Another decade! Can you believe it?

We were fortunate to ring in the new year with some of our closest friends and had a blast. If the beginning of 2010 has any indication for how the rest of the year is going to go then I am ready for an amazing year.

We got our home appraisal on Wednesday, hopefully we’ll know by this coming Wednesday if all systems are go or not. Apparently the appraiser was only there for half an hour, so I’m hoping this is a good thing. You see, it has been very cold around these parts and we’re buried under about a foot of snow. I’m hoping the snow covered any imperfections the appraiser might have noticed on the outside and it was just too darn cold to stick around inside the house for very long to get a good look (no one has been living there in a few months, and the entire place is winterized against our lovely PA winter weather). This should be the final hurdle before we can close, still on schedule, on the 28th of this month! Did I mention before that’s just in time for my birthday? I turn 23 on the 30th. What a fantastic birthday present, should it happen. I get a house!

I’ve started my decorating dreams, and just to keep things organized made a little website to keep things neat and in the same place. Click here to check some pictures out ๐Ÿ™‚

2010 led me to a new discovery as well: mineral makeup. The bare essentials seemed a little over priced to me, but I wanted to try mineral makeup (no chemicals!) so off to Etsy I went. I was not disappointed. I found the shop for Urban Apothecary and ordered foundation, blush, and eye shadow. I’m in love! I’ve never been this excited about makeup before (that might be a lie) but this makeup is amazing. I’m hopeful it will help my recent break out problem. I’ve been blessed with clear skin for most of my life, but apparently 22 is the new 13 for me.

Hoping soon I’ll have some happy house news to share, I have my fingers crossed they won’t leave me in suspense too much longer!


I thought it might be fun to fill out this survey at the end of every year. You can see 2008’s version >a href= target=”new”>here

1. What did you do in 2009 that youโ€™d never done before?
I got married and drank tequilla in Mexico ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. Did you keep your new yearโ€™s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not make any in 2009, but I have a few in mind for 2010

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully!

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico, on an amazing honeymoon!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A home of our own, patience, and presence with the people in my life.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Our wedding day, hands down. Also our week in Mexico with all the swim up bars, sand, and sun we could handle!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I wrangled me a husband, haha. But in all seriousness, I guess it’s an achievement in itself to plan and execute a wedding without going insane. Justin and I also agreed on our first house, so that’s a nice joint-achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don’t think I failed big-time at anything major. Probably exercising regularly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Wedding bands =)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
ah, I plead the 5th here.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding and honeymoon! It is expensive to make an honest man out of someone!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I think honeymooning in Mexico trumped the wedding part, is that bad? Also, starting to search for a house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
My Best Friend – Tim McGraw
You’re more than a lover
There could never be another
To make me feel the way you do
Oh we just get closer
I fall in love all over
Everytime I look at you
And I don’t know where I’d be
Without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense
You’re my best friend

Self explanatory ๐Ÿ˜‰

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter =(
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish youโ€™d done more of?

19. What do you wish youโ€™d done less of?
sleep in late

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With both families, amazing!

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Every day =)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

True Blood and Greys. I also have fallen in love with HGTV

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didnโ€™t hate this time last year?
I donโ€™t hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?

Still the Twilight series, I have to admit. ha

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I have really been branching out, there’s a few!

26. What did you want and get?
The Wedding of my dreams to the man of my dreams ๐Ÿ™‚

27. What did you want and not get?
A house, come on 2010!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

New Moon!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I went out to to see a show (I love you, you’re perfect, now change) in Pittsburgh with Justin, Bree, and Vince. I was 22.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
hmm, getting my degree. May 2010!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Getting more lazy as I get older. I want to work on this in 2010.

32. What kept you sane?

Justin, booze, writing, reading. In just about that order too.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
err. Well, I have a pretty standard crush on a vampire named Edward Cullen, does that count? Not much changed here since last year!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Healthcare reform has everyone’s attention now. I truly hope everyone can get covered now.

35. Who did you miss?

So many friends. We all live pretty spread out. And my family is too far for comfort.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I actually did not meet too many new people this year.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Stop. Breathe. Relax.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Regardless of warnings the future doesn’t scare me at all, nothing’s like before.”

If you’re in the mood for a bit of a tear-jerker, listen to Same Auld Lang Syne, by Dan Fogelburg. This time of year it always gets to me, it’s a beautiful song.

Merry belated Christmas =)

The holiday season treated us well this year. For the first time in three years I got to spend Christmas even with family I don’t get to see that often, so that was pretty fantastic.

alternate text On the 16th Justin took me to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra, which was beyond phenomenal! There is honestly no way to describe this show unless you have seen it. It’s a rock concert, complete with electric guitars, drums, and even an electric violin. The show’s first part is Christmas-related, all classic Christmas and holiday songs set to a hard rocking beat. There’s lasers and lights and pyrotechnics that will blow your mind. Even Justin admitted that he wasn’t sure he would like it (the word orchestra had him running in the other direction) but after the show we’re already planning going back every year. It is worth the price and the fight through evil Pittsburgh (or any city) traffic to see this show. It is an excellent way to kick off the holiday season!

alternate text On Wednesday before Christmas we went to have dinner with Justin’s family. I still don’t know everyone terribly well, but we’re getting there. After dinner we headed to Justin’s parents house to open up gifts with them as well as John and Lori. Aren’t they cute? Poor John and Lori, I’m pretty sure Justin’s mom got the baby bug from all his cousin’s babies, and she knows she would be barking up the wrong tree with me just yet, so now we’re just waiting on them! It would be pretty wonderful to have a little niece of nephew, but I won’t push it…much ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christmas eve was a lot of fun, My parents, brother, Justin and I went to church. Christmas Eve is my favorite church service out of the year, and I’m so glad I was able to make it this year and bring my shiny new husband ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha. alternate text After church we went to my aunt and uncle’s, caught up with them for the first time in forever. My brother and I are the youngest of my cousins, so growing up we were never really all that close. Now I notice it is a lot easier to talk to them simply because we have more in common now. I guess the older you get the smaller the age gap appears. It was also nice to finally fully introduce Justin to this part of the family besides the hi, hello, congrats at the wedding.
After the party we went back to my parents house where we were spending the night. Justin and I stayed up with my mom and had a couple more drinks and had a good time, and then went to bed to wait for Santa, haha.
alternate text All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better first Christmas with my new husband ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully our second Christmas together will have us in our first house, the place may be torn apart at that point with all the remodeling we have planned, but it would certainly be amazing! I was grateful to not have to do a ton of driving this year in trying to squeeze in all our family time in one day. We got to spend time with each family each day and then had Christmas day fully to ourselves.

All in all, I could ask for a better family, new and old ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a lucky girl!

Buying a house is obviously not for the faint of heart!

A lot has happened in the last week.

We got our home inspection on Friday. As we had assumed, the roof needs to be replaced as well as the chimney. The inspector gave it less than a year. In order to get a loan for the home, we need to have that roof replaced.

Our first step: We asked the seller to pay for the roof replacement (estimated at $4,500). We then proceeded to wait three days to hear back from him. When we heard back from him he said he doesn’t have the cash to pay for the roof, but he’ll give us a $2,000 credit at closing.

There’s no way in hell I would want to make such a major (expensive!) repair on a home that is not my own. even if we had an iron-clad contract with the buyer he could still back out, and then we have a legal mess thrown up all over our laps. No thanks. We countered and asked that the seller then drop the price of the home to reflect the cost of the roof, he countered that he would give us another $1,000 at closing, so we would only be paying $1,500 to repair the roof.

For the amount of house we;re getting for the price, husband and I decided that it was still a pretty good deal. Keep in mind we do plan on putting a lot of money into updating the entire thing, but I digress. The house has a sturdy foundation, it’s spacious, it has a huge yard and in a great location. We can eat the $1,500.

We come back to the issue of not wanting to pay for something so major unless our name is all over that deed. Now we are waiting to hear back from our broker if we can put the seller’s $3,000 and our $1,500 in escrow and wait until after the house is ours (and that it’s not the middle of winter in Pennsylvania!). We’re basically at a stalemate here. We won’t continue if we have to fix the roof first, but if we can work something out with escrow then we will be one step closer to being homeowners. We most likely won’t here the verdict until Monday, but I’m hopeful the news will be good.

This whole experience has been full of headaches and heartaches, but if we end up with the house in the end I’ll consider it worth it.

I don’t really like the cold, the snow, the ice, or the crazy PA drivers who forget that it gets like this every year…but I do love holiday parties!

Last night Justin and I went to our first “formal” gathering as husband and wife, and I was introduced all night as “my wife” by Justin. It was pretty awesome, I have to say. Justin’s department at work had their annual Christmas party last night. It is always so much fun to dress up and go out!

I don’t have much of an update from our contingency news from Thursday. We scheduled the home inspection for this coming Friday and it is basically a waiting game until then.

The whole process of buying a house has been very educational. You have no idea what goes into buying real estate until you’re knee-deep in paper work. Here’s the cliff notes version.

First, you find a house. Not just any house, but one you and your spouse can actually (freakin!) agree on. (kidding honey ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) You think that’s the hard part. When you find a house you both love, you immediately start the process of mentally moving in, which is such a bad idea on so many levels. Your husband will deny any such mental move in on his part and tells you it’s not yours yet.
The next part is putting an offer in. In our case the house was in a very comfortable price range, just came on the market the day before we saw it, and to us seemed like it probably wouldn’t last long, even with the market in the toilet right now. We offered full asking price and that the seller pay closing. The seller counter offered for a slightly higher price but would still pay all closing costs. We accepted and are now sitting at contingent. Contingent basically means we will buy the house if _____. In our case we have two things we need to secure the house. The house needs to pass a home inspection so that the lender will give us a mortgage, and then we have to secure the actual mortgage. As far as credit goes we have the money ready, but the house basically needs to be worth as much or more than what we want to take the mortgage out for. It all makes sense in a round about sort of way, but it’s a nail-biting experience.

Our inspection is scheduled for 9am on Friday morning. We’ll meet there with our realtor and the inspector and basically he’ll tell us what all is wrong with the place. We if there’s something minor that needs done we are not afraid of a little work, but one concern our realtor had was the roof. She seems to think that it might need replaced and may not pass inspection. Justin didn’t see anything wrong with it and I have no idea what I would be looking for so I don’t count, haha. The suspense is kind of killing me.

It’s not even that I would be against putting the work into replacing a roof, it’s the fact that it would need to be done before we could buy the house and it is the middle of winter in western PA. Not exactly roof-replacing weather by any means.

If the roof passes then our last hurdle is the assessment. As long as the house is worth as much or more than we’re paying then we will get the money to buy it.

I’ll admit, I’m already halfway mentally moved in. I have big plans for the kitchen and the bathroom is half painted. A garden is almost planted in the huge back yard and Justin and I are already arguing over all the color options for the extra bedrooms (haha). The point I’m trying to get to is that it is hard to not let yourself mentally move into a house that you love, and the closer you get to obtaining it the harder it is to reel yourself back in.

This week will probably be one of the slowest of my life, I hope it goes by quickly!!

So, um, Justin and I put an offer in on a house yesterday.

Today the seller counter offered.

As of 3PM today we are officially contingent.

I guess I should back up a little. We’ve been dappling in house hunting roughly since the time we got back from our honeymoon. We’ve gone back and forth a lot about what we want, where we want it,what all we want in it, and how much we want it for. We put an offer on a house that is very different from the house we had cooked up in our minds three month ago!

We went out with our Realtor yesterday to check out a house we both fell in love with from pictures on the internet. The kitchen was all finished with stainless steel appliances and granite counters, it had a garage and a barn and came with two acres of land. It was the first house Justin really was excited to see.

Well, we got there and the pictures didn’t lie, the kitchen was beautiful and the land was amazing. It was also built for shorter people than Justin and I.

We are tall people, we will probably have tall children. This house was pretty small in all aspects, including the bedrooms. It was listed for $119,000 and in my opinion not enough house for the money. This house was a bust and we didn’t plan on looking at anymore that day. Our realtor mentioned that another house had just popped up on the market the previous day and it was only a 3 minute drive from where we were at. We didn’t have anything else to do, so sure, why not go look?

this house was triple the size for half the price of the other one. While it isn’t beautiful and updated, it can be beautiful and updated. There is so much potential and room to grow that we just knew wanted it and could do it. We said goodbye to our realtor and talked it over at home. An hour later we called her again and asked if we could meet back at the house later that day and maybe put in an offer.

Put in an offer we did! The seller countered for a reasonable amount and we accepted. So here we are now, contingent upon the inspection. If the inspection goes through (and our mortgage, which I’m not really concerned about) then we just might be home owners ๐Ÿ™‚