Grading

Let me start by saying that the grading process has actually been pretty enjoyable…for the lot anyway

The grading of our easement is another story entirely. Buh…

Below shows the first day of grading that took place, which is cleared on the right for the front yard and part of the house.
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Having 3 acres and a fairly flat lot, we knew up front that we wanted a decent sized front yard and a pretty big back yard.

The backyard is one of the MOST important features of this house for me… I’ve struggled with having our backyard be a whole floor down from our main living space, which ISN’T ideal for little children.  Anytime Hunter wants to go play in the backyard I CONSTANTLY have to walk out on the back porch to see him, which makes getting ANYTHING done almost impossible.

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When choosing our plans, we decided to use Monster House Plans, we were careful to choose a home that would allow us to see into the backyard while standing on the first floor of the home.  Once we move in we wont be having this issue ANY MORE!

WINNING!!

This picture shows Kyle talking with the really cool grader on the second big day of grading.  Most of the house area is now graded, and there still needs to be some more grading for the backyard!
Partial Lot

Other than the rain slowing us down a little, as well as the annoying easement issues we’ve been having, this part of our building process has been very enjoyable.  It’s exciting to see progress!

We should see the remainder of the lot graded today!!

Let’s not forget the area where Kyle’s shop will go!  We’ve decided to move the shop a little closer to the house than originally planned, to allow us to save some extra dirt for the backyard leveling and grading.  We originally wanted the shop pretty far from the house, because we know how noisy it can get when he works on trucks, but realistically the farther away the shop is the more money we’re going to spend.

The area on the left side that’s partially graded is going to be Kyle’s shop area, and you can see the house and yard area to the right.
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The more I see getting done here, the more I realize we’ve gotta get moving on some of the things we’re doing to our house to sell!!

Time to buckle down!

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The Master Plans

The Moore Family Forever Home

One of the first steps we had to take in building a custom home was picking a floor plan.  My husband, Kyle, and I really wanted similar inside features, though we had a completely different view of what the outside of the house would be.  Needless to say, it took us WEEKS to decide on a floor plan, and then we would have to purchase the plans, we used monsterhouseplans.com, as it and then pay to have them modified…Almost $2,000 later… YIKES…

This is what the basic layout of the outside of our Forever Home will look like…

Originally the plans had a cute railing for the front porch, but we wanted more of the Modern Farmhouse style~ish and felt the railing didn’t coordinate with this look so we removed it.  We also will be adding rock to the bottom half of all the porch posts, but that didn’t need to be “built into the plans,” as well as additional rock added to the house.  We’re not 100% sure if we will be putting a small amount of rock all along the bottom of the entire house, fill in rock all underneath the porch or on the bottom half of the garage…still sitting on some of those decisions…

Can I just have Joanna Gaines come design everything for me?! 

We’ve also gone back and forth so many times on the COLORS of the house, and I think we’ve FINALLY decided on a color scheme similar to what you see below.

Neutral browns and tan’s, with a more modern look.  I really LOVE the stained shutters and staggered shakes, but apparently they are more expensive than vinyl so we will just have to wait and see if Momma gets what she wants.    You can’t tell in these pictures but there are a few Gables, one above the garage and couple more on other points of the house – I REALLY, REALLY want to incorporate some Gables on our home.

My husband has ALWAYS said that I have a talent for walking into ANY store and picking the MOST EXPENSIVE items there…It’s starting to show more and more these days…

We also have it in the plans to have a screened in porch and a slab next to the porch with a gas line for Kyle’s grill, he’s super excited about not having to go buy propane tanks anymore!! WOO!!

 

Now on to the First Floor, which has some of my FAVORITE rooms!

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Okay…So my FAVORITE thing about builidng this home, is how we wont have ANY STAIRS to get into the house!! WAHOOO!!!!  I’ve ALWAYS had to walk in AT LEAST one flight of stairs to get into the house, and I CAN NOT WAIT to never have to do that again!

Even better, there is a Mud Room RIGHT when you walk in from the garage for the everyone to drop off their backpacks, bags and shoes with some stylish cabinets to hide it all!  Lets not forget the cute bench that’s going to be incorporated to help take your shoes off with ease!  This will DRASTICALLY improve my mood when my husband gets home and takes his boots off from work and can leave them there! WINNING!

NO MORE CLUTTER IN THE ENTRYWAY!!!

We really like the idea of an open living room and kitchen concept along with a large area for people to sit and enjoy each other.  We felt like our bar in the kitchen, open living room and breakfast nook area will help provide extra seating and allow everyone to talk no matter where they end up.

My side of the family is pretty large, and I can’t wait to have the ENTIRE family over!!

Did you happen to notice that there are TWO pantries?!  No more kitchen storage issues for this girl!

Second Floor

SecondFloor

We have two children, and don’t plan on having anymore so this allowed us to make all the bedrooms a pretty good size, along with walk-in closets for EVERYONE!! WOO!! Did you happen to see HOW BIG the master closet is?!  DREAM CLOSET space for sure!  One day I may be able to make it exactly how I want it, buuuuut this will have to wait for now, at least the SPACE is there for it!

The master deck was left in our plans originally for my husband.  The lot we initially were going to buy, about six months ago now, was right next to a bluegrass festival and my husband loved the idea of walking out on the back porch sitting and listening to the banjos play.  Now we’re not anywhere near the bluegrass festival and have decided to remove the deck, which may allow us to make the children’s bathroom a little bigger to include two sinks instead of one ~ There goes me and wanting to spend more money AGAIN.

Anything that causes less arguments with the children, right?!

There are a few minor modifications we’re going to make along the way to the plans, but somehow my husband and I pulled together everything we wanted in a home!

Now to keep this budget on track with my Project Management skills and Smartsheet!

Is this really happening…?

We’re so excited that our easement is finally graded!!!

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Honestly, after waiting almost a year I still feel like this isn’t real…

Is this really happening…?

When we went Saturday morning to walk the easement and the lot again, it started to sink in….THIS IS HAPPENING… So many emotions went through my mind in just that short period of time.  Excited, Blessed, Scared, Anxious, Sad

Yes I said sad…I’ve felt this way a lot recently, because I see my son playing with his friends in the neighborhood and really starting to build relationships with these other children and we’re moving him…again…We moved from our first house when Hunter was only 3 years old. We had the kind of relationships you want with your neighbors.  Our children played together, all the adults could hang out and enjoy themselves, sometimes a little too much! HAH!  The house we were in was an AMAZING starter home, but we were quickly growing out of it when Hunter was born. So we moved into our current home which is a good size home, but our plan was to finish our basement and build a shop for my husband when we bought it, which didn’t happen.

So…We’re building!

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The easement is really giving us the privacy and acreage we wanted, but still allows us to be in a neighborhood.  This makes us both very EXCITED, especially after walking the lot again, and seeing how flat it is. There’s so much space for the children to run and play, maybe Mom too!  Can you imagine playing hide & seek in 3 acres of wooded land, making forts with trees and just playing!  It doesn’t seem like there are many children these days playing outside in the woods or outside at all, and I really want our children to experience being outside more.

TODAY STARTS GROUNDBREAKING ON THE LOT (as long as it doesn’t rain)!

 

Just Keep Swimming

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Last weekend we took a family trip to the Tennessee Aquarium, and let me just say…IT WAS AMAZING!!

Though, if you ask my husband, the trip was mostly a disaster… HAH!

How did our trip start….? Well it started with Adeline seeing the tanks for the first time and not understanding what she was seeing and immediately SCREAMING bloody murder…Oh Goodness… Then she would see Hunter standing right at the tank and want to be with him, words can’t express how much this girl loves her brother, and she would start SCREAMING again!  HAH!  I found this VERY amusing, and Kyle did NOT.

This is only ONE reason why we work so well together.  

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When we were driving home from the Aquarium I kept comparing the Tennessee Aquarium with the Georgia Aquarium, and in my opinion there is NO COMPARISON.  The Tennessee Aquarium BY FAR a better experience.

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But WHY do I feel this way?

  • The DRIVE was easier.  Yes, the Georgia Aquarium is about 50 minutes closer to us, BUT we didn’t have to sit in Atlanta traffic
  • The LAYOUT inside the buildings was AMAZING!  You get to see EVERY angle of the large tanks inside, which presented the opportunity to talk about how different ocean life lives and how they travel at different levels of the ocean!  This created such a great learning opportunity and conversation with our 5-year-old, Hunter!
  • The Tennessee Aquarium was partially outdoors!!  This was news to us when we arrived, BUT I feel like this made it so much more enjoyable for us and our children.  They had room to run and play in-between buildings and we could enjoy the beautiful weather!
  • They had kid friendly food!  My son is VERY picky…so annoying…but they had chicken nuggets, pizza, ice cream and more!  They also had burgers, chicken sandwiches and other food which was good for my burger loving hubby.
  • The CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS AMAZING!  I can’t say this enough!  They were SO nice, and seemed to really ENJOY their jobs!  There was a man who was helping me with our tickets on my phone, while I fumbled my phone, Adaline and my book bag.  He was so patient, nice and even HELPED me with my phone.  This was an added bonus!

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When our trip was over and we were driving home, I was shocked to find out Kyle, my husband, felt the trip was out of control, this just shows how different we really are.  Our one year old, Adaline, running around screaming in fear, and then in excitement and a 5-year-old who couldn’t get enough!

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I felt like it was one of the BEST days we’ve had in a LONG time.  We were all so happy, and we were together Two of my favorite things.  Every part of me loves to watch our children experience new things, and stand back and watch their reactions. Another part of me loves to get right up next to them ask questions, answer questions and act as though I’m a child again too.

We will be visiting the Tennessee Aquarium again!

“Today’s little moments become tomorrow’s precious memories!”