Our House: Before and After

Well . . . since this is my last day in our very first house . . sniff sniff . . . I thought I should show you what we did to it in a year (besides lose $100K). . . .

Before -------------------------------------------------------- After

Tried to improve the landscaping by adding flowers and grass and getting rid of the grass in the driveway. Also painted the entire outside of the house and put on a new roof! (The picture on the left has the new roof too . . . I couldn't find any pics with the old one.) Also ALL of these updates we did ourselves. . . no outside help (except our wonderful family)!!!

Reorganized the garage to de-clutter it and painted the white cement wall with paint and painted the floors with epoxy paint with sprinkles!! Yay!

Took down all of the wallpaper, repainted, updated light fixtures, updated hardware on cabinets, new skylights in breakfast room, added butcher block.

Tore down the wallpaper, repainted, repainted trim, updated shower head.

New roof on shed, painted shed, made deck, stained deck, added flowers and bushes and lamps and bird feeders.

And some other pictures of things we did, but I don't have "before" pics . . . bummer.

We repainted this room . . . twice. . . . we had it as a brighter blue when we were using it as our office (only room in the house that was more "bold"), but since we are selling our house, I repainted it to this neutral color!

Other guest bedroom! This was a deep purple room when we bought it . . . so we repainted it this neutral beige color. There were also butterfly stickers on the ceiling fan . . . so we switched the blades around.

Our living room! Let's see . . . we didn't do much to this room. . . just added the furniture (our coffee table top opens up so that its more of our "dining room table"). We also added a screen door so our kitties can enjoy the outside without going out. Oh! And we changed up the curtain rods and curtains!

Love this pic! Updated the light fixture, added new sky lights.

This room is off of our garage . . and didn't have a closet. . . so Shane and I (mostly Shane) built this closet! Didn't we do a good job?!?! The spackling pretty much made us decide it was our last closet ever we were going to make. . . . Shane made it so that it does not go all the way up to the ceiling so you can put stuff (plants, christmas houses, etc) on top! He also made it so that there is an electrical outlet up there to plug stuff in!!

Our "master" bathroom had a soap dish where the decorative tiles are . . . we kept hitting our heads or elbows on it when we would shower (separate . . . of course . . ). . . seriously . . who puts a freaking soap dish at your head level?! So anyways . . . we got rid of it and coudln't find any tiles that matched exactly, so we got these two decorative ones! We also took out all the caulk and re-caulked the shower!

Well I think that is it . . . I feel like I am forgetting things though . . .

It has been a great year in this house . . . put lots of work into it . . . we just like having projects I guess. But now some other lucky homeowner has the option to buy it!! If you know anyone looking for a house in Fredericksburg, VA, tell them our house is awesome!!

Quick as Lightning!

So I am going through pictures for a special event that is coming up. . . and I really can't say what it is . . . because I don't want to spoil it . . . . but . . . I found this picture I took a while back . . .

Crazy!! I really don't think I could do that again if I tried. What are the chances!?


Warning: Cute Overload!

My cousin sent this to me . . . . how freaking cute!! Seriously I want some. Even just for a week or two . . . to play with and cuddle with!

This last one is my favorite! Ahh! So adorable!

Wedding Dress Shopping with The Girls!

Yay! KT is getting married!! The 2nd of S.K.A.N.K.'s! So we all made a little trip to Pittsburgh to look for some dresses for KT! And obviously I can't post any of those pictures here in case her future hubby tries to see how beautiful she looks in her wedding dress before the big day! Which I guess we didn't really find "The Dress" . . . but we have a couple ones that we really liked on her! I think we are all leaning towards the "Maggie". Anyways . . . here are some pictures from our adventures:

This was at our "photo shoot" at KT & Mike's (Randie's) place. We love pictures. We love being with each other. We love when Mike takes pictures of us. (from left to right - Mase, KT, Nikkie, Me, KC)

This was our "lets set the camera on a timer and hold up a dress" picture. (ooh! I really love that yellow dress . . I don't know why I'm so obsessed with yellow dresses now . . )

Ha! Probably my favorite of the trip! During our photo shoot. . . Mike asked who wants M&M's . . . and those were our reactions!! We are crazy. . . I know . . . but we have so much fun together no matter what we are doing. I love it.

Ooops! These are kinda out of order, but here is a pic of the beautiful scenery we got to see on our way to and from Pittsburgh. This photo doesn't even do justice to how seriously breathtaking it was!

Aww! This was us girls at "Dozen" . . a yummy cupcake place that we went to for breakfast before the dress shopping! It appears to have become our "breakfast place". (They sell cinammon rolls and quiche and fruit crisp also.)

Pretty pic of Pittsburgh!

And probably my 2nd fav . . . Mase thought we were leaving her out . . . so she made this silly face! Ahh my girls!! Can't believe we are moving home and I will get to see them so much more!! :-) And that we are going on a cruise in like a month and two weeks!! Crazy! :-)

Dentist Squirrel! & My Cute Kitties . . . of course.

So I had to go to the dentist on Monday to pick up my retainer . . . and as they were sanding it down a little to make it smoother . . . this lil guy/gal popped up out of nowhere! Of course, I had my camera with me and was able to get it out quick enough for a shot . . . but when I went to take another pic, it was already gone . . . . I don't know how the heck it stayed on the window!! Kung-fu squirrel! Oh . . and the poor thing did all of that for nothing, because the feeder was empty. :-(

Well this past weekend I went to Pittsburgh for KT's wedding dress shopping (to-be-in-a-separate-post), and we brought the kitties with us. My parents met us in Cranberry (sooooooo good to us) so we could give the kitties to them for a week before we come home, so that when people come to the house to see it, Nina & Jinx don't try to run out the door (because they do that every time). But we miss them a lot. :-( I have already been told they are driving my parents crazy . . . trying to get out of all the doors, jumping on the counters, and they also like to do this thing where they walk in front of you for a little bit and then just randomly collapse in front of you . . making you almost step on them and trip. Ugh. . . . crazy cats. But I miss you!

p.s. - Thank you Mommy & Daddy for taking care of all of our crazy animals.


So much to say . . .

I feel like I have so much to blog about . . . church, kt's wedding dress shopping, the girls, our house, our kitties, etc. . . but for now you get this:

Sent from my sissy Sommer. It is my cute niece, Bryce, and my hairy, but also cute niece, Sky. It is snowing in Erie!! Yikes!! I'm freeeeezing in Fredericksburg and it's 50!!!


I Thought It Was Getting Better . . .

I thought it was getting better . . . . boy was I wrong!

And so . . . yep . . it begins:

The first realtor we met with gave us the puke inspiring price . . . then we met with someone the next day who made us feel A LOT better . . . as in $30K better . . . but we then decided we wanted to work with our realtor that helped us buy our house . . . . we just felt more comfortable with her and trusted her more. She suggested a starting price in the middle (without knowing what the other realtors were going to list our house at) . . . but we naturally decided to start our house out at a selling price a little higher than what was said to us. . . . well, we already lowered it $10K from Saturday, and will probably lower it again soon.

This Fredericksburg market is just crazy!!! There are loads and loads of foreclosures and short sales that are plummeting all the house prices, and I hear that it is only going to get worse. I heard that a bunch more adjustable rate mortgages are going to expire at the end of this year, bringing even more inventory of foreclosure homes on the market. . and yep . . . you guessed it! . . .bringing even lower sales prices!

I did hear that the Erie market is pretty stable though, so if you live in Erie, you probably aren't really seeing these effects. . .. thank goodness!

I just want everybody to know that you hear about this on the news and think . . gosh I'm glad it's not happening to me or maybe you almost feel like it is not real . . . well let me tell you . . . it is real! And the worst part . . Shane and I have amaazzzzzing credit. . . like almost 800 credit. But after this house, who knows where it will and who knows how much we will lose?!!

Today I spoke with my relocation real estate person (different than the lady who is actually going to help us sell our house) . . . she is here to supposedly give us truthful, solid advice. . . well blah! I want to go back to the dream world, because I can't take this real world crap. She pretty much said that the probable selling price of our house would be less than what the first realtor even wanted to list our house at!! Ugh! Can you say instant tears and headache?!

So yes folks, . . . it is getting harder. . . I keep saying to myself "is it REALLY worth it"? Do we really want to move back to dreary Erie THAT much?!

Answer: Yes. We have been saying this ENTIRE time that our families and friends are the most important things to us. Money is money. . . and although it is SOOOOOOOO hard to say that . . and even harder to believe it. . . . if we lose over $70-100K on our house in a year . . . yeah. . that sucks. . . bad. . . but to be with the ones we love . . well, it almost makes it all better! Ha! No seriously. We will be ok. I need to just keep telling myself that. I need to just keep trusting in Him.

But . . . if anyone has any suggestions as to if we should just not pay our mortgage and make our house go into forclosure so we don't have to pay more than what our house is worth . .. or should we do a short sale or should we rent our house or should we just stay here (that's not really an option though), or should we just pray? . . . A LOT . . . pleeeeeaseeee let me know. I am begging.


Must be Getting Cold!

Sorry if you have had too much of my kitties lately, but they are just so gosh darn cute! We can tell it's been getting colder though . . . because usually they like to lay on the A/C vents or go in the fridge . . . but now they have been laying in the sun and laying on us all snuggled up!!

Sorry for the bad quality . . . I had to take these with my phone so I didn't disturb them by getting my cam!


Silly Kitties . . .

Well, I talked about how my cats like to jump in every door . . . and I forgot to mention another door . . the attic door. . . .

We don't have stairs to our attic, so we have to use a ladder. Our kitties climb up it as soon as it's in place and stand at the top and just start meowing while they look up . .then look at you . . then look up . . then meow again . . . Nina has got in the attic a couple of times . . . at least 3 feet from the ladder to the attic I would say . . . crazy cats.


Bryce is soooo Cute!

Just got a pic message from my sister-in-law! Ugh. . . it's been waaay too long since I've seen them and my cute niece, Bryce. Can't wait until we are home and I can hold her!

Last Day . . .

Well, Friday was my last day at the Miller Foley Group. It was really sad to be leaving all of the wonderful people I worked with, and all of my awesome clients, and my very own office room . . . but it was also exciting, because I knew this was one step closer to coming home . . . to where we belong. And I won't lie . . . we had some craaaaazy drama at work . . I mean what business doesn't?! I don't think it helped that for a while it was just an emotional group of women . . . then we hired a guy, and he has brought us all down-to-earth a little more. Miller Foley Group . . aka . MFG. . is a public accounting firm. They do mostly governmental and non-profit audits, but also do taxes and consulting and such things. I have learned A LOT! Not just about accounting, but about the business world, about people, and about God. . . I know . . how did I learn about Him at work? I just realized that no matter what you do, no matter how stresed or frustrated you get, you have to work for Him . . . and once I started doing that, work became more enjoyable and more positive. Some day I will have to tell you about "my story" with God, but that will be later.

So anyways. . . on my last day, I cleaned up my office and took everything down. This was my office afterwards. . . sniff sniff . . . I helped out our admin lady all day with resume stuff and then everyone took me to the Olive Garden for lunch. . . yummy!! We all got the soup, salad, & breadsticks and then I got some white chocolate raspberry cheesecake! I gave them all my cards that I wrote, and they gave me some cards that were soooo sweet! They walked me out and gave me great big hugs, and that was it. I still don't think it has hit me. Maybe because I know I will keep in touch, or maybe because my head is freaking out with all of this house crap, but regardless, I hope they all know that they mean so much to me, and have made my life greater in many ways. I am blessed for the opportunity I got, and cannot thank God enough for putting such wonderful people in my life.


Teaching Your Cat A Lesson . . .

My dad sent this video to me. . . he knows how annoying our cats are . . always trying to jump on all the tables and counters . . . we try using a squirt gun, but I seriously think our one cat, Jinx, enjoys it! She will stay on the counter for like 20 seconds while you just squirt her! Anyways . . maybe we should try this!

Wedding Ring = Bride In Water

My friend, Susan, sent this to me, and I just think it's so funny! I mean . . sad. . because I would be so bummed if it happened to me, but I am sure I would eventually laugh at it later. . .

p.s. - I love those yellow dresses!


For Those Who Don't Like to Get Messy . . .

Shane and I have never carved a pumpkin together . . . one of these days we will get around to it, but for now, we prefer the non-messy, non-stinky pumpkins!

Click here to carve a pumpkin of your own and send it to someone!


Past Weekend

Well . . . . still really bummed about our house. I start to cry everytime I think about it, so I am not going to say much except another realtor is coming over tonight to look at our house and tell us the speal . . . after tonight we will discuss what we are going to do . . . .

Anyways life goes on (thank goodness). . . . . Shane's mom (Rita) and step-diddy (Don) and their pup (Majr) came to visit us this past weekend! It was a nice, fun weekend!

We went to the ChiliRib Fest in Fredericksburg! They had lots of vendors and a flea market. . some live music. They had a chili taste contest, but we got there too late. It was all gone! We did get to try some chili. . and we should've known why there was still some left . . . it wasn't bad. . . but it was sooooooooooooooooooo hot!! I took one little taste and my mouth was burnin up!

We went to this place called Ten Thousand Villages . . a fair trade place .. . we didn't really find anything. I had fun playing with everything though. And they had some free dessert & iced coffee that was yummy!!

We saw a beautiful rainbow on our way home!!

I usually try to make cupcakes or some kind of dessert when anyone comes to visit, and unfortunately, I didn't have enough time, so I bought this yummy cake for us to eat. I did feel terrrible though. . even Sommer (my sister-in-law) called and asked Rita what kind of cupcakes I made . . . Next time!! I promise!

Don is a big history buff, and loves Fredericksburg because of that reason, so we had to go on some history walks for him! It was such a beautiful day! Here are some pictures from our adventures:

Shane wandering around the field . . .

Don, Rita, Majr, and Shane watching the trains go by

Pretty fields!

Me shooting a canon! Watch out!

Rita, Majr, & Shane at one of our stops (sorry I don't remember any of the history stuff . . ooh except we saw the trenches that the confederate army laid in . . . so crazy).

Nice little path with canopy trees!

Ewe! A snake we found! Thank goodness it wasn't alive.

Shane on the tracks

Also, I have been wanting to paint the outside of our house for some time, but kinda put it on the back burner . . . well Don also thought it would be a good idea, especially if we are going to sell our house, so we made a little pitstop to Lowe's and picked up some outdoor satin paint! Poor Shaney was NOT happy. (He hates painting). You can't really tell in these pictures, but it looks A LOT better! It only took us 3 1/2 hours too!! I do have a couple spots I need to touch up, and we need to figure out how we are going to get the sides where it's very high, but other than that it looks great and we couldn't thank Don & Rita enough for all the help!!

This is my last week of work here! Yikes! I am sad, but also excited to be able to relax for two weeks.

Looking forward to this weekend! Dan & Marissa (brother and sissy-in-law) are coming to visit I think!! Gonna watch the Penn State game, hang out, maybe go for a walk or two, maybe I'll make them some brownies! .

But until then . . . trying to get everything wrapped up at work and figure out our housing situation!