Charity, Bottomless Kitchens, Playrooms, and a Sunrise

I'd like to introduce you to Chris's new little lady, Charity. She stole Chris's and the kids' hearts right away and they are beyond thrilled to add her to our family. My non-animal-lover-heart-of-stone will probably take a few years lifetime to chip away at before I will be as excited about her as the rest of my family. 

As icy as my sentiments are right now, Charity's parents' owners sent me the below photo last week to show us that Charity has a heart on her chest (hence her name), and I may have started to melt for just a few moments when I saw the picture and listened to my children's conversation that ensued to decide on her name. 

Charity was practically gifted to us by our friends who artfully coaxed Chris over to their house just to "see" the puppies. Chris picked her out and was hooked almost immediately, and we Chris and the kids are very grateful for the precious gift. :-) I'm curious to see what a Boxer/Anatolian Shepherd mix is going to end up looking like, but she's pretty cute for now even from the eyes of a non-animal-lover-heart-of-stone gal like me. 

And the week after Chris talked me in to the puppy, he convinced me that he needed to dig out our kitchen floor to make a bigger crawl space for plumbing and HVAC. Just in case we hadn't gutted the house out enough, Chris assured me we needed to take it one step further. Why oh why was I thinking the demolition was done? Thankfully I was there to help him and we made short work of it. OK, just kidding, I guess we had a little help. The crew of friends and family members is what made short work of the digging. We all got it done in about 3 hours. No biggie. 

Any angst I may have had watching the floor of my house disappear was quickly amended when Chris started laying plywood up in the attic above the kitchen to make a play area for the kids. 

I may have been a little eager to put all the toys in a hidden space. It didn't take me long to clean the space up, cut out a larger door opening so I could move furniture in, and get everything set up. 

It looks pretty rough and unfinished for now, but the plywood boards on the side there are for the ceiling, and eventually I can get this little space looking pretty amazing. For now, it's a great little storage area and play area!

Another project that got done was our play yard set was moved over. Having the swings for the kids makes a huge difference in keeping them preoccupied while we get work done. And look at all the space they have now! 

We're moving more beds over, too, so here are a few recent photos of the kids' rooms, because I can't get enough of staring at them. 

CJ's room still needs the trim painted and wall decor up, but those are things we can do once we move in.

Notice the stark contrast of the upstairs and then the stairwell looking down to the downstairs? So much work yet to be done!

My favorite room of the upstairs - the bathroom! I was just gifted this stool by a friend. I spray painted the legs and now I have a stool that looks like it was made for the bathroom and is perfect for the kids to be able to reach the sink.

Can't wait to use this spacious shower, too. I am so amazed at Chris's handiwork! I never dreamed when he first told me (back when we had just started dating) that he could build a whole house for me that he actually could...and would!

The downstairs progress is going well, but it's all the stuff that isn't pretty (Chris and our brother-in-law, Seth are making a lot of progress in prepping for insulation/drywall, and tons of progress on the electrical - plumbing and HVAC are coming along, too). The photo below is looking in to what will be the powder room from the family room):

Closet studs for the walls are up in our master bathroom. I can't wait for our large closet!

The family room is all cleaned up now, but here is a realistic picture of what the family room looks like every other day in between cleanings.

And here is the family room looking in to the floor-less kitchen.

The downstairs won't look like this when we move in, but it will still be pretty unfinished. We'll have the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, and floors installed. Bracing myself for life without kitchen cabinets and a downstairs bathroom, but life with TONS of construction dust. 

This morning as I was unloading some furniture at the farm, I looked up and saw the sunrise. These are the moments that remind me why we chose to tackle this huge project in the first place. There is endless work that comes with living in the country, but in only a few weeks we'll be moving and we'll be tackling the work together--no longer split between two homes. That life is just around the corner now and I can hardly wait!