Friday, April 1, 2011

Saying "Yes" (Part 2)

Grab a cup of coffee because it's a long one, then again, aren't they all...

Home Sweet Home

So after the long financing process and a promise to be in before Christmas, I finally got notification that I was going to close on our house December 23, 2010 (cuttin' it pretttty close).  I, on one hand, was extremely excited that I was going to be in MY OWN house for Christmas; but then on other hand, closing on Christmas Eve Eve also meant that I would not be able to go to Pennsylvania with my parents, sister, aunts, uncles & cousins to celebrate Christmas- it was bittersweet to say the least. 

This was the weather the day we were supposed to move.... didn't happen, obviously.
 After a full day in Kingsport, saying good-bye to my family, grabbing lunch with a friend in town for the holidays, and getting carpal tunnel from signing my life away closing on our house, I called Ed to celebrate and see if he had been able to find a Christmas tree for us (since we were going to be in our house for Christmas).  Sadly, Ed informed me that he & Nat, his twin brother, had driven ALL over town in search of a REAL tree and apologized profusely for not finding one- it was two days before Christmas & all... but he did say since we couldn't stay home to decorate our tree & celebrate closing he wanted us to go out for a dinner date with Nat & his girlfriend.

When I got home I noticed a little glitter of Christmas lights through the window and got butterflies because I love a good surprise- Ed the little trickster! I barge through the door & am so excited because, if you know me, you know my obsession with the holiday and the immense joy I took picking out all of our new decorations for our new home! I squeal as I see Ed "Yayyyy!! you tricked me! how sweet!!" he quickly points out, "Becca, I'm so sorry, but take a closer look, I couldn't find a real tree, so I had to go to the office and steal theirs!" (Side note: office tree= ancient, artificial, 1/2 the lights don't work, there is more dust in the branches than in my parents basement, which is really quite a feat in itself, fake holly berries & pine cones, and just not my cup-of-tea) So when he suggested that we still decorate it, I'm sure my look of appal was very apparent- Ed's a kitchen snob, I'm a Christmas tree snob, so kill me- again he suggested "you LOVE your new decorations, you set them all out in the floor and stare at them, common, it will be fun!" I suggested a glass of wine while I get ready for dinner (in my defense, it had been a long day, I'm really not an uber-b*tch)

Ed with the ring when he & Nat hijacked the tree from the office.
So Ed pours a glass of wine for me an in the process, knocks over another glass sitting on the counter.  If you know Ed, you also know that he is one of the most clumsy people you will ever meet, and I should be used to this by now, but I sigh and grab Bea so she doesn't cut her paws on the glass shards all over the floor.  Ed picks up most of it and then asks if I would get a wet paper towel to get the little pieces he has missed under the cabinets while he goes to get the broom.  As I bend down I see a ring lying in the floor under one of the cabinets and say (I swear I'm not an idiot) "OH MY GOSH, ED! LOOK AT WHAT THE OLD OWNERS LEFT!! I WONDER IF IT'S REAL!" as I look up to show him, he is on his knee.  Again I swear I'm not an idiot, I didn't think anything of it, I thought he was bending down to help me pick up the broken glass...

the ring, after the proposal
Ed: No, Becca that's for you....
Me: what?
Ed: I love you, will you marry me??
Me: are you serious?! are you SERIOUS?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?? (I really thought I might have been on a candid camera show and it was a joke- although I know Ed is not that mean)
Ed: [laughing and looking at me like 'are YOU serious, you nut case say yes' ] If I show you the box will you believe me??
Me: OF COURSE! YES! (after he showed me the box so I knew he wasn't pullin' my leg- gosh, I suck)

So there is the story, all 824 words of it, and I couldn't be happier! I love that his original plan of hiding the ring in the tree when we were decorating didn't work because the way it actually happened is so much sweeter in my opinion (although I'm obviously biased).

The first picture of us as an engaged couple!
Sadly we have no pictures from the actual night because my camera was M.I.A.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House Hunting in B-Town

Like I said in my last post, we starting thinking more & more about home ownership & eventually started house hunting... let me just say, "Praise the LORD for our patient realtor, Vannessa Carter Walling" through-out the Aug. - Dec. process we probably looked at 50 homes in our price range & boy, was it exhausting! (Although I totally LOVED it- Ed, notsomuch) 

We started out in quest of a 1930's brick bungalow home, a style that steals my heart and makes me envision weekend home repairs and fun trips to thrift shops like John & Sherry... However, after seeing tons of homes where entire bathrooms & kitchens needed to be gutted, central heat & air installed, and roofs replaced we realized that, while there are some things we could live with & easily replace ourselves over time...


Cue instant buttercup glow

Ed thinking "I CAN'T WORK IN THESE CONDITIONS! (he's a kitchen snob)

There were others that made us think who the @#$* do we think we're doing even considering this...

Notice puddle in the middle of kitchen...and no, neither Bea, nor I tinkled in the floor!

 *Sadly I wound up with no pictures from the "Milly, don't touch ANYTHING house" (Ed's niece came with us on one house hunting adventure)

So, after lots of discussions on what we thought monetarily, physically, and psychologically we could handle, we opted for less work on the house= more time for play & with both of our already busy schedules plus desire for a social life, we didn't want to DIY ourselves to death or pay out the wazoo (haha) for updating everything in sight! Maybe later, but not right now... ANYWAYS here is our little 1920's cutie...

Picture taken 10/6... Keys in hand 12/23... it was a LONG process!
This was the 3rd house I put an offer on & like they say, 3rd time's the charm! She (yes, houses have genders) is just perfect for us right now! We are exactly 1 mile away from my work, walking distance to restaurants & bars (yes, Bristol does have a few), close to King College (relevant until 5/7/2011 WAHOO!), has plenty of space to grow, old home character with modern updates, and will eventually have soccer fields across from it (yay! fenced-in running space for The Weaze!). The only cons I can think of at the time are closet space (although one is in the process of being built- slowly but surely? maybe? fingers-crossed. #storyforanothertime), and I wish we had a little more natural sunlight in the afternoon, but, nothing to make me pack up and want to start the process all over again!
Here are a few shots before we moved in:

Perfect Southern front porch! All you need is a glass of lemonade & some rocking chairs!

Left 1/2 of the kitchen before our make-me-love-cooking appliances were delivered!

Please take note of the "cute" little staging items...

Pretty stairs going upsairs (uh-duh, Becca)

There are still a few things we want to do here & there- eventually replacing kitchen counter tops, fence in the backyard & build a back porch, build built-in's in the living room, possibly add french doors to open up the dining room, paint, add hardwood upstairs, and landscape outside.  Nothing pressing, but just some goals for the next 30 years (doubtful we will stay here that long, but hey, it's what the paper says!).

Home ownership makes us want to celebrate! (mostly I just think this is a hilarious picture)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saying "Yes" (Part 1)

I should probably rewind all the way back to August- even before starting my blog- to the house hunting process.  And actually maybe even rewind back to November 2009 when Ed & I moved into a cute condo together here in Bristol....

Upon moving in together we knew our relationship would go one of two ways- 1.) We would realize that we couldn't live together, hated each others guts for never putting the toilet seat down, taking hours to get ready, or fighting over who got stuck  had the pleasure of taking our sweet precious Weezer out on cold nights
You know I like any excuse to add a picture of sweet B.B., and yes, she is wearing a tutu!
or 2.) We would figure out that we can live together, love spending countless hours watching the Food Network side-by-side, enjoy waking up next to each other's morning dragon breath & greasy hair, and continue to fall madly in love with one another ;)

I'm not gonna lie, those first two months may have been more like #1, it was tough figuring out each other's living habits and figuring out that fine line of actually being good roommates; nevertheless, strengthening our relationship when we were arguing over whose turn it was to take out the trash or unload the dishwasher.  Luckily, we weren't delusional when taking this major step in our relationship.  We knew it was going to be tough, there were going to be days when we just needed a break to spend time with friends, quiet time to ourselves, or occasionally taking a step back and saying "WOAHHH! it's dishes in the sink, NOT the end of the world" so after the transitional period, and a S.W.O.T. Analysis (no joke, I was a business major) we figured out how to make it enjoyable and agreed that we wanted to stick it out for the long-haul! (Say what you want about living together before marriage- it works for us- it may not work for you, to each their own!)

However, after a few months of paying rent and listening to the 3 & 10 year old boys next door charge up & down the stairs at all hours of the night we knew come Nov. 2010 when our contract was up, we needed to move.  We needed space to ourselves where I had the ability to paint, hang pictures, and be creative with our home (no joke, we had predetermined nails in the center of each wall as a designated picture spot in each room).  We thought about renting a house- with a more easy going landlord- but, renting options in B-town are few and far between and with interest rates at all time lows (hello 3.9%), the thought of building equity at a lower price per month than rent, plus a gracious gift from my grandparents estate, home ownership became something we thought about more and more.

Next Up, the house hunting process... more pictures...I swear!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Long Overdue Update...and when I say long, I mean LONG!

Not that I ever got religiously into  blogging back in the fall when I started, but it's been a REALLY long time since I've updated- like, 4 months long time! Not to mention some of the most exciting, momentous, fun things have happened since October! Now more than ever would I like to keep up with my blog so in a few years I can look back and remember the laughter, sweat, tears, and joy I felt in this period of my life!

Like I said, I've had some major changes since October (luckily all good), I have...

1.) Purchased my first house
2.) Started a second "job" with Stella & Dot (I use the "" bunny ears because I would hardly consider it work- it is so much fun to help women pick out jewelry!)

....and....last but CERTAINLY not least....


Hello Gorgeous!

I'm so excited to see how my life unfolds! I've never felt more certain about where I am and what I'm doing than now! It's a great feeling! :)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Over a Week Old Weekened Recap- doin' realll well with the whole blogging thing.

Well, not last weekend, but the weekend BEFORE, Ed & I raced down to Chattanooga Thursday after work/class so I could make it in time to see Chi Omega kill it at the annual Homecoming Step Show!! I was AMAZED, you could tell MANY hours of practice and hard work had been put into the show & this alum was HIGHLY impressed!

The girls walked away (more like jumping, screaming, and lots of celebrating) with best overall- out of all the fraternities and sororities! Following step show I went to eat with my Chi-O "family" my two littles, Lauren and Jenna, and then grand & great grand littles Hannah & Ann! It was great catching up with them & hearing about everything going on in Chattanooga!

Hannah, Jenna, Lauren, and I at Step Show

Friday Ed & I ran around our "old stomping grounds" (as my mom likes to say) and went to eat breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants, Aretha Frankenstein's, which back in the day was on Rachel Ray's show "$40 a Day." They have amazing breakfast burritos and it's the perfect place to cure a little case of the "Nappa Valley Flu!" *As a side note, you will soon see that the majority of what we did on our trip was EAT!! Chattanooga has some of my favorite restaurants and aside from all the friends I miss there, I also really miss the variety of places to chow down!*  Then Ed got a hair cut and we ran a few more boring errands that you most likely do not care about- mainly just stopping in stores that we miss when in Bristol.  Friday night was my designated "girls night" (although the majority of the weekend was spent catching up with girlfriends that I miss MUCHO! MUCHO!) we grabbed dinner and vino at another favorite Chatt-town restaurant, Big River, and chatted(no pun intended- ha!)  the night away.  At some point all of our boyfriends (and other guy friends) met us downtown at another favorite spot CBC where we ended the night! **Somehow I managed to not take a single picture all night!

Saturday Jenna and I went to get our nails done and try out this new "gel polish" I was planning on doing a raving review because it turned out so well, and was supposed to last chip free for TWO WEEKS! How amazing would that have been- and well worth the extra $$- SADLY, after a week the polish just peeled off (and I may or may not have been picking at it during that first quarter of the TN v. Alabama game) so no raving review here!

Saturday afternoon we went to the UTC tailgate for the homecoming game! Now, UTC is not known for it's football talent and I've only actually sat through one full football game when I was president and had to wait to hear which sorority won- gosh, that's really sad to admit! BUT, the tailgating is always fun! I love the football atmosphere- lots of people, good food, band playing, cheerleaders cheering, just makes me happy! Because it was homecoming EVERYONE was in town- I felt like a college freshman again and LOVED it (for a day)!!


and THE boyfriend :)

After the tailgate- no, we did not go to the actual game (shhh...)- we pretty much repeated the previous two nights just insert a different restaurant (beer cheese soup YUM) and different bars! SUCH a fun weekend!! Can't wait 'til next year! :) OH! and I can't forget that Chi Omega won Best Sorority for the 15th year in a ROW! SO proud!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weird post about the way life smells.

Every winter I get my hair colored darker- my mom HATES it, but my hair naturally lightens in the summer and once I'm not out in the sun anymore, it gets brassy looking (and I may or may not be getting a few GRAYS...wth)! Anyways... last week I went to the salon and am now a dark brown with a slight red tint.  Nothing too dramatic, but definitely makes my hair shinier! With the new dye job (and not wanting to have to pay for it again for at least another year) I purchased some new shampoo & conditioner.

Redken Color Extend

I used it this morning for the first time and now I cannot stop smelling my hair!! It smells great- not super scented, just clean!

**Please note, after a week of using this shampoo & conditioner combo my hair feels slightly like straw and I'm using the shampoo additionally as body wash to get rid of quicker & convert back to 'ol faithful... Redken All Soft!

Anyways, after making my hair greasy from touching it so much and pulling it in my face to smell, I got to thinking about scent and how it makes you remember the weirdest things. I can just get a whiff of ammonia and it brings me back to pre-school (we are talkin' 20 years ago!), GAP dream to middle school, or  more recently Parrot Bay Malibu Rum to freshman year of college (sick)! I love getting instantly transported back in time and getting de ja vu from my olfactory receptors (definitely had to google that spelling)!

In the future, I think the scents that will currently define this period of my life will be Woodwick Cider scented candle, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue perfume, Downy Lavender & Vanilla fabric sheets, and stinky dog (you do not want to purchase this smell- I promise)!

Now, this might gross some of you out... BUT, I love the way amusement parks smell (and malls) I think it's the large group of people and everyone's scents all running together- I know it's weird, but I love it!

Anyways, now that you think I'm a total nutcase... what are some of your favorite smells??

p.s.- I will do a post sometime soon (maybe before THIS weekend is over, about LAST weekend and the great time we had in Chattanooga! Go Mocs!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Blessed Boring Life

One of my funniest, favorite, friends Sara recently wrote this post and I felt like she was taking the words right out of my mouth.  As much as I like being 30 minutes away my parents (rather than 3 HOURS away while I was in college) and of course living with Ed and being close to his family as well, there are days when I think..."this is NOT what I would have EVER imagined life in my 20's being like."  Now, these days are few in far between, for the most part I'm a creature of habit and enjoy waking up early, going to work at my stable job, cooking dinner, and getting to spend time with the mammals (not just specifically people, gotta include little Beazy) I love.  But last night, Ed was studying, my mom is out of town, 1-sided conversations with Bea are only entertaining for so long, and I contemplated driving to Chattanooga just to have a girls night like old times.  In college, we would get one of these bad boys....

(Magnum bottle for under $7 with our student discount!)
...put on our PJ's, stay in, sip away, and laugh all night (or cry- depending on the conversation).  These are the nights I miss. 

After college it's really just so hard to meet good girlfriends- especially when you work with people that are all 40+, live in a small town, where most people don't typically move back until after they get married and want to start a family.  It's tough.  Now, I know some people might say something along the lines of, "change something!...MOVE!...get out!" and of course I toss that option around in my head sometimes, but really, for the most part, I think it would be hard anywhere!  In college, I was involved with many activities on campus that allowed me to meet all kinds of people and then of course, I had my sorority that automatically gave me 100+ girlfriends! Things are just different now...

Anyways, enough whining for now... I really do feel happy and blessed at this point in my life.  I live with the person I love, have parents that support me and have great friends that are just a phone call away!

Plus, when you live far away, and you DO get to go visit all your friends, everyone is just so happy to see you! : D and luckily, one of these away weekends is coming up in 6 days!!! I can't wait to go back to UTC Homecoming and see this one:

and these ones...

and can't forget these...

AH! Just thinking about next weekend makes me excited!