we talked a bit and decided that it would be wise to keep looking and see if we could find something more affordable. Irene was ready for the challenge pen, paper, and iPad in hand she went off on a two and a half month quest to find us a house. She would go with the realator during the week and see at least ten houses every other day. Then on the weekend I would go with her to see the ones she liked. I particularly liked what we lovingly referred to as the “Pimp House”.
Throughout this time we would continue to stop by the “Yellow House” and compare the house we had just seen to it. None of them stood up to it, not even the “Pimp House”. So we prayed on it, asking the Lord if this little “Yellow House” was not the house for us then just take it away. The thing is, just the opposite happened. The price of the house kept falling and falling. It fell to exactly the amount we wanted to pay! All I have to say is “But God”.
It was a done deal. We signed the papers, packed the old house, and forwarded the mail. We had found our home.
– David Castillo
Shortly after our move to the new house my older brother came to me with a proposal that we simply could not refuse. Before I go ahead and tell you the story let me clarify a few things first. David and I are both Volkswagen lovers! (yeah vee dub love!) My older brother Gilbert has owned several bugs in his life and turned me on to them at a very young age. David has become a fan of them as well and we have been to several Volkswagen shows in and around town to show support.
A couple of years back my brother purchased a very rare VW that I had never heard of and I fell in love instantly. I offered him more than what he paid for it to just to own this beauty and he refused. The vehicle was a 1968 Type 3 Squareback and looked completely junky, but I loved everything about it and any chance I had to try and make him an offer for it I would. Shortly after purchasing our house my brother decided he would let it go since he had not been working on it and wanted to take on another project and had promised years ago that if he did decide to let it go he would offer it to me first. He called early in the morning and woke me with the proposal. I agreed to purchase the vehicle (as if I would have said no) under the condition that any mechanical work that needed to be done he would assist me through because I know very little about fixing cars. To my surprise he agreed and we set off on a journey of fixing this vehicle.
My older brother and I work well together. We have been buddies since I was 15 years old and despite our age difference (he is twice my age) have always got along well. This vehicle is allowing us to spend the time together that we did as I was growing up, but in different ways. He has taught me all the internals of a vehicle and I feel confident to say that I could distinguish parts of a vehicle and understand what someone is referring to when talking “shop”. So far David, my brother Gilbert, and I have been working diligintly on repairing the vehicle. We have added an new exhaust, had the engine rebuilt, had the gas tank cleaned (dipped) and lots of little odds and ends. The car is so neat and I am happy to own it and when I look out the window of my house I see the vehicle and think that possibly a similar car to this could have been in the same spot many years ago. Our house was built in 1948 so it isn’t a far fetched concept. I am looking forward to the remainder of the journey with our little Squareback which you shall hopefully see in some Expose the Heart photo sessions in the near future!
David and I figured that with all the beginnings that have taken place this year it would only make sense for us to start a blog. We plan to post on it often and use this as a place to share photos of our lives, our thoughts, and the people who surround us. Expose the Heart is not just our company name, but our approach at life. We look forward to sharing our journey with you!
– Irene Castillo