Jeff and I have a summer routine on our week nights. I get home from work and we make dinner together. We chat about our days as we whip up something yummy. Something about living off of english muffins and fruit first trimester has made me love veggies and meat this 2nd trimester. We eat dinner together, in the beauty and the quiet of our lovely new dining room with the summer breeze swirling around us. We then clean up and head out for our evening walk. We've been walking around 2 - 3 miles in the evenings. It's been a fun way to meet to neighbors and me to stay active since I've been feeling better. We watch the horses in our neighborhood run around, hear the neighbor kids playing and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in our little piece of paradise.
It's simple. It's routine. It's lovely. I feel beyond blessed that God brought us separately to this beautiful place, blessed that we got married. I am thankful God gave me a better husband than I could have dreamt up and that our home is filled with laughter and joy. I feel amazed that God was good enough to give us a home that overlooks the mountains. I can't imagine life without our amazing friends and community. I am so grateful that He has entrusted us with life, now the size of a large orange, to love and nurture. We live a simple life, one that I never want to take for granted.
That's all, blog readers. Today, I am thankful.
Jeff and my dessert after our walk last night, enjoyed from our front porch.
I have been a bit silent as of late. I found out I was pregnant...and threw up 2 days later. Ah yes, I am one of the lucky few that gets sick the minute hormones rise. I have been dealing with all day nausea since 3 weeks pregnant. I do not have it as bad as many have it, so I am counting my blessing. As not fun as the morning sickness (and mid-morning...and afternoon...and evening....and all night for a few weeks) has been, I am so grateful for this little life inside me. We have seen our little baby wiggling around in the ultrasound and seen his/her incredible growth. Today at my appointment I was able to hear the rapid and steady heartbeat with the Doppler. It was incredible. It made all the sickness, food aversions and fatigue worth it. Inside of me is a little life, the size of a lime and his/her heart beats at 170 bpm. His/her fingernails and toenails are forming. It is busy stretching, kicking and somersaulting. How amazing is that?! We are so excited for this life and are praising God for the privilege of being his/her parents.
Now, let's bring on that great 2nd trimester no nausea/fatigue goodness I've heard so much about.
I went out the backdoor this morning, planning on tossing the chickens some scraps. I fling open the back door to find 5 chickens staring up at me. Evidently, the harsh wind this morning blew open their fence door. They woke up, exited their coop and must have heard the French toast sizzling (yes, Jeff makes himself French toast every morning. It's his favorite.). They greeted me at the back door of our house with clucks and hopes of food. I couldn't believe our silly chickens luck! I rarely throw them extra food in the morning (I usually do it all in the evening). I just happened to go out there this morning since I had some extra time to spare. If I wouldn't have gone outside, most likely they would have wandered away from their coop and been a hawks lunch. Or worse, Bear would have been let outside and he would have enjoyed a lovely game of chase the chicken. Their fence had only been open for a couple minutes most likely when I opened the back door. I think they heard Jeff and my voice in the kitchen and got as close to us as their little chicken legs would let them.
I walked back to their coop, enticing them with cheese. They followed me in a row, chatting and gossiping with one another as they walked. I can only imagine what they say to one another. As I walked them over to the coop, Jeff scooped them up one at a time to put them inside their fenced in boundary. It's for their own good as we see hawks fly around daily. Their fenced in area is under a large tree where the branches protect them from any predators. They looked as us through the fence, happily pecking their cheese, slightly hurt that we didn't invite them in for breakfast.
It's been over a week now since we moved into our own small piece of heaven on earth. Our little home is nestled on 2.5 acres. We love it. We love the simplicity and the quiet and the views. We love that our past week has been filled with our community filling the house with laughter and good food. Our small group was over on Monday. Small group usually start at 6:30 and ends around 8:30pm. Yet this last week everyone stayed until 10pm. We were all blurry eyed as most of us get up quite early for work, but the fellowship was worth it. The upstairs was filled with the girls talking around the wood stove, while we heard shouts from the basement as the guys had foosball tournaments and ping pong competitions. We wanted our home to be a place that is filled with community and love. After over a week of living in it, I feel that our little home is already full of sweet memories. I am so grateful.
Mornings have been wonderful. Our plan is to heat our home mostly by the wood stove and use the furnace only when needed. So, mornings are spent trying to convince one another to get out of bed first to get the fire going. But once the fire is going and coffee brewing, the room is filled with the crackle and hiss of warmth. I pour myself a cup of coffee, sit under a warm blanket and take in the sweetness of the morning. I love our new home and our living room. The focal point is the wood stove. We chose not to have a TV in the room and I am so glad. It's a space that now represents community, conversation and simplicity.
Oh, and the view isn't too shabby either.
We also have plans for our land, dreams that only urban farmers have. We have dreams for turkeys, worm composting, honeybees, and a large garden. But, this spring and summer is a time of preparation. We are focusing on clearing space for next year's garden and getting rid of rock that is covering the back yard. We are going to plot and plan on how to use our space the best way we can.
We plan on planting more pine trees and educating ourselves on fruit trees. I love how our home is surrounded by trees currently. The wind can be howling outside, but we don't hear a thing. Our home is nestled among trees and it is wonderful.
It is weird to not be starting my garden this March. I know that next year, we will be glad that we spent this year preparing ourselves. I am sure we could grow an okay garden if we rushed. But I think if we really research the best way to utilize our space, we will be glad we have been patient. So, get ready, friends and family. We are plotting out our little 2.5 acre farm.
Ok, now...are you ready...yes...the time has come for our BEFORE and AFTER pictures. Grab some popcorn and get ready.
Here is the home we hope to raise babies in, grow old in, and experience many adventures together. The renovation process has been an adventure in itself! We are so grateful for our new home!
You walk through the front door and you are entering the living room. I remember when I first walked into the house. It was dark, smelled funny and the wood paneling was all I could focus on! It's a bit different now.
BEFORE: The Living Room
AFTER: The fireplace isn't finished, because we haven't decided what we want to do. This will be a project we will finish ourselves slowly. We will most likely rock around the granite.
BEFORE: Dining Room (to the left) and on the other side of the wall is the Kitchen
AFTER: We removed the wall and created an open concept.
BEFORE: The Dining Room
AFTER: If you look to the left side of the dining room on the before picture, you can see there was no window. Cutting in one added so much natural light! Also, you can see the mountains from the new west window.
BEFORE: The Front Entrance
AFTER: The front entrance looks much different now!
BEFORE: The kitchen was small and awkward.
AFTER: It's huge.
AFTER: Kitchen (still missing some panels and hardware)
BEFORE: The Hall Bath
AFTER: The Hall Bath (we still need a mirror)
BEFORE: The Hallway leading to the bedrooms
AFTER: The Hallway leading to the bedrooms
BEFORE: The Master Bath
AFTER: The Master Bath (still need mirror and shower door)
Before: Bedroom #1
AFTER: Bedroom #1 (all the bedrooms look pretty much the same, so I'm not going to post pics of them all. The only difference is the other bedrooms are beige.)
BEFORE: The Basement
AFTER: The Basement
BEFORE: The Basement Bedroom
AFTER: The Basement Bedroom
The view? Still amazingly the same.
Thanks for joining us on our journey! They still have some other items to finish, like cabinet hardware and outside things, but we are moving in!!
Our home is a flurry of activity. This is the second dumpster we have filled up with renovations. The first one was even bigger!
After work, I went to the house knowing that painting was going on. They painted the trim and doors today. To my surprise, granite was being installed! We had low expectations for granite, thinking it would most likely be in after we moved. We were told by our contractor that the granite guy was actually working on ours last night, but I tried not to get my hopes up.
What a fun surprise! Jeff and I chose a granite that fit us. We originally weren't even planning on granite. Neither of us like the "shiny" granite. We think it looks beautiful in other homes, but it's not our style. We loved concrete counter-tops, but couldn't afford them. Then we discovered "leathered" granite, which is basically granite with a matte finish. We also discovered that you could get a "rough edge" cut for it. We loved how it looked natural.
We fell in love with the look! It fits us and we are so excited how it all has come together!
This is the beautiful island. It looks into the living room and sits left of the dining room. This island is where a large wood paneled wall stood just a short 10 weeks ago.
Double ovens! Dreams come true.
Coffee nook and refrigerator! I love my morning coffee, but do not like how the coffee maker always takes up space. I told our kitchen designer that I liked the idea of a little nook. A place where I could display fun mugs and keep the coffee maker away from the main counter space/cooking area. He did quite well with his design. Also, our marvelous Realtor is responsible for much of this kitchen design, for us finding this house in the first place, and for helping us dream past the dark paneling. Need a Realtor? Call Matthew!
Ah, the kitchen of my dreams. All it's missing is the hardware on the cabinets, the range top, and some panels.
The greatest surprise? With the leftover granite, they made us a custom hearth for the wood stove.
Now, I am off to crawl into bed to dream dreams of trims and boxes and paint. Jeff and I took off work for a few days. I am so grateful for our jobs and for the ability to step away from work and focus on our new home for a bit.