The Juicy Deats: Home Edition

Flu, stomach bug with a side of fever–call it what you will–we got it. Mine hit last night, Merrick has been dealing with it for about a week. Things around our casa are not pretty, but I’m surprisingly optimistic. The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and Arbor appears to be healthy and strong and, so far, germ-resistant. Fingers crossed, because a sick baby is heartbreaking.

We will be staining and sealing concrete floors this weekend, and when I say “we”, I mean “Caleb and Caleb alone.” He is so kick-butt at projects. Dontcha wish your husband put vinyl siding on stuff like mine? I cannot even tell you how in love with him I am without him literally building me the house of my dreams, so this has really put him over the top in the adoration department. Even though I’m tired and cranky 98% of my waking hours, I have mad appreciation for that man.

Some other things we are considering for the house: stock kitchen cabinets. So guess what? We have wasted enough time and money on all the things, and we are now scrambling to catch up and install, well, all the other things. Stock cabinets ready to go vs another month of waiting for Caleb to have time to custom build kitchen cabinets (+ another month to actually build them)? I think the answer is clear. And so this is happening:


And now, some background information, for the house-building junkies out there:

You might appreciate the things about the house you wouldn’t see: 1) spray foam insulation, and 2) super-bomb, triple-thick, tinted windows that swivel every which way. We got an amazing deal on these puppies and I am I love with them: on a 110 degree July day, the windows are cool to the touch from the inside. 3) We also got a good deal on 2 crazy-strength AC units. Our plan to install a wood burning stove should keep us totes warm in the deadest of winters, plus the layout of the place assures insane airflow with the crack of a few windows. All in all, it’s one energy efficient mamma jamma, and I am thinking our power bill at the farmhouse will be equal to–if not less than–our power bill here at our much smaller house.

I actually designed the floor plan–just took a piece of graph paper and started drawing. We had a old cowboy make an official drawing out of my sketchy sketch, and an amazing framer/friend who took a look at it and said “Oh yeah, I can do that.”

It’s a simple two-story square with a 3-car garage attached to one side, with 10 foot ceilings on the first floor and 9 foot ceilings on the second floor. I was told that because there are no complicated angles or shapes, the house would be relatively inexpensive to build in comparison to other homes of the same size, and I think that’s proven to be at least a little true.

I worked the square footage into areas where our family needs it the most: downstairs there is an open living/dining/kitchen area with a walk-in pantry, a homework area for the kids off of the kitchen, a half bath, a decent-sized art studio, a massive mud room, and a small office for Caleb–but no foyer or formal dining room.

Also something that would seriously turn more normal people off? The master “suite”. It’s so basically basic y’all, and I’m completely happy with it–because all we do is sleep there at night. The bedroom itself is 11×16. Caleb and I have only a small amount of clothes so a 6×6 closet is a good size for us–to share. The bathroom is tiny by everyone’s standards but mine, with a shower only because we just don’t have time for all the indulgent bubble baths…that I wish we had time for.

Upstairs was pure funery to draw. There are 3 12×12 bedrooms, each with a 6×6 closet, a large shared bathroom, a huge storage closet leading to the attic above the garage, and a big fat area in between where we hope to build toy cabinets and bookshelves and window seat.



We took some flack for not putting two bathrooms upstairs: “you’ll have 3 kids at home and they’ll have to share. Are you sure you don’t want at least another half bath for when Mia gets to be a teenager?” To which I say: “Damn right they’ll have to share.” That’s what life is about, sharing and respecting and just sucking it up. Will there be fights? Um, YEAH–but if they don’t fight over the bathroom, it’ll just be something else. And that’s part of family life, and they’ll thank me for it much, much later.

Outside there are so many acres to run around and play on. Caleb spent a downright goofy amount of time last summer mowing secret paths and mazes through the tall grass. One day, chickens and maybe sheep–but today is not that day, even though Caleb would probably love to go ahead and start farm life the second we move out there.

Because of the simple floor plan, and because Caleb did so much of the work himself, and because we know a guy (or guys) for the stuff Caleb couldn’t do, we’re tentatively coming out well cost wise–if my numbers are correct, we’re looking at $70 per square foot on the high side, and that’s including the 5 acres of land we built on. Not too shabby for Toni.

Later on I’ll write down a list of things we would or would not do if we were to do it all over again, but for now? I’m ready to be there:



About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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