house1 house2 house3

The rail in the far right is the length of the new house. McMassive!

There’s “deck” written at the end of that rail ahead of us and the proposed house…. also deck is written at this end for the entrance to the house from our garage…. which is on the front of the section behind us snapping this photo.

Yes… very cool to see this progress.

Looking forward to seeing it dug out ready for the piles.

We’re a pile foundation.

Back to Friday.

Its Valentines Day!

Mark and I are lucky to be so in love… year after year… we’ve got a fantastic relationship, we make an awesome team! and I’m so grateful.

Love you to the moon and back Mr  Stewart!!

Home with the kids from school and I get the snippets read for school.  We’re switching from subway to pita pit!

Cool!! So I’ve loaded the kids orders for next fridays school lunch and warned them I can “un-load” such order if their behavior isn’t up to scratch!

It’s great how the kids and I can design a pita together, they seem excited so it may be a winner! 😉

So that’s the day – it went so fast! the weeks are going so fast.

Time to cook dinner – spaghetti bollognaise.


Eve of leaving our home… ready for demolition

Well today has been better than expected.

Up to the kids seemingly organized and onto their game with the breakfast/school prep routine.

Shower-time for Vee, hair into some functional pigtails and Makeup goes on.

Why am I wearing makeup today… people moving house with pigtails and workout gear wouldn’t wear makeup…

Boo to them.


We get to school and Ella has yesterdays french plait still in! messy and slept in. Dam! I knew they wouldn’t be THAT on their game.

A scruffy fingered ponytail is the best she gets… Parents walk past so we plaster those ‘morning tight smiles’ on and get them to the crossing.



I start finding lots of things to do instead of putting some loose stuff in the car [freight people only take the packed stuff]

A friend messages saying “want some help” !?

I wan’t company to procrastinate more than help but… “hey! ookay!”


Lets do this.

I start packing the boots of the cars and am a bit lost… why is packing/moving so mind bogglingly technical and out of the water for me?

Probably something to do with lack of “will”

We get there and the rental is growing on me… it’s brand new, simple but brand new.  Nice Bath! Ok…. I’m going to be… OK

The kids are going to love it.

I ignore the neighbor, – not ready to play friends… that can go on the to do: … much later… list.  Maybe.

We come home and have to ration about 50 grams of cheese on nine toasties… who missed that item last grocery shop?

The wine rack is full.

We do one last trip of loose stuff to the rental and get to meet our cheeky [pun intended] neighbour.

I notice our neighbour outside has cycling stuff [bloody cyclists… I think to myself… always in the way on our roads] I look away and get back to unloading the car… I hope he doesn’t have the temper of some cyclists.

He walks outside with a towel on… [what the hell.. he was clothed a few minutes ago] walks back inside and then stands in the middle of his lounge [ I know!! what am I doing standing at the window staring… good grief! I want to stop staring but I just cant! ] he turns with his back to me and whips his towel up (stripper style) to the right in one swift move… I don’t believe it! I close my eyes, blink and open… and he’s just standing there. What a nutter. LOL

I quickly jump away from the window… giggling, shrieking and mortified all at once… Mark’s oblivious (is the neighbour Gay? was that show for Mark or Sharon and I? Oh my God… no… he didn’t… he couldn’t have seen me staring… surely not)

Sharon’s on her phone but steps forward to peek at the commotion and jumps back from the window too!!

She’s on the phone to her husband explaining with a downward smirk on her face between chuckles.

Marks not even interested… he keeps on task

I peek out the curtains again… Sharon’s smirking at me!
Why am I peeking!! I’m whispering too!! Sheesh Vee!! stop looking!

I’m really fascinated with the whole Village Living situation…

OK I’m really fascinated with a bloke who just flashed us… is he crazy/mental or just someone who has a different sense of humor?


Killed the cat.

Well that was weird/funny/awkward

Won’t be able to shake his hand without blushing.

Rebuild: whereabout’s

Just a quick catch up.

We had a letter from EQC the other day and it was a clearly generic mass mailout one you yourself probably received.

We’re sorry we haven’t made such great correspondence with you etc etc…

Well EQC we’re not complaining.  You paid out your obligation and our mortgage has been making a small but added little bit of headway… so you just take your time 🙂

There is always a silver lining.

Back to the update.

We had geo come and RE drill our land to help the folk designing our foundation slab better… beats me as to why the first drilling s ground findings were no good.

The housing company as always is on the ball and our project manager emailed us today – yes! on a Sunday to tell us that he’s waiting for the revised foundation design, and that he’s just about got our pricing back after we up-spec’d some stuff.

Also that he’s away on holiday until the end of the first week in August.  That is great service.  Hate when I email someone and it bounces back a holiday message… great thinking to send a courtesy email out.

So that’s our update.  Just waiting on the foundation design to be polished up and fingers crossed we don’t have to revise the budget after that.

It would be so cool to get it underway this year… I think it’s gonna happen 🙂

Rebuild: Memoir of memories…

I will add to this as I need to… I really regret not taking parting photos from our very first home so this time I’m going to… I think last time I did it as a protective barrier, but this time I’m going to say good-bye to our home, our beloved home that has kept us safe and warm and been our soft place to fall at the end of a hard day, through earthquakes, through my studies, through mark being away for six months, through a second round of earthquakes, through family deaths, through my learning to tend a garden, plant trees, train and care for dogs! train and build up a salon, do book keeping from home for the first time… for some reason tonight while brushing my teeth It just sank in… and I’m not liking it actually – it feels…. sad…. out of my control… uncertain.  I hope logging the house’s memoirs will help me to feel less sad, because a shiny new home isn’t sounding so exciting now that this has dawned on me…


So yep… a few minutes ago I was brushing my teeth and the memory of the day this cabinet was brought to surprise me was like a flashback! I remember… we’d just brought this house and money was tight as we’d just got our mortgage, it was winter so again… the money was tight with increased living costs that time of year, and Mark and I are strolling hand and hand through Mitre 10 Mega Ferry mead, I see this cabinet and Mark notices me looking at it longingly… he say’s ‘thats nice’ I reply ‘mmm, oh I wish we could afford it’… ‘no it’s ok lets get the cheaper one’  he says: ‘yeah its ok’ and points to the cheaper plain one without mirrors…

Well I come home to him having hung this on the wall one day and I am both angry and tickled pink that he brought it.

Good memory.


When we brought this house it was really odd that you walk through the laundry to the toilet… I really wanted a hand basin in there (and a feature wallpaper but that was too expensive!) when mark had to go training for six months it was hell… I busied myself with gardening, baking and my studies, I’d planted a whole back yard of fruit trees and shrubs… 100 raspberry bushes, several fruit trees…. anyway – I decided that since he wasn’t here I had to make an executive decision to get a basin installed, I shopped around and couldn’t find anything small enough, so I jumped on trademe and five bucks later had a pretty darn good condition sink ready for install.  Bargain right? No. Silly Vee ordered a plumber in while she was out and came home to an $800 bill! what on earth?? I rung them up demanding an answer and they said that’s our normal rate… I was gutted… what a terribly expensive lesson learned… and the wall still had to be painted from where they guy had jig sawed a big hole for access…. so of course the nice feature wall paper didn’t happen but that’s the story of the toilet room basin 😉

Neutral memory.


This is our flash new touch control ceramic top hob… isn’t it lovely – Mark got it for $100 off trade me after his wife had a fit in the kitchen and put a pot through the other one… woops – temper temper Vee, gosh I don’t miss those random fits of frustration… I certainly learned my lesson that day in the kitchen.  Since it was AFTER the eqc claim it wasn’t worth putting a new one in…. isn’t that husband clever? my handi manny.

Funny memory.


We have a couple of these internal decorative windows… everyone tells us to keep them as a keep sake, so far I’ve thought “nah… I wan’t to start fresh” but now… I’m not so sure.

More photos to come when I have more moments…

Rebuild: Budget day draws close

Mark had a meeting with Benchmark homes today and they are all optimistic that the current spec’s chosen will come under budget.  We are a build to budget option.  The two options with AMI/Arrow were: replicate existing, which also would have been fine as we love our house, OR build to budget,

We were advised to build to budget by everyone, professionals, departments, builders, friends, randoms we meet lol seriously everyone.

What this means is we can free up alot of our backyard space where our single garage now sits at the end of our drive.  bigger back yard, no front lawn to mow since the garage will be there – its a win win.

So back to the budget business, as you can imagine it’s only natural with my profession that I would have loved to screw down the figures item by item, but when we initially met with AMI like years ago lol gosh time has flown hasn’t it? they laughed at me… um… I was serious, but no that’s not the way it’s done… plus I’m recovering being a control freak so Mark’s in charge!

He gave me a very vague run down today which I will now share with you.

I wanted the kids full wall length wardrobes to have fully fitted draws, hangers and a desk/study set up, Mark and Ben at Benchmark have come up with something even better! They are going to cove in the study area so that the wardrobe doors don’t cover it… brilliant thinking… way cool.  The point is we (sorry I mean… me… and this is one thing I would throw a hissy about because I’m the clutter clearer so I WANT storage galoor) only want a bed and side table in each bedroom so the wardrobes will need to be fully hard core designed for storage of say 15 more years of accumulated depreciating possessions… gosh kids accumulate stuff.

Mark want’s to upgrade our bench top to some form of stone, but I just think it’s wasted money… he will decide, yes I put my input in, with backup reasoning… no coercion (promise!) but it will be interesting to see what he decides.

Oooh this is cool, the aluminum joinery can be thermal treated, it’s already tinted (so I can strutt round …. in the morning glory) but thermal treated means the aluminum doesn’t drop below the room temperature – long chemistry lesson summed up, NO condensation on the windows.

All the pink batts have been upgraded to a higher rating

I would love our bedroom sound proofed but Marks too posh to make the request…. I thought about telling Ben it would help Marks sleep with his shiftwork… but I don’t think benny boy will buy it.  Nevermind… ok convo boardering on awkward… moving on…

The driveway is polished little rocks, I don’t know the term but it sounds pretty.

The cladding is going to be Rockcote Acrylic Coating with some linea boards as detailing on corners and above/under windows.

The heating is a four way cassette ceiling flush mounted heatpump/aircon, the bedrooms will have aircon down the hall too.

Our color sceme is a whitewash style grey tile laminate flooring, solution dyed nylon carpet but color to still decide with mackenzie and willis, white bathroom fittings, chrome appliances, benchtop color coded with carpet and drapes.  Mark has agreed or agreed to consider putting my fav color as a scheme in the kitchen/bathroom ( bright fluro lime green )

So at this point we were meant to get confirmation from insurance today that it meets budget. I think Mark said it came in just over 300 K so the foundation cost on top and the garage is a skyline to save costs, and the difference we can use for up spec’s.

Wish us luck.  This is such a blessing and a real treat after everything we went through during the quakes and Mark’s new job change, and my study stress.