6.29.2011

Welcome (to our) Home

So a few of you dear friends from West Texas have asked to see pictures from our new (to us) home...

We looked at lots and lots of homes in our new city.  We had several we liked and could picture ourselves in, but none we loved.  I confess that selfishly, I was drawn to several that didn't really fit our needs for accessibility and struggled a lot with feeling limited by diagnoses.  Goodness! That is selfish, isn't it?  The historical markers would appeal to me but realizing that all the bedrooms were upstairs made some homes a definite no.  
We don't really know what Ellie's abilities or Will's will be but we are fairly certain Ellie will need a walker for awhile & stairs will likely be difficult always for her so we wanted a home that would be accessible for her - all one level & mostly hard surfaces.  We also know that certain types of door knobs or facets are difficult for Will & will likely be for Ellie so that played a factor.  Because Ellie is at a great risk for falls throughout her life (low muscle tone & limited range of motion makes catching herself from a fall difficult,) stairs were really a negative.  We wanted Will to be able to reach sink handles.  We needed at least one walk in shower for Ellie (not now but later - tubs will likely be difficult for her to get in and out of on her own.)  We also wanted kids in the neighborhood so that Will and Ellie could make friends and begin building relationships with other children near their ages - kids who would know them and accept them and stand up for them.
To be honest, it was hard to look for a home that met all of our needs - especially since we don't know for sure what all of our needs will be.  And it was a strong dose of reality to realize that while we believe are children are capable and we know they (& we) will work hard to overcome challenges, we also want our home to be a place of rest for them - not just another challenge to get through.  The reality that their diagnoses do affect our home purchasing decisions just kind of hit me one day when we looked at a home that really didn't meet many of our accessibility standards and I realized how selfish it was of me to even consider "making it work."
Thankfully, God can work through my selfishness and He had the perfect place waiting for us!
The house we found wasn't on the market.  I met the previous owner at our storage facility and she said she was considering selling.  We drove by...
& fell in love!

God clearly had a perfect house for us.  It met R's requirements of having new plumbing and electricity.  It met my wishes for an indoor laundry room & open kitchen/family room.  
It met Will's & Ellie's accessibility needs - it is completely one level & has hard surfaces in every room except the master.  (The only thing we weren't prepared for?  The patio and driveway are gravelly which hurts Will when he is out without his zancos.  Arg -might need to repave at some point.)
And it had lots of fun touches... which I'll share in a minute.

Our favorite aspect?  We love that we are on a cul de sac & that on our street are several families with young children.  We are so thankful that Will (& someday Ellie) have kids to play with outside!    It just makes my heart so happy.
And there's a pool down the street so lots of times we load the stroller and go for a walk and a swim & sometimes meet up with neighbors there.

R loves new houses.  I love old houses.  This issue was not covered in our pre-marital counseling but it should have been.  Bless our realtor's heart.  I'm sure we were quite the struggle as we both had strong opinions about old and new homes.

This house was a great compromise.  Though it is a newer home, the builder used lots of really old features...

like these front doors - circa 1900 with really cool etched glass.
Love our front door & entry way!
(of course, I should have taken a better picture and included our front porch and plants & misc toys)



The entire exterior of the home & two cool arches inside the entry along with the floors in the family room & kitchen and hallways are done in beautiful antique Used Chicago Brick (antique bricks from historic Chicago buildings - likely over 100 years old.)  Love it!
(This is the view from the entry way into the living room & the sunroom in back.)

I also adore our wood floors in the living & dining room - 
circa 1900 reclaimed old pine floors from Louisiana.
I like to pretend they came from an antebellum plantation or old church.
Maybe I should make up a great story about who once walked these floors.  I just love them.
The floor and the bricks really help satisfy my need for old
Used Chicago Brick arches 


Ok - this is definitely a "before" picture.  We love our backyard - it was a definite selling point.  It's huge & has a big "woods" for Will (& someday Ellie) to explore.  We plan on leaving the back part of it very natural but have some clean up work to do.
Not really sure what our plans are for the patio area - we're working on that.

Our backyard is very private & we love how the trees are so thick that we really don't see much of our neighbor's homes - it feels so quiet & relaxing to us.

The kids share a bath - which I think is good for kids to do.  They do each have their own sinks, however.  Also, the facets are the kind that Will can operate by himself & we believe Ellie will be able to as well someday!
This is Will's side:
& Will's room:

Ellie's room:
Ellie's sink area (changing table for now):


I am nowhere close to being finished with getting settled - 
note the lovely blackout liner I'm using for a curtain for Ellie's room while I figure out what to do with her massive window.  Classy, isn't it?
The hallway between the kids' rooms:
I have both of their newborn collages framed along with their 12 month frames & their "going home" outfits.
This hallway makes me smile.
(& my heart skips a beat at how quickly they grow.)
Sometimes, my heart about explodes as I rock Ellie & get glimpses of this hall...
This off center round window makes me happy - it adds charm, I think

Kitchen/breakfast nook/family room
Living/entry
Master
kitchen
I love this big wood beam:
The sunroom:
I love the beadboard.
Ok - those of you who have been in any of the homes we've lived in know what a big deal this is to me:
a pantry!  
A real, live (actually it's not alive) pantry!
Not a kitchen cabinet turned pantry.
Not a utility closet turned pantry.
Not a very small pantry.
A HUGE pantry.
Love it.
Breakfast nook
I love all the windows too & because the yard makes it feel private, the blinds haven't been lowered once since we moved in!
A huge thanks to Sherri who decorated the bookcases for me as a housewarming gift!
(Also - I know that the fireplace looks very blank... I have no idea what to put there but am keeping my eyes peeled.  I wish I was an artist!)
The "friend" door to the side of the house
And drumroll please...
I HAVE A LAUNDRY ROOM!
INSIDE MY HOUSE!
IT IS NOT ALSO KNOWN AS THE GARAGE!
(I don't know why I am using all caps.)
I have never had an indoor laundry room in any home R & I have owned.  Ever.
I didn't mind doing the laundry in the garage except when I dropped underwear (gross) or had to move a car out to be able to open the dryer (inconvenient.)
I am loving this room - love, love, love it.
In fact, I think my laundry output has increased significantly.
Also, I have an outdoor clothesline I installed which I love.

The back hallway.  I will be hanging the kids' art on a cable on this wall under their first paintings.
The study.  It's a wreck.  Totally not finished.  I think I procrastinate working on this room because I dread filing the paperwork.  I really need to organize medical files and random paperwork.  Ugh - it's on my to do list soon.  Please don't judge.
We like that with the location of the guest room & study there is plenty of room should we have visitors or decide to grow our family in the future.
The guest room.  Also not finished but really close!)

Old pictures I've collected from our families.  I just love these pictures.  Some of them we have no idea who they are; some have really funny expressions; one series features the same woman posed with three different men & three different cars.  Some are candid & some are posed.  Some are from the 1800's.  I adore them & hope someday to collect antique frames from garage sales to display them in.

I love my kitchen & that for the first time, I feel like I am part of the family when I am cooking - it's open enough that I can make dinner while W & E play or R sits and talks to me.
Family room - where we spend most of our time!
I don't know why I didn't include any front yard pics.  I'll try to remember to do that soon.
I also forgot to take pictures but I have hydrangeas and roses growing in our yard so I find that I constantly have fresh picked flowers around our home.  It makes me smile when I walk in a room and see a vase of pink roses or pretty fern leaves or southern blue hydrangeas - my favorite.  It's been nice to have a yard that already has these growing in it.

Anyway, it's a work in progress but wanted to share some pics from our new home! 
Thanks for touring our new (to us) home!

(& if you ever come visit, please don't judge if there are still boxes out in the study or if it is a mess - I figure this is the age of "cheap plastic" - see all those cheap plastic baby items & kid toys?! I know I will miss those objects someday!)

7 thoughts:

Mrs. Jenk said...

I love your home and your style!

~Stevie~ said...

Love your new home, friend! It is beautiful! :)

gtown1 said...

I LOVE your NEW house...I'm astonished at how you already have all of your pictures hanging up on the walls...are you kidding me?
How in the world did you find time to do that? I love the brick archway, the round window, the open kitchen...the color of your master bedroom--all of it--looks perfect!
Makes me envious though since we won't be able to decorate for at least another year in a home of our own since we are renting. Oh well! So goes the life of Team Williams. LOVE LOVE LOVE it...hope to see it in person some day. Congratulations--it's beautiful!
PS- A BIG vertical framed mirror would look great on the mantle. I've seen that on HGTV :) To fill the space of the brick fireplace vertically. Just make sure to secure it on there! :) Thanks for sharing--now I can picture where ya'll are :)
love, EJ

Danielle said...

I love your blog and your house is beautiful. Your stories of Will crack me up. I think he and my 3 year old would be fast friends. Thanks for sharing!

http://salardsmiles.blogspot.com/

JennyCraig said...

Thanks for sharing pics! We've been out of town for a few weeks, and I haven't checked blogs in as long...and I just happened to look tonight and woohoo! So glad I didn't miss them! OMGoodness! God certainly led you to the perfect house because there are so many "old" features that really are perfect for you, but it is still so nice, new and clean! :) That God sure knows our hearts, doesn't He?!?!
Love and miss you guys!

Sarah said...

Love, love, love the house...it really does seem perfect for your family! God is good! Hope to come see it in person some day!! Love and miss you guys!

Gardening with Juanita said...

I love your blog. Your children are beautiful. It is cute about the baby taking her brace off.

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