Family, Moving In

Work and Play

We did more play than work this past weekend, but how could you not when it felt like summer in the ‘Burgh?!

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Mark did his part in the Steel City Pizza contest that was held in Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville. No pizza for me, but I did drink a tub of fresh lemonade.

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I went out for a girls night and Mark started sanding our stair treads.

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We’re giving each one a light coat of polyurethane.

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Once we get them back on the staircase, we’ll put the railing on.

You know I can’t write a blog post now without showing off my baby girl niece!

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4 generations in this photo…my Nunny, my mom (now Mimi), Mama Kelly and Lily. You know Lilypad will be beautiful…just look at these 3 stunning women!

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Our family is now complete

If we sent out a Christmas card, it would look like this…

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Merry Christmas from Mark, Courtney and Sally (our staircase.)

We love this staircase so much, we took 20 different pictures of it. It’s like our baby.

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On Friday, our electrician, Dominic, brought over 5 burly men, and Mark and the burly men lifted the 760 pound staircase and got it up.

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Mark poured concrete in the basement and put in a support post to help with the weight.

He fastened in the oak trends and covered them with paper so they don’t get ruined while we finish the downstairs.

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We have a cable wire railing we’ll be putting up next. Three cheers for how it turned out and for not climbing a ladder anymore!

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Heavy lifting, Moving In

Welcome to our treehouse

This blog is a judgement-free zone. Keep that in mind as I share with you the current state in which we live.

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Our stairs are gone. They were only temporary and my husband, Mark, took them down to finish mudding and taping all the drywall downstairs.

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So, how am I supposed to get upstairs??

Remember, you promised to withhold judgement. Here is my husband’s solution…

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Yep, that’s a ladder and that’s how I get to my bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. If it SOUNDS and LOOKS awkward, it’s even MORE AWKWARD to LIVE like this.

Here I am with all my work bags just climbing the ladder.

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And here is my view in the morning as I try to get to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.

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It’s like we’re living in a treehouse…or a fort.

I feel like I have been a VERY patient wife through all of these DIY renovations, but if this “ladder thing” lasts more than a few days I will definitely throw a fit.

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The Row House

We have LIFTOFF!! (but it’s a bit wobbly)

The NEW, temporary staircase is in! But I’m afraid to walk on it…so I guess that’s a bit of a problem.

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Mark cut the two stringers out of two 2x12s. He used his skil saw for the job. (I never knew there were so MANY types of saws…skil, jig, etc…)

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My brother-in-law then cut 15 three foot treads and Mark started screwing them in.

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Halfway through, I made him stop and take this picture…I told him we have blog readers who want to see photos!! 🙂

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When you walk on the staircase it kinda bounces and moves…Mark thinks it’s okay, but I refuse to step foot on it.

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Mark is calling a friend who is a GENIUS carpenter/builder in Canada. We’re hoping he can help us…if not, maybe we’ll install a pulley system and get upstairs that way. 🙂

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Design phase

We got plans, I tell ya…BIG plans!!

My husband, Mark, is a landscape architect. Actually, he’s the best landscape architect in the world. 🙂

He mostly designs city parks, vacation communities and high-end residential spaces.

That (obviously) makes him the perfect person to design what we want our house to look like. Thanks to his genius, and his SUPER COOL 3D model program, we have a vision of what our little corner of the world will hopefully be someday.

both floors no brick

After we got the house, Mark went through and took the measurements of everything and built the house “as is” in his computer program. (There are 2 bedrooms upstairs that aren’t pictured)

He then made the VIRTUAL changes to the house that we would like to make in REAL LIFE. Like exposing the brick, moving the bathroom and putting the laundry room upstairs…

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Because it’s a narrow rowhouse, we want there to be a clear line of sight from the front door to the back. Right now, the stairs block that view because they’re in the middle of the house behind that white wall…

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If you look at it from the kitchen, that wall in the middle of the house really breaks up our downstairs into three tiny rooms…

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We’re blowing out that wall and moving those stairs to the side of the house next to the exposed brick. It will be a “floating staircase” – you’ll be able to see through it so the house looks bigger…

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I will say, I’m REALLY REALLY glad we have this blueprint. It helps with planning and building, and it just gives us that small glimmer of hope we need to keep going!! (I hope it doesn’t take 15 years to finish)

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