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 🙂

The house hunt continues. Wednesday our Realtor took us to a house that Justin and I both loved, which has not happened yet on our adventure. Unfortunately it was also about $15,000 over our price range and exactly $34,000 over our comfort zone. It just went on the market a couple weeks ago, so we’ll keep it in the back of our minds and continue to look. If it is still on the market in a couple months then we’ll see if the price drops or possibly low-ball the sellers. It’s an estate so it could really go either way. In any case, it really set a standard, and I hope we can find something else just as great!

Finding that house has also really lit a fire under my ass. I have been working like crazy and will continue to do so in the coming months. We’re at that point where we’re so close we can taste it, but we just have to find something that meets all our criteria. Patience has never been a strong characteristic of mine, but this is something so monumental that I just don’t want to settle for anything short of what we both love.

I guess that will be it for houses until I have some more concrete news. I have other things to amuse me this month (like my 50 hour work week next week, ha) Nano is coming along splendidly, I’m still about 10k words over where I need to be at this point. And notice the cute widget I added to the right there? It’ll keep you updated. ha.

I am currently three hours into my 10 hour work day. Like I mentioned before, Next week I volunteered (ick, I know) to basically work 50 hours. 10 hours of glorious time and a half over time though, and we just got our yearly raises, so I really can’t complain too much…until later next week anyway. Justin also picked up a little over time, in the form of 8am to 12am on Friday. He can pound it all out at once though, I on the other hand would probably hurt someone.

So as I’m rearranging my schedule and biting my nails at the thought of spending so much time at a place I am not incredibly found of, I got to thinking what might make the work onslaught a little easier. First thing that came to mind? Chocolate chip cookies. Random, yes, but also an excellent idea. Another idea was to break out the Panini maker that we got as a wedding gift that I’ve been itching to try out and stray away from the boring ham and cheese sandwiches Justin eats every single day (I usually go hungry because I’m lazy) and try some fancy sandwiches to keep us entertained throughout the impending week. As of right now I’ve added about 10 Panini sandwiches to my Recipe archive and still going strong. One website I found in my searches is absolutely amazing, Panini Happy. I highly recommend that site, and will definitely be using some of her amazing recipes this week!

I hope that some creative adventures in the kitchen will distract me enough from the workload for next week, and I truly hope hubby isn’t going to get sick of my creative adventures. Truth be told, he’s not quite as into my….creativity sometimes. I know once or twice (or, you know, a dozen) times I’ve made something for the two of us and he grins and bears it. He truly is a very supportive man, so I hope to impress him as well as fulfill my domestic duty to keep him full and content with some yummy sandwiches!

As long as life doesn’t get the best of me, I’ll try to take some pictures to share throughout next week, we shall see!

I know, I’ve been meaning to post some pictures and talk about our honeymoon for awhile now. I am a slacker, I am sorry. But better late than never, right?
Sombreros! I think this is a very appropriate picture to start off with, don’t you? Haha. In case I didn’t mention, we went to Riviera Maya, Mexico. It was basically one of the best experiences of my life! The resort was immaculate, and it was all-inclusive, so we basically got to eat and drink as much as we wanted, and drink we did 😉
This specific picture was taken at a restaurant outside our resort on one of the excursions we went on. We asked our server to take a picture of us, she did and left…then came back with these huge sombreros! It was pretty hilarious, as she didn’t speak much English at all and our Spanish is very rudimentary, but we were all laughing =) Us in Tulum This was taken on our excursion to Tulum, an ancient Mayan City. I love culture and history! The city was amazing, and sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around how people lived in actual ancient history. Seeing a huge city that was built out of stone and the culture that surrounds it also puts into perspective how young our country is. America is a baby compared to all these other civilizations. Mexico was so full of culture and history, as well as beautiful sights and beaches, it was the perfect destination for us. Another thing about this specific excursion, and Mexico in general, is that it was hot. Hot Hot Hot! I’ve never been on a tour where they actually require you to have water. you’re not allowed to go into the tour group without water, which I thought was pretty interesting, as well as smart. The bottoms of my feet where actually getting hot, and every once in awhile we would have to stop and let them cool off a little bit. Coming from Pennsylvania this was a little unheard of. I don’t think our temperatures ever get hotter than maybe 105, and that’s only on very rare occasions every couple years. It was at least 105 down there most of the time!

We're spoiled now! One of the best aspects of our honeymoon, hands down, was the pool bar. The glorious, glorious pool bar! Here we are in a place we visited at least once a day, generally just to cool off and get in a little liqueur fix. haha. The bartenders were awesome, very attentive and funny. It sucks that my waterproof camera didn’t have a flash, but you get the general idea! Mexico isn’t as conservative, per say, as America is. We could smoke and drink in the pool anywhere, and they had ashtrays set up for us in the bar area.

Cutie Just look at that cutie! Haha. One thing I noticed, however, is that it is almost too hot to get drunk down there. We spent hours at the bar (and our would-be tab if it wasn’t all inclusive seriously would have paid for the trip and then some!) We just drank because everything they made was awesome! The bar was literally a bar. There were stools under the water that you would sit on, and the bar part was raised high enough to be comfortable but wouldn’t splash a ton of water on the inside. The best way I can explain the bar set up would be that it kind of reminded me of a dug out. It was built into the ground of the pool and stretched on for probably 30 feet so that different sides of the pool could get bar access. It was amazing! I really wonder if anyplace in the US has something like this, because I want to visit! They took two of my favorite things, swimming and booze, and joined them in a match made in heaven.

Beautiful Believe it or not, we did not spend every waking hour at the pool bar, we went to the beach a few different times too…and there’s a bar on the beach, haha. There is nothing, nothing in my young life that has equaled to drinking margaritas on a Mexican beach with my husband. I’m pretty sure that was a little piece of paradise right there. And seriously, look at that water! Words cannot describe the color of the Caribbean Ocean. It’s the bluest blue and the greenest green you’ll ever see. People name shades of blue and green after the Caribbean but they simply cannot do it justice. There’s something about this ocean that nothing man-made could ever compare to. It’s amazing. Just keep swimming! And swimming in it! That water is clear! We went out to the very edge, as far as we could go before they roped it off, and I could still see my feet about 6 feet down. The water was so clear that we saw a fairly large fish a little ways away from where we were standing in the water. It scared the crap out of me, I won’t lie. It was probably about a foot long and was having a hard time getting back out into the sea due to the waves. I loved just relaxing in the waves and letting them carry us, it was truly relaxing. I really wish we lived closer to a beach, Lake Erie just won’t be able to cut it now! We got seriously spoiled with this beach, I’m pretty sure the Atlantic won’t be able to hold a candle to it, but I hope to make a comparison this summer 🙂 A trip back to Mexico is absolutely in our future, but we’ll probably have to wait a couple years and settle for a closer beach.
Just keep swimming! This vacation was one of the high lights of my life. They say that things don’t really change once you’re married (especially after living together for two years) but I did feel a subtle change. This man I was with is not my husband, and there’s a certain kind of bond that comes along with that title. He’s my best friend and so much more, and to experience this amazing vacation with him was absolutely awesome. We got to do a lot of relaxing and just enjoying ourselves, not to mention all the eating and drinking we could manage, and it still oddly took a lot out of us! Haha. I was ready to sleep for a week when we got back, but unfortunately is was back to the real world, leaving our wedding and honeymoon almost like a dream. It certainly was a dream come true, and I cannot wait to go back to Mexico, or any other traveling in general with my brand new husband!

I’m a Mrs.!

They really are not kidding when they say that the wedding day flies by and you have no idea how it went by so fast.

I spent the night at my parents house the night before the wedding. I spent some time with Justin and some relatives at the bar (ha!) after our rehearsal was over. Justin left to spend the night at our place and I headed home with my parents after getting properly tipsy. I’m almost surprised we stuck to the tradition.

On Friday, our wedding day, we woke up to it pouring. When I say pouring I don’t mean just cats and dogs, freaking bison and antelopes where falling from the sky. I was pretty sure it couldn’t have rained any harder if it wanted to. We had our own monsoon in western PA.

Honestly, the rain wouldn’t have bothered me except for one small detail…our wedding was set to be outdoors.

I went about my day checking the weather on my crackberry like a fiend. I did it while I was getting my hair done, while I was getting my makeup done, while I was driving (I know, shame, shame.) The rain would not let up.

I drove my mom and my great cousin to the venue where our wedding was about to take place in about an hour, there where still bison falling from the sky. I really couldn’t believe all the rotten luck. I had never felt so sick to my stomach in my life. I choked down a turkey sandwich before we left and still felt like I was just going to be sick all over the place.

To be honest, all I wanted all day was just to see Justin. Justin is the person I go to when I need to cry or need comforted. He’s my best friend and always can make me feel better. I very nearly said to hell with tradition…but I knew it would take away from the magic of the moment later. It was hard.

When we arrived at the venue the rain started to calm down. I was shuffled into the dressing room where the rest of my bridesmaids where already gathered doing last minute touch ups and getting dressed. The closer the moment got the more anxious I became. Bree even had some little shots for us, and would you believe I didn’t think I could handle it? That’s right, I turned down hard liquor, I was that bad off.

No one would let me out of the bathroom as Justin was running around outside taking care of last minute details. I had the shakes and felt like I was going to laugh and cry all at the same time. We lined up to go out and I heard the song we picked our for the party processional….God Bless the Broken Road.

It was like everything clicked. The sun had come out while I was hidden in the bathroom and my friends where gathered around smiling. Everyone looked amazing all dressed up. I took my father’s arm and we started to walk down the isle… The water had miraculously already dried on the concrete as we made our way to the gazebo where Justin was waiting.

And it was like God blessed the broken road. Every single heartbreak and trial and (literally) thunderstorm that we went through to get to each other was nothing. It was all worth it and then some when I saw him waiting for me up there. At that point I was beyond laughing and I was beyond tears. To be honest, I barely heard the minister while we were up there looking at each other.

It was like my whole world had been in pieces before this, and in 20 minutes it all fell into place so perfectly that nothing can describe it; you have to live it.

There’s nothing in the wold that compares to finding the place your heart can call home.

I've Got SunshineOn Thursday Justin and I went off on a little day trip up to Erie, PA. It’s funny, when i was a kid and my parents would take my brother and myself to the beach, I wouldn’t sit still. I wanted to go swim in the water, I wanted to make sand castles and fly kites, I wanted to run around in my bare feet in the sand. My poor parents. Now that I’m older nothing, nothing beats lying on the beach with a good book and just taking in the sunshine. I honestly could have done it all day. I had a towel and my fiance snoring quietly beside me, and a comfortable sand-mound pillow beneath my head. Every so often I would roll over and let the rest of my body enjoy the sun while I read my book and listened to the waves.

I jokingly said to Justin that this was practice for our honeymoon. I know it’s rough just lying on the beach all day, so we should get as much practice in as possible 😉 I definitely plan on going up a little before all the wedding craziness starts coming at us full-force. Nothing beats relaxing in the sun all day, and down in Mexico we get all the adult beverages we’ll be able to handle!

Farris Wheel Fun!Once the sun was getting ready to set, we made our way over to Waldemeer park. The only thing that could maybe be a match for a day at the beach is a night at an amusement park! Justin and I are big roller coaster junkies, and Waldemeer has a couple awesome ones, along with the general adrenaline-pumping rides that are just a step below roller coasters. We got there at a very good time, all the very young children were starting to clear out, so no crazy sugared-up kids were running around 🙂

I also learned something new about my fiance. He doesn’t like farris wheels. He thinks they’re creepy. This picture was taken while we were actually on one, so apparently he doesn’t dislike them that much, but I found that funny. I personally love Farris Wheels, I think they’re romantic.

Overlooking Lake Erie

They also make for one hell of a view! Sunset on Lake Erie taken from the top of the Farris Wheel. Perfect sunset to end a perfect day.

Wow, I cannot believe it has been nine months since Justin and I decided to move up our wedding date. Since then so much has happened, I am surprised we’ve been able to keep up.

Yesterday we mailed out our invitations. I think besides maybe…4 or 5 we’ve sent them all out. Done. No more. Never have to look at the invitations again! It’s a big relief, but then it comes with its own set of worries. I keep having dreams that everyone gets lost, due to the place we’re having the ceremony and reception at. The place itself doesn’t really have its own address, so we put a general area address on the invitations. Now my project for the night is to make the step-by-step directions to get there, ick.

All the big things have long since been taken care of. Wedding cake, venue, photographer, etc. Now it’s the million little things than seem to want to attack me like angry little fire ants. We have two groomsmen who still need fitted, I need to get the programs done, we need to meet with the pastor again, gotta get Justin a passport, book our flight/hotel stay for the honeymoon…annoying little things. Not to mention the venue lady likes to randomly ignore my emails. I told Justin last night that we’re going to need to keep a steady supply of booze in the fridge for the next couple months if I’m even going to try to get any sleep. And horse tranquilizers, I think those might come in handy too!

This Saturday I’m going shopping with my mom, our flower girl, and her mom for our flower girl dress. One more thing to cross off! I still need to email all my bridesmaids the link for their shoes and finalize the ceremony readings before the nest pastor visit. The bouquets are almost done, and I love them! 🙂 I think I’m going to try and pound out a lot more this weekend.

On a much more fun note, we decided on Mexico for the honeymoon! We’re going to an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. I’m not sure if I’m more excited for the wedding or the honeymoon! After all the wedding craziness it’s going to be so wonderful to escape to a gorgeous place to relax and drink all the booze we can, haha. I really want to go para sailing, out of anything to do there, para sailing is my number one thing. Another is snorkeling, I’d love to see some fishies up close and personal!

I’m excited to go somewhere exotic for our honeymoon. I never got to go anywhere wild and crazy for spring break during college, so this is like the treat I’ve been waiting for. It doesn’t hurt I’ll be able to share it with my best friend and husband!

So today is basically my Wednesday. I traded my weekends off to have Wednesday and Thursday off with Justin. Lets just say it’s very, very disorienting. I literally spent most of Wednesday morning thinking it was Saturday, only to be corrected because the shows I usually watch Saturday morning were no where to be seen. THEN I did the SAME thing on Thursday. I was entirely convinced it was Sunday.

The nice thing about having our “weekend” in the middle of the week is that when we went out to dinner on Wednesday at the brewery we got right in. Saturdays when we usually go it is packed to capacity and we usually have to wait about 20 minutes or so. Win!

In other exciting news, someone made the first purchase off one of our registries yesterday! I was ridiculously excited, because it just means all this is really happening. We’re getting married! I can’t wait to find out who made the purchase just so i can kiss them and tell them thanks for making my day, because it really did! I am now one step closer to my Italian/wine themed kitchen =)

The registry is really a lot of fun. I mean, when else can you make a huge wish list and have a chance of getting some things? The nice thing for us is that we have everything we need to live comfortably, we’ve had a home set up going on two years now, so we basically just get to either upgrade our cheaper/abused/second hand stuff to new stuff that reflects our tastes and register for “fun” stuff, like a panini maker, basically stuff we want but probably wouldn’t buy. Justin complained about me dragging him to do the registries, but he was like a little kid in a toy store zapping everything in sight with the little scan gun. It was fun though, and through it we kind of get a better idea about each others tastes in different things. Happily we do share the same taste in many things, so that made the whole process very easy.

Bree’s getting married on Saturday. I am going to lose it so hardcore when I see that happen, just because 1) they’re great together, and 2) she’s one of my oldest friends, and seeing her getting married is going to sucker punch the realization to me that I am too. I mean, it’s one thing to hear about someone you know getting engaged, married, whatever, but to have a childhood friend get married…I think it’s like a whole other level of realization.

Justin said to me the other day that I am getting married young, which struck me as funny. Granted, he’s 26, I’m 22, so there is a little gap, but it’s not something I really think about. Justin and I are on the same level with what we want in life right now, so age really isn’t an issue. It’s just weird to think of myself as getting married young. I don’t think I’ve been “young” in a long time. I’m an old soul, and I’m glad I found another one.