Tuesday, April 30, 2013

House Tour; Upstairs and Basement

The home tour continues!

At the top of the stairs to the right is the second bedroom. It's a dark grey color right now with a weird red stripe. I'd like to ultimately paint it, but I don't know what color yet.

This is my bed from when I was a little kid. The bedroom also has a futon of Charlie's. This means there is plenty of room in the bedroom for our friends to come over and spend the night. This reminds me, I need to sew another house number on Charlie's quilt soon.

At the top of the stairs on the left is our master bedroom. The way we have it set up right now is with our bed under the skylight. Charlie comments that he can see the stars on clear nights, I'd be able to if I wasn't vision impaired, and also if I was not so exhausted every night that I fall asleep within 10 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

The room is huge and has lots of possibilities for layout. Right now over by the window is my dresser, a table my Dad made and a chair that was Charlie's Grandfather's. I am planning to read in this corner and look out the window at the mountains. I even like the colors of the walls.

Between the bedrooms is the bathroom. I'll tell you more tomorrow about the shelf, but aside from fixing and painting the shelf 2 days after we moved in I love this bathroom. It has wallpaper on one wall and then a nice greenish, blue paint color on the other walls. I really like it and see no need to change anything else, with the exception of the toilet paper holder. 

Downstairs in the basement is my sewing room. It is the room that I think needs the most work. It doesn't look that bad in pictures, but up close it's pretty needy. I'd like to paint the wood, mostly because I don't love wood paneling, but also because the kids who lived here before drew on the wood and wrote their names on it. The walls have tons of little holes in them, so I need to paint those too. Still trying to decide what color to paint them. I'd like a girly color since it will be my space, but I think if I am going to take blogging pictures in this room it should be pretty neutral. I've been pinning tons of ideas for this space, see those here, if you're so inclined. The floor also needs a lot of work, as it is peeling off of the floor and generally yucky.

As of right now it is functional and can be used for sewing and general crafty-ness. I don't feel very inspired by the room at the moment though so I haven't done any sewing yet. It might also have to do with the fact that I have not had much time to sew since we have been working on other projects.

Next to the sewing room is Charlie's room. It now has his ping pong table in it, as well as every textbook he's every owned.

The outside has a patio off of the deck.

There is quite a bit of "lawn", but I am not sure how much actual grass will grow here. So far I love having so much space, quite space.

Penny is loving the yard. We were worried she would run away so we thought we'd be getting an electric fence or dog run, but so far she's been staying close by. She explores a little bit, but always come back to fetch a stick or roll in the dirty and sit close to where we are working. On the property is a little pool of water that Penny loves to wade in. Charlie said there are frog eggs in it. There is also a little trail around the property the we trimmed down and walk Penny on. 

Thanks for your excitement. We love the house thus far and are excited for the possibilities and the future.


Monday, April 29, 2013

House Tour: Downstairs

I've posted most, if not all of these on facebook but have a few people who don't have facebook so I wanted to keep them in the house loop. Sorry for the repeats. 

This is our new house!

The front yard needs a bit of work, and the steps need some TLC, but it's functional as is. Through the front door you enter the dining room. 

The table belonged to my Great Grandfather Benny. At some point we might get a bigger one. 

 Over here is the buffet that belonged to Charlie's Grandmother. 

This desk is where we will pay bills and be very adultish. Or it will just hold all of Charlie's junk like before, we'll see. It was my Grandmother's when she was in college. I like how we have lots of nice pieces from our relatives. 

Off of the dining room is the kitchen. It's smaller in size than our old kitchen, but is more functional and has more storage. I don't like the red paint, and there is a not so great fruit basket boarder around the top that I've already ripped part of. I'm trying to convince Charlie's on a sort of grey green color. Hopefully he'll agree. 

There is an island, perfect for cutting vegetables. On the other side there is room for stools, but we're thinking about colors etc before we buy them.

Down the hall a bit from the kitchen is the downstairs bathroom. It has a washer and dryer and a stand up shower. 

Then there is the living room. I love how bright it is. Our last place had the living room on the inside of the building so it was very dark all the time. This living room has so much light. I love it.

Everyone says we need a bigger TV now, but I still like this one.

This is my most favorite thing so far. My aunt Kelly made us this stained glass for our wedding and we had nowhere to hang it for almost 2 years. Now I smile whenever I look at it and love seeing the sun shine through it.

Off of the living room is the deck which has a lovely view of Ragged Mountain. We sat out there on Saturday when Charlie's parents and brother and sister-in-law came and I can see many sunny days spent reading on the deck in my future.

I'll be back soon with the upstairs and basement tour.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Muddy Moose Recap

Back in January when I signed up for this race I had no idea we would be buying a house the week before, and moving into the house. I also had no idea we'd be spending 12+ hours raking leaves and doing yard work. When I woke up on Saturday I told myself there was no way I could do the race. I hate wussing out on things I've signed up for or committed to so I decided to suck it up and do it, even though I was exhausted. I didn't care about the time, my main goals were to not quit, or cry. I figured if worse came to worse I would just walk, and if it was really bad I'd walk all 14 miles.

Here is the before picture. Charlie and Penny came with me to offer moral support, which was much appreciated and helped me to meet my goals of not crying or quitting.

They even made me laugh at water stops. I was not sure where they would be waiting so I needed to "keep it together". Luckily I never wanted to quit and didn't feel super tired during the race. It turned out to only be 13.2 miles not 14. I am certainly not complaining about that.

Here we are at the finish line. My watch said I finished in just under 3 hours, but that's because I turned off my watch when I sprinted into the woods to pee. Penny and Charlie ran with me for a little bit and when I was approaching them Penny was leaping so high in the air she was so excited. It was very sweet. I think she was sad she wasn't running with me.

My feet hurt so bad at the end because my shoes were full of clumps of mud and rocks. I am planning to throw these shoes away. At the finish there was no food left because I ran too slow and all the faster people ate it all. I told Charlie all I wanted was a McFlurry. But then he stopped at a Drive-In in Alton. Apparently they were very understaffed, and it took 45+ minutes to get a cheese burger, hot dog, and small soft serve ice cream. I was super cranky (Hangry) so he waited inside the place while I waited in the car with Penny. I kept texting him telling him I was going to drive away or honk the horn of the car really loud.

Now I can laugh about it, because I am not famished, but I was not very impressed, even with an ice cream in hand.

I've realized that once I get an idea in my head I need to see it through or else I'll never be happy. Due to this I forced Charlie to stop at McDonald's and buy me a snack sized McFlurry.

Now I am happily full, and clean/not smelly. I just need to figure out a way to make my vacation last another day so I can recover and be a functioning person tomorrow at work.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How The House Hunt Went Down

We were not really "looking" for a house, we had taken a break and were just enjoying the winter, skiing, and having free weekends. We had seen the house before online and driven past but kept thinking it just wasn't the right time. At the beginning of March I looked at pictures online of the house again and really liked it, my brain said "just wait" but my heart whispered "why not look?" I asked Charlie if he thought we should look at it, just to look, he easily agreed and set up an appointment with the listing agent.

I was nervous and excited all day leading up to the appointment to see the house, but didn't tell anyone because I was tired of telling people how excited I was and having a house be a dud. As soon as we walked in my brain and heart both screamed "Never leave, you belong here." We were literally standing in the front doorway and I still had my boots on, but I never wanted to leave. Of course I couldn't say that to the listing agent so I  kept it to myself. Every room we looked at was great, and if not great it had potential. On the way home Charlie and I talked about what we loved (a lot of stuff) and what we didn't love (minor things that could be changed; i.e. paint colors). I say we talked, but mostly I yelled and waved my hands around excitedly.

We contacted a family friend, Debbie, who is a realtor and she took over the rest. We could not have done this without her. I am so appreciative of her help, it's been such a good thing having someone who knows Charlie and I (from parties, weddings, and my blog) to advise us and just know what we're feeling even if we don't exactly know. She said before she even set foot in the house she looked at pictures online and felt like the house said "Charlie and Lauren." I've also felt that some people we had worked with in the past were not exactly genuine and didn't really know or get us. Debbie gets us, and has been a huge help.

After seeing the house for the first time we set up an appointment to see it the following day with Debbie, just as she suspected it seemed like a Charlie and Lauren house, and I felt even more like it was home. All of the other houses we'd looked at had felt just nice. None felt like "home" to me. Until this one. Debbie informed us that there was another offer on the house and said if we wanted it we needed to make an offer soon, and make a strong offer.

On the drive home Charlie and I didn't talk at all, we just thought to ourselves. Over dinner we finally both spilled the beans and said we really wanted to live there. We talked about what would happen if we did get it, and what would happen if we didn't. We figured out how much we could afford, and what everything would cost. Then we said let's do it, if it's meant to be it wil happen, if not then we'll just keep looking. That night Debbie wrote up the paperwork for us to make an offer, e-mailed it to us, we signed it, and the next morning I nervously faxed it to her from the office fax machine. A teacher I work with had to help me figure out how to make the fax machine work and I told him quietly that we were making an offer on a house and how nervous I was. That was my excuse at least for not knowing how to fax something, really I just don't know how to use one.

The day went by pretty quickly which surprised me since I thought it would be slow as molasses. I checked my phone and e-mail several more times that day than I typically do (which is already a lot). After school Penny and I went running and we waited for my brother to come to visit. Just as we heard Garrett yell from the street outside (he doesn't have a cell phone so he just yells) my phone rang with Debbie's number. The knot in my stomach instantly got tighter. Debbie said "Just wondering if you can rent a Uhaul on April 23rd?" It took me a few seconds for that to sink in; I think even if she had said "You got the house" it would have taken a few moments.

Debbie said that the other couple who put an offer on the house had had a simular offer. She then informed me that the reason the seller picker us was because they have been living in an apartment closer to their new jobs and their apartment address was the same as our apartment address. It all felt very serendipitous, like everything that was meant to happen was happening. That night we hung out and I kept saying "I can't believe we got the house" over and over again. The weekend was filled with skiing with Garrett and our friends. We shared the news with them and they were very excited for us.

The home inspection was the following week. I was very nervous for this. The last house we almost bought had a terrible home inspection; which prompted us to not buy the house and to seriously re-evaluate what types or houses we were looking at. I didn't want that to happen again. Luckily, the opposite happened. The home inspector pointed out small areas of need, and told me that either we could do it or a carpenter (like my dad) could easily fix the problems. He also kept saying what a good house it was. That was very reassuring.

Charlie has done the money stuff, while I do the "fix it" stuff. He has a good relationship with the mortgage consultant and keeps assuring me that things are in order. That brings us up until now. I am counting down the days until we can move. Until then I am pinning lots of ideas for room colors and a garden in the back yard. I've also been checking Craigslist often to see if they have any zero point turning lawn mowers. I told Charlie I would happily mow the lawn (and our neighbor's) if he bought me one.
I probably wouldn't mow the lawn in a pea coat and skirt though. 
Thanks for sharing in our excitement. We'll keep you posted on the details. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Bravery vs. Cowardice

Where to begin when such a sad thing has happened. Charlie and I both know several people who were running today. Charlie ran the marathon two years ago and my family and I had a wonderful time being spectators.  The Boston Marathon has been a big part of my life. I remember my parents taking my brother, and my friend Lexi and I to see my aunt run in the 100th Boston Marathon 17 years ago. I always like to watch it, and was glued to my computer at work today watching the instant streaming during my lunch break of the mens and women's race. My brother in law Jay, as well as a friend from college, and one from grad school were running today. Several friends from all walks of my life, as well as family members, were in Boston today watching the race.

I am so grateful that no one I know was injured. I know others are not that lucky. My heart breaks for them.

It seems like as good a time as any to get down on the world and feel like there is no hope for tomorrow, or the future generations. Let's be serious, that feeling overcomes us all at points like this. It seems like everyone first reaction is to think "what has the world come to?" It's easy to dwell on the terrible things that have happened and to want to seek out the person or people who inflected such unspeakable pain.

What's harder is to instead view footage, read stories, and watch coverage and think of the tremendous amount of bravery that police officers, volunteers, spectators, and other runners exhibited in a time of need. Before the smoke had even cleared hundreds of people were already working to help the injured.

I think it's very easy and tempting to focus on the terrible things that happened today, but please don't forget about the courage that was demonstrated either. For every one sick person in the world who would do something terrible like this there are hundreds of thousands who will and did run into danger without hesitation to help those in need.

Please, if and when they find out who did this, don't remember the persons name, instead try to find coverage or stories about the hero's of this tragedy and focus on their bravery. When the media focuses so much on the cowardice of a select few individuals it only makes other cowards feel that they can do the same and get the same reaction. By focusing on the heroism exhibited at times like this we can show the cowards that we are going to focus on the good, not the terrible.

Thank you to all of the people who demonstrated so much bravery in the face of such a terrible thing today.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Big News

No, I am not pregnant so stop asking. Charlie and I are buying a house. Wahooo!!!

Since Charlie is so nonchalant about everything (with the exception of me chewing gum, which makes him go off the deep end) I can't tell if he is totally over the moon about this like I am; but I am over the moon about this. It is my dream house. Charlie is just happy if I am happy, and he's super happy there is a room for his ping pong table. He says he's missed it these last 9 years.

The house is in Bristol, where we live now. It's only 3 miles from our apartment (woot, easy move {except if you're moving with me, nothing is easy}). It's on a big hill, my ears pop driving up the road. It has 5 acres, plenty of room for Penny to run and play. The floor plan is pretty open. There are tons of windows and fabulous light. The basement has a room which I have already named "the sewing room".   There is a garage; I figure if I'm going to have to actually drive to work I absolutely cannot be expected to scrape ice and snow off of my car! And the best part, it has a view of the mountains! I told you it was a dream house. Did I use enough exclamation points?

We are moving over April vacation. As if I wasn't excited enough for a week off from work, add in moving to a new, bigger, better, brighter place where I can decorate to my hearts content? You know I'm pumped.

Charlie is excited that there are tons of trails to run on right out of the front door. Penny will be excited once she gets inside to have more space to run around, and lots of critters in the yard to chase. And don't tell Penny but we're hoping to get another dog to be her pal. We're going to wait until the summer to do that though, she'll be an only dog for a few more months.

We're had the home inspection, our loan is in order, and we're signed tons of paperwork. Now we just have to wait for all of the other things to fall into place. And wait for April 22nd when it will officially be ours!

More soon on the whole story. 


Thursday, April 4, 2013


After deciding to scrapbook more, I realized how un-enthused I was with my paper collection. I like them separately, but not so much all together, they are not exactly cohesive.

At work on Monday someone put out a box in the word room of "free" things. One of the things was a pack of construction(ish) paper. It's a bit heavier than construction paper, but lighter than card stock. It was kind of plain to begin with, so I added some pizzaz the other day. I told Charlie I could cook dinner and he came home to me cooking in the kitchen painting. He was not excited, but not surprised.

I used some paint and Mod Podge Luster on these. I've never mixed the two, but it made the paint a bit shiny, which I liked. Here they are:

Red paper with just Mod Podge.  White with Mod Podge and silver paint polka dotted on with a foam circle brush.

More silver dots, grey mixed with Mod Podge and scraped on with an oil paint mixer.

Dry brushed green on green. Then green and grey scraped on.

Grey zig zag (looking at it now it looks like Charlie Brown), and gold dots.

I'll keep you posted about how I use these different papers.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scrapbooking: Plans for the Future

I've been trying to do more scrapbooking lately. I find that I only scrapbook about something big that's happened. Prime example being our wedding. I think this happens for three reasons. The first being that it's a big deal, and I obviously want to document it in terms of pictures, but also my thoughts about the event. The second is, I have a lot of pictures from big events. Third would be that big events have a story-ish line to them. I can document them from start to finish. Our wedding scrapbook goes from our Engagement to the Thank you notes we sent for coming to the wedding. Pretty easy. It could have even just been the day of the wedding.

All of the other scrapbooks I have made have a clear beginning and ending point. The first one I made was for our 2 year anniversary. The beginning was when we met, the end was what we were doing for our anniversary in 2008.

When I first started I typed my blurbs and referred to myself in the 3rd person. Now I just write "I" and write with a pen. However, since the first one I've pretty much made scrapbooks with a clear beginning and ending point. When I make them is also always when something is over; my book from Grad school was created after graduation:

I made one all about Lorelei's wedding, which was made almost a year after the wedding.

These are from our road trip in 2009. I did a better job with this one, and made it a few months after we got home.

I've been trying to think of ways to get out of that mind set that it needs to have a beginning and ending before starting. It's quite daunting to create an entire book at once. I take my time and try to focus on each page but I always seem to rush the last few pages because I just want to get it done and am sick of working on it. I also feel like working on something a few months to a year or longer after the events have happened makes it hard to remember details or how you felt about something at the time. I can't tell you how many times I've yelled to Charlie from my desk "What was the name of the mountain we hiked in ____ on _____?" Luckily he remembers every hike we've been on.

My hesitation about this is that I am struggling with where to start. I don't want to miss things, but I also don't feel like waiting. So, I've just decided to jump right in. I've decided to do two things.

1.) Make a small album held together with rings, not my typical book layout. This allows me to add as many pages as I want. I can also make them different sizes, within reason. I'm going to attempt to stick to some sort of color scheme. I think that will be easier than I am making it out to be, since I am drawn to the same colors over and over (purple, blue, and green, I'm looking at you.) I like this idea because now I can write about little things. And document more small, everyday life stuff. I'm not going to turn into someone who will have a scrapbook page about cleaning my ears or folding laundry, but I want to have pages about hikes we go on, our mini adventures with Penny; more of our daily lives than just the big huge events.

This is my first (an only) page so far. I like it. I think it's a good place to start.

2.) A "We" book. I've seen this idea before, in a slightly different format, and want to make one for Charlie and I. Every month I'll take a picture of us, and then write a blurb about what we did that month. I'm not picturing this to be a scrapbook per say, but more of a timeline/memory book. I think it will be fun to look back on in a few years and see what we were doing. I'm hoping the pictures each month can be kind of topical, and relevant to what was big in our lives at that time. I want to keep it simple, with only one picture for each page, and just a short written segment. I could easily get carried away with this, but I am hoping if I start simple I will not get out of control, and will also easily be able to keep up with it. I haven't actually started this yet, but I am planning to. Just need to work out some more detail in my head.

Hopefully by adding some posts here about my ideas and progress I will be held accountable to some extent.

Thanks for listening.

By the way, this started off as a totally different post. Maybe we'll get to that idea soon.

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