House hunting was extremely frustrating. We looked at more houses than I care to count. When our lease was up in May, we signed on for another year. I'm pretty sure our realtor hated us. After becoming pregnant with Avery in December of 2012, it was like a clock began ticking. We found a home we liked that month and put in an offer, but after lots of negotiation and a last minute second buyer who outbid us, that process ended in disappointment. We knew we would most likely lose our minds if we stayed in our tiny apartment with a toddler AND a newborn, so we began talking seriously about building a house.
We met with several builders and ended up signing a contract with one at the end of March, 2013. We had hopes that they'd break ground by the beginning of May, since the baby was due September 4. Well, it seemed our bad luck was going to continue for a while longer, with horrible weather throughout the month of April and even a snowstorm in the first week of May (seriously, May??!!). They finally broke ground on May 8, then it seemed to take forever for anything else to happen. But once June hit, things sped up and the house seemed to pop up overnight.
We had a close date in our contract of August 31, just five days before our baby was due. (This seems like poor planning on our part, but the builder hesitated to give us a date at all, so we felt fortunate to have him committed to anything.) Of course our apartment lease was up on August 31 as well, and based on the size of my expanding belly, it seemed the baby was planning an early arrival. Between stressing about the timing of everything, packing, arguing with the bank about the appraisal and closing, finishing a big project at work, and the physical discomforts of being nine months pregnant, August was probably the most stressful month of my life.
The house was completed a week ahead of schedule, on August 23. Looking back, the early completion was a huge blessing. I honestly don't know what we would have done if it had taken any longer. After many phone calls and emails and near-breakdowns, it became clear that we wouldn't be able to close with the bank until a week after construction was done, but our builder took pity on us and allowed us to move in prior to closing. Another huge blessing. I had contractions all afternoon and evening on the day of our final walk-through and was convinced I'd be spending our moving weekend in labor, but Avery held off and we were able to move some stuff ourselves over the weekend before the movers finished up on Monday. That Friday (August 30), we closed with the bank and the house was officially ours. Next Thursday, Avery was born, and the rest is history. The house felt like home within a week. I spent my maternity leave unpacking and organizing, and though we still need to paint the bedrooms and add some decor, it seems as though we've been here for years.
I wanted to chronicle the building process while it was happening, but of course that didn't happen. Instead, I made a slideshow of the construction pictures. I set it to the song "We Built This City" by Starship, which I found appropriate on several levels. It was the first song that Jeff and I ever danced to more than ten years ago. Enjoy!