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Two Long, Simultaneous Processes … Complete.

05/02/2013

It’s no coincidence that we started the process of building a new home and adopting Alianna at the same time. She arrived at our lovely little ranch home in September 2011 and we learned pretty quickly that she was going to need to be adopted. Although we anticipated we’d be fostering for a while before adopting any child, we were thrilled to move in that direction with the precious little girl we rapidly fell in love with.

But, we still hoped and planned to continue fostering kids who need a home and substitute parents for short or long term and we realized we were going to be limited on bedroom space and options for kids. We would have only been able to accept a placement of a girl who could share a small bedroom with Ali. So that’s why we began the process of moving to a bigger home. Originally we were going to buy an old fixer-upper so we could stay in our already established, historic neighborhood. When a rare piece of property came available (due to a house fire and then demolition of the previous home), my dad convinced us to consider building a custom house. The land was 7 houses down from my parents’.

We put an offer on the property before knowing for sure that we’d be adopting Ali. In November 2011, we got custody of Ali (through a dramatic turn of events that you’re well familiar with if you’ve been around here long), purchased the property for our future home, put our current hom on the market and started talking to architect Ryan Thewes to plan our new house. Eighteen months later both processes finally wrapped up. How about that?! If you’re a nerd for dates and timelines, here’s a breakdown of both of these processes that ended up running side by side.

twoprocessestimeline

I feel an unexpected amount of closure. Two major, life-changing process have just completely wrapped up.

IMG_8734 IMG_8585

Now what? Seems like time to start a new adventure…

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New Home Update

09/27/2012

We have had a lot of work done on our new house the past couple weeks that’s not very visually interesting. We’ve had duct work run for the heating and cooling system. We’ve had gas lines run for appliances and vents for those appliances. We’ve had all the electrical work in the house roughed in.

Also, the courtyard leading up the front door got cleared out and a concrete footer was poured for the steps.

Next up: concrete for the front porch and steps, the garage and the back patio. I think. And soon after that: insulation, doors and drywall. Woohoo! We’re half way there.


New Home Update

09/05/2012

Since my last update on our hew house, we’ve had our windows installed, the ground leveled around the house and our roof has been shingled. All of that excitement packed into one picture-ific post:

The house feels much more grounded, nestled into the property, now that the dirt has been leveled. We’ve got a lot of landscaping to do!

The window in the foreground will be over my desk, looking out into the backyard.

The front door (in the right of this pic) opens into the dining room and kitchen area. The windows next to the door were not yet installed in this picture. We get a ton of light while still having a lot of privacy from the street.

From the front door, we can see straight down the hallway and out the window in one of the kids’ rooms. I love how that worked out.

Also from the front door, I catch a glimpse of the living room with big window and tall concrete block fireplace.

We’re looking forward to cozying up in front of the fire this winter.

I really, really love how much indirect natural light we get in the house through the clerestory windows. Three cheers for thoughtful architects!

The exposed concrete block continues into the den/playroom/spare bedroom. Jason is probably swatting a mosquito in this picture. They’re really bad down by our house. Maybe because all the dirt was stirred up with the leveling?

We have some nice big windows in the master bedroom too.

I love that we get to look out at this beautiful crepe myrtle tree all summer and fall!

Lucy is very happy that we have some low windows and glass doors that she can bird watch through.

The front door on a different day, after the windows were installed. This is from the dining room looking out toward the courtyard entryway.

A couple of weekends ago, Jason and I did a bunch of yard work. We removed about 60 feet of chain link fence and posts, cut back/down some trees, weed and shrubs and hauled all the debris to either the dumpster or the curb for brush pick-up. It was hard work on humid days but it felt so good—the physical exercision and the fact that we were working on our new property. This photo is taken from the back corner of our lot, the highest point on the property.

In the above pictures, our roof is covered in tar paper but not shingles. I’m not sure if you can tell by looking at them. But, in the pictures below, we have shingles! Yay! We selected “weathered gray” and it’s just what we were hoping for. We didn’t want to go too dark to attract the sun and we didn’t want to go too light that it looked the same shade as concrete. We didn’t want to go too brown since we have gray concrete block but we also didn’t want to go too gray because we’ll have cedar wood siding. Needlesstosay, we’re pleased with our choice.