Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Appliances, Anyone?

Well, it seems our crew ran out of drywall over the weekend, so as of yesterday afternoon, we were still waiting on the walls in the garage to be completed. The entire house (upstairs and downstairs) as well as the garage ceiling have all been drywalled -- it's literally just the garage walls that need to be finished up. We'll have our weekly call with our PM tomorrow to get a status update on what's going on this week. I do already know one exciting thing that's happening this week: our PM is ordering our appliances!!! I'm so excited! I guess I haven't shared with you guys the drama of selecting our appliances, so let me remedy that now.

So when we were initially making our selections for the house, we were given a few "tiers" of appliance packages to choose from. Basically it started out with GE basic appliances in black ($), then GE Profile in black ($$), then GE Profile in stainless ($$$), then one more higher-priced GE Profile appliance package in stainless ($$$$). I was happy with the lowest level of GE Profile in stainless, except... for the range.

I didn't want a basic, run-of-the-mill stove found in every suburban home across America. I wanted a stove that made a statement. Something that said the person who uses this range is serious about cooking. I knew I wanted a gas range -- something I've never had the opportunity of owning before, but couldn't imagine NOT putting in my dream house -- because you have so much more control over the heat than with an electric stovetop. And through my diligent research, I learned that I wanted to stay with an electric oven because gas ovens are very inconsistent in maintaining a specific temperature, which is crucial for baking. So this meant only one thing: a dual-fuel range.

I absolutely ADORED the GE Cafe' Dual-Fuel Range. It's sleek, modern and just plain gorgeous. I loved everything about it, even something as simple as the bottom warming drawer. But, since it wasn't an option in one of the "standard" packages they offered, we had to pay a small change fee to have them research the cost of swapping out our range for the one I wanted.

A few days later, we had our answer. The additional cost would be $$$ (I have no clue/can't remember) BUT... the GE Cafe' range requires a GE Cafe' over-the-range microwave (not a GE Profile microwave I had planned to use). This meant forking over the additional $$$ (whatever it was) to pay for a microwave upgrade we didn't really want. Essentially GE designed it this way, at first I thought just to force people to make unnecessary upgrades, but now I realize it's for the best. If you're a Type A like me, you'll quickly understand. The GE Cafe' logo is a red circle. The GE Profile one is not. Can you imagine what it would look like to have two different branded appliances one on top of the other? I'm sure there are more technical, safety-minded reasons GE used to make this call, but regardless, I'm happy that I was forced into selecting a GE Cafe' microwave if for no other reason than it'll match my range. ;)

So, here's our new microwave:

And her beautiful, matching, to-die-for range:

I'm so pleased with our selections! The dishwasher will still be a GE Profile stainless model (which I honestly couldn't care less about) and our refrigerator is actually just a basic GE Energy Star side-by-side stainless model. Again, all I care about is that beautiful range and I. Cannot. Wait. to see her in my new kitchen!


Monday, January 30, 2012

First Purchase!

I made my very first purchase for the new house last week. So exciting!! There's like 12,000 items on my Amazon Wish List for the new house, and of all things, I decided to go with this as my first purchase:

Image Source: TidyMom
Not surprisingly, I found this great idea on Pinterest. It's just a super-cute Extra Large Flip Storage Jar by Jamie Oliver ((which I totally love!)) that you use to hold cupcake liners. So simple, yet super cute! I bought this as a fun decorative piece to put on my new granite counter in my new gourmet kitchen! There are lots of other items I want to get for the house, but I'm trying to find my patience and wait until we're actually IN the house so I won't have to pack even more stuff and move it all!

I'll have an update on the house tomorrow and more pics, too! Stay tuned, friends!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Sneak Peak

Hello, friends! Here's a Saturday sneak peak for my house-building enthusiasts! We saw her yesterday and She. Is. Gorgeous!!! I'm so relieved with the external color scheme and love it more than I ever thought I would! The shutters are a burgundy/merlot color called Winestone although I think they look kinda dark brown in this pic. They look perfect in real life, though!

I'm very hopeful our interior color choices make us as happy as the outside ones! :) Love. This. House!!!!! Posted from my beloved iPhone

Friday, January 27, 2012

Siding, Siding, SIDING!

Boy was I surprised yesterday when we arrived for our pre-drywall walk-thru at 1PM to see that our siding was almost complete! Ack! Secretly I've been worried about how it will look -- not just the color, but how it will look with the brick. I mean, really. You're selecting colors using tiny little 4-inch samples and there's no way to see possibly imagine what it'll actually look like until you see it. On YOUR house. Wow!

Sorry about the horrible pictures. I wanted go by the house later in the day yesterday so I could see the finished siding AND SHUTTERS! in the daylight, but it was waaaaaay too dark to take any pics by the time I got there. The shutters are a deep burgundy/merlot color called Winestone. I *think* I'm gonna like how it all looks together, but like I said, it was too dark to see the house last night so I'll have to take some pics when I go by today and hope that I love it to pieces! I am very happy with the siding color: it's a very neutral off-white. Not yellow-y. Not brown-y. Just off-white-y. And it meshes very well with the stone, so that makes me super happy, too! Yay!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slow Going, Granite Venting

Well, folks, there's not much exciting to report today. We've got our pre-drywall walk thru this afternoon and the drywall crew will begin either tomorrow or Saturday morning. Yay!

The kids and I visited the house yesterday and noticed the guys were there putting in the insulation on the external walls. I also noted the moulding around our front door and garage door had been completed since our last trip out there. See?

Nice! I asked our PM about the siding (as in, where is it??) and he mentioned something about rain delays, etc... All I know is I was spoiled over that first week of progress that now this slow moving stuff is really boring! Let's get 'er done, right?! Hopefully we'll see the siding go up between now and the beginning of next week.

On a totally unrelated note, I am not in love with our granite selection.
Giallo Napoleon
We were only given maybe 10-12 samples, and about 8 or 9 of them were dark (black, dark green, dark brown, etc.). With the espresso cabinets, we HAD to go with something light. This was pretty much the only option, but the more I look at it, the more yellow/gold hues I see and therefore, the more I hate it. I'd SO much prefer something like this:

Alabama White

But alas, it wasn't an option so we'll get what we get. I wonder how happy hubs will be if I tell him we'll be replacing the granite we just paid big bucks for within our first year in the new house??

Not very, I'm guessing...

((beating head on desk))

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Story Time with LO!

The other night, I was putting LO to bed and, per her new norm, she selects which book SHE will read to ME before bed. She chose a "Tangled" book -- one of the "Step into Reading: Level 2" books I picked up for her last month for Christmas. The Level 2 books are geared for Preschool - Grade 1 and contain basic vocabulary, short sentences and simple stories. I curled up next to her in her bed and listened to the story. I happened to have my iPhone with me so, if you're interested in a little bedtime story for yourself, check out the video below! Posted from my beloved iPhone

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pre-Drywall Walkthru

Our pre-drywall meeting is coming up this week, so I took the liberty of walking through the house over the weekend to capture a little pre-drywall video footage. I'll warn you: it's extremely amateurish, very shaky and quite possibly likely to induce spasms. If you're okay with all that, or you're just really interested in seeing the progress and layout of the house and are willing to risk it, then check out the video below!

Just don't say I didn't warn ya... ;)


Monday, January 23, 2012

A Glimpse

Happy Monday, folks! I figured I'd start off the week by sharing a little glimpse of the inspiration I've been pouring over for the past few months for the kitchen. You'll see our appliances, cabinets and granite countertop selections, which I've coupled with some various forms of inspiration and miscellaneous items I want to include in the space. My vision is a sort of "commercial-meets-home" kitchen that showcases stainless appliances and a gorgeous, muted backsplash. I want it to be crisp and airy, while being functional and warm. Take a look...

I mentioned in Friday's post that our exterior brick was being installed. Well, they finished that project right up and here it is!

They obviously still need to pressure wash it and fix a few of the "too red" bricks that we pointed out to the PM, but overall I really love it! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Thursday, January 12th:

One very short week later...

Thursday, January 19th:

I know, right???

Crazy! What you may notice from my last house update on Wednesday is we now have shingles on the roof, all of windows AND doors (front, interior garage and patio), and the HVAC and plumbing are complete! The electricians are scheduled to start today! Please also notice that our lovely brick is being added as well. I really like the one we selected -- Castletone:

Here's a closer pic of the guys working on it:

There were SIX (6) guys working on the brick. Six! And I think I counted at least 3 guys working on the roof putting the singles on. If you ever wondered how they've pulled this much work off in 7 short days, there's your answer! This pic was taken around 2PM yesterday, so I'm pretty sure it'll be finished by the time the kids and I swing by after picking LO up from school today. I can't wait to see how the siding will look with the brick. One day at a time, though... ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

10 Things. 10 *VERY* Important Things.

I'm taking a quick break from house updates because, let's face it, the house is moving along frickin' awesomely, and I'll have a nice post about it tomorrow to end the week. Plus, I found something that renders much more value and deserves the scrutiny of all mankind. I mean it. Mankind.

Okay, guys. Listen up! Seriously -- this one is for you (surely there are 1 or 2 of you who read my blog... right? Riiight??). I came across this post from blogging genius Chapmaniac last night and felt it deserved to be posted and reposted and reposted again until it floods all of the interwebs (at least . There is not a married man on this earth who would not benefit from the information below. In fact, even you single guys should read on because, let's face it, at some point or another, you WILL be smitten by a woman and you'll surely wish you had this information in your arsenal to prepare you to be an amazing husband. Trust me, your wife will thank you!!!

10 Things Every Husband Should Know About His Wife

Brilliantly written by: Chapmaniac as seen here

When a man gets married (or begins a serious relationship with a woman), he should first and foremost recognize that he has his work cut out for him. And as sweet and pleasant as that initial encounter may be, if he is to succeed going forward, he must approach the relationship as one approaches learning a foreign language. Not only does he have to learn how to speak his lady's language, but he must also learn what is of essence in her particular "culture". Indeed, he must become like a student, taking notes so that the integration process might not prove to be too painful. This is not to say that a woman shouldn't do the same, but only that a man can only change what he is capable of changing, namely himself. Thus, I offer ten keys to understanding the unusual citizens of Womania:

10. Women Don't Want Your Honest Opinion:
If a woman asks what you think about anything relating to her person, tread very carefully. She may sound reasonable when she says, "What do you think about this dress... honestly?" or "How do I look," but she may already have in the back of her mind exactly what she wants you to say, and if you fail to provide the proper response, then be prepared to suffer the (dire) consequences.

9. Sometimes There Is Just No Right Answer:
Somewhat similar to the previous example, there are occasions where no answer will satisfy. If you say "yes", then the answer is "no", if you say "no" then the answer is "yes"; and if you say nothing in the hopes of avoiding impending conflict, then you will be accused of being disinterested, burying your head in the sand, or some other such cowardly act. If you accept from the beginning that there is no getting out of this bind, then when the accusations fly, you will be a lot more prepared to deal with them. Look, sometimes you just have to take one for the team - as Christ once did for his bride, the Church.

8. Winning Means Losing:
No sooner have you finished congratulating yourself for making the perfect logical argument, then you realize how little reason suffices in a debate with a woman. If, for example, your wife has a flat tire, is stranded in the middle of nowhere and calls you in tears, do not remind her, as I once did, that you told her to take the other car and that you knew this was going to happen. OK, you might be right, and everything that you are saying may in fact be the truth, but you are only storing up wrath for yourself later by pointing this out. You may be enamored with your flawless logic, but just remember that the victory may feel more like a defeat.

7. Women Want You To Be Psychic:
When it comes to problems, particularly those related to your relationship, women do not want to have to tell you what is wrong... they want you to have telepathy. They reason that if you really love them, then you will know instantly what troubles them. And if you fail to divine her deepest feelings? Well then you must not love her as much as you claim to. In the end, she may tell you what is bothering her, but she won't be happy about it, and she may even include your lack of clairvoyance in her list of complaints.

6. Women Don't Want You To Fix the Problem:
...they want you to listen to them complain about it. As a woman expresses her frustration to a man, the first thing he thinks about is how to resolve the conflict. For he truly wants his wife to be free of anxiety (or at least the household to be free). Meanwhile, as you offer your five steps to rectifying the situation, she blithely passes over your suggestions in order to get back to the thing that is really irritating her. If you can recognize this from the outset, then you may be able to garner some praise from her. After all, few things are valued more by a woman than an attentive husband.

5. When You Screw Up, Sometimes "I'm sorry" Isn't Good Enough:
Depending on the circumstances, when you screw up, you may be able to get away with a simple apology. But if you really want to melt the ice, then you must bring a pleasing sacrifice to her altar. You may put flowers on that altar, you may write a poem and place it there, you may even travel to hell and back again (i.e. the mall), in order to purchase some item that she previously expressed interest in. But whatever the case, if you genuinely wish to receive absolution from the high priestess, then you must commit yourself to some real form of Penance.

4. Women Want To Be Surprised:
When it comes to gifts, men are satisfied with simply telling you what they want and then receiving it. Women? Not so much. You may be able to get away with it for one gift, but anything beyond that must involve the element of surprise. One easy thing that men can do in order to make this process considerably less painless is by "taking notes" whenever your wife says she likes something. It makes your shopping for that special gift a lot simpler, and even better, she will actually come to believe that you are in fact listening to her.
There is no greater threat to a marriage than the loss of this dynamic. Men must be active in their love, lest they retreat into a kind of slothful narcissism. And when I say slothful I mean more than his proclivity to worship the "remote control" (which is a perfect term for the emotional disconnect men frequently fall back into), but likewise his tendency to grow slack in his duty to romance his wife. If a man wishes to be happy in his marriage, he must never abandon this "element of surprise."

3. What A Woman Says Is Not Always What She Means:

When studying a foreign language one must learn the various words that serve as an equivalent in their own language. In a similar sense, men must also learn what women mean by the words that they say. For example, when a man says "Honey, if you want to go out with your friends tonight I'm fine with that," what he means is "Honey, if you want to go out with your friends tonight I'm fine with that." If a woman says that she is " just fine with you going out," beware, for she may actually be saying something like; "Yeah, you go ahead and go out, I dare you!" Men tend to mean what they actually mean (as boring and uninspiring as that may sound), while women tend to mean the opposite of what they say, especially as it relates to matters of the heart. If a woman says that something "doesn't matter to her," be assured that it is probably as essential to her as the very air she breathes. For this reason, a man may find himself in a whole heap of trouble without exactly knowing why. But don't think you can simply plead ignorance, because remember, you were supposed to know her well enough to intuit what she really meant!

2. Women Want You To Make The Decisions... Sort Of:

If your wife/love interest tells you that she wants you to decide on a restaurant, understand that she is only giving you this privilege to the extent that she agrees with your conclusion. She'll insist that she wants you to decide, but the moment you put forth a suggestion, she'll say "I don't want to go there." The same can be said when deciding on what movie to watch, or what afternoon outing to pursue. I cannot say for sure what women are thinking in this regard, but I can say that they want you to be decisive, just not necessarily the decider.

1. Women Don't Want To Be Treated Equally; They Want To Be Treated As Queens:

They may be egalitarians when it comes to how they treat others, but when it comes to how they want to be treated, well, that is a whole different story. One day I came home and complained to my wife that I seemed to be getting myself  into trouble with the women at work. I told her that I always treated them as equals so I couldn't understand what was going wrong. She explained that that was my problem; "Women don't want to be talked to as men talk to men- they want to be treated like queens." Now this may seem impractical, but every woman is a queen (or at least must be led to believe it), and to the extent that you can make her feel that she is the only one that reigns in your heart, is the extent to which you will live in a happy household.

Some will complain that I am making generalizations with a list like this, but generalizations are just that- a description of what is generally true. And the above list is generally true.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Roof!

Our roof is on! Yay! The kids and I drove by the house yesterday around 1:30 PM and were super excited to see the roof is complete and they are prepping it for shingles! Our PM says the framers are going to finish TODAY and the windows will be delivered and installed as well. As if that weren't enough progress, the plumbers will start tomorrow! WOW!!

Here's a rearview pic of the house. There will eventually be homes built behind us (and on either side of us, of course), but for now, it's just us! We're actually the 3rd home on our street. Man, this stuff is so exciting to me!!!

For the record, I will be returning to your "regular scheduled programming" of random posts about random stuff and not just all house-related posts 100% of the time. It's just that so much progress takes place over the first few weeks that I didn't want to miss a thing. Once they start working on the inside, I have a feeling things will start to slow down a bit and I won't have quite as many posts about the house. But thanks to those of you who are following along on our journey of building our dream house! It's so much fun to see how many hits I've had and, even though the comments are few and far between (no, that's not meant to be a guilt trip!), it's nice to see that my website stats tell me I've got a lot of you keeping up with us. It means a lot! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trusses and Floor Plans... Hurray!

Imagine my patience in waiting the whole day -- until about 5:30 PM! -- on Monday before going by the house. We figured we'd give the crew a full day to get some work done before checking in on 'em. Plus, hubs had the day off so we spent a lot of time together as a family doing family things... like replacing the toilet in our guest bath (hubs) and packing wall photos and decor (me). Gee. It was awesome. ;)

But all four of us loaded up to head out to the house to check on the progress. I was certain we'd have the trusses up by the end of the day Monday, and I was right!

Ack! She's beautiful! Only 3 work days ago, she was just a little slab of concrete. And now look at her!

The house definitely looked bigger now that both floors and the framing for the roof are complete. Plus, the house is very "deep" -- meaning, it goes back pretty far from front of the garage to the back of the morning room.

Speaking of garages and morning rooms, I don't think I've ever shared the floor plan of this beauty with you guys! For those of you who are interested, here is the awesomeness that is to be our new home!

We're so crazy excited! I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to get into my new gourmet kitchen. It's amazing! And the appliances I selected are totally legit. In fact, the kitchen definitely deserves its own post... in due time! The loft upstairs is one of my favorite things about the floor plan. Basically it'll be a huge play area for the kids. I'm already getting tons of ideas from Pinterest for furniture, toy storage, etc. If only I could find the time and money to make all of them happen! Haha!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Update!

Good Monday morning!!! Hope you had a great weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week ahead! And I hope you're up for some house fun, because I'm about to bring it to ya!

So... where did we last leave off? Oh, that's right. It was Thursday afternoon -- 1:19 PM to be exact -- and I was so stoked to see our concrete poured and being perfected.



Friday morning, around 11:55 AM, Chase and I headed over to the house before picking LO up from school. I can't put into words what I felt when I saw this:

It was so surreal to see actual lumber being used in the actual construction of our actual house. I almost actually cried. It was an amazing sight!

I couldn't help myself, so the kids and I went back for another drive-by after lunch, at 2:13 PM. It's so amazing how well (read: quickly) these guys do what they do!

Due to a slight lack of patience and overeagerness to see progress as it happens, LO and I drove by the house for, yes, the THIRD TIME on Friday, at 5:36 PM. They had put in one of the headers over the garage and lots of the internal structure of our house (I know about the internal structure 'cause I got out and walked through our house and took pics... but I won't bore you with those... yet).

Don't she look purdy? Still seems tiny to me, though, especially with it only having one story so far.


It should come as no surprise that we stopped by the house on our way to a birthday party Saturday morning at 10:48 AM. It doesn't look like a lot happened since the previous pic above, but they've actually got the entire second floor plywood flooring down. And they've started moving the wall sections up to the second floor (that's what those 4 guys are doing -- they literally heave those heavy wall sections up the side of the house to the TWO lone guys up there who pull them up -- so glad I don't have their job!).

I had to work Saturday but I asked hubs to take the kids by the house after nap time to take another look. I was NOT surprised (but totally thrilled!!) to see our second floor walls in place when they went by at 5:29 PM! Ack!!


Yes, we did a drive-by Sunday afternoon around 5:30 PM and yes, as we had expected, the crew took the day off (they earned it!). I'm sure they will have a busy Monday and I'm quite certain there will be a roof on our home by the end of the day today.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is the birthday of a very special and very important person in my life...

I love you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Concrete and lumber... oh my!

The kids and I drove by the house yesterday since our PM told us the concrete was scheduled to be poured that morning. We were so surprised when we arrived to see so much happening to OUR LOT! It was awesome! The concrete pour was just about finished and there were several fellas out there smoothing it over (pardon the rear-end trifecta shot below):

The kids and I were so excited to see so much bustling activity taking place after staring at our empty lot for so many weeks.

One pleasant yet unexpected surprise was that our lumber package had also arrived! We're talking like actual home-building materials here, people! One truck had already been unloaded in front of our lot and there was another semi there with a flatbed full of our materials. It's getting to be so real... FINALLY!

We had to leave and headed off to meet one of my most awesome and adored friends for lunch, but couldn't resist the urge to complete another drive-by afterwards to see how things were looking. They had unloaded all of our building materials onto the street, and there was just one lone concrete worker guy putting the finishing touches on our slab.

Seriously. How tiny does our house look in this photo? I mean, that square area there with the step is our 2-car garage. Does it actually look like it'll fit TWO CARS in the picture above? It's just so weird how small it all seems now, but I'm sure it'll finally start looking like a "real" house soon.

The plan is to check on the house again today before picking LO up from school. Our PM tells us they are scheduled to start framing this morning. ACK!!!!! I don't know what I'll think when I actually start to see walls forming... Woot!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Admission...

Okay, folks. It's time I come clean here.

I have a bit of a crush on all things Top Chef.

This includes, but is not limited to, the great Tom Colicchio.

As a Top Chef junkie, I find myself intrigued by making simple food from a few good, quality ingredients. Tom has a like mind, which he emphasized in my latest Amazon purchase:
I loved reading about Tom's early days in the kitchen, from helping the family as a young boy, to running restaurants throughout New Jersey and New York. His thoughts on cooking are simple and easily translate to the home cook. I look forward to trying out some of his recipes and techniques. He inspires me to want to take some cooking classes to hone my skills even further. I've always loved baking but now I'm feeling the itch to develop my cooking skills. I mean, there's only so much you can do with a can of cream of mushroom soup, right people? I've been amazed at the flavors that develop when you cook from scratch, too. I'm so addicted!

I would like to clarify, however, that I am NOT a fan of a certain Top Chef judge's unsightly unibrow...

Here's hoping "Hugh's $100,000 Eyebrow Challenge" is a success and they raise enough money to rid the world of The Hughnibrow's distracting mess! Haha!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just a Bit of Progress

Stopped by the house yesterday to see what's new. Was pleased to see they're getting things lined up for the concrete! Spoke to our PM and looks like they'll be rained out today but should be able to get 'er done on Friday, weather permitting. Once that slab is in, I'm telling you it's CRAZY how fast these houses go up! They've got this process down to a science, folks! Can't wait to see the transformation take place on our new home!


Posted from my beloved iPhone

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Laundry Soap

As long as I can remember, I've been a fan of using either Fab or Gain laundry detergent along with Downy fabric softener. It's just been the winning combination that has worked best for my family. Recently, however, I've considered the idea of making my own laundry soap! Gasp!! And yes, there's a good chance that Pinterest has been a very strong influence in said decision. Regardless, I found a super easy and very cheap "recipe" for laundry soap and decided to give it a go.

Oh my word! It was SO easy! And I was able to find all of the ingredients at Walmart... for a total of about $20 bucks.

Photo by beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com
Now I have this massive container of laundry soap that literally takes about 1 Tbsp. per load. I can see this soap lasting for a very long time! The blogger who posted this recipe said it took NINE (9) MONTHS to go through ONE BATCH of this stuff! You do the math! ;)

I've been pleasantly surprised by this soap. It cleans really well, both in warm and cold water. It has a very mild scent that combines nicely with my Downy fabric softener. And it really was so easy to make! Literally you just shred the Fels-Naptha soap (I used my food processor -- it was quick and easy, and cleaned right up!) and dump all the items into a large container. I gave it a bit of a stir and voilĂ ! Fabulously awesome laundry soap that'll probably last me close to a year. How exciting! And thrifty!!

Let me know if you decide to give it a try. It's so economical and it's also nice to know that there aren't any weird additives or funky needless perfumes/dyes in my laundry soap. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Plumbing's In!

The kids and I checked out the house last Friday. Seems they've got the plumbing in and just need to get it inspected so they can pour the concrete this week! How exciting! :)

Of course, before checking out the house, we had to hit the playground, which happens to be conveniently located across the street from our to-be-built home. Chase really loved the "big boy" swings!

Here's the lot with all of the plumbing in! We've also got a huge mound of rock/gravel where our driveway will be.

I swear the footprint of the house looks absolutely tiny right now! I can't imagine where they'll fit all 3,200+ sq. ft.!

And of course, I was both surprised and pleased to see they've already got our downstairs bathroom completed: