Best of the Black Hills by Lacey Bodensteiner

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This is a pretty personal post, but the honest truth is that in our lives, as with many small business owners, it is impossible to disentangle the personal from the business. This business was built by our family and even Allen (employee of the year) is family--literally. Our kids spend many hours riding in the truck to job sites, looking at houses, and sacrificing play time because their daddy has to work.  All of this is to say that the Journal called the other day and told Adam that he had won Best of the Black Hills in the builder category. To be completely honest, I’m not sure if we should be more or less excited, if it’s a big deal that will impact our business or not. Regardless, we are humbled and super grateful for the kind soul who thought of us as they nominated a builder.

Five years ago Boden was at a crossroads: how could we continue to build spec homes with the rising costs of building materials and the relatively stable cost of homes? I get it, many have this idea that homebuilders are making money hand over fist, but that wasn’t the case and it was time to decide how to keep the business alive. Then we lost Jon and amidst our grief and living in my dad’s basement and building our own house we had to navigate taking on a business. It was a disheartening time: we were scared and overwhelmed and surrounded by family who didn’t need the added burden of our second-guessing. And so we just took it a day at a time and we created a plan in which we could take Boden from spec homes to custom homes. And by “we” I mean, Adam.

He did it.

He worked from dawn ‘til long after dusk, on weekends, holidays, birthdays, vacations. And he did it with patience and kindness and honesty which earned the respect of both our clients and the guys on the job. This is what you have to do to build a business, and he did it.

SO... despite the actual significance of the award itself, it means something to us. It means that all he has worked toward is recognized beyond our family and in our community, however small or large that scope of recognition may be. And we are thankful: for Allen who stood with us as we figured this out, for the support of our families, for being able to live and work and raise our kiddos in a place that we love, and for the people who actually live in those beautiful homes. The people who come to us with a vision and who ask Adam to execute it. Those homes you see are a collaboration, a melding of two dreams- those of our clients and those of a guy who wants to spend his life building houses.

It isn’t always easy, but Adam loves it.

And we love him.

And he builds a mighty fine house.

Big Horn Point by Lacey Bodensteiner

Just a little preview of a house that Adam and the guys finished up a number of months ago. We were finally able to get our awesome photographer out there (the talented Hayley Kaemingk of hhphotodesign.com) and are so excited to share this house with you. It was built for an incredibly sweet couple, with whom Adam grew especially close, as they collaborated on their dream retirement home. They had held on to the lot for quite a few years until just the right time to build, and the house and setting are amazing. You can catch the house and more details about the build in the "Home in the Hills" section of the next Black Hills Lifestyle magazine. 

Additionally, because it is a good time of year to reflect on our blessings and share our gratitude, we are especially thankful for our homeowners who hold a special place in our hearts as we have gotten to know some really awesome people through the years. We (Adam in particular) spend a lot of time working closely with people on their houses, and we've been fortunate to get to work with some great people and make lots of new friends. 

Cheers!

Meet Griselda by Lacey Bodensteiner

We hoped if we named her she wouldn't scare the children. 

After becoming enamored with her sister Vaquera Sudoeste in a restaurant in Steamboat last spring, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. While we originally envisioned our own original Vaquera Sudoeste greeting visitors in the entry of our new house, I just couldn’t wait any longer, so we pulled the trigger: pun intended.

I wouldn’t classify us as art people--I don’t feel confident discussing, critiquing or pretending like I know anything about art. Honestly, we are typically drawn to relatively safe, neutral nature images, but something about this fierce woman hanging in our home seemed fitting. I mean we have two little girls, what better art to display than an image of a strong woman who can obviously stand up for herself?

That said, I second-guessed getting her for a variety of reasons: Would she look right? Was she too bold, too aggressive, too much for our home?

And then I decided I just didn't care, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks if when I see her she makes me smile. Even Linden, our two-year-old, gazed up at her adoringly and said, “Thanks for getting Grimsemelada, mommy. I looooove her so much” (though, admittedly, she can usually be found in hand-me-down princess pajamas IN PUBLIC, so her sense of style is up for debate).

All of this is to say that like the things you put in your house, building a home should be about you. It’s so easy to become consumed with current trends and what other people might think and even resale that we get too big, too extravagant and too detached from our houses. So whether you are building a home, or just filling it with things, do what makes you happy now. Choose things that make your house your unique home, and forget about living up to someone else’s expectations.


And while you’re at it, go check out Dolan Geiman’s work, the guy is amazing: it's hard to tell from the picture, but Griselda is actually a paper collage and her frame was custom made by Dolan as well.