Posts Tagged With: new house

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

What Moves Me

Well, guys, we’re all moved.

Notice I didn’t say “moved in.”

…as that would imply that we had everything unpacked, organized and put away.

But that is not the case. Not the case at all.

In fact, we are simply settling in to our new definition of crazy.

Before, we were going crazy because we were living out of two homes, neither of which really felt like home because of all the boxes and messes and tools and paint cans and such. Now, we have one home that definitely feels like home, but it also looks like a giant mess.

That’s progress, though, right?

I want to focus today on some happier things, so I’m going to tell you some of the special things in life that move me. You know, the things that get me up in the morning and inspired to be my best.

1. Hubs. For one thing, the fact that he gets up every morning to go to work and provide for our little family is enough to inspire all sorts of love, respect, admiration and devotion. For another thing, he’s just so stinkin’ cute and smart and awesome that I get all giddy when I stop and think about how blessed I am to be married to my best friend.

2. Our new house. Yes, there’s so much more to do, and yes, I often feel overwhelmed and like I have no idea where to start to get it all done, but I’m just so darn happy we have this lovely place to live that all that really pales in comparison. I can’t wait to get it all fixed up so I can just relax and enjoy our home together.

3. Thoughts of being a “real” writer. I’m a freelance writer. So I work from home, usually on our couch. Today, because we are now at the new house with no internet, I’d working from a close-by Panera. And as of yet, I’ve been able to refrain from purchasing something from the pastry display that’s taunting me with every glance up from my screen. Still, having to come here today in order to get some work done is a blessing more than a curse because it means I have an assignment that I’m working on…and that’s a good thing.

4. Big dreams. Yea, I have them. I want our home to be lovely and neat and clean and ready to welcome friends and family as soon as possible. I also already imagine decorating nurseries, an office, a guest room, and watching our future kiddos play on the patio. I know those things are a long way off, but I enjoy dreaming about them just the same!

5. My ring. It’s sparkly and it makes me happy. Happy Melissa works harder and better than salty Melissa.

6. The Applebee’s Blondie that’s sitting in my fridge waiting for the perfect moment to be eaten in our new home.

7. The thought of never-before-ran-by-me sidewalks all around our new house. I see a high-mileage fall in my future. If this heat ever gives way to some cooler/safer temperatures.

8. A God who forgives me when I’m ungrateful for life’s blessings, too quick to judge, too slow to forgive, and too full of myself and my fears to rely on his timing and His plans for my life.

Well, that’s enough inspiration for now. I’m off to get some actual work done, even though sitting here thinking about all that I’m thankful for in my life is much more fun…and having a reason to get up and get moving is always a good thing, even though moving in is proving to be a work in progress still.

Your turn! Tell me what moves you, whether that means physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually! Let’s here it!

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What do you want for dinner?

Last week was a busy one.

With trying to pack up our apartment and paint our new house, we’re running out of all the essentials for weeknight dinners.

As in our fridge has ketchup, fresh zucchini, and water inside it. That’s it.

Yikes.

(Ok, there’s more than that in there, but still, it’s pretty empty. So is the pantry.)

On Thursday, I had no idea what to make for dinner. I was tired and hungry and kind of cranky. Plus, we needed to go to the store to get supplies for some house projects. Hubs got home, late because he’d had a work thing, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He didn’t know.

He could tell I was worn out from working all day (I had a busy week freelancing last week) and wasn’t feeling very inspired for coming up with something for dinner.

So he, like the fabulous husband he is, went to the kitchen and started opening cabinets, looking for something to make.

“What do you want for dinner, honey? I’ll make it,” he said.

But he didn’t find much in there to work with either.

And pretty quickly decided…”Let’s grab a bite to eat out somewhere before heading to the store.”

I jumped on that suggestion and out we went.

Now, normally, we don’t eat out…like ever. Especially on a weeknight.

And  normally, I’m fine with that because we’re trying to save as much money as possible, and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for overpriced restaurant food. Plus, I really do enjoy making dinner for the two of us.

But sitting down and ordering an appetizer (free with a coupon) and an entree to share, where someone cooked and brought me my food and then cleaned up after me when I was finished was exactly what I needed to refuel in the middle of an exhausting week.

I thankful for how Hubs saw that I needed help to get out of my funk, and how he’d taken such a simple approach to solving the problem. He’s so quick to offer his services for the benefit of others–myself or someone else, and I love that about him.

I’m thankful I was able to see past the normal boundary of eating out of a weekday to know that this would improve my mood considerably. I’m thankful we live so close to some restaurants that are ready to feed hungry, cranky wives who can get stir crazy after being inside all day while they work from home. I’m thankful for a husband who senses when I need to get out of the house.

And honestly, with our coupon and because we shared everything, it really only ended up being like $15 dollars or something…which fit pretty well into our budget after all.

 

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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

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