Thursday, December 30, 2010

Entertainment Center Conundrum

Ian and I took advantage of an outrageous Boxing Day sale to get the receiver for the house. I was sitting in the living room one morning looking at the box. All of a sudden it dawned on me that the receiver is HUGE... and there is no chance that it will fit in our current entertainment center set up. This is the current drawing of it:

The fireplace sticks out 28". The shelves and cabinet are going to be flush together at about 14". Our receiver is 17". So obviously we need to think about a slight adjustment. There are a couple ways to do it... I am looking for opinions! This is the current profile of the built-in:

Yes, my drawing is awesome. Anyway, the line labeled "shelves" is actually the shelves and the cabinets, flush together.

This is our first option. We can just extend both the shelves and the cabinets below a little more and the fireplace won't stick out as much. My little issue with this is that the shelves will become much deeper and be a little harder to fill/organize/look nice.

Our second option is to only extend out the cabinets. It's pretty funny.. but in my head this is how I thought the unit would look. I guess I never realized that the shelves and the cabinets were flush. I think I like this option the best. The downside to this is that it might look weird with the fireplace. I don't know. Hence why I need opinions. =P

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Floor Video

We went to The Lumberyard this morning and shot some video of the first floor. They still have some braces up for certain walls but it's pretty much done as far as framing goes. They haven't cut the dining room windows out yet. (Please note that I call them squares but yes, I do realize that they are rectangles! =P)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lumberyard Video

Last weekend I took a couple videos of the house. The first one is of the front porch. We weren't sure if we could get inside. The floor of the front porch is just a piece of plywood suspended over the fruit cellar. I couldn't bring myself to stand for very long on it. So we went in from the back through the slider. You can't tell much from the video... it really just looks like a pile of sticks!

Please excuse the audio in this one... it was absolutely freezing that day, my nose was running and I had just vaulted myself up into the house. I was also freaked out because it didn't feel very stable but that just me being stupid.

Almost There...

At least almost to where I would like them to be... I really want them to put the roof on soon! Before it gets filled with snow...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Lumberyard Update

It's been a bit of a slow week for The Lumberyard. They've done some interior walls, framed in the garage, and put up the steel support beam. They didn't seem to be working on our house today so we ventured into the garage. It seems we will have some nice storage space above the garage. We'll have to build it of course but that will be nice. Maybe next week we will be getting a roof!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hole Has Become The Lumberyard

While we were gallivanting around California... our house was being built! The Hole is now The Lumberyard. There are lots of wood piles (covered up to protect from the snow!) Everyone says that the house will look small until the drywall is up. It actually looks pretty small... but the sliding glass door is HUGE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Hole Update

We got a little shock from Ian's mom last night. Our Hole has changed!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Going To Cali, BRB

Finally going back to Cali... It's been too long. My goal was to see my mom every quarter... and I did but each time it was either here or in Virginia! So tomorrow we fly out to visit for a week. YAY! BRB going to Cali~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gray Vs. Red, Old Vs. New

On the right... our first choice.. Gray brick with a light gray stone skirt. On the left... our new choice.. Red brick with a gray stone skirt. My apologies for the slightly fuzzy picture. I was trying to take it on the sly while driving through the rain, in the middle of a very muddy street, with construction workers on either side and a bobcat zipping by. The red brick will only be on the first story of our house and the rest is siding and cedar shakes.

Personally, I fell head over heels in love with it when I first saw it on a model house. Ian just about bit my head off when I professed my love since we had already made our decision. That was months ago! (I think... time has flown...) But I think we are going to be really happy with our change. I feel like I've gotten an early Christmas present. I can just picture our house in the fall... Red brick.. black front door... Adirondack chairs on the porch.. piles of pumpkins and hay. Love it!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rock With You

My one and only favorite song from Michael Jackson... done acapella style. Love it!

Backfilled!

Even though I was feeling crappy... I still made the journey to The Hole. We've been backfilled! It was the first look at the house and how big the space around it really is.

On Sunday, we climbed the mound of dirt on our side yard and got to look down into the basement. The doorway towards the front of the house (right side of the picture) is the entrance to the fruit cellar. The white pipe on the outside of the wall is our rain pipe drainage... (I forget the better term). Anyway, it's been backfilled and they should start framing soon. Crazy!

And some videos! This one was taken on Saturday, it was super cold~

This is the video from what I described above... we threw a few pennies into The Hole before they backfilled... for luck. =P

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Basement With A Wrapper

They're motoring on our house. Yesterday they took the forms off of the basement. Today they have wrapped it snuggly in a vapor barrier... and possibly did some tarring on the inside.

Happy REAL Thanksgiving!

It is the real turkey day today. Not the dry run that happens in October in Canada. I miss my family a ton but I get to see them in 9 days!!! I am thankful for my wonderful mom, who is always there for me - even 3000 miles away. I miss her and her cheesy potatoes. My sister who dares to live in a house full of boys and hold her own - don't worry the potty training will eventually kick in! My husband (still feels weird to say that) who graciously let me throw away the options price list for our house. And by graciously, I mean he threw a temper tantrum with much screaming and crying - just kidding, kinda. I'm also thankful for my in-laws who acknowledge my need for Thanksgiving dinner in the month of November - but in reality just know that Ian would have turkey dinner any day/every day. And lastly, I am thankful that I am not a member of the family that was sent the letter below. This was posted on a site for Awkward Family Photos about a year ago. They've reposted it just because it's so awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

---

From: Marney

As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family

1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.

2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).

3. Toppings for the ice cream.

4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family

1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.

2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family

1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family

1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.

2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon

3. Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.

4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family

1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.

2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)

1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.

2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!

Marney

{Source: http://www.californiakara.com/p/thanksgiving-letter.html}

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Foundation Started

Yesterday, I braved the cold and the rain to get a picture of the house. They have started to build our foundation. There is a concrete outline of our house and they've filled that with gravel. I've put an arrow on the picture where our foundation is... there was a guy working on our neighbor's.

They seem to be moving really quickly. Thankfully, Ian's mom has agreed to stop by each day and take a picture for us while we are in California. I have a feeling though that they will be pretty far along by the time we leave.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video Of The Hole

We braved the cold to take some pictures and video of The Hole. The wind literally took my breath away. I had to wear my cold winter clothes... Crazy! [Snow is expected to start a little next week~]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Daytime @ The Hole

Our usual picture is now obscured by mounds of dirt.

Looking into our actual hole... It's not that far down. We will have roughly 3-5 steps up onto our porch and 5 steps from our garage into our house. So that gives you some idea of the grading...

Max Quacks - "Young" Spice

The Original "Old" Spice.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Max Quacks - I'm Canadian, Eh?

Cooper agrees. Very Canadian. Very Awesome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dirt Is Now The Hole

After feeling crappy all day, Ian and I got word that The Dirt has now become The Hole. By the time we got there, it was pitch black as there are no street lights yet... and mud everywhere (Hello the next 4 months!). But we got to sneak out and try to take a picture - result is below. We looked over the edge and from what we can see they have just dug the foundations for our house and our neighbors. We can't really figure out why... but maybe so that they can pour both foundations and backfill all at once? Either way, the numerous trips to The Hole start now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Max Quacks - I'm A Little Poser!

It's Just Hair - Evidence

Nothing special.

It's Just Hair

It's pretty silly... but damn it's annoying when people ask me if I've done something different with my hair. It's not just once or twice... If I wear my hair straight... or curly... or any other way, I get asked multiple times a day if I've had it cut or something. Today, my hair is straight and I'm on my 4th person asking me if I had it done. Granted - this is not worse than actually getting your hair done and having no one notice. But it's mainly the people that DON'T BELIEVE ME when I say that I haven't done anything. Yes, I am silly. =P

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time Lapse In Progress

Each visit to The Dirt I take a picture in the exact same place. I doubt I will always be able to do this... just given the crazy construction that is happening there. But the video below is what I have so far. We went today and got to walk around our neighbor, Alicia's house. It was enough to give me a panic attack. Our house is going to be huge. It seems more real after seeing her place.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

TRESPASSER!

Ian's dad tried to test out our lot.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Look Who I Found Again!

It's Little Cooper! I was going through some wedding photos and came across some cute ones...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

UPSTAIRS MYSTERY SOLVED

Yes, I am crazy. But in one of my posts I mentioned that the neighbor above us occasionally drops something very loud that rolls. For the past few weeks I've started yelling up at the ceiling about it. Tonight - Mystery Solved. Ian and I were sitting in the office.. and we heard the same kind of crack but no real roll... And Ian turned to me and said "I wonder if they have a pool table..." GENIUS. We listened a little closer and sure enough, we could hear them make a shot at the pool table. Mystery Solved - Case Closed - Brittany can go back to not being crazy now. /sighofrelief

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Good Stuff: Our New House

Enough with the con talk. Let's talk about the good stuff! There are the obvious ones... a bigger space than our apartment, a personal garage space for my car, less beige walls, more counter space in the bathrooms, and more storage in general. There are things though... that Ian and I discuss at least weekly.

I am really looking forward to living in a neighborhood. The area we currently live in is... okay? Behind our apartment building is a mix of houses and townhouses. In front of our building is a grocery store and then a small indoor mall. We live close to Hesperler Road which is a row of retail and fast food. I really don't consider this a neighborhood. I really just want to go for a walk in my neighborhood without much fear!

Every Sunday we go grocery shopping. And every Sunday since we signed our house contract (Ian would probably say before then...) we have grumbled about carrying the groceries up to the apartment. We have to pack our cart and try to make it all in one trip. It's especially fun during any kind of weather and during the winter when we are trying to sprint upstairs and out of the cold. With our house... park in the garage, pop the trunk, carry the bags straight to the kitchen. No muss, no fuss. Ian won't have to repack the bags when the baggers do a crappy job either.

Oh the elevator rides... /sigh... The uncomfortable elevator rides. We live on the 5th floor. That's 4 floors too many to stand awkwardly with a bunch of strangers, wondering if you should make small talk... or hoping the elevator would just go faster. I can't count the number of times Ian and I have SPRINTED down the hallway... just to get on the elevator quicker to avoid riding with someone else. Yes, we are socially awkward and we like it that way.

Garbage Day. In a house, you have one. In an apartment, every day is garbage day. Actually, ANY day can be garbage day. In OUR apartment, it seems to never be garbage day. Our building has issues. People were throwing their trash away too late down the chute so they put locks on the doors. Do the locks always open on time? Of course not! Does a regular bag of garbage fit through the chute? Of course not! I am weird and I am looking forward to having a garbage day.

One of my favorite pros... is that we will be out of this concrete block. We have big windows at the apartment that I can watch storms roll in... but I barely notice the rain because I can't hear it. I am really looking forward to having an actual roof over our heads. Right now we have an upstairs neighbor that drops something on regular basis that rolls away. Lately, I've taken to shouting up at the ceiling "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?". Fortunately or unfortunately, they can't hear me. The mystery may never be solved. Anyway, my last pro is that I will get to see the storms come through AND hear them. If you know me, you know I love any kind of weather. It will be so wonderful to fully enjoy the climate I live in. (Minus the shoveling of a million mile sidewalk in the winter!).

There are a lot more pros... but too many to list all in one post!

The Bad Stuff: Our New House

At least once a day, Ian and I discuss the pros and cons of owning a house. We go back and forth... Ian usually gets upset that it is so far away... I usually have a panic attack that it is so close. It's exciting and scary... and it's going to happen one way or the other. [Contracts are legally binding. =P] I am going to list out the cons first. We considered most of them... I think.

I knew that buying a house we would have to start to deal with more outdoor-related chores. I knew... as unfortunate as it is... that at one point in my life I would need to shovel snow. But the one thing that Ian and I did not think about, we picked a corner lot. Meaning twice as much sidewalk to shovel/snowblow. Yay... corner lot. /eyeroll.

Speaking of outdoor-related chores, I haven't mowed a lawn in... 15 years? Ian... yeah, he's never mowed a lawn before. He's "looking forward" to getting his hands dirty.

A minor fear of mine is dealing with bad neighbors. The term bad could mean many different things. They could be loud... or say we are loud. In our apartment, we're basically in a concrete box. The worst we have had to deal with is an occasional dropped ball above us (next post will explain this) or a washing machine on at 4am. Another level of bad is the neighbors who won't mow their lawn or paints their garage pink. At least we know that our neighbors 4 doors down are somewhat normal. =]

My last concern is the day we mar the surface of our newly minted house. The day we dent a wall... or scratch the granite... or chip the paint. It's going to happen of course. Ian's only human and I'm a complete klutz. But the day that it is happens, probably on moving day, Ian is going to go seriously lose it. It will most likely be me who does it and this will be Ian:

Overall, this list isn't that bad. There are way more pros to moving out of this apartment into our new house.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Second Guessing: Hardwood Colors

This is what we picked - Ash Chelsea (dark brown with a slight tinge of red in it).

And this is what we saw today that made us second guess - Ash Forest Moss (a straight dark brown color - the picture makes it look very light... bad picture ftl). The reason is that we have black furniture going on it... and maybe it won't work with the tinge of red? I don't know!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Max Quacks - Help!

"Hey Mom... can you put down the camera and pull me out of here?" Apparently, Max gets stuck in reverse when crawling and ended up being eaten by the couch.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

These Kids Are Awesome

It's so great to see kids being engaged and encouraged to be creative. Even the shy ones look like they are having fun. And the song is cool. =P

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dirt Update

This weekend was the "Dry Run Thanksgiving" or the "Fake Thanksgiving". I was unfortunately sick and couldn't taste the stuffing... but it was enjoyable nonetheless. The most exciting thing we did was swing by the dirt. Here is an updated shot:

A picture of the corner... complete with stop sign!!

Across the street is the house that faces the side of our house. It had people starting to work on the framing for the second story.

This is looking down our street. One house has framing up and two others just have their foundation in... including Alicia's!

Ian in front of our dirt.

Me in front of our dirt.

The farm field just north? of our house.

Geese in the pond!!!

That's it for now... I have to go back to getting over my cold. Blegh.