No matter how many times I write hoedown, it just never looks proper.
But then again, when am I really proper?

Way back in December when we thought we’d soon be done with our renovation, (who knew we’d have 3 more months?) the Coach decided he wanted to have a big party. Mostly to celebrate our reno survival (there were some iffy moments) and also to showcase a great local country band that we’ve enjoyed seeing around town.
We tried to book the band in February (hoping it wasn’t yet SUMMER weather, which comes quick around these parts) but they were busy until late March; we booked them. I’m not exaggerating when I say the renovation was done on Friday at 4pm (painters were finishing up the front interior rooms)….we had guests arriving for the weekend at 5pm and the party for 60 the next day.

We are lucky enough to have a lot of really good friends who love to jump in and make stuff happen. Several of our good friends from the East Coast arrived Friday night and got busy. Saturday’s forecast was calling for rain, so the Coach decided we needed a tent on the lanai for the band; the guys headed to Costco for a tent.
They went for a tent, but came home with a garage.

Who does that?

They laid it out on the upper lanai area by the chikee hut. Lo and behold the chickee had to get a mullet cut for the darn garage to fit.


We had a lot of great family and friends prepare good ole’ southern cooking. Pulled pork, ribs, BBQ chicken, cole slaw, collard greens, cowboy beans….SO much good grub!
The Coach and I wisened up this time though and hired some hands to help serve and clean up. Quite possibly the best idea yet. We’re usually stuck in the kitchen; slaving or pouring drinks. We had three guys helping us; two with the food and one manned the bar.

 The band was fantastic….lot’s of dancing and laughing; everyone had a great time.

 Some of my people.

BTW: it never rained on our parade or the newly installed garage. 

We expected 60-70 people…but when I went through my list on Sunday, I realized we had 91 people throughout the night. And the house was still standing; well, most of it.

I had to borrow Lolo’s boots and dress for I had nothing proper to wear!
There was much fun to be had and a lot of it was because of the Coach. He was dancing up a storm and getting everyone around him to join in.

Coach and my wonderful MIL
Lolo and Linds with G’ma Sue

At one point the Coach was actually NOT dancing, he was just walking near the edge of the pool when he toppled into the pool; back side first.
I was on the other side of the lanai, so I didn’t get a first hand look at the situation.

The next thing I saw was other people jumping into the pool with him; about 6 followers.
He said: “why are you jumping in the pool?”
Them: “Because YOU did”
Coach: “no, I fell into the pool….I didn’t jump!”

So, it turns out it wasn’t Coach’s fault for falling into the pool with his good boots and cellphone….our pool coping had come lose in several areas and just gave way.

Luckily he wasn’t really hurt, just bruised up a bit. Thankfully it wasn’t one of our guests that fell….lord knows, who might be living in this house right now. Damn it with the SueHappyPeople.

The next morning I woke up to this sight:

Lindsay took care of her Daddy’s boots by drying them in our tub. FYI: they did survive….his cell phone? NOT.So.Much.

It was quite the party and we had so much fun; it was lovely to host friends at our house again.

I don’t think I recovered until Wednesday afternoon though.

Has anyone else been crazy enough to have a large party at their house?


The Real Renovation-after post.

We had to break away from the renovation to see a little NCAA BBall in Houston! Woot woot. It was fun even though our FGCU boys didn’t quite make it there. {{next year?}

I had a super duper hard time trying to put before and after pics together from the same angle. Do you feel sorry for me? Nah…….I’m actually the worst before/after blogger ever. Where’s my award?
This is the view coming in from the back hallway.

The old layout had a formal living and formal dining room in front of the house with a wall dividing. Now, the wall is gone and I can see the front doors/windows from any vantage point.

 The dogs love their spot in the family room. All the doors on the back side are pivoting. You can open the entire room by sliding them all down to one end (or the other) and stacking them.

 View from the front entry doors. FYI: Callie the Cow dog has been such a good addition to our family. We LOVE HER.

 View from the back/side door

 View from the back back doors. Wait…I’m thinking we have too many doors.

Don’t worry about our privacy, we have shades on all the windows; they’re hidden in the ceiling soffit.

The dining area. I’ve always wanted a large table and apparently I eventually always get what I want.

Sadly, it came with cracks in it….not even a discount was offered. LOL!
{Live edge walnut slab table}

 The Coach made (had made for me) this custom china cabinet. It’s mine….ALL MINE!

Are the countertops swoon worthy? Yes. They’re even swine worthy. They are quartzite;  not to be confused with man-made quartz.

 Can you find the dishwasher and garbage cans? It’s not easy…. Did you know we are in the kitchen/stone business? Yeah, otherwise this wouldn’t be so pretty.

One day I’ll post about the details; wall colors, floor choices…more details. I found SO much good info on the ‘net that I’d like to also be of help to someone. {hello-porcelain tiled wood planked floors and all the darned Sherwin Williams paint color samples}

Our mudroom/coffee central itself will get it’s own post soon. Wait…did someone say coffee?
Happy Friday my friends. I hope life is good in your neighborhood. We’re getting used to living in our lovely house and planning a COLLEGE GRADUATION. *sigh* Seriously. I could die from happiness.


Finally-the AFTER photos.

Hello friends.
Let me start by saying that I was reluctant to share the after photos of our renovation. Why?  The Coach and I both come from very humble beginnings….so, for us to have something this nice (our dream house) I almost feel braggy by sharing. I still remember going through the sears catalog as a kid dreaming of nice furniture and fancy sheets. And by fancy, I mean the kind that match.
I can’t win; I should just go back to the trailer park and get over myself.

We are absolutely THRILLED with our home. As in, we’re NEVER LEAVING. The girls will have to bury us in the backyard with Ozzie, Maisy (and the recently departed) Krispy.
We built this house in 1997; it started with a small formal dining room, (could never get everyone at the table) a small formal living area (could fit a couch and a few chairs, but never was enough space at Christmas with the whole family) A good sized kitchen, a breakfast nook, and a smallish family room.
What we had envisioned was a great room. WIDE open kitchen/family/dining.
What we got was a GREAT room with a kitchen to die for. Ok, lets slow down with the dramatics Suz. No one is dying in here. EVER. 

It was hard to make before and after collages…..as the after looks NOTHING like the before so it’s hard to put it in perspective.

I’ll start with the lanai view. Note that the outdoor ceiling fans and the left (closest to you) column are both in the same exact spot. How coincidental to have pets in each pic?  {Miss you Ozzie boy!}

Again, with the critters. See that column down below in the left pic? It’s the same one on the right just behind cocoa and Harley. That’s the amount of outside lanai we stole for the inside.

This is another before/after view of the lanai, looking into the family room/dining area.

Could something ever be better than you’d imagine? I’m here to tell you YES.

I’ll share the all the inside photo’s next. I don’t want to overwhelm you. Or me. Ok, mostly it’s me I’m worried about.
Happy humpday my people.