Monday, February 28, 2011

Cookies and Fixes

Well, we may not have got new furniture as a gift from Ryan like I was dreaming, but our sales reps left some delicious gourmet cookies in our mailbox today!  That was so nice and thoughtful... and a horrible temptation as I'm supposed to start a new regime tomorrow!

So our PM is coming back tomorrow to have a few issues fixed.  We already have a decent list going of things we're noticing - mostly small things.  Tomorrow though they're replacing our bathroom sink counter which has a giant crack in it.  Also, my husband discovered that they covered our floor vent in the master bath with the vinyl flooring!  He cut a slit to let the air out, but they will come to finish it off and put a grate over it.  That was a pretty big oops.  Also, they're going to add some more gravel to our driveway since I scrape bottom when I pull in.  The other issues will wait until our 30 day.

I had to laugh tonight as my husband and I took the garbage out together for pickup.  I'm pretty sure that will be the last time we do that!  Hopefully by next week that will be his job!

Happy Birthday to Lispis from From Knot to Nest!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And I'm Back...

Wow!  What a busy, busy weekend.  I can't believe it's over already.  The move and the entire weekend went very smoothly.  I'm happy to say that we accomplished more than I expected to this weekend.  Everything except the office is unpacked.  The kitchen was the biggest project, but I've found a nice home for everything.  I can't even express how much I love the kitchen.  It is just perfect.  But, I could say that about every room in the house.  I am so happy and honestly feel like this is home already.  As weird as this sounds, I feel like we're finally starting our life!

I thought the weekend would be stressful, but it was actually fun.  I loved finding places for everything.  The best part though was all of the visitors and helpers.  We basically had family and friends here all day yesterday and today.  It was just a really, really nice weekend.  The only down side to the weekend - my ankles are killing me!  I've spent so much time on my feet.  Getting up for work tomorrow is not going to be easy.

No pictures because I left my memory card at work.  We are VERY eager to get moving on new furniture and decorating.  This house will keep us quite busy for a while!

Now I'm off to read the blogs and to see what's been going on with you guys these last few days!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everybody Loves Raymond - #1

Well, we have a rainy day here in Pittsburgh.  I'll take rain over ice.  Things went pretty smoothly before I left this morning, but the movers arrived without wardrobe boxes to hang the clothes from our closets.  Ugh.  Oh well.

#1 - No Longer Living the Life of Deborah Barone

I love Everybody Loves Raymond.  Definitely one of my favorite shows.  The show has hit a little too close to home for the last year and a half.  You see, we live across the street from my in-laws.  Now I'm a big family person, but our living situation has been a little too close for comfort.  If you are a fan of the show you know how Marie, Frank, and Robert just stop over unannounced.  They pop their heads in the window.  They know when you're home and what time you wake up because they can see in your windows from across the street.  You get the idea.  That has been my life.  It will be very nice to have some privacy, to freely walk around my house in my robe not having to fear that someone will walk through my kitchen door.  I also think that I will appreciate my in-laws more and have a better relationship when we have a little distance.  Not that we have a bad relationship, but you know what I mean. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder!  Sorry if it's a little disappointing, but this is most definitely the number one thing I'm looking forward to!

BD thought maybe my #1 would be all of the memories we're going to create in our new house.  I guess I just took that one for granted.  That is certainly something I'm looking forward to.  India thought my number one would be meeting all of you, my blogging friends.  That's right up there, too and has been a huge part of this journey.  Thanks for reading everyone.  The internet will be hooked up tomorrow so I'll be back soon :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

# 2

Thanks for all of the congratulations, everyone!  We're beyond excited.  I missed reading all the blogs last night.  This whole lack of internet just solidifies what I already knew - I am totally addicted.  No Ryan blogs, no facebook, no fun!  Anyway, we're all set for tomorrow.  We're supposed to be getting a lot of rain tonight and tomorrow before changing to snow at some point tomorrow.  It will be a muddy mess!   The movers are putting down a carpet shield, but I may head to Lowes tonight to get something to cover the garage floor and porch as well as the vinyl surfaces.  I have to work tomorrow so my husband will be the one dealing with it all. 
Only 2 items left on the countdown.  I've been wanting to post my #1 since the beginning of the countdown.  I'll give you a preview - it  has to do with one of my favorite tv shows of all time. Hopefully I'll get that posted tomorrow morning, but no promises.  I'll have a lot to finish up at the house in the morning before I leave for work.  I have a feeling I won't be getting much sleep tonight.

#2 - The Layout

I love our floor plan!  I've already talked about the openness of the downstairs, but I love the upstairs as well.  I like our little hallway upstairs and how all of our bedrooms are situated.  I love that we don't really have much wasted space - it's all very usable.  I love that the laundry room is so convenient.  I can't wait to get settled in.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Closing and #3

I'm exhausted!  Between being excited about the house closing and hoping for a school closing, I had a hard time sleeping last night.  I'm such a little kid!  The school closing was awesome, the closing was fine.  Again, a bit boring, but the end result was awesome!  It was really nice - when we walked in there was a personalized sign at the reception desk congratulating us on our new home.  Just a small detail but it made an impression. The whole closing took a little over an hour.  Just signing lots of papers.  Not very exciting. 

Afterwards we headed to the house!  I was so happy to see that they shoveled for us!  Also the temporary step and walkway they put in were much nicer than I expected.   I've watched way too many housing shows on HGTV where the buyers go into their new house for the first time and are greeted by new furniture.  I kept imagining I was on "My First Place" and when I walked in I'd have a dining room set.  No furniture, but I did get 4 house keys.  That's the only gift I needed :)  We stayed at the house for a while, but honestly it didn't feel much different from the other times we've been there.  I think that on Friday when it becomes "home" we'll feel much more excited.. 

# 3 - Living Room

I know there's nothing special about the living room, but tonight I realized how much I like it.  I also realized that it's bigger than I thought.  So of course it has become my new obsession.  Since we left the house all I've been thinking about is how I'm going to furnish and arrange this room!  I'm sure it will turn out great!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well, thanks to Mother Nature I wasn't able to go on my shopping adventure today :(  I thought I'd be good and finish up some odds and ends at home and shop later in the day after some appointments I had.  The snow that was supposed to start around 6:00 came around 3:00.  A drive that would normally take me 45 minutes took close to 2 hours!  Maybe I'll go tomorrow after closing.  Which, by the way, TOMORROW IS OUR CLOSING! 

My husband also told me today that Wednesday is our last day with internet service. Boo. I'll try to keep up with posting before work in the morning, but I know the next few days are going to be a whirlwind.  On to #4 (I can't believe it!)

#4 - Garage Door Opener

I already wrote about the garage, but not the garage door opener.  This will be yet another first for me.  I've always had to do it the old-fashioned - getting out of the car and opening the door.  Maybe I'm just being lazy, but I'm going to love this little convenience.  We did not go with Ryan for this because $450 was a tad overpriced we felt.  I bought a pretty good one on sale on Black Friday for around $150ish and Sears is installing installing it on Saturday for $130.  We didn't save a ton of money, but every little bit helps.

Speaking of the garage, here's a pic.   Of all the things we want to do to the house, finishing the garage is on the top of my husband's list.  Go figure.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I'm happy to report that everything is packed except for the stuff we need throughout the week.  Very productive weekend.  A trip to Kohl's and Bed Bath and Beyond is in store tomorrow.  Let the fun begin...well the fun before the busy weekend ahead.

#5 - Lamp post

Okay. you probably think I'm grasping at straws here.  I'm not going to lie, these last few items for the  countdown are harder than the others, but I actually am excited about the lamp post.  With all of the houses having one and having them all on at the same time, it just makes the neighborhood look very quaint.  I've heard rumors that we may be getting street lights as well, but even without streetlights the lamp posts light up the neighborhood pretty well.  I'm hoping that they will light the neighborhood well enough that I can go for a walk (and soon hopefully a jog/run) in the neighborhood early in the morning.  Since our houses are pretty close together, I'm thinking it will be light enough.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Packing Progress and #6

You guys can you believe I'm down to six days?  It's finally sinking in after spending the day packing and pitching.  My poor dog hardly has any room to move around.  There are boxes everywhere!  I am very happy with our progress and may even be able to spend some of my day off on Monday shopping.  So it's a good thing I didn't get anything at Kohls because my sister has a 30% off coupon that she's giving me tomorrow.  My next trip there has to be very productive.  Any suggestions on things to look for?  Here's my list so far:
- hand towels for downstairs bathroom
- towels for guest bathroom
- shower curtain, soap dispenser, etc... for guest bath if I like something enough to buy it
- maybe a rug for the kitchen and/or mud room
- decorative items
I'm just trying to think if there's anything else I can accomplish while I'm there.

We had our taxes done today and will be getting a decent refund which means I can get some furniture sooner!   Yay!  We're also contemplating custom blinds again.  I'm still torn with that one.  To be continued...

#6 - New Everything

So this one is rather obvious, but I'm so excited that everything will be brand new.  There is such a peace of mind that comes along with knowing that we won't need to worry about a furnace, water heater, or roof for quite a while.  As you drive to our plan you go through a HUGE Ryan development that was built in late 90's and early 2000's.  We heavily considered buying in that plan.  We could have actually got a bigger house for our money, but it was knowing that some of those big ticket items were already 10 years old that made building even more attractive.  Not only is it all big items, but every little thing is brand new.  I love that.  I also love knowing that we get to create the house's history.  So cool!

Friday, February 18, 2011

One Week Away and #7

One week from now I'll be unpacking boxes in my new house. I CANNOT WAIT!  We got a call from our PM today and many of the issues from yesterday are already fixed.  We have water in the master bath.  We got a brand new kitchen sink (the other was scratched).  We also have a new panel on the island.  I'm very impressed!
I had a 20% off Kohl's coupon today so I thought I'd try to get a few things - shower curtain, decorative stuff, maybe some rugs.  I ended up not getting anything because I am the worlds most horrible decision maker!  If I'm like this over a shower curtain, I can't imagine me picking out furniture!  I was overwhelmed.  The coupon is good until Wednesday, so I have to get my act together by then!

#7 - Master Bedroom

I really like our master bedroom.  Even excluding the awesome closet and master bathroom, it's still a great room.  It's definitely a lot bigger than what we have now.  I even think we'll have room for a little sitting area some day.  This room isn't on the top of the priority list, but hopefully we'll get to it before too long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pre-Settlment Meeting and #8

So tonight we had our final walk through.  It was.....BORING!   I was into it for about the first half hour then I totally lost interest.  I know that's terrible to say since this is the meeting that I looked forward to for so long.  We started by going over things on the outside. The porch was poured but not our steps.  We'll have one wooden step until spring.  Other than our rocky driveway we'll pretty much just have a lot dirt for a while.  The driveway will probably be installed in April or May.  Anyway, after that we went through the infamous Ryan Binder of warranties, phone numbers, common issues, etc...  Our PM (whose arms I was admiring!) made it sound really easy to get issues resolved with the service department.  I hope that's our experience.  After that we began the grand tour.  This is where it got boring.  We basically went over every inch of every room.  There were lots of small issues - nicks and dents in the baseboards, paint touch-ups, tight windows, screws that need tightening, etc...  There were a couple of bigger issues.  First, the water didn't work in our master bathtub.  Oops!  He wasn't quite sure why, but obviously it will be fixed before Tuesday.  There was a pretty decent hole in the end of the island.  They did a half-assed job of patching the hole.  Now we're getting a whole new panel.  There were some significant holes in the walls behind two toilets.  I think that was it.  Overall, the house is looking great!

My husband and I went out to dinner afterwards and of course I was talking about the blogs.  I told him I feel like I'm a high-school senior who's excited about going off  to college but at the same time is sad about the life and people that they will leave behind.  I'm beyond excited about moving into the house but be a little sad that I will no longer be in the club of people building a Ryan home.  I will still be reading for sure, and I hope I have things to post every now and then, but it will be quite different than it has been for the past 7 months.  I know that probably all sounds weird, but I've really grown to like this little community we have here :) 

#8 - Staircase

There are some grandiose and elegant stair cases in some Ryan homes.  The Avalon, Victoria Falls, and Jefferson all have beautiful staircases.  While ours won't be quite like that, I really do love it.  I like how it's tucked off to the side.  I love the window and how the stair case turns.  I probably won't like getting furniture up and down, but that's not something I'll be doing everyday.

I'm off tomorrow.  You know what that means! Packing.

#10 and #9

I had so many other Ryan blogs to catch up on last night that by the time I started my post, I fell asleep!  I can't believe how many blogs there are now.  I found thrifty Amy's blog a little less than a year ago.  Then when we were seriously considering Ryan, I found a few new ones.  When I started mine there were 4 others that I knew of.  Now I'm following over 30 Ryan Homes blogs!  I think it's great and I love finding new ones.  I'm sure most of us have read the negative reviews of Ryan Homes on the internet, so I think it's great that we have these blogs as an alternative to all of that (hopefully).  So thank you all for writing and keeping me occupied these last 7 months as I've waited for our house to be built.

I can't believe our final walk through is tomorrow.  I'm so excited!  I know I'm obsessed, but I did go by the house last night.  Practically everything that we pointed out last week was fixed which made me very happy.  I did, however, see the inspection from the township sitting  on the counter - the house hasn't passed inspection yet.  There were just  little details.  I'm glad those details were caught and that they'll be fixed before we move in.  The house really does look great!  I am so happy with things.  I also got to meet my new next door neighbor and her son as well as a man that lives a few doors down.  They all seem great.  I can't wait to meet more.

#10 - Basement

I've talked about this before, too.  I'm so excited about our basement.  Although it will be a couple of years before we finish it, it is such a great space.  It is so big and is full of potential!

#9 - Light Fixtures

Really?  I'm excited about light fixtures?  Yep, I am.  In our current house we have dated brass and glass fixtures, so the brushed nickel fixtures are a huge step up.  We upgraded to level 2 (or B - I don't remember which).  We debated this one because we considered getting the base package and upgradig them on our own.  I'm glad we decided to.  It will be one less project and one less expense down the road.
Here are some of the fixtures:

Dining Room

all hallway light fixtures are like this

Here's the light in the bathtubs.  I was thinking they'd be recessed or a little less noticeable.  I should have had the light off for the picture.

One more.  Here's a better shot of the under cabinet lights.

Monday, February 14, 2011

#11, Odds and Ends and Final Walk Through Advice

I had some extra free time at school today because of the Valentines Day parties, so I was able to make some calls and get the gas, electric, phone, and internet set up.  Everything's taken care of.   February 26 will be a busy day of installations and hook ups.  Today we also received an email from NVR listing some of the things we will need to bring to closing as well as the amount of the check - YIKES!  So long savings :(

In just 3 days we'll have our final walk through!  So hard to believe.  We of course want to make sure that all of the issues we brought up last week were addressed but also want to make sure we've covered everything else.  To those of you that have had your final walk through or have been living in your house for a while, do you have any suggestions on things to look out for or questions to ask during this meeting?  I'd just like to be prepared going into it.

# 11 - Morning Room

I've talked about the morning room so much, but I've never added it to the countdown.  I am sooooo happy with this room.  Everyone that comes to see the house has pointed out how this room just makes the downstairs.  It just opens up the house so much.  They've all said that not having it would make the house feel very different.  I couldn't agree more.  And I don't know if they do it just to keep me from whining about not getting the extra morning room windows, but every single person has said they like the wall without the windows.  My husband is probably paying everybody to say that!  Although I still would have preferred to have them, I don't hate it without them.  That wall has lots of possibilities.  The whole room is such a great space.  I'm beyond excited about it.

Here's a better shot of the flooring in the morning room and kitchen.  Not bad.

While we're on the topic of floors.  Here's the carpet:

It's a little darker than I thought it would be, but I think it will be fine.  We upgraded to level 2 carpet.  It's not as soft as I'd like, but it will work.

This is random, but here's a shot of the recessed lights above the fireplace.  We're not hanging our tv above the fireplace, so glare won't be an issue. I don't know how often these lights will be on, but they do look nice.

That should do it for tonight.  Happy Valentines Day!  My valentine is somewhere in Ohio tonight on business.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Special Visitor and #12

Today was a special day.  My dad finally got to see the house!  He spent a month in the hospital shortly after construction began and has been recovering at home since. I've been showing him pictures every step of the way, but he hadn't been able to see it in person.  He's been feeling much better this week and today he felt well enough to come on a tour of the house. He loved it! He's not one to hide his true feelings, so I know he's being honest.  Even though I'm 31 years old, there's something about me that still likes getting approval from my dad :)  I'm so glad he likes it.  His only "criticism" was that he thought the pantry door should have been the same color as the cabinets?!?!?!  I don't know where he got that one, but if it's the only thing he didn't like, I'm happy.  I'm trying to get him to sell his house and build a carriage home in our plan!

So a weird thing today. When we got there our front door was open a few inches.  I just figured someone was there and forgot to close it.  So we closed it when we went in, but when we were leaving it was open again.  It does get pretty windy on top of the hill, but I think I'd like it if our door stayed closed!  Something to talk to our PM about.  I'm sure he pretty much hates us at this point.

The outside is just about finished.  It's supposed to warm up quite a bit this week so our PM thinks they'll be able to pour the porch.  The light post and garage lights are up and running, too.  I really like them.

#12 Under Cabinet Lights

This isn't a great picture because it was light outside.  As soon as I get a better shot I'll post it.  I just really like this little bit of mood lighting.  Nothing fancy, just some nice soft lighting.  It's not something we thought of, but our electrician suggested it.  I'm glad we did it.


I spent a good chunk of the day packing.  I'm amazed by how much stuff that we, just two people, have stuffed into a two bedroom house!  I'm so glad we decided to get movers.  While it's another expense, I think it's worth it.
Thanks to my awesome sister and brother-in-law, we received our first housewarming gift today - a Shark steam vacuum!  I guess you become a true homeowner when getting a cleaning appliance as a gift is something to be happy about.  I'm so excited!   I can't wait to try it out.  This had been on our list of things to that can be used for something else.

#13 - Home Owners Association

I know this may seem like a weird one, since it's another expense, but I'm actually happy we'll have an HOA.  Our fee is $25/month which basically covers the upkeep of the monument and cutting the grass in common areas.  I think it's a bit high given what it covers, but I know it could be worse.  I'm just glad that there will be some governance regarding the appearance and upkeep of the homes.  The neighborhoods that my husband and I grew up in are really going downhill appearancewise because some of the residents don't put much effort into the appearance of the home.  While some of the rules of the HOA are a bit ridiculous, I'm glad that if they're enforced, the neighborhood will always look good.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Only two weeks until moving day! I realized when I got home from work today that this was the last Friday I'll come home to this house from work. Next Friday I have off, so this is it. It will be so nice not to have a 45 minute ride home on a Friday night.

#14 - Kitchen

I've written about this before, too.  I am very much looking forward to my open kitchen.  It's far from huge, but it is spacious enough for me.  We'll have plenty of storage.  More than one person can work comfortably in there at one time.  It's open to the family room.  We have an awesome island, nice cabinets, a super nice fridge.  I love it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We're one week away from our final walk through! I really am in disbelief. I'm simply amazed by how quickly our house was built.
Yesterday they did the appraisal of the house. Since people hired by Ryan or NVR do the appraisal, I expected it to be pretty spot on and not a penny less. Actually, it ended up being about $6,000 more than what we paid. I'm not sure if it means anything but I'll take it.

#15 - Laundry Room

I wrote about the laundry room a couple of weeks ago before I started the countdown so there's not too much to say. I'm so happy we'll have our laundry room on the 2nd floor!

#16 and a Pre Pre-Settlement Meeting

#16 - Dining Room

The only thing that I don't like about our floor plan is that we don't have an extra room on the first floor to use as an office. But, we decided to just use a bedroom for the office for now and eventually when we finish the basement we'll have it down there. After we made that decision, we had to decide whether that room would be a dining room or a living room. Either way, we knew we probably wouldn't use it much. I've always wanted a formal dining room. I still have boxes and boxes of china from our wedding that we've never opened because there's nowhere to put it! I am excited that (when we finally get furniture for that room) we'll have a place to display it. While it won't be extremely formal, it will the most formal room in the house and I think it will be a nice room to walk into when you come through the front door.

We had a pre pre-settlement meeting with our PM last night. My husband emailed him a list of some things we were hoping would be addressed. He was great and is going to work to get most of them fixed. Here are some of the things he's addressing:

- He’s replacing our garage/mud room door. There were some dents in it and the workers used drywall mud to patch it up. It looked pretty bad, so we're getting a new one.

- Two walls are bowed. He explained how, but I wasn't really paying attention, but they will be fixed

- One of the toilets is cracked. We'll be getting a new one of those

- Many nicks in the baseboard will be fixed

- A squeaky step will be fixed

- A big knick in the island will be fixed as well as an island cabinet door that will be replaced

- A big crack in the master bathtub will be fixed

- The door to the master bathroom will be replaced because there is a big bubble in it

I am very happy with how attentive he is. One little annoying thing he probably won't be able to fix is the plastic transition piece that separates the carpet and the vinyl. Aside from the fact that it hurts when you step on it, it's just really cheap looking. But that's how they do it, so we'll have to replace it on our own.

I also spoke to him and our sales reps about the microwave. It is a new code requirement, so there's nothing we can do. Our sales rep didn't mention it because I guess it is this way in the model home. I never noticed it because I never tried to open the microwave door. Anyway, since that's the way it is in the model we were to assume that's how it would be in our house. Whatever. It is the way it is. We'll just deal with it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#17 and Electricity!

We have electricity!  I love the recessed lights.  They look great.  Almost all of the light fixtures are in and I'm very happy with them.  There's a couple of wires that need to be fixed - the laundry room light switch turns on the laundry room and the bathroom!  Oops.  But other than that, things are looking good.  They graded the driveway and removed the temporary pillar on the front "porch".  I'm guessing the new one will be in place soon.  It's just about finished.
We emailed our PM today about the microwave and several other small issues.  He said he'll get back to us tomorrow.  I'm thinking it is a code issue though, so there's not much we can do about it :(

 #17 - Fireplace

I've written about this before, so it doesn't need much explanation.  Not only do I love the way it looks, but I'm still giddy about the fact that all you have to do to start a fire is flip a switch!  I'm not sure that it will give off a lot of heat, but it will create a great atmosphere.  I'm ready for this winter to be over, but I'm looking forward to using our fireplace next year.

I guess I should have moved the ladder.

Monday, February 7, 2011

#18, The Outside, and My High Microwave

The only "excitement" of today was that our house was being appraised.  Now we can finalize the homeowners insurance.

#18 - Closet Space

I know I've already written about how much I LOVE the master closet.  I'm also very happy about the other closets - especially the one in the little bedroom that we're using as an office.  I currently house all of my teaching and craft materials in the basement.  It will be so nice to have them nice and handy upstairs, at least for a few years anyway.

Closet in the little bedroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Master Bath Linen Closet (since we didn't upgrade the tub)

Hallway Linen Closet
 More closets than you ever wanted to see.

Here's how the outside is looking these days.  Getting the driveway and yard graded are among the last things to do.

And now the microwave.  Does anything look weird to you?

It's hanging pretty high.  I have to reach to open the door.  I didn't make a fuss about it because, well, you saw what happened with the pantry shelves. But when my MIL and sister noticed it, I felt like maybe I wasn't crazy after all.  We have to ask our PM about it. Maybe it will feel different once the stove is in, but looking at pictures of other Venices, it looks like that cabinet is pretty small causing the microwave to be mounted higher.  Maybe they mistakenly put the cabinet above the fridge and the one above the microwave in the wrong spot? It's not a huge deal, just something weird.  To be continued...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I'm a little sad here in Pittsburgh tonight :(  I can always watch the Steelers win the super bowl next year from the comfort of my new home.  Even in my melancholy mood, I'm still happy about...

#19 - Living in a Neighborhood

Even though I grew up in the city, our neighborhood was awesome!  There were so many kids.  We all went to school together and basically lived outside playing with one another. All the moms and dads would keep tabs on each other's kids.  We had Easter egg hunts, block parties, yearly trips to the pumpkin patch, ice cream trips for good report cards, etc...  Even now, many us are still great friends. We get together for game nights or meet up at a bar.  My neighborhood really was my second family.  In fact I have a wedding picture with me and my Grizella Street family!  While I know that will likely not be duplicated, I am so excited to be living in a neighborhood.  My husband would have preferred not to live in a plan, but it is exactly what I wanted.  I've met a few of my soon-to-be neighbors and am really looking forward to meeting more.  There are lots of kids and it is the type of community I envisioned raising my family in.  Even though this is number 19 in my countdown, it's high up on my list of things I'm excited about.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

#20 and Opinions Please!

My mother-in-law and sister wanted a tour of the house so we went back today.  The neighborhood was booming today.  Lots of contractors and new and perspective buyers.  As far as our house goes, there was nothing new and different.  The stove that was there the other day is gone.  I'm guessing something was wrong with it.  Other than that, there was a cleaning lady there today - boy does she have her work cut out for her!  One of the workers who was there said our quality inspection is on Monday so he was there today doing some touch ups and finishes.  The light fixtures will be delivered on Tuesday and that's about it for the inside.  All the house needs now is us :)

#20 - Egress Window?!?!?!
I'm not exactly looking forward to this, but I am really glad we have it.  Although it will probably be a couple of years before we finish the basement, I love the light this window lets in.  I know I've mentioned it before, but didn't have a good shot.

Now the view out of window is far from nice.  It kinda feels like a submarine or something, but when we have curtains on it it will be fine.  Who knew that something I complained so much about having to pay for, I'd actually end up liking?

And now I need some opinions.  We are planning on getting new family room and dining room furniture - but my husband wants to get them one room at a time and save up until we buy the next one.  All along I wanted new dining room furniture first.  We don't have dining room furniture and that's the room you'll walk into so I wanted the dining room furnished.  But after spending some time in the house today, I'm thinking that maybe we should get the furniture for the family room first since that's where we'll be living.  We have furniture, but my husband bought it long ago and it's not really my taste.  I'm conflicted.  What do you think?

Friday, February 4, 2011


Exactly 3 weeks from Moving Day!  I've really got to get moving on the packing. 
I was able to go in the house again today.  It was close to 6:00 and still light outside!  Phil was right, Spring is coming.  Or not.  Anyway, I forgot my scan disk, so no new pictures :(  The house is pretty much done.  Other than the light fixtures, some cleaning and touching up, and filling the yard, there's not much left to do.  Overall I'm very happy.  There are some little details I'll be filling you in on in the coming days. But all in all, it's fantastic.  Here's something else I'm looking forward to:

#21 - Location, Location, Location

When my husband and I got married a year and a half ago I moved into his place.  It is "far" away from the rest of my life.  I'm at least 45 minutes from of my frequent destinations - work, family, friends, a decent mall, etc...  My husband's family lives by us, but my husband has a 50 minute commute each way.  When we move both of us will cut our commutes in half!  I am really looking forward to that and will certainly appreciate it next winter.
Aside from our shorter commute times, we are in a good location.  We are in Butler county where taxes are much lower than they are in Allegheny county - the county that Pittsburgh is in.  Even though we're out of the county, we're still only about 25-30 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and really important places like Heinz Field - the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers...who happen to be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend just in case you didn't know :)  I digress....  Anyway, not only that but we're minutes from a major interstate and the PA turnpike.  But I'm most excited that pretty much everything we need is minutes away.  Great restaurants, grocery store, Target, Kohls (I love that place!), Bed Bath and Beyond, you get the idea.  We're also just minutes from Lowes and Home Depot where we'll be making frequent trips in the coming weeks and months.  One of the first items on the list?  Replacing the ugly faucets....

I'm bummed to hear that brushed nickel was standard for some of you.  We're stuck with chrome, but not for long - at least for the downstairs that is. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


#22 - Our Refrigerator
Okay, I know this doesn't come with the house, but I'm super excited about the fridge.  We bought it a couple of weeks ago.

It's a Samsung.  I love all the space in the fridge and am really excited about the ice maker/ water dispenser.

Two weeks from today is our final walk through! It is starting to feel really surreal. Our house is just about finished. My husband went in today. The carpet is in along with the stove, dishwasher, and microwave. Hopefully I'll get there this weekend.

I transferred most of the utilities (waited on hold for at least 10 minutes with the gas company, but I had a class coming so had to hang up).  I also set up the trash collection.  It's been fun getting to give out my new address!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

#23 and the Brick "Front"

#23 - Breakfast Bar

Even though it's just a very small part of our house, I really like the breakfast bar.  I don't know how often I'll personally sit there, but I can envision friends sitting there and chatting while I cook or clean up, or future children sitting there while they eat their breakfast, or people sitting and chatting while we have a gathering.  I think it will be a great space.  I've been looking online at bar stools.  I'm not sure if I want to the same stool in different sizes for the island and breakfast bar, or if I want to do something different for each.  I've seen some I like at JC Penny online and a couple of other stores.  Yet another decision I have to make!

Aside from the pantry, there was one other thing that bothered me when I visited the other day.  I can't believe I didn't notice this on any other houses in our plan!   Take a look at our brick front.

Not bad, right?  The brick looks good.  But Ryan took "front" very literally - it is JUST the front.  Take a look at the garage wall side of the porch.

Siding?   Technically I guess it's not the front of the house, but really?  For $6,300 I was expecting a totally finished job.  But like I said I never noticed it before.  The model home is the same way.  It was my fault for not noticing and asking if we could get that in brick, too.  If I would have known this is how it would look,  I would have asked if we could do a non-standard upgrade. Maybe it wouldn't look so bad if our siding was darker.  I'm still not liking the color of the siding, but my husband does.  I'm glad one of us likes it.  Of course, this doesn't bother him and he thinks I'm being picky again.  Maybe I am.  Regardless, I am still very happy with the house.  Hopefully, I'll grow to like it :)

To balance things out I should tell you about another pleasant surprise, too.  I didn't even think that these would be included.  We have shower curtain rods in the bathrooms.  I just figured I'd have to buy them.  When we change our faucets to brushed nickel, we'll do the same with the towel bars and shower curtain rod.  For now though, these rods will be fine.  I can put that money towards something else!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#24, a Pleasant Surprise, and Better Shots of Butter Rum

Since today began a new month I had to change the calendar in my classroom.  As I was putting the dates up along with the special holiday cards, I realized that February has lots of special days.  Ground hog's Day, Valentines Day (if you consider that special), President's Day (for me that's a four day weekend!), Pre-Settlement Day, Settlement  Day and MOVING DAY!  Too bad I didn't have special cards to highlight those special days!

#24 - 4 Bedrooms
Not that we're going to have much use for them right away, but I'm so looking forward to having four bedrooms!  We'll use the small bedroom as an office until we finish the basement.  That leaves us with two unused rooms.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we'll use one as a nursery.  But for now it will be empty along with the other bedroom.  I don't know what to do with them and I want to make sure they don't become storage rooms.  But I also don't want to spend money furnishing them, so it will be interesting to see what they become.  For now I'll just enjoy the extra space.  I've never had the problem of having too much space before, so this will be a welcome problem to have.

On another note, I'm sure my husband is taking great pleasure in my admission that I was wrong about the floors. Ever since we decided to just get vinyl floors and put the hardwood floors in ourselves in the next year or so, I let it be known, pretty much daily, how much I was going to hate the vinyl floors. I was wrong. Do I love them? No. But they are much better than what I was expecting. I don't hate them and I may even be willing to keep them a little longer and rearrange the priority list of things to do/buy. So after my overreaction to the pantry shelves (thanks for setting me straight ladies) I thought I'd post about a happy surprise :) 
It was still covered up, but I took a sneak peak.  The first picture is the downstairs bathroom.  The second and third are in the kitchen. 

And finally, for all of my butter rum friends, here are a few more shots - although they are VERY dusty!