Choose the Guy Who Will Build You a Bridge (or Sign)

Choose the Guy Who Will Build You a Bridge (or Sign)

Out one night with my husband, I saw a sign for a restaurant that I really liked. I told him, "that's what I want for my new SAPANA sign".   I didn't realize he would end up making it.


A few years ago, we bought some property to build a house on. It's a gorgeous lot - it had several mature trees and a creek bed in the back. It was difficult to build on because of drainage and flooding issues. We decided to place the house at the front of the lot out of the flood plane - and we built up our foundation as well. After construction, we worked with landscape architects for a plan to further protect the house.  They recommended a dry creek bed in front of the house to capture flood water and push it to the back of the property to the existing creek.  I would now need a bridge to get to my front door.

Clean lines and a minimal elevation for our home were important to me. When the planners mentioned a bridge the only thing I could picture was this cute little fairy tale arched walkway.

In elementary school I was a “Brownie” for a hot minute. I decided Girl Scouts wasn’t for me after a promotion ceremony we walked over this curved bridge with a blue fabric "river" underneath. It was symbolic of something and significant to several girls in my troop - but, for some reason it didn’t click with me and that’s my earliest memory of inappropriate giggling or laughing.

Long story short, I did not want a bridge to my house. I explained my vision to my husband. Planks level with the walkway on either side. No rails. No step up. Simple. Clean.

As the project was delayed I realized how big my ask was. Engineering supports that weren’t seen, didn’t add height, and were strong enough to support the span over the rock bed - it wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. (My ideas never are).

The delay was because my husband thinking through his plan. Once he figured it out …. he built my bridge in one day.

Natalie was home that day and I took this photo of the two of them. I remember telling her - "choose someone who will build you a bridge" This was the year that College Station, Texas flooded. There was more than one night when my husband and I stood at our front door nervously watching the water get close -  that dry creek bed and bridge - it all worked.

My dad is a “bridge builder” too.  At the farm and now at home he is a problem solver who can execute solutions. It took me a few years into my marriage to stop calling my dad and instead to lean into Chris. (I will embarrassingly admit texting my dad in Wyoming - remember I’m in Texas - late at night a few months ago. Chris wasn’t home and the biggest spider ever was in my house.)  Growing up with a dad like that meant choosing a husband who could fix all the things was at the top of my “the perfect guy” list.

It has backfired on me before. We used to have a green suburban, we nicknamed "The Beast".   After several years of owning that car, I was ready for something different. Taking the kids to school one rainy morning, one of them rolled down the window - it would not go back up. My second row of seats was a soupy mess and my son went to school that day in a wet uniform.

I thought "surely this is it, we are going to trade her in". Chris had other plans. He watched a few YouTube videos, ran to the auto parts store, disassembled my door, worked his magic, put it all back together, and that stupid window rolled up.

Sticker shock was real after getting quotes from sign companies. We did have friends with CNC machines who could easily cut the letters. However, our timing didn’t coordinate with their schedules. I was getting frustrated, and couldn’t find a realistic solution. That’s when Chris said "I’ll build your sign".

I came home from work one evening to my husband and his best friend in the garage, cutting letters.

Chris had gone and purchased a jigsaw.  And his buddy who lives a few hours away came in to help (and for college baseball games too).  Together they figured out a way to project and trace the letters, then cut them out.

After steel rods, an angle grinder, lots of blue tape, primer, paint, hours of measuring, multiple trips out to the store …. the sign was done.

I texted my girl after the sign was hung “choose the guy who will build you a sign”. I didn't mean the one who is capable of building it. I meant the one who will build it for you. The guy who will take time out of his work schedule, who will call his best friend in for help, and who will spend hours making sure the project looks polished and professional - because he loves you. Choose that guy.

Back to blog