Monday, May 27, 2013

A Return to Paradise

May 26 - Well, we thought that there was no real reason to return to the house until next week.  The workers would be off for the weekend and the lawn, painting, and cleaning would be taking place over the week.  What was there to see?  Well, our daughter was a little disappointed that she did not get a chance to see it and Bryan wanted to take another look at the house without being in the fog of a migraine.

First stop, the Dale City Farmer's Market.  We grabbed some much need nourishment to sustain us for the day.  Okay, so we went in search of fresh-made mini doughnuts and grabbed scones instead.  It was still good and because it was purchased at a local farmer's market that makes it healthy, right?

All of these fruits and vegetables are taking up precious baked goods and doughnut space.
Then, it was off to the old homestead.  There was a little bit of bickering in the back of the car on the way.  "Mom, he almost touched me!"  "Dad, she is breathing my air!"  Ah, the joys of parenthood.  However, we made it through with little incident and they did not choke one another.

We arrived at the model home to pick up the key.  Unfortunately, we were given the model key by mistake. This, of course, did not open our door.  So, we had to return to the model in the adjacent neighborhood and exchange it for the real key.  When we all were able to get out of the car we were surrounded by a wonderful sound that may drive most people crazy.  It was the sound of the cicadas.

Okay, so they did not go all killer bee on us, but the sound was still there.
We took off our shoes on the front porch, hoping they would not be filled with cicadas when we left, and entered the house.  Our daughter was very excited and that excitement instantly rubbed off on our son.  So, the adventure began again.  They were checking out all of the living space within moments of our entry.  What it must be like to be a kid again.....

Bryan was able to take some great photos and provide some updates about the progress that has occurred since The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly post on May 12. You may remember that Drew, our project manager, assured us that the issues would be fixed.  He was right.  Yes, there are still some issues, but Drew has blue tape everywhere for the third round of paint and drywall.  Take a look, updates are included when needed:

Our new carriage light.  Love the frosted/rain poured look.
Can you believe this little unit will cool this big house?
Poor little gas pipe awaits the gas company to get a move on and hook it up!
Cursed thumb!  Why must you always taunt me?  Well, there's a look at the miniature basement window with its miniature window well that will serve as our entrance for miniature people like trolls, leprechauns, and Tom Cruise.
Now, a look from the way, way back of the backyard.  It is a good way to see how flat the yard has become.
 After taking a look outside, it was time to enter the house and see what's happening.  No, not the show.  It is an American treasure.  Tell'em J. J. Walker!  Our house is....

Now, back to our regular scheduled program already in progress...

There's a look at our stairs.  Fix #5: All spindles/pickets have been painted and are without stain splatter.  Like white teeth in a great dentist video from 6th grade, these things look pearly white.
Fix #6: You may recall our fear about the trim.  It has been repaired like it was never there.  Kind of like the other host from American Idol's first season.  Whatever happened to that dude anyway?  Did Seacrest eat him?
We realized that we did not get a full picture of the kitchen last time.  Well,  here it is!  All bright and ready to go.  
A little peak inside of the mudroom.  Again, notice the blue tape that Drew has placed.  He is on top of it!
A look into our pantry.  There are all of the shelves awaiting all of our goodies.  
You may not be able to see what the issue was in this picture.  That is how good Drew is at spotting issues.  There were some little drag lines on the ceiling and it has been marked for repair.
Fix #7 (Almost):  If you remember the little gaps that were around the stairs, they have been repaired, but there was some splash over of paint or something.  Drew has it marked saying "Come on, guys. Keep the splash to yourselves."
Another look at the stair rails.  They are awfully shinny.  It is difficult to say if this has a glossier shine than Bryan's bald spot, but, if not, it is a close runner up.
And the little curve around the edge.  Something gives us the feeling that our son may use this as a race track for his Hot Wheels sometime....uh oh.
Can't you imagine sliding down these rails like one of those cliche High School movies or perhaps Home Alone?
Well, these are at the end of every corner.  That's why Hollywood films are full of it.  If our kids decide to slide down these we can cancel any long term plans we have about grandchildren.
There were a couple of issues with the stairs, but we are positive that Drew is on top of it.  Here is one spot where a nail decided to rear it's head.  
There were a few bubbles on top of the knob.  Again, it will be fixed without a doubt.
Fix #8: The stair platform is free of over staining.  Looks great.

Drew has pointed out a few issues that we could not see, but hey, he wants it perfect too!
Anyone suffering from vertigo yet?  Well, if not, press on?
Here's a look inside of the linen closet upstairs.
Bedroom #2: Sun, carpet, and fun.
Bedroom #1: Sunny and bright.  Just what the doctor ordered.
A look at the children's/guest bathroom and the guest bedroom.
Now, inside the guest bedroom.  Why do the guests get a view of the trees?  Dang them!
A look into the laundry room.  Shelving has been installed and it awaits the arrival of the washer and dryer.
A look at the little laundry nook.  This seems like a good hiding place during Hide and Seek.  Take note of that for rainy days.
A look into the Master Bedroom.  So peaceful and quiet.
Someone became a little overzealous with the drywall repair.  Maybe they were trying to kill a cicada? It has been marked for repair.  
Another look around the Master Bedroom.
Down the hall, second light to the left, and straight on until morning.
A look at the front door from a perch on the stairwell.  Doesn't it look nice?
Down into the powder room.  
A look at the vanity mirror and the pedestal sink.  Or is this the portal to chase the Goblin King?  Jareth are you there?  
We realized that we have not really captured a picture of the kitchen from all the way in the family room.  You didn't ask for it, but we are giving it to you anyway.  Enjoy it or else.
Okay, so just in case you did not enjoy it in the last picture, we moved over to the left to take another shot.  Did you enjoy this one more?
Okay, here's a shot from inside of the mud room.  You can see the island, the sliding glass door, and the windows for the family room.  
Another shot to give the dimensions of the family room.  There lies our fireplace in the center of the room awaiting winter to begin.
From the other side of the kitchen is a picture of the family room.  This looks like it will be a good place for the family to gather on family night.
Thought that we would get a shot from the perspective of a dinner plate.  What do you think?  Too artistic?  Should we make it sepia?
Our son was so impressed with the vents last time that we needed to get a close up shot of it this time.  The slots are just open enough for him to shove things like pens, crayons, and his sister's hair barrettes down there.
They were so tired of exploring that they wanted to take a little rest on the carpet of the reading room.
Look at that!  Sibling love still exists!  They give us their best smiles for the camera.
Once the inside tour was complete, we locked up the house and ventured outside again.  We wanted to take some pictures that were a little different than some of the others that we posted.  First, our kids really wanted to check the mail.  We imagine that this is perhaps one of the few times they will ever be excited to check the mail.  

Our son is checking for presents or perhaps a little brother.
Our daughter was so happy to raise the flag and wait for the mail to arrive.  "Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Postman.  Wa-a-ait, Mr. Postman."
 We also wanted to capture some pictures of the state of the neighborhood right now.

The two houses that will be ready to deliver one and two days before us.  Almost ready to go and waiting for the gas company just like us!
The opposite side of the neighborhood does not have much action yet.  Some of the lots have sold, but it looks like others will be moving soon enough.
The two houses down our side of the street are almost finished.  The model in the distance looks ready for visitors.  We may have to sneak a peek inside for our blogger friend, J and M, who likes to see the decorating and floor plans of various models.
Here is the look at the Pisa Torre next door.  One solo concrete worker was out there on this Saturday.
Here's a look at their siding.  It was a good pick.  
Here's a look directly across the street.  All open, but Drew says  the lot has been sold and construction will be underway soon enough.
When we were finished with the house and had returned the key, we ventured off for the rest of the activities of the day.  We needed to grab some lunch.  We tried VA BBQ.  The food was okay, but not great.  The best part of the experience was that our kids had so much fun with the pig statue outside.

Our daughter gives the pig a drink and our son searches for his...wait a minute!  What is our son doing here?
That pig is going to have to use the bathroom pretty soon.  Our son gives it a pig hug.
I guess the last pig hug was not big enough.
They switch places.  Our son gives him a drink while our daughter dreams about bacon.
We also took some time walking around the Fredericksburg Battlefield.  It was very fitting given that it was Memorial Day Weekend.  It was a nice day to take in some sunshine, fresh air, and history.  We enjoyed it, but unfortunately did not take many pictures.

Afterward, we did a little shopping.  Our son picked out a hat and made a new friend at Old Navy.

A little Jason Mraz perhaps?
"You know something, dog?  This bench is not as comfortable as it looks."  "You're telling me, boy.  I have been sitting here for years."
We finally ventured into Next Day Blinds.  We have been going back and forth about what we want to do with the windows.  Curtains?  Wooden blinds?  Shrouds?  The possibilities are endless.  We did find an option that we really, really like.  It is expensive, but we believe that it will be so great!  We did not purchase them yet, but this is what we would really like:

We love the look of shutters on the windows. 
It may not be for everyone, but this looks really neat to us.
The ones that we like look similar to this one.
Our children thought that looking at and talking about blinds was boring, so our son built a Lego monster instead.
One last thing.  We did take advantage of the Memorial Day sales and purchased boxes and sconce lighting for the basement.  Here is what we chose and we will upload pictures once they are installed:

Next up: Furniture ideas and a visit to see our new lawn!


  1. Once again, you win for the best blog out there on Ryan Homes. Love reading it, particularly the captions! The house looks wonderful. I know you can't wait to be in and settled. Bet this is the only time you wished for gas, eh? (See, I tried to contribute something there...)

    Love the plantation shutters. We're looking at something similar. I also sent away for tons of samples from online blinds stores. It's a little hard to pick something out from an inch or so of plastic or metal, but for curtains or Roman shades, it's been helpful.

    1. Thank you so much, newbie! Yes, we cannot wait to be settled and get in there. BTW, love the gas reference! Well done!

      Did you happen to find any good deals on plantation shutters?