Couple spends Mother's Day on Victoria Home Tour

Jody Gray celebrates Mother's Day by viewing homes during Parade of Homes with the Builders Association of Victoria. The kitchen in this house, built by Walsh Custom Homes, received the award for Best Kitchen in lower square footage.

Jody Gray skimmed her fingers across an arched, bronze Moen faucet, then turned toward the kitchen's pre-installed stainless steel cappuccino maker.

"That is really nice," she said, smiling. "I hadn't ever seen that before."

The cabinet coffee machine - which is one of the newest trends in modern kitchen upgrades - matched the other bold Bosch stainless steel appliances, including 30-inch built-in double ovens, a sleek French door refrigerator and drawer-style microwave.

"I really love the colors in here," she said, gliding her fingers across the Giallo ornamental granite countertops. "I love the dark woods and light woods together. And I like that there are different color granites."

Gray was speaking like a woman with a newly remodeled kitchen, but she was merely admiring the features in the Craig Walsh custom home on Auburn Hill road, built exclusively for the 2013 Victoria Parade of Homes Tour.

Gray and her husband, Joe Gray, were visiting the "Best Kitchen" award-winner home Sunday.

It was the only activity Jody wanted to do Mother's Day.

"It's her day. Whatever she wants to do, that's what we do," said Joe Gray.

In previous years, the couple, who has been married for almost 43 years, spends Mother's Day in a variety of ways each year.

Often they eat dinner at a restaurant or go fishing.

Last year, Jody said she went to Oregon to visit her daughter and two grandchildren.

But this year, Jody wanted to do something practical.

The couple intends to build a 2,000-square-foot home on a 7-acre lot in Goliad County at the end of the year. And rather than spend the day focusing on her, Jody said she wanted to spend the day with her husband, collecting ideas for the design of their new home, especially regarding the kitchen.

"Women buy homes for the kitchens and master bedrooms," she said. "The reason we want to build a home rather than buy one is because you can get everything you want."

The couple spent Sunday afternoon visiting all 12 homes on the home tour, which included homes in Victoria, Cuero, Port O'Connor and Seadrift.

The annual tour attracts thousands of Crossroads homeowners, prospective buyers and remodeling enthusiasts who are looking for the latest ideas in custom home building.

The home's builder, Craig Walsh, said he was honored to pick up the Best Kitchen award on the tour because they built the home with the kitchen in mind.

"It was the primary focus: the size, the layout, the superior appliances," Walsh said. "We build awesome kitchens that lend to the family experience."

Excited to move forward on the tour, Gray nudged her husband and signaled it was time to move on to the next home.

She said the only thing she'd change about Mother's Day is getting her two grown children to be on the tour with her.

"I just wish they were here," she said, looking at Joe. "But he's pretty good at pampering me."