Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Nephew

My handsome nephew Max Samuel Utley was born late last night to my brother Clay and his wife Heather. Here he is in all his cuteness.

Mom, dad, and baby are doing wonderfully. I can't wait to meet this little guy next month!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New House!

I thought it was time for an update when we bought our first house! We officially moved in on August 2nd, and it's been a crazy but wonderful two weeks. Almost everything is unpacked and in its place. It'll probably take a while for everything to go up on the walls since I'm going back to work next week, but I'll just take it one room at a time. It's slowly beginning to feel like home. There's always that weird in-between period after you move in where it feels like "my new place" instead of "my home", but I'm getting there.

Living in my own home has been delightful. Everything is all yours, and you feel this sense of ownership that I never felt in any rent house or apartment. But, the house-buying process was lengthier and more stressful than I anticipated. When we initially told friends and family we were looking to buy a house, their response was almost the same: "Oh, buying a house is so much fun! You'll love the process." For us, that was halfway true. The exciting part is finding a wonderful house you love and can see yourself living in. Then, there's the other side to that coin. Finding that house is not nearly as easy as it appears on HGTV!

We visited about ten homes before we found ours, minus the daily and extensive house-hunting online. Once we decided that this house was the one for us, we stressed and prayed over whether we should put in an offer, and what our price ceiling would be. We decided to go for it and were delighted when we got the counter-offer we were hoping for. The house was ours about a month later.

All in all, it took us about four months to find a house. Our experience may not be the same as other people's, but I want to emphasize how important it is to wait for the right house. Toward the end of our house-hunt, we swore we'd never find the right place and would have to settle on a house we were only lukewarm about, or spend another year in limbo in our apartment. But in the end, the wait paid off. This may sound silly, but I truly believe it: finding a house is like dating; you have to be patient and wait for the right one, even if it takes longer than you thought.

Enough of my soapbox. Here's a little taste of our new place. The inside won't be photo-shoot ready for a while, but we're getting there. Enjoy!