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Showing posts from March, 2010

It's Been One Week...

As of today, our house has been on the market for one week. We have had 7 showings. Considering what the real estate market has been like, this is really good. However with no offers looming, I continue to be anxious {read impatient} about the whole ordeal.

Putting your home on the market and waiting for an offer is like waiting for that guy that you have a secret crush on to call to ask you out on a date. You spend time making yourself look good in order to get his attention. And then you wait. And hope. And every time the phone rings, you get butterflies in your stomach. Then you are disappointed because it wasn't him. Or your feelings get hurt when you find out he really likes the way you look, but is not crazy about where you live {we have received feedback from two showings that they liked the house, but were not crazy about the neighborhood}... it's kind of crushing and there is nothing that you can do about it but wait for the next "guy" to come along.

On a si…

Project 52: Date Nights - Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee

I can't believe that 4 weeks have passed since Daniel moved to Chattanooga. This weekend we opted to meet in Peachtree City (south of Atlanta) to attend a wedding. I took Friday off and loaded Sophie and all of our stuff into the car and drove down Thursday night after work {in the rain}.

It was such a relaxing weekend – we mostly layed around and did nothing. And it was awesome. We both needed the rest after all of the stress of getting our house on the market {now that it is on the market, there are new stresses, but we will cope}.

Friday night we went to the movies for the first time in several months. Saturday night was the wedding. Sunday we searched for an open UPS store that had a notary on staff because we needed to get some paperwork notarized {that we both needed to sign}. Then we headed to the Chattahoochee River Recreation Area where we went for a walk {and Sophie proved she was no longer afraid of water when she jumped INTO the muddy river}. After the walk, we dried …

Showing the House

You know that feeling you get when your in-laws or parents come to visit your new place for the FIRST TIME? You feel {or at least I feel} the need to make sure your house is pristine. You stay up late, the day before they arrive. You clean your whole house better than you have ever cleaned it. You get stressed out and find yourself griping at your husband for tracking dirt into the house {maybe I'm projecting} and then the day comes and everything goes smoothly {well, maybe not always} and you relax and {hopefully} enjoy your visit...

Well, having your house for sale is like that. Except, you have to keep it pristine ALL OF THE TIME. And instead of family, it is strangers that are coming in to judge the cleanliness {and decor} of your home. And whether or not they like it, determines whether they will make you an offer. And you are stressed because your dog won't quit shedding or tracking mud into the house. And to top it all off, a light bulb in the hallway went out and you a…

It's Official

Our house is on the market!!! I have to tell you that coming home and finding a "For Sale" sign in the front yard was somewhat disconcerting. We have been working so hard towards this day {4+years of renovations} and we are finally here. It all makes me a little sad. The end of an era for us. We have spent a ridiculous number of hours getting it ready to show and now all of our hard work will hopefully pay off. I do hope it sells quickly - but I won't hold my breath in this economy/market. 
Photos by Billy Keasler
See more info at Allen Tate Realtors. You can view a virtual tour here.

I could use some pampering...

My days are all running together. Yesterday I worked all day, came home and cleaned my house like a mad woman before falling into bed around 10PM. I went to bed "early" because I had waxed my basement floor and decided Sophie and I should not hang out in front of the TV in a room full of fumes. Then I didn't even sleep well :(
Today, I ran home during lunch to let the photographer in to take our house pics for our listing - Sophie did not like this one bit. Then it was back to work for moi. After work, I rushed home to pick up Sophie {we were out of dog food and I hated leaving her home by herself and starving}. We ran to Lowe's to pick up door pulls for closets, then to PetSmart to pick up dog food. She ate in the car in the parking lot. Then to McDonald's for me {I haven't cooked in almost a month, this is a sad, sad thing}. Then to Walmart to pick up a few things I needed for the house. Sophie was very patient through all of these errands - I think she was …

Project 52: Date Nights - Early Bird

Daniel drove all of the way home on Thursday night - which meant a little more time together this weekend. 
For our date, Daniel suggested we used a gift card he had found and go to BoneFish Grill for an early dinner on Friday. We literally went straight there when I got home from work so that we wouldn't have to wait a long time for a table {we have been known to go to early bird specials to get better deals and save time, it just isn't worth it to stand around for an hour waiting to be seated}.
Dinner was nice. We let them bring us two baskets of bread before our food came. This was a bad idea... because we ate it all. It tasted great, but when our food actually came, I was definitely regretting all of the bread. I think I ate a third of the food on my plate and then I didn't feel so great the rest of the night.
So not a good idea to eat too much before your food comes. I guess I was distracted by actually getting to spend time with my spouse that I didn't consider what…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 11

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner may be one of my favorite works of fiction.

This is a historical novel, inspired by the author's original family memoirs. Written from the perspective of Sarah Agnes Prine, one of the most memorable women ever to survive and prevail in the Arizona Territory. This book takes us from 1881 through 1901, weaving a tale about the hardships of growing up and living on the frontier.

It is a dramatic adventure that I never wanted to put down. Sarah is strong and takes whatever life throws at her. The love story interwoven in these pages is epic. I loved every moment that I spent curled up reading about Sarah.

This book is so rich in content, full of passages that I adore. Here are some of my favorites. Now it seems as if all these folks that were so mean spirited and hateful before suddenly know they need each other to stay alive, and they are much more friendly and willing to share things.I wonder if every new mother feels as if there is nothing left o…

Rough Week

This week has been a tough one. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. Just tough on so many levels. This post may be long. I just need to get some things off my chest. I don't know if I have it in me to talk out loud about these things, so if you want to share advice or encouragement, I ask that you do it in the comments or through an email...
On Tuesday morning, I found out {via Facebook} that a friend from high school, Buddy {Trey} Harp had died in a car accident. He was the older brother of a friend, but we were all in church youth group together and I would count Buddy as a friend as well.
It has been at least 10 years since I had seen Buddy so I don't have a significant personal attachment to him. HOWEVER, I find it incredibly tragic that he died leaving behind a wife and 6-month-old child, as well as his entire family. The whole story breaks my heart. I hurt so much for his wife and child and the pain they must be suffering right now. Every time I think about them, it makes m…

Remember When...

Periodically {like once a year or so}, my brother sends me the sweetest pieces of nostalgia from our childhood. Today I opened the mailbox and found a package with the following note:
Do You Remember The Times? We went to Canada every summer?We lived at 603 King Street?You ripped off the van door?We went to "Splashdown" every summer?You were me and Angela's mediator? Oh wait... :)We lived in Tennessee?We played in the snow in Sarnia?I lived with y'all in NC and was charged line by line - "that's $1.28 for a bowl of cereal"The family reunions in log cabins?We all had your Mazda 626 and TVs and clothes and art piecesSpot {our dog}. TrampolinesHome RenovationsYouth GroupCollegeInside the package was a stack of OLD pictures he had found on a recent visit home. What a sweet trip down memory lane...

Project 52: Date Nights - Have You Seen My Shoes?

Being separated continues to be a tough experience, but we are making the most of it... here is a recap of our date "weekend."

Daniel came home on Friday, dropped his stuff in the living room, did some work on the house and then crashed. I came home to find him exhausted and in bed. I have to confess that my first reaction was to be annoyed and run around and put away {hide} all of his stuff since we had The Staging Girl coming by to give us advice on how to best stage our home when we put it on the market.

By the time Barbi {The Staging Girl} arrived, I had gotten over my annoyance {and had also forgotten that I threw Daniel's work shoes in the coat closet}...

Anyways, we had a great meeting with Barbi {see this post} and then we ran to grab a late dinner at O'Charley's where we discussed our weekend plans and how much we wanted to spend on staging and landscaping.

Saturday was a huge shopping day for us – this was a bit overwhelming since we are not big shopp…

the good. the bad. and the random. (Selling the Morganford House, March 2010)

The Good. The stager that came by our house said we shouldn't hire her and proceeded to give us some great tips.
The Bad. She did say that we should hire a professional landscaper to do some cleanup in our yard.  The Random.
I found these rather large, fake palm tree plants at IKEA for $12.99 {I purchased two}. Daniel thought they were real when I brought them home. He was excited about the price tag, but less excited that it cost an additional $14.99 for the pot to hold the plant.

The Good.
Several houses in the area went under contract last week. This strengthens the value of our house.
The Bad.
We decided to wait until Saturday to finalize paperwork with the realtor. Daniel had too many questions about the contract to go ahead and move forward without having the opportunity to talk in person to the realtor.
The Random.
I gave Sophie a bath last night and managed to spray water all over the bathroom while I was busy focusing on lathering the pup... thank goodness for tile floors. OOPS!!!


Pottery Barn Meets Urban CoffeeHouse

"Pottery Barn meets urban coffee house" is the phrase that Barbi, The Staging Girl, used to describe our home. 
On a recommendation from our realtor, we set up a consultation with Barbi {she stages homes for a living}. I have never felt so validated in my life as I did when Barbi walked through our home and then stopped abruptly to say, "What the hell do you guys need me for? You're house is perfect. Your realtor is going to laugh at me for saying this, but I would be doing you a severe injustice to charge you money when you have already done all of the work."
Free of charge, Barbi proceeded to give us very specific advice on minor things to change to make our home show the best.
She also gave us great advice like: Make sure before every showing to bake Chocolate Chip Toll House cookiesPut a note on our fridge telling prospective home buyers to help themselves to a cokeHave Michael Buble music playingTurn all of our lights on and the fans on low. She also suggested…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 10

This week I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. This is the second book I have read by her {the first being Many Waters}. She truly has a gift for weaving science fiction with Biblical themes.

Five of my favorite passages from this book: "Wee mussttn'tt looose ourr senssess of hummorr. Thee onnlly wway ttoo ccope withh ssometthingg ddeadly sseriouss iss ttoo ttry ttoo trreatt itt a llittlle lligghtly."

The more a man knows, the less he talks.

Experience is the mother of knowledge.

"What you will soon realize is that there is no need to fight me. Not only is there no need, but you will not have the slightest desire to do so, for why should you wish to fight someone who is here to save you pain and trouble." - IT {the brain controlling all of the people on the planet Camazotz}
"In your language you have a form of poetry called the sonnet... It is a very strict form of poetry... there are fourteen lines, I believe, in iambic pentameter. That's …


Ever since I was little, I have had a special place in my heart for this type of swing {seen on Desire to Inspire}. This feeling stems back to when I was a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea and my grandparents had a swing like this on their porch. I remember sitting in it with my oldest cousin, Melita. Now that I am older, I would love to recreate some of that nostalgia and maybe get some pieces of furniture {like this swing} that remind me of my childhood...

Project 52: Date Nights - Pillow Talk

Our entire weekend was a date in the sense that we got to spend 36 hours together.

It was nice to have Daniel home. It was hard to have to share our precious time together interviewing realtors, but I suppose that this is a necessary part of getting to the next phase of our life. Thankfully we are about ready to make a decision and our house should be on the market by next weekend or soon thereafter.

The best part about Daniel being home, was laying in bed and talking. I miss talking. Talking on the phone just doesn't cut it for me. And only having 20-30 minutes a day for phone conversations has been difficult. Sharing our daily lives through ongoing dialogue is a key element to our marriage.

I can deal with being alone. But I miss conversation. Friday night, in the dark, catching up on our week apart, was a nice way to end a very busy week.

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood

Have you ever chosen a path in life and then wondered what your life would have been like if you had taken another route? I think it is natural to be curious and have moments of "what if" that cross your mind.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the path you had once considered, turned out to the be the path you were on, just 10 years later?

That is exactly what my husband is experiencing right now.

When Daniel was in high school, he seriously considered entering the sub-nuke program with the Navy. After much contemplation, he decided he didn't want to commit the time to the Navy and he opted to go to college {where he met me}.

This path led him into civil engineering and a 4-year post-college stint in land development {which came to a screeching halt when the economy and real estate market went bust}.

So one year of unemployment later, he finds himself in a nuke program that is a ridiculously good fit for him. Not only that, after a week of orientation, he realized that h…

What To Do...

Today we met with two very different realtors regarding selling our house. I knew both from my years at Allen Tate and I also freelanced for both of them.
That being said, it was an interesting presentation. It is going to be a hard decision. Both would be excellent choices. It is hard to know which to pick in order to 1) sell our house quickly and 2) get a good price for all of the work we have done.
Thankfully Sophie was relatively calm while these {percieved} strangers came into our home. It is going to be a bit of a pain showing the house since I will have to make sure Sophie is not here when realtors come by. I feel sorry for anyone who attempts to come into the house if she happens to still be here. Both realtors promised me that we would have warning and confirmation of visits ahead of time so that I could remove her from the house... we shall see.
This morning's realtor was extremely prepared. She really knows our target market and our neighborhood. She has a license in appra…

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Week 9, No Books Read Unfortunately I have had no time to read this week. I hope to be back on schedule with a finished book next week.

Right now I have 6 books from the library in my possession. I am either going to have to kick into high gear and read a lot OR renew them online. I love the internet.

Books in my possession to read: The Pilgrim's Progress, These is My Words, The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Jesus for President, A Wrinkle in TimeandThe Book Thief.
See you next week.

the good. the bad. and the random. (First Week Living Apart, March 2010)

The Good: I have managed to get up and run {just under} 2 miles every day this week.
The Bad: Sophie sometimes gets distracted and yanks on her leash. This is leading to some minor knee pain.
And The Random: I am much more likely to drink enough water when I have a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle on my desk {please don't lecture me on BPA}. Drinking all of this water requires extra trips to the bathroom.

The Good: I am getting a lot done on the house.
The Bad: I don't have time to cook, so I am eating a lot of fast food.
And The Random: I have never been to a Jack In The Box before... when you are eating fast food regularly, you gotta mix it up.
Note: I'll be glad when the house is listed and I don't have to work on house projects. This will give me more time to cook and it will be better for my health and {more importantly} my waistline. I might be in trouble if it weren't for the daily running thing.The Good:
Daniel gets off at noon tomorrow {instead of 5} and should be home around d…

Salmon Packets

This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Italian Fish and Veggie Pockets. This is my quick fix meal that is super healthy. We eat this twice a month.
Ingredients 2 salmon filets {I prefer fresh} 1 red bell pepper, sliced One time my husband freaked out when he saw the price of red bell peppers as opposed to green. He persuaded me to substitute the green. I told him it would not taste good. But he insisted. From this experience, I can tell you, without a doubt, that green bell peppers DO NOT work in this recipe.Sugar Snap Peas {I use one handful per pack} Salt & Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lemon Juice White Wine
Directions Heat oven to 400F. Tear off sheets of aluminum foil for your packs. Fold edges up to prevent liquid from spilling. Slice bell pepper and put half in one packet, half in the other. Place handful of peas in each packet. Season with salt & pepper.
Drizzle olive oil (about a tsp) on top of vegetables.  Pour 1 tbsp of wine on veggies. Pour 1 tsp of lemon juice on vegg…

Project 52: Date Nights - So Long. Farewell. My Feet Are Stained. Goodbye.

When I was in college, I spent a summer in Germany and Switzerland. Before the group I was traveling with left the USofA, we were given some basic German words and phrases to learn. Somebody also found a list of "sounds like" phrases to help us with our German. One of them was to say "My feet are stained" in lieu of "Auf Wiedersehen." Which cracked me up and has always stuck with me... most of the time we just said, "Guten Tag."

Anyways, Germany and stained feet have absolutely nothing to do with our weekly date. But this date did end in Goodbye. After a crazy month, an even crazier 7 days and the craziest weekend of working on the house, we topped it off by going to The Original Pancake House {our favorite place to go for Sunday morning brunch}. After eating, we said our {tearful} goodbyes in the parking lot and Daniel left Charlotte to drive the 5.5 hours to Chattanooga.

And so begins a job-induced separation with no clear end in sight. Talk …

Baked "Grilled" Cheese

I love to cook and try out new recipes. I could cook a new thing every day and be perfectly content. On the other hand, my husband would be happy if I made spaghetti 3 times a week. But since I am the cook, he is a trooper and eats anything I make.

For his sake, I do have some go to recipes that I try to rotate in periodically.

One of our favorite Saturday lunches is baked "grilled" cheese sandwiches. This is a grown-up version of your normal grilled cheese and you can make as many variations as you care to dream up. This makes me happy.

INGREDIENTS Butter {I use Smart Balance}
Sliced Bread {I generally use whole wheat}
Sliced Cheese {I use Kraft 2% Milk American Singles}
Deli Meat of Your Choice
Tomato, sliced
Grated Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. {I microwave my butter for 10 seconds to make it easy to spread.}
Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on the buttered side …