March, April, May…how about June?

We have planned on closing many different times over the last few months. However, as we have found out during this looonnnggg drawn out process, buying a house takes time, and buying a new construction home takes even longer. We are hopeful that June is the month! (But still trying not to be too hopeful) We have had more hang-ups than we would like to discuss; however, rest assured they really have had nothing to do with us. First it was the builder dragging his feet, and then it was the loan “resting “on someone’s desk a little too long. So, here we are, late May, and the loan is out in limbo, waiting for the loan gods to approve us so we can move into our beautiful home. As we prepare for family vacation starting June 2, our house will have to sit empty a little longer seeing as how we cannot close while we are in South Dakota enjoying the Black Hills. Alas, one day, we are reminded by our loving family, we will sit around and share our house buying woes and laugh. Or, we will forget about everything once we are living in our new home. Selective memory is truly a wonderful thing.

Doors, Doors, Doors!

*Please sing the title to the tune of Girls, Girls, Girls.*

Though it was well past daylight hours, James and I had to go to the house to check the progress on Monday night. Using our phones as flashlights, we opened the garage, and reveled in the dim light; at some point on Monday, interior doors had been delivered. James and I have had a few choices in the process (one paint color, tile, carpet, and the marvelous brick I wrote about, granite) however; the majority of decisions were not ours. As the garage door began to open, James told me we had doors, I was excited, as any progress makes me happy. 

Now, before I go into my typing rant about “fancy doors” let me explain. In my mind “fancy doors” are the ones in the newer homes that are white and not six-paneled doors. I think I first fell in love when my aunt and uncle built their dream home. I loved it! It was painted in neutral tones with white trim and beautifully decorated. But most importantly, they had “fancy doors.” As I would babysit my two cousins, I would dream that it was my house, hoping one day my future home would be just as beautiful.

So, I do not think I can accurately express the sheer joy I felt as I inspected the doors for the first time; they were “fancy doors”. Yes, doors are doors, and though a normal person may not give much attention to interior doors, my childhood fantasies have had me secretly dreaming of having “fancy doors” in my future home. No, I do not mean the current house being built; I mean that house that will have everything I can dream of when money is no option. (Nope, don’t think that will happen.)  But now, I have fancy doors, just another reason I may not need that dream house and am so thankful for our house that is quickly becoming our perfect home!

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Progress at the Speed of an Unladen Swallow

Decisions have been made, regretted, re-considered, and ultimately kept the same as my lovely wife has so eloquently described of our struggles with brick below. Have you ever looked at brick, like really looked at brick? Suddenly a Jon Stewart cameo comes to mind, something about twenty dollar bills, that’s beside the point. If you’re anything like the two of us, you see brick as brick, not Steve Carell in Anchorman (Six degrees of Kevin Bacon Two degrees of the Daily Show?), but plain-ol’ red brick. How wrong could we possibly be? Cori provides photographic evidence of our struggles in the post below.

Lately progress has been more or less immeasurable from day to day, now take that with a grain of salt as I “build” things with a mouse and keyboard for a living. I know some construction words, like hammer, saw, drill, rip, cut, or otherwise known as things I would likely hurt myself doing. That said, drywall is a tedious process and day-to-day pictures don’t really do it justice, so we’ve been waiting patiently before uploading some more complete interior pictures of the home. Naturally, days after these images were shot more progress has been made, specifically in regards to final taping and finishing. 

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I was able to grab a few more pictures of the exterior, in between rain showers, to show the progress of both the brick and siding. The brick is now completely over the garage, it’s pretty incredible how fast it goes up. I’m sure we’ve said this many times before, however, it’s really getting real. The finishes to the drywall, siding, and brick all do their equal part in contributing to the feel of a complete home. 

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We were recently up in Kansas City to visit my parents. My brother, sister-in-law, and our beautiful niece were also visiting. It was a great time, especially when you’re able to convince your niece that she needs to constantly remind her father how gross he’s going to be when he turns 30 oh so very soon. Now let’s hope she doesn’t remember that goof when I reach that milestone.  

We celebrated Easter Saturday evening the best way we know how, with alcohol and dying eggs. There may or may not be an egg that accurately represents my immaturity and validates one of my wife’s previous posts in which she compared me to a fifth grader. 

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It was a good weekend, and a welcomed break from our increasingly busy schedules, especially so as Cori prepares for standardized testing. We’re looking forward to enjoying the new home with our friends and family. That date is only getting closer, and our house is not getting packed any faster. You’re supposed to pack prior to moving? News to me.

Bricks Gone Wild

We had been dreaming/thinking about design choices for months, ever since the house was finally under contract even more so when a hole had been dug. Despite our excitement and constantly asking the builder for his “goodie bag” we were told on a Thursday night back in March that we needed to pick our brick ASAP! Well, for two people who had been dreaming of making these all important decisions, it felt like we were finally ready make a brick commitment. We were given a few options: we could drive around our subdivision and pick our favorite or we could go to a local brick store and pick from the sample selections.  After work, we drove around the subdivision looking more intensely at brick than should ever be necessary. We would debate, pick one, cross it off, and argue a little more all in a matter of seconds. It was finally decided that we would go to the local brick store during James’ lunch the next day, seeing as how I had the privilege of being on Spring Break.

Wow…I never realized how many brick choices there are in the world. After debating for more than 20, 30, more like 40 minutes we left the brick place convinced we had made the right choice. Armed with two local addresses that also had “Lancaster”, our brick of choice, we went to find these houses to ensure we had made the correct decision. As we were driving through this subdivision, we were met with the realization, that there are soooo many brick choices! As we slowly crept past the first house, we were met with a very orange-ish brick. Hopeful this was a mistake we drove to find the next address, as we made our crawl by this house; we noticed that the brick looked better, but still very orange. We were not expecting orange so the shock and disappointment began to set in as we drove around the subdivision on a quest to find more brick options that may offer more of the color we were hoping to find. After speaking with the brick expert, James was given few “new” addresses for us to stalk check to ensure we were picking the correct facade for our new home. “Wilson’s Creek” seemed to have the qualities we were looking for but on closer inspection, we found that there is one brick every so often that appears to have a “poop stain” on the front. This is immediately nixed. Next up, “Winewood”, which has the darker tint but still red qualities that we have been drawn to in a brick choice, however after much debate we decide that this cannot be our choice considering a home two doors down already has it on the front. We want to be different! Finally, we come to “Bordeaux”, after driving past the address with this brick and stopping for long periods of time just to admire the beauty, we finally decide, “Bordeaux” it is! After driving up to the house this week, I think James and I are very happy and confident that “Bordeaux” is the right choice for the front of our home. We continue to fall more and more in love with it every day as we drive up to inspect the house progress!

"Lancaster" - Looks can be deceiving.

“Lancaster” – Looks can be deceiving.

"Wilson's Creek"

“Wilson’s Creek”

Winewood Brick

“Winewood”

"Bordeaux" - The perfect choice!

“Bordeaux” – The perfect choice!

It's a brick house!

It’s a brick house!

1.21 Gigawatts!?!

After a late night at work, what better way to relax than a trip to your new home? I’m not personally aware of one, however, I’ve been told that I’m a strange man. It was a bit too dark and I was not prepared with proper camera equipment so this post will have to do.

Great Scott! Our breaker panel had been installed and all electrical drops and outlet boxes were in place. If I were a man that claimed to know anything about construction, I’d say that drywall was in our very near future. But what do I know, I build things with a keyboard and mouse all day.

We’ve Come Down With Shingles

This past weekend brought some great weather and with that many unnecessary trips to the house. 3 times in one day is not overkill, right? I suppose we convinced ourselves that it was going to be cold and rainy all day Sunday, therefore necessitating multiple trips on Saturday, makes total sense. With nearly eight workers on our roof laying shingles, we decided to return later. A few hours later we return, braving the odd looks from the neighbors (read: that we’ve now met in the most random of circumstances, more on that later) we broke out the camera and tripod for our now quite familiar tour around the home.

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Ooh, a gallery, fancy stuff here these days, ladies and gentlemen. Please contain your excitement as I introduce the second gallery of this post. We like to spoil you, dear reader. On that note, we’d like to familiarize you with the inside of the home. We’ve been a bit shy of this up until now as the house is not quite as photogenic inside as out. We’d prefer to show you the inside as we decorate and make it home, however, we can deny you no longer. Please bear with us as we venture inside, for the first time.

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As the drywall and finishes start to take shape we predict that the interior will begin to outshine its exterior counterpart, in its own way of course. I suppose now that we’ve finally introduced you to our secret (not really, see that floor plan link above?) interior, we’ll be less shy in the future to show it off.

Now, about those neighbors that I referenced earlier. One night last week we did our regular stop at the home a bit later than normal. After getting out of the car I couldn’t shake the smell of burning wood. My thought process went from, “Smoking meat this late? That’s dedication.” to “Oh, sweet sassy molassey, my home is entirely framed wood, it’s on fire!” in a matter of seconds. Upon further inspection the crew had left their burn pile smoldering in the back yard. I use the term smoldering lightly, as the wind was certainly keeping this blaze alive and doing its best at reenacting a Michael Bay film scene. My wife will tell you that I was over-reacting, the former Boy Scout in me says otherwise.

We decided (she indulged me) that we should introduce ourselves to our neighbors while subsequently asking for a bucket of water. First home on our fire tour: I was able to get the start of, “I’m really sorry to bother you,” before the door was hastily shut in my face by a teenage girl. Nice to meet you, house #1. The second home was far more accommodating, (albeit dismissive, much to my wife’s delight) of our predicament. I don’t want to brag, but I’m sure there are a number of worms and other dirt dwelling creatures that consider me a hero. The fire, as well as my anxiety, extinguished. I imagine there are worse ways to meet your neighbors.