Demo Day!

by Maggie Griffin


I never thought I'd be happy at the sight of a dumpster at my house...

IMG_3575.jpg

After our loan closed, we had an unrealistic expectation that demo would start the next day; once reality set in, we impatiently began waiting. A dumpster appeared, and we waited some more, this time with more expectation. Various permits, reports, and foundation tests were filed, sent in, and taken and still, we wait...

...but, our contractor, knowing how anxious we were for progress, sent his crew into the house this past week and began our interior demo!

Signing paperwork is a serious step, but when you see layers and LAYERS of wallpaper and actual walls coming down, the process becomes REAL. We are still waiting to get the go-ahead to start work on the new addition...which is going to take the 'REAL' feeling up to a new level. Until then, we are happily living with the knowledge that this thing is really happening. 

Here we are celebrating DEMO DAY! "Demo Day" in Waco has a whole new meaning thanks to local HGTV stars, Chip and Jojo, and it truly is everything they made it out to be! When we saw the drywall EVERYWHERE and the walls stripped down, it felt like we had finally begun this crazy before/after renovation + addition journey we are going on. 

SO many wallpapers have been discovered. Our contractor texted me, jokingly asking if he should salvage these; he went to so far as tell me he had conferred with Byron who wanted this for our family room. 

On the first day of demo, we walked in to the above. All the wallpapers and paneling had been ripped off the walls of our first floor living space. The biggest change we saw on day 1 was the removal of a dropdown that had been installed to cover airducts. It used to be visible right in the middle of the space and it made our spaces feel so small. With it gone, our space immediately felt more open. It was a very small taste of what is to come and WE. CAN'T. WAIT. 

On Day 2, the walls came down! There was a wall with an arched passthrough that used to separate our kitchen and living space. GONE. There also used to be a second arch that separated the entryway/living space from the kitchen. GONE. Speaking of the kitchen, it's all GONE. This change was SHOCKING. I noticed it even before we walked in through our front door window. 

IMG_3572.jpg

In just two days, we saw the plans we received in December unfolding before our eyes. This process has been a long one, but we are excited and ready for it to continue! 


Plans for a Future

by Maggie Griffin


In May 2015, we bought our home with our sights set on the future, a future that three years later is SLOWLY becoming the present. At the time of purchase, our home was the perfect size for a couple two years into marriage, with thoughts of kids in the far off distance. As we began to near five years of marriage, those thoughts weren't so far away anymore. Last year, we started to think about the potential of a little one running around our house with two big dogs and the house began to fill cramped. In December, we hired an architect to help us dream about what we could turn our little house into and the plans blew us away - it was so much more than we had imagined. 

GRIFFIN Renovation Plans.jpg

Our hope was for a master bedroom and one more additional bedroom on our second floor, and within 24 hours, our architect emailed us the above plans with... a mudroom. a pantry. a patio. a walk-in closet. space for a soaker tub. AND MORE. 

We lived in the dream state of these plans for several months, both of us hesitant and unwilling to begin calling contractors, knowing that it would begin the daunting, exhausting process of renovation. But, wanting these plans to become reality, we... finally made the calls, interviewed contractors, applied for our loan, picked a contractor, worked with the contractor, started moving out of our house, found a temporary place to live, had the contractor back out, lost our motivation to move out of our house, put the loan on hold, called contractors backed, picked a new contractor, felt relieved, reactivated the loan, signed a contract, moved the rest of our stuff to storage, and closed on our loan!!! 

Now we wait for the city and the structural engineer to sign off and approve everything.  We'll move one more time in a few weeks into another temporary location until the house is complete. We can't wait to throw a big party when all is said and done...maybe Halloween, potentially Friendsgiving, most likely Christmas. 

While it's only been 7 months since we first received our plans, it feels like we've been waiting on this process to start forever. We are so excited for "demo day" and to share updates along the way. What would you like to see? What else would you like to know about our renovation process? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 


100 Days of Blogging: Days 15-21

by Maggie Griffin


The spring to summer transition, especially for a teacher and university employee, is such a sweet season. We never seem to establish a routine, but this week, a few consistencies have allowed us to settle into this slower pace of life, offering us a chance to savor this period of time. 

Read More

100 Days of Blogging: Days 9-14

by Maggie Griffin


While lying in bed one night last week, both on our phones in classic millennial style, Byron, checking in our bank account, asked me "What is this $ squarespace charge?" (To be clear, the $ is a stand in for a specific dollar amount, not an expletive), to which I responded "the annual domain charge for our blog." He then, appropriately, responded "You don't even use the blog anymore." I let him in on my personal writing challenge, but haven't blogged since. Here is my post to correct my wrong, get back on track, and prove B wrong! 

Read More

100 Days of Blogging: Day 8

by Maggie Griffin


Today, I feel like making confessions. 

1. Right now, I am watching Dancing with the Stars--total guilty pleasure. 
2. Just got mad at Byron for tapping on the table while he works in his silent headphones because...duh, I'm watching DWTS.
3. Packages in the mail are the best thing ever. Today I received 2, one of them contained a $1 Wine Coozie that is making this a great, chill(ed) Monday night. 
4. We were supposed to have a Blue Apron meal tonight, but hard boiled eggs and pickled beet sandwiches didn't sound appealing, so we stole the Ciabatta rolls and heated up our frozen veggie patties, and voila! 
5. I got Starbucks coffee this morning. I make personal promises to stop spending so much money on morning coffee and treats, but they never stick. 
6. Right now, our anniversary fudge pie is coming to room temp, because we're still enjoying it. 
7. I'm wearing a pair of glasses that I've had for 3+ years for the first time in a LOOONG time because I got them adjusted last week after 'adulting' myself to a new eye doctor, and now they don't fall off my face! 
8. I still watch Grey's Anatomy. Can't stop, won't stop. Just saw a commercial that promised me that my jaw will drop during the next 2 episodes and I don't doubt it. Shonda, you TV temptress...you get me every time. 
9. 3 out of the 7 posts from week one were not written on the day I posted them. Very grateful for the ability to change the post date so I can trick everyone into thinking I'm on top of this challenge.
10. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. 
11. I love Taco Bell. 
12. Byron and I have been vegetarians since December, but I've cheated a few times. I think I accidentally ate some meat today in a catered lasagna--my bad!
13. I'd like to find a job where I can "summer" somewhere else. 
14. All I want to do is take a sick day and read books. 
15. Byron and I are starting to think about when we want to start our family. 

Whoa!!! Call the presses--so many juicy secrets in this post.

Last confession--just saw a new preview for "Downward Dog" and I am DEFINITELY watching. ALSO, just saw a preview for ABC's revamped Dirty Dancing--looks awful! 

SERIOUSLY. Last confession: I hope I become famous and get to publish these posts in a book someday! 
 


100 Days of Blogging: Day 7

by Maggie Griffin


On Sundays of my 100 Day Blogging Challenge, I'm going to share a list of things I'm grateful for. When I come across old journals, I find that I'm one part embarrassed at the cheesiness and one part appreciative of my journey and how sincere I was at each point that I put pen to paper. While I've moved from pen to keyboard, I know I'll probably be embarrassed if my kids find these words on the internet archive in years to come, but I'll be happy remembering the time I spent writing about our lives. And I know for sure I'll be happy to stumble across these lists of gratitude. 

So on the first of many Grateful Sunday Sessions, I find myself thankful for: 

  • the way I feel about our house: when the light comes in the windows, when everything blooms in Spring, when I get to rest in our bedroom surrounded by trees feeling like I'm in a treehouse, when it feels cramped and perfect all at the same time, when there's still work to be done but we're so happy 
  • our animals: even though they cost us an arm and a leg the last two months, they still jump on the bed to snuggle, comfort, and annoy us in all the right ways
  • the lattes Byron makes me
  • candles and flowers
  • Lula Jane's Fudge Pie
  • a closet full of clothes in which "I can't find anything to wear"
  • too many books in our house
  • the Portraits 25th year celebration: Byron and I were fortunate to attend a late afternoon program featuring a dance troupe, a step team, "SnapShots": 3-6 year old performers-all the way to college aged, the presentation of a $10,000 endowed scholarship to my sweet Department Director who has selflessly given of herself for 25 years to serve the youth of our community and remind them that they are somebody and they have something to say and work to do, and MORE! 
  • remembering that we have leftover brownies!

So many things to be thankful for, but these are making the top of the list today!