‘Twas the Night Before We Bought Our House…

Blog friends! We bought a house! I wrote you a little poem! Okay, I’m going to stop using exclamation points now. The night before we closed on our house, Brian’s dad thought it would be the perfect opportunity to watch The Amityville Horror. I know. I KNOW. Not the best idea. So I thought I’d write you a little poem about it. I never claimed to be a poet, but here’s what I came up with.

The night before we closed on our house, we made some poor choices and watched Amityville Horror

‘Twas the night before closing, and all through my brain
Not a thought was unnerving; I wasn’t going insane;
Appointments were made for paint and repair,
In hopes that our house would get some tender loving care;
I was perfectly nestled all snug on the couch;
While visions of Christmas danced in my thoughts;
When Brian was working, his dad with the remote,
Had just chosen a movie for us to enjoy,
When on the TV, there arose such a fright,
I curled even deeper; I wished it weren’t night.
A couple was purchasing a beautiful home,
That soon would be full of terrors and ghosts.
Shirtless Ryan Reynolds couldn’t improve,
The terrifying show that was supposed to amuse,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But Brian to help assuage my great fear,
With snuggles from Brian and a laugh from his dad,
I knew that this movie wasn’t half bad.
More wicked visions and evil house sights,
And the couple that moved there was trying to fight.
The movie it ended; they all got away,
Their stuff left in the house, but they couldn’t stay
The credits, they rolled in the dark family room
And bedtime had come; it came much too soon
I slept with the lights on; how could I not?
My mind was now panicked and worried with wrought;
What if our house would be trying to kill us?
Just then, in a moment I was falling asleep
The room was quite quiet, ’til Bri started to creep.
As he crawled into bed, he made barely a sound,
I made him make promises just in case we found
Our house to be possessed and he’d try to kill me,
I said, “Brian don’t hack my body up with an axe;”
He responded not to worry, he didn’t have an axe,
And he looked a little wicked with a gleam in his eye.
“I’d have to use a mop or a broom til you die”
“Well, Brian I don’t think that’s what I meant”
He looked at me, laughing, “Don’t circumvent.
It’s not me that will kill you, the house wants you dead;”
I said, “Brian, those aren’t thoughts I want in my head,”
And he turned out the light and snuggled me close;
I said, “Don’t just ignore me – it’s scary, you know?”
He laughed at my worry and patted my cheek.
And promised to keep me safe from the freaks,
And I laughed when he said this, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, and I went to sleep,
And dreamed all the dreams of life in our keep,
I know that we’ll have a wonderful life,
And maybe one day he’ll even make me his wife;
We woke up the next morning ready to start,
The first day of homeownership – now the hard part.
As we pulled up to the house our agent was waiting—
The house is now ours – we’re cohabitating.

So anyways, with this milestone that is buying a freaking house, we prepared (poorly) by watching The Amityville Horror. Ryan Reynolds really was shirtless most of the movie. I really did go to sleep with the lights on. Brian really did promise to kill me with a mop or a broom because he didn’t have an axe. And we really are homeowners now.

As I was telling my mom about our movie night the next day (mere hours after we bought the house), she told me that it was a true story.

Wait, what? I’m sleeping with the lights on forever.

So I went to Netflix to see what they had for me. I figure we might as well continue down this haunted house rabbit hole (you know, considering we’re moving during peak Halloween season) and stream a few other Amityville Horror movies…just for funsies.

Amityville Horror

Oh look! There’s a 45 minute feature on the true story of Amityville. Yep. Totally going to watch it.

Blog Friends, do you enjoy scary movies? Do they freak you out? Have you ever watched the wrong scary movie at the wrong time? Have you purchased a home? What was it like for you?

I’m part of the Netflix Stream Team and was recently given a complimentary subscription to Netflix in order to share my experiences. Though I currently have complimentary service, I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Closet Full of Clothes…But Where Are Brian’s Clothes?

As my closet fills with fall clothes, I started thinking about my wardrobe vs. Brian’s wardrobe. When we moved into Brian’s dad’s house, putting most of our stuff into a gigantic storage unit, I had to pack up Rubbermaid tub on top of Rubbermaid tub full of clothes that I wouldn’t see again for another several months. I miss my clothes. Right now, I’m especially missing my Chicago Bears gear. All my t-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants. And sweaters. It’s getting a bit chilly out there. I’m definitely missing my sweaters.

How Should You Share the Closet Space?

The closet pictured was our Downers Grove apartment when we first moved in. I had NOT moved all my clothes in yet. Brian had. You can see the separation. Eventually, I took over this entire closet, plus some of the other closet. And Brian took that small portion of the other closet for his seven shirts.

Right now, my wardrobe dominates the small closet that Brian and I are currently sharing (it’s about half the size of our Downers Grove apartment closet). We’ve been in this situation before…sharing a small closet in which I only have a small portion of my clothes on display…For the first year and a half of our relationship, before we moved into our first apartment together, we didn’t technically live together. I just never went home. And we shared Brian’s tiny closet. Well…I shared his closet with him. It was slam-packed with my clothes, leaving just a tiny few inches of space on the hanging bar for Brian’s clothes.

Luckily, Brian only has about 5  fashionable designer dress shirts (which I happened to have purchased for him, because that’s what girlfriends do, right?) and maybe 3-4 other hanging articles of clothing hiding in the back of the closet, and the rest of his clothes can be folded in a dresser (or a laundry basket if we’re stretched for space, which we are). He didn’t have to pack any clothes in storage tubs. All of his clothes are hanging out in our room. But if you were to look at our closet, you’d see a whole lot of lady clothes and not a whole lot of Brian clothes.

Where am I going with this? Oh. Right. Closets full of clothes and space.

Hypothetically speaking…if we were to, say…move into a new house…and that hypothetical house were to have a deliciously sized hypothetical walk-in closet…and Chrissy were to be reunited with all her clothes (and they were to meet all the new clothes Chrissy purchased in their stead), how much of that walk-in closet would be used for Brian’s clothes, and how much of that walk-in closet would be for Chrissy’s clothes?

I mean…this isn’t a debate or anything. It’s a very serious question about very serious clothing and a very serious [hypothetical] closet.

And I’m asking for a friend.

Because that girl’s boyfriend may or may not have hypothetically told her that 50% of that hypothetical, magical-unicorn-of-a-closet would hypothetically belong to him.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the closet should be a 50/50 split regardless of the number of hangers on each side?

This post was sponsored on behalf of Sir Men’s Wear. I was compensated for my time, but this is still my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Make House Hunting Less Like Dating

For the last couple of months, instead of estate sailing and garage sailing for vintage board games, Brian and I have been adventuring out with our realtor (who is hilarious and awesome), but you knew that already. Because we almost bought a house. And then we didn’t, and we were heartbroken. It was like a bad breakup. I even ate Sbarro pizza…in CHICAGO. Home to the best pizza known to man. But I ate Sbarro. And inadvertently paused my DietBet(I didn’t gain anything, but I didn’t lose much, either.) I’m not making excuses, just telling it like it is.

Much like dating, the best way to get over one house is to jump right into the next. But that never works out. We needed something fast and easy. We went and saw 5 houses just a few days later. We compared them all to The House. The one we had just broken up with.

Now, we’re much pickier…only seeing 1 to 2 houses at a time…and we go in ready to shoot down a perfectly good house for whatever reason…because we’re afraid of losing it…or it really doesn’t hold a flame to our first.

Is this starting to sound familiar?

House hunting is COMPLETELY like dating. And then I remember how long it took me to find Brian. And I don’t want to wait 27 years to find the right house!
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So I’ve decided to make house hunting less like dating…and more like a game.

Step 1: Create a list of all the criteria that you’re looking for in a house.

Step 2: Assign point values to each feature, based on how important it is to your search.

Step 3: Create a list of the most ridiculous things you can think of and make every house visit a scavenger hunt. Note: This is a mini-game and doesn’t coubt toward win conditions.

Step 4: Visit the house. Check off items on the criteria list to find out if you have enough victory points to buy the house.

Step 5: Without snooping in places you shouldn’t be snooping (furniture pieces like dressers and desks are off limits. Would you want someone going through your things?), take note of items on your scavenger hunt list. Shelves, closets, and items that would stay if you moved in are fair game, but again, dont rifle through anything. Be considerate and think about if it was your house. Besides, people leave enough weird shit out in the open when they know someone is coming to look (remind me to tell you about that time they were showing my college apartment).

Step 6: Another mini-game. If there are pictures of the people currently living in said house, make up a story about them. Feel free to use items on the scavenger hunt as props.

Step 7: Tally up the victory points and determine if it’s your house. Do the pros out-weigh the cons? If so, it may be your house.

I hope this helps you avoid heartbreak while searching for your new home…but if it doesn’t, the mini-games will at least keep you spirits high and your sense of humor actively engaged.

Have you bought a house? Do you want to buy a house? Do you have tips for house hunting?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

We Broke Up With Our House…Or…We Almost Bought a House

Remember two weeks ago, when I was planning all the exciting things for a house we hadn’t bought?

And last week, when I bragged about a secret?

And Tuesday when I teased about an exciting day to my Facebook followers?

And the majority of those two weeks were spent pinning home decorating images to my Pinterest board?

Last Saturday, Brian and I put a bid on a house. And within two hours of starting the paperwork, we had negotiated a deal with the sellers.

We were on cloud nine. We had a quirky amazing house. And plans.

Old bones with big additions. I was calling it my 90’s chic 90-year-old house.

Vaulted ceilings, book nooks, connected closets, walk-in closets as big as bedrooms, a gigantic jet tub in the master suite, a loft–it was insane. Great location. Near the train. Near highways. A little extravagant, perhaps, but somehow fell in our price range. We couldn’t turn it down. It called to us.

When we walked in, we knew it was our house. Just like everyone says about houses…you just know.

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Vaulted ceilings in the bedroom

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Built-in bookshelves and nooks

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Tuesday, we had our inspection. We had told ourselves that there wasn’t anything they could find that would deter us from the house.

We were wrong.

Our inspector was GOOD. I mean as a person? Not my kinda guy…a cocky dude who talked down to Brian, for sure, but he knew what he was doing. He was thorough.

His thoroughness quickly found major issues with the foundation and property grading, some current, some potential. But big.

And we can try to append the contract to factor in these major problems, but do we want to?

Brian’s stipulations had always been that he didn’t want to deal with foundations or roofs at the starting gate. I can’t blame him. It’s a lot to deal with.

So we both grieved. Which seems bizarre for a house that we’ve only known for two weeks.

We learned a lot from the inspector (about clues to look for, how to tell the age of certain appliances and fixtures, features we should recognize…it was eye-opening).

And we realized that there were other things we were willing to overlook, but we’re relieved that we won’t have to deal with (ALL old appliances, huge heating and cooling costs, a creepy basement, and unusually high taxes, among other things…)

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The creepy basement

I do know, though, that we will find a house. It just isn’t this one.

Have you bought a house before? Have you lost a house? What was your experience with the inspector? Tell me your story.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I Have a Planning Problem

In the last several weeks, we’ve been browsing house after house after house looking for OUR house. From hundreds of houses online to dozens of showings, we’ve/I’ve spent countless hours looking for just the right house.

Several times in the last few weeks, we’ve even thought to ourselves is this our home? And truly meant it. So we plan. We plan what we would need to do to it to make it ours and often…it’s too much.

Well, we’d have to knock out that wall.

We’d want to add on an entire section to make that room fit for a grown adult and not a gnome.

We should refinish those kitchen cabinets.

We need to remodel the entire kitchen.

Why don’t we just MAKE that room part of the kitchen?

That bathroom needs a nice tub.

I veto the claustrophobic shower.

We need wood trim throughout the house.

Oh dear God! Why would they paint that beautiful trim?

The list of random suburban home planning goes on. We realized that none of those houses were our house. We need a mix of old house bones and charm wirh modern conveniences like air conditioning for hot Chicago summers and a large kitchen for all the parties I can’t wait to host.

I also plan for parties. How we would decorate for Halloween and Christmas. Because I want to host Christmas. And you already know how I feel about Halloween.

The other day, Brian tried to rein in my Christmas tree problem by telling me that we couldn’t get a new tree if we end up with vaulted ceilings…which is ridiculous because I’ve already planned for the giant ass Christmas tree I’m going to put in whatever giant ass room I can.

So I have a planning problem. Because right now, I’m sitting here with a notebook and a pen…writing a list…drawing diagrams…planning.

For a house we haven’t bought.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!