The ugly stuff is almost complete.

There is nothing pretty about framing, the guts of plumbing, and electrical lines.  The infrastructure is necessary, but it is not very exciting.  But since the last update, that is what we have been doing.  The one pretty thing we have accomplished is painting the exterior of the house.  The best bid we received for painting the exterior was still higher than what we expected.  So we did it ourselves.  I won’t lie; it was the opposite of fun.  But it saved us about $4000, which means more pretty stuff.  So I will take it.

Here’s the current look of the outside.  (Here is what it looked like before the change.)  White trim, charcoal gray siding, a blue ceiling, and cedar post columns.  Megan bought me two mid century porch chairs that are mint green at Round Top last weekend.  I am super excited to add those.  Are you impressed with our garage door?  In a few weeks we will have a real one, painted the same color as the house.


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Here’s a better view of the blue.  It is an old southern tradition that I think is a little funky and fun.  It is supposed to ward off evil spirits and keep birds from nesting there–because it is the color of the sky.  I just like the blue.  As we were painting it, Scott kept saying, “good thing we won’t have any evil spirits in here.  What a relief!”

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We still need to do the door.  Here’s our color choice.  We will wait until construction is complete inside for that little project.

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This pretty guy was on sale at Barn Light Electric and will go over my island with his sister.  I am excited about them.

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We added skylights in the kitchen at the last minute.  I really want there to be a lot of natural light in the space and there did not seem to be enough without them.  I am really excited about how they turned out.

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This is the view of our kitchen, from the mud room.  The wood floors are in, but not yet sanded and stained.  That will come in a few weeks.

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We are hopeful that next week will be successful framing, plumbing and HVAC inspections so that we can insulate and put walls in.  Then we paint and stain floors.  Then move back in to “camp.”  Then get kitchen cabinets, appliances, etc.  Cabinets are being made now.  And I am excited about them.

Progress is slow.  But steady.  Scott has worked harder than I have ever seen anyone work.  Showing up before work, at lunch, staying til dark and beyond.  Every. Day.  He is at Home Depot when they open on most Saturdays and Sundays.  He amazes me.  He passed his electrical inspection successfully with the inspector complementing his work.  His Youtube education seems to be doing the trick!  Mainly he is smart.  He has put so much thought into where we need certain switches and what will make things extra convenient.  I am so grateful for his work on this!

France and paint colors.

We just returned from a trip to Southern France.  We went for my friend, Julie’s wedding.  And explored a little too.  The first few days were in Nice.

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Mom and Dad were with us–Dad did the wedding ceremony.  It was really fun to be with them.

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Next we went to Valbonne–to the Chateau Begude–for the wedding.  It is just 40 minutes outside of Nice.

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Back to Nice for the civil ceremony.  Don’t these two look happy?

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Then back to Valbonne for the pretty/spiritual ceremony.

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The cake was super cool–basically candied cream puffs, complete with a very dramatic presentation with sparklers.

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Next up we went to the “Haute Provence” region–basically in the foothills of the Alps.  We stayed here.

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It was perfect.  10 rooms.  Beautiful linens.  Clean and restful.  The town of Saint Laurent du Verdon was tiny–71 citizens.  One stop sign.  Quaint and lovely.  This was the yard of the hotel.

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We went to a really fun market in Reiz.

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Mom and I shopped.  These three hung out.  Bonnie joined us for this leg of the trip which was such a treat!  She had been traveling in Spain, and came to hang out!

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We drove to other neighboring towns, and saw some beautiful sites.

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Less Beautiful.

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We picked what was left of the lavender here.

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The town of Moustiers Ste Marie was beautiful–built on the side of a cliff.

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And on our drive back to Nice, we drove through some beautiful sights and saw the Gorge du Verdon.  Incredible.  Like the Grand Canyon of France.

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And then home.  We had a great time.  We were grateful to celebrate with Nick and Julie and to meet so many of their sweet friends.  And we loved the strange opportunity to travel with both sets of parents.  The trip was great, but we are happy to be back to do fun things like pick paint colors.  Help.

Below are two options for the door and two options for the siding.  I like the top siding color–more moody.  What do you think?  I am not sure I love either door color.

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I have read about Martha Stewart’s plumage and might go with something more like that.  I want there to be a contrast, but I don’t want it overly bright and whimsical.

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White framing around the door and windows of course.  Thoughts?

Siding and roofing continues this week.  Then electrical and insulation.  Then sheetrock.  Then flooring.  Then we move back to our house.  Hopefully.

When does the pretty stuff start?

We are about a month into this project (a little less) and there is still nothing pretty to discuss about our home remodel.  But there is a lot going on.  First of all, Scott is my hero for life.  When both our plumber and electrician upped their bids, Scott decided he could probably just do all that himself.  “That will give us more wiggle room for fun things like spray foam insulation,” he said.  He added a metal roof and a sonic ice machine to convince me. But I think it was the spray foam insulation that motivated him.  We have talked a lot about spray foam insulation for about the past two years.  Anyway.

As of now, the outside of the addition is pretty much framed.  In this bad panoramic picture, you can see the pantry/master closet on the left, a big kitchen space, and the mudroom and nook on the right.

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The framing in the bathroom is also coming along.  Our shower is going to be huge.  We could sleep in there.  This is the view from the middle of the bathroom, into the shower.  The doorway beyond will be gone.  On the left is a half wall, the rest of which will be glass.  On the right will be a glass door.  You can see in the foreground on the left side a little framing for another half wall.  The toilet will go in between the two.

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Scott has spent every waking hour at the house when not at work.  He has worked on the rough plumbing.  And I think he would call all this beautiful.  I think the bike pump is there so that he remembers what it was like to have time to ride his bike.  Otherwise, no clue.

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Look at all that PVC pipe running floor to ceiling!  ThanksRyan for the help.  This is the other view of the master bath.  Where Ryan and Scott are will be counters and two sinks.

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Here’s a better picture of the master closet and pantry.  On  the left side, where the door is, that will be our pantry.  The door will be gone.  The door now leads to our bedroom.  On the right side is our master closet.  The window will be removed and a door will be added.  The pantry will be accessible from the kitchen (obviously), but the closet will just be accessible from the bedroom.

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Here’s our expansive kitchen, right in the middle of which will be a big 4 foot by 10 foot island.  On the far wall is the mudroom, from which the garage can be accessed.  On the left is just a little bonus room.

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Here’s a better picture of the bonus room off the kitchen.

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And here it is from the back yard!

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I was able to sneak in a little fun this weekend.  I got a pedicure with this sweet girl who just finished her first week of second grade, and her mom, and her (and my) mom.  Much needed after a long week.

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And we celebrated Megan’s birthday with dinner, swimming and an ice cream cake.  (Doug takes this stuff very seriously.)

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This was pretty much my view for the rest of the weekend.  I think between the two of us, we did 5 visits to Lowes, Home Depot and Breed & Co.  Nice legs, Scott.

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Demo is hard work.

About a week ago, we were able to determine the timing for framing our new space.  And that meant it was time to move out.  That means we have a foundation, which is a big step.  Now on to framing.

We planned to move out, but the timing snuck up on me.  We are so grateful to have Scott’s mom’s house as a home base while ours is under construction.  Bonnie spends the summer in Paris, and this year she doesn’t come home until the end of October.  So we are “taking care” of her house, but mainly avoiding the remodel dust.  So each night last week we packed, and then actually spent the night at Bonnie’s starting on about Wednesday.  By Friday night, we had all of our furniture in the middle of the living room covered in plastic, and the remainder in boxes stowed away in other rooms of the house.

And then the demolition began on Saturday morning.

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This was our bathroom after about an hour of work.

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This was the end of the day Saturday.

And then the kitchen….

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We had some incredible help.  Thanks to Brantley, Ryan, and Todd for leaving their newborn children (and other loved ones) to help us with such painful work. I figure we saved about $1000 over the course of the weekend, which is pretty helpful.  We owe you mucho.

As I was pulling trim from the top of the walls in the kitchen, it rained rat poop, which was a tad bid disconcerting.  You don’t realize how gross your house is until something like this.

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My body hurts, but I am glad the heavy lifting is done.  We filled a 20 foot dumpster.  I can’t even believe it.  I am ready for choosing light fixtures and paint colors.  THE FUN STUFF.