Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It was bound to happen...

Finally this emotional roller coaster that has been controlling my life, brought me to tears.  Not the boogery kind or anything, just the gentle ones that come without much warning, because if they didn't your throat would explode from that lump gathering there.  For me, house hunting is an incredible emotional thing, especially now that we will be purchasing our home.  The home where our family will grow, at least for a little while.  

I have held off on really doing much to the place we live because, first of all, we don't own it, and now I know we wont be here much longer.  Now that we are in the throws of our home search, I envision truly creating my nest.  The warm and welcoming place that is ours to be together in, and share with the ones we love.  

I was provoked to tears, but I did it to myself.  I have been thinking of how I will want to decorate our new home, even without knowing what it looks like yet.  I have been thinking about doing some accent walls with wallpaper, mostly because I have been watching A LOT of HGTV lately.  In perusing, I came across some wall decals, that I have also been really fond of.  I was thinking of one for Evan's room, but then came across this one...

That's what it's all about folks.  This is what my heart and mind crave, and what the end of this process means to me.  Perhaps a little sappy, but I don't think there could be a way to more accurately portray my emotions.

We have a showing this evening that I am very hopeful for, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that we can buy a wall (within a home, of course) to put this lovely quote on.  Wish us luck! 

In case you adore these decals as much as I do, here is a link for the shop that contains this little gem.  
Wordy Bird Studios

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tipping Trouble

Last Friday was Mike and my two year wedding anniversary.  He had to work all day until nine, so we decided to celebrate by going out to dinner on Saturday.  My mother in law watched Evan and we set out nice and early to avoid the crowds.  We headed to our favorite restaurant and sat in the lounge area.  Our waitress came over, an older woman who was clearly a bit quirky.

Our night progressed like this...  When we got our drinks we had to flag her down for straws, When we got our appetizer we had to flag her down for silverware.  And then when we got our meals, we tried for several minutes to get her attention before Mike got up and had to ask another waitress for Salt, Pepper and bread.  Lastly, when we ordered dessert to-go, the waitress asked Mike if he wanted another cocktail while we waited for it, to which he agreed.  We were then presented with our bill, which we paid but never received the drink.  I noticed the bartender glancing in our direction and he then met Mike half way to our table with his drink, which he then had no time to consume in an enjoyable manner.

So here's the thing.  I worked as a server and bartender for five years.  I take tipping pretty seriously.  My minimum has always been 20 percent.  That's right, 20 percent for mediocre service.  I guess, I'm getting over it.  Maybe it's because I was so excited to be going out for this special occasion, to our favorite restaurant, child-free.  Or maybe I've just had enough of paying for nothing.  Whatever the reason, I convinced Mike to leave a $12 tip on an $85 tab, for the record he wanted to leave $5.  I felt wretched about it though, and it haunted me for a while.  I hated that part.  Worst of all, I wonder if this waitress even realized why this happened, or if she thought we were uneducated in the ways of tipping, like we were just jerks that stiffed her, or paid too much for dinner and couldn't afford a decent tip.  


I began wondering if maybe in the future if I am expecting to have a good experience dining out, perhaps I will mention it up front, but that's sure to get some spit or worse in my food I'm sure. For now, I'm feeling a little disheartened at the idea and we'll probably stick to my wonderful homemade meals, and occasional take-out for a while. 

What's your take on tipping?  What do you do when you receive poor service at a restaurant?  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

House Hunting

When we decided it was time for me to leave my job and stay home with Evan, we also decided that we would put off searching for a new home.  Understandably, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to make the money work, and since we pay reasonable rent it would be silly to go changing that too.

A few weeks ago my husband changed his mind.  He went so far as to call a different mortgage broker than we had been dealing with before, to get pre-approved for a multi-family property.  I wasn't about to complain about him taking that initiative.  His thinking is good in this situation.  We can pay the same or less than we do now, and have the ability to gain equity and eventually rent out the whole building and buy a single family dwelling.

We quickly realized that it was very unlikely that we would be able to purchase in our desired town, because the availability of properties is so low.  We expanded our search to a city we both wanted to stay out of, but is flooded with property.  We set up a few appointments and ended up on our first time out only getting to see two.

The first one looked pretty cute from the photos although it was small.

Ideally, we wouldn't have our neighbor above us since I know I will get annoyed if I can hear them all the time, but we didn't want to be too closed minded.  It became clear upon walking into the downstairs apartment that we wouldn't be living there anytime soon.  It reeked of cat urine, and it was literally so dark in there that I didn't bother taking pictures.  Every window was covered in multiple layers of curtains and there was far too much stuff in there to be normal.  I reached up to the ceiling fan in the kitchen because it seemed to be the way to turn the light on, but was greeted with dust and slime on the cord.  Not a great start.  The upstairs apartment was identical, but clean and normal looking, but still just too small for us. Mind you this house was listed close to two hundred thousand dollars, so I was a little surprised by the grossness factor.

House number two that day was located in our desired town

It was really cute and I could see us living there.  The owners unit takes up the second and third floor and they kept it up very well.  But this was the yard

Not the best for little ones.

Then, this past weekend we went to see one more.

Looks nice, but it was super awkward.  The layout was terrible and the in-law apartment was unrentable, legally and otherwise.  The best part about it was the Dogwood tree in the double lot yard.  So that one was out too.  

The rest of what is on the market either does not fit out needs or is in a terrible area, so we are now waiting. Sitting around waiting for more houses to come up for sale.  

The worst part about buying in this specific market is that we could potentially be competing with investors who want to scoop up the very properties that we want to buy and have the money to do it more easily than we do. So there is pressure to be really on top of things too.  Good thing that's my forte.  I have gotten both the place we current live and the last place by being super persistent and on top of things, so this could work in our favor.  I'm up for the challenge, just keeping my fingers crossed that the right place comes along quickly, cause I also happen to be a little impatient!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Easing Back In

Oh my dear blog.  How I miss you.  Sometimes. 

You may have noticed, I haven't been around much.  In all honesty it was feeling like a bit of a chore to write.  My absence is definitely not caused by lack of things to talk about, because that's not the case at all.  I thought I would have so much time to blog when I left my job, but my days are just as full now at home with Evan.  I'm also reverting to napping as often as I can when he naps too.  Mostly because my night time sleep habits are pitiful at best.  

A few days of not coming around to writing turned into weeks.  Then, I though, what the heck would I write about after all this time?? How can I make it seem like I've been here all along.  Well, I can't.  And that's okay. I took a bit of a break and I think I deserved it.  After all, last time I checked, nobody pays me to come here.  So I'll do what I want =)

I think I'm ready to dive back in because I'm realizing how much I've missed it.  There is also talk of others that missing read my writing, and that makes me smile. Not that you miss it, that you care.  

Tomorrow is my last day of class.  I get to present a Marketing Research project that I worked on with a team of four of my classmates that we did on my business, which is kind of neat.  At some point this week I will have to take my last exam for my Probability and Statistics class, and then school will be out.... Forever!  Well, maybe not.  I really enjoy it, and if I do say so myself, I'm quite good at it.  But for the time being anyway, this lovely little family of mine is my only priority.  That, and house hunting...more on that later.  


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