The Anticipation is Killing Me

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This week, dry wall installation was completed which puts us at an estimated 60 days from completion, should everything continue to go smoothly. This is amazing because it is almost a month sooner than originally anticipated! Our builder is a rock star. Seriously.

The process seems to have gone from slow to light-speed. We go out almost every day now and there is tons of progress each time. For example, we were out there this past Thursday evening and then back around noon on Friday. In that time they hung all the cabinets, installed the stone arch on the front facade, hung the shelving in all the closets, finished all the trim work, and completed some tree excavation around our driveway. Up next week: Interior paint, exterior stone completion, possibly the start of laying the driveway, and possibly the start of laying some flooring.

With 2 months until the move, it suddenly feels really soon…..yet still so far. I’m ready to move TODAY! Oh wait, there is still tons to do to prepare. Never mind ūüôā

Also killing me with anticipation is my OB appointment this coming Tuesday. My Dr. will attempt to determine the sex of baby #2! I am dying to know. I don’t remember being nearly this anxious to know with Charlotte. I think the first time I had no idea what it meant to have a child, let alone a son or daughter. Now knowing how amazing it is, and what it means to have a daughter, it¬†is driving me insane. I don’t have a preference, but I just¬†NEED to know ūüôā¬†And I’m so nervous¬†this¬†baby will be shy on Tuesday and I’ll have wait another 4 weeks!!


The View

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And I’m¬†not talking about the show that has woman gathered around¬†a table¬†to complain about life and¬†attempt to sound political.

I was reading over old posts and realized the pictures I posted of our view were taken on a crappy, overcast day. I have new and improved pictures ūüôā

The View from the 2nd Story Deck!


Sunset from our Deck – And yes, this was taken from the SAME sunset!






A Post About My Children

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That’s right, I said childREN!

By now it feels like old news as I’m almost 15 weeks along, but¬†this is¬†my first post about it.

And here it is, the room that was to be empty. The room that had a big ? on it. It will now be a nursery ūüôā I took the picture quickly so it doesn’t really capture the whole room, but that’s not the point here.

Baby P 2.0’s Nursery

And now for a picture of Charlotte looking really adorable and way too big!

Having fun on some dry wall!


Progress, Progress, Progress!

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For a few weeks there, progress seemed to be a little slow. Austin actually got some rain (GASP), so that delayed the roofers and stucco guys a little. Anyways, by the end of next week, its going to be a whole new house! This week stucco installation was completed and yesterday it was painted. Also, this week insulation was installed. Since we went a little overboard with extra sound-proofing throughout the house, most of the walls feel closed in now. This means you can’t see through them from room to room and we¬†can now get a real sense of how each room is going to feel. Let me¬†tell you friends, that was a really fun moment I didn’t anticipate. I thought the house would feel more closed in once walls started going up, but now it just feels more real and the rooms larger actually. Its amazing. Every new step makes me more anxious for move-in.

Next week, the stone will be installed on the exterior which will leave¬†the exterior appearance about 90% complete. Also happening next week is dry wall installation, which¬†means afterwards, we get to start the fun stuff like flooring, cabinets, paint, etc! The final touches!!! Progress picture coming soon. For now, I’ll leave you with this picture taken from my phone earlier this week. The stucco is no longer grey, but sage green.


A New Frame Of Mind

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Wow. All I can say is…wow.

We spent what felt like years getting to the construction close date. Then we spent another couple months getting to a completed foundation. Then…two weeks later…BOOM. House.

I’m definitely a little late on this update. Excuse, holidays, excuse, not feeling well, excuse. Now that we have that over with….pictures!!

These first two were taken with my phone when framing was partially complete. I somehow didn’t make it out there with the good camera/tripod for this stage, but here you go!


The next pictures show our view from our 2nd floor, which can be seen from our¬†master bedroom, game room, Charlotte’s room, and the 2nd story deck. At first, I¬†strongly hesitated to post these pictures anywhere because they just don’t do it justice.¬†On the other hand, the view is such an¬†important part of¬†this story.¬†This is¬†why we bought this piece of land. The most exciting and highly anticipated moment of this whole process so far was the day they built the stairs and we were able to catch our view for the first time. So, I will post these pictures with the following two caveats: 1 –¬†They don’t do¬†it¬†justice. 2 – The lake is currently 50 feet¬†low, so we’re just happy we can¬†see any water at all right now.¬†Please pray to the rain¬†gods!!!

Christmas day was beautiful¬†so we¬†took the opportunity to get¬†some good shots of the house….tripod, quality camera, and all. It had already been completely framed for a week or two at this point, but its hard to find a day to get good pictures since there are always people out there working on it. Christmas day was our best shot ūüôā The picture below¬†is also on my House Progression page.

This picture¬†pretty much represents where we stand today on the exterior.¬†There is¬†progress being made daily on the interior, but these pictures would bore you. A/C duct work is almost complete, water and gas piping has been run, and all the electrical is in progress. Basically they’re working on everything that will soon get covered by dry wall.

In my free moments, I have been spending a lot of time on Houzz¬†and Pinterest. Now that our house exists in reality, not just on paper, I am getting beyond excited to finally move in and start decorating. I am no doubt driving¬†Brent nuts with my flood of ideas, but he also spends his fair share of time¬†fact-checking every step of the construction process, talking about and planning for our sound system, and doing comparison shopping on kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, etc. The good news for us is we are running a week or two AHEAD of schedule….not what we would have predicted!

Until next time, I’ll be the one keeping Houzz and Pinterest in business ūüôā

Building A Solid Foundation

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Literally. You wouldn’t believe the amount of fill dirt, rebar, steel, sand bags (yes, sand bags), and of course CONCRETE.

Every step of this process makes it more exciting. More real. This past week, the concrete was poured and we now have a foundation to build our house upon.

The day it was being poured we were all 3 fortunately able to make it out and stamp our hand prints in the garage. There was a brief debate around resell-ability with such a personal touch, however, we do plan to be here for a very long time, so we quickly decided to go for it.

After allowing a couple days for it to dry, we met our builder one evening who was waiting with tailgate chairs and a cooler full of drinks. It was so great to sit in what will be our dining room, sip on a beverage, and imagine what our lives will be like out there. We are beyond thrilled. Here are a couple photos of the slab.


Front view of our house


View from the back corner of the house

Next week, the framers will start doing their thing. As anyone who has lived in a developing neighborhood probably¬†knows, this is a very fast process. Possibly as early as next weekend, our first floor will be framed.¬†Which means¬†we’ll catch our first glimpse of our second story view of the lake and surrounding hill country. Now that is one blog entry I can’t wait to post!


The Fun Begins

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Last night Brent and I caught a late dinner at La Condesa downtown (thank you Nana!!) Can I just say YUMMY? Anyways, about 2 cocktails in, we started tossing around painting/decorating ideas for the new house¬†and by the end of the night we had it all planned out ūüôā I thought it would be fun to jot these ideas down¬†now just to see how much they change by move in! So here goes:

Dining room

Several months back we met with our trim subcontractor and nailed down our order. One of the items they will be installing in the dinning room is a chair rail with picture frame molding underneath. Kind of like this:


The decision made last night is to paint a deep red underneath the chair rail. Another idea is to find a textured, paintable wallpaper to install inside the picture frame molding. The jury is still out on that one. Ideas welcomed and encouraged!

Guest room

When I found out I was pregnant in 2010, I had my heart set on¬†installing white wainscoting and chair railing in the nursery. And hubby was on it. Now¬†we would like to have the same thing in our guest room! We had the trim guys quote it out for us and it was triple the cost we incurred to do it ourselves…so looks like we’ll be doing it ourselves again! One weekend of manual labor = totally worth it. I also plan to paint¬†one accent wall above the chair rail. Maybe something in the red family.¬†Below is a¬†picture of our previous nursery where Brent installed this himself.¬†He nailed it. Pun intended.¬†Sadly, Charlotte only occupied this room for 6 weeks before we moved.


Master Bedroom

Stripes! My pinterest-obsessed self found some ideas but nothing that quite matches what we have in mind. I’m thinking vertical strips that are only a shade or two¬†apart from each other and¬†in the gray family. One will be a matte finish, the other will have some gloss to it. Then in the top of our tray ceiling, to add some drama¬†we’ll paint a much darker gray. For the whole master suit, I’m envisioning grays and blues. Something like this?

Ooooh, I could have a lot of fun making throw pillows like the one in this picture. This makes me smile ūüôā



Laminate Wood Warning!!!

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I have had it. Next spring could not come soon enough. I need out of this house.

Don’t get me wrong, our rent house is great for our short-term stay. It has enough room for our family of 3, is in a great neighborhood, and is a fairly attractive home. But. I. Need. Out.

There is a long¬†list of small to major annoyances¬†which¬†will (hopefully) not exist in¬†our new house,¬†but that is for a¬†future post. However, right now¬†I’m going to¬†delve into the¬†item¬†at the very top of this list –¬†the laminate flooring. It is in our living room and master and it is LOUD! If you’re wearing shoes, every single foot step is magnified 10x. And the worst of it is the dogs. I have 2 pugs and they are clingy. That has never bothered me, in fact, it is what I like about them. I love that they adore me so much¬†to follow me around and they are wonderful cuddlers. However, when I am walking back and forth through the house, the sound of 8 dog feet (that’s FORTY dog nails!!!!!) is driving me BANANAS!¬†The noise from the echoing wood is enough to send me to an early grave. I find myself getting annoyed with the dogs and have to constantly¬†try to remember that¬†it’s not them. It’s the evil laminate wood flooring. It’s kind of like this:

So Рshould you find yourself tempted by this flooring option (hey, you get the look without the cost!), I urge you to do your research. As I have said before, I am no expert. Perhaps the laminate wood in this house was installed incorrectly and/or was the cheapest of the cheap. On the other hand, it could also be an inherent problem with any type of laminate flooring. Just make sure you look into this issue before you pay to have it done. Had this been my house and had I known how awful it would be, I would have either paid the extra for real wood, or just tiled or carpeted these areas. Its so not worth it!!!

It Finally Feels Real

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After months of finely tuning our floor plan, countless hours of making interior selections, and¬†weeks of waiting¬†for building permits from the city, we are finally seeing physical proof that our house WILL exist one day! Last week we drilled for water AND found some…phew! And by we, I mean Tom Arnold the driller. (No I’m not making that up). But really, while water is very important, its still just a hole in the ground. However, this week, the foundation people started doing their thing. So far, the batter boards have been assembled. For those of you who are construction-lingo-stupid, like myself, that is the frame that goes around the foundation and as far as I understand, will remain there until the concrete is¬†poured and dried. A couple nights ago we just¬†had to go check out the progress, even though it was dark and slightly past Charlotte’s bed time.¬†Below is a fun pic we took! Excuse the crap quality. This was taken with my phone.

This was in front of the highest corner of our house. The foundation height of the back left corner is essentially flush with the ground. The front right corner is 7.5 feet off the ground! I guess that’s what¬†you get for living in the hill country! And you know what else you get from living in the hill country? Amazing views ūüôā For a full picture of the batter boards/foundation frame, taken the next day and in sun light, check out my House Progression page. Its the one labeled 10/30/2012.

Later this week they will be delivering/installing the fill dirt and next week the plumbers will install the drain pipes. Hopefully with in the next couple weeks we’ll have concrete poured and we can have drinks on our future home!

How It All Began

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As you may or may not have already read in my “About Me” page, several years back we bought a piece of land by Lake Travis. Back then, we didn’t live¬†in Austin (my home town)¬†but knew we wanted to get back here once we started raising a family. Lo and behold,¬†as we are an all-or-nothing kind of couple, we moved back when¬†our daughter, Charlotte, was 6 weeks old. Once we had our heads on straight¬†post-move,¬†and started getting to sleep more than 3 hours at a time, we decided it was time to get our dream house underway. One year later, we have finally broken ground, and finally feel like this is actually happening. Who knew you couldn’t just think up a house and have it magically appear? No.¬†Many, many, many¬†steps and decisions and hurdles¬†present themselves before you get to where we are now.

What I hope to accomplish by starting this blog is initially to document the house construction process and all the craziness, stress, but mostly excitement that surrounds this time in our lives. After this, I want to share my experiences with transforming this house into our home. I have always enjoyed interior decorating, organizing, etc., and that is what I am most looking forward to with the new house. We are currently in a rent house and therefore, my project freedom is limited. It will have been almost 2 years by the time our house is completed and let me tell you friends, I have a LOT of pent up creativity ready :p

One other thing you must know about Brent and I is that we are total lake rats. Really, we love any kind of water…beach, lake, pool, or puddle…but we are especially in love with Lake Travis. So naturally, when land shopping, we looked as close to the water as we could afford. We’re not right on it (sure, let me pull a couple mil out of my back pocket!) but we’re close enough to have a 2nd story view and a <5 minute walk to get to the water and community boat ramp. PS – my current header picture is a shot¬†I took from our land, but incase I’ve changed my header by the time you’re reading this, here is it again!