Building a new Home: Groundbreaking Party

by Dana on April 30, 2013

Ever think you’d see a picture of a porta-potty on MADE?  I tried to make it look as pretty as possible.  And after posting about our new home adventure last month, we’ve made some progress. We’ve broken ground! Woohoo!

The neighbors thought I was funny when I started snapping photos of the bathroom…and the lovely orange construction fence.  But they were all so exciting!  They were SIGNS!  Signs of something, anything happening.  Porta potty one day; construction workers the next, right?

My good friend Katherine said we should definitely have a groundbreaking party to celebrate the fun.  YES!  So I quickly purchased cheap little shovels, spray-painted them gold, and just as I had hoped….workers were there the next day!

First this showed up and plowed down anything in it’s path.

(minus the important trees.  We’re keeping those)

Then this guy showed up to haul it all away.  It was so refreshing to see the site cleared…and easier to visualize a home sitting right in the middle.

A few days later….lumber!, the beginnings of a foundation frame, and some goofy kids.


Lucy and Owen love visiting the lot which makes me happy because I know they’ll love having a backyard of land to explore.  They’re great at creating fun from the simplest anything.  Owen’s already spent a couple hours at the lot just throwing dirt clods.  Pure boy.

So a few weeks ago, we grabbed our shovels and invited our friends over to the lot for a small groundbreaking celebration.

And here we are.  Hooray!  The house is happening.
Might be fun to frame this photo and put it somewhere in the house to remember how tiny these kids were when we started this project: Lucy 7, Owen, 5, and Clara 14 months.


The token dirt toss.

And Cheers! in cheap cups,

with cheap pizza to go along.  Yay!  Just how the kids like it.  Pizza Pizza.  Drink Drink.

Thanks friends for coming to celebrate!

Here’s hoping this is poured concrete soon.


And just a little peek at what’s going on inside.  I’m looking for a mirror for the downstairs bathroom.  You guys were SUPER helpful on my last post with input on fireplaces, chandeliers, and decks. THANK YOU.  I’ve actually decided to go with Gas and made other adjustments from your recommends.
So here’s what I’m looking at.  I’m really loving this and this….and the Abby mirror comes in way too many cute colors.  How could I ever pick just one??


Or to save money, maybe I’ll just make my own white frame with cool tiles on the inside?  Check out most of these on my Tile Board.

Any cool mirrors you’ve come across?….something that’ll fit in a beach cottage type bathroom?
Thanks friends!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie Cox April 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

so exciting, so exciting!!!

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2 Rachel April 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm
3 Heather Phillips April 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

So excited for you!!!

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4 anna April 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

oh fun!!! we do golden shovels for our groundbreaking ceremonies! Love those little shovels, how cute. Oh and I want those mirrors!!!

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5 Britney Mills April 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Yay! Now starts all the decision making! I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

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6 Nicole April 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Sooooo Exciting!! We are so happy & thrilled for you guys! What fun, your dream home!

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7 Sherri April 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Nice! Looks like fun. Beats our tiny postage stamp of a backyard. That’s what we get for living in the city :)

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8 Lynette April 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

What a fun idea to have golden shovels! I have to say though, I half expected a garland or something on the porta potty. :)

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9 Kristin April 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm

GOLDEN SHOVELS! I love you, Dana. Hehe. Building a house is so fun!

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10 iHeartQuilting April 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of progress! Congratulations! When I was a kid, my parents had our house built, and it is so fun to stumble across those pictures now, of us little kids running around the empty lot and seeing the progression of work on the house and the trees my Dad planted as saplings, and the Studebaker in the driveway. Those pics are 45 years old now, and the trees are 100 feet high. But we always enjoy reminiscing when we see those pics.

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11 Hannah Elise April 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

how fun! yay for progress!! :) btw I totally LOVE your outfits, Dana….I pick out fun color combos from my wardrobe and always feel so Dana when I wear fun stuff like you! :)

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12 emily April 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

congrats! love the gold shovels…what a way to make this time memorable for your kids.

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13 katie April 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

We are almost done building our house. my hubby is doing most of it. but the kids had fun playing in the dirt too. One suggestion i have is to write down what is happing each day or week so you can remember when things happen that is what i have done and it is great. espically for my hubby who forgets what has happened and how far we have come. congrates.

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14 Deborah April 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

So super excited for you guys!!

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15 J April 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

How awesome! No doubt it’ll be a fun adventure for you and your family. I love being the first in our home. I wasn’t too thrilled with our builders but the process was definitely rewarding when it all came together.

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16 Jill April 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Love the yellow mirror. Have you checked out Autumn @ http://mydesigndump.blogspot.com/ ? She is in the process of finishing her home and has a ton of helpful information on building a new home.

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17 Rachel April 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Here’s a cute mirror from Joss & Main today that may be to your liking:
https://www.jossandmain.com/Modern-Farm-Boylston-Wall-Mirror~WLI3093~E4400.html

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18 andrea April 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

So exciting, I will enjoy following the progress on your blog. And check out this, you can have that chandelier that you love, for a fraction of the cost!!!

http://tatertotsandjello.com/2013/04/how-to-make-a-diy-beaded-wood-chandelier.html

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19 Bailee May 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm

That is a beautiful chandelier, thank you for sharing the link!!

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20 Lisa Burger April 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Really happy for you guys! Love the family of 5 pic, so blessed!

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21 Christine April 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

You must frame that picture for your house! Very exciting! Living in So. Calif., I can only dream of a backyard to play and explore in.

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22 carolina April 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Congratulations Dana. Love the pictures, specially the one you want to frame!!

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23 Jessica April 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Such a fun party! I love the painted shovels.

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24 Regina May 1, 2013 at 4:21 am

great pictures, love the party idea :)
you should definately put that picture up when the house is finished!

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25 Becky Thompson May 1, 2013 at 6:27 am

So exciting! And I love your little painted shovels. Too cute!

Looks like what’s happening to you, happened to us when we built our first home. When we purchased the lot, we had NO IDEA there would be a 6 foot drop from the edge of the back patio to the yard. I just didn’t visualize it when we purchased the lot. The back of your slab will be poured taller than you are! But? That’s building in Texas Hillcountry. Not much you can do about it. It is super nice to sit up high and watch the scenery after a long day, but it’s a pain to drag stuff up and down the stairs if you want to grill, eat outside on a picnic table, or garden. And if anyone ever builds behind you, you’ll be looking straight down into their yard or into their windows. Where my husband and I loved to sit outside and watch the world go by, it was actually a sticking point when we sold. But we were against the neighborhood properly line and oversaw a two-lane drive. As long as those trees stay back there, the view should be fine. However, if there’s a lot behind you, you might consider planting trees against the fence line right away. You’ll need a jackhammer to dig the holes so you might get the builder to do it. Monterrey Oaks do best in that area and grow a beautiful full canopy with lots of shade on the shallow topsoil of Texas Hillcountry.

So exciting! Thanks for sharing!

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26 Manu May 1, 2013 at 6:51 am

This is so exciting Dana! I love the picture of your family with the golden shovels, you should definitely frame it! :)
I was just wondering, will the concrete for the foundation be poured onto the ground level or is there a cavity that i couldn’t see in the pictures? Here in Switzerland the foundation of a buildung is always below ground.

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27 Helen May 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

Congratulations, Dana!

I can’t stop thinking that you are going to decorate that porta potty with a sweet little moon or flower wreath!

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28 cucicucicoo May 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm

very exciting! it must feel great for things to be moving along! :) lisa

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29 claudia May 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

THIS IS BIG! B-I-G I tell you! You don’t even need the house yet to call it your new home! Looking forward to the big-deal-bulletins! And of course decorating is the best part!

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30 claudia May 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

p.s. I thought perhaps you zipped out and festooned the toity with a colorful bunting ;)

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31 Melissa Shultz May 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The golden garden shovels are just the coolest! I agree, that photo of the family breaking ground would be an awesome memory keepsake. Looking forward to seeing the progression as you share it here. Very excited for you. :)

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32 SMum May 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Just recently saw a DIY tile mirror on Centsational Girl that could definitely fit the bill (http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/04/diy-mosaic-tile-bathroom-mirror/) They did it right on the wall, but I’m sure you could mount the tiles on something else to make it less permanent.

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33 Astrid May 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I love your golden shovel idea! Very special. Now to frame one for the house? :)

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34 Kim @ all things simple May 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

How fun and exciting for all of you! Looking forward to watching the progress.

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35 Petra May 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

The gold shovels are a neat idea! Great memories. We did the same with the photos and even got photos of our porta-loo too. Looking forward to seeing the progress! What an adventure!

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36 Julie May 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Congrats on the ground-breaking! A mirror I found and just love…http://www.cb2.com/tork-brass-dripping-mirror/s514160
Exciting for you to find new things for the house!!

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37 Carolyn Baker May 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

I am extremely excited for you and look forward to you sharing the progress with us. Your creative blog posts are such an inspiration. I think it’s fantastic that you took pics of the port a potty and the orange fencing. Years from now when you have all of this in a lovely scrapbook you’ll be able to look back and enjoy the memories (both the good and the stressful) ones from this adventure.

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38 EJC May 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

The yellow mirror you like is on sale at http://www.onekingslane.com right now along with lots of other cool mirrors! check them out!

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39 Rachel May 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Here’s a Target Threshold option akin to your yellow framed mirror but probably smaller: http://www.target.com/p/threshold-wood-frame-wall-mirror-yellow/-/A-14326497

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40 Nixa May 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

You’re hair looks GORGEOUS!

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41 Heidi May 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

It’s so much fun to see progress! You have such a lovely family.

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42 Mollie Mitchell May 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hey Dana and Casey! I just wanted to congratulate you on your soon to be new home. How exciting! Are you staying in Georgetown? We should get together soon. I love that new Mexican restaurant that opened up on the river. Next time Linda is in town let me know and I’ll drive out. So glad you love TX!! Austin is especially great. I still get nostalgic for LA sometimes, but I think I’ll be here for the rest of my life. Hope to see you soon. –Mollie

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43 Diane May 24, 2013 at 1:12 am

Congratulations!! Yes, definitely frame that family picture. That will be so fun to have in your new home!!

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44 Florence Keenan November 16, 2013 at 9:41 am

What a great idea for a party! Looks like you had a lot of fun, and cleanup must have been really easy. Beautiful lot and great pics!

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