Our Birth Story: Atticus Michael 

My baby is now six weeks old, but better late than never when it comes to recording his birth story. As any mom would understand, my lack of blogging lately is a result of having no free time these days. For those that may not know me personally, not only do I have a newborn at home, but I also have twin 3 year old boys, so my “free time” is literally non existent. The needs from these three precious boys are seriously constant. Even as I type this, I’m doing so while breast feeding. Multitasking at its finest! 

Back to our birth story:

I’m going to start by talking about my hopes, desires, and fears going into this birth. The birth of my twins was pretty much every new mom’s worst nightmare. Very long story made very short: I was in very active active labor for 46 hours (in the hospital) after laboring at home the entire day before. I experienced several complications during my labor and after eventually pushing for 2 hours I had to have a cesarean section. So not only did I labor in vain, but then I had to recover from surgery while visiting 2 babies in 2 different NICU’s. I didn’t get to attempt breastfeeding with either of them for a long time (several days after birth with Maxton and 1 month after birth with Maverick). Not only did I not get to hold either of them after they were born, but I also have no memory of seeing them either. Granted they needed immediate care and I knew that beforehand, but every mom wants to see and hold the babies that she’s been carrying for 9 months. So, with this birth I was SO hopeful to have the special moment of the baby being born, put on my chest, and getting to nurse him immediately.

Thank the Lord the twins are doing great now and they are healthy and strong little toddlers, but their story made me very scared for this birth. I was worried I would have a similar experience this time. Of course my doctor was more than willing to schedule a c-section for me, but I was adamant that I wanted to have this baby naturally if at all possible.  

At my 37 week check up I was dilated to a 2 and had been having lots of Braxton hicks contractions for the past week. My doctor told me that her guess was that I would go into labor sometime in the next week to 10 days. As a week came and went, there were no signs that I was any closer to going into labor. At my 38 week checkup I was still only dilated to a 2. I was a little bummed, but knew that he would come when he was ready. 

At 38 weeks and 3 days we (me, my husband and our twins) spent all evening working at our flip house. I was purposefully not “taking it easy” because I was hoping the activity may help me have a baby! That night as we were doing our bedtime routine with the twins my back was hurting me so bad that I was literally crying as I was walking down the stairs and back to our bedroom. But, it never crossed my mind that I may be going into labor. That same night Maxton had a fever so Nathan gave him some medicine and set his alarm to get up and check on him one hour later. We went to bed and woke up when his alarm went off. I got up right after Nathan did and  headed to use the restroom, and my water broke. It was almost exactly 12:00 midnight. 

I yelled to Nathan, but only said his name because I didn’t want him to freak out. He got a little annoyed and was worried that I was going to wake the twins up when I said his name. When he came back downstairs I said “My water just broke.” And he said, “You’re kidding.” I laughed and replied, “I’m serious. That’s not something I would joke about.” Then he believed me and wanted to know what to do! Lol. I told him to just go ahead and call my Mama so she could go ahead and come over to stay with the twins while we went to the hospital. Very soon after that my contractions started and were only about 3-5 minutes apart.

 We were in the car only 30 mins after my water broke. My contractions were starting to come faster and were intense enough that I could not talk through them. Nathan was driving about 80 miles an hour going up the road. I was trying to breathe through the contractions that were now coming about every 1-2 minutes. It was certainly like a Hollywood “drive to hospital with a woman in labor” movie scene. He had the hazard lights on and was trying to stay calm, but he was a little panicked. I wasn’t able to calmly focus and breathe through the contractions as much anymore. We made the 45 minute drive to the hospital in only 30 minutes. 

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to walk into the hospital because of how intense my contractions were and you know what…there was a wheel chair sitting right in the door way. The Lord provides!! Nathan wheeled me up and I was hardly able to stand to be weighed and could barely answer the nurse’s questions for check in. 

I was legitimately worried that I would be too far progressed to have an epidural and that was very scary to me. In my situation I actually needed to have an epidural since I was trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). When attempting for a VBAC there is always a very scary possibility of uterine rupture. That would occur at the location of the c-section scar during labor and could be fatal for the mom and/or baby. If that happened the need for an emergency c-section would be imminent. So basically, if that occurred and I did not have an epidural I would have to be intubated and put to sleep for the surgery. I certainly did not want that.

So anyways, when my cervix was checked in triage I was only dilated to a 3. I couldn’t believe it. I could tell that after that everybody started moving slower and didn’t seem to be taking me as seriously.  When I finally got to a real room (about an hour later) my contractions were literally almost back to back and I was coming off the bed in pain with each one. I asked about an epidural and my nurse assured me that she had someone on the way, but that she had to start my IV first. She kept sticking me, but with each contraction my vein would blow. She finally said that she had just been trying to stick me for labs and would just go ahead and try to start an IV. I wasn’t very happy to discover that she hadn’t even attempted that yet, but I was contracting so hard that I couldn’t even speak to her to say anything. I finally said out loud, “I feel the need to push!” And both nurses in the room stopped and looked at me. It wasn’t but a moment after that when the resident showed up to do the epidural. My birth plan I had typed up said that I only wanted a fellow or attending to do the epidural, but at that point I think I would have let a med student try. Haha! 

I was really worried though, for two reasons. Reason one was because I had a “1 in 100 chance” occurance that happened with my epidural with the twins where the epidural went IV and made my ears ring and go semi deaf, but it didn’t numb me. My second concern was that I was hardly having any break in between contractions and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hold still while she attempted the epidural, which is very important. But once again, the Lord provides!! I had an entire minute break in contractions and was able to hold still and she successfully got the epidural in on the first try. 

My nurse immediately checked me and she said “Oh my! I don’t even feel your cervix. Like, you’re way past a ten. His head is right here.” I said, “I believe you! I’ve felt the need to push for the past hour.”  I pushed about three times right then and she said she was going to call and get the doctor in the room so we could have our baby…only 3 hours after my water broke. She got off the phone with my doctor and said, “I totally forgot. We have to get antibiotics in you since your group B Strep was positive.” They let an hour of antibiotics run through my IV (I’ve been told the normal time to let that run is 4 hours). As soon as that hour was done, I pushed twice with the nurse, and then she got the doctors in the room.  I literally pushed once after the doctor got there and Atticus Michael was born at 4:24 am. 

It was such a beautiful moment. Nathan and I both had tears in our eyes as they laid Atticus on my chest. He started nursing immediately and Nathan got to cut his umbilical cord.  Our biggest wishes came true! It was perfect. We were thrilled. Every single wish that I had came true…a very short labor, a vaginal birth, success with the epidural, and getting to hold and see Atticus once he was born! And to top it off…he never was taken from me. He literally was right on my chest nearly our entire stay at the hospital. It was beautiful!

There are no words for his birth other than…The Lord is SO good! 

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

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Master Bath Renovation 

Hey ya’ll! We (along with a couple professionals) have been working non stop for the past two and a half weeks to renovate our master bathroom. We timed our beach vacation to where we would miss the first week of the chaos, which was so smart! Living in a construction zone with two little kiddos is not a fun thing, so I’m glad we thought that through and planned appropriately. 

I started the designing and shopping for this bathroom in April to make sure we had everything here and ready to go when we left for vacation. For example, the vanity we purchased took almost two months to be built and shipped so if I hadn’t started the process early then it would have never been here by the time we needed it. 

Let me start with telling how we designed this space. (This is also how we design all of our projects.) We brainstorm, take pictures, search Pinterest or Google, and eventually sketch out what we want. We’ve learned that pictures speak volumes, so sometimes we already have an idea in our minds and then try to find a picture to help our crew visualize what we’re talking about. For example…here are the pictures we used in creating our bathroom. 

Then Nathan sketches out our own plans for how we want the layout to be.  He is a much better artist than me, so this is a team effort. I design, then explain to him what I’m thinking…all while he is sketching. We make a great team! 

These papers (along with several meetings with our guys) are turned over and lay the blue print for our finished product. This is how we do our flip projects too! Lots and lots of planning…

So now let’s start with some before pictures of this bathroom. To the best of my knowledge, this bathroom was original to when our house was built (except for new light fixtures and new paint that we added three years ago) so it definitely needed some TLC. It was in fine working order, but was way out dated and needed much more than a “facelift”. A facelift, in my mind, would be something simple like fresh paint, new countertops, etc.  We decided that if we were going to tackle this room, we were going to really do it right. We rearranged the entire layout of this room. The old “toilet and shower room” is going to be a second master closet, but it is not finished yet. I’ll share pictures of that room once it is done. 

Ok…back to before pictures. 

One thing we always loved about this house is how big our master bathroom is.  From the first day we walked through this house, we knew it had tons of potential.  I was so excited when we finally decided to take the plunge and renovate it. 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I wanted this space to be a good blend of many different styles including: farmhouse, industrial, cottage… as well as using some key pieces that we found in Charleston, SC. So basically my personal taste is a big mixture of all different decorating styles. I’ll list all of the sources for the items at the end of the post. 

Here are some “after demo day” pictures of the bathroom.

And now for a couple details about the design for our new space. We wanted tons of storage in our shower so we had them build the tub out from the wall so we would have additional storage, as well as elbow room all the way around (this makes the shower seem so much bigger). We also had them build a small bench at the back to serve as additional storage or as a sitting place. This small change also makes the inside of the shower much bigger. The “soap box” runs the length of the shower to ensure we will never run out of space for our shower stuff. All of these seemingly small details make such a big difference in how custom this bathroom feels. 

The built-in shelving next to the shower was all custom built by Nathan. I wanted the shelving to be chunky, so we went with 2″x12″ boards and attached two of them together to make our shelves 24″ deep.  I mixed two different stains (Minwax’s Special Walnut and Minwax’s Dark Walnut) to try and match the stain of the vanity. After sanding the boards down to make them nice and smooth, I applied one coat of stain and (after letting it completely dry) added two coats of polyurethane. We were both thrilled with the end result. 

Okay, and now for the after pictures…because I know that’s all you guys really care about. Haha. I’m kidding. But really…when I read these types of blog posts the pictures are the best part. 

This first picture is the view directly after walking in to the bathroom from our bedroom. 

Well, there it is folks! We’ve certainly enjoyed being able to design a space for ourselves and have already enjoyed it. I’ve been taking baths in the tub all week long (even before the rest of the space was finished!)

As always, thanks for reading!!

XOXO,

Megan

Sources list:

Bathtub, shower faucet set, sink faucets: Lowes

Floor tile and soap box tile: Wayfair

Vanity: purchased through Houzz, but made by Fox Den Decor

Vessel sinks: Houzz

Subway tile for shower and tile wall: Liberty Salvage (we scored this tile for $1 per square foot!)

Toilet, bath fan, recessed lights, vanity lights (those 3 are actually exterior lights): Home Depot

***I need to add that this bath fan is the coolest thing ever! It is blue tooth capable, so I can sync it to my phone to listen to music through the speakers. It has a water proof remote control for inside the shower. It also has a blue night light and a regular white LED light, as well as the normal fan part. This was a spur of the moment purchase that we have thoroughly enjoyed!***

Antique gold Mirrors and picture frames: Target

Towels, towel hooks, shower curtain, cabinet drawer pulls, storage boxes, small gold table, trash can, bath rug: Homegoods

Live hanging plant and orchid: Lowes

Macrame plant hanger: Amazon

Laundry room sign: Etsy

Prints on wall: Local artist in Charleston, SC

Paint color: Nurture Green by Sherwin Williams

Grout color: Charcoal 

A New Big Boy Bedroom for the Twins

Hi friends!!

I’ve decided to take a little hiatus from blogging about our flip house. I’m sure I’ll post another update next week, but for today I’m not going to talk about that at all. Instead I’m going to share a small little project we’ve been working on at home. 

As most of you know, we’re expecting another little boy (he will make baby boy #3) in about 3 months. Obviously, with the addition of a new family member comes making room for him. We decided to make our twins a big boy bedroom and then use one of their old cribs in the baby’s new nursery. We’ve been clearing out our guest room and will be converting that room into the new nursery. But, before we could move one of the cribs into that room, we had to make a new bedroom for Maverick and Maxton. Here are a few before pictures that show what the boys’ nursery looked like for the past few years. When we were pregnant with them we painted the nursery and added furniture, but that’s about all. It’s served as a cozy little room so far, but they were excited to have a new “grown up” space!

They turned 3 years old a couple months ago and have been saying that they were ready for a big boy bedroom. These precious boys often nap together, and would even wander to each other’s toddler bed during the night. Often times we would find them snuggled up together when we would go get them in the mornings. With that in mind we decided to make them one big sized, shareable bed, rather than two twin beds. This decision worked out great because we were able to simply use the queen mattress and bed frame out of our guest room. 

The first thing we decided on was to make them a headboard rather than purchase one. I scrolled through pictures on Pinterest until I found one that I liked, tweaked it a bit in my mind, and then shared my idea with Nathan. As usual, he worked magic and took my idea and then made a fabulous headboard for the boys (all in just a few hours). He’s amazing! ❤️️

That old tin that we used as the background of the head board was salvaged from an old building that we tore down at one of our flips last year. I knew when we took that building down that I would find something to do with that tin, and now I’m SO glad I didn’t let them throw it away! 

The idea I had in my mind was to create a room that would in a sense, grow with them. I didn’t want it to have a distinct theme, but just an overall “boy” feel to it. We didn’t want to have to repaint the room again, and purposefully painted it a neutral color a few years ago so that paint color would work for a long time. So, all we really needed to do was pick out a few other details to make it feel like a “big boy room”. The final product only took a couple weeks of shopping and one day of installation and it was complete. The end result is something that the twins LOVE! …And that makes us so happy! 💕


Im not gonna lie, I shed a few tears during their first night not spent in their cribs/toddler beds. I just can’t believe they’re growing up so fast. I ask them everyday to just “slow down growing…just a little bit”. They haven’t listened to me yet. 😩Babies just don’t keep. Now that I’m crying…let me wrap this blog up. 

Anyways, we’re so glad they love their new room! Thanks for reading!!!

Sources:
Quilt set: Joss and Main

Curtains: Wayfair

Sconces: Amazon

Rug: Rugs USA

Map: Hobby Lobby

Personalized navy chairs: Land of Nod

Toy chest: used to belong to their daddy and Uncle TJ

Dresser: used to belong to their Grandpa Al (I refurbished it a couple years ago) 

Living Room Reveal

Guys!!! I’m SO excited! I have another room cleaned, lightly staged, and photographed!! Per the title of this blog, I’m sure you’re aware that I’m talking about the living room of our current flip house. 

The construction phase of this whole project is DONE, and the cleaning phase is almost done!!! Yay!! The cleaning phase of these flip projects is always such a huge undertaking. Literally every square inch has to be scrubbed, scrubbed again, vacuumed, dusted, mopped, mopped again…you get the idea. When an entire home has been a construction zone for the past four months the amount of cleaning that is required seems endless. However, getting to this part means we are SO close to being totally finished, and that is something to celebrate!!

Before I do any pictures or details of the living room I’m going to talk a little bit about this house, just in case any one reading this is interested in purchasing this home.

This 1680 sq ft ranch style home is located in Welcome and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The main floor offers a foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, hall bathroom, and 2 extra bedrooms. There is another 700 sq feet finished in the basement that includes a second living room and office with a closet. This part of the basement isn’t heated and cooled, so therefore it’s not included in the finished sq feet of the house. However, we had it priced and you could add a second HVAC system for the basement for only 4K.  

The master suite includes his and hers closets (one of which is a walk in) and an en suite bathroom with double vanities, tile tub/shower combo, linen closet, and toilet. 

The home has a brand new front porch, and the basement living room has a set of French doors that both open to lead out onto a covered back patio. Other features include brand new HVAC system for the finished main level, 2 brand new garage doors, new exterior siding, all new double hung Pella brand vinyl windows, new landscaping and new driveway with a fresh load of gravel on it. 

I’ll be doing individual blog posts of each room/area that includes before and after pictures as well as all of the details for these spaces. 

Alrighty, back to the living room reveal 😁.

Let’s start with some before pictures…

This was definitely an ugly room. It was very dark and somewhat oppressive. The walls were all a tinged yellow color, the dark brown carpet was super dirty, there were NO lights, and the windows included some plexi-glass and housed a window a/c unit.

So what did we do to make it pretty?? We put hickory hardwoods down, painted the walls, trim and ceiling, painted the brick fireplace, replaced the shelving unit next to the fireplace with some new updated shelves, added four recessed lights in the corners of the room and a track light above the fireplace, and added 3 new windows.

And the finished result? A much more bright, clean, and open space that feels so much bigger. 


Well, what do you guys think of this space??  I’m thinking the next blog will feature the master bathroom. I’m pretty excited about that one!

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

I kinda hate the term “Flipper”

If you’ve been reading my blog posts at all for the past couple years, then it’s no secret that my husband and I “flip” houses. So, why do I hate that term? I’m not for sure that there’s even an actual definition for the term “flip house”, but in the day and age of HGTV everybody has an idea of what it is.

It may be different in various places around the country, but around our area flippers are notorious for certain things. Cutting out anything nice wherever possible to save a penny, painting the walls in the boring builder grade beige color, using basic builder grade light fixtures, tub inserts, cheap laminate or vinyl flooring, etc etc etc are a few of the things that typically come to mind.

While searching for granite for the kitchen of our last flip project the owner of the granite yard said, “Oh this is a flip house? Let me show you the granite most flippers use. It’s the cheapest we have here.” It was the most hideous granite they had. I would have never used it in any of our homes. But hearing those words spoke volumes that didn’t even need an explanation. By purchasing that granite, those flippers could advertise “granite counters in kitchen” in their real estate listing. Most other “flippers” would tell us we were crazy for purchasing granite that cost more than the basic quartz selections cost. But you know why we did that? Its not all about money to us.

We have a serious passion for what we do. It’s not just about the paycheck on closing day. Renovating these homes and bringing them back to life brings us more satisfaction than just how much our profit is at the end of the project. When I start designing a flip house I pick a personality for it. Like, what kind of voice would this house have if it could talk? What kind of mood do I want to portray through this design? Each home is different. In reality, very few things are alike in any of them. Making these decisions gives me little butterflies of excitement. And seeing it all come together in the end? I can’t even describe how exciting that is.

We don’t flip houses as quickly as some people do. Why? Because we add character and personality in things that will make us absolutely no return on our investment. I don’t know of any other flippers (well besides Tarek and Christina) that would sink money and time into something that literally increases the value of the house by zero dollars, but simply makes the home more attractive and custom. We just spent $355.00 on 3 sets of custom order shutters because we had to have the perfect ones in the perfect color for this home and the basic ones just didn’t evoke the same feeling. The basic ones at Lowe’s would have only cost $126.00 for the same 3 sets. Will we make that two hundred dollar price difference back when we sale the house? Nope. Does it matter to us? Nope. Why? Because we want people to know that if they ever purchase a home from us, they are getting a home that has had as much love poured into it by us as if we lived in it ourselves. The amount of time I spend designing these homes is worth thousands of dollars in design fees had they simply hired Hartman Interiors, and they’re getting that totally included.

We have a dream of eventually having such a positive name in our community that people are actually waiting for us to finish a home so they can potentially purchase it for themselves. That will never happen if we do things the way that most “flippers” do. It’s certainly not that we think we are any better than other house flippers, we’re just different. We simply choose to pour a little more of our heart and soul into these projects, even against the advice of others. We want buyers and potentially clients one day, to know that when Hartman Homes finishes a house it will be unlike any other in the neighborhood.

So, we’ll continue using the term “flipper” because that let’s people have a general idea of what we do, but now you know that what we do is actually so much more than that.

Fall Is In The Air

I love summer, I really do. But this heat has me dreaming of some cooler fall weather. I just LOVE fall. Pumpkin everything, fall colors, fires in the firepit, pumpkin patches, tractor rides…I just love it all!! 

You know what else I love?! Fall time scented candles! I burn them pretty much 24/7 from September through November. I’m typically a Bath and Body Works candle person, but this year I think I may have a new favorite candle, or maybe several.  I was given two candles to “test” and do a product review on. Well, I fell in love.  

   
If you’ve never heard of Carolina Chic Home Decor, owned by Cole and Brittney Bowen, you need to go check them out right now at carolinachichomedecor.com. Like right now…but then come back and finish reading about their candles. Anyways, Hartman Interiors has been using Carolina Chic to make some of our furniture for staging (and they do an awesome job on that too!), but Cole gave me some candles to test out the last time we met up to pick up our furniture. There were lots of choices, probably 10 or 15 different scents to choose from. But since I’ve  been in the mood for the fall season, I chose “Grandma’s Pecan Pie” and “Pumpkin Pie”. 

The very next day I tried out one and then a few hours later tried out the other. Oh. My. Word. They smelled SO good! I’m talking, one little candle made over 2,000 sq feet of house smell amazing! When Nathan came home from work he noticed it immediately. I think he was disappointed to realize that there wasn’t something baking in the oven, but nonetheless he was impressed with the candle. 

My “Grandma’s Pecan Pie” candle is now almost gone, and once my other one is gone I’m sure I’ll need to get me a few more! Carolina Chic Home Decor will be at the upcoming Apple Festival in September and the Barbecue Festival in October. If you’re at those events, please do yourself a favor and pick up a candle (or several) for $9.00. You won’t regret it.  

As always, thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

 

A Sweet Find

A couple weeks ago we had an “outside clean up day” at our flip house. The biggest part of this cleanup was to tackle emptying out the three storage sheds in the back yard. They weren’t totally full, but had quite a bit of stuff that needed hauling off. 

Being the lover of salvaged goods that I am, I was hopeful that I would find some hidden gem amongst all the trash. And you know what?! I wasn’t disappointed. Sitting in the largest shed was this little treasure just waiting to be loved. It was a rickety, stained, ugly chair that just needed a little elbow grease to be beautiful again. 

  
It was actually pretty hideous initially, and I’m sure my dear husband would have tossed it straight in the trash. But I rescued it, put it in my SUV, and hauled it home.

 A few days later I started in on my restoration of this fine piece of antiqued glory. Nathan helped me sturdy it up using some liquid nails and wood clamps. After letting that dry for a day or so it was ready for paint. Usually I would sand down furniture that I plan on repainting, but this chair was so rough and scratchy already that it didn’t need any more sanding. 

I picked a white paint color that I already had left over from another job and painted one thick coat of paint, let it dry, and took some sand paper to it. I find the key to a good “distressed paint” job is to focus on the areas that would naturally become chipped over time. Think of the places that would receive lots of touching during use and focus on those areas. That way the finished piece looks natural and antiqued, rather than intentionally distressed. 

The next step was to reupholster the seat. I had a few different fabric choices lying in my “interior design/craft/diy” area of the basement and picked from those. I certainly didn’t want to make an extra trip out and spend money on fabric since the rest of this restoration project had been free. I ended up using a fabric that was tan with a blue stripe. It definitely has a strong farmhouse feel to it, so of course I love it. 

I reassembled this little gem and it was done. I’m pretty excited with how cute it looks, and even more excited that it cost me a total of $0.00. Can’t beat free!! My plan is to use this chair in staging the flip house. It’s going to go right next to the entryway table in the living room. 

   
I can’t wait to show you the rest of the stuff I’ve restored/salvaged/thrifted and picked out for the flip house. I am as excited about decorating that house as a kid would be while waiting on Santa. Hopefully only a couple more weeks until I get to start putting it all together!
XOXO,

Megan