Saturday, January 28, 2017

House Plans and Progress

We've had an exciting week... construction started on our new house!  It really just looks like a lot of dirt moved at this point, but nevertheless, so exciting and it's starting to feel very real!  I thought it'd be a good chance for me to share our house plans and to post some of our progress photos.  

Some of you asked where we are living in the meantime.  My husband's parents graciously let us move into their basement and even cleared out a huge section of their basement storage to store all of our belongings.  It's very cozy and spacious down there and we really appreciate our temporary home.  Justus is about five miles from work right now, but now we're also about 30 miles from our "home".  So every Friday we head to my parents house, where we spend the entire weekend.  This way both set of parents get a break from us.  ;-)  Ha!  

The photo above is the house plan we chose!  I always thought given the opportunity to build a new house, I would want to choose a farmhouse plan.  But after spending hours and days looking at house plans, we never could find a farmhouse plan with the floor plan we were looking for.  Justus actually found this bungalow craftsman house plan, and we both knew this was it.  We love the open floor plan, the use of square footage, and it just felt like "us".  

The exterior will look a bit different than the picture above in the use of materials.  The sides of the house and the back will be brick, and the front of the house (porch) and dormers will be 4" hardi lap siding (painted a creamy white, of course!).  We have a few other minor changes we are making... but hopefully the end result will be as charming as this rendition!  :-)  All the decisions make me nervous!

 One of my favorite side elevations is this side, with its chimney, side porch and dormer.  This side will face the pasture and we will enjoy its view from the kitchen, dining and living room.

 The first floor plan above... we have made some minor changes (like extending the great room wall out), but for the most part it will look as pictured. 


 And the second floor plan.  The rec room will be framed, but we will finish the rest ourselves.  Again, just a few minor changes (such as a tub/shower combo in the bathroom).   

 Friday the footers were dug!  So exciting for all four of us to see the first bit of progress.  Although our temporary living situation has been going well, we all miss having a home of our own.  The transition has been a little hard for our girls, so I was particularly anxious for them to see where their new home would be.  :-)  As you can see in the photo above, the main reason we moved was so that we could have all this space for our family!  We are so looking forward to having a spacious yard and being a good distance from the road.

The concrete for the footers will be poured this next week.  

The girls had a blast playing in all the holes.  :-)

This week we also got power to our lot!  The temporary pole is in, and eventually will be underground to the house.

Although we hired a general contractor, one of the jobs we (or my dad and Justus) did ourselves is bringing water to the lot.  As you can see, this was a huge undertaking and was made all the more difficult by all the rock they encountered.  But today water is officially to the lot!  

 And "all" (haha) that's left is back filling the trench.  Just a little rock!  ;-)

Huck also misses his home, but he's adapted so well and enjoys seeing his friend Belle on the weekends at the farm.  :-)  

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year and Saying Goodbye to our Farmhouse

I hope you and your family had a most wonderful Christmas!  As the year draws to a close, I feel thankful looking back and thinking of sweet memories made. Yes, there were difficult moments too, but how would we grow without them?  There's something so hopeful about starting a new year, thinking of the things I'd like to be better at, as a wife, a mother, and a friend.  

We said goodbye to our sweet farmhouse just a couple days before Christmas this year.  I realize this may come as a shock, and honestly, it doesn't feel quite real to me yet either as it happened so quickly.  Justus and I have periodically dreamed about building a home, always with the thought of it being sometime in the "future", and we've spent time off and on looking for land for sale in the area the past couple of years.  Unfortunately, very little is available, especially in smaller acreage amounts, and we did not want to leave this area.  But just a couple months ago, my parents sold us a couple acres in their lower pasture land of their farm, and we went through a rather arduous process of getting the small division approved with the city.  After it was approved and we had a deed in hand, Justus and I stuck a for sale by owner sign in our front yard, thinking it might be a while before we had any interest. Five days later, we had a signed contract and we could not have been more shocked.  

We finished packing and moving out of our house right before Christmas, and as you can imagine, there were bittersweet feelings.  That little farmhouse was my haven... we put so much time and effort into fixing it up the past six years and from the first moment I walked into it, I loved it.  But after the house was empty, I looked around and realized that without my family in it, and our belongings, it was just a house.  A precious house, yes, but nonetheless, there weren't any feelings of regret or unhappiness in leaving it and moving forward.   

I have to tell you that we sold it to the sweetest couple.  They are young, and recently married.  They grew up in this area, and she had memories of spending time in the neighborhood as her grandmother's house had been just down the road. I felt so thankful for the contentment in knowing that they loved the house just as much as we always loved it.  Probably the hardest thing about leaving was saying goodbye to our chickens.  But these sweet new owners also adopted our chickens, as we no longer had a home for them, and I know they, and our neighbors, continue to love and care for them.

The day we closed on our house, we also signed a contract with a general contractor for the building of our new home.  So although there were bittersweet feelings leaving our old house, we also had/have so much to look forward to.  

More than ever, I'm thankful for all the moments I recorded on this blog of our farmhouse and the memories made there.  I will treasure them. And now, as a new year begins, I'll begin recording our new adventures as we move forward.  Thank you for being there with me from the beginning, encouraging us as we made slow progress on our farmhouse.  You'll never know what that meant to us!  

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Laundry Room (Again)

 Happy Fall!  Is anyone still reading?  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if all have given up on me! I 'm so behind on updating here and posting some of our house projects!  Which is actually good in one sense, because it means we've gotten some things accomplished!  :-) 

After moving in, painting the laundry room and exposing the original ceiling was one of the first projects we did and it made such a huge difference.  Then last year we made a few more updates to complete this room, like replacing the shelving and adding new trim.   You can see the first laundry room post here which has all the before pictures! 

Having a laundry room that opens up to the back door and has a lot of through traffic (located between downstairs bath and kitchen) has forced me to keep a tidy laundry room and also a decluttered one!  In our previous house, our laundry room was a separate room where I could close the door and forget about the piles of laundry.  Not so much since we've lived here. ;-)  Daily laundry is a must or the piles accumulate, but it's also gotten me into a few really good habits.  

 We also added a peg rail on the back wall for hanging some of our utility items, like brooms, egg basket, dust pans, etc.  (During the summer, this also became a place to store all the ball caps - wink.)  After visiting a shaker village several years ago, I loved the idea of utilizing pegs on the wall to store items.  Since then, Justus and I have incorporated pegs in several places throughout our house.  

When we moved in, the laundry had some existing open shelves, which we used for several years.  Last year we replaced the shelving, but I wanted to keep it open as before.  The open shelving helps keep the clutter down and also helps keep the room looking open and bright. This year I also repainted the ceiling.  When we first remodeled, I painted it blue also, but I went a little more subtle this time around.  This is probably a change that is only noticeable to me!  ;-)  I painted the shelves white.  At first I tried staining a gray color, but I was unhappy with the results.  While I like the idea of it, I feel like in a house like ours where there are so many different materials and textures, white just helps everything flow a little more smoothly. 

  There are two small little windows on each side of the back door and I love the light they let in.  It's always a bright, cheery room and makes the laundry tasks a little more pleasant!  None of these pictures are styled for this blog post, but happy for you, I did move all of the dirty clothes out of the basket for these pictures.  ;-)  When I first bought this laundry basket beside the washer for our dirty clothes, I thought it too small, but it's actually been the perfect size.  When it's full, it's time to do a couple loads, so this is just another thing that helps me keep on the ball.

Having open shelving like this, I've had to get a little creative with storage.  Baskets are always a must for corralling smaller items!

I also use various buckets for holding items that aren't visible to anyone.  The large tub on the top shelf (pictured a ways above) holds miscellaneous items, like winter hats. I have a bucket that stores all of our clothes pins and the chamber pot holds cleaning rags.  

 On the other side of the laundry room, we added a shelf above the dryer for extra storage.  And while everything pictured so far looks tidy, I can assure you that everything in that white cabinet next to the dryer is a cluttered mess!  Instead of a junk drawer, we have an entire cabinet!  ;-)  

 Just for fun, the above photo is a before photo of the laundry room after we removed the styrofoam ceiling tiles and exposed the original ceiling.  You can see we hadn't done any work in the kitchen yet!  It was so dark and dreary.  And the after picture below.  (These before and after pictures are really for me... just serve as a reminder that we actually have done a few things around here!)

 (Huck's favorite sunbathing spot...)

And here's a real life photo of life around here on a daily basis... never ending laundry and ironing.  But I sure am thankful to have a cheerful, pretty room to do it in!  :-)  

I'll try to post some more of our house projects soon.  Spending a little more time here has been a goal of mine for awhile, but I never can seem to quite get there!  I'm always open to blog post suggestions... I know a few of you have asked for a cleaning post, and while I don't feel like I have much to share there, I'll try to get that done too!  I also have got to post some about our flower business and try to get some summer pictures posted for myself as memories.  ;-)  

Hope you're having a wonderful October so far!  

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