Friday, July 25, 2014

Simple Pleasures: remember to love them

I don't think I ever posted this photo of my dog, Ries. I was cooking and dropped some flour. Ries has the habit of sitting under me wherever I am...she ended up covered in flour.

Life gets so complicated sometimes, too complicated, and I forget the simple things that make me the happiest. The other night while sitting on the patio discussing our wedding playlist the fiancé and I were struck by how much we love just being with each other and talking. This started me thinking about how much I complicate my life with things that don't my phone and social media and worrying about stuff I can't control.

So here is a list of some of the simple things I take for granted that make my life wonderful:

-watching my dogs play

-listening to the white wing dove sing

-Little girls who are excited to show you lizards that you have watched sun bathing for years in your yard but basically ignored.

-a fun night with good neighbors who know how to take your mind off your worries and make you laugh

-a call from an old friend who you haven't talked to in a long time but who you love like a sister and the minute you two get on the phone it's like the five years since you have seen each other has been five minutes. That's what real friendship is, no time, no distance, just years of love and bonds that can never be broken.

-a night on the couch watching a movie and doing mostly nothing. This hardly ever happens so when it does, I cherish it.

-clean sheets

-time alone without people coming over because right now, we don't have this.

-a crisp walk in the woods.

-the smell of autumn which honestly is probably my favorite season.

-apple cider

-a camp fire and stars

-sleeping in past 8 am because I never get to sleep in anymore, not even on the weekends.

-waking up somewhere on a lake. There is really nothing like waking up and walking outside and seeing and smelling the lake first thing in the morning. I have been fortunate enough to do it throughout my life. Water is completely my peace. I think better when it is near...which is funny considering I am a fire sign, if you believe in that stuff. (Which I don't, really). Which brings me to....

Mine is coming up in about 10 days or so and I realized that for the first time I am not dreading it. For the first time I am not thinking "Another wasted year!" For the first time I am not looking back and worrying about all the things I didn't do. I am just happy and ready for whatever God has planned. Let's go!

So, what simple stuff do you love?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: My DIY Project

I said I wouldn't ever do it. I probably won't do many if any others, but since I came out of the closet about the wedding I had to share one little tiny thing...and only one, my project this week!

I have mentioned already that we are busy closing on my house. I am still in shock over all of that. I could use a lot of prayers that it goes smoothly and that we find our 'dream' home. In the meantime, I have been focusing my 'free time' on working on some wedding things. This week specifically it has been the centerpiece and candle holders.

Here is a sneak peak at a few. The smaller Mason jars are for candles and the larger ones are for the flowers. I am totally in love with these and in spite of the hot glue burns I have developed as a result I am so happy with the results!

These are super simple and, thanks to bulk Mason Jars from Walmart and the rest of the supplies from Michael's, pretty inexpensive. I even got a "those are nice" from the FH who couldn't care less about any of the wedding details, in general.

Alright, so what kind of project did you or are you completing for your wedding?


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Thing You Learn from Selling Your House: Life isn't HGTV


I put my home on the market and we had an offer within 5 hours. The market in DFW is totally a sellers market right now but that's not why we are moving. We don't HAVE to move. We want to move to be closer to family, his and mine.

The first contract fell through and while this may seem like a bad thing, it actually was a relief for me. I had many misgivings about the buyer and it just didn't feel right. In fact, I kept telling everyone she was going to back out and when she did, it came as no surprise. She seemed flakey from the start and if you are selling a house, planning a wedding, and trying to find a home for your new family, the last thing you need is a flaky potential buyer bringing 20 people in to get their opinion on your house before they even get an inspection. Games aren't something you play with someone's home.

So here is what I learned from trying to sell:

-The contract means nothing for at least 7 days so don't even bother getting excited about looking for a new home. Now, if your market is on the buyers side and things aren't flying off, you're probably safe but good homes are lasting here hours not days.

-Put absolutely everything away, even things you think mean nothing. You have no idea how many people are going to be going through your home and what they are going to touch. There were things out of place or opened that frankly, I was shocked anyone touched. A lunch cooler was left open that we had sitting on the washing machine. Why anyone would look in that is beyond me.

-Do not expect anyone to respect you, your privacy, or your stuff. Aside from the lunch cooler, we had candy wrappers left all over the bedroom floor and front lawn from candy out of our candy bowl, doors left wide open that were shut, and pushy real estate agents who didn't want to take no for an answer when we said that it was too late to see the house or today was not going to work out to show the house to a buyer for the 4th time in 4 days.

-Do not stay close enough that you can see your house when others are looking at it. It drove me crazy seeing 6 little kids running in and out of my front door, playing on my retaining wall, and pulling the branch of my ornamental lawn tree down. Just because you look at other people's property with respect, do not expect other people to have that same consideration.

This entire experience has been eye opening for me and it is something I never want to go through again. I literally cried watching people be disrespectful to my property. Not just my house but my stuff, most of which I already boxed and moved out. I know I am being silly. I know I asked for this opening my house up to strangers. I know the goal here is to sell my house and find our house. I know I am really hormonal right now and under an intense amount of stress with a wedding to boot but I also know that I was raised to be respectful of other people, not touch things that don't belong to me, and put things back the way I found them and I am sad to say, they seems to be dying traits.

I am totally prepared now and I believe that God has a reason for the way things work out. I am not worrying about the "why" or "when". I love my little house. I love my neighbors. I know that whoever is meant to love it next, it will work out.

We have looked at some really nightmare homes. Homes you could not imagine. Homes with 7 kitchens, homes with chicken poop inside, homes with multiple floors in the same bathroom like they ran out of one floor and just finished off with what they had, homes that smelled like pot. Mine is not that way. It's funny because I found the inspection from when I bought it and it is the same basic house it was 14 years ago. Nothing has changed except I have updated it. Mine house is cute and well loved and it is time for someone else to love it so we can love something for our family. I am ready, the house is ready. Our family is ready. No more stress. God has all of this and we will let go and let Him find a new owner and a new home.

So, what about you? What are your experiences with buying and selling?


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weddings: 40-something bride problems

I just have to share this adorable sign that my neighbor gave me. I love it. If you know hunters, you know why. It makes me laugh. I will probably find a way to include it in the reception.

Planning a wedding as a first time bride as 40-something is not how I planned things. The problem is all my original thoughts on this day are 20 years old. I am not the same person who I was at 23. I am better, naturally and I know who I am.

The thing is that as a 43 year old, first time bride some things feel...silly. Silly like registering for gifts. We don't need anything. I mean, we have a toaster and blender. Shoot we have 3 blenders. We have a house (for a few more weeks, anyway) and I have had my own household since I was 19. If we need anything for the new house, it will be from Lowes or Home Depot. We have to find the new house first. (That is a whole other blog for another time.)

Then there is the wedding shower. Everyone keeps asking me about throwing me a shower. I feel silly having a shower. I am not a kid, starting out, with no idea what running a household is about and rose colored glasses on thinking life is going to be perfect. I know life isn't perfect and relationships are work. I feel guilty asking my friends to give me a shower. Okay, I am not asking, they are offering, but you get my point. I feel guilty. I am Catholic so of course, I had to mastered the art of feeling guilty at the tender age of 6. I am a master at it by now.

Ah, and the bachelorette party. I am technically old enough to be someone's mother and grandmother so a crazy night on the town with all my adult girl friends drinking and wearing male protection items on my person...that is NOT going to happen. My idea is a simple night out with the girls. Dinner and maybe combine that with the shower so we don't have two parties. A little Mexican food and music and a night of ladies being a little crazy for old women! Lol

The wedding itself is going to be traditional but simple. When I was 20-something I wanted the huge, church wedding with a everyone we knew invited. Now, I don't care if people outside of family and our good friends show up.

I have a beautiful dress, the second one I tried on, actually ended up being perfect. We have a wonderful venue and the basics have fallen into place relatively easily. Thankfully, the wedding plans haven't been difficult because the energy has all been on the house, getting it ready to sell, going through the sale, and finding a new home. Nightmare city. I almost feel guilty that I am not more focused on the wedding and the plans. I have no time to worry about it and no energy to focus on being excited about it. I get periodically excited and at times I feel like "Oh my gosh, this is really happening! We are getting married." When I tried on dresses I kept saying to my mom and the wedding assistant "I almost feel like a real bride." Or "Wow, I look like a actual bride, for real!" They kept laughing at me. Even the other customers there laughed.

I guess, the thing is, the wedding I planned at 23 would have been very different and the 20 years between that time and now would have worked out much differently if my mister and I had met back in 1993. At times we say to each other, "I met you 20 years too late" but in out hearts we know there is a reason for everything and we can't change the past. There is no guarantee that he and I would have even fallen in love 20 years ago, right?

I would have probably been a Bridezilla at 23. At 43 my directive to my bridesmaid was here is the dress I am wearing and this is what I am using for footwear. Here is the theme. Wear anything you think works, I trust you. Honestly, my mom is more worried about the day being perfect. I just want the day to be fun.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday MIA: BIG stuff happening

Ok I am sorry, I have ignored my blog for....ever but we have been painting like crazy and my house is officially going on the market. Selling a house is like selling a part of your heart and it has taken a few tears and many bags of donations plus cans of paint to be ready to go. It's now my house and not my home.

We are ready to look for our home which is huge and of course that is an additional bit of stress. I know what I want but what he wants isn't exactly the same. I care about a kitchen and he cares about a big yard. I want an amazing closet and he wants....a garage! I mean really, a nice garage? It's a garage! Men are so confusing. A master bath, hardwood floors and granite counters are way more important than a place to put a boat, right?

There is also a small little get together we are having that I had to start planing because, you know, it is getting closer by the day. Invitations, venue, cake, menu, dress, guest list, and maybe a photographer are all done.

I am pretty sure that is actually the least stressful part of my life right now....go figure. Honestly, I shouldn't say this but so far, everything has gone pretty easily.

Right up until I post this blog and everything goes crazy, I am sure. ;-)

Truthfully, I have been so focused on the house the other stuff seemed secondary until this weekend. Suddenly, I am feeling the reality of everything and it is amazingly awesome. I think anytime you start trying on dresses it all becomes very real. I guess since I am not 20-something I approach this more simply but quiet and casual is how I am handling this, so far. Wish me luck!

The house hunting on the other hand....stress with a big, fat S!

So forgive me if the blogs are hit or miss. I will try to keep you updated on the house hunt as we march toward the future. Oh my gosh I feel so grown up! :-)

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