Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting Up To Speed- Part 2

Okay- let's get up to speed in a little bit of a different direction. 

Sometime last year, I was so excited to share that Lane and I were going to get to build a home.

Well what has happened since?


Ha.. Not in a bad way and at nobody's fault, but my own.  You see we will be building on family land (unless we win the lottery, but don't hold your breath- I don't buy tickets); therefore, that complicates things just a little.  Once we build here, it will be our FOREVER HOUSE!  Some of you ladies are saying "uh-huh, I know what that's like".  

I really don't know what I need in a FOREVER HOUSE!  Right now, we only have 2 kids and a growing home based business.  I would really LOVE to have another baby or two.. or three? :-) But most of y'all know my story- I don't know if that will happen (whole 'nother blog post) 

Plus, on the up side, Lane got a wonderful job last fall and it will enable us to build a little bigger.  BUT he has to finish training first and it's going to be tough!  

Then here is the next kicker- nobody, and I mean NOBODY has house plans in this area that match our style.  There is a particular style here that I, along with others, call "Louisiana Houses". -Don't you just love my extensive, descriptive, vocabulary there.  Anyway, all of the houses around here have that Acadian French chateau look to them.  Lots of high pitched roofs and lots of stucco.  Those houses are beautiful, but they just aren't us.  We aren't that formal, but we still like nice.  

So what style is "us"?

Well, Lane really likes whatever Angel loves, and Angel really loves Carolina Coastal and Low Country cottages!  

We are talking off white hardy plank, dark shutters, shed dormers, porches with blue roofs, painted wood cabinets, dark wood floors, planked walls, well.. I think you are getting the picture.  If not, you will after seeing some pictures below.  

Now we haven't found THE house plan.  We have found a couple that we really like, but they need some work.  So we have resorted that we will probably just have to spend the $$$ to get a custom house plan drawn.  It still is a small price to pay to get the house we really want that will grow with our family.  We have talked to a couple people in efforts to cut cost corners, but after looking at quotes, I am not sure that cutting any corners will save us that much money in the long run.  

So here is the house that we really love.  We found it from Moser Design Group and you can see more of their lovely houses by clicking here.   We are also in love with designs by Allison Ramsey and you can see their lovely houses by clicking here

 Picture from Moser Design Group

Pictures from John Marshall Custom Homes

Both pictures are of the same house.  The bottom house was built with the plan flipped- which is what we think we would do.  But we like the overall style of the house in the first picture.

In the bottom house, I just love the kitchen island and all the natural light the windows let in. 

And this is the floor plan.  

Despite the fact that I really like this house plan, there are some things that I really don't like about it and would like to change.

- There is no other bedroom on the first floor.  HELLO!  I have a son who can't walk (yet) so he will need a bedroom downstairs.  We are considering increasing the size of the house all together and making the current dining room into Jude's room as well as adding him a bath and closet.  Then we would use the sunroom as the dining room.

- Or we have discussed adding another bedroom onto the first floor somewhere so that we can have both Jude and the current family baby downstairs.  Or just have Jude downstairs, and have a dining room AND a sunroom.  Is there a such thing as too many rooms?

- The next thing I don't care for is that the laundry room is too small, in my opinion.  I would really like room in the laundry room for a deep freezer and some utility cabinets and folding counter.  A girl can dream, right?

- I really don't like that there isn't a foyer or entry area.  The living room seems like a good size, but I don't want people coming in that door.  I want a place where they can wipe their feet and hang their coat. We thought about using the side door in the front as the entry door because we would really love a door just for guests.  I hate having people come through or past my laundry room to come into my home.  Problem solved? Well, our driveway will be on the right of our house, so we considered flipping it for our parking purposes.  That would then put the proposed guest entry on the wrong side of the house.  Or we can just put our driveway coming in front of our house a little and parking on the left and guests parking on the right.  I don't know...

- I'm not crazy about the stairway being so closed off.  If I'm going to have a stairwell, don't I want a pretty banister to hang garland from? or Nah?

-Last picky detail (for now) I don't like is the master bath shower.  We have a single shower stall now and I NEVER use it.  I have no room for my shampoo and conditioner, much less the extras like, I don't know...  SOAP maybe? I could give up some of the closet space for the bigger shower, but not gonna happen!

Now the things I LOVE about this house.

- The porches.  No need to say more.

- The separate master suite.  P.R.I.V.A.C.Y.

- All the windows

- The fact that it has an open floor plan but thanks to some archways (maybe brick archways if I can still dream) there still seems like a division of space.

- I like the large living room, but (here's another dislike) I'm not sure about where to put the tv and I am not sure about floating my furniture versus placing it against the wall.  I know floating furniture will look so pretty, but lets face it- I have little kids and need all the open space I can get.  Any of my super talented friends with a knack for interior design- HELP!

- I love the kitchen island, but I think I'll take out the sink and just have a plain rectangle island- no "T" shape.

-I am loving that the upstairs bedrooms are not over the living area for noise purposes. 

- I also love the bonus space upstairs.  It seems like a perfect place for The Mustard Seed Boutique since I plan on keeping it all in the house.  (You can't exactly fill orders during nap time if you have a separate shop.)

- I love the windows across the sunroom, living room, and kitchen. We will set up what ever playhouse or swing set for the kids in view of one of those windows sets.  That way I will have a good view of my babies outside playing when they get old enough to go by themselves.

So.. here are some things we'd love to have in our FOREVER house.

We would love to have two brick archways- maybe one to the kitchen area and one to the sunroom area.

We want this dark cypress floor throughout the house.  It would mean a lot of $$ but we can lay the floor ourselves and in turn save lots of $$.

A kitchen full of painted white cabinets.  Notice how good it looks with the dark wood floors ;-)

Some planked walls to accent certain rooms or areas throughout the house.  Another thing we can do ourselves.

And thanks to Pinterest and Houzz, there are always a ton of pictures that make building a house under a million dollar budget kind of tough for any girl, if you know what I mean.  I have honestly quit looking because it was only causing my already indecisive nature to spiral out of control.

I have really just been praying for the Lord to show us which house is right for us.  Maybe a sign on whether we will need that extra bedroom or not (if you get what I'm saying)

In the meantime, we should really start the process with an architect or drafter.  I know a custom house plan can take months! And another small bit of info, we will definitely be sub-contracting the house and do as much as we can ourselves.  So with that being said, if anyone has any recommendation on any architect, any opinion on brick piers versus chain wall versus concrete foundation, builders or contractors you know and trust, etc etc etc, we'd love to hear from you.  We have already had dinner and interrogated lots of our friends who've recently built and our best friends are actually building right now, but any and all info is so appreciated.  

I'll be back soon with an "Up to Speed- Part 3"

Hope y'all had a good weekend.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting Up to Speed- Part 1

Please bare with me... I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Let's see where should we start?

Well how about back in the fall with some updates on Jude? 
I don't know how many of you remember or even know that Jude has a sacral dimple.  This can be a sign of spinal bifida (one of the reasons Jude's prenatal screenings came back as a possible neurotube defect).  We know that Jude does not have spinal bifida, and most of the time this is not a big deal.  Lane has one and so does Aubrey Lane.  But Jude's is pretty deep.  The neurologists have been worried since his birth that his spine cord was connected to the base of the spine- it's supposed to be free floating.  If it was connected, it would mean major surgery.  Well after an MRI last fall, the neurologist reported everything looked great and no future treatment needed.  YAY!!!
Meanwhile, my sweet redhead turned FIVE!!!  Although, I can't believe he's already five, I can't remember life without him.

Even though Jude is now five, he had to start preschool because his birthday falls right after the cutoff date.  Regardless, his teachers are wonderful, and Jude started settling in his new routine.  He is excited most days when I pull into carpool which makes me happy.  He's even got to go on a handful of field trips.  The first to the local corn maze. Jude had a blast!
Around the same time, The Mustard Seed Boutique got LLC'd and I officially became a business owner. 

Late fall we took a family vacation back to one of my favorite place, Gatlinburg, TN.  We went with Lane's parents and his brother and his wife.  Despite unseasonable cold weather, we had a good time.  Even go to see some snow!

Then Christmas rolled in and oh these two were just too much fun. It is bittersweet that my babies are growing up so fast, but they are just so much fun and every new stage.  And we packed a LOT into this Christmas season.  I was crazy busy with the boutique and Lane with his new job, but somehow we made it to parties, family gatherings, and even the zoo for Zoo Lights.

Before I knew it we were taking down Christmas decorations, and getting ready for a new year.  We still managed to fit some fun things into winter break, like a Mommy-Jude movie date to see Monsters, Inc and a back to school haircut.

We said goodbye to 2012 and then welcomed 2013.

Well.. that gets us to the current year at least.  I'll be back with Part 2 soon.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hi! Remember me?

I know it's been a while- have you forgotten all about me and my little family? 

Busy has been the name of my game the past couple months.  The Mustard Seed Boutique has been insanely successful; sometimes too successful.  I never imagined I'd be this busy with it.  Jude has been one busy little guy at school and is flourishing.  Aubrey Lane has entered the terrible twos a little early and meltdowns start at breakfast.  On top of all that, Lane just came off a two month outage a couple weeks ago.  For those of you that don't know the lingo, an outage describes a scheduled period when a power plant shuts down all production to do some maintaince.  Now the idea is to get the plant up and running as soon as possible, so all the employees work the maximum amount of hours they can legally work in a week for this to happen.  That meant, we didn't see Lane except for one day a week for 2 months.  Yeah, it wasn't fun, but it's over so we won't linger.

I wish I could say that things are slowing down, but they aren't and probably won't for a while.  School is getting out soon, and I will need to get Jude involved in outpatient therapy for the summer as well as other fun activites.  As for AL, let's face it... the terrible twos aren't going anywhere for awhile. And now that the outage is over, Lane is back in nuclear training for the next 6 months or so.  Oh and the business.. I'll have to make a decision on running it over the summer soon. 

Somewhere in the madness, I have lost some pep in my step.  Maybe why I've avoided the blog?  I don't know...

I have really been thinking about it, and I've realized, I am not making important things a priority.  I'm talking about what's important to me, as a person, as a wife, as a mother, as a woman... 

So I am going to take some time and nurture the things and activities that are important to me. The small things bring me happiness throughout the day.

Cooking for my family, playing with my kids, reading regularly, making happy moments with my husband, houseplanning, gardening, sewing for my own kids. These are things that I love to do and are important to me. 

Choir, studying the Word, and Christian fellowship are important to me.  If I could just get there on time...

This blog is important to me.  Well, that's an understatement. 

This blog is very very important and dear to me. It is a record of so many precious moments that have occurred over the past handful of years.  The thoughts that keep me awake at night in a live journal. My heart poured onto a computer screen.  A place where I can always WRITE! 

So I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner and using this as an excuse to remember me and what I love to do.  I hope this will push me back into blogging because I miss it so much.  I hope you will welcome me back.