RenovationsAddition Progress – FINALLY! August 17, 2018Sweet friends! My goodness, it has been the craziest summer. The kids and I traveled more than we ever have, an entire month! Chris joined us some, but had to work (day job and addition) for a lot of it. It was wonderful to be with family so much, but man, we came home ready for the routine and normalcy that fall brings. It’s time! And it was surreal to come home to a completely framed addition! Before we left, Chris had ripped off the deck and existing laundry (remember, it’d been a previous addition and was very literally falling in). Footings had been dug and poured and the foundation had been laid. (And yes, there’s an exterior reveal coming very soon! Anyone notice some big changes? Had to happen with some issues we uncovered, but I have to say, I am LOVING it!) Just before we left, he started framing the floor. He sent me pictures throughout the process, but they didn’t do it justice. I came home and was able to walk through our addition and I’m thrilled to share progress with y’all today! I’m trying to share more real-time progress over on Instagram, especially through Insta-stories. I’ve created a highlight on my profile called “addition” where I’m saving all of the related posts. There’s a video tour over there now where I walk you through the framed space and talk about what will be where. You can check that out on my profile page. Okay, let’s take a little photo tour, friends! I’ll be so glad when that plywood door is gone! I’m making this laundry/mudroom/hallway a functional, but pretty space and this will be a pretty view through this opening soon! Quick reminder for reference: here’s the floor plan! Just inside that doorway and to the right, you have this big closet. I’m thrilled for this space! We’ve made the house work with no closets shockingly, but this is a must for resale/investment. But we’ll make good use of it too! Gracie’s crate will go along the back wall. She doesn’t go in it all that often, but often enough that it needs a spot. She’s actually grown to love it with two rambunctious kids running around! It’ll have a countertop over it and the room will have lots of shelves. There will also be floor space where we can sit in our vacuum and cleaning supplies that has been out in our laundry room floor since we moved! Here’s the other side of that room. You have an exterior door at the end. Our bedroom door is on the right and the washer and dryer will be in that nook there on the left (backing up to the closet we’re adding for the second bedroom). The laundry station will have a countertop over it and lots of shelves. I’ll also be using the walls in this room down the right for hooks and pretty storage. This is the view when you step inside our bedroom door. The room isn’t huge, but it’s about the size of every master we’ve had: 12 x 13′. The bed will go there in the center and there’s room for large nightstands on either side. We’re going with a vaulted ceiling, which I love! It makes spaces feel so much larger and is no more expensive! We’ll be doing some shiplap and rafters on the ceiling, which is probably my favorite thing about this addition so far! We have a very large window on the left side of our bedroom that looks out on our side yard and garden. There’s going to be so much natural light in here! Here’s the opposite/entry wall. There are matching his and hers closets (forgive the plywood over one!). They aren’t huge, but they’re plenty big enough for what we need and they’ll be well-organized! This is the third master we’ve done with his and hers closets and after doing it, we’ll never go back. I love it, but for Chris it is one of his few NECESSITIES. The right side of our bedroom (opposite that big window) is our bathroom door. I’d seen french doors in master suites and loved it! Privacy isn’t as much of a concern with an in-bedroom bath and it adds such character! We’ll have double french doors here and I just want to swoon thinking about them! Our vanity will be centered on that back wall, so through the doors, you’ll have a view of our vanity, mirror, and lights. To the right of the vanity, you have a standing tiled shower with a glass door. We’ve had that in every master bath we’ve done and we LOVE it! But in our neighborhood, it is a standard for resale, so it was a needed move in that regard. And to the left we have a separate toilet room. Okay I lied, THIS is what I’m most excited about in this addition! I’m just kidding…kind of. But in all seriousness, I’ve always wanted one. I really like the idea of it being separate from the rest of the bathroom, especially when it’s a shared bath. But obviously, that isn’t a necessity and we’ve never had the required space for it. We did by chance here since we were adding on in a square to save costs and this much space was left! It’s a really good size as well, so we’ll be able to do a big cabinet or shelves above the toilet and have good storage in here! Well, there she is, y’all! Our current addition! So much is happening over here this week. HVAC is going in, electrical will be finished, plumbing will be done, and we’ll be ready for sheetrock next week! We’re flying and I really can’t believe it! I don’t think I’ve said this here yet, but one really exciting thing about this project is that all that you just toured above? Chris built it himself. When we came home from our month away and were able to walk through the space that he built for us with his own two hands, it was a powerful moment. Out of all of the houses we’ve done, we’ve always hired out framing additions and that wasn’t a skill he had. While there will always be more to learn, that was the one main area he still felt lacking in when it came to renovating and construction. When we realized that we had to do the addition for financial reasons, we quickly thought this was the perfect opportunity for him to gain those skills. It was summer and the kids and I were going to be gone more than normal, meaning he could get a lot more done more quickly. He spent many nights huddled over his construction books studying. His contractor mentor who has helped us on many projects came and gave advice and worked with him a few long days to teach him. And he did it, y’all. This self-taught renovator of mine framed a house…or part of it. But still! Such a big deal and I’m so proud of him. It reminded me a lot of our very first house when he woke up one Saturday and said, “I think I’m going to put up a wall there in the hallway so that we create a master suite.” And by that night, there was a wall. I knew then that God had gifted him in this area. I looked back and saw so many things about him that had led and built to this and knew this was a calling God was going to use…because it so clearly was developed by Him. Remember, Chris was pre-med, then worked in real estate, then insurance, and didn’t know a thing about construction when we got married. And I wasn’t planning to do anything with design. God was cooking something up with these latent gifts of ours… Recently, I did an Instagram post about our goals for raising our babies. And one of the big goals was to help them UNDERSTAND & CELEBRATE God’s big story and their unique place in it. We want to help them grasp that God is writing the most powerful story ever written. And that they get to play a small, unique part in it. We want to help them recognize and cultivate their unique gifts, see how those can be used to glorify God and further His Kingdom, and help them celebrate those unique callings and lean into them! And seeing what Chris created this last month was a full-circle moment for me where I realized this right here is how they’re going to learn that. We can talk to them all day about what they should do, what we think their gifts are, how they can leverage them for God’s kingdom, but they’re going to really learn that by watching us live that out. God has made it so clear to us that this renovation journey we’ve been on these last seven years was written by Him for a purpose much bigger than crafting pretty houses, our dreams, or our debt journey. It’s a small piece in His bigger story and it’s a privilege to get to live it. Watching Chris pour over his books learning all he could with passion, put in the work and time to make it a reality, seeing his smile and my pride in him, setting foot in the product he created, touching the walls he nailed together, and most importantly, understanding the WHY behind it…that right there is what is going to shape these children into what we’re praying for. This week, he passed the framing inspection on the first try. I knew he would, but I don’t think he really had confidence in himself before that. It was a proud day, a day full of smiles and celebration that was about a lot more than these plywood walls. Y’all know I’ve doubted the role that my work plays in this season of motherhood, but this experience has shown me that ofcourse, I want them to “win” every day. But I also want them to see mommy using her gifts with abandon and working toward dreams. I want them to see their mama being a forever student about something she’s passionate about. I want them to see her working hard at something that sets her soul on fire. I want them to see her running after the part in God’s big story He’s called only her to play. And then I believe they’ll learn to do the same. ***** Thanks so much for checking out our addition updates and for your sweet patience this summer while we were away! Make sure and follow along on Instagram for real-time updates! And now that we’re home, I’ll have more to share here soon!