Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Yep. Two days. Wow. This will probably be my last post before I move in on Friday, so look for pictures of the new place soon!

After work this afternoon, I met my dad at Best Buy to look at TV stands. I found one I LOVE (and dad loved too!) We then went over to the refrigerators...sore subject. A couple weeks ago, I went with him to look at fridges and we thought we had one picked out. It was on sale for $499 - top freezer, stainless steel, plain ol' fridge. The plan was to get the fridge, along with a new 40" (or bigger ;) TV. After being exactly like my dad.. aka stubborn.. we left with nothing. I went that weekend with mom to get the fridge, however it was no longer on sale. No big deal, except that I didn't really like it. It showed every single fingerprint. So, I bought a different one - French style doors like I wanted - only it was about double the price of the other fridge I told my dad I was getting. Oops.

Back to the point - I showed my dad the fridge I got, and he showed me another one (same brand, only 3 inches/6 cubic feet bigger, plus a water dispenser) that was on sale for about the price I paid for the smaller one. After going back and forth about a hundred times, determining how much bigger 6 cubic feet is (not much), opening and shutting doors and drawers, thinking "is it really worth an extra $100 for this?" and asking my dad a dozen times "what should I do?" ... I decided I wanted to switch. Keep in mind, I am one very indecisive person.

We went to Customer Service, waited in line, returned the one fridge, and 15 minutes later I hear "I'm not showing we have any here or in any warehouse in the area. It won't even let me backorder it." WHAT?! I look at my dad. I look at the cashier. I look at my dad again. First of all, how do you have a sale on a fridge, but not have any available?! Duh. At the same time, my dad and I said "floor model!" My dad asked the guy if we could buy the floor model. YEP. Not only did I get the last single-garage condo in the development, I got the last Samsung refrigerator at Best Buy. I think it was meant to be. ;)

I have to admit, I haven't been too excited about moving the past couple weeks. The thought of literally being on my own and having more bills (debt) than I can keep track of scares the living shit out of me. Things will be tight for awhile, and I won't have everything I want right away (or ever for that matter ;) but I made sure before I even looked into anything that I could afford it. And to be honest, I never imagined I'd be where I am right now.

Buying a condo at 24 years old. Six months after college graduation. A full-time job at John Deere. In a department I wasn't even remotely interested in, nor did I have the experience in.

God works in mysterious and wonderful ways, which we'll never know why or how. But that's the way it's supposed to be...and all you can be (and all I am) is unbelievably thankful and blessed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

My "big" Cyber Monday purchase? This 'pearl nest ring' from The Vintage Pearl. I've ordered a bracelet and necklace (+1 for my aunt!) from there and I absolutely love them. I've liked this ring since they first added it on the website, but I never had enough guts to just buy it. I'm not a huge jewelry person, nor have I ever worn a ring in my life, but I like how simple and pretty it is. Plus, I got a pair of 'pearl drop earrings' as a bonus! I figure it's a good Christmas gift...since I don't have my ears pierced! ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

This was one of the best Thanksgiving weekends I've ever had. Black Wednesday, or Thanksgiving Eve, is always a fun night and almost like a high school reunion (good or bad). Jami and I took Taysen to Grandma Lori & Grandpa Jim's for the night since Jami had to work Thursday morning. I let Tay crawl on me and then we were laying on the floor and he could not take his eyes off of me. Every little movement I made - he watched, every sound I made - he mimicked. It was truly one of my favorite times I've spent with him.

We spent the majority of the night at the Screamin' Eagle. Steph & Nick came out for the first time after having their sweet little boy, Ari, so there was lots to celebrate! We cheers'd to Steph "bein f'n out!" and to a Happy Thanksgiving. It was good to see people I hadn't seen in years, even though with several friends it had been days, and I had fun meeting new people, many who I work with and didn't even know it!


After watching part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from my bed (without a hangover!) and laughing at some things I found on my phone from Black Wednesday, I got ready and went out to the cemetery. It was by far the nicest day we've had here in awhile, in the 50's but just a little windy. I went to my aunt Kristi's for Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family, watched a lot of football, ate a lot of food, and had a lot of fun. I went back to my mom's for another Thanksgiving dinner, finished watching the Cowboys win (YEAH!) and got ready for the hockey game - Jami and Taysen went with me this year! It's so much fun to watch Taysen get excited when they score a goal. He really focuses on the game... I told Jami when she found out it was a boy that he'd be a little hockey player. ;)

Instead of going out to wait in endless Black Friday lines, we had a little Thanksgiving Sleepover at Jami's. I put Tay to sleep and I woke up the next morning to a confused face, almost like he was thinking, "you're still here?!" I dressed him, fed him breakfast, and watched Mickey with him.

The faces he makes while he eats just kill me! We ended up doing a little Black Friday shopping, but made sure we waited until noon. Kohl's was still packed, with the longest lines I've ever seen, but Target wasn't bad at all. We of course had to stop at Starbucks right away (and share a little with Taysen). I've never had so much fun shopping with a baby..we spent a good hour in the toys section, and I walked out of there with wrapping paper & Taysen's first Christmas present - all for under $10. ;) That afternoon, we read books, played with toys, napped, and played peek-a-boo around the sectional.

Our Friday evening was spent on Main Street in Cedar Falls for the Holiday Hoopla kickoff, a "first-time" for all of us. We went in and out of many stores, except for the newly-opened Scratch, listened to the band and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. We took pictures by Santa's Workshop, and hurried to watch Santa land in his helicopter. We walked up and down Main Street before standing outside Cup of Joe to watch the fireworks.

I can't wait until he's a little older and can enjoy it even more (and until I have one of my own to share this with!)

I spent the rest of my Friday night at Young Arena for the Warriors Alumni game, watching a few friends, and enjoying a couple beers at Smitty's. I was home by 11:30 and got a few texts calling me "old" and "lame." :)

Today, my mom and I went out looking for a TV stand, barstools, and some other things I felt I needed before I move on Friday. I ended up getting kitchen and bath towels, a shower curtain/rod for my bathroom, Christmas lights for my small tree I'm putting outside, verticals and blinds for the living room/bedrooms, a nine-cube organizer, and a few Christmas decorations. I was sick of shopping (what?! I didn't know that was possible..) and ready to go home.

Countdown: 5 days!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today (and the 364 other days of the year) I am thankful.

Thankful to have a home to keep me safe and warm.

Thankful for a job I enjoy...most of the time. ;)

Thankful to be where I'm at in life - even if it took me five years to graduate college.

Thankful for my love to write, specifically this blog, and the people that read it.

Thankful for 'Black Wednesday' and all of the great friends I saw last night.

Thankful for not being hungover so I can enjoy great food all day long.

Thankful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.

Thankful for NFL football on Thanksgiving Day. I'd be extra thankful with a 'Boys win.

Thankful to carry on the tradition of the Waterloo Black Hawks hockey game (against rival Cedar Rapids) on Thanksgiving night.

Thankful for the amazing friends I have who put up with me and are there for me.

Thankful for an extra special angel up in Heaven watching over me.

Thankful for my family. They may be a little crazy sometimes, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. I am my father's daughter, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm extremely thankful to have the cutest, sweetest nephew, Taysen James. He's starting to reach towards me when he sees me - it helps when I have a bottle of Mountain Dew;) and last night I got my first slobbery, open-mouthed kiss on the lips. Happy 1st Thanksgiving, little man!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cheers to being another year older...

I've been slacking a little (again). Surprise surprise. But, I promised some birthday night details so here they are. I went to dinner at Lonestar with my dad and Lexi. Steph stopped by to give me a birthday gift - North Face mittens! After a not-so-delicious meal, we met my Uncle Gooner and Aunt Judy at Buzz's Bar. Buzz's has this deal where you get to drink for free on your birthday (you pick one thing - beer or liquor, shots don't count and you can't mix.) Genius right? Right...if your birthday is on the weekend, if you don't plan on drinking much, or if you are smart enough to take the next day off of work. After a few hours of endless Bud Light bottles, shots, shots, and more shots, and a few great friends, it was 2:00 AM. Where'd the time go? It was after 4:30 by the time I went to sleep, and I was up at 5:45, barely an hour later. Work was a little rough, I was a little late, and I left a little early, but I survived.

Uncle Gooner & I.

My best friend Lexi.

Tyler snuggling with the New Moon blanket. Goodnight ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It's funny what can happen in a week. Or really, five days. Last Wednesday, I turned 24. And I got the best birthday present EVER, even better than finding out I was going to have a little "nephew" the day after my birthday last year. :)

It all started when I somehow talked my mom into going to look at a condo with me (three days after we had decided I'd stay at home and keep saving money until after Christmas...and I'd hopefully find a place and move out after the first of the year.) I had already seen the place, so I was excited to show my mom around and see what she thought. They were brand-new, and there were about five left for sale. Or so I thought. We walked in, were handed a flyer, and I heard "there's only one left." WHAT?! ONE LEFT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, 'ONE LEFT'?!

I freaked out.

Yes, this was the only place I had looked at. But I didn't care. It was the only thing I wanted. We walked around, and I swear I asked my mom "what do I do?!" every two seconds. After talking to the realtor for about 20 minutes, I took his business card and told him I would talk to him soon.

Note: I left something out in my last post - when I got home from church, I checked the paper to see when the open house for this condo was...1-2 PM. Damn. It was 2:15.

On the way home, I asked her "what do I do?!" but this time it was every ten seconds. We got home and sat at the kitchen counter, contemplating my options. That night, I e-mailed the lady at the bank I had been working with to tell her I wanted to come in and get my home loan application submitted. I felt sick all day, wondering what was going to happen. What would I do if I didn't get this condo? I didn't want anything else. I didn't want to mess with mowing, shoveling or making updates to a place. I wanted this.

I got a response stating that she wasn't available until 3:00 PM Tuesday, that she could maybe fit me in, otherwise Wednesday at 5:00. My birthday. I chose Tuesday, solely because my mom and I had both been sick to our stomachs, unable to eat much since Sunday.

My mom had been reading me my horoscopes, and mine for Tuesday said something about not being pessimistic. And I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the most optimistic person you'll ever meet. I very rarely have an entirely good day. So I dealt with it. I was positive ALL day long. I looked at the good in all situations. And it felt good. And obviously, it was good. When I met with Stacey at the bank, we went over all of the paperwork and she said she had a very good feeling about it, and that everything looked great. She said we should hear back sometime Wednesday, or at the latest, first thing Thursday morning. As I left her office, I called the realtor and told him the news and that I'd contact him as soon as I heard back.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011. My 24th birthday. I had a couple hour-long morning meetings, and after each, I came back to my desk hoping for a missed call (amongst messages upon messages wishing me a 'happy birthday') or an e-mail from Stacey. Around 12:30, I put my phone out of sight and reach to try and get some work done. I closed my Internet Explorer window with my Gmail account up. I had to get something accomplished.

At 12:51, I received an e-mail from Stacey on my work account. The subject line read:
                                                            HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Somewhere between the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!" "GREAT NEWS!" "We just got your loan approval!!!!!" and "MAKE AN OFFER ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!" I managed to nervously get the word "girls..." out of my mouth. I turned around and one of my co-workers said "you got it?!" I picked up my phone, went into the hallway and called the realtor. Then I called my mom. She thought I was joking. I was sweating.

After A LOT of celebrating that night and a rough supposed-to-be 9-hour-day-turned-into-7 (birthday night details to come!) I met with Brian at 4:00 and signed my life away. 31 days until I close on my place and move in!