Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Well Hey There, Summer!!

Funny thing....I originally began this post on June 7th, and left it because I got busy, and I am just NOW getting back to it. And now.....July!?!? Already!?!? Whew. Summer!!! SLOW DOWN!!!!

Busy, busy, busy little bees hardly describes it for the Edens!! I have days where I don't even feel like I am on summer break because we work at or for the house all day long!!

Before summer even began though, I wrapped things up at Calhoun, and this included packing up the ENTIRE school for summer construction. It is no doubt going to be absolutely gorgeous when we return in August, but the work to pack up was unreal. I came home every day for the last 2 weeks of school drenched in sweat and covered in dust. I was a sight!!
But the year did end very nicely and while I always adore summer break, it was really hard to say goodbye to "my babies." We had such a sweet, sweet group this year and my parents really spoiled us!!

Celebrating one of the kids' most favorite days of the entire school year, EVER.....FIELD DAY!! I love all the different facial expressions happening here :)

So then it was from packing up school to packing up home. I have been very blessed in that, Jonathan's work schedule has allowed him to work from home and be available to help out (which I am L-O-V-I-N-G this summer work schedule....he gets to be home with me!!!). I know that will all change soon (actually, as this post comes up-to-date from my original start, that all may change next week), but I am so thankful to have had him like I did for the month of June. God continues to really just allow everything to work out so very smoothly for us, and we are so grateful.

On top of packing to move, we also painted 2 rooms at the house, got the floors refinished, and got the studs up in the master suite renovation for the closets. That project had been put on hold until we got completely moved OUT of the apartment and moved INTO the house...which was official as of today, June 30th.

The Dining Room we painted a very pretty blue color.

And the front bedroom, the guest bedroom, we painted gray!!

No one else could handle the stress (or was OCD enough) of perfectly lining the blue tape and paper. He did it just right!!

Patching all the nail and screw holes in our plaster walls was THE hardest work I've done in a while. My arms hurt SO bad!!

The Edens and our spanking new refinished floors. The floors are gorgeous!!

This is one of my favorite shots...I love that you can see my shoes' reflection in the floors.

The floors in the office. They turned out better than we ever could have imagined they would!!

And the studs are up for the closets in the master bedroom and next up is electrical.

We spent ALL day this past Saturday, and ALL day this past Monday making the major trips with 2 truck beds, 1 trailer, 1 luggage buggy, and my car. We spent the weeks prior to today (the 30th, our move out date) packing and working at the house. Last night, we went over to our apartment, got the very last load, and my mama and I cleaned, mopped, and vacuumed everything until the entire place was spotless.
So technically, aside from all the work, we were able to get everything moved in 3 trips!! It's really and truly amazing how much you can accumulate after just being married a little less than two years!!!

There were some quite comical events that took place during these trips. Not so funny then, but looking back now, very hilarious!!

Hilarity #1: After trying to beat a storm ALL day Saturday, we got on the road from Central to Piedmont, and said storm (aka-black looming cloud) followed us, literally right over the truck, the entire way.

Hilarity #2: Over halfway to Piedmont, because I WAY overpacked the luggage buggy with my clothes, the left tire went flat. Pulled over to pump it up, no go. So flat it wouldn't even take any air!! So, what do you do?? Got to make it to the house before the sky falls out. No worries....hoist up into the bed of your Toyota!!!

It's amazing how much work, effort, and sweat we have put into this move. We have worked so hard and so have both sets of our parents. They have helped pack, move, paint, and done anything else you can think of to help us -- even fed us at times!! We COULD NOT have done it without them!!
I am beyond mentally and physically tired, and my body aches most mornings when I wake up, but, I KNOW it's all going to be worth it in the end!!

So as you can see, June has went by in the blink of an eye, and we really haven't done much of anything except move and work on and in the house. Not a lot of "summer" events happening for the Edens, but....summer's not over yet!!! July is filled with America's birthday, our birthdays, and our anniversary, so we shall see what's to come!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010


A few shots from Jonathan's MArch graduation from Clemson...

Shaking fellow architecture graduate's hand, President James F. Barker :) 


The architecture boys!! 

After Jonathan's graduation, I planned a drop-in for close family and friends at our church's MPR. Here are a few pictures!! 

Yes baby, yes!!! 

You have no idea how excited we were!!

His face was on the cake!!!

We are so appreciative to all our friends and family that were able to come (and to those that weren't able to come) to show their love and support. We could not have made it through the past 2 years without any of you!! 

2 Years Later

Done and finished. 

And there's a Masters of Architecture degree to prove it. 

2 years ago, in August of 2008, Jonathan and I (and I do say the both of us, because if you have ever been through ANY type of degree program while married, you certainly realize that both partners go through it) began the journey to becoming one step closer to his title of, Jonathan Edens, AIA. 

As long as I have known him, Architect was his goal. 
In 5th grade, if you asked Jonathan what he wanted to be when he grew up, the answer would always be.....architect. 
He is one of very few people that I have ever encountered to set a goal at such an early age and never waver from it. Ever. Everything he has done in one way or another has led him to where he is right now, completing his MArch degree, and ready to take the next step. 

The process to become a licensed architect is not only misunderstood, but also underestimated. The time, effort, studies, and sacrifices are somewhat comparable to obtaining a doctorate. And even furthermore, there is the misconception that the pay is comparable to what those in the doctorate field are paid (not even close....think much lower). 
And now that he has completed the rigorous 6 years of combined graduate and undergraduate studies, he must begin a series of 7 tests, known as the ARE, which to no surprise, are not free and not cheap. 
At this point, he is basically a little over halfway there. 

It must also be said that, these past 2 years have been many things to us. 
While the MArch degree has afforded us opportunities, experiences, and relationships that we couldn't have gotten anywhere else, and cherish with every bone in our body, it was definitely not an easy road. 
We were married July 19, 2008, left for our honeymoon, returned home, and in a mere 10 days, we moved to downtown Charleston to begin the 1st semester of graduate school at the C.A.C.C. Now, while Charleston is a beautiful city with much to offer, if you can imagine, it might be the ideal place for newlyweds.....that is of course, if you don't count the fact that said newlyweds will never see one another. And when I say never, I mean never. As in, the husband will come home at 4AM on Saturday and Friday nights only to sleep 2 hours, then get right back up at 6AM to return to studio (not including the ridiculous weeknight hours). This happened every single weekend. 
The C.A.C.C. program is the most demanding semester of the MArch degree, and if you were to ask Jonathan if would he like to take a trip to Charleston now, his answer is (and will remain for at least a few years I am sure), "uh.....heck no." We now say that, if our marriage (especially at the newlywed stage) could survive that, we can survive anything. 
This was and continued to be a trend throughout the remainder of his graduate program. Luckily, we dated throughout our undergraduate programs, so I was accustomed to the demands of studio on an architecture major. However, it's completely different when you're married, and moreso, newlyweds. 

I say all of this not to complain, but to remember how humbling the experience was. We learned a lot about ourselves and one another (which, when you've dated 8 years prior to marrying, aside from the obvious things, you can imagine that there wouldn't be much more to find out); how we handle frustration, how we should handle frustration and anger, how to effectively communicate with one another, and so much more. 
Now at the end of the graduate degree road and looking back and taking the time to reflect, I realize that, while it felt like the hardest and at times, worst experience, I am thankful for every second of the past 2 years (even Charleston). 

It has made us the couple that we are today and has made us better spouses, friends, and hopefully, better Christians. 

Fall semester, 2008, Charleston 

Spring Semester, 2009, Italy 

Fall semester, 2009, Clemson 

Spring semester, 2010, Clemson

May 7th, 2010 was a wonderful day in the lives of the Edens. My husband moved one step closer to achieving his lifelong goal. Throughout his entire experience he consistently exuded diligence, determination, discipline, integrity, and perseverance. 
And I have never been more proud of him.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Since everyone has been asking.....

...........I thought I would answer all at once!! :) 

Sorry it's been so long.....I miss blogging, but, we have been SUPER, CRAZY BUSY!!! So much and so many exciting things have been happening, and they've taken up a lot of our time.

Anywho, back to the question that everyone is asking.....
"When are ya'll moving in/officially settled in the new house???" 

Okay. Here's the deal. 
When we moved back to the States from Italy, while staying with my parents for some time, we looked for an apartment here in Clemson. We finally found one in June of last year, and signed a year's lease....putting us here until June 30th of this year. Then, we were able to officially move into our new house the day we signed, but of course, with a June 30th lease, there's no rush. 

So, in addition to having to completely and totally pack up our home life to make the move, I am also having to completely and totally pack up my classroom at work (due to construction in our classrooms). This is a lot of packing up and I despise packing up and moving, and we've already done it 4 or so times since being married. 
BUT.....with school not ending until June 5th for me, our ending lease date has actually turned out to be a huge blessing!! This gives us time to gradually pack up home all the while packing up school, and allows me to finish out the school year with less stress. We did however, tell the offices of our apartment building that should someone come wanting to begin a lease date June 1st, that we were completely willing (since this would save us an entire month's rent - cha ching!!) to make the early exit. 

Got the's OUR home!!!

The overlap in lease and purchasing also allows for some MAJOR renovations that we have decided to do before moving in. We're taking a wall out that stands between the master bedroom and the back 4th bedroom to create a lengthy, elongated, open living space. This is Phase 1 renovation of probably like 200 in the new house!! Ha :) 
Although it's a lot of work, sweat (and some blood), we are SO excited for the end result(s)!! And I mean, c'mon.....I'm married to an architect....he was born for this stuff!! :) 

Let the renovating fun begin...

The master bedroom before.

The "Clemson" (4th) room before. 

The architect hard at work :) 

Wall down in the master bedroom. 

Walls coming down in the "Clemson" (4th) room. 

Walls are down and all that's left are the studs. 

YEAH!!! Looking good and ready for the next step!!

This is a sketch-up of what the final product will look like!!

This is just a touch of what all has been going on out at the new house. Next up (after we complete the structural renovations to the new and improved "master suite"), is the refinishing/redoing of all the hardwoods in the house. 
Keep checking back, because I intend to update on all the progress!!! :) 

So to answer.....we will officially be IN with nowhere else to go on June 30th. :) 

Well, I had intended on blogging about the other exciting things going on in our lives right now, but I don't think I can keep my eyes open to handle next time, for sure!!! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rainy Evening Update :)

If anyone out there is a committed reader, I apologize for the sporadic updates. This time of year is ridiculously busy in wrapping up the school year, with all of Jonathan's end of the semester/end of graduate school dealings, AND all of the housing paperwork....there's just not enough hours in the day. 
Work, home, run, clean, more work stuff at home, dinner, sleep. 
Repeat day in and day out. 

BUT, on this nice, rainy spring evening (thank you Jesus for sending the rain.....we haven't seen nearly enough "April Showers" to clean out some of this pollen), I have a few moments to sit down and catch you up!!

1. In dealing with all the "moving madness," we had to make some insurance decisions and after doing so, would receive a great deal of mail regarding our new insurance. Well......the insurance company just went on ahead and sent our paperwork to our new address (this was all that they had since we were working with them to get home insurance)!!! Needless to say, our lender, Amazing Amy, had to hand write our current address and FWD all of this mail to us, BUT, it was SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME to see our NEW, PERMANENT address on paper. So cool. :) 

Niiiiice. Ignore the blur; I wasn't about to post mail with our address. Regardless, that's exciting!! 

2. Again, if you are a dedicated reader, you'll remember from a previous post that, dear friends and family have been keeping us updated with texts and calls as they make "drive-bys" in Piedmont. :) 
With the arrival of Spring and all the beauty outside that comes with, we have a dogwood tree right outside our beautiful home-to-be that has bloomed beautifully!!! We received and update on this via text by Jonathan's mom, Sandra, about a week and a half ago. 

White and gorgeous!! Cannot wait to see that from the window in the Great Room!! 

Tomorrow, April 21st, is the BIG DAY!!! We have actually been VERY lucky, or so I'm told from previous homebuyers, in the matter of our closing date. It has only changed twice and we're only about 20 days off from the original date that was set. Because of Palmetto Heroes that I had previously posted about as well, the paperwork from state housing kept getting delayed, hence the closing being delayed.  
We were told last week, that this week would be it, and then received the call via our lender this AM that the paperwork had been processed and packaged up and we're good to go for tomorrow afternoon. 
YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!! God is good and the Edens gone have a HOUSE tomorrow!! 

4. Praise Him, He IS good, He answers prayer!!! If you remember that dreadful test that I also previously posted about, I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!! God is SO good, and it is ONLY because of prayer that I passed and I can PROMISE you that!!! I have a really interesting, funny story behind taking the test, so, if you're interested, you should ask. :) 


5.  Jonathan had his final, senior thesis review of his academic career a week ago today!!! This is a HUGE accomplishment and moves him just one step closer to achieving his ultimate goal of becoming a licensed architect. I have never been more proud of him in my life. He has worked so unbelievably hard not just this semester, but for the past 2 years, and it has definitely paid off. It went really well, and, as I predicted, he kicked butt. That's just the way it is. :) 

Right after presenting!! And oddly enough, we did NOT plan to match. I promise. He didn't even see me that morning before I left for work and of course when I left, he was still in bed. We're just cool like that. :

Excited is an understatement!!! Done and DONE!! 

So other than housing and school for us both, that's about all that's been going on. Kind of boring I know. 
We're keeping plenty busy and definitely enjoying the spring sunshine!! Aside from exam week and graduation, Jonathan will pretty much be all finished up with his MArch degree this time next week. And the pool opened FINALLY this past Friday, so I predict lots of sunshine in my future!!

We definitely do not deserve it, but God is SO good!!! Happy Spring!!! 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reflecting: The Cross

Over 2,000 years ago a man died on a cross. 
Celebrating Good Friday, I have spent much of today reflecting on the cross and its purpose in our lives. 

The cross is:
Eternal life.
A bridge. 
An answer. 
Sin taken away.
Life everlasting.

These are just a few words that I have thought of throughout the day as I reflected on what the cross means to me and my relationship with Christ. I hate that it takes a holiday for me to put that much thought into something so significant, something that should really be the drive of my daily walk with the Lord. If you haven't, I encourage you to take a moment and remember the sacrifice made some 2,000 years ago, and I encourage myself to remember this the other 364 days of the year. 

One of my most favorite pictures EVER. I captured this right outside a beautiful church in Dublin, Ireland. God is all nations, and all people. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Furniture!!

I almost forgot to share one more exciting, housing detail!!! Last weekend, we went furniture shopping for the new house and found a GREAT deal!!

We spent all day Saturday checking out different places, most of which aren't your typical furniture stores (Ashley, Ethan Allen, Rooms to Go, etc.). We find ourselves going in, making a complete circle, and then walking out of those type stores. They have great stuff, it's just not our taste.
Our last stop of the day was at a furniture outlet in Anderson, where the seller buys floor sets, and then sells them at wholesale.

When we first walked in, we were immediately thinking, "nice stuff, definitely not our taste though." This was until we entered the MASSIVE warehouse with all the floor sets. As soon as we walked in, we both saw the perfect coffee table.....which was huge for us because we have literally been on the look for a coffee table for 2 solid years. We asked about the pricing, which was very affordable, and after walking throughout the rest of the warehouse, actually ended up finding 2 more matching pieces (an end table, and a console table)!! This was unusual because whatever the seller gets, not only is there only 1 of it, but it's rare that he gets matching pieces. We asked the price for these 2 pieces, all still affordable, and the seller then actually combined all three pieces at an unbelievably lower price!! We had no intentions of buying that day, but the price was too good to be true and we couldn't turn it down!!

Console Table

End Table

Coffee Table

Most of you are possibly thinking, "eesh......" but it's a retro/contemporary style, which we like. We have some great ideas for our new home, and we think these will look awesome in the great room. We can't wait to get moved in and see!!

Since getting married, we've moved more times than we want to count, and our living situations have not required purchasing a whole lot of furniture. With that being said, we don't really have a lot to take to our new house. We bought our bed that we had been longing for from IKEA when we lived in Charleston, but couldn't buy all of the matching bedroom pieces at the same time. We managed to get the matching 6 drawer chest of drawers for our 1 year anniversary, and still would like to add a couple more pieces. Aside from that, there really aren't many other pieces that we have that are worth "holding onto," so these 3 pieces were a nice addition for the new house. We have other pieces in mind that we need/are looking for, but, you've got to crawl before you can walk!! We'll add and get what we need over time; I think we have a tendency to be on the "picky" side. I mean after all, we are getting a house of our own. And as far as I'm concerned, we can sit on the floor in our brand new, beautiful home; who cares!! :)

Overdue Update :)

It's been a month since I last updated, and my sincerest apologies!! So much has been going on and we have just been super busy. 

The latest housing update:
When I last posted, we made an offer, the seller accepted, and it was the "odds and ins" to be taken care of at that point. Inspections are completed. Found an attorney. Found homeowners insurance. Appraisal done. 
Now on to the final stages, the paperwork. 

We qualified for the Palmetto Heroes, which I'm sure many of you have recently heard of; a housing grant for first time homebuyers who are employed as firefighters and EMS, police officers, and teachers who meet specific criteria. Our lender actually shared this program with us 1 day prior to the program being reinstated in the state of SC, and therefore, we were able to get our paperwork ready very quickly. This program works on a "first come, first served" type deal, and we were one of the first applicants that were "put in" that morning of reinstatement. A HUGE shout-out to our lender for making that process VERY easy!!! Since then, we've only had to provide the necessary paperwork and conditions to make it ours. This amount of money, $7,000, went directly to our loan amount, lowering it, and consequently lowering our monthly payment.......
amen!!! Praise Him for providing this bonus to our home buying process!! 

We then filed our taxes, with plans to file an amendment for the $8,000 incentive for first time homebuyers that we also qualified for and will see in our bank account in about 6 weeks. On top of that, after filing our taxes, we realized we would be getting a sizable amount of money back, which could in turn be put towards our new home........
again, another huge amen!!!! God has provided so many "bonuses" to us in this whole process, and we have NO idea why. We have been abundantly blessed and our cup runneth over!!! 

And finally, our bank loan for the amount of the house has also been approved, and we have turned in all the necessary paperwork, but there is one thing left to do to finalize things, and it's on me. I don't know how familiar any of you are with buying a home, and/or if this is something that has not been required in the past, but I have to take a "Homebuyers Test." Yeah.....a test. I do NOT test well, no matter the type of test, and I hate tests. 
There's an entire study guide (119 pages long in fact) that I must "study," then I have to call the Homebuyers Association, answer questions for 10-15 minutes, and if I pass, the loan goes through. And this would NOT be a problem if Jonathan could take the test, but the loan is in my name therefore I have to take it. 

My stomach is in knots and this test has loomed over me ever since we discovered its necessary existence. If you are reading this, please pray that I can make it through the questions and that God will provide the answers. I know I cannot do it by myself, that's for sure. This may seem like no big deal, and that I might be overreacting, but it's a big deal. 

Lots of family and friends have also been driving by the house and noticing lots of things going on. We've gotten a lot of calls and texts from them wondering what it's all about, which we've really enjoyed!! :) When the appraisal was made on the home, there were some things that were required to be done by the seller before we could close. The seller took the last week off from work to get these things taken care of; hence windows being all over the place, trucks/people all around, and all the work that's been going on in general. 

A shot sent via picture message from a family member who caught some of the work going on while driving by!! Haha!! Notice the windows, and it's hard to see, but the added stair rails as well. 

As far as closing, we were set to close on March 31st, but with the Palmetto Heroes grant, the paperwork has pushed this date back (as well as my completion of the aforementioned test). We're now looking at the first or second week of April, pushing to close before the 12th. 

So as you can see, all in all, God has showed up in MAJOR ways for the Edens throughout this process. He is amazing and we praise Him for how He watches over us and provides for us in big ways. Thanks to everyone for your love, support, and prayers throughout our 1st home buying experience. We are not finished yet though, so please continue to lift us up as we finalize things and get ready to move into our first home ever!! 

Friday, February 26, 2010

1 Step Closer....

Well, it's time for the weekly "housing" update.........and it's a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I last updated, we had potentially found the perfect house, had been to look at it with Amazing Amy, and we were trying to prayerfully make a decision (although, if you'll remember, we wanted to JUMP on it because we loved the house so much).

All of this had taken place on a Thursday, so over the weekend, we were constantly discussing it, the pros and cons, and getting things in order to make an offer. On Monday we had planned to make our first offer, but then decided to check with another lender to compare prices before doing so. So most of Monday was spent gathering information and making calls. Our other lender did not get back with us until Tuesday, so all day was spent going back and forth between the 2 lenders, comparing prices.
Eventually we got the best deal possible, and made plans to officially sign and make the offer that afternoon. By the time I got home from work on Tuesday, around 5PM, Amazing Amy and Jonathan were waiting on me to go through the paperwork. We signed everything, and made it official. The seller had from 8PM that night until 8PM Wednesday, 24 hours, to get back to us with a yes, a no, or a counteroffer.

So Wednesday at work I was so anxious it was awful. I could barely concentrate on anything. I also kept my phone on vibrate, at my desk, sitting right beside my computer. This is something I NEVER do; typically I turn my phone off as I'm walking into the school each day, and it doesn't get turned on again until I walk out of the building in the afternoon.
I couldn't help but walk by my desk and check for a call from my hubby almost every 20 or so minutes. It was terrible. Finally at about 1PM after not hearing a THING, Jonathan emailed to say he had heard nothing (ha!!). Not what I was waiting for!!
So the end of the school day comes, and coming back in from dismissal, at about 2:45PM, my phone vibrates. The seller received our offer, and basically asked for another, more reasonable offer. So we discussed our options, and had already decided our final offer before even putting the original offer in, and called Amazing Amy around 3PM to deal for us.

Oh the torture of time. Jonathan had a playoff game for intramural basketball at 5PM, so off to we went to try and take our mind off of waiting, waiting, waiting. I was sitting in Fike, the rec. center at Clemson, with Jonathan's phone right by my side. I literally picked it up to check the time every 2 to 3 minutes.
Finally, at almost 6PM, the phone rang.
It was Amazing Amy.

And the seller had accepted our offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

Amy told me the news/details, and since Jonathan was still in the game, I told her I didn't understand any of the details, so he'd be calling her back, ha!! Either way, I was bursting!! The game ended, and upon telling Jonathan, he called Amazing Amy right back.
The rest of the evening, we were a little bit in shock. I don't think it had sunk in (and really still hasn't) what was happening. We were beside ourselves with excitement, and of course made the necessary calls --moms, dads, sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles!!
A closing date of March 31st was set, and of course may change. We were put officially under contract with the seller as of Thursday evening, and now we are sifting through paperwork, making the loan official, dealing with an attorney, and getting the home inspected. Just taking care of all the odds and ins so that we are able to close and make the home officially ours.

Home, sweet, Home :)

Up close of the front. This is the first shot I saw when I screamed, "I WANT THIS HOUSE!!!" :)

The Great room, another major selling point for me.

Not a very good shot, but, yes. These are the ORIGINAL doors from when the house was built in 1926. And the original crystal door knobs as well.

So basically, within less than 1 week of seeing the "perfect" house, everything had fallen into place. There might be some skeptics out there, but this has always been how things seem to unfold Jonathan and me. We know what we want and we know what we don't want. We are BEYOND thrilled and we cannot WAIT for everything to go through so that we can close, and have the keys in hand.
It really is the most precious, perfect house, and I literally daydream about it all the time now. I imagine what everything I do will be like when living in our new home. :)

We cannot say how grateful we are for all of the support, love, prayers, and encouragement we have and continue to feel from all of our family and friends during this significant time in our lives. We hope for this still, as we are just getting started with such a big step in our family.

I say it all the time, but it doesn't change it one bit --we are so unbelievably blessed. Praise Him for His goodness and mercy even when we are so undeserving!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

So Ya Wanna Make An Offer???

The million dollar question.

Let me bring you up-to-date on the house search for the Edens :)

Last time I posted, we were just getting started with the whole buying a house process. That was on Friday. Since then, Amy the Amazing Realtor (that's what I'm calling her anyways, hehe) sent us two listings based on a) our desired location, and b) a very specific spreadsheet of house needs/wants/desires/dislikes/etc.

The Edens with our Realtor and long time friend, Amazing Amy!!

So, she went with this and was able to find a few that we really liked, specifically 2 houses; one in Powdersville and the other in Piedmont. We decided on Saturday to go and see them (on our own, just the outside) in the snow. They were even more appealing :) We then made an appointment with Amazing Amy to go see them both, officially, on Wednesday of this week.

The consensus:
The first was not in bad shape considering its age, but a lot of the inside was outdated, hence a lot of necessary work (we're talking shag like carpet that is fire red and deep black.....yeah.). The price of the house was very attractive, but the difference would definitely be put into immediate use for updates. All in all, a not so much "live-in ready" deal going on.

1st house in the snow.

The second ended up being somewhat of a HUGE disappointment because Jonathan had fallen instantly in love with the outside......great area, huge/well kept yard, fence in the back, culdesac.

Now, I'm just going to have to be honest with you about all of this, soon as we stepped in the door it smelled like wet dog. Eeeeewwww, yuck!!! The owners had also made some "improvements," but had done a pretty messy job of it. It was not a good situation.
Sadly enough, I could not get past the smell. Even when we got into the car and had left, I told Jonathan I could still smell it on the tip of my nose, and felt like it was saturated into my clothes.

2nd house in the snow.....GREAT outside, not so much on the inside.

With 2 no's, we had to do some re-thinking.
We got Amazing Amy to do another area search, this time more specified and more along the lines of where we were thinking originally. So Amy said she would email some later that night, and home we headed for some dinner.

Sitting on the couch together, we get her email. She sent two listings; the first with about 20 houses, and the second with only 2.
So we start looking, and, we come to #1183217.
And I start screaming. More specifically, "THAT'S OUR HOUSE!!! I WANT THAT HOUSE!!!"

We read through all of the information, checked out all the pictures, and it was just too good to be true. So naturally, I pick up the phone and call Amazing Amy at almost 9 o'clock at night (but she's the amazing realtor, so she doesn't mind at all). As soon as I call her and share the news, she says, "I knew it!! I said to Ryan (her husband) that's the one, that's the one they will want!!" I love it!!! So very excitedly, we planned to meet the next day (today) to have a look. We also made an appointment for another older (very beautiful) home on the same street, with a lot of the same features.

I barely made it through the my day on Thursday because I was so excited for our visit!!! I met up with Jonathan and Amazing Amy at the house, and as soon as we walked in, we felt the same thing we had while looking at the pictures. It was adorable!! We spent some time walking through, and Jonathan took some pictures. After about 30 or so minutes, we walked across the street to the other home, and although very beautiful, we only spent about 5 or 10 minutes in it. So back we headed to the "perfect house," and we discussed what would be our next step with Amazing Amy if we choose to move forward.

Everything in me is screaming......LET'S MAKE AN OFFER NOW!!! But, we're trying to do the right thing, and we're taking some time to investigate the house some more, sleep on it, and most importantly, pray about it. I'm not going to get into details of the house, I'll do that if we make the next move, but, I will say, it just feels right. There are so many factors that make this house feel like the right one.
But again, I'll save those details for later.
And, if this one does become "ours," I will then post pics :)
But for now, I'll keep you in suspense!!

In the meantime, please pump up the prayers because we're hoping to make a decision in the very near future. We really, really feel good about this, but certainly do not want to rush into anything.

Thank you so much for the prayers, support, advice, and encouragement that so many of you have already been giving us!!
We are tremendously blessed by our friends and family!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just Call us "Property Virgins!!"

So........we're doing it.
We're really doing it.

We're going to buy our 1st home :)

We have been going back and forth about this decision for about a year now, weighing the positive and the negative, and we truly feel like it's time to take the big leap!! We just cannot justify paying rent anymore because we're not getting anything back from it.

Jonathan and I seriously considered making this move last spring when we were going to be coming back from our semester in Italy and into Clemson for his final year of graduate school. We thought about the idea of spending the next 3 years in the Clemson area, as well as getting the 1st time home buyer's tax incentive, but the timing was just not right. And looking back, we are SO thankful for making that decision.

So here we go.
We met with our mortgage loan officer at our bank this week, and she really amazed us at not only how wonderful she was, but that we were actually pre-approved for our loan!!! And the amount was more than we had thought, so that was a bonus too. We had decided not to get our hopes up before meeting with her, but as it should turn out, we were good to go!!
We also have the most unbelievable, amazing realtor in the world, Miss Amy Blume Grubbs!!! She's half the reason we want to go through this whole process and in just 3 days, she has already done so much for us. She has given us a listing of homes that are not only in our price range, but also fit our "house criteria" and our desired area. We have been very good friends with Amy for a very long time, and cannot wait to embark on our home journey with her by our side!!

In addition, we are trying to make the April 30th deadline for the extended tax incentive. So, we know this will be a very tiring and somewhat stressful process, but we are BEYOND excited about finding the perfect 1st home. We already took the time today, to drive to our top 2 choices on our own and just scope them out to see how they looked in the snow!! :) :)

And we also know that this process will take a lot of careful consideration and prayer. If you're reading this, we want you to please keep us in your prayers that we will not only make the right choice and that things go smoothly, but that everything will fall into place financially as well. We've moved around a LOT in the short year and a half that we've been married, and we're just ready to be settled in a place that we can call ours and possibly raise children in.

Just a timeline of where we've called "home" for whatever length of time since July 19, 2008:

The Moore house, our home for 10 days, July 2008 - August 2008. The time frame between getting back from our honeymoon and making the move to Charleston.

Our home for 5 months, August 2008 - December 2008. A Charleston single in downtown Charleston, SC.

The Edens House, our home for 3 weeks, December 2008 - January 2009. The time frame between moving from our home in Charleston, until it was time to leave for Italy.

Our home for 5 months, January 2009 - May 2009. The villa in Genoa, Italy.

We then spent 1 month, May 2009 - June 2009, back and forth between both parents' houses before moving into our apartment.

Our final stay, our apartment in Central, SC. 1 year, June 2009 - June 2010.

I plan to continue to update the blog as we go through the home buying process, so keep checking back to see where we end up!!!