Thursday, November 3, 2011

Almost MIA--but I'm back--With Pictures!!

I can't believe its been 77 days since we moved in!!  Time has just flown by so fast.  Looking back now, so much has happened yet so little has happened since we've moved in.  I'd say we are pretty well unpacked. Still  finding things here and there  and deciding  where I want to put things but for the most part I'd say we are are nearly settled.  On the other hand, by now I figured we would have had so much more done in terms of decorating our new home.  Paint colors are picked but to date we haven't painted a single room!!  I also envisioned getting  new furniture for our living rooms and  bedrooms, and the kids play room, new kitchen table etc.....but it hasn't been until recently that I've started to finally pick out some new things.    After we initially moved in literally we were working husband got all the ceiling fans installed, all the lights put in, the garage door opener installed, all our electronics up and running,  all our window treatments (2" wood blinds on every window in the house),  curtains in the living room, morning room, my daughters room and master bedroom, bathrooms settled with new towels and shower curtains, we got our driveway paved,  epoxied the garage floor, swing set built......just a lot of stuff....but then life came back into play and we've just settled I guess into the busyness of our lives that we've kind of stalled on house projects.  There is still so much we want to do yet!!

One thing I can say for the last 77 days is WE LOVE OUR HOUSE!!  It hasn't come without a few bumps here and there but Ryan has been on top of all of them and without any hesitation or argument.  They have really been fantastic  and  remained true to their word in terms of service and follow up. We have been so happy here.  Our twins started kindergarten last month which has been a been a big change for us.  They love school and we love being so close to everything.  No more having to take a half day vacation just to go to a parent teacher conference, or school open house or sports event.    They have also begun playing Hockey which has been a blast.  My daughter, on the other hand, has  been going to what we call "ballerina School", which is just in normal terms dance class and she loves it.  My parents frequently visit us along with many of our friends.  Sometimes my parents will come over just to read the kids a bed time story or  to see them on the bus.  All of these things were never an  option before due to our distance issue........moving  has really been such a blessing for us and given us such a better, happier, more fun life and we are loving it!!

We hosted our first party on Halloween and it was so much nicer in this house and we all had a blast trick or treating in the neighborhood.  I LOVE our neighbors and neighborhood.......we so lucked out.  They are such an active community.  They've been hosting parties, and doing wine walks, and our kids play together......its just a fantastic group of people!!   Last week two lots over from us sold and  my husband met them while they were putting up their sold sign.  They have a daughter about the same age as mine so we are really looking forward to welcoming them to the neighbor hood this winter.

What else......can I just say I've loved continuing to read your blogs.  I've gotten so many great ideas of where to get things, and  tips.  Its really been great and very helpful.  I'm hoping we'll all continue to share as we discover new things about our homes and continue to decorate them.  I FINALLY HAVE PICTURES!!   I keep taking them and then never post them and then something changes so I take more.  Well today I decided I'm just going to take a new batch and finally  post them like I've been here they are!!
  Here is our color selections..... 
 Living room
 Living room again.....
  I LOVE my kitchen!!
 still need some stools  for our island and bar area.....
 OK...I really obsess over my kitchen!!
 My daughter's room...will have to post the twins and guest bedrooms later when they are a bit more decorated.
 Kids bathroom
 Master bathroom
 Master bedroom
 Master bedroom again....
 Living room....AGAIN!!
 Guess what...another kitchen picture..... still love it!!
 dining  room....this was a bit tricky to photograph......
 powder room
 mud area and powder room
AND another picture of our paint colors on  a pillow that has been a  bit instrumental in our color selections.

well I guess that's it for now.  My daughter and I need to do some shopping so we can add a little more excitement  to our house.       Hopefully I'll have some new news soon!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making our House a Home is busy stuff!!

Hey Everyone!!  Sorry we haven't updated our blog in almost 3 weeks.  Its amazing how fast time goes by once you move into your new home.   So far we've been really loving our new house and just been keeping busy unpacking and getting all our services established.

Closing was relatively smooth.   There were a couple of minor things which were quickly resolved.  The funniest however, is the amount we were given to bring to closing was $0.11 short of the actual closing amount.  So instead of making us go back to the bank to get a new check our attorney literally gave them 2 nickles and a penny from his pocket and through the whole meeting the change sat on the "official" pink paper with all the other paperwork.   Was kind of silly to see it there on the table....At least it took the edge off the scary content of the meeting though which was good.  At one point  it literally felt like I was signing my life away, and if I was ever 2 seconds late on a payment our life would be instantly certainly made you second guess if what you were doing was the right thing or if we should just run away while we still could!   Then as quick as the meeting started it was over and the house was ours!!

Moving on the other hand was a nightmare!  We decided to hire a mover since we needed to be out of the rental house by the next day, it was hot, and we already asked for help from all our friends and family when we sold our house and moved to the rental.  We thought hiring a mover would make every one's lives less stressful  but we were so WRONG!!.  We got quotes from 6-8 moving companies, and ended up hiring a company that was recommended through the realty company used to sell our house.  This moving company was the only company, who after actually looking at our stuff, recommended  having 6 guys and 2 moving trucks (one to move the rental, and the other to move the storage units simultaneously).  Andrew called the day before  to confirm plans and arrival time (1pm).  

WEEEEELLLLL.....1pm came and went, 2pm came and went.....Andrew calls to ask where the movers are and they are finishing a prior move and said they'll call back in 20 minutes for an estimated arrival time......3pm comes and goes and we still don't hear anything and now we can't even get a hold of them.  SO we load our minivan to the max and I drive an hour to meet my dad at the new house to help unload.  4pm comes and goes and still nothing from the moving company.... My husband and father in law were getting nervous that the movers were going to be a "no show" so they rent a U-Haul and load everything from the rental house and drive 1 hour to our new house and have the u-haul unloaded before we finally hear from the moving company.  They were finally on their way to load the storage units.  So 8pm comes and goes and the movers still weren't at our new house (I'm thinking now all 6 guys are there to do the storage units so it shouldn't take long).  Finally around 8:30 or so they get to our new house and unload.....however because it was so late they didn't put furniture in the right rooms, boxes just went wherever regardless of the room labeled, stuff got broken, we ended up helping was just a mess.

Around 10:30pm the movers were finally done unloading.  By then my kids were asleep at my moms (my mom already had 4 out of town guests staying with her  so we felt bad having her watch our 3 kids as well). The movers told us they only accept cash payment, so earlier in the day we had withdrawn enough cash to  pay more than the high estimated moving quote plus tips......So you can imagine our surprise when we get the bill at 10:30pm and it is 40% more than the high estimate of our original quote.  My husband who is usually pretty reserved flipped out.  Not only where they over 4 hours late, they only moved the storage units (both  the rental and storage units were included in the original estimate), we had to rent a u-haul and move the rental ourselves and they didn't even put the stuff in the rooms it was supposed to go, and how can they charge 40% more than the high estimate when they actually came and looked at our stuff prior to the original quote so it wasn't like   they didn't know the amount of stuff we had when they gave us the original quote......We were livid!!  Long story short I think we still paid too much but the bill was compromised and we were just happy it was over!!. All that we had hoped to avoid by hiring a moving company still ended up happening anyways so it was an expensive disappointment!!

Since moving day things have been good.  We love our house!!  Most of our stuff has been unpacked and  installed.   The lights/ceiling fans we were responsible for have been installed, the mail box is up, even our garage door opener is installed....thank goodness my husband is so handy and technologically gifted.....he's really done a great job getting us set up and settled.  As of last week we have Internet, cable, and phone, and as of today our trash service has begun (guess there was a mix up in our start date....nothing like having 3 weeks of  trash and boxes piling up in your garage....yuck!).  Already I've been dreaming of how I want to decorate.  I have some new curtains up in the morning room, and we will be putting up new curtains in the family room tonight,  and I have some paint colors picked out.

Our grass.......well its supposedly growing.  A couple days before closing they hydro seeded our lawn and a big storm came the same day and washed it all away.  Ryan told us they felt the grass seed was still there but if it doesn't grow they'll come back later and re-treat it.  Well the front yard does look good but the back yard is nothing but mud.  I'm hoping at our 30 day inspection it will be handled. I can't wait until we can walk outside and relax in a yard again ......feels like forever watching the grass grow...ha!!

Other than the grass there has just been some small stuff to report.  The biggest issue, however,  happened  a couple days after we moved.  I heard banging in the basement and found a pipe that was completely off the gas hot water heater.  Andrew had temporarily fixed it but the plumber came the next day and officially "fixed" it.  But within a day or so my husband had to continue putting  the pipe back on the hot water heater multiple times a day.   I guess there have been a few issues with the workmanship of the plumber who originally did the work so our PM came to look at the pipe for himself and felt it was installed a little too short.  So he called the owner of the plumbing company to come take a look and resolve it himself.   As far as I know whatever he did to resolve the situation has now held.  One big gripe we have had though..... the paint used on the walls of this house is horrible! I swear you don't even have to touch it and it picks up dirt or marks.  Then if you try to wipe the smudge off, the wall comes off with it.  Wish they would have used at least an egg shell paint.

One of the best parts of our new house, besides having the best neighbors ever, is we love our proximity to everything.  Before, we lived at least an hour away from everything, work, family, friends, stores, new commute to work...15 minutes!  AND I'm 10 minutes from all our friends and family....its sooooooo awesome and what a difference it has already made in our lifestyle!!  Love it!!!

Well I wish I had some pictures for you on this post but unfortunately I don't.  Perhaps after we hang the curtains tonight I can get some posted for you.  I continue to check out all your blogs.  Looks like you're houses are all coming along nicely.  Congrats go out to Ravenna Ranter on your close......what a nice gift with all those plants.......everything looks so beautiful!!

Until next post......

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Counting the minutes!

Jingle, jingle I hear keys!!  Literally we are down to hours until we are new home owners again!!!  Our pre-settlement meeting went very well and just made us even more excited to move into our new house.  Every time they pulled out the envelope containing our house keys my husband and I just instantly got huge grins on our faces.... It was like the magic golden envelope......It's just so amazing!!!  Our realtor and my father in law both attended the walk through at the house and both were extremely impressed with the workmanship, quality,  and service that comes with a ryan home.  We did have some minor things that still need to be attended to but overall everything went very well.  Lucky for you we've got a lot going on today so I don't have time to write much.  Looking forward to having some post closing pictures for you soon.......just can't wait to finally get moved in and  somewhat unpacked and settled!!

We'll write more soon!! 

Monday, August 15, 2011


I am almost beyond words to describe my excitement this week!  THURSDAY WE MOVE INTO OUR NEW HOUSE!!!!!!! I feel like a little kid again anticipating something great like going to Disney, or getting a  new bike, I just can't wait for the day to finally get here......all that planning and anticipating and dreaming will finally become a reality in a matter of 2 days!!  Its just so awesome and I am so ready to begin our new life in our new home!!

Looking back from where we started it seems like its been such a long adventure, but then I look at the blog pictures and am amazed at truly how fast this house was built.  If you think about it, we started this adventure back in February but the house itself wasn't started until the end of May and now its done.....I'm just so ready to finally move and  live the excitement we've been  building all these months!!

Updates.....uh.....well....hmmm..... it doesn't seem like there are any.  Actually, our shutters were put up at the end of last week, and some minor concerns regarding various things with the house have been adjusted (the garage door was not level when opened....guess a spring needed adjustment, we had an issue with a broken cabinet that they fixed, and there was a doorway that was extremely slanted (so it wasn't square) too has been adjusted).   On Friday our two trees were planted and the lawn hydro seeded. The unfortunate thing now is our lawn is no longer hydro seeded.  We had some pretty nasty storms blow through on Saturday.  Our new neighbors gave us a call and mentioned the lawn was gone so we went to check it out and sure enough the heavy rains and wind washed it all was a mess!  We haven't talked to our PM yet but I'm sure he'll have it fixed before we move in so I'm not overly worried.  Now my only worries seem to be getting packed and coordinating the move in time.  We have to be out of our rental by Friday, we close on Thursday at 11am and  the moving company wasn't available to move our stuff until 1pm on its a pretty tight time frame.  Did I mention we're not fully packed yet at the rental, we have three little ones to watch and my husband and I are working until Thursday, and our jobs and our new house is an  hour commute one way from where we currently live......YIKES!!  It will all be fine though....I have faith and there are only so many hours in the day and so much one can do.......we all will survive.....I just may not have any hair by the time I'm done...ha!

So for the most part its been pretty uneventful at the new house.....its just sitting there waiting for us to move in!  I thought I would have some of the pictures I took over the weekend to post but unfortunately my husband downloaded them already to my computer which my son dropped today and broke, and now I don't have any on the memory card to download to my husbands computer.   I'm sure I'll have some soon though but it may be after we move in!!  Just pray for us that our closing and move all goes smoothly.

well I'm tired, and I apparently can't type very well tonight and I still have some packing to do and things that need my attention.  I just had to express some of my excitement and let you a ll know we're still around.  Can you believe it?....WE MOVE IN 2 DAYS.....ahhhh I just can't wait!!

Talk to you all post-move :-)!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ta Da!

So here's the happy couple now that our siding has been changed!  Actually this week my husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.  Most people plan some romantic evening out and, well we've been so stressed between balancing our complicated work schedules, building a house, living in a short term rental (aka the Frat House....its student housing!), and raising 3 toddlers that we've been lucky to even see each other let alone plan a romantic anything.  So our perfect plan to celebrate the precious event......go check out our new house!!  Ha!
Actually, we did make some plans....we went to Home Depot and bought 2 hunter ceiling fans and the pendant lights for above the gourmet island......I know we are so pathetic!!  But that was our idea of fun....dreaming of plans for the new house without having 3 little ones screaming and making a scene in the store.  Those of you with little ones I know can appreciate this!!  We did however, also have a VERY nice dinner at a restaurant we've never been to before so we did make our evening a little more special than I've made it sound to be......its just funny to me that everything in our life right now seems to revolve around our new house....which we are, as you can tell, very excited about!!
Lets for the week......well......
OUR NEW SIDING IS DONE!! So looking at this picture compared to the picture with the "pink" siding you probably can't see any difference.....but let me just say there is a big difference.  There is NO pink!!  Many of our neighbors have commented how much nicer it looks and how they like it.  The most important though is us and, WE LOVE IT!!  So glad we made the change.......I don't feel angry or sick when I see our house now......I feel calm and happy!! Its made a world of difference and this truly is a more accurate representation of the color we originally selected prior to the supplier change.  Our PM said the bottom shutters will be added next week as the brackets broke when they removed them for the new siding job....otherwise everything looks fantastic and we are sooooo happy!!
What else.....on our Anniversary visit we met the cleaning lady who cleans our house prior to us moving in.  She was very nice and gave us some insight on what she does and if she notices anything in her work she automatically reports it to our PM so it is taken care of prior to move in.  This was also the first time we were able to see our floors without the protective paper covering on it and we are really happy with the result.  Everything compliments each other very well.  The only room we don't really love the floor in is our master has kind of a yellow and pink cast to it but I think its partially a combination of the lighting and lack of color and decoration.  I think once we add our own touches, shower curtain, towels etc. it will take away that yellow cast we see.  For the most part everything looks pretty much ready for move in....needs a little cleaning and the outside needs some finishing work but otherwise it looks GREAT!!  SO excited.....
Our PM said he will have the C of O probably on Wednesday, but he has some finishing work to do that was pushed back due to the new siding so our closing has been pushed back to August 18th......which is seriously just in the nick of time as we need to be out of our rental by the 19th!!  AHhhhhh Streessss!!  It will all work out though.  We also went and bought our mailbox this week.....ohhhh I know so exciting but actually its been a lot of fun to go out and pick things to make the house all our own. Next on the list is some window treatments, and new furniture......I'm sure that is going to take a little time though.  I need some time to really decide what I want and what colors I want and what will work well with 3 little kids abusing it...ha!  So, below I've posted some pictures taken this week.  Can't wait until I can post the pictures taken when its finally ours......its so close....I can't wait!!

....more to come soon!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Siding Delivery!!!!!!!

Perfect timing! So initially we were going to take the kids to the museum for an evening of family fun, but on our way there we found the museum was closed :-( so what should one do when your first plan doesn't work out......obviously go check out your new house! :-)

Well as we previously mentioned in our past post our siding issue had been positively resolved with Ryan but we were hesitant to give any further details than that.......well our new siding arrived tonight!! Good-bye pink peach pit (aka Autumn Beige) and hello Sandy Tan! After working the issue up through the ranks, Ryan has allowed us to pick a new siding color and for a nominal additional cost will re-side our house. Although we felt we shouldn't have had to pay anything since we weren't the ones who changed suppliers and weren't given the option to select a different color, the additional cost was nothing compared to what it would cost us to re-side the house ourselves and we are just happy we don't have to live with the fleshy pink house for the next 30 years. I have to say though the picture below makes the house look great but everyone....and I mean EVERYONE has commented about our "peachy, pink" its obvious it was an issue. Even the siding delivery guy tonight said it looked pink!!
  So our new siding arrived just as we were pulling up to the house! I have to admit I'm still a nervous wreck about the new color but I think we'll be so much happier (I'll actually be glad to see the house and not cringe at the sight of pink) and I'm excited to finally see it go up on the house. Apparently, our complaint must have caused a change throughout Ryan, we were told by our sales rep that a hold was placed on anyone who had picked this color for their house and they had to go see it on a house and sign off again before selecting the color. Our sales rep had mentioned many people had made color changes after seeing it. However, according to our neighbor tonight, they said their sales rep told them it was taken off the option list all must be we weren't the only ones having issues with the color....Ryan must not have liked the end result either to discontinue the color from their options. Can anyone confirm or deny that Autum beige was taken out of the siding choices?

Well what else is going on.....hmmmm CARPET!!! I have carpet and I LOVE IT!! We snuck into the house tonight and so much has been done. The microwave is in above the stove, our stove is almost installed, the dishwasher is installed, all our door handles and locks are on, shelving is all done, the walls have all been repainted, the step to the front door has been added, the front light has been put up, the toilet paper holders and towel bars are in, the AC is done, the basement has been powerwashed and cleaned, the driveway has been stoned and the yard graded......the house is practically done....well with the exception of our new siding!!

We were told we will be closing on August 12th but they said depending on the new siding project it could push closing out a couple days....which is ok with us since we're getting new siding! We should find out later this week if our date has changed. I just can't wait to finally move in and its so close now!! Guess that means I need to get a hussle on packing up the rental house and selecting a moving company. We've gotten quotes from 6 different companies in the last week. We've always moved ourselves in the past but given its been so hot, and we already used our ask for help cards with all our friends, and we're just plain stressed we thought hiring a moving company would be so much easier.....let them worry about moving us and that will free us up to worry about all the other things we need to do when we move in.

Well, I guess thats it for tonight. Guess I got a little carried away with words but just wanted to give you the siding update and express our excitement on all that has been done in the last week or so. I'm sure we'll have more later in the week and hopefully new pictures of the new siding as well.....

Monday, July 25, 2011


So we took a drive by the new house yesterday and couldn't resist the urge to see if we could get in.  Half expecting to have to hoist one of us through the window we took a chance at the front door and surprisingly it was unlocked....yay for us!!

I just can't stop admiring the progress.........most of our excitement comes from the kitchen.  In our last house the kitchen was adaquate for a family with no kids and just starting out in life....but for a busy family it was extremely un-user friendly, had very little cabinet and counter space, and in general was pretty much the one and only thing we hated about our old house......but those days are soon to be forgotten as we are eagerly awaiting to move into the heaven of thus all our excitement and love over our new  kitchen space!!

Our awesome kitchen!  Its huge......I'm already day dreaming of hosting parties and making Christmas cookies where I can spread them all out to be frosted and decorated....and most of all the storage space!!   Our old house had three drawers total all placed inconveniently in the kitchen.  Now we have at least 11 Full sized drawers (I think it may even be 15.....I lost count after 3...ha!)!!!!!  We also love how the cabinet color compliments the butter rum granite counter tops. When we noticed we were to have a single bowl sink in the kitchen we were a bit nervous as I envisioned a very shallow small sink....however to my surprise I think it will work great!!  Its much deeper and bigger than we had anticipated.  Our other major love is the crown molding on the cabinets.  It just gives it that polished finished look.....something we almost overlooked but we are so glad we sprung the extra cost for!!!

In our old house we changed out all our light fixtures for the oil rubbed bronze/black look.  We were so nervous we wouldn't like the brushed nickle and it wouldn't work with our decor but its actually really nice and a bit refreshing.  I'm so glad we went with the upgraded light package as we got a nicer chandelier.....which to my surprise I LOVE!  The other thing I'm glad we added as well was 3 pendant lights over our gourmet island (I'm sure we'll have pictures of those when they are installed in the future).  So far to our surprise all the lighting looks great!!

First floor powder room.  Love that little window and oval mirror.  In so many new builds you usually get that dreaded square piece of mirror....the oval one just gives it a bit more home feel and less institutional, cheap, builder feel.....another plus in my book!!  We can at least live with it for a while without that nagging feeling of "I can't wait to re-do/change the bathroom".

So looking forward to having the double bowls in our husband and I will no longer need to take turns in front of the sink/mirror to finish our morning routines.  One thing we will be changing right away is the shower curtain rod.  In our old house we had a one of those curved shower rods that made our tub feel much bigger so we'll be getting one of those again.  When we were picking out our options for the Master bath I hemmed and hawed over getting the upgrade with the garden tub.  Not because I wanted the tub but because I really wanted the window in our bathroom.   Then it was brought to my attention that in all the models we went through none had a window in the bath and it didn't bother me.  I'm guessing because the lights above the shower bring in so much light it feels like you have a window in the bathroom.  Love it!! 

I love our new entry......specifically I love the molding detail above it!  Eventually the door will be painted black to match the shutters.
So one of you had mentioned how good for the soul it has been to sit in the morning room while drinking your morning coffee and that has brought such a wonderful image to me.....keeps me dreaming!!  I so LOVE the morning room!!  I love light and windows so this is probably as close to a sun room as I'll be able to get.  However, the best part of the morning room is it will be a lovely place for all of our family meals and it is out of the way so we won't be tripping over our kitchen table all the time to get to the living room or crowding up the flow of traffic into the other parts of the house when we have has a designated spot right out of the way yet still accessible to see TV, the kitchen, have conversations etc. while preparing for big family parties or events......entertaining is going to be 1000 times better in this house.....I CAN'T WAIT!! 

 DING DONG!! So there is my very handsome husband testing out the doorbell and to our surprise it fun to discover new things working in the house!! maybe its a bit strange but I love our stairs.....I love the railings (so glad we upgraded those!!...if you're debating it just do worth the money!).

Seriously....can you believe this house!!  I don't know what it was yesterday but for the first time it really hit me that this is ours...its all the things we said we wanted if we ever moved from our old house and we got it and more!!  I just can't get over the space.....its way more than we ever could have wished for.  Our last house was 1500 square feet and really our only gripe was with the kitchen and how far away we lived from family, friends, and our work (roughly 80-100 miles round trip).  We always said just a little more space would be nice, basically all we wanted was a 4th bedroom and maybe a little more space in the kitchen and living room......who knew we would move to a place that the 1st floor alone is the size of our entire last house.....its just beyond belief and we both feel so extremely blessed that this is all happening for us.  Its just way more than we ever could have imagined!!  

Well I hope all of your housing journeys are continuing to go well.  I'm starting to pack our rental house up in anticipation of moving for a second time in the last 3 months......can't believe in about 3 weeks we'll be in our new home!!  AMAZING!!  We'll continue to keep you all posted of our progress and I'm sure we'll have a siding update for you all soon as well.  It has been positively and I feel fairly resolved but we don't want to go into further details until it is actually resolved and everything has been handled.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

The inside is not PINK!

We have been so worried about the siding we haven't posted what they have done inside! I got inside a few days ago when the trim workers were there and was very suprised about all of the inside progress. The cabinets, counter tops and floors were all done in the Kitchen and bathrooms. The railing are up and the doors are hung! The mirrors are up and so are the light fixtures. I really like our chandelier. I thought I wouldnt like the brushed nickle finish on the fixtures but it looks really nice. I LOVE the Railings! So glad we upgraded them from knee walls. Very happy they didn't have to make the soffit go all the way through the family room. It makes it look so nice and big (the nine foot ceilings help!)

Our PM is on Vacation this week so we are dealing with our sales rep for the siding issue. Let me just tell you she is great! It seems like she is realy going out of her way to make us satisfied with our siding. We are making good progress and we'll have an update when we feel it has been resolved.
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