Off to BroadwayCon and HOUSE OMG!

Eeeeeee, guys I’m so excited! It’s finally time for BroadwayCon! First thing tomorrow, my friend Sarah and I will board the Amtrak Vermonter and take a nice, leisurely, Wi-Fi enabled train ride straight to Penn Station, and thus begin a weekend of ultimate Broadway nerdiness in NYC.

I will likely be doing a recap of our trip, possibly even a day-to-day sort of thing, because I want to remember every single detail, but I don’t plan to actually post while I’m gone. If you want to follow along in our adventures, I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty on Instagram!

In other news, we are scheduled to FINALLY CLOSE ON OUR HOUSE tonight. We had our final walk-through this morning, and barring any last-minute catastrophes, we should be good to go! While we are so, so excited and relieved that the day is finally here, the timing kind of stinks. I’m off to NYC and Ben is off to a cousin’s wedding, so we won’t even be able to start working on/moving into the house until next Tuesday. Obviously, this is small potatoes in comparison with the enormity of actually officially owning a house, but as you can imagine, we’re pretty anxious to get in there and start living on our own again. We’ve been living with my in-laws for 16 months now, which is quite long enough.

Thankfully, there’s not too much to do. Ideally, we’d like to paint (the bedroom is pink, people, PINK!), and there’s some pretty horrific wood paneling with ducks and deer and stuff that needs to either be ripped off or painted over. We’d also very much like to steam clean the carpets, cause god only knows the last time they were thoroughly cleaned. Otherwise, it’s move-in ready, which is such a relief.

I’m hoping we can be fully in by the end of next weekend, but I don’t want to put too hard a timeline on it. Painting and cleaning carpets will be much easier if the house isn’t occupied, and I don’t want to put that stuff off for “later” and then not get around to it for a couple of years.

So, after closing tonight, Ben and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate, and then heading to Lowe’s or Home Depot to scope out paint colors. And then swinging by the house so we can bask in the glory of being home owners 🙂

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Friday Free-For-All – 01/05/18

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Things are still moving forward on the house. We were thrown yet another curveball this week, but I think we’re still on track. At worst, we may have to push back closing a few days, which is not the end of the world. Keep those fingers crossed!

In spite of the crazy snowstorm and cold temps, I braved a night out with some friends last night. Stacy moved to Albany this past spring, but she was in town for work, so she, Abbie and I got together at the little “bistro” at the hotel where Stacy was staying. It was SO GOOD to see my friends, even if my drive home was a little hairy.

After all the holidays and visitors we’ve had, I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend. Of course, having Emily, Leah, and Jirka home for the holidays was awesome, but it meant we had a VERY full house and not a lot of quiet time. I want to sleep in and do lots of relaxing.

This week, I received one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever gotten. My aunt Lisa (dad’s sister) put together a beautiful binder of family recipes. From her, my Aunt Sherri, my Grammy, and my Great Grammy. Some of the recipes are even photo copies of hand-written originals straight from Grammy’s kitchen! Almost every essential is in there, from bread to pie crust to fudge and beyond. I can’t wait until we have our own kitchen again so I can get cooking!

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received?

Friday Free-For-All – 12/29/17

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House Update: When last I updated you guys, we were anxiously waiting to find out whether or not the seller had secured a new place to live. Thankfully, we have cleared that hurdle and moved into normal closing procedures. We’ve done the home inspection and appraisal, both of which came back pretty much as expected. There are a few items that will need to be fixed before closing, but nothing major. We are excited, but also still cautious at this point. This has been a fairly non-standard and very stressful process thus far, so we don’t want to get our hopes up. Our closing date is currently set for January 18, and we are keeping our fingers and toes and eyes crossed that everything goes well.

My only New Year’s Resolution this year is to give up Facebook. The main reason is that I’ve been wasting WAY too much time endlessly scrolling lately. I hate being sucked in so much, but can’t really seem to self-limit. The other issue is that too often I find myself mad or sad at what I’m seeing on Facebook. Political drama, personal drama, unnecessary photos of animal cruelty designed to make you feel bad and donate money… I’m not saying I don’t want to be aware of what’s going on in the world; I read the news and discuss politics and world affairs with friends and family. I just don’t need to be bombarded with that stuff constantly. My mental health is more important to me than following along with all the minutia. So I’m deactivating my FB account at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know if this will be a permanent thing, but I’m planning to stick it out as long as possible. I survived before Facebook, and I know I’ll survive without it now.

I got a new Funko Pop to add to my Lady Army: Captain Phasma! It was a lovely Christmas surprise from my friend Kellie, and I couldn’t be happier to add another badass lady to the gang.

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Did you make a New Year’s resolution?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 12/01/17

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Thanks for all your kind thoughts about Harley. She was truly a special pup, and will be missed.

We are officially under contract on our house! Things are far from certain, and the situation is still fairly complex, but we are absolutely delighted to have taken a concrete step in the right direction. Next comes all the inspection BS, hiring a lawyer, making sure financing is good etc. If all goes well, we will close in mid-January. Keep your fingers crossed!

My sister in law Emily comes home from Prague tomorrow! She is bringing her boyfriend, Jirka, and they will be home for almost the entire month of December, which the whole family is excited about. Tomorrow is also my father in law’s birthday, AND we’re seeing a show, so it’s big doings around here!

Christmas music season is in full swing for me. I know some people (like Ben) can’t stomach it until basically the week of Christmas, but I’m obsessed. We have a local radio station that plays Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving until Christmas, and you can bet I’ve been tuned in constantly.

I have a new snack obsession. Plain Greek yogurt with Honey Nut Chex. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious. You get a nice crunch and sweetness from the Chex, almost like granola. But I’m not a super huge fan of granola, whereas I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you’re getting a good mix of protein and carbs. Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll thank me later 😉

How do you feel about Christmas music?

House Buying Sucks

Oh, my friends. We have had a WEEK. I always knew that buying a house could be difficult and stressful, but nothing I had heard could possibly have prepared me for what we are going through.

Last Monday, we submitted an offer on our dream house: a lovely little 2 bed, 2 bath ranch on 6 acres. It backed up to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, my favorite place to run. It had apple trees and lilac bushes. It had a detached 2 car garage. Basically, it checked every box for us. We knew that the owner was old, and possibly not of sound mind, and that there was an estate lawyer involved in the sale. We figured, hey, they’ve got their stuff covered. Things should be fine. We started thinking about where to put furniture, planning what we would need to buy. We got excited about being in a place of our own by Christmas.

The deadline on our offer was that Wednesday at 10 am. The deadline came and went with no news from our realtor, so we emailed her after work that night. As it turned out, the estate lawyer had decided the seller was definitely not of sound mind, so he needed to involve her family in the sale. Both he and the listing agent thought our offer was solid, and would encourage the family to accept, but it would take some additional time. OK, fine. We loved the house and were willing to wait a bit.

Thursday came and went with no update. Friday came and went with no update. On Monday, we emailed our realtor again, emphasizing that we still really wanted the house, and asking if there anything we should do. She emailed back with good news–the estate lawyer and selling agent were meeting with the seller on Tuesday at 12:30, and she would sign the offer. Our realtor was told this by both the listing agent AND the estate lawyer. We breathed a sigh of relief. The next day, the contract would be signed. We once again started making plans, allowing ourselves to get excited.

Tuesday at 12:30 came and went with no news. We agonized all afternoon, waiting for an email, a phone call, SOMETHING. At 6 pm, our realtor called me. No, the offer had not been signed. Seemingly all of a sudden, the estate lawyer had realized that if they signed the contract, the seller would have to be out of the house by closing, but she didn’t have anywhere to go, and they weren’t sure they could find somewhere for her within the timeline laid out by the contract. So they didn’t sign. Our realtor presented three options:

1) Bail on the house entirely.
We weren’t super excited about this option because the house, the land, and the price point are all pretty much exactly what we’re looking for. But on the other hand, the estate lawyer and listing agent have demonstrated that they can’t adhere to deadlines, and also straight up lied to us about signing the contract, so we’re reluctant to continue doing business with them.

2) Walk away for now, but ask them to call us if they figure their shit out.
This option is attractive, because it allows us to explore other houses in the meantime, and leaves us free to put in other offers if we find something we like as much as, or better than, this place. It’s unattractive because it also means other buyers could potentially swoop in and outbid us because the house is still on the market.

3) Offer a new contract with a two week or one month housing contingency built in.
This would mean that the house is technically ours, but if the seller can’t find someplace to live within that one month, we can bail on the contract and move on. It’s a bad idea for several reasons. First, there is absolutely no guarantee that the seller will find housing within that time frame, meaning we could be back in this same position in another month. Secondly, we’d be under contract for that entire time period, meaning that if another, better house came up, we’d be unable to move on it. Thirdly, an extra month in the contract would push us into the new year. Ben’s new contract, with higher pay, goes into effect 1/1/18, which could potentially affect our financing. And of course, I refer you to the part where the estate lawyer and listing agent have repeatedly missed deadlines and lied to us. So yeah.

Obviously, we are devastated and beyond frustrated. This is a highly unusual situation. Typically, an offer is either accepted or rejected within the specified time frame, and that’s that. Sometimes there’s some countering back and forth, but it’s generally resolved within 48 hours of the initial offer. We’re now over a week out from our original offer and still in limbo. We love, love, love this house, but we need to be intelligent and rational too. We contacted our mortgage broker to see what effect increased income might have on our financing, and we’re taking a couple of days to cool off and think things over. I don’t think either of us want to walk away, but it might be the smartest move.

Have you bought a house before? How was the process for you?

Friday Free-For-All – 09/22/17

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Today is the final day of United Way campaign week, and I could not possibly be more happy about it. As usual, it was a ton of stress and work, and as usual, we raised a ton of money for a good cause. I can’t wait to go home after work and have a couple of beers and just let this shit goooooo.

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We met with another mortgage broker this week. The first lady we met with a month or so ago sort of ghosted on us, which is majorly not cool. The new mortgage broker is with our bank. She answered all of our ridiculous questions and gave us a lot to think about, so we’re feeling pretty good about possible next steps. Yay! Next step will most likely be getting pre-approved, and hiring a buyer’s realtor to help us find a house. We’ve contacted a couple of referrals, so we’ll see what happens.

Final long run before the half will be tomorrow. Guys. I can’t even believe this, but I’m actually trained. Like, I’ve done two double-digit long runs, and some middle distance runs, and speed work. I think I might ACTUALLY run the half next weekend. In fact, I’m thisclose to registering online today. I think online registration is only open for a few more days, so I need to make a decision ASAP, as they don’t allow race-day registration.

Today is the first day of fall. Bring on the pumpkin everything, sweaters, boots, scarves, and of course, my dearest love, candy corn and mellocreme pumpkins. I plan to eat my body weight in candy corn. They are my most favorite candy of all time. I already caved and bought a bag earlier this week, but now I’m just really going to give in and go with it.

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Do you like candy corn? I know it can be a polarizing food…

 

 

Friday Free-For-All – 11/11/16

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Woah, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Months, in fact. But I really love being able to just do a random brain dump of stuff that’s going on.

9 to 5 the Musical auditions are coming up. I am very nervous about this. There is one part I particularly want, but I know competition is going to be fierce. I’m doing my best to just do the work I need to do to be prepared and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve been taking voice lessons and dance classes and all that good stuff, so there’s at least that.

I’ve got a bit of a cold and I’m feeling very whiny about it. I have plenty of sick time, but we’re short-staffed at work right now, AND I’m on the makeup crew for The Who’s Tommy, so taking a sick day isn’t really an option. I’m hoping that I can get some good, restful sleep tonight and be on the mend soon. But for today, I’m drinking all the liquids and feeling sorry for myself.

Project “Save Up for a House” is moving on apace. Living with my in-laws continues to go better than I could ever hope for, and the money in our house fund is starting to stack up appreciably. We’re starting to think about actually getting pre-approved for a mortgage and stuff soon, which is both exciting and terrifying. I’m very hopeful that we could possibly have our very own house by this time next year, which would be amazeballs.

The truck is acting up again. Mickey is a 1987 Toyota pickup. It was Ben’s dream car as a kid, and he was able to pick up Mickey, who was in beautiful condition, a few years ago for a great price. Unfortunately, he’s begun to show his age a bit this year, and has been in and out of the shop. Keeping Mickey on the roads is still cheaper than getting a new car, but definitely more than we’d like to be spending considering that we’re trying to save for a house. Not to mention the fact that while he’s in the shop, we have to carpool to two not-so-close work destinations every day. It’s been trying, to say the least, and I look forward to having Mickey hale and hearty again.

Are you whiny like me when you’re sick?