Sunday, November 24

135 days down...12 to go!

Hard to believe it but we are less than two weeks from moving into our house. And despite all my protestations otherwise, it has gone really fast. I am pretty sure though that we have entered some sort of slow-motion time warp since time seems to be standing still. Luckily we have Thanksgiving and a trip to New Jersey to distract us this week.

Lots of stuff happening now - not the least of which is the new BLUE color of our house! Without shutters it looks a little naked and it really needs the beautiful front porch (see rendering below although not going on until the spring) but I am still in love with it.

FINAL Porch View 2

The punch list currently stands at 54 items - some major, some minor. I am super excited about the wallpaper (which in the dining room I totally ripped off of fellow home blogger Sara Abbott - but in a different color) which will be installed next week. Appliances are almost all in and I eagerly await the installation of our Wolf range and the shiny red knobs. The built ins around the fireplace turned out gorgeous and exactly like the picture I sent our builder in March. It is amazing to see all of our ideas come to life.

The master bath is almost done complete with glass shower doors.The new marble vanity countertop has arrived and I dare say even prettier than the other cracked version. This weekend they took out the giant tree stumps which puts an end to the saga of our massive tulip poplar tree that we took down earlier this year and which began this whole process. The front and back yards went through a major clean up (I even pitched in!) and are ready for some pretty green sod. We had the house re-appraised this week and it came back at a healthy figure which puts an end to that part of our saga (see my May posts to relive that nightmare if you are bored).

We know that even after we move in the process isn't over. But the idea of getting back to "normal" and to have space to spread out and run around outside is so exciting we can hardly stand it!!! Most of all, we cannot wait to just sit back (literally) and relax. No running to and from the house to the apartment, no more worrying about selections and payments and refinancing and packing. No more cabin fever inflicted kids and most of all, a heck of a lot less stress. And for all of that - and so, so much more, we are THANKFUL!!!

Thursday, November 21

What Really Matters

As I sat down to write a new post to you - my adoring fans who have been BEGGING...for more of my brilliance, I just can't get into it tonight. For the past two days my mind has been drifting to the sadness that old friends of ours from Chicago are feeling tonight after losing their sweet little three year old girl Sadie who had long, and bravely battled Aircadi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. While I've learned that children with the syndrome have a shortened life expectancy, her death came as a shock to everyone who grew to love her especially after reading her mom Cathy's blog.

Cathy used to work with Mike when we were first out of college and was just one of those cool chicks that you connect with. Those were crazy days full of long hours and lots of nights out in Chicago bars with a group of his co-workers who became close friends. We have long (LONG!) since left Chi-town but still follow friends on FB. When Sadie was born and Cathy started blogging about it, I grew to really love and respect they way she faced challenges with humor and true grace.

Hearing that Sadie died this week hit me hard. It brought me back to this time 5 years ago when my sweet baby niece Zoe passed away. Knowing how impossibly horrible it was for my sister and her husband to let go of Zoe, made it that much more real for me knowing what Cathy and Adin went through this week. I imagine Zoe is up there like a true princess  (if she's anything like my sister) holding court and welcoming all her new friends including Sadie to "her" playground.  :)

All of this has made me feel very silly for all this nonsense about a house and all the materialistic things associated with it. It's not that we aren't grateful for what we have and Mike and I have worked really, really hard for this dream of ours. But it takes something like this to remind me of what really matters. 

So instead of pictures of my new appliances - which are indeed fabulous and which I did just post one on FB! - I write tonight in honor of Sadie and Zoe, and Cathy and Shannon and all those who have lost little ones. It is the greatest fear a mother has and the best possible reason to appreciate the time we do have with our babies. I hugged my kids a little longer this week and hope you will too. 



Sunday, November 17

So close!!!

A week ago I woke up and wrote a list called "There's No Way...." Which listed all the things left to be done before we could move in in
three weeks.

I was so convinced we would be delayed, I stopped by our leasing office and asked how long we could stay here in the apartment if needed. But damn...what a difference a week makes.

This week brought lights, floors, plumbing, outdoor paint, outdoor stairs and more! A few pics below.

Mike and I spent the weekend installing the laundry room floor (our one part of this project...besides paying for it of course!) and ordering our new washer and dryer. All very exciting!

Tomorrow....the biggest day of the year....APPLIANCES!!!! Can't wait.











Monday, November 11

Let There Be Light!

The kids and I went to the house tonight - ready for another tour in the dark with our iPhone flashlight. When we pulled into the driveway there was a light in the kitchen. Ava's immediate response, naturally, was that there were squatters living in the kitchen which only upset me until I realized my shiny new Wolf range wasn't installed yet (Shallow Al). Anyway, despite this interesting theory, it turns out that in reality we had POWER - which was a surprise! The kids and I ran through the entire house - room by room - flicking on the light switches and screaming for joy each time a light came on. It was so much fun. Sadly, Mike is in San Francisco for work this week and didn't get to join in the light-a-polooza but we called him so he could share in the happy dance!!!

As I said in my last post, I was planning on waiting until the house was in a little better shape in terms of paint to share the rooms (there's only one coat on most of the walls) but I just can't wait any longer for your exclamations of joy and your profound respect for my color selections (kidding...kind of). I had some doubts about some of them - which I shouldn't have considering it took me 2 months to select them - but every time I go over there, I love them more. And when the window treatments and other details are in (like the polka dots going all over Ava's walls) I think it will be even better.

On tap this week are hardwood floors, PAINT on the outside of the house (watch out neighbors!), built ins, railings, and more.

THREE MORE WEEKS!!!!! Can't believe it.

Saturday, November 9

Window Coverings

I am so excited to show you all the work that is happening at the house. They have put the first coat of paint in all the rooms - which makes it all incredibly real. But I am going to wait to reveal all of it until they put the second coat on since right now it looks a little sketchy.

I am now focused on window coverings since some rooms must have them when we move it and because I think curtains can really make a room in terms of design. First up is Bobby's room. The paint color is a really awesome green from Sherwin Williams called LeapFrog. His furniture is navy blue and I want to bring in a lot of white and maybe even some orange - to make it fun and boyish without being boring browns. I ordered these curtains from Pottery Barn Kids and I think they will look awesome.

Rugby Stripe Curtain for Bobby's Room

Next up is the living room which now has a very cool feature wall that is painted in Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I am going to fess up and say that I completely copied the color of the wall and the curtains from another blog that I love called Life On Virginia Street. I am not normally one who copies design - it is really personal and I am adverse to cookie cutter ideas. But since we both had board and batten walls (by coincidence) and we both clearly like the same colors, I made an exception and copied away. Here is her version - which is gorgeous. I found the Kravet Riad Clove fabric online for 50% off - which is good since it is normally ridiculously expensive. Now I just need to swindle my mom into making them into curtains for me.

Our soon to be living room wall color and curtains!

I haven't figured out what to do in our bedroom or bathroom which is top of the list since 1. we have a ton of windows in those two rooms and 2. our neighbors are not likely interested in what we have to offer if ya know what I mean.

Next up in the house...FLOORS!

Sunday, November 3


With less than 5 weeks to go, things are moving along very nicely! This week they primed the entire house with a very light beige paint which required them to cover up all of the windows - which combined with the paint gives the entire house a marshmallow type feeling. It's like a coating of Fluff.

This was a big week - the granite is in! This was probably the most difficult selection we made. We really REALLY wanted marble and I almost fell for the stone guy who told me "doonnn't worry! it will be fine" which I am pretty sure is a line I also heard in college once. But anyway, after mentioning it to a few people, one of which sent me a picture of a pretty pink tomato sauce stain on her brand new marble counter, I panicked and nixed the marble idea. I thought it would be easy to find an alternative - but no. An exact match just doesn't exist. We almost went with an engineered product called Cambria - but I kept hearing the line from "He's Just Not That Into You" where Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Connelly are in Home Depot arguing over fake wood and she says "If it's a fake, it should just be a fake and not try to pretend to be real" or something like that. Anyway, there aren't that make good white granite colors out there that aren't RIDICULOUSLY expensive. In the end we picked one called Colonial White and so far - despite the walls being a lighter shade of 80s peach and the windows being covered up like a house where someone died - we really like it. I can't wait until they take the plastic off of it (another thing skewing the color a bit) and open up the windows and turn on the lights. Me thinks it will be spectacular.

Also arriving (drum roll please...) was the kids vanity and new sink (American Standard), a floor length medicine cabinet (Restoration Hardware) and a bunch of other little stuff. All of the light fixtures are going in this week which is super exciting since I am firm believer that lighting is the single most important decorating tool. I picked out floor stain color, two different kinds of carpet and an oh-so-exciting vinyl floor for the utility room in the basement.

There have been some hiccups along the way - fo sho. When we get the keys back to our house, I will gladly share some of my deep thoughts on building a house. Until then, I will keep my big mouth shut and my shiny, happy disposition in check. Ha ha... :)

Now I am onto to some of the super fun stuff like buying furniture....ok...buying is a strong word. Ooogling furniture is more like it since we are a long way away from being able to buy anything but a girl can dream!

Hard to believe it's November! We started this process on January 17, 2012 when we first emailed our builder and met with him for a few hours to walk through our house. Closing in on two years's almost a reality!

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