Archive for the ‘Houses’ Category


Filed under: Houses,Moving,Such is Life — Amy @ 8:50 pm

So in a rather spontaneous and unexpected turn of events, we’re thinking of moving. Of building, actually:


After visiting some new homes just on a whim and partly out of boredom, we actually found a house that a) we could afford, and b) would be a reasonable step up from the house we’re in now.

It’s the only one in the entire area that has the right price and square footage for us. So we’re really considering making the leap, even though it would probably mean losing a little money on the house we’re in now. Unfortunately, the area we’re in hasn’t appreciated much in the 2 years we’ve been here. In fact, this new house will appreciate more in the next 6 months than our current house has since we bought it.

Sad, isn’t it.

So anyway, that’s what we’re up to. Tomorrow we meet with our agent and the builder to see if this is really something doable, so I’ll probably know tomorrow evening if we’re going to be moving or not.

The funny thing is, since it’s all been so quick and sudden-like, I haven’t had time to become totally wrapped up in the new house. I mean, I feel like I could easily call it home after walking through the model a couple of times…but if it doesn’t work out, I won’t be absolutely devastated. Basically – and this is really unusual for me – I’m feeling really relaxed about this, regardless of which way it goes.

…Despite the fact that I’ve already decorated every inch of it in my mind and have all the decorating necessities saved on eBay and my Bed Bath & Beyond registry.

I’m considering checking for a pulse.

Filed under: Houses,Parenting,Such is Life — Amy @ 4:42 pm

I’m not sure how this happened, but somebody has taken my daughter and replaced her with She Who Willingly Naps For Three Hours. Without drugs.

Wake up, child.

And on a side note, why does it seem to be a requirement that air conditioners break at the beginning of EVERY summer? American Home Shield is probably ruing the day they ever offered us a home warranty.

Please Remove Shoes

Filed under: Houses,Pets,Such is Life — Amy @ 3:31 pm

So Baskin Robbins is doing a 31 ¢ special tomorrow as a fund raiser for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. I’m sure that the firefighters appreciate that they’re only bringing in 31 ¢ per scoop instead of the regular price.

After placing our order and paying three weeks ago, we FINALLY got the carpet replaced in the living room and office downstairs. The Soft and Squishy feels great between my toes, as does getting high on the new carpet fumes. Mostly because they don’t smell like cat pee, which is a good enough reason to get high in itself.

Our remaining cat has approximately ONE CHANCE to redeem himself by going heretofore exclusively in the litter box. And he has been advised as such. Any departure from the litter box elimination will result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Our dog has been informed that any trespassing onto New! Carpet! with muddy paws may result in the forfeiture of said paws.

And Kaelin just looks at me funny when I tell her she can’t bring her cup of water onto the New! Carpet! without a sippy top.

So there we have it – one ridiculously expensive home improvement project done. Only 14 more to go.

Home Sweet Home

Filed under: Houses,Moving,Such is Life — Amy @ 1:55 pm

Whew! What a weekend! We are mostly moved into our new house now after a weekend of lifting and hauling…well, after a weekend of me watching other people lift and haul (pregnancy does have its advantages).

My best friend came up for the weekend and it was wonderful to have a guest room that any normal guest would actually want to sleep in. It’s also wonderful to, after 2 years, be back in a house that will clean when you clean it, stay light during the day, and has plumbing that actually works!

My parents also gave me a vacuum as a housewarming gift – it’s one of those cool bagless never-lose-suction Dyson vacs. Love it. I’m looking forward to taking it back to the rental house when we clean up there to really put it to work. It’s kind of like that sick obsession that makes you let the glue dry on the outside of the cap, just so you can peel it off in chunks. Or maybe that’s just me.

Speaking of chunks (don’t you just love a transition like that), J received a somewhat (totally) shocking surprise when he closed the glass hatch on our Blazer this weekend and the entire hatch exploded back out at him into a hundred thousand million tiny bitty chunks of glass. He and my dad spent a good hour and a half at the old house cleaning up glass from the blazer and garage (and J). We have no broom and our dust-buster only holds a charge for 10.5 seconds. All they had was an old vacuum cleaner with ONE vacuum bag, which I understand was filled, emptied and recycled multiple times, and currently looks as though it’s been sent through the garbage disposal. I knew I was in for a good story when he walked into the new house with “You know how I always wanted a convertible…?”

Just in case anybody out there was wondering, we now know that it costs approximately $800 to replace a glass hatch on a 10 year old Blazer. Because I know that important question has probably been buring in your mind for the last several days.

Our new house was officially christened this weekend by a can of Diet Coke that slipped out of my hand and proceeded to spray in circles all over the kitchen. It was amazing. Seriously. The ENTIRE CAN of coke emptied itself on the walls, floors, counters, and even managed to make its way into the living room. There are places in that kitchen in which any liquid would have had to DEFY THE LAWS OF NATURE to reach…and yet there we were, mopping it up on the other side of the island, around the corner of the wall, etc. Like wow.

So we’re moved in and making it home. Fun stuff. Oh, and by the way, $1000 at Linens & Things (compliments of our real estate agent) can go REALLY FAST. Sheesh.

Walking on Sunshine

Filed under: Friends,Houses,Makes Me Happy,Moving,Pregnancy,Work — Amy @ 3:21 pm
This week is on par to go down in history as one of the best weeks of my entire life.

Jamie came back from Europe to a busier office and some of the things that I had been wondering how in the world I would find the time to do. So they were shifted over to her department, which ended up working great for everybody. So nice to have her back!

I heard from several friends this week that I had been out of touch with for many moons, so to speak. I love renewed contacts.

I asked for AND GOT a raise at work. AND found out that they will be paying me for a full month of maternity leave (very uncommon!) so that eases a lot of tension over how we were going to survive that time financially.

I found the themed accessories I was looking for to decorate our nursery with. I knew I wanted a jungle theme, but everything I saw was either too cartoony or too dark/real/scary for a nursery. And finally the clouds parted and revealed the perfect set:

We closed on our fabulous house today! Our final walk-through last night was incredible. The woman we purchased the house from is more than slightly on the obsessive-compulsive neat-freak side, which makes this transition all the easier on us. The house sparkles like nobody’s ever lived there. I kid you not, she scrubbed the garage floor and cleaned out the garage door panels (and all the metal bars on the inside) with bleach.

She even left us several extras, like shower curtain liners, a stroller, and an elliptical exercise machine! Oh, and she’s leaving the electricity in her name until Monday so we will have power over the weekend, since the stupid electrical company simply could not set up our account until Monday despite repeated requests and messages from us.

And she called up the alarm company and informed them that they had to give us the same “special rate” she was getting or we wouldn’t continue the contract. So we’re getting the 3-year contract rate without the 3-year contract!

We couldn’t have asked for a better seller to work with. And when we showed up at closing today, out monthly payments ended up being less than we were expecting because we had gotten a lower interest rate than we were originally quoted. Too cool.

So, we’re getting a great house at a great price with a great loan and it comes with great accessories from a great seller who seems to be going out of her way to make the process better for us. I am so tempted to break out into a chorus of “I’ve Got Rhythm.” Who could ask for anything more???

Back in the Saddle Again

Filed under: Friends,Houses,Moving — Amy @ 3:24 pm

Well, Jamie has returned from the Great European Quest and things are slowly returning to “normal.” And she brought me the cutest Italian over-the-shoulder bag!
Apologies to all who have called and emailed over the last two weeks and have not received a response. I’m trying to sort through my inbox now and get through that in a timely manner, now that I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off anymore. There is something to be said for having some downtime at work…or at least having a lunch break, which is a luxury I have been unable to indulge in for the past few weeks.
I addition to being swamped at work, extra-careerular activities have been full as well. J and I are closing on our wonderful house this Friday, we’ve hit a new milestone in pregnancy and I’ve been working on planning a bridal shower.
So my blogging time has been more than a little restricted. Again, trying to correct that now that things are getting less hectic at work.
More updates soon, I promise. Though I’m not fool enough to define the term “soon.” 🙂

Oh yeah, that blog thing

Filed under: Friends,Houses,Moving,Work — Amy @ 1:42 pm

Haven’t been very wordy recently. With Jamie gone to Europe (YES EUROPE – WITHOUT ME), I’ve been carrying both our shifts at work and things have been, needless to say, busier than normal. In addition to working for two, this was the first week back after our national conference, which automatically denotes extra time-filling things to do and more distributor activity. And on top of that, the holiday weekend is coming up so today we’re closing early (YAY) and we’re closed Monday, so there will be plenty of backed up work waiting for me when I get in on Tuesday…which of course is a short day for me on account of a Dr.’s Appointment. Basically, I’ve been running around with scarcely time to breathe this week at work.

And loving every minute of it.

Not that I don’t miss Jamie, I do. But being so busy all the time has been fabulous. Although it has left me with little to no time to do some things I’m accustomed to doing during the downtime at work…like write in my blog. Hence the silence over the past week.

I also have not had time to respond to emails and phone messages the way I would like. Little one-liners here and there to the mortgage broker are about all I’ve been able to manage. Speaking of mortgage though, looks like we’ll be getting our beloved house afterall. And possibly a new roof, but we won’t know about that for a few more days. We’re shooting toward a closing date of June 10, which I know will be here faster than we can say “TOO MANY BOXES.”

Ah, the one part of moving that I wish would just disappear. The actual MOVING part. Packing, stacking, moving, unpacking, and looking for all those things you desperately need that somehow ended up in one of the Miscellaneous boxes but you have no idea which one.

The amount of personal property we own gets drastically reduced every time we move. If we can’t remember the last time we used it, it gets tossed. If we can’t find an appropriate box to put it in, it gets tossed. If we figure we could get along without running to the store to replace it, it gets tossed (even sometimes if we know we will have to replace it and just don’t like the look of it). Anything to cut down on the number of boxes we haul from one location to another. Oh, and if we haven’t unpacked it since the last time we moved, yeah, it gets tossed.

June is going to be a very busy month. Between working, moving, painting (as soon as we know what color to paint the nursury, which we will hopefully find out at the Dr. Appt. on TUESDAY!!!), planning a bridal shower for my best friend, and the general myriad of other things life throws our way, we think the month will pass relatively quickly.

Kind of like this week has.

Neverending Story

In retrospect, this has been a very busy week, as evidenced by this being the first blog I have written since Saturday. Here’s a brief overview:

Sunday: After much searching, finally found another house we are interested in. Our only concern is the size of the house – only 1800 square feet. The house we were trying to purchase before was 2100 square feet, and we really liked that size. This new house is a one-story with lots of upgrades and personality though, so we guess it’s a tradeoff.

Monday: Started all the last-minute projects for the upcoming work conference on Friday/Saturday. Why is it so impossible to plan for a major conference earlier than the week of, so that we’re not all RUNNING AROUND LIKE PSYCHO CHICKENS trying to throw stuff together? WHY?
Any free moments today and for the rest of the week are devoted to setting up my new OFFICE – YES, OFFICE! I somehow managed to convince Boss Man (the “NO” man) to give me an office instead of sitting out front in the middle of the chaos. Still not sure how I managed that…I broached the subject in hopes of introducing it merely to begin the long road of pursuasion. Had no idea that the resistance period would only be about 20 minutes before a “Yes” was delivered my way. This was a good day.

Tuesday: Another busy day at work. We really do prefer busy. Felt the baby kick for the first time. Very weird. Like a twitching stomach muscle…except lower. Checked out the one-story again (among others) and decided to make an offer the following day. Speaking of the “others,” here’s another tip to add to the “How not to sell a house” list: Don’t let your teenage daughter answer the front door in her underwear and tell us that despite the fact that we had called ahead to schedule a viewing, we can’t see the house because it’s still being painted.

Wednesday: Finished conference preparations and devoted the rest of the day to preparing, moving into, and shopping for my new office. Stopped at Target after work for some decorative additions. Met with real estate agent to draft up contract on new house, only to find that he had recieved a call from the agent of the previous house, letting him know that the seller was more seriously motivated to sell the house now and was entertaining offers in the range we were discussing when the deal fell through before. Previous house has now been renamed “Neverending Story” house because it just doesn’t go away. A brief synopsis of the 3-week period in which we already pursued this house:

  • Found the house, knew it was perfect, told everyone it was my dream house. Planned to make an offer the next day.
  • Discovered house was already under contract.
  • Found out contract fell through.
  • Made an offer (a very GOOD offer, that most sellers would have taken flat out) but was informed that other offers were coming in same day.
  • Seller picked our offer, but countered…with stupid things that were really more insulting than anything else.
  • We countered the counter to make sure we were still getting our money’s worth.
  • Seller accepted.
  • Found out from our mortgage broker that the house would not appraise for what we offered.
  • Tried to lower the price with seller so the deal could still go through.
  • Seller declined lowered price offer. Deal off.
  • Seller put house back on the market at higher asking price – significantly more than the maximum amount the house would appraise for according to two appraisers.
  • We started looking elsewhere.

But it’s the only house we’ve found so far that was an immediate “yes” for us because it has absolutely everything we’re looking for. And suddenly they’re willing to be reasonable again. Wrote offer for Neverending Story house instead of new house.
Good News – confirmed that Mom doesn’t have cyst or cancer, which was one of several possible causes of recent abdominal pain. Endometriosis is the current most likely diagnosis and may require surgery. This may
be poor timing, as parents are scheduled to go to colorado next week and Greece in June. She is seeing a specialist tomorrow for full diagnosis.

Thursday: Waiting to hear back from sellers. Will be a long day. Bosses and distributors are busy at conference, so no business coming through. Probably won’t hear from sellers until tomorrow, as has been the case in the past, despite the fact that response deadline is tonight.
More good news – Mom doesn’t have endometriosis either. Looks like medicatable diagnosis for 2 ailments that are treatable without surgery. Very thankful.

See – told you we’ve been busy this week!

Holy Mother of Chocolate

Filed under: Family,Health...or Lack Thereof,Household Chores — Amy @ 2:04 pm

We did a massive deep cleaning a week ago because Jens’ mom is visiting for an extended weekend. And I truly mean that our house has never been so clean. Not that you can tell, because we have one of those houses that looks the same after you clean it as it did before and can amass a thick layer of dust on the table top the day after you dusted the entire house and cleaned the vents. And the day she got here, I was already spot-vaccing little dust bunnies that were floating around the kitchen floor. Spot-vaccing, mind you, the DAY AFTER I HAD DUSTED AND CLEANED THAT FLOOR LIKE IT HAD NEVER BEEN CLEANED BEFORE. There is an injustice there, I tell you.

Anyway, the reason for such cleansing – albeit relatively pointless – was not just for the sake of being gracious hosts…trust me, we’re not that good at being hosts. The main reason was simply that the MIL is acutely allergic to dust. And pet dander (did I mention that we have 2 cats and a dog and IT’S SHEDDING SEASON???). And perfumes or scents of most any kind. And shellfish. And car fumes (for which she has a handicapped parking permit that we get to use while she’s here – SU-WEET). Oh, and she’s hypoglycemic, has a malfunctioning thyroid, battles motion sickness and mercury poisoning and has currently been placed on an “all protein, and non-starchy veggies” diet by her doctor. And has to take upward of 30 pills daily, along with liquid supplements that have an aroma resembling turpentine.

The point of the above paragraph was not just to make you wonder why the good woman is still alive (and make you think twice about complaining about those crooked teeth or contacts). The real point was to point out the irony that this weekend, it was my mom, rather than my MIL, who had some sort of a blood sugar episode at dinner on Mother’s Day. Kind of like watching a marionette when somebody drops the strings.

Anyway, our non-professional diagnosis is either hypoglycemia or diabetes, and if those are indeed the choices, I think we’re all hoping for the hypoglycemia for one reason: CHOCOLATE.

A little history here. My mom, for most of my growing up years, had an allergy to chocolate that resulted in a life-threatening migrane upon consumption. If you’ve never heard of a life-threatening migrane, here’s how it works: Mom succumbs to the temptation and eats a total of 2 M&Ms. Subsequently, she gets laid up in bed with a migrane and any child caught playing too loudly has his or her life severely threatened. Further infractions on the 2-decibel noise limit will result in penalty of death, several times over.

Sometime between my last years of highschool and going away to college, Mom was suddenly cured of her disabling allergy. Thus, chocolate was reinstated in it’s previous most-favored-food status and continues today to be found in little stashes around the house.

Enter pre-dinner blood-sugar-attack yesterday. I have a feeling that if diabetes is in the diagnosis pot, the doctor will undoubtedly mention something to the effect of sugar limitations…i.e. CHOCOLATE LIMITATIONS.

And suddenly we will be dealing not only with the original illness, but a gross onslaught of severe depression because seriously, what woman could have chocolate taken away from her TWICE in one lifetime???

PS: Reading through the house entry I just linked to made me smirk. I’d forgotten about the statement on the timing of having children. Ha. Life is a big fat joker sometimes.

Haggling Over Home Sweet Home

Filed under: Houses,Moving,Stupid People,Such is Life — Amy @ 10:34 am

“Lovely, well priced. Showroom home in great condition. Window treatments, ceramic tile and three full baths.”

The above is the realtor’s description of the home we are trying to buy. All in all (and considering there are no pictures of the home online) it’s not very descriptive. The selling points are basically “nice looking, well priced, window treatments, ceramic tile and 3 baths.”

Did you notice that 1 out of the 5 selling points is the window treatments? And they are quite nice, probably way-expensive designer curtains & drapes. We took that into consideration when we made the offer.

The seller wants to take the window treatments with her. She countered our perfectly (more than) reasonable offer to say that she is renegging 20% of the original offered setup. And she wants to close ONE DAY EARLIER. And she thinks we should pay $75 instead of $50 for the HOA transfer fee.

Crimminee. Why are sellers so weird??? Who changes a contract for $25? It was a struggle to keep J from countering with a HOA fee of $62.50 just to spite her. I thought we should have demanded the washer, dryer and refrigerator as replacement for the upstairs curtains. But I was overruled and informed that people just don’t do that in Texas. I barely got away with asking for the refrigerator. And it was so tempting to add in “AND 3 BOTTLES OF KETCHUP AND A CASE OF PEPSI. DIET PEPSI.”

I could have used that washer and dryer. If she dares to counter again, I’m getting the washer and dryer or she can take her pretty house and STUFF IT.


Filed under: Houses,How To...,Makes Me Happy,Moving — Amy @ 1:04 pm

Call me to say you spoke with the listing agent today and the contract previously pending on the house we wanted to buy fell through, and that we now have the option to step in and negotiate a contract on our perfect dream house.


How to Make Me VERY VERY Grumpy

Filed under: Don't Make Me Cut You,Houses,How To...,Makes Me Grumpy,Moving — Amy @ 11:14 am

Put an offer on our perfect dream house the day we find it. GRRRRRR.

Yesterday, I almost wrote an elloquent description of this fabulous house we found on Sunday. It was, without a doubt, the best house for us that we had seen in our search of over 20 houses and we were going to buy it. It was exactly what we were looking for in every respect.

Our real estate agent called yesterday to start negotiations and BAM. Somebody beat us to it. Then we discovered that somebody has also beat us to our second choice home.

Back to square one. Sigh.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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