Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another Offer

Remember that house I was talking about earlier today? Well right now, 6:41 p.m. EST, our realtor is here at our house with us and we are signing an offer on it. This will be our fourth offer in two months. Which means - in case you haven't been following - we've made three offers on three different properties, gone through one home inspection and still don't have a new home. I have to wonder why it's so difficult? We (C and I) figured selling our house would be the problem, not buying a new one. But in a real estate market like we have right now there are so many choices and so many great buys.

This house, like the last one, is also in foreclosure and bank owned, but (unlike the last one) it's only three-years-old. So really, there is nothing wrong with it. A pipe did burst over the winter before the home was winterized but that has been fixed and even if it wasn't, C isn't afraid of anything like that. It has a gorgeous kitchen, a very large square-shape dining room (which will be perfect for my dream round over sized round dining room table, a front to back living room with fireplace, front to back master (so we can upgrade from our queen-size bed to a queen, two full baths, hardwood floors, etc... It's great! And it's SUPER CHEAP! I only hope it's not too good to be true! Cross your fingers folks!

Hear We Go Again

Well our driveway fears prevailed and very early Friday morning C and I walked away from the house. It's funny - all the work that needed to be done to it was nothing over the fact we'd need hiking boots to get up the driveway. What's even funnier - though not really - was that several hours after we walked away from our offer we found out the house failed the radon test. Talk about karma!

We figured we were back to the drawing board - again! This would be three offers now, one home inspection and still no place to call home.

Then something unbelievable happened.

When we started this journey many, many, many months ago it all began when we found this yellow split gambrel cape - it was a "short sale" and was at a decent price. We tried to look at it but our realtor didn't have the key from the seller agent and the garage code didn't work so we simply couldn't get in. At the time it seemed like a score. The house was only three-years-old and ready for occupancy. Then before we could get a chance to get into it and have a good look - it was off the market, then pending and then disappeared from all our lists.

Well lo and behold our surprise when it came back on the market Friday night as a foreclosure super cheap. Remember - it's still a (practically) brand new house and you can't beat the price even if you paid full asking.

So we are again at a point where we are planning on making an offer. Cross your fingers folks and bear with me for some more ups and downs - lets hope with this one we come out on top!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

When is a Driveway Too Steep?

So we love the house - the open floor plan etc.. But we discovered over the past few days and even more so yesterday during our home inspection that the driveway is very steep and has a high pitch. (didn't notice it too much before because it was covered in snow) If it was a steep driveway that leveled off at the top that would be fine, but it doesn't. It isn't flat and level until you pull into the garage. As far as snow and ice are concerned we know what we have to do - keep it clear to the pavement and make sure it's treated. But is this going to be a problem in our day to day activities? Is living in a house with a steep driveway an issue? Do any of you have a driveway like this? I need to hear what you have to say. Thanks in advance and I'll have more later.

Basically the only thing that is keeping us from signing the purchase and sale (which we have to do some time today) is our ambivalence about the driveway - the one thing we really can't fix.

Friday, December 21, 2007

We Have a Home

We have a home - well not officially, we haven't signed anything yet, but our offer was accepted last week in the middle of the Nana crisis and our home inspection is scheduled for the day after Christmas. It's so surreal. With everything going on and the holidays only days away, I haven't even had a moment to be excited about it. But the short version is our offer was accepted and assuming all goes well with the home inspection C and I will have a home for the New Year!

What is Wrong with People?

I know you don't always get the best care all the time. And I know hospitals are understaffed and overwhelmed, even more so in the winter months with accidents and people slipping and falling, etc.. But the care my grandmother got yesterday (during the day - by the end of the day we were better) still has me seething!

My poor grandmother fell yesterday morning in her bedroom trying to put on her shoes and called me just as I was pulling into my parking spot at work (after it took me an hour and a half to get here in the snow). Any of you folks who live in New England are well aware we've had more snow in December than we have in the past 37 years and it just keeps on coming, yet no one knows how to drive in it. But that's a story for another day.

I left work, drove home, called the ambulance from when I was almost there so we all showed up at the same time. I didn't want to take a chance and try to get her up even though she said she was fine - just wanted to be on the side of caution. She was taken to a local hospital for X-rays, etc.. and they said it would be a while. So I decided to go back to work for a few hours so I could get some stuff done.

Around noon I call to check on her and they tell me she has to come home, she didn't break anything and frankly they need the bed. So much for having some compassion for an elderly woman who fell and yes, may not have broken anything, but is certainly very bruised all over. They tell me they are going to send her home in an ambulance and I'm telling them they have to wait because she doesn't have a key and I need to get home first. Would you believe it was a fight? I just don't get it. And mind you I told them at the hospital SEVERAL times that she lives alone and there's no one to take care of her there.

So the EMT's bring her back home in the afternoon - with all the snow it was better to go this route because there was no way I, alone, could safely get her up the walkway. And they have to help get her into her chair - as she wanted to sit in the sunroom. As they are leaving I'm asking if she's really ok to be home - because it didn't seem that way AT ALL. They were like yeah, she walked, and I'm like ok.

After a short while Nana wants to get up and go upstairs can't blame her and I had to convince her there was no way for her to get upstairs last night. But then I discovered she couldn't get up. She couldn't get out of the chair on her own and I couldn't get her up either. She tried. I tried. It just wasn't fair to her. I was so mad. That hospital NEVER should have sent her home.

How can the people in the medical profession not have compassion for someone like my grandmother? Granted I understand that if she goes in and nothing is broken they deem her "ok." And I also understand they probably see their fair share of elderly people in and out for falls and breaks. But when someone goes in there with her and is very concerned and lets them know that she will need help shouldn't they listen? Shouldn't they be sure there is someone at home who can take care of her, assist her in the transition - even if nothing is technically broken. I'm beside myself with anger toward these individuals, I must say.

So I call her doctor and explain the situation and that we have a problem because she can't get up and we can't get her out of the chair. He's going to call me back.

In the meantime the hospital calls to tell me her file of life was left behind -shocking - and that they are putting it in the mail and to look for it today. Great. I ask to speak to the nurse I was dealing with earlier in the day and tell her what's happening and she's like but she walked, she was fine. I don't doubt she did some type of walking, mind you - so I asked her how she could walk if she can't get up. And she was like "oh as long as you have two people to get her up she's fine - one under each arm." I was like are you kidding me! You sent a 98-year-old woman home from the hospital and she can't even get out of her own chair? It's not like she has people home all day everyday to help get her up! I can't believe the complete gross incompetence on their part.

The doctor then calls me back, does some really quick work and after going back and forth with me for an hour he gets her the last bed at a rehab down the street, we just have to get her there. Which I explain if she can't stand up and I can't help her up how am I going to get her in the car? He makes some more calls, calls me back and gets me medical transport, so I call again and sure enough I get the same fire dept. crew and EMTs from the morning. Anyway, we get her up there and they're good. She was admitted and the place was great. They had her in a bed and had dinner in front of her in 10 minutes and then her doctor met us up there. Talked to us and her and ordered a bunch of tests for this morning. Oh and he also told me he spoke to the emergency room doctor and gave him a piece of him mind.

Whew.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Third Time's the Charm?

Yes, something was brewing last week, yet (again) we are still without a new home. We made an offer on a house – a really great offer (only $9K under asking price) frankly a tremendous offer in this market, but it was rejected. No counter offer, no negotiations, nothing. The seller flat out wants full asking price or bust. Good luck to her.

But it did make me realize something. I really didn’t want to live in a town so far north – although it was a decision the two of us agreed to a while back. I tried to like the idea, tried to picture myself raising a family and growing old there but it’s just not for me. It’s a bit too far off the beaten path and while yes, having a larger lot and home with tons of room is something that can lead to a better quality of life, isn’t that quality also impacted by how far you have to drive on a daily basis to get to where you need to be? I think so.

So last night C and I headed out to look at some properties in a neighboring town to where we are now. Not so far north and VERY centrally located. (We’ve actually looked here before and we are familiar with the area). And believe it or not – we found ourselves a winner.

Now I don’t want to get too ahead of myself for fear of jinxing us again, but we put an offer on it this afternoon. It was originally a half a million dollar house, now in foreclosure and right in our price range.

I’ll keep you all posted if you all keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Somethings Brewin'

Don't want to say too much right now (but promise to give you more later). But we made an offer on a house last night. I haven't been able to talk to C all day as he's working, so I'm not sure where we are at with it, but I can tell you it was a good offer on a house across the street from the first one we made an offer on. (the one that fell through). Tim, you'll be happy, it's the one you told me to go with way back when!

More to come tomorrow!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Still Searching

I owe you all a post. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately, between the marathon house hunting (which is still continuing – I think now we’ve looked at nearly 80 houses) and getting ready for Christmas I’ve simply been too tired at night to type.

As you can assume, we still don’t have a new home and frankly we’re both getting a little antsy. Man it’s hard. Plus with the market tanking around us – every day something new is coming up and the prices are getting better by the day so it's hard not to want to hold out and see what comes up tomorrow.

C is actually looking at a great house tonight in our range which is about $90K under its original asking price. I have to work so he’s going on his own – we have to do it this way because at that price, in the community we really want to live in, someone will be snatching that up very soon.

So keep your fingers crossed – I really hoped we’d be in a new house by Christmas. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year. I love nothing better than decorating for the holidays, carefully choosing those special gifts (which is so much easier with the ability to do the majority of it online) and wrapping everything while enjoying a fantastic bottle of wine and listening to my holiday music playlist on my iPod (a gift from two Christmas’ ago). But this year it’s bittersweet. All my decorations are in storage and we really don’t have the space for the tree with all our boxes of what we needed for our temporary stay at my grandmother’s. I’m hoping to get myself into the spirit a bit tomorrow night wrapping my gifts and listening to music, but not being able to admire my tree - which every year is covered in antique ornaments passed down to me from my great aunt who passed away many years ago (she was my favorite) - is going to be hard. So while this year will be a bittersweet holiday, I at least know there is something to look forward to in the New Year – setting up our new home (wherever that will be).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fears Faced - Bring on the Baking!

I finally did it! Kristi – you’ll be so proud. I bit the bullet and finally decided 11 months was long enough to wait to get acquainted with my KitchenAid. And I’m no longer afraid.

I used it for the first time Friday night. My girlfriend was telling me a week ago she uses hers for everything so I figured why the hell not – I used it to make mashed potatoes. No one told me it does things in seconds that normally take me forever! I was in love!

So Sunday, after another marathon afternoon of house hunting, I settled in to make my grandmother’s German cheesecake. This was a first (although I have a vague recollection of making it years ago once but it did not come out well at all).

And since I have the counter space in my temporary kitchen, that I did not have in the old house, Little Miss KitchenAid is now always in place and ready to go. And I’m obsessed – spent the most of last night looking up recipes to make just to use it! C certainly isn’t complaining – it’s a nice treat for someone who usually does all the cooking to have me obsessed with a kitchen appliance.

Remember how happy I was when I got it for Christmas last year? (little did I know I'd be so intimidated by it that it would be almost a year before it was put to use)


Here she is – unveiled for the first time.



A work in progress as my cheesecake fixings come together.


And the finished product!

Thanksgiving Shots

Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone! Another holiday has passed and I can't believe it's less than a month until Christmas - so much to do! Where does the time go?

I wasn't my usual camera-happy self on Thursday, so I only have a couple of shots to share.

Here's C cutting the turkey at mom's



And of course a photo (OK, a couple) of the little guy with my Dad!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Early Sesame Street: Adults Only? You've Got to Be Kidding Me

I don’t know what to think. The New York Times this week ran an article about the “Sesame Street” we all enjoyed as children. The article, which is highly cynical, actually talks about how the original “Sesame Street” is now available on DVD but it has a warning on it: Adults Only. Are you kidding me?

“What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist,” said the author. And let’s not forget that only Big Bird can see Mr. Snuffleupagus – thus he’s hallucinating.

Now, I for one never thought anything like this as a child growing up watching these episodes. But then again, in the 1970s we weren’t exposed to things that are so mainstream today.

The article talks about a segment in the first issue where Gordon brought Sally home to meet his wife and gave her milk and cookies. And in today’s world, a child going home with a man to meet his wife is just frightening. Why? Because the world we live in today is a pretty scary place to be.

My mom always says she gave me the gift of fear – and we both believe it’s a good one. And we do laugh about it – but know deep down this is the greatest gift she could ever give me. Not a fear of everything, but more of a fear to be aware of your surroundings at all times. When the other kids used to cut through the woods on the way to elementary school, it took me a little longer because mom told me not to walk in the woods and I never did.

As a little girl on my necklace chain I had very small gold whistle – the size of a charm. The idea was if my mom and I were ever separated while out shopping, I was to stop and blow the whistle. I have a very vivid memory of losing my mom in a department store and looking up and seeing all these women with the same blonde hair but couldn’t find my mom. I called out to her. Nothing. A woman came over, took me by the arm and told me she’d help me. No way! I started blowing the whistle (while this woman, who honestly in 1974 only wanted to help me find my mom looked at me like I was a lunatic). All of a sudden an arm went up from across the store and my mom called out “Elizabeth, I hear you – I’m coming.” Now that was pretty forward thinking on my mom’s part if you think about it.

Today I always check under my car as I approach it (you never know when someone might be hiding underneath it). I always check the far back of my SUV before opening the door. I walk with my key stuck out between my fingers in case I need a quick way to defend myself from a predator. I lock my doors, don’t let any strangers in my house and overall think I’ve lived a pretty safe existence.

While this author goes on to explain why the original Sesame Street series is carrying this adult only rating, it makes me nostalgic and disappointed at the same time. Those decades were a lot different then the one we are living in now. The world was a friendlier place, people weren’t abducting children and doing horrible things to them, terrorism wasn’t something we thought about on a daily basis and people socialized with their neighbors, said hello to passers-by on the street and left their doors unlocked. I think watching these early episodes of Sesame Street are no different than watching 1950s television programs. They are a reminder of the world we used to live in and a refreshing break from a world where we are always looking over our shoulders.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm Not Crazy

So yesterday I posted about the fact one of the houses high on our radar screen felt to me as if it had a bad vibe to it. In fact, that was one of the reasons that turned me off to it completely when we first looked at it. And I didn’t feel crazy about it because I’ve always had a sixth sense – ever since I was a little girl – and it comes and goes and that’s the way it is. Plus when I sensed it the first time we looked, my realtor felt it, too. Though C I swear thought we were both nuts.

In any case, we went back to take another look at the house last night. It is after all a great value, a giant house (2400 sq ft), is on more than an acre of land and is only 17 years old.

So we did and I had to admit, I wasn’t having too much of that feeling last night. Until I went upstairs. While it wasn’t super bad, I did get a bad vibe. I was talking to our realtor last night while C was walking around checking the outside of the house and I asked him if he felt anything this time. He said, “not like last time.” Again, not so bad, but I was starting to feel a little crazy. It's a great house. Am I willing to give it up because of a "feeling?"

Today I was on a mission. To find out EXACTLY what happened there to make me feel that way. And here is what I found out thanks to a little detective work. The police were called 10 times in 10 years for domestics. Absolutely horrible and these people had three children. I can’t image how horrible it was inside that house.

On a lighter note, no one died in it and I think this beautiful home just wants a happy family to live in it. Hopefully if all goes well, we’ll be putting in an offer this week. I’ll keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How Do You Choose?

Another day another house panic. We looked at a really beautiful split level in a nice neighborhood on Sunday (along with seven other houses). There’s really nothing wrong with it. Brand new kitchen, beautiful floors, ¾ of an acre of land, a garage, but I think, personally, that the bedrooms are too small. Of course our old house had huge bedrooms and some of the other houses (close to 50) we have seen have had larger ones as well. But overall it’s well kept – well loved, and very attractive.

On the flip side there is another house we looked at quite a while ago. It’s a split gambrel cape. (which works out for both of us as I love capes and C is a big fan of splits). It has more than an acre of land. A front to back living room and a front to back master. When we looked at it many months ago I felt like I got a bad vibe from it. I’m pretty intuitive and maybe my intuition was off that day, but frankly I didn’t like how it felt. But it’s in a great neighborhood in a location I want to live in – and every other house on the cul de sac also boasts more than an acre of land each. It’s large, sunny, everything. But I poo-pooed it for quite some time.

The past few weeks I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. The size, the yard, the location. Ah. So I did some research and no, contrary to my initial belief no one died in it. It was a divorce, just as C suspected and that’s why it is on the market.

Here’s the problem. We are going to look at both of them again tonight after work. The first one the owners are anxious (even though they just put it on the market) because they have found a new home and want to move. The second one is empty and has been for quite some time and has been on the market even longer. They are both the same price. Though the second one is assessed for less than the asking price and the second one is assessed for almost $100k more.

It’s hard. I feel like the split is smaller than some of the other houses we’ve looked at – but it had a good family feel. Then again it’s well decorated, painted in tones I would have chosen and lived in. The other is empty and begging for a family to move in.

Decisions decisions. Going to head over to both tonight with an open mind and hopefully come to some decisions. We’ll see. Whoever would have thought this would be so difficult and there would be so much to choose from?

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s officially Autumn and we officially have a break. We are settled into my grandmother’s house while we continue our house search and for the first time in quite some time I’m at peace. There’s a nice feeling knowing there is no more rush to pack, move boxes and be sure not to send anything you might need to storage for an indefinite amount of time.

But the best part for me is it’s November – which I’ve always enjoyed, but after meeting C it’s an even better month for me.

This is my favorite time of year. The crisp autumn chill (though this morning in Boston it felt a lot like winter). The crunch of leaves under my feet. The smell of a fire from neighboring chimneys after the sun goes down. And it’s apple season! Every year since I was a little girl I’ve spent my fall weekends making apple pies. My great Auntie Eva taught me and made a tradition out of it – baking apple pies and watching old movies. To this day I still make sure I have an old classic on while baking them in her memory.

November is also very close to my heart as C and I met this month and had our first date. What more could a girl ask for than to meet her perfect guy during her favorite time of the year (and yes, C is a BIG fall fan too!)

And (I know many find it annoying) but my other absolute favorite thing about the month of November? Come the week of Thanksgiving there’s a radio station in Boston that plays 24 hours of Christmas music everyday until Christmas. I simply can’t get enough of it! Though I know, unless some miracle happens and we buy, paint, replace carpeting and move into a new house before Christmas, this will be the first year in a very long time that I won’t be trimming my tree with my heirloom ornaments or decorating my mantel. It’s bittersweet – but will be worth the wait knowing when we do find our perfect new home it will be a place where we can build new holiday traditions year after year after year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Even My Skin Hurts"

I think C put it best in the wee hours of this morning when he said “even my skin hurts.”

Yesterday was a VERY long day for us as it was our last official day in our house. At 4 p.m. the movers came to take the final load to storage and I packed up the trusty Hondamatic with some more boxes (mostly cleaning supplies, empty boxes that need to be trashed, etc…). Then my job was to wait for the realtor and the new owners to come do the walkthrough at 6. C went with the movers. Well here it was quarter to 5. I poured myself a well deserved glass of wine and caught up on some email, when C texted (is this a word?) me.

“Did you empty the Hondamatic yet?”

What was he talking about? He never said anything about driving the stuff over to the other house and unpacking. And I was in no frame of mind to think clearly. Shoot. This was bad. So somehow, in rush hour traffic, I flew to my grandmother’s with my car packed to the brim, unpacked it and got home with 15 minutes to spare before the walkthrough. Not really sure how that happened, but it did.

Then the fun really began. We ate pizza on our kitchen floor since we had no furniture – but I did manage to find the salt and pepper (I always know what is in what box when I pack them). Then more trips. C’s truck and my SUV packed back and forth, back and forth. It was tiring, yes. Moving the giant man-sized TV – even tougher but we did it - together. I’ll admit, while I have been pretty focused and pushing myself harder than I usually do throughout this process last night I was sore, exhausted and borderline moody. it was bound to happen. Let's just say at about midnight I curled into a ball on the floor of our empty livingroom and went to sleep. But We finally finished up last night about quarter to one in the morning. I’m a zombie and every muscle, every smile hurts right now. But it’s all good. The house is officially sold and it is no longer ours. C’s off today – taking care of some errands and trying to make some sense of the tons of boxes littering my house at the moment.

Tonight we celebrate at a romantic dinner for two – I only hope I don’t fall asleep in my soup!

Thank you all for listening, for your friendship and for talking a usually super organized person off the ledge many times this week. I owe you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Good-bye Home Sweet Home

It's been great having turned this house into our home. To watch as each room was brought to its full potential through a lot of hard work and sweat, but now as the days are numbered, it's almost time to say good-bye.

All the closets are empty, the only furniture left is our bed and our kitchen table. And of course the high-def TV - can't watch the Sox sweep the World Series without it! Every room is finally empty and now we are about to make our last trip to my grandmother's with the last of our stuff we'll need during our transition. The bed and table are coming Tuesday.

That's it. No food, except some cheese in my tiny college-dorm-like fridge, which also holds cream for our coffee and some soda, wine and water. The clock is finally counting down and in 48 hours we will no longer call this great century-old house home. It's bittersweet. It was the first major step in our at the time newlywed phase of our relationship - but now we are moving on to an even bigger step. Finding the home we will together grow old and raise our family in.

A toast to you our great home. You've done us good and made us very happy. I hope the happiness I had here is something the new owners will enjoy as well as they put their own personal touches on a house once belonging to someone else that they too can now call home.

(On a side note: while in 2004 I got to see Game 2 of the World Series with my dad, this time around I was left in the bullpen. Dad and my brother both went to Game 1 and as I type, my brother has been in Colorado with the Red Sox brass taking in all the action from there. Go Sox and A - have a great time and be safe!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Give Me Strength

What a weekend. Too many life-changing events in too short a time.

My grandmother (my mother's mother) passed away Saturday night and we weren’t expecting that – it was tough, but we are all doing pretty well considering.

Then yesterday we put an offer on the house we wanted, and they countered (which we expected) but countered at only (hold your breath) 1.5 percent under their asking price. In this market that is insane! Needless to say we came back up another 1.5 percent and then they notified us in no uncertain terms that they were staying with that number take it or leave it. We left it. We’re good – there are at least 10 other houses on our list that we can get for a better price. So we’ll see. We can't actually do anything this week as we have to move and the closing is next week. But rest assured - we'll be moving full steam ahead once we get past the closing!

But the stress of sitting in the realtor’s office yesterday morning making an offer on a new house, knowing we had the movers coming on Tuesday and my grandmother’s death just finally physically stopped me in my tracks. It was simply too much for me to handle – emotionally and physically I am exhausted.

I’m actually at work this morning – need to get some stuff done before I lose time this week. Working half a day today, half a day tomorrow and then I’ll be out on Wednesday for the services.

Give me strength.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Almost There

This weekend was yet another turning point for us in our quest to vacate our house for the new owners and get one step closer to finding our new home.

On Sunday morning, early – way too early for someone who was at the Red Sox playoff game Saturday night (or wait, should I say into Sunday morning) – we headed out to look at two houses I had wanted to see for a long time. They are both large split-level homes, both on the same street (in fact, they are almost across the street from each other). They were both absolutely beautiful, turnkey (except for some interior paint and paper), on great lots of land in a neighborhood I could picture raising a family in and growing old together in. In a word, they were perfect and we are leaning toward possibly making an offer on one this week.

After trudging through nearly 40 houses in the past six months, this was such a completely different experience. Everything was what we wanted. The location, the neighborhood, the size, the space – everything. And for the first time, we are both in agreement – which I never thought would happen. (last time I found “the house” C found “the house” too – although they were both different houses!)

Then yesterday we made some real headway. We took everything (with the exception of clothing and what we need to cook for the rest of the week) over to my grandmother’s house (where we are settling in temporarily while we wait to move into our new house). Three trips with both the truck and my trusty Hondamatic packed as full as possible. It actually wasn’t so bad. But definitely tiring.

So we are making headway – moving along and by this time next week will be out of our house – whether we are ready or not – the movers are coming a week from today to take our furniture to storage (what am I going to do without my bed for two months!)

But in the end I know it will all be worth it. No more city for this suburban girl. Back to the suburbs for me (though it’s so far out I’d have to say it’s more country than suburbs, but it sure beats city living).

Until next time …

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Continuously Ticking Clock

The clock is continuing to tick (not the biological one but the one that says we have to be out of our house within the next two weeks). This week has been a total bust for me in terms of packing thanks to a cold that started slowly last week and has been kicking my ass ever since. All I want to do is sleep and no matter how much it’s never enough. I’m exhausted, every muscle is sore and yet I’m still turning out page after page here at work and trying to create crafty ways to get everything that’s left to be packed taken care of by the end of the weekend.

Problem is – the weekend is two days away and I only have a limited amount of time to get anything done. I’m working tomorrow day and night. Saturday afternoon we are going to look at two more houses we are interested in (thanks to me finding them online before we went ahead and chose among our top four which was the original plan). Sunday morning we will doing second showings at at least two of the houses and then Sunday afternoon we picking Nana up to take her down to my parents’ so we can all go out to dinner to celebrate her birthday (her 98th by the way!).

Whew.

I’m off on Monday – the plan is to get everything we plan on taking to our temporary housing over there so all that’s left in our house is what the movers will be taking off to storage the following week. (sniff, sniff) I still can’t believe we are moving. I’m definitely looking forward to finally finding our new house and making it a home. And C is on a mission to make that happen as soon as humanly possible. Until then we will be living the life of a couple of nomads squatting at my grandmother’s house. But thankfully she has plenty of room so space won’t be an issue. Now if I can only be sure not to send anything to storage I may need in the meantime.

Oh and did I mention the majority of what I have left to pack is my clothing? And you all know how much work that’s going to be! (I did incidentally already pack up all my shoes) – I think they had shoe babies in my closet – I don’t remember having this many!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

How Cute Is This?

Yesterday I was talking to my mom. She was telling me she was out with my nephew (who is now 16 months old) and as they walked into a store an older woman held the door for him. He walked halfway through the door. Stopped. Looked up at her. And clear as day said "thank you." How precious is that? I couldn't be a prouder aunt!

Making Progress

I’m on a roll – this has been a week of what I like to refer to as “power packing.” And even though work has been so crazy busy this week for some reason I can’t keep my head above water – I’m not letting that affect my goal and challenge to myself to have the majority of my crap boxed up and labeled by week’s end.

All of my books (with the exception of the rather large pile I have yet to read) have been packed up and trucked off to storage. I have even managed to pack all my china and dinnerware, as well as all my stemware with the exception of eight glasses which will be coming with me to my temporary location (I intend to pack those up tonight). I even boxed up all my games – well, except for our chess set and Trivial Pursuit – you never know when you’ll be in the mood to play a game and I certainly don’t want to be without.

I started boxing up my clothes to go to storage with the original intention of only taking what I might need to our temporary living arrangement, but then realized last night that there is plenty of room there so to make life a bit easier, they are all coming with me. Besides, clothes are the lightest and easiest to transport right?

That’s all for now. Tonight I tackle the shoes – sending the summer stuff off to storage, and gearing up to make sure by tomorrow night all my stuff is taken care of so I can start to help C with everything else we have. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 01, 2007

And So It's Begun

I’m actually quite happy with my progress. On Saturday my girlfriend came up from the Cape for the day and visited. We haven’t seen each other in FAR too long so we had a ton of catching up to do. And while we caught up I packed … and packed … and packed. I managed to pack up the entire china closet in the dining room by day’s end Saturday. (which incidentally ended with a delicious meal C made for us – he’s too good)

Then yesterday, we went house hunting again – looking at four of them in two different towns. Again, some we liked but this time there was only one that was put on the “no” list. So we’re making progress there.

When we came home I fully intended to crash on the couch for an hour or so and just do nothing, but the packing bug got the better of me so I dragged out 80 percent of my china from my hutch, piles of newspaper and boxes, and plopped down in front of the TV to finally watch the season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” while packing. I’ve always been a multi-tasker.

And I’m proud to report, by the time I was in bed dreaming away last night – 20 boxes of china and books were packed, taped, labeled and ready to go to storage. Not so bad.

My goal tonight is to finish the china, catch up on some more TV premieres awaiting me on the DVR and then gear up for tomorrow night. My clothes. Ah, I finally get them organized and now they have to be separated into (a) going to storage (likely all summer wear, sandals, etc…) (b) going to Goodwill (already have a full bag but want to do it all at once) and (c) going with us to Nana’s (where we are going to be living temporarily).

When does the fun begin?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Forging Ahead

Now that everything is all said and done the realization that we have to be completely moved out of our house in less than a month has finally hit me. C, too - though I'm sure he realized it immediately, I tend to get distracted and forget about such important issues.

So while we continue to search for our new home, our priority now is to get packing and decide what's coming, what's going to storage and what's going to trash. We also have to decide what to bring with us for our temporary housing - which incidentally is back to my grandmother's house until we find the new home and close on it. Though we won't need much since mostly everything is there and we won't be there too long (fingers crossed).

In my only way to stay focused I've been making lists and planning on spending a minimum of one hour each night packing my stuff and getting everything organized. That way when it's time to move, mostly everything has been done and at the very least all my crap is taken care of. I don't have to even worry about C - he's so on the ball, but I don't want to be the progress parachute and have us scrambling because I couldn't get my act together. (Anyone who has been through the moving process with me before - Jenn, Sarah, Kerri, Lindsay, Becky - you all know what I'm talking about) And no worries this time gals - I've got it all under control and all you'll have to do is come over for a little wine and check out my new digs when we finally move in :-).

I'm off to get some boxes and get started. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We Won!

A while back when work was ultra hectic I blogged about the coverage we were doing here about the rollout of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. Well that all certainly paid off.

This weekend we were in New York for the 2007 FOLIO Awards. We were up for an EDDIE Award (editorial excellence) for Best Online News Coverage for our Boeing coverage. I was beside myself for just being one of the three finalists as we found ourselves in the big time competing for the award with Time and Newsweek. What more could an executive editor of an engineering publication ask for?

You can check out our coverage here.

Well, imagine our surprise when we took home the Gold – the first place trophy in this category. It made everything worthwhile and was a great diversion from house hunting – although I was only in New York for a whopping 18 hours. My editor-in-chief John, publisher Joan and myself were there for the awards. Regina, our web editor, unfortunately was too sick to make the trip - but we were sure to include here in our celebration calling her from a restaurant in Times Square at 11 p.m. to let her celebrate with us - even if it was just by voice :-)

Here are the three of us with the trophy:


And here is John accepting the award:


It's still so surreal - I guess when you're good you're good!

Now back to house hunting …

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Hunt Is On

Now we are seriously hunting for a new house. We have three appointments scheduled for late afternoon today and hopefully more on Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed! We have also decided, since we do technically have a place to stay, we aren't going to rush to buy something just so we have something (course we never planned on doing that anyway) but are defintiely going to make sure it's the house we want to live in for the next 30 years. Talk about pressure!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Update

Today is one day shy of a week since we:

Put our house on the market
Got an offer
Passed the home inspection
Are readying to sign the P&S

Insanity!

And while yesterday I was so sure I wanted us to live in that beautiful brand new house by the lake, by yesterday afternoon I had second thoughts. I love it, don't get me wrong, but again, it's a little farther north than where I want to live and frankly I'm not a big fan of the neighborhood. Don't get me wrong - it's a nice neighborhood, but it's not where I pictured our new home to be. Thankfully, last night, C mentioned the same concern. And since no one has put an offer on that house yet, we have some time to make some decisions. The realtor has been instructed to tell us immediately if and when they receive an offer - at which point our feet are to the fire and we have to decide to fish or cut bait.

In the meantime, we are setting out to look at even more houses to see what else is out there. We've decided to go a little beyond what we want to spend in the hopes we can get a really good deal on properties that have been on the market for quite some time now.

Like I said before, we looked at a bunch on Sunday and ruled them all out but one. We are hoping to look at three more tomorrow afternoon and more on Saturday. Sunday and Monday I'm out of town so C is going to go ahead and do some looking on his own to weed them out. This is tough, but it looks like no matter what happens (we find our home asap or we find one in a few weeks) we are likely going to need temporary housing (aka putting everything in storage and moving into either Nana's for the time being or renting an apartment - both of which make me queasy but at least I know it's not forever and at least C and I (and Molly of course) will be together in all this.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Found!

Oh man, so yesterday we spent some more time at the new construction house and it's simply perfect. Quarter acre of land, front to back kitchen and front to back living room. Not to mention a front to back master bedroom. And closets that would not only hold nicely ALL my clothing, but even more! It's unbelievable really that in this market we could actually consider new construction.

My only, only gripe, is that it's farther away than I wanted to live. But it's beautiful, in a neighborhood surrounding a lake, with lots of trees and quiet. It's perfect.

While it will be farther for people to travel to see us, on the other hand, I've talked to several people at work who live there and it seems the commute is no different than my current one (which really is nice). I just wish I wasn't so directionally challenged and could see how it all comes together. But I will. I have to.

I really want to call this house home - keep your fingers crossed. This could be simply amazing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Hunt for the Perfect House

Yesterday we went out and looked at more than a handful of houses, since things are moving so quickly, we really need to get our act together. But alas, they were ruled out quickly. In fact, last night we had kept two as definites (one is a brand new construction) but we had to eliminate one we loved because unfortunately the street was too busy and C had horrible visions of me trying to back out of the driveway with a child.

So that brings us to today.

Later this afternoon we are going over to the new construction house to get a better feel for it and get more information. C was going to go alone, but I've decided to head out of work early to join him. While I'm not a super huge fan of the area, or the town itself (though parts of it I do like) this is something so brand new there's still time to choose the flooring and the appliances. I never thought, and neither did C, that we could possibly own new construction in this market. But never say never (whoever would have thought we'd sell our house so quickly?)

Oh and did I mention the home inspection on our house is now set for tomorrow? Talk about moving swiftly along!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Unprecedented!

It's unprecedented. In a fledgling real estate market, where homes in our area have been on the market for weeks, months and sometimes even years, we have a buyer for our house. In record time.

Was it only two weeks ago we made this decision, got the place ready to sell and got us to this point?

Our listing for our house went up mid-afternoon Thursday, we had three showings Friday (one was a second showing). We had five showings Saturday (and again one was a second showing - the first one) and by early afternoon Saturday we had an offer - and I'm talking about an offer just a little bit under asking price!

Not only are we ecstatic at how quickly this is all moving (they have a large down payment, the house inspection is scheduled for this week and they want to close on Halloween), but I'm personally thrilled that what we had to go through Friday and Saturday is (fingers crossed) behind us.

While many of the couples who came on Saturday were pleasant and "normal" some, really just left a lot to be desired and frankly pissed me off with stupid questions, ignorant agents and plain laziness. I don't know about you, but when I look at a house as a potential buyer (and we've looked at many) if I open a closet door, I close it. These people would trek through the house, leave closet doors open, the shower curtain pulled aside, the window curtains in disarray and even screw with the blinds. Problem for me was that we had so many appointments, I was running around like an idiot tidying up again as each left (and because everyone who came stayed for a while, it only gave me a few minutes between showings to put it all back together). Not to mention wiping up muddy footprints off the kitchen and bathroom floors, not to mention the rugs (leave it to us to have it be a rainy Saturday).

But I digress.

Things are good and this is actually happening (although there was a part of me that for some odd reason thought we would stay here and moving was just an idea). But it is happening, this lovely house I've been happy to call home and leave my mark on is going to be someone else's. Now the hunt is on to find our next home - a place where for the next 30 or so years we will grow old together, raise a family and live happily ever after.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Update

Now it looks like both showings today were so good both couples are coming back again! One tonight, the other tomorrow morning. That doesn't even include the (so far) four other appointments tomorrow. Could we actually have a bidding war in this real estate market? I guess a girl can always hope. This just seems unheard of.

I Wasn't Kidding!

We had our first showing this morning and would you believe just after they left they called to see if they can come back and take a second look tomorrow morning??? Craziness!! Add to that another appointment this afternoon and so far two additional ones for tomorrow - I guess there is a lot of interest in others wanting to call our home theirs!

The Price Must Be Right!

We must have done something right. C was all about pricing our house to sell (quickly) and I think he was right. Within six hours of the house listing on MLS we have two showings scheduled already for today! Talk about a rollercoaster. But on the other hand, the house is still totally immaculate, no clutter, nothing other than furniture and some choice staging :-). But poor Miss Molly, because of the two appointments today while we are both at work, she's in a big dog cage (in front of a window of course) in the front bedroom, complete with a blankey to sleep on, her litter box and her food and water. But she was stunned! She's never been caged (unless you count the small travel on to take her to the vet, which of course she hates). C got her in there this morning when I was blow-drying my hair and there she sat and stared at me - completely stunned. Followed by the crying shortly thereafter. But she's safer there and we don't have to worry about her getting out. I just hope everything moves quickly, at least for her. My poor kitty. And poor me. Couldn't find my watch this morning with everything being put away and no clutter, I actually started crying like a 4-year-old. I guess this is what moving and selling stress does to people?

P.S. Mike and Katy - thanks for loaning us the cage we'll take very good care of it and appreciate you helping us keep her safe :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Now the Wait Begins

We’ve finished everything that needed to be done and needless to say, at this point, our house is model-home perfect with barely anything, anywhere that would remind anyone that someone else, besides the potential homebuyer, is living there.

It’s neat as a pin. The shelves which were once “cluttered” with things like food, spices, even books, are now homes to things like that antique teapot, a pretty canister set and a vase of flowers. But seriously, whose pantry shelf is bare except for a Crate & Barrel bowl overflowing with polished green apples (which normally sit in the bag on the counter until they are eating)? At least I learned something from reading my Martha Stewart Living and Real

So it’s done. The rooms are organized, everything is cleared out and either tossed, in storage or temporarily living in our basement or attic. No more framed photos, not even my collection of photos of my nephew and my dogs (and Molly, of course) on the side of my fridge. It’s very sad.

Our broker was finishing up taking pictures today and our house should be online and ready to be purchased this afternoon. Now the real fun begins. Hopefully it sells quickly, effortlessly and the discovering and moving into our new digs goes just as smoothly.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sigh

What does it mean when you see the listing sheet for the house you are about to sell and all you can think is "man, I want to live there!"

Man this is hard. I just hope I feel this way about the new house - if not more!

Monday, September 10, 2007

When the Going Gets Tough ...

Work is kicking my ass today. I'm not sure if it's because instead of coming in at 7:30 this morning (which is great bec it gives me a good hour and a half to get a lot done without anyone bothering me) I got here at 9:30 (bec I wanted to be there when the broker came this morning) or if it's because I worked so hard all weekend, but I thought I'd take a moment to write in an effort to clear my head and make better sense of things.

So the house is about 90 percent ready for showing. All framed photos have been taken down and boxed up. All cards which live on the mantle have been boxed away as well. The mantel is decorated sparingly, as is the table in our front hall, the table in our upstairs all, my desk, the dining room (you get the idea). I boxed up four boxes of books to make my bookcases more appealing to the eye, and managed to purge a bunch of stuff at the same time. I even spent some time in the yard tossing my summer plants which have decided they lived long enough and cleaned up the ones that are still thriving. We tossed lawn furniture we won't be taking with us (instead planning out the new set we'll buy for our new yard and deck).

This morning, after meeting with our broker, we did realize we still have a few more things to do and for me that means mainly organizing my closet - God help me. She said it's good that she can see the width and depth of it, but any boxes on the floor need to be moved, along with the disorganized piles of clothes climbing to the ceiling on the left side. Well C went out and rented a storage unit so we started putting stuff over there today so I'm thinking as much as I dread the idea, I think some of my clothing and shoes (gasp!) may have to go there. Not so bad considering I already sent all the summer clothes there. We'll see. Still a lot to do and only a day or two left to do it!

Now to wrap my arms around what's happening here at work and hopefully in a few days I'll be able to breathe and again enjoy this experience of finding a new home!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Some Big Decisions Finally Made

So they say home is where the heart is right? Well for me home is where I can live happily and comfortable with C – while also being fairly close to my family. But at the end of the day, C and I are making this move to start our own family.
While we’ve been house hunting for quite some time now, mostly in one area of the state, a few weeks back we went looking to see what we could get closer to my family. Now keep in mind, right now I’m only 25 miles away from them (but it seems farther as this area I’m in now is still, even after nearly 5 years, totally new to me). But I digress.

So off to my hometown we went where we found some interesting properties but what it meant was downsizing from our antique colonial into a much, smaller ranch or cape with a tiny lot for a significant amount of money over what we want to pay. But C was willing to do it. And I really wanted it. All to be closer to my folks.

All this is being complicated by the fact we want to put our house on the market ASAP for the fall, rather than wait for spring. And while C is good at putting together a plan and turning it into an action, I, on the other hand, when it comes to big decisions, flip flop, try to avoid them at all costs, and take it to an emotional level. But I’m working on that and I think I’m doing pretty well.

Throughout the weeks and says of discussion, the idea of not moving back to my hometown would literally bring me to tears, all because I want to be closer to my mom, dad and brother. Which I finally realized is insane because (a) I don’t live near them now and haven’t in nearly 5 years (and I’m down there every weekend, and (b) everything we want (affordability, lots of land, nice neighborhoods, great schools, a lot of house for less money) is all up here. And really, at the end of the day is it that much farther away? (Sorry girls, but it looks like Liz won't be moving back to the area)

Last weekend was a real turning point for us. We did some more research – because we needed to decide what we were going to do, where we were going to go and then put the plan into action. What we didn’t know is that if we looked for homes a bit further north than where we live now (approx 6-10 miles) we are talking about a whole lot of house (nearly 2,200 sq ft) on a whole lot of land, for a whole lot less than we’d spend moving back to my home town (where incidentally the taxes are also insanely high).

That being said, we mulled our options, made lists, had lots and lots of discussions and made our decision to get the house ready to market (ASAP) and start looking for a new home. Now to pack up everything we have that we aren't using so this house will fit the bill of any "Sell This House" episode.

And I have to say after all the drama (internal and external) I’m happy with the decision because I know it’s the right one. I’m happy that we are doing this together I’m happy that we are planning to have a family, I’m just happy!

I can't wait for this next step in our lives together and setting up our new home! Whoo hoo!

Thank God because up until a few days ago I was having nightmares like you wouldn’t believe about buying a new house, moving, losing shoes, even one where a crown on one of my teeth fell off – and if you know me you know nightmares are a rarity in my world.

But, because I’m me, I’m still having inner turmoil on one tiny issue – figuring out what to do with Miss Molly when the house is being shown.

Do we keep her in the house and let the realtor know she can’t get out and put notes on the doors? Or do we simply move her somewhere else in the meantime (which I really don’t want to do)? It’s not as simple as getting a heads-up when someone is coming to look at the house, as in this market if we want it to move (which we do) we need to make it accessible at all times of the day whether we are home or not.

Anyone have any thoughts or words of wisdom?

Done!

So those of you who have been following this blog know that C has been working on the house we are currently in for years now (more years than anyone really should). Up until recently the last of our four bedrooms has been complete and I just had to share the transformation with you all. I love it!

Before:



After:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He's Really All That

There's nothing I enjoy more than getting together with my family and for my birthday dinner, it was as always, highly enjoyable. Of course, what makes these get togethers even more fun these days is the attendance of my 15-month-old nephew. He's so good - the little guy sat at the table all during dinner, enjoying himself, sharing my scallops with me, looking up intensely and nodding when the waiter was talking to him. He was an absolute joy, an angel and just precious. It was also my first experience of hearing him talk (aside from saying Daddy, uh oh, and no). My mother handed him a cracker and clear as day he said "cracker." Later I was in Stride Rite with him and looking at shoes and as I held one up he looked at me and said "shoe." I simply love this little guy!

My absolute favorite picture of the two of us:


The little man:


Enjoying some man time with C:


So cute:


Checking out every grown-up man's favorite store (that's my brother and C off to the left:

Oops, I did it again!

If you can believe it (and I know MANY of you can't) I once again tried my hand at camping with C's family. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had (though I will admit to checking my email via the Blackberry - yep I had service). And again, like last year, I can handle anything for one night. C did have a nice surprise for me - our own tent! Last year we shared one. And by the way, this is how we started by birthday weekend!

Here's some pix!

C setting up our tent - heck it was small but who cares - it was all ours!


The two of us:


Our campsite:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whoo hoo!

Whoo hoo! Turns out not only do I have a bunch of time left to take off from work this year, I have a super understanding boss. So I'm doing something totally out of my usual realm, I'm going to take it. I'm starting by taking tomorrow - my girlfriend Jenn is on vacation this week and I want to be part of it. Plus nothing feels better than sitting in my dining room on a Sunday night, typing a quick post and knowing I don't have to be anywhere but at the beach or the outlets tomorrow (the weather will be our deciding factor on which).

I'll be back up online either tomorrow night or Tuesday to fill you in on what's been going on - lots!

Untl then ...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm Going to Be How Old????

Where does the time go? In four days I'm going to be 37 (GULP) - yes 37 - In a nutshell that means in three years I'm going to be 40 (WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??!!??) and next spring I'm 20 years out of high school (YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!).

I guess I never realized that people actually do get old - or that I would.

No significant birthday has affected me tremendously. Perhaps it's because I have a great corp of friends who always made sure I celebrated in style, or my family which always goes out of its way to celebrate all of our birthdays (significant others included). But 37 - Ouch!

As a kid they were always fun because birthdays meant pool parties - one of the perks of being a summer baby!

Course I'm joining a very well known group of celebrities who are 37: Minnie Driver, Lara Flynn Boyle, Mariah Carey, Matthew McConaughey, Vince Vaughn, Uma Thurman, Skeet Ulrich, Heather Graham, Claudia Schiffer, Kelly Ripa, Matt Damon, Ethan Hawke and Jennifer Connelly (all born in 1970 like myself).

If I look at it this way it doesn't seem like a bad club to be a part of :-)

I also share my actual birth date with Susan Saint James, Sarah Brightman, Halle Barry, Danielle Steel and Magic Johnson.

But at the end of the day there's one thing that always makes me feel young - of my group of friends from high school and childhood I'm still the baby - thank God for the summer birthday!

Ain't Nothing Like A New Stove

So the stove we have at the house, although not super old - really was entering its final days months ago, but we persavered and dealt with it. First it wouldn't light every now and then (the oven part). Then it was a bit more consistent and I'd constantly find C on the floor lighting the pilot. (scary to me! though he insisted it really isn't but I'm a fraidy cat about things like that). Keep in mind, that even if it did light - it wouldn't hold heat consistently so you had to be sure to account for that time when cooking.

We did however manage to get through a couple of dinner parties with it no problem. We even managed a dinner party where we had to keep the oven on broil to hold the temperature. But it actually worked out.*

The hope was to not have to buy a new stove until we got down to business to renovating our kitchen, but sometimes you just can't wait.

The straw that broke the camel's back came about a week and a half ago when C went to make cookies - which is not an easy task when you have to keep the stove set on broil to get it to work. Needless to say two cookie sheets full came out a bit overdone. SO it was off to Sears to buy a replacement and say goodbye forever to our
unreliable stove.

So we said goodbye to this:




And said hello to this: (did I mention it has a fifth burner with a griddle) - so cool!



(*Note to Kristi: This is probably part of the reason I haven't broken out the KitchenAid yet - course now I can really get down to it!)

Monday, August 06, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

After a solid straight year of busting my ass at work (with the exception of a few days off here and there), I finally took some time away from the office.



I began my vacation with an impromptu cookout at mom and dad's – which of course always means some quality time with my nephew.





Next, we traveled to Newport, RI for some rest and relaxation, enjoying the atmosphere and the views and taking in some mansion tours.

We stayed at the lovely America's Cup Inn right in the heart of downtown Newport.


Here's what our room looked like:



And had a yummy, romantic dinner at the Clarke Cook House restaurant right on Bannister's Wharf.







The next day, I took C on a tour of the Breakers. He had never been and we both really enjoyed it. (Guess the trick for me was not to go there for 10 years and then it was all new again)



After Newport, we headed west to Connecticut to see if the casino could give us any luck.



After a nice dinner and an overnight stay there we headed home.

We spent a couple of days relaxing at home, getting things organized, and oh yeah, buying a new stove because the old one simply had to go – too unreliable! More on that in my next post.

Even Miss Molly had a relaxing week:




And I ended my vacation with some beach time with a girlfriend, a kick-ass tan, and finishing up a lot of pleasure reading.

What did I learn from my summer vacation? That one week is not enough. From now on it’s two weeks or bust for this busy girl!

Now to get back into the swing of things at work!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Time for a Break

Believe it or not it’s been nearly ONE FULL YEAR since I’ve taken a vacation from my job. I was actually ordered months ago by my boss to take some time off – but that certainly isn’t an easy task in the publishing business, but I finally found a way to do it. I literally have one week during the month of August when we aren’t shipping an issue, so I’m sliding in my vacation there and I couldn’t be happier.

I can spend my days reading what I want to read, not gallies upon gallies of copy that needs to be edited. I can choose to have a mid-afternoon glass of vino or indulge in olives and cheese for lunch. I can pick up and go wherever I want, whenever I want during the course of the day without wondering if anyone is looking for me. I can leisurely wander through stores browsing (and of course shopping) instead of my usual lunch-time rush through TJ Maxx (that’s all I have for clothing retail near work) at lightening speed.

So bring it on – vacation here I come. Now to get through the next two and a half days of work and get this current issue out the door!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stewie Griffin and I Have Something in Common!

Oh man - come every summer my super fair white skin turns a nice shade of tan (even if I'm wearing SPF40 which I try to do). It's funny actually, I'm the only family member that tans - everyone else tends to turn a shade of pink (course I'm also the only one who doesn't have naturally blonde hair) - but we all have the same color eyes (blue) and the same skin tone, but I digress.

So this morning C made a funny - he compared me to "tan Stewie" - an episode of "Family Guy" where Stewie gets a tan, drinks Tab and hangs out with his new tan friends. While I thought it was funny I didn't even realize how so until I found a copy of the episode on youtube and just had to share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ironic Twist?

All I can say is this is totally ironic - I was just cruising the Internet looking for a new bathing suit (believe it or not I had several but an entire bin of them disappeared a year ago - good ones that fit perfectly and cost a small fortune mind you), when I came across this headline:

"Bridget Moynahan to Have Tom Brady Baby on Gisele Bundchen's Birthday"

Are you kidding me? I hope Bridget holds out as long as possible - besides, most first babies are late anyway right?

Oh and the kicker of the whole story? Gisele is angry that the baby is expected to be born on her birthday. Oh man - celebrity gossip - I love it, yet at times it drives me insane.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Is That Ticking Sound??

Maybe it’s because in exactly four weeks and three days I’ll be joining the ranks of woman in their “late 30’s.” (where they heck does the time go???) Maybe it’s because everyone around me is either a happy parent of an infant or toddler, pregnant or trying to get pregnant, but man all of a sudden that clock everyone warns you about is ticking so loudly I can barely sleep!

Either way it’s funny how life changes. How dreams you had as a little girl to those you have in your teens and 20s can be just that, dreams.

I was engaged in my 20s (actually more than once I hate to admit) but man how different my life would be now if I had actually gone through with it. Sure, there’s no doubt I’d have children by now, but no guarantees I wouldn’t be joining the ranks of divorced, single moms raising children and working full time.

But, thankfully, that was not the case.

The funny thing is I have several friends who were married back then, right out of college, and had children and some are nearing the teenage years. I hear about it – every story, every scare, every injury, every success they have. And I’ve known them since they were born and that to me is something to be thankful for.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when everything really finally changed and it’s a change that has made my life so much better and so much more fulfilling than I ever though it could be. I didn’t meet C until I was in my mid-30s, but frankly if I had to wait until my mid-40s to have him unexpectantly come into my life, that would have been just fine. I never thought I would find “the one.” But yet, here he is beside me every step of the way morning to night, seven days a week.

He’s loving, caring, considerate, organized, charming, thoughtful, handsome, fun, a jokester, and he’s all mine. (did I also mention he does the laundry?) What more could a girl want? I never really thought anything, but every now and then the thought of a family comes to mind.

Now I’m not afraid it’s not going to happen. Not yet. But then again, you never know. And surely that will be something we will tend to together when we get married, when the time is right.

But I can’t help but wonder how it will all happen. If I can even have a child. Who knows? I know there are tests to see your chances, but frankly that’s not even something I want to think about because I’d rather know when the time is right, not ahead of time. Lord knows I have enough to worry about on a day-to-day basis. But let’s be honest. I’m in my late 30s. I’ve never been pregnant. After 36 a pregnancy is considered “high risk,” and I’ve always told myself if it didn’t happen before I turned 40 I simply wouldn’t even try. After all, it’s not a life half-lived if we don’t have children, right?

In the meantime, I try to suppress these thoughts which come creeping up on me at the least inopportune times and try to spread my love of children onto my girlfriend’s children and even more so on my only nephew making sure he’s happy and buying him everything from a limited edition Count Von Count (from Sesame Street) doll to books to fill his bookcase (even though I found myself adding some of my childhood favorites when purchasing some a couple of weeks ago). He also gets lots of hugs and kisses whenever I can get my hands on the little guy.

For now being an aunt keeps those thoughts at bay.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Too Scheduled or Monotonous?

Is it possible to have a "too scheduled" life?

Some say it’s Ok to have a “scheduled” life. And in my line of work it makes perfect sense, but man, when did life become so monotonous?

I guess it’s what happens to the best of us when you are finally settled – solid career, job security, a stable relationship, a roof over your head and frankly, nothing serious to worry about (though there are bumps in the road here and there).

But here I am and my day (Monday through Thursday) typically looks like this.

Get up, say goodbye to C, make coffee, feed cat, blow dry hair, get dressed, get in car, stop at Dunkins for coffee, fight traffic to work, put in 8-9 hours of work, (every other day replenish Dunkins late afternoon), get back in car, fight traffic home, stop by my grandmother’s house, drive home, put away my stuff, open my mail (shred anything I need to), take a shower, change, water my plants, pour a drink, talk to C, eat dinner, watch TV, read a bit, go to bed. And then it’s wash, rinse, repeat all over again the next day. Friday’s are a bit different as after work I drive to my parents store where I work until 10. Other than that, that’s my life.

I was dwelling on the monotony of it all the other day and my girlfriend pointed out that with a job like mine it’s really a good thing to have everything else scheduled. To know exactly what needs to be done each night and nothing more. Because at work, things change dramatically at the drop of a hat and can put you in a tail spin without you even realizing it.

I guess I’ve just officially become an adult. Not a bad thing, but definitely something I didn’t see coming. I used to be so whimsical and caution to the wind throwing, though I will admit over the past few years, I became much more methodical about my goings on and whereabouts.

Either way, that’s me in a nutshell –

Another friend suggested, again, that I find a creative outlet. I get to this point at least once a year and this is always his suggestion. Find something I like to do and do it. Last year it was my desire to learn how to knit – which we all know never happened as I couldn’t find a class. I know I still need to pull out my super cool still new-in-the-box KitchenAid mixer and start playing with that (but I still don’t know where to start). I do need to update my photos – yes folks, the girl who meticulously kept a photo album current every year for the past 15 has finally become one of you. I now have boxes and envelopes full of loose photos just waiting for a home. So I can definitely get on that. But I digress.

For now, I need to find a way to break the monotony – but I think the only way that can happen is if I have a less stressful, responsible job or if I win the lottery and frankly a job any less than what I have would drive me to boredom and the lottery, well they say you have to play to win and I never think to play.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Return of Scott Baio

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this but here goes. My entire childhood and teenage years I was obsessed with Scott Baio (aka Chachi on “Happy Days,” “Joanie Loves Chachi” and Charles of “Charles in Charge.” I love the guy. Thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread – man, with that face what else was an impressionable young girl to think?

That being said, I, the former dues paying member of the Scott Baio fan club, (the only fan club I ever officially belonged to by the way) started to fall a bit off his fan wagon as he got older and started his long string of “relationships.” Pam Anderson, Heather Locklear, Denise Richards, just to name a few.

But then this afternoon, I came across this information thanks to the always up-to-the-minute Web. Scott Baio is about to star in his own reality series on VH1! – "Scott Baio is 45 … and Single.” No surprise here – he’s the quintessential bachelor.

But back to the show. Well, it’s about him being single, finding himself in a mid-life crisis, wondering why he’s “still single, alone and still unable to settle down and commit to a substantial, meaningful relationship.”

I’m in. After all you all know I have a penchant for bad reality TV, but bad reality TV about my former favorite TV star from childhood – how could I not tune in.

It premiers July 15. Now the only problem is trying to not let C see that I’m adding it to my current frightening list of reality TV programs on the DVR. Katie and Peter was hard enough to justify, but this?

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm in Love!

You might know by now that I have a shopping obsession, but while clothes are one thing. My biggest guilty pleasure is pocketbooks (OK, and sometimes, often times shoes). Today, it's all about the bag. (Of course I needed a new one, another one like I needed a hole in my head) Last weekend I welcomed my newest edition - Coach's 2007 Hamptons Weekend Patchwork Demi Satchel. I love her! She's so cute, so trendy, very fun and can be worn with everything! (although Sarah will tell you I love it because it's called "Hamptons Weekend" - think Sex and the City). She makes her debut tonight!

Check it out:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Eight Random Things about Myself

OK, so My Wombinations tagged me to write eight random things about myself, but I’m such an open book I’m not sure anyone would be surprised, but here goes:


1. I talk to my mom nearly every day. She’s such an important part of my life and not only my mom but a friend I can talk to about anything.

2. I’m petrified of spiders – any color, any size, real or fake. No joke. It’s the worst arachnophobia you could ever imagine. Therefore, Halloween totally freaks me out because somewhere – whether at work or at a retail store – will inevitably be decorated with some type of spider. It’s pathetic, I’m a grown woman, but man they scare me. On a lighter not – centipedes I can deal with, kill and have no fear of.

3. I still sleep with my teddy bear. By day he hangs out center stage on my bed.

4. I’m a super neat freak at work, highly organized and efficient, but put me in my car or in my home and it’s a whole other ballgame.

5. I spent an entire summer when I was a teenage on a cross-country bus tour of the United States with my grandmother. No joke! I’ve been to every state in the country except Alaska and Hawaii. And to this day – I still HATE buses.

6. I can read cover to cover at least two books a week and have a stack of at least five in the cue on my nightstand at any given time. I LOVE books.

7. I’m full of useless information that at some point or another always turns out to be highly useful. Just ask my friends and co-workers. Guess all that reading isn’t a bad thing at all.

8. I’m a shopaholic (but you already guessed that from the name of my blog). I have way too much clothing, yet somehow find a way to wear it all. I suppose there are worse addictions.

And for shits and giggles here is #9 – I, like My Wombinations, was engaged twice before meeting C. What can I say? I have no regrets – never look back and feel very fortunate I found someone as wonderful, loving, caring, funny and sweet as C.

Your turn!
I’m tagging the following:

Nikki at Life's Fun Little Lessons
Becky
FuriousBall
Lisanne at Bathtubjunkie

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose at least eight people to get tagged and list their names.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Owe You A Post

While I know I still owe everyone more than my random posts of the past month, I promise, I will be back on here more frequently now that everything seems to be calming down around me.

In the meantime, here are some photos from the Red Sox game my department went to a couple of weeks back.

Enjoy!

The Work Gang Hanging Out Before the Game


Sean & Jenn Enjoy the View from Their Seats


I Love Fenway Park!


Group View from the EMC Club


Thanks Catdoggg - You're the Best!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Water Cooler Gossip - Holloway & Ramsey Together

Oh, this is great! My mom actually just called to tell me. You'll never guess who is dating? Beth Holloway and John Ramsey. No joke! Fox news is reporting the father of murdered JonBenet Ramsey and the mother of Natalee Holloway who went missing in Aruba are an item and have been involved since January. Now that's an unlikely pair! Then again, nothing shocks me anymore - and this certainly solidifies that belief.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gotta Love Retail!

If you've never had the opportunity to work in retail, then you really have no idea how painful at times it can be and how much patience is necessary when dealing with customers, who can be beyond difficult. Below is an example I heard from a friend of mine working at a liquor store the other night:

Woman: *holding up bottle of wine* Is this the only one you have?
Cashier: Well, let’s look at the shelf. *looks* Yep, that’s it.
Woman: No, I mean the other bottle.
Cashier: What other bottle?
Woman: The big one.
Cashier: *puzzled look* Um, I don’t think we carry that in the big bottles.
Woman: Yes you do.
Cashier: I don’t think so.
Woman: *indignant and firm* Yes you DO! I’ve bought them here before!
Cashier: *eyeing the growing line of customers, looks at stock person* Ask Manager/Owner if we carry that in the big bottles, wouldja?
Stock person: *in back, with Manager/Owner, who is talking to another wine rep, woman following impatiently* Manager/Owner, do we have large bottles of (wine’s name)?
Manager/Owner: They don’t exist.
Woman: Yes they do.
Manager/Owner: We’ve never had them. The company doesn’t make larger bottles of that brand.
Woman: Yes they do.
Manager/Owner: I have NEVER had large bottles of that here. We don’t carry it.
Woman: Yes you do.
Manager/Owner: No, I don’t.
Woman: Yes you DO! I’ve BOUGHT them here before!
Manager/Owner: You couldn’t have, because we don’t carry it.
Woman: Yes you do.
Manager/Owner: Well, it’s my store, and I’m telling you, we don’t carry it.
Woman: Where’s that old man?
Manager/Owner: Who?
Woman: The little old man with the white hair. I buy them from him all the time!
*at this point the stock person doesn't know whether to burst out laughing or beat the woman with a stick. Manager/Owner goes over to the shelf to help her find something comparable, while the woman continues to rave about bad service and stupid salespeople. The wine rep looks at the stock person and shakes his head. Eventually, the woman goes up to the counter to buy a bottle of something else, still visibly stewing*
Cashier: *smiling beatifically* Did you find everything you were looking for, ma’am?

Ok, that’s not verbatim, but you get the idea. That last line, however, is verbatim.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Read to Laugh Out Loud - I'm Serious!

I have to share this. If you want to laugh completely out loud (make sure your office door is closed if you have one), then check out today's post on my brother's blog. I certainly needed a laugh this morning and this definitely gave it to me. Check it out here! If the hyperlink doesn't work for you the direct link is: http://www.hangingblogger.blogspot.com/

Talk to you later!