Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Final Countdown!

It's official people! We will be closing on our first home this coming Tuesday, December 28th! It's been a LONG time coming, and we could not be more ready to move. We first looked at the place about 9 or 10 months ago and I never thought we'd get to this final countdown. We're all boxed up and ready to go, minus a few furniture disassemblies. No one should have to live like this--we'll be happy to unpack, get organized, and settle into our brand new place just for us! Goodbye vertical blinds! Hello shower no one has ever showered in!
Here's the email confirmation from our builder:

Graff, Gunnar

to me
show details 6:00 PM (4 hours ago)
I apologize, I have been scrambling to wrap up getting keys, bills, walk thru's etc. I recd the certificate of occupancy today and we are good to go!!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sneak Peak

This afternoon we braved the treacherous weather conditions to have our pre-settlement walk-through of our condo. The light at the end of the tunnel getting closer and closer! As of now, we are scheduled to close on Tuesday morning, December 28th. We're crossing our fingers real hard and praying that this date doesn't move back again. We'll know for sure this Monday after a few last inspections are complete.
The appointment today was very thorough and helpful. Our builder walked through inch by inch with us, marking every little nick, rough spot, or unclean area in the condo. He explained to us many of the features and answered any questions we might have had. We went through yards of painters tape to ensure that every nook and cranny is just right. Our builder, Gunnar, set me straight right away, making sure I knew there was no such thing as too picky as we anticipated moving into our first place. I felt reassured that they are doing a great job to make our home the best that it can be.
At the last minute I snapped a couple pictures of the place, but none that do it justice. So here's just a little taste of what's to come.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broadening Our Horizons

This is what we had for dinner tonight:

N.Y. Crunch Roll SUSHI. Unbelievable. Who am I?? A month or so ago while shopping in the new Short Pump Kroger (amazing grocery store, even has a wine bar!), we were approached by an authentic sushi chef with a free sample of this crunch roll. It peaked our interest so much so that tonight we decided to dive right in for the main course. We find the trick to eating sushi is not to think about it too much. The texture, the ingredients, all of it. Don't think about it, just eat it. Fortunately, this crunch roll didn't have a trace of raw fish. Imitation crab, avocado, rice, spicy mayo, eel sauce (???), and whatever that crunchy stuff is on top (think: green bean casserole topping). Not so fortunate was my tongue after all was said and done. It had quite the lingering spice and really packed a punch to the mouth. The sensation was as though I had tied something around my tongue and continued to tighten it and tighten it and tighten it and ... Let's just say it burned pretty bad. I've recovered though, and would probably even do it again.

Tacky Togetherness

Last night myself and three great friends (and one of their daughters) from the school I worked at last year were able to get together for an evening of Christmas cheer. The four of us try to get together just about once a month and I love every time we do. We share school stories and life stories and laugh a ton. It's so so fun and these women have become very dear to me. We decided to do a little white elephant gift exchange, each bring a tasty snack to enjoy, and stop by some houses on Richmond's Tacky Light Tour. The first house we went to was really well done. So many lights! It was even on the TLC special "Crazy Christmas Lights." 'Tis the season!

Me, Laurie, Hannah, and Bevin

Calling All Meteorologists

School Closing- 12-16-10
HENRICO COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS [email@blackboardconnect.com]
This message was sent with High importance.
Sent:Wednesday, December 15, 2010 6:30 PM

Good evening, this is an important message from Henrico County Public Schools. Due to weather forecasts and expected inclement weather, Henrico County Public Schools will be closed Thursday, December 16, 2010. Employees should not report and that includes all C&M essential staff. Also, the regularly scheduled school board meetings planned for tomorrow afternoon will not be held, but a special school board meeting will be held at 8:30am tomorrow morning. Again, Henrico County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, December 16th and No employees should report. Thanks for your attention and please enjoy the rest of your evening.

It's things like this that remind me to appreciate living in the south.
Not a flake on the ground, nor none expected all night.
And yet, SNOW DAY. Woo hoo!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful!

And I'm loving it! We just experienced our second snow here in Midlothian with more on the way this week! I think we should have had a delay due to visibility/road conditions this morning, but unfortunately we did not. I hadn't been prepared for the two-ish inches that awaited me on my car this morning. As you may imagine, I walked into work a couple minutes late. And just in time for my evaluation with the assistant principal--yikes! Lucky for me I still am "exceeding expectations" across the board. My job may be low-man-on-the-totem-pole, but I'm doing a heck of a job down there. Anyway, back to the weather. Temperatures are in the 30s, with a high tomorrow of just 31. Even icicles were hanging from my car when I left work. Brrrr!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


After putting you through the ringer with that last post, I thought I'd post a couple fun and festive things going on down here in Midlothian.

For one, it snowed last weekend! Not enough for a snow day quite yet, but just enough to kick-off the month of December with a layer of white. It even hung around til about lunchtime as you see.

Second, I have all my gifts bought and wrapped, of which I'm rather proud. I found the perfect red and white striped paper with green on the other side, a classic look. But even more exciting are the gift tags I made to adorn the presents. Even though it's kind of a spoiler for family out there reading, I just have to share. Ornaments out of paint chips, how clever! Perhaps it'll get you a bit excited for what awaits you under the tree from the Links.

And lastly, here's our tree that I mentioned a couple posts ago. Unfortunately, it's terribly dried out and dead already. But hey, from far away it still brings a little Christmas cheer! We decided only to put the pinecone ornaments from my sister on the tree this year to cut back on de-decorating time. They're the place card holders from our wedding--isn't she so crafty??

War Zone

A title for this post, our apartment, and our life. Actually, war zone is a little heavy for our life. A rollercoaster ride is more like it.

Many of you are probably feeling both the excitement and stress of the holidays. It's the best time of the year for sure, but the gift purchasing, traveling to see loved ones, and trying to bake a decent cookie may have you, like me, caught in a whirlwind of stress and emotions. Couple that with MOVING just a few short days after Christmas and one just might feel like one's life is not only a whirlwind, but spinning out of control. This is our life. A rollercoaster.

Some days are great and filled with anticipation of living in a brand-spankin-new condo. A guest bathroom, a clean carpet, a garbage disposal that operates as intended, almost twice as much room to stretch out. Finally free from living in a place filled with boxes and disarray (ie. our guest bed is set up in our living room because there's nowhere else to go with it). All good things. But most of the time, that excitement is overshadowed by a heaping pile of stress. Most of the time it's filled with fear and anxiety. How the heck are we going to pay for all the stuff we need or some of the things we want? What color are we going to paint the walls? When should the fridge be delivered? Where's the money going to come from? How are we going to get a new sofa here? Will our guests have a bad back after sleeping on this terribly thin mattress? Where'd our savings go??

All this after traveling to see both families in Pennsylvania and then having them both in town at the peak of moving season. A big help and a joy to see, but my need-to-please self is a little apprehensive about how I'm going to keep everyone cheerful, cared for, and fed. Plus, we hate moving. Heavy lifting, a ton of disorganization, and cardboard everywhere (cardboard can be like nails on a chalkboard for me, not fun).

So thank God last week our pastor's sermon was entitled "Hopes and Fears." Can you guess which one rules my life? Hope doesn't happen all by itself, but fear does. And when we don't cultivate hope--when we don't make a conscious effort to live in it--fear can take our legs out from under us and knock us down pretty hard. During this hectic season of life, it's imperative that I soak in the reality and goodness and promises of God. If I don't, the most wonderful time of the year will pass me by quicker than I can say "Waterford sucks" (and let me tell you, that phrase rolls off my tongue pretty fluently).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grand Illumination

Last night we decided to get off our exhausted-from-the-work-week butts and head into the city for the Grand Illumination at the James Center. We had heard about it, but had never been in the past. At 6pm about 20 or so office buildings and the area around the James Center were illuminated with their traditional Christmas lights. Because there were mobs of people there to countdown, we'll probably go back one night to get the full-effect. We got a little crazy with the street food. Jeremiah tried a lamb gyro and I got a corn dog (whhhhat?) It was fun, but would definitely be extra spectacular with little kids.

And to top the festive evening off, we decided to head over to Home Depot (so festive) to pick up a small Christmas tree. Although heavily debated, we decided to go ahead and put one up this season even in the midst of moving. We were having a bit of trouble conjuring up Christmas spirit, and we think this will be a step in the right direction especially since they practically paid us to take it with a price tag of only $19.97. And of course, we don't have a roof rack so do you like our ghetto set-up with a blanket to protect the car?
Our traditional ornaments will not make the cut this year as that's just too much work to pack up, but we'll be adorning our cute little evergreen with some brightly colored balls I purchased post-Christmas last year at Target. We plan to put the lights and ornaments on this morning as we watch the Broad Street Christmas parade on TV and wait for the delivery of our guest mattress and boxspring. Say hello to our new sofa.