Home, Sweet Home

It’s been months since I’ve blogged, and I have so much to report, but you gotta understand why I’ve been so quiet online. I was building a house. LITERALLY. We bought the ground March 20th, broke ground April 13th, and two weeks ago–July 15th–we moved into it! It was the most demanding four months of my life, to date. It’s taken two weeks to get settled in, but we’re up and running for the most part.

From start to finish, these are some of the things I, or my DH Kyle did:

♥ I drew the floor plans up from the confines of my mind, after measuring and looking at lots of other homes. I DID NOT USE PINTEREST for a single inch or idea. Proof it can be done.
♥ With the help of my dear friend, Matt, we trimmed the house (Which is a lot more work than I thought. Installing doors, doing all the shelving, casing, door jambs, headers, aprons, and base, etc! I learned a ton, and fell in love with it).
♥ Kyle and I laid the subfloor and LVT wood flooring.
♥ I painted all the “color.” {The pros did the ceiling, the trim, and the main silver. and Kyle helped a tiny bit on one wall. He hates paint as much as I do, but we tend to bicker when we paint together, so I did it mostly on my own. I did have a few awesome neighbors come help and I’ll love them forever because of it.}
♥ Kyle and I installed all the hooks, support rods, closet rods, door knobs, and door stops. THis takes hours, friends. Hours.
♥ We tiled and did the grout, minus the shower. Which also took hours, and courage. Those wet saws are scary.
♥ Plus, I had to pack up an apartment, and move into the house, all while still trying to wrap up small stuff on the house, not to mention CLEAN it all.

And I somewhat foolishly started a new book. Miraculously, I am over 20K words for July NaNo. I’ve been dead on my feet most days, but it’s been worth it. I’m in love with my new home. It’s almost perfection, and more than I could’ve hoped for. We’re delighted and excited to spend a long time here. And LEVEL WITH ME is quickly becoming my new favorite thing to work on. LEVEL WITH ME struck like lightening and couldn’t be stopped. I came up with the blurb in 20 minutes, which is a shock, since FOR THE LOVE took me 2 years. It’s not a perfected pitch, but I like it for a first draft. LWM has a Romeo and Juliet element, and is my first dig at YA, so wish me luck! The story idea came while trimming my own house–and rightly so.

LEVEL WITH ME:
Seventeen-year-old Abby June Craig’s about to tell the biggest lie she’s ever concocted to escape a summer of trimming houses with her going-through-a-divorce dad. She’s discovered a summer gig that’s paying close to eight thousand dollars for three weeks. It’s more than enough to pay for the first year of community college, plus it’s the perfect escape. As soon as the jobs complete, she’ll confess the truth.

Fresh out of high school, Tanner LaMont needs to find someone to trim a cabin forty miles west of Salmon, Idaho–and fast. Normally, he and his dad do all the work, but with a broken collarbone and shattered foot, his old man’s relying on him to complete the job. So he takes their camper, every tool he owns to the site, and hires A.J. Craig to carry half the work load. A.J.’s resume more than qualifies him for the job, so together they shouldn’t have any problems piecing this luxury, secluded cabin together in three short weeks.

I guess my point is, I wanna show off some photos, and simply say, that no matter how busy you get, how demanding life can be, when you want something bad enough–like to write–it happens. it’s that fierce determination that you can do it, will do, and want it enough that nothing will stop you.

Now, raise your hand if you wanna see some photos. (Oh, good. At least one person does. Thanks, Mom.)

My full wall book shelf, that I helped build! I'm in love with it, and have already purchased new books to display! On Writing, by Stephen King, Fire Study, by Maria V. Snyder, and Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. It makes a world of difference to have somewhere to finally put these beloved treasures!

My full wall book shelf, that I helped build! I’m in love with it, and have already purchased new books to display! On Writing, by Stephen King, Fire Study, by Maria V. Snyder, and Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. It makes a world of difference to have somewhere to finally put these beloved treasures!

House (3) - Copy

When they poured the concrete, I had to add my personal touch!

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And the exterior is complete! My diamond brick design just warms my heart, as does the wood concrete stone at the front door. So glad we went with blue! Now, we need to paint that front door, but it’s been long enough that this photo is “old.” The sprinkler system is in, the yard is prepped and nice, and the grass seed it down. We should have green grass before the year is out.

House (14)

I really need to get a nice photo of this, but until that day comes, here is a shot of the number one thing(s) friends and family comment on when they come to the house. My chandelier and wood wall. Both of which I made myself. Insert Squeeee! I love them! Can I just tell you, that when I said I wanted to make a chandelier to my uncle who welds, he was skeptical, and now even he’s uber in love with it? So glad we went out on a limb and I put in the man hours, elbow grease, and knee damage for these.

House Floor - Copy

See that gorgeous, albeit dirty, floor? Yeah, I laid that. I had help from my DH and a friend, but I personally clocked over 60 hours on my hands and knees installing the subfloor and putting down the LVT. Though you can’t see it, my pride really kicks in when you get to the foyer. We laid it in a herring bone pattern, and while it kicked our trash to figure it out and make it look straight, it turned out amazing!

House Trim (13) I know, I have nice guns. Go on, say it.
I know you were thinking it.

House Wood Wall (2)

It took 40 cedar fence planks, three cans of stains mixed to be five shades of awesome, and 14 hours to complete my wood wall. I had knee pads, but suffice it to say, I’m lucky I didn’t end up on an operating table to repair the damage I did to them. I’m pretty much done doing any manual labor that requires me to be on my knees for an extended period of time.

House Wood Wall (1)

This isn’t all of them, but aren’t they so pretty? Neighbors would drive by, see them in the garage, and ask me what in the world I was up to. I could only say, “You’ll see,” with a big, fat smile on my face.

 This is Matt, and we hired him to trim the house. But that caveat was that he had to hire me as his sidekick. He's the first to admit he wasn't thrilled with the idea, but by the end of the week he confessed he'd hire me again and again. Guess that means I'm a quick study, hard worker, and terrific go-fer. Because of him, and the whole experience, the story idea for LEVEL WITH ME was born.


This is Matt, and we hired him to trim the house. But that caveat was that he had to hire me as his sidekick. He’s the first to admit he wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but by the end of the week he confessed he’d hire me again and again. Guess that means I’m a quick study, hard worker, and terrific go-fer. Because of him, and the whole experience, the story idea for LEVEL WITH ME was born.

House Paint (3) - Copy

Here comes the PAINT! I tend to eyeball stuff, and these accent walls are no exception. I used over 4 rolls of Frog Tape for my Herringbone Meets Chevron wall, but I love it so much, I would totally do it again. The photos below are shots of the eyeball-handcrafted accent walls in my kids’ rooms.

House Paint (4)

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House Paint (7) - Copy
House Paint (9) - Copy

Okay, one more gem for you. I took this little video of me, for my sister. Haha. Don’t mind the loud air compressor when it kicks in to power my gun. Also, the floor kinda vibrates as I nail the particle board in, and it knocks the camera over. So, don’t mind that either.  Okay, here we go. This is getting real.

That’s all for now, friends! Feel free to scroll through my facebook feed for more photos if you care. Catch you later!

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2 thoughts on “Home, Sweet Home

  1. Wow, cool house! You are amazing. I love the cute touches, esp. the chandelier and the kid room personalizations. And the built in shelves….*sigh* And how fun that it inspired a book. Great premise. Congrats, Gina! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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