Sidenote: (and is it still a sidenote if it's BEFORE the actual post?) As several people have pointed out, no, the girls did not wear the winning outfits from their back-to-school online poll. Two reasons: 1. It was hotter than Hades on the first day of school, making jeans/leggings a bad choice. 2. They are ungrateful little wretches.
I've had a lot of questions about what exactly it is we're doing in this renovation, so today I'm giving you The Big Picture.
The reason behind our renovation is that our current house is wee. We bought a 1960's ranch (1150 square feet of cramped, dated ugliness) set smack in the middle of a beautiful lot. Truly we bought the stand of sugar maples, the brook, the woods out back, the huge expanse of gently rolling green lawn, and this damn ugly little ranch house happened to come with it. Purely as a bonus, the ugly little house provided us with adequate shelter from the snow.
It has one bathroom. ONE.
We finished a 500 sq. foot family room in the basement that first winter. It gave the kids a big space to play in the winter and kept the bazillions of Polly Pocket and Bratz accessories out of the upstairs living room. It helped. Just not enough. (ONE bathroom, did I mention that?).
This spring, with interest rates plummeting and one child nearing teenage years (read: requiring lots of bathroom mirror time), we finally decided the time was ripe to remodel. Here's what we're doing:
1. Building an 800 sq. foot addition (with a full basement beneath) out the back of the current house. It will have a master suite with a bathroom (MINE, MINE, ALL MINE, and occasionally Tom's, but only if he's nice to me) and walk-in closet, and two bedrooms for the kids.
2. In the current house, we will rip out the walls that separate the kids' current bedrooms from the living area, giving us one huge great room. We're also eighty-sixing the bizarre little wall with weirdo sixties posts built into it that divides the dining area from the living area because I find it personally offensive.
3. Move the basement stairs from the kitchen to the back wall of the house, giving us greater square footage in the kitchen. In the newly created kitchen space, build a pantry. Because I'm guessing, and tell me if I'm wrong here, that most people don't have to have boxes of cereal, boxes of crackers, etc. sitting all over their counters and atop the fridge.
4. Tear down the lean-to woodshed (which, frankly, houses more varmints than wood) from the back of the garage. That woodshed currently comprises the entirety of the view from Bear's new bedroom window. Not. Pretty.
5. Rip out the cheapo wall-to-wall carpet we had put in when we first moved here, and have bamboo flooring laid. (This is the part I'm probably most excited about!).
6. Buy all new furniture of my choosing....no, not really. Sigh. Actually we're planning to be poor after the remodel, so we'll probably be bringing in hay bales to sit on. Or I guess we can just squat around on the new bamboo floors.
Nevertheless, we are all very excited:
(Bug showing off her new closet).