Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Buying our Second Home

Even when we were buying our first home, we weren't typical first time home buyers - we have high expectations, and while we are not afraid of work, we have a pretty good grasp on what kind of work is going to be worth our time and money and what won't.  We have the ability to look past paint, carpet, wall paper and even walls to see the potential in a home, and as we go through a house, we can differentiate between what has to be done right away and what we could save for and do later.

When we met with our realtor, our list was actually pretty flexible:
We want a garage - attached, detached, space for us to put one up later, whatever
We want 3 bedrooms & 2 baths, or enough space to add a bed and bath to a 2/1
1 story would be nice, but 2 story is fine
Central air - well, that's kind of a non-negotiable

So we started looking in Ann Arbor and the surrounding cities, and let me tell you, the amount you get for your money in this area is WAY less than what we got in our first time around.  We saw a lot of houses that, on paper, looked like they had potential, but most were just too much work, or they were too small with no room for expansion, and the number of 3 bed/1 bath houses in this area are just ridiculous - WHO WANTS TO SHARE A BATHROOM WITH EVERYONE AT THE HOUSE?!!?!

The budget we started with this time around was about $40,000 more than last time, and we still ended up going $10,000 higher to get our house, but we got a great one!  We can't wait to move in - only a week and a half until we close!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Maya Angelou Monday

Still I Rise (Part 2 of 3)
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise

Here's to a MARVELOUS Monday

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quite a Year

It's been a little over a year for us in Michigan, and the start of year two has been quite the whirlwind!

When we moved here, we moved for my job.  We moved because we thought that all the cities and universities close by would create a great number of opportunities for J, as long as we could be patient.  We made the decision early on that he did not need to get a job, just to get a job - we wanted him to find something that was a career.

To say the year was a challenge is an understatement.  The year that we've been through, and specifically J has been through, has shown me over and over that I married the right man.  I am very confident that I'll never know what the year was like for him, but I can definitely say that my admiration for his attitude and approach to such a tough year is so high.

A few weeks ago, J started a new job - a new career, in a field that he has never experienced before, but I am so excited because he is working for a great company and so far, he feels like he will really enjoy it there.  Once the job offer came along, so did the opportunity to purchase a home.  We have lived in an apartment for the past year, and while we have been very happy with the place we are living, it's hard to go from an 1800 square foot home to a 700 square foot apartment.

After looking at 15-20 houses, we found one that we felt like we could grow in to - one that has the potential to be everything we could want in a home and a chance to FINALLY live in one place for more than 2 years, which is something that neither of us have done since leaving home for college.

We are working hard to close on the house on September 5 and we are SO excited!  We are excited to move in, we are excited to make it our own, and we are excited to (eventually, but maybe kinda soon) start a family!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Maya Angelou Monday

Still I Rise (Part 1 of 3)

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With certainty of tides,
Just like hope springs high,
Still I'll rise.

Here's to a MARVELOUS Monday

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maya Angelou Monday


Men themselves have wondered,
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Here's to a MARVELOUS Monday

Monday, August 04, 2014

Maya Angelou Monday


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk in to a room,
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal Woman,
That's me.

Here's to a MARVELOUS Monday