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Archive for August, 2012

More big news

Along with buying and moving into a new home, we’ve had another exciting thing happen in the last few months.

I’m pregnant.

In fact, I’m just over 20 weeks pregnant and due January 10. I’ve shared the news pretty far and wide, but not here. Since my ectopic pregnancy in January, I’ve been extremely sensitive to others who are struggling with fertility issues. I’ve tried to be careful about how and when I share my good news. I told my family and close friends right away, I told my colleagues around 12 weeks, and then word just spread from there.

I didn’t make a big “Facebook Announcement.” It never felt right to me. Facebook is this vast, impersonal space, and it just didn’t seem appropriate in my case. I haven’t tried to keep it a secret on Facebook — I’m sure many people have figured it out based on comments I’ve made on other posts, etc. But I didn’t think it would accomplish anything to fill a status update with this announcement.

Instead, after 20 weeks, I’m finally writing about it in this space, a much more personal space for me, and I’ll share the link on Facebook. In my head, at least, it’s less harsh for any of my FB friends who may be struggling themselves right now. I hope I’m right.

Yesterday, we had the 20 week ultrasound, and it was pretty incredible. We didn’t find out the sex, but we got to see our baby twist and turn and roll. I had two early ultrasounds — one at about 6 weeks to confirm the pregnancy was in the uterus, and one at about 9 weeks to find the heartbeat — but this was the first time it looked like a fully formed baby.

[Ultrasound pictures were always a bad trigger for me when I was in the depths of trying to conceive, so if they are for you, you’ll want to click away now.]

Last night we assembled the crib, and the combination of the ultrasound and the crib assembly… holy crap, we’re actually going to have a real, live baby in January. It’s what I wanted for so long, to become a mother, and now we’re so close.

I’m excited!

And I’m a little scared!

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Move-in day was amazing. Did you know we have the best family possible? I know lots of people have great families, but mine is definitely one of them. So many people showed up, and most of them stayed all day. The last didn’t leave until after 7:00. Who showed up?

My dad and stepmom and their two kids
My mom and stepdad
Mike’s dad
Mike’s mom
My sister Andrea, her husband and son
My sister Emily and her husband
My sister Kelli and her daughter
Mike’s brother

They moved our entire house over, and then helped us start unpacking. They got our whole kitchen unpacked, most of our bathroom stuff, and a variety of other things. We even set up our living room furniture, the desk, the dining area, and all of the beds. They even made the beds and set up a few decorative touches here and there. We haven’t figured out a way to thoroughly thank everyone. Other than POOL PARTY! Too bad we’re not opening the pool till next summer…

Anyway, when I last left off, we were midway through painting the living room. In the last few days before move-in, we finished that, painted some of the brick on our fireplace, painted a door, and started to paint in the kitchen. Here are some photos from move-in day.

Giant Moving Truck

All packed up!

Living room with new paint!

Remember what it looked like before?

Sitting room with fireplace (other side of living room).

Fireplace

The fireplace used to have reddish bricks with a random splotch of white paint. We painted them grey. The white part needs a new coat of paint still. You can see the before look here:

Kitchen

We started painting it grey (the same as the fireplace bricks), but we still need to do the bulk heads. And we’ll paint that brown paneling part on the left to be white. And eventually I want to paint the cabinets (despite several people discouraging me – I just really hate the wood cabinets). And down the road, new flooring and countertops.

Here’s the kitchen before the paint:

Moving on the multi-purpose “front room.”

Front room – entryway and dining area.

Front room – sitting area (plus lots of random junk – this was our drop zone)

Front room – desk area.

Half bath on main floor. What’s up with that paint?

Basement rec area. The rest of the basement is a large unfinished area we’ll use for storage and laundry.

Full bath upstairs.

Full bath, another view.

There are also four bedrooms upstairs. I don’t have any great photos, and mostly they’re just a big mess right now anyway. One is the guest room, which I’ll also use as my sewing/craft room. The second is a future nursery. The third is the room where I store all my clothes, and also where I’m sleeping until I can cure my ridiculous insomnia* and be a normal human again. The fourth is our room, where Mike sleeps and stores his clothes.

And that’s the house! Lots more to unpack and arrange, lots of painting to do, and eventually, lots of fun renovation projects. It has only been three nights, but we’ve settled in easily. Even our cats feel right at home. Oberon, in past moves, has hidden away for a couple days before venturing out. This time, within a few hours, he was exploring, lounging on the couch, and hissing at Lennie. All indicators he feels right at home!

*For the last several months, I’ve basically stopped sleeping. I toss and turn and kick and flail all night. I get up and read or find something else to do several times a night. I’m a mess, and sharing a room with another person only makes it worse. For me and him!

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Shades of Grey

We started our first painting project in the new house! First, we spent an entire Sunday, with some help from family, cleaning the whole place. We had planned to wait until we moved in to paint anything, but my mom and sister insisted we get at least one room done.

The living room has wood paneling that was painted a hideous puke brown. My guess is the former owners were trying to match the carpet, but my word it was ugly!

A closer look:

All the taping and cutting in and rolling took a long time despite the help we had, so we only got one coat up Tuesday night, and I haven’t uploaded pictures of the finished product yet, but you can start to see the difference it’s going to make. The room has small windows, both of which are covered by shade trees, so there’s a lack of natural light. The light grey really makes the room seem bigger and brighter. More photos soon!

That’s my sister and brother-in-law, they have been such rockstars for us lately.

I think I’m going to go with a lot of neutrals throughout the house. I love bold, fun colors, but I believe to pull it off, you have to really style the whole room. Our furniture is old and mismatched, and our house is always so…lived in. It just wouldn’t work to do anything too fun. I was showing my friend some paint swatches I had picked out, and she very observantly asked, “Are you painting any room anything other than grey?” Oops! I hadn’t planned on that, but I guess it’s true. In my mind, neutrals are either of the grey variety or the beige variety. Warm tones or cool tones, and apparently I’m a cool tone girl.

The other project we tackled right away was changing all the door locks and knobs. We bought a HUD home, so all the locks were keyed for HUD keys. Meaning a billion realtors around the state had keys to our house! The very day we closed, we bought all new locks and knobs, upgrading from horrible faux gold to something a little more stylish.

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I’ve been excited to share some news here, but I’ve been putting it off. WE FINALLY BOUGHT A HOUSE! Back in May, I mentioned that we won a bid on a HUD home, and it took until July 31 to actually close on it. We were fine with this, we were in no hurry, and the details of the delay were too mundane to be blog-worthy. But then we finally closed, and I still didn’t want to write about it. I was too upset about how things went down in the last 24 hours that I knew any post would be spiked with vitriol. I wanted to celebrate the house, not rant about it. So I waited. Now, a week later, I feel like I can do that. Though I’m still pissed. Well, I’m still going to rant, but then I’ll celebrate!

RANT

Without going into too many boring details, basically Mike and I are new to home-buying, but we had lots of advisers and we believe we asked all the right questions and did everything right along the way. Still, less than 24 before close, our mortgage lender sent us our final closing costs (despite our asking for it days in advance). They were nearly $4,000 more than expected.

When we applied for the loan, we were told we could finance a roof repair that was required by HUD. So we added $3,600 to our mortgage. We asked a hundred times, are sure we can do this? Are you SURE? Yes, he was sure. Turns out, no. And instead of being sincerely apologetic or even offering a viable solution, he sent us the new closing costs, told us he screwed up, and that was it. I don’t know about that guy, but $4,000 is a lot to us. And coming up with that much in 24 hours is no easy feat. We drained our savings and pulled from our checking account which pays our bills. I also shot off a very angry email to the lender, who finally came up with a solution.

They would loan us $4,000 at 6%. Um, no thanks moron.

We did not want to go broke to buy a house. We never EVER would have pursued this if we knew that would happen in the beginning. But 24 hours isn’t a lot of time to contemplate. Literally minutes before our closing appointment, we were in the parking lot talking to our realtor, debating if we should back out. In the end I said, “I don’t know if it’s the right decision, and maybe we’ll regret it. But we don’t have time to figure this out, so let’s take a leap of faith.”

And we did. So we’re now home owners.

RAVE

Now that I’ve ranted, let me say, I LOVE the house. I had forgotten that I loved it because it had been so long since we saw it. But when we got back in there, it all came back. It needs some work, and unfortunately we now have no money to do any of it immediately. First we replenish our savings, then we dive into projects. But it’s definitely livable, and we’re excited to officially move in.

I wanted an older home with some vintage charm, while Mike wanted something a little more modern. I think we found a good compromise. It’s new enough to have a more modern floor plan and some modern updates, but old enough to have the little touches of charm I love. And there is so much potential. We have lots of plans for the future!

I took some pictures on our second visit MONTHS ago, and I’ll get some more updates ones soon, but here are a couple sneak peeks.

The front door:

Unfinished three season porch for which have big plans:

Fun pass-through window and built-in clock in the basement. And wood paneling! My nieces and nephews are already so excited to play restaurant with that window. Also, hi Mom and Brady!

Big open kitchen. We plan to paint the walls and the cabinets soon (there are more cabinets and counters you can’t see to the right). Then later down the road we’ll update the floor, counters and appliances. And maybe a peninsula or island?

More photos soon, I promise. In the meantime, lots to do! Home ownership is exhausting and expensive. Welcome to real world right?

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