Friday, February 28, 2014

an honest man:.

first off, i feel kind of bad for not showing some gratitude in my last post - we REALLY received a lot of support from family and friends throughout this entire home-buying process. so, to drew's dad for checking out every house we fell in love with and making sure it wouldn't fall down on us and drew's mom and grandma for helping us clean, to my parents for their advice on negotiating and escrowing to get what we want, to everyone who offered help and well wishes and lastly, our realtor who battled with us until the end - THANK YOU!!! seriously, we are so endlessly grateful and you have helped make this experience.

ok, enough on the home stuff and onto MEXICO!!! naturally, i started this post as soon as we got back, but not having free internet on my recent work trip delayed things a bit. i have been looking forward to this trip since my brother, nic, and his now wife, traci, got engaged last spring. not only was it going to be a vacation (during the WORST month to be in MN), but it was also a celebration of love (corny, i know, hang in there). nic is what we the call the golden child of our family - think diamond studded jeans, shoes that are too expensive to get scuffed and a toiletry bag that costs more than my car payment. this is not to say that he hasn't earned every single thing he has because he is also the oldest and most career-driven child of the family. career-wise, nic has ALWAYS had tunnel vision of where he wants to go, who wants to be and is unapologetic if you couldn't keep up. secretly, we (mainly, my mom and i) were nervous that he would never slow down enough to find a sidekick, someone worth cutting his 12+ hour days just a little bit shorter. enter traci - a petite, genuinely sweet southern belle. we were basically all blown away and placing bets at how long she would last with nic (kidding....kinda). fast forward 6 years, 4 of which were long distance (either Charlotte to Cleveland or Cleveland to LA), to their wedding day - yea, i guess you could say she's that ride or die material.

to nic and traci: you truly are a beautiful couple - inside and out! i cannot tell you how excited i am for you to start this new journey together and LIVE IN THE SAME CITY! you have stood by each other's side through job changes, cross-country moves, several frequent flyer miles, and separate holidays - you are each other's biggest fans and i have faith that you will make it through anything! also, i cannot wait to come see you guys at the end of March :)

onto pictures - beware there are a lot!!!
the bride getting beautified and the mother-of-the bride taking it all in :)
how gorgeous does my new sister look?! please note, she was not wearing heels - i felt like Hulk. 

selfie with my date

seriously, the venue was unbelievable - that is the ocean, FYI

still the ocean and still, their WEDDING VENUE!

ok, had to share this one - they had a group of tourists (who may have been of asian descent) following them with cameras thinking they were celebrities. yes, they looked THAT good!

mr. and mrs barlage - told you they looked good (babies, cough, cough)
uhm, this was their reception - that was the bar area. notice EVERYONE at the bar...

first dance *swoon*

my date again, *swoon*

my dad who can beat ANYONE up! i look awkward, but i am pretty sure my feet were bleeding at this point...

precious moments captured between the groom and his loving parents

again, the reception - yes, it was a cave turned massive tiki hit and yes, that is river running around it. any questions? 

a (professional) painter doing a live painting of their reception - again, A-list celebrities here, people

The rest of these pictures are post-wedding 
dang, my parents are GOOOOOOOD looking!
my brother, who is married. yes, my biceps are bigger than his and yes, i can beat him up... 

me and 'justin bieber' hanging out at the market - drew was thrilled to pay $5 for this picture

date night!

i may have made a friend during date night and i may have shared my top sirloin with him

the OCEAN! 

another date night hibachi-style

loading up on espresso before heading to the airport :(

my main squeeze, i really need to work on a pose that doesn't make my arm look large and in charge

there you have it! traci and nic will be celebrating their 1-month of marriage tomorrow and i finally have this post done and already wishing we could rewind and do it one more time...

always striving for more, 
dee b.

**i realize that some of you may have been expecting a little bit different post, but stay tuned.... :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

what happens when you fall off the wagon? you just have to start somewhere....

oh boy, where do i begin? i have never been on a hiatus this long, but i swear it has been warranted and i truly have missed it. i literally do not even KNOW where to begin.....maybe, i will just rewind through my Instagram pictures and go from there....buckle up!

drew and i decided that we needed to start looking for a new place to live - we loved where we were, but we were kind of outgrowing it (no, no surprise announcements, we just buy a lot of stuff). with him back in school at Carlson, a space for him to hide away and study was important. we were also living in a duplex and we were (specifically, me) over sharing a front door and recyling with other people. when we were first discussing, i made it clear that there was no way i would buy a house right now, that is too big of a commitment and i wouldn't have money to pay for anxiety pills. fast forward a few weeks, many property searches and mortgage calculations, he had convinced me that buying would be more financial savvy than renting. being the fab people we are, we started our search with chic condos in DT St. Paul (disk scratching noise) which quickly resulted in looking for houses for several reasons such as association fees, less than 1,000 square feet and resale values. bless our realtor's heart (many times over, more to come on that), he was great about showing us properties all across the spectrum since we didn't even know what we wanted - if you have been 'lucky' enough to search for your first home, you know exactly what i mean. oh, how your mind and priorities change!

**plot twist**

just as we were heating up the search, drew tore his MCL playing in a late-night soccer league. i won't elaborate too much on this since he had already met his deductible for 2013 and injuries are nothing new around our house, but just to put your mind at ease, he has healed wonderfully (he is a freak at healing, think Hulk) and is well on the road to recovery. we are tied at 5 knee surgeries apiece and while i am competitive, i plan to stay in the yoga studio to avoid winning this one. thank the lord i had some help around the house while he was laid up....
"if you're not first, you're last"

the night before drew went into surgery and before he was really laid up, our realtor set up 4 showings, including one that we had cancelled previously. the last house for the night, past my bedtime at 9:30, we found our house! yes, it was the one that we had turned down before. what can we say? our realtor knew what he was doing! :) our house (i can call it ours now that we have moved in) was a flip house - prior to them flipping it, it was basically condemned, but they worked their magic and everything was brand new: carpet, furnace, plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc., basically a dream come true!

before (you needed a tetanus shot)

i don't even know where to connect the dots between putting in an offer and closing....

per usual, we counter-offered with the sellers several times before coming to an agreement. once an agreement had been reached, we found out that the house required an updated Certificate of Occupancy with the city of St. Paul before we could move in. after adjusting our offer and the contingencies, we set a closing date for January 17th. a week before closing, we received word that the city inspection had passed, the certificate had been issued and everything was in place to close on January 17th.

**plot twist**

we found out 2 days before closing that they did not show up to the inspection so an inspection had not been completed and we were so not good to close. thankfully, the city inspector was able to get out there the next day to sign everything off to ensure we could close on time.

**plot twist**

the city inspector was out there and signed everything off, but was out of the office the next 2 days and could not complete the appropriate paperwork for verification. oh yea, and the sellers didn't even show up to closing. awesome. so, this is where we were at - drew and i were leaving for Mexico in less than 2 weeks (more on that later) and needed to be out of our current place before we left. forget that drew was still healing and forget that we had that thing called work. to make a (really) long story, short, we spent the weekend sulking (and shopping) and the next week living out of the boxes we had already packed, but were able to close the following friday. we are now homeowners! and honestly, it was worth every sleepless night and headache - we absolutely love it! another amazing thing? as stressed and as tired as we were, we didn't argue once! we were in it together from the beginning and we just hunkered down (with a bottle of wine) and pushed through. maybe buying a house is for married people, but as i have mentioned before, drew and i tend to go by our own rules. plus, my kitchen is ALMOST as good as a ring :)

we were exhausted, but excited. the cats were just confused.
oh, the holidays? yea, we basically skipped those this year - like every year, we went our separate ways to continue family traditions (and we both had a blast, but can't wait to actually spend a holiday together).  mexico?! well, we literally just got back from mexico and i think that deserves  it's own post since MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED!!! did i forget to mention drew's birthday?! in the midst of the madness, drew turned 28 and he definitely feels older (must have been that 5th knee surgery). we spent the night out going to dinner at The Smack Shack (highly recommend it) followed by Acme Comedy club (even higher recommended). good food and lots of laughs, exactly what we needed! OH! i knew i was forgetting something - OUR ANNIVERSARY! with drew's surgery, the holidays, drew's birthday, going to mexico, buying a house and our anniversary, we had to pick and choose a few celebrations. we didn't plan anything for our anniversary this year (OMG, i didn't even do a Instagram collage) because we were supposed spend our anniversary with a magical weekend moving into our first home. well, as you now know, that fell through and whoever thought that moving was magical? moving sucks! anyway, we pushed back our celebration with the closing and after a day of moving, we exchanged cards, drank a glass of wine and rock, paper, scissored who was going to hang old curtains over our windows (we didn't get blinds hung as quickly as we expected) before collapsing into bed. before passing out, we promised our next anniversary would be more glamorous. again, we go by our own rules.  

i promise once i get caught up, i will return to the purpose of my blog - recipes and fitness (and cats)!

always striving for more,
dee b.