Posts Tagged With: buying a house

It’s been 6 months…how are YOU doing on your resolutions?

Well guys, today is the first day of summer.

(insert mini celebration here)

Yes, I know I live nowhere near the beach, but this photo of my happy little toes in the sand on a mission trip to Myrtle beach in 2008 makes me think of Summer. Plus, it make me happy, and Summer=happy, right?

Here’s another photo from that trip, just because.

And another picture from that summer trip to the beach, this time with my lovely sister. Isn’t it clear how much we love each other? And how much we love summer?!

Are you still celebrating summer with me looking at these pictures? I bet you are!

Disclaimer: This is my Hubs. He doesn’t really look like himself here, but it’s him. And that is not a real tattoo. Just FYI.

Hubs and I are going to celebrate tonight by heading out to a gourmet hot dog restaurant. Beacause like happiness, hot dogs also=summer.

It’s a small thing, but a rare treat because we don’t usually eat out during the week. In fact, we don’t usually eat out at all. It’s part of the “we’re-poor-so-we-try-to-save-as-much-money-as-possible” financial plan that we’re on.

Anyway, I also wanted to celebrate today with a long run, but I’ve been slacking on my morning time management a far as working out is concerned and I have now waited entirely too long and it is approximately 130 degrees outside right now and thus, too hot to run.

(Ok, fine. It’s not 130 degrees outside, but when I’m running in the middle of the day, on the hills around our apartment, in the sun, because there’s no shade, then, yes, I sweat the same amount as I would if it was 130 degrees. So, to avoid becoming dehydrated after approximately 4/10 of a mile, I’ll just stay inside and workout in the air conditioning, with the only fan we own pointed directly at me turned all the way up to full blast.)

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with what I wanted to talk to you about: our resolutions. It’s time for a mid-year checkpoint! Ready? Of course not, because reading my mid-year checkpoint will make you think about how you’re doing on your resolutions, and if you are anything like me, you probably still have some work to do, huh?

Well, let me spare you the pain and suffering of a failed resolution pity-party and let you share my pain and suffering at our failed resolutions.

Ok, I’m kidding. We aren’t failing, but there is a little room for improvement.

Here we go.

In case you forgot, our resolutions are discussed here and here. (What? You don’t have our newlywed resolutions memorized? Shame on you.) (Not.)

1. Take a weekly walk together. Every week. Hubs hates to go on walks, so this will be tougher for him than me. UPDATE: We go on walks occasionally, about every 2-3 weeks I’d say. We do try to do at least one physical activity together each week though, sometimes two or three. Soccer, frisbee, playing catch, even tennis this week, so I think we’re doing okay on this one. I’ll keep working on it though.

2. Vacuum more. This should be easier with my new Oreck! UPDATE: I have vacuumed more since I’ve had the Oreck than I did before I had it. Still not like weekly or even every other week, though. I could definitely have cleaner floors. Again, I’ll work on it.

3. Work on portion control at meals, even when eating out and dishing up bowls of ice cream…we both need to work on this, as we both love to eat and can get carried away easily. UPDATE: We are doing MUCH better about this! Still, there’s room for improvement and we sometimes give in and pig out when we really want to, but on a daily basis, our meals are much more manageable. And I cook less “special” meals all the time now that I’m working more, so that helps too.

4. Buy a house. I realize this is a tough one, but it’s top on Hubs’ list. Wish us luck! UPDATE: Big news people. BIG NEWS. This is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for: We bought a house! Wooooohoooo! After looking through more than 300 houses online and touring 20 or more in person, one failed offer, and lots of frustration and driving around checking our potential areas, we have found a home that we love and can’t wait to move into. It’s not finalized yet, but we’re very much hoping to close in a couple weeks if everything goes according to plan. And we are overjoyed at spending the next several years, maybe even the next 10-15 years there, or longer! Yup, we love it that much! Let the painting, scraping, sanding, and celebrating begin!

(Photos to come later!)

5. Write at least five things that are just for me. I can worry about what to use them for later, if anything. UPDATE: I have written zero things so far that were just for me. I mean, lots of things I’ve enjoyed writing, but none without a real purpose. I have lots of ideas but not enough inspiration. I’m trying. But I’ve got a ways to go. Yikes

6. Run more races. I’d love to do another half…maybe a full 26.2? I’m young now, and my knees and ankles and hips will only get worse, right? I only ran 1 or 2 in 2011, and they were fun, so I’m ready for more. UPDATE: I ran another half! And it was awesome! I also did the Warrior Dash with Hubs and we’re doing the Color Run in a few weeks. I plan to sign up for some fall stuff, too, but no plans for sure yet. I’d love to do a full marathon, but I’m thinking I need to be training better before I take that on. Still, this one is a success so far.

After the Warrior Dash. We were mud-dy! Wowza. But it was fun!

7. Finish reading 8 books that I ALREADY own and have squished into our bookshelf. I’m terrible about buying new books instead of reading ones I already own but haven’t read. UPDATE: I’ve read 2 books on my bookshelf, but I have to be honest and say I’d already read one of them before, so technically, only one of those counts toward this goal. I have another two started, but they are slow going right now. I’m finally caught up on the mountain of newspapers, though, and the magazines are becoming more manageable as well, so hopefully, some progress will begin there soon.

8. Use more coupons and take advantage of price matching. I also need to do a better job of keeping track of how much we spend and save. UPDATE: Success! Last night was our best night yet, saving about 25.5% of our total bill at our weekly grocery trip. I know because Hubs records it all in a spreadsheet for us to keep track of everything. The way we do it is to only buy things we would buy anyway, but use coupons and price matching when possible. So far this year, we’ve saved close to $200 just by taking the time to do this each week before we head to the store. Woo hoo!

9. Find a church home where we really feel connected to. I miss the fellowship I’ve been so used to my whole life. We need to be surrounded by people encouraging us in our walk. UPDATE: Well, we began regularly attending a church up north by our apartment, even feeling comfortable enough there to begin tithing, but now that we’re moving south, this process will start all over again I guess, which is sad. I’m not devastated though, because I’m not sure the church up here ever felt like “home” as much as a “temporary home,” kind of like our apartment. So, to be continued here.

10. Go on another road trip. There’s something so special about traveling with the one you love, and we love the sense of exploring that comes with driving around on our own. Our honeymoon was some of the most fun we’ve ever had and we’re committed to doing this together again as often as we can. UPDATE: Unfortunately, and yet happily, buying our house and doing some renovation work on it will take up a large portion of our traveling budget for this year, so there probably won’t be a big roadtrip unless I find a great job soon. We’re making ends meet and have taken some smaller trips on weekends so far, something we plan to continue, but we’re not sure we’ll have the budget for a week-long awesome trip like our honeymoon last year. Still, I think it still counts if we go anywhere on a roadtrip, as the resolution didn’t specify length, and because we’re so happy about our house that it’s hard to consider this a failed resolution.

Roadtrips give you excuses to eat at great restaurants inside giant malls, like the Mall of America, where we were here, and drink giant, fun drinks full of fruit and rum. Yum.

Ok, your turn now. I think we’re doing pretty well, all things considered. What about you? How are you doing so far? Any advice for my resolutions? And what are you doing to celebrate Summer? Hot dogs? The beach? Tell me about it, really. I’d love to hear from you!

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“D”inner

For the past few nights, we’ve had unimpressive dinners.

It’s not that we’ve planned this.

We’ve just been busy with volleyball, house hunting, planning a bachelorette party… all that good stuff.

Sunday night, it was so hot in our apartment, we had only tuna salad.

Monday, we had chicken helper. It was pretty good, but Wyatt cooked that meal, so the credit goes to him.

Tuesday was steamed vegetables and leftovers, for me. Wyatt had a PB&J.

Tonight was peanut butter sandwiches before we went out house-hunting…and Chinese food after. (A rare treat because we don’t usually eat out on weekdays.)

We’ve had a busy week.

Remember when we used to cook delicious meals all the time?

Anyway, I’m hoping to do better next week, and every week after we find a house and move into a place with a nice, big kitchen…

Not that I think we’re going to have a house any time soon…

… But hopefully soon.

What about you? When are your dinner hits and misses? What’s your go-to, “don’t-have-time-for-dinner” dinner?

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Old news on a new day

This morning on my way to work, I got stuck in traffic for a few minutes because of a wreck. This made me think about two things:

 

1. I had been grumpy because my car was frosty and I had to scrape all the windows. It took several minutes. And judging by the fact that the emergency response people were just getting to the scene, it happened several minutes earlier. Maybe even in the few minutes I had been scraping my windows.

I said a silent little prayer thanking God for the frost. Even though I was a little late for work.

It’s not a new thought that sometimes things like this are “meant to be.” In fact, I used to think about this a lot when I was stuck behind a tractor or some other slow-moving vehicle.

Which brings me to my next point:

 

2. I don’t want to live in the city forever. I’m a farm girl, a country girl. Living in the city is fun for awhile because we can get Chinese food delivered and drive less than a minute to get to Wal-mart. It’s handy because Wyatt’s job is here, and mine will hopefully be here someday. But I can’t see myself being happy living here for the rest of my life. It’s too busy. Too crazy. There’s sirens all the time and traffic makes me nervous. And more than that, there’s no stars.

 

I know none of that is new news. but it hit me pretty hard at 7:00 this morning.

 

So what does this mean?

Well, it means that we probably won’t be settling into the home we’ll grow old in when we buy this first house. I guess I didn’t expect to do that anyway, but I’m more sure of it now.

It also means that Hubs and I will have some long, hard difficult decisions about are life, family, and career at some point down the road.

But again, I expected to do that anyway.

 

So, boys and girls, what did I learn today?

 

Well, not much. But a good reminder never hurt anyone.

 

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to buy a house…or not

Remember when Hubs and I resolved? And we resolved to buy a house this year?

That was fun, right?

Well, I realized that we should probably start thinking about looking for a house sometime soon if we have any intention of buying in the semi-near future. After all, we don’t know anything about house-hunting.

After I realized this, I set out thinking about the best way to move forward. I didn’t come up with any good plans, so I set out to creating a list of things I don’t know but feel like I should.

Here goes.

1. How much can we afford to pay each month on mortgage when we also include taxes and insurance?

2. How do we figure out how much insurance and taxes will be if we don’t know how much we can spend?

3 When is the best time to start looking?

4. Should we use a real estate agent?

5. If yes, how do we pick which one?

6. If no, how do we figure out stuff like reading a contract?

7. Where do we start to look when I don’t know where my job will be?

8. How long should we wait to start looking?  …it could be years before I find a job I really want!

Clearly, we have a lot to learn.

 

P.S. I had an interview today. It went okay, but I don’t know anything yet. Also, I had to drive downtown by myself with very little idea of where or how I was going. But I made it. So, I’ll claim a little victory, at least, right?

To celebrate, I think I’ll make pumpkin smoothies. Especially since we’re also celebrating our anniversary a day late since I got called into work last night.

Categories: How To... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

STILL in the Christmas spirit…

Today, Hubs and I both have the day off work. What have we done so far? Well, we’ve  had breakfast, cuddled on the couch, and googled what else we wanted to do today.

We’ve found a restaurant we want to try tonight, as well as a fun afternoon and evening of stuff to do in this city. We’ve lived here for more than five months and we still haven’t done a lot of stuff in the city. I mentioned awhile ago that while I love our little apartment and I like living up here with Hubs, the city doesn’t really feel like our permanent home. It feels like we’re visiting or something.

So, I have a plan that if we explore more and find more places that we like to go, we’ll feel more at home.

That may not work, but it’s worth a try, right?

Anyway, now that I’ve rambled for awhile about something unrelated to the topic of this post, I’d like to begin talking about the reason I sat down to write in the first place.

How long is it okay to leave my Christmas tree up?

I still enjoy it, and I don’t want to put it away because I’m still hanging onto the last few shreds of Christmas spirit I can muster up. Why? Because it’s a fun time and I like how festive our apartment ended up looking. Also, I don’t want to have to focus on packing everything up and trying to find a place for it in our apartment. I think we’ve decided we’re going to store our decorations in my parents’ basement until we have more room someday. (Sorry, Mom, and thanks!)

We took down the outdoor lights while the weather was so nice a couple days ago, and we still have the lighted snowman in the window, but he’s on the inside, so we can take him down comfortably even if it’s freezing and snowing outside.

As for all the presents, we’ve done a pretty good job of “moving in” all our new goodies, but there’s still the bigger stuff that needs to find a home in our already-full apartment.

Hubs gets frustrated at this easily, as he thinks we have too much stuff. I tell him to try and imagine what it will be like when we have a whole house to fill up and we have several empty rooms… (resolution number 4 will be both scary and exciting…)

This is a point of contention for us. I like things tidy and neat (despite the state of my closet and bedroom floor sometimes) and I don’t love having a lot of stuff sitting around cluttering up our counters and shelves. However, I also like having stuff on hand when I want it. For instance, I like to know that I have enough cups and dishes for a full dinner party…if the opportunity ever presents itself. Hubs would be fine if we just had 2 cups and 2 plates.

Ok, not really, because we did only have 2 plates for awhile and we both got a bit tired of washing them all the time.

Hubs just keeps reminding how “un fun” it’s going to be to carry all this great stuff out of here and into the next place we’ll live. I know he’s right, but we have plenty of friends and family that will help us with that, right?

Right?

Hey, where did everybody go?

 

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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