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Today, we received a basic landscaping layout plan.  It is just an overview of how to put the puzzle pieces back together but it give us a birds-eye view of the property.

We demolished the original pool but we plan to have another pool but we likely will not start that until next spring.  Let’s just get us in the house first!

The “Porch” is the topic of the day.  This is a typical day for me- The builder will text me and say, “Are you fine with the landscape plan?”. I have to get my phone out(because I am ALWAYS in the car) and pull up the latest PDF file and review it without crashing the car(don’t text and drive).  Are you “okay” with _____ is a loaded question.  You have to pay attention to the details because you are usually agreeing to a huge list of items that are not listed out.  

I open the plan and the one thing I see above all else is the location of the rear stairs to the backyard.  They are now located at the far side of the back courtyard which seems like a huge distance to me to travel to access the backyard.  

landscape plan
We have ONE door from the main level to the back and that makes the stair location critical to me.  

Stephen Fuller is our architect. If you are not familiar with him, he was/is the “Southern Living” guy and his kids go to Wesleyan.  He is an awesome resource.  He is my phone a friend.  So, whenever I get a call from our builder that I cannot answer immediately, I use my phone a friend and call Stephen.  Steve.  Here was his conceptual/rough drawing:

Rear courtyard

It shows stairs in the center.  That is where I thought they should go logically.  For some reason, the new landscape plan has them on the left hand property line.  I am not okay with that.

So, after emails/phone calls and texts, we have to meet at the house tomorrow to discuss the stairs!  Stairs.  Just one piece of the puzzle but it has to hit right and you cannot make a corner piece out of an interior piece no matter how hard you force it into the puzzle.


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Bye bye pool

3-26-2012 Today, they started grading work in the front and back.  We are planning an addition that will go across the back of the home and a new single car garage will be added.  We are also taking off the old front porch and replacing it with a larger front porch making the window above it smaller to accommodate the new.


In Progress



The plantings to the left of the home out front are gone as of tonight.  The landscaping was so overgrown, it really dated the home.  On the right side of the lot, there is a row of hydrangeas that are beautiful and those will not be touched.

Also today, the right side of the home came off.  That was a surprise to me- the roof was always coming off to accommodate Addison’s bath above the first floor but everything is gone so I guess that will be all new too!  I know it seems like I should know this already but we are staying inside the walls over there so I really didn’t know it was totally coming down.

This week brings lots of changes.  Audrey got glasses.  Bright pink ones which she will debut at school tomorrow. When I brought them home to her she put them on and said look at that apple over there and handed me HER glasses so I could clearly see the apple as she now does.  So, I guess tomorrow brings a clearer day for Audrey.

I went and looked at tile again today.  So far, that is the most frustrating thing to conquer for me.  There are just so many choices but I am just trying to find something neutral for the kids’ baths and the choices are limited with neutral and trying to keep cost reasonable.

I have selected 12×24 tiles for the floors and 4×8 subway tile for the bath/shower walls.  I did opt for a hexagonal marble tile insert on Addison’s bathroom floor to give her more grout in there and thus more traction which will help keep her from slipping.  It’s very pretty and clean-looking.  I just need to figure out if I want any accent bands or do anything interesting with the tile.

I’m still working on the master bath.  The only thing I know for sure is the glass mosaic shower tile.  I am trying to find something that works with it and right now it may be marble.  I wish I could get some glasses like Audrey and see things clearly tomorrow when I put them on.  It would make the selections so much easier!

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So, I have learned that when you start focusing on the inside of the home, your finishes revolve around your kitchen counter selection.  It defines the look, the colors and the feel of the home.  It is that significant so due attention must be paid.

I have been to so many stone lots- all the way up to South Carolina by car and even put in a call out of desperation to California and thought about having slabs shipped!  Crazy.  It shouldn’t be this hard but it is.

I love the look of marble.  I think a classic white kitchen is hard to beat.  I like wood but I think paint is timeless whereas wood tones come and go so we will be going with a painted kitchen cabinet.

On one of my first trips to look at stone, I came upon quartzite and once I saw it, that’s exactly what I wanted- quartzite is harder than granite and it does not etch or stain.  It looks like marble- it has the same veining without the specks that granite contains in the stone.  It’s the best of both worlds- the ease of care like granite and the look of marble.  It is more expensive that marble though- of course!  I can pick them!

I’ve been through a few different choices but the one that I think we are going with is called White Macabus.  It is a taupey-grey color with a dark gray veining.  I really like it.  Some of the quartzites are whiter in color but they have a ton of straight lines that run straight across the slab and I just wasn’t so sure i wanted to start at those lines for the next 20 years.  This one that I have picked is more random like marble.


I think it will set the tone that we want for the house and I am loving the color grey right now and it works with that very well!

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Today, the siding came off the front and underneath was National Gypsum board that was basically sheetrock like you put on the inside of your house.  So, that had to come off.  Now, it is just wide open.  It is shocking to look at.

Tomorrow, the back of the house comes off and they may start moving dirt around for the footings for the back addition which will start to change the way things look a bit.  That’s a good thing!

They have actually almost finished reframing the entire upstairs minus the additions.  We got to walk through the kids’ rooms, the bathrooms and closets.  The new linen closet is there and the new upstairs laundry closet is framed.  I am excited to have 2 laundry rooms!  The new media room will be located over the garage on the left side and that isn’t built yet and a bathroom will be added over the right roof- also not there today.  Upstairs, out the back, 2 baths will bump out the back wall so there are many spaces that are yet to come!

Things look small when there is only framing to look at and you just see right through the “wall”. I keep going back to the plans and remeasuring.  I started to panic walking through the new framing hoping everything would be right in the end.  I just don’t want to screw it up and working with an existing space, you have to find a way to make it work and options are not unlimited. That’s both a blessing and a curse.

My latest dilemma is trying to make Hudson’s “bunk beds” to work.  They don’t even exist yet but I had that in my head that it is what we were doing in his room and I love the picture that I have.  The problem is, it doesn’t work in the room that was supposed to be his room.  So, I can flip-flop he and Addi’s room but that means the wall for her twin beds would be smaller if I switched them.  Her beds are super cute and she has the flower chandeliers from PB Kids that go over her beds and I love them so it’s just comes does to how bad do I really want to have that bunk bed for Hud.  Decisions, decisions.



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I recently started using Pinterest to organize our selections. You can pick different pieces from different sites and be able to view them in one place.  It is a great tool.


Follow Me on Pinterest

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Full-on Monet

We purchased the ‘Yellow House’, as we like to refer to “it” 2 years ago.  We never planned on living in it.  Just like Burns says- “the best laid plans o’ mice and men…”- it didn’t work out that way.

When we first looked at the home, we knew it needed a lot of work.  More than we wanted to do.  I think most of Greater Gwinnett looked at the Yellow House during the time it was on the market.  Whenever I speak of it to people in the Peachtree Corners area, I hear “Oh, we looked at that house”.  Like the rest of the people in the area, we left and went on with our day.

Life is full of relatives- not people but relative as in perspective.  When someone says- “that’s expensive”, that’s a relative term- $10 is expensive to some people, whereas $1,000 is expensive to others.  Same can be said of the size of the home you wish to live in.  Homes in the Peachtree Corners area were not built to hold a family of 6 the way we are used to living- which is NOT on top of one another.  We need space- not tons of space- but we like having bedrooms for each kid, a couple of TV watching rooms on the main living floor and a basement for all of our stuff.  We also wanted a yard- one big enough for 4 kids and their friends to run around in and not fall off a cliff or get hit by a car because they have to play in the front yard.  We wanted a useable backyard or no deal.

That house doesn’t exist in the location we desire so we have to build it.  We could find a house that has 4 bedrooms- or a 4 and a door house- but that isn’t really what we want to raise our family in so we are going to build it.

Yellow House had some things going for it.  It was build in 1972 and it has 5 bedrooms, a full basement, and a huge, level backyard.  Not too bad as far as basic essentials go.  But the problem is that the Yellow House is a full-on Monet to quote Cher from the movie Clueless.  A full-on Monet is something that looks good from far away but up close is a big ‘ole mess.  That is Yellow house.  A full-on Monet.

We are going to fix Yellow House though.  It’s going to take a lot of work and some time, but we think she has potential and we are up for the challenge.  We are exhausted though, I can tell you that.  In the last 2 years, we have had a baby, sold a home, packed twice, moved twice and planned and found a builder for the house.  It hasn’t been much fun and we are so ready to get to a place of normal, whatever that is.  So, this blog is an attempt to document the process and give me a place to vent when I need it.  More to come!

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