erickson family | grants pass orthodontics

There was something wonderfully different about this session, a feeling of calm joyfulness  & connection that shined out of them and it meant so much to me to be able to capture them just as they are. These parents are so very good and it was inspiring, moving to be able to see the love they have for their babies. This family is that salt of the town that you’re so thankful they are here and a part of where you live. Ashley is an amazing mother and teacher and Brent is an orthodontist. When I met him at my ortho consult it was so funny to think that people my age are doctors now, but here he was and he is so talented at his gift and has a heart for the people of our community. You just can’t help but love this family. You can view more of Brent’s work here, he’s seriously the best. I’ve had braces since August and I’m excited to share more of that journey with you.

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Great outdoor photography! nice place.

tudor house | costs & photo progress

It’s been a long four months since we closed on the Tudor house. We are finally getting somewhere so I wanted to share what we have been up to and a breakdown of the costs so far + a big change of plans.

We closed on the house in August and began demo right away. Craigslist saved us again helping us find a demo crew. We hired these three men who live in a van with their cat, Poop. They were rough and tough and were really into demolition. We fully gutted every inch of the house down to the studs and tore off the back porch to rebuild it into added square footage for a laundry room. The back yard had a carriage house infested with rats and someone from CL came and tore the whole thing down for free to be able to keep the wood!

Before & still landscaping, but a huge difference. Cannot wait till spring to see everything grow in. We just planted daffodil bulbs, lavender and boxwood this weekend and there are two original walnut trees we kept in the front yard for shade. 

We bought the house for $95,000

Demo- $1500

We have new electrical & plumbing through out the whole house- $6700 + $4000

Exterior paint and roof- $4200 + $6700

Removed several trees, stumps and shrubs, installed sprinklers, leveled both yards and landscaped the front- $6000

Poured a sidewalk and front porch- $1600

Framing- we opened rooms up and framed in lots of niches, I might have a niche problem and the sheet rockers hate me.

New windows/doors for garage & house- $4500

Insulated and ran new ducting for the HVAC throughout- $1800 + $2000

Sheetrock is going in as I type and then we will paint. Paint day! My favorite! Sheetrock & mud -$4700

For so long it’s felt like we were not making much progress, but this week feels so different and like we are finally getting somewhere and seeing change.

This back porch has been torn off and will be rebuilt larger for a laundry room...also where I saw a half naked homeless man so we brought him breakfast! The house has been a big problem area for a long time and it’s been really good for the neighborhood to be showing this house some love. We have gotten so much praise from neighbors and it’s been encouraging through this whole process.

The windows had been boarded up for five years & ivy was growing though the siding! 

We had hired a licensed contractor back in August to complete the laundry room addition because he was the only one in town available to start right away and we wanted it done as quickly as possible. We ended up firing him just a few weeks ago because he pushed us off for months and then when he started the project (he had a foundation poured, floor joists laid) we found out from the city that he had not pulled permits or drawn plans like he said he did and they red tagged our house. He lied to us more times than I wish to remember. It was a tough and stressful learning experience. We have an amazing contractor now and we are about to re-pour the foundation…again…after having to tear it out because it wasn’t to code. Lesson learned, permits must be displayed on the house. We asked to see them multiple times and he kept saying they were in his “other” truck. We were just too trusting and hoping for the best. Going down to the city office and hearing permits were not pulled was shocking. We called him immediately and he said, “I must have pulled them for NW instead of NE on accident.” So we went back into the office and again, they said no permits were pulled for that address either. It was really frustrating, but I’m just so happy that it’s over and that we do not have to deal with him anymore.

Anyways! We are in a good place now and are hoping to be done with the house by the end of January.

We have decided to actually move into the Tudor when it’s done and sell the Craftsman! It took me a while to get used to the idea, but I know it’s just what we need to do. We have lived in the Craftsman for exactly three years and we are almost done with all the renovations. Since we have lived here at least two years we wont have to pay taxes on it when we sell vs. if we sold the Tudor house in a couple months we would be paying over $30k in taxes. So we have decided to live there a year or two. It’s hard to leave our first home, where we have brought Ivy home and made our first family memories, but at the same time I feel ready for change, even though it’s just a block away, I’m just ready for that next step and know it’s what’s best right now.

This opening was just the little door pictured below and was a bedroom, but now will be the dining room looking into the living room and we will be adding a Tudor style fireplace between those two windows!

The picture on the right is now looking into the dining room from the living room. We added a new front door to mirror the rounded opening on the front of the house and the cut out you see in the dining room will be french doors leading out to the yard. The rest of the house is being sheet rocked this minute and will be ready for paint next week!

We don’t have plans at the moment for what’s next. We haven’t even started on the airstream, but I know we want to work on that for summer fun. The nursery is really busy starting in March throughout the whole summer so Billy will be busy managing that, but I have no idea what next fall & winter will hold. Hopefully we will find our next little charmer to restore. I have my eyes on one I’ve loved for a few years, so we will see!

If you’re in the Grants Pass area, there will be an article about the house tomorrow (Wednesday) in the Daily Courier.

I know I already commented on instagram, but I after having more time to read through, wow! My biggest fear is walking into our house and finding a homeless person in there (we live on the property and I’m here alone a lot, and occasionally on walks in our neighborhood I find drug paraphernalia lying around on the ground….), so that’s just crazy to me! But you had such a kind response 🙂 And what a bummer about your contractor, I can’t even imagine the hassle. I don’t understand what would compel someone to try to take advantage like that. I’m glad I didn’t miss your article, I’ll be buying a paper in the morning! Can’t wait to see it finished 🙂

Michelle

Impressive results!!!

forage | minerbs brand shoot

This fall I felt so lucky to be able to follow the Minerbs ladies as they foraged their ingredients. It was fascinating to see plants that I have always overlooked in this new purposeful and healing way. They are even going to be hosting a local botanical class to share more about creating and foraging with the things around us…even moss has a healing purpose! I’ll be the first to sign up! You can see more of their magic here.

gift guide | for him

Why are guys so much more challenging to buy for? Billy & I have been together since we were sixteen so we’ve pretty much ran out of gifts to give each other. A few years ago we decided instead to give experiences. For our anniversary we went on a rafting beer trip at sunset here in town called ‘Paddle Pub’ and for our birthdays we always find a cabin at the coast to celebrate. Other ideas could be a couple’s cooking class, a snowy mountain cabin getaway, planning a back packing trip together or even just a romantic evening that’s out of your usual routine. Dance lessons, ski lift tickets, a day at the spa… We love this new tradition and it makes for such good memories. But still, sometimes you just want to have something for them to unwrap under the tree, so here’s my guy’s guide. It’s ok, I guess, guy stuff is just not as fun haha…except #9, that baby’s going under our tree this year. Don’t tell!

a little disclaimer…since I really have only ever known Billy, these gifts are obviously not for every guy, just the one I know 🙂

1) Chelsea looking shoes. I just think these kind of shoes are the cutest on guys, although a man the other day looked at Billy’s feet and called them elf shoes. Elves are cute though.

2) Leather wallet you can personalize

3) Bialette coffee maker: I can add this one to both lists right? It’s just that good!

4) Wood watch

5) Coffe brew pipe & stumptown beans

6) Day pack

7) Wendell Berry: maybe your husband reads? Mine just listens to podcasts 🙂

8) Rubber band gun: Stocking stuffer?

9) Growler: beer on tap!

10) Backpacker mag subscription

11) Multi- tool: comes in handy I guess, Billy loves his!

12) Well, these pictures are just for me, hubba hubba. Gap things… this, this, and this.