Monthly Archives: February 2016

There and (Almost) Back Again

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Note to home-buyers: Always look at the basement first.

You know how I said that first house was a total flop? So T and I came up with a different plan for the second house that we decided to view. We walked to the basement immediately, not even glancing much at the other rooms as we passed through them to get to the basement stairs.

When we got down there, we realized that the basement was in pretty good condition considering the age of the house. It was clear they didn’t have water problems because they had clothes and toys and all kinds of things laying on the floor. (Bonus: People have actually lived in this house recently and did a great job of giving us a description of any issues they may have had since moving in.)

From there the rest was history. Well, sort of…

In case you don’t live in this area, I might as well update you on the situation from last night. It was extremely cold. It had snowed the day before, and the sun was no longer out by the time we arrived to look at the house. So… the key box froze shut. We almost had to go home sight unseen just because we couldn’t get into the house. But luckily, I was with two very stubborn people who helped to get the box opened just enough that we could wiggle the key out. Thanks to both of them for the help!

We walked through the rest of the house. I’m not sure what T was feeling, but I was completely in awe. The house reminded me so much of the one that I currently live in. It had the same number of rooms (minus a half bath), had a similar color scheme, and felt… right.

I know I should not be putting so much feeling into this house at this point in the process, but I cannot help but hope that it will be the one T finally moves into. This just feels like the right house to me. Maybe it won’t be, maybe it will be. I guess we will find out…

Next step: Pre-approval and giving an offer! Wish us luck.

~B

Step Two (And three, and four, and more…)

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Step Two (And three, and four, and more…)

This weekend has been entertaining to say the least. T and I did go to see a house yesterday morning, though it was super awkward at first. We showed up before our realtor and there were already other vehicles in the parking lot. At first I thought a bunch of people would be joining us for some unknown reason, but then I realized that they were a realtor and another young couple, also being shown the house. I guess we showed up too early? Oops…

In any case, I was super hopeful about the house once we got there. A super ugly trellis had already been torn down, which would make our lives easier in the end. The interior was also cleaner and roomier than I had originally imagined. Though simple painting, re-flooring, and other minor jobs would need to be done, we were starting to see the positives of this cute and manageable house.

Until we got to the basement…

Let’s say when we went down the stairs, it sort of went downhill from there. The entire foundation was cracked the entire way around the house. We could look with our bare eyes and see the dirt peeking through the other side of the cement walls. So, let’s just say we didn’t buy that house or even consider putting an offer on it. The wall was only one of two major things that the websites failed to point out to us. And I get that, I really do. They are trying to sell the house on their end, so they don’t want to post pictures and information that make the house impossible to sell. But be serious; we could have saved ourselves about 30 minutes of time and even more hassle for the realtor who showed us around if we could have just known these two facts before scheduling the meeting.

The day wasn’t over yet though. We went back to the realtor’s office; it’s down a super long hallway, down some stairs, and back up a huge set of stairs. It’s a nice cozy place but it was pretty empty since it was Saturday morning. The realtor (a friend of my mom’s) made us feel at home and gave us all of the possible information that any first time home buyer could ever want. We had a great experience talking to her about the home buying process and learning about the things that we should do next to be successful.

After leaving, it became pretty clear that we were both thinking the same thing: this realtor is going to help us find a home. She was absolutely amazing and professional; she didn’t push us to divulge personal information and made sure that we knew not to speak about our finances or our love/hate of a house in front of any other realtors or the sellers. (Apparently in real estate, this is house hunting suicide.)

Needless to say we were less discouraged about our unfortunate first house viewing after our meeting. We are hopeful to find something new to look at soon.


 

In the meantime, I had to attend church today because I was the lay reader. I know I’ve discussed this in previous posts, but I wish my church would not assume that I can be in attendance when they have never even spoken to me about my schedule. (For those who don’t remember, this is one of many reasons why I have not attended church for almost a year now.)

Knowing how long it had been since I was in attendance, I decided to go and serve my time today. I don’t mind reading the scriptures really; part of me (the teacher part) enjoys being in front of the group and controlling my reading pace and pronunciation of words. It’s just that church is… well church. I know I’m not a “good Christian” when I say that I would much rather be hanging out with T, doing my chores, or even sleeping in rather than attending a service. Especially when our church is so small and there is no one else my age. Especially when the new deaconness that is sitting in as our preacher is… strange. But I digress…

I decided to go to church today knowing full well that T would go home before I left. This meant that I would spend the rest of the day away from him. I am pretty selfish when it comes to our relationship, and I did not want him to leave. I briefly suggested that he go with me, though I thought there was no way in this world he would ever want to go to church. To him religion is not something that is super important in life. It just never popped up after his family stopped attending when he was young. And I hope he realizes that, at least to me, that’s okay. I would never expect him to attend services or do any religious thing with me that I choose to do (unless we one day get married…) I understand that I am deciding to spend less of my Sunday around him, but I am also consciously making the choice knowing full-well that he will not come with me.

Which is why I was surprised when he took my crazy suggestion seriously. Hence T and I ended up at church together. My dad and grandma were there as well. Both seemed surprised to see T with me, but no one said anything. Pretty much the entire time I was sitting beside him, I was more focused on whether he would have some crazy thing to say about the service or whether he would be completely supportive of me and my public speaking.

Turns out he was both. Well sort of. We actually both sat through that service trying not to laugh and roll our eyes. I know, that sounds awful. But the person who gave the sermon today based her entire lecture on groundhog day. She spent at least five minutes reading off the names of all of the groundhogs in the country (and in Canada) that had not seen their shadow on Tuesday. This led in to a discussion about candlemas (the only part that truly connected to any scripture that I read), and ended with a discussion of how religious people (preachers, priests, etc.) are super in-tune with nature and seem to know when winter is ending and spring has begun. Again, not sure how that last part really connected except that it involved priests.

I sometimes wish that I attended a church where there was a good preacher. I’m not actually saying she was awful or that any of our past preachers have been either. But there was this one minister at my old church; he would discuss his daily life and things that had gone on during his week. And even though it sounded nothing like he was preaching, he would somehow find a way to connect his life with our lives. And then all of our lives to the scriptures. Not in some majestic, unfortunately complicated way. Instead, he was like another person speaking to each of us on a personal level. And for some reason, events in his life and the scriptures at the time seemed to line up perfectly with events in my life. I used to walk out of church feeling better, happier, and more hopeful about the upcoming week because at least someone could describe one strange, complicated, or crappy part of my life in words that I would never be able to find. And then he gave us advice; not personal advice per say, but advice in general. Sometimes it would be things about praying more to God or even taking deep breaths in the face of fear or difficulty. In any case, I always got something out of it.

Today, not so much. No offense to anyone out there who was involved in the making of today’s sermon.

I think I sort of strayed off onto a completely other topic there, but oh well. I really just wanted to say that I hope T reads this and realizes how much his actions today meant to me. He held me when I was crying earlier (about some super stupid drama) and then he held me hand through church even though it was completely against his beliefs and usual routine to attend such a service.

Thank you hun. It meant the world.

And to all of you out there who are reading this but are not my boyfriend, stay tuned for more about our house hunting adventure. I have a feeling it’s going to get pretty interesting real soon!

~B

Step One: The Exploration

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Step One: The Exploration

I’ve decided to try to keep up with my writing now that so many interesting things are going on in my life right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to do so.Ā I’ve been so busy that some of the only time I have to myself to write is my lunch break at work. A measly 25 minutes to myself that I am now going to use to communicate here, with anyone who cares to read my blog. Before I run out of that time, I should probably get to the point…


 

I have finally succeeded in my evil plans to convince my family that we need another dog. Some of my motives for this plan are selfish and some are completely selfless. The biggest reason that I want them to get a dog is because I love dogs and cannot wait to have an interaction with another one. That’s the mostly selfish part speaking. The other side of me has so many selfless reasons for wanting a new pup in the house. Mainly, T and I are thinking about moving in together sometime this year. Well, he wants to buy the house and I will slowly transition to that house. So it may be sometime this year or it may be early next year at the latest (unless our plans fall through). In any case, my family would be left without a dog in the house, because there is no way I am allowing them to keep my pup in their home without me! (Sorry, but there’s me being selfish again.) Plus my little Jasper is still such a puppy that his energy is outrageous. I wish I had enough time in a day to fully wear him out like I can do during the summer time. Unfortunately, with work and my long commute, that’s just not possible right now. I do the best I can and appreciate my family’s help so much, but with us all having jobs and him being super hyper… I’m thinking another little pup will help to play with him and wear him out. (Maybe that’s selfish again?) One thing I know is unselfish though is that the vet is always concerned about how shy and timid Jasper is. Surely this is because of his background of abuse and shelters, but still. They would like Jasper to be a little more outspoken (if you can imagine that) and a little more playful with other dogs. Anytime he’s around another one, you can tell that he’s curious and interested, but that doesn’t always mean that he is willing to play or even sniff at them before hiding behind me or trying to run away. I guess it all really depends on the dog that he is around. Dogs that bark louder are scarier to him, smaller dogs are ones he thinks he can at least run away from faster than their little legs can carry them. But I digress…

I have been spending time posting pictures of pups to Facebook and tagging my family in them. I have sat down with my sister and told her all the reasons I want her to get a puppy. Then, since we had to get permission from the parents, I sat down with my mom and tried to convince her that when I move out the house will be too quiet. Once she saw the light, it was all over…

There are two applications pending right now, both for two little male terrier mixes just like my Jassy. They are brothers, named Danny and Duncan, and they look exactly like Jas. I really hope one of them comes through for us, but we’ve been told they have other applications in line ahead of our own. *Fingers crossed* This adventure is a fun one all in itself. Too bad I can’t help all of the little animals that need homes. šŸ˜¦


 

Now for the even bigger, newer, scarier exploration (what I was supposed to be blogging about this whole time)… THE MOVE

Yes, that’s right. It is looking more and more like T and I may find a house that we both like and agree to move into. I’ve previously been spending my lunch breaks researching: financing, steps for finding a house, actual houses and lots, etc. I think I’ve spent over 10 hours in the past three weeks or so doing some sort of housing or mortgage research. Since we don’t live real close to each other to begin with and we both commute to work in the opposite directions, our possibilities are highly limited. Right in between our parents’ houses are those lovely little places called HOAs, which we are totally not interested in dealing with. Then there are the super over-priced houses smooshed beside each other in a teeny weeny development. Let’s just say it’s not going to happen.

So yesterday I came across a tiny little gem; with barely 0.4 acres of land and just over a 1,000 sq. ft. home, I was skeptical that T would like it as well. But he said that it looked like a decent place to start: in our price range, in the right geographical area, and not so completely run down that we would spend the next 10 years fixing it up.

Luckily through all of this, my mom has a realtor for a friend. She has been so amazing. She’s always willing to answer our questions for free, wants to suggest lenders and brokers to us to help us save money on the mortgage, and is willing to show us any house that our little hearts desire to look at.

Which brings me to my biggest piece of progress in this entire thing… we are looking at our first house this SATURDAY! Wow, I can’t believe I said it out loud. The thing is, I’m super excited because for once in my life I can actually imagine completing this step of maturing. Yet it makes me nervous to think about this huge step and to anxiously await to find out how perfect for us this house actually may or may not be. If that isn’t enough, T is semi-nervous too. I’m glad he was willing to admit it to me, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel that our nerves may play off of each other’s. So I told him that I would support him and he says he’d do the same for me. And even if we find we aren’t ready for the big move yet, I guess only time will tell and we will be stronger for any of this anxiety we have felt.

Need to go eat lunch now before I’m late for my next class. I feel so much better having written (gotta love anxiety like that!)

~B

Inspiration and Rejuvenation

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I know I have not written recently about anything, let alone anything important or any new revelations that I have had. But today, as I scrolled through my Facebook posts, I noticed that one of my friends had created a blog about her family. She and her husband, along with their two young kids, have recently gone through a horrible tragedy. Someone (or something) set fire to their kitchen stove when they were away for Thanksgiving break with their extended family. They returned home to find their kitchen burned, a cat missing, and smoke damage too extensive for them to move in.

Reading through the thoughts and feelings of my friend (who I haven’t seen in years) brought me some inspiration to write a new post. I’m not really sure why it has, but I’m going with this gut instinct that I need to start taking more time for myself and writing.

Luckily, I don’t have anything nearly asĀ horrible to report. My life has been good lately, even great. I’ve successfully passed through another semester at work, my pup has started to mature a bit, and my boyfriend and I are in a relationship that is as strong as anything I’ve ever known.

I think the greatest thing is that, lately, my anxiety has been at an all-time low. I know that I have felt stressed and anxious about different subjects or events in my life recently, but it has been at least 6 months since I have had a panic attack. What’s more; I was able to talk to a coworker recently about how anxiety affects the both of us. I feel great knowing that I now have a shoulder to lean on who will understand even while I am at work.

I think the biggest adventure to have popped into my life recently is the “Big Move”. Okay, maybe it’s not so big (yet). Basically my boyfriend wants to move out of the house where he currently lives and into a home that will one day be our’s. I am more than ecstatic at the thought! It’s crazy; I never wanted to move out of my parents’ house before. I always thought I’d end up being one of those old maids who had never had any intention of moving away from the family. Though, as I’ve mentioned before, my sister is much more of a caretaker than I am or ever will be, I had always expected to stick around and take care of my parents. Or maybe just hide behind them because of my fears and anxieties about living on my own…

In any case, I feel suddenly optimistic about this new adventure. Sure, there are days when I want to strangle my boyfriend because he can be HORRIBLE at taking advice. There are even days when I want to give up altogether and say that I am not moving out regardless of his decisions about housing. Then, after a few minutes of talking to him, I realize that there is nothing that I want more in my life than moving out. Granted, I don’t need to move this very second or even in the next year, but I cannot imagine a better “next chapter” for my life than this one.

As I sit here writing, I am realizing how much this truly means to me. I never took into account how much of a change I have made in my life or my perspectives. Going from an anxiety-ridden teenager who wanted to be a homebody forever to this outgoing, hardworking, driven, and happy adult is like having a makeover that my subconscious has created all on its own.

I realize now how blessed I am to have the family and friends that I do. Even my students help to lift me up (at times) and can make such a huge difference in my attitude. I can never thank any of those people enough, but I also realize how much work I have taken on and accomplished inside. After all, there may be only so much a person can do without help, but there is nothing that a person can do with help unless they first choose to help themselves.