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Archive for July, 2010

For Sale

We put our house on the market today.

It was a big decision, and as much as I love our house – our first house together – it’s time to move. We never intended to stay in our home any longer than 5 years, and that 5 year mark will be early next year. We’ve never sold a house before, so I’m a little nervous (but excited) to be taking this step. Of course, it’s bittersweet because this was our first home. We moved in just a month before our wedding. It’s where we began our family when just a month after our wedding, we adopted an adorable furry puppy.

We’ve had parties and holidays and lazy Sundays in this house. I remember our first nights in this house, painting the walls, eating pizza, and sleeping on an air mattress watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on a 13-inch TV. I remember remodeling our bathroom – the first time – and having a cast iron tub sit in our backyard for nearly a year before we finally listed it on Craigslist. I remember discovering the cute little park across the street and taking Champ to run and play and chase tennis balls (his favorite thing in the world – even more than sleeping and eating). I remember the hubs mowing the grass for the first time and all of the neighbors came out of their houses to talk to him in our driveway. I remember thinking how awesome it was to have such friendly neighbors and being invited to their Friday night bonfires. I remember all the landscaping and deck building and bathroom remodeling. I remember buying LOTS of furniture to fill the rooms. When you go from a one bedroom apartment to a four bedroom house, it takes awhile (and a lot of $$$) to fill the space. I remember sleeping on a full size bed for the first year, and when we finally purchased a queen size mattress, I thought it was SO BIG! I remember cooking HUGE Thanksgiving meals with my mom. I remember raking what seemed like an endless amount of leaves. I remember decorating the outside of the house for Xmas and having our neighbors continually tell us that our North Pole sign was pointing south. Once they even kidnapped it and stuck it in their yard so it would point the right direction.

I remember so much about this house, and it’s all of these things that made our first house our home. Other than a few things – no garage, a backyard that overlooks our neighbor’s backyard – I really love this house. While it may be tough to sell it in this economy, and we may even have to rent it out, I don’t regret buying it. I’ve loved living in it and making it our home. I have days where it’s the one and only place I want to be, and part of me is scared to lose that. But this is the first of many sacrifices we’ll have to make to get to where we want to be, so we’re doing it. We’re selling our home. But we’re keeping the memories, because those are ours.

 

(I wrote this post last week, the day we put the house on the market. I delayed publishing until I had better photos to show you. Now I do.)

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The hard part

Uncertainty. That one word sums up much of my life right now. We could be on the brink of something really big – life-changing even – and yet, we may end up exactly where we are right now. I hesitate in talking in too much detail because I’m a tad superstitious and don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m also struggling with how to feel about it, about change. Change can be good – exciting, rewarding, eye-opening, and downright amazing. But change can also be bad – heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, anxiety-ridden, and guilt-stricken. And I feel all of these things right now – both good and bad. I’ve never been very good with big decisions. Perhaps it’s the Gemini shining through, but I always see two sides to every decision, so it’s difficult for me to make choices. Especially big ones. My mind is filled with the “what-ifs” and if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned, at the exact moment I’ve planned it, the entire thing will collapse like a house of cards. But I have faith, because whatever is meant to be will be. I’m willing to accept failure for trying, but I’m not willing to accept failure for NOT trying. Opportunities don’t always show up on your doorstep in a nice golden package with a kitten that poops rainbows. Most of the time, opportunities come with some heavy decision-making and difficult choices. It’s scary and sometimes risky, but that’s how you know it’s something worth doing.

I’ve consulted with a few close friends – because I know not everyone in my life will agree with my decisions – and one thing I’ve heard over and over is that we can’t make decisions based on others. We have to do what we feel is right for us and what will make us happy, even if it disappoints everyone else in our life.

So we’re moving forward, in baby steps, and seeing where life takes us.

Step 1: Sell our house.

More soon…

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Life in Liz-land is changing. For better or worse, we’ve decided that we can no longer sit around and wait for things to happen. We’re taking action, making choices – big choices – and hoping for the best while expecting the worst. I’m not sure how any of this is going to pan out just yet, but what I CAN tell you is that my husband has decided to change jobs. It’s unfortunate, considering how passionate and optimistic he was about this last job, but in the end, the management didn’t know what they wanted and he ended up stressed out beyond belief. This went on for weeks until finally, he had to make a choice. And he chose him. He chose us. He chose life. And the moment he did, his sanity returned.

Sometimes, things aren’t always as they seem. And if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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Life is good. I’m young(ish), healthy, and happily married to a tall, handsome man. We own a house and a lovable, well-behaved dog (that is, when he’s not busy killing rabbits). We have our small group of friends, our twice-a-year vacations, and good wine.

We have good relations with our family, and see them as often as possible. We regularly count our blessings for all that is good in life and have lived the last few years in complete contentment, wanting for nothing.

But lately, we’ve just felt the need for some sort of change. Maybe we just need to change up our decorating. Maybe we need to move to a new subdivision. Maybe we need to start planning our next vacation to give us something to work toward and look forward to. Maybe we need to set some financial goals. Maybe we need some new hobbies. Maybe we need to start talking about growing our family. I’m not exactly sure what these changes will entail, but no matter what, it’s pretty clear that it’s time to change SOMETHING.

But what?

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It’s no secret that I’m a tad addicted to DIY/Home Improvement/Design/Dwell-type blogs. We’re currently in that do-we-dump-more-money-into-this-house-or-do-we-sell-it stage, so I haven’t been able to put much of my design inspiration to good use. For example, I’d love to get bamboo shades or wood blinds for my windows to replace our current fine-but-lackluster white mini-blinds. I’d also love to get pendant light fixtures. Or try DIYing some wainscoting or crown moulding. True, these things could potentially add to the value of our home, but our house is already at the top of the price list for our neighborhood so adding even more would likely only hurt us because we’d just lose money on our investment. So as much as I’d love to spruce up our house and show you the results, I can’t. Instead, I’ll show you things I’ve already done, be it recently or a few years ago.

One simple thing I did a long time ago, and that I’d like to share with you, is the quick and easy task of just adding a slipcover to an outdated couch, like this one.

This is our loveseat, part of a set that was handed down to me by my parents when I moved into my first apartment. I love the structure and comfort of it, but obviously the fabric is just plain hideous. Unless you live in an adobe in New Mexico. So what did I do? Well, I went to Target and purchased a slipcover and some throw pillows. And now, my little loveseat looks like this:

Please forgive the camera phone photos, but isn’t that so much better? I’m not in love with the throw pillows since they’re not very sturdy and make the couch look more “sloppy” than I would like, but at least it’s comfortable.

The other great thing about slipcovers is the option to routinely take it off and wash it. I have a dog. A very hair dog. So it’s nice to be able to remove the slipcover, throw it in the wash, and put it back on once it’s all fresh and clean and dog-hair free.

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For the 4th of July weekend, my in-laws came to visit. Not just my FIL and MIL, oh no. My SIL, her husband, our niece and three nephews all came to visit as well. There was only one night where everyone slept under the same roof, but it’s been roughly a week of non-stop visitors at Casa de Liz and though I don’t mean it in a negative way, I was really glad when everyone finally left on Wednesday morning. Despite my husband’s cleaning efforts (he had time off, so he cleaned while I worked), the house is yet a wreck again. Not so much cluttered, but there seems to be a layer of stickiness on every surface in my house. The refrigerator, especially the handle, the stair rails, the arm of the couch, the doorknobs, and of course, the floor. It’s like I need to take a wet wipe (or 20) and run around the house, wiping down every visible surface.

Oh and my parents were in town, but they ended up staying with my grandparents. It was either that or sleep in the kitchen. The strangest thing about having the in-laws visit is that it never seems like we do much of anything except eat. Eating is the activity for the day. Everything we do revolves around the next meal. Want to go fishing? Well we better do it early before our lunch plans at this restaurant and our dinner plans at this restaurant. Want to go to a winery? Well we better go now because it’s kind of far and we need to be back in time for dinner at another restaurant. And those were just MY responses. :)

So we did a lot of eating. We also spent some time at the park (I got not one, but TWO runs in over the weekend). We had date night with my SIL and her husband during which we visited a comedy club for one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a LONG time. Hubs took his dad to the casino, and they also fished a couple of times. The fam went shopping, we visited a winery, and hubby’s aunt and her family came over to visit. It’s funny because she lives maybe 25 minutes away from us but we only seem to see her when hubby’s parents come to visit. So all in all, a pretty great visit. The only thing I didn’t do much of was sleep, and I’m certainly feeling the effects this week. Oh and we celebrated my grandma’s birthday along with my FIL’s birthday. I ordered a cake with both of their names on it and it was mighty tasty (and sugar-free!).

The night of the 4th, we watched fireworks from a mall parking lot where we could see not one, not two, but three city fireworks displays going off simultaneously. It’s our favorite place to watch fireworks.

And that, folks, was our 4th of July holiday. Hope yours was just as hectic great.

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Sometimes I wish Missouri would outlaw cell phone usage on the highway. Then, when I’m driving behind a redneck in the left lane, going 45 mph in a 60, in a red, tar-spackled 1987 pick-up truck, talking on the phone and smoking a cigarette, I can take a picture of him and his license plate and send it to the authorities with the message, “Book ’em Dano.”

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