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!

Venue Update...

I know you have all been waiting on the status of venue building, we will not make you wait any longer! We are a bit behind schedule but moving forward none-the-less. I can't even tell you how exciting it was to see the walls start to go up and walk around our future ballroom and kitchen! I was immediately flooded with the thoughts of all the brides and grooms and their sweet families that will be celebrating in our space. One thing that was really great to see was how grand those ceilings will be! Twelve foot ceilings (and 15 in the ballrooms) is nothing to sneeze at! I remember throwing out these semi-arbitrary numbers when talking with our engineer and  thinking "tall ceilings will be nice" but when you are standing in those rooms....it's REALLY nice!

Another aspect I really liked about the space was the courtyard. It is going to be a little bigger than I thought and once that other ballroom goes up will be A-MAZING!! I really do think it is going to be one of my favorite aspects of the property.

On to the pictures....

Our first dancers in the ballroom! There was music playing on the Framer's radio and Ada looked at Mason and said "I want to Dance!"

Look how small Sam and Mikhail look against that Ballroom...

What is Going On???

So we have not updated this blog in a while or given a status on all things venue related in forever! Partly laziness, I think, especially on Dana's part...I mean really Dana when WAS your last post??? We have been at a bit of a stand still with the venue due to a labor cost increase (Like over 25% ) on the framing. We spend all free time last week on the phone with potential framing contractors to find one that could fit our time-line and budget. On top of that, we went ahead and pulled permits for the first cottage which we are paying for with various bank accounts and credit cards! Therefor we spent the REST of our free time lining up a concrete contractor and plumber to start this whole process!

Needless to say it has been cra-zy over here! I feel like I am doggy paddling through life just trying to keep my head above water concentrating on just the immediate need/fire to put out. So I thought I would just list out the venue/cottage fires put out in the past week....more for us! Sometimes it feels like you aren't moving forward when in actuality things are being accomplished!


1. Paid and applied for the water tap fee
2. Filled out and applied for permits
3. Narrowed down a concrete contractor
4. Found another concrete contractor when the first one inexplicably raised his quote 2500.00
5. Spoke with county inspectors to answer the new concrete guy's questions
6. Found two qualified Framers that are in our budget and fit in our timeline (This seems trivial but seriously...days of our lives were taken up with line item 6!)
7. Met a plumber out at the property
8. Got quotes from many more plumbers
7. Picked a plumber out that was only slightly more than our budget...
8. Got a Roofing quote for the cottage (way under budget - woohoo!)
9. Decided on a roofer!
10. Learned that our permits were NOT being processed.....apparently you need a Construction Authorization for the septic...not just the improvement permit.
11. Re-scheduled all sub contractors
12. Scheduled the lot(s) to be brush cleared and scraped
13. Staked the foundation out for Dana's Cottage
14. Found a sink/faucet/and shelf thingy at the restore for Dana's cottage (great find really!)
15. Did NOT find windows at restore - decided we need to do more research there....
16. And handled/met with/confirmed vendors for our brides (Do our actual job....)
17. Kept the kiddos alive
18. Some of us continued to grow a baby...

I am 100% sure I am leaving something off...but you get the idea! It has been busy...super busy....over here!

Where the first cottage is going....notice the lack of weed/tree like structures!


We have a foundation!

Hello Blog world! I know it has been a while over here and Amber has been holding down the fort! Dana and I have been alternating vacations here lately and we just aren't organized enough to get posts together before hand....we will work on that...maybe :) While WE have been on vacation, construction has not been! They poured the footers last week and the foundation went in this weekend! I can not even tell you how exciting it is! It feels like this thing might really happen!
 
 
 
 

Getting the bricks delivered!

One angle of the almost completed foundation.

Still working on it....

Today we are finishing up the door order so it is ready in time for framing....which does not look far away!

Venue Progress..really!

As Courtney mentioned Monday, patience has been the name of the game here lately. And we STILL need to be patient! The permits are looking like they will be ready this Friday or Monday. The good news is that someone FINALLY gave me a cost to give to the bank to get the funds ready. You would think that they would be all over trying to get their money on time! Anyways, that process is going  and in the meantime, we went ahead and started grading, adding Carolina Grit to the entrance so that big trucks won't get stuck in the mud, and clearing a few hazardous branches/trees. 

I took the kiddos out there today to see the tractors and snap a few pictures. It was hot out there! Good gracious the heat index made it feel like it was in the 100's! Needless to say, we didn't stay too very long. But here is proof that we have broken ground. What a momentous day! 

Getting ready to start grading

Going over the lines/plans/whatever contractors talk about..

Truck delivering chapel hill grit
I'll snap a few picture later today when it is all finished! Do you see those insanely huge weeds! Thanks to all this rain, they have grown almost 5 times as high as the last time I was there. Those suckers are serious and have a seriously deep root system. Sounds like fun doesn't it?!?

Venue Update..sort of..

Not too much exciting news over here. We are still waiting on the Permits to get back, which should be (cross your fingers!) this week. It still feels way to surreal to me, so until there is a foundation on that lovely piece of dirt, I just don't think I will believe it.

We have been in a constant state of crunching numbers. I swear every time I turn around, I am looking at that dang spreadsheet with the big fat negative sign at the end. Basically telling me that I am going to have to sell my self to get this whole thing done. Well not really..but it sure feels that way. I can give you the exact cost of things to the penny. I have so much anxiety about getting the shell of this built. I just feel like once we are over that hurdle - I can breathe.

The good news is that everyone - I mean EVERYONE is so very excited about this project. Photographers, caterers, DJ's, all our buds in the industry are so stoked that we are finally here. Even the bank that is going to give us a business loan to finish out the project is super excited. I am sure for them - it is just a solid investment - but they have been so positive and want to come out and see it all coming together. I was the most nervous about that piece and it honestly has been not nerve wracking at all. We have great lenders and they are so willing to go the extra mile to help us out.  I can't even imagine us starting this journey with a better support system. So, to all our friends, colleagues, and family - Thanks - we are finally on our way!

THE Venue
Pretty soon this will be a reality..

This is how I feel..

Seriously.
I wish I had a picture of some permits to show you or even a big truck on the property clearing the lot. But I don't. And the reason is that we were delayed...again..and I seriously feel like pulling my hair out. 

Why? Well we were all set, everything was ready - and then I get a text - the plans need to be changed. What? Yes- it needs to be a 2 hour fire wall instead of 1 hour. Then I spent the rest of the night trying to find a firewall that would not seriously cripple us financially. I spent hours on the phone with the architect, contractor, county inspector, permitting, and commercial architect. And finally- FINALLY the plans came in yesterday. They are perfect and sent to the printers. 

I can not tell you how frustrating this particular process has been. If you had asked me a year ago what I thought the hardest part would be, I would have told you re-zoning. And yet, that was the easiest. I hope things only get smoother and less rocky because I may just be bald by the end of it.
.

Venue Update...........Plans!!

I don't know what part of this project is going to be easy/go smoothly...we should have braced ourselves for all that could go wrong based on our experience with the YEAR LONG journey (almost) trying to get these plans! We started last August and were promised completed plans then in October, twice in November, once in December, Every weekend in January, twice in February, on Wednesdays and Fridays in March, and then finally received them in April. I am surprised that Dana has not had a coronary....I really thought she would at any point from December on . So this has really put us behind the eight-ball on many different levels...It caused our estimates to be off from our contractor, pushed Dana and Sam out of their lease, Definitely (obviously) delayed construction, caused us to get a re-appraisal and delayed the closing until today!

All this to say friends, you have to know when it is time to cut bait and run in a different direction...this is something we should have done last December! Yes it would have cost us more in the short run but I think in the long run it would have actually saved us time, money, heartache, added years to our life, etc....

While this is definitely one of those 20/20/hindsight situations...we at least have the plans now......and they are great!


(So I was going to post the plans....but they are PDF and I can't figure out how to make them into a picture...any suggestions blog world??)

Back on the Wagon!

Alright Friends...we are back on the wagon....for the moment! We have a little two week reprieve from weddings so it feels like we can come up for air and get something done! I thought I would share a little business update this morning. The biggest change around here is that we have hired an employee!! She was our intern last summer and in March we officially made her an offer. Her job vacillates between watching the kiddos so we can make meetings and get work done and taking some of the workload off of us (look for her weekly blog segment starting this week!). She did her own solo event April 6th and did a wonderful job. We have recently put her in charge of a design client on one of our three wedding days (third this year) and I think she will do great!

 It is so different communicating with an employee than it is your partner/sister. It has definitely been a learning experience on our end because we are used to just making assumptions about all parties involved with C and D and now, well, we just can't do it!  As much as she is learning how to be our employee we are learning how to be employers for the first time...I am sure we will look back and feel bad about all of our shortcoming there...thank God she is loyal, flexible, and so team C and D!

I think we are on our tenth wedding this season and have lots more in the coming weeks..look for some gorgeous pictures in the near future!

Venue Update

I am sure these will be coming fast and furious in the next couple of months as it seems like things are happening quite quickly now (not quick enough for Dana)! This past week was exciting;  as you saw in this post we set the stakes and determined the set backs (yeah!). A few more exciting things happened:

1. We chose the windows! So I went into the meeting thinking I wanted one thing and we fell in love with something else. Of course it was more expensive...thanks Dana for pointing them out! These windows are PERFECT though! They have the simulated divided lights, paintable or stainable interior, and aluminum clad Bronze exterior. They are casement style, meaning they swing out instead of up like a double hung, which gives them an older feel. I think they were made specifically for us...to meet at that particular moment in time...and be installed in our venue!

This is similar ...but ours are a little less busy(we are doing only 8 lites)


2. We chose the Front Door! And the back one...as Dana pointed out that she wants a front door for the back door as well....I understand why she feels that way...most people will be getting married in front of the back door (in the courtyard, between the carriage house ballrooms) and so it should be grand. But what a budget buster! I LOVE the door though...it is exactly what I was looking for and only a few hundred over budget....(we can't keep that up!)
Two of these please!
3. We chose the Bricks and the Shingles! So not as exciting as the windows and doors I know. However, the exciting thing is that Triangle has "short stacks" available and we can get the bricks at a discounted price...so maybe we can afford that extra front door after all! 

So, lots of fun choices made this week! I am sure we will have more to update next week... It all seems so surreal and picking out these details is like taking a vision out of my head and being able to touch and feel it! Crazy I know....

We have stakes!

Yes - we have stakes..in the ground. It is all very exciting. We went out with our builder yesterday and placed the corner stakes to where the venue is going to be!! It felt so surreal thinking about seeing our dream actually on this piece of dirt.

Our builder measuring the set back. We were convinced that there was not a creek - but really, there is! That is partially due to the fact that we had no idea how far up our property went! 

Brad did lots of measuring, we did lots of standing until he told us to stand where we think our front step should be. So, we both, without hesitation, stood in the same spot and said here! 

Courtney waving from the future front step!
We staked it all and now we have to wait for environmental health to get out and stake off the gazillion septic fields we have - no seriously, we have 4! The boys are starting fence planning and going to start building soon. Can't believe it is starting...


Venue Update - The List!

I thought we would take a look back at what was going through our mind concerning this little project of ours last year. You can see a to-do list we made here ! I thought it would be fun to see how far (or not far) we have come and how the landscape has changed (not literally...figuratively of course!)

Last Year's List



1. Get Property Re-zoned       
2. Purchase rezoned Property  
3. Install a Deer Fence....this was mandated by the appearance commission          
4. Start Plantings....Very important to do this ASAP for the look we are going for
5. Court sells her house (We close this week so it is as good as done)
6. Purchase adjacent lot and get construction loan (Done in December - I forgot this was on the list...)
7. Build Cottages (yes we want to build them at the same time.....crazy I know....)
8. Dana sells her house (Closed Last week - yeah!)
9. Refinance Cottage on main venue property
10. Figure out how to finance the Venue (We have figured this out - conventional mortgages all around!)
11. Start Venue Construction
12. Have one kick-ass party (I know I just swore...but that is what it will be!)

Percentage Complete: 50% - Seems like so much less! 

This Year's List


1. Get FINAL plans from Engineer - you wouldn't think this needs a line item, but it is literally like pulling teeth!
2. Complete 1 Cottage - Change here - only doing one initially, Dana and Sam are moving over a garage...more on that I am sure!
3. Complete Garages - these are are permitted separately so can be moved into before the whole venue is done. 
4. Move in - Doesn't sound that exciting at the moment as I am right in the middle of it right now!
5. Install fence - it has moved from being a deer fence to a 8ft fence...project for the boys!
6. Start Plantings
7. Complete Venue
8. Get parking lot rezoned through the conditional use process (this is new due to the placement of the "parking lot")
9. Have one big Shebang! (We are calling it an open house!)


Well at least the list is shorter...seems like we have made some progress!

Still Moving!

Quick update on the  C and D situation...The C is still moving! We should be out completely by Sunday...I mean cleaned/moved/DONE! I then plan on doing only what I absolutely have to the following week....then I plan on being productive again.

Few Venue Updates:

1. We got the plan revisions! Yeah....still not 100% but pretty close!

2. We sign on the dotted line with a contractor tonight! We are working with Blue Line Construction and I have to tell you he is so great to work with...honest and on top of things...hasn't laughed at us yet!

3. Appraisal for the cottage loan has been ordered...so that process is underway as well!

Eating our Elephant as our real estate agent said....


Venue Update!

Well no REAL news....but a few things on the horizon....

1. NO plans yet - Dana may have a coronary! That should be rectified by this Friday but we will see.....

2. Meeting with a new contractor on Thursday...we have a good feeling about this one!

3. Dana Closes Friday - Yeah - One down, one to go!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!!

Venue Update: Moving!

Well we are officially in packing mode...Dana is set to close next week - she just got word that the buyer's loan is through underwriting (Yeah!) This is the first step - once we are out of our current houses we can focus solely on the next houses (and those brides of ours :))

Dana's Dining Room-It makes it real...like we are really moving!

Hope to have lots of updates in the very near future as so many things are happening all at once! Maybe plans next week...how exciting would that be?!

Venue Update! Exciting news...

So I thought it would never happen...I thought for sure that it would happen to Dana before me (see prediction here) but as it turns out that was not the case. Without further adu.....WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!! We re listed last Wednesday and by Sunday we had a bidding war! I could not believe it...we had more showings this past weekend than we had in the 6 months prior with another agent. We even contracted for 1000 over our list price...which is amazing!

So blog friends...I can not even tell you how relieved I am to have this contract on the house...I know there are a few more hurdles to cross like inspections and what not but it feels good all the same. I just keep thinking about how much more convenient my life will be when we are up in Apex, close to Dana's family. So much time and energy is spent back and forth! I am also super excited to be starting those cottages...I never would have thought 1000 sq feet would seem so appealing...but it does!

So friends, we will keep you posted...our Due Diligence period is seriously an eternity (3 weeks) so I will feel much more settled when all that is over.....but for now we are just doing the happy dance!

Venue Update!

Well....we are still waiting on plans (I think dana may explode soon) but we do have an update! Both houses are on the market! Dana's went live on Monday and immediately had two showings. She seriously may have an offer next week as they are bringing in their contractor to price out a few upgrades...I know, I know...it is sickening! Ours went live yesterday....not as grand of an opening...but I am feeling optimistic! I really think we have the right realestate agent and a steal of a price....if the house is sellable, she will get it done!

So anyone looking for a house??! We have two great options available!

Dana's House

Courtney's House

Getting Ready!

We have been busy little bees over here at the Kadwell house. There weren't any major projects that we felt like we needed to do to get the house ready - just a bunch of small ones. We shipped the kids over to Courtney's house one weekend (she attempted to organize her laundry room with 4 kids!!) and got to work. I am not gonna lie - it was a glimpse into life pre-kids - and it was a nice break. We got to sleep in until 9 (!!), work at our own pace instead of rushing to get something done before/after nap time, and we got to actually help each other instead of one being on kid duty. So...what did we do??


Took down our fluorescent overhead light and added 2 recess cans and 2 hanging pendants.  Well - I can't say "we" - it was Mikhail who did it. And it was NOT an easy project because...

apparently our upstairs plumbing is right above the kitchen. A job that should have taken 2 hours, took almost all day! It was very frustrating and it took some serious thinking and problem solving. But he did it! And we paid him in beer for all his hard work!

Took down the old white fan and put in a much nicer one that was donated from my in-laws (they replaced it with another fan)

Took the old one from downstairs and replaced the bright, primary colored fan  that was in the guest room
Remember this guy??
Gone! And in it's place - something MUCH nicer. 
We also replaced the nursery light. Not for any design reason - I just love it and do not want to sell it with the house. We got all our lights from the Home Center in Apex. By BFF works there, so naturally, I went to her to get some updated lights. If you live in the area - CHECK THEM OUT! They run great deals often and have such a variety. That entry light was 75% off and it was only $50! Lowe's can't beat that!

Painted the Laundry Room and replaced the vent grate (it was all rusted and nasty)
I also finished the doors for the cabinets and we hung a bar to hang things on. It looks SO.MUCH. nicer in there. 

We added a closet system years ago that left huge holes in the wall from the wire shelving that was there before. We did not have the original paint, so we patched and painted the alcove area the same color as our bathroom

We also caulked the shower, toilets, and sink for a fresh new look. And we of course touched up paint everywhere. The worse was that the previous owners could.not.paint. You could still see the colors that were there before at the edge of the ceiling and the walls - so I went through and painted the edge of the ceiling in the two worse rooms - our bathroom and library. It was tedious and tiring - but makes such a difference! 

We refinished the door knobs and hinges

Such a difference from the brass builder standard - it looks SOOO good!!

I will have a DIY: How to refinish door handles soon! And the last thing we did was clean out the garage and take a whole truck load to the dump! I also went through my clothes (since they were all on the floor so I could paint) and donated/consigned 3 bags worth of clothes. It feels good to purge!! 

The house looks really great and now we are just focusing on finding a system that works for us. Here are some tips/ideas we have come up with:

1. We run the dishwasher right after dinner no matter how empty/full it is. This is typically is not a problem - it is usually at least 3/4 full every night. Then, before bed, we unload it. This is actually something I want to do for the rest of my life! Dishes are sooo easy! We start the day with an empty dishwasher and every thing goes straight in the dishwasher - never in the sink. It is glorious.

2. We pick up every night. This includes folding/putting away clothes. I find this is easiest during bath time. Sam does bath, I pick up/put away clean clothes. 

3. Vacuum the rugs every night after kiddos go to bed.

4. Run the wood vacuum in the morning while kiddos are eating breakfast. 

5. We have started the "put away before you get out another toy" rule. This is a work in progress - especially with a one year old that wants to dump everything out!!

Those are just a few things we are starting to do to get ourselves in the selling mind set. The only snafu is that I think my vacuum (the carpet one) died yesterday. I prayed really hard last night that it was just tired and was pitching a fit - we will see later tonight! Anyone else have any good tips at keeping a home in tip top condition?











Venue Update!

We bought some land....again! We closed on the second piece of property December 27th. We are keeping this piece zoned residential and it will house at least one of the cottages and the venue's parking lot....So I guess we bought a parking lot!

Closing went well...no real hang ups...we are definitely ready to start building on this piece of dirt! I thought I would outline some of the steps pertaining to this piece of property.


  • Get a perk test done - I think we are going to go for the "maximum perk" option again just to give us the most options....you never know when you will need them!
  • Research fees associated with building the cottage (water hook up, permit, school impact etc...)
  • Get plans approved with the county
  • Start this shindig! We may start getting stuff done slowly...like the clearing, foundation, etc...if finances permit as it will speed along the completion of the project when we do FINALLY sell the house. 
Well that is it for exciting venue news this week....we hope to update on this topic a lot more this year!