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Lucky Number 7!

Sweet Karoline,

Today you’re seven. SEVEN! I say this every year, but I’m just not quite sure how the time keeps going so fast. 

Karoline, I’m sorry we’re knee deep in house work and transitions on your birthday. I’m sorry you won’t wake up to balloons for the first time. I put up two banners, made you a sign and hung some ribbons. I think it looks fun, but it’s still not a balloon. 

I’m sorry I forgot to get the one gift you asked for. I hope you will be excited to pick it out on the computer tomorrow and that the three gifts you have will make you happy. I’m sorry I’m not a Pinterest perfect party throwing, frugal but fancy kind of mom.

My sweet girl, I’m trying and failing and yet you keep loving me. To be honest, I don’t always feel worthy of your love. However, I know you’d never want me to feel this way. Because that’s you, my daring, you’re a ray of sunshine. 

I have a plan and I’m not sorry to be giving up social media for the summer so I can focus on our family. I’m not sorry I give you non-processed foods (most of the time), hate sugar and put you to bed early. Because I’m trying to do my best for you.

Motherhood is hard for me, and yet you just keep rocking the kid thing. You’re extremely intelligent, fun to be around, kind, beautiful, polite and precious in every single way. 

My daring, you’re incredible. 

When I was little my live in nanny was from the Philippines. She once said, in her culture, age seven is a big deal. At age seven a child has all the personality traits and behaviors they will have for life. My love, if this is true, then you nailed it. Your daddy and I are so proud of who you have become! 

My prayer for you, on your seventh birthday, is to always have courage and be kind - and to know Jesus and your family love you. Always. 

It's Starting to Feel Like Home

Just like that our house is starting to feel like a home ...
Alex was wondering how Tim could put the soffit and fascia up without there being a deck floor.
My precious curly haired loves.
He did a great job and I love the color with the bricks!
Drywall was next!

The brick is always running in the background ... only about 17,000 more to go. 
Drywall continued!
Our first home cooked meal (via hotplate) in the house was left over chicken noodle soup.
Tim asked me what I wanted the railing to look like. I found something like this on Pinterest and he made it come to life!
My shiplap dreams...
are coming true! This is the mud room, coming in from the garage.
This is the half bath off the mud room.
An accent wall in the kitchen. The coffee bar will go below those light switches.
Accent wall in the master bathroom.
Tim trimmed out all the windows, doors and installed the baseboards. I love that he is willing to put in the time and effort to make the little details I dreamed about a priority!
The view from Alexandra's West facing window is one of my favorites. On a clear day you can see Fremont Peak so well!
Shadow puppet fun!
We went back and forth on what to put on this fireplace wall. In the end my dreams of shiplap became a reality. However, my favorite part of this photo is, and always will be, the man casting the shadow. 

Timothy Joseph, 
you are an amazing provider. Two years ago I asked you, "What do you really want to do? What is your dream job?" You responded, "I've always wanted to build houses." My love, you're doing it. You're not just doing it, you're crushing it. The girls and I are so PROUD of you. Thank you for the tireless hours of labor and love that you're putting into our home.
The last two years have been hard, harder than we could have imagined. We felt led to make a change and the smile on your face when I see you working on our home has made it all worth it. Moving into this home will be a huge accomplishment. 
Where you go, I'll go. I love dreaming and conquering with you.
I am beyond thankful you make me the builders wife. 
This is just the beginning!

Teaching Blessings

This week I have been overwhelmed by the blessings teaching has brought into my life. The blessing have come in the form of relationships.

I miss my girls tremendously when I'm at work. However, this week I've made room for God to show me I am where I am supposed to be. In doing so I have been overwhelmed with a thankful heart. I am thankful for my co-workers and thankful for my students. My students are precious, precious kiddos. Many scoff when they think about teaching high school. I believe the joke is on them, our students are amazing. They all have so much to offer and I am thankful for each and every student I had and have the opportunity to know this school year.

This week I asked my freshman classes to write a two stanza poem in the rhyming scheme of ABAAB, the topic was up to them. I began to wonder if I could do the task I had assigned to them. I could, thankfully! I was able to summarize the gracious heart I've been filled with this week. This is what I came up with.

                 Hidden Blessings

When I chose this job I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.
I might not be the most rigorous teacher my students will ever have.
However, I have always known for sure, the thing I knew I could do;
I could show them their worth, show them grace and love them through and through.
At home, they may be loved by many, I’m learning many of them are only loved by few.

I’m lucky you see, 
I always thought I wanted to have a lot of kids.
Lately I say with more confidence, I’ve already experienced my last pregnancy.
But this year, children surround me like the leaves of a summertime tree.
My prayers have been answered and my blessings came to me in the hundreds. 

Progress: Guts

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update. A lot has changed at our home. We now have stairs!

Water hook ups are ready!

This hardworking man did all the soffit, fascia windows and gutters.

He started the brick, only 19,000 to go...

AND he became a roofer. He’s my Superman.

HVAC, plumbing and electrical are hard at work. Seeing the lighting ready to go was pretty exciting.
Gas for the stove is ready.

This little corner is ready to become the coffee corner. 

Image credit: Hobby Lobby Pinterest 

This is my inspiration for this space. There will be shiplap but it will be a smaller version of something like this.

I got to see my bathtub today (Christmas Eve). I am already dreaming of my first bath in it!

This is the tub. It’s from Costco!

Merry Christmas to one and all. I’m looking forward to sharing the completion phase of our home with you in 2019!


Last fall we purchased the last little lot in the Fireman's Bluff subdivision. Since then we have been working toward our dream of building our own home. Three months ago, on June 14, we broke ground and started the construction process. Tim has been working extremely hard and already has hundreds of hours into our house. 

For almost a year this has been the day I've been waiting for, framing day! A day that brought the hours of work, the computer images, the blue prints and all of the conversations to life. We would like to extend a big thank you to Carochi Construction for their hard work and expertise in framing our home.
I was able to run up to see the gentlemen get started this morning.
The back wall.
After Tim got home from work we grabbed some dinner and made our way up to see our house for the first time. We sat in the middle of the living room and ate in wonder and awe of our framed home. Once I did a complete walkthrough upstairs I made my way down around the side for the first time since it had been framed last week.
Upon taking in this view of the home I started to cry. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. This is our house. This is why we left Denver. This is why we are here. My husband had the dream to build a house and his dream, our dream, is now a reality. 
Words will never be enough to express how proud I am of him. But believe me when I say this, there is nothing, nothing this man can't do.
The view from my kitchen island. 
The unfinished basement. I foresee lots of play hours in this wide open space.
Our sweet bug is so good at seeing what needs to be done and jumping right in to help.
The soon to be front door (it will be red).
The neighborhood bear wants to be sure that we know he is still around!

Today was a good day in the life of being the Builder's Wife. None of this would be possible without our Lord and Savior. Glory be to God.

To Teach is to Learn Twice Over

In one calendar year we ...
Sold our home,
Tim resigned from his position at Coors,
We re-image our company and Tim returned to being self employed,
Started building our home,
and most recently I started my career.

In the 2018 - 2019 school year I will be Mrs. Reed, English Language Arts teacher at 
Canon City High School.

I'm not entirely sure where to start with all of the excitement I have surrounding this change for myself and our family. So I'll begin with the questions I've been asked most frequently. 

What will you be teaching? I'll be teaching Honors English 9, Video Production, Speech and English 9.

Have you always wanted to be a teacher? I think that it's always been on my path, I just didn't take the straightest route to get here. My senior year I completed the Future Teachers of America Program. However, when I got to college I fell in love with Mass Communications. After Tim and I were married I was searching for a more family friendly career. I was accepted into the Masters of Arts in Education at Colorado College. We found out we were moving to Denver shortly after my acceptance. I made the decision to withdraw from the program. Then we had the girls...

How can you be a teacher with a degree in Mass Communications? This summer I obtained my alternative license from the Colorado Department of Education. This included paper work, taking and passing the Praxis exam, and being accepted to a licensure program. This year I am simultaneously taking classes online through University of Colorado's, Aspire to Teach program.

What will you do with the girls? Thankfully Karoline is in first grade and will have a schedule that very closely resembles mine. Alexandra LOVED school last year and will attend school five days a week and will spend her afternoons with her Papa Joe.

How are you doing? In large part I believe that ignorance is bliss. I don't know what lies ahead of me, I have never student taught. Some may view this as a negative. I however view it as an amazing opportunity to be molded into whatever the high school needs from me. I am willing and able to do what is asked without any preconcieved notions.

This opportunity could not have happened without AMAZING support from Tim, my family, friends (huge thank you to the entire VanIwarden family), CCHS administration and staff and members of our community.

Firm Foundation

Today I got to exercise my role as The Builder's Wife and help (read: tear tape and hold plastic) finish our ICF block foundation. If you stick with me to the end of this post I will reveal our upstairs floor plan, so bare with me. But, if you're not into floor plans (and you're dead inside) you will want the shortened version at Reed Construction's website.

If you know anything about my husband, you know that he only works with quality material. He doesn't want to have to buy something twice. He selects and uses products that will last. When deciding how to build our foundation it was a no brainer for him. He decided on ICF blocks. A product that he could do with help and guidance from a few men (thank you, John). Our company mission statement includes that we are committed to value-added services and quality products that stand the test of time. Fox Blocks has the same vision for their product with an R38 insulation value. A worthy to mention note: they are moving forward with the Build Green movement!

It's a goal of ours to use as many local and made in the USA companies as possible for the build of our home. Fox Blocks is a division of Airlite Plastics Company, based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Pouring the footer on June 14, 2018. This was an EXCITING day for us all!

The first layer of Fox Blocks

That's my gym window! Tim surprised me with this. I thought this entire side of the basement was his shop.

Final step: Plastic Sheeting - This is where my *help* came in. ;)

Now I get to share with you our floor plan. I've been so excited for this reveal!
Our basement will be unfinished at the time we obtain our certificate of occupancy.

Both the upstairs and downstairs are roughly 2100 square feet.

I have to brag on Tim for a minute. A year ago we were starting this process. To have our plans drawn would have cost more than purchasing an iMac and HomeDesign software. In true Tim Reed fashion he bought the computer, the software and spent weeks learning how to draw our home. 

He has since used the program to bid additions for clients. It also aids with measuring exterior construction work. I'm more than proud of him. If you are in the market for blue prints or a cost analysis for an addition or new build, I know a guy.

Without further ado ... Our Home.

Up next: Pinterest and 3D photo version of our home!