Thursday, May 30, 2013

HIMYF

Here's the thing. I hate non-reality TV. I've mentioned it a few times before. Sitcoms just aren't my thing with their punchy, forced one-liners and fake audience laughter and applause. I just can't get into them. And then I moved in with my parents and I lost control of the TV.

My mom and I have very similar reality TV love, but she also likes a few sitcom shows as well. For the last 6 months she's watched these shows while I've played on my phone on the couch (recently, that meant playing Candy Crush. omgcrushallthecandies) So, without watching these shows, I've sort of listened to them enough to gain interest. And I'd even occasionally glance up at the screen. And then I'd laugh at a non-forced joke once in a while. Hey, some of these shows aren't so bad after all!

While I can't really tell you the difference between How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory or any character names, I'm sort of liking them and now I feel like I've been missing out. And it wasn't until the season finale of HIMYM did I realize what the show's whole premise was. I LIKE it. I LIKE things that work in reverse like that! (For example, my favorite music video ever)  I sort of want to watch the other seasons now!

So anyways, all that to say that the story of how I met John (or, How I Met Your Father if I'm telling the story to Charley) isn't really known by many in detail. Because, it is quite possibly the most embarrassing night of my life. And I reserve the right to leave out details if they don't make it off the cutting room floor. Episodes are only 30 minutes, people.

I tend to befriend younger people. Maybe I'm a few years immature for my age, but it always seems like my best friends are younger than me. So when I turned 21, I was single and ready to try out the bar scene. Only problem was that very few of my regular friends at the time were also 21. So, I ended up sorta kinda befriending the sister of my boss. She was only two years older than me, and she went out to bars. Those were the only two questions on my friendship application at the time and she passed. Bonus: I actually liked her!

So new friend brought a few more of her friends and we went to a country bar called Coyote Joe's because the people were a-plenty and the drinks were cheap. They were fun and all, but I wasn't looking for friends. I was looking for love. I had been single for a little over a year at that point, and I was just ready to meet someone new. So while my bosses' sister and her friends talked among themselves I rudely tuned them out and my eyes wandered around the bar. And then! I saw him.

My ex-boyfriend.

Not exactly who I wanted to see. He saw me too and he walked towards me. We hadn't seen each other or talked in at least 6 months. And even then we had just seen each other in passing. What on Earth does he want to say?

He walks up and after some brief chit chat, wants me to come back to the table he's at to meet his new girlfriend. Seriously dude? But, I apparently am too nice and followed him back to his table. Met the new girl (I wasn't impressed) and then due to lack of available seating went and sat on one of his male friend's laps. I knew my ex-boyfriend, and I knew the reason he wanted to introduce me to his new girlfriend was to rub it in my face that he was un-single first out of the two of us. And to get him back I started flirting with his friend. Clearly, this was very immature on both of our parts, and awkward for the rest of the friends at the table. I can't imagine what new girlfriend thought.

Apparently, ex-boyfriend's plans didn't go as he wanted so he not-so-kindly asked me to now leave.

So I left. I was instructed by my sort-of friends to check-in with them periodically since I was off by myself in a huge bar, so I went to find them and let them know I was okay. I then headed to the bar to get another drink. Boy, did I need a drink.

I scooch my way up to the bar through the crowds of people. I end up next to a guy I recognized from high school. In high school, he and I didn't really know each other. I knew who he was, and he knew who I was and that was the extent of that. I start talking to him because A) I recognized him and B) alcohol has removed any sort of filter or shy-ness. He helps alcohol in it's efforts and buys me another drink. A shot of Goldschl├Ąger. Ick. But that was what I asked for. My stomach churns now just thinking about it.

In high school he looked quite different than he did on this particular night. At the end of high school, he and all of his friends had buzz cuts and now he had hair. After talking to him about 5 minutes about what we had been doing since high school and maybe even reminiscing about high school (which had only ended 3 years before mind you) I make a really dumb proclamation.

Apparently the hair difference had just now sunk in and I no longer believed this guy to be the guy I went to high school with. PREPOSTEROUS! I asked him to provide me with identification, which he then provided.

Oh, yeah, okay it is you. Carry on.

We chat some more, and then it's been quite some time and I really should check back in with my friends. We should hang out again sometime, I suggest! He agrees, and we try to figure out how to contact each other once we are no longer in each other's company.

"Do you have a cell phone? I'll call you so you'll have my number!"
"No, just a work cell phone. It's dead and doesn't have voicemail."
"I'll write my number down for you! Only, I don't have pen or paper."
He grabs a napkin.
"Let me try and borrow a pen from the bartender."
If you've ever been at an extremely crowded bar, you know how long it can take for the bartender to get to you to take your drink order. We didn't even have a drink order, just a pen order. So we would have likely been continually passed over. After waiting a few minutes with no success, we give up on him and came up with another plan.
"Do you have a home phone?"
"Yes! No one is there since we're all here, but there is an answering machine!"
"Okay! I'll call it right now and leave you a message with my number!"

::you see Charley, back then everyone didn't own personal cell phones and there were these machines hooked to home phones on which you left messages. And we walked to school 12 miles, barefoot, uphill both ways.::

So I called and left my number on his answering machine, hoping him and his buddies (which I knew from high school also) wouldn't get home and listen to it and either a) erase it in their drunkeness, or b) make fun of my message. I hate phones, leaving messages, calling, etc.

In the meantime, I went back to sit with my friends in the bar and stayed with them the rest of the night. There was another run-in with my ex-boyfriend later that evening, and since I had drank even more since the first run-in, it didn't end well. I'm going to leave it at that.

But it did end my night. After the incident, it was clear I'd had too much and friends were ready to go too, so we left. I had planned to go back to hang out with high school guy, but high school guy shouldn't have bought me that shot because it was one drink too many.

Friends (who obviously were way more responsible than I was this night) drove me back to their home. I spent so much time with the toilet that night that I thought my cell phone should also spend some time in the toilet. I was keeping it in my hand in case high school guy called and then it went for a swim.

The next morning (oh! my head!) my phone worked again (maybe we did the rice trick? I don't remember.) and I had a voice mail. High school guy left a message saying he was home safely and wondered why I never came back to chat. Oh if he only knew.

I call him back and we make plans to hang out again the next weekend. Him and his friends (again, all people I knew from high school) were going uptown to a bar and I should meet them out.

Next weekend comes and I get ready to go out. On the way I pass my best friend's house and she is having a small gathering that evening with our group of friends. I stop by on the way out to chat, and momentarily consider cancelling altogether in lieu of hanging with my regular crowd. Hanging out with the regulars sounds much more fun than forcing myself to walk into a crowded bar and find a guy and his friends that I haven't really seen (except briefly the prior weekend) in years. I hate walking in somewhere and looking for people through a crowd. I just know they are looking right at me and pointing and laughing at my oblivion.

But, I force myself to go. And I get there, and find John and his friends pretty easily. We have a great time and head home for the night. We make plans to see each other again the next weekend. Which then turns into the next weekend, until finally we start sneaking weekday visits in there too. Before I know it, he's coming up to the toy store where I work and sitting with me all evening on weekday nights. And then I'm going and spending most nights at his apartment. And hanging just a shirt or two in his closet. Then overhearing comments from his roommates about me ALWAYS being there.

But ya know what roommates? It happens. Love happens fast and in country bars where your ex-boyfriend is being a creep and you are too drunk to remember the entirety of the night and your phone winds up in a toilet.

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That's my bare midriff! It's the same pale color as my shirt and if you squint just right I look topless! What a horrible color for you, Lacey of 2003!

And that, my dear sweet Charley, is How I Met Your Father. Sweet dreams, little one. Definitely an appropriate bedtime story, no?


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See! He looked totally different in high school! A request for identification wasn't such a bad idea! Also, we were meant to be apparently since we are next to each other in the yearbook. Go look at who you are next to in your yearbook and that is your actual soul mate.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We're In.

The saga is finally over.

(Want to catch up in a hurry, start here. Then here. Here, here, here, then here. A video here, then here, and finally here.)

We finally closed on our house yesterday, and rushed to move our beds in last night. Had things gone smoothly, we shouldn't have had to rush at all. But, if you are caught up with the story/saga, you know that absolutely nothing has gone smoothly. Nothing.

We were to close on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. I had scanned the final disclosure documents to the lender on Friday and we were given permission to move our stuff into the garage over the holiday weekend. Things were looking up. On top of all of that, I got to leave work early at 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

I get home Friday and of course, some of the documents were incorrect and they would need to be signed and scanned back to them again. Now though, I'm at home where we don't have a fancy copier/scanner/fax machine. We do have a scanner though, so it could be done but it would just be time consuming.

After printer problems, scanning issues and just slow internet, I got all of the documents scanned and FINALLY attached to the email and sent to the lender in time. I had to scan each page on it's own on our home scanner instead of as a group. Very, very annoying.

Over the weekend we moved everything from storage into the garage as we were given permission to do.


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And then, as the long weekend went on and we had time on our hands, we itched to move the boxes from the garage into their respective rooms. So we did. And then, as we had even more time (seriously, all weekends should be three day weekends) I itched to unpack some boxes and put things away in the kitchen. Which then, I did that too. Sure, it was against policy and we were taking a chance with insurance I'm sure, but, we'd already gotten the thumbs up that I'd gotten final approval on the loan and all that was missing was my signature so we took that chance. And after all we'd been through with the builder, it didn't feel bad breaking one of their rules. Like a final kick in their butts. (Okay, to be honest, I'm so afraid of breaking rules that John and my parents continually gave me encouragement that breaking this rule was okay. But I did it, darn it.)

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On Saturday night, my best friend came over and her, John and I had a few beers and had a putting-together-our-IKEA-couch-that-is-in-a-million-pieces party. Seriously, so much fun.

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Ooh! A peeksy of the new rug!

And since we opted for no wire shelving in any of our closets, John went ahead and tackled the pantry and put up some nice wooden shelves. Eventually, we'd like to find a fun wallpaper or stencil for the wall and maybe paint the shelving. 


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So then Monday since we were already breaking rules, we decided it was time for the cats to come home. John brought them home and we met him there with Charley who is OBSESSED with cats. I took pictures of their reunion that night with my real camera and haven't uploaded them yet, but I don't think any of them will capture as much joy as this one from my phone did from the next day.

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So anyways, we still had to make this home ownership thing official. We may have programmed garage door openers and let our cats roam free in the home, but it still really wasn't ours. We needed to go sign the papers.

As I mentioned, our appointment was at 11:00 a.m. yesterday. At about 8:00 that morning, I emailed the lender asking WHERE the closing was going to take place, and if everything was still on track for our closing time. I hesitated to add that last sentence because I feel like asking them just gave them an easy opportunity to delay things. 

Which they did, of course. They needed a few more hours, so as long as the attorney had availability that afternoon they'd need to move the closing to 2:00 instead. The attorney finally replied after an agonizing 15 minutes and he did have availability. Thank goodness. ONE thing is going our way.

We get to the attorney's office at 2 and we are forced to make small talk with the builder for over 45 minutes in the waiting room as the closing documents still weren't quite done. John's good at that kind of thing thankfully so I just giggled here and there to not seem like a complete whackadoo. Not there was any animosity between them and us or anything....

We get called back to the conference area to sign documents and it's really not too bad. Finish up, are handed the keys and we are on our way home! YAY!

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Not so fast. As I had just uploaded the obligatory Facebook picture of our smiling faces while holding our keys- my phone rang.

Hello?

It's the lender. They messed up something in the closing documents. Are we far away from the office? Can we go back and re-sign them all?

You have got to be kidding me. We still hadn't had lunch, and were just discussing where we should go to get a celebratory lunch. Guess we'll put off eating for a while longer. We go back to the office and are escorted back to the conference area where we wait.

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And wait.

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And wait.

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I Candy Crushed, Facebooked, and went to the end of the internet. Then my phone died and John and I had the world championship of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

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But finally. FINALLY. We were done. And could go home and EAT. No celebratory lunch with a drink though, we just wanted to get home and see Charley and get our beds into our new house. 

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We moved just enough stuff from my parent's house to ours to get us through last night and this morning which gives us much more opportunity to go down to their house and move some more stuff tonight. Any excuse to go visit again. It's been less than 24 hours, and, I kind of miss them already. My dad came by this morning during breakfast and I was glad to see him. How crazy am I!? 

And although I've been withholding the name of the builder until we got our keys in our hands, I think I am finally ready to make it public knowledge. I will say that our house was built very well and it may be par for the course in new home construction, I still feel like putting my experience and review out there may be beneficial to future prospective customers. Like I said, our house is beautiful and really well built. We just had some timing and communication issues. With all that said, if you are building a house in the NC/SC area on your own land, Madison Homebuilders can do that for you. This was just my experience and I trust that anybody googling reviews of Madison Homebuilders will make a decision for themselves whether they take our experience into consideration or not.

You guys, it's over. Thanks for sticking around through all of it. Now, the fun part. I can hardly concentrate on anything at all with all these decorating ideas floating around in my head...


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Timeline of Building A House Through Text Messages and Emails

As you very well know, we are in the process of building a house. In fact, it's built. Finished. And it's just sitting there empty waiting for some life to move in. It has been basically finished for 2 months now and we've just been waiting on a bunch of little things, inspections and the lender to get it together. It made me think of how many times I've updated my friends and family over the course of this build, and how ridiculous I must seem when I told friends that we'd be in our house by the end of March, and then April, and now May when it kept kept kept getting postponed.

Which gave me the idea to collect Facebook posts, text messages and emails over the last 7 months and put them here together. To see how many times things were postponed, failed, or just flat out SLOW.

Have you built a home before? Is this normal? Keep in mind when we originally signed the contract with the builder last July we were told we'd be in the house before Christmas.

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The house at Christmas. We tried to wait for Santa in our home, but we kept feeling a draft.

October 15, 2012
Friend: How’s the house coming along?
Me: They started last week, and are supposed to be doing the foundation this week. We are already irritated with them though because they are changing stuff without telling us. Like we noticed the hole they dug for the basement wasn’t as deep as we were expecting so we asked them if we were still going to have tall ceilings in the basement so we could put our HVAC stuff in the floor instead of in the ceilings, and they said no, we changed it to be in the attic. What? Think that maybe you could have told us?? I seriously hope it gets better. I am so fed up with these people. Just build my house the way I want it darn it.

November 20, 2012
FB message to friends: I just got offered a new position (with a nice promotion and more $$) within my same company. It's a new role and they came to me, not even knowing I was already looking. I was going to have to stay in my current position for a while since we'll be closing on our house soon-ish and it was too late to make a move, so this is just perfect timing. My patience paid off!

December 7, 2012
Friend: What's the latest progress on the house?
Me: Just uploaded a picture to Flickr. They just poured the basement yesterday, so it's not as far along as you would have thought. When they were gonna pour before (what was that, two weeks ago?) they failed an inspection for some crazy stuff, then there was Thanksgiving, bad weather, etc. They are framing it out today.

March 6, 2013
John: Just emailed you. Not closing in March???
Me: What?
John: I just sent [the builder] an email. This is bullsh*t.

March 8, 2013
Friend: How's the house coming along Lacey?!?
Me: So so so so so slowly. We locked in our loan for 45 days though so soon, very soon.
Friend: When is it expected to be finished? It's looking good :)
Me: They won't give us a date. So dumb. I'd guess early April now though.

March 19, 2013
Friend: Hows the house coming?!
Me: Argh. Um, well the septic system went in Friday and was supposed to be finished up Saturday after they got the one part inspected. Well, of course, it failed inspection and they now have to take the tank out of the ground and re-place it. I forget why it failed. So of course then that delayed the well from going in yesterday, and on top of that it rained all day yesterday and today it's super muddy so they have yet to come back and fix that issue. So annoying. So, definitely not looking like March now. Our loan rate is locked until April 10...

March 25, 2013
Friend: How is the house coming along?
Me: House is coming along. Early April it’s looking like.

April 1, 2013
(text when discussing picking a date for a Pampered Chef party)
I was waiting on an exact date from the builder on when we would close, and I still don't have it. :/ I know we won't be in there this weekend and that only leaves one other weekend between now and then.

I'm sorry this is getting put off again! Had no idea I'd be homeless for this long!

April 2, 2013
Text to vent to a friend: So annoyed. John texted the contractor to try and get an estimate date. I'll forward you the texts:
John: "...My wife emailed [the builder's secretary] today. She is wanting to know a completion date. [Builder's secretary] told her to get with you and see what else needs to be done. I'm hoping you can give me a date so we can prepare. Our loan lock will expire in 8 days. I know we won't close in 8 days but we need an estimate.

Contractor's response: Working on it. Hoping to backfill tomorrow, electrical final called in and know what we need to do now to correct mechanical final. I'll try to firm up tomorrow after I put eyes on it."

April 4, 2013
Email from builder to lender: As I told you yesterday, we are trying to finish up on the house. Attached are the final numbers as promised yesterday. We still have to finish up finals on the house and work thru all the final inspections with Mecklenburg County. I am not sure how long that will take. Please let me know what docs you are going to need from me in order to close other than than the Cert. of Occupancy. I will notify you as soon as we have power and are ready for the final appraisal to be done.

April 11, 2013
(when (again) discussing picking a date for a Pampered Chef party)
Her: Did you have a date in mind for May/June?
Me: What about June 1?
Her: That's fine, but I don't want you to feel rushed or in a bind.
Me: No, that should give us plenty of time, that's why I picked that day.

April 12, 2013
Me, email to builder: Are we on track to close this month? I hate to keep asking, but we need to have a little notice with our storage unit and our work schedules for closing/moving if so. Thanks for any information you may have.
Builder's response: Hi, We are trying to close this month. Thanks.

April 25, 2013
Facebook message to friends: Finally. One of the last house inspections passed. Now we are just waiting on the water inspection which will hopefully be tomorrow, and then we will close about a week after that.

April 27, 2013
Me to friends: House failed another inspection yesterday! Hooray! Should be fine with having Monday off now!

May 2, 2013
Friend: So do you have a closing date or is that too optimistic of me to even ask, lol?
Me: HA! Let's tone down that optimistic-isity.

May 13, 2013
Friend: What's the latest with the house?
Me: Just waiting on the bank….tick tock tick tock. They were supposed to give a closing date today. That’s yet to happen.

May 23, 2013
(Text to Pampered Chef consultant/friend)
Bad news. We aren't closing tomorrow so we will be moving next weekend. This is so beyond ridiculous. We'll have to reschedule the Pampered Chef party.

Which brings us to today. We were told earlier this week that we'd likely close today. Through a fair amount of pestering for information, we finally heard yesterday that we WON'T in fact be closing today. But we'd be closing on Tuesday instead. So while we are so excited that we finally have a closing date, now we have a plan-less three day weekend which would have been optimal timing for moving in. Next weekend begins June, which would mean another month of paying for storage. No thank you.

So, do we sneak behind the builder's backs, take advantage of the three day weekend and move our stuff just into the garage this weekend? Or do we follow instructions and wait until after closing on Tuesday, and then rush to get all of our things out of storage in the evenings after work next week?

Update: Nevermind...builder just let us know we are free to move things into the garage this weekend! No sneaking here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Planning Decor? Who AM I anymore!

In our townhouse I was just finding my decorating way. When the paint on the walls wasn't quite what I was envisioning I just stuck with it. I'd make it work. Plus, I never planned ahead enough to buy the little tubs of tester paint. I just picked a color from a swatch in the store and we'd buy the gallons. See? Totally no forethought into it. In fact, the faux finish on the walls of the living room was from an idea I saw on Better Homes and Garden's website (pre-Pinterest. It was hard to find ideas in those days!). The picture they used to show the finished product made the walls look like different shades of yellow in each square. Obviously, they had used special lighting in their picture as I used the exact same paints:

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But we didn't stop painting or run back to the store to change it. I sort of just ran with the punches because I didn't have an idea of how I wanted the entire room to look when complete. I decorated as I went.

But now. Now, it's different. I've been thinking about decorating our new house before we even cleared the land. Thinking about it so much that I've made a mood board for our new living room/breakfast area. They are all pretty much together so I think they will all be decorated similarly. But seriously, who am I anymore?



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I am picturing a farmhouse table (maybe DIY, not sure) yellow walls, dark neutral couch and blues and whites around. Natural materials too, like jute or wicker or the like.

The walls are a yellowish color already. I may go a shade yellow-er, but for now I'm going to leave them and see how I like it. I always tend to pick the shades on the darker end of the paint swatches and realize after I've bought the gallons that it's too dark.

I've had yellow and blue in my head since I started thinking about it. I can't get it out of my head and when the builder painted the walls their default color and I saw it had a yellowish tint to it, that sealed the deal.

The floors we put down are pretty busy already, so I knew that I didn't want a rug that was very busy. Add to that my hate of traditional rugs and my usual cheap-ness and you get a girl that has been looking for rugs unsuccessfully for MONTHS. I finally found THE ONE yesterday, but unfortunately it did not have THE right price. It was $500, which isn't too too bad for a rug that size and I loved it so much I was almost ready to pull the trigger. Until today when I found one (probably not as high of quality) for half the price. SOLD. I don't think I'm going to keep the same design scheme forever, so I'm okay with a rug that likely won't last forever. Blue and white striped rug = check.

I've also been scouring Craigslist for a mantel surround. I really would prefer one that's older and more beat up, but I'll keep looking. My sister found one at a yard sale for $10 that I really love. Proof that yard sales > Craigslist. Also, no, we don't have a fireplace. We opted not to add that in because we really never used it and I hate the way it limits the design of a room. But, I do like the look of one so I went ahead and bought this one for $50 and I'm going to put it up and tile the center or something. Plus, we have to have a place to hang our stockings! I may get brave and beat this one up a bit. I'm not feeling real confident in my abilities to do that yet.

fireplace
 

I can't wait. I have a few ideas for Charley's room and color scheme and I had a bit of laundry room inspiration too one day (as you may have noticed on Pinterest) but that's all I've got so far. I like that it's going to come to me slowly and sort of evolve it's way into a finished house. I can't even wait to actually buy a few paint samples and paint the little swatches on the wall like a planner would do. Planning can be fun too!

As for the actual house updates, there are none yet. It's finished. It's passed inspections and we're supposed to get the appraisal back tomorrow. Monday apparently they are going to let us know a closing date, which would then decide a moving date which could potentially be next weekend! Oh, except John is busy all next weekend and won't be available to move our stuff. So, we'll wait another week. What's one more week when we've waited this long?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Home Stretch

We're edging closer to moving from The Homeless Stretch to The Home Stretch. Yesterday was big. We finally passed the last inspection (I'm pretty sure every single inspection was failed at least once, if not more, during this process. I have no experience to draw upon since we've never built a house before, but is that normal? I am sure things get overlooked here and there and all, but every. single. inspection to fail? Very annoying.

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Apparently "Fi" is short for "Final" which would have been way too time consuming to spell out.
And then, thanks to some persistence by John who stepped up when the builder was slacking not so persistent, we got the C.O. (Certificate of Occupancy) issued. After that, you can request that power be turned on.

This is normally something the builder would do as well, but when our project manager guy said he'd call first thing this morning at 4:00 yesterday afternoon (tomorrow!? There's still time to call today!), John took that into his own hands as well. He called the power company himself and 30 minutes later the power guy was there. A few minutes later felt like this scene from Christmas Vacation. (at about 3:49 if you want to skip ahead)

 

We had LIGHTS! We spent the next 20 minutes flicking lights on and off and figuring out which switch did what. Very exciting.

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Now, it's in the bank's hands. Early on we were told that it's usually a week after the C.O. is issued that they will want to close on the house and get paid (remember? this builder funds the build out of pocket, and instead of us getting a construction loan we only get a mortgage once the house is complete). But we were also told we'd be in the house by Christmas, and then early February, and then FOR SURE by the end of April.....so I'm not holding my breath.

I had a couple of requests for pictures of the inside, and, well, I did my best. I really could have used a wide angle lens to take pictures of empty rooms since they are basically pictures of nothing. I think my iPhone actually has a wider lens than the smallest I have (18mm) but oh well. It's all I've got. The pictures of the rooms with THINGS in them will be much more pleasing anyways. But if you just cannot wait, here is a group of pictures of empty rooms. 

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Speaking of all the things, I have quite the collection of things from garage sales from last fall (that went straight into boxes) and this spring. So Laura, just for you, once we get moved in and start unpacking things I'm going to show you all the stuff I've got. To be honest, I really don't even remember what all I bought. Since it's impossible to know how you are going to decorate a house that isn't yet built I went with the method "if I like it, I buy it". If I don't end up using some of the stuff, I'll resell them at my own garage sale I'll have in the fall. I may even mark things up $.50 more than I paid for them. GASP! I mean, most of the stuff took up space in a storage unit I've paid for so it's only fair, right? 

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We're really excited, y'all. Can't wait to put this all behind us and move on. And move in. Speaking of moving in...anyone want to help? Please and thank you!

Living With Parents

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I've been living with my parents since November. It was originally thought we'd only be here 6 weeks and now it's been almost 6 months. I know what you are thinking - that I'm about to start complaining and saying how horrible it's been. But I'm not. (& my mom just let out a sigh of relief) In fact, as I've mentioned before, it's been pretty great. But that's not to say that I didn't realize a few things about living with parents as an adult.

First, the guilt. Oh my gosh the guilt. Part of this is just my personality, but still. I think any normal/non-leech child would have at least some guilt. So, dinners. We always eat dinner together pretty soon after John and I get home from work. My parents are retired and pre-having-adult-child-plus-her-family living in their home, they ate out. A lot. We (meaning John and I and Charley), do not. We cook almost every single night. And since we both work full time, we did a lot of crock pot meals during the week.

At first when we moved in, I made a very good effort to try and cook at least half of the weekdays. And slowly, that's been becoming less and less. My mom will say "you worked all day! I have been here, I can make you dinner!" and I've let her. And then I feel guilty when I walk in from work and she's standing over the stove. And the guilt makes another appearance if she beats me to the dishes afterwards.

I'm sure it's going both ways though. She feels guilty on the days when she hasn't cooked anything even though I tell her not to. Guilty, guilty, guilty!

But there are good things too that have come from these 6 months.

Staying on the cooking subject, my mom is a really great cook. When I really started to venture out and try other foods besides pizza and french fries, I was in my late teens/early twenties. No, I'm totally serious. So, I missed out on lots of her meals growing up because I was just that picky. And now, I can eat her chicken fried rice and enjoy how good it is! Who knew!? I'll have to collect a few of her recipes before we leave.

You know what else I learned? My mom's tried and true way to fold a t-shirt. Just think. When you are a teenager or a young adult still living at home, you don't take the time to do chores properly and thoroughly  It's not until you are in your own place that you start appreciating things and want to do them correctly. So my t-shirt folding method left a lot to be desired. In particular, once the t-shirt was unfolded the sleeves had all kinds of wonky wrinkles. So as I was folding laundry the other night, I had my mom demonstrate her method because I remembered that her t-shirts were always folded so perfect and flat and smoothly. & now I know. No more wonky wrinkles in my house!

As far as the space goes when having two families share common living areas - no issues really. There was room enough for all of us at the table and in the living room. My mom and I have identical TV taste, and so do my dad and John. For the sleeping arrangements, Charley had her own room, and John and I shared a room. Again, no issues there.

But storage is an issue. We had packed out completely a 10x15 storage unit.

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We had NO space left in the closet in our room. We were starting to place things along all of the walls on the floor. And as we bought things, and got gifts (Christmas, for example) our stuff kept piling up. You know what you do when you are envisioning decorating and living in a new house? You buy stuff! As you see good deals on things you may need, you just buy it. When you have no space in closets any longer, you start stacking stuff. And that is how our room turned into a hoarder's paradise.

Ok, not really. But it's way more clutter than I'm used to and I'm over it. Just 700 feet away is an empty house just waiting to be filled with stuff. I also have an IKEA (couch, cabinets, pantry organization items) pile in my parent's garage, and on top of that all of my garage sale finds from this year so far. It's a lot of stuff. My parents are going to rejoice with all of their reclaimed space when we leave.

But most of all, I have learned (or, was just reminded of the fact) that I have great parents. And they are great in-laws to John and they are fantastic grandparents to Charley. I don't think this is the norm- to be able to live with your parents as an adult and be SAD when it's time to leave. I think most people will be chomping at the bit to get out after this long. The good news is we'll only be 700 feet away. And my parents have made it as easy as possible to get to us/Charley.

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Parents: Come on over whenever! We'll miss you!