3rd time's a charm!
Sketch by Hunter Paul Coffey
We have moved forward, ever so slightly, as we have a builder, a set of plans and there is even some equipment on the land for perk testing. We still don't know the price of our home, nor have we determined financing, but that should be coming in June. We do, however, have a sweet floor plan that we have finalized and are pretty psyched about! We asked the architect to design us a modern barnhouse. On the approach, the house resembles a barn to fit in with the agrarian setting. But a closer look reveals a few unexpected features and materials that make it modern and unique. My little brother says it "looks like a barn house Don Draper [from Mad Men] would live in. Very mod."
Here are the main features:
- 3 bedrooms + loft
- 2 1/2 baths
- Master bedroom has walk-in closet + steam shower
- Loft is open-to-below with a view - to be used as an office/guest/play/music room
- Open-concept with Great Room (Kitchen, Living, Dining)
- Wood-burning stove
- 4-oven AGA (in Kitchen)
- Separate laundry room
- Outdoor shower + Plant potting station
- Detached garage with covered walkway and barn door that opens to a garden courtyard
- South-facing orientation and large windows for passive solar
- Radiant floor heating with concrete floors (main floor)
Josh and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary by taking a long weekend in the mountains. We stayed in the little camping trailer on our very own property. It was a rustic, quaint, much-needed break from the every-day hustle and bustle. We grilled hotdogs, ribeye and beef kabobs over an open fire, disassembled part of an old barn made of wormy chestnut which we salvaged and will save for something special in our new home someday), went shopping and hiking, had target practice, had appetizers and drinks at a local watering hole, took naps in the hammock and enjoyed each other's company. It was a beautiful weekend with temps of 70's during the day and 40-50's at night. We can't wait to be up in the mountains for good! We really feel like home up there and there is always something fun to do!
In lieu of our anniversary this month, I thought it would be nice to share some tips about keeping the L O V E in your marriage. But the tips below also work for any relationship -- @Work or @Home. These tips came from Psych Central, "the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network. TIME Magazine named it one of the 50 Best Websites of 2008".
25 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationships at Work & Home
By Joyce Marter, LCPC
- Smile. Put a smile on your face and in your eyes, voice and heart as often as possible.
- Make eye contact. Look people openly, warmly and squarely in the eye.
- Open your body language. While facing the person with whom you are talking, open your chest, your heart and your arms.
- Address people by name. Honor people by calling them by name as you greet them, give them thanks, ask a question or bid them farewell.
- Speak with a friendly tone. Warm your tone of voice with love and kindness.
- Be present. Give your complete and undivided attention to others when they are speaking to you.
- Express gratitude. Focus your attention on the goodness in others, verbalize all that you appreciate and give thanks.
- Slow down. Breathe and gift yourself and others with time to properly address situations and transition from them.
- Reflect empathy and compassion. Honor people’s emotional experiences. Normalize and validate their feelings so they feel heard, known and understood.
- Have integrity. Keep your word. Do what you say you are going to do. Live according to your values.
- Have good manners. Be polite, conscientious and gracious.
- Demonstrate thoughtfulness. Get out of your own head and be of service to others. Consider their feelings and experiences.
- Give genuine compliments. Tell others their strengths, give positive feedback and express what you admire about them.
- Give salutations. Make the effort to open and close verbal and email interactions with a nice greeting or closure, rather than abruptly asking for something with neither a hello nor goodbye.
- Be generous. Give and share whatever you can, whenever you can.
- Be kind. Be the bigger person. Kindness is a choice.
- Show compassion. Demonstrate self-compassion by cutting yourself some slack extend this same compassion to others. Let go of criticism.
- Be patient. Breathe and breathe out. Patience is a virtue. There is great value staying in the present moment and not hurrying our minds or bodies onto the next task.
- Demonstrate self-awareness. Consider how what you are saying will feel to them and how it will impact them. Notice the impact you have on others by paying attention to their facial expressions, tone and body language. Make adjustments accordingly.
- Be truthful. The truth has different layers and sometimes the deepest layer is hurtful or inappropriate. Speak the truth from the deepest layer that is appropriate. Speak from a place of kindness.
- Be reliable. Follow through with responsibilities and commitments with competency and effective communication.
- Be forgiving. Each time somebody else makes a mistake it is an opportunity for you to extend kindness and compassion. Let go of resentments that keep you tethered to the past.
- Apologize. We are human and nobody is perfect. When you make a mistake, make an amend or extend a sincere and timely apology.
- Take responsibility. Drop the defensiveness and the excuses and accept responsibility for yourself, your actions and your behaviors.
- Express love. Be open-minded and non-judgemental. Extend love to yourself and to others. Choose to be loving whenever possible—it is always possible.
I think it's amazing that a tree can grow in the middle of a giant boulder! Life finds a way.
Someday, we will have animals grazing back here--goats, sheep, chickens and a donkey. It was so beautiful, we wanted to preserve it as naturally as possible.
This little camper has been a nice retreat for us in bad weather and a cozy place to sleep when we spend the weekend up at the property.
Off to the reception! What an amazing wedding weekend!