Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What's Up Wednesday?

What We're Eating This Week
Started off the week by making these chicken meatball subs from BH&G. They didn't look as gorge as these, but Sammy said they were better than any meatball sub he's had in a restaurant which is now the highlight compliment of my life.

And on the complete opposite end, we're also utilizing frozen meals from Aldi haha. I had an eye doctor appointment right after work yesterday, so I only had about twenty minutes between getting home and having to leave again, but I wanted to get something ready for Sammy for dinner since he was working. Made this in ten minutes and left it on the stove for him. Piece of cake.

My grandma made us a big batch of gravy with zucchini and sausage in it, and we've been using it up since Saturday. I threw some frozen ravioli on the stove, added this gravy, and it was perfection. 

And Sammy has been eating tomato salads (I add white onion and cucumber to some chopped tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It's better when you let it sit in its juices and get real chilled in the fridge--Sammy loves dipping Italian bread in the juice.) left and right this week. 

This is the ONE tomato we got this summer hahaha. We have a few others on the vine but they're still green. It's embarrassing how proud we are of this little guy. And Sammy acted like it was the best tomato he had ever eaten ;)

What I'm Reminiscing About
Being in school. Watching all the kiddos go back as had me reminiscing about my own childhood. Sleeping in my childhood bedroom this weekend didn't help ;)

What I'm Loving
I'm loving that our breeder has been sending us pictures of Henry ever since we officially picked him out. She emailed me a picture of one of her sons holding him and a picture from a trip to the vet and I'm living for it. 8 days!

What We've Been Up To
Getting ourselves ready for Henry! His collar and name tag were delivered this week, and we're looking to order the rest of his stuff soon. Next week we'll do a quick sweep of the house and "puppy proof" anything that he could get into and get rid of stuff that could be harmful to him.

What I'm Dreading
This beautiful human has been battling brain cancer for the last year and he's taken a turn for the worse this week. Definitely dreading losing this major presence in Sammy's family.

What I'm Working On
We've definitely slowed when it comes to house projects. We've decided to save our bathroom floors and backsplash in the kitchen as projects for 2019, but we've each been doing little things this week. I bought six fabric storage bins (for like $15 on Amazon!) for the shelf in my closet and have been loving the uniformed, clean look. While we don't plan on doing anymore "major" projects this year (except maybe getting my bedroom furniture from my mom's house into our guest room...), I plan on doing some organizational projects like this throughout the house. Our pantry/closet downstairs could use some help, as could our karate closet in the basement.

And Sammy has been working on this equipment unit for all his gear. They have these DIYs on Pinterest, but building from scratch seemed like it would be too much work quite frankly. So I suggested he find a bathroom vanity that had a towel rod he could hang his vest from. So he bought a white one, painted it black, and of course customized it with his last name. He can charge his stuff on there, hang his gear, lock up the unsafe stuff, and display his academy certificates and other stuff from when he was a trooper in WI. I think it turned out awesome (and now his stuff doesn't wind up on our bedroom floor!).

What I'm Excited About
I think it goes without saying that bringing this guy home is the most exciting thing to us right now (and possibly ever ;) ).

What I'm Watching/Reading
I'm currently obsessed with all things To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Watched it again this past weekend. If you haven't, WATCH. I urge you.

And reading? You guessed it. As Victoria Aveyard said on Twitter, I "mainlined" the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series in like two days. Then I went and read Jenny Han's "summer" series in two days (highly recommend). And am now back on my YA kick, reading books by her buddies Morgan Matson and Siobhan Vivian.

I read Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian last week...

and just finished Amy and Roger's Epic Detour yesterday.

While I enjoyed both, with a preference to Morgan Matson's voice (definitely checking out her other stuff next), nothing compares to Jenny Han's stuff. TOO good. I'm obsessed with her.

What I'm Listening To
I've been listening to Aloe Blacc's "Brooklyn in the Summer" and Mike Shinoda's (of Linkin Park) "Crossing the Line" on repeat lately.

What I'm Wearing
I've been wearing a lot of easy stuff lately as the temps have crawled back up to the high 80s/low 90s.  Jumpsuits and easy dresses. But today we're down to the 70s! So I'm embracing my pointe pants and light sweater today. Pumped about swapping my sandals for loafers soon ;)

What I'm Doing This Weekend
I look forward to this weekend all year long haha. Our favorite Italian fest happens this weekend and knowing we have Monday off makes the whole weekend better. Our plans will obviously be dependent on how Sammy's grandpa is doing, but as of now, plans include attending a former coworker's baby naming service at their temple, hitting up the Taste of Melrose, a little Henry prep, relaxing, and spending time with family. I was thinking of maybe convincing my family to help me move my furniture from my mom's house (I would love if this was done before Henry comes home) buttt it may be too last minute. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
SO much. Obviously having Henry home with us is number one, but I'm also looking forward to decorating the house for Fall, going to Sammy's coworkers wedding, girl's night, and prepping for Paris!

the perfection that is Jessica Garvin
What Else Is New
Just excited for the new season approaching, but that's really not new since I basically spend the entire year waiting for Fall ;)

Bonus Q: What's Your Favorite Back to School Tradition?
We didn't have many back to school traditions (that I can remember) which makes me a little sad haha. As a kid, my favorite back to school related thing was definitely school supply shopping. OH man, I loved that. I loved picking everything out from the list that was sent to our house, and then I would go home and take everything out of it's packaging, write my name on it, organize and pack it all up. Forever a #mom even at like age 9. 

Have to mention that I love Andrea's back to school traditions and fully plan to execute similar ideas when I have kids of my own.

That's all for me! Happy Wednesday, all! xo

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday Favorites - Puppy Edition!

Happy Friday, guys! I've got only one favorite to talk about today because nothing else compares... We got to meet Henry this week! And it's all we can think and talk about. 

I've had this date marked on my office calendar (and every other calendar we own) since the minute our breeder confirmed when we could come visit and pick him out. I snapped this right before I left the office on Tuesday to make the trek down to central IL.

The drive should have been a little over two hours, but we ran into traffic so it ended up being closer to almost three. It's not a terrible drive, but it isn't the most fun either haha. (It'll be more fun though in two weeks when we go back to take Henry home!) But it's made less boring by these gorgeous skies and Midwestern landscapes. My heart can't get enough of it.

This is obviously a terrible picture (WHAT ELSE IS NEW) but I had to note how lovely our breeder's property is. They have ten acres where they built their home and an amazing facility for their dogs, as well as this man-made pond with a little sandy beach area for their kids and mini slide. The house has a wrap around porch that faces the pond and I bet sitting out there in the summer is just lovely.

Speaking of, our breeder has been fantastic so far and I would recommend them to anyone. They're family oriented and care so much about their dogs which is clear as soon as you talk to them, but especially when you meet them in person. Their facility is SO well kept, well thought out, and clean. I never doubted for a second the conditions the pups are in. They were also super responsive via email, which my needy ass certainly appreciated. And as a bonus...they were the cheapest breeder by far (like we're talking several hundred dollars difference) which came as an amazing plus.

When we finally got there...this is what greeted us. I MEAN. Can you even stand it?!

I haven't been around so many Golden puppies...maybe ever! I went with to pick up our Golden when I was in elementary school, but I have no memory of other puppies being there. I was losing my ever loving mind. This is my dream. 

All the puppies ran over to us and started whining and playfully nipping at our hands and I was living my best life. We stood there for maybe ten seconds, not even, before one puppy walked around his brothers and made a bee line for me. The most serious, chill dog you ever saw. Didn't nip me once (although, he's a puppy so like that's totally fine if he does haha), didn't whine, just walked right up to me, sat down, and looked up at me, and I was like YEP, there he is.

We are absolutely obsessed with him already. I actually kind of can't believe how into him Sammy is. I grew up with Goldens, so I'm suuuuper biased when it comes to the breed, but Sammy grew up with several different breeds, so he doesn't have the same attachment as I do. Until Henry. Omg, he's so excited to bring Henry home haha. And if this isn't the greatest picture of all time, I don't know what is.

Oh love of my life!! We're so anxious to get him home. We got the confirmation that we could come during the day to pick him up which was such great news because then we can control when we get back home with him. The plan is to pick him up the first Thursday in September, so I'll be taking off Thursday and Friday from work so Sammy and I can go pick him up together and spend a huge chunk of time with him from Thursday-Sunday (Sammy's off both Thursday and Friday as well), getting his schedule established and taking him to our vet Friday morning.

I've ordered a few things for him already like his Dino toy, and we got him his tag and collar (so I wouldn't lose the loose tag haha), but we're hoping to stop by TJ Maxx sometime next week and pick him up a bed (to use in addition to his crate) and a storage bin/basket for his toys. I plan on ordering everything else off Amazon or

The only time our serious boy smiled ;)
And you knowwwww I've already got our stockings planned ;)

We're thrilled beyond words to be adding him to our little family. I just know he's going to make a huge impact on our hearts. 

We spent the whole ride home talking about all the things we can't wait to do with him. We're so excited to go on walks and hikes and take him around downtown CL and to the lake and majorly incorporate him into every holiday ever (already planning his Halloween costume and Christmas pajamas ;) ), etc., etc., etc. But mostly just excited to learn his personality and spend all the time with him.

If anyone has any dog product recommendations, please send them our way! Or any "taking your puppy home" tips. Like I said, Sammy and I grew up with dogs our whole lives, but we've never raised one as adults by ourselves, so we're basically useless ;) And since we've been keeping it a surprise from our families, we haven't had many people to ask, but I've gotten a bunch of advice from coworkers and that's been very helpful. 

So that's the big news in our household! He's all we talk about and I'm sure that's not going to change any time soon. Two weeks can't come soon enough :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend! xo

*Linking up with ChristinaAndrea!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Midweek Confessions

Halfway through the week, people! I've missed doing little "confessions" post, so I thought I would send one out into the universe this Wednesday.

CONFESSION // While I've continued to slowly lose weight, I feel like I don't deserve it. Okay, I know I don't deserve it, I literally have an empty bag of gummy bears in my purse that I ate in one sitting.

I haven't been portioning like I should be and have fallen off the wagon in some ways. The plan is to really watch what I'm putting into this bod of mine from now until October when we go to Paris because I'm certainly not tracking what I eat while we're there. And maybe get a few more workouts in each week. And maybe treat my body better in general ;) 

I'd like to lose another several pounds by the time our trip rolls around and then I'd like to see another chunk of weight gone by the end of the year. The goal was to lose the weight so I wouldn't have to bring this goal with me into 2019, but it looks like that's not going to happen, which is fine. The new goal is to only have a small amount to lose in 2019.

CONFESSION // I've read everything R. S. Grey has written in the last week or so and I'm kind of embarrassed at the speed in which I've read everything, especially since I'm really just in it for the sex scenes. She writes them really well if you're in the market for some light "chick lit" romance type reading.

CONFESSION // I've been craving another creative outlet that can become a lucrative hobby for me. So many of the people I work with get to be conventionally creative during their day job, but I don't get to work in that same realm unfortunately. And so many others I know are pursuing creative "side hustles" like baking businesses or Etsy shops. I wish I could get my shit together enough to figure out what I want to do. And I wish I had the courage and will power to put the effort into making it happen.

CONFESSION // As we're approaching the end of summer and my favorite time of year (although Spring is really the loveliest time when it decides to show its face around here), I've been getting so excited thinking of all the festive things we're going to do. But mostly I've been thinking of all the trips I have planned this Fall. I didn't take any vacations this summer because my schedule was so jam packed but Fall traveling is where it's AT and I'm so excited for these trips to come around.

  • Sammy and I are going to Paris the first week in October. We've had this planned since January and are so excited it's quickly approaching.
  • I'm going with two of my girlfriends to Florida the first week in November (we actually leave a day after my birthday!). My girlfriend's mom coordinates conferences for her association and they're going to Florida in November and happen to have an extra large hotel room (and free Universal tickets!), so my girlfriend asked our group if anyone would be interested in going since we'd only have to pay for our flight, and Chelsie and I jumped at it. We're going to hit Disney while we're there, duh, and I can't wait to be there so close to my birthday.
  • Chelsie and I get back on a plane the following week in November because we're headed to New York! It's been #1 on our bucket list (the one we drafted when we were sixteen...) of things to do together, so we're thrilled to cross it off the list. We have a SATC bus tour booked and plan to spend the rest of our time wandering, shopping, and eating SO much good food.
  • My parents are still hoping to plan a weekend trip since our end of summer trip fell through (mostly because of Henry! but they don't know that's why just yet ;) ), so we'll see if we can get that on the books. And even though Sammy works weekends in December, I'm still hoping to somehow get a one-night trip planned for our annual Christmas Trip.

CONFESSION // We met our Henry yesterday! I've been so excited for the day to come around--it's definitely been the main source of joy in our home and conversations the last few weeks. 

I have a several page Google Doc, naturally, of puppy notes I've taken from watching YouTube training videos and reading articles. Sammy has been watching videos on his own during the day before his shift starts and it turns out we've been watching the same ones haha which I took as an overwhelming meaningful sign that we're going to be the best dog parents ;) but also I'll confess that I'm a little worried about the training process (mainly the house training aspect) and losing sleep. All of you that have kids are majorly rolling your eyes at me right now and you definitely should be. I know it'll only last for a few months, if that, so I should really just chill the hell out about it and just enjoy it.

I was emailing our breeder a few weeks ago and had asked if she had any updated pictures she'd be willing to share (she hadn't updated the website in a while), and I lost my mind when she emailed me a few that night.

 I mean, can you even stand it?!

I'm not sure if Henry is even pictured in these photos haha cause they're from before we went to officially pick him out, but I'll be posting pictures of the SWEETEST face on Earth in my "Friday Favorites" post! Can't wait to bring him home in two short weeks.

Happy midweek, friends! We're almost there.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Weekend Recap

This weekend was exactly what I needed, and I'm so grateful for that. I wasn't so sure it was going to turn out all that well actually, but it improved quickly and I was almost in tears yesterday, feeling so grateful for just feeling better.

Last week was a hard one for me. It didn't need to be and there weren't many issues I could even pin point or base my emotions on. And I always feel guilty for that. I always feel guilty for having an off day or week when there are people so close to me that are currently dealing with so much worse. I know comparing isn't the answer, but I tend to use comparison as a way to gain some perspective: people always have it worse than you do. But I also don't want that to take away from being able to acknowledge my own feelings and letting those have power even if they aren't as "significant" as others'. 

Whew that was a lot for a Monday morning ;)

The bottom line is this weekend was exactly the magic I needed and hoped for and I'm so grateful to start this week with a clearer head and full heart.

Now about that magic...

I'm starting off my recap on Thursday because this Thursday was my Friday (as I was off work on Friday). We had a going away lunch for one of my coworkers and I ordered this calamari pizza that I thought was going to be the size of a personal pizza and straight up came out ready to share with like 8 people.

Needless to say I ate almost all of it myself. I made tacos for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening trying to unlock our desktop computer (it was Sammy's grandma's and we didn't think to ask her for the password before she went to rural Sicily--aka limited cell reception--for three months), while drinking what was left of a bottle of rose that was surely expired, while listening to Aretha Franklin on repeat only to get buzzed enough to sit in front of my mirror and rant about how people "just don't understand Sex and the City" after reading an article I apparently strongly disagreed with. Doesn't that make you want to hang out with me?! ;) I swear it was actually a super cathartic evening for me.

Since I was off, I slept in and basically lounged around the whole day which was awesome. I watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before on Netflix and loved, loved it. Highly recommend. I started reading the book on Saturday so I could get into the second and third book before those are made into movies (fingers crossed!).

I met up with Tess for drinks at Jaster's and it was SO nice. I can't wait to get together with her again. Finally a friend in my neck of the woods. Did wonders for my soul. Also, so did my drink--"The Godfather": whiskey, amaretto, simple syrup, and some other wizardry. 

I spent another morning lazily, and then met my dad in the afternoon to run a few errands. We stopped to pick up a birthday gift for my uncle (whose birthday we celebrated later that night) from a sport's store my dad frequents. We picked out a framed photo of the Cubs when they won the World Series with a quote and autograph signed by Pat Hughes (Cubs radio announcer). He loved it, so we think we did well.

My dad spent a little time rifling through baseball cards from the 50s for his personal collection. I love this picture so much. So him.

We stopped by my mom's before my uncle's birthday dinner and were surprised to find my sister got a puppy! Little Clara is such a sweet girl. Amy is over the moon and it's so nice to see her so happy.

Look at that sweet face!

We had dinner later that night at Sapori's in Norwood Park. They're known for their pizza which is pretty much what everyone got except me ;) I thought the pasta was just OK, but everyone else loved their food.

Does he look like a sixty-year-old man? Best genes.

A list of things I did on Sunday:
-had a cup of coffee and read Better Homes in my library (couldn't have been happier in this moment)

-lounged on the couch until Sammy left for work

-watched Lockup for the rest of the day, literally this is all I did, I'm obsessed

-made creamy tortellini spinach soup

-talked to both of my parents <3

-organized a few of Henry's belongings :) before we meet him (TOMORROW!)

-promptly got myself into bed at 7:30 p.m. and painted my nails and did a face mask, a picture of which I'll spare you from because it is quite literally the scariest picture I've ever taken. 

It was the perfect relaxing kind of Sunday I needed to cap off the weekend. This coming week and weekend are going to be kind of whirlwind, so it was awesome to have this past weekend as relaxing as it was. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a happy Monday!

*linking up with Biana!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our First House Story

So initially I wanted to write this much sooner. I wanted to write it when the details of our journey were fresh in my mind and seemed vastly important ;) and now that we're about six months out from when we realistically started our search, I can't remember all that much. But I still want to document! So we'll do a little "story time" of how we came to be in our current home (because eventually I want to do a few townhouse tour posts!).

A little backstory: Sammy and I had been looking at houses for years, years before it was socially/financially/conventionally acceptable for us to be looking at them. I mean, we're talking me lying in bed looking at condos downtown Chicago when I was like twenty years old, as if a property like that was something we could afford.

Over the years, our needs/wants have changed, as has our location. Initially, I would have loved nothing more than to live downtown Chicago (still would--ha!). I was going to school down there and generally loved the energy and lifestyle. But at my core, I've always been a combination old soul and homebody who has always loved the idea of a suburban home to raise kids, so pretty early on in our 20s, we nixed the downtown idea and focused our efforts on the suburbs.

The only time I took a pause in looking at homes was when Sammy was hired as a state trooper in WI because I refused to accept that we would relocate there. It was always his plan to transfer back to IL (either as a state trooper or with a city department), so I figured we would just wait until he knew where he'd be located.

What I didn't expect was a transfer opportunity to arise so quickly. He had applied with Crystal Lake prior to testing with the WI State Patrol, but he had heard back and was accepted by WI before he heard anything from Crystal Lake (or any other department he tested with), so he took the job he was offered. Shortly after, CL followed up on his application and because the plan was always to come back to Illinois, he continued the testing process with them and was quickly (although it didn't feel quick at the time haha) accepted into their department. Best. News. Ever.

This allowed us to completely narrow our search down to one town. While he doesn't need to live in CL in order to work with their department (unlike Chicago PD), if he lives within city limits, he's allowed to come home for dinner for 30 minutes each shift if his schedule allows. That combined with us knowing this was the department he'd likely be with until he retires, we decided CL was a good place to settle. Some people in law enforcement prefer not to live in the same town in which they work, but Sammy hasn't seemed to care about that, and it's always been important to me to be part of the community in which he serves, so that was another reason to continue our home search in CL.

We decided to spend all of 2017 saving our money for a down payment on a house and would start seriously looking in Spring of 2018. My dad is our realtor so whenever we would see houses we liked, I asked him to set up a showing. At the beginning of March, we found two single family homes we loved and saw both in the same day.

What's ironic is the townhouse we're in now is roughly the same size as this single family home we loved. And the lengths Sammy went to while looking at this house hahaha (as seen in the Snapchat below). This house was actually his favorite and it became my favorite, so much so that I cried when my dad told me an offer was put on it the same day we looked at it. The offer ended up falling through which is when we made moves to make an offer ourselves, only to find out we'd basically be house poor if we went through with it, which wasn't something we were willing to do at this stage in our lives. (and I don't have any pictures of the second home because that was my original favorite and once we realized it wasn't a realistic option for us either, I dramatically deleted all the pictures from my phone because I couldn't look at them anymore haha)

Once we lowered our budget, we realized we hated all the single family homes that fit within our means because we're brats and high maintenance ;) so we expanded our search to include townhouses with the newfound appreciation of having all the benefits of a single family home without any of the outdoor maintenance responsibilities (snow plowing, landscaping, etc.).

I found a townhouse that was listed super low and my dad and I went to look at it one night after work. Sammy was working that night so he was able to stop by during his shift to take a look as well.

While it was certainly nice, it wasn't an end unit which was high up on our wishlist because it makes a townhouse feel even more like a single family home. They tend to also be larger if they're end units. And it had what my dad calls "Ikea Updates" meaning everything looks nice but usually means the materials used are lesser quality. 

And the deal breaker for sure was the "yard." I could have handled having limited space, but what I couldn't deal with was the proximity to about six other units. Way too close, especially if several families are outside at the same time.

As we were walking out of the property, my dad said to us, "what if that townhouse was picked up and moved across the street where the homes back up to a single family home neighborhood with more trees?" and we both said it would be way better. Well, as we were pulling out of the neighborhood, we saw a for sale sign on a property (an end unit!) across the street.

I frantically looked up the listing but couldn't find anything about it online. We thought the unit was vacant, so we started to walk around the side of the house to see the backyard to make sure it did, in fact, back up to a wooded area like we thought it might. Sammy was in full uniform which must have freaked the 80-year-old owners out because they promptly came to the front door to ask if everything was alright--ha! We apologized, saying we thought it was vacant, and my dad asked when the listing would be going up. The owner said their grandson was listing their home and it would go live tomorrow morning but we were welcome to see the property that night if we wanted. So we took a quick tour, and long story short, we made an offer before the listing was even on the market.

The rest of our process went pretty smoothly according to my dad, but it seemed rather stressful to Sammy and I. The owners listed their home at a high asking price and my dad advised us to offer what they were asking because if we didn't, someone else would. The property has a premium lot and is larger than any other end unit's yard which my dad felt would account for most of the asking price.

But because we offered what they were asking, and what they were asking was over the median house price for the area, there was a risk that it would get appraised for less than what we offered to pay. Meaning they would either have to come down in price to meet the appraised amount (which we didn't think they would do) or we would have to pay the difference, which depending on how the home was appraised could have been a decent amount of money we weren't budgeted for, in which case, we'd be forced to cancel the deal.

While we celebrated making an offer on our twelfth anniversary...

and told our families and friends, there were a lot of moments where we thought something could go wrong at any minute, although I guess this isn't unique to our situation--the home buying experience is rough, man! 

We ended up negotiating in our contract to switch the appraisal and inspection steps (normally an inspection happens first) in order to get the appraisal amount because we weren't going to pay to have an inspection done if we were going to cancel the deal in the end.

The appraisal went well and it came in at only $5k under asking, so my dad asked if they would come down $2500 and meet us halfway to split the difference which they agreed to. And my dad, being the angel he is, asked them to deduct our $2500 from his commission so we wouldn't have to pay out of pocket.

Meanwhile, I obsessively saved every document and picture I could of the house as we hadn't been back since we toured it the night we found it and that was for less than ten minutes!

The inspection was next and I loved getting to be there while it happened. Definitely recommend to any new home buyer (or any home buyer for that matter) to attend your inspection if you can. We learned a ton about our house from following the inspector around. All went well, our inspector said it was one of the best kept homes he had ever seen which was a relief to us nervous nellies, (our sellers even left out cookies! haha) and I loved getting to see the house in person again without anyone else there.

Since everything seemed like it was going to pan out, we ordered "new address" postcards and started to pick out furniture...

And 45 days later, on May 17th, we sat down to close on our first home. (our sellers gave us every piece of paper they ever accumulated about our neighborhood and association ;) and we appreciated it very much)

The sellers ended up coming back to the property just as we were unloading our cars and moving truck so they could say goodbye to their (and our new!) neighbor. The rest of our parents got to meet them and talk for a little bit before we got started on unpacking. This was also the first day Sammy's parents and my mom got to see the house in person! They actually didn't even see pictures of the house until a few days after our offer was accepted (which drove them kind of nuts haha). I didn't take any pictures as we walked through the house the first time because it was so unexpected and I didn't want to be rude with the sellers right there (looking back, I definitely should have taken pictures haha) and because the listing never went live, there weren't any photos online to show them.

We had a great day unpacking, although it's all kind of a blur, but once the dust settled as they say, it was crazy to be in our first home together.

The days and weeks and months (!) since then have been an emotional journey to say the least. I'm leaps and bounds from where I was when we first moved. The first week was so emotionally and physically draining for me because I wasn't anticipating having such a strong reaction to moving out of my mom's house. But luckily and very surprisingly, it didn't last longer than a week. I've certainly had sad and anxious moments since then, but they've been just that: moments. Not long stretches of sadness or anxiety, and as we head toward the end of summer, I can say I can't remember the last time I was anxious in our home which I am endlessly grateful for because when you're in the thick of those emotions, it feels like they're never going to go away.

We're approaching the three month mark and I can't believe it. Some days I can't believe it's been three months already, but most days it feels like we've been here forever, and I mean that in both a positive way but also exhausting way haha. Maybe it's because we've done a lot to the house already and are coming up to the last few projects before we're done completely, but it really feels like we've been here for much longer than three months. I can't believe what a year is going to feel like.

So far in our house we've:
-hosted our immediate families
-celebrated Memorial Day
-taken professional pictures in town with Sammy's family
-celebrated Father's Day
-celebrated Fourth of July
-celebrated my mom's birthday
-gotten ice cream from The Freeze and Julie Ann's ;) (well actually my dad and I have done this, I haven't gone with Sammy--ha!)
-had a girl's day with Chelsie
-hosted our housewarming party with our friends
-Sammy's worked various community events like National Night Out and events related to Special Olympics
-painted the entire first floor and our master bedroom and bath
-planted our own flowers, hooked up the grill (OK Sammy's dad did this among other things haha)
-generally put our own touches on everything (and continue to do so)

So that's our house story :) It's nothing terribly exciting or unique or groundbreaking, but it's our story and I'm glad I've written it down to look back on.

I'm excited to see where this journey takes us, especially now that we're a few weeks out from bringing our Henry home!