Friday, December 30, 2011

Mini Update

So I haven't posted since we moved in October.  I had every intention of posting pictures of the progress and all the good stuff but it has been CRAZY busy!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be the last day of 2011! What a crazy and exciting year it has been.  We had a one year wedding anniversary, celebrated job promotion, a master's degree and the purchase of our very first home!

We have so much to be thankful for this year and so much to look forward to in 2012.  My biggest goal is to post more here....as well as many other things!

I hope you have all had a fantastic 2011....here's a belated Merry Christmas:



See you in 2012!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homeowners

So we bought a house!  I have been waiting to post about this because I was so afraid to jinx it, but now that the papers are signed and the boxes are packed...I can now share it with the world (or at least the internet)

We spent the entire summer searching for a house.  We saw a lot of cute-ish ones and we saw plenty of TERRIBLE ones, but we just weren't finding THE one.  Then we found one that was HUGE and needed a lot of work, but had so much CHARM.

We started the process of researching whether we could get a rehab loan and were ready to make a bid...

...too late!

Someone else got to it first.  I was SUUUUUPER bummed but I kept trying to tell myself that it just wasn't meant to be and it really wasn't in our ideal location...I was still a bit bummed.

So we saw a few more TERRIBLE ones and I was getting pretty discouraged.  We were really hoping to find one over the summer and it was almost time for me to go back to school - when were we going to have time to keep looking?

Then a cute little house popped up in our listings.  The pictures made it seem really cute and it was in a more rural community - I wasn't holding my breath, but we went to look at it about 3 days before I went back to work.

And it was adorable!  It is a super old colonial, but the people living in it did a lot of updating and it looked like it had been so loved...we were falling in love.  We put in a bid - had a few counter offers and were finally excepted at a decent price that ended up lower than the highest price we were willing to go!

Then all the paperwork started - and there was sooooo much of it to collect and to send back and forth.  Thank goodness the husband is the organized one - he knew where to find all the crazy paperwork we needed.  And there was a lot of waiting.  I was so afraid the mortgage company was going to call one day and say that they decided they didn't want to give us the money.

But we got the money and we closed on the house Monday!

Here I am on the porch on the day it officially became OURS

Since then we have started moving boxes in and decided to take down the wallpaper in the bedroom which is its own story which I will share another time!

We are hoping to be moved in completely by the last weekend of October and then the house will really feel like ours.  A home of our very own!  I still can't believe it!

More stories to come but yea HOUSE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple

Apple computers are all I have ever known and loved.  I have been a Mac user for as long as I can remember...and still love them...

Steve Jobs passed away today.  Thank you Steve for helping me to fall in love with your computers and continue to love your computers and all the advancements in technology you have made.

You will be missed...but you have left an amazing legacy.

Thank you for your dedication to all that you created - you made the world a smarter place.




Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day for Remembrance

It is hard to believe it has been ten years since September 11, 2001.  I look back on that day and can see how much my life and the world changed that day.

I was a freshmen in college.  I had been in my new dorm and away from home for barely a week.  Everything was new.  Classes were challenging, meeting new people was even more difficult and I was working so hard to keep myself afloat.  Everything little thing seemed SO important and I was so afraid to step in the wrong direction.

The morning of Sept. 11th, I was sitting in my dorm room with the lights still off (my roommate was asleep).  There was the glow of my computer screen as I worked on my first writing assignment for my english class.  The room was silent....then I heard a girl from our section running down the hallway, yelling, to see if anyone was awake...

I opened my door to see what was wrong and the girl came bursting into my room saying that a plane had crashed into a building in New York.  I was confused and concerned and we quickly turned on the little TV in my room.  My roommate awoke to the noise and looked to see what was going on and it was then that we saw the second plane crash into the towers on television.  I don't remember exactly what happened after that...I remember crying and trying to get a hold of my parents - everything was such a blur...

The campus was quiet that day...everyone was glued to either their TV's in their dorm rooms or the projection screens that the college had set up for everyone to watch...the world had changed...

Suddenly, all the little things that seemed to matter so much to me mere hours ago seemed so insignificant...why was I worried about such small things when just like that your life can change, you can lose the ones you love at the hands of such hatred.

At the time, it really was hard to see the change in me, but looking back now I know that many of my choices these past ten years have been shaped by that moment...even subconsciously.

I became a teacher.

I never wanted to be a teacher.  I vowed I never would be!  However, throughout that first year of college as a graphic design major, something changed in me.  I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted to help people in a more powerful way than I thought I could through graphic design.  I needed to help others find their passion and a way to find good in the world, even when it seems so surrounded by hate.

I am a teacher.

And I am never looking back.  I try everyday to make a difference - I hope I do...there are days that I am unsure - but their are better days when I feel like the world is changing...even if I can be the tiniest part of that I know I am making a difference.

I will never forget those that lost their lives through the act of hate and also those who lost their lives to save others.  We've had a rough ten years that have not been without ups and downs, but there are still people working to make a change.  To make this world a better place and to fufill the legacy that far too many people left behind.

I hope I'm helping...and I'm not giving up...

Never forget, be grateful for the life we are given and look forward to the future we can make together.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

It was a big weekend! I went back to work this past week and then spent the weekend driving out to my parent's place to see all of my family that came up from Kentucky.

It was so wonderful to see everyone. I have not seen any of them in a think nearly eight years which is waaaaaaaaaay too long. During two of my summers in college I lived with one of my aunts down in Kentucky for an intership and I have such fond memories of staying down there with all of them...it's a bit sad that it has been soooo long since I have seen them in person again.

Life gets crazy and plane tickets get more and more expensive, but seeing all of them this past weekend made me want to start saving now so we can do down and visit all of them again SOON!

This weekend was also the first time my husband met this side of my family! He has heard so much about all of them and FINALLY he was able to meet them all.

So along with fabulous family and fabulous food, we also had some DANCING! My Grandma is a hula dancer and also did some traditional Japanese dances for all of us.

Here is a pic my step-brother took of Grandma dancing:



She also taught us all quite a few hula dances and we had a little performance! I am not the most coordinated, and I'm sure once I watch the video I will see how "awesome" my dancing was - heehee. Once I get a hold of some pictures, I will share them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

End of Summer

It is here again - the end of summer. I swear it goes by faster and faster each year. And this time next week I will be getting myself together to go back to work.

It's bittersweet....I love having the summer off. Spending more time with my family and friends is so very nice, but at the same time, by around this time, I am ready to get back into the routine of work everyday.

Plus I have some new ideas for projects that I want to try with my students this year!

We spent a lot of time house hunting this summer and have yet to find a place we really really love. There was one, but we weren't fast enough and someone else got to it first. I'm trying to stay optimistic that among all the awful houses we have seen, there is one out there meant for us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cape Cod




It's finally here! Tomorrow my sister and I are off for our annual sister vacation! This will be our 4th summer going and I'm so excited.

We do have a few more visitors than the first couple summers, but we feel the more the merrier. We have some friends stopping by half way through the week and my husband will be joining us for a bit as well...but it is still a sister vacation!

It's all about us! My sister and I are two very different individuals but together we just work - I don't know how to describe our connection, but she is truly my very best friend and I look forward to this trip pretty much the day after we get back from the previous one.

There will be tons of sun, sand, beach, and food! As well as some sight seeing and visiting several places that have become true favorites.

There will be a stop at my favorite Salt Water Taffy place...



As well as this awesome restaurant:



And this lovely vineyard:


As well as many other things that should be oh so wonderful! Looks to be a good week for the beach and a lovely time on the CAAAAAAPPPPPPEEEE!

Can you tell I'm a bit excited?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

more houses

...and more places to add to the list of homes we will not be living in. We are creating a pretty fabulous list of all the things we don't like. Hopefully we will find a place that have more likes sooooon.

On a side note, when you decide to "flip" a home, don't half ass it - Laying down new floors and white washing the walls, but clearly leaving the cracked old windows intact and hiding old rotted cabinets behind "new-ish" doors does not make one a good house "flipper."

.....also having a sump-pump is great, but it works better if actually installed and running ;)

That's all for today!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Acupuncture

I have a fear of needles. I hate it. They never used to bother me, but I gave blood once in high school and nearly passed out. They wouldn't let me leave the table because I was pretty green...ever since then I get kind of queasy when it comes to shots. Usually with a shot I can psych myself up and get through it, but when I have to have blood work done, it becomes more difficult.

I get myself all ready for it, talking myself down and I get through the blood drawing part. Then once it is done, everything gets a bit shaky and I get those lovely cold sweats and fuzzy vision. It doesn't usually last very long and I always warn the nurse, but I still get so embarrassed by it. I feel like deep down I should be able to get through it.

Which leads me to yesterday. My mom has been going to acupuncture for several years now and it has made a world of difference for her. She has taken my step-dad, sister and brother there and it has helped them as well. She has been trying to get me to go for a long time now...

But those needles - just thinking about them freaks me out and makes me weepy! I just couldn't imagine laying there with needles all over my body!!!

I have had some health issues my own that have been an issue for quite a while and I haven't been able to make it better. I do not want to take additional meds so FINALLY after much convincing, I agreed to try acupuncture with my mom by my side.

"I'm gonna cry" (she said she was okay with that)
"I might throw up on you" (she said she was okay with that too - my mom REALLY loves me)

So off we went. I laid down on the table, talked with the acupuncture woman (the acupuncturist?) and she finally put the first needle in...

...

I flinched, but then was okay. She put a few more in, and then a few more...

I kept waiting for it to hurt or make me light headed, but neither thing happened. I did cry - but only a little and then I was able to even *gasp* relax a bit. I even wanted to laugh a bit - I was so sure that it was going to be terrible I couldn't help laughing at how much easier it was than I ever could have imagined.

After it was over, they removed the needles (which also did not hurt), my mom gave me a glass of water and a hug and I scheduled another appointment later this week which I am going to be totally brave for and go all by myself!

So far the results have been good...I will post how I feel as time progresses.

So.....thanks MOM! I know it took me forever to get there, and I know you gave me your appointment...you are the bestest! I Love YOU!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Credit Scores and House hunting

Money is a pain. And to make matters worse you also get rated on how well you spend your money - enter the credit score. I recently got my credit score from my bank as a result of looking to see what I could be pre-qualified for for a mortgage. You hold your breathe when opening the credit score...I mean, I like to think that I am responsible with my money and I pay my bills on time....but did I do something wrong that will make my credit score soooooo bad that no one will want to give us a loan ever?????

I know that sounds dramatic, and in the end it really wasn't. My score isn't terrible, it's actually pretty decent. Free and clear right? Um, then we get to talk about debt ratio....like how much am I worth vs how much I owe. That is not so much fun - realizing how much you really are worth in the eyes of your bank.

I am apparently worth something....but not too too much

But the house hunt continues - I started contacting people to set up some showings. Many of the houses I was looking at already have offers, but I am not giving up! The right house will come along...it will! Another test in patience....but I can do it....I hope...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zuuuuuuumba!

I don't pretend to be coordinated, but a couple weeks ago my friend posted a Groupon for 10 Zumba lessons for only $20! I have been less than diligent at going to the gym lately and I wanted to use this summer as a chance to get back into the swing of it and get in shape (and lose a few lbs would be nice too ;))

So I got the Groupon and this morning, my first official morning of my summer vacation, I got a hold of my friend to see if there was a class today. There was at 5:30. So I picked her up, swallowed my pride and went for it.

It was a blast - I was a mess - but it was a blast. The music was great and the dancing/working out was a lot of fun. I felt like most of the time I was going in the wrong direction or going up when I should have been going down, but I was not alone and everyone was laughing and keeping up with the instructor as best they could!

My friend and I left exhausted but also excited and are planning to go again either tomorrow or friday depending on when the class was being held. After my ten classes are done, I will probably go back to doing Zumba at my gym and hopefully on a more regular basis - it it waaaaaay more fun than the treadmill and works waaaaaaay more muscles!

So yeah Zumba - if you are looking for something new, check it out!

Stay motivated!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer is Here!

I know summer technically started already, but today was my last day of school for the year so for me, summer begins today! It has been quite the school year - if I had been more proactive, I could have shared all the crazy and interesting stories of the year here....oops! Things to look forward to next year.

For now, all I can really discuss is how happy I am that summer is finally here! We had far too many snow days this year so the school year went so so so SO late!

Now it's time to look forward to all my summer plans! I have two big ones!

First: House Hunting! I plan to go to the bank tomorrow to start figuring out all the loan stuff and then we are off and running, hopefully seeing several houses each week and even more hopefully finding our new HOME! I know it is going to be hard and stressful, but I am so ready to find a house to make our own! And yes, I am also ready for all the "fun" things involved in home-ownership including mowing the lawn, fixing leaks, finding unexpected problems that need solutions...It's gonna be great!

Second: Cape Cod! My sister and I go every summer and this year is no exception. We have been sharing links to all the places we look forward to visiting again and again on facebook and I am just getting more and more excited! It will be so nice to get away and have some beach time!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, Jack!


I like to share pictures and although I plan on sharing lots of fun Cape Cod things, I wanted to share this CUTENESS with you first! He greets me every day when I get home from work, makes me think that he really wants to be loved today, and then runs from me and goes to relax on his favorite chair (see above)

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

YUM!

If your guess was, What is Red Robin, then you are correct!


The school I work at is having a fundraiser at Red Robin where they will get a percentage of all sales, and I wanted to show my support. I messaged my friend that is up from Texas to see if she wanted to come with my husband and I for some deliciousness. That was yesterday! Then I realized that the fundraiser was not this evening, but is actually Thursday evening....ooops.

I had already promised burgers so we still went and had a lovely time. My friend Biffer and I never lack at having something to talk about and I've really missed her. Plus she is my workout buddy and we will be attempting to take a bunch of Zumba classes this summer....to sweat off all the Red Robin we are eating.


Oh! She also likes to bedazzle my nails while at Red Robin - which makes the whole experience that much fancier!


So much for supporting my school....maybe I'll order something to go Thursday...THEN go to Zumba waaaaaay more than I planned to this summer.

YUM

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Car Shopping with My Sister

My sister has had a tough couple weeks. On June 1st here in Massachusetts we had a tornado that caused terrible destruction in our area. My sister's work was hit. She is ok, but her car was damaged in the process...enough that it had to be totaled. So now she has to buy a car when she was not expecting to - stressful!

Today was the day to car shop. Myself, my mom and my sister went out in search of a new spiffy car for my sister! We met some interesting characters at various dealerships...it was a loooooong day. We finally found ourselves at the Mazda dealership and my sister fell in love with this little beauty:



In this color! She took it for a test drive and LOVED it! Then we got to negotiate and thank goodness for our mom! She doesn't take any crap and made sure that my sister got the best deal. She was a bit scary, but in that awesome "don't mess with the mother" way.

She picks the car up on Monday and I am so excited for her. I hope she loves it as much as I love my lil Honda! Here's to many great new memories in her new little car. Rest in Peace Rav 4 - you were there when she needed you the most....

...zoom zoom zoom

Rules of Buttons

Phew! I planned on posting this yesterday, but spent most of the evening trying to get this blog reset with the correct email and all that jazz and it took WAY MORE work than I had anticipated!

But it all seems to be set now...so here is my bit on buttons.

I have these shorts from Land's End:


Mine are Navy Blue and I LOVE them!

The weird thing about them though is that the button is on the opposite side of every other pair of pants I own. Not a huge issue, but WHY? I remember hearing 'rules' about the buttons being on a certain side for men and women, but I don't actually know which is which. Just a pondering on a Saturday...

Happy reading!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Painting for Babies

So I'm pretty sure that I have not posted in at least a year. Being it is the last day of my February vacation, I thought maybe it was time to try posting again.

Today I want to share the fun I had painting over this vacation. A friend of mine is having a baby in April and she wanted to paint her nursery in a "Classic Winnie the Pooh" theme. We spent all of President's Day Weekend painting and it came out beautifully! Thank goodness we both painted the room because I would probably still be there painting if I was still working on it alone. I've linked a video which gives a tour of the room below!

It was so nice to spend those days listening to music and PAINTING. I just don't get to paint enough anymore and I really do enjoy it. It would be great to develop this nursery painting/mural painting thing into a side job, but I definitely need to work out pricing first. It could be really fun. Maybe I can work it out in time to do some work this summer.

Those are my thoughts at the moment. Hopefully I will post again before 2012!

video