Thursday, April 25, 2013

Donnington Lane

       We've got big news people. Big news. After all of my complaining, whining, and self pity, it has actually happened. Yep. We are becoming homeowners.
       This has been in the works now for a couple of weeks, but we wanted to wait until we made it past the inspection and loan hurdles before we shared the news. A couple of weeks ago on Wednesday evening, as I was checking for new listings, I saw this home pop up. It was in the right neighborhood, on a quiet street, and had potential. With Jon on shift, I could either see it the following morning by myself or we could risk waiting until Friday morning when he got off work. We decided to wait until Friday, and scheduled a viewing for 9:30am.
       The listing looked familiar to me,  and as always, I did my research. It had listed in 2011 and 2012 but had not sold either year. Both years it had been out of our price range, so we had never bothered to see it. With the changes to the market in the last 6 months, it was now something we should take a look at. We arrived to the house, walked through it, and then something happened... we agreed! We both liked it, which mind you, never happens. The square footage was decent, we liked the layout, there was a good amount of storage, it was private, and the yard was pretty great. We decided to put in an offer immediately and gave them until 9:00pm to respond. A few hours later my phone rang and were told they had accepted our offer. Mind you, because of our history we were actually very cautious when we heard the good news and we really didn't do much celebrating. We figured we would believe it when we actually had keys in our hands. 
       The next week the sellers invited us back for their garage sale. We realized that we had only looked over the house for a whole, oh, 10 minutes the first time, so we thought it would be nice to take another walk through. Long story short, the sellers were uber-kind people, and were already busy packing up their lives. We were able to walk through and take lots of pics, so I'm here to share. The photos don't actually do the property justice, and you need to put on your renovation goggles a bit. Our heads have been spinning with all of the ideas that we have for this place. I've even found Jon shopping for light fixtures and checking out images on pinterest! Man oh man, do we have some plans.
The main area will be getting some custom built ins (a-la-Jon), 
a white plank ceiling, window treatments, new flooring, etc. etc. etc.
This picture unfortunately doesn't capture all of the great windows in the room. 
Most of the house is a bit  too beige, beige, beige for me.
That will be changing though.
Jon despises the carpet in the dining area, and that will come up at some point.
We've got plans for a farm table, new light fixture, 
paint, area rug...and the list goes on!
The kitchen isn't completely ideal, 
but we'll be living with it for a while to see how it works for us.
It's smaller then our current kitchen, 
so we're going to have to make it as efficient as possible.
I've got some ideas for some basic improvements that will really help.
(Photo bomb courtesy of Nolan)

Our little half bath is up next.
I hope to start doing some affordable updating in here pretty immediately.
This space could use a little personality boost, don't you think?
(Photo bomb #2. Thank you Buzz.)
Our master bedroom is downstairs and it's on the long and narrow side.
I love the ceiling (all three bedrooms have open beam ceilings), 
and the room is a nice blank canvas for some design love. 
Upholstered bed, built in desk, lighting, lighting, lighting, here we come!
The kiddos bedrooms are on the small side, 
but we have some ideas about how we'll make them work.
We're even thinking that Nolan and Quincy will be bunking up, 
so that we still have a guestroom available.
On our previous walk through of the house, 
we merely peeked into this dark and chock full basement storage room. 
The second time around however, the space had been cleared out 
and we got a better view of it. 
Jon immediately declared this his favorite room in the house.
It will be the home of his future man-cave and it has walk out access to the side yard.
Just outside of the Master bedroom is the lower deck. 
Can you say hellllloooooo hot tub?
The backyard is really the piece de resistance if you ask me. 
Here's the view from the lawn, looking up.

Here's the view from the upper deck looking out. 
Hopefully this deck will soon be home to a new grill and some patio furniture. 
We certainly have our work cut out for us, but we are so eager to jump in head first.
And did I mention that the house is over our budget, 
leaving us little room for said updates and ideas?
Yep. That hot tub I mentioned- that certainly isn't in the budget anytime soon. 
But we'll get there.
We'll be broke for a while, 
but we'll get there.
I'm going to try to enjoy the process as much as possible,
(I can however tell you that I'm not doing a
 very good job of enjoying the packing process)
because we've worked so hard to get to this point, 
and I want to enjoy the process of turning this into a home.

Time to get back to packing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To Healdsburg and Beyond!

       After the Easter festivities wrapped up with my family, Jon and I packed the kids back up and headed about an hour northwest to the town of Healdsburg. We wanted sunshine. We wanted warmth. We wanted to relax. Our drive there was uneventful (the best kind)  and when we arrived we were greeted by towering redwood trees and a charming little riverfront house.
The view from the hot tub.
Did I mention there was a hot tub?
Whenever the kids were sleeping, you could find us there.
The river views from the back deck weren't too shabby either.

Just down from our deck, 
a dirt trail led to this rocky beach.
Buzz is an absolute nature boy and is at his best outside.
He loved the river, the rocks, and the sticks.

Feet in the river, shoes and all.
His dog brother was never too far behind.
On Monday I attempted to get the whole family dressed 
and packed up to go downtown.
Healdsburg is part of Northern California's wine country, 
and it's jammed packed with boutiques and restaurants.
Packing the family up quickly became exhausting and Jon made me realize something. 
We were vacation.
How much would I really enjoy walking around a cute town
with a toddler and newborn in tow?
I realized he was right (which is rare, mind you).
So we never walked around the cute town. 
We didn't shop in their shops. 
We didn't dine out. 
We just r-e-l-a-x-e-d

Buzz looked like this a lot.
The boys skipped a lot of rocks. 

Me and Q did a lot of this.
And this.
We took advantage of the quiet road and fit in a few walks.
One evening we picked up some filets and oysters and threw them on the BBQ.
 Come to daddy.
Blue did lots of porch sit'n.
Buzz explored.
We sat on the porch and drank coffee 
(or champagne, depending on the time of day).
I didn't do my hair.
On our last night, one of my best friends from high school 
came for dinner with her hubs and new daughter.
Louella is 4 days younger than Quincy. 
Four days!
They brought fresh crab and we feasted.
Side by side cuties.
I wish we were still there, 
but we'll be back. 
It even got us thinking that someday, way down the line, 
we'd like to buy a small vacation cottage.

I'll be back in a couple of days with something new to share with you!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Easter 2013

      The Milam's have a little something in the works and I'll be sharing more on that soon. While I have a few free moments I wanted to share some Easter pictures with you. I picture that most people's Easter morning includes kids bounding out of bed to hunt for their Easter baskets, followed by cute Easter dresses and bonnets, and a special Easter mass followed by a delicious meal. Our Easter morning didn't go exactly like that. Imagine an almost 3 year old waking up very constipated, spending most of the morning trying to you-know-what, then picture a dad taking some drastic measures, followed by a successful bowel movement, and then imagine very relieved parents jumping up and down cheering. 
 After that was all settled it was finally time for some Easter basket hunting.
Getting warmer.

Thank you Mr. Bunny.
This was the first time that most of my side of the family got to meet Ms. Q.
It was also her first time in a dress.

Jonny and his baby girl.
Add in one more cutie pie.
And because babies are so stinking cute when they cry, I couldn't resist.
Or course the day included our annual Easter egg hunt.
Big cousins helping little cousins. Gotta love it.

This year, Buzz was really into it.
I die for his little calves.
Somehow, someway, this is what my little boy's Easter bag looked like after the hunt.
And then of course, we had to check out our finds.

We attempted to take a good family pic. 
Attempt #1- not quite.
Nope, not there yet.
This will have to do.
3 out of 4 looking at the camera ain't bad. 
My hair-now that's a whole other issue in itself.
I'll be back soon with some pics of our Spring getaway!