We’ve Got Paint and a Front Yard

Things are really coming together quickly on the house. Here’s an updated time lapse video.

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This is the latest shot from earlier this evening.


Another House Time Lapse

Hopefully this time lapse of house construction from November to March won’t make you as sick as the first one did.

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As of today we’ve got drywall!

The “Super-Duper What the Heck is Going On” Post

I always feel like I’m apologizing for not updating this thing enough every time I post. This is probably my most delinquent post of this entire blog. A LOT has been happening here the past couple months that I have failed to keep all of you loyal readers informed about. I’ll try and cover the past couple months, but I’m apt to leave something out because my memory isn’t that good. If I had posted details shortly after these events happened, I wouldn’t have that problem… but there wouldn’t be a mile-long super-duper post then either.

Sometime around the beginning of February, we decided to take a trip out to Biosphere 2 (Biosphere 1 is the real earth… see we learned something), which is north of Tucson. This is the very same Biosphere that a team of scientists lived in for a full year in the early 90’s. Apparently it has changed hands a few times since then and is now run by The University of Arizona. Unfortunately, with those changes it has become a little bit run down. I guess they’re trying to fix things up though. The tour was interesting, and we had a good time walking through a little part of history. Photos->

Cindy Visits Arizona
Around mid-February, Jess’s mom came out to visit us for a long weekend. We explored the city a bit with her. She had spent some time here a while back for her work, and I think she enjoyed seeing her old stomping grounds again. We took a trip to campus, and wandered around there for a day. We also took a trip out to Sabino Canyon to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was one of the first really nice weekends here and WAY better weather than she had come from in Iowa. Unfortunately I was a little bit under the weather while she was here, so didn’t get to enjoy as much as everyone else. She and Jess went shopping on Monday (Jess had the day off) while I tried to sleep off the black death. Photos->

Fred and Kathy Visit Arizona
Not too long after we drop one parent off at the airport, two more show up. My parents arrived the day after Jess’s mom left. They spent the week here, so we explored Tucson a bit more. We took another trip to campus and visited the Arizona State Museum, and were able to get a private showing of some Ansel Adams original photographs that are housed at the U of A. Then we had tickets to a lovely rendition of The Lone Ranger at the Tucson Gaslight Theater. Over the weekend, we drove up the Casa Grande to see Brian. That visit included my mom’s first trip to IKEA. Back in Tucson the next day, we tried out my new boiler with a shrimp boil at Nancy and Robert’s house (I loves me them shrimp boils!). The day after that, we took a trip to Colossal Cave on the East side of Tucson. It was a nice tour through a pretty large cave… with your standard stalactites and stalagmites and guano. That night, Brian came back to Tucson for a farewell dinner before their trip back to Iowa the next day. Photos->

Odds and Ends
I spent last week in Austin, TX for a conference (SXSW Interactive). It is a great conference! I was able to meet up with an old coworker from Iowa, and a few other people that I met at last year’s conference.

The house is coming along nicely. I need to get some new photos up (maybe improve on the time lapse). We had our pre-drywall walk-through last Thursday. Things are really coming together quickly. At that meeting, we worked out where all the wiring was located and made sure everything was correct. We had a bit of an issue with the ethernet wiring, but I think that was pretty non-standard for our builders so it took a little more clarification. Today when I drove by, they had insulation up in the walls, which really makes things feel more done. The walls finally look like walls, and you can’t see from one end of the house all the way through to the other any more. Once they start putting up the drywall, they told us they’d be able to give us a completion day. We are really excited to finally get into the house (if you couldn’t tell). It sounds like if things go according to plan, we’ll be in by the end of May or in early June.

House Time Lapse

Our house construction from Nov to Feb.

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(sorry about the jerkiness, I tried to line up the actual house images.)

Turkey, Cake, and a Roof Over Our Heads

our lotAgain, sorry for the long delay between posts (we’ll try to be better about this in the future!), but it has been a busy month for us. We’ve been slowly looking for a way out of our apartment since we arrived in AZ. It isn’t bad, but it is just a little too small and a little too old for us. So we’ve been hitting up open houses here and there when we’ve seen them in the paper, but that has been pretty hit or miss. I got Jess a “House Buying for Dummies” book for her birthday, and a few weeks back we got ourselves a realtor and jumped into the house hunt for real. She took us around looking at various houses the last few Saturdays for several hours. We saw a bunch of nice places and narrowed it down to a few (one of our favorites had a pool!). Then it came time to make a decision. We had it narrowed down to three places. One was the pool house that wouldn’t need too much work – just some repainting (their color choices were very interesting to say the least). But other than that, the house was great! The next one would need new carpet, and probably new flooring in the kitchens and bathrooms (the bathroom had carpet!), but the price was lower, so we would have been able to do that ourselves. We really liked the layout in that house. Then the third house on our list didn’t quite exist yet. It was new construction. The housing development was in a great area. It was closer for me to get to work, and really close for Jess to get to work (she could probably ride her bike if she wanted). It was a little more expensive, but since it is new construction we’d get to pick out everything ourselves and not have anyone in the house before us. After weighing our options, we decided that a little bit higher price tag was worth it for the new construction, plus the location was the best out of the three houses we liked. So, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we signed all the papers and put down some money to get the ball rolling (or rather the cement truck rolling) on a new house. We made some choices, and picked out some options that night along with our lot, so in 6-8 months we’ll have a new house! This past Saturday, we went to the design studio to chose our carpet, tile, cabinets, counters, and window coverings. This coming Saturday, we pick the rest out (paint colors, wiring, appliances, etc.). We’re really excited about the whole process and can’t wait to move again (never thought you’d hear me say that did you?!?). I’ve included some photos in the gallery of the model house based on our floor plan, and our lot (pile of dirt).

thanksgivingIn other news, we enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving holiday… twice. On Wednesday night, we took a trip to Phoenix and spent Thanksgiving with my grandma and grandpa-in-law (:-)). Grandma Jean cooked a wonderful meal for us and sent lots of leftovers home (which I have been enjoying pretty much non-stop since Thanksgiving!). We drove back to Tucson on Thursday afternoon since Jess (to her dismay) had to go to work on Friday. I went out and fought the Black Friday crowds to do a bit of Christmas shopping while she was at work. Then, after Jess got home from work, we celebrated National Cake Day (my family’s made-up holiday). This was Jess’s first National Cake Day, which entails going out and buying the biggest frosting-est cake you can find the day after Thanksgiving. My dad made up the holiday a few years back with the justification that everyone eats pie on Thanksgiving, making the day after, National Cake Day. Give it a few years, I guarantee everyone will be celebrating this holiday! Then Saturday night we went over the Uncle Robert and Aunt Nancy’s for Thanksgiving number two. Their house was full of family and friends while we enjoyed our second turkey of the week. I love turkey, and would have no problem eating it every day if given the chance (actually, I have been eating it every day). It was nice to see everyone, and meet a bunch of new people. We’ve got photos of both Thanksgiving celebrations with National Cake Day sandwiched in the middle up in the gallery.