May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

It was so great having Casey home for three days with me! We had an incredible weekend together. Friday afternoon, we went out to our soon-to-be house to measure the appliances. Since we were up at Royal, we decided to stop at the new Studio Movie Grill at Royal and 75 and saw Indiana Jones. The movie was good but I really liked SMG - I had never been before and it is so neat. I wouldn't do it for dinner again beccause the food was only so-so but the ticket is pretty much the same price as Northpark. I would for sure go again and have someone bring me a drink and dessert.

On Saturday morning we went and bought a new fridge and oven (see previous post) and then went to a wedding. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Tristan and Maria Eager! We had so much fun at their wedding celebrating their marriage and love for each other. We went to another wedding on Sunday - Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. David and Rachel Goodman. Both weddings were beautiful and the love couples had radiated from their very being!

It is such a joy to celebrate the joy of our friends marriages. With those simple words - two truly become one. Every time we go to a wedding, we are reminded of all of the reasons we got married. Roughly 21 months into our marriage and we are still each others best friends, deepest confidantes, and biggest passion. Thank you Eagers and Goodmans for letting us share in your special day and reminding us of the joy that our marriage brings to us.

May 24, 2008

New Appliances

Casey and I took advantage of the appliance sales this weekend (and the tax-free on all energy star appliances!) and bought our first fridge today! It is a Jenn Air and is cabinet-depth and stainless steel. Pretty snazzy!

We also bought a new oven to replace the black ones that are in the house already. It is a double oven (yay happy!) with a convection oven on top (seriously yay happy!)

May 22, 2008

YAY! We got it!!

OUR NEW HOUSE

When you walk in the front door off to the right is the formal living and dining room. They have french doors leading into them and gorgeous crown molding!The kitchen is a galley kitchen - but it is really widen with a huge skylight, granite counters, hand-scraped hardwoods, and newish appliances.
The eating area has a pretty bay window and is open to the family room.
The family room is huge (20x20) and has a half bath off of it and a gas fireplace.

The new addition has this sunroom,
and another 20x20 living room. It also has another half bath, a study, and a media room.

The house also has 4 bedrooms (so plenty of room for guests!)

Yay new house!!

May 20, 2008

House Houses and More Houses

There are very few houses left in Lake Highlands that we haven't looked at! (Not really - there are tons - but it feels that way.) I don't want to jinx it by saying too much -- but we have found two more great ones and plan to make an offer on one of them. Hopefully we will know more by the end of the week! I really like both (although I do like one a bit better than the other) and hope that Casey does too!

May 17, 2008

Three Strikes....

But we aren't out yet! Our third attempt was once again a failure, but we'll keep trying.

We made a reasonable offer that was above the comps in the neighborhood but not as high as list, and the owner of the home on Drumcliffe (who obviously lives in a hole) was offended. He refused to even counter.

I fail to comprehend how he could possibly value his un-updated home at $120/sqft when in the neighborhood other homes (of equal and some even a tad better updating) went for $100-115/sqft. Our offer, which equated to $110 a sqft, seems like an awfully reasonable starting off point to me. This is obviously God's not so vague way of telling us that we made an offer on the wrong house.

I just have to keep telling myself that the right one will come.

May 16, 2008

House Update

We finished all of the paperwork and submitted an offer on Sesame Street today... only to find out about 15 minutes later that they had accepted an offer this morning!

So we quickly fell back to our second choice - Drumcliffe. We liked the house on Drumcliffe just as much, but Sesame Street was a better price (obviously since it sold so fast!)

We submitted an offer on Drumcliffe this evening and they have until Monday to respond - so it is waiting time. Even if Drumcliffe turns out to not be the house God has in mind for us, we have finally found the right neighborhood. (We started out looking all over Dallas, then narrowed to two neighborhoods one east of 75 and the other west of the tollway, then we decided we liked Lake Highlands best (the area east of 75), and now we have narrowed in even further on a neighborhood within Lake Highlands.) In the area we like, we found a few more houses that are potentials if Drumcliffe doesn't work out. Please keep up in your prayers!

May 15, 2008

Choice E

Today I gave Casey a multiple choice quiz with four choices (see post below) and he chose house number 5. We were driving between houses and drove past a foreclosure that I had previously looked at with Susan and thought was interesting. The house needed a lot of work but had good bones, a good floor plan, and a great price. And a great street name --- can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street.

When I looked at the house with Susan, I saw lots of work, but sitting in the car with Casey telling him of the (numerous) issues like missing appliances, torn out lights, rotted door woods, broken windows etc. he immediately said we had to look at it! So when we stopped at the next house on our tour we asked Susan if she would mind adding one more house to our list. She ever so graciously agreed.


As soon as Casey walked in to the living room of 11215 Sesame Street he loved it. He spread his arms out and repeatedly said this is great, this is great.


While the house needs work, it has incredible bones and we both think that with some sweat equity and love it can be a showstopper. We are putting in an offer -- but we will need lots of prayers! In this part of town foreclosures frequently end up selling for well above list and can take a really long time to close. We know that if this is the house that God wants us in, it will all work out. And if it isn't...



The Kitchen (with no appliances)



Breakfast Room



Second Living Room (Casey's Pool Table)



Sunroom



Master Bedroom



Master Bathroom

May 14, 2008

Four Houses

I have four houses to show Casey tomorrow night - and one of them could potentially be our first home! I started off really liking some of the neighborhoods on the west side of the tollway, but all four of these are in Lake Highlands. Go Figures!


1) 6921 Sedgwick is a foreclosure that needs some work but is in a great little neighborhood called Merriman Park Estates. The house is pretty big (2725 sqft) with 4 bedrooms, a study, 3 bathrooms, etc. It also has a pool and spa in the backyard. The house was a showplace in its heyday but hasn't been well cared for recently - so the big question is how much it really needs. We would also have to offer above list for this property because the bank has already gotten one offer at list. Even above list, it is a great deal for the neighborhood.



2) 9158 Drumcliffe is a great house with an open floor plan in Merriman Park. It has great curb appeal, a huge backyard and really the biggest drawback is the popcorn ceilings (which are easily fixable!) It is roughly the same size as Sedgwick at 2670 sqft and also has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 living areas. It has a great kitchen with double ovens, a wet bar in the living room, and other details like crown molding and paneling that I really like. There are great pictures of the inside of the house on MLS (to see the listing click on the address above.) Susan has said that this house is also a good price for the neighborhood.


3) 10152 Coveridge is a bit further away (though not much) and is a flip that has been really nicely remodeled. It has all new appliances in the kitchen, updated bathrooms, pretty hardwoods, vaulted ceilings etc. This house is a bit smaller, 2176 sqft, and has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 2 living areas. It is a bit more expensive than Drumcliffe, but it is for sure more updated. It isn't in a named little area, but the street was very cute with big mature trees and a bit of a rolling hill feel to it. This one also has pretty pictures on MLS. It also has a gas line on the outside patio of the house so it wouldn't be too hard to create the built-in grill and outdoor kitchen that Casey wants!

4) 10518 Royalwood is the smallest at only 1844 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is also the cheapest (which is appealing!) It has a great outdoor kitchen with a grill, mini-fridge, and fire pit already built, an updated kitchen with absolutely incredible appliances (double oven, huge gas range etc.), pretty hardwoods and slate, etc. The biggest drawback is that you can hear some of the traffic from 635 when you are outside. I'm not sure if that is something I care too too much about. There are pictures of the great kitchen and outdoor area on the listing.

May 13, 2008

The Things People Do!

People do some very odd things to their houses. This week alone I've looked at over 20 houses, and we are going out again today. In total over the last few weeks, we have looked at A LOT of houses and some of them you walk in and just think you would love to meet the person who designed the house or decorated it. In one house, every wall (including the ceilings) was a different color. I don't think the same paint color was ever repeated in the house. Needless to say, it was bright. In another, they painted the driveway a very bright reddish-orange to match the color of the shingles on the roof. I would love to meet the type of person who wakes up one morning and decides to paint the driveway. It was special. But this one definitely takes the cake. When I was looking at houses online, I saw this photo, and thought it was so odd that they enclosed the pool. Everything else about the house seemed great, so the backyard having a pool building seemed like something I could live with to get an incredible looking kitchen, updated bath, big lot, etc.





So this afternoon Susan put this house on our list. We walk in the front door and........



this is the view from the front door! You have got to be kidding me. The house has a pool instead of a living room!
Everything else is off of the pool room - above is the view from the kitchen which also features the pool! I could have taken similar photos from all three photos. This house was designed with a pool as the center. Oh My.
Needless to say, that house didn't make the short list of ones I will take Casey to look at. Sadly, the short list is currently very short, but I know that God has a plan for us and eventually we will find the house where we belong! So tomorrow Susan and I will go forth and look again.

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

It was a busy busy weekend! On Saturday Casey studied for his CFA Exam while I got a min/pedi and went to the mall. Hey – I had to do something to get out of the house for a few hours while he studied! Then that night we went to Jessica’s parents house for her graduation party. Poor Jess – she’s so excited to be finished with her masters. I don’t think she realizes that playing adult isn’t very fun.

Today is Mother’s Day. (I love you Mom!) It really was a great day. We woke up and went to Madelynne’s Dedication Ceremony at Dejay and M’Lynne’s church in Midlothian. It was a very nice little ceremony and she is a very pretty little girl.
After church we went back to Dejay and M’Lynne’s house and enjoyed a day of fellowship and family. Casey and I were really sad that we weren’t able to see his mom at all this weekend – we will have to make it up to her!



In honor of Mother’s Day below is a little ditty that I found funny:


My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE - "If you're going kill each other, do it outside - I just finished cleaning the house!"
My mother taught me RELIGION - "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL - "If you don't sort yourself out, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week"
My mother taught me LOGIC - "Because I said so, that's why."
My Mother taught me LOGIC...#2 - "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the shops with me."
My mother taught me FORESIGHT - "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
My mother taught me IRONY - "Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS - "Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!"
My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM - "Will you "look" at the dirt on the back of your neck!"
My mother taught me about STAMINA - "You'll sit there 'till all that spinach is finished."
My mother taught me about WEATHER - "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."
My mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS - "If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you, would you listen THEN?"
My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY - "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - Don't Exaggerate!!!"
My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE - "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION - "Stop acting like your father!"
My mother taught me about ENVY - "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"
My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION - "Just wait until we get home."
My Mother taught me about RECEIVING - "You are going to get it when we get home!"
My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE - "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to stick that way."
My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD - "If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."
My Mother taught me ESP - "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"
My Mother taught me HUMOR - "When that lawnmower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT - "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My Mother taught me about GENETICS - "You're just like your father."
My Mother taught me about my ROOTS - "Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE - "When you get to be my age, you will understand."
And an all time favorite... JUSTICE - "One day you'll have kids ...and I hope they turn out just like you!"

May 9, 2008

Ouch!

On Monday my physical therapist, the other Kaycee in my life, started me on ultrasound treatments. Ultrasound has been shown to cause increases in tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown. The effect of the increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation. Kaycee is very interested in breaking up some of the scar tissue in my ankle to try and increase my range of motion.

Ultrasound works by generating high frequency sound waves that are transferred to the hurt spot by a round-headed probe (looks similar to the probe used on a sonogram). The sound waves travel deep into tissue creating gentle heat. As the probe glides over the skin's surface, sound waves penetrate the skin's surface causing soft tissues to vibrate creating deep heat. Then, the heat induces vasodilation: drawing blood into the target tissues. Increased blood flow delivers needed oxygen and nutrients, and removes cell wastes. The deep heat helps to relieve pain, inflammation, reduces muscle spasms, and accelerates healing.

Ultrasound is a really great treatment and I actually used it in the fall when we were trying to avoid surgery. This time Kaycee prefaced my first treatment with a warning. I have a steel bolt in my foot, and as we all learned in science class, steel is a conductor of heat. It is possible that with ultrasound, my foot would heat up and cause unbearable pain. Kaycee said that she would start slow and if iy got uncomfortable she would stop.

My Foot Is Still Numb! It never got uncomfortable and we went through a full fifteen minute treatment. After the ultrasound Kaycee removed the lifts from my boot to force my foot to stretch a bit further when I walk. By Monday night I was in serious pain and swollen pretty large again. The swelling and pain was still there when I went in for physical therapy again on Wednesday, so she had me take it easy and everything we did was for pain management (whirlpool, light stretching, game ready, stim, etc.) We both came to the conclusion that the change in the boot most likely caused the pain.

Today, I went to physical therapy again, and before the ultrasound treatment Kaycee again told me about the potential heat issue and then briefly mentioned that I should be aware of my pain level after the treatment – only two things changed on Monday that could have possibly caused the pain and swelling. Kaycee’s comment was that after I came in on Monday and reported to pain Friday night we could definitively rule out the ultrasound as the cause of my pain and she could add to my chart that I had discomfort following the removal of boot lifts.

There is only one problem with her scenario. I am once again in unbearable pain and swollen – A LOT. My ankle is so swollen right now that my sticky-outy-bone (medically called the lateral malleolus) isn’t sticking out. The swelling covers it up. That isn’t normal.

I think when I go into physical therapy on Monday morning, Kaycee will be able to definitively write the cause of my pain and excessive swelling in my chart. It just isn’t going to be from the lifts.

May 8, 2008

Grey's Anatomy: The Becoming

Favorite Quotes


Derek to Meredith: “If you want me to stay, I'll stay.

Dr. Bailey to the nurses: “So let's close our knees and get back to our jobs so that he can get back to his."

Lexie about Alex: "He forgot he slept with me?!?"

Derek to Mark: "I slept with her. And the whole time I was thinking of Meredith. Who's the whore?"


Moving On

It appears that the sellers of 3314 Duchess are not willing to budge on price at all. Given the extensive amount of work that the home needs, the prices of the other houses in the neighborhood, and the current trends in the housing market, there isn't a chance that house is worth its asking price. So, we are moving on!

Today I am going out with Susan again to see more homes. One new one has come on the market in Sparkman Club that I am excited to see. We are also going to look at other neighborhoods around Sparkman as well as Merriman Park (near NW Hwy and Abrams). Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this journey to find our first home.

May 6, 2008

And Now We Wait.

And so the paperwork has begun. We met with our agent at lunch today and wrote up an offer. And now we wait by the phone anxiously to hear the sellers’ reponse.

We have been looking on and off at buying a place since we first got married in 2006. After walking into dozens (and dozens. and dozens.) of houses, we put in our first offer today!

We wait till 12 p.m. tomorrow for an answer. Anxious. Eager. We are a ball of emotions and can't wait to find out if we will get it.

UPDATE: The seller countered our offer at a price we still beleive to be above market value for the condition of the house. So we countered his counter. And now we wait. Again. And Pray.

May 5, 2008

It's a Scary Scary World

As you can tell from my previous post, we are fairly serious about getting a house and have been asking God for a lot of guidance and wisdom over the past few days. Well, today we began the process of buying a home that needs some TLC. The outside is really cute, with an amazing big live oak tree in the front yard, and the inside has so much potential! Today, we called Susan, our realtor, and told her that we are ready to start the paperwork and put in a bid! Talking to the mortgage agent and getting things worked out has made this feel much more real - and the idea of writing that kind of check and then making monthly payments for 30 years to own it is really scary!

The house is listed at a price that compares better to some of the already remodeled homes in the neighborhood than it does to the other fixer-uppers so we are planning on making a pretty low bid. We are trusting that God is in control and if this is the home we are meant to have, the current owner (the grandson of the now deceased widow who lived in the home for years and years and years) will come to the table willing to negotiate. We love the neighborhood and the floorplan and really just can’t wait to start our home remodel!

May 4, 2008

3314 Duchess

More house hunting! Casey and I went out with Susan again yesterday and this time only looked at houses that are in Sparkman Club Estates. Sparkman Club is an area with about 300 houses that are located approximately South of Royal Lane and North of Merrell between Marsh and Webb Chapel. We really like the community feel and big trees that are all over this neighborhood. Most of the houses were built in the 1950s and 1960s and while some have been extensively remodeled and updated others still need to be brought into the 21st century. All of the houses in the neighborhood (whether dated or not) really seem to be well kept and in pretty decent condition. Sparkman Estates has a community pool, tennis courts, tennis league, bunco group, yesterday they had a Kentucy Derby party at the clubhouse, etc. Pretty neat neighborhood!

We looked at 7 houses in the neighborhood (one of them is the home from my previous post the I loved but is pretty expensive) and found one we really liked, 3314 Duchess. It has a great big oak in the front yard, pretty brick, a great bay window, and pretty decent curb appeal - Casey wants to change the tiny white spindle post in the enterance to something more substantial, but it wouldn't need done right away.

When you walk in you start to realize just how much work this house needs. Our first task would be to reclaim the garage. The previous owner converted the garage into an atrocious mother-in-law suite with a gross and tiny kitchenette, one room, and a storage area. We want a garage - so that would need addressed. When you walk in the front door, to your right you see the formal living room and dining room - and the wall we would want to take down. The far wall would become an extension of the kitchen with the closer area with the large bay window combining with the living room to make a large great room.




This is the view of the current family room which is on the other side of the wall that goes away. It has a very pretty fireplace with gas logs. It also has really ugly wood paneled walls, a ceiling fan that is hung far too low, weird sliding glass doors which back to a deadbolted iron grated door thing that makes it impossible to get out, and pretty brick floors - that would sadly probably have to go because they would be too hard to match.




The house has a kitchen that matches the living room! This picture is taken from the dining room looking in and shows just how dated it looks. The microwave and oven (front right of the pic) are straight from 1960s and go quite well with the dated wood cabinets. If possible we want to knock out some wall above the cooktop and build a bar area there with some stools and such, add cabinets, replace countertops, either replace or reface the current cabinets, and we are thinking we would turn the hutch and bay window at the end of the kitchen into a little sitting area and wine bar - add a small fridge, perhaps fridge drawers (depending on cost) and put a cute little bistro area in the window.





We have big plans - and until we meet with an architect and contractor we don't know if they are possible and how expensive it will all be. After we meet with these people, and if still financially makes sense - we are pretty excited about the idea of making this home our own with our ideas! If we end up making an offer - you could be looking at pictures of our first home!



This last photo is of the really great back yard - it looks much prettier now than it does in the photo with everything dead from winter!

May 1, 2008

Grey's Anatomy: Pieces of My Heart

Favorite Quotes

Meredith: “Giving birth may be all intense and magical and stuff, but the act itself: it's not exactly pleasant. But it's also a beginning... of something incredible. Something new. Something unpredictable. Something true. Something worth loving. Something worth missing. Something that will change your life... forever..”

Mark to Derek: “Bet you're wishing you took the stairs right about now..."

Callie, Meredith, and Cristina: "Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple? Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila. Cristina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves."