Finally… A First Floor Tour!

Hi everyone. WOW it has been awhile! After moving in, we obviously had a ton of work to do (not on the house, itself, thankfully!). It took us awhile to unpack and really settle in- mainly because we both kept getting sick! As we were hauling furniture into the house, Josh collapsed near the end of the day, unable to move or eat or drink. I was concerned (he was not). I took his temperature and he had a raging fever of 103! Doc said right lower lobe pneumonia. Boo! Needless to say, we laid low for a good long while while he recovered (and I got sick from him, of course 🙂 What’s a marriage without getting sick from each other over and over again? ).
Finally, by the end of November, we had all the boxes unpacked! We were pretty excited. And then, not a week later- we received some other amazing news. We are going to be parents! And thus I entered into the most physical three months of my life– the FIRST TRIMESTER! Thank you to everyone for all your support thus far during this exciting and crazy time. It has been a hard but worth it journey! With all the icky feelings and changes, our projects and decorating plans were put on hold for even longer. Josh has been amazing with continuing to work on the house, even though I was exhausted and nauseated every day. Want to take a look around?! Alrighty then. So here is what we’ve done with the house in just four short months. Enjoy the tour!

So, as you walk in- here is what you see!
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Because our original couch was destroyed by a doggie- we were in the market for a new one. We have always wanted a sectional but have never really had the room to put one in. Now that we’ve got the room- we decided to go for it! Combined with some lovely curtains (mega mega on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond), and we’ve got a new vibe going in our living space 🙂
When you turn left from the front door, there is a hallway, if you remember (I know its been awhile..). The hallway goes into a powder room. We splurged on a hutch to go over the toilet in the powder room which really spruces up the small space. Take a look!
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Cool huh? Now here’s a panorama (like I’ve done for the living room at every stage in the build process) of our living area!
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Yes, its Christmas themed, and yes, this photo was taken today which means these decorations are all still up. Oh well- its festive! New also to us is the green chair in the right corner. A huge thanks to Nicole and Kris Swieringa for allowing us to have it. We (read: Lien) LOVE it! The bookshelves are also an addition that we found at Target and house our current favorite books (we all know how much my husband loves to read…) and seasonal items. Below is a more detailed picture of this little reading corner that has become my oasis 🙂
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So cozy! Someday I will put up a picture of what this area looks like at night with just that lamp on. Mmm- a dream nook that I have always wanted 🙂

Next up is the dining/kitchen area. We bought a couple of items for the dining room because our existing round table didn’t really fit the area well (that table is now a card table in the basement!). We decided on a dark wood rectangular table with a removable leaf as well as a hanging pendant-type light to go over it. Check ‘er out.
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The curtains for the slider were also on sale at Menards (and a good find!). Kudos to my handy hubs for installing them as well as the curtain hold-backs!
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We continue to love all the natural light that comes in to our house through multiple large windows. Definitely a must have in a house! Below are a couple more detailed photos of the kitchen.
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Josh has been handy in quite a few ways, as I mentioned earlier. See the drawer pulls and cabinet handles?? We picked out some silver ones and Josh installed them for us! It adds some flair to the kitchen that it didn’t have when the cabinets were plain (and helps us figure out which side to open cabinets from!). I think our new LARGE fridge is one of our favorite kitchen items. We are excited to continue to fill it with my latest pregnancy cravings 😉
Want to see a super messy mud room and laundry room? Perfect- enjoy the next two pics 🙂
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In the semi-near (or semi-distant.. depending on our current motivation..) future, we hope to add some built-in cubbies into the mud room space with hooks and such. Laundry space? Pretty much like you see it a lot of the time. Josh added a rod near the ceiling for us to hang clothes that are drying on. I didn’t realize how handy it really would be until he installed it. I thought it would take up too much space with clothes hanging from it (especially in an area that is already really small). It has been really worth the investment and does not take up too much space at all (and seriously, a tension shower curtain rod is like $3 at Meijer- SO worth it).

Welp folks- that is it for this week! Hope you enjoyed a tour of our little corner of the world. We have loved starting to make the house our own. As you maybe noticed- there is a lack of art on the walls yet. That was a daunting task that we felt could wait until after the holidays (and now I just feel lazy..). The goal is to have pictures hung by the time our little one arrives in August. Here’s to hoping!

Next post will be a tour of the upstairs (including nursery parts and pieces we have already gathered 🙂 ) and basement (which has turned into a pretty cool little hangout!). We look forward to sharing our joys with you over these next months as things are definitely sure to change for us. Thank you again for all your support with the pregnancy so far. God sure is good!

I’ll leave you with our little peanut. This ultrasound picture was taken a few weeks ago at work by a gracious resident I work with. Our little one sure has some growing to do!!
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Movin In and Gettin Better

Hi everybody! Thanks for your patience in my updates… as you all might know, it has been a bit crazy around here. What with Josh’s pneumonia, moving, and unpacking… we are finally starting to have some normalcy to our lives again. So, time to let you guys know what we’ve been up to!

I think I’ll start with a first floor tour and then head upstairs for you guys when things get a bit more settled in. I first want to start out by THANKING everyone who helped us in the moving process. Whether it was packing, painting, moving, or unpacking help-we appreciate you ALL!

Okay, to begin! When you first come in the front door–> here is partially unpacked Swieringa world 🙂
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Please don’t hate on my picture taking skills… it’d just be mean. The next two photos are of what you see when you turn right and left in the entry way. To the right is a powder room (that we painted GREEN!), and to the left is the staircase upstairs (painted with a light tan that we picked out for the majority of the house).
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Next you can see our work in progress living room. Because our first dog destroyed our sofa, we currently only have a love seat and a fantastic chair (donated to us by Josh’s mom and sister!). Just a few days ago we settled on a sectional from Furniture Row to fit the space a bit more. The love seat will go upstairs in our office for future clients of Josh’s photography business to be photogenic on 🙂 Check out the bare living room for now:
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The shelves on either side of the tv are our attempt at “built-ins” 🙂 We love them! And of course, the fireplace is on. The fireplace is ALWAYS on. So glad we went with that cozy option as winter seems to have already begun.
Next up is the kitchen! We also bought a new kitchen table that hasn’t been delivered yet, so bear with me on this picture as well. I promise to send you guys all the updates as they arrive!
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I’m not sure if I’ve even shown you since our new appliances were installed? Well… here they are! The stove is a dual fuel 5 burner gas range and the refrigerator is a side by side with the freezer on the bottom. The dishwasher is in the bottom left of the photo and it is SO quiet! We also have a convection microwave which is basically a fancy way of saying we can bake cookies and such in it 🙂 We love them all and have actually sold both our old dishwasher and range already!
Next up is the laundry room- where our last two new appliances live, as well as the mud room (and future home of our very own built in cubbies/bench!)
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After having used the washer and dryer more than a few times now (think: Josh’s fever breaks and comes back several times in the span of a week…)- I am totally convinced of front loaders. We have saved so much on water alone with all the small loads I’ve had to do because of the sensor that shuts off the water when all the clothes are wet enough. So there’s my plug- goooo front loaders!
Last picture is where I am going to draw inspiration in these coming weeks to KEEP UNPACKING. Its all fine and well when its hidden away, but now its not. Now you guys know my secret. And the secret is an EXTREMELY messy garage. Snow might also be a motivator to unpack it because I don’t want to park outside when we have a perfectly functioning garage currently. Take a look:
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Ick. And the ping pong table is even hiding some of the boxes! Hopefully next blog post, and you will see at least one car parked here in the good ‘ol garage!
Now, because Friday was halloween- my last picture is of our halloween costumes this year. Josh and I were a mob boss and a flapper girl, and Harley was our trusty cop 🙂
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Thanks for reading! More to come very soon 🙂

Our Home is.. Complete!

Hi friends! There are a few updates on the house I wanted to show you, but mainly this post is to keep everyone in the loop. The Amazing, WONDERFUL loop. What is going on with our house process, you might ask?? We finally have a closing date!! Tomorrow at 4pm, we get to sign our life away and are handed our first set of house keys to our first ever home. EVER. 🙂 🙂

This means we plan to paint the house this weekend (October 10th-12th) and then officially move in to the house the following weekend (October 17th-19th). I will put out a few Facebook events for those who are feeling super helpful and awesome, but we could definitely use some help- especially painting. If not, keep checking back here for updates on how the house looks as we move our things in and color the walls. ITS FINALLY HERE, PEOPLE!

Now, on to a few updates! For starters, our front door was painted!! Check ‘er out 🙂
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I am glad the color green came out the way it did… and it is absolutely exactly what I wanted. The color looks great with the shutter color, which is a huge relief. Most people have their shutters and front door the exact same color so my fears were getting worse as time went on for being different. It is my favorite part of the outside though, for sure. This, slightly rainy pic shows them next to each other.

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Next- our driveway and sidewalks are in! The front door isn’t painted yet in the photo- but WOWOWOW its exciting stuff!!!!
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The yard was graded as well, and all our big rocks were removed to my rock pile in the backyard 🙂 Also notice- our dog is getting HUGE! Only a few photos in our time lapse left! One more time lapse below with a growing pup, a completed outside of the house and… hydroseed! (which basically looks like dirt but will turn into grass eventually).
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Garage door open and closed, just in case you were wondering what each looked like 🙂

And then TONIGHT, Josh and I headed over to Menards to pick out paint samples for the walls! We are hoping to head over to the house tomorrow after closing (Aka after we get our keys. Eee!), and put our samples on each wall so they can dry before we make our final decision. Wanna see the colors we are deciding between? The picture below shows our 13 samples (I know, it sounds like a lot..). They are organized by room they go in and each room has about three sample colors. Check out the photo and I can explain it better.
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The top three on the left are our guest bedroom color options (our only bold options!). The bottom three on the left are the three we are between for our master bedroom (aka light blue paradise!). The middle four are the options for all the main living space including the hallways and staircase. And then the three on the right are the bathroom options (both full bathrooms and the powder room). Feel free to leave your opinions- we are indecisive folks (obviously…).

This was the rest of our cart at Menards tonight (read: Lien cries while walking out with the receipt in hand)
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Being a homeowner is fun stuff, let me tell you. But it is EXPENSIVE!!!!!

Anywho, that is all the updates for you as of now! Keep checking back for our painting progress and moving in! As always, I will leave you with our furry friend, mr. harley!

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Why are all his photos in the car?! I’ll work on it…

The Countdown is on + a COMPLETE HOUSE TOUR

People, people, PEOPLE!  We are in full-on almost-gonna-live-in-a-house-mode. Like- LESS THAN THREE WEEKS from now kinda thing. We. Are. Freaking. Out! So it has been a bit since there was an update and mostly that’s because there have been little things added here and there each week. And that IS a little bit of a lie because I’ve been crazy busy starting a new job and wanted to wait to post till there were a ton of changes 🙂

So- what are said changes, you might ask? Well… looking back on my last post, it seems as though there are a lot. I think I might just give a house tour and update changes along the way! Sounds like fun, eh?
This is what you see when you first walk in the front door. They removed the covering and now you can see our hardwood! We are so glad we went with this extra expense for the awesome difference in color you get here (especially from the entrance to the carpet in the living room). All doors and door handles are on each door as you can see. Below is another view of the transition. LOVE.
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Next is the pedestal sink in the bathroom here on the main floor 🙂
So loving this! We are looking to put an over the toilet shelving unit in in this bathroom to add some deeper color and space for storage of essentials (aka- TP). Next is the view from the wood flooring looking back at the front door. Our front door window is in!
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They still do have to paint the outside portion of the door green, but the interior is done! As you can also notice- our door bell ringer is up too. Recessed and flush with the wall for a mere $20! Next up is the LIVING ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prepare to be excited (as you can tell I am).
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EH?!?!? They cleaned and everything!!!!! Yes, the walls still match the mantle and that is hideous but ignore it- soon enough that shall be remedied. Also- they took the stickers off all the windows and deep cleaned them as well as all the window sills. That seriously has made all the difference in the world to make this house feel more cozy and livable. The OCD clean freak in me was singing for joy at this wonderfulness 🙂
They also put in our thermostat which now WORKS! We have air and heat!
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This little doo-hickey is in the living room across from the fireplace. Next is the kitchen. A huge asterisk here- even though our appliances are all in (besides the fridge which doesn’t come included), we have made the decision to upgrade all the appliances. Allen Edwin didn’t have the option to install exactly what we wanted so we are planning to sell these bad boys below on Craig’s List when our new ones are delivered (in about two weeks). Kind of a roundabout way to do things- but at least we get what we want! We will be getting stainless steel Kenmore Elite for everything besides the washer and dryer, which are LG. SO excited for the real deal to show up! The kitchen still does look amazing though, especially being clean!
Next up is the laundry room and entry way from the garage (which you can see in the top right of the previous photo from a distance. Also- a door knob for kicks and giggles 🙂
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The white uppers in the laundry room were extra and we are SO happy we did it. Extra storage and cuteness factor? YES please! Our door knobs are pretty standard ones, as you can see. But hey, they work and they were no added charge. Bonus bonus 🙂 On to the upstairs! It has been FOREVER since you all have seen it so lets do this!
When you walk upstairs, you can turn left and enter either of these bedrooms. They are similar in size and will most likely end up being a guest bedroom and Josh’s photography studio. We love the open railing concept and are going to add a small bookshelf in the top center area at the end of the hall where the nook is. (Game closet?!) The open door on the bottom right is the guest bathroom upstairs. We added a linen cabinet in here and it has a full shower/tub combo as well. The first photo below is before they did clean, because I didn’t have a great one from today, but the second one is the panorama from the stairway over to the other end of the hallway and you can see the bathroom in the left part of the photo.
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In the panorama above, the top center leads to a small bedroom on the left and our master bedroom on the right. Carpet- check! Paint- check! Hallway railing- check! The only things that need to be added up here are closet shelving units, and touch ups of paint on the stairwell (as you can see pencil marks still). Below now is the master bedroom! It is vacuumed, dusted, and deep cleaned! All it needs now is a cozy bed and I am ready for a nap in our new room!
On the right top is where our closet is and the right middle is our bathroom. Josh is standing in the doorway to the hallway taking the photo. Last but not least, below is the bathroom and the closet!
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We added the extra counter space in the bathroom to help give some space for us to get ready side by side (if that ever happens!). Not sure what we will put under the open spot yet, we haven’t decided! And you can see with our closet, no shelves yet there either. There will be a large shelf on the far wall and then one on the first area on the right as soon as you walk in the closet as well (aka- time to shop for more clothes to fill our walk in closet!).
Folks, that is IT with the house for now 🙂 Can you believe how close we are to moving in? In less than two weeks we have our certificate of occupancy and then we close within that week and can begin moving our things in! Last photo of the house here is one for the time lapse! It sure has been awhile huh?
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I know you are loving Harley in that photo huh? He steals the show, I must admit… with those legs all comfy and whatnot 😉

I’ll leave you with Harley, as per usual. He is our biggest fan on more space, for sure! I can’t wait to see his little body run through the house and explore 🙂
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Thanks for reading 🙂 Stay tuned on when our painting party will be! You KNOW you’ll be invited to that fun event 😉

Le Ooba Tuba

Ta-Da! Our house is just a mere three weeks away from being move-in ready and we are gearing up for the big move. I’ve been collecting boxes from work for about 3 months now and we will most likely still need more (read: I’m a pack rat). After visiting the house yesterday, we can definitely tell that they are getting close to completion. It feels like just yesterday that I was complaining about our hole in the ground and how they weren’t moving fast enough. Now it’s HERE! 

Below you can see how wonderful the inside of the house looks now! 
The first picture is of the entryway, and although it looks like nothing, underneath the paper covering is our WOOD FLOOR! We chose to add some wood flooring just to the front door entry way to add some color contrast in the living area (so it wasn’t just laminate all the way around). As you can see along the base boards, they painted the walls white as well and added trim. The very bottom segment of trim still needs to be painted, but the rest is finito!
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Next photo is of our living room- painted and trimmed
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I have told some folks, but our house will be all white even when we get the certificate of occupancy. Allen Edwin would have charged an arm and a leg for any additional colors and so we just decided it would be less expensive to paint the rooms ourselves. The paint on the walls and mantle are flat coat white and the ceiling is a textured white. We are in the process of figuring out what color we want in this room as well as the rest of the house. Let me tell you… HARD. DECISIONS. More to come on that later.

Next photo is the BEST ONE YET (also the reason for the title..). We got the shock of our lives when we turned the corner into the kitchen yesterday and saw that our countertops were in!!!!! The Ooba Tuba granite is finally here!!!! This was one of my most favorite decisions to make originally so its great to finally see it in the flesh. Its a deep green color with flecks of gold and black in it. Check it out!
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I was a bit afraid that with dark countertops and cabinets that the room would look too dark but it is great and wonderful and everything I hoped it would be 🙂 Yay for ooba tuba! Also, you may notice, our sink is in! Its a 60/40 design with a disposal in the left side.
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That is all the updates on the house that I can think of right now. But it is really really starting to come together! The next few things to be completed are mechanical finalization, carpet, plumbing finalization, our tile backsplash as well as tile hearth for the fireplace, and electrical finishing touches. 
WE. ARE. SO. CLOSE.!!!!!!!!!
Josh and I also took some silly photos at the house yesterday that actually turned out kinda cool. They are panoramas but we ran into certain frames of the shot to get multiple poses in each time. Hard to explain.. but check them out!
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Kinda snazzy, right? Gives you a good view of most of the first floor as well. 

I will leave you with this: my car ride buddy whenever we go visit the house 🙂 
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Yes we were stopped at a light and no you may not have him 😉

Check back soon for our moving plans!!!

A house to live in!

Friends! It has been too long! And FAR too many updates are needed! We have four weeks until our house is completed (Eee!) and so many things are getting done in rapid-fire succession. I was going to do a “Hey the dry wall/flooring is in and completed” blog post but then they painted and put in cabinets so quick, I thought that would be pointless. So I think I’ll put photos next to each other- one with dry wall completed, and one with the stuff like fireplace mantel and cabinets. Bear with me, there’s a lot of glorious details coming up here!!

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I’m SAYIN’!!!!!! This is our kitchen (obviously..) and it is starting to look SO good! 

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Different angles, but this is the living room with painted walls, and a fireplace mantle (which will be painted white eventually).

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All of our interior doors are in as well. They are four panel, flat finish doors (no wood grain- which I am so excited about). The door on the left is one guest bedroom closet door and then the door on the right is the door to the room that is open. 

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The kitchen cabinets are above (minus the one by the sink, which I just have in the main photo up top)
Next down are the bathroom cabinets!
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Guest bathroom on the left (with my all-time favorite- the linen closet!) and then the master is on the right. These both have marble on them now, so I already realize I’m outdated… but like I said… I CAN’T keep up! I suppose its a great problem to have. 
I will end this post with an uber-cool photo of our staircase leading downstairs:
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I promise to show more photos in the future when life settles down a bit. Thanks for reading! Hopefully we will have our OOBA TUBA granite countertops in sometime soon as well!

Siding and Shuttas!

Hey everyone. Wow. Feels like its been forever! With going back to work full-time, continuing physical therapy three days a week AND having a puppy… we are busy folks around these parts 🙂 

I don’t have muuuch of an update, because we don’t have many pictures from this stage, but it is an exciting one! Josh and I were under the impression that siding would be one of the last things done to our house (that’s the way all the houses in this neighborhood have been built), but one day we showed up and they were nailing the first few layers on! I am NOT complaining! Now not only does the inside look like a house, but the outside is finished! Check ‘er out 🙂

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Before and after! The color is pebble and we LOVE our choice! So sharp with the white trim.

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My goofy parents showing off our address on the garage!!! Yay!

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One side totally done, one side still construction zone. A little Loxley Lane love here in this photo 🙂

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Our front door, folks! And you see a sneak preview of our SHUTTERS!!! Below is the final product: siding aaaand shutters:

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TA DA!!!!!! Outside is complete 🙂 🙂 Apart from our moss green front door that will come in at the end of the project. 

Also- we are about 5-6 weeks out from completion of our home. Yes, seriously. THAT IS SO SOON. Stay tuned for the fun fun fun updates like cabinets, counter tops, and flooring!