Tuesday, November 11, 2014

State of Our Life Address: Part 2

Here is a post that I wrote in November... that apparently did not upload correctly.  A lot has changed since even three months ago and I'll get on writing a new post for that! For now, here was November's news: 

A lot has happened since my last post! Here is the state of our life as it currently stands! 

We FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY sold our house! It took a lot of patience and negotiating but it is done!!! 

The buyers ended up wanting to close earlier than expected, which we found out on a Thursday. We had to scramble and make plans to get a moving truck and head there to pack the next day! 

We had some wonderful friends come help us pack the truck (and the boxes... because we were so not done with that part). Thank you, friends!!! There was a moment on Saturday night- and then another one on Sunday morning- when I was convinced that all of our stuff was not going to fit in the truck. It was packed to the ceiling!!! So I just started throwing things away. And somehow, we got our entire house, ourselves, and our dogs into a 26' truck and my car. 

Look at that handsome man driving :) Dixie was in the passenger seat keeping him company!

Sunday morning was very bittersweet. Along with our first home, we were leaving behind "our" city. It is where we met, fell in love, married, and experienced so many "firsts" together- like buying this house! We were also leaving behind some seriously amazing friends that we will miss so much! There were definitely tearful moments when I stopped and looked around at our empty first home and reality sunk in. But somehow we felt that this was the plan for our life. If it wasn't, it would not have worked out so perfectly!

So now we have temporarily moved ourselves and all of our belongings into my dad's house. He has had it on the market for about a year now and it was sitting empty. He was gracious enough to let us crash here while we make other arrangements. This way, we don't have to rush into buying a new house. That whole process was so exhausting that I need a break from it! 

I'll keep you posted on our status.

Thanks for so many memories Greenville! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What We've Been Up To

Here's an update with the happenings of the past few weeks... 

We went to dinner for my cousin Jennifer's birthday and got to spend time with the fam! Sorry for the horrible lighting... I guess it was because we were inside and sitting by a window. 

                  Me and the hubs. 

    The birthday girl and my sweet Gram. 

               Gram and Gramps

                 Dad and Gramps

          Me and my sweet man again

We had a HUGE storm blow through last week. Lots of rain, flooding, lightning strikes, etc. Fortunately, my mom and sister and I were cozied up watching Gravity- which had some great sound effects- and we didn't hear a lot of the storm to know how bad it was. Unfortunately, the power blinked a few times and messed up our viewing party. So in the middle of the lightning storm, here's what these two decided to do...

Come on guys... what is the one place you are not supposed to stand in a lightning storm?? As you can see, I'm not in this picture. 

I got to have lunch with these sweet girls (we were missing one!). It was so great catching up but so bittersweet because it makes me realize how much more I'll miss them next year :(  Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to find such great friends at my new job! 

Umm... is this not the sweetest dog/human you've ever seen??? He requires a pillow to sleep well at night. Spoiled rotten. 

My latest obsession is these Lily and Laura bracelets. I was given one by my friends as a going away gift. So far, I've only bought one more but I am itching to buy more!!! They come in so many beautiful colors and patterns, how could you ever have too many?? It is also wonderful that they are made by women in Nepal. Check out www.lilyandlaura.com if you've never seen them or want to know more! As of now, you can find them in boutiques or order them on websites such as Amazon! You can try searching Google for Lily and Laura bracelets by typing in the name and your location. That's how I figured out where they are sold around me! 

These are the ones I have my eye on right now:

But they are all so beautiful!!! Most places sell them for $12 each or $30 for a set of three. So you might as well get three, right?! 


Monday, June 30, 2014

State of Our Life Address

I have not been blogging for a while... but maybe after reading this post you will understand why! 

Life is crazy right now. Good, but crazy. In the past few months, all that was is now different. 

Around February, Ian found a job posting in my hometown and decided to apply for it on a whim. He went through the hiring process but we were purposefully not being optimistic in order to avoid disappointment. We didn't tell many people about it while he was mid-process just in case things didn't work out. And we decided that if things didn't work out, then it was not meant to be. 

Fast forward about three months (it all went very quickly) and Ian started his new job which is 4 hours away from our current home. He moved in with my parents while I finished out the school year. He came back on weekends for the mad rush to wrap up all of the projects that we had started before listing our house on the market. And if you know me or read this blog... there were a lot of projects. I have a thing for starting but not finishing projects. While he was gone, I tried to manage keeping the house spotless since it was now on the market, searching for a new job, and wrapping up the school year and packing up my desk, belongings, and all the work junk I've accumulated over the past two years. Then I moved on to de-cluttering and deep-cleaning the house before heading back to my hometown for a few weeks. 

       Our clean and sale-ready house.
At least the drive back and forth is pretty!

It may sound like I would be relieved after leaving our current house, being that it is clean and not lived in therefore it is actually staying clean! However, I am so stressed about the fact that we are not in our house right now. It has been shown a few times by a few different realtors and I keep having nightmares that the doors are left unlocked or something is left on that starts a fire! Horrible, right? But being four hours away and feeling helpless can do a lot to your imagination. Luckily, we have some wonderful friends that have been helping out! One day after our house was shown, I had a strange feeling so I asked one of my friends to go over to our house and check to make sure everything was locked, lights off, etc. She called me after she left and informed me that ALL of the downstairs lights were left on and the FRONT DOOR WAS LEFT UNLOCKED!!! My nightmares were coming true... I mean come on- when showing a house, if you only do one thing, lock the front door!!!!!! 

I was really upset and it made me feel even more uneasy about not being there. I can't imagine how people feel who transfer to another state or across country. Needless to say, we will be taking a trip to the house in the near future to make sure all is good on the home front. 

We are very blessed to be able to stay with my parents while we are in limbo but we are actively searching for a house while waiting for ours to sell. The unfortunate thing is that we can't really do anything until our house sells and the houses around here that we like go very quickly. We have been going back and forth about where we ultimately want to end up. We started with the idea of looking for houses outside of the city, about a 30 minute drive from family and friends. We went and looked at one about a week ago but it was a "flip" and it was pretty sloppily done. So it was a no-go. 

Then, we started to think about buying a lot and building our dream home. We found THE lot the other day but found out it doesn't perk for a typical septic system so it would be quite expensive to do a more non-traditional mound septic system. And that expense might take it out of our reach. If we do buy a lot and build, we have been looking at building a modular home. Ian's granddad used to sell them so he has been a great resource for us. Modular homes are just like stick-built homes with a foundation but are built in sections in a warehouse and pieced together on-site. They are much less expensive than a custom built home and have so many wonderful floorplans and options to choose from. The only thing holding us back from this option is not being sure what the final price would be. It seems like there could be a few unexpected surprises that pop up during the process and that makes me feel uneasy!! So we may have to get a little deeper in the process before figuring out if it is the right option for us. 

           The lot we fell in love with!

     The lot is circled in red on this map. 

          The modular home that I love. 

  The floorplan of the Greenbriar modular. 

We really are trying to explore all of our options. So next, we found a brand new neighborhood a few days ago that is in our desired area outside of the city. We visited the model home and the available lots and found out that our absolute dream home could be built for about $20,000 under budget. I'm talking every single upgrade (granite countertops, stainless appliances, hardwood floors, etc) and the floorplan is to die for. It has everything I would ever want. It is 2,200 square feet with a separate office, formal dining room, and a loft space upstairs for a playroom someday. I was in love. I only snapped a few pictures of the model because I was too busy "oohing and ahhing":

           The model house kitchen. 

          The model house great room. 

       The front of the model we loved. 
The downstairs floorplan. We would add 
walls to make the office and dining room. And add the second garage.  

               The upstairs floorplan. 

So, what are we waiting for?! The problem with it is... the lot. It is a new neighborhood where they are trying to maximize their profit, I'm sure, so they have crammed in as many houses as possible. The lot, once you put the house on it, is very small. There would hardly be any yard and our neighbors would be right on top of us. And although it was tempting and we seriously, seriously, considered it, we aren't sure that we would ultimately be happy there. Although Ian kept talking about buying a golf cart with a beer cooler on the back to ride around the neighborhood on and swore he would be happy with that... 

So right now, we feel like we are back to square one and we are feeling a little discouraged. We are trying to be picky because we want our next house to be our forever house. We are just praying that our current house will sell so we can get more serious about looking. We will be having an open house after the holiday weekend so hopefully someone will fall in love with our house the way we did! Ultimately, we are trying to keep in mind that God led us in this direction and has a plan for us so we have to be patient and stop trying to make our own plans and do things according to our timeline. 

I am trying to "relax" during this time off. I am fortunate to have a new job that will start at the end of July. In the meantime, here's what we've been up to:

  We cannot keep this girl out of the pool. And we can't get her brother to get in! 
               She loves her daddy...

           ...and likes to take selfies. 

They snuck up on my mom's couch- sorry mom! 

Benni seems to be taking this relaxing thing seriously. He's better at it than I am!

On a side note, when we go back, I will try to take pictures of the stair project which I had to finish finally and any other projects I can think of that I did... :) Sorry for the long post but there were a lot up updates! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby Shower Bliss

In my previous post, I mentioned that the season of spring has sprung. Want to know what other season has sprung? Baby season! It seems like everyone we know has just had a baby, is about to have a baby, or has just found out that they are going to have a baby! Babies everywhere! 

I was honored to get to participate in planning a baby shower for my great friend Lindsey! Today I'm going to share the decoration I made. It looks like a piñata- and very well could be with a few simple modifications to the process! I was a little nervous to commit to making this because I wasn't sure how long it would take. But once I said it out loud and told the other girls what I was making, I had no choice but to carry on and hope it wasn't a major fail. 

There were a few piñata how-to's online that I got inspiration from. And for a brief moment I thought about making it a piñata... maybe full of airplane bottles for all of us guests who were not pregnant. But the thought of a flying bat, blindfolds, and pregnant women just didn't seem like a good idea! 

Here's what I did:

Step 1- Find big cardboard boxes that are in decent shape. I got mine at work and everyone was confused as to why I needed them. When I answered, "I'm making some baby shower decorations" they looked even more confused. 

Step 2- Search the entire town for baby pink crepe paper. Yeah, impossible. I gave up. 

Step 3- Settle for white crepe paper and buy 2 rolls of it... not 4. I always err on the side of having more rather than less. But now I have 3 1/2 rolls of crepe paper that I don't know what to do with. 

Step 4- Deconstruct your boxes carefully. 

Step 5- Trace the letter of choice onto a large piece of one of the boxes. My letter was an M. 

Step 6-Cut the M out. 

Step 7- Place the cut out M on top of another large piece of box and trace it. 

Step 8- Cut out the second M. 

**Note- if you'll be hanging this up, you may want to take this opportunity to poke some holes in the back and add a hanger of some sort. I poked two holes on each side of the back M and inserted a zip tie into each to make a loop. We hung the M on command hooks at the shower. Worked great!

Step 9- Cut 3-4" strips of cardboard that will act as the sides of the letter and will join each M together. 

Step 10- Tape away! I taped from the outside and the inside. I used masking tape, duct tape would probably be much stronger. 

Step 11- Keep taping!!! There is never too much tape! 

Step 12- Admire your creation and think about how beautiful it will look once it is covered up... because truthfully, it looks a little rough right now. 

Step 13- Cut a bazillion strips of crepe paper to cover every single part of the letter. You will take a piece, fold it in half lengthwise, and make multiple snips along it to create the frayed look. 

Step 14- Use Elmer's glue to glue each strip onto the letter, slightly overlapped so there are no spaces. Warning: this part takes forever!!! However long you think it is going to take... triple that. That's probably a more accurate guess. 

An the finished product (along with the beautiful mommy-to-be & company):

It was a beautiful and perfect day! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Door Decor

Although the weather does not reflect the  new season, spring has sprung! The days are getting longer and the weather is, well, unpredictable to say the least. Hopefully it will become more consistent soon. Preferably consistently warm! 

In lieu of the new season, I decided to switch up my door decor. Thanks to one of my favorite websites- Jane.com- I got a great deal on this adorable bunny door hanger. It was only $12.99! The company that makes it (www.unfinishedwoodco.com) typically sells it for a little more but they were running a special through Jane.com. 

Isn't it cute?! As the name states, it arrives unfinished. This leaves the options wide open! I decided to use all supplies I had on hand. I didn't feel like buying anything special for it.

I taped off the monogram in the middle:

Next I spray painted it yellow:

Took off the tape:

Check out those crisp lines! ;) 

I decided to try and stain the monogram in the middle with my old stand-by, Restor-a-Finish:

Then I made a bow-type thing for the ear out of burlap:

There's something about it I'm not 100% satisfied with... is it the stain? I'm not sure. I'm going to have to leave it hanging for a few days before I can decide! I do think that the stained monogram will be difficult to see against our black door... I wasn't really thinking of that when I made it! Oops! I will update the post if I repaint. 

Thanks for reading!