March, Seriously?

Okay, I last updated in October, which seems like a ridiculously long time to go without posting. I guess you could say it’s been a whirlwind, consisting mainly of holidays and getting the house ready to sell.

So our contract with the realtor we have ends March 31. Hopefully he is super motivated to get this thing sold. We had an offer, but it was way too low. He was looking for a deal, but Brian and I aren’t desperate (yet). We have friends who took nearly a year to sell their house. If Brian and I get to that point, ask us again.

The first set of houses that we went and looked at were difficult for me. I had a hard time looking at things that I couldn’t have yet (probably would sell before we sold) and a hard time looking at houses that I hated as soon as I walked in them (waste of time). It ended on the worst note because we stopped at Brian’s co-worker’s house. Him and his wife had recently purchased a house at a great price for what they got; plus it was a new construction and just phenomenal. Brian and I, to get the tax credit, are not going to be able to build a house nor are there any new houses by that builder in progress to snatch up either so… I had fallen in love with a house that was an impossibility.

I got over it. This past weekend we looked at some more houses. We saw one with potential that was reasonably priced and then saw one that we both loved though it was huge and looked like it would get snatched up really quick. So I quickly put that from my mind (though it had an amazing craft room and bar…. sigh…)

Well, we found a house that we love above all others…. question is, will they take a contingent offer? (that is, go under contract with us that we will buy their house after ours sells). Things look fairly promising, but we don’t have a firm yes or no yet, after which of course we have to negotiate a price, time limit… etc… The house is closer to Brian’s parents and it also is higher priced than any others, but taxes are lower there and if we lock in that super low interest rate this week, the house is still well within our reach. The house is also for sale by owner and we haven’t gotten our realtor involved yet because obviously there is more flexibility that way. We’ll see.

This week I feel pretty optimistic. Ask me again tomorrow, it might be a different story but right now I feel really good about things. We had a good showing this past weekend and that realtor plans on bringing another potential buyer over. Snow is finally starting to melt so people will be able to see the yard hopefully by the weekend. The yard is the selling point.

So back to the new love of my life, this house. It has a three car garage, second floor laundry, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, unfinished 12 course basement (the basement is smaller due to the extra garage but still lots of good finishable space and ready for another bath down there too). It has an extra poured concrete spot next to the garage, and patio in the back. 1/2 acre lot which is considerable for the houses we’ve been looking at. Hard to move down from .9 acres to .25! But this .5 is do-able. Invisible fence already installed. Real fence along the back of the yard, all the same fence along the back of the neighbor’s on either side also. Beautiful kitchen, lots of closet space. New neighborhood, the house was built in 2007. Young people next door too. What more could you possibly want? Not a thing. This is nearly my dream house and everything we’ve been looking for.

Hope hope hope

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Crafty Fun and Updates

It’s been a long time again — and it’s just flown by. Work has been very hectic. We’re in the middle of upgrading to a new site and everything has been revamped– the look and feel and the software and backend hardware. The time frame is just painful so I’ve worked a few weekends (fairly short hours, not too bad) and evenings. Although, not as much now as it was just a month or so ago. It’s getting to crunch time though and we’re all feeling the pressure.

In other news, Brian and I are getting the house ready to sell. We recently got the basement waterproofed and the one room has nice white plastic walls now and is pretty much empty. Looks so much better! Also got the driveway re-sealed.

I’ve also been working on some new crafts. In September, I learned how to use my sewing machine and made pillow cases for the pillows on the couch, which look really nice. I have a pattern to make a cool bird mobile, which I’m keeping in my back pocked for that someday. Also, I started making some more jewelry. Recall I made the necklaces and earrings the girls wore for the wedding. I took a class with my co-worker Joni and now am setting up shop! I have three on there, with another ready to go. I’ve got some materials to make a light box which will allow me to take better pictures of my jewelry, so I’m waiting to put the fourth up there for when I have that done. So I haven’t sold anything yet, but that’s okay… I’m enjoying myself tremendously and I kind of want to have a good number up there and have a “grand opening” sale. Here’s my shop:

Soon Brian and I will combine computer rooms and computers, and get rid of my desktop that I’ve had for 5-6 or so years. It’s getting cranky. Then we’ll turn the other spare room into a second bedroom for house selling. We want to put the house up by February. I’m sooo ready to move!

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Aug. 12, 2009

So I’m sitting here with a glass of red wine, working on work stuff and I thought maybe I should take a break and write a post–it’s been a long while since I last updated. I think it was about the wedding. It’s crazy how much time has already gone by since the wedding.

A lot of people have asked me if things are different after you’re married. Of course this depends dramatically on if you have lived with your fiance beforehand… for Brian and I it wasn’t different at all, except maybe that we’re both much more relaxed than we were in the months leading up to the wedding. I get to sign my name different, that was difficult. I have said my new name out loud a few times now and it still sounds weird. But I like being Mrs. Hilary Thomas.

I still miss Sir Chewy, still expect to get another one after moving… and moving seems closer and closer. Come January I think we’ll start looking (cross your fingers!). Brian is contacting landscapers this week to schedule the front yard to (finally) get re-done. It needs regraded, house needs waterproofed around the basement, not to mention the flower beds we’ll need to re-add and plant new plants. The shrub/flower planting can wait until next spring but the grass needs to get in around the end of this month.

The garden is so-so. Guess that’s what happens when you plant late, get so busy you don’t weed, and forget about the running water sprinkler or likewise forget to water altogether. We’ve gotten some beans, will get some pepper and perhaps a cucumber or two. Basil is returning to life after being mutilated by japanese beetles, so we’ll get some tasty pesto sauce with that.

Work is stressful. We’re in the middle of an upgrade and soon we’ll be coming in on weekends on a “volunteer” basis (if we don’t come in just to get more work done on our own…). Thank you’s need done, basement needs thoroughly clean, pictures need put on walls (we have frames empty but no photos in them haha). And time keeps flying by, I feel like I’m barely keeping up! But I’m enjoying every moment with Brian.

In recent news, I went to visit Sara at BG this weekend and that was a blast! It was great to get away. We ate at a tasty Italian joint, Zia’s, on the river-front. We visited the art museum and made our own glass flowers! That was a amazing and scary; they had us really stand in front of the 2,000 degree furnace holding molten glass the temperature of lava. Mine turned out great, I saw a picture though I haven’t seen it yet. I have to pick it up from Sara, maybe sometime Brian and I will visit the Toledo zoo or something. We also spent some time in some cool bars, one of which was a re-done old time cinema which was very cool.

Ciao for now!

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Good Times & Sad Times

Brian’s 30th birthday was last weekend; it was a bit anticlimatic but I think he enjoyed it. Saturday he spent with JP working on putting new counter tops in the kitchen (which is still not quite done). I cleaned and did laundry, which was good. The weekend was just perfect for that. Sunday evening we spent at his parents house. They got Brian a super nice chair from Ikea and his sister got him a gift card to get some bike stuff.

Brian opened his gifts from me on his actual birthday on Monday; I got him a new camera (not a DSLR, but a fancy point and shoot that’s really thin). I think he’s pretty pumped. I also got him a big 6 window picture frame and letters from alphabet photography which is basically like 4 x 6 photos of shapes in our everyday world that look like letters. I spelled out our (or right now, his) last name. It was spelled out with a faucet, ladder, dandilion fuzz, hanging sheet, and I can’t remember the “A”, and a picnic bench arm for the S. Brian couldn’t figure it out at first, but he thought it was pretty cool. I had to get him something that he wouldn’t know about since the camera was a given; he had to tell me what he wanted.

I made him dinner, which was super impressive for me. I made cucumber salad which chilled most of the day, and then I improvised one of the recipes (it seemed too small; and Brian doesn’t like warm cherry tomatoes much so I switched it with asparagus). The dinner was (whole wheat) pasta combined with chicken (one of the few times I’ve ever cooked meat!), asparagus, mushrooms, onion, fresh oregano and basil with a light white wine and chicken broth sauce. Parmesan cheese on top. Then I made peanut butter cookies with honey for dessert. Yeah, it was impressive 🙂

While I was making dinner/cookies, my mom called once and texted. Turns out my grandpa passed away that afternoon. This was both expected and unexpected… he hasn’t been in good health and has had a lot of trouble taking care of himself for the past year. But he never had to be in a nursing home which he really didn’t want, and he didn’t spend time in a hospital which I’m sure he didn’t want either. I never figured on him even being able to come to the wedding even if he was still with us. So it’s tough.

Good times and sad times. 🙁

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Life Outside the Wedding

A short post on the other stuff I’ve been doing…

In early April, I went to the Ohio Genealogical Society conference and I had a blast! I was so impressed with myself, I normally don’t like doing a lot of things by myself that involve a lot of people, but this was great. I was certainly the youngest person there but no one said it haha. Someday I’m going to get certified… I bought so many books!!

Other than that, we’ve been doing a lot of house stuff. Brian had new basement windows put in just yesterday and he’s been transplanting all our hostas and some other plants out to the back or side of the house since the ones that were in the front will be totally bulldozed when we got the front yard done. Not sure what the timeline is on that.

We painted the kitchen the other day, that was a pain. We still have to paint back behind the fridge and stove and touch up a few spots, but for the most part one coat did it. We still have our old table, I think we’ll be getting rid of that in a few weeks. Brian and his friend JP are putting in new countertop laminate today. Between that and finishing the paint, the kitchen will be pretty much done! OH! And we also got a half size dishwasher last week, Brian found a good deal on craigslist. I’m so excited about it!

This past week I’ve been doing crazy amounts of laundry that I had neglected, and did a pass around the rooms with my new vacuum mom got me. It sucks so good! lol. I’m hoping the new carpet will go in next week, but it depends on Tony (Brian’s sister’s boyfriend) and what time he has available. We’re going to start hanging things on the wall again soon, we haven’t hung any since the living room was painted.

So what’s left? The front yard, a thorough cleaning of the basement, painting the “accent” color of the outside of the house to get rid of the bright green, painting the peeling paint outside the house, fixing the flowerbeds out front after the yard is done, re-cementing the outside porch area, and just maintaining an adequate level of cleanliness to make it easier on us next spring… I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting. Oh, a new garage door Brian wants to do, and maybe new front or back doors. Combining our offices into one in Sir Chewy’s, though that won’t be for a while because will strictly be when we put the house up so we can turn the one room back into a bedroom…

It’ll all be worth it 🙂 The house is becoming more and more pleasant to live in. That’s all for now, because I need to do some cleaning… ciao!

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I Got It!

I got the new position!

It’s a lateral move, so I’m not making any more money (which I knew going in). Hurrah! I’m super pumped 🙂

I am now a Planning Specialist for the .com team. I will be planning product website and email promotions.

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Happy 2009

It’s a little weird for me to say that it’s 2009 because at work, we go by a fiscal year, our fiscal year starts in February and is a year ahead… so it’s been fiscal year (FY) 09 for 11 months for me. For one short month of January, we will be the same fiscal year as the actual year. It’s just weird… and we use FY09 in almost everything we do.

For New Years, Brian and I went to Hibachi Wasabi for a second year in a row with JP & Lisa (couple we went to Mexico with, both are in the wedding). We also went with JP’s brother and girlfriend. It was a blast as usual! This places pours saki down your throat! We requested the wild guy we saw taking care of another table and got him! He was hilarious. I had the best scallops I have ever had–they were so tender. I just love the sauce that goes on them! We went back and the girls chatted while the boys played Wii until ball drop time, then we all went downstairs to play Wii games. We tried out Ravin… Rabids, those creepy wacked out rabbit games that I always see commercials for. That’s a crazy game. I drove us home and we got back around 3:30 and crashed. I woke up around noon, I can’t remember the last time I did that! Yesterday then I can’t even remember what we did, I was so lazy. Brian made us pork roast and saurkraut, stuffing the pork with garlic. Oh my goodness… not a big pork fan, but this was tender, juicy and amazing!

Today, Brian’s old friend Hollie and her three girls came over. We gave them cute crafty gifts from Jo-Ann’s. We went to the Winking Lizard where they go to see a real live lizard! And came back and played games on the Wii and chilled.

So 2009 is going to bring some great things for me! We’re getting married, and hopefully we’ll be moving by the end of 2009, and maybe even a new position… I’m excited for all the wonderful things coming my way! I’m not doing resolutions this year, because a) I never remember them, and b) I don’t even think there will be time to remember them! We have a house to get ready to sell (living room and kitchen still need work, basement needs reorganized… redecorating… ahhh and of course, wedding stuff which has caused me to dream a couple times now crazy wedding dreams. I dreamed a few weeks ago that one of the bridesmaids died and I was worried about whether to leave an empty chair in honor of her or to pick a new one!

Anyway, think I will be calling some florists and/or bakers tomorrow, and heading out to Great Lakes Brewery in the evening… then to a bar or two and finally to see one of Brian’s play a show! Good times. The long weekend is going by too quickly for me.

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The Family HIstory book was a hit! My grandma absolutely LOVED hers and spent hours pouring through it. Said it was the best gift she’s ever received! My parents liked theirs as well. I got a new white-light lamp which I like to use for crafting, because my old one was from Big Lots and dying. I also got the little box die cut templates I want to use to make favors, so that’ll be nice, as well as some random geeky stuff from dad, like a little plasma ball that plugs into the USB port of the computer. I brought that in to work, haha 🙂

It was a nice Christmas visit, aside from the long driving time (from picking up Grandma, adds almost 2 hours onto the trip that’s already 3.5 hours). I think my mom enjoyed it more than she thought, because she was upset earlier that I wasn’t coming down for Christmas and didn’t come down for Thanksgiving and missed Christmas last year… she was feeling neglected. But Brian and I spent quality time with them, we played some board games and watched movies and stayed up late.

I worked today, wrapped gifts tonight and had a wonderful roast meal cooked by Brian (since he didn’t work today, he made a nice dinner and did a lot of house work). Oh! We finally got our bathtub refinished, it looks like a brand new tub, it’s amazingly white!! So the bathroom is finally done being remodeled… now just to keep it clean.. haha.

And, for the wedding update: So the bridesmaid dresses will be from Forever Yours, The color is coral with an ivory sash. The coral color isn’t really like the one they have on the site, it’s actually closer to this which is ginger on another brand. They sent me a swatch so now Brian and I need to go around and find tuxes that come close to that color since this brand doesn’t have a tux line.

So far, we’re on a tight deadline for getting the dresses in in time. If we order by beginning of January, they’ll come in late March/early April which should be enough time for any alternations needed for the girls. It feels like time is just flying and Brian and I are really behind! But I think we are actually okay, and pacing ourselves okay.

I’m researching florists right now so I can see how much it would cost to have them do something. I’m actually leaning towards a square vase now with lemons and/or limes lining it with some short flowers. But I’m flexible, all depends on cost. Other next steps are the DJ and cake person, and then we get started on detail work.

I began working on invitations. I have 20 pocket folds done (the inserts will come later, after we finalize all information). I’m pacing myself at around 15 per week so I’ll be done in January and will be able to do the inserts and get them all out in a timely manner. I’m afraid I may be over 1 ounce though which means extra stamps.. but since we’re having most people RSVP online it might be okay.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Quick Wedding Update

I finally finished all 55+ of my Christmas cards! It was rough this year, because people who I normally would not send Christmas cards to got ones so that I could stuff in my Save the Dates. Which only went to people who would have to make travel arrangements. Because there are so many pieces to the invitations, I need to start the outside pocket early so by the time all the information is finalized, I still have time to put the inserts together.

We got a photographer! His name is Dale Kincaid and he’s experienced with shooting photos in Cuyahoga National Park, which is where the wedding is. He has also done one other wedding in our church, which is a bonus. We’re excited because he’s done quite a few photos out by the covered bridge, which we like. Among Brian’s few requests/preferences were great photos, so we were looking some in a higher price range than I originally expected. However, this guy is fantastic. He’ll be providing us the RAW digital files (we’ll to pay an extra fee for that), though we’ll still be having him print a lot for us, because he does some great artistic work. He’s also very friendly and talkative, which is a plus at a wedding where you need to get people smiling and not be too intrusive!

I’m waiting for one of my bridesmaids to return from vacation to give me her opinion on some bridesmaid dresses that we looked at the other week. After that, I’ll be making a decision and hopefully everyone will be able to get sized and ordered by the second week of January. I also need to see a florist (have to start making a list), a DJ and a cake maker! Then I need to get shoes and find someone to alter my gown… then… well, one step at a time.

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I finally finished and ordered a copy of my book, “Family Record – David & Jeanine Family History” Compiled and recorded by Hilary.

It’s a beautiful thing that is many many years in the making. I started working on genealogy stuff before college, took an extended break, and dove back into it after school. It’s by no means finished–genealogy is never finished. I have people from other branches to contact, I have visits to Missouri to plan, I have more graveyards to visit, phone calls to make, letters to write… I have dreams to fill still. But this is Edition 1 and will be a gift to my parents (and myself naturally) this year for Christmas. They know I was writing it but they have not seen it with photos at all, just the guts. I am hoping they will be pleasantly surprised.

But this leaves me at loose ends. I mean, there is wedding stuff to plan, but I am waiting on some online orders to come in before I can move forward with invitations. I bought a die cut & embossing machine the other day. It was on sale + I get an employee discount. It’s been on my list for a few years now, it was just a decision about which one to get that was holding me up. But when I finally decided I needed to have one that embosses, that cut my choices in half and made it easier. I purchased the Sizzix BigKick.

Wedding aside, I need to start Christmas shopping. I’m running out of time pretty quickly. The time is simply flying by this year. I have no idea why; if I though college flew by, I had no idea what I was talking about.

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