Adventures

Here we go!

It’s finally time for the big announcement!

Are you ready?

Really ready?

Well, I am.

So here it goes:

Thank you guys so much for following along with our newlywed life on this blog. I’ve loved getting to know you and a little bit of your stories through your comments and suggestions and advice and all those other wonderful things. Now that we’re settling more into married life and focusing on making our new house our home, the new blog will be more focused on life at home rather than just life as a newlywed.

I’m sure I’ll still have stories and lessons to share about all that lovey stuff (and about Hubs’ snoring and sleep-talking), and there will be room for that, but I’m also excited to bring you guys DIY tutorials and lessons we’ve learned about home ownership and marriage… under construction.

So, please join me in this new journey where we not only get used to living in our new home, but also to loving there, at www.lovinghere.com.

Go ahead, click the new logo! Check it out!

 

 

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Thoughts from home

Last week, Hubs and I weren’t home.

It was the first time being away from our (“finished”) house, and I have to admit how much I simply missed being here!

Hubs was traveling for work and since I work from home and can technically work anywhere with an internet connections, I went with him and spent my time in the hotel and at Panera, just using up free wi-fi and eating cinnamon crunch bagels. Yum. We squeezed in a short couple of days on the weekends for a little mini vacation in the midst of all that work stuff.

But now that we’re back home, here are some things I noticed and have on my mind that I wanted to share with you all.

1. I love not living out of a suitcase. I did that during college a lot because I was living on campus during the week and driving back home to see Wyatt and my family and friends on the weekends. I hate wearing the same clothes over and over again because it’s easy and happens to be freshly washed so I don’t have to dig it out of my closet. I hate thinking of a shirt I want to wear, only to realize it’s back at home in my instead of packed in my suitcase. Plus, I’m great at packing to go on a trip, but I have the re-packing that has to occur every time we move locations or want to pick up the hotel room. I’m not so good at removing clothes from the suitcase without everything getting super messy in there.

2. I love our own bed. Enough said, right?

3. Those bagels, free breakfasts, and dinners out did a number on how well my jeans fit. Yikes. Let me be clear, I know I’m not fat, so this is not be saying that. It’s just me admitting (mostly to myself) that I need to spend a little time focusing on getting more active. I snuck in a few runs while we were gone, and we took one, super-steep hike, but I still feel like I’m at my “winter weight” already. I do believe bodies keep the weight they need to survive and maybe this is my body’s way of preparing me for a cold winter? Or maybe it’s my body’s way of motivating me to go run today.

4. I’m so lazy about my appearance at home by myself during the day. No makeup, messy hair, sweats and Wyatt’s hoodie with warm socks…it’s all so fabulous and yet, so embarrassing to see when I look in the mirror. Do us both a favor and call before stopping by for a visit, deal?

5. Christmas is getting closer! And that means Thanksgiving is really close, too! I remember how exciting this time of year was in college because it meant lots of time off from school was coming up. Now that Hubs and I work instead of go to school, it’s just great because it means lots of cuddling on the couch, visiting with friends and family, and eating yummy foods. That’s why I need to focus on number 3 above!

6. Work is work now. At first, all this freelance writing seemed sort of like I was simply playing at work, doing something I enjoyed, taking my time to get projects finished, and having a good time. Now, I’m still having a good time, but I’m busy! I worked my first two 8-hour days last week for this freelance gig and it was exciting and scary because time management is such a huge part of my day! I probably should be working right now, but I feel so bad about how I’ve been neglecting you all lately that I had to take some time to catch up.

My little “office” in our hotel room for the week. It was as big as our apartment!

7. I love southern Missouri. Yes, some people think Branson is cheesy and corny and not at all relaxing or fun. I say those people have never been to the Branson I know and love. Local diners for breakfast, beautiful views, nature trails, antique stores, shopping (if we want it), familiar (but not what we have at home) restaurants, and that smell. To me, the air smells a little sweet, almost like a mixture between maple syrup and crisp freshness, and dusty, fall leaves. It makes me feel peaceful and happy and excited all at the same time.

This doesn’t do it justice because it’s dark, but look how peaceful it is here! How can anyone not love a place like this?

8. Fall is possibly the best time for a road trip. I love seeing all the leaves!

The only thing I love more than fall leaves on road trips is Christmas lights on road trips.

9. Coming home to a clean house is SO worth the effort to clean it before you leave. I hate the feeling of stress that immediately hits me when I walk in the door and see dirty dishes, laundry, and clutter. Ick.

10. Hubs is certainly the only person I could ever imagine sharing this life with. He’s just wonderful. From the way he always wants me to pick the restaurant so I can have what I’m in the mood for to the fact that he loves to drive and I love to ride, traveling with him is always my favorite kind of adventure. Last week was stressful for him because of some long hours and hard tasks at work, so we didn’t get to have as much “fun” as I’d planned, but he’s still the best partner and friend I could have. Plus, he made up for all the not-so-fun times by being extra silly and special while we were together for those sweet moments at the end of each day.

Yes, we spent some time in this crazy, sorta creepy place. It was a “wholesale” taxidermy store inside a giant flea market/antique store. See why I love road trips with this man? (P.S. check out that bear!! Only $3,250)

Okay, that’s enough for now. Why don’t you tell me some things that are on your mind? You don’t have to choose ten things…how about two!?

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Are you ready?

Guess what guys?

I’ve been busy.

REALLY busy.

Between work assignments, keeping up around our messy house, trying to plan a housewarming party, oh and painting until my arms turn crazy colors(true story!), I haven’t been feeling especially motivated to blog.

Actually, I’ve very motivated to blog. Just not here.

I’ll be honest, I’m super anxious to get transitioned over to my new site. The one I’ll actually own so I can control what ads go on it. (It really burns me up that WordPress puts ads for whatever the heck they want down at the bottom of popular posts here.)

(Although it also makes me feel proud that they think I have enough content to warrant that!)

Anyway, I’m working on concepts, titles, hosting options, advertising plans, and design choices for my new blog. Hopefully soon, maybe this weekend, I’ll start working on some content so I can have it up and live in a couple weeks! How exciting would that be?

I’m stockpiling photos and ideas for DIY posts about painting shelves, painting walls, building workbenches, painting chairs, painting my body…

Wait, what?

Ok…not really.

Although I am pretty talented at that it seems.

Need a visual?

My arm currently looks like this:

I should be a snow leopard for Halloween. Or by that time, maybe a polar bear would be better. I’d already have my costume all ready.

But the reason I look that is because I’m working on things like this today:

Woohoo for progress!

So, instead of me complaining about how paint-covered me hands and arms and legs and clothes and…yes, hair…are, why don’t you guys tell me what’s up in your life? Anything new?

And if you have a secret for not getting paint all over you while painting things, by all means, share it!

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Pushing Through

This week has been a hard one for me, house-wise.

I was feeling great heading into this week because we had a weekend with great progress last weekend, and I was hoping that would continue this week.

Then, on Monday, we were so tired from our crazy weekend of work, we took a break.

Tuesday was a shopping night. We needed to go to several stores to look for certain things we need for the house. It took a long time and was sort of frustrating as everything is just so darn expensive. Needless to say, we didn’t get much done when we got home.

Wednesday was our busy day out together, and again, not a night with any time for any real progress.

Thursday night was another shopping night, stocking up on supplies for our next projects and buying all our new doors. Yikes. Expensive and stressful. Again, no progress made, but a garage full of more work to do!

Plus, when we were checking out at Home Depot, the girl rang everything up and then took our coupon, and informed us it wouldn’t work with the bulk discount we had gotten…so we asked her to ring the items up on two tickets so we could get both discounts. Which she did after rolling her eyes a little bit.

But she didn’t get it quite right that time either and had to do it again.

Oh joy, I love making a scene at public places.

Luckily, no one was waiting on us.

But I was happy we stuck with it and saved almost $50 off our total…even though it was a big pain.

So yes, by the end of last night at Home Depot, I was tired and a little cranky.

And I was not at all looking forward to loading my little SUV with all the stuff we had just spent all that money on.

Plus, driving with my back hatch open makes me nervous, no matter how many straps Hubs uses to tie things in.

Still, after a little bickering, a lot of apologizing, a little arranging, and a lot of rearranging, we managed to get this accomplished.

Sorry this photo is blurry. It’s all I could manage at the time. And in case you couldn’t tell, Hubs’ expression is pretty much saying, “Really? You’re taking a picture of this? Does this look like a conversation I want to remember?”

(Bonus points if you know what I was referencing there!)

Anyway, so we get all loaded up, buckled in, and with a bunch of random sports equipment and car stuff all over my lap since it won’t fit in the back and Wyatt goes to start the car.

Only nothing happens.

Battery is dead.

Really?

REALLY?

Yup, really.

Neither of us has any idea why sitting there with the doors open for 10 minutes was enough to drain the battery, but it was I guess…so yea. Oh well. Wyatt says it must be time for a new one. I say…well, I pretty much agree with whatever he says on this topic.

So, Hubs was a perfect gentlemen (even though I could tell he was really so angry and frustrated he wanted to scream or kick something) and asked one of the home depot worker guys if they could jump us. He said sure and went to get his cables.

Only it turned out he didn’t have cables.

Crap.

So that guy asked another guy.

Awesome. Let’s involve more people in this, I thought!

But really, what other choice did we have?

So, that guy had cables and pulled his shiny new silver sports car over to my ol’ Jimmy (who we now call the Blue Puma as a means of encouraging him to keep hanging on and not give up on us)

(More bonus points if you know what that is a reference to!)

And we got a jump and got going on our merry little way home.

Sheesh.

What a night, huh?

Needless to say, I was pretty deflated by the time we got there. And it was already basically 10:00 so pretty much no progress got done last night either.

Yay…

But tonight will be better, because it’s a new day and because I’m sitting on our deck enjoying the beautiful weather and thinking how blessed we are to live here at all, no matter if we get all these projects done before our party or not.

So, what about you? Anything new in your life? Ever needed a jump at a really, REALLY inconvenient time before?

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A day “with” Hubs

So, yesterday was an interesting day for me.

First, I had to fast all Tuesday night and yesterday morning because I was going to have some blood drawn Wednesday morning for my lab work (for health insurance purposes).

This meant I woke up all cranky and hungry.

(Aka: Hangry)

But it was also sort of a fun day because I got to ride into work with Hubs and spend the day with him.

Sort of.

I mean, we rode into work together, I went to do my labs while he went to work. Then I ran a few errands and chilled at a nearby Panera for awhile until it was time to go get him and go to lunch.

We had our first ever weekday lunch date out.

(Once last year, I brought a sack lunch and we ate at Hubs’ desk together but this was different.)

It was super yummy as we went to Smokin’ Guns BBQ. (My first time going there, but not for Hubs. He’s been telling me how awesome it was since the first time he went there almost 2 years ago.)

And then I took him back to work and headed to a nearby library where I sat and chilled and worked on some writing assignments until it was time to pick him up again at 3:45 so we could drive to another work campus because he had a meeting there.

And then I sat in the cafeteria of that building while he went to his meeting until he came back out to get me, when we left, headed to Panera for some dinner, and then to a friend’s house to watch Sporting KC beat the New York Red Bulls.

All in all, it was a fun day, considering I interacted with all sorts of people and I usually don’t talk to anyone all day except through email, or maybe my mom on the phone. Plus, I got to eat at Panera twice. All for about $2, thanks to their rewards program and a gift card I had leftover from my birthday.

But I think the thing I noticed most about the day we spent “together” was how fast it went. Yes, it was kind of broken up into sections, but even the long chunks of time I had to myself to spend writing seemed to fly by.

Hubs agreed.

So now I’m wondering if it was just because the day was something out of our normal routine or if seeing each other in the middle of the day for lunch can really have that much of an impact of how the long middle-of-the-week-workday can drag on. And on. and on.

Like today, for instance.

Because it has taken forever to reach 5:00pm today.

What?

It’s only 2:30?

WHAT? How is that possible?

See what I mean?

Well, now it’s your turn. What makes your days go by faster? Have you ever snuck a lunch date into a busy week to make things go by faster? 

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What’s in our garage right now

It wasn’t this messy by accident—it was garage sale time!

Yikes, right?

That’s only the half of it.

See? Yikes.

The good news is that we sold most of that stuff!

Just in time to make room for a new kind of mess:

 

Our garage is now a workshop. Furniture to come soon…I hope!

Of course, his first project isn’t really for me.

Although, indirectly, I guess it is.

Hubs says he needs a workbench first and foremost. He can’t build me anything without it, I guess.

Whatever, Hubs, I know it’s all a ploy to postpone all the sanding you’ll have to do on our dining table. 🙂

Just kidding. I understand this is just how it goes.

So that’s what all this is for.

But after all this, it’s my turn!

Oh, and remember, our purple bedroom?

It’s now done, except the touch-ups on the trim, which is never done it seems, and it looks like this!

Oh, goodbye, purple…Hello, soothing blue and brown!
Sorry this picture is kinda blurry.

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Work, work, work…house work.

I haven’t been posting as much as I did a few months ago because we’ve just been so busy around our new house. Things are finally starting to look better and I can’t wait to share them with you all!

I do have some semi-exciting news, my new blog is the works!

And it’s going to feature all sorts of fun posts about our house!

Excited?

Me too!

(If you said “no,” too bad.)

(Actually, if you said “no,” I’m sorry, because I want you to stick around and be excited with me. Please tell me what I should write about that would make you excited next time!)

Anyway, here’s a little preview of some of the things we’ve been working on around the house.

This is what the wall in my office looked like until yesterday. After pictures coming soon. Any guesses on which color I chose?

Yes, we had a purple bedroom. But it’s not purple anymore either…well, except for one wall…which is soon to be transformed, too. I hope. (We also have boxes and boxes on still-unpacked stuff.

This is the crazy pile of stuff to sort through and unpack and move in that’s in my office. Yikes.

 

And this, ladies and gentlemen (or mostly ladies…) is the mess of a bathroom we currently have in our hallway. Make you feel any better about the states of your bathrooms? 🙂

So there you have it, guys, a little sneak peak at what’s been keeping me so busy and not-blogging. I miss you all, but my house needs me more right now.

You understand, right?

And just think about all the awesome before and after shots I’ll be able to show you on my new blog soon!

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Moving Madness

Sorry I’ve been posting less lately, guys. It’s just that we’re moving so soon and I have so much to do and our apartment is a mess and I just am too tired to write a blog post with all this other stuff going on right now.

You understand, right?

Of course you do, because you’re all kind, nice, amazing people, right?

Right.

Well, I’ll start by giving you a quick description of what our apartment looks like right now.

The floors are nearly covered  in boxes and bags and such, both packed and ready to be packed, leaving winding trails of walkways to get from room to room (all 4 of our little rooms…). The piles of packed stuff are getting larger and I realized last night it might have been smart to not put them near the door so that Hubs and his brother will have a harder time getting all the big stuff out of here as us women and older folks are carrying all the millions of boxes and such down the three flights of stairs….ugh…I’m dreading it already.

Guess I’ll work on moving some stuff around today.

The thing is, other than moving in here, (which we did a little bit at a time for my stuff, and Hubs didn’t really pack any of his stuff, just loaded up everything as it was) and moving into the dorm an back home three years in college, I’ve never really moved. So all this crazy packing stuff is a first.

How do I even pack silverware? Or plates? Or frozen foods? And how can I pack it ahead when we’re still using it? Are we supposed to just eat at Wendy’s every meal for the next few days?

I’m also unsure how to pack the stuff in the bathroom. What if I decide I need that certain kind of lotion tomorrow and I have it boxed up in some giant tote of random lotions, soaps, and sprays, never to find it again? What if I pack all the towels and then spill an entire glass of water on the floor/wall by our bed so I have nothing to mop it up with? (This may or may not have happened this morning…)

How do I pack all our clothes so I won’t go crazy with wrinkles and having to rewash everything when we get to the house?

What about the remote for the TV? The laptop charger? I need those things to be out where we can use them!

Someone help me!

Anyway, wish me luck guys. If we survive this week, and the next few weeks of crazy at the house while we’re unpacking, moving in, painting, refinishing, scraping, sanding, building and cleaning, we’ll be good to go.

The finish line’s never looked so far away, though…or more worth it.

Happy homemaking, to anyone else who’s dealing with this stuff! And for those that are already settled into clean, beautiful, comfortable homes, send me lists of your secrets, coupons to Wendy’s, and plates of cookies and chocolate.

After all, I had to eat all the candy in our apartment because it was easier than packing it and then having it melt in this heat, right?

I thought so.

🙂

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Birthday Blessings

Well, guys, for those of you that didn’t know already, Saturday was my 23rd birthday.

Around here, at least for me, birthdays are a special occasion.

I try to make them a special occasion for Wyatt, too, but he just doesn’t get as excited as I do about these things.

Luckily, Hubs was (finally) home from Boston, where he had been on business since Tuesday morning. Ick.

I hate these little trips he has to take away from home. I know, I know, he’s providing for us right now, and he’s moving forward in his career, but it still sucks to be away. I don’t care how often we end up doing this. I’m going to hate it every time.

Every single time.

But…

Moving on.

On Saturday, we had extra to celebrate.

Not only was it my birthday, but it was also the day after Hubs got home, and it was so close to our anniversary, that we spilled it over and celebrated everything all in one.

We started our day off right by sleeping in. It had been a busy week for both of us and we’ve spent early mornings working at the house for the past few weekends.

It started out with a heft dose of sleeping in…because who doesn’t like sleeping in on your birthday…or any day…?

And then Wyatt made this for me.

I’d say that’s a good start to the day…

After breakfast, we went back to bed. Yup. We’re lazy and awesome that way.

And then we got up and went out bargain-hunting. Since buying our house, I’m obsessed with thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and all that awesome stuff so it’s what I requested we do.

However, we went to like 10 places around KC and didn’t buy anything. Darnit.

But then, we came back to our apartment, got all cleaned up, and ready to go out again.

We looked something like this:

Yes, the photo is dark, sorry guys.

And Wyatt gave me the present he’d brought back from Boston and wrapped himself.

I love presents!

It was wrapped so perfectly! Look at those corners!

If a man can wrap a good present, marry him, ladies. 🙂
(Just kidding.)
(Sort of.)

And it was a great present, inside!

A Boston Marathon workout shirt! It’s yellow! (And I’m going to go with the “inspiration to run a marathon some day, not “faking like I ran the Boston marathon” way of thinking about it)

And then, finally, we went to Melting Pot for dinner!

I’ve wanted to go there for years, and it was totally worth the wait…and the price tag, as it was a triple celebration, after all!

First, we dipped wonderful things in cheese.

Bread, chips, fruits, and veggies. With spinach artichoke dip. Yes please!

And then we ate salad, but let’s face it, that’s not what any of you want to see, is it?

So I’ll skip to the next good part, the raw meat.

A feast for two!

 

And the sauces:

So many choices. I liked the teriyaki best. (Is that how you spell that?)

And then we cooked everything in our pot of boiling delicious broth.

I got to eat all the mushrooms, since Hubs doesn’t like those. Thank you!

But then, the part I had been waiting for all night:

Yup, that’s me holding a rice krispie treat dipped in s’mores chocolate sauce. Oh my heavens. Yum.

It was amazing.

 

Some dessert dipping options. We requested more bananas and rice krispies. But the brownies were also heavenly.

And after eating all of that, we waddled around on the plaza for awhile enjoying the city at night, the fountains, the people, the bright lights. The warm night. (I thought it was perfect. Hubs was a little hot.)

And then we went home and promptly headed to bed.

Of course, we stayed awake long enough to see out the very last moments of “my day,” cuddled up together, all happy and content.

And I thought back to how we’d spent my last birthday… on our honeymoon, in Chicago, at a Cubs game (which they lost! Go Cards!) and then went back to the hotel and ordered a giant apple dumpling, which I ate mostly by myself.

Yes, I know I look awfully “pretty” to be on my honeymoon, but to be fair, I was on antibiotics for a UTI and had spent all night at a very hot, very crowded Wrigley Field.

When I think about all we’ve done this first year, and how blessed I am in this married life, I’m almost overcome with gratitude to the One who wrote this beautiful love story for us, to our parents for both bringing us into this world (Thanks, mom!), and for helping bring us together by raising us to be who we are today, and to Hubs, who so patiently forgives me when I mess up and celebrates our love with me every day in the silly, simple, and sweet ways that are so special to us.

Happy birthday, indeed.

 

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We bought a house! Let’s celebrate…later.

Remember back when I made that long-awaited announcement about our “big news?”

Well, then remember how all my friends and family have been begging me for a picture of our new house?

Well, you guys might not remember that because most people that comment on my blog do so in non-blog form. In other words, I’m always hearing things like, “Hey, I saw on your blog that…, I think…”

I’m all for communication, whether it’s in blog form, in person, or even a thoughful text message. Heck, if you really want to make my day, write me a letter. So I’m responding to all you well-wishes here, even though you didn’t leave comments on my super-awesome post that told you we’d bought a house.

So, without further ado, here are some updates on how the new house is going so far.

Closing wasn’t as scary as I’d thought it would be. By that time, the giant check with our down payment on it had already come out of our account, so the emotional damage had been done. This was all about getting through a huge stack of papers before having breakfast.

Yup, we signed all those. Yikes.

Hubs is just as happy about this new house as I am, even though he doesn’t have a blog to tell the world how much this house makes him want to jump for joy, smile a giant goofy grin, scream happy thoughts, and basically look like an idiot all the time because he’s so ridiculously happy like I did…oh wait, I hadn’t admitted that to you guys yet, did I? Oops.

But he’s still happy.

Ok, so this smile is a little forced, but trust me. He’s happy.

The real estate office where we closed even had a special message up on their board for us!

They even spelled our names right!

After all that signing, we’d worked up a pretty big appetite so we went to Wendy’s for breakfast. It was practically free with all the coupons we had to use.

Yum. Hubs is happy here, too, even though the biscuit is hiding his smile.

I went crazy and celebrated with a decaf coffee…

My first “coffee” in months. I’ve been almost entirely caffeine-free since August (Chocolate doesn’t count–we’re talking caffeine-added beverages, here.), and it was delicious. Does that mean I’ve forgotten what real, good coffee tastes like? Probably.

We’ve already started working on it, which is an enormously costly endeavor! How come no one warned us about all the added expenses you have when you own a house. Things like garden hoses and spray nozzles, trash cans, brooms, tarps, painting supplies…the list goes on and on. I sit at home and think scary thoughts about being self-employed, part time, all day as I dream big dreams for this house.

Anyway, our first project was changing out the knob and lock on the front door.

It went from this:

Dirty, old, and sort of broken…

To this:

Shiny, bright, and new!

Oh, and you wanted to see a picture, right?

Are you sure?

Well, ok.

I guess one little picture won’t hurt.

We are trying to wait to have lots of people see inside until we get some projects done. Even though it’s not a “fixer-upper,” we want to wait until we’ve made it our own before we have a house-warming party, and there are plenty of projects on our list already!

So, for anyone who’s curious, here’s our new home!

Hi, house!

We can’t wait to live there, guys, and to invite you all over to celebrate with us.

In the meantime, though, we will be accepting house-warming gifts in the form of Lowe’s gift cards.

Just kidding.

Seriously though, check out my tweets from yesterday (over on the side bar over there) for an update on how our first full day of “house work” went!

 

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