We broke ground in April of 2017, and we finally got it insulated in late september of 2018. We only worked on it a couple of weekends per month though and in the winter the snow gets too deep sometimes to even get to the cabin as it is 80 acres deep in the woods.
Yes, we put all of the poles in the ground first, then we put the boards to the poles and made sure we were level and square, then i cut the tops off of the poles with a chainsaw.
I think my favorite part was getting the sheathing, roof, windows and doors on because it had finally taken its shape and I then knew what I was actually working with. The most fun is yet to come though, I am buying the 1x8 carsiding to put on the ceiling at the beginning of November, so the inside will start to transform.