Monday, December 29, 2008

9 days flew, 2 to go...

Our good friends Dave and Shannon, along w/their daughter Beatrice arrived 9 days, and some odd hours ago - and the time has flown by!!! As cliche as it sounds, time flies when you're having fun. A warm feeling came over me when I saw them for the first time at Shannon's parents house, as if I were back in CA. I was at the stove, frying up my cream cheese wontons (which is usually what I'm doing at a "family" gathering) chit-chatting with Shannon, catching up...and Neil and Davey close by laughing amongst themselves about who-knows-what...
The week continued with us getting together here and there - but it was as if time wasn't precious...they're here for awhile, right? The show came and went (which I'll post about more later) and it was a great time - good people all around us.
With 2 days remaining 'til they fly back to warm, sunny California - I want them all to myself!!! But I can't be selfish, no Dawna - they didn't come just to see you....they have family here. I really didn't think I'd feel this way, its a total shock. I'm naturally not a selfish person.... I think I'm starting to face the fact that I miss CA...and I don't want that. It's probably best they leave, it's making me toooo homesick!!
A part of me feels as if I can just pick up everything I own and just drive back to California - my safety zone - and continue where I left off there. Is this me just giving up? I think so. Thank God my husband would never read this, because if he did - he'd be packing me up the second he laid eyes on this blog. He misses CA more then I do, but I feel it's all emotional, not practical. We have a house just waiting for us, with a SOLD sign leaning up against the post (the wind knocked it down) and screaming for a new interior paint job. The house needs us, and we need it. I truly feel this is where God wants us. At least for the time being...
With that note...I have really enjoyed the time spent w/my friends, and I pray they return to their home safely. I hope it's not too long before I see them again....

Friday, December 19, 2008

29 days, if not LESS

Today we found out from Maryanne, our realtor, that the seller doesn't quite have the money to take care of our requests before closing. We did know this, but still felt it was their responsibility to take care of these 2 things:

Radon that was detected in the basement ($1,000 -/+ to clear that out)
Seal on the toilet needs to be re-done, correctly to avoid future problems ($100)

The news continued that they will get the seal repaired. 2nd, the two reality companies: Howard Hanna (seller) and ours, Coldwell Banker came to the decision that they will team up and take care of the radon. Thank the LORD!!! Maryanne told us they sometimes do that, especially in a case like ours. We didn't have a lot of requests, and at the same time, the seller is in a bind & just needs to get out of her mortgage and sell this house.

And yet another positive note - we may close sooner then expected. We initially picked a farther date due to the holidays - but the seller really is just needing to get out. Hey, we're not complaining.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Countdown begins - 31 days 'til closing

It's December 17th, and in exactly 31 days my husband and I will be "closing" on our 1st home. That is, if things run smoothly. It has been 11 days since we put an offer on the house, 9 days since we had a conversation w/the seller via the 2 realtors that represented both us and the seller. That night our 2nd offer was accepted. 5 days later we had a "home inspection" which brought to light quite a few negatives in the house, but a majority of them Neil and I will eventually get fixed. Today Neil signed off papers explaining to the "seller" what we would like them to fix before we close. We are now awaiting their answer. I feel we are being reasonable, and I just pray they feel the same.
I can't express how nervous and excited I am about this entire process...and just how anxious I am to make this house our home. I must admit, I've been losing sleep over paint colors, and decorating ideas... my brain cannot relax! Talking with my friend Shannon today made me realize I couldn't live with myself, living in a "neutral" colored home. I'm a creative person. Now, if I can only get my husband to stop thinking neutral/warm colors, I'd be a happy lady. This is what Shannon had to say about that: "tell him if he really wants you to keep your color palate neutral that he should start buying you a collection of teddy bears and a giant glass display case for the living room." One of many quotes that made me laugh out loud today in my office...

Monday, December 15, 2008

it's 1:20 pm EST

It's afternoon time here, on a Monday - but it feels like a Sunday to me. I made no plans today in hopes I'd hit the gym first thing this morning, to just run my ass off on the treadmill. That did not happen. I woke up late, and got on the computer first thing. Low and behold, it's 10am - I wanted to take a weight class at 10am. Ooops. I'm officially bummed...and hungry. I make my way to the kitchen, and discover there is nothing to eat - that I want to anyway. Head back to my room, with Andy in tow - and turn the tv on.

What to do with myself?!

I need to go to Target...maybe Autumn will join me? Nope, Owen is Mr. Grumpy pants today and isn't cooperating. I shouldn't spend money anyways...
Wegmans! I need to go grocery shopping for lunch items, and rice for dinner tonight. I make a list: turkey lunch meat, votive candles (Christmas scented), rice, rolls for sandwiches. That's it. That is the sadest grocery list to date.
"Plastic okay?" asked the cashier..."Nope, I have a bag - hopefully it all fits." I bought these reusable totes for shopping - and I am amazed at how much can actually fit in them. I love them. I encourage everyone to use them, do NOT use plastic bags if you can help it.
(Or order these: - and pick out fabulous colors to go shopping with)

I hit the redbox (Yes I have netflix, but I watched them already!) on my way out and rented Tropic Thunder - which my mother-in-law is watching this very moment, and her reaction is quite entertaining! and I rented Prince Caspian, the 2nd chapter of the Chronicles of Narnia. As Tropic Thunder is booming from the living room, I have started dinner.

It's now 1:38pm EST.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter in Erie

I'm surviving!
It's cold, yes...but the snow, and the peacefulness it brings - makes up for it. I've learned that as long as my feet stay dry, I won't be miserable. I love wearing jackets, and wrapping myself up in scarves and hats. The shoe department is a challenge, I must admit...but for now, I have boots that keep me warm. They're not all that cute, but I'm still hunting...
Neil and I have had Christmas in CA for the past 3 years, and we are ecstatic to be here this holiday season. The atmosphere of Christmas is completely different. With the snow everywhere, and the lights on houses - it's like straight out of a movie.
A couple months back, I was at work - and I was explaining to some of my co-workers how in California, we decorate our homes, inside and out. And they were floored! "You mean, you put lights up on your houses? But there's no snow!!" Laughter breaks out, and they totally thought I was lying. They just could not believe we hung up lights outside of our homes...

Here are some pictures of what I've experienced so far...
Wiping off snow & ice: Bundling up daily:

The neighborhood I currently live in, and the trucks that will get us through this winter...

You would think hearing that plow at all hours of the night/morning would be annoying...but I've come to appreciate that sound so much. It's a very comforting sound, just knowing you will get out of the neighborhood w/o any trouble.

In the end, I'm taking this winter very slowly - one week, one day at a time...but so far, I love it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wrapping presents.....part II

Who said Christmas has to be in the colors of green & red only?

This is the tunnel that Neil requested I make for the train...
"Don't block the train from moving!"