Sunday, November 22, 2020

Real Estate 101: Pros of Building a House

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Currently, Kelsie.

Although time will tell if it will ever happen, right now it is a goal of ours to build our own house on our land out at The Brim someday. Just like us, many people dream of owning a brand new, custom-made house that speaks to their personality, tastes, and preferences. However, many people battle with the question of whether to build or purchase their "perfect house" or "forever home". The path towards homeownership can be confusing and often unexpected, and each option requires careful consideration.

Building a house is a momentous decision and fulfilling adventure with substantial financial implications and several benefits. The following are the pros of building a house you should consider before breaking ground and putting your money where your mouth is:

A Clean Slate

Building a house from the ground up means starting with a clean slate! Woot woot. You don't have to worry about the foundation or the durability and esthetics of interior decorations and landscaping. The total control you have means that you get to choose everything that goes into the new house. Every corner, every paint color, and every room is customized to your taste and preference. In the end, you get to live in your dream house with flooring, layout, finishes, and furnishings that resonate with your personality.

Minimal Maintenance

A custom-made home allows you to opt for specific materials that are durable and environmentally friendly. You get the chance to own a house that meets the current energy and ventilation codes and standards. Therefore, you won't have to worry about municipal building standards, including water and sewage, because the authorities approved your plan. Working with professional contractors ensures that your building is properly inspected (although the process isn't always easy or quick)! The functionality of the house is updated. Quality is a guarantee with every layer of bricks or coat of paint. Less time and money will go into maintenance, renovations, and functional upgrades.


The feeling of satisfaction that comes with building your house is unbeatable. Seeing your unique taste manifest throughout the house and listening to people compliment your work is lovely. Waking every day with the knowledge that you actively participated in every step of the project is heart-warming. You also get to learn new skills- and there is sure a lot to learn. From working with architects on the design and layout to landscaping, every process of building a house is a learning opportunity. While the learning curve may be steep mentally, physically, and financially, the result will be unbearably satisfying. You feel emotionally connected to every inch of the house, and get to enjoy the fruits of your labor! 


While the upfront cost of building a house can be off-putting, you will save a great deal in the long run. From maintenance cost to high resale value and energy efficiency, there are countless ways you can recoup your investment. The longer lifespan and customized feel will earn you competitive bids when reselling the house.

Freedom to Choose the Location

Building a house instead of buying gives you the freedom to choose the location (my favorite part because I want some land to BREATHE). If you dream of a house overlooking the beach, find vacant land in the location, make payments, and turn your dream into a reality. Building a house is a profoundly satisfying experience that gives you the freedom to customize every aspect of your living space. Before beginning this journey, share ideas for your dream home with experts to avoid costly mistakes.

Have an amazing time turning your dream home into your real home. I hope we're able to do the same someday! 


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Eli's Big Boy Room Reveal

Well, it's been almost a year. But hey, turns out that having a baby, navigating a world-wide pandemic, teaching online, and starting/running a business can give you a run for your money! Anyways, it has been a long time coming, but I'm finally sharing Eli's Big Boy Room today on the blog. Check it out! 

Little man needed to move over to a big boy room before his little sis made her way into the world. Last Thanksgiving, we decided to have Eli vacate the crib and get used to his new room a couple of months before my due date. Turned out to be a good idea, because Addie joined us 10 days early, just like Eli did! 

We started with naps in the big bed (a full), and then transitioned to full time sleeping in there. Eli was nearly three at this point, but he had never really been a crib climber so we rode out the crib as long as we could. We had a full bed in our guest room anyways, with a reversible navy comforter, so I took that and ran with it. I did buy a "bumper" online from Amazon, which I love because it just goes underneath the fitted sheet and is soft and easy to slide in or out and take along with us if needed. Honestly, on trips, we have just put pillows underneath the fitted sheet and it has accomplished a similar effect. Here's the link to our bumper! 

Eli is a HUGE dinosaur fan (cue the THREE REX Bday Party), so I wanted to run with that, and tie in pops of navy with the bedspread. I also wanted to lighten up the walls, and change up the white trim. We redid our own bedroom a couple of years ago, so we went with the same trim color (Bistro White), along with a gray that was on the same paint strip as our master bathroom, but was a shade lighter: Valspar's Seashell Gray. I LOVE it so much and it really makes the room feel light and airy. Plus, I don't want to re-do E's room a million times when he changes his mind on what he likes. So I figured if we did a pale gray then we could change out bed sheets and other decor, but we wouldn't be constantly re-painting the room. And it's great for a guest room or future re-sale if needed! 

I wanted the decor to be simple and affordable, yet all about Eli. So we went with a few different E pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby on sale, along with some of Eli's own decor. There are canvases of bulldozers that both he and Aaron painted (can you guess whose is whose ha?). There is also a framed coloring page he made the summer I was pregnant, which is pretty crazy because he somehow always knew that he was getting a baby sister even though she was a surprise to us! (We didn't find out the gender of our babies before they were born- best surprise ever.)



From there, I found some curtains I liked from Kohl's that weren't nuts expensive. I ended up loving the simple navy stripes, and I liked how it both a little color into the room. We also had a couple of awesome Royals paintings that we got from a Wine and Design shop one time when we were there for a Valentine's Day Date. Turns out that they often sell their sample paintings they make while teaching classes, and they were really affordable- like five bucks! 

We pulled all of our books off of the old bookshelf we already had in the room from when it was our "guest room" and found new homes for them. Then I purchased a couple of cute, simple bins from Kohl's so I would have a place to dump Eli's toys and have it look organized without spending a bunch. I love them so much and Eli can pull them out and play, then pick up after himself. It's the best. 

We finished up the decor with a few photo frames and family pictures out at The Brim with Eli. They were our fall family photos, as well as our last photos as a family of three, so they are extra special to us and I don't know that I'll replace them anytime soon. I also moved over a few of the hospital photos with E from the nursery. We don't have a door on the closet still, but I honestly don't know that we'll worry about it for a while. I keep it pretty organized, and found a couple of Dollar Store Bins that make it look decent without a door. Who knows.

All in all, E is thrilled with his room and is happy to show it off to anyone who comes to visit or play. We are so grateful that he is such a great sleeper and that he loves his room and had no problems moving over before Baby Sis joined us. He was happy to let the nursery be Addie's room, and we're glad he has his own amazing space! 



Monday, November 2, 2020

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, I zipped my black coat up over my very pregnant belly and drove with Aaron out to The Brim. It was the first time we were letting people in on our story- one that had been going on for nearly two years at that point. We had worked diligently on the back end, preparing a website, an LLC, special use permit and more. And now, finally, it was time to let others in. One year ago today. 

We had used most of our Babymoon to finalize things in preparation for our November 2nd event. We wrote a letter and mailed out invites, and hoped and prayed that the right people would show up. And then we stood in our gravel parking lot and waited. Cars started rolling in. We walked across the dirt ground and shared the back story of The Brim: how we had written a letter to get the land, why we wanted to buy it in the first place, and our hearts for the space. We told them of crazy circumstances that led to us being given more land, and a driveway. The meeting in Austin, the check, and the architect. The fact that we had to do this.

Then we stepped into the ceremony space: no sod there yet, just dirt. Dirt, and a half finished paver aisle walkway. Even if no one else did, we believed brides and grooms would walk down that aisle and say, "I Do". But we truly had no idea what the next year would bring.

We'd bring more people out to hear our story and our hearts for marriage. And little by little, they'd jump in to make it matter too. We'd get supporters who believed in our dream and our mission, who wanted to be a part of helping turn the chapel we talked of into a reality. We'd plant sod and seed and hope and pray for the best. 

We'd bring a baby girl (a beautiful surprise) into this world in January. I'd answer emails about inquiries in the hospital. And the day after we got home, I'd throw on real clothes and makeup and go over to Starbucks to sign a contract. Then the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl. I'd book a few more weddings.

Then a world-wide pandemic would hit. We'd keep working, keep pushing. Buy chairs and a storage unit and try not to lose our minds while staying at home teaching with two kids ages three and under. We'd see a need as COVID rocked the wedding world, and we'd open early. On March 23rd, we would watch from our truck as our first couple said their vows- 10 or fewer total people allowed, on a chilly Monday with half green sod behind them.

And then, we'd continue to make sure people knew about our free ceremony options, and we'd offer them affordable cake and toast and other reception options too. Suddenly, bookings would start flying in. Ten, twenty, thirty. Until we reached thirty-nine. Thirty-nine. 

We'd watch couple after couple commit themselves to one another between the rows of poles that Aaron painted white and put in the ground. We'd rent and then purchase a tent, and a dance floor, and lighting, as suddenly we found longer, bigger receptions happening- still outside and still COVID friendly. We'd see couples who had to plan their weddings two or three times finally feel the joy of being married. We'd tear up time and time again as we watched first dances underneath the soft glow of Edison lights. 

We (mainly me) would stress out over and over again watching the weather and hoping and praying that the wind or the rain or the snow or the temperature would cooperate. And somehow, they always would. We'd get fantastic interns who helped with set up and tear down, and we'd spend week after week watching amazing families and friends fill our space to cheer on the sweetest couples. 

We'd invite people out for Full Fridays, and dance and sing while sharing laughs and drinks and tacos together. We'd tell our story again and again to anyone who would hear it. And we'd leap. 

I'd go on sabbatical after months and months of deliberation, then wonder how I would have ever survived working full time plus working three or more weddings every weekend in the fall. We would get closer and closer to our chapel goal. And then one day, four days ago, we'd drive up the road to Jamesport and sign our contract with the very pen that Aaron loaned so many couples to sign their own marriage licenses. 

One year ago today, we didn't know what we didn't know. It hasn't all been easy and it hasn't all been perfect, but it has certainly all been worth it. Marriage matters. This season, this year has mattered. And we can't wait to see what the next year brings.