Monday, May 31

Memorial Day weekend projects

So we've moved into our house and completed a bunch of projects already.  I know that I haven't shared pictures of the house (which I should be doing later this week!) but I do have pictures of our projects!

Project 1 - Moving a HUGE entertainment center we bought off of Craigslist.  
I enlisted the help of my mother, sister, and husband to make this happen because there was no way that I could do it on my own.  It was a great buy because it's made by Bombay Company and the whole thing is solid wood.  It's a beautiful cherry color that will look great when we get all of the shelves filled and when Andrew gets to eventually buy his bigger and better TV.

Project 2 - Priming the walls and ceiling of the garage.
Our garage has drywall on the walls and ceiling, but didn't have any kind of primer or paint on it, so we decided that we wanted to put a coat of primer on it to help seal it and keep out any moisture.  Besides, what doesn't look better with a good coat of white paint or primer?

Before                                              After

Project 3 - Brightening up the front porch with our kissing Dutch people and a hanging flowerpot.
Back when we were still looking at houses, I found cement kissing Dutch people on Craigslist, bought them, and repainted them so that we could put them somewhere in front of our new house, whenever we managed to get one.  So this weekend, we were finally able to put them out on the front porch and they look great!  We added a cute purple hanging flowerpot that we bought at Meijer and some flowers that we planted this afternoon and the porch looks much brighter and happier than it did this morning!



Project 4 - Redoing the flower bed by the light post.
Our last project this weekend was redoing one of the flower beds.  First we removed the ugly edging the former owners had.  They we changed the shape from a square to a circle to make it easier to mow around.  We used some of the small river rock that is in most of the other flower beds as a new edging and added some flowers!  I think it looks so much better!

Before                                               After

Saturday, May 8

Garage sale finds

Now that we know that we're moving in a week, I was really excited to go to some garage sales!  We have so much more room in our house than we do in our apartment and, while I didn't expect to find tons of stuff, I thought we might find a few things for the house.

After hitting about 8 garage sales (and not being able to find one that we were trying to go to because they didn't have any signs!?!) we ended up with a copy of the dvd Signs.  I honestly don't like the movie that much (mostly because the idea of aliens really freaks me out), but I'm talking about crop circles in one of my classes and this movie is an obvious choice to show.

The other things we got were some really cute postcards that look like they're made out of cardboard that say "We've moved!  We're living out of boxes!"  They'll be perfect for letting some of our older friends and relatives who aren't into email or Facebook that we've moved and tell them our new address.

Can you tell I'm really excited about moving?

Friday, May 7

Packing it in

We have a closing date for the house!  In less than a week we will be closing and taking possession of our first house, which means we get to start packing this weekend.  Have I mentioned I LOVE packing???  I think it's something to do with my want to be organized, even though I'm totally not.  The thought of taking our possessions and packing them up neatly into boxes really appeals to me, especially because it'll give us a chance to reassess what we actually need and to think about where everything will go in the new house.

Now if only I could get my hands on some free boxes...

Saturday, May 1

What is marriage?

I just finished reading Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I will not attempt to summarize everything she write about in the book, but the basic idea is that she researches and writes about marriage in order to come to terms with having to get married so that the man she is in love with can live in the United States with her.  Both she and this man have been married and divorced and they did not  plan on getting married until he was arrested for overstaying his visa in the United States.

She brings up many interesting points about marriage, but one of my favorite parts of the book is when she writes about the shared intimacy of marriage.
The poet Jack Gilbert...writes that marriage is what happens "between the memorable."  He said that we often look back on our marriages years later...and all we can recall are "the vacations, and emergencies" - the high points and low points.  The rest of it blends into a blurry sort of daily sameness.  But it is that blurred sameness, the poet argues, that comprises marriage.  Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel.  How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody - so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?

After reading that, I looked up the poem that she mentioned.


We think of lifetimes as mostly
the exceptional and sorrows.
Marriage we remember as the children,
vacations, and emergencies.
The uncommon parts.
But the best is often
when nothing is happening.
The way a mother picks up the child
almost without noticing
and carries her across Waller Street
while talking with the other woman.
What if she could keep all of that?
Our lives happen between the memorable.
I have lost two thousand habitual
breakfasts with Michiko.
What I miss most about her
is that commonplace
I can no longer remember.

I think the few lines are a beautifully put definition of marriage.

Another update on house #4

We heard back about the appraisal on the house and it was perfect!   That means we only have one more hoop to jump through until we own our house - getting approved for the loan.  Hopefully this won't be a problem because we're already pre-approved for much more than the loan amount we need.  If all goes well, we'll be closing on our house on May 13th!  Yay!