the birthday weekend

first of all, thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes. that was really sweet!

my birthday weekend was great. on saturday, we headed up to tennessee, met my brothers and sister-in-law for church, and then went to my parents’ for lunch. i got great gifts. my grandpa and grandma gave me a puzzle of cats he had made and had framed for me, ryan and oriona gave me a beautiful flower arrangement for the new house, and randy gave me money which is to be used “for scrapbooking and for scrapbooking only”. awww. joe and my parents gave me what i thought they were going to: the cricut diecut machine!!

[Read more…]

let the celebration begin

i am having three days of birthday celebrations, and i am psyched.

tomorrow, we’re heading to my parents’ house for lunch and birthday fun, and tomorrow night, joe is taking me out to to dinner. on sunday, we’re going to joe’s parents’ where i will attend a southern living party hosted by my mil and sil, and the boys are going to go to a movie. then, we’re having a birthday cookout. yay!

monday is my birthday, and i can’t wait to see what joe has in store. i think i know what he got me. i hope i’m right! hehe. 🙂

i love birthdays!

the good, the bad and the horrendous

i was incredibly excited to begin our house search last weekend.

that excitement quickly changed to shock, then to horror and finally to depression. house hunting wasn’t nearly as fun as i thought it would be. the houses we chose looked great on paper, but didn’t hold up when we saw them in person.

the first house had no appliances and really no where in the kitchen for appliances to go. it also had apparantly been broken into several times and had copper wire stolen. cross that off the list.

house no. 2 was cute; however, the living room floor was bowed, there was no vent in one of the bedrooms, and the bathroom floor sloped. oh, and there were two kitchen sinks. in the backyard. yes, you read that correctly. next stop, please.

at house no. 3, joe literally took one step inside and told our realtor he wasn’t going any further. it was being sold “as-is” and was in shambles. it was absolutely awful. i was in such shock that on the grading sheets our realtor gave us for each house, i could only write, “yowza”. it was rough.

house no. 4 was really cute. in fact, we loved it. the only drawback was the lack of a dining room (or any room really for my dining room table and china cabinet) and that the only bathroom was in the back of the house. sigh. sadly, we crossed it off our list. it was so cute.

we next made our way five miles down the interstate to emerson, where we thought we may have found a winner. the stats matched what we wanted, and one of the pictures showed the lake. yay, i thought. we will have a lake view. after being stalled by not one, but two stopped trains, we took a different route and finally found ourselves at . . . a mobile home. seriously, folks. and, there was no lake to be seen. i believe that is called false advertising. i was ready to go before we even got out of the car, but we took the obligatory look around before telling our realtor we were ready to go.

at this point, i was starting to get depressed. i know it’s not always easy to find a house, but we had seen such crappy places, i was really starting to think we weren’t going to find anything.

we decided our next stop would be a house that, again, looked cute in its picture, and we found out it was in a cute subdivision right next to our apartment complex. things might be looking up, i thought. we drove up to the house and saw the two words i feared the most: “under contract”. of course. we couldn’t catch a break. we went in anyway to look around, and i got even more depressed because it was cute. it only had two bedrooms, but there was a loft, so there was plenty of room for all of our stuff. sigh.

i was ready to call it a day, but we decided to go by one house that joe and i had disagreed on. i liked the house. joe was wary about the neighborhood. we thought we’d let our realtor be the judge. we pulled up, and she thought the area was fine. actually, the city is working on revitilizing the area, so it probably would have been ok. there wasn’t a lockbox on the door, so we called the seller’s realtor, who told us it was under contract. oh, how i hated those words. he said we could go in anyway, so we took a look around. joe and i both fell in love. it had three bedrooms upstairs, a good sized kitchen, and a huge rec room and another room that could be a bedroom downstairs. why was it that all the good houses were already taken?

luckily, the realtor had another house on the market and, after driving around aimlessly with the incorrect directions our realtor’s gps gave us, we finally arrived and i immediately knew it was the house for us. it was brick, which i wanted, had a large kitchen, three large bedrooms, a fireplace and a deck.

and now, here we are, about to go into a binding contract. it was a whirlwind of a week, one which really opened our eyes to the world of real estate. at least it worked out well in the end. things have a way of doing that.

options for the cats

i am thinking about getting underground fencing put in around our new front yard (yay, i’m going to have a yard!) for the cats. my cats were used to going outside before we moved here, and i know they miss it. i’m sure dizzy would enjoy playing in the grass as well. however, dizzy cannot go outside as it is because he is declawed, and i’m still quite nervous to let my two out since i keep thinking about my other cat who was hit by a car a couple years ago.

this is the perfect solution. they can play outside but will be contained to our yard with the fencing and collars. i’ve been pricing fences out today, and they’re not as expensive as i thought they would be. i figured we’d use the front yard because right now we need to do some work in the backyard, such as major raking and probably having several trees cut down.

i think the cats are ready to move. 🙂

the best part about our house

i can’t believe i didn’t mention this before. with all the excitement and stress of getting the contract done, i completely forgot. i’m going to get my scrapbooking room! it will be a shared room, most likely, with our exercise equipment, but i will have a place for scrapbooking nonetheless.

i was planning on putting the scrapbooking/exercise room in the larger of the other two bedrooms and the office in the smaller room, but then i thought it would be easier to move a scrapbooking table and the exercise bike rather than the heavy, solid oak desk when we change one of the rooms to a nursery. so, i think now i will put the office/guest room in the larger room initially.

how’s that for putting all my thoughts down in words? 🙂

hoping for good news

my plan was to have official news to share by now, but apparantly that won’t be happening.

we put an offer on a house yesterday, and thanks to all the lovely red tape, it’s taking much longer than i think it should. then again, i know nothing about the real estate business.

our realtor just received the counteroffer this afternoon, and will be working on our counter tonight. i think we’re getting a good deal. we had a lengthy list of conditions, most of which were approved. now we’re haggling over closing costs (but i think we have a way to work around it), the length of time to get an inspector in to check it out (we can work with the number of days they wanted) and the closing date, which they want to move up 10 days. i think we can work with all of it and, considering we’re getting a brand new house out of it, i think we’re getting a good deal. at least i hope we are.

onto the house. it’s a one-story, brick ranch with three bedrooms and one bathroom on a cul-de-sac. the entire house has been redone, such as new carpeting and flooring, we will be getting brand new appliances, the cabinetry and counters in the kitchen were redone, and we get to decide whether we want a sliding door or french doors leading out to the deck. my vote is for french doors. i think they look nicer.

one of the perks is that the seller is planting shrubs for us on the left side of the house. that will make it look much nicer. on the right side, under the living room window, i want to plant flowers.

here are some pictures:

the front of the house

the living room

the kitchen

the eating area

two of the bedrooms

and the deck