We have been SO busy the last few weeks, and living in a camper has made it difficult to take moments aside to update you guys. This post alone has taken a week! I broke it down for ya’ll, but if you want to bypass the updates the important stuff is at the end 🙂
First, I had to plan. Ya’ll are going to laugh when you see this. For some reason I thought that going through and measuring each, I don’t know what you call it… center… so I could calculate how much insulation we need. Matt got me this amazing Windows Surface Pro tablet for Christmas and you can DRAW notes (which for someone like me obsessed with paper notes, this is gold!). I suppose it helped me wrap my brain around it, but it probably wasn’t needed.
We knew the walls were 24 on center, which actually was only maybe 50% of them because of windows and doors there were more support on those ends. We bought 3 packages of R-13 insulation (11 packs each of 23″ wide and 93′ long). I was feeling especially productive one day and decided to load both kids into our Xterra and drive to Lowe’s to get the insulation instead of waiting for Matt to get home from work. Haha, first off let me say there is NO WAY I could have loaded these while babywearing. Second, there is no way it would have fit in the Xterra. Oh well, we went to Chickfila instead 🙂 We borrowed the truck and went back out when Matt got home. Also, my parents had 2 packages of R-13 rolls that were 15″ and 32′ long that we used for the smaller spaces.
Insulation day – I would rather go to the dentist. Now, we have to remember I am not a DIY kind of person. I have never dealt with insulation. The only time I have come close to the stuff is when I was a kid, and we were walking down the aisle and I was fascinated with the “pink stuff” which funny enough has a cute pink panther on it (horrible advertisement). I went to touch the stuff and my mom yelled “STOP! That stuff will make you itch!” And I have been petrified to touch it ever since. But today I had to step up – I wore a long sleeve shirt tucked in, a hoodie, jeans, socks, tennis shoes, a baseball cap, and winter gloves (I don’t have work gloves).
My Grandma and Papa Tom helped, and I am so glad they did because there is no way I would have gotten this done in a day without extra hands. First off I had no clue how to install the stuff, I googled it and found some helpful info. Like split the insulation and put half behind wiring and the other half on top so it didn’t bulge out (by the way, you get COVERED in insulation when you do this, but it is genius!). We had invested in a compressor and nail guns (black Friday!!!!) and it is the best thing ever. I got to use the staple gun for the insulation. IT WAS AWESOME! The hardest parts to insulate were the breaker box and the laundry hookup.
And by the way, the best way to deal with stupid situations is to laugh. Im not kidding, do it. I sent Matt a picture of the laundry hookup saying “Ugh I’m not looking forward to this…” It took me 30 minutes, no joke, THIRTY MINUTES to insulate it. 45 minutes later I get a text back, “Don’t do that one yet…. We have to move it over one.” Hahahahaha, oh man. Really, that happened.
5 hours later and we finally finished it… well most of it. We only did the walls… the ceilings are going to be a Matt thing. I’m not even tall enough on a ladder and we are still deciding what we want to use. I went to my mom’s house, she had done ALL of my laundry so I had fresh clothes to change into after I washed all of the insulation off of me. I am literally so blessed with all of the help we have gotten.
We had bought vinyl wood planks back in November, it was a really great deal and I loved the color. Well, when we got the cabin on our property I realized the company had not insulated the floors like we had requested. Now when they insulate they floors, they lay the subfloor down then the double bubble insulation then another layer of plywood. When we brought it up to the company, they gave us a massive role of insulation to put down and said that we could just lay the wood planks on top of that. I didn’t have a good feeling about this, I just envisioned us laying down the double bubble then the wood planks and then lets say put the fridge in and the wood floors lifting around it. So my brain starts going – I loaded like 5,000 lbs of flooring into the car and returned it to the store.
Last year I came upon painted plywood floors. IT’S ON! My Pinterest board blew up. Painting plywood, plywood planks, color schemes, best floor paint, poly, sanding, staining. I’m way more excited about these floors than vinyl flooring!
I just need to feel like I am accomplishing something… so today I cleaned the cabin. Literally organized the massive chaos and swept the floors. I wish I had taken a picture of Matt’s face when he got home… he is so sweet, he smiled even though I could tell I had just organized his chaos. We are good for eachother 🙂
Matt is off for a few days, and we are buying our plywood! Matt spent quite a bit of time planning out how many sheets we need and how we want them cut.
Did you know Home Depot will cut wood for you? They said over 3 cuts they charge .50 a cut, umm hello that saves like two hours! I’ll pay it! We needed 17 sheets, each cut in half. Our planks are larger than a typical farmhouse plank but we love it. So just to put it out there, it took forever to finally decide and here is why:
OSB – it is cheaper. However to save you from the research, it doesn’t cut well and it is a pain to paint because it soaks it all up. You have to buy more paint which you might as well spend more and get the plywood.
Cedar lap siding – we were cruising through the aisles and I stopped at this stuff. It looks pretty cool, and it would only cost a little more. I cant find anyone on the internet who used lap siding for flooring, and I don’t have the room in my budget to make a $500 mistake. I have no clue what kind of paint you should use or if you can even paint it.
Plywood – did you know there is 1000 kinds of plywood? Im kidding, but for an analytical mind like mine trying to figure out thickness, length, and type it was overwhelming.
We chose 15/32 in. 4×8 plywood sheathing for $19.45 a piece.
So while Home Depot cut the pieces we checked out paint. Ya’ll, I don’t know a thing about paint (I really do know stuff, but this whole cabin project has proved that I don’t know anything). So long story short (and tons of research on staining, floor paint, exterior paint, and poly) we chose Behr Premium Porch & Patio Paint and the paint is called Pacific Fog (Matt liked the Silver Gray… but ya’ll come on, how cool is the name Pacific Fog!?). We bought two gallons, I only plan on painting one or maybe two coats. I decided if I don’t like the finish, I can always poly over it.
So that is enough of flooring today – the rest of the day Matt and a good friend of ours, Larry, finished running electrical and moved the main line from the mobile home to the cabin breaker box. Watching them do this was exhausting. I had no clue that wire was SO HEAVY. We are so incredibly thankful for his help! While they did this, I started sanding the “printed” parts of the flooring – you know where they stamp the wood to show what it is. Well I started sanding one and holy cow, it makes the wood so smooth! So then I decided I would sand the entire piece. I kicked myself the entire time, why I just couldn’t be okay with rough wood!!?? (Im kidding, it is going to be so much easier to paint) Well nearly 4 hours later and I had only sanded 10 pieces, TEN!! While taking a break, I was looking through the articles about plywood floors and noticed one where they were using a floor sander… duh. Ya’ll, just do this. It only costs like $40 for 4 hours to rent a floor sander from Home Depot and well worth it. So we are going to lay the floors down, and then sand the floors.
Today Matt and I relocated/reframed the doors to the kids room and bathroom and built the fridge/closet thing (I have got to figure out what to call this). It has been a LONG time since I hammered anything and today I hammered way more than I preferred. Matt was a beast, he did most of the hammering. And of all the cuts and measuring, he did not make ONE single mistake. He is awesome. We had to run to Lowe’s again to grab a few more GFIs and outdoor lights (we have to get them installed before we put drywall up). I also found my dream kitchen faucet, but that’ll be another post when it gets installed.
Matt had these days off, yay! Friends helped us on Saturday, and we are so extremely thankful for not only their help but also fellowship. It was a fun day! All electrical is DONE (except the water heater). Matt focused on plumbing, and has gotten most of the drain system done and he got the Clearstream (septic system) moved and installed including pipes and electrical. I dug a hole for the septic system (well… our dog, Starr, did. I just held a mirror reflecting the sun on the dirt and Starr dug it for me!)
I managed to get maybe two sheets of drywall up – I cant use a drill to save my life. We got all of the floors installed minus one strip in the kitchen area. I got one piece of insulation in the ceiling and quickly realized this is a two person job, and gravity definitely wasn’t that other person. We also had 4 of our goats deliver and we have 5 or 6 getting ready to. And the mobile home should be gone in the next week, which gives us like an hour extra of sunlight (the mobile home blocks the sun as it sets).
What we are focusing on now: PLUMBING. PLUMBING. PLUMBING. We have to get the drain finished, and the hot and cold water lines ran inside. I don’t know anything about plumbing, but im pretty sure that’s all we have left. Our biggest project after that is drywall. We considered hiring this out but it isnt fitting in the budget. Still thinking we may hire out drywalling the ceilings. After drywall is up we can sand the floors, paint floors and walls, and move in! (basically all the other things left are details and we can do it while we are in the cabin)
What God is showing us: our marriage is awesome. And that one day we spent framing walls and building shelves we had more fun than we have had in a long time. When we were slamming hammers into our thumbs, running into exposed nails, and jamming our hands into doors, we laughed and hugged and kissed. Who knew building a cabin would bring us closer? We have every reason to be at eachothers throats, but we CHOOSE not to. You don’t have to let your situations determine your attitude, you CHOOSE to let your situations determine your attitude. CHOOSE to have fun when everything is going wrong, choose to smile when you have a reason to cry, choose joy! 🙂
Provision – God has provided exceedingly abundantly more than we ever imagined. We have learned not to put God in a box, He is bigger than our finances!
And not to worry… our pastor spoke an incredible message and I was moved to tears in the middle of it (listen to it here! http://www.thechurchrc.com/podcast/ It is titled “I am so ready to tell this story”). When we worry, we loose all faith and basically take the control out of God’s hands. It is prideful, we decide we could handle the situation better. I love this verse – “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Let go of worry and just dig into the Word. It is way easier to say this than do it, and everytime I feel that pit in my stomach I tell myself to stop worrying and just pray, “Lord, I’m sorry for my worry. You are in control, I let go.” I probably do this several times a day, but one day I hope my faith will be larger and I wont need to remember to not worry. It will just BE.
I’m sitting here finishing up this post, and JL is crawling around the floor with her cup in her mouth (no hands) and she is cracking up and Isaiah is acting out the moving Planes with his cars while quoting Tim Hawkins at the same time. Being a mom is so stressful, it is a huge weight that I am blessed with if that makes any sense. We tend to get so wrapped up in fixing bad behavior and trying to teach our kids to be acceptable, we forget to enjoy the stage they are in. My son will be 4 years old tomorrow. He isnt a toddler anymore. He starts pre-K next year, next Sunday he will be in the Kid’s ministry instead of Tiny Walkers. He doesn’t want to cuddle anymore, he can get himself dressed, he can feed himself. JL is talking, she is crawling, standing on her own, she can eat finger foods. Soon she will be one year old, walking, and no longer breastfeeding. As much as I would love to sleep through the night, or have some peace and quiet, one day I will long for Isaiah’s stand up routines (copying Tim Hawkins) and JL breastfeeding. I will enjoy these moments as much as I can, because one day… they will be gone.