Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Paint

It's all coming together now!  All of those decisions that were made weeks ago from tiny little samples are magnified as they are brought to life in our home.  On Thursday, our kitchen cabinetry installation began. We went through Minot Sash & Door for the cabinets.  Sash & Door goes through a company called Midcontinent Cabinetry for the prefabricated stuff that we used, mainly because it's much less expensive, but also because it arrives in three weeks instead of three months.  
Just because they're pre-fabricated doesn't mean you don't have a plethora of choices for your cabinets, so this was a somewhat difficult decision for me.  I've always loved the look of white cabinets, but I also like dark cherry cabinets.  In the end I referred to a designer, whose blog I follow, who noted that white cabinets are true.  So, it's antique white painted maple.  Love it.

I also love the cabinets that will frame the kitchen window; however, I'm still undecided as to whether the glass in the pane will be clear, frosted, patterned, etc.  I don't have to decide right now, I guess.
Here's the lazy susan that I'm hoping will actually work, as opposed to the old lazy susan which collapsed from the weight of two tomato soup cans.
More work being done by our cabinet guy, who is super friendly and is doing a fabulous job.  As a bonus, English is his first language.  After having the drywall guys repeat a single response for the fifth time, I told him that I am simply used to Norwegian accents around these parts.  I don't think he understood what I said.
There are lots of nooks and crannies for Calvin to hide in these days.  He is currently standing where our dishwasher will be---oh, I can't wait to have a dishwasher again!
As of Friday night, this is how the kitchen looked.  There are still lots of adjustments to be made and doors to be added.  The island will go in following the flooring installation.
Here's a look at our bathroom vanities--same style, but with an espresso stain instead of antique white paint.
Dad is working hard here painting our new walk-in closet.  Oh, how nice it will be to have a grown up closet.  
Perry is painting our bedroom here.  My friend Maria noted that this color, which is also in the living room and hallway, looks like coffee with creamer.  Yum, I like it even more now.  It'll just feed into my coffee addiction.

There's still much more painting to do.  It seems neverending, but we've made a pretty huge dent thus far.  I have a couple of fun projects for the kids' rooms that I'll share with you in the week to come.

When will we move in?  Well, my best guess at this point is 2-3 weeks.  I miss home so much and I can't wait to be sleeping in our bedroom and returning to a somewhat normal life.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Return of the Walls

Follow Calvin on a tour of his new and improved home sweet home! 
The first layer of taping is done and texture should be finished by Saturday.  After that, it's PAINT, PAINT, PAINT AND MORE PAINT.  Wow!  That means I have to pick out colors.  I'm such a procrastinator.

This is what you see when you come through the front door.  The fireplace no longer stands in the middle of the house.  It has been replaced by a wall, which I am so excited to decorate with family photos.  I have a few of them. ;)

Here you are looking back to where I was standing in the last picture.  The angled door is the door to Natalie's new and larger room.  I love how the angled door looks, and it will be so functional for wheelchair access.

This is looking down the hallway from the bedroom area.  We lost a big hall closet in the remodel...but it was worth it because it became part of our master bedroom's closet!  

Calvin is checking out the electrical wiring.  He is quite intrigued by this, which comes as no surprise to this mommy, who spends most of her time telling Calvin to "STAY AWAY FROM THE OUTLETS!" 

Maybe bringing Calvin here today wasn't such a great idea...he left his fingerprints (quite literally) in the house.  This is wet joint compound.  I quickly tried to fix it---hopefully the workers don't notice!

 Calvin is standing in his bedroom.  I get really sad when he's in his room for some reason.  He is missing out on 6 months of his life in this room.  I often wonder what he's thinking when he's in our house...if he remembers it or is just confused.  I get the feeling that he remembers it when he looks out the front window.

If you know me well, you know that I detest overhead lighting.  It's all about lighting, people.  I need all the help I can get.  Well, there is one exception to the overhead lighting rule---RECESSED LIGHTING.  It makes ya look purdy.  That's why it was a priority on my list for the electrical work.  Yippee...recessed lighting, dimmers...I may not need to wear makeup ever again.  BAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah, right.

On to the mudroom and garage.  This room was pretty much hideous before with its wood paneling and commercial grade carpet that had seen better days.  It already looks a million times better.  
 Ditto for the garage, which had some pretty beat up sheetrock pre-flood.  It looks all nice and new now.  It's like our house got a facelift, a tummy tuck, the whole works!

And now...for our most favorite room in the house---THE FAMILY/GREAT ROOM!  No more ugly wood beams and outdated kitchen cabinetry...everything is now designed around how we live.  The old wood burning fireplace needed to come out along with everything else, but I wasn't willing to say goodbye to a fireplace altogether.  It's kind of the anchor in the room.  So, we put in a gas fireplace instead, which is much more practical, and also a great heat source.  In the winter, we can turn it on and spend most of the day in the family room, which we do already.  I also don't have to worry about cleaning out a fireplace.  Yesssssssss.
 Our patio door lost one panel--which is okay with me.  It makes much more sense to have a two door patio door---three doors took up too much wall space.
 The kitchen area.  I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I think about all of the wonderful things I'll have in my kitchen.  You'll see it all next week!

Okay, this brings me to something I've wanted to share with you for quite some time now.  This is a difficult process for us, as it is for everyone else in Minot.  We'd all love to give all the new stuff back if we could just have our old Minot back, full of green lawns and living in our own homes.  I wish we could erase 2011 from our memories, but we can't.  Every day we wake up realizing that we're not home.  It's sad, but we are fortunate in that we plan on staying in our home for the rest of our lives.  

That is why we had some big choices to make along the way when it comes to finishes in our house.  We're not preparing our house for sale, we're preparing it for us.  We've been blessed to have friends and family help us with so much thus far, and that's why we were able to do some special things for us to enjoy.  We needed to get a new oven and cooktop, which were left behind in the flood, but with new cabinets, a new oven and new cooktop, our old duct-taped fridge would have looked strange, so we got that.  When we're looking at flooring, we need something that's wheelchair-friendly and will last for decades, so we're doing hardwood instead of laminate.  I want to share this with you because when you see the finished product, I don't want you to think we're living the high life thanks to the generosity of others.  We're simply trying to make sure we're putting in the things that will last, but with a steady eye on our budget.  

Okay, that's all I have for today, but there's much more to come.  We'll start getting into the fun stuff soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Going Home

I'm starting to get that it won't be much longer until we can start moving things back into our house.  Maybe I'm too optimistic, or maybe I'm just tired of living in someone else's house, but it feels like the end is near.  Things are starting to come together quickly, so quickly that I feel a bit overwhelmed at times thinking of all the things that need to come together in a short period of time.
Calvin is such a good helper!
The siding is almost complete---just a little caulking here and there.  I love the gables!! 
Look at the pretty stone on the front of our house! (and the little boy running around, working up a sweat!)

Electrical, insulation and plumbing are complete.  Yesterday, HVAC began...the furnace is in place, ductwork is going in and the new gas fireplace is being installed.  Having a gas fireplace in the family room/kitchen will be fantastic in the winter, since that is the room where we spend most of our time.  This will allow us to heat that room, and turn the thermostat down in the rest of the house to save some money!

Natalie's shower is in its final resting place---ready for some walls to go up!

One priority for us was putting in a whirlpool tub for Natalie--something she absolutely LOVES!  We had to compromise a bit on this.  At first, I wanted it in her bathroom, but there was just not enough room with the roll-in shower.  Then, when we decided to put it in the master bath, we wanted a corner tub, which ended up being too big for the room.  So we found this fantastic tub that will allow us to have a shower in our bathroom as well.  I love seeing it in place--it makes it seem like the end is near!

Vents are going in the floor...heat is on the way!
Sheetrock installation begins on Friday, with tape and texture the following week.  I'm so excited to get some paint on the walls!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Love This House

Why are we rebuilding?  It's a question we have often been asked during this whole nightmare.  People wonder why we would do such a thing when we don't know what will happen next spring.  Others think it's best for us to build outside of the flood zone, up on the hill.  There are many factors that go into our decision to rebuild as quickly as possible.  The first is that we bought this house because it's perfect for Natalie.  We will not be able to buy another house that can fit our needs and is in our budget like #5 Fairway.  We also need to be back as quickly as possible for the same reason---it's handicap-accessible.  We're not going to live our lives wondering what some government agency is going to decide, because if we do that we'll be waiting forever.  We just have to have the faith that the Lord will take care of us and provide for our needs no matter what happens.  Most importantly, we're rebuilding because we love our house.  And that's that.

So, back to the rebuild...

Electrical wiring is finished, and now it's on to insulation.  We considered the foam insulation, but decided to save money there and roll it in ourselves.  Our house is going to be so much more energy efficient the way it is with new windows and siding, that this wasn't really a difficult decision.  Here are Steve and Jim finishing up the family room.
 Here is the big bathroom/laundry room.  It's so large and luxurious.  I can't wait to see the finished product!!!  Do you see the package of insulation in the very middle of the picture?
 That's where this beautiful new roll-in, handicap-accessible shower will be.  How exciting!!!
 Now for the big project of the weekend...finishing the siding!  We got one step closer to this when the guys got together to place the shakes on the gables.  I was SOOOOO nervous about it working together...but it actually looks better than I had imagined.  
I brought cookies over for the guys--but Calvin managed to eat more than anyone else there---including his father!!  :)
We finally have a finished front of the house.  I think next summer we'll put a deck on the front of the house---but it's not necessary right now.
Calvin loves being HOME!
This is the fantastically beautiful dry stack stone on the front of the house that I absolutely much so that it will also go on the surround to the fireplace in the family room.  
So, again, we're looking in to Natalie's bedroom, with its wide opening and angled door.  Love it.
Looking from the master bedroom into the master bath.  I'm so excited to have two full bathrooms in the house.
The family room is insulated now.
Calvin is inspecting Daddy's work on the siding (cookie in hand).
Natalie sat in the "kitchen" listening to all of the work going on.  She loves all of the noise!
This little area will one day be Natalie's desk in the family room.  It'll be the perfect spot for her to listen to music, play games and have her own space!
More siding work!
Inside the house is a wonderland for Calvin.  He runs around like a mad man.
There's our beautiful house, hidden behind the ol' FEMA trailer, which I'm fairly certain won't be hooked up until 2012.  (It's for my in-laws, by the way!)
 So, what's on the agenda for our home?  Plumbing has begun, HVAC and sheetrock is next week, hopefully we can get some painting done before the kitchen arrives and  flooring goes in.  Then, it's all about the details and some looooooong nights.  We're ready for it though; it'll all be worth it in the end.