If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

~ Lewis Caroll

Friday, April 16, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Today my coworkers and managers took me out to a celebration lunch.

I've been at my current job for one year now! It's hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly, but it also seems like ages ago when I was still in college living the easy life . . . going to class in my jammies, waiting tables to make enough money to go out on Thursday night, and enjoying every minute of it. Now it's been 7 years since college, and 10 since high school. Man, time passes before you know it.

I must say, though, that my one year anniversary may seem trivial, but as someone who has faced unemployment (albeit self-inflicted), one year at any job is an accomplishment these days. More importantly, my job no longer makes me want to take up drinking alone in the dark or jump across the border and escape all of my debt in the land of no-extradition. I am actually quite satisfied with my life. Finally! Things are definitely looking up in every direction.

I will be marrying my sweetie in August; I don't believe in soul mates or ever after, but I think we make a pretty good pair. Our faults balance out and we make each other laugh a lot, which is the most important thing.

I just purchased a home! Yay. Closing day is next Friday, so I have jumped that hurdle unscathed. It's another accomplishment I'm quite proud of.

We adopted a new puppy. She is our baby. Literally. I now know what parents of human babies go through, but I have the luxury of crate training.

I've discovered that I don't love teaching as much as I thought I would. I think I will try again another time, but for now it's an epiphony I can live with.

This one year anniversary marks for me a true "I'm an adult!" moment. For the first time in my life, I feel like an accomplished, competent, sympathetic, optimistic, nurturing woman. These traits are things that I believe you have to earn in life. So today I will celebrate adulthood, just 11 days before my 28th birthday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Blogging Beginner

Book blogging. I've been tossing the idea around. I'm sure there are hundreds of bloggers out there who write book reviews, raves, rants, etc. Yet, I've never read one. In order to take on this task, I suppose I should research what's available and what's needed in order to find my niche in the "specialty" blogging world. I think giving an honest opinion of the books I read would help me really remember what I read and actually allow me to "get something out of it," as the saying goes. Also, I would be pushed outside of my comfort zone. Don't get me wrong, I love all genres, but I tend to latch on to one for months or years on end. I've always wanted to re-read all those "classics" from my Master's courses that I plowed through in order to pass the class or pick up some good autobiographies from the likes of fascinating people or even poetry collections. If I take on this challenge, I will revamp my page and devote it strictly to book reviewing. Don't worry--I won't be uppity and snooty like some big-time reviews can be. I just want to read what is interesting, funny, enlightening, and (on occasion) challenging. Plus my Kindle will really get a workout!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Step Closer

On Monday night we found out our offer was accepted! This is great news--our seller is paying closing, so we definitely made the best possible offer. Today we had our inspection which made me a bit nervous since we are buying a 1930 cottage. However, to my delight, the contractor did an excellent job in his restoration/renovation. There were just a few minor things that the inspector noted, but the seller is having them fixed ASAP. You gotta love early 20th century home construction--it's just built to last.

We discovered some neat original items to the house while we were checking out the "basement." They used to heat the home with coal, and down by the old brick coal burner (not sure of the proper name), is a set of instructions original to the home on how to use the coal furnace. The original staircase, well what's left of it, is also under the house. I'm excited to have these bits of history remain. Plus the seller provided us with before, during, and after pictures of his work, so we can always know what the original property looked like. So much of the original charm remains, but with kick-ass modern touches like ceiling speakers for our stereo, big closets, beautiful dark laminate hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances.

I have to say, my dream home is almost a reality, and it's never felt so good to be this much in debt!
One more view! That's our electric fireplace. The top windows are super cute original (sealed now, just for show). Great floors with easy cleaning! Plus it's already wired for our T.V. to hang over that mantle.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Our house . . .

is in the middle of our street." Gotta love that song by Madness. Hopefully this will be our house very soon!
Today we extended our official offer and signed what could be our official contract. My realtor is confident that we are making the best possible offer, and the seller would be silly to not accept. I'm hoping that is definitely the case. If not, however, there are other fish in the sea. Unfortunately, our sea is pretty small.

I discovered that I despise subdivisions. Let me clarify, I despise all of the subdivisions in Nashville within my budget. They are junky, unkempt, and every house has at least five cars parked in the driveway or on the lawn at all times. Ugh, that is not what I want to look at every day.

My cute bungalow/cottage home, on the other hand, is supposed to be on a crowded street with lots of people. That's part of the charm of living in a historic neighborhood. I can deal with those who soon shall be my neighbors. I plan on baking a lot of cookies!

Hopefully, we will hear back from the seller today. I'll post about what happens next!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Being a Grownup Feels Like

I finally feel like a true grownup. I am entering the world of home ownership, and it's scary as hell.

But it's also really satisfying.

I, with my own money and my own credit score, am filling out mortgage applications, taking a "first time home buyer" class, saving for an inspection, and have my very own real estate power team (I being the least powerful member). Because of all the preparation, I'm learning so much about how finance works. No wonder our country is in such a mess! This stuff isn't for the faint of heart or pocketbook. Yet, somehow, I am eligible to enter this world. And I think it rocks!

I know that I am on the verge of adulthood, because closet space and waterproofed foundations are more important than a "super cute" something or other. Although I do want something to be super cute. Who doesn't?

I'm in love with the Craftsman style bungalows and cottages. Nashville is full of remodeled older homes that have fabulous character and leave plenty of room for personalization. I'm not scared to paint or yank up carpet--bring on the DIY.

Tomorrow I'm going to start physically looking at and in the houses I've picked with my realtor. Hopefully one will call my name and say, "I'm your home! Please close on my before the end of April, so you will get your $8,000!" Or something like that.

I'll keep everyone abreast of my progress!

Monday, March 15, 2010

With the New Day Comes New Strength --Eleanor Roosevelt

I have to wonder why when things seem to go wrong, they go wrong in bulk. Personally, I have nothing to complain about, yet I manage to find some "life's not fair" moment every day as of late. It's just one of those life phases where I spend my time anticpating what is to come and being indifferent towards the present. It's the here and now that I'm annoyed with--work, teaching, renting, spending--it all gets to be too much sometimes. Then I turn into a big whiner and annoy everybody, including myself.

However, even though my problems are petty and few, I myst say that I take inspiration from my friends who, at times, carry insurmountable weight on their delicate shoulders.

Pregnancy ups and downs, new motherhood worries, stress over unknown futures, scary illnesses of loved ones, deteriorated friendships, newfound faith, etc.

All of these burdens are carried by a variety of my friends, my women friends. I have to say that as a gender, we are amazingly resilient. It's almost as though we are given no other option than to be strong so that those around us don't fall apart. Throughout history this has proven to be the case, but it takes witnessing it personally by those women we love to truly be inspired. These women, these friends, make me strive for happiness and satisfaction in my own life by remaining strong and faithful in theirs.

To all women out there dealing with the impossible--take faith in knowing that you are not alone. Even the smallest of problems is worthy of your time and worry. Sometimes those are the hardest to get through because we think they should be insignificant. Nothing that makes us stronger is insignificant--these small trials and tribulations are strength training for the soul.

When the shit hits the fan we have our umbrellas ready.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I've Learned from Wedding Blogs

The number one thing I've learned about from subscribing to wedding blogs, is the importance of an "inspiration board." An inspiration board is a collage of photos--dresses, flowers, cakes, decorations, etc.--that illustrate how well a color scheme works. Thus, the inspiration board inspires brides to choose a color scheme, and possibly, other design decisions.

I have perused the blogs until I felt comfortable enough to create my very own board! Well, mine is actually an inspiration strip (it takes a lot more effort than one would think). I am quite pleased with the result, and I believe it conveys the color scheme quite effectively.

I've started to collect DIY projects and ideas. I found some great buys at TJ Maxx that were on clearance in the home decor department. I just wish it was closer to August, so I could start putting things together. I'm still trying to decide what to do about flowers! They are just too damn expensive. I'd rather spend my money on something else. Maybe wild flowers will work for the ceremony, and I can DIY some non-floral centerpieces for the reception.

Basically, I can't wait to do more! Let me know if my board is inspiring!