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further confirmation

after a yummy lunch at burger jones on saturday, we went on a family outing to another model home from our builder.

marc and i are firm believers in seeing as many reference homes as possible to get an idea of what we've gotten ourselves into with this build thing and with this builder.

and yet again, we're fully satisfied with our choice.

we wanted to see this one because 1. its size is roughly the same as ours, 2. its pricepoint is in the ballpark of ours, and 3. the style seemed to be more in our vein than some others we'd seen recently. all good reasons, we thought.

immediately upon entering, we saw several things that look like options we've spec'ed out:

hand-scraped dark floors: check.

square posts on the stairway: check.

white enameled trim: check.

front door painted black: check.


then we looked at the kitchen, and found more similaries:

white shaker-style cabinet doors, dark countertops (though ours will be soapstone, not granite), similar appliances (french door fridge, double wall oven/mic unit, cooktop).

it all looked pretty.

then we went into the little nook shown above, with the work station. there was an interesting window above it that appeared to look out upon nothing ...

until we took a closer look.

that window looks down on something in the basement that is very special, indeed. something that had both of my boys saying, "waaaannnnttttt!!!!!"

a sport court.

once they'd had their fill of the awesomeness of that little space, we went upstairs.

standard boy room, girl room, spare room, and bathrooms ...

and a calm, cool master.

and a bonus space in the stairway landing.

then back down, we went.

we decided it is a nice house, nice layout, nice room sizes. roomy without being too big in one area and too small in another.

we decided we like ours better.

and ours will be amazing.

or so we think.

right now, it just looks like this:

(i've started an album in the right-hand column about the build, if you'd like to follow along.)

a new day

thank you to those who lifted up a prayer for the south in the past few days. your names were counted ... then i rounded up. i'll send the full amount to recovery efforts ... we'll call it our tithing this month.

the sweet little vase goes out to ursula, who was randomly selected from those who responded. so, congrats, ursula, and bless you!

over the past few days, things have definitely changed around here.

on monday, we got word that things with the bank were finally squared away and good to go.

on tuesday, we closed on the build loan.

on wednesday, i drove out to the lot to check on a tree that needed to be moved, and saw this:


at this point, it was more like: scraping away the topsoil within the parameters of the stakes!!! but still ... progress is progress.

that evening, all of us went out to see what had been accomplished during the day ...


the tree that needs to be moved was left alone, which is good, because it could have ended up looking like this other tree ...

and i have to give props to the guy in the digger. he was 100% aware of the proposed placement of said tree ...

there is about a 10" perimeter around the tree stake i put in the ground. hopefully the tree guy will get out there before that stake disappears ... i don't think the diggers can be diligent forever.

thursday evening we went out again to see what day two had brought. and by golly, we have a footprint.


and a gravel driveway. and a tree that really, really needs to be moved.

we also met another neighbor, a guy who lives directly across the park from us. a guy who plays pro hockey for switzerland, and this is his family's "summer home."

i think they need to be our new best friends. but then we'd be FORCED to visit them in switzerland.


friday afternoon, marc and i stopped by for a quick peek before running some errands, and saw that the foundation forms are loaded and ready, and the sump pump appears to be placed.

the excitement may be back, folks.


last night, harper had her dear friend over for a sleepover,

so once we run her home, we'll go check on the dirt again. maybe i'll even remember to take the real camera this time and not just my phone. because who knows what day four will bring ...

happy problems lead to a giveaway

i have happy problems.

as a family, we have happy problems.

delays from the bank have been frustrating us. but that only means that we are able to even consider building a home and moving right now, in a real estate environment that is no longer easy to negotiate.

we are concerned we're going to have to pay someone to buy our house because the market is so much lower than it was seven years ago. but that only means we may have less money in the end to buy a new table or a new bed for the new house.

we closed on our loan today and basically wiped out our savings to give the bank our down payment. but that only means that over the past few years we've been able to build up a savings account, when so many others are struggling just to make ends meet each month.

so much of the process of getting ready to move i've had to do on my own. but that only means marc is well employed in a stable job that he kicks butt at each and every day.

today harper found ants in our house. but that only means we have a house for ants to enter, unlike so many who have lost their home due to money or earthquakes or tsunamis or floods or tornadoes.

we were sad that henry's track meet was rained out for a second week in a row. but that only means we had two rainy saturdays to be home as a family, which is way better than being sad that storms ripped apart our family home.

we get to watch bulldozers begin to dig our home tomorrow. which is so much happier than watching a bulldozer turn under all the torn apart pieces of our lives, flattening it smooth to make way for rebuilding of the physical, while we question how we can ever rebuild the intangible.

we have happy problems.

no little irritation or delay or wrench in the works can compare to the strain and uncertainty and heartbreak that so many others are dealing with right now.

we were horrified when the earthquake in haiti destroyed so much. we were saddened by the earthquake in new zealand. the earthquake and tsunami in japan left us stunned, breathless with disbelief and horror. the tornadoes in the south a couple of weeks ago broke my heart. the tornado that went through north minneapolis on sunday was shocking. the tornadoes in missouri yesterday just seem cruel.

and i feel helpless, sitting here with my happy problems.

but from so many of these tragic events, the result is, many times, the grace of strangers.

an outpouring of love.

it's impossible to know god's plans for us when such a series of events start to stack up. we wonder why. we wonder when it will stop. we curse misfortune and tragedy instead of giving thanks for god's grace and will.

his love.

i've had this little pottery "love" vase for several months, just waiting for the right time to offer it as a giveaway.

this is that time.

i want to see the love you all have for those who are hurting right now.

leave me a comment on here, sharing a prayer or good thought of support and encouragement to those who are suffering. i will choose randomly from all entrants, and one of you will win this little piece of love. giveaway will close on friday, may 27, at 11:59 p.m.

and for every comment left, i will donate $1 to an organization working to bring relief to the south and missouri in the wake of these storms, up to $100.

i know there are a lot of people who read this little blog of mine and never say a word. right now, i'm asking you to say a small word of love and hope and have your name counted. let's see if 100 of you can come out.

and i will love each and every one of you for being a part of this. because in good times and bad, loving each other is all we can really do to begin the work of healing.

* for more information on where to donate to the storm victims, see the list here and here.

** the love vase is approx 3" high, handmade pottery. the artist is luke wright, a potter who owns mudlove pottery in winona lake, indiana, who faithfully sends a percentage of all his sales to help bring clean water to africa. he's also my cousin.


things *may* progress this week, but then again they may not.

so let's talk about something else.

i finally got the photos from snorkeling in the dominican last month. marc didn't pack the cameras after all.

and there you have it.


this was an awesome post, wasn't it?

yanking my chain.

that's how i feel right now ... that this whole build process is one big "yanking my chain" ordeal.

"we have everything."

"we need one more thing."

"we'll be ready in 7-10 days."

"we have to wait for this to clear."

"we have to run something again because it's been too long since we ran it the first time."

oh. my. lord.

shoot me now.

and it isn't even the actual build ... it's the bank process. but we can't continue on with the build until the bank is squared away. and since the mortgage/lending industry has gone kablooey over the past couple of years, they are now being super strict about lending anything. especially in the amount that we're asking for. even though our credit is nearly impeccable and we were pre-approved for way more than what we intend to spend.

we were finally told that a signature from the appraiser would come last week and we'd be on our way, then the appraisal came back $4,000 short. are you kidding me?? so we worked that out and were told okay, the signature will be back first of this week. tuesday morning we find out they now need tax information from two years ago.

tax information we friggin' PACKED because the bank told us they had everything they needed.

so now we wait on the IRS.

this build, that we planned to start in april so that we could be in before school starts, has not even begun yet and we're closing in on the end of may. which means being in before school is not gonna happen. which means that actually moving will now potentially fall on a weekend in late september, when i planned a girl weekends with some friends, or early october, when we have a wedding in maine.

happy? no. i'm not. excited? not so much anymore.

this is getting downright ridiculous.

to console myself and try to keep the enthusiasm alive, i've been dreaming about art for the great room. we'll have beautiful built-in shelves around the fireplace ... something kinda like this:

except our shelves will stop at mantle height, and the fireplace surround won't be stone ... we're leaning toward glass subway tile or marble.

however, i'll need some pretties on those shelves and some art on the wall. so cyber-pretend-shopping i have gone. this is what i've found:







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(collection of mccoy pottery)


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(via ... already own, so, yay.)

something's gotta keep a girl going. and shopping ... even if only pretend ... is usually a good option.

staked. (insert vampire joke here.)

(i'm not into vampires*, so i can't do it myself.)

(*unless you count "the lost boys." then, yes.)

our dirt was surveyed, and we now have stakes.

so ... i don't totally get what all the stakes are. some say "hse," which i assume is "house," and some say "gar," which i assume is "garage." there are others that seem to imply building line ... is that "building" line, noun, ie the line at which our building, ie house, runs along? or "building" line, verb, ie the line at which the fence goes to hold the construction in and the neighbors out? don't know. and marc has no interest in going out there with me to see our stakes and offer an opinion. so, your guess is as good as mine. perhaps better, if you've built before.

regardless, it's fun to see the footprint. or, the footprint within the footprint, given what those lines actually mean.

it was way fun to walk to the back line and think, here's the view from my kitchen window!

nice view.

so we're staked. yay. a little more paperwork and signing needs to shuffle around for a day or seven, and then we get to FINALLY make a dent in the dirt and get this going.

or so i'm told.

for sale:

one lovely 1965 rambler in the south metro.

lots of work and money lovingly spent on it in the past 6.5 years.

and now it can be yours.

so, please: welcome!

you'll notice as you walk in the front door, the formal living room has been set up as a dining room. why? the current family hasn't ever felt the need to have three places in the house with a sofa upon which a person can sit. a dining room was more necessary. but the room can totally be a third site for sofa placement, if you so desire.

now let's walk through to the kitchen and the back of the house.

here we have the large, recently updated kitchen with stainless appliances, and a nice eat-in area.

IMG_0764   IMG_0794
now let's move on to the loveliest part of the house: the sun room.

look at all that light! it comes in from all three sides as well as the cathedral ceiling! and out those windows is a great view of the nearly half-acre yard and large, three-level deck. but when you are sitting down, all you can see are the trees, and you suddenly feel that you live in the middle of a forest, with leaves all around you in your beautiful, bright tree house. and it will be your most favorite place in the whole house.

okay. let's check out the bedrooms.

bedroom number one:

cute. cozy. bright.

and bedroom number two:

roomy and full of light.

now, the master:

again, lots of light. this house is full of it. it will blow you away how something can be surrounded by trees and yet be filled with light all day long.

quick peek into the bathroom ...

each of those brown tiles on the floor was lovingly hand painted. they used to be pink. and yellow. and baby blue. and seafoam.

okie dokie ... to the basement.

down here we have a large, finished family space that includes built-ins and a storage closet under the stairs, as well as a large window and a patio door that leads to the back yard.

there is also a three-quarters, newly-remodeled bathroom down here ...

as well as a laundry room which includes (but that's a secret: the current owners would like to use them as bargaining power) cherry red front-loading washer and dryer and storage space.

lastly, there is a fourth bedroom/office with big windows and a spacious closet:

so there you have it. and it can all be yours for, shall we say, a bargain. really, it is, considering what the current owners paid for it ...

- - - - -

and now we wait.