Monday, October 15, 2018

an autumn photoshoot

I love autumn, bunnies, and taking photos, so of course I'm going to have a fall themed bunny photoshoot! ;) our last 2 rabbits, Albie and Finn, both had fun fall photos, but Luna hadn't had the pleasure of a fall themed photoshoot yet since last year was the first true fall that she spent with us and grad school had me crazy busy - we didn't even buy one pumpkin! so this year we made up for that and i think the photos came out adorably!

some of my autumn favorites include: small white pumpkins, funky shaped/colored pumpkins, cotton stalks, cozy blankets, hiking, chai tea lattes, crisp weather, wearing sweaters & scarves, leggings & boots, colorful leaves, LESS BUGS OUTSIDE, fresh apple cider, going to the pumpkin patch, cornmazes, funky looking gourds, day trips to the mountains ---- basically all the good things about life happen in the autumn ;)

what is your most favorite autumn tradition?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

when your blog friends come to town...

this photo (and some below) by A Hopeful Hood

it all started with a facebook comment about java chip frappachino's. I mean, if we're honest, don't all good ideas start that way?! the next thing we knew, Stephanie, Susannah, Julie, and I were planning a girls trip to meet up and hang out! we live almost literally in 3 corners of the US, so it was fun to all be in the same place for a weekend! they were all gracious enough to come to my state since i couldn't get that many days off of work, and we had a 3 day weekend together! 

we figured out what dates would work for us and rented a nice airbnb to stay at! (if you are new to Airbnb, use MY LINK to sign up and get $40 off your first stay!) I met Julie (briefly) last year when my husband and I went to Philadelphia, but I hadn't met Stephanie or Susannah in person yet! it's so cool how the internet can bring people who live far away together, and it wasn't weird meeting them in person because i feel like i knew so much about them from reading their blogs/instagrams/texting with them these past few years!

we had such a fun time going to the mountains, getting coffee, going to the apple orchard, killing spiders, running from wasps, walking downtown, taking photos, grocery shopping, cooking meals, thrifting, and having deep conversations about life and God. we really packed a lot into 3 days together and it was so fun just hanging out in real life! all of them were just as nice and funny in person, as they are on their blogs! i'm so glad we got to do this weekend because it was much needed and i'm already looking forward to our next trip! ;)

check out Julie's post about our trip where she shares 6 tips for a budget friendly fall vacation!

what is your ideal group vacation?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

the house of black | a timeline so far

before we started the process of building a house, we had no idea all of the things that went into it up front! we have already done a lot of work to get this process started, and we haven't even broken ground yet! I want to remember all the little details that have gone into this process because there are a lot!

I'm calling our house The House of Black because I can't resist a Harry Potter reference! I'm planning on doing batch update posts on our progress as we build our house, because it will be fun to look back on all the steps along the way once we are settled into our house down the road! 

our timeline thus far:
June 7-ish: started talking about the possibly of buying land/building a home
June 8-20: did a lot of research about building a house, buying land, setting up an address, water/sewer/electric hookup, and loans/mortgages
June 20: met w/ bank to find out about construction loans
June 21: met w/ a building company to find out about their homes
June 22: walked through a home being built by this company
June 24: walked through another home being built by this company
June 27: met w/ an independent builder
June 28: had surveyor come out to survey land
July 12: walked through a house being built by the independent builder
August 2: got our land plat from surveyor and it was officially filed w/ the county
August 13: met w/ builder again to firm up details and discuss costs
August 15: papers for land signed w/ the lawyer
August 18: officially received the title to our land and became land owners!
September 12: met w/ bank to start application for a construction loan
September 14: called the county to start the process of getting an address set up
September 18: got an official address & met w/ builder to decide on final plans
September 19: got our official blueprints for our house!

it has been hard to schedule some of these meetings because my work schedule has been all over the place, so it has taken us a little bit longer to get started... but we needed to allow time for me to get some paychecks from my new job to establish work history before we started an application with the bank. so it is all coming together now, and we are waiting on just a few final documents to submit to the bank to complete our application! once our application is complete, it will take about 45 days to receive final approval for our loan and we will close on it! then the tangible work can begin!

next steps:
o1: get DHEC to do a perc test
o2: get final pricing for house (2-3 weeks)
o3: submit all final documents to bank to complete application
o2: have appraisal done
o3: meet w/ lawyer for closing (45 days from submitting the application to closing)
o4: meet w/ builder to start the building process! (including building permit, grading, clearing, water hookup, framing etc)

and now we are in a time of waiting. it will be another few months until we can officially start clearing the land since we have to wait a few weeks on each of these last few steps for approval. since we have been nomadic during my grad school journey, it feels like we've been waiting to have our own house again for years already. it is hard to wait because we are anxious to have our own home again. but we also want to enjoy all of the steps that come with building our home! 

I think once we have final approval from the bank and we actually start clearing trees and grading, it will feel a lot more real! once we actually start the foundation and framing, the waiting will be more fun, because we will be able to see tangible progress on our land and house! plus, it will be fun to see the house every step along the way to being completed!

I honestly didn't think I would be 30 and not be living in our own home. but I also didn't think I would go to grad school at 28 either. sometimes things don't turn out the way we originally picture it, but it often turns out better. (mainly because God's plans and timing are better than mine!) like for instance, I never dreamed we would be able to build our own home, yet here we are! 

but for now, we wait! for the bank to officially say we can financially do this, for the grading and building to start, for our dreams to get a little closer to fruition. all the waiting will just make our first night in a house that is 100% our space all the more sweet! ;)