Sunday, August 31, 2008

No Shoes Allowed

In between marathon shopping sessions yesterday, we managed to get out to the house for the first time since last Monday. Normally we would have visited mid-week but we knew not much was going on so we held ourselves back until the weekend.

The driveway and front steps were poured some time during the week. It has really helped to 'finish' the look of the house and we can't wait to see the yard sodded too. We are very pleased with our lot choice and the way the whole outside turned out.

You can't really tell in the pictures but the gutters were added this week too.

The garage doors still need to be painted but the facade is mostly done. It will be power-washed some time in the next few weeks.

The carpenters were just finishing up as we arrived. Ray (the next door neighbor) said they'd been there late into Friday night and back at it early Saturday morning. Now that all the flooring is done, everyone who comes in has to leave their shoes at the door so they don't scratch the floor or muddy the carpet. Needless to say, our feet were filthy by the time we left.

We are thrilled with how well everything matches. It is so hard to tell from those crazy little squares at the design center. We thought we'd done a good job, but we just weren't sure how it would turn out.

The living room/dining room area.

The laminate floors are all uncovered now, so we got to see the full effect for the first time. Love it! We also measured all 25 windows and the sliding glass door so that we can order the blinds soon.

The flooring in the bathrooms is also uncovered and we have running water.

Master bedroom just waiting for that nice new furniture!! All of the shelving has been installed in the closets too. Nate is finally going to have his own space in the master closet (at least for now!).

Only 30 more days until we are officially home owners!

The Cost of Saving Money

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love, love, LOVE to shop. Well, ladies and gentlemen, mark this day in history because I, Sara Carrington, am officially tired of shopping.

I have spent the last several weeks thoroughly researching the various big ticket items we need for the house - refrigerators, blinds, home owner's insurance, mattresses, etc. The Shopper in me was totally jazzed at the thought of new furniture and decorating the house. But the Saver in me dragged that Shopper right down in the mud and beat the enjoyment right out of her! I just could not stand the idea that I might be paying a penny more than absolutely necessary, so I shopped, shopped, shopped until that Saver was ready to drop. By the time this weekend came and we were ready to make some of our purchases, I was just ready for the shopping to be over!

Yesterday we marked four big things off the list - home owner's insurance (thanks to Dad's advice), the fridge (thanks to Grandpa's Consumer Reports), the mattress and new bedroom furniture.

We rolled up to HH Gregg all ready to buy our black refrigerator, meticulously researched and $300 less than anywhere else. And then we saw the same fridge in Titanium. And we were basically three steps back, not quite at square one, but certainly thrown back into debate. The titanium fridge is sharp looking and doesn't show finger prints as much as the smooth black finish does. But all the appliances in the kitchen are black and we just weren't sure it would mesh well. So we decided to hold off on the purchase until we had a chance to go look at the kitchen again and give it some thought.

Next stop was Haverty's Furniture to buy the bedroom of my dreams. I am really bad about getting a vision in my head and then trying to hunt down my 'dream' item back in reality. After weeks of visiting every furniture store in Indy, I found exactly what I had been looking for at Haverty's. I took Nate to see it last weekend and after thinking about it for a week, we decided to pull the trigger during their Labor Day sale.

After five years of sharing a queen we decided to upgrade to a king. The master bedroom is huge and really needs a big piece of furniture to anchor it anyway. This of course meant that we had to mattress shop too. We hit several stores last weekend and were overwhelmed by all of the choices - pillow top, Euro top, soft, firm, medium firm, Serta, Simmons, Sealy. YIKES! After several fruitless stops we decided we'd just buy the exact same mattress we've had for five years, only bigger. Back at home, I hop on the trusty internet and guess what? They don't make it anymore! So much for that plan. Further internet research proved only more frustrating as there are thousands of mattress options and a bad review for every good review out there. We eventually decided just to work with what Haverty's offered and hope for the best. And somehow, we ended up with (what we think will be) the best! After about three minutes testing mattresses, I spotted a king size Serta by Vera Wang on clearance for $600 less than retail which just happened to be at the top of our price range! It's about two levels above what we thought we'd be getting, so my faith in bargain shopping was slightly restored. What an incredible score!!

So two hours later and slightly poorer, we headed out to the house to check out the kitchen situation. Unfortunately the appliances aren't in yet, but Cameron happened to be showing the house while we were there (it's very popular lately!) and we mentioned our dilemma. He said he has all black appliances and a titanium fridge himself and it looks just fine. Once we heard that, we both felt good with it and back to HH Gregg we went to purchase this awesome LG fridge in Titanium.

All in all, it was a slightly stressful but very productive day. I am glad to be able to mark these big ticket items off my list. I will take a break from the internet hunt for a few days and give the Shopper in me some time to recover from the beating the Saver put on her!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let the official countdown begin

We had our mid-construction walk through with Cameron and Parke at the house today. Just like our pre-construction walk through, this one was a few weeks late and therefore much less interesting than it probably would have been. The driveway will be poured some time this week, as long as the weather stays nice. They also have some stripping to do around the brick and then the gutter installation. They have completed the first dry wall touch up and the painters will be coming back this week to roll the whole house again. After that is done, the carpet guys will come in over the weekend to lay the carpet. Then next week will just be finishing touches, shelving and doorknobs and little things like that. The whole house will basically be done by the end of next week!! Then there will be about three weeks of inspections on everything again - another drywall inspection (and painting, if necessary), HVAC and plumbing, doors and cabinets, etc.

Our pre-closing inspection is scheduled for Wednesday, September 24 and then the closing on Wednesday, October 1. We are so close!! It's hard to believe we will be in our first house in less than six weeks!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I told you so

Don't you just love being right? On the way out to the house last night, I mentioned that I hoped the house wouldn't be locked when we got there. With all the fixtures going in, we knew they would start locking it up soon. Nate was certain that we would have no problem, because the house down the street is two weeks ahead of us and it wasn't locked last week (we might have snuck in one night to take a look around!). So what happens when we roll up and try the front door? Totally LOCKED!!! Nate thought I was just messing around, but sure enough, the front door was locked. Told you so.

As much as I love being right, I'm not really sure why they locked the door since we just pulled up the garage door and walked right in. Once again, there were a ton of changes in just a few days time.

The outside of the house itself is basically done. The siding, shutters and carriage lights all went on this week. It turned out even better than we expected! It looks awesome when you turn the corner and see it sitting at the end of the cul-de-sac. I can't wait to see it with a driveway and lawn.

I think we made a good choice on the musket shutters with this brick. The door will eventually be musket brown too.

I am not a big fan of these gold carriage lights. We will be replacing these as soon as I found better ones!

The doorbell is installed and working. Nate hates when I make him take pictures like this. Just one more reason to take pictures like this! LOL

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that we now have power!! You can actually flip a light switch and have the lights turn on now. This is a very good thing since the days are getting shorter and we seem to be getting out there later and later each week.

The can lights, chandeliers and other light fixtures are installed all through the house. Nate went through every room with can lights and admired his lights.

A few other highlights from our visit: the powder bathroom fixtures were installed, the laundry room sink and kitchen sink were installed and the trim has been primed for painting. There are more pics of our visit posted on flickr.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

With.Much.Love for the Colts

On Saturday we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to tour the Indianapolis Colts' new football stadium, courtesy of our friends Buster and Weez. The stadium officially opened yesterday morning and there were free tours all day for the 80,000 people who were lucky enough to score the free tickets.

The stadium is ridiculously huge, but the architecture makes it pretty impressive to look at.

All of the street level concourses were open to the public. Each of the main entrances is sponsored by a different company (Sprint, HH Gregg, Chevy, etc) and is themed out accordingly with stuff like race cars suspended from the ceiling or a huge football helmet made out of television screens.

The seats are well-padded and comfortable and I don't think there will be a bad seat in the house.

Weez, Buster and Nate enjoy the view.

Buster body checks Nate on the sideline.

We were allowed to go all the way down onto the field in the end zones.

Hopefully the Colts will spend a lot of time in these end zones!!

The Colts locker room was closed to the public but we got to walk through the visitors locker room which is similar, but not as nice.

I guess they didn't want stalkers hiding in Peyton Manning's locker. (What? Who me? Never!)

If we weren't pumped for football season before, we certainly are now! Nate, lucky dog, got invited to the first game in the new stadium, against the Bills next Sunday. I am green (or maybe blue) with envy!

Trimmed out

We hadn't planned to visit the house again until after church on Sunday, but Friday night came and we just couldn't wait anymore. It had only been two days but were eager to see the progress they'd made on Thursday and Friday.

They have almost finished trimming out the whole house. The baseboards, door frames, doors and crown molding are up in every room except the loft (which is about half done). They still have to putty all of the little nail holes which I'm sure is a full day's work in itself; there is a LOT of trim in this house!

The trim in the foyer includes a chair rail and decorative panels.

The living room and dining room door cases are done, too.

This is from the foyer looking up at the crown molding in the loft.

All of the hardwood floor is down. I made Nate pull up a little corner of the paper so we could take a peek.

The cabinets and counter tops in the kitchen are done. The cabinet space in here is amazing; I don't think I have enough kitchen gadgets to fill it (yet!). We aren't sure what happened to the island counter top. It was sitting in the family room on Wednesday but it wasn't installed on our Friday visit and it wasn't in the family room either.

The master bathroom also had a little face lift this week. The faux marble around the tub and in the shower has been put in.

Once again our insane work schedules have prevented us from having a scheduled walk through with Cameron and Park. I have a work trip (yuck) to Texas (double yuck) the beginning of this week and Nate has a big meeting the last half of the week, so we had to delay our mid-construction walk through for another week. I am super bummed about this because we are supposed to find out exactly when the house will be done. I was waiting on pins and needles all week to finally know, and now I have to wait another whole week!

The Way We Were

Along with the vacation pics, Shelton and Liz sent a few pics from our college days. It's hard to believe that it's been five years since we graduated. The pics made me a little nostalgic for our college days.

This was Bond Night in November of senior year. We all dressed up as James Bond characters and went to see the latest Bond movie on opening weekend.

'Bond' and his Bond Girls.

This was the night after Nate and I got engaged. We went out with nearly every one of our friends that night and we couldn't tell a soul that we were engaged because my candlelight wasn't until the following night. It was one of the longest nights of my life!

The boys as various Bond characters.

Nate and Shelton enjoy their martinis shaken, not stirred.

Hope you Erskine kids enjoy the walk down memory lane! I think the whole Bond weekend was one of my favorite weekends ever. What was your favorite Erskine memory?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Vacation Pics

Shelton and Liz sent us a CD of their pictures from Jamaica. Aside from all the fun that we had, this is a great reason to travel with another couple - now we actually have pictures of me on vacation! I only appeared in about three of my own vacation pics. Here is proof positive that I had a fantastic time in Jamaica.

On our way to the resort. Can you tell we're happy to be on vacation?


Enjoying a night at the martini bar.

Liz and I both confessed to way over-packing for the trip, so how is it that we end up wearing the exact same color on the exact same night?

They caught this sweet picture of us waiting on them before dinner. Aw.

The rest of the pics are posted on Flickr. Thanks for sharing your pics, Shelton and Liz! We miss you guys!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christmas in August

We took a drive out to the house last night to check out this week's progress. I knew they were doing a lot of work but I was overwhelmed at how much had been done in just three days. Everywhere we looked there was something new. Look, more brick! Look,
actual doors! Look, wood floors! Look, a fireplace mantel! It was like Christmas in August. I was practically giddy!

The brick is done. The neighbors said it was three long days of the fastest brick-laying they've ever seen - it's just a TON of brick!

This was the first time we have ever seen the garage doors pulled down. We actually walked in through the front door for the first time. The garage was full of door frame material (it was too dark to get a picture but there was a lot of it!). The electrical for the carriage lights is pulled out and ready for the lamps to be put in.

They are about half way through installing our beautiful cabinets. You can't really see it very well but they have also laid the floor in the foyer, living room, dining room and kitchen. It is all covered up with packaging paper to keep it nice. If you look very hard you can kind of see it around the edges of the cabinet. I was a little concerned about how the cabinets and the floor would work together but I think that I am going to like it.

The rest of the kitchen cabinets waiting for installation.

I'm dreaming of a cozy winter night with a good book and a dog in my lap. :)
(And that's the kitchen island counter top propped against the wall.)

They are maybe two thirds done with the door frames and doors. This is the pantry door in the kitchen and the door on the right, further back, is the coat closet. Just past that coat closet door is the door to the garage.

The banisters are installed on the stairway and around the loft (this is the loft). They will be painted all white.

There are a mess of bricks sitting in the front yard and I made Nate put five of them in the trunk of my car. I would have taken more but Nate was being most uncooperative. He didn't understand why we needed more than one. You just never know when you might need an extra brick!

As always, these are just the highlights. Check out the rest of yesterday's pics at

The Little Wife


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

My friend Becca posted this funny test yesterday. Surprisingly, I scored pretty decently as a 1930's housewife. I think my cheerful morning disposition must have scored me some extra points because I definitely do not dust or clean or do anything remotely housewifely on a regular basis!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's a brick house!

The brick laying crew worked a twelve hour day Saturday and they are still only about half way done! Man that's a lot of brick! We are very pleased with the color though. It seems a little more brown than we expected but I think when they put the siding on this week the red will come out a little bit more.

The painter started on Friday. When we visited Sunday, only the loft and the master suite weren't painted. The ceiling was plastered sometime in the last week, too. I am not quite sure why they do the ceiling first and then spray paint the walls, because there is Mushroom Cap paint all over the beautiful white ceiling! But seeing as how they do this every day, I will trust that they know what they are doing. :)

We also got to spend a little more time with the neighbors to our left, Ray and Renee. Ray was out grilling hamburgers when we pulled up on Sunday. We told him we had just come from the late service at White River Christian Church (where they attend) and thanked him for the recommendation. He mentioned that they were going to be starting a Small Group in the neighborhood if we were interested in attending. So we went inside for a few minutes to trade phone numbers and they also took us on a tour of the house (the same floor plan as ours). This was the first time we have actually seen a completed Georgetown and we left even more excited than we were before! Not only do we get a beautiful house but we couldn't have picked nicer neighbors.
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