The one about the Tree HousE: Windows, a roof, and more walls...oh my!

Alright, things are getting exciting now.

If you drive by the site, it actually looks like a house. While we still have a long way to go before we can live there, we are inching closer and closer.

We have enjoyed seeing the rooms in the house take shape. We can actually envision where furniture will be placed, which is exciting. I can't decide which room in the house I am going to love the most, but I think it will be a tie between the great room and our master bedroom. I am in love with the tall ceilings in the great room, but I think the large windows in our bedroom will reflect nature's beauty in all four seasons.

For as much that seems to be going right, we also have had our fair share of setbacks and pitfalls as of late. Remember how months ago, Luke lined up all the subcontractors through a process of lots of emails, phone calls, and site visits? We thought we had all of our ducks in a row, but last week, the plumber decided to pull out of our project. I am not going to share this plumber's name publicly, but I will happily share it privately if you are in search of a plumber. Because this person waited until 2 weeks before we actually needed his services to back out, we are now in a pinch and starting the bidding process over again. A second company that we already had a bid from (but decided not to go with initially) decided to increase their price by $4,000 just because we needed them on short notice. It is so irritating that some people think nothing of causing a giant inconvenience to others, even after a commitment had been made. And now, because of no fault of our own, we might be forced into paying a lot more money for the same services, or at the very least we are experiencing a lot of stress. I am 100% certain we will get it all figured out because we have no other choice. Luke is meeting with more plumbers this week, and I am praying the right person takes the job (and for the price we had budgeted).

There's always something with a project like this. For example, the tape that goes around the windows to seal them started peeling off because it isn't compatible with the brand of house wrap we are using. A couple of windows arrived in the wrong sizes. We had to order more roof trusses because we were short a few.

It's all part of the process. Nothing goes as planned, and that's alright. I tell myself daily, "Everything is fixable. Everything is figure-outable. Nothing is an emergency." This helps to keep me grounded (and to keep Luke grounded, which can be very challenging as he is shouldering most of the stress).

For now, we are thankful for the dedicated crew of builders who have put up with us so far. We are thankful that they work when it's hot, when it's raining, and when they probably would rather be doing something else. We are proud of how far we have come since we began in February, and we are so excited to think about where we might be by August.

Here are some photos from the last few weeks!

 Luke is standing by the door of the girls' room. In front of him is the cutout for the lower level stairs.

 Standing in the kitchen, looking toward the laundry room and half bath.

The first time the girls got to visit their room. The site is pretty dangerous for kids, so we haven't let them do this since. They were really excited! 
Working on the great room. The opening where the plank of wood is resting is where the front door will be.
 Luke is inspecting the windows. This is Leo's room.
 Another view of the great room.
 Getting closer! The existing garage will be connected to the great room by a mud room and a fireplace sitting room (you can see the existing chimney on the far left of this photo).

project 365-2017; photo catch-up

When I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks with preterm labor in April, my photo project had to take a back seat. This was a big bummer because I had made it to 100 days without stopping. I had every intention of getting back on the wagon when I returned home, but once I broke the habit, it became daunting to start back up again.

I have been taking photos again here and there. Luke bought me a new lens for Mother's Day that I have been excited to use. Since Leo's arrival in late May, I have wanted to capture every second with him.

Here is a little photo catch-up of the last month or so. This project, to me, is also about not giving up when I was thrown a curve ball, so here's hoping I can keep going.

 Easter Sunday (and a rare photo with me in it)
Shiloh's haul from our small little egg hunt in the backyard. 

Luke enjoying some snuggles in the hammock with Shiloh. 
The girls put their new umbrellas to good use. We had a lot of rain in April.
  Charlotte taking care of baby Moana in the rain. 
Noelle had a great year and is really excited for 2nd grade! 
Charlotte had such a great preschool experience and already misses her teacher so much.
There is something about this sweet face...

Baby Leo joined our family in May.

I can't resist baby toes!
No more pictures, Mama.

Right now, Leo looks like the perfect mix of Charlotte and Noelle.
He is a wonderful, easy-going baby. How did we ever live without him before?