November 29, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Our First Home

Posted in Family, Moving tagged , , , , at 8:07 am by BetweenWeekdays

The boxes have been packed. Most of the furniture is out of the house. I’ve scheduled shut-off dates for the cable, utilities, and electrical. And now it’s time to say goodbye.

Before I do that, though, I thought it might be fun to look back and remember some of what we’ve experienced while living in this house.

  • We learned at age 22 what being a homeowner meant.
  • Travis and I shared wedding anniversaries 1, 2 and 3.
  • We made major decorating decisions and furniture purchases for the first time in either of our lives.
  • We brought Roxy home in 2009 after we rescued her.
  • We learned how to disagree with one another and to compromise.
  • I prepared and hosted my first Christmas dinner in 2010.
  • We tackled major renovations both inside and out of our home.
  • We spent four days snowed in our house in 2011.
  • We lost power for a week in April 2011 when tornadoes tore through our area. We were extremely fortunate to only be without electricity.
  • I fell in love with Travis’ entire family, but especially his parents.
  • I learned how to cook.
  • Travis finished school in 2012. (He actually graduated on my birthday.)
  • I watched my career grow and improve for years only to be cut short when I was laid off earlier this year.
  • This is the only driveway Travis’ truck has called home.
  • I went to the mall about 2.8 million times, at least. We only live 10 minutes away.
  • We both celebrated our 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th birthdays.
  • We learned to budget.
  • Three bridesmaid dresses were added to my collection. (All from brides I met while living in Chattanooga.)
  • Travis learned what living in a bigger city was really like.
  • We spent about three weeks of our lives sitting in traffic (see above).
  • We learned that an hour between us and our family really was a hinderance.
  • We took some pretty awesome vacations: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, St. Augustine, the Bahamas and a few others closer to home like my family’s annual trip to the mountains.
  • We shared our first-ever white Christmas together in 2010.
  • We helped family and friends welcome new little additions.
  • We watched friends move away only to come back home.
  • We said goodbye to all of my Chattanooga friends after we all left the news business.

We hope to make as many memories in our new home, which will be closer to our families. We’re trading “city life” for a slower pace. Now, we’ll be 10 minutes to our parents instead of the mall. (Don’t worry, the mall is less than an hour away.)

We’re scheduled to close on our first home tomorrow. I’m not sure what walking out the door the last time will feel like, but I hope I can look back and remember all the good times we’ve had in this house while looking forward to what’s ahead for us.

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September 20, 2011

Working With What You’ve Got

Posted in Family, Gifts tagged , , , , at 9:12 am by BetweenWeekdays

We celebrated our nephew’s fourth birthday this past weekend. (Seriously, where does the time go?) With a little ingenuity, I made sure his gifts from us were the best dressed at the party.

I’m all for reducing clutter, but when I see something that could be repurposed, I tend to hold on to it slightly longer than I normally would. For example, read this post about a jam jar I couldn’t get rid of. It’s not something that happens often, but I’m always happy when I’m resourceful enough to give something new life.

Our nephew is obsessed with balls (as most young boys seem to be). Specifically, he’s obsessed with baseball. He joined a TBall team when he was 3 and was one of the few who didn’t need to bat off the tee. That’s right. Our 3-year-old nephew could regularly hit a ball pitched to him. He’s talented, and we couldn’t be more proud.

So, when I saw real wood bats that were customizable, I knew he had to have one. I didn’t care how much it might cost; it was going to belong to my nephew. In case you’re wondering, we found the bats at Dollywood where a gentleman was able to wood burn his name into the bat in a matter of a couple of hours.

To see bat product details, click here.

Like any good aunt and uncle, we realized he needed balls to go with his bat. So we spent weeks finding different balls (baseballs and practice baseballs included) to give him with his bat. We bought balls that were filled with glitter and balls that bounced really high and balls that bounced all over. You get the picture. He’s our only nephew, after all.

Eventually, I realized I was going to have to wrap a baseball bat and a plethora of balls. What a buzzkill this thought was. A simple gift bag wouldn’t do for our nephew. No way.

And then I had a eureka moment. Enter: empty ornament containers from Hobby Lobby.

Eureka!

I mentioned that I’ve been working on Christmas prep (read more here, here, herehere and here), so I had some containers left over. The cylindrical shape was perfect for housing balls and the baseball bat. And it was free!

The containers had some sticker residue on them, so I decided to cover one with foam shapes of different balls instead of wrapping it. I found the foam pieces at Michaels and hot glued them all over the cylinder. The husband then stacked all of the balls into the empty container and taped the lid back on. I added some ribbon and bows to make it even more festive. It was adorable and perfect for an energetic boy’s fourth birthday.

We ended up using two containers to house the wooden bat. We put the bat in one of the containers and then slid it into another container. Voila! Then we wrapped it like a Tootsie Roll and added red ribbons. (Sorry there are no pictures of the actual bat. I don’t think my nephew’s name should be seen here. I’m overprotective like that.) Once it was wrapped, it was impossible to know what was inside. Plus, it was ADORABLE!

I know my nephew is too young to appreciate the wrap job on his birthday presents, but it makes me feel good to give him something I’m proud of. Even though we don’t live close to him, I still want him to know how much we adore him.

I’m happy to report that he loved his presents. The balls were a huge hit with all of the kids at the party, and his parents adored the personalized baseball bat. (To see another personalized gift, click here.)

What have you been repurposing lately?