August 2012 - Lynn Fern

The beginning of a new beginning!

As I sit here writing this my girls are in their playroom watching one of my all-time favorite movies – Charlotte’s Web.  I watched that movie over & over growing up and it just never got old to me. 

Mom & dad got an apartment.  We were waiting on one at the Senior apartments but it could be an entire year.  There is another complex that is new for I called them.  We went to look at them Tuesday afternoon & wow they are really beautiful.  They took one.  I love it & I know that they will love it there. 

On Tuesday Katie was home with me while Shea still went to daycare.  Katie is in the Day School so they take the week prior to school starting off to prep for the school year.  I needed to go over to the property to help with a few decisions.  It was going to be the first time Katie would be seeing the place since June 14, 2012!  Crazy to think that!!  We just didn't feel it would be neccessary for the girls to see the house in the state it was in.  When they are old enough we will show them pictures.  My fear was nightmares.  Katie still asks about certain things & gets sad but luckily the crying has become less & less.  She still asks if the men can put our green house back.  We've explained that we are building a new house.  I prepared her that morning letting her know that we would need to stop over there once we dropped Shea off.  I asked if she understood that there is no longer a house there, but we are preparing things to start building.  She said yes but became really quite & I could see her heart had started pounding harder & faster.  I asked if she felt that she could handle seeing it and she said yes.  Her eyes were sad..I could see it.  Momma held her & I did everything I could not to cry.  I told her that if she needed to cry that it was perfectly ok.  Seeing it would no doubt be a shock for her.  As we approached the property she swallowed as deep & hard as I did.  But my baby girl held tight and showed strength & courage.  I was proud!  Uncle Dave was there so she was happy!  Uncle Dave is our builder & she is best buddies with him.  As decisions were made I made my way back into the car.  We were headed to take my mom to a doctors appointment.  As I drove away Katie says "you know momma everything is going to be ok & do you know why?", I said "yes it is but why?", she says in a very sweet angelic voice "because Uncle Dave is going to build us a beautiful home made from his's apart of him."  Now this came from my 4 year old...wise beyond her years!!  I had always held onto those words in my heart before she had spoken was as if she was reading what my heart held tight to.  I needed to hear those words spoken.

Yesterday was the beginning to the end and paves the way to our new beginning.  We began tearing up (breaking ground) the original 1940's slab foundation yesterday which brings us to the end of the old.  It gives us the fresh new ground to start the new house.  We will need to bust up the slab of the garage as well & redo the concrete floor.  It was surreal to watch the big massive machine pick up & drop chunks of cement to crush.  We learned that the original footings had no metal bar in them which is just the way things were done back when the house was built.  The metal bars are there to help protect the cement footings from giving way.  We also found no rebar in the slab.  We will be using fiber mesh reinforced cement this time. 



Our Engineer has this really cool program that you can see what your house will look like with all the things you pick out.  He has invited us over to do just that.  I can see my paint colors on the wall, the windows we picked out, the type of cabinets, the island, the outside, etc.  So yesterday I stopped at Benjamin Moore and bought two color fans.  I found when painting the house before that I really loved Benjamin Moore paints.  It went on smooth and I used less paint.  It really covered the walls nicely.  Anyhow, he can take the colors & put them in the program & shows you what it will look like with floor colors, furniture colors, etc.  Great program!!

I am currently in the process of looking at lighting options, vanities for the bathrooms, picking out a front door, windows and what type of hardwood flooring.  We have also made the decision to put in a propane tank in order to have a gas stove & gas heating.  I am so excited to get my gas stove back (I hate cooking on electric & I love to do lots of cooking).  So in the meantime I've been checking out some really cool ranges.  This excites me. I will be starting discussions on having our cabinets done with a cabinet maker soon as well. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

We have the tree guy coming tomorrow to take down a couple of trees.  The mason will be there on Tuesday.  And, then in the next week we will be framing.  We’ve signed my father in law to build our outdoor fireplace.  He did an amazing job on my sister in law & brother in laws.  I don’t have a picture of it, but oh my it is gorgeous.  I’d like to put a pool in (yes I dream big - see above about the gas dream is big in that area as well)!  I’ve been looking into doing an above ground with a deck to make it look like an inground pool.  The way our land is it would work perfect.  I’m working on my husband slowly.  My girls love being outside, and they absolutely love swimming…so why not.  Plus we are on a little over 3 acres…plenty of room with lots of sunlight where it’d sit.  Ahhh yes my dreams… 

And, our deck…oh it is gigantic and I love that.  We have a view of the Hudson River which is rare to find without paying a fortune for it.  Before we were planning on expanding the deck out & taking said above trees out so you had a full vision year round.  The view is fantastic & the way we worked with our builder to design the deck is going to be where we will be enjoying many evenings. 

We are looking at February to get to move in….that’s not that far away when we are looking at it’s basically September now.  Holidays make the next few months after go quickly.  I just hope I don’t go crazy between now & then with all of the decisions.  Life just got a little busier for the moment, but come Spring we are going to sit back, relax & enjoy our life!


Summer..where have you gone?

Summer is starting to wind down.  We’ve noticed the evenings are starting to get cooler.  I embrace fall but this year I’ve felt my Summer was ruined.  Instead of enjoying the pool every nice day/evening/night, going on road trips to the zoo, park, or just getting to play outside I’ve been dealing with the fire, rebuild plans, etc.  I am saddened by that.  We love summer here because we only get a few really hot months of the pool. 

I still struggle with everything and I do know that once the house is rebuilt I will love it!  But, in the meantime it’s a forced thing that I have to keep positive thoughts about.  I’ve had to spend countless hours doing inventory.  Inventory is a true pain – it requires me mentally walking through each room & write down our things, where we bought them, how much we paid, what year we purchased them, and replacement value.  I am thankful we get to replace the items, but I am also the one that’s had to do the shopping to do that.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love to do me some shopping, but ugh this has been absolutely no fun at all.  I still have bad dreams & every night I lay down to close my eyes images appear.  Charred images….and I cry!  I miss my house so very much!

I have also been struggling with a few additional stresses that shouldn’t have happened.  I mentioned it in a previous post.  I have had a couple of people attack me, try to tear me down, & just really be nasty.  I fortunately realize that they have no impact on my life.  I’ve cut them out of my life for good & will never have anything more to do with them. Thing is I’ve forgiven but not forgotten…you can’t keep doing this & telling me your life is led by God, but every single time attack me, call me really ugly names (can’t repeat), and expect me to just look the other way.  I don’t believe God would continue to lead you in the direction of constant negative thoughts, jealousy & meanness.  The fingers of blame are consistently turned to others with them assuming absolutely no blame.  Bridges have been brunt with so many people that one day you’d hope they’d see that the path they continue to pave is what is served to them in return.  Pure sadness!

Fall is around the corner which I do love!  This means cooler days, chili, FOOTBALL, soups, coffee all day…  Apple picking is one of my all-time favorite things in the fall.  And, with apple picking comes homemade apple pies…yummmmmy! 

My Katiebug (my lil ladybug) starts Pre-K the week after next.  Gosh I just don’t know where the time goes.  She doesn’t like to leave mommy 2 days a week as it is.  I hope once she gets going she’ll love it. She loves it once she’s there, but the 2 days she cries and holds my leg until we finally just make her let go.  She has great friends there & always has a great day.  But, now it’s 5 days a week.  I am a bit sad, but also look forward to growth in her live to come.  I can’t wait to hear about her days, what she learned.  I am looking forward to the big hugs each afternoon when I pick her up (I love my hugs).  Next week Shea goes to school but Katie’s school is closed for the week in preparation for the school year.  I told Katie we’d have some time together & she said but mom who will I play with if Shea won’t be home.  Aww my girls love to play together & they always miss each other.  My heart took an extra beat when she said that!  I love that they are close.  It’s a relationship I always had hoped they’d have & I hope that they continue it as they grow older.

The weekend so far has been nice.  I did a much needed cleaning today & then the girls played outside while Mimi, Pawpa & I sat and watched them.  It was a beautiful day out.  We have birthdays to celebrate tomorrow…  Hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend & tomorrow brings you much blessings!!





A little bit of nothing and a lot of everything

My house is a wreck.  I still have not unpacked one thing from vacation.  I have a pile of papers and mail on my desk to be sorted.  I am a stay at home mom how is it that 24 hours in a day is nowhere enough time to accomplish the tasks I have.  I have spent very minimal time at home.  My days have been filled with running around the entire Hudson Valley.  I was up & out first thing this morning as well.  I have spiral notebook filled with a to do list as long as I am.  I still have school supply shopping to do.  We have a full weekend with several birthday parties to attend.  Oh that reminds me I have a few presents to purchase. 

I did lie in bed last night to watch The Hunger Games….again!  I love that movie.  I have final plans stamped and ready to be submitted to the building department for the permit.  We are going tomorrow.  I can’t believe we are already at this stage.  Once we have the permit in hand it is go time!  I am still struggling with this whole build thing.  I don’t do well at all being forced into something I don’t want to do….and I NEVER wanted to build a house.  It just was never anything that appealed to me.  I like old homes.  But I love our piece of land.  It is beautiful, peaceful & lots of it for the town we are in. 

Our architect invited us to come out to his house to play around with this awesome program he has.  You can set the house up with the type of outside materials including the colors.  It also allows you to put your color swatches on the wall to view your walls, windows, flooring, kitchen cabinets, etc.  I am a visual person but wow..just wow.  I will be able to see it before we actually do it.  I wish I had this program…well maybe not.  I am not sure I’d ever leave my computer plus I don’t need any more distractions as it is. 

My parents are doing well.  Mom had a doctor appointment yesterday and I think we made some great progress.  I think there were some realizations that she just wasn’t facing.  I am so very lucky to have them here with us.  I am thankful life for them can now become more relaxed.  We are hopeful that an apartment will open soon at the over 55 complex.  It is perfect for them – people their age, bingo games, poker games, ice cream & coffee socials, movie nights, etc.  They are still active and enjoy being around other people and this place provides so much for them.  It is literally 2 minutes around the corner from the “new” house.

I just need life to slow down a bit….  Before I know it winter will be here.  I hope everyone has a fantastic day!!!

Back to life back to reality…

Reality of life smacked me right in the face the moment we pulled in the drive way on Saturday at noon from vacation.  It was a great vacation even though we had to work part of the time.  The build of the house must continue & running a business for Kacey had to continue. 

We had 21 people in one house!! Yes sir that is right 21..  It was fun, hectic & down right rowdy.  The weather was perfect everyday even though we had a few afternoon showers here & there.  The girls played on the beach digging, building sand castles, finding shells & clams, and finally getting in the water on our last day there.  To be fair the water wasn’t all that warm until that day & the waves were finally calmer.  But once they got in they loved it.  We shopped, ate out a few times, went to the water park & amusement pary, but mostly enjoyed hanging out.  My little Katie loved the big slide & the big kid rides including the Sea Dragon (at one point I think it was the pirate ship at Six Flags).  There were nightly poker games & a scale to weigh in….  Ok well the scale was more for the first day.  There was a Biggest Loser weight contest between a few that started Memorial Day & ended at Buckalew’s at 11:00 am.   My husband had a “small” side bet with his sister…he took it very serious & lost 25 pounds.  He won all bets!!  Yeah – shopping money for me J

After a week we were all ready to make our way back home.  Sunday we met with our builder & finalized our plans.  Once we get the permit we will be ready to start the rebuild.  I have my hands full the next several months.  I am in the process of looking at front doors, finding the right interior barn door on tracks, & deciding on the materials for the outside.  We are doing a Cape Cod and will be using shakers, siding & stone.  I am slightly OCD.  This makes things slightly difficult in trying to make decisions.  I am sending the plans to have cabinet quotes (YIKES!).  It’s scary to me. 

I have lots of running around to do with my parents over the next couple of days.  I am happy to take them and spend the time with them.  I love having them here.  They’ve been very helpful with the girls. 

Lots to do but I will be back soon with more info on the house but in the meantime enjoy the pictures of the beach vacation!
Fern Family

We did dolphin watching from our spot on the beach!

Oh she wanted that shovel but it was just a little too close to the water.

A few of our kiddos minus 4!!

Nanny & Katie

My Horse (in a very southern accent)

That second seat is holding my giggling 4 year old! She couldn't get enough of this ride.  The lady next to her said she is the bravest 4 year old she knows :)

Pumpkin ride with Zuzu Bear!

Yup there she is on the Monster Drop!

Hunting for clams...

And she finally made it into the water....and loved it!

One of our daily naps on the beach.

Mommy & her girls!!



Dreams have been a bit strange since the fire for me.  I’ve had some nightmares mixed in with just I am not sure you’d call it a nightmare, bad or strange dream…not sure how I’d classify it.  There are nights that I know I've had horrible dreams & I've tossed & turned all night.  When I wake the next morning I am restless.

Anyway the other night I had a dream that still sits in mind as very real.  Maybe it was real?  I was about 4 or 5 years old and I was walking through this house, but it was just a shell with only the frame work done.  I was alone but someone was with me, an angel, a person..not sure.  As I was walking through I heard my papaw’s voice and I was frantically looking for him.  I ran outside, back inside, searching everywhere without any luck.  I couldn’t find him but I tried & tried…looking through the entire shell of a house.  But I heard him.  I heard him say “child it’s going to be ok be strong!”  My papaw passed many years ago.  He built homes and some of the most beautiful homes I can remember seeing as a child.  The last house I walked through that he was building was when I was about 4 or 5.  I remember walking through a framed out house with him and being in complete awe that this was the work he’d done with his own hands.  It is by far one of my most favorite memories of him.  Well besides the fact that for a pretty short man he could walk faster than anyone I knew and had a love for picking up pecans. 

This dream was vivid & I haven’t been able to shake the realness.  What’s the dream telling me?  I hold onto the fact that my strong grandfather was coming to comfort me & to let me know he’s with me walking right beside me even though I can’t see him. 

We are leaving to go on vacation to the beach & I am excited.  I need to get away for a few days.  I know the next blog will be full of pictures.  I am hoping to come home refreshed & renewed.  I plan to take some time to just reflect on just how rich my life really is. I plan to take in every moment with my girls & my husband.  I have an amazing husband that works hard to provide any & everything to his girls…he spoils us rotten.  I have 2 beautiful girls that are growing up too fast.  I have my parents here to enjoy life to the fullest.  I have family & friends that constantly show us love, support & lift us up.  In the recent weeks I’ve had a couple of people try to tear me down.  It’s become a real burden seeing that instead of recognizing the good of things & looking at the entire picture, they’ve closed their minds & eyes consistently & constantly shifting blame.  The finger pointing lies & deceit will only fool others for a short time.  A friend posted on Facebook this the other day “A lie has speed, but truth has endurance” by Edgar J. Mohn.  This is so very true and holds true to how my situation is going.  I need to realize that I have control over the ability to let someone tear me down.  I will no longer allow this person to attack me and going so low as to use the fire to attack me & my family.  God be with them!!!

Off to the beach for an amazing vacation with family!  Life is good my friends & we are moving forward…  Can’t wait to share house plans with you.  The floor plan is basically final.  I’ve started picking out my garage doors (that just sounds weird to me), a pantry door..strange?  Well it’s because I want carriage house garage doors and a dutch door for the pantry.  We have dormers & gables that will allow us to have a window seat….  I am still trying to work a pool into this whole thing…wouldn’t that be awesome!!

Mom & I went to an auction last Saturday.  It was so much fun!!! I loved going & having her with me just made life taste that much sweeter!  I found some great little treasures.  I am starting back to working on my furniture again.  We swam all day at the pool Sunday & then a massive storm rolled in, so we bbq & played poker under the deck. 

Dreams…some dreams do come true!!  “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr. Seuss

Out with the Old, In with the New

Not that I wanted to “out with the Old and In with the New”, but given this situation I was given much of a choice.  I’ve come to realize in life some things are just not in your control.  I try to handle it with grace & dignity which isn’t always easy. 

This particular day was hard & a stomach turning roller coaster of a ride.  I know that “in with the new” is really going to be amazing once I look back in the next year.  I am looking forward to the bigger & better things.  I tried my hardest to stay strong..I only cried a few times, but the stomach took many turns, dips & dives throughout the day.

When we pulled up to the house & I first saw the excavator & dumpster my heart pounded, skipped a beat here & there and my stomach flipped flops it’s never flipped flopped before.  I knew this day had to come & honestly the sooner the better.  But in all honesty I wasn’t prepared.  It’s like when you lose someone you love & you weren’t expecting it and the day comes to put them to rest.  Your mind just hasn’t caught up to the process yet. 

I tried to distance myself from everyone around so I could take pictures & just have my moment of silence.  The first slap the excavator claw took to the house I just wanted to bury myself.  It was the most bittersweet moment I’ve felt to date.  What a crazy feeling!!!  There was no going back and really this is what I was thinking.  No going back happened June 15, 2012 the house was beyond any repair that morning. 

I felt part of the day move in slow motion & other parts went quickly.  It was hot & a threat of rain lingered but never showed up.  There were so many ups & downs throughout the day.  Kacey & I went to lunch just the two of us.  It was nice & we haven’t done that in a very long time.  We went to Annarella’s on the Green.  This is the restaurant right across & up the hill from our house that sits on the golf course.  It is beautiful & peaceful there…just what we needed.  The owners went through what we are going through last September (but they just now was able to demo their house..lots going on for them & I pray for them daily).  This was the first time we’ve been in there since the fire.  Anna was so nice, compassionate, caring, etc.  She provided us lunch on her & told us anytime to come in & eat that it is on her & if there is anything they could do they were willing & able.  My heart filled up with joy & appreciation!! 

There was a foundation wall we had been watching throughout the morning.  It had a bow in it & I started taking pictures of it early.  By the time we came back from lunch it was far worse. We ended up with that foundation wall collapsing & all I can say is thank GOD I was standing were I was to yell out that it was coming down.  We have had angels surrounding us & someone that loves us very much watching over us. 

The house has completely been removed.  I am very thankful for the guys that have been working with us.  They have known Kacey since he was just a teenager & the compassion that they have shown is appreciated.  Kacey’s business is busy (thankfully) and so much of the process is on my shoulders.  I don’t want to let my husband down so I must remain strong & intact.  I have a ton of confidence that the group we have will continue to guide me & explain every inch of this rebuild to me with kindness & professionalism (because I will be asking dumb questions along the way J ). 

We are almost done with the plans which means we can soon submit for our building permits.  I am excited & I am starting to fall in love with what lies ahead.  This was out of my control & a love I have been forced into. 

Soon there will be pictures that will show the new…
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