Sunday, December 16, 2018

No! We Won't Be Home For Christmas! But...

Ugh...yes, we are still working hard to get everything done. No, we won't be moved in for Christmas, and YES I'm very sad about that. YES I'm getting to the end of my rope living in the basement with seven kids and no Christmas tree and my new tree skirt and decorations sitting in a box buried in the storage container.

But, we are making progress! That counts for something.

Here's what's happening...

The sheet rocking and painting is all done! That is until I get a hold of some of Laurel Bern's paint colors. I'm not allowed to touch the walls until everything else is done, but don't worry. I will!

Tiling is taking a lot longer than planned. This is our first time doing this extent of tiling and James is a perfectionist, for which I'm very grateful, but, I am struggling to be patient, since we were supposed to be in before fall and now it's December!

Before I get to the house, this is our little angel. She really is the sweetest. She is so quiet and kind all the time. She had a dance performance this week.





And here are some pictures of the updates. I'm a little behind. The floors in these rooms are actually finished. They are a Calacutta porcelain tile. I almost bought real marble and I'm so glad I had a bad feeling in the shower and decided to research it more. Marble is for temples and grand halls, not for people with children and budgets. Trust me. You don't want to deal with the maintenance, beautiful though they are. So I picked a tile that resembles marble, but is tough and doesn't need any maintenance other than a mop.


I don't know if you can really see the color I chose very well. It's from the Laurel Bern Paint collection. It's called Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls. (Actually the above picture may be pre-paint, primed) Anyway, Cotton Balls! I LOVE it! She said this color does what you want and it's a wonderful, warmish white. I was nervous because I didn't try it out the way I should have first, don't judge, it was a really bad week and we only had a few days to paint. So I just ran with it and it worked great. But I do recommend testing paint first!


 This little guy loves to help with everything. He never seems to get bored of tools. We are installing Durock here. Very important before tiling. We also got a tile leveling kit which helped make sure the tiles are...well level. Good idea too. 


Here is part of the kitchen with the tile leveling kit. It takes 48 hours to dry  before you can take the duck-like things off. If I hadn't been late for a date and my phone almost dead, I would have taken a picture of the finished product. I'm glad I didn't choose my grout before I saw it finished too! I would have gone too dark.

This was an exciting day! We moved the ugly storage container onto the land! All my dishes and precious things are inside. Not that I get to open it up anytime soon. We still have lots of flooring to do, but it was exciting and I snapped this shot while driving behind it. You can't see from the picture, but there's a lot of snow and I got stuck three times and had to have my brother in-law, my father in-law and James pull me out. I'm learning how to drive in this weather. I'm not great at it yet, and very nervous all the time.



Ok here are some fun things...this is the part I really love. I can't wait to decorate and I have been saving and saving and saving to buy some new furniture! Every time I've saved enough for my living room pieces, some other dumb thing happens! I want to rip my hair out! First the well, then the electricians, then the plumbers, then the electricians again! Argh! But I am saving once again and in a few months I'll have enough to buy what I need. PS. The reason they are taking my savings is because we vowed not to drop one extra penny onto the loan so we are cash-flowing as much as possible. I am a huge proponent of using cash whenever possible and Dave Ramsey is one of my heroes. He is always my shoulder angel reminding me that going into debt for furniture or anything else like unto it, is a dumb idea. 

In order to make better decisions (and my budget is not very big!) I copied Laurel Bern and made some fun collages. This helped me A LOT. It also helped James understand the big picture. When he first saw that Chesterfield love seat, he wasn't very impressed. But he likes the collage! This is all from Wayfair, BTW. 

The lamps aren't horrible, they aren't authentic, but I want some chinoiserie and can't afford what my grandma used to buy (She had great taste and a huge budget!) How I wish we'd kept some more of her nice things.


This is option number 1 and everyone's favorite:




Option number 2: I like it a lot, but the family chose the other one


And this is the collage I sent to my cabinet guy...AKA my brother in-law. I hope it turns out ok. 
I have to decide if I want the enclosed shelves on both sides or the open shelves on both sides. I don't know yet. I won't do both like below. Just one or the other. And I may nix on the shelf over the transom window. I stole these cabinets from DeVol Kitchens (Whom I am in love with and found on Laurel's website) Their kitchens are amazing. 

Had to throw this in. This was also posted on Laurel's website. I want this room! I think the paint color and the drapes make it so luxurious. I'm going to try to talk James into it once he recovers from the building process trauma. 



Another collage of the kitchen. It's not exact, and for some reason the cabinets are lighter on the right side, even though they are the same cabinets. This is from floor planner.com. I used this cute little website to help me design the bones of the house. 


So, there are some sneak peaks and updates. I'm guessing February before we feel settled. James may try to get us into the main floor before then, but I'm not crossing my fingers. I'll never cross my fingers again. We were supposed to be in for my birthday! Grrr to sub contractors! I lose sleep over all they've put us through.

I have to say, I liked the sheet rock and mudding crew a lot.  

Ok, more updates to come...for now I have 4 sick kids to take care of :( 



Tuesday, November 06, 2018

FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR

I LOVE fall. I love the colors and the crisp air. You can smell ditches being burned and I can see the Tetons almost the entire way home. While we were driving home tonight, we could see the mountains where we live. The sky was clear blue all around except those mountains and they were covered in tall, puffy clouds that looked like they were pouring white dust all over the canyons. The white dust filled all the cracks and crevices and covered the trees and fields. It just looks like Thanksgiving is around the corner. The fields went from green to golden and then chocolate brown after harvest. I love decorating for fall and baking pies and cakes and other warm dishes. I can't wait to make some hot cider and sit by a warm stove.

We used to have a lovely ribbon fireplace in our house in Colorado. All I had to do was flip a switch and the flame rippled to life and there was instant heat. Well, there's no such switch in our new house. We put in a wood burning stove and that means we had to haul wood. 

Last week was the last of nice weather. James grabbed a chain saw (eek), I grabbed snacks and candy bars and we headed up to the woods. It was a beautiful day.




By the third day of wood gathering, our arms and legs were pretty strong. The boys amazed me. I don't think I'll be winning the arm wrestles anymore. There were some complaints for sure. We had two smashed fingers and a smashed toe. My legs were covered in bruises afterward! I haven't had bruised legs since I was kid. I actually haven't worn high heels other than church, in months! My wardrobe, sadly, is changing. I find myself grabbing my boots more and more often. I am even going to DI to get thrift store shirts that can be ruined...lots of them. :(

It was three solid days of cutting and hauling and another of splitting and stacking. We have about three and-a-half to four cords of wood now. (I think a cord is 4X4X8) I think we'll need more to get us through the winter. We'll have to wait for another nice day.




A delivery truck came with our appliances!! Yay! And yes, I finally committed. More on that later...



They did finish mudding this week and they are texturing tomorrow! Texturing brought me a little stress. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought..."Uh oh, did I tell them not to do orange peel?" This may seem silly, and bless their hearts, the men that work on our house are amazing and wonderful, but they do forget things a...lot....and I am constantly reminding them at the last minute! I'm so glad I live right down the street right now. 

So, texture...I do NOT like orange peel. I don't hate it...it's not classic (I promise.) But I'm so tired of it.  Long story short, orange peel allows hangers to be sloppy with the sheet rock and mudders to be sloppy with their sanding. Its a cheap way to cover up a bad technique or a quick job. It's cheaper, gets sprayed on, and looks kind of like an orange peel, but uglier I think. They usually do this method on tract homes and it's very common in the midwest and west. I have had it every house I've lived i. It's harder to patch because it's hard to match the texture even with the spray stuff you can buy. I've heard rumors that flat, smooth walls are still standard in much of the east coast. I'm jealous! 
Smooth walls means that the sheet rockers and mudders have to be very precise. It's a higher end look and looks delicious and luxurious with a good paint job. 

Well, I had originally asked for smooth walls and was told that would be fine...but they forgot. They sheet rocked wrong for that job and the walls will have to have texture. I was having a decorating nightmare when I found out, but I did some research and asked them if they could do a less intrusive look like, "Old World." 

Old World is a little less choppy than Santa Fe. Santa Fe is kind of like the stucco look, but if you ask different people, they'll say different things. Stucco can be lots of different textures actually, and Santa Fe has lots of variations of texture too. Basically, Old World, is the least textured look after smooth. I'll show you pictures when they are done. I'm supposed to be there at 9am sharp to make sure I like it. They're learning! 😘




We have puppies in the canyon! This is a something doodle...I think it's a...no I can't remember, but I know the daddy is a reddish colored poodle. They are so darling. My SIL breeds them if anyone is ever interested. Good dogs! Too small for me, but I sure love snuggling these little guys. The mommy had these puppies just last week and I saw them the very day they were born. I went down to look at them and we were counting, and two were missing! We searched all over and finally found the little tiny, bony runt puppy stuck down under the blanket next to the cold floor. The other one was on the other side of Silver, the mommy. She's a good mommy now and so sweet with her puppies, but this is her first time and she had a hard time keeping track of six at first. I don't blame her a bit. Once we got that tiny runt over to her, she took good care of him and he's growing. We were worried he wouldn't make it, so Rylee did get him on some formula for a few days.

My first fall treat. I have made a few pies, but they don't count because it was still warm outside. We had a fall festival this week though and I made a carrot cake, a recipe from a good friend. I really enjoyed decorating it. When I took it to the festival, I set it on the table, feeling pretty proud of it, but I had forgotten that all desserts were supposed to be bite sized...oops! It got chopped into pieces within a minute of setting it down. It was so ugly and unappetizing after that. My kids were so worried they wouldn't get any...they got more than half of it at home later. They licked the platter clean. That means a lot to me. My kids are picky and brutal! 


Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Home-Stretch?

I feel like we're in the home-stretch, but I don't really know for sure how much longer it will take. We have sheetrock in the top floor and the rest goes in on Monday and Tuesday. I have no idea how long mudding will take. I know that each sub job usually takes between 1 week to 2 weeks longer than planned. One of our issues is that no one wants to drive this far to work on the house.

Problems we've run into with subs:

Sadly, it happened with our favorite sub, the electricians! (PS. I think this was mostly my fault and I'm kicking myself!) They did such a great job and were so fast and efficient, but in the end, we were a little frustrated. So here's what happened...

I had a very detailed design for lighting...I knew exactly what I needed in each room for decorative and utilitarian purposes. I made an intricate lighting design and even included outlets and switches and where I wanted them wired.

When we met to decide, they seemed to already know where everything should go?? I didn't mind at the time because I thought, "They're the pros. I'll let them take the lead." But, it turns out that half of what they wanted to do with the house, wasn't even in the bid!

We were not told how much these would cost and when the bill came, it was several THOUSAND dollars more. This is actually a trend it seems with new home construction around here. Maybe it was my fault and I was supposed to be following every single can light and dollar around. I also remember in Colorado, they were required to tell us exactly what we were doing that was above and beyond the bids.  (That was an FHA loan! DIFFERENT ANIMAL) This same issue has happened with the well, the doors and windows (BMC), and finally, with the electric company.

I was really upset for a few days. Fortunately, James is level-headed and good at letting things go and calming me down. Really, it doesn't help anyone to be upset. I will, however, make sure that when my parents build their house, they know exactly what to expect! At least I can use what I learned the hard way, to help someone else from making the same mistake.

(Ignore my terrible photography. I was tired and didn't have time to edit any photos)



Audra celebrated her birthday this week. It was a REALLY nice week. It wasn't that it was less messy or less to do, but we were all alone in the canyon for a whole week! I haven't been alone in almost 6 months!!! I did all of my laundry upstairs and watched the British Baking show, we got up early and did homeschooling and we baked and cooked and had so much fun. I forgot how it feels to do whatever the heck I want! Don't ever take for granted having your own space. No matter how wonderful the people you live with are, it's still good to have your own family space! We needed that week so much! Plus, I did something I love more than any other hobby...I organized! 



We ALMOST didn't have a wood burning stove in our house. (See the black pipe!? I'm so HAPPY) That was another issue we dealt with. We were very clear that there had to be a wood stove somewhere in the main floor. It didn't happen. I think my contractor realized that they better find a way before I blew a lid! Fortunately, at the last minute, before the insulators and sheet rockers came, our contractor came up and found a way to run the pipe up through Audra's bathroom and on out the roof.  This was a tender mercy, one of many. Power outages and blizzards on top of a canyon, miles from the neighbors and no way to get to them...it's a real thing! With a wood stove, we will have plenty of warmth and a way to cook.





DO YOU SEE CAN LIGHTS? HOW MANY DOES A WOMAN NEED IN HER MASTER??
I feel like I'm in Walmart. I prefer ambient lighting, especially at night. Seriously, why couldn't the mistake have been...oops, we spent your money without your permission and poured you a big back patio?? No, of course not. 😅  



I'm realizing that with each phase of building, the rooms will look BIG and then small, then BIG again and then small. Sheetrock is one of those times. Sheetrock is usually grayish in color and it's a depressing cold gray. Not a good choice for rooms facing north or west.  

Do I seem stressed? I am a little tired of everything and we still have a long way to go. I am also very grateful for this experience. As hard as it has been, it has been just as wonderful on the rewarding end of the scale. That's how blessings and trials work I guess, but not always simultaneously. We have also been babysitting and cooking for lots of people, A LOT. 

Hopefully we are living in the house by Thanksgiving, ok maybe Christmas :( 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

FIVE MONTHS

We've been here for over 5 months now. It really doesn't seem like that long. It feels like I've been in the basement for a few weeks. (Tender mercy!) But, we still have two months left before we move in...and it's getting harder...and colder. The summer and fall are fleeting this far north. We decided on a REAL wood burning stove. YAY!! More on that and why. Going woodcutting as soon as James is back! And I'm looking forward to the first snow that drifts on the north side of the house.

There are a few things I would like to document about basement dwelling...things I want only to revisit in my journal and blog, but I don't want to relive.

FIRST OFF: My in-laws are SAINTS. I would hate us by now if I were them. They are sooo patient. I am learning a lot from them. Patience and more patience!

1. Laundry is awful. 20 loads a week and trying to keep it organized in three baskets along the wall. Oh my precious speed queen, how I miss you!

2. The kitchen. I don't have my precious, sacred recipe holder that is lost in a very important somewhere in our huge shipping container that contains my entire life. This big important box was labeled (GO TO GRANDPA'S HOUSE) in huge letters and somehow, it ended up buried in the far reaches of outer darkness in the container. I don't have any of my pots, pans and utensils either. I'm really picky because I'm not a professional cook, just a mom cook, and I'm only good at using my own stuff.

3. My bathtub. I haven't had a bath in over 5 months. That is a punishable crime. My new bathtub is covered in dead flies and sheetrock dust. Sounds enticing!

4. Never alone! We've established that I am an introvert. A "social introvert." It's  thing. And sometimes I think being an introvert is a disease, but really, that's dumb. We introverts just need to be alone to charge our batteries. It's actually essential, not just a nice thought.  I am really, literally, never alone! There are people above me, around me, in my room, the bathroom, the yard and even the campground down the hill, all day, every day for 24 hours of the day. When I go to bed at night, I have to hope my phone light doesn't wake up Tabby or Audra, who both sleep in our room, unless James is home, Audra sleeps on the couch, two feet from my door. My introvert is like a sad, scared little mummified thing crushed deep inside of me until we move.

5. Meals...I like to make a meal, eat the meal, clean up the meal, and be DONE until the next meal. All the meals seem to flow into the next one. There are often 17 people dining here! The kitchen is rarely, clean and quiet with the lovely sound of a dishwasher humming and the hint of bleach and lemon soap in the air. It's a mess of snacks, canning, dicing, peeling, begging and butts. The kitchen has way to many butts for it's size. I think...that I will actually miss some of this.

The house is progressing. Siding is going up, garage doors are coming this week, the vents for the gables will be here soon...I'm excited for the vents. I found a beautiful, historic farmhouse photo and it had pretty white vents in the gables with a triangular border and then horizontal siding below it. I'm alternating with board and batten. I wanted all horizontal siding but James really likes the look of board and batten so I compromised. (Don't you see if EVERYWHERE now? Yes it's a classic, but I get sick of seeing the same thing on every house!) It's on a few pop-outs and the front of the garage.

We did get doors and windows. We also had some arguments about the grid on the windows. I love the grid. I think it looks perfect for a farmhouse...and we are actually on a real life farm and surrounded by farm for hundreds and thousands of acres. The grid doesn't have much of a function nowadays. The grid used to actually be individual panes in the windows so if one broke, they could easily and inexpensively replace the single pane instead of the whole window. It also provided some obscurity from the roadside to the inside of the house, creating a little privacy. Now, the grid runs between the panes and they are just pretty. And they do cost more. So, we put them on the front and the sides of the house, and left them off the big picture windows in the back.

The front door was fun. A year ago, while we were designing our house, I made real life renderings of each room to show James because he had a hard time visualizing. I drew and decorated each room, two dimensionally on paper. I put a door with diamond grid sidelights and three quarter window in the door. I love the diamond grid. I found the exact door in a BMC catalogue.

I am still not happy with BMC salesmen by the way. They don't give you prices or a breakdown. Our garage doors ended up costing $1100 more than the bid price, so we had to go back and pick new doors and hardware because the guy handed us a catalogue and told us to, "Pick what we like!" We thought that meant everything in that particular catalogue was in our price range...well it wasn't.  I was mad.  Just because you're building a custom home doesn't make you a millionaire. I like to know every dollar I spend and I mean, ever dollar! And I certainly don't need $4000 worth of garage doors on my house. No thank you, not after a 600 foot well expense!

I'll get over it all once we've moved in...

You can see the vent in the gables. I couldn't find this exact vent, it's not as cute and diamondy, but I hope to achieve the same affect. I LOVE those windows and I wish I had done a light roof. The roof choices we had, for some reason, didn't really have a light option. They were just...dark and darker. So I went dark. I love how simple the front is. 

This is where we are right now, except the front has some siding. The siding is skin color, ewe. It will be white soon enough. Probably next spring. We have SO much to do and buy that isn't going in our mortgage. MORT-gage. I don't need anything else attached to my death. 

This is the door. I spent a lot of time researching classic doors and I'm pretty sure this fits into the classic category. However, the grid inside is technically supposed to be leaded. These are just metal caning. Leaded glass windows are usually antiques. So, it's not totally authentic. A really authentic classic door would have been solid wood with some transoms probably. No ovals. Oval windows in doors are not classic. They are newer thing.

This is the ugly side of the house. I think they started siding here because they were "practicing." See, skin color. Ewe.
They brought me up to ask how I wanted the windows wrapped. I could not for the life of me think of how I wanted them wrapped. So many detailed decisions to make and I hadn't thought of that. I gave them artistic license (which can be scary) Yep there's a face on the right of the picture. That's James photo-bombing. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Best Decorating Advice, Hands Down!


laurel-bern-interiors-home-page- Westchester County Ny Interior Designer Decorator



















About a year ago, when we started getting serious about building and designing, I came across a blog that has been my inspiration for every detail. I was looking for SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, who could finally tell me the difference between trendy and classic.

First, you have to define classic and that's where Laurel Bern comes in. I have never read a blog that has such sound information on decorating. Here's why I like her--

She is a designer in Manhattan, for over 30 years now, and the part of her education that means the most to me, is her education in the history of architecture and design (She's also a paint expert) She knows what CLASSIC is.

I know that HGTV and all their makeover and design shows are really popular, and some of their stuff is very nice, but there's always a trend being pushed, like barn doors and faux french kitchen (double ugh). Those are all fun and cute for a while, but they eventually date houses.

What is classic? Well, classic is something that has withstood the test of time. It also usually involves the golden ratio. Humans are attracted to mathematically pleasing ratios. That includes faces of beautiful people, designs in nature and architecture, clusters of objects and distances between objects. When people mess with the golden ratio, it makes things less appealing to the eye. We either ignore it completely or we subconsciously or consciously find it unattractive.

Laurel has everything from paint palettes, to how high you hang a chandelier, to which kind of hardware is not going to date your house. Everything is actually a matter of dates. According to Laurel, there were certain times in history when they utilized the golden ratio and sound architectural and design elements that were appealing. (The Greeks and Romans were known for it) These eras did NOT include the 70's, 80's 90's or 2000's. Surprise! I believe some design trends today will be sneered at in the near future.

So, if you are interested in an amazing blog and some humor thrown in with beautiful designs and ideas...Laurel Bern Interiors is where to go.


Roof and Walls

As much as I hate driving 30 minutes to football every day, sports have helped us keep busy this summer. Warren did break his arm last week, so he's on rest for a little while. The basement is feeling more crowded each week, especially after starting school.

The first day was rough, but the rest of the week was good. We started getting up earlier, which was rough on some kids. They drag their blankets and slouchy pre-teen bodies onto the couch for reading time and scriptures at 7am. 

Stop Growing Up Kids!

The house has a roof! The next few weeks will be exciting. We decided James is more useful working, so the crew is going to sheet rock for us. It's a busy time of year. On top of his own business, James is also helping with harvest and greenhouses. 

From the dining room through the kitchen into the living room

The mudroom and down the hall to the pocket room

Front door


Back door

This house design was EIGHT YEARS in the making. It started as a hobby on floorplanner.com, then it became a dream to build our own house on land. Three years ago it became an option. Two years ago it became a goal, and in the last six months it became a reality. 

It's amazing to see something you've worked so hard on, come to life. It was HARD work. We sacrificed financially for many years to get to this point. Three years ago, there was no way we could have done this. We actually tried to move and build a bigger house in a nearby neighborhood and the lender all but laughed at us. I was so embarrassed! I took my folder with our financial information to find out what kind of loan we could qualify for (I even dressed in my power suit...yes I have ONE) and I had my tail between my legs when I left! But it was a great learning experience for us. I took a lot of mental notes on what we needed to do to get to this point. 

We used Dave Ramsey's advice (You finance people, laugh if you will, but it worked for us!) The closing process this time, with no debt, an emergency fund, and a large chunk of savings for a downpayment and a great credit score, was much more fun! It took us all of 1 hour to close on the loan and we stayed under our mortgage/income budget. 

My friend who just moved into her dream home, warned me that it's not all fun and games. We learned that with the surveying, three weeks of rain, and a 600 foot well. But, kind of like waiting for your baby to be born, it does happen eventually, even with some bad labor pains. 

There will be more pains, I'm sure of that...there are any number of things that can go wrong, but isn't that just how life works. Always waiting for the next crisis and enjoying the process when you can. 

Friday, August 03, 2018

Oh Well!

Family Reunion with 37 people and a stomach flu! Yay!



The well, by far, has been the biggest and scariest unknown and it seems like it enjoyed sucking money out the window with every foot!

They hit clean water at 110 feet but went to beyond 300 feet to find water that would last. They hit a cave though, and it kept caving in and bringing up debris. So they dug to 600 feet and hit 240 feet of water and sand. The flow is ok, but not as much as you'd want or expect for a $30,000 well. We're crossing our fingers today that the water comes out clean enough to case and call it good. This was quite a chunk out of our pockets, but I guess it's worth it to find good, forever water. It sure beats drinking water that tastes like chlorine all the time from city water.

 It was kind of amazing to see all the machinery and watch the water come gushing out. It's hard to imagine that the machine is puncturing three football fields deep. It reminds me of a giant mosquito.


The house is almost finished being framed. They have to finish putting the sheething on the second floor and then they'll do the roof trusses and finish the stairs. I was finally able to go upstairs! 

FUNNY STORY: It was driving me crazy that I couldn't walk around upstairs, so James took me out one night after the crew was gone and we climbed a HUGE scary ladder to the second floor. I'm a little embarrassed to admit, but I had a hard time getting in and out of the windows. I am not tall, and my legs would not reach from the window sill to the top of the ladder. If you can imagine, being over twenty feet in the air, on a window ledge and trying to get onto a rickety ladder! I kept saying, 
"I can't! I'm going to have to stay here forever!" I was on the verge of tears and I think my son was a little worried that I would actually be stuck forever. James threatened to come up and get me, which made me even more nervous! I don't think I'll be doing that again. I don't think I was supposed to be doing that anyway. 

We spend a lot of time just sitting around in lawn chairs on the land and when it's hot, we sit in the living room. We try to go early in the morning or later to watch the sunset when the workers are gone. The kids play on the dirt pile or go explore in the creek bed. Kyler likes playing with the scrap wood and making machines with pieces of 2X4's. 


This view is from the kitchen into the dining room. The pictures don't do justice to the mountains back there. They are so much bigger and prettier in person.


Living room view. I can't wait until there's snow flying around and a Christmas tree in the corner. (I hope we're in by Christmas!)







Right now it looks like an ugly office building without the roof and porches. They'll do those next. We also went and picked out windows and doors. That, I was NOT prepared for! I hadn't looked at any brochures or even knew they existed to look at. I had to pick everything on the spot without prices in front of me and the guy at BMC wasn't as informative as I would have liked. He was in a rush I think and I had no idea what was in our price range.  I also have a terrible, "Champagne taste on a beef budget problem...actually I don't drink either of those, but you get the drift) I finally just pointed to some that I liked and he jotted it down and that was it. Later, we realized we hadn't even picked out the pocket doors for the offices, which is a big deal. It was kind of a disappointing meeting. 



What's next?

They have to wrap the outside of the house in Tyvek
put the roof trusses on...shingles on next
get the plumbing, electric and
sewage system set up
install windows and doors
insulate
sheetrock and mud 

THEN WE TAKE OVER! 

We are going to ask for help with sheet rocking and mudding the walls. I do not know how to mud, nor do we have time in our building schedule to wait for amateurs like us. James will sheet rock, paint, lay hardwood and tile, install trim, and cabinetry. Then we'll get a bathroom and the kitchen set up and we'll move into the main floor and basement while we work on the upstairs. 

We got all of our material for the kitchen but still NO APPLIANCES! Why can't we commit? Because there's so much junk on the market! I don't want the silly gadgets that talk to you and ask what you would like to drink or eat and connect to the phone. That is not my style at all. I want it to do it's job, without glitches and I want it simple and sturdy. I also want the stove to work without power...power outages are a real thing up here in the winter!

We have already closed on the house, so that part of it is all done. There's nothing left to do with the bank, we just have to get a certificate of occupancy. Once we're in, we have until January to finish the upstairs and the bank will send someone out to take pictures and make sure everything is completed the way the bid says it will be. (WAY different than an FHA construction loan.)

This has been such a huge project! It's so much fun, but huge!

Moving In and, Our Family Photos

We've never had pictures taken for our family. We always took them ourselves. But my new SIL is a photographer and she kindly of...