Sunday, May 24, 2015

Building a House: Week 3

We have a mostly framed house now. Things are running smoothly so far. It seems to be moving quickly, but everyone says that it moves slow once the outside is done.

Carter loves going to the house and running around. Here she is standing in the living room. I am standing hear the kitchen island. Perfect view into the living room.

The house from the front. So excited for Carter to have a big yard to play in.

The view from the 4th bedroom. Soon there will be actual walls here!

It is starting to feel like a real house now and I am getting anxious to decorate and get furniture. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Building a House: Week 2

After a week basically non-stop rain, our concrete slab has been poured. They actually did it in the rain which had Chris freaked out, but it worked out. 

Next Step: Framing. 

The superintendent told us the house will be done in 90 days. That ends up being August 13, or the day we go back to work for the next school year. So hopefully it won't be any later. 

This is looking from the garage to the other side of the house. 

This is standing in the master bedroom.

This is Carter standing where the master bath will be. She is adorable in her ponytail and flip flops, which she just loves. 

Next week, it should all be framed up!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Building a House: Week 1

Here is week 1 of house building. It seems like they made a lot of progress this past week and the next step is to poor the concrete.

Too bad it is supposed to rain for the next two weeks. 

But its started. We will be in a new house this year!

We had an issue figuring out our electricity. We live in a regulated area and Montgomery only has two electric companies and our house is right on the line that divides their two territories. One company didn't want to give us electricity because they didn't want to get sued (even though their pole was across the street). The other's closet pole was across the railroad tracks and it would take 6 months and several thousand dollars to get that approved. 

The second company eventually released us as a customer and we won't have to pay thousands of dollars to get electricity.

Just one of the problems I didn't imagine would come up in house building. It won't be the last. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


This is probably the hardest part in the home building process...waiting for everything to start. We are waiting for everything with the loan to be finalized. We were told it would take about 2 months and we are halfway through that time. It will be a bittersweet moment when we finally close because then we can start the actual house building but it will also mean we have to say goodbye to a big chunk of our savings.

In the meantime, the builder has been out to the property to do a soil test, we have an address, and we decided where we want the front of the house to be.

 Here is Miss Carter staking out where she thinks the house should be.

And here is a panoramic of our acre. The house will face towards the street on the left. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Colors

Chris played around with photoshop a bit and redid the colors on the house we saw last week. We are not finished choosing colors, but we have chosen a gray siding, red door, white trim and white shutters. So this gives us an idea of what it will look like.

Monday, January 5, 2015

We Are Building!

We looked for a house for a few months. The area is really growing and although we found a few houses we were ready to put offers on, they were pending days (sometimes hours) within being put on the market. It was a frustrating experience but then Chris's grandpa offered us an acre of land and then building became an option. 

It took a few months of talking to 5 different builders before settling on one. A week ago we signed a contract to build and we should be ready to move in this summer. 

We are excited for this next step in our lives and can't wait to move in, decorate, and make it our home!

It is a 1 story, 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house. We decided to do 4 bedroom instead of 3 because the plan is to say here for a while. 

The builder is building another house with the same floor plan but three bedrooms about 1 1/2 hours away from us that we went to see last week. So this is similar to what ours will look like:

And then this is my favorite part. The kitchen. It has lots of cabinets and it opens right into the living room.

This is more similar to what ours will look look with the wall oven and the island at one level instead of part of it raised. 

I am going to try to continue to blog about this. I have been obsessed with reading other blogs where people are building houses. If anyone knows of one, let me know!

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Goals

1. Move into our new house!
2. Graduate from Grad School!
3. Host a Christmas Party in our new house. (Hosting stresses me out so it will take me a year to plan this thing.)
4. Read the Book of Mormon twice.
5. Expand my Teachers pay Teachers store.
6. Read 30 books.
7. Go on a vacation. Chris wants Europe, I am fine with anywhere not in Texas.

And as always, spend time with this little girl. That's not really hard to do.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Accomplishments

This was the most stressful year of my life. I went back to work after maternity, was enrolled in grad schools classes all year long and had to balance home, work, church and personal stuff all at once. But I am proud of what I was able to accomplish this year.

1. Got a 4.0 in all my grad school classes. (6 of them)
2. Lost 10 pounds. Back to Pre-Pregnancy weight.
3. Got a new job that pays more.
4. Signed a contract to build a house. After 7 months of praying, thinking, talking...we finally did it two days ago.
5. Read 26 books.
6. I survived without any major breakdown. I did not think I was going to see the end of this last
semester, and I have celebrated by doing absolutely nothing work/school related the last 2 weeks.
7. The most important part of my year was when I got to spend time with my little family. Chris and Carter make everything better.

I expect 2015 to be a completely different year than 2014 but it is going to be a good year for the Stowe Family.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Books Read

I didn't do this last year, because I didn't not realize how much time a baby and grad school would take up so I didn't read many books. This year, I set a goal of 25 and I read 26. 

Here are the books I read in 2014 in reverse order. 

The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith (really J.K. Rowling)
The Song of Quarkbeast, Jasper Fforde**
The Abundance of Katherines, John Green
Death of a Maid, M.C. Beaton
A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett**
I Shall Wear Midnight,  Terry Pratchett**
The One, Kiera Cass
Wedding Night, Sophie Kinsella
Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett**
The Bride Wore Size 12, Meg Cabot
Nation, Terry Pratchett
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, Rob Thomas 
The Elite, Kiera Cass
The Woodcutter, Kate Danley**
The Selection, Kiera Cass
Under the Dome, Stephen King
Reached, Ally Condie
Promised, Caragh M. O'Brien
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman**
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, J Abner Peddiwell
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak**
Cultural Politics and Education, Michael W Apple
As Texas Goes, Gail Collins
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

** Books I recommend because they were good and there was no language that I can remember. 

I read a lot of Terry Pratchett this year. The series I read by him was the Tiffany Aching series and I loved it. It started with The Wee Free Men which I read last year. I would recommend all 4 books to anyone. I loved them. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life in July

I like keeping a blog. But with everything on my plate, it isn't near the top of my priority list. And since Carter has been born, I have been really good at sticking to my priority list. It is necessary in order for me to do everything.

One quick blurb about my life for the next 10 months, and then onto Carter.

I will be:
  • starting a new job in a new district, teaching a new subject and a new grade (6th grade math)
  • Enrolled in 3 grad school classes this fall (I've only been doing 2)
  • working on my capstone research project in addition to the 3 classes
  • building a house and hopefully have it done by April
  • sticking to a very strict budget, which means more cooking and less eating out!
I think I got it all. I keep dreaming for the day in May where I have graduated, have my Master's, am moved into the new house, and am done with the school year. I can do so much with my time! Scrapbooking! Reading! Crafting! Blogging! Sleeping! I'll have so much time, I won't know what to do with all of it. 

Now Carter. Our almost 9 month old! EEK!

I can't imagine life without her. She is absolutely the best thing we have every made. My favorite thing about her is how she can get anyone to smile. I can't count how many times I'll look at her in a public place and she is just smiling away at a person until they smile back at her. 

Here are pictures from the last month. 

She doesn't like it when we close doors on her. She wants to explore everywhere and not be restricted in any way. That is a flashlight in her hand. She doesn't seem to like normal toys. She'll carry around socks, a piece of cardboard, a metal container, tupperware lids, and spoons. 

Charleah and I were talking about how our babies don't seem to just fall asleep in random places. They definitely have to be force to go to sleep. Then the next day Carter fell asleep like this. 

We went to Austin last week. This is the only picture I got of the three of us. It is at a graffiti wall. It was also before Carter busted her nose at the hotel. 

Carter busted her nose at the hotel about 20 minutes after we checked in. Part of the bed frame was broken and sticking out hiding underneath the bed skirt. She tried to pull herself up on it and fell, resulting in a lot of blood. Chris first reaction "She is going to need stitches" I felt so sick about it. I am not the best around blood from other people.  She cried for about 3 minutes and then was fine. Until the doctor tried to clean it and she had to be held still in order to do everything. Do not tell this girl she can't do something. Luckily, the doctor just put some "medical grade super glue" on it. It already looks so much better.