Deuteronomy 6:4-9

4 Jun

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Since before we had even decided to build a house I knew, if we ever had a chance, I wanted to write scripture verses on the door frames, walls, and foundation of our home.

With the drywall going up very shortly, we knew we had a narrow window to get in there and be able to write on the studs and door frames, so on May 6th, we did just that.

We picked out some of our favorite verses.  Ones that meant a lot to us or that we had been praying over our house.  Ones for those just stopping by, and ones for our future kiddos.  We ended up with a list of about 100 verses and/or passages of scripture.  They were all written within the walls of our home.  Although they will be hidden, and most people will never know they are there, we pray that they will bless anyone who enters our home and those who will live in it after us.

We tried to place each one is a specific spot that it was related to.  For instance the one we are writing in the picture below was in our closet.

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” Luke 12:22-23

And the one below was on the doorway to our master bedroom.

19 We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

It took a long time to write each verse, but it was worth every second knowing that God’s word is at the very core of the house.

And that everywhere we go/sit/talk/entertain, God’s word will be there and His promises are all around us.

As exciting as it is to build a house and to see the progress each week, this was by far the most exciting part to me.  More than anything, we want our home to be a safe haven and a refuge to all who enter it.  We want it to feel warm and welcoming.  We want to have an open door policy at all times.  We want it to feel different to others.  But, most importantly, we want people to come to know the Lord there.

One of the cool things about having the scripture written is that the workers and anyone who walks through the house will see it and can read all of the passages that are everywhere.  Not long after this, we went to the house and on the fireplace someone (we are assuming a worker) wrote:

“Praise the Lord with all your heart!”

We were so excited that someone was affected by and wanted to add to the scriptures we had written.  It was such a sweet blessing to us.

In addition to this, we met with Brent and he told us that some of the workers were asking who wrote all of the scriptures and he told them that it was probably the homeowners.  He said, “usually the steal things from us, so it’s nice to have it the other way around this time!”  We were thrilled to hear that we were different and that they noticed that.

Even though we do not have kids, or plans to have them in the near future, we hope to live in this house for a long time and raise our children here.  With that said, we wanted to write verses specifically for them in the rooms that will be theirs.  We picked several out with them in mind and in the picture below, hubs is writing this one:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  Psalm 139:13

Family and friends who are reading:  we are NOT pregnant!!!

Now that that’s taken care of, we can move on…

I didn’t get a picture of it, but on the ceiling of the front porch we wrote the verse that we have been praying over our house from the beginning:

8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
    the place where your glory dwells.”  Psalm 26:18

That continues to be our prayer, and even though the Lord doesn’t need verses written in a home to ‘live’ there, I think it will be pretty hard for him not to dwell in our home with His promises all around…and that warms my soul.

Happy Birthday Hubs!

31 May

I wanted to take a second to wish hubs a VERY happy birthday!!!  I know what you are thinking…but your anniversary was yesterday!  It’s true…he shares his special day every year and doesn’t even complain.  I love him so much and am so thankful that on this day 32 years ago he was born.  He is such a wonderful man and leader and I can’t imagine life without him…nor do I want to!

Happy Birthday Babe!  I love you!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

30 May

I just wanted to wish Hubs a very Happy Anniversary!  I can’t believe another year has gone by and that I love him even more than the day we married.  God has blessed me beyond reason with such a wonderful man to do life with.  It is so wonderful to have my best friend by my side throughout this adventure we call life!

Progress – Inner Workings

23 May

First of all, I apologize for being MIA.  I got a little bit behind on the progress…partly because we were out of town celebrating my dad’s birthday and mother’s day, partly because I was having technical difficulties with wordpress, but mostly because I just didn’t get around to it.  All that said, we have a lot of catching up to do!

On Friday, May 4th we met with the electrician at the house to make sure that there were outlets and cable jacks everywhere we knew we were going to want one.  For the most part, based on codes, he had them placed better than we imagined.  I guess because he does this for a living, who would’ve thought!  The main thing we wanted to meet with him on were the two outlets that we are placing on the floor of our living room.  Due to the nature of our open floor plan, we have to float our couch in the middle of the room.  To avoid cords running across the floor to the walls, we decided to have outlets placed on the floor under where our couch will be.  This way, they can just run under the rug and couch and not be a trip hazard.

While they were working on wiring, they were installing windows, the hvac and ductwork, as well as putting the shingles on our roof.  Needless to say, when we went back on May 5th to take pictures our house looked quite a bit different than it did a week ago.

Except of course, for the giant dumpster right in front of it, but you get the idea!

Here is the back of the house…missing a few windows, but the roof is done.

The picture below is taken on the covered porch of the windows that will be over the banquette.

I think they turned out so well!!

The picture below of the kitchen/living room doesn’t look that much different, except for the duct work running through the ceiling.

And the banquette and laundry room with the wiring.

We are thinking about running the built in benches for the banquette as a U instead of an L.  We have quite a bit more width than we thought we would so we could easily make it a U.  Something we are still debating, but think it might make it look a little more finished.

Here is the master bedroom with wiring and windows!  I just love getting to see them installed.

Below is our water closet with the plumbing and electric run and the window installed.

This is the wall to the right when you walk in the house via the garage/mudroom.  It is where our fridge and pantries will be.

You can see the plumbing and electric…as well as the tub/shower that was delivered on accident for the upstairs bathroom.  It was supposed to be just a tub since the shower surround will be tiled.  They have since delivered and installed the correct tub, but the wrong one still sits in our garage.  We’re starting to think it will come with the house…maybe we can Craigslist it! :)

This is a shot of the foyer looking from the living room.

See that giant window that is going to have a huge presence from the front of the house?  Well, it happens to be in the half bathroom.  I know…AWKWARD!  Don’t worry…we already have plans to add some pretty shutters so that the light won’t be blocked, but it will feel a tad more private.  We’ll make it work.

And of course…our lovely dining room window taken from the front porch.

I love how much light is going to come streaming through it!

On to the upstairs…

Our bonus room with windows and wiring installed.

And the upstairs bathroom just about ready for tile and cabinets.

OK, I might be getting a little ahead of myself.  First comes drywall…then the tile and cabinets.

And now, for the debut of our bathtub…

The correct one!  I love it…but probably because it just makes the room look like an actual bathroom!

Another pleasant surprise was in the storage space over our garage.

Remember how it was framed…accidentally?  Well, because of that and codes, they had to run electricity to it.  So now the room is wired and completely ready to be finished out…all it needs is some drywall and a door for a closet.

Even though it will be a very long time if we ever do finish it out, we have been daydreaming about what it could become.  My thought is a bunk-room for guests and kids’ sleepovers.  I’ve been eying this one from pinterest for a while!

It would be a little taller and wider than this picture (I’m pretty sure this used to be an attic), but can you picture it?  I love the curtains to close off the beds, and the sconces, and especially the wood paneled ceiling.  But for now, it will just be a ton of storage space for Christmas Decorations and boxes filled with college and high school memories.  We’ll take it!

Just for fun, here is a picture of one of the HVAC units.

It is on the left side of the storage room.  We made sure they put it behind the framed out walls so we could make the most of the room that they gave us…accidentally.  :)

Not sure if you noticed in the picture earlier, but that big silver tube running upstairs in the laundry room is our intake.

We were kinda bummed that it had to go here because we had to lose a cabinet in our laundry room since the washer and dryer had to shift down almost a foot.  But, because our first floor is so open, there weren’t a lot of options of free walls to put the intake in.  Not the end of the world…it could be way worse.

Finally, a shot of our back porch.

The outdoor fireplace is going in the corner.  We have been really excited about the fireplace and I have already informed hubs that if we have an outdoor fireplace we must ALWAYS have s’more ingredients on hand!  You never know when you might need them.  That will be such a great way to spend a spring/fall night.

Because we were so excited about how everything was coming together, we decided it was time for another self portrait.

The hardest part about visiting our house and seeing the progress is that we get more and more anxious for it to be done so we can move it.  I am so ready to decorate and make our house a home.  I get more and more excited every time and it gets harder and harder to be patient!

Our next step is to pick out cabinets and meet with the cabinet maker, but more on that next time.  Anyone have any cabinet advice?  Anything you wish you had done differently or would change if you could?  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…we  need all the advice we can get!

Progress – Under Roof

7 May

We took our weekly trip to the house on Friday, April 27th and our house was standing and had a roof on it!

It also had a giant dumpster in the front yard. :(  Puts a damper on the pictures.  Luckily, it’s only temporary.

Here’s a better angle without the dumpster.

You can really see the dining room window and front porch.  The window upstairs above the porch is one of the bedrooms.

Here is a picture of hubs standing in the dining room window.

This will be one of the focal points of our house since our door is nontraditionally placed on the side of our front porch.

Another angle of the dining room from the landing on the stairs.  Past it, you can see the living room and the banquette.

And here is the kitchen, taken through the living room.

The half wall in the center is for our island.  They have to lower it a bit because they made it bar height instead of counter height.

Here is the living room looking into the foyer and stairs.

You can see the fireplace and the small rectangle to the right towards the ceiling is a window that has not been cut out yet.  They are raising the mantle a little to match the picture below.

We can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Here is hubs checking out the tray ceiling in the master bedroom.

They finally cut out the back windows in the bedroom.  And, see the blue and red pipes on the floor…that is the start of our plumbing.

Here, in the master bath you can see more the the plumbing.

The left side of the window is hubs’ sink and the right side is mine.  There will be a tub in the middle that I will have many a bubble bath in!  I can’t wait!

Here is the back of the house with all the windows cut out.

In addition to the roof, the staircase was added, so we didn’t have to climb that ladder again.  (You can stop worrying pops!)

We love the landing and how the stairs become a focal point of the foyer without taking over the space.

And now…the upstairs without all of the crazy support beams!

Above is the bonus room, with the large opening on the left leading to the bedrooms and bathroom.

They fixed the ceilings in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.  We wanted them to be vaulted so they would feel bigger.  They are pretty tiny, but it already looks so much better.

Here is the future expansion area we gained by closing in the ceiling of what was supposed to be a two story living room.  You can read about that here.

Among all of the mistakes that need to be fixed, there was one pleasant surprise.

They ended up framing the storage area.  Brent described it as “The framer got a little excited”.  We got a lot excited because one day down the road we can easily turn it into a bonus room, theater room, or even a very large bedroom.

And finally, our main task this week was to choose exterior colors.  So we drove around looking at houses and realized that we liked a bunch of different color combos, but when we drove up to this house…we knew it was what we wanted.

Keep in mind that we do not like the stone at all.  We will choose a little darker/grey-er stone to go with the dark grey (with slight brown hint) siding. We will have vinyl shakes on the front and siding on the back.  The roof will be a similar color and we will have white trim and columns.

Progress – Upstairs

2 May

My morning on April 20th started with a phone call from hubs telling me that our car was broken into…AGAIN.  The second time in less than 9 months.  The craziest part is that there was nothing of value in there at all.  Seriously, some empty CD cases, a few CD’s, a pair of broken glasses, a 5 dollar pair of sunglasses, some body splash, an old brush, and who knows what else.  Were they that hard up for cash?  It made me so ready to move into our house…not just because I’m so excited to live there, but because we will have a garage!  Therefore, breaking into the car would involve breaking into the house first.  Probably not going to happen.

On a lighter note…we braved an impending storm to see the progress.

Looks ominous doesn’t it!  It really wasn’t that bad.  As far as the house was concerned, they almost finished the downstairs and were working on the upstairs and roof.  See the ladder on the left side of the house?  That is how we got up to the second floor to check things out because the stairs had not been finished yet.  The roof is much taller than I thought it would be, but you can really start to see what the elevation will look like.

Here is an update of the kitchen/living room/eat in area now that some of the support beams are gone and there is a ceiling:

And here is the back of the house:

We didn’t know that they would be adding the pitch on the right side because we never saw a picture of the rear elevation, but we are so glad they did because we think it adds so much character!  There will also be three more windows in the back that have not been cut out yet.

And here is our beloved garage that we are looking so forward to parking in!

This is a picture from the upstairs looking down through the tray ceiling into the master bedroom:

This is our unfinished bonus room/additional storage:

Because we didn’t want a two story living room, we ended up with extra space upstairs.  We knew we wanted a bonus room right at the top of the stairs so the original bonus room became an optional bonus room that we can finish later if we want and just use for storage for now.  It’s nice to know we have so much storage space that could potentially become another bonus room or a guest room down the road.  We are hoping to be here for a LONG time, so that could come in handy!

This is kinda hard to see with all of the support beams, but here is the bonus room:

Hopefully you can make out the header above the doorway which opens to a hallway that leads to the two bedrooms, a bathroom, and the future bonus room.

This is looking down the hallway to the left from the bonus room:

You might be able to make out the door to the right, which is the bathroom door, and the door at the end of the hall which leads to a bedroom.

That’s all for now…the next post contains a lot less support beams so it should be a little easier to figure out what everything is.

We went back the next day to drool over it some more and got to meet one of our neighbors on the other side and her sweet baby boy, as well as the neighbors two doors down.  They just moved into one of Brent’s houses and we enjoyed walking through it multiple times as it was being built.  (If you can’t tell, that is one of our favorite hobbies!)  We talked to them for a while and are excited to get to know them better.  It’s nice getting to know people before we even move in.

Our next step is to choose exterior colors so they can get started on that…let the fun/stressful decisions begin!

Stylescope

27 Apr

Thanks to Mandi at Vintage Revivals and her second FFA Challenge (which has nothing to do with future farmers!), I discovered the coolest little quiz from HomeGoods.  Now, I’m one of those girls who loves taking a quiz…guess it brings me back to my Teen Magazine days when I wanted to find out what celebrity I was most compatible with.  Unfortunately for me, Jonathan Taylor Thomas didn’t take the ‘what non-celebrity are you most compatible with’ quiz because it would have obviously said ME!  Just kidding, it all ended well for me…hubs is WAY better than JTT.  What is JTT up to these days anyway?

Wow…can I say tangent?!  OK, back to business…usually the quizzes I take are only halfway correct…much to my disappointment.  However, this one was dead on!  According to everyone who commented on Mandi’s blog, it was dead on for them too…kinda freaky!

So here are my results:

Whitney, you are an Earthy Casual

You’re interested in creating a welcoming home where people feel comfortable and happiness flourishes. You appreciate the warmth and individuality of natural materials and handcrafted things and are inspired by colors and forms from nature. You love mixing up different textures and are sensitive to the tactile qualities of objects. Your style is grounded and solid, not flighty or frilly. And you are never taken in by the trend of the moment.

You value serenity. While there are probably a lot of interesting things in your home, they are joined by your taste or a certain palette that keeps them in harmony. You appreciate the beauty in simple forms. Whether fancy or plain, you appreciate things that are well made and function as well as they look. You also have a strong respect for the environment and craftsmanship. You care about how things are made, and how they are used.

Putting Your Style to Work!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.

1. Your Design Challenge: MAXIMIZE Design is all about tricks, and with small spaces, the game is to literally trick the eye. Mirrors obviously expand a sense of space, and if possible, place them across from windows so they pick up the light and the outdoors. Leggy furniture gives the illusion of more space, as you can see under it. And, a mix of upholstered and non-upholstered pieces also makes a room feel less dense. Also, consider multi-tasking furniture, like a dining table pushed against the wall—it can be a desk by day and gets pulled out for dinner parties. Or a bedside table big enough to accommodate a chair and function as a desk.

2. Your Happy Place You can make your bath like your own private spa, an escape from the world—even if you share it! Consider making every useful thing beautiful—from the soap dish and toothbrush cup to a pretty jar for cotton balls and a plush, new set of matching towels (white is the most calming and spa-like). You deserve this! Using trays for corralling perfumes and bowls or cups for makeup will make things look organized and attractive. A really lovely idea, if you have space, is to include some real furniture like a little lamp or a stool for setting towels or even a comfy chair by the tub!

3. Be Party-Ready All the Time!

Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.

Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, stock up on some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.

Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you’ll be able to set a spread—instantly!

Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

My Happy Home Colors:

I do love me some yellow!  And the walls in the living room and kitchen were painted orange in our old house!  (sounds crazy, but it totally worked!)

I know that is a lot of information, but I thought it was so cool!

So now it’s your turn.  Head over to the HomeGoods website and take the quiz.  Then let me know in the comments section what they came up with for you and if it is completely accurate or way off.

Oh…and Happy Friday!!!  We are stopping by the house tonight after work…can’t wait to see the latest progress!!

Progress – Framing

25 Apr

Every time Hubs and I pull up to the house we are like little kids seeing Disney World for the first time. Our faces light up with sheer and utter excitement. This was, by far the happiest day of the process so far…

On April 14th, almost the whole first floor was framed.

It’s actually starting to look like a house!  The 2D plans that we have stared at for  what seems like forever are finally 3D!  We were overcome with excitement as we walked through each room of the house.

The picture below is taken from the mudroom looking through the kitchen and into the living room.

The pipe in the middle of the floor will be where our island is and on the back wall you can see where the fireplace and windows will be.

This picture is taken from the opposite corner of the living room, looking back towards the kitchen.

Of course all you can probably see are boards going everywhere!  Most are studs for the walls, but the rest are to hold the walls up.  They will come down as the rest of the house is complete and it will be much easier to visualize.

And what’s a post without a picture of hubs and his handy dandy tape measure!

We leave one in the car, along with a copy of our plans, ever since the foundation scare.

Here is the back of the house.

The left side is our covered patio which will extend to an uncovered patio.  That will be poured when they do the driveway and front porch.

So…I have a confession to make.  Hubs and I agreed early on that we would go to the house together once a week so that we could really see the progress that was made (usually Friday with an occasional trip back on Saturday just for fun).  However, this felt like the longest week ever waiting to see what would be next since the foundation was set, especially since I work so close to the neighborhood…so I cheated.  I happened to have a doctor appointment close by so I just HAD to stop and sneak a peek at the progress (even though hubs was not with me, so sorry hubs!).

The picture below was taken on Wednesday April 11th.  Sorry for the poor phone camera quality.

20120420-173922.jpg

The first thing I saw was that we had a special delivery of wood in our front yard…then I noticed that there were two men working on the first wall of our house.  I was beaming with joy over the thought of the walls going up.  Needless to say, 2 1/2 days later the first floor was completely framed out as you saw in the pictures above.  I’m telling you…these guys move quick!!

We met with Brent to see what we needed to be working on and discuss a few things.  He told us that as long as it didn’t rain our house would be under roof in a week…what did I tell ya??  QUICK!  He also told us to be picking out exterior colors and the next step after that would be tile and then cabinets.

We had to send him a picture of windows we liked so he could order them.  This is what we sent him.

We loved the craftsman look of this window, but picture it in white.  They will be going in soon and we can’t wait to see how they look in real life on our house.  It’s getting to the point where we have to make some major decisions regarding the house and it is getting kind of nerve-wracking trying to be 100% sure.

Anyways, while we were at the house, we met our new neighbor, Ron.  We were so excited to officially meet someone in the neighborhood.  That is one thing we are really hoping for here…community.  It felt good to meet someone before our house is even done.  Hopefully next time we will meet his girlfriend and son.

Has anyone ever built a house?  Is there any advice you can give us on what to do or what not to do?  We need all the help that we can get!

Progress – Foundation Poured

20 Apr

Each stage of the house is increasingly more exciting than the last for us.

So, as of April 9th, the most exciting part so far was seeing the foundation poured.

The foundation is one of the most important parts of the house.  It can make or break it.  Without a strong foundation the walls could crumble down at any moment.  However, the most exciting part is that the foundation is done and the framing can begin!  That is when we will really see the rooms that we’ve stared at on paper for so long come to life.  We are so ready for that.

Until then, you will have to settle for an up close and personal shot of the foundation.

We never thought that we’d be so excited over a slab of concrete!

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been working on recently…

This is my inspiration board for our Living Room.  I love the light/bright colors.  It is so fun and airy.  In case you are wondering, our couch will ‘float’ in the room and behind it is the kitchen so that is why I don’t have anything hanging over the couch, but I’m thinking that color gray will be perfect for the living/kitchen area.  (Side Note:  If you haven’t checked out Polyvore, it’s pretty awesome!  Such a great way to see how everything will look together before you spend tons of money…also good for showing the Hubs!)  Sadly, the only thing we own in the picture right now is the couch, so it will be a long process to actually make it look like the picture.  Plus, I’m thinking Hubs might need some persuading, but I’ve got several months…right?!

Here’s to wishing and hoping and, of course, daydreaming!

Progress – Foundation

17 Apr

I have no idea what happened, but I wrote and published a whole post on Wednesday and today it completely disappeared!  Oh, the frustrations of starting a new blog!  Here is my best attempt to recreate it…

Every time we go visit the house and see the progress that has been made, we can’t help but get excited as we see it all come to life.

On March 31st, it was no different.

Our ‘house’ was no longer just a concrete outline on the lot.  They had laid cinder blocks on the footers and poured gravel as a base for the foundation to eventually be poured.

The picture below is taken from the back corner of our house where our bedroom will be.

The one thing that no one told us is how SMALL it would look at this stage!  I’m talking ‘how-in-the-heck-are-all-the-rooms-going-to-fit-on-this-tiny-square’ small.  Seriously, like ‘there-is-no-way-that-they-are-going-by-the-same-plans-that-we-have’ small!  It was crazy.  I think we were both a little nervous.  So much so in fact, that we came back the next day to measure everything according to our plans.

Hubs was especially nervous.  Here he is checking things out.

We still weren’t completely convinced even after we measured, but we recently spoke with Susan, the woman who drew up the plans, and she said that it happens every time.  Even after doing this several years, she said that she has to remind herself that it always looks much smaller at this stage and everything will fit when they start framing.  That was a huge comfort to us.  I don’t know what it is, but if you are ever building a house please don’t freak out at this stage like we did…It’s a little embarrassing looking back on it!  Just know that it will work.  Even if you think your house will end up looking like a clown car with all the rooms stuffed in there any which way…it will be fine.  It’s the strangest thing…really.

Anyways, we went back for a visit on April 5th before we left town for Easter.

We had hoped for more progress this week, but the plumbing was laid in further preparation to pour the foundation.  We were OK with this because every step is a step closer to pouring the foundation, which is a step closer to framing, which is a step closer to putting in all the fun details!  I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.  We were still really excited and even though it was raining I even took hubs on a ‘tour’ of our new home as if it were finished.  We just got to imagine that it was. :)

Here is a closer picture so you can see everything that is going on.

The two on the left are for the master bathroom (sink and shower).  The two in the back are for the laundry room.  The one in the front on the right is for the sink that is going on our kitchen island.  And finally, it took us over a week to figure out what the one in the middle was for.  We were hoping that our builder was going to surprise us with one of those faucets that goes over the stove.  That would have been sweet!  Unfortunately, we realized that it is for the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom…DUH!  Can you tell this is the first time we are building a house??

So now that you are well-acquainted with the pluming in our house…maybe I over-shared a bit!  We are getting closer and closer to being caught up to the present.  Things are about to start moving very quickly!

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