Friday, May 4, 2012

'Grand Designs' for a family...

Four years ago my trooper of a husband and I took the plunge and waved goodbye to our Scottish seaside home, our high-flier jobs, and our 'Brit pack' family and friends. Karma led us overseas to my husbands homeland, none other than a quiet Texas Hill Country village where he spent a good portion of his high school days

August, 2008
The opportunity to buy a fairly secluded plot of land had arisen within the family, and so a timely trip to Texas seemed to be in order.

Mommy's eyes lit up after seeing the narrow steep lot, with a bare bones cabin sitting at the base, and my sights were set.

We desperately wanted our own family- and we'd been working on it for a couple of years - but nothing had happened. I was impatient, unsettled, and unhappy.

My best friend did a visual exercise with me, where I had to visualize where I would be in five years. A most provincial image vividly sprang to mind: I was 'cliche' barefoot and pregnant, standing on a deck, with my children, drinking lemonade and waving goodbye to my hubbie who was heading off to work in the local village.
April, 2012
Hey Presto!! Five years on, and (substituting a mug of coffee for the lemonade) we're exactly where I 'secreted' us to be. Once I was clear on what I wanted it became so much easier to take advantages of the right opportunities and make those BIG decisions, which led us to where we are today. We have never once looked back!

Not long after we (hubbie didn't need much convincing) had made the decision to buy the cabin, my husband received an overseas phone call and a subsequent job offer to teach at the local Charter School, which is where he teaches Spanish today.

Our stint here has been a whirlwind adventure of building and breeding. Each new babe has inspired a new project, and our space and family have expanded in sync.

In January 2009 we discovered that one of Daddy's tadpoles had finally 'nailed' it, and a wee bambino was starting to grow in Mommy's tummy- Wahoo! The forthcoming birth of our long awaited sprog definitely set the goal posts firmer in the ground and more than just the Texas heat was on to try and get our country cabin kitted out for his arrival.

There was so much to do! We were without a water supply or a septic system, and the cabin was not plumbed. 'Officially' we were camping out. Does a preggo Momma s**t in the woods? Well this one did - at least for the first trimester!

The hubbie put himself through a crash course in plumbing, and boy did he do a 'sad to be squatting' Momma proud! By May 2009 our septic tanks were in the ground, we were trucking in water monthly to a 2500gal storage tank, and both kitchen and bathroom were installed and plumbed. All the work - accept operating the backhoe - had been accomplished by my versatile hubbie the Spanish teacher - "who's the Daddy?!"

'Our' summer project was to drywall, paint and floor our homely cabin, all in time for baby's projected arrival in mid September. Although it was hard work in the heat, it paid off and our cutesy cabin (albeit small) was so much more than just a comfortable family home just in time for baby.

And the cabin would have been big enough for baby - if it had just been baby - but before long, the stuff that came with our baby was bursting out of the seems of our newly installed dry walls, and our outdoor shed was fairing worse than Monica Geller's closet.

Mommy dared to dream big, and our extension idea was born. The area had already been scratched out during the septic installation with future expansion in mind, so an architect and build team were called in (this job was too big for a devoted Daddy) and by March 2010 the build was underway.

May 2010
The extension was fully completed by May 2010, and Mommy and Daddy were overjoyed! We celebrated with an Open House Party and the subsequent 'christening' of each and every room lead to a very prompt bun in a still warm oven!

Baby's first birthday - a train theme - was happily held in our new party pad, and the unfurnished space easily hosted all our family and friends. Summer turned to winter and, content in our casa, we finally relaxed on our renovation scheming and I turned my attention to interior design - otherwise known as Ikea.

Bouncing baby boy number two joined our clan in February 2011, and for the first couple of months we stayed 'locked in' happily hidden away in our haven from the rest of the world. But even with our extension it wasn't long before the cabin fever set in, especially for our eldest boy who wanted to be adventuring outdoors. The temperature was starting to warm up, and I longed for a shady spot outside, where my kids could play safely.

Again magic Momma dared to dream BIG, so I started to scribble my dreams down - and our super-duper deck idea was born. Building work started mid-summer, but it wasn't until October 2011 that this second phase was complete.
Our deck 'wrap' party was held the week before Thanksgiving, and upholding tradition (after some alfresco knocking of our cowboy boots) a festive fertilization was in the making. This third pregnancy was so prompt, the prenatal age of our unborn daughter actually predates our decision to 'try'!

April 2012
I don't think for one minute we're done with our expansion plans - not by a long shot - and whether I'm talking about building or kids is anybody's guess.

Son number one got a house, son number two got a deck, (not to be sexist) I think our daughter would really like a nice big kitchen....


  1. Aw, glad the visualisation helped. I'm so glad you are living your dream! The house looks awesome. I can't wait to visit - 2014 maybe? Or is that too far away??? xxx

    1. It's definitely too far away - but I'll take it! ;-)x