Our houses. Our homes. Our family. Our story.

This is our American Dream, and we are so thankful to be living it. Through fair weather and storm, both figuratively and literally, our houses have been a trusted family member... our homes. This is our story as told through the homes in which we have been so fortunate to live.

Jenn and Shane’s Wedding

2005 :: Duvall, Washington

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Happy 10th Anniversary to Jenn and Shane!

Book Review :: The Martian

The Martian Book Cover The Martian
Andy Weir
Broadway Books
October 28, 2014

Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways. A first novel.


Ok. This is clearly my (Tracy’s) book. And I am proud of it! This book is amazing. Apparently it is being made into a movie right now too. That movie had better be good. If it does anything to distract from the book I will…

Enough. The Martian is definitely a good book go to this website. It tells a great story, of course, but is also scientifically compelling. It is Science Fiction after all, but it feels more like science fact. I truly believe that NASA is studying this book as part of their preparations for someday sending humans to Mars.

The Martian is often funny as well. It is a joy to read Mark Watney’s (main character) view of his predicament as he uses every ounce of ingenuity and self determination to stay alive.

See our complete Audible book list.

Book Review :: The Go-Giver

The Go-Giver Book Cover The Go-Giver
Bob Burg, John David Mann,
Business & Economics
Penguin UK
February 25, 2010

The international bestseller with a radically simple message. The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. One day, desperate to land a big deal at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his devotees simply as the Chairman. Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of 'go-givers': a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a broker, and the 'Connector' who brought them all together. Pindar's friends share the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach Joe how to open himself up to the power of giving. Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving - putting others' interests first and continually adding value to their lives - leads to unexpected returns. Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb 'Give and you shall receive.'


Kathy and I thoroughly enjoyed this short book about the best method to attract success in business and in life. It uses a simple but engaging story to introduce and discuss five laws: The Law of Value; The Law of Compensation; The Law of Influence; The Law of Authenticity; and The Law of Receptivity. The story walks you through the growth process of the main character through a series of meetings with his mentor, and the resulting events that unfold. The book is thoughtful and uplifting prozac medicine. It can change the whole way you look at business and personal interactions. We highly recommend the Audible version of this book.

See our complete Audible library.

Bathroom Remodel

2014 :: Guest Bathroom Makeover


Oh, come on! It can’t be that difficult to remodel a little 8×5 bathroom. Can it? Well if it’s the first one you have ever done, yes it can. It is also well worth the effort.

As the video above shows, the demolition phase is the most fun, and it is fast. Maybe four hours, tops. Hammers, pliers, saws and a little muscle is all you need. The tub/shower was the most interesting, as when they put a fiberglass tub and shower into a house they really don’t expect you to be taking it back out. When you are done with the demo though, all you have left is an empty box. A little scary for sure.

There are great bathroom remodel videos on YouTube. We watched a bunch of them. Videos on plumbing, flooring, tiling, and just about any other aspect of the project. Great detail too. You’ve got to thank the people who post those videos. Us DIY’ers can demolish and rebuild with much greater confidence because of them.

Being a DIY’er is a bit of a curse though. Just because you’ve done stuff in the past, and you think you might be able to do the next thing, doesn’t always mean its a great idea. But as a self proclaimed DIY person you are kind of committed from the start. There is no way you are going to let this project get the best of you.

So Kathy and I persevered. We had a design in mind. We scoured the internet for more ideas. We made numerous trips to Home Depot. We spent three weeks of every available minute working on this bathroom (we had a deadline… guests were coming). In the end we were very happy with the finished product. A new bathroom is so nice, and we saved probably 50% doing it ourselves.



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