exciting news!

we bought land!

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it has been nearly 2 years that we have been trying to secure land in a specific neighborhood in our town, and after all this time it is finally done!  we closed escrow last week on a 2 1/2 acre parcel that we had been waiting on to be split from the original owner.  that split process that we thought would take just a few months from when we started, took much, much longer!  but thankfully, we are done and its ours!

even though it wasn’t officially ours, we decided several months ago to move forward with designing a home for it.  we’ve renovated and remodeled a few homes since we got married, but never completely started from scratch before, so this is a whole new kind of adventure for us.  we keep saying that we’re crazy to do this all over (we built our last house from the sub-floor up), but it took us 9 years to muster up the energy to do it again!

after interviewing several local builders, we decided to go with a design/build firm that walks us through 3 phases: design/concept, construction documents/permits, and construction.  we are nearing the end of phase 1, after going through several rounds of design alterations.  i did the majority of the design myself, but it has been so fun to work with a professional who really sees my vision for our property, has patience with my changes, and has been great at helping me tweak the spaces that weren’t working properly.

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designing this house has been both fun and grueling!  i love love love the design process, but since i was starting with no frames, no lines to color within, it was a little daunting at times.  i have a fat file folder stuffed with plans that have been revised repeatedly.

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our plan is a simple box of sorts, a basic rectangle 2-story structure.  we are looking to keep things classic and modern, and very economical.  i’ll be sharing more of our vision soon!

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(trying to figure out stair placement and layout was so tricky!  we had to have 17 stairs and they had to work in one specific area.  i definitely relied on our designer to work out that detail in the end for me!)

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the lot is in the county, but basically as close to the city as you can get (literally – its city land just across the street from us).  we wanted to be on county land since we’ve found our city very difficult to work with on housing and building issues, but we wanted the benefit of being close to downtown since we just love our town so much.  we are just a few blocks away from a bike path that is a quick couple miles to downtown, and our kids are going to love having that freedom as they get older!

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this picture is of sean and i on a hike we took on our way back home from an anniversary getaway.  on our way down, we ran into a woman from church who told us about lots being split and sold in her neighborhood, an area we loved, but didn’t think had any available properties.  we ended up buying our land from that woman and her husband!

thanks for being patient with me and my lack of posts, house posts specifically.  i have been wanting to share this news for so long, but just felt it best to wait until we closed escrow.  i can’t wait to share all our ideas and plans with you!

a weekend away

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sometimes, we just need to get away.  last when i saw that there was snow, and lots of it, in the weekend forecast at my parents’ house, i was thankful for an empty weekend calendar!

we decided on tuesday to go up to the lake where i grew up, about 3 1/2 hours away, as long as there was still snow expected.  so the kids worked extra hard on their homeschool days to get most of their work done, and planned on finishing up the leftovers up there.  i threw breakfast and lunch food in a cooler, as well as 2 boxes from hello fresh.  they worked out perfectly for dinners since they contained everything we needed! (use this code for $40 off your first box). while the kids were finishing up their math tutoring on thursday (i decided a few years ago that math x 3 kids = unhappy mommy), i quickly packed up our whole family for the weekend.

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we met my parents for dinner in town on our way up and woke up to snow friday morning.  actually, i was so excited about the snow that i woke up around 3am to peek out and see it snowing!  when i got up, my mama heart melted to see my 2 youngest snuggled up under one blanket, staring out at the snow coming down.  now, lest you think this is a regular sight in my house, it is most definitely not.  but its these times i want to remember, not the bickering, so this is what i capture.

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our weekend consisted of walks in the snow (and rain – its rained quite a bit, too), playing in the snow for the kids, movies, games, naps, warming up by the fireplace and lots of family time.

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while we were relaxing on the couch, sean pointed out the local bald eagle coming right towards our window!  we ran to the window to see it had just caught a fish from the lake and was sitting in the snow on the island eating his lunch – it was quite a sight to see!

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throughout the weekend my kids kept saying, “i’m so glad we came up here” and i kept saying, “me, too!”