Sexy Nerd Quote of the Day: Feel the Burn

My brother and his wife are moving to Australia, where she will attend medical school and he will mooch off our relatives get a job. Everything must go! We just returned from their house $200 poorer, but rich in junk. A backup bread machine? Ours squeals like a pig whenever it's in the mixing cycle, so sure. Speakers for the garage? We're building our house around the garage; of course it's going to need surround sound. My sister-in-law was happy to let me have her old purse for free, pointing out that she'd received it for free as a gift from my mom, but my brother jumped in and charged me $20 for it. When I'd wanted it a few years ago, his price was $50. We aren't close.

A surprising thing about my brother and his wife is that they are bodybuilders. I know, you re-read that last sentence, thinking you'd surely misunderstood. Take a look:

A video posted by Joanna Neal (@joanna.n88) on

A video posted by Joanna Neal (@joanna.n88) on

I'm the opposite of a bodybuilder (here's a post to prove it), but I've made my peace with that and had no interest in purchasing any of their weights or kettlebells. I did bring home a couple of yoga DVD box sets, which I intend to look at every morning with good intentions, and occasionally dust. Imagine my surprise when Sexy Nerd offered to purchase the weights and kettlebells.

"Will you actually use those?" I asked. He nodded, leaving me instantly impressed, imagining a buff, new Sexy Nerd who pumps iron and helps clean the floor by lifting the sofa over his head. Just when I thought he couldn't get any better.
We got the weights home. I asked where we'll keep them once we move. "In the garage," Sexy Nerd replied. The notion of it also being a gym would help me feel better about the excessive window costs and scenic views in every direction, surely wasted on a closet for cars. If only he'd stopped there.

"These are so heavy," he added. "They'll be perfect for projects in the garage. I always need to weigh things down and it sucks when I can't find anything heavy enough."

Did I just pay top dollar for the handyman equivalent of a paperweight? *Sigh*

Construction Update: I Love This House!

Is there such a thing as Bipolar Construction Disorder? Forget my anxiety-filled post from the other day. I love everything about this house!

There's really going to be an actual house here soon, windows and stucco and all. I can't believe it.

Here is our kitchen/living room, which is off the foyer and attaches to a cozy dining nook and the theater room. Before you say "THEATER ROOM?!", it's essentially just a TV room with a fancy name.

And three seating options, including a bunk bed.

This is what you see when you step outside the master bedroom, which is at the very back of the house. It's hard to tell from this photo, but by adding a door to each side of the room straight ahead, there's a gorgeous view of the front yard. We'll also be able to see the fireplace to the left.

See how wonky and asymmetrical our back patio roof is? Although we approved the plan, including this odd roof (oops!), our builder agreed that the look wasn't right and said it wasn't up to his high standards - so they redid the entire roof on the left half of the house at no extra charge! Thank you, Panorama Homes! (AKA the best builder ever!!)

Here's the front door/foyer, which is another redo at no extra expense to us. We'd actually thought it looked perfectly fine. The plan is to have stone running continuously from outside to inside to outside and, luckily, our builder realised that the windows had been drawn and framed just a tad too far to pull this off properly.

With framing almost complete, I can finally picture what the finished product is going to look like. That said, I still have my fingers crossed that this space will turn out well. I insisted on adding this window (in the foyer) and I insisted on making the ceiling on the other side ridiculously tall (in the guest bathroom!), and I'm too stubborn to admit it may not work. Hey, the point of building a custom home is to have something unique, right? I'm 87% certain the finished result is going to be amazing.

I'm 13% certain we'll be covering up this window with artwork in the foyer and a mirror in the bathroom.

We requested tongue & groove on the outdoor ceilings and the builder ran with it. I think this must have been up within an hour of Sexy Nerd mentioning it! I'd actually meant to install it just on the patio ceilings (on the ceilings people will actually see). There's no reason for anyone to ever stand under these windows outside, as there's no yard there, but I suppose it would be odd to do every outdoor ceiling except this one.

Funny enough, whenever we'd visit a Parade of Homes house with outdoor tongue & groove, I'd say we need it and Sexy Nerd would immediately shoot me down, insisting it was over our budget and a waste of money. This has probably happened a hundred times over the last 6 years or so.

At $7 per square foot though... 

I maybe could have skipped this one too. 

Here's something strange. Unless Sexy Nerd misunderstood, the construction crew thinks its easier to stain the tongue & groove when it's already installed, waaay up in the air on a ladder. He must have misunderstood, right? I think the framers got a bit carried away/impatient when they installed all the outdoor tongue & groove sans stain.

What's with the holes in the wall?

(Not complaining, just wondering.)

(Love this house!)

I've been unable to attend our site meetings with the builder (always on a Friday - our busiest day at work), so I have to trust that Sexy Nerd and I are on the same page. The builder mentioned improving our already-awesome curb appeal by possibly cutting these trees back. I want more trees. Bigger trees. He said no...and then agreed we should remove another tree or two to expand the driveway.

*Sigh*

Here's what you see when you enter the house from the garage. Who has curvy hallways? We do.

Cheers!

In the Battle of the Sexes, I Think I Lost This One

I greatly underestimated how stressful it would be to build a house. Everything has been progressing smoothly and there are no problems with our builder or the construction process. The problem is me and my crazy brain. 

One day, I'll visit the house and be so thrilled I practically skip through the halls, loving every detail. The next, this wall is wrong and that ceiling height is awful and how could we be so stupid to put the house in this location and what were we thinking when we designed the floorplan and if only we could go back in time, our lives would not be ruined now. Oh, I hope I hope I hope the finished house is nice!

One of my biggest house concerns has been capturing views. So many 2ams lately have had me on the verge of a panic attack, unable to breathe as I fixate on seeing the corner of a neighbor's house through one window or a distant roof through another. The driveway snakes across the entire front of the house. More trees were cleared than we'd initially hoped and many may still die. The windows to several rooms have no view and no privacy. From the foyer, you can see power lines in the distance.

*Deep breath*

Here is what you see when looking through one of the living room windows. I'm just going to focus on this photo when I think of views from now on. And just think how great it will look once the scrap pile is removed!

You'll never guess which room ended up with the best views in the house.

Sexy Nerd's insanely oversized garage, complete with insanely oversized windows and a glass door for 360 degrees of glorious views.

The garage was going to be on the other side of the house, where the views and privacy aren't as nice. At the last minute though, Sexy Nerd flipped the house. He has a million reasons why this was a smart move, none of which include his spectacularly situated mega-garage.

Mmm hmmm. The flip had nothing to do with the garage. Suuure, Sexy Nerd.

(Meanwhile, the master bedroom and my office will require closed curtains at all times. And did I mention the driveway stretches through our entire front yard?)

There's that stress again. *Deep breath*

Roar! The Weird Sleep Trick That Actually Works

As a lifelong insomniac, I'm always open to trying new sleep tricks. Some things improve my sleep, such as my Amerisleep memory foam mattress, keeping the temperature in our bedroom at a chilly 67 degrees, and a pre-bed cocktail of half a Unisom, half a multivitamin, and a fish oil pill. Yum, yum, right? Other tried-and-true sleep tips don't seem to have any effect, including Dr. Weil's relaxation breathing technique, which other bloggers swear by as a cure for insomnia. Sadly, it just doesn't do anything for me. I do have a sleep cure (well, improvement, at least) of my own though and I encourage you to give it a try during your next restless night.

It's a bit unusual though. Keep an open mind.

Imagine yourself as a mountain lion.

Weird, right? Weird, but this visualization actually helps. You're an immense, powerful mountain lion. You have no responsibilities. No worries. No cares. All day long, you have been roaming beneath the sweltering sun, climbing steep dirt hills and chasing prey to exhaustion. Now, worn and ready to sleep, you collapse into the earth. Stretch out your heavy mountain lion legs and yawn your mighty mountain lion jaw. You take a deep breath, expanding your hardy mountain lion chest. Every part of you is so cumbersome, so heavy; your paws cannot be lifted. Your strength is gone. You sleep.


Did it work? Goodnight.

Stinky Nerd Quote of the Day

Remember that greenhouse Sexy Nerd and I built together? Yeah, I'm taking credit for it. Supervising is hard work! I also provided snacks, Subway sandwiches, and icy sodas, which anyone doing hard manual labor will tell you is a much-appreciated job. I tried to provide icy beer too, but Sexy Nerd said drinking and heavy lifting never go together. He's so moral, that crazy guy of mine.

Luckily for the icy beer, I was not doing any heavy lifting.

Sexy Nerd worked all day long, tirelessly moving each 80 pound bag of concrete from the bottom of our lot up the steep, uneven ground until all 6,800 pounds were accounted for. When the 85th bag finally reached the top, I ran up to him in celebration. He was sunburned and sweaty; his hair ashen with cement dust. He'd done it! I threw my arms around him.

Phew!

Sexy Nerd reeked. I knew he'd worked hard, but this was too much. Recoiling, I vowed we would not ride home in the same car.

Which leads me to the Sexy Stinky Nerd Quote of the Day:

"I didn't use deodorant today because I knew I'd just get all sweaty and gross anyway. I figured, what's the point, you know?"


WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO GET ALL SWEATY AND GROSS IS WHEN YOU NEED DEODORANT MOST OF ALL, SEXY NERD!

It's a good thing he's investing so much effort into the greenhouse. At this rate, he won't be allowed inside our beautiful new home. Half the windows don't even open. It simply won't work out, Sexy Nerd.
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