catching up

It has been a LONG time since I’ve posted, yowza! We have been deep into purchasing our new house, cleaning,  moving out of our apartment, cleaning some more, and fixing up our house. I thought it might be kind of fun (or at least interesting/informational) to do a little break down of what we personally went through in purchasing our house. I think I talked about it in my previous post, but here’s a little recap- we originally found a house that we thought was going to work out great. It had 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a full basement, and a detached 3 car garage. There was so much room to make ours, with what we thought would be some minor improvements and updates. We made an offer on the house. Once the offer was made, we began working with our bank. I had to provide proof of insurance, our last two months bank statements, proof of employment, proof of earnest money, etc. It seemed like so many things! It is no joke buying a house! On top of all that, we had to schedule an inspection and appraisal for the house. I am so so thankful we did an inspection because the house was in way worse shape than we even realized- the chimney was crumbling and needed to be torn down and replaced, the foundation of the garage had shifted and one of the walls had cracked so much you could almost put your hand in it, the grading in the yard needed leveled so water wasn’t pouring towards the house when it rained, the roof was in bad shape, and the ceiling in the garage was so full of mold that it was falling down and the garage door wouldn’t open all the way. It was just such a disaster. I don’t know how we didn’t notice some of these issues when we first walked through, but it was a lesson learned for sure. We were able to walk away from that house because of the inspection being so bad and weren’t penalized, thankfully! Back to the house hunt we went. And we found our new home so quickly! We went to an open house to see it- honestly, I had pretty low expectations from the pictures and didn’t want to get my hopes up after what we had just been through with the other house. Walking through it, though, I just fell in love. It’s nothing grand or spectacular, but it was exactly right for Josh and I (and of course, Rocko). The house was built in 2002 (unlike the other house built in the 1960s, I think), so that made me feel better already. It was built on a slab, so we wouldn’t have to worry about water in a crawl space or basement. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a 2 car garage…exactly what we were hoping to get, but hadn’t been able to find in our price range. The house is on a corner in the neighborhood and the neighborhood is basically a giant cul-de-sac, so there is no through traffic, which is wonderful!! There is an open, empty field behind the house, so we don’t have to worry about more people or houses behind. I knew as soon as we left that we were putting an offer on it. Of course, it can never just be easy- we put an offer in on that Saturday knowing that offers were being accepted until that Sunday evening. The seller was elderly and had gone out of town to visit family, didn’t own a cell phone or a computer, and the weather ended up being very snowy/icy and unsafe to drive back in. But, we didn’t know any of this had happened! We didn’t hear anything all Sunday night or Monday morning. I worked myself up so much, I had a stomach and headache! Why do I do that?? I knew in my heart that everything would work out, that God was going to provide for us no matter what, that if this house fell through there had to be a better one out there for us. I finally reached out to our realtor when I still hadn’t heard anything around lunch on Monday. He explained that the seller had been out of town and unable to look over the offers, but was meeting with their realtor right then to make a decision. I was so anxious. Just a bit later, I received a text message that our offer was accepted and we got the house!!! I was SO relieved and excited! And so we began the process all over again of moving forward with getting a house- I had to compile previous bank statements, proof of home insurance, proof of earnest money being received, and proof of employment. There were also several phone calls back and forth with the bank about our different loan options and monthly payments dependent upon what our down payment would be. I finally got everything together and sent off to the bank for the mortgage department to begin their part of the process. And let me tell you, it seemed like that would never end. Just weeks and weeks of waiting after rushing around getting all that paperwork together. The weeks slowly went by though and we finally closed on the house in April. Closing on a house is a whole other kind of stress. There are pages upon pages upon pages for you to sign. Not to mention the large amount of money being taken out for the mortgage on the house. So. Much. Money. In the end, for us, it is worth every penny. We still had possession of our apartment until the end of June, but as soon as we had the keys to our house, we began cleaning and moving stuff over. We just couldn’t wait to be in our own space again. I spent an entire day at the house sweeping, vacuuming and shampooing the carpets, cleaning the toilets, sinks, and showers, wiping down the insides and outsides of the cabinets, and wiping down the appliances. For the next few days, I packed my car with as much as I could and stopped by after work to drop it off. Taking a smaller amount over at a time was great because I could unpack everything right away and put it in its place, I didn’t have to just throw a bunch of boxes wherever they would fit to worry about later. That illusion quickly came to an end that following weekend though. Josh’s parents came in to town to help us pack up a uHaul and move everything out. I really don’t know how we would have done it without them…although I can guarantee it would have taken at least twice as long and would have been much more stressful. We were both really grateful to have them both there helping. I was just throwing stuff in whatever box or container was available with no organization at all. Moving so quickly meant that we did exactly what I was trying to avoid haha- boxes stacked up randomly and furniture stored wherever it would fit. I am the type of person that really doesn’t like things not being in their place, so I had to rein myself in not to stress out too much. We had about two weeks before some of our friends were coming to stay with us, but that gave us an extra little push to actually unpack everything, organize, and settle in. When we did our original walk through during the open house, we knew we wanted to replace the flooring eventually, but we didn’t think there would be much other work for us to do right away. Once we got in, we realized we actually wanted to do quite a lot. Even though the house is “young” (17 years old), everything was original- it needed new appliances, new paint, new light fixtures and blinds (they were all covered in a dirty, dusty goo), and new curtains. Whew, isn’t buying a house so much fun?? Really, isn’t it?? Despite all the stress of house hunting, a bad inspection, closing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, painting, replacing things, cleaning the apartment, decorating, more painting and unpacking, rearranging, this house has been such a blessing for our little family. We’ve been able to share our house with many visiting friends and family (honestly, more people have been to/stayed at our new house than the house we lived in before for 3 years!) and now this adorable little house has become our home.

home is where the heart is

What a fun weekend we just had! Somehow everything lined up quite perfectly- Josh’s professors had a conference out of state resulting in his classes getting cancelled and him having a lighter load for schoolwork, some of our best friends were throwing their annual kick butt Halloween party, and our nephew had his baby dedication at church. It was a jam-packed weekend for sure!

The Halloween party is literally my favorite party of all time. This was our third year going and we wouldn’t have missed it for anything! Our friends have this great old barn that they’ve been fixing up the last few years and that’s where they host the party. They go allllll out, seriously it’s amazing! They hung up tons of lights all inside the barn, they had a black light, smoke machines, a disco ball, and decorated with skeletons and cobwebs and other Halloween-y things. They also had a campfire going and an awesome blow up dragon bounce house in front of the barn. My favorite part though was the two projector screens they hung on either side of the dance floor which showed the music videos to the songs the DJ was playing. We danced and danced and danced some more. Every once in awhile someone would shoot off a confetti cannon and everyone would cheer and dance even more. I’m not kidding, they kill it at the party throwing game! There was tons of food and even more alcohol for anyone at the party to enjoy. I loved seeing all our friends (it’s been a couple months since we’ve all been together) so much!

Sunday morning we got up bright and early…for real, why we can’t sleep in on a day that we didn’t set an alarm?! Our amazing friends let us crash at their house, even though they were out of town. I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have such an amazing group of friends in our lives. Seriously. Anyways, we were up earlier than we needed to be, so we had time to relax and enjoy a yummy breakfast at a local diner. After some yummy biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and a Greek omelette, we headed down to Seymour for Hudson’s baby dedication at church. It was really neat to see so many babies be dedicated into the church family. I hope that Josh and I can continue to be strong role models no matter how near or far away we are. We headed to Kena and Arron’s (my in-laws) house for lunch after church. I was so so happy to be able to spend time with Josh’s family and most especially to cuddle Hudson to pieces. Guys, he is just so dang cute! He has started crawling all over the place and can even walk with assistance! I tell you what, I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up and I can’t wait to see him continue to grow.

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Going home for the weekend was wonderful and filled my soul with so much love. But, let me tell you, it was so very hard to come back to Ohio after seeing so many friends and family. I would do it all again though. And no matter where we live, I know that home is where the heart is…with Josh and all our friends and all our family.  

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goodbye, house

This week has been way more emotional than I ever expected. I really didn’t think I would be so attached to a house, it’s just some We have finally finished moving everything out of our house and into our new condo/ my parents’ house. Yep, you read that right…we’ve moved into my parents’ house until Josh starts school and I can find a job in Columbus. My parents have been really wonderful to let us move in with them, but it’s been an adjustment for all of us. We all have of our own time-tables and routines and doubling the number of people and dogs living under one roof has been interesting/kind of uncomfortable/weird. It’s only (hopefully) for a little bit longer and it’s going to be a great lesson in patience and adjusting to uncontrollable situations. It’s funny how God always has a plan in place and a lesson to teach us.

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I was very excited to FINALLY make it back to CF Ripcord for the first time in 3 weeks and see all my friends! We had a fun workout with all the wall ball shots, rope climbs, pull-ups, and running you could ever want. It was actually a super hard workout, but it felt so good to be back with everybody I didn’t care!

Saturday afternoon was spent getting all our meal prep for the week done. We’ve kind of been on a crazy schedule with running back and forth to Ohio these past few weekends, so it was really great to actually just be back in a somewhat normal routine. After meal prepping, it was time for us to get ready for one of my best friend’s birthday dinner. We had decided that we were coming down to Louisville, but weren’t sure where to eat. I had been recommended to Mayan Cafe by my coworker and none of us had ever eaten there (although I have heard several good things about it), so we thought why not give it a try? Josh and I had the salbutes of the day for our starter. The daily salbutes was a flash fried corn tortilla with a black bean purée, chorizo, slaw, and a jalapeño cream sauce. I was hesitant about the purée because I really dislike any kind of beans, but the salbutes were surprisingly delicious! The tortilla was crispy crunchy and the jalapeño cream sauce had the perfect slow heat to complement the chorizo and black bean purée.

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For an entreé, I had the chilaquiles. They were the best dish of everything ordered, in my opinion. The chilaquiles were pieces of housemade tortillas smothered in a tomato casera sauce with chunks of potatoes, cactus, eggplant, cauliflower, and grilled poblano peppers, sprinkled with queso fresco, and drizzled with jalapeño sauce and sour cream. So. Good. I will definitely be ordering these again!

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Josh ordered the rabbit for his entreé. I’ve always heard mixed reviews about rabbit, but again I was pleasantly surprised that it was really tasty. The rabbit was oven-roasted with a pumpkin seed mole and grilled cactus over a beans and cheese stuffed tortilla.

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You know how we do while in Louisville…a trip just isn’t complete without stopping in to Louisville Cream for dessert! I had an ice cream cookie sandwich. I know, I know, the same thing I ALWAYS get. I really tried to switch it up, but it got me again. I went with a salted chocolate chip cookie, a Reese piece cookie, and the Vanilla 2-ways ice cream. Simple, yet soooo satisfying!

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Josh had the Haute Fudge sundae with the Bourbon Smoked Pecan ice cream. I might have snuck a couple bites of that thick fudgy gooey brownie with hot fudge. I just couldn’t help myself.

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We finished up the evening with a few of our Ripcord friends enjoying a backyard fireworks show and the yummiest s’mores (they were the yummiest because they had the most jumbo marshmallows and Hershey’s dark chocolate squares *drool*). It was such a fantastic end to our wonderful Saturday!

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summer’s last hurrah

I have been looking forward to this past weekend for awhile. Saturday was our 2nd annual boat trip (The Return of Boat Day) to Lake Monroe with a great group of friends from CF Ripcord. I guess I must have been so very excited about our boat day because I woke up around 5 am (blech)! I laid in bed for awhile until I finally decided to get up to finish making my fruit pizza. I sliced kiwi and diced strawberries, then arranged them on the iced sugar cookie to make it look like a watermelon. I even sprinkled some mini chocolate chips on top to look like seeds. It was adorable, if I do say so myself. And delicious- it was completely gone before we even left the dock!  

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Josh and I ate breakfast and lounged on the couch watching “Chopped” until it was time to pack up all the goodies for boat day. We met up at Jake’s house to carpool along with him, Tyra, and Ryan over to Paynetown Beach. It was such a beautiful morning- sunny with just a few clouds, a nice breeze with a temperature of around 75°F. Everyone loaded up their stuff on the boat while we were waiting for a few stragglers to make it. When everyone finally made it, we set sail for the cove next door to the marina. We found a nice quiet spot, started up our music, and had ourselves the best of times.

We stuffed our faces with allll the food- taco dip, spinach dip, strawberry salsa, monster cookies, chocolate chip cookies, lemon butter cookies, tacos, chips, pretzels, banana bread, lemon poppy seed muffins, sushi, etc (I literally gained 5 lbs from everything I ate, lol ooooppppsss), quenched our thirst with ice cold beer and cocktails, and danced our booties off to the music. Tyra (bless her heart) even tried to give us a twerking clinic which ended up being a lot of jerky hip movements and lots of trying not to fall over from laughing so much.

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There’s nothing like being out on the water with the wind blowing through your hair, a drink in your hand, dancing with some of the best people and laughing like you don’t have a care in the world. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.

When we got home, Josh made us up a batch of blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes (I know, I know, as if we hadn’t eaten enough on the boat). We didn’t have any buttermilk, so he substituted almond milk. I have to say, they were not what I was expecting, but they turned out quite delicious.

Guys, it might have been a bad idea for me to eat all that I did on Saturday. I had so much sugar and way more calories than I would normally eat in the span of a couple days that I was wide awake at 3 am Sunday morning. So was Josh. It was the worst. I don’t think I regret it though. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite that I ate and every drink that I drank on the boat. And it made me very thankful to have our normal meals prepped and ready to start eating again on Sunday. It’s all about that balance and next time I’ll try to remember to enjoy the food, but maybe in smaller portions hahaha.

I was bound and determined to be productive if I was going to be up so early, so I made up a pot of veggie chili and portioned out all our meat and veggies for the week. I didn’t really have anything else productive to do after that, so I decided to join Josh on the couch to watch “Good Bones” on HGTV. “Good Bones” is such a cute show! It’s about a mother and daughter in Indianapolis who buy really terrible houses, (usually) completely gut them, and remodel/renovate them into the cutest houses ever. It is so neat to see them take a house down to the studs and build it up again.

I thankfully was able to get a short nap in before breakfast or else I would have been extremely grumpy I think. Josh and I decided after breakfast that we didn’t want to sit around in the house all day, so we went to Home Depot to buy a couple boards to make a blanket ladder. We already had the pieces that would be used for the rungs, so we just had to buy the side pieces. The side pieces came in the size we needed, but we had to run over to my parents’ house to cut the rungs. It was nice to spend some time sitting out on the deck visiting with them in the sunshine while Rocko and Ariel ran around the yard. We got the rungs cut and went home so I could sand and stain the pieces. After I finished my part, we ate lunch and drove up to Columbus to do a little antique shopping. Our first stop was at Happy Nest. I have heard several people say how adorable this shop is and they were right! They had everything you could think of needing for decorating a house- furniture, serving trays, corbels, old books, plants, anything your heart could desire to attain the perfect farmhouse decor. We ended up finding a wood/metal serving tray, a potted fake fern, a cotton wreath, and a decorative white metal orb. Our next stop was another antique store called Picker’s Paradise. There was so much to walk around and see. Our special finds from there were a small white lantern and a pair of distressed white corbels. After all the shopping, we went to see “Logan Lucky” at AMC. Neither of us had heard anything about this movie, but Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB both gave it high ratings, so we thought why not give it a try. I’m really happy we went to see it even though it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was very well-written, witty, and kept me interested the whole time. After the movies, we stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy a new food scale and then we had to stop at Target…really, a weekend trip to Columbus just doesn’t seem complete without a Target visit. They recently released new clothing lines and Josh wanted to check it out. He found a great hunter green fall jacket and I ended up with a pair of black Chelsea boots. With all our shopping done, I couldn’t wait to get home so that Josh could finish our blanket ladder and I could put up all our new decorations. I think we still need a few more pieces for our shelves, but the coffee table decorations and the blanket ladder turned out just great. I’m so happy with how our little house is becoming our home. Such a successful day!  

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