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one month in.

updated on 12.31.15: thank you, pinterest pinners, for loving our house! a more current tour (at christmastime, no less!) is now posted here.


a month ago from yesterday, we moved in.

(and chaos and frustration ensued, and has not been entirely resolved yet. but hey! that's moving. it is what it is.)

i finally have a desk set up for my computer, and my computer is finally talking to the file server, so i can finally show you pix from the final walk-through, the day before closing.

(this was before the winds picked up, and dirt was blown against the house, and the sod was laid to prevent more dirt from blowing against the house. right now, the house needs a good, long bath.)

the front door ...

the girls' artsy-craftsy room ...

walking into the kitchen/dining/great room ...

(thankfully, the counters are now done and gorgeous.)

the front room (what the kids are calling "the wii room," for soon-to-be obvious reasons.)

through the kitchen are the mudroom, bathroom, and my studio ...

(we've since added mirrors to all the bathrooms.)

(and apparently i have no "after" photos of my studio or the mudroom. guess you have to wait.)

heading upstairs to the bedrooms, the laundry room, and the kids' computer loft ...

the master bath finally has all of its fixtures, too, and is quite lovely if i do say so myself. i'll take a new pic of that sometime later, too.

kids' bathroom ... now has the final lights in place, too. little mini galvanized barn lights like the ones by the front door. it looks super cute.

H's room ...

h's room ...

(guest room didn't make the photo cut. later, when it's decked out.)

time to go to the basement.


game/hang out area ... the wet bar also got a stainless counter top, like the kitchen island:

tv area ...

marc's office is through the barn door ...

the basement also has another guest room and another bathroom.

and there you have it.

it's a big house ... twice the size of our last one ... and the first week i wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into. cleaning it is a full-time job, walking up and down all those stairs 5,392 times a day is exhausting, all the hardwood on the main floor kills my feet. but there's something about the space ... the way it's configured ... that feels totally homey. we were very intentional about how we wanted the rooms laid out and the space used, so the whole house feels completely like a farmhouse; like nice, cozy, intimate rooms with purpose. there are no wide open spaces or soaring ceilings. it feels much smaller than it really is. can't wait to try it out with people and see if our theory of space allocation holds up.

right now we're unpacked to the functional stage. there are several projects going on that will lead to more rooms getting more finished. harper's beds are getting painted, i'm painting our old master bedroom bed for the guest room, i have big plans for both guest rooms, the couches are ordered (grr ... that's a post for another day), and things are starting to if not come together, they are coming together as eventualities.

and that's okay for now.

thanks for being excited for us throughout this journey. it's been a blast. i'll write next time about the process and what we learned ... there are some nuggets of wisdom in there somewhere, i bet!

out with the old, in with the new

i'll start with the new. because it's pretty cute.

meet tiger.

tigermittens skinner, to be exact.

he joined our family five days ago. a 10-week-old, three pound ball of feisty adorableness.

so far, mario is not impressed.

the "are you kidding me with this?"-ness coming from him is palpable, but yet he's being a good host and is refraining from going gangsta on itty bitty kitty. at most, he bats at tiger and gives a little meow of "pest! go away!" then tiger runs after mario and tries to attack his tail. mario is a tolerant boy, and so far, so good on the adopted sibling front.

and now for the old - which is also a little new in its own way:

miss harper has *finally* lost her first tooth! and the second is pretty darn loose. she has been heartbroken (her words) that she's the very, very last person (her assertion) in her class to lose a tooth (i have no verification of this fact), so to be able to run off to the bus stop this morning sporting a hole in her face gave her great pleasure.

so, way to go, harp ... hope being toothless is all you dreamt it would be!


the story behind the picture

see this?

looks like a nice little family outing, yes?

what you don't see is this:

a mom who really wanted to go to the sweet orchard with the chickens and horses and the kettle corn guy and the field to which you pull a wagon to go retrieve the pumpkins. and a dad who said no, the vikings game is at 3 it's too far away, let's go somewhere closer this year. so the mom did a google search, came up with this "u-pick" patch nine miles away, the dad said "perfect," and upon arrival they discovered the "patch" is basically a guy's backyard.

a little girl who whined about her tummy hurting pretty much the entire time. except when she decided to have fun and run around and laugh and eat apples off the tree.

a wife and mother whose attempts at saying something were totally ignored and talked over. (there's that "i'm a super hero and my awesome power is invisibility!" thing again.)

a pumpkin patch that yielded four tiny gourds for our efforts.

a charm on a favorite necklace that got stuck in the grates of a metal table on which the mom put her camera in an attempt to get one. friggin'. family. photo. out of this godforsaken trip to the "pumpkin patch," and which pulled as the mom stood up to run to the family while the timer was going, and which broke the mom's favorite necklace.

going to the shed to get four small, leftover pumpkins to show for the trip to the "orchard," paying for said pumpkins, then having to run to the car in the rain.

at which point the little girl immediately began whining about her tummy again.


man, do i love family outings.

super, duper, crazy in love.

that's how i feel about my kitchen.

i loved it before, but the stainless steel island counter top finally arrived today, and everything just clicked perfectly into place.

it's beyond dreamy. it's perfection.

and it just completes this kitchen in every little way.

nothing is in its final resting place by any means, but at least it's functional, clean, and looking a bit more like home.

even the cat is starting to relax and is claiming some territory just for him.

also helping me to relax and settle in? i finally have a towel bar and a mirror in the master bathroom. after two weeks of running back and forth from various bathrooms, i can now start and finish all in mine.

marc made sure he had that taken care of before his week in utah/los angeles/chicago, and i'm eternally grateful.

and when he gets home tonight, he'll be greeted by a yard, which was finished up today.

having grass also goes a long way to restoring some sanity around here. all the dust and dirt flying around and preventing open windows was making me claustrophobic and agoraphobic at the same time. that small patch of dirt remaining at the back of the lot will be tilled and seeded with native grasses and wildflowers, and we'll just let it grow.

talk about relaxing!

we will all exhale tonight and breathe deeply tomorrow. marc will finally be home, his meetings tomorrow were postponed, the kids don't have school, and other than the movers' repair guy and the light store's installation guy coming to do their respective deeds, we have a day of just being home and together.

and i'm super, duper crazy in love with that, as well.

slow but steady

i'm not ungrateful. really, i'm not.

i love this house. i'm abundantly aware of how blessed we are. however ...

i'd love to have something to sit on.

when you double your square footage, and leave furniture back at the other house so that it isn't completely empty while trying to find a buyer, you end up with the problem of having an entire floor of a home that is 100% void of furniture.

for the past two weeks, harper has eaten breakfast on the floor. henry and i have eaten it while leaning over the counter. i eat lunch out of one hand while wandering around and unpacking or cleaning or making lists, etc., with the other. dinners we drag down to the basement to sit at our dining room table from the other house, then after dinner we drag it all back upstairs again.

at some point, a plate is going to get dropped on the new carpet. i can feel it.

(we've been eating a lot of white meals.)

rumor has it we'll have a table next week. and chairs about a week after that. and maybe some sofas by thanksgiving.

however, that little expensive truck fiasco two months ago took a bite out of the furniture budget, as does having two mortgages. so things will come together, but they will come together slowly. and i can be patient. really, i can. waiting on furniture is the easy, expected part.

the not so easy part is the still waiting on counter tops for the kitchen and bar in the basement. still waiting for the cabinet maker to come alter the cabinet they built around the washer and dryer because it is too deep and i can't access the whole soap drawer. and now we need a drawer front replaced and repainted because harper disobeyed the other day and i used bad judgment and after washing her feet in the bathroom sink she tried to jump down and her skirt caught on the drawer knob and pulled the drawer totally out and it landed face-down on the tile and split the drawer front in half. and we're still waiting for the fix-it guy from the movers to come fix all the dings and divots the movers put in the walls and banisters, etc. we're waiting on lots of stuff to be finalized.

and i say "we" even though i was on my own last week, on my own this week, on my own next week.

i realize these are first-world problems, and i realized that this house will be amazing, but there is something so inately stressful about everything right now ... all the "unfinished" and "who-knows-when-it-will-be-done"-ness. on top of which i've been busier than expected with photo shoots, and my computer is still not recognizing the file server so i can't actually access these photos. and marc isn't home to fix it. and even when he does get home, he can't do anything to fix it until HIS computers are up and running, and that can't happen until we replace his desk. because the movers broke it. and it's unfixable.

and i'm lonely. and the kids are missing their dad. and when he's home for 48 hours, we're non-stop busy the whole time trying to get done whatever we can in that short amount of time, and "hanging out with the family" isn't making the cut.

this snowballing, domino-effect-ing, can't-do-one-until-we-do-the-other stuff is wearing on me. but i *am* looking at the big picture. i *am* counting my blessings. i *am* aware and appreciative of it all. i *am* getting through and making it work and keeping my keel even. just right now i need to say that the end of my rope is fast approaching. and it needs to be okay. we all have our ropes, they just aren't all the same, right?

i'm alive.

we moved in last sunday, worked our collective butts off all week long, i flew to maine on friday morning, shot a wedding all day saturday, flew home sunday ... and marc left yesterday morning for the week, i'm dealing with the moving company's repair guy trying to fix all the things the movers, let's say "tweaked", during the move, as well as landscapers dumping a literal ton of boulders in the backyard and moving them around all yesterday, still waiting for some countertops, etc. etc.

when i think about it, i'm not sure i've had a decent, relaxing day or good night's sleep or comforting meal in two weeks.

and i took many pix of the house on the day we closed, but they are all on a file server that my computer has decided to be estranged from since the move. so, no pix. yet. someday. fingers crossed.

i WILL share this one, from the wedding, of the groom zip lining to the ceremony from across the lake ...

it was a fun, happy, full-of-love day. and right now i'm tired, cranky, lonely, overwhelmed, and wishing for the day when our days can be fun and happy and not exhausting.

but the view out the back of the house is stunning, with all the changing leaves, and i hope to take the kids out this evening in the golden light and take some photos of them. because if we wait for marc to get home, the weather will change to rain and the light won't be nearly magical.

here's to hoping they cooperate with me. because i need it today.

but at least i'm alive. just maybe not kicking.

i'll get back to you on that.