Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Girl Pants

So, as you know by now I am currently going through the process of buying a house. To clarify, I am buying a house where Nick, Finlay, and I (and hopefully a future Hall or two) will live together, but I am the only decision-maker and/or action-taker in the bunch! Obviously, Nick can't participate from Afghanistan so I'm on my own here, which has really forced me to step up and put on my big girl pants.
Tonight I had to negotiate our mortgage and secure our homeowner's insurance policy all on my own. This was a daunting task! Fortunately, I knew that I had Nick's full support in this, and I'd gotten a few good pep talks from my sweet Daddy, and everything worked out great - more than great! But if you told me a year ago that I'd be doing all this by myself I'd have laughed in your face.
I really was nervous about this all day - stomach churning, barely able to concentrate! So I had to give myself a little reminder of why I'm doing all this. Below, you'll see one of my motivations - my new fabulous kitchen! Clearly, it's not finished, but I'm pretty sure that once it's done it will be about 10 times the size of my current kitchen and at least 4 times bigger than any I've ever had. Since I cook a lot (not necessarily well, but a lot all the same) I am holding this little slice of heaven as my motivation to keep pushing through this process, even when I get super-stressed out about all of these very grown-up tasks I'm learning how to complete.
As both my parents have reminded me, everything for this house is really falling into place - I definitely think that it's divine intervention, the way that everything is working out, but I still tend to get stressed out!
In other news, Nick has Shingles so please say a little prayer for him. They've popped up on his back so you can imagine how painful and uncomfortable that is, and how un-fun it will be during the 7-10 days he spends making his way home from Afghanistan. It's just 10 days now until Nick leaves his forward operating base - hooray!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Be it ever so humble...

There's no place like home! I'm going to try to keep this post to a reasonable length, but it will be long so if you'd like to see a picture of Nick's and my house in New Mexico, scroll to the bottom.
This past weekend my mom and I flew out to Clovis, my home for the next 3 years or so, for a house hunting excursion. Nick and I have rented for the last 5 years and are so excited to take the plunge into homeownership! However, we're on a tight timetable since Nick arrives home from Afghanistan roughly 6 weeks before we have to show up in Clovis - hardly time to find and purchase a house!
Enter Mom and Dad, who flew Mom out to help me in my quest for our first home. Mom - you were a great partner in crime, and I had so much fun with you! Thanks for all your help and encouragement.
Below, you'll see Mom and me at Leal's, a Clovis favorite. The Mexican food was great - I know Nick and I will eat here a lot! It was a great way to unwind after our first day of househunting. We were out and about from 10am until 4 or 5 looking at about a dozen houses and then scoping out the neighborhoods. We saw some good houses the first day, but not one that was perfect, and I was definitely gearing up for a pretty big compromise. Here I am with Holly, my realtor, who was a superhero! I loved working with her, and look forward to being friends when Nick and I move. She even told me all about her church, a Methodist church, which Nick and I will definitely visit. At the beginning of day two she took me straight to the house I ended up putting in an offer on, but had refused to see the day before because it didn't have a fireplace. As soon as I walked in I knew this was it! But Holly was a good sport and took me to see my second and third choice options "just in case." Later on when I had made my decision she saved the day by scooping up the keys from the builder (who was going out of town) just in the nick of time so I could get into the house and snap pictures to my heart's content! She also has made this entire process really easy for me, which is helpful for this first-timer.
So, here we are...Clovis, a community for family - I sure hope so! Clovis is not Dallas, or even Waco, or even San Angelo, but it is a really friendly town with enough restaurants and shopping to keep me sane. Mom and I found, with Holly's help, several cute little home/gift stores and clothing boutiques and learned about all the places to shop for groceries. Another thing I love - there are sidewalks and walking/running trails everywhere! We saw lots of groups of kids walking around my neighborhood together and with parents and pets. I already feel very safe, comfortable, and right at home in my new home! And yes, there are trees and my yard will be sodded front and back so it doesn't look like a desert.


Finally, without further ado, here it is! Home sweet home. It's in a neighborhood of similar homes and backs up to a small base housing area. Ooo, and did I mention it's on a corner lot? Fin is going to love his bigger backyard. There's actually a little playground behind what will be our back fence! We're also close to the country club and all the best resturants and shopping. Kids in our neighborhood walk to the #1 elementary school, which is just a few blocks away. I couldn't be happier! We close in April and will move in on May 10th. Hooray!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And So It Goes

video

Again, the entire video of our song was too big to fit on the blog so I've just put up the first part. In this video are my friends (left to right) Rochelle, Lauren, Lou, Meredith, Mary Lance, Christine, and Kelly. Rochelle and I are singing soprano I, Lauren and Lou are singing soprano II, Meredith and Mary Lance are singing alto I, and Christine and Kelly are singing alto II. Probably no one cares about voice parts except for my mother and grandmother, but I knew that they'd be interested so I've included that info just for you guys. Enjoy!

For Good

video

The whole video of our song was too big to upload, but enjoy this clip of Lauren, Kelly, and me singing "For Good."

Snow!

There are conflicting reports of just how much snow we got here in Columbia yesterday. The airport says 8.6 inches while most other reports are about 5 or 6 inches. Any way you slice it, though, we got a lot of snow! I braved the roads last night to perform in the Cabaret mentioned in my last post, and when I had to drive home at 9pm the roads were totally covered in snow! I drove all the way from church at about 20 mph, but I made it home safely, with my friends Michael, Kelly, and "B" following me just in case. Here's how things looked by 10am this morning:
Nick's car - thankfully it already had the cover on it!Someone built this snowman in the field behind our apartment.This is the field where Fin likes to come and play. He loved the snow!Can you see how deep my bootprints go? The snow came all the way up to Finlay's tummy when he was walking around!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Come to the Cabaret!

These lovely ladies (my friends Kelly and Lauren) and I are singing in a cabaret show, along with lots of other TRUMC choir friends. The three of us are singing an SSA arrangement of "For Good" from Wicked. Yes, I chose this song for us to sing on purpose, and if you know the song you know why. These two, along with other sweet friends, have definitely changed my life for the better, for good! I'll post video from our performance as soon as I can get it configured correctly for the blog. For now you'll just have to enjoy our smiling faces!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Next Month

Today is the first day I got to say "Nick is coming home next month!!!" That is all.