Posts Tagged With: house hunting

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!

Categories: Laughs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Chicago on my mind…Kansas City in my heart

This weekend, Hubs and I took a bus trip to Chicago with the Cauldron. (That’s the supporters’ organization for Sporting KC.)

Brrr! It was so cold there!

It was our first group trip ever, other than mission trips in high school, and our first bus trip. We traveled there with Wyatt’s brother, and some friends, but also a lot of people we didn’t know at all. It was 20+ hours on the bus from Saturday morning at 12:30 am to 10:30 Sunday night. Yikes.

Hubs took this photo of the cool bridge we got to watch go up to let a whole line of boats pass underneath. Very big-city. 🙂

And on this crazy whirlwind trip, I learned a lot. Naturally, I thought you guys would want to know all about it, so here goes.

One of the things I didn’t learn was what this awesome sign meant. Where was this kiss and ride? How do we find it? It sounds a heck of a lot better than the regular train…

1. I am not a die hard fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan and I love to watch the boys in blue play soccer, win or lose, but I’m not the kind of fan that screams until I’m totally without a voice, drinks until I’m in a crazed stupor, and curses as loud as I can when the ref makes a call against us. Being surrounded by several hundred fans like that for 2 days straight was a little much for me I think. I’m not saying I like the team any less, or the people, but… okay, maybe I like some of the people a little less.

2. Soccer is a heart-breaking, awesome sport. I’m fond of saying that one of reasons I like to play is because, unlike softball, which I played for years and years, teamwork is a lot more important. When I made an error at shortstop, let’s say, a ball bounced past me, or I dropped a throw from the catcher, it was all my fault, and no one was there to save me. With soccer, there’s usually someone there for me to pass to or someone to get the ball if I completely whiff it. Still, when one person does make a bad error, let’s say an own-goal, or a bad tackle that results in a PK. Yikes. Heartbreaking.

3. Ten-plus hours on a bus isn’t fun. They’d be more fun if we had electrical plugs and wi-fi like we were promised, but since we didn’t have those things, it was a rough ride. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to mind cramped quarters with my honey, but I do mind the uncomfortable ways we tried to sleep during the early-morning hours. Ouch.

4. I don’t enjoy trips where every moment is planned out for me. We rushed to spend our few hours of free time by walking downtown in a group to get some pizza (which I didn’t even really want) just because we felt it’s what we should do while we were there. Then, we had to wait for a bus to the game, wait for a bus back, get up early to wait for a bus the next morning…you get the idea. Road trips with Hubs are much more fun when we can choose to stop at an antique store whenever we see one, and stay in bed longer when we’re sleepy…and stop for a restroom break whenever nature calls.

5. Spending time with a group of people that share a common interest is an exciting way to spend time. Hundreds of people that all desperately want to see a victory is a pretty moving thing to be a part of. And when that victory doesn’t happen, it’s a little hard to take. Even though the after-loss pep talks were also pretty moving when I think back. Plus, sharing the team spirit and excitement for the team was a fun honor. It’s a special lifestyle that I certainly appreciate even if I’m not as hardcore.

Yes, the Cauldron is full of some crazy-awesome people..who sing and scream and care like crazy about the KC Wiz.

6. Home is really where the heart is. Looking for a house and being so frustrated by what we’ve found, I’ve began to question how homey our apartment really is. (Don’t freak out, I realize it’s crazy since it IS home.) But when we were away, staying in a hotel room and on a bus with no privacy, standing in the cold rain in the Windy City, home never felt so far away or looked so good. Other than our parents’ houses and a few other nights with friends or family, it was the first time we’ve been away from home since our honeymoon. I’m excited to travel more in the next few months and years, but coming home is something that’s oh-so-sweet for so many reasons, no matter if it’s an apartment or a dream home…someday.

So, last night, we celebrated. By eating meatloaf and rolls in our skivvies. (Reason #45 why husband roommates are the best.) Ah…home.

A photo of our yummy dinner. I’ll spare you the photo of our skivvies…

What about you? What did you do this weekend? What did you learn? What’s your best and worst lessons learned on your best or worst vacation?

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Warrior Weekend

This weekend was a big one. I’d say it was a warrior-worthy mess of a weekend.

For starters, Wyatt and I had a huge fight on Friday night. It was the most angry and upset I’ve been since we’ve been married. I don’t need to go into all the details, but we were able to apologize, and forgive each other. And we moved on.

It’s not easy to let something go that quickly when it seems like such a huge deal, but the fact of the matter is that no matter what, we’re going to stay committed to this marriage and to each other. We know that we both try to do what’s best for both of us and just sometimes screw up. Sometimes we screw up bigger than other times…

But it always will work out the same way. Forgiveness.

Then, Saturday morning, we had the Warrior Dash!

WARRIORS!

This is after we finished. So we were tired, muddy, wet, and happy.

Happy and muddy…look at my poor ring! I probably should have taken it off but didn’t think about it until later, and I was SUPER careful in the mud so as not to lose it. (I kept my hand clenched shut the entire time!)

There was a huge line of people waiting to get hosed off afterwards.

Warrior Wash. They’re so clever.

See the people waiting in line?

Then they just spray you down with super cold water. It’s pretty awesome.

All in all, it was a great time.

Wyatt was super tired though, being that he hasn’t really ran more than a mile since September…but he made it!

Yup, that’s sweat. It was pretty hot, but thankfully we ran in the morning before it got too crazy out there.

I had a great time. It was my first time doing an event with Hubs, so that was super fun. He made me jump over the fire. I made him keep running. We’re a good team.

That shirt was white when I started. (I knew it’d get filthy, it wasn’t a shirt I wear a lot now that I’m out of college and it was already stained…)

But the main challenge this weekend came after the Warrior Dash.

We set out to leave for the Sporting KC game Saturday night and Hubs’ car made a real funny noise, and then wouldn’t shift. It was really, really off.

Uh oh.

And then when we went back, switched to my car so we wouldn’t miss the game, and stopped for gas, the service engine light came on in my car.

Suddenly, we were faced by the possibility of having to spend major money on repairs of both of our vehicles. Or just replace them, being that neither of them are worth a costly repair really, especially Hubs’ 1990 Honda Accord. We love that car, but let’s face it. It’s old. As in 279,000 miles-old.

I was overwhelmed. Hubs was angry and frustrated. We spent Sunday afternoon trying to figure out what was wrong with both of them. It was pretty sad.

Our down-payment fund looked like it was in danger.

But we made it. Because we’re warriors, remember?

First we went to the auto-place to run the code on my car. Turns out, it’s something we can fix ourselves for not a ton of money. An inconvenience, sure, but not unbearable.

But the best part is about the Honda. Hubs is a great problem-solver and he was able to find the issue using basic trial and error and the internet. Then we took it to the dealer’s service center to confirm what we thought was wrong. The part was going to be $600 to fix it! Yikes. The car’s not even worth that!

So he set to work finding a salvage yard and we went there to find the part today. He spent an hour trying to find it, but finally got it. Then we headed home, he got it installed, and guess what?

We’re back in business!

I’m proud of Hubs for his off-the-cuff, learn-as-he-goes mechanic skills. I’m proud of both of us for not freaking out and making a rash decision while we were feeling overwhelmed and angry. We were able to find the best solution and save a lot of money, time, effort, and frustration.

I’d say that’s warrior-worthy of a celebration.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“H”ome

Right now, the concept of home is a very complicated one.

Our apartment is home.

But hopefully not for long.

And we still think of Sedalia as the place we “go home to visit” when we stay with our families.

Still, I think we’re happiest and most ourselves when we’re at home…our home…together.

Because after all, that’s the real reason we ever feel at home…because we’re there together.

As we’re house-hunting, I find myself imagining if I could picture us living in the house in question. Usually, it’s a no, and it gets frustrating to see house after house that just won’t work for us.

But the reality is that even if we never find a house that I imagine can become our first house, I know that no matter where we end up, it will become a home…together.

What about you? What makes your home feel most like home? Is it an object? A person? A special touch you add yourself? Any advice for buying our first house?

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

“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

Our weekend…a food photo story.

This weekend, was busy.

So, instead of giving you a play-by-play of everything we did, I figured I’d give you a little bit to drool over and tell our weekend story through photos of food. With some other awesome stuff mixed in as well.

And actually, I’m going to start our “weekend” food photos with something we made and ate on Tuesday. Tuna patties. And fried potatoes. It was perfect and light before our volleyball game, after which we went to Applebee’s for half-price apps with friends.

I've never made these before and didn't use a recipe. They aren't exactly what I would do again, flavorings -wize, but it was still yummy.

Then, on Friday night, our weekend officially started with this meal on our little patio deck.

Tuna with lemon sauce, vegetables with potatoes, and corn bread. Hubs made this whole meal himself as a surprise for me.

After that we hung around the apartment and put away laundry, watched some TV, and spent a little QT together. We’re wild ad crazy newlyweds, can you tell?

Oh, and I made this for dessert.

It's strawberry salsa with homemade cinnamon chips. I got the idea from Liz's mom, who made it for the bridal shower last weekend. Super yummy.

Want my “recipe”? Check it out here.

On Saturday morning, I had to go to work, but only for a few hours because then it was time for the soccer game! (Whoo hoo Sporting Kansas City!)

We were blessed with special seats to this home opener because Wyatt was given tickets to the executive suite from his job because of the work he did in New York. (Remember when he was gone for a week and I hated it? Well, I guess there was some unseen good that came of it later!)

The view from the sweet suite we got to watch the game from. (See what I did there? Aren't homophones fun?!)

We were excited to see the food offerings, especially since it was all-inclusive. Free food and drink!

Super delicious free food. Those potatoes were the bomb. And yes, those are cloth napkins and real silverware...at a soccer game. Fancy-smancy indeed!

And the drinks were great, too!

A frosty, glass(!) glass of boulevard wheat with lemon while enjoying a great game? Don't mind if I do!

I wish I’d taken a picture of the four chocolate chunk cookies I indulged in, but I was too busy shoving them into my mouth. Sorry.

Needless to say, on Sunday morning, after all the rambunctiousness of Saturday night, we slept in and got up to make brunch before I had to go to work at noon.

Wyatt made waffles, and I made more of the strawberry dip from Friday night to put on them. Super yummy.  It made me not-at-all-grumpy for work that day, which is not usually how I leave for job#1.

I would recommend this to anyone on the day after a night of eating, drinking, yelling, laughing, and celebrating a great win.

Too bad we couldn’t share with the boys we drove to and from the game. They probably could have used a good morning meal to help cure the ails of evidence of all the fun they had the entire day before. It was St. Patty’s Day, after all, and they celebrated it up right!

Then, on Sunday evening when I got home from work, only slightly grouchy, we went for a long drive to begin our house-hunting process. We explored potential neighborhoods and worked up an appetite.

We went out to dinner, as we sometimes do on Sunday nights, and I didn’t take a picture of our “just okay” meals from the restaurant.

But the good food continued to tonight, which I know isn’t really the weekend anymore, but is still worth mentioning I think.

Baked zucchini, garlic mashed potatoes, and cube steak. (My family knows what that is...do you? Or is that a code name we use for something everybody else calls by another name?)

All in all, a great weekend of outdoor time (it was so nice out!), good food, friends, and fun.

P.S. If you’ve seen ads at the bottom on this blog, please know that I didn’t put them there. I guess WordPress decided I have enough traffic they could make some money off of my blog. It only shows up on a few posts and for those without a WordPress account. Please know that I do not endorse anything that is put there, nor am I getting paid for it. I’m currently looking into a way to get this resolved (including buying my own domain–exciting times!) Thanks for understanding!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

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