Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finally Closed on the House!

Last week we FINALLY signed our life away and we are now the proud owners of a mortgage!  We are closed on our house and to be closed which really means that we are done (mostly done...) with the house!  After a year of hard work and planning it is SO great to say that!

Honestly, there are still a few things here and there that need more time spent on it and projects we have planned to had a little extra storage or coolness, but the big things are done.  I already posted pictures and thoughts on building a house, but here is a final walk through (in no particular order...) and commentary!

 Obviously, this will be the baby's room and will somewhat double as a guest room.  Or at least it is where we have put the spare bed until there is a better place for it.

One of the last projects to get done was the deck on the back of the house and we are SO glad we pushed through to get it done!  There's room to run and play and cook and lounge and that's just what we wanted!
There were several places that we considered when we were picking the location for our home but there were a couple of things that made this the hands-down-very-best place.  One was the view!  I love getting to look out the windows and see the mountains, trees, fields, cows... It makes my country girl heart swell!  Another reason was that there was the old house that we could use the foundation and basement, power hook-ups, and well which saved us THOUSANDS of dollars.  And lastly we chose this spot because it was on the side of the road with the shop, barn, chickens, tractors, grandma's and all the other fun stuff that made my kids want to wander across the busy road by themselves and since I didn't want them to die I thought that it was a good move.

The dining room- big enough to make what used to look like a massive table slightly small.  In our old home, the table was smashed up against the piano and there was no way a person could walk around the table.  Now I never have to move it... Ever...

The Rancher procrastinated the fireplace project forever because he had never put one in so he wasn't sure what to do.  But it took all of 10 minutes for him to figure it out and knock out this beauty!  And then one night he just pulled out the barn wood and made the mantle!  After enjoying it for the last 2 months, he has decided to find some old barbed wire to add a little flare to it.  Don't worry, I'll show you when we get to it!

 The kids bathroom came together really well and is actually one of my favorite rooms.  Its pretty hard to see in these pictures (tight spaces plus a big preggo lady taking pictures don't mix well... you'll have to forgive me!) but the colors and textures are so fun! 

 You have already seen the kitchen but I had to put up these because since I posted last on the house we have finished the barn wood in the tray ceiling!  I love the little extra the false beams give.  When I first explained what I wanted up there, people thought I was crazy but I knew it would be cool!

 This laundry room has made me hate laundry a lot less.  There is a place for the piles to go, to fold and hang and most importantly- the mud room isn't in there!  This is one of the rooms that still has a lot to go.  I'm dreaming of pedastles under the washer and dryer to store the baskets and I have the old cabinets from the old kitchen to someday put in.  But even without those extras, I still love this room!
 The living room...
 Don't mind the blue and green tape on the back wall.  I need to do a little more painting over the stairs but I girth grew too big... So the tape and painting will have to wait until I feel brave enough to dangle myself over the stairs.

I'm really ready for someone to come in to decorate my house now (so long as they are willing to pay for it too!) to add the personality and color that I want.  But unless we win the lottery and can hire someone to do it for me, it will just have to come a little at a time.

 This is a look inside The Rancher's Sidekick's closet (ironically it was the only one presentable and I say ironically because this kid does not keep anything tidy!).  All the kids' closets are the same- space to hang, room for boots, and lots of shelving.  The goal was to make the closets big enough for all the clothes so we could get rid of dressers because all they do is collect junk.  We did manage to get all the clothes in but I still have yet to convince everyone that going dresser-less is ok!

 The Rancher's Sidekicks' room

I love the barn wood trim in his room.  Someday I want to get a wood burner and burn brands into it.  I can see the awesome-ness...  I just need the time to do it all!

This right here, is my sanctuary!  One of the priorities for my bathroom was a BIG jetted tub.  We had a contractor try to convince me not to get it, saying it wouldn't be worth the money and how once the newness had worn off we would never use it... Blah... blah... blah....  It is still new, but this tub is used DAILY (by me or the kids... I do have some self control to not have a spa day everyday!).

The master bath vanity... I once thought that we should only put in one sink, but I'm glad we stuck with two.  The Rancher has his with all his beard hair on it (when he finally decides to trim it... but that's a whole topic on its own!) and I have mine with all my make-up, hair spray, flat irons, and such.  It keeps the peace.

The master bedroom plus a cute little girl sneaking in my bed (something that happens too often, but thankfully its during the day and not the night...)

On the left you can see the dresser that is empty that has yet to be taken out.  I still have high hopes...  I have an accent table I want to put there (that would still catch crap... I know) but I need to find a mirror to go with it.  I just have to find the right one... and have the pocket book to match my dreams.  I'm thinking big!

 The office- another priority when we were designing he house!  I wanted somewhere to keep everything organized and easy to find (all our important stuff was just piled in boxes in the old house... not the best way to keep track of things...).  And I wanted a place to have the piano that wasn't in the dining room (let me just say that the piano next to the table gave a whole new meaning to sticky keys!).  I have an old door that I plan to refinish to make a desk out of but until then we are using our old kitchen table.  And once the table is out we will be able to fit the closet doors on and hide the mess!

 The Ranch Princess's room.  Eventually I want to paint a matching orange border around and have some other exciting accents here and there.  But for now...
 PS- I LOVE all the big windows and views that we have!  There isn't much that we don't see around us and the lights don't come on until after dark.  Seriously, if you are building, go with the big windows... unless you have close neighbors that will look in.  That might not be too cool...\

 And finally, the poop room.  The toilet in the master bath has its own room and I love it.  There are so many stories I could share about a momma wanting a little privacy while she goes potty but I won't because that's a little personal.  But from your own experiences, I am sure you can see how the little tiny room can be so liberating!  Plus, if anyone else needs to go potty while I am getting ready or something crazy like that, I don't get kicked out (or get to enjoy the aroma afterwards...)!

I just realized I don't have pictures of our master closet or half bath so dream up some fantastic and that will be it.  All in all, I LOVE it!  Was it a lot of work? Yes... it still is.. Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat, I just hope I never have to.  Its not perfect but its ours and I am so proud of it.  We still have little projects here and there and fun dreams for landscaping outside.   But its officially ours, or at least the payments are!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Some Days I Wish I Was a Cow

My pending delivery being synced with the cows on the ranch has encouraged a lot of comparisons between myself and the momma cows from all parties around.  The Rancher keeps telling me the chains are ready and so is he.  The observations from The Rancher’s Sidekick that calves come out from their moms’ bums have inspired some enlightening conversations, to say the least. And The Ranch Princess has told me that my tummy is “even bigger!” than the cows…  Thanks dear…

After hearing it so much, I have begun to wonder and compare with them and I have decided that some days, I do wish I was a cow.  Because…

1.  A cow’s life is to eat, sleep, poop and repeat.  They lounge around chewing their cud with their only real responsibility being available to nurse their calves.  I mean, heck, they don’t even have to do any work to feed their babies.  They just stand there!

2.  They hang with their gal pals all day, every day.  How cool would it be to go out to breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner with yours girls?!  You can even just leave the kids at home and they’ll be fine.  No babysitter needed.

3.  Cows don’t have to worry about wardrobe changes or making sure that they are all put together.  No make up to put on, no shoes to keep polished and no highlights to keep up with.  They come with a lifetime supply of hair and there ain't no changing it.  Instead, a little tongue bath is all you really need.

4.  They lose the weight so fast after having a baby.  Look at those dairy cows! They pump out the milk, making their udders look great and at the same time, they skinny up to show off those hips.  And then once they are done milking things tighten up quite nicely.

5.  The life of a cow doesn’t include any cooking, cleaning, laundry, or any housework in general.  A little poop here or there is just normal and no need to fret or stress over.  

6.  Depending on the day, a cow can seem pretty lucky to have the bulls in the pen for only a few months rather than all year long.  Spring is the season of love and then its over.  Just like that.  Until next year at least.  

7.  Although I do appreciate good oral hygiene, I think it would be ok if the norm was everyone’s teeth falling out.  Then we might not put ourselves through all the pain and agony in braces and cleanings and fillings.  We'd just grind ‘em down and let them go!

8.  In the life of a cow, being fat and sassy is just fine.  In fact, we look at the herd and say the fat ones are in GREAT condition and if they have a little spunk we say they are feeling good.  Where else is it ok to put on the pounds and be proud of it?!   A rancher will proudly (because it’s from his good care) tell you that there isn’t a prettier sight than a herd of fat cows.

9.  There are no diapers to change as a momma cow.  Can you imagine how many dollars we would save in diapers and wipes if we just followed the cows and went all natural?  

OK, so there is a downside to every upside of being a cow.  I’m glad I get to do the work of being a mom and wife so that I can have the satisfaction of a job well done.  I love snuggling my babies as I feed them and look in their eyes every time I change a diaper (but I’ll, still gladly let The Rancher have his turn too!).   I’m grateful my babies aren’t taken away from me and that we can be lifelong friends.  I’ll leave the life of a cow to the cows and keep on with mine.  And maybe those cows deserve a life lounging about for the great service they provide in feeding families around the world.

Monday, February 15, 2016

They THOUGHT They Didn't Need Me

Every winter we trail our cows the few miles from Holbrook to home and every year it turns out to be a family adventure.  This last year we managed to move the herd when the brothers were home for Christmas.  They always love a good chance to help on the family ranch and we always love a little extra help!

This move is just a little jaunt that can be done in a few hours and you can expect things to go smooth and easy.  In fact, when I asked what kind of help they needed from me, The Rancher said they had enough and didn’t even really need me.  Rather than be offended for not being needed, I decided that this was a great chance to just come along for the photo opportunities.   Of course, as soon as I planned on that, things got hinky!

Even though I wasn’t really needed, I was told to drive the truck and trailer to pick up the boys and 4 wheelers after the work was done and since I was in the truck I was assigned the second task to sit on the road to turn the cows.  The gate where the cows were coming out of was right on the oiled road with a private lane on either side.  I think, “No big deal, these cows have done this hundreds of times. I’ve done this loads of times.  This will be easy.”  I park the truck on the road to block the cows from going one way and plan on the near two feet of snow on the lane crossing the road to deter the cows from going the other ways.  The Rancher figured that if that plan wasn’t enough to keep the cows headed in the right direction, the bale on the feed truck meant to entice them would surely keep them on track. 

It wasn’t.   I was standing on the road, snapping away at my camera as the cows neared the gate and as the feed truck pulled on to the road.  Everything looked good- they were following along nicely until one wild girl thought it would be more fun to tear down the snowy lane and into another open gate of a neighboring field.  Don’t you think that it would be more fun to swim in the belly high snow than take the easy way down the road?  Where is the excitement in the simple, huh?  I see this happening and figure someone will quick jump after her and keep everything in line.  As the self-proclaimed photographer for the outing and a very pregnant lady, I was sure I wouldn’t have to be the one.  But I was.

And by the time I started running, holding my camera in one hand, keeping my bulging belly from bouncing too much and praying that I wouldn’t fall on my face, half the herd or more has followed crazy cow number one.  The Rancher and The Buckaroo quickly came to my rescue, pushing all but a few of the cows through the field and back into the herd.  The two last feisty ones wanted to play hide-and-seek-around-the-old-railroad-car.  After chasing them for as long as my preggo body could handle, I claimed defeat and decided I would just take their picture instead.  Of course, pulling out my camera motivated them to scamper along…

The rest of the drive went as smoothly as it should or at least less dramatic on my part.  Once I got back to the truck I stayed there.  Those boys can get their own cows, especially since they didn’t think they would need my help anyway!