Friday, February 6, 2015

Linnea's room

I started and finished a sewing project 2 weekends ago. It was single digits out and we were cozy here at home. The kids wanted to sew too and I let them do what they pleased with the scraps. Every time I got up to iron, one of them sat down at my machine to sewing something.  It was pretty fun.

Here are 2 lousy iphone photos of some their projects:

Here is my project, a wall pocket quilt:

It only took two afternoons to complete, but it has taken me a week and a half to post any pictures!  It felt wonderful to get out my forgotten fabrics and make something again.  I have a stack of other projects to work on next and I am excited about them all. I have quilt tops finished for the boys' beds and a quilt top started for Linnea's bed. I am eager to get those done and on their beds for them.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos of Linnea's room.  I like her room and so does she.  We still have curtains to hang, she kind of needs a dresser and maybe a bigger rug, but for now, the room is quite comfortable.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sinking in

We moved in over 2 months ago, and despite requests, I have yet to post anything about it or even share photos.  At the end, the stress of building and moving took its toll on me, in a big way, and I am still recovering.  We moved in and celebrated the winter holidays and now we are relaxing and finding our new rhythm.  I thought I might miss the building process and wondered what I would do with myself after it was all done, but right now I just want to move on.  I might like to be involved in home building, just not my house.

We are all sinking into this new life.  Our days are our own again. I am enjoying being a family, cooking, running, sewing, reading and playing with the kids, having friends over, and just living in a house where sun streams through the windows in January.

We have quite a list of up-coming projects, because the house is only mostly done (so many built-ins to come). It's not yet decorated, fully organized or photo-ready, but it doesn't matter.

I just like being here. I like our family here.  I like being a mom and wife here.  I like being me here.

What I have been trying to wrap my brain around, is that we created a reality from my daydreams. And now, instead of daydreaming all the time, I find myself exactly where I have wanted to be for the last 15 years.  I feel at home, in the deepest sense.

I know it is just a house, but it's not. It is the home and life I have been looking for my entire life; Dan, our kids, Alaska. Our life is different here, our family is different here. Moving 3/10ths of a mile changed us and made our family better.  How do you put all that in a Facebook post?

So, here we are, enjoying life and feeling grateful.

I still daydream, in a lovely new spot.  I am excited to figure out what is next for our family.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Interior Details - Part 3

We are so close now.  We got our Certificate of Occupancy from the Municipality almost 2 weeks ago.  Since then, there has been a pretty constant push to finish.  There was a little tension on the job site between what I would call the "40+ hour folks" and the small crew that seemed to think 28 hours a week was enough.  I have been frustrated and disappointed by that aspect of the build, and have said so many times over the last couple months to our contractor, but nothing changed.  Oh well, moving on.

Meanwhile, things did get done.  There is now only a one-page list of little items that need to be completed. Our foreman checks on those items every day and our hard-working painter will be around for another week or two doing touch ups and finishing out the garage.

The appraiser guy came by today for more photos.  I hope it is done enough that we can finalize our long-term mortgage.

Here are a few photos from today:

I am kind of in love with my kitchen, despite its missing parts (a little paint on the hood, lighting in the stained glass cabinet, a dish hutch, and two tall china cabinets to complete the archway - all coming soon).  We cleaned it all up last night for the the appaiser guy, so most of my pics are of the kitchen. 

That is November sun shining in the windows at about 10:30am!  I was loving that today.


Living room (bad iPhone pic) - I am pretty pleased with the way the fireplace came together.  I am looking forward to a getting a fire going in it the night we move in.

 Southwest corner of the living room at about 3:30pm this afternoon.

 Master bath vanity all ready for us to move in.

Kids' bath vanity - custom color chosen by our kids.  All three kids looked at the Sherwin-Williams fan deck and agreed on this color and I said "Ok, let's do it!"  I couldn't believe they picked a color together so quickly.  It is fun splash of color in our mostly-white house.

I am so ready, except there is much packing to be done at the current house.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will able and ready to move in this coming weekend. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Interior Details - Part 2

Our project manager has been making a big push to get the house ready for final inspections so we can get a Certificate of Occupancy from the Muni this month.  Once we have it, we will be able to finalize our mortgage and maybe actually move in.

So, the build site has had a lot of people popping in for a bit of work over the last few weeks.

Finish work - We have had 3 different finishing crews on site, all amazing craftsman. Bath and Laundry cabinets are are in.

The stair handrail is almost done.  It needs paint and a piece of Cherry on top to finish it off.  It should go in on Monday or Tuesday.

Doors and Windows are all beautifully trimmed out.  Actual doors will be hung this week or the next and hardware installed. The shiplap wainscot is almost done, and the tongue-groove ceiling is done in the main living areas.

Cabinetry - my kitchen cabinets are half in.   The island will get a butcher block top in a few days.  The cabinets were designed by me and were beautifully built by a local cabinet maker, as was my bath vanity.

Dan built our guest bath vanity.

The laundry and kids bath cabinets are from a manufacturer with custom paint colors.

Painting - We had a very hard working solo painter who finished up the exterior last month and has been bouncing around the inside and pushing along the finish carpenters.  Last week, as soon as they put up trim, he was behind them filling holes and sanding.  Thankfully, he has had some help this week and the last.

Tile work...still needs some baseboard tile and grout, bathroom windows and niches are not quite done, and there a few spots that just need grout.  Despite that list, I am happy with the progress.

The plumbers have started installing the fixtures.

The electrician has been busy too and should be ready for an inspection mid-week.

Dirt work - mailbox is going in on Monday and maybe some more gravel for additional parking.  We will do some additional landscaping in the spring, but it will be fine for this winter.

Last weekend, I just wanted something to be done, anything.  I am still waiting, but things are getting close.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Exterior Details - Part 4

The exterior is nearly complete!  Over the last month, painting was finished, gutters attached, exterior lighting installed, front steps and deck steps were added, boardwalk framework was placed. The last items include: the cedar planking on the boardwalk between the garage and house (which will be completed closer to the end to keep it in good shape), installing the doorbell button and house numbers, washing the windows and garage doors, and some dirt work.

We have had only one minor disappointment relative to the exterior.  For the last several months, I have asked about having the garage doors and the jam of the blue doors painted Slate like the windows.  There was much debate about which painter would get the job. The other day I was informed it was now too late in the season to paint the aluminum doors.  I decided it was in my best interested to just bite my tongue about asking about it for months, since it is minor and can be done next summer. That said, I can still vent about it here. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014


My real house feels like total chaos.  No one seems to mind, except me. Note the two kids reading blissfully. The third one is on the computer, completely unaware of his surroundings.

After another busy summer day, I couldn't get myself to deal with it (the kitchen and table look worse), so I took a walk to see today's progress. Three different crews were at the house today.  

The gables got another coat of red paint.

Our framers finished a little porch off the back of the garage.

The drywall crew finished taping and began mudding the house.

I seriously wanted to sit there and live in the daydream of that empty house.  

After a while, I headed home to half packed boxes; abandoned art, science and sewing projects; piles of fabric, tile, countertop, and paint samples; boxes of door sets and lighting fixtures; dishes for days; and a dinner to start.  

I am so grateful that we get to build this house.  It is so awesome and the crews are wonderful. So far the stress has almost nothing to do with the execution of the design.  Our framing crew is amazing and will be doing most of the finishing work, as well. It is just the coordinating of choices and making decisions, going through invoices, documenting everything and, of course, the ever-present budget that are taking over my life.  It is summer and I feel more stressed out because I am busy missing it.

I keep telling myself that within 6 months, all this stress will fade into memory.  

I can barely wait.