Filling Our New Walls with Scripture, Quotes + Love

Back in August, David and I spent a Sunday afternoon at the house with the kids. But it wasn't just any visit to check out the progress of the house build. The workers had just finished framing everything, so we decided to spend that Sunday afternoon making our first mark on this home as a family. We sat down and talked about Bible verses, quotes, song lyrics and sayings that were important to us and made a long, double-sided legal paper list. Then we each grabbed a permanent marker and went to work writing those special scripture verses and quotes on the wooden studs, floors and beams in our new house. I left David a love note on the walls of his closet. We wrote out the lyrics to the kids' favorite lullabies on the floors of their bedrooms. And, most importantly, we cemented in writing some of our favorite verses from the Bible. Verses that mean so much to us and are a foundation to our family. Now they're part of the foundation of our new home, too. David and I are so grateful for this home and want to make sure that we move forward and continue our lives in this new house under His words and in His spirit. We felt that writing scripture on the walls of our new home was a great way to start that process!

So there I am, basking in this special afternoon, permagrin on my face... and while I was thinking "aw, sweet family moment!", my two year old was thinking "aw! mom gave me a permanent marker!" Within seconds, she decided to draw on her face... maybe arched eyebrows are her thing? Future makeup artist? Needless to say, we laughed so hard we cried. And then we scrubbed her face (hand sanitizer takes permanent marker right off of skin!). I love that such awesome memories are already taking shape in this house!

Building Our House: Framing

Guys. Framing was probably one of my favorite steps of our building process. At the end of each day during the framing process, David and I would rush to the farm after work. Our gravel driveway winds to the house from the street, through the trees and into the pasture where our home site is. Each time we pulled up during that framing process (okay, let's be honest, every single time we pull up to the house even now!), we would stop the car and sit and stare. And maybe say "wowwwwww!" One day there was dirt, a few days later there was something that resembled a house! It was incredible. As my uncle (our architect) put it, the framers are true artists. Not only do they put together the puzzle pieces of your house based on the construction plans, but they're actually building the puzzle pieces themselves! Pure genius. And we were really lucky to have an amazing framing crew that worked long hours and got the job done, well.

Once we got the floor plan completed (as I described here), there wasn't much for us to do during the framing process. So it was really nice to sit back, relax and watch the wood go up! If you have any specific questions about the framing process and our choices, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll update the post with the answers. Until then, enjoy what was about a three week framing timeline in about six seconds!

Building Our House: The Foundation and Floor Plan

Ok! Here we go! Another house update! Two blog posts in one week! All the exclamation points!

Last time I checked in, we had finished our site prep work, the initial stage of the build. Also known as a great big hole in the ground. Our next step was to lay the foundation for the home. 

As a quick side note, David and I designed our floor plan with an architect, who also happens to be my uncle! All relations aside, he is incredibly talented, smart, down to earth and is a well-known residential architect here in Georgia. I can't say enough good things about him. If you are looking for an architect in the Atlanta area, shoot me an email and I am more than happy to send you his contact information. He's got a great set of stock plans and is a dream to work with on a custom plan, I know that from experience! Many of you have asked me how we got started with designing our home from scratch- about five years ago, David and I (for fun, I know, we do cool stuff in our free time, ha) drew out our "dream home" and when it came time to meet with the architect, we pulled that plan out and started from there. We also searched plans on Pinterest and Google (I used phrases and key elements to search like "farmhouse" or "keeping room") to add ideas to our base plan, and of course we took a ton of advice from my uncle, the professional. For weeks... honestly, probably months... we worked on the floor plan, playing with the spaces until we got it just right. At one point (after weeks of work), we scrapped the entire plan and started fresh because things weren't feeling right. I know, my uncle probably wanted to kill us, but we really wanted to get this right! A floor plan is everything! We finally landed on what I'm calling a modern farmhouse style- lots of open, modern spaces mixed with traditional elements like a wraparound front porch combined with a few touches of Craftsman style. For a few reasons I'm sure you understand, I don't plan to share our floor plans here on the blog, but happy to answer any specific layout questions y'all might have.

As the builder started laying the foundation of the house and we saw everything finally starting to shape up, it felt like our hard work on the floor plan paid off. I know this foundation topic can get a little dry (no pun intended... ok, yes it was), but I want to document every step in this process for you guys and, hello, the foundation is the first major step in building our house!

The concrete guys first laid out the concrete footers in the shape of our basement floor plan.

You can also see the metal rebar rods they added before the concrete went in to keep things structurally sound. Yes, please.

Then things got real with the concrete guys! They came in full force and filled the footers with their super cool mixer trucks that pretty much rocked HDawg and Lu's little worlds. Preschooler heaven.

Next, they let the footers dry (about a week or so) and then set up the forms for the basement walls. 

Once they poured the walls, let them set for a week and then pulled the forms off, it was kind of shocking. We had walls! It looks like a house! I mean, kind of. The start to a house, at least.

It was at this point that we had the waterproofing membrane sprayed on the basement walls.

Then it was time for a basement floor. They poured gravel first, flattened it, added a water barrier and then poured the cement over it. 

And just like that, we had a basement floor. This photo makes our house look giant, but don't forget you're looking at the basement, outdoor patios and retaining walls. Lots going on!

And just like that, we had a foundation for our new house. So exciting. Up next? My favorite part of the build process so far... framing!

I'm Here! I'm Here! An Update.

Well that was an absolutely unintentional three-and-a-half month break from blogging! Did you miss me?! Seriously, how did the past few months just fly by like that? How are we past Halloween? How are we less than a month away from moving into our new house? Whaaaaaaaat is happening?!

Okay, so what's been going on behind the scenes....

The kids are great. HDawg turned four in August and is just a scrumptious little thing with long legs that grew overnight, a constantly churning brain like his daddy's (I can see the gears moving, I swear) and a heart of gold. Little Lady June (otherwise known around our house as Lu) is two-and-a-half and is just about the funniest little thing around. She loves princesses, pink and getting her way. All the time. I don't know where she got that sassiness from... (ahem, it's like looking in a mirror).

David and I are great. We're both super busy at work but loving every minute. I'm still working part-time (30 hours a week) as a commercial real estate attorney, which I love. We just had a new niece born into the family (my sister, Tori's little girl!) and she has the cutest fat cheeks in the whole wide world. The kids keep us busy with soccer games and birthday parties and play dates and kitty cat sleepovers (don't ask) and eating four million snacks a day and all of the other fun stuff that life with two preschoolers holds for us right now.

Oh. And we're a month (or so) away from moving into the house. It is so. frigging. fun. to see it all come together. That photo above is our extra garage and that pretty white siding + rustic brick + black barn lanterns + blue sky just make me so happy. It's all coming together! #insertsmileyface #thebigwidegrinemoji

The last time I shared an update, we had this.

Yeah, dirt. I promise it doesn't look like that anymore! And I also promise to blog the details. I've been wanting to for a lonnnng time, since I'm always getting emails and Instagram messages about the status of our house, the build process, our choices, etc. I can't wait to share! I just haven't had the time. David and I are up late each night devoting every spare minute to lighting selections and flooring and trim colors and faucets and door knobs and windows... I know, poor pitiful us, right?! It's been a ball- seriously, a dream come true- but it keeps us busy! So anyways. Things are finally slowing down here at the end of the process, so instead of packing like I should be, I think it's high time I'll finally start blogging about the build process. It will probably be slowly, but surely. I'll get it up. Next update post will be Friday! Pinky swear. I just hope some of you are still out there to read it!

Of course, you can always follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks. Hashtag #tenjunebuildsahouse, baby. 
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