Among the Elite!

As of 4:15 today, we are officially homeowners! The closing was at 3:00 today and everything went very smoothly. There were billions of papers to be signed, but our attorney was adorable and fun and made it super easy to understand. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home with me so I could ask him questions whenever I wanted. He wasn't too keen on that idea, to my dismay.

So, we took our keyring of about 8 copies of the house key and headed over to the new abode. We unpacked our cars in excited silence and would occasionally exclaim to one another from various rooms in the house. "I bought some plastic to put down on the rugs tomorrow!" I'd yell. "Where should we put this stuff?" he'd reply. We each only had a car full of items so it went quickly. Then we unpacked some of the shopping bags of recent purchases and arranged them neatly in cupboards or on the counter for easy access tomorrow morning.

Then we went to a hockey game.

But now we're home and ready to focus on the big move! The poor cats have been all tweaked out the past couple of days. They usually meow for attention and throw themselves at our feet when the want a belly rub. This morning they just sort of looked at me when I came out of the bedroom--like they weren't sure if they were ever going to see us again, or if this would be their last ever sighting because we were skipping town without saying goodbye. Poor things. I wish I could communicate to them that they are indeed coming with us, and OH THE FUN THEY'LL HAVE. Ethel will love peering out of the various windows and I'm sure will enjoy the new first floor views. Morty will love basking in the rays that pour in through the giant windows in the front of the house and will have a riot tearing around the living room, dining room, and kitchen in hellish circles. They have no idea how good they are about to have it, and instead mope about as if doom lurks just around the corner...

We need to be up at the crack of dawn to pack up the cats and bring them to the house. We'll then pick up our uhaul at 8 and begin packing the ka-jillion boxes in the garages. Movers will be here at 9 to pack our furniture into their van. We will then let them pack whatever else we get tired of packing. We'll then journey to the house and unload it all. Ted and I then have to coordinate picking up various large items from various stores and being at the house for the refrigerator delivery. It's going to be a crazy day, but I don't think I have to even say that I don't care because TED AND I OWN A HOUSE. THAT WE WILL LIVE IN TOGETHER. AND DECORATE HOW WE WANT. AND WE HAVE A YARD THAT WE WILL TEND TO WITH LOVE AND CARE. Did I tell you all that we are planning on winning "yard of the month" for as many consecutive months as the homeowners association will allow? Quite a yard it will be, we've decided. Just need to get that grass growing...

So, that's the update from Happy Town. Computer will be packed tomorrow and we aren't scheduled to be back online until Thursday. I'm planning on taking some pictures of the moving process, and since this blog has become some people's crack (ahem, John and Pam), I'll continue to post about the next phase: being a homeowner for the first time. Together we'll journey through the trials and tribulations of learning how to keep plants alive and figuring out how to fix things when they break. It will be a riot. So stay tuned!

Ethel and Mortimer contemplate their fate

All of that contemplating made them sleepy

Eilis and Stormy the Ice Hog (don't ask). Ted wanted his picture taken with Stormy tonight, but chickened out at the last second and pushed me in there. Classic.

The Happy Homeowners


So Close!

We had our walk-through and orientation yesterday. We went through all of the appliance warranties and basically learned about all of the important things that those of you in the "homeowners club" know about. Where to turn off the water if we need to. Where the sewer access spots are. How to run the thermostat. Not to be alarmed if water drips from the condensation pipe. You know, those old chestnuts. They also gave us a list of all of the names and numbers of electricians, plumbers, etc that worked on the house. We then walked through the entire house and marked any paint touch up spots that need to be completed with green tape. We turned on faucets and checked outlets. We climbed up into the attic and learned about the furnace. It was quite fun and informative. Our realtor (and friend) came and gave it a once-over as well. There are some touch ups to be done inside, but otherwise everything looks great. They have some landscaping details to finish as well, but he pulled up while we were there to get that taken care of. We have our final walk-through on Monday and everything mentioned above will be completed by then. We close on Tuesday at 3. We move very, very early the next day. The packing is going very well and we will have it all completed by the end of the weekend. The excitement is reaching a new level, if that's even possible!

Lunch in the kitchen we almost own!

Some touch up areas

Finishing the landscaping


On Track

Things are looking good! Ted and I spent a couple of hours at the house today and were pleased to see how it looked since its first big cleanig on Friday. There are still some small touch ups to be done, but it's just about ready! I'm totally loving the kitchen, so here's some pictures of it now that it is a bit more sparkly...


The Storm of 2007: Get out your generator and make sure the pantry is stocked!

It snowed here last night and this morning. Now, we're from upstate NY originally, so we know ourselves some snow and don't even blink at the sight of our cars being buried in the stuff. Down here in the South? They LOSE IT. They had 24/7 coverage of "the big storm" that was coming. They salted the roads in advance. When we woke up this morning and turned on the radio and TV we were told with much urgency that ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS were closed, not just in our county, but in about 10 surrounding counties as well. When they showed pictures of the traffic? PEOPLE OFF THE ROAD EVERYWHERE. There wasn't a major roadway in the area that didn't have an accident of some kind. We were under an advisory for most counties until well into the afternoon. If you didn't HAVE to travel, you were better off just staying home. Ted and I were wondering what kind of a blizzard we got to wreak havoc all over the state. We looked out the window and saw this:

I'm not even kidding. Let's take a closer look...

Yep. That's it. That's the storm.

Needless to say, we were able to navigate ourselves to work and I was able to get over to the house for some pictures. It looks so great! They had to redo the front porch and create a bit of a step there because the original step into the house was too high for code. Ted and I actually like it a lot better this way, so it works out great. They finally painted our front door so we can see what the adorable little abode will look like when all is said and done. Love it! We got our stove today and it looks awesome. They are doing a thorough cleaning tomorrow and I can't wait to see the kitchen sparkle. They did a lot of the touch up painting and it looks awesome. There is still more to be done, but it looks great. They put the first coat of paint on the french doors and our vision is finally becoming a reality. Even the fugly vinyl floors in the bathroom are making their way into my heart! We should find out tomorrow when our final walk-through will be before closing. Ted and I plan to get in there a few days before and spend some quality time staring at nooks and crannies and jotting down any problems we see. 12 days until the closing! 13 days until the move!


Please Remove Shoes.

The carpeting is done! I forced myself to stay away from the house since Friday. I figured not much would go on over the weekend and Monday was a holiday, but to my sweet surprise, the carpeting was completed and more lights were installed. They had the power turned on today when I drove up at lunchtime and our little outside lights were on and looking adorable. The landscaper pulled up while I was there and dropped off the bushes and trees, which he planted later in the day. With the landscaping done and those little lights on my heart just about exploded when I pulled up. Our little home!

It's getting closer and closer to being done. They have some paint touch ups to do, as you'll note in the pictures, and the place could do with a good vacuuming and some TLC with a mop, but it's coming along. The french doors are up, but still need painting and I'm hoping some door knobs or a latch or something. We had french doors in my parent's house growing up and it was a pain to close them because there were no handles on them. They look rad though...I'm glad we chose that little option.

So, today was an exciting day in the progress! I spent a total of an hour in there in my socks today padding around on the carpets and then the hardwoods and then back to the carpets again. The only thing missing was Teddy--he couldn't get there in time to see it today. We had to give the key back by five. Hopefully he'll see it in person over lunch tomorrow.


Friday Night at the Wagner/Byrnes Residence

We got some frozen lobster bisque from an online store today. It came packed in dry ice. We tossed the soup aside and got to the real fun:

Morty gets in on the action
Bits and Pieces.

*Please note that I just spent many minutes of my Friday night writing an upbeat and cleverly funny post, only to erase it by accident. Now I'm sad and tired of typing, so this post is not at all what I had hoped and dreamed*

There's been more and more details taken care of this week. Lights have been installed. Shelving has been put up. Mirrors and towel racks are in place. Landscaping has begun. Electrical has been mostly completed. A bulging wall has been fixed. Smoke detectors are in place.

We met Mark the Landscaper the other day and he was more than happy to comply with our wishes for placement of the bushes in the yard. He showed us where the trees will go as well, which really is the best place for them. He spent the whole day tilling the soil and putting the seed down. Today he covered it all with hay. Trees and bushes will be planted soon.

The lights have been mounted on the outside of the house. This was a concern for Ted and I since the very beginning, as we noticed that half of the houses in the neighborhood had been mounted correctly (read: centered), while the other half were annoyingly off center. We called a special meeting just to discuss this issue. For real. It would have made Ted nuts if it was off center. At any rate, I'm over there every day nosing around so they made sure they were mounted correctly for us. The best part is, however, that they are so proud of themselves and made sure they pointed it out saying "We mounted them in the center for you! Just like you wanted!" As Chris Rock would say, "Whatchyou want, a cookie? They're SUPPOSED TO be mounted in the center!"

I briefly mentioned the bulging wall in a previous post. Basically they had sheetrocked around a pipe in our pantry, causing a bulge in the wall. They have since cut the sheetrock and shaved it down. They have more work to do on it, but I find the current pictures hilarious. It looks a lot better though.

Next week there will be more odds and ends. Chad is hoping to have some of the final inspections done, which is exciting. Once they get the power turned on and whatnot Ted and I will be able to have our final inspection as well. It will be so neat to see the finished product! I was having a nice daydream in the kitchen today which involved me baking things while wearing an apron. It should have been a daydream of me burning dinner and screaming as Ted calmly puts out the flames, as that would be a more realistic portrayal of my time spent in the kitchen. For some reason, however, a girl always thinks of baking when she is having a nice domestic daydream. And so I did.

Mark gets crazy rototiller style

Teddy inspects the outside lights

To our pleasant surprise, they are centered!

I'm obsessed with the idea of hanging out on these rocks in the back yard. You know, put some candles out there, enjoy a glass of wine on a summer night. We'll probably never do that, but I'm still in love with the idea.

Now these are french doors.

The wall that was previously hideous. Still a bit off, but better.

Click on this picture to see the larger version. The "NO" cracks me up and mystifies me. What does it all mean, Basil?

I call this "Self Portrait in Half Bath." Also known as "Hey, look! A mirror!"