The Rollercoaster




So, this seems a little dramatic, but it is truly how I feel these days with this cottage.

The Bradford is trucking along - we are going for mechanical inspection Thursday and then it just starts moving quickly with insulation then drywall. And then people - life gets real. We have about 1.5 months to finish it and I really believe that we can and will. It will be helpful that I am on site. I have devised a plan to work every night (paint 2 windows, lay 2 walls of trim, etc,) And I think the slowly but surely attitude will get us where we need to go in the time we need to. Granted we will have 6 weekends of just plain working, but what is new?? I never thought I would say that The Bradford was the easy part so far!

So..the cottage..here is my emotional rollercoaster..

Up - We made a plan and we can get in before our lease is up October 27th.
Down - Foundation took a week (as opposed to 3 days) and cost us an extra $1000

Up - We found a framer! He is affordable and we can hire a siding crew as well!
Down - the guy did not sit right with us, he did not have a good track record and seemed rather sketchy

Up - We found another framer! He bid out The Bradford and had good references, he was a little bit higher than we wanted, but doable
Down - we have to side ourselves and they cut the wrong window sizes

Up - They fixed the windows, everything looks good and solid, we get under roof, and start mechanical. We have found an affordable HVAC guy and everything is scheduled.
Down - HVAC guy cancelled for a week, I have to do it. Electrical took an extra week. We are behind schedule again

Up - we passed mechanical!! Let's start on insulation!
Down - we are up until wee hours of the night trying to finish the insulation and exhaustion is at an all time high at this point. I fall off the ladder (I am fine) but my wrist and hand just don't seem to be the same.

Up- We pass insulation!! We call drywall and get them started.
Down - crew is there sporadically and doing a terrible job. They quit (we are grateful for the clean break) and we search for another crew. It took us 3 weeks - THREE Weeks to find someone to finish the job and do the job. We have moved. All our stuff is in storage, and we have ended up paying 3 times what it would have been.

Up - Living with my in-laws has been actually nice. They have been super helpful with the kids and we are able to put some late nights into the house.
Down - They live in Durham, we literally drive hundred of miles a day and go through a tank of gas every two days. The kids officially hate the car. Ada- "Mom can we please stop driving when it is dark??"

Up - HVAC is getting the Freon and getting hooked up
Down - there is a hole in the line set. The drywall, very expensive drywall, has to be cut

Up - HVAC gets fixed, Appliances get delivered, kitchen is installed, floors are installed, tile floor is finished. Fixtures are set.
Down - we realize the ELECTRIC tank less water heater (total duh moment) has to be inside, not outside. We have to turn the pipes around. cut into the drywall again. The fridge leaks at the water filter and does not dispense ice. We have to shut the water off every time we leave.

Up - Doors are here! Time to install all interior doors.
Down - not a single door is the right size. We have to have a door on the bathrooms for CO, That door was suppose to be a 24" door, so cut to 25". It is 23.5". We have to special order the door that will fit, it will take three weeks. I had a breakdown in Lowes where in the door guy said: "oh, so you won't have a house for Thanksgiving??"

Up - Home Depot tells me how to fix the door and make it fit so that we can get CO (They are much more sympathetic BTW). We schedule CO inspection - we only have a few things to do - we are SO close!
Down - We took that night off. It rained for two straight days. Majority of stuff we needed to do was outside. This meant working in the freezing rain in a yard that is mostly topsoil so every step you sink up to your calf in mud. I am sick, everyone else looks like we haven't slept in days and we are just trying to get the paint to stick to foam in the rain and caulk wet siding.

Up - We pass! We finish the trim! Court and I are so proud of ourselves for trimming the floors, windows, and doors. We start Ada's loft and start cleaning. We are ready to move in!
Down - The water heater blows the pex - we needed to attach it to copper fittings. Not a hug deal, but it took 3 trips to Lowes to figure out the correct thing I needed to fix it.

Sam and I open up our storage unit and find that mice have been living in our stuff. Every dish, every blanket, towel, and article of clothing has been contaminated. We have to throw out (so far) linens, clothes (of course only mine), my sewing fabric, hair bows, and some cards/pictures we were saving. We have to wash, sanitize, and spray everything. It is possible, but unlikely, the mice hitched a ride, so now we have traps. The smell is enough to make me cry at any given moment. It is just stuff - I would throw it all away, it is just overwhelming the amount of work that has to be done to get the house clean and ready for the kids.

Up: as opposed to 2 weeks for my washer/dryer to get delivered, we are picking it up today.

Folks - I am not gonna lie, this process has tested my patience, resolve, relationships and faith. It has been and still is an absolutely brutal and exhausting process. This may give you some insight into why we have not been posting much. Time, energy, and thought are just at a premium right now. Our brides were first priority this fall and then construction. We are hoping to be a little more regular once one of us is settled.

The best part of it all, we are about to go on the ride again as the carriage house (Courtney's cottage) started yesterday. Ready, set, go - time to climb that hill.

We Are Still Here...........

So just to check in Blog world...we are still here..in body anyhow, I lost my mind awhile ago!

What's been going on....

The Cottage - I think when we last updated Dana was on a roof putting up boots so we could pass Mechanical inspection...we passed that by the way....passed Insulation inspection right after and then spent a 3 week stint in Drywall Purgatory...What's that you say??? Well it is the place you end up when your framer tells you he has a drywall crew and then proceeds to send out his inexperienced relatives to do the job....horrendously....then quit without hanging the vaulted ceiling. (That's the first step) THEN you call various and sundry drywallers who either a) can't find someone to hang the few remaining boards b) can't be upfront about pricing c) just won't do the the job because it is too much work following the original "drwallers" (2nd Step...this is where you spend the most amount of time!)

How do you get out of purgatory?? Good question...it just takes money friends - we paid someone DOUBLE the going rate to fix what had been done and finish the job...agonizing I tell you!! We certainly aren't rolling in it over here and have had several unexpected expenses pop up...we have been doing the shuffle!

We are finishing up all finishes as we speak - few more soffits to hang, little exterior paint, floors are half in, kitchens are getting assembled, HVAC getting charged, plumbing finished, trim and doors and we are done!

There have been lot's of silver linings though...like an awesome Septic guy that assisted us with the plumbing (because that guy was less than awesome!) and a great Day-Labor company that sent out a plumber to finish up where the other one left off. We will share all of those stories soon....We just need to get Dana's family moved in first!

The Carriage House - Not started yet....set to close tentatively next Wednesday -Fingers crossed people!

The Venue - Moving right along! We have a little bit of brick left to finish on the stairs and then all the exterior finishes will be finished. We are currently working on the electrical (Mikhail had to tackle due to budget constraints), plumbing and HVAC have already finished. Once that gets completed we will fire stop, insulate, and Drywall! We are super excited to get to the finishing stage of phase 1...we can finally see all those chandeliers and cabinets installed that we have been purchasing and storing for half a year now!

That's about it over here - minus the weddings, kids, pregnancy, and what not!

Pictures coming soon - I realized I have not a single updated picture on my phone....I know it's terrible!

Renderings...etc

Still crazy over here....pretty sure Dana is on a roof right now trying to install "Boots" on a pipe....I really hope to retroactively post a few "how - to's" and "how-not-to's" in the near future. Just know that we are pressing forward, working a lot!, trying to remain civil, and get to our deadline(s)!

We did FINALLY get news that the framer will be done next week on the venue...we are only like 3 weeks behind there! Doors and windows get delivered Monday and I am SUPER excited to see them. I will make it a point to post pictures soon!

For now...we have started enlisting help from advertisers and will soon be in Southern Bride and Groom with a rendering of our "soon" to be completed structure. I will give you a little sneak peak here...I think they look awesome...but I am partial!



Driveway may be a little different...but over all this looks pretty close to the vision!

Coordinating, Building, Designing....oh my!

That pretty much sums it up! Post done...

Seriously...things that have not made the list....

Laundry - I have rewashed the same load 4 times this week!

Cooking - Isn't take out the same thing??

Cleaning - Let's not even go there...my house looks like the fall out from Chernobyl!

Car Maintenance - Both of my headlights have been out of commission for a week now and I                                     have not had time to get the the dealership to get them fixed (for free mind you). I mean                                 who doesn't like a high beam or two in their eyes while driving down the road!

Banking - Have not managed to get to the bank in weeks and have lots to deposit!

Friends - I seriously had to schedule a phone call with my friend the other day...she missed the appt. and                I have not been able to have a meaningful conversation since....what is this world coming to when
               you have to schedule phone convos!

It's  a season....that what I tell myself...this too shall pass....I just can't see when!

No worries, blog world, it is not all for not...I think we may be able to get the Kadwells in their house by our D-day.....(that is when the lease runs out and they have to rely on friends, parents, and in-laws for lodging) Which if anyone out there has ever "roomed with kids" knows can get very dicey!

A design picture post soon....I am leaving that up to Dana!

Busy Weekend!


Shew! What a weekend!! We had such a great time celebrating 3 sweet brides this weekend. On Saturday Amber, Kelsey, and I were with Emily and Brian at Duke Gardens. Courtney and Becca were at the Botanical gardens with Kelly and Alex. And then on Sunday, Amber and I were back at the Gardens for Stefanie and Brian. Here a few sneak peeks from our oh so awesome iPhones!

Saturday at the Gardens..

We were filled to the BRIM! Seriously, I was driving with flowers in my lap

The packed car

All set up! It was GORGEOUS! And the bride did all the flowers! 


One of my favorite details..

We had to move it inside due to the torrential downpour..but it was still beautiful. Gorgeous couple, sweet family, awesome friends, couldn't ask for a better wedding! 

Drenched at the end of the night. The rain was oh so wonderful :)


Saturday the Botanical Gardens

Getting Picture lessons from the photographer!
Father/Daughter - one of my favorite parts of every wedding! 



Sunday at Duke Gardens

The Chuppa we made - it turned out so well! I am not gonna lie, I was a literal nervous :)

Seriously my favorite centerpiece we have done so far! Love the ring!!

The other centerpiece. I was so inspired by her colors and I loved the flower choices!

All set up!


The Hora! I LOVE the traditions of a Jewish wedding. I don't think I stopped smiling all night!!

Dana IS Still Alive...

Just thought I would let the blog world know.....We are not hiding her in a freezer somewhere...she is still alive and kicking (most days). We have been in all out full-plan mode over here...so many wonderful new full plan brides that we have been planning for...so excited for 2014 spring wedding season to see all of our visions come to life! Dana has three she is working on right now, as well as her brides for the Fall wedding season.

This weekend we have 3 weddings - two at Duke gardens and one at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill....We are doing the floral design for our Sunday wedding and we promise to show pictures on Monday...We have lots of Spring weddings to hi-light in the coming months so stay tuned!

Proof of Life to be added soon.....