Sunday, July 30, 2017

The House

I've given up on trying to make all of this a "series", since I can't seem to update regularly, but I'll continue where I stopped before:

I left off Part 4 (before posting all about adopting Token in Part 5) that we had been assigned a close date for the house and anxiously waiting for March 23rd to roll around the corner.

Sooooo! On we go to packing, house closing, and moving!

Spoiler alert: I have a ton of stuff. Anthony does not. I took a 15 foot UHaul and three strong guys to move, he needed two (small) cars and the two of us. Plus his mom's truck and brother's help to move his bed. How embarrassing for me!

The day we adopted Token we went to my mom's (where we'd be keeping him), and after apologizing for what I was about to show her (and promising to pick up 5 months worth of double-dog poop from the back yard), my mom met her grand-puppy. He's so cute that I don't even think she was mad, and she made out with the deal because she had someone to willingly pick up a ginormous garbage bag's worth of dog poop from the back yard.

For real, that bag was so heavy that I almost couldn't actually lift it into the garbage can.

I have always been a "let's make a deal" type of girl when it comes to getting out of trouble ;)

The first night at his fifth (and last!) temporary home!!
Curled up on daddy, staying safe from the big strange dogs after a very long adoption day!

Making a bed out of momma's stuffed animals and some pillows.
I started packing on Sunday, hoping to make a dent in the stuff I had all over the house. My entire bedroom had to be packed, almost all the contents of our den (and its closet) needed going over, and I had oodles of stuff in the basement and crawlspace to go through as well. I had initially planned to only take Wednesday (close date) through Friday off work, but realized I desperately needed Monday and Tuesday as well. So after a quick text convo with my manager, it was confirmed that I had the week off.

It was a good thing too.

I was able to watch the puppy while I packed (he had to be separated from Stewart and Nigel when unsupervised because Stewart really had no idea what to do with something so small and wiggly, and was prone to snapping at him), which meant I had to come up with clever ways to block Token from escaping certain rooms:
Hands down one of my favorite pictures of the little nugget! 'Where ya goin', mom???'

Snoozing when he wasn't making trouble. He no longer fits in this basket :P
After three-ish long days of packing (Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning) I was mostly done...if Steve, my cousin's husband and expert UHaul packer is reading this he's laughing, but more on that later.

I took a few minutes that morning to drive to the bank and get my down payment check from the bank and then packed up my car with the essentials. It was stuff with things I knew we would need for the first two nights in the house (a bag of clothes, some cooking stuff, blankets and pillows, electronics chargers, etc), since the rest of my stuff wouldn't be moved until Friday. Here's me with my tiny car, packed to the gills:

I had to make a quick stop at Walmart too, because I realized we did not have any cleaning supplies. With no room in the back, the stuff I bought got to sit up front:

I drove out to to pick up Anthony (and Token) and do one last walk through of the house with Barb to make sure things were satisfactory. It was only then that I realized that the title company (where we would close)...was in Crystal Lake. D'oh!

Back to CL we drove!

We were the first ones there, and hung out waiting for the attorneys and Barb to arrive, and once they did we got things started.

It was honestly pretty boring. Many of you probably already know this, but for those who don't, the "closing" part of buying a house basically consists of signing your name 7,000 times and ends with your attorney and real estate agent congratulating you on the huge amount of money you now owe your mortgage lender. And then they hand you the keys!

Prior to close, people told me horror stories about theirs, and things that came up at the last minute or people who forgot paperwork and stuff about having to wait around all day to be done, etc etc. We were really lucky (and told so a few times) that there was only one hiccup with our close: The name of the title company on the cashier's check I got at the bank was wrong! I was so sure I'd written the right name down (I'd been copying it from an email on my phone) so I couldn't believe it! Instead of "Old Republic" it said "One Republic"...and then someone made a joke that I must have gotten confused and written down the band name and...well it had to be fixed.

So Anthony and I hopped in the car with the Tokester and drove down the street to the bank, where they rectified the mistake AND proved that I had written the right thing on the slip the first time, because they were able to pull out the copy of my first request. It turns out it was the teller who messed up!

After that short (maybe 30 minute) hiccup, we were back at the title company, and I was signing the last few pages, and getting those keys I'd mentioned before!
Something about this set of keys reinforced to me that we picked the right place!
We started our move in right away. We drove back to the house and reveled in the fact that this house was now ours, even though it was still completely empty and we had no furniture or food or anything in it (besides the few things I had brought with).

The very first thing I did was tore down the ugly drapes in the living room and sent a picture to Barb (this was a running joke). We have yet to take down the hardware the drapes were on (we don't own a power drill...yet), but those drapes had to come down!

I unpacked the kitchen stuff that I'd brought, finding homes for everything in my bins, and then heated up some food to eat before going to Anthony's sister's house to grab all of his stuff to move in. That took all of an hour, and he had it unpacked in about that much time once we got back.

That started the long process of putting the house together, which didn't even really start until two days later. On Thursday I got our garbage service set up (since it would start on Friday) and of our web accounts for the utilities set up using my tiny netbook and my phone as a hotspot, and then waited around for the Comcast guy to install our cable. Here's a fun picture of me adulting with no furniture, and a pup who just wanted to cuddle:

Tiny puppy in his new home!

Playing with daddy in his new (forever!) home :)
Friday Move Day!
On Friday we went back to Crystal Lake to pack up my stuff into a UHaul and move it all to the  house. My brother was kind enough to pick up (and later return) the UHaul for us, and Steve tetrised it all into place and then both helped us get moved in.

My UHaul stash. Every time I told Steve "that's all the boxes" somehow we found more. And not like one 6 more. This probably happened three times until, in fact, there were no more boxes (except the ones my mom packed full of stuff I forgot and brought over for me):
Please note, this did include our couch and a majority of our furniture.

 Most important things first, we got the TV and the kitchen set up, and I made cookies (had to break in the kitchen ASAP!!):
This TV stand has now seen multiple homes. My uncle made it for my mom when he was in highschool, so it's been in all of her homes, and now in ours!

And then we went to Liana's house for dinner, where Token's little birthday twin spent hours trying to pet him and play with him:

And that, was move-in day!


Now...time for pictures! We're all settled in so I've had the chance to take a few during the small amount of time that our house is "presentable". Here you go!

The Living Room
Complete with Harry Potter bookshelf and race medals!

The "Dining Room"
Kudos to my Uncle Paul and Aunt Cathleen for the beautiful table!!

The Kitchen (my room, if there is one I get to claim to myself!)

The island gets it's own picture because I love it so much. It was the most expensive purchase for the interior of the house, $400 at Ikea and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If you need a kitchen island, this one is amazing! A huge workspace, and extra storage to boot (which I greatly appreciate since we don't have a pantry).
The Hallway to the Bedrooms (and a dog)
That's not poop in the hallway, it's a ram's horn that Token insisted on putting there after I'd cleaned the whole upstairs.
The Bathroom
It will do for now, but we have other aspirations for this space (see my Hopes and Dreams section below, lol).

The Office
Heavily used on work from home days, not much used the rest of the week :P
The Guest Room
Not much to write home about at the moment, but when people need to stay the night we at least have a bed for them! This room will be undergoing a revamp soon :)
Our Room
And finally...our room! This is as clean as it gets. Token gets to use a sleeping bag as a bed, but he generally ignores it and crawls into bed with us. #badhabitswecantbreak
We bought a new king sized bed to go with our new room in our new house (all of that is SO fun to be able to type out!!), and I must say it makes getting up that much harder every morning (still, even though it was like a million months ago now).

The Yard
We (mostly) lucked out and have a huge yard with a well built deck and some pretty good landscaping. I'll save the story about storm flooding for another day, as it could take up it's own post for sure. Here you go (pardon the long grass, it gets mowed today):

To the right is the wheelchair lift that was installed by the previous owner...hopefully we can sell that!
For our housewarming my mom got us a White Lilac. It's a longstanding tradition on my dad's side, and we've always had them at our houses so this was the perfect gift :)
Bonus picture of Token ;)

The Basement
The only spot left to show is...the basement. I guess it's not really a basement because the house is a raised ranch, so it's the "lower level" and isn't a sublevel, but whatever. We call it the basement.

And it needs work. A lot of it. Currently, it's a mess. Here's some proof:
What do you mean, Christina, that doesn't look so bad!
Oh. Yeah. You're right. That needs help...
And the half bath + laundry room. Also in need of a makeover (not any time soon though).
Hopes and Dreams
I have lots of things for us to get done in the next few months. Over the next few weeks the plan is to convert the basement from it's storage state to library/workout area. I have a million books and trinkets that need to be unpacked which is what's in most of those boxes, aside from some Christmas decorations and stuffed animals. Anything that needs to be stored will go under the hall stairs, or into the attic.

The icky brown paneling will be painted white, and the wall that you can't see (which has wallpaper) will turn beige like the rest of the house (the sellers left some paint for us).

The empty space on the left will be the workout zone, with my trainer and whatever weights we can acquire. The space on the right will be the library area, with bookshelves, and eventually a TV. I see this space transforming a lot over the next few years.

As for the upstairs, we'll get started on the guest room. Still planning that one out, but it will be done over the fall. I also have some miscellaneous tasks I want completed, like taking down a majority of the window treatments and maybe investing in some new (nicer) blinds for the other rooms.

The only other big project in the foreseeable future (within a year, we hope) is redoing the upstairs bathroom. You'll notice that the house was made wheelchair accessible, and part of that includes the shower. We want to take our the existing shower, put in a large tub, tile around the tub, and retile the floor, as well as invest in a new toilet (the current caulk situation is truly disgusting). We'll leave the cabinets, but I'd like a new mirror/vanity. We'll see what money will allow. As plans stand, Hannah and her family will come visit in April and I'm dying to have it done by then! Maybe we can file our taxes early...?

Anyways! I'm totally rambling now, and I have to get going! I hope the four month wait for something about our house was worth sure has been wonderful for us!


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