Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RIP Holden Buddy - A Poem

Holden Buddy (A Poem)

Holden, you were cute
But your cuteness faded fast.
If we'd open any door,
You'd go flying past.

Down the street you'd go,
Biting kids you'd meet.
But I sure will miss the pitter patter
of your tiny feet.

My sister sure did love you,
You were always on her lap.
You never were quite house-trained
So she'd clean up all your crap.

You had a happy life,
Always barking at the wind.
We loved you each and every day,
Right up until the end.

We'll miss you here on Earth,
But you're in a better place.
Say "hello" to Chelsea 
If you see her precious face.

We're sad to see you go,
And we hate to say goodbye
But we won't forget our Holdie boy
Our Catcher in the Rye.

RIP Holden 2007-2012

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

  -Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Every Day is Not a Joy Ride.

Let me start by telling you that I am now a Copperhead expert.

I met our lovely neighbors yesterday evening. I'm not sure if they're lovely because they're lovely, or if they're lovely because our previous neighbors downright sucked. I think it's a little of both.

Well, to continue on with this story, I chit chatted with the neighbors for about an hour and they casually mentioned the Copperhead sightings. It wasn't just like "Oh, there's Copperheads in the neighborhood." It was more like "Oh, there's Copperheads in your yard."

Panic set in.

For the record, ignorance is bliss.

Never Google Image Copperhead bites. Just don't do it. It was not my smartest moment. Now I'm gonna have nightmares that Otis will get bit by a snake and will swell up like a balloon, as was the case with this poor dog:

Four hours of intense online reading, and now I am an expert on all things Copperhead.
On a completely separate thought, as indicated by that line above, I stumbled across this blog post yesterday. It's worth the read. I don't know this blogger, but I can already see so much of myself in her honest writing. I can place myself in her shoes because just a year ago I was not married, I lived with my parents, and I was relying on a plan that involved dental school (ha!).

At the time, I felt sorta lame. I saw all these people on Facebook posting pictures of their engagement rings, their pregnant bellies, their nice houses, their exotic vacations, and I was sitting there thinking that my life is mediocre. I kept thinking "If only Brian would marry me..." or "If only I had my own house..." or "If only I made more money..."

Well here's the truth -
Marrying your best friend and the love of your life is great. Buying a big house is great. Landing an awesome job is great. Stressing over money simply because we can't afford a bigger driveway for our five cars is great. I mean, it's literally great. I get upset because I don't have unlimited funds to afford a nice grill, a kegerator, or my Pottery Barn furniture, but how wonderful is it that these are the things I find stressful in life? I am truly blessed. Looking back, I was equally blessed when I was single, living with my parents, and feeling sorry for myself.

Sometimes when I post pictures on Facebook or my blog, I feel like it may come across as self-promoting. Here's the happy couple at the Biltmore. Here's the happy couple and their dog. Here's Kelly's nice house. Here's Kelly's wonderful life. 
I cringed recently when a friend of mine wrote on my Facebook wall "looks like things are going well for you." It was a a nice comment, but I couldn't help but wonder if I'm making my life look like something it's not. I fear it's like those family Christmas letters you get in the mail that make you want to gag. (OK, maybe I'm the only one gagging, but I hate those Christmas letters).

Anyways, this rant is to basically say DON'T BE FOOLED. I have this theory that everyone's personal level of happiness always stays the same. It's actually not my theory, per se. It's already known in the Psychology world as the Set Point Theory. But your happiness may go up for a day, a week, or a month, but ultimately it will come right back down to it's normal level. Even if you get married. Or buy a new house. Or win the lottery.

Genuine happiness can only be found in the Lord.

So even though my life via my blog may look picture perfect, just know that it's far from it. Brian and I still get in terrible moods. I occasionally yell and scream at Otis. I still feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of most days. I mostly just look at my "Power of a Praying Woman" book sitting on the nightstand, instead of actually praying. And I may or may not have cried this weekend when my washing machine flooded the laundry room floor.

My life is far from perfect, but I have everything I ever dreamed of.

I had it then, and I have it now.

Only now I have Copperheads in my yard.

Friday, November 23, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

The house is far from finished, but we've been able to add some of personal touches to each room. I think it's these little things that make a house feel like a home.

The guest bath....

The towel in the above picture is my decorative towel. Brian has yet to grasp the idea of a decorative towel, so he keeps using the towel every time he goes in there. It drives me crazy.

A house is not a home without a bulldog :-) 

Here's ours...

One of my favorite purchases has been these glowing candles from Bed, Bath & Beyond. They are set to a timer so the light comes on between 5-10pm every night. They have the flickering effect just like real candles. They're not really as yellow as this picture makes them look - they are actually white. 

More candles. These are in the master bathroom. I bought these candle holders from Etsy and I have loved them....

My little jewelry box was a gift from Brian's mom a couple years ago. It's one of my favorite things for sure.

Pictured below:
My favorite earrings, an old necklace from my dad, and Brian's dragon necklace from when he was a kid. (He went through a dragon phase when he was younger, only he never really grew out of it).
I've worn the dragon necklace on occasion and people have asked me if it's a Satan necklace. LOL

The kitchen. The heartbeat of the home :-)

By the fireplace....
My pretty Southern Livings.

Cute pillow...

Brian wanted to leave the wagon wheel at the condo, but it's one of my favorite things. I couldn't leave it behind.

The deck off the kitchen...

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tour - Day 2.

Alright, time to continue on our tour from yesterday. This is gonna be quick because it's almost midnight and I am ready for bed!

These were all taken at different times during the day, so the lighting is different in each picture.

Front door....

Long hallway...


Dining room in the morning...

Dining room in the evening....

Empty guest bedroom & furnished guest bedroom....

Empty living room & furnished living room...

It's a four bedroom house, so I am not exactly giving you a proper tour. Also, I just realized I took no photos of the second floor, so I will save that for a different day!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm off the rest of the week. Yay :-)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

Brian and I spent the weekend moving.

We are never, ever, ever....moving again. The fish tanks alone took nine hours yesterday (Please note that I watched, not helped. I helped by not helping).

I am beyond excited about our new home. Honestly, I loved it when we bought it, hence why we bought it, but I love it even more now. I went to the house on Saturday morning with Otis before the furniture was moved and before the chaos truly began. It was nice to have a few blissful moments to revel in that joy of knowing that this is where Brian and I will build our lives together and create new memories.

I feel truly blessed.

Even Otis was feeling sentimental. He found a good sunny spot and stayed there for the next two hours. I could tell he was in a reflective mood, and likely recalling all of life's circumstances that led him to this very moment of owning a home.

Trust me, Otis owns this place.
Brian and I just pay for it.

Well, I took a thousand pictures of the house before we moved in, so I will now share them with you.

Personally, I love seeing where other people live and getting an inside peek into their lives. It makes me feel like I know the person better. Remember when The Pioneer Woman wrote all of these posts showcasing her Lodge? Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about, but I read all 100+ blog posts about the construction and decorating involved in her Lodge project.  After reading all of those posts, I felt like I knew her. I felt like her best friend. I felt like I needed a million dollars so I could build a Lodge of my very own.

By the way, have any of you been to
Just select "traditional" and then "kitchen" and then spend the next three hours of your life swooning.
I die of want.

OK, time for the tour of the outside of our house.

Here's the view coming down the driveway. It's a circular drive, under a foot of leaves.

We will be raking leaves for the rest of our lives.

Here's the front yard ( our very own Hundred Acre Wood)....

Here's the front sidewalk...

Here's the front door and our guard dog...

For any strangers reading my blog: If you are ever thinking about breaking into our house, let this serve as your warning. We have an aggressive bulldog and a lot of guns. So think twice before you risk it.

Here's our lantern...
It's pretty. Don't pretend not to love it.

Here's the front of the house (along with some furniture stacked on the porch)...

One of the four deck areas...This is on the side of the house...

Here you can see the deck that's off the kitchen (it's the one that's far away in this picture) & the main deck off of the dining room (the one I am standing on)...

As you can tell in this next picture, the back of the house is all windows. 

So after we rake leaves.....
We'll clean windows.

Here you can see the main deck and the lower level...

Alright, that's the end of the outside tour. I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of our home, although the pictures really don't do it justice.

Brian and I were discussing over dinner last night how it really feels like a vacation home. It's our wooded haven, our mountain retreat that's not in the mountains.

So now life is basically a permanent vacation.
Minus the 8 hours of work each day.
Minor details.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Our Wedding Photos. The Ones that Didn't Make it to Facebook.

A disc of our wedding photos arrived in the mail on Monday and I was extremely excited.

It was over 200 photos from the wedding.

You may have seen them on Facebook...The good ones.
The 10 good ones.

After seeing those Facebook photos, you were probably starting to think you might see Brian and me on People Magazine's Sexiest People of 2012 list.

(Wait, you weren't thinking that?)

Ok, well time for a reality check.....

Can I just say that I was THISCLOSE to posting only the really bad/awkward pictures on Facebook, along with a status that said something like "Our wedding pictures! So beautiful!!!" just to see the reactions.

Seriously, that would have been the best Facebook album ever.

Friday, November 9, 2012

We're Moving. Not Going Far. Two Miles to be Exact.

About this time last year, I started itching for a new house. I loved the condo, however, we were starting to outgrow it. With five cars, a dog, and a recently purchased pool table, Brian finally got on board with the idea earlier this year. It didn't hurt that interest rates were at an all time low.

We started house hunting back in the summer. We spent a few weeks checking new listings online, and we finally broke down and got a real estate agent in August.

I had a clear vision in my head of what I was looking for in a house. Brian had a similar vision. It was a miracle, I know, that we both were able to agree. The only problem with our vision was that we were a very rare breed of home buyers. 

We didn't want traditional. 
We didn't want cookie cutter. 
We didn't want a small lot. 
We didn't want a starter home.
We didn't want a baby neighborhood. (You know those neighborhoods with all the babies. Yeah, you know.)

We wanted a house that was warm and inviting. We wanted old charm. We wanted unique, but functional. 

Fortunately, our price range was high enough to give us good options; however, it was too low to give us everything our heart desired (and our hearts desired so very much). Our biggest limitation was location. Brian wanted  prime location in the heart of Raleigh. I wanted a cozy house on an big lot. 

Well, folks - it exists! Our dream house. Perfect location, big lot. Once we're settled in to this house, we are not moving for at least 50 years. Famous last words.

It's 2.5 acres, completely secluded, and everything we ever hoped for (well, uhhh, almost everything). It feels like a mountain chalet nested in the woods. It is absolutely stunning.

Our closing date is WEDNESDAY!!! Time to pack...and pack more...and pack more.....

Our focus now is to survive these next two months one day at a time. With busy jobs, the task of moving, and having the holidays upon us, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

My blog posts for the next several weeks may be all about the new house, decorating in particular, so prepare yourselves.

Speaking of decorating, Brian and I don't see eye to eye on this.

I envision animal hide rugs, antler chandeliers, big blankets, and burlap pillows. Brian envisions modern art and dragon posters. (Yes, dragon posters).You may want to come over and visit just to see this eclectic combination. :-)

I will leave you with some BEFORE pictures of the house, so you can get an idea of our new home!

The main room:

The basement:
 The kitchen:
 The dining room:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photo Journal of My Week (Otis)

I fetched the ball.

And then needed a nap

I basked in the sunlight for ten minutes.

And then needed a nap.

I watched as Kelly packed up the bathroom cabinets.

And then needed a nap.

Brian and Kelly told me they got married.

I gave them my excited face.

And then took a nap.