September 24, 2014

camp life.

People...if you haven't realized it yet, let me tell you.

Life is Good.
There are so many things in this world that I am so thankful for and spending a weekend at Camp Dixie this past weekend with my husband was the best decision I had made in a looonng time.  Last week was a crazy one and I am so glad that it's over.  I flew to Las Vegas for a work trip, Peyton worked crazy late night hours on our log home so we could pass final inspection, and the thoughts of sugar plums and fairies moving trucks and boxes danced in our heads.  Our hardwood floors are getting their final coats of sealant on them and the moving process could begin as early as this weekend.  It has been a long road coming...but it's finally here and we couldn't be more excited.

In the midst of all that craziness, Peyton was in the final stages of planning for North Carolina SkillsUSA's annual State Leadership Workshop at Camp Dixie. When Peyton and I met five years ago, he talked so highly of it...but being a girl that bleeds the FFA blue and gold, I was a bit skeptical of it.  I had created so many memories as an FFA member and state officer at FFA Camp that I thought nothing could ever compare. What could be better than White Lake in our hot humid North Carolina summers?

During those five years, I happened to drive past Camp Dixie a couple hundred times. Many trips were to drive down to FFA Camp or to the school where my first teaching job was. Every time I passed the camp, I would think about Peyton and how he was doing...just never got the guts to call.   

Five years later, I finally married the man and got to experience his beloved leadership workshop at Camp Dixie this weekend. And let me tell you...it was the best.

Career and Technical Education student organizations are a common thread in our relationship.  We are both passionate about working with students and developing their potential to become future leaders in their industries.  We love hyping them up and reflecting real life opportunities with them. Eating meals with students and reminiscing the good ole' days with advisors brings happiness to our lives. Getting married and doing this together makes this life worth living even better.

My roots are still with the blue corduroy...but the red blazer is starting to win a little piece of my heart everyday..and surprisingly, I'm okay with that.  Seeing students achieve and grow together as a family makes my heart happy and doing all of that with my husband makes life that much better.

Life is Good. Anyone else agree with me?

September 11, 2014

our wedding: the ceremony

Hands down...I was most excited for our marriage ceremony. Here's why.

+ We had a beautiful ceremony location that was incredibly affordable and flexible.  We got married at the Silk Hope Community Center in Silk Hope, North Carolina.  Silk Hope is in Chatham County and was about a 1/2 hour from both of our parents homes.  Due to the flexibility and affordable costs, it was easily our best option.  We were allowed to set up the day before (no charge), the tables and chairs inside were provided with the rental fee, and we were supporting a great organization as well.  The community center is owned and maintained by the Ruritan Club, so it is a relatively influential building in our community.  I loved how it had an old barn look...and was smack dab in the middle of the country.
+ One of my favorite things about weddings is how love just encompasses the entire space. I believe that weddings are just another way to rekindle the love between married couples. New love is always so refreshing and it just seems to always take people back to their wedding day. I am so glad that we were able to be surrounded by so many couples with amazing, long lasting marriages.  Our preacher and his wife are no excuse.  He still checks her out as he comes down the aisle and she smiles back at him like they just got married yesterday.
+ I had a short note written to Peyton that said "I can't wait to be Mrs. Holland!" and gave it to my sister to hand to him when she got to the end of the aisle. Peyton hadn't shed a tear yet...but the note got him...and I couldn't be happier!
 + My daddy is a pretty calm, quiet, and collected man...not much gets him excited, BUT, he went out and bought a new suit, a shirt and tie, and new shoes that made him feel like he was the man. Neither he or I are super emotional people, so the entire time walking down the aisle we talked about how we could get my momma in a tizzy.  Things like running and skipping down the aisle came into conversation and making his boutonniere, a squirt gun flower...need I say more?
+ Growing up in Career and Technical Education (and being involved in SkillsUSA and FFA) is the conversation that connected Peyton and I.  I love this picture of me walking down the aisle because it had all of our mentors and teachers in the picture. Our agriculture and masonry teachers were there and it just made our day....both of their marriages are strong in faith-based love.
+ We didn't follow many traditions in our wedding, but having a ceremony centered on our relationship with Christ was so important to us. Instead of traditional vows, we recited vows from scripture in the book of Ruth.  
"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  
Your people will be my people and your God my God. 
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  
May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, even if death separates you and me."

Agriculture, nature, and trees are important to us, so it felt incredibly natural to have a tree ceremony instead of a unity candle.  We took soil from both of our homes, poured it into the pot of our new camellia, watered it, and will plant it in the yard of our new home.  This tree is the start of something new and young...and we plan to watch it grow with us as our marriage develops.  
+ At the end of the day, all that mattered to us is that we were husband and wife.  Everything we had ever dreamed of came together.  We had beautiful weather (sunny and breezy)...and to our surprise, we didn't have the typical North Carolina July heat and humidity! Love was in the air and happiness radiated from so many hearts of our friends and family. All of the homemade touches and the help from our friends settting up made our outdoor ceremony space so special.  Peyton and his father made the arbor we stood under, my momma found the lace curtains at a garage sale, and our wooden barrels and stumps came from our barns at the sawmill. We knew we didn't need much because we had us...and that's all that mattered.  Fully committed and teammates forever. 
*Pictures taken by the lovely Tiffani of Tiffani Evans Photo

September 9, 2014

ten things tuesday

My mind is going 1000 miles a minute and I am really having  trouble writing cohesive sentences.  Finishing out the log home has my mind a little whacked...so, I thought I would steal  borrow the idea of Ten Things Tuesday from Haley over at The Blue Dishes just for today...then it's back to regular programming here on the blog.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Let's get started.

1. I got at least 8 hours of sleep last night and it. was. GLORIOUS. We have been waking up super early and staying up super late to work on the house, so sleep hasn't exactly been in our schedule...but last night it was.  Let me remind you one more time...it was GLORIOUS.

2. I was in Target shopping for the basics...bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Now that we are married, I have been trying to find things that we can both use.  As a woman, it is so hard to not pick a girly smelling soaps and shampoo!  Anyone with me here? 

3. The company I work for announced that we were acquired by another company yesterday.  I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little nervous and it definitely shook my Monday up a little bit.

3. We finished the back porch, our upstairs floors are drying, and the fireplace got rocked this weekend.  Needless to say, we had a VERY productive weekend on the log home. 

4. 106 days until Christmas...anyone else just as excited as I am!?!

5. Stress eating ice cream, cobblers, chocolate milk, moon pies, and mountain dew. It's a new week and time to cut that mess out.

6. The awkward family photo tear-off calendar is seriously the best.  Can't wait to buy a new one next year.

7. The news has been so depressing lately, so I have really tried to tune that negativity out of my life.  BUT, Princess Kate is having royal baby #2...and that is definitely newsworthy.

8. I'm looking for some new gum. Let me know your favorite flavors/brands of all time. Ready. Set. Go.

9. The lady that lived in our rental home before us left the cable on/forgot to turn it off.  Don't know why...but we sure aren't saying anything. Can everyone say free cable for the Hollands?!?

10. I just want to go back on our honeymoon...is that too much to ask for?!?

P.S. Who can tell me what error I made in this post? 
 

September 5, 2014

behind the scenes: building a log home.

Some of you may or may not know, but I thought I would take some time to fill you in about this "little" project that is encompassing ALL of our life.  

We are building a log home.  

This "little" project is a new journey for me and is definitely a time-consuming project.  When I met Peyton five years ago, his dream was to always build his own log home on a piece of property close to his parents.  Five years later when we reconnect and meet-up, this dream was in the beginning stages and had started taking action.  A couple of months later, we are married, and this becomes our dream and I couldn't be more excited.  

Through our dating and engagement period, the house was being framed in by a general contractor.  After everything was roughed in, it was handed back to us to finish out. For those of you that have never built a home before, let me take you on a little crash course before we get to the nitty-gritty of all this.  

+ The money stuff and logistics (buying land, permits, getting approved for a construction loan, etc.) *this is all important stuff...I'm just not getting deep into this as it is a loooonnnggg process.
+ Prepare land, pour foundation, Inspection
+ Rough framing (for us it was the logs, interior walls, and roof)
+ Rough plumbing, electrical, HVAC, inspections, inspections, inspections
+ Insulation
+ Staining, polyurethaning the outside/inside of the home

Most of the above building was completed by our general contractor and his subcontractors (electricians, HVAC, etc).  Once they finished all of that, we began finishing the house out on our own...and with the help of Peyton's wonderful father!

+ Inside walls (all of walls are made from wood that was worked on at his father's sawmill)
+ Staining, staining, more staining
+ Applying polyurethane
+ Laying wood floors
+ Door casings
+ Final trim
+ Installation of cabinets and countertops (made by a wonderful cabinet maker named Alan Tingen)
+ Installation of lights, bathroom fixtures, etc.
+ Finishing of the floors (sanded and polyurethane application)
+ Porches, Railings, Doors, etc.
+ Cleaning and Final Inspection to get certificate of occupancy
+ Move in and final approval from bank

We are close to getting the certificate of occupancy and the ability to move in, but a couple of things are holding us up.  We are at the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that is so refreshing. Most of our holiday weekend (actually every weekend for the past 6 months) was spent working on our home.  We finished laying the floors this weekend and we may or may not have jumped up and down in the hallway.

Let me take you on a little tour and tell you what our new "normal" looks like.

#1. This is our living room/great room. Notice it's dark out, so it's either early in the morning or late at night. We try to work in the mornings before we leave for work (5:00-7:00am) and in the evenings (6:30pm-12:00am).  Thankfully, we have working lights, so it makes our work a little bit easier! In the early stages, we were moving shop lights on the regular. Currently, all of our saws, air nailers, and random tools are in here being used to finish out the door casings and hanging final trim. 
 #2.Trust me, we do have floors, but the kitchen is the area with the most foot traffic, so we have it covered in cardboard.  Our air vents are drying on the floor (we spray painted them black) and there is one of many ladders.  The back door is the entrance to our laundry room/mud room. Our persimmon cabinets were handmade by a man named Alan Tingen.  He took the wood we gave him and made it into one of the most beautiful parts of our kitchen.
#3. Our master bedroom is my favorite place in our entire home. It has such a romantic feeling and I really cannot wait to sleep in it! It will be such a fun room to decorate and to spend time in. Our walls are covered in wormy maple wood (not pictured) and the floors are made of cherry. The two colors just fit so well together and give the room a softer feel compared to the rest of our home.  
#4. Our temporary bathroom door=blue painters tape.  We had the bathroom floors finished this past week so our plumber can come in and make his final touches.  No one is able to walk on the floors until they dry, so this is the best that we can do until we get the doors hung.  The walls are done in juniper (a more water tolerant wood) and we have a BEAUTIFUL walk in shower. 
#5. Our loft is a large open area that leads to two bedrooms (one on either side) and a full bathroom.  The rails just went up this week, so it looks so different than it has in the past 6 months!  We are debating on whether or not we stain the rails the same color as the beams or if we just put a clear coat on them.  What do you think?
#6. A handsome handy-man in work clothes...oh, I mean an upstairs bedroom!

Sorry ladies...that's my husband...and he is off the market!   Anyways, he happened to be staining in one of our upstairs bedrooms when I was taking the pictures. This is the larger of the two rooms and will most likely serve as the guest room.  The room is done completely out of poplar so we have nicknamed it "the poplar room".  The other upstairs room has been nicknamed "the persimmon room".  
So, as you can see, there has been a lot done and is still a lot to be done. Our social life is non-existent until this house is finished and we are anxiously awaiting the day that we can move in and officially call this our first and forever home.  We have created so many memories in this space and are some that we will never forget.  

I hope you enjoyed this "rough" little tour of our log home.  I can't wait to show you more pictures when we get it decorated!