Home is next to you

In a life where we work out, there’s a house up on a hill.

A Life Where We Work Out, Flatland Cavalry

It makes me so incredibly happy to finally share the details on a HUGE project I’ve been working on for the last few months — Mason and I are building our first home inside a gated community on one of the largest lakes in Texas, Possum Kingdom Lake!

I’ve been waiting to make this announcement ever since we secured our lot inside The Cliffs, but I didn’t want to spoil the beginning process by telling everyone too early! However, when Mason popped the question last weekend when we were going to take photos on our lot as for our announcement, I couldn’t help but to share with everyone that we were newly engaged and the spot he proposed to me at is the location of our future home! (Photos below!)

The good news is, we close on our building loan next week and it’s finally, really happening!! In the meantime, we’ve already received our custom house plans after multiple changes from concept to creation, had an engineer draw up foundation plans, and also got approval to build our home from our new community POA board. Now, we can officially begin turning this empty lot into our first home.

It’s still hard to believe that I’m going to be living at the lake in a beautiful home designed by Mason and myself that my whole family will have a hand in building — it’s going to be such special gift and an exciting time in our lives! Growing up, my parents took us to the lake every summer, all summer long and we still go as much as possible every summer in our pontoon boat! My dad and my dad’s dad have been building custom homes on this lake for decades and even as a baby, I was right by his side (or rather, sitting on his tool belt). Now, my brother and I are by his side expanding this company’s services and servicing even more of P.K. Lake with the help of our fiancés. With three generations now working under Washburn Construction Services, LLC., there is no better team with no greater knowledge on this lake and building homes than ours — even IF I’m a little biased! I’m so lucky I’m able to build my house with the help of my people, my family.

You struck gold the day you said, “I am really going to do this.”


I really do believe in manifesting the life you want to have, even more so nowadays. About this time last November, I was so unhappy with my job and where I felt the direction of my career was going. Especially because I knew the life I wanted with Mason and it included settling down in a place that felt like home.

Back then, we would stay up for hours talking about the life we wanted. We both decided that, because my brother and his fiancé, Karli, were building their dream home at our favorite place on P.K. Lake, we eventually wanted to do the same, no matter how long it took us. We would talk about a white and black modern farmhouse on the lake, two golden retrievers, and our kids running around in big back yard. A dream, am I right?

When I quit my job, Mason did too. We decided taking a chance to help my family’s business flourish was something we needed to do. So we lived in a rent house in my quiet small town where I began helping my mom run the books on the business and eventually began helping our clients make design selections on their homes and Mason began working alongside my brother as a superintendent under my dad while having his own Welding business. We haven’t looked back yet.

I truly never thought in a million years that a year from our move we would be making our dreams a reality. Engaged & building our first home, how can I possibly beat the ending of 2020? We couldn’t be more excited for this new adventure on life! I know my brother and Karli can’t wait for us to join them at the lake too, we are all so close and it makes it even more exciting to eventually live so close! Also, because our work within the business is all at the lake, it makes sense for us to be out there — our lives are about to be so much easier! Our house should be done before next summer, so I just know it’s going to be the best summer ever,

Long driveway to a big white house.

7 Summers, Morgan Wallen

I definitely plan on taking you guys with me each step of the way, from the ground up and that includes sharing my selections for our house design! I’m in HEAVEN having the opportunity to design MY OWN dream home! Despite just now getting started, I’ve already purchased all of our white house brick, all of our exterior doors and interior and exterior door hardware, and all of our kitchen appliances. I’m going to be updating my blog as much as possible as we build, but I’ll be sharing things more day-to-day from my Instagram (@ara_mackenzie) and Insta stories as the build progresses!

We’ve drawn up a single-story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath modern farmhouse with a double car garage sitting on a double lot. We selected a white brick for the exterior with pops of a black roof, doors, and windows. That same color scheme continues into the interior with modern white walls and black doors and windows. We’ve opted for an open floor plan concept, so when you enter from the front door and walk into the living room from the foyer, the living room, kitchen, and dining are all in one large, open area. I’m going to make the kitchen pop off the white walls with black cabinets and a white marble countertop with all black stainless steel appliances — I’ve linked these Samsung appliances at the bottom of this post and most of them are major Black Friday deals!! I’m also thinking gold cabinet hardware and gold light fixtures over my island with a large, white farmhouse sink! Very classic meets chic design.

First things first though, next week we (plan to) set up form boards to pour our concrete slab! Because my brother has his own concrete polishing business (and he is the best certified concrete polisher P.K. Lake has ever seen) we decided the flooring in our house will be a natural polished concrete — so shiny and beautiful that until we start framing the house, you’ll be able to see the clouds in it’s reflection. Polishing our concrete will be the next step after our foundation dries for a full month, then onto framing!

Honestly, once we start the framing process it’s gonna go by so quick! Lots of design elements will come into play and we will need to have all of our selections made (we are almost there, I think!). Luckily, Mason and I have similar taste and a design idea in mind that we are going for to make those selections easier. So much goes into building a house you would never think of and because we live in a gated community we have a full handbook of rules we have to follow as far as the design and the build of our home. With all that said, we are hoping to have a completed home come May!

More updates to come — let’s build a house!!

As always,


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