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Laura and Kevin

Kevin and LauraWe came together as childhood sweethearts. (Well, we were actually in our forties, but at some point in both our lives we each had been told that we were childish, so that’s close enough for a blog, no?) We’ve actually been together since 2002, living in the San Francisco Bay area of California. Kevin was a Silicon Valley guy, working as a product manager for Adobe and the FileMaker subsidiary of Apple for around a decade—give or take a tech bubble or two—and Laura was a communications expert focused on health care and research. About a year ago, we realized that, as long as we moved to someplace where they measured land in acres as opposed to ‘California square feet’, we could actually retire and build the perfect house together. And so Fred was conceived, and this blog will be about his gestation and birth, but without all the gross pictures and really uncomfortable home movies.

Laura

LauraAny architectural expertise I have comes from having lived in at least 25 different buildings since I was born.  No, there isn’t a military parent background here, just restlessness and a historical sense of adventure.  (My father was a sailor, his father was a sailor…etc.)  So houses and apartments always were, to me, places to adapt to rather than create.

Now, thanks to my amazing husband, this brain is actually contemplating things like where I want the window seat in my craft studio/office, and how many built-ins our living room will need.  I can actually plan for a place that will adapt to me, rather than trying to fit my stuff into a generic space designed for anybody and nobody.

Though I come from the Mistake By the Lake, as we fondly called Cleveland, Ohio, in my youth, I lived in the South–Georgia and Alabama–for two decades after surviving the Blizzard of ’78.  North Carolina, where we now live, is the perfect mix of Southern grace, pastoral beauty, and smart people, and it has already welcomed me by allowing me to attend one of its oldest universities in order increase the number of letters after my name.

Kevin

KevinI grew up in the Midwest, where winters are very cold and houses are very ugly. I eventually fixed the winter problem by joining the Army and moving to Ft. Bragg, NC. Life has taken me to a lot of places since then, but I always remained fond of North Carolina.

The ugly house problem proved to be a bit more daunting, as I really never lived anywhere long enough—or had enough money—to build a house the way I wanted one to look, although I dreamed about doing that from a very early age. I would always see these modern, sleek, attractive houses in magazines and movies, and I would say to myself: “Self”, I would say, “Why can’t I live in a house that looks like that?”

Well, finally, thanks to good fortune and hard work, (well, actually I outsourced the “hard work” part quite a few years ago, but someone has definitely been putting in a strong effort), we are now finally able to try to build a house that “looks like that.” I also like to design and build furniture, so Fred will have a generous workshop (thank you Sweetie! And now it’s posted publicly so you can’t back out.) where I will be able to create some of Fred’s contents and, most importantly, use large power tools to do so.

Once Fred is built, I look forward to re-pursuing some of my other hobbies, including photography, playing jazz, and long walks on the beach. (Actually, I’ll delegate the beach walking to the guy who is transporting my favorite diet beverage to my covered palapa from the bar, but you get the general idea…)

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