Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Uggggggghhhhhh, stress ....

Another thing that has been going on for the past few months (and to a certain extent, why I've been absent from the blog) is that Ben and I are searching for a new home. While I wouldn't necessarily say that our search is active and aggressive at this point, I can say that it is extremely frustrating. And overwhelming. So because we are frustrated and overwhelmed, we get caught up in that and second guess everything.

I realize that most people out there say "this is a buyer's market", "interest rates are so favorable", and "its a great time to buy!". But let me tell you, that simply isn't true. It isn't. There is plenty of inventory out there and some really good deals to be found, that is a fact. But those deals are most typically in a foreclosure or short-sale situation. We're not opposed to either of those but short-sales typically take a long time to close and your typical foreclosure, well, more often than not they were trashed by the previous residents and we really want something that is move-in ready. And the homes that aren't foreclosures or short-sales? There is usually a reason why they haven't sold. Either they are priced above the market, in a bad location, in a subdivision that isn't built-out, or a whole host of other things. It just seems that the good homes are not on the market right now**. Probably because those good homes are selling fast and we miss them due to the fact that we're not scouring MLS every 10 minutes. We have a Realtor, and she's doing a good job with the information that we have given her but we seem to change our minds every 3 minutes so its a tough job she has.

Another issue is our commutes. Basically, Ben works in-town and I work on the northeast side of town so we're working with a fairly limited area here. Neither of us wants to spend 2+ hours/day commuting to and from work so that is a major consideration as well. We love the area we are in now, but the school system sucks. We were both raised in the public school system, and my sister happens to be a teacher and huge proponent of public schools. Therefore, private schools aren't really in the cards. Oh and also the fact that they are expensive. That plays into it as well!

It is no secret that Ben and I are complete opposites in many respects, but for the most part we agree on what we are looking for in a home: reasonable commute to work, good school district, decent back yard, and room to grow into. We also agree on the aesthetics of the homes we are looking at, and pretty much want the same thing. So I guess that is good. This would be an entirely different shitstorm if we wanted opposite things.

Anyway, I don't really expect to find a solution right now so I guess we'll just keep looking and hope that we find something we love and can see ourselves in for a long time.

** That said, we do currently have a good home on the market. I'd like to say I am willing to make you a sweet deal on a condo right now but frankly that would just make Ben and I homeless, so I'm not so sure!

Monday, October 26, 2009

25 days??!!!!

Geez, it has really been 25 days since I last blogged. I am maybe the worst blogger on earth and I'm not even sure if anyone will read this since I basically disappeared. I really don't have any good excuse for going MIA except that I've just been lazy. Too lazy to blog. Anyways, I'll try to get back into the routine but I really can't promise much. I still love to read other people's blogs but I just don't know if I'm really into it anymore. So we'll see.

I actually have been fairly busy since the last post, and rather than go through every little detail here on the blog I'll highlight a few things that I have taken pictures of recently.

The first is our trip to Lilburn Daze, a local craft festival held each October in my hometown. For me, it is basically an excuse to walk around and eat funnel cakes and carnival food all afternoon but you can also find some cute home made goodies there too. This year, I went with Mom, Kimmie, and Ellie and the three of us really enjoyed watching Ellie take everything in. She is such an active baby and loves to be out and about seeing new things. One thing she was obsessed with was the hay rides. Each time the tractor would ride past her she would excitedly flap her arms and legs so of course I took her on a little ride! She LOVED it.

The next major event this month was the GT vs. Virgina Tech football game. It was uncharacteristically cold that day in Atlanta but despite the weather we had a really great tailgate before cheering the Jackets on to a victory! According to my own personal encyclopedia (Ben), this is the first time Tech has beat a top 5 team at home since 1962. Needless to say that is a pretty big win for us and should make the rest of our season interesting.

Finally, this weekend we spent some time up at the lake to celebrate Mom's birthday on Saturday night and Liam & Gavin's birthdays on Sunday afternoon. Ben and I got up to Hartwell late Saturday afternoon - just in time to play with Ellie for a few minutes before we all headed out to dinner. Then the 7 of us loaded up in the car and went to The Galley, which happens to be one of mom's favorite restaurants on lake Hartwell. After dinner we headed back to the lake house for some wine and football and to rest up for a big day on Sunday.

Sunday morning, we all got some time to play with Ellie a bit more.

She is walking all the time now and her little personality is really beginning to show through! Then we went over to my cousin's house for Liam's 7th and Gavin's 5th birthday celebrations. Their theme was 'bugs' because they both love outdoors and animals so much and Liam even had the brilliant idea to fry crickets for people to eat!! True boys! (And no, I did not even consider eating a cricket).

So, as you can see, I haven't exactly been lacking for blog material so much as I've been lacking motivation. I'll try to do better!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It is only the first of October and I am already stressed about Christmas. I blame Costco for this stress because they decided to pull out their Christmas decorations in late August. I kid you not! I know stores are expecting a flat season, so they are all trying to get a jump start on sales. This is just a little mind game Costco is playing with me and they have won.

So thanks Costco, thank you for the gentle reminder that I have absolutley no clue what to buy anyone for Christmas this year. Under normal circumstances, Halloween stuff would be out in stores right now and I would begin to think about Christmas. I would start a little list of the people we buy gifts for and jot down ideas as they came to mind. I would pick up a things here and there as I came across things I thought would make a good gift. I like to have time to think about it. To collect things so that once December rolls around I only have a few last-minute things to pick up. I hate, hate, hate last-minute shopping because it typically leads to buying crap that people don't really care about anyway.

I'm sure I will figure it all out, but I just hate the pressure I feel when I walk into a store with Christmas stuff on display. (Costco isn't the only store doing this) I don't have panic attacks, but when I begin to think about Christmas I think I am on the verge of one. I think my blood pressure has shot through the roof right now just blogging about it!

Last year, about this time, Mom and I had this great idea that our family would just draw names. We would think of a great gift for ONE person and all exchange on Christmas. And of course we would all probably buy Ellie (my niece) gifts but that wouldn't be difficult because she is a baby. Anyway, of course that idea was squashed quickly by my sister and my Dad. (Really? My dad of all people .... shocked me a little). I don't think Ben or Dave (brother in law) were in favor of the idea either. We ended up doing the full gift Christmas and it worked out fine.

Mom and I had this conversation again yesterday. And I think that it probably won't fly with the rest of my family once again. So I will remain stressed, I imagine until December 25.

I think I wrote about this last year too. And I swear I'm not a Grinch. Its just that in our house, all the pressure falls to me to think of, buy, and wrap gifts and it is a tremendous responsibility. I don't say that to bash Ben - he really is thoughtful and creative but usually only after about December 15. So that just doesn't work for me and I end up doing it all myself. My mother tells me to just let him handle portions of it himself and not to worry about the timeline, etc. But I do because I am a control freak. Then again, even if I did do that I still have my part of the family to think of ideas for so it wouldn't totally solve my problem. So I guess its my own fault for being stressed because if I were a little tiny bit more relaxed I probably wouldn't have these problems.

Geez, that was a very rambly and introspective post, huh?