Grab some cheese cause you are in for a wine-y moment.

I am tired, beat down, exhausted, I have no energy and not a whole lot left to give on the emotional front unless your looking for a good ass chewin’. My patience and my mind are lost somewhere with my marbles. This house has a voracious appetite that is fueled by Jim and I’s ever-loving-last-bit of willpower and strength. I want to cry with fatigue, instead I pick up a paint brush and pay my penance.

This was going to be my facebook post last night. That was, before I realized I was running so long at the mouth it would be best to save it for my blog that I feel I’ve been neglecting.

Today, however, offers up a new set of circumstances. We are headed to Florida for a family vacation and to get goofy with Goofy. I am hoping to cram in a day at my sanctuary, the beach, and let the water and sun heal this aching body and mind.

We are entering the final stages of our home construction. It is by far, the hardest part both physically and mentally. The crunching of numbers and in turn the physical labor being put in have led to many a pity parties and woe-is-me moments. I have convinced myself that no one on the entire planet has ever worked as hard at something as we have. It has been hard, but I remind myself that victory is waiting in the wings and she is one pretty gal I look forward to seeing soon.

I hope to come back restored and invigorated for round 5 in this knock-down-drag-out fight. I’ve got my eye on the prize, it’s just a little hazy with my cataract vision at the moment.

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to encourage us through this process, your words are like a healing balm to our tired souls.


It’s 7:15am. The door shuts behind my herd of elephants as they scamper off to school. “It is quiet in this house”, I think, as a smile spreads across my face at this fundamental luxury.

My little monchichis have been home on winter break for the past week, meaning: AMEN AND HALLELUJA!!!!! I have the house, finally, to my self today. Mothers? Can I get a witness?!

There is not too much to report on the home construction front. The insulation is complete and the drywall should have been, but is not quite there yet. A big BooOooO to it not being done.

Not being able to work in the house this past week, Jim and I decided to do some work on the property. I did a hard pruning to all the trees and burned off some scrub and underbrush. After a 1 minute conversation with Jim about a dead tree on our property, he was hard at work with the chain saw taking that sucker down. In retrospect, it was a little close to the house for a novice tree remover, but when we see it, we do it. However, next time we may take pause for longer than a minute, you just never can tell.

Lord have mercy and let her fall the right direction.

My mind is stirring with thoughts of finish selections and visions of a completed project. The beauty of a small bungalow likes ours (doesn’t calling it a bungalow sound much more quaint, lol) means I get to mack out the little details in our space. With a sixty thousand dollar initial budget, this will absolutely have to happen over time, but it is going to happen. I see it as clearly as if I stood before it.

I have included a few photos for your viewing pleasure and will continue to do so as things move along, enjoy!

Imagine these with matching black shutters flanking either side


Window boxes spilling over and english boxwoods as foundation plantings


Soon to be screened back porch


Kitchen window that will eventually convert to a door leading to detached garage.


Side view and temporary driveway


HaPpY VaLeNtInEs DaY EvErYoNe!!!

While I don’t personally buy in to this manufactured holiday, it sure is nice to wake to loving sentiments and chocolate kisses from my children. Literally, chocolate kisses, as in, all over there puckered up kissers coming straight at me and Mr. Sandman who is still taking vestige in my sleep filled eyes.

The joyfullness and excitement my children are feeling this morning as they face a day of sugar overdosing and candied coated card exchanges is contagious.

My excitement comes from a different source. After being out-of-town last week, Jim still had some electrical work to come home and complete before calling in our inspection. He was anticipating another 2 days to finish and as I mentioned before, this is one tired man after working all day then coming home to work an additional 4-5 hours at our house. Well, in true nose-to-the-grindstone fashion, Jim worked until completion last night and we are now ready to call in the inspection that will in turn, allow insulation, drywall and septic to get started. Happy Valentines to me! This is fantastic news, as I have been feeling a lot like a plane in holding pattern, waiting for my chance to get in the house and get to work on the painting and millions of other tasks that are sure to come up.

After a budget review meeting Sunday night, it looks like we are skating in a smidge over our budget. Our goal was to get a  C.O. (certificate of occupancy) within the 60k.  After tallying all our costs out and yet to come, we are approximately $3,500 over our original goal of 60K. That is damn good. I’ll take it, and you should have one of what I’m having 😉

Truthfully, I had a moment (well, let’s call it a day) Sunday, of anxiety and stress at how on earth we are going to afford this overture. We have been all prepared to live without certain things in the beginning, but a stove, to name one, was not one of those things. My mind immediately thinks, “what can I sell to come up with additional funds’?  Liquidating belongings to help fund this project is not far-reaching at all. In fact, it is an awesome way to come up with cash when you need it. Ebay has been a great source of revenue for me, turning my children’s outgrown clothing into cash. For a few minutes of my time invested in posting a listing for sale, I can reap financial gain and not even miss what I am parting with.

So, I will be doing some posting, perhaps a kidney to those of you in need…whatever it takes. Cash in hand to move forward with our plan, (I think I just found todays motto) lol.

I am working on changing my mind-set from anxious about everything coming together, to gratitude for the opportunity to begin again. The details that pull this home together may take a moment longer to come to fruition, but they will come, and all the anxiety I stir up, does nothing to serve me. Unless it is a slice of humble pie.

I’m calling our new home, industrial, cottage, chic. Industrial for the more modern elements I will be putting in place.

An example of this moderninity is our concrete slab. My intention is to use a specially tailored stain for concrete that will allow a “mottled” affect, then finish it with a high gloss sealant. Here is how it should look.


Additionally, I have selected modern vanities and lighting for both the children’s bathrooms and the master bath. 

Kids bathroom vanity with one enormous sink top that covers entire surface.      Kids bathroom vanity lights 


While I appreciate the clean lines of these modern pieces, instinctually, I am drawn to rustic and unusual elements as well. Items that tell a story and breath life into a new space.

When my parents decided to take down the ancient barn that sat on their property, we jumped at the opportunity to take the barn apart piece by piece, metal roof and all, knowing that we would somehow repurpose these items into our new space.

A portion of the old barn wood is now going to be utilized in the children’s play area. I am hoping there is enough to install diagonally on the walls, but if not, it will be placed horizontally. Not only will this add depth and texture to their space, it also enables them to pin their art work and activities directly to the walls. Allowing for creative freedom is a top priority up in our dojo. This is the general idea:



I am chomping at the bit to get moved in. In my excitement, it feels like things are taking forever. Yet, as with all worthy things, the wait will be well worth it.

Head down, shoulders back, spirit strong. We forge ahead with all our strength, energy and will knowing the end is near in site.

This is the view from my nest.

This upcoming weekend should see its way to all electrical being completed. Once done, the rough inspection will be checked off and we will be moving on to insulation, drywall and septic. WE ARE ALMOST THERE! Excuse the sappiness, but allow me take a moment to love on my husband here. Every night for 2 weeks now, my husband has faithfully and diligently come home from a long day of work, only to fasten on his tool belt and walk next door to work on our electrical. It has been long days for him and I know he is tired. I am so happy to have a man who is hands-on and gets things done. On a side note, he doesn’t look to shabby in that tool belt either…eh-hmmm, I digress.

One of the great money savers in this building process is my husbands skilled trade as an electrician. Typically, a large part of the budget goes into the wiring of a home. Now, my father owns a recycling business, which means we were able to get a huge amount of our wiring from GreenStreet Recyclers for free. Talk about cobbling things together, but hey, we are spending half the cost to wire  this home thanks to my fathers generosity and my husband sexy tool belt. Badabing!

I can feel the energy stirring inside me as I think about the end product. I am really looking forward to posting pictures soon and apologize that there have not been more. I just ordered a new camera that I know is going to be smarter than me to start with, yet, as with all things, I will dive right in and get it figured out and the result will be some awesome shots of our new home.

My closing thoughts are this, one: I am proud of the literal blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the making of this home. I feel awakened and alive. Two: Nothing tastes sweeter than the fruits of your labor. What you sew, so shall you reap.


Well, it has been a long and arduous weekend. Productivity came in the form of  sunny day’s, a weekend alone with the hubby and several bottles of wine. One begets the other, which is why it is worth mentioning.

Work boots on, I set about to thoroughly clean our job site. It is my own personal mission to have the cleanest job site in all the land, just in case someone from, oh I don’t know, Guinness book of world records, were to come by and place a judgment. I am in it to win it.

With country music crooning on the radio, I enjoyed moving in and around our new space and imagining what it will be like to soon live here. Holding this thought in my mind, I found myself walking  in to all the rooms to look at the views through each window. I even went so far as to simulate lying down on my side of the imaginary bed to see what I will look at waking up each day. And I like it. A lot.

The peacefulness of our views and knowing that we are moving in to a new beginning or rebuilding of our lives is so exciting, it makes each passing day bound tight with the anticipation of  it all.

We are about 2 months from completing this home, just in time for spring. It seems fitting and absolutely perfect when I think about it. Spring is a time of growth and renewal, of hope and longer days that slide into even longer evenings with friends and family. It wakes my spirit with a warriors cry, calling me to turn my face to the sun and place my hands in the soil. The thought alone makes me smile.

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach

I will leave you with this. Two things I know today, one:  life is so much easier when you surrender your will and move in the direction God calls you. And two: my blue door looks like an exclamation mark where there should be a period. Just saying.

If you tied a string to me, you could call me a yo-yo. I would answer to that. Back and forth, up and down.
Or, we could say I am a lot like those little metal balls inside a pin ball machine, just pull back the handle with all your might, shoot that baby and watch it dance.
So goes the daily life of this home builder. Constant, on the fly decisions that need to be made all the while hoping and praying I’ve made the right choice, can certainly leave a girls confidence in a heaping crying mess in the corner of a dark room, slowly rocking back and forth with her color samples. Its messy folks, all those paint colors smeared on your face from drying your eyes with them.
I mean, let’s face it, a 60k budget leaves no room for mistakes.
Yesterday, I watched in teeth grinding delight as the painters came to start the exterior painting of our home. Confidently selecting our house color was not a problem, just which shade of white to commit to was the question. I not only “got this”, but am really rocking and rolling with the ease of it all.
 Now, on to choosing the color for the shutters.  Bohemian black (it was the name that sold me, for real). No sweat, this is a breeze.
 Ahhh, the front door is another story and it went something like this.
Feeling full of moxie I boldly decided long ago that my front door color needed to be a representation of what lies inside. By “inside” I mean both the physical space of the house and the colorful space of my mind. Seeing as we already talked about my mind in previous posts, I am sure you get where this might be going.
After much deliberation (at least a solid 3 minutes) I chose what is commonly referred to in laymans terms, as a royal blue for the front door. If I were to create the name of this color, it would be something like, saturated turquoise Caribbean blue. 
Here’s a glimpse of the first coat.
Again, this was from yesterday and today the paint crew is due to be finished. I know they have put on at least another 2 full coats, however, I am like a kid at a desert buffet with too many choices and have decided to wait to see the end result until it is all complete. This decision has been made in part because I am FREAKING OUT (a little bit) that I may have made a wrong choice (rather big of me to admit doncha think?) and rather than continue to toil over it, I will give this color it’s fair chance to represent, once I view it next to the black shutters, which I am hoping will tone it all down.
In my mind’s eye, the shutters are proclaiming, “THIS IS A COOL COTTAGE”, the window boxes are over flowing with seasonal flowers, and the English boxwood are all lined up against the front of the house like little soldiers protecting ones fragility as they shockingly stumble upon my front door.
Two things that I know for sure. One,  You will either love this color, or hate it, there is no room for in between. Either way, please say nothing unless it’s positive and I don’t mean, “we’ll bless your heart, good for you for embracing your mistakes”, no mam, that is not what this fragile flower needs to hear, so simmer down on the back burner.
Number two, I am quite certain that my door can now be seen from outer space, so if you ever need to come find me, just pull up google maps and do a search for “unfortunate blue door”, and there I will be, hugging my paint samples, standing firm in my boldness.