6.29.2009

Life continued...

First things first, we have decided to postpone putting our house on the market until next spring. As much as I was already envisioning being back in Apex or at least on our way back, we've decided it's best to wait to see if the market continues to recover and see if we can make a bit more profit on our house. I guess we'll spend the next year making sure the house stays nice and clean and unbroken and we'll see what happens next year.

Aside from the minor house drama, things are moving along as you'd expect in the land of unemployment. I've gotten a few more prospects on the job front, but at this point they are not even worth mentioned as it seems as soon as I talk about something it slips right through my fingers. How about I just let you know if something works out? K? K.

I've been painting again. I put down my brush and roller for a little while, but then got a second wind and got right back into it. I've (re)done our master bathroom. It was a sage green from Restoration Hardware, but it just wasn't jiving with the tile in our bathroom. The tile was a little too cool of a color and the sage was asking for something more warm to contrast with. I painted the bathroom the same La Fonda Antique Red I've used in the dining room, half bath, hallway and our bedroom. I love it and I've found so many things to go with it. The rugs have really been my jumping off point and I'm happy so far. Everything is flowing and in harmony up in here.

We also finally started doing some yard work. We pulled weeds, put down weed preventive and bought 30 bags of mulch to finally replace the old crap that's been here since we moved in. We've still got lots to go, but it looks so much better and the weeds aren't coming back in full force (yet).

My mom turns the big 6-0 next Friday and we're having a par-tay for her on Saturday. I hope she enjoys it - I think this party is whats keeping her going right now. John, Shelly, Seth and I have gotten her a nice gift that I think she'll enjoy for a long time! We've also gotten her a fun cake from Swank (who did Seth's iPhone cake) so hopefully, that'll be a fun part to her food table.

Seth and I got the new iPhone 3GS (of course we did) and I have a black phone now. I had a white one before, but wanted to switch it up. I am most excited to make use of the video function and take little videos of Three and anything else fun we come across.

Now for some controversy....Jon & Kate. I just started watching this show when I lost my job. I randomly checked it out one morning and then got hooked. So for me, I've seen them at their best and now at their worst in the span of a few months rather than being someone who's followed them for 5 years. I find it awfully sad that they are divorcing and can see how the issue arose out of both of them, but it's especially sad to see episodes from years past when they seem in love and work as a team and enjoy each other's company. I'm one of those dorks who holds on for dear life to the hope that rumors aren't true and tend not to believe anything until it comes out of the celebrity's mouth (like Clay Aiken). I'm just really sad for J&K and the kids. Maybe things will turn around in the future, but right now it seems broken beyond repair.

Additionally, I saw some Facebook comments about their split that made my blood boil. One from a Christian girl who stated she was boycotting the show and TLC due to their break up. To me, that just seems like the opposite thing a Christian should do. Why would you turn your back on J&K+8 because you don't agree with their decision to divorce and on TLC because you think they forced them to do the show which you think ruined their marriage? Don't you think J&K are adults who can make their own decisions? Do you honestly think TLC could force them to do a show they didn't want to. Sure, Jon obviously didn't want to do another season at the end of season 4, but apparently they decided to move forward. Why would you just slam the door on 2 people who are Christians as well (read Multiple Blessings and you'll see!) during a time that they probably need your prayers more than your back turned on them. I just found it highly hypocritical and it just made me angry.

ANYWAY....pics are below of what we've been up to in the last few weeks.

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6.11.2009

Confessions of a Houseaholic

So this is mostly not public knowledge among people I know, but I must confess that I am already longing to move. Not that I don't like my house, because the house itself is just fine and perfectly perfect and decked out in gorgeous moldings and tall ceilings and huge bathrooms and granite countertops, but I've learned a lot in the 13 or so months we've lived here about what I need, want, and simply do not need.

Since being laid off from my job, Seth and I have entered the sometimes cruel world of living on one paycheck and having to lose things we otherwise would've kept and enjoyed. Namely, a car - we sold our CR-V (on my birthday, thankyouverymuch) to save us from an almost $500 a month car payment. We tried living on one car, but I think that lasted only 2-3 weeks. We then bought a cheap car and more than cut in half that old car payment. We've gone to the grocery store with new eyes on and actually paying attention to prices and how much stuff we didn't need to buy. It's been a bit of an eye-opener that's now reached beyond our simple everyday purchases.

Losing income makes you reassess your true needs in life and helps you to easily distinguish between wants and needs. While it was dawing on me well before I lost my job, it's even more apparent now that wedontneedthismuchhouseandyard. Our house is a little over 2400 square feet and sits on slightly less than half an acre. When we were moving from our townhouse to this house it felt like we could breathe again and I couldn't wait to stretch my legs in the new house and have a place for everything. We wanted a yard for Three to run and play in and be able to be off her leash. We've got all that (minus a fence to let our doggy free) but now I'm not so impressed.

I've been longing to be back in Apex. I realize that I loved being so convenient to so much, yet it still had the small town charm. Apex got a lot of new stores during our time there and I obviously took for granted being able to pop over to any number of those places in mere minutes. Our house now is pretty far in comparison to the nearest "main road" and I guess that's to be expected when you "live out in the county."

I don't need this much house. I'm constantly overwhelmed with our space. We don't use the 2 bedrooms upstairs although we've had friends sleep in our guest bedroom a few times, but the other one has never had a real purpose. We use the bonus room, but lately I've been content to hang out downstairs and watch TV or we'll camp out in our bedroom while doing our separate hobby-type things. I've been to see a couple of smaller homes in the last few weeks and have decided about 2100-2200 square feet is plenty for us.

Aside from the house, our yard is even more overwhelming. We've never done anything to it and the plants the builder put in died within a few months of our moving in. We've got more weeds than grass it seems and as soon as I pull them, 10 more grow in its place. We haven't put the money into our yard and our mulch is probably almost 3 years old. Unfortunately, our neighbors have perfectly groomed yards and have beautiful flowers and fresh mulch all the time. I know they think we're idiots.

Anyway, it's gotten to the point that I'm ready to downsize and am OK with less space. Think about how small a home in the 50's was and people lived just fine and dandy in those homes. My in-laws have about 1900 square feet and they raised a family 3 children and 2 adults in there! I'm into being green when I can be, but I think people forget that part of being green is not only being energy efficient but being SPACE efficient. We don't need all these huge homes with tons of excess. I'm all for a nice, new home with hardwood floors, but I don't need 800 rooms to clean each week.

So....we're going to talk with our realtor about what we might be able to get for our house in this market. If her estimation doesn't meet our expectations we'll just keep hanging on until things get better. I know it's crazy to be thinking of moving just a year after doing it once, but this time would feel more informed and more conscious of what's too much and what's just right. We'd be headed back "home" and I might just be ready to start a family then...

6.03.2009

Reunited

Well, I think 2 months is long enough when giving the cold shoulder to ones blog. I've decided I've got a few things to report from unemployment land and I wanted to give my blog a second chance. We'll see if I've even still got any followers out there - perhaps I waited too long to say hi. Oh well.

To make it easy, here's a list of everything I can think of that's happened since I last wrote. It's in chronological order as best I can remember and I've included pictures when available.

IMG_01461. After one full day of being unemployed, Seth, Three and I headed up to Black Mountain, NC to my great uncle's mountain cabin for several days of R&R. My parents came up for a few of those days as well. We went to Asheville, shopped in Black Mountain, but mostly just lazed around and did nothing. I put together the Barack Obama puzzle that my MIL gave me for my birthday and another puzzle that was already in the house. We took our bikes up with the intention of finding a trail to ride, but laziness got the best of us so we did no bike riding. It was a good trip and a good way to ease the shock of suddenly being at home and not at work. This pic of Three sums up the feeling of our vacay quite well.

2. During my first full week of unemployment, I was a slug. I laid around the house, watched the entire Sex & The City series on DVD followed by the movie and did absolutely nothing aside from running the occasional errand, laundry, and keeping the dishwasher in rotation. It was hard. I felt trapped since I could think of no reason to leave the house other than for doing something that I'd have to spend money on and I felt guilty spending money. After about 2 weeks of this...I found some things to do.

3. Also for my birthday, I had gotten a gift card from my BIL to Target and a gift card to Lowe's from my in-laws. I was at Target one day and found a runner that I loved and decided to use my gift card to get it. From that one runner, I found inspiration to start painting my house. Finally - after one year of being here - I felt I had the pieces ready to start a color palette. I used my Lowe's gift card to load up on paint (3 colors and primer) and I got started. I tackled the living room first, then the foyer, then the hallway, and finally the dining room. Since our living room is 2 stories tall, I had to get creative to connect the walls receiving full color to the ones that would be impossible to paint completely. I came up with the wide horizontal band idea and so far it's working. I think it needs a little something more, but not sure yet. I'm most proud of my foyer, whose design I concocted as I went, but I think it looks great and really sets it apart from the living room and says "I'm the foyer...and you are?" Below are some pics.

[caption id="attachment_469" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Living Room"]IMG_6520[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_468" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Peek at the horizontal banding (and I moved my office downstairs!)"]IMG_6519[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_467" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Foyer"]IMG_6518[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Hallway (with lovely IKEA pics and the inspiration runner)"]IMG_6523[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_470" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Dining room (whew)"]IMG_6522[/caption]

4. After I finished the dining room, I finally got it fully "dressed" as best as I could (the table is probably not our final table), and was excited that I got the dining room and foyer to coordinate. It was all in my plan - but plans are great to see come alive! The dining room was a challenge - I had to tape and prime everything first (including the ceiling) and originally, I painted it a nice, bright, turquoise, but it turned out not so great. So I took the left over paint from the hallway and went rusty red on the walls and the greenish-yellow on the ceiling. Works great.

IMG_65355. I put down my paintbrush for a few weeks and picked up (again) cross-stitching. I've had this bag of projects for years that I pick up every one in a while and work on, but I really got into it again. Some days, I'd sit in bed with Three and work on a project all day. Sheesh.

6. This is probably out of order, but who cares. Seth and I joined his parents for a trip to Pennsylvania at the end of April. We stayed for 3 nights and my mom kept Three. We had a great trip, stayed with the Carson's and visited with Seth's grandparents at "The Home." Of course, we hit up IKEA (my favorite store ever) and got a few things with yet another gift card we had gotten back in December when we were in PA for Christmas. We got this gift card from IKEA for spending so much money. No, really, it's true.

7. Meanwhile, since I'd been at home, Three had been barfing fairly regularly - maybe once a day. She was just puking up yellow bile so we took her to the vet. Their first guess was bilious vomitus syndrome, but after another week she wasn't any better and I took her in the day before we were to go to PA. They still thought it was some sort of digestive issue, but we wasn't eating or drinking much of anything. They gave her a few shots and sent me home with yet another type of food for her to try.

My mom kept her while we were gone and took her back to the vet again and still wasn't really helped. She had had some blood work done and things looked OK, but her markers for having a parasite were high so they were treating her for that. Still wouldn't really eat or drink much. Not making leaps and bounds to getting better.

By the time we got back, she was worse. She was eating a tiny bit for my mom and keeping it down, but when we got back we couldn't get her to eat or drink PERIOD. It was awful. We called in on Monday (as instructed), and were told by one doctor to "wait another 24 hours." GRR. We did that - skeptical - and the next morning took her in at 9am. By the time we got to the vet, Seth literally had to drag Three from her crate. She couldn't move or walk or anything. We both thought she was about to die. She was limp in his arms and they took her from him as soon as we walked in and got her hooked up to fluids. She was SERVERLY dehydrated but they got her perked up a tiny bit before we left.

After a $700 3-night stay at the vet, they determined she has Addison's Disease. We have to give her prednisone everyday for the rest of her life, but she's finally back to the dog we knew and missed, she's eating and drinking like a champ and we're so glad they got our baby figured out.

Post Addisonian crash :(


[caption id="attachment_476" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Post 3-day hospital stay...All better!"]Post 3-day hospital stay...All better![/caption]

8. I finished the 4 books in the Twilight series. 1, 2 & 3 = good, #4 = weird!

9. Job prospects came and went. Right now, 2 possibilities are coming up. One to be a Legislative Assistant at the NCGA or the other...wait for it....to work in the same job I got right out of college in Redistricting at the NCGA. We'll see!

10. This week I've started a new painting project and am tackling our master bedroom. It's a big room and has a tray ceiling so I've been putting it off for a while now. I got new bedding from Target as a part of my new "there's no need to buy everything from Restoration Hardware" way of life and once again, got totally inspired to paint our room. Pics below. I will probably be repainting our bathroom soon as well.

[caption id="attachment_477" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Excuse the mess...it's a work in progress"]Excuse the mess...it's a work in progress[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Closet hall between master bedroom and bath (ceiling will be the same color in the master bedroom)"]Closet hall between master bedroom and bath (ceiling will be the same color in the master bedroom)[/caption]

11. In other worlds, John and Shelly finally sold their townhouse and will get to buy the house they had a contingency offer on! They are very excited and sold their house just in time to close on the new house in the 90 days allotted in their offer. Their house is in Holly Springs and will be closer to their office at UNC-CH.

12. Seth and George are writing a game for the iPhone/iPod Touch!

13. I on the other hand, have fallen in love with a new house. While I love our house, it's true what they say about living and learning. I (not speaking for Seth) have learned that I don't want this much yard (we have 0.46 acres) and we aren't yard people. We wanted a fenced-in yard for Three to run free in, but we still don't have that and certainly didn't need this much to get the job done. Our neighbors probably hate us for our yard, but they can't say we don't have a green thumb for weeds! Those suckers grow fast and furious!

I also don't think we need 2500 square feet of living space. One of our spare bedrooms is used for storage and still looks like we just moved in. I think 3 bedrooms is essential, but I am constantly overwhelmed with having to clean this place. The house I'm in love with is a tiny bit over 2100 square feet and it's a ranch-style home. I remind myself that part of living green, is not only recycling, but economy of space, too! 2100 square feet should be plenty!

The house I've fallen in love with is my dream Craftsman-style home. It's in Apex and we both would really like to get back to Apex. I thought I'd be able to get used to a new side of town, but it hasn't happened in a year's time and that makes me sad. We go to Apex every Sunday and I feel homesick for the shopping and convenience I got used to while living there. I feel like a poop for wanting to move back already, but those are my honest feelings. We certainly won't move until we can get some money back on our current house which means the market will have to shape up (but do it soon, please!!).

I just adore Craftsman and Arts & Crafts style, and this house is everything I'd put into a home if I were to build my own from scratch. It's a goal I think I'm wiling to wait for if it means we could get into my dream home. Sheesh. Seth says he just wants me to be happy. This is a new neighborhood so hopefully, if things go well, maybe we'll be able to set up shop back in Apex in my dream home in due time. :)

14. I've become a fan of Jon & Kate Plus 8. I watch it and Tivo it and am cheering for them to make it.

15. Patrick and Courtney had a baby! Eli looks just like Seth! hehe


100_2702



That's all I can think of for now. If I've left anything out, hopefully I can cover it in future posts.

Please say hi if you're still out there! I want to know I've still got readers! :)