I love our puzzle fundraiser. Adding YOUR names to the pieces in our puzzle to frame and have as a keepsake for our new child is something so unbelievably touching that it makes my heart want to explode with love and gratitude. It’s already one of my favorite things and we haven’t even completed it yet (326 of 500 pieces are already called for – YOU ARE AMAZING!). However, what Hayes and I did not think about was the actual process of DOING a 500 piece puzzle. Like, putting it together. We can’t order the frame and build the names into it without completing it, and how hard can THAT be? We do puzzles with Eden all day every day – she’s a puzzle queen. How long is a 500 piece puzzle going to take? Well, when you combine our penny pinching with my obsession with Amazon Prime, we were about to find out in two free shipping days because I got a GREAT deal on a 500 piece puzzle of…wait for it…Death Valley.
Now there’s no need to read into the title: we plan to paint over the picture and write your names on the backside, so the actual puzzle doesn’t really matter, unless it’s absolutely the most difficult puzzle in the world to complete because it’s a picture of a DESERT. Beige sand on beige mountains. Hayes opened up the box and immediately told me to return it. He knew what we were in for, but I was convincingly optimistic: “It was $16 cheaper than ANY other 500 piece puzzle at Amazon!!”. He never should have listened to me. Now I know why it was so inexpensive: it took us every spare minute we had for five days. If we didn’t have lives or children to take care of, it probably would have taken a solid ten hours. I am NOT exaggerating.
The best part was what some of you could have predicted: WE LOST A PIECE. We got to the very end and had dreams of toasting our accomplishment with a glass of cab and some animal crackers, and instead were faced with two options: A. buy a new puzzle and do this all over again, or B. forget the whole thing. My stubbornness wouldn’t let me give in to option A. and clearly we couldn’t succumb to option B. I decided to create an option C. and steal a large piece from one of Eden’s puzzles and exacto-knife that thing until it fit in the hole. Here’s the end result:
Not bad huh? That piece of Lightning McQueen looks JUST like a mountain in Death Valley. Just wait for the paint. This puzzle was a true labor of love – and isn’t THAT the truth!? Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generous donations. We are thrilled and honored to have a reason to struggle through building this puzzle. You are a blessing.
Cheers with Love,
Hayes, Kara, & Lightning McQueen