Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oktober celebrates!

I am not one to take pictures of myself for a blog post. In fact I had, without realistic thought, decided I was not going to take pictures of myself every week as I "progressed" (nice word for GET HUGE) because why would I want to remember that? Well, as I got to week 19, pictured below, I realized I had hit a halfway mark for twins anyway and felt like I should probably at least have one picture to show where I "started" from.
Little did I know I would regret having not started this simple, yet easily forgotten task, since the very beginning - I mean look how huge I was at only 19 weeks!! Where did that baby bump come from? As my boss said to me 2 days ago, "You seem to have 'blossomed' over a weekend!" Yeah, he's a guy ;)
And so here it starts. Do not expect more posts with pics like this, but maybe every once in a while, for a shock factor.
At week 19 we had our first visit with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, for an extensive ultrasound (45 min long) to check on our little ones. We had decided not to find out what the genders were at that time as we would find out with all of our family. Later that week, at a party at our house.
We were so excited to find out what the babies were, FINALLY!! I was also delighted to find a childhood toy of Alex's in his room when we were moving. The wooden cannon in the middle of the mantle has become one of my favorite things!! I LOVE "vintage" toys. They just don't make them like that anymore!

We had a table with name suggestions with some very creative ideas, and pink bows or black mustaches for everyone to wear to proudly display what they thought the little ones were going to be.
Our nieces Dru and Rylie were definitely sporting the mustaches very "lady-like" :)

 We had all of our family come to the house (that lives in the state of course) it was SO MUCH FUN!! We have a house to have people come over to!!
 It is moments like this when you realize your mind was so "out-of-it" that you didn't take hardly any pics. I was so sad we didn't get pictures of each group of people once they had cast their vote. But I can tell you the majority was for Boy/Girl. Very few for Boy/Boy or Girl/Girl. 
We were grateful for the support of our family and friends who loves us and our babies already, so much, to come enjoy this day and make it more special than we could have imagined. We even had my brother and SIL - Josh and Brooke on Skype, as well as Alex's sister Adrienne on Facetime so we could all be present. It was RIDICULOUSLY perfect!! Some people really got into the excitement ;) We LOVED it!

When we were at the Dr. getting the ultrasound, we'd had them place the results of the genders into an envelope, which I then dropped off to a coworker who put the appropriate colored confetti into each balloon. When popped these balloons, the color would reveal to all of us at the same time, the genders. So of course, until reveal time, this room was off limits. We were slightly tempted to take a peek before everyone got there, but the joy of finding out all together won out in the end. 

 It was so fun to have everyone participate with us in finding out this awesome news. We'd also brought them over to say a HUGE thank you for helping us these last few months with packing, moving, support, encouragement, etc. We couldn't have done it without everyone of our family and friends!
We played a little game of sorts before popping the balloons. Old Wives Tales questions to help us determine what the genders might be. Out of 30 questions it was Girls -17, Boys - 13. So what will it be...... 

 The old wives tales are TRUE!!!!! We thought because they were so close, maybe it was one of each, but it turns out TWO GIRLS!!
We are ecstatic!! Of course we would have been no matter what, but we finally know!! I can't believe I would say this, but bring on the PINK... and green ;)
It was such a fun day, thank you again, to everyone to helped make it such!

The next week Alex took on his "daddy" roles and mowed our lawn. For the first and only time this year. It was a milestone of sorts... so we documented it.

Next came Halloween. It was such nice weather here, I wish it cold always be like this. Alex and I struggled for what to wear for Halloween... should we even dress up? It's harder for me to wear a costume with work, unless it's easy to move in, which not much is "easy" to move around in these days. So in the end, I didn't really "dress up" more just supported the excitement of Halloween, because I love it so much!
Alex however has a costume contest at work every year. Last year was a last minute (morning of) decision which was descent, but this year he was totally lost. Until I asked him to bring up a Halloween tote from the basement. He came upstairs with such a grin on his face it was ridiculous... this was his costume >>>>
If you can't figure out who these guys are, where did you spend your childhood? ;) Really though, I had the Luigi costume from a Halloween family reunion about 2-3 years ago when my sister and I had gone as Mario and Luigi. Alex's coworker Matt had said he was going as Mario with Yoshi and Alex should be Luigi... they took it to a whole other level than my sister and I ever did. Yes that is the coin box suspended above his head with an extra life mushroom. I can't believe he fit into the Youth sized costume, let alone wore it all day. I was so proud of him and Matt for their creativity, and so were their coworkers who voted them 1st place in the contest!!

I'm pretty excited about Halloween. I love people's creativity, guess I should have put a little more thought into it. We didn't even carve pumpkins this year :( where has my mind gone, and will I ever get it back?
 Amazing example of creativity. My niece PorSha wanted to be a nerd for Halloween. When she showed up at my parents house, she blew me away with what she had come up with. I had no idea her vision was so inspired! 
She made everything, with some glue gun help from mom and her sister, but how cute is this Nerd?!!?

Wouldn't you know a week later we had our first snow!!... Utah weather is extreme to extreme. It didn't last long, as you can tell the snow was already melted off of our driveway (again, the purpose of a West facing driveway) even though we didn't get as much as Alex's parents, it still made it fun to see our house with a nice white blanket.
 That night we stayed in to put a much needed desk together for Alex's office. Everything in front and behind him needed a home.... hence the wicked long desk.
 He's so handy! - yeah, Alex had his head shaved for my BFF who owns a Sport Clips. She needed volunteers so her girls to learn design technique for cutting guys hair. He's a good sport, sportin' his TRON design! It is slowly growing out.
 and Voila, there it is. I LOVE organization :) Some how it just makes my heart so happy! (yes I'm on pinterest in this pic) Where do you think we came up with all the ideas for our gender reveal party... And Thanksgiving is coming up ;)
Our home is slowly coming together, and by then we'll have to change it all up to  make room for the babes. Eventually we'll get some pics up, decorations around, and it'll feel more like my home. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

House: this one's a doozey

Don't feel overwhelmed or obligated. There are going to be an overload of pictures on this blog. All of the same thing, but at different stages and slightly different angles. This is mostly for our peeps that won't be able to come out to our house for a LONG time... we still love you Virginia! ;)
Alex and I picked a piece of dirt and waited for weeks picking all the colors and counter tops, carpet, paint, features, etc, etc... and then we saw the pink lines signifying they were getting ready to DIG!!
Yes there are deer that wander through our backyard... we live that "far out"

Alex and I standing on our future front porch

Jumping for JOY!!!

Some days it seemed to go by so fast, and others it seemed like nothing had been done.
Of course we understand that with cement you must give it the full time to dry... just sayin
Foundation outlined

We had three different angles we constantly took pictures from. One from across the street at our neighbors, another from each corner of our lot from the backyard. This pink post is the corner of our lot on the NE side.

I couldn't figure out what these wooden things were for... Yes I know jack squat about construction.

Then we saw the window wells. The wooden pieces are the frames when they pour the cement until they're ready for the window wells.

The foundation is poured!!!

and tarred....?

this is the SE corner of our basement.

again, NE corner of the yard as they're back filling the dirt against the foundation.

On July 4th both our parents came out to check the progress on our... dirt.. and cement :)
At least it had all been filled in by then!

An above view of our basement from the SE corner once the floor was poured

Basement framing the hallway
Basement view of the NW corner - stairs up on the right, once the floor joists had been placed.

View from the NE corner of the upstairs - eventually the kitchen/dining room.
 NE corner lot view as framing goes up
 This is the view we have from our master bedroom window of the Wasatch mountains. (you can see our shadows in our "window" at the bottom)
 One day when we got there they had just poured the cement for our mandoor... Alex decided to carve our initials and year into the side. Apparently it wasn't wet enough because when we came back the next time, you can't really see them.... but we'll always know.
 NE corner lot view
 Alex was very determined to have a certain kind of wire for internet running through our house (not a surprise to anyone) So we tackled this project with my mom not knowing what we were doing. Alex had a coworker explain things to him, and we took off.
 Little did we understand that although you run wire for the upstairs, you actually do it from the basement... we didn't bring a ladder, so Alex stood on a bucket and my blessed mom who is about 3 inches taller than me helped him out, when I couldn't get on his shoulders.
 We fed so much wire and then had to run upstairs and pull it through the hole, and hammer the box into the wall. Thanks mamma Jo!!
 About 1 1/2 weeks later, we began the insulation on all interior walls. My dad was an amazing cutter. although why he didn't have to wear long sleeves and pants shows he's too tough for his own good.
 Alex, mom and I stapled it all into place. Without electricity throughout the house we were working on daylight, after work. Most nights we worked until we couldn't see anymore. This night, we were determined to get it all done (we were leaving for Lake Powell in a day) so dad pulled the van into the garage and turned the lights on. Thank goodness the last room we had to do was the living room next to the garage.
The next day I came back to take pictures of our hard work, in the daylight

Thank GOODNESS they insulate the basement for us!
View from the SE corner

Once we'd gotten the insulation put in, they had the drywall done in about 2 days... those guys are crazy!
They also drywall the garage.

Then come back and texture every single wall and ceiling. I would NOT want that job, especially on a vaulted ceiling. I'm sure they bring ladders and stilts.
  View from the NE corner as they begin prepping the house for stucco
 Alex and I had also decided to tackle the project of putting in ALL the shelves in the whole house. What we got ourselves into, we had no idea. But it turned out so much better than we could have ever imagined and was the same cost as the wire shelving they were going to put in.
 Thanks to Bob's mad cutting skills and his wonderful assistant Glenda, we got all the wood cut in a matter of hours.
Then we used our neighbor Byron and his ridiculous knowledge of, everything, to help us put the shelves in. It was clearly a man's job, I just stood back and took pictures.
 Ok, I might have sanded and helped out a little. But without anyone knowing that we were pregnant it was hard to keep up. I was so tired all the time. They probably thought I was just slow... oh well. 
 Pantry shelves
 Linen closet. Yes alex built in a special area just for the vacuum. He measured the one we wanted and everything to make sure it would fit.
 Once they were in, he and dad caulked EVERYTHING it was crazy. This project took us so long. Over 15 hours... not the 5-6 we thought it might be. and although we ran into some snags, the guys helping us really did an amazing job at helping us figure out how to work around them.
Once shelving was done, flooring was put it in. Hard wood laminate in the kitchen
Carpet in the living and bedrooms.

Finally we got to see some paint and cabinets!! That's when it really started to feel like it was coming together.
View from the NE corner - kitchen and dining room.
Ade came into town for a visit and we were so excited to show her what we had of a house so far... although I think something was missing?
The next visit was electricity and countertops!!
Ade, I found it!!!

NE view of the back once the stucco was done

once the inside paint and carpet was done, Alex and I had to go back and terminate all the wires we'd run... we were so glad the we had lights, as the sun was setting much earlier and it didn't take nearly as long to terminate as it took to run it all.
He needed a break...
 A little before we actually closed and got the keys to our house, we had our furniture and appliances delivered... so we figured we'd just put them in the house while we had the trailer.
 Alex and dad did an amazing job carrying everything into the house. Good thing our front door is bigger than the door from the garage.
 Or did I speak too soon. We actually had to remove the front door to get the fridge inside.
 Dad putting his back into it.... that man is just RIDICULOUS!
 Next was installing the washer and dryer
 and three days later, we FINALLY closed, recorded and had the keys. 
We had so much help, trailers, trucks, tahoes, hands. It all went so fast!
 Jim and Jacob moving the heavy stuff.
 Mamma T cooking us lunch!
We had so much help (sorry I didn't have pictures of everyone, we know you were there) that we got done within 6 hours. I could not believe it!! We were expecting to be moving for two days! Because we had help, we were able to make a grocery run the next day to fill our fridge and pantry.

How did we get so much stuff....?

One thing we noticed about a new house, that sometimes gets forgotten, is all the stuff a lived in house already comes with that yours now doesn't. 
We had to go out the next day and get blinds. Alex worked hard to put them all up, and they look fantastic.

Made it so we didn't feel like we were living in a fishbowl. It became even more of a home.

Oh yeah, and no one remembers to tell you, you need to put in  your own mailbox... what? Ok we can do that.
Alex and Rachel pounded it into the ground, while I built the mail box itself.

Yay... we have a mailbox. I LOVE getting mail.
We were so excited that night, we made a birthday cake! It was actually the cake Alex gave me for my birthday and we'd waited till we were in our own house to celebrate to bake it. Our house was finally "complete" and we couldn't wait to dig in.

This is how he eats when our bar stools aren't cleaned off yet.
But wait, WARNING: along with not knowing we needed to put in our own mailbox, came not knowing there are rules as to where the Post Office will let you have your mailbox!?!? So two days later, my sweet sister Rachel came back and helped us move to the appropriately designated area. Check with your local PO they're the ones who decide per your neighborhood where it goes. you can't just put it where your parents houses have it.
Instead of wasting time withe sledge this time around, Alex grabbed a slab of concrete from the neighbor's curb that had been cut next door an while Rachel held the piece of wood, let it slam.
It was actually VERY effective.
   and there you have it folks, mailbox finally complete, the story of our house... now let's take a look inside :)
 As you enter the front door, tile entrance looks into the family room.
 To the left is the living room with love seat
and chairs
 After the living room, take a right and you're looking down the hall. Coat closet and linen closet on the right.
 At the end of the hall on the right, are two bedrooms.
 The one on the right, is Alex's computer/homework room for now.
 The room on the left (don't judge) has not been organized yet as it will be the craft/exercise room and eventually the babies room, so I can't decide what to do with it for now.
 Directly at the end of the hall is the main bathroom.
 Take a left at the bathroom/end of the hall and there is the door to our master bedroom.
 Here is our room's view from the door.
 Then from my nightstand view.
Door by the dresser leads to the bathroom.
 From the view of the bathroom counter - is of the shower (bench inside not pictured) and toilet.
 Then turning around you face the master closet. Yes we built ALL the shelves in this house - including master closet (right side view)
 (left side view) as well at the shoe shelves... FAVORITE FEATURE. Good job Alex and Byron!
 Back down to the end of the hall you see the stairs down to the basement (it's just cement with insulated walls and follows the exact same floor plan as above so there are no pictures)
 View of the Family room (sorry lighting wasn't the best, and our nice camera is once again shipped back to Nikon for repair! Argh)
 View of family room from behind the couch, where eventually my shelves for cookbooks will go.
 View from couch, of the kitchen.
 View of kitchen from sliding back door.
 Pantry with all of it's treasures!
From the counter, you can see the half bath door on the left and garage door in front of you.
 View of half bath, nothing special... yet
 From the door of the half bath, here is our mudroom and laundry beyond that.
  View of the door into the house from the garage door
View of the 3rd car garage from the garage steps pictured earlier
 View from the mandoor off the north side of the house.
 View of the mandoor from the outside, edge of our lot.
 NE corner view, with patio furniture included :) 
 View of our back sliding door and porch steps. Lucky you, getting a view of the AC unit too ;)
And there concludes a look at our house. I know it's not a video and that might have been easier to tell, but it's what we got. It's been an amazing journey to watch this little project and part of our lives come together. We can't wait for any and everyone to come out and visit!! We miss you all and hope that when you finally get to see our humble abode, you will find peace and happiness, craziness and joy, & love and laughter all within!!

Next it's onto BABIES!!