Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NEWS ....

Hello, hello!

Contrary to what you may have been lead to believe with my lack of blogging-activity lately, I AM still alive :) Alive and well—and some exciting news to share (cough. Much as I hate to have to do this, I realize that now, since I’m married, it may be necessary : Before your minds start running full speed ahead – NO, I am not pregnant. No bambinos for Amy + J in the near future :)

So let’s jump on in, shall we?? (oh boy! This is fun… it’s been way too long since I’ve had the chance to sit down and write!!)

Like I said, I am well, and life is very, very sweet. …As a whole. I got the chance to sit down and enjoy coffee* with a dear friend last night (Emily, you totally made my good list this week!), and we talked about life. I think she put it best when she said (and please know I’m paraphrasing…. She said it much better than I will): “It’s completely human to know you are blessed, and that life is good … but still have that one little thing (even when you know how inconsequential it should be!) weigh you down.”

I have 3 words to say about that. “Amen.” and “Thank goodness.” (I was starting to feel like the most ungrateful little girl who ever roamed the planet …) I have been getting discouraged about some things in my life lately (things which, honestly, I just don’t feel comfortable discussing on “el bloggy” … just ask me if you’re curious.) and furthermore, I know that, because of said things, I am entering the “rough part of the year” (if I’ve calculated right, the tough part should end in time for my 1st Anniversary, which will be nice, at least :) And, quite frankly, some mornings it is a real struggle to get out of bed and move forward. So, it was amazing to get to discuss this stuff with a good friend... to put it all out there and come clean. Life is good, but it's not perfect, ya know? Thank goodness for good friends, heart-to-hearts and 'girls' nights.

* Eh hem: before I forget to write in an appropriate footnote, I say coffee* (with a star) because she got ice cream, and I got chai tea (.holy.yum.) – I just say “we went for coffee” because it sounds so sophisticated and classic and (gulp) grown up :) … I digress …

But I am not complaining. Just being honest with my bloggy friends :) This is a real glimpse into my real life. Accordingly, I feel that it is time to implement a new 2010 Life Plan. In Amy-fashion (did you really expect anything less of me?!) The following list is my plan for how to combat the potential lows of the next several months:

  • Drink only 1 cup of coffee/day. Coffee is fabulous, but it really doesn’t solve any of my life problems (actually, I’ve found that too many cups actually compounds my ‘problems’, as it makes me anxious and headachy.) I will savor every single drop of my daily cup :)
  • Find and run with a running buddy. DONE! My friend and co-worker Sarah recently signed up to run a ½ marathon in May, and we will be running together at least 1x a week. Woohoo!
  • Sing more often. In church, in the car, while I’m cooking, in the shower … Just because it makes me happy.
  • Make 2010 my year to “settle in”. 2009 was definitely a year of upheaval (in a good way, definitely—but, whew.) I am ready to establish and thrive in routine. If anyone catches me saying “I’m bored” in the next 12 months, you are completely entitled to either (a) laugh and pat me on the head, or (b) give me a stern talking to.
  • Make Saturday morning brunch (pancakes, muffins, omelettes…. *drool) Take it slow on Saturdays, and really enjoy hanging out with J on our day off.
  • Make Sunday afternoon naps a priority.
  • (Keep up with) Weekly date night. Because it’s really fun. And I feel that a little more fun in my life is absolutely necessary :)
  • Snuggle with Gracie every day. At the risk of sounding like a total “Cat lady", having a “tiny purring fuzzy” who races to greet me when I come home, and climbs into my lap every chance she gets… well, it completes a part of me that I never knew I was missing. Gracie lifts my heart with her complete devotion, and makes me laugh with her kittenly enthusiasm. She will always be my first “little girl”.
  • Spend less time in front of the tv.
  • Spend more time on me. (ie: blogging, reading, walking, meditating,painting my fingernails, etc.)
  • Cook more dinners at home. (OH.MY. J and I had homemade pizza last night, and it was absolutely stellar. I may never go back.)
  • Bake more. (J will be thrilled. First up: banana bread!)
  • Focus on making my house my haven. Decorate to my little hearts content, plant flowers, and really make it OURS.

… chirp, chirp ….

Now just a minute – did I just say “HOUSE”?!

Why yes, yes I did J There you have it—our big news! J and I are in contract (closing March 29) for our first home!! I’m not putting up pictures yet (just a teensy bit superstitious J )—but I’ll put them up after we get the keys on April 1st --- EEEEEEEEIIII!

Now, if you are surprised about this, I completely empathize with you. I was not planning on thinking about getting a house for another year or two—so it was a surprise to me, too! I mean, I knew “it’s a buyers market” and everything… but I really thought that our plan would be to save for a few more years (in apartment living) and then make our move. However, we were swayed by these factors:

1. Mortgage rates are at an all time low right now. It wasn’t too bad for me to say “well, it would have been nice, but oh well” to the home buyers tax credit… but a mortgage that I’ll be carrying with me for the next 30 years?! That’s really something to think about…

2. Our mortgage payments are not much more than our current rent payments (will be even less in a few months when we don’t have to pay PMI!) and perhaps that biggest factor

3. I actually sat down and calculated how much $$ we would pay toward our apartment in the time that we could be buying equity in our own place. The numbers were rather staggering :-o

So, we took the first step, and several weeks ago (hehe… about the time I was due for my next blog post, actually…. I knew I’d have a hard time keeping it a secret, so that was part of the reason for the hiatus!), J and I began searching. And on our 2nd round of home searches, we found it, our home. It is a perfect combination J & Amy home—lots of light, big yard, front porch and good running neighborhood for me; modern floor plan, finished basement, newer home (= fewer repairs, at least in theory!) for J … Perfect. Oh my, this house has the softest carpet I’ve ever felt – it’s a long brown and tan shag (J.’s comment being (practical hubby that he is) “well, if a cat pukes on that carpet, it will be a b(ear) to clean up …” Phooey. I’ll just train them to ‘toss their cookies’ on the tile or hardwood :) Needless to say, we are so excited. I promise to keep you all up to date as everything (please, God) falls into place.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest and before I completely lose your interest ... I owe y'all some LISTS!! ...Enjoy!

Good List

1. J. My rock. It is my priviledge that he chose me to be his wife.

2. Spring-y scents. It's finally almost spring-- and while we can't open the windows quite yet (tee hee... I would, but for my husband.... Hey- it's 55 degrees out-- a veritable heat wave!!) it is so good to have those sweet, fresh, earthy scents in the house!

3. Cinnamon Crunch bagels. Breakfast of champions coming in, of course, after the #1 Amy favorite, cookies.... Edited to add: Apparently "Breakfast of champions" has an alternate meaning that I had never heard of before. Pardon my ignorance, as apparently, I am old. Please know that in this instance, I meant it innocently, like "Wheaties"... If there is some secret meaning to wheaties, please don't tell me, I don't want to know.

4. Emily G. I had coffee* with her last night, and it was so wonderful. I'm so glad we've kept our friendship sacred all these years :) She is truly a 'kindred spirit'.

5. First run outside in who-knows-how-long. OH.YEAH!

6. Sunshine until well after 6 pm.

7. Our realtor, 'mortgage man' and home inspector. So far, everyone we've worked with has been kind, professional and competent.

8. Sam Adams. Yummy. Definitely my favorite 'full bodied' (which may be the wrong term... but it's heavy for what I normally drink...) beer.

9. Dreaming about the new house :)

10. Libraries and Starbucks(es? Starbi?? ...whatever.) I find both perfect places for inspiration.

Great tv shows that I wish were still on:

(FYI: I may reallly going to date myself with some of these... although several of these I was barely alive during the 1st run ... consider yourself warned :)

1. Boy Meets World

2. Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman (I think Jon just died a little....)

3. Veronica Mars

4. Eleventh Hour (oh my heavens, WHY did they take this off the air?! I don't think it even made it one full season... sadness..)

5. Firefly

6. The Cosby Show (Aw. I love this- and I think it's really genuinely funny... )

7. 7th Heaven

8. Magnum P.I.

9. Reading Rainbow & Wishbone (All right... so I wouldn't be watching these... but I wish there would be something like it for my kids!)

10. The Letter People (see above. I'm thinking futuristically!)

Your turn: what were some of your favorite shows? Any great shows to recommend to me NOW? I think J and I need more to watch together... right now we watch, um, LOST.... and that's it ... I'm not sure what we'll do after the phenomenon ends :-P

Have a fabulous week, friends. More soon ...

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