A House Update: Within Inches of Coming Home

Building a Modern Scandinavian Farmhouse in Northern Michigan. More on The Fresh Exchange.

Another Monday. I sweep the snow off the car and start her up. I started my day with phone calls from the team at the house about some things needing approval. The sitter arrives and I kiss Hayes goodbye. My work hours will be tonight because my other job calls today; I have to keep this house moving. These days I am welcoming the distractions from work because the distraction is our future and what all of our dreams have been focused on for years. This is crunch time. This is the final countdown. This is the last quarter. So it is my number one priority.

Our fireplace being primed. Now it is completed and nearly ready.
Barn door going in that separates the living room and the playroom. I wanted a space we could divide so it was easy to keep a clean and calm space.

The car is warmed up. I have piled the back with more fixtures that came in the mail over the weekend and I click my boots to shake off the snow gathered on them while cleaning off the car. I feel thankful for a warm seat in my car when it reads “feels like 9 degrees” on my phone. I start the 40+ minute drive over to the house. The landscape around me is amazing. The plows have just freshly cleared last nights 1-3 inches that appears to be more like 4. Sweeping clouds fill the sky that are the winter kind but the sun tries desperately to show her face over the lake. The rows of grapevines stand cold and bare preparing themselves for another great harvest year. This winter landscape here has taught me that dormant and unmoving isn’t a bad thing. Bare and still only means much waits below. Something I resonate with these days.

Our kitchen backsplash/wall being tiled with Recycled Glazed brick from Fireclay Tile. Nearly ready for grout. Windows are tiled and ready for grout as well.

Arriving in town I shimmy through the traffic lights and stop quickly to grab my second cup of coffee at my favorite shop. I chat quickly with all the familiar faces that feel like that extra pep in my step that day. Back in the car. I make one last stop at the local grocery store that has warm donuts every morning. I grab a few dozen because I know these days our house is full of guys painting, hanging, trimming, running wires, etc and they are doing their best to make this all come together for us. It feels like the least I can do. I tell the lady at checkout “Have an awesome day!” I set the donuts in the seat beside me. I turn on the seat heater so they stay warm in fear the heat will leave them even within the 10 minutes I still have to make it to the house.

 

Our coffee nook from Hygge Supply’s Cabinet line.
Kitchen Cabinets with counter tops. Cabinets from Hygge Supply and the counters are Swanbridge from Cambria Quartz in a Matte finish.
The Entry Hallway. Our Laundry sits behind those two cabinets with folding space and storage for cleaning etc.

As I climb the hill that takes me to the road we live off of, I recognize the change of landscape between here and the peninsula we currently live on. This feels more me and more like home. All familiar and like a warm blanket for my soul.

The moment I turn onto the road that leads to our house, I am greeted with a tougher drive but it is nothing for my new-to-me Outback. Together we conquer the hill and the cinnamon sugar donuts slide around more than the car does. I love the adventure of this road and how it always feels like I know a secret no-one else does. Then the road changes. In seconds we go from a paved and plowed road to a dirt road that hasn’t seen a plow in a day or two. No worries, I got this.

Our half bath painted PPG Green Briar with black and white triangle tiles from Fireclay.
Upstairs bedroom closets from Hygge Supply ready and waiting to be put to use. We placed Black Matte Schoolhouse Electric knobs on the doors.

Turning up our drive I see the top of the house and then it falls behind the pines till I make the turn. Our driveway is a drive all its own, but that was part of why we bought the land. As I pass the pines there she is and sure enough, a slew of trucks are there making it all come together.

The next hour I spend there checking with the guys. We make it fun and laugh about some of the things that aren’t working or are. They give me a little hell about my minimalist design and ask where I will store my shoes. If only they knew how few I own. The bathroom is close to done but the light wasn’t what we expected so we spend some time solving it. They offer solutions and help make it what I want. They don’t complain but I figure it is because of the donuts and that they are just great guys.

I leave with a light to return and a list of things needed still. Sitting in my car I frantically send a few photos to Mike back home who is working so hard and most likely on his 3rd corporate call for the day already. We both get excited via text and feel that these long hours we are doing are worth it when we see all we are working for. I then head on into town in hopes I can still find a few hours for the work I still have that seems like my back burner project these days.

The Kid/Guest Bathroom with Sea Glass 6″ Hexagon tiles on the floor and French Linen Subway on the shower walls in the bath.
Hygge Supply Cabinet with hooks set on the wall ready for towels.

This has been my days since nearly November. It feels the house has kicked into its highest and final gear. The final pieces are coming together. The days are cold and the snow is piled up. These are all signs we are reaching a finishing line that will mark where we will finally begin. It has been all consuming to me both in the present and the future sense. I think anyone who has built a home will resonate with that feeling, but I feel it is also similar to the final stages of pregnancy. Just waiting with anticipation for a new chapter to begin but trying to enjoy just where you are. All the work coming to a close but not totally sure when go time will be.

Truly we feel unbelievably thankful for this home that is becoming ours and even more thankful for all the people who have made it happen. They work hard. They text me pictures. They give me the feeling they care in the same way I do on some level. So to see it finally coming to this stage is amazing in just half a year’s time. There is a bottle of champagne we have been holding since the day we broke ground to pop on the floor on our first night and this week, I pulled it out knowing the time is close.

The view from the Master Bath into the Master Bedroom. Still waiting on finding the right light for this room. For now we left a bulb for the time being. We didn’t want to buy something we didn’t love 100%.

I still have a hard time believing this is all real. Maybe it is all the wildness of figuring out how life will fit together and the long drives that leave me usually tuning into NPR and discovering my new favorite show 1A with Joshua Johnson. Maybe it is the quick lunch sitting in the car while I pop up an Instagram post and making sure I picked up bananas for tomorrow morning. Maybe it is the boxes I keep filling because I feel like I should be preparing. Maybe it is trying to be a lot of things right now while being in between. That in between that can leave you vulnerable, unable to see beyond where you are at times, and like the world is a little like moving through quicksand at times. Life is good don’t get me wrong. My thanks for this is endless. I love these days, but I am ready like a woman about to hit her due date. I am ready.

The master bath before the tub was placed and fixtured went in. The tiles are Flagstone 6″ Hexagons from Fireclay Tile and Salton Sea 3×8 from Fireclay Tile as well.

 

Another shot of the shower once it was completed.

I wanted to give you this update because I feel like you may be seeing less than what I had anticipated this season. I had grand plans for content on wrapping gifts and more DIYS and table settings, but truly I can see nothing but one thing these days. I realized a few weeks ago that to make it to the end of the year, I had to prioritize just the most important things. First I am a wife and a mom and then I am making our house happen. Next comes work and finally comes a social life. Maybe this explains to some when I drop off on text or just cannot be present. I am trying to do it all, but sometimes all isn’t possible so I have found comfort with letting go what doesn’t fit for now in hopes it will be okay when I have space again.

Our tub after it went in.
Wall mounted tub spout from Newport Brass
Our vanity in the master bathroom and lights over the top. Just waiting on the mirrors here.

We all have seasons in our lives where things need space, time, and breathing. This stage of our life I feel needs some of that, so I loosen, I let go some in order to be my best where I feel I need to be. Everything comes in the right time if we give it the space to do so. That is something I have learned this year, but we must be present where we are or try not to avoid the realities. Feelings and thoughts are real things that allow us to process the places we are and that is what I have found to be best for me. Giving myself the gift of letting go, doing what must be done, and then leaving space to recover and care for myself is life these days.

I am so excited for our first day at our new home and to land there finally after so many years of dreaming, saving, and working hard to make this a reality. It is the final deep breath before we begin. This is a big thing for us. A home to be settled and fully ours. Truly our’s. No greater gift could ever be given.

Enjoy all the pictures. I figured these thoughts would be better than explaining every inch of what is going on but I put some captions on photos so you knew the spaces they are and info on what has changed lately.

 

Leave a comment

  1. I’m so happy for you, what an exciting time!! I still feel like you guys just purchased the property yesterday. Time goes so fast.

  2. Such a beautiful and exciting time for your family! Thank you so much for your commitment to transparency, it’s always so refreshing. The house is coming out so wonderful, and any content that you share or create will always be just right. Thank you for taking us with you on this journey. Happy Holidays!

  3. What a beautiful home! I have enjoyed keeping up with you guys through your blog and social media, and I have stolen and few ideas form time to time. Good luck with all the finishing Touches. Merry Christmas!

  4. Such exciting times! Your home looks absolutely beautiful- very calming and light 🙂
    I’m loving all the shades of grey and green! Good luck with the final stretch!! Wishing you and your family years of beautiful memories.

  5. It looks so amazing!!!! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that you posted a picture of the basement walls going up. I’m excited to see the finished product!

  6. thank you for sharing, it looks beautiful! we are at a similar stage with our home build and i find all the finishing details all consuming as well – it’s a lot to think about! and it’s scary to have to make so many big decisions that feel so permanent. as our one bedroom apartment with a toddler is feeling smaller and smaller, i find myself growing impatient to move. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the process 🙂

    1. Oh I am so glad this helped you. It is really hard. Waiting to begin and sitting right there in that in-between. Hang in there and don’t feel too overwhelmed. I look at our house as just the beginning of things. As much as I want it to be complete in every way when we move in we left some decisions open so we could make them after spending time in it for a while.

  7. IT’s looking so gorgeous. I’m inspired by this project. The more I see this the more I Feel like if I’m ever gonna get my dream home, it’s going to have to be built. I’m excited for it to be done!