Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights 2012

Continuing the tradition from last year, here are our 2012 highlights:

  1. Jon and I celebrated our first New Year's Eve and New Year's Day as a married couple. Huzzah! {We also celebrated our first Valentine's Day, Spring Break, MLK, Jr. Day, etc. as a married couple, but I won't cheat and bog down our highlights list with stuff like that. ;) }
  2. We purchased our first home in the spring of 2012. We were/are so excited to put down some roots!
  3. We painted our entire house, and J played Mr. Fix It with the master bathroom, kitchen sink, guest bedroom, guest bathroom, and outside gate. Actually, a lot of that was just upgrading, so maybe he was playing Mr. Upgrade It. Either way, it was a little bit of a pain to DIY it, but I think we will always look back and take pride in our work. 
  4. Jon got a new job. It's a bit of a long drive, and his hours are little unique, but I think God has a reason for everything, and we are just thankful for the new opportunity. 
  5. We celebrated our one year anniversary as a married couple. We wanted to go on an anniversary trip, but money was a bit tight, so we're attempting to take that trip this coming summer. :)
  6. I got a new job. Every day, I am reminded how blessed I am to work in such a positive building with wonderful students, colleagues, and admin. 
  7. All repairs and needed upgrades have been made to our house, so all that's left is to put on some finishing touches. I suspect we'll be adding those for years. :)
  8. We are 1-2 months away from paying off one of my student loans completely. I know it's a little tacky to talk about money with others, but we've been working really hard to get rid of my stupid student debt. I can't wait to call Dave Ramsey and tell him we are debt free!
If this were a list of all our blessings, it would be much longer. I guess 2012 wasn't as exciting as 2011, since I couldn't think of 10 solid things to put on the highlight list. ;) Oh, well. Here's to a happy new year!




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Elf Yourself: 2012

If you enjoyed last year's JibJab video, read on. {I heard there is a very special red-headed niece that thoroughly enjoyed it...hi, A!}

This year, I found out they have a free app for the iPad, so I was all over it.

{I'm crossing my fingers that I am uploading this video correctly. Trust me: you WANT to watch this. It makes me giggle out loud.}


Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! 




Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Turns out, I'm SO not good at keeping up with blogging during my first year of teaching a new subject at a new school in a new state.

But I'm not complaining. :)

I loooovveeee my job!! And J loovvveessss his new one, as well, so life is really good for us right now.

I've been in a reflective mood for the past few weeks, and I've been thinking about how far we've come in one year. At this time last year, we were SO worried about money, still living in that third-floor apartment with crazy and loud neighbors, and house hunting. J was in a job that he really liked, but the hours were stressful and work never seemed to be left at work. I was subbing (I job I didn't much like -- I won't lie) and tutoring while searching for my dream job and wondering if I would ever find it. While we were definitely still blessed at this time last year, I think about how our lives have been flipped-turned-upside-down {Fresh Prince style} since then, and I just want to take a moment to give all thanks to God for continually taking care of us.

...

Sorry for the sap. Moving on.

Last year, J and I snagged some Christmas decorations from Home Depot and such for some fabulous prices right after the holiday was over. J loves Christmas decorations, so he was pretty quick to set them up outside our {still new to us} house. We also got to borrow some decorations from J's parents, so we have a little nativity scene and some cute little bows and candy canes and things, too:







J decorated the mantel while I was working on lesson plans...sweet guy!
We wrestled with a camera and tripod to try to get our Christmas card picture for the year. Man, that is a lot harder than you'd think. In every picture, I could nitpick about something -- an eye wasn't open enough, my necklace was crooked, I thought I looked "SO fat," etc. We probably took 20 pictures total, and we managed to come up with a couple good ones. :) Here is one I like, taken in front of our Christmas tree:






My hair isn't holding up very well, since it had been curled approximately 8 hours earlier at this point, but I'd like you to notice that I am no longer a Hair Idiot. ;)

Anyway.

I got really interested in digital designs last year, and I vowed that I would make our Christmas card myself for 2012.

Much like my New Year's resolutions from 2011, I failed miserably at that. :)

I found a cute little shop on Etsy that was willing to make a personalized file for me on the cheap, so the following design is from Pink Pickle Studios and is our 2012 Christmas card:


{Click to enlarge}

I'm happy with the way it turned out -- cheap but cute: just the way I like things. :) I turned it into a postcard at Zazzle, but I goofed and didn't order enough. If you didn't receive one in the mail from us, consider this digital version our Christmas card to you this year.




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Illinois 2012

For those of you that don't know, J is originally from Illinois. Specifically, he's from a little suburb about an hour outside of Chicago, but when we refer to our trips up there, we just call it "Chicago." {Side note: did you know you're not supposed to pronounce the /s/ at the end of "Illinois"? Did you also know that if you pronounce the /s/ sound, anyway, it absolutely drives Jon up the wall? File that tidbit of info away for future visits with him....bwahaha!}

Anyway.

There's an annual trip to Chicago in the summertime because of "the big birthday party." Our nephew was born at the end of June and the niece that lives in IL was born mid-July, so there's a joint-birthday party around the beginning of July. {B-day shout-out to S and little J!}

I'd finished laundry and packing on Thursday, so after I went for a jog on Friday morning, I got to relax. :) I found this picture online that pretty accurately describes our packing situation:

idk where I found this online...sorry for not giving appropriate credit. :-/

While I was waiting for J to get home, I ended up watching Gangland on TV and tweeting about what I learned:







Literally, every single time I read that succession of tweets, I laugh out loud. Does anyone else laugh at their own jokes as much as I do?! Probably not. But at least I know one person is laughing... ;)

Jon took off of work a little early so we could get to the airport on time. I did some people watching, which is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I feel like going to the airport is like going to the State Fair, except it's here for my viewing pleasure year-round. Apparently, flowered leggings (for adults) are in style now...who knew?! Guess I'll continue to be unstylish, because you sure won't catch me following that trend. {I also think I decided that I'm going to the airport when I need something to do or write. I'm sure it'll provide hours of entertainment!}

J's parents have a townhouse a few minutes away from my brother- and sister-in-law's house, but I'm allergic to the cat that lives there, so my BIL and SIL let us stay with them. {Thanks, y'all!}

Our nephew, little J, was turning 6, and he has a current obsession with baseball and superheroes. Jon and I kept getting whacked with little J's blow-up bat. I can't remember if this happened on Friday or Saturday, but Jon finally borrowed the bat to visit our niece, S, who was holed up in her bedroom, probably avoiding her crazy aunt and uncle:

Yeah. He's holding a blow-up bat and wearing a Spider Man mask.

Sorry, J. You knew this was going on the blog, honey.

There were some really funny quotes from my nephew, but it seems that this is the only one I tweeted:

bwahahaha!
We obviously had a good time. ;)

The kids' birthday party was a hit, even though it was technically only little J's party {S decided to have a sleepover, instead....ah, I remember those days! :) }.

On Sunday, some of us went golfing. I pretty much get bored after about 6 holes, so I opted to save the money and just go along for the ride, instead. I had several mysteries on my Kindle set up to read, but I ended up re-reading The Help. I think it gets better every time I read it. :) {I also got a funky sunburn from the way I was sitting...curse you, pasty-white skin!}

Here are a couple of pics in the cart... one from the beginning, when my hair was down...and one toward the end when I thought, "forget this. It's hot!" and decided to forgo fashion in favor of a ponytail.

{Does anyone else think the picture on the right features me with a Quagmire face?! Definitely going on a diet this week....}
Jon played good. :) There was one time he ended up in the sand pit, though. I was concentrating on my book and wasn't paying attention until he said, "Hey, Candice. Look to your right. Do you feel like we're on a beach vacation?" I saw the sand, but there was no ocean water. :)

Awkward shot. He has better follow-through than this, people, I promise!
Monday was a bit of a lazy day...we just laid around, talked, and ate. I felt like my belly was going to explode after we got done eating on Monday. Phew, that IL food is filling. :)

We ended up getting home around midnight last night. Here's a picture of the sunset I saw during the flight:

b-e-a-U-tiful!

I got a window seat on both flights, which was nice, but... turns out, I get airsick! Ugh. I don't know what has happened to me in the past couple of years, but I swear, I can't even turn my head without feeling nauseated! I wanted to look out the window during the flight, but I had to limit myself, because as soon as I saw the ground swirling beneath us {as we turned to follow the flight path}, I would turn so pale that J actually grabbed the barf bag and got it ready to catch a little somethin' somethin'. {Ewwie.} Good thing the flight to O'Hare is only about 2 hours long. :)

Here's my last tweet of the trip. I said it on the way home from the airport: {There's construction between the airport and our house, and it completely closes a certain road after 8 pm. We were taking an alternative route and I had my head down, playing with my phone, so I wasn't paying attention to where we were. Plus, it was dark, and...if you know me, you know how I am with directions. I really had no clue where we were.}


Thanks for letting us visit, Illinois-family! 



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ms. Frizzle in the Hiz-ouse

I am so, so, SO excited about the newest change in our lives:  I got a new job!

Here's what my uncle said after he heard the news:


haha! Gotta love him. :)


Not teaching for the past year has helped me to see that education  is really where I'm supposed to be. You know, you never truly know how valuable something is until it's gone, and that's how my full-time teaching job was for me. I know I willingly gave up my last teaching position so that I could move here to be with Jon, but it never occurred to me that I may not get a teaching job again right away. Of course, everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn't change the way things worked out for the world. The past year was sometimes bumpy, as substituting wasn't always the easiest thing ever, but a wise man told me that a dream delayed is not a dream denied.... I learned a lot from the past year, but I'm happy to be moving on to something new. :)

I will be the K-4 science teacher at an elementary school less than half an hour away from our house. I am P-U-M-P-E-D! Out of all the dozens of elementary schools I've visited this year in my subbing adventures, this is, by far, my favorite one. The kids, staff, and admin are amazing... Seriously, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to teach there! Honest-to-Pete, I think it's the best school around...and now I'm teaching there?! Whaaa...?!

Source

I'm sure you're wondering what "K-4 science teacher" means; I know I was, when I went in for the job interview. hehe. :) At this district, elementary science class is sort-of similar to library, computer lab, or music: each kid in the school only visits my room once per week. I'll teach 4 classes per day and see a new grade each day. So, for instance, I might see 4 classes of kinder on Monday, 4 classes of firsties on Tuesday, etc. By the end of the week, I'll have seen all 500 of the kids in the school. I love the schedule, because it means I only plan and set up for one experiment per day and that every day is different -- never a dull moment! And I luv that I'm one of only a handful in the building that gets the pleasure of watching every single student grow throughout the year...that is going to be so fun!

I've already been combing teaching books for ideas about what to do for the coming year...and you can bet I've been web-hunting searching Pinterest for neat experiments for K-4. :) If you've got any ideas for fun science activities you remember from your elementary school days, be sure to leave them in the comments section below. :)



Monday, June 11, 2012

One-Year Anniversary

I can't believe it's already been 365 days since we became husband and wife. Time has flown in a scary way. I remember exactly what I was doing at this exact moment on our wedding day last year, though, and it's pretty safe to say that I could re-state that at any moment of the day.

Married life is wonderful. Getting to see my best friend every day has truly been a blessing!

Jon and I were talking a couple days ago about how far we've come in a year... We got married, we traveled outside the county together, we combined our bank accounts, we navigated the holidays like divorced children (since our families celebrate the major holidays in very different locations), we own two vehicles with our names on them, we own a house, we have comfy furniture and a washer/dryer of our own... J got a new and very different job. I'm in the midst of my own new-job-getting experience... It's all very surreal.

More importantly, we have a routine that has mashed our lives together. We still finish each other's sentences. We still trust each other. We're still in love.

People say that the first year is the hardest. I'm not sure if that's true, but if it is, I'd say we're headed for many blissful years together. No, it's not always easy. And it's definitely not perfect. But that's part of the fun. And at the end of the day, our marriage is stronger because of it.

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We decided to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, since today is a weekday and J's first day of work. We'd originally wanted to go on a one-year anniversary cruise, but we ended up deciding a house and furniture were more important, lol.

Interestingly, there is a little Cajun place a few miles from our house. We decided to go there for dinner, since the first night of our honeymoon was spent in New Orleans. 

This is the only picture we got together that night. Whoops. 

We both ordered fried alligator tenders with a side of red beans and rice. Considering how far away we were from New Orleans, we thought the atmosphere was pretty authentic! It was a fun little place.

We had some time to kill before our movie started, so we went to the jewelry place. Jon got me a cute little charm for my Pandora bracelet as my anniversary gift. He even picked it out early and hid it from me the whole time! I felt so horrible when I had to tell him that I already had that charm. ...My mom got it for me as an engagement/wedding gift. :-/ So we did some exchanging at Jared's....


Jon's anniversary gift to me <3
Jon says that this heart-and-key charm was his first thought for a gift, but then he remembered my aversion to yellow gold and stayed away. Aw! So of course, this is the one I picked to replace it. Love it and my Pandora bracelet!

We also stopped by the Oakley store. Jon has been eying some nicer sunglasses since he got contacts. I think he had fun trying on different kinds. :)

This was right before he went all "Zombie Jon" on me.

Jon wanted to see the Avengers, so that's where we headed. Honestly, I thought I was going to hate it. I'm totally not the comic-book-hero type of gal. And I was pretty lost through a lot of it; I'm sure the people around us got tired of me asking Jon, "Who's that? What's his super-power?" lol. But the movie was better than I expected.

We finished the night by relaxing on our new couch. It was delivered earlier that morning, so we still jumped at the chance to sit on it. ...Aw, who am I kidding? We sat on it all weekend and we're still excited about it! lol.

-----

Happy anniversary, Jonathan! I love you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Movin' On Up

Lots of positive things have been happening to Jon and me lately! Phew...where do I start?!


1. J accepted a new job position! Starting Monday, he is a sales representative for a company that sells pharmaceuticals to animal clinics. I personally think he's going to be great at it -- animals and animal drugs are totally his thing. (Um, not that he does animal drugs. He's just good at knowing all about them...*insert foot in mouth*)

I was having visions of The Office when he was telling me about this job, but Jon's position won't allow him to just drop in on any office and pitch a product -- his primary clients are ones on the west coast.

Dwight and Jim on a traveling sales call
Source
It's bittersweet for him to leave the clinic; he's been with them since high school! Jon started working for them as a kennel person back in 2004, got promoted to a Vet Tech in 2006, and then landed this Practice Manager position fresh out of college. There are lots of memories there -- even I have memories of the clinic! -- so I know he'll be stopping by to visit often. :)

2. Our niece, Alyssa, graduated from 2nd grade. I met J's parents at her awards assembly. Here's a pic:


I didn't blur A's face; she's just so wiggly that the camera couldn't keep up, I guess. ;) We got to watch Alyssa receive a science award and a folder full of other honors. Whoo-hoo!

Oh, and notice that I'm a little more dressed up as usual.... I was on my way to a job interview (squeeeee!). Things are looking up for me in the job world; I'm going back for my third interview at the central office on Tuesday. I hope we can seal the deal then. :) If I officially get the position, rest assured that I'll be telling pretty much everyone I know, because the school is ah-mazing, and I would be so, so, so proud to work there.

3. Our master bathroom counter top came in! In case you didn't read the mess of an entry I posted about an incomplete house, here's the short version: until a few days ago, we STILL did not have the counter top for our master bathroom (which means we had no sinks in there...which means we had no water in there...which means the two of us were sharing our tiny guest bathroom. Boo.) or our furniture. Lowe's finally called and told us our counter top came in!! I mean, it only took about 2 months of waiting...but who's counting, right? ;) Jon got it installed and it's b-e-a-UTIFUL!

Here's J, in the midst of installing everything
He pretty much designed this entire counter and vessel-sink combo himself; didn't he do a great job?!

Top view of our fancy new sinks. See that circle inside the middle of the sink? Just push it down to stop up the sink. It's possible I played with that feature for a good 5 minutes.

Side view of one of the sinks. Ignore that mess in the background; I'm still working on getting everything organized the way I like it. :)
4. Our bedroom furniture is...well, less of a mess. Um, hooray. Number four isn't quite as positive as the rest of this post, but it's still better than the situation in my last blog post about the house ("An Incomplete House" -- click to read it). After verbally wrestling with Room Store the phone for TWO HOURS, J and I decided to cancel our couch and chair order and just stick with the bedroom furniture from that company. The couch was what was holding us up -- there was some sort of delay in its delivery to the warehouse. J and I weren't totally in love with the couch, anyway -- it was the bedroom furniture we were most concerned about. The main thing about the bedroom furniture is that it has two piers that go on either side of our bed (lots of storage in them, as well) and a lighted bridge that connects them at the top, much like our entertainment center. We were definitely in L-U-V with that design, and we couldn't find it anywhere else (believe me, we looked)! So all the bedroom furniture is at the warehouse and ready to be delivered.....FINALLY!! Since they have to bring the furniture down from North Carolina, they said it would be 3-4 weeks before the furniture is in our house. ...Last time I checked, it doesn't take 3-4 weeks to get from NC to TX (unless you're traveling by horse and buggy?!), but I'm going to go with it. As soon as the furniture is delivered, we can finally wash our hands of Room Store and never have to do business with them again. THAT calls for a genuine "hooray!"

5. Our couch and chair were delivered today! Um, wait. I just told you that we cancelled our couch and chair order, didn't I? Let me back up. After we cancelled that order, we decided to go shopping to try to replace them last Saturday. My mother-in-love recommended this local place called The Luxury of Leather. We thought it sounded too expensive for us, but we were willing to at least give it a shot. We walked in and liked some of the pieces, but we didn't love anything enough to spend any significant amount of money on it. But the salesman approached us and told us that the pieces on the floor were mostly just for show; this store specializes in making custom pieces. We thought there was no way we could afford to purchase a custom piece of leather furniture, but because there was a sale going on + it was "no tax weekend" (saving us over $400) and we got a special discount from the salesman (another 'over $400' situation), we decided to take the plunge. I'm telling you: The Luxury of Leather has thought of it all. We got to choose pretty much everything:
  • leather type (how processed do you want it?)
  • leather color (we chose dark brown)
  • cushion firmness (we chose medium)
  • depth of cushion (we added 2" to every cushion)
  • depth of back (we added 4" to the back of our chair)
  • leg shape (we chose square)
  • leg color (we chose dark, to match our leather)
  • shape of sectional (we chose L-shaped)
  • number of cushions on each side of the sectional (we chose 2 and 3 with a corner cushion)
  • extras (options to get removable drink-holders/arm-rests that could be inserted in between the cushions and taken out at your whim -- we declined.)
Phew! These pieces were obviously more expensive, but we're OK with it. We knew that junk from Room Store would have to be replaced in 2-3 years, max, and these are pieces that will last for many years. (You can read more about their craftsmanship by clicking here.) As soon as we ordered, the salesman wanted to set up a delivery date...for 7 days later. Whaa..?! I mean, this company literally hand-crafts every single piece of furniture at their work center in Dallas; we were blown away that they could have it ready that quickly (especially when we compared it to the fiasco we're experiencing with Room Store, who apparently had to plant the trees and wait for them to be big enough to cut down before they could start making our furniture...sigh)! Here's what I sent to my mom as soon as we walked out of the store:


They said they would call the day before our scheduled delivery date to set up a good window of time for arrival. I was a little apprehensive yesterday. I mean, I've been down this road before. I've stared at the phone like a lonely teenage girl, waiting for a call about furniture delivery, and the phone has stayed silent in the past. But sure enough, quite early in the day, we got a call.

The window they gave us was from 9-11 am. They arrived at 9:15. Seriously, Luxury of Leather -- I am singing. Your. PRAISES!! :) Here are some pics to relieve you from all this reading:

Our living room is a lot bigger than we estimated it to be, or else our couch is a lot smaller than we estimated. :) In any case, it doesn't really fill up our living room, and we had to move the entertainment center to make everything look "right." But we're glad we did it that way so that there's a big walk way.

6 cushions to fix 6 people on our 1 couch! *happy dance*

I'm in absolute love with this fabric. I shopped on Etsy and got Sherrie from Bristow Treasures to make 3 throw pillow for us. I think they're so cheery and fun!

The recliner that doesn't look like a recliner


"I think this is long enough for KD to sit on!" was one of the first sentences out of Jon's mouth. KD is, for all your non-Thunder fans, Kevin Durant, one of our fav players from the OKC Thunder. :)
Whoo-hoo!!!! I officially put up the OSU lawn chair that was my seat in the living room, and we're returning the white chair and ottoman we've been borrowing from Jon's parents for over a year (I heard my father-in-love is very happy about this return. hehe). I feel like we can finally hang some things on the walls to complete the look. All we're waiting on now (furniture-wise) is our bedroom set....

And since the front of our house is complete (except for hanging things on the walls), we can now have guests! Yippee!! Who wants to come over? ;)




Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Sister's Graduation & My Best Friend's Wedding

How I forgot to post about these events is beyond me. These are major life events, people! And this blog is for writing alllllll about them. So, without further ado, let the writing begin:

{Class of 2012}

My little sister graduated on Tuesday, May 15. Yeah, it was a super-weird graduation time. I actually graduated on a Thursday, so this middle-of-the-week stuff isn't new for my hometown. I never thought anything was wrong with it until this year, either. But I was thanking my lucky stars that I didn't get a teaching job this year so that I was able to go up in the middle of the week (without taking off work) to catch Caitie's big event! (Isn't it funny how even what we think is such a bad thing -- no teaching job this year -- can turn out to be good sometimes?)

Anyway.

Little C looked so grown-up in her cap and gown! Here's a peek for you:

I am in love with this picture. She just looks so gorgeous!
Here's a pic I snapped with the crappy photo app on my iPhone when she got her diploma:

My dad got to hand both my sister and me our high school diplomas. Sweet.
And here's a pic with the proud graduate before J and I had to race back home that night to get ready for a "pre-move out inspection" at our apartment complex early the next morning:

Funny story about that dress I'm wearing: I had to buy it about one hour before we left for graduation, as the dress I brought accidentally got ruined. The new dress was a little too short for my taste, which may explain why my hands are clasped oddly at my crotch area....?! Who knows. Like Ricky Bobby, I never know what to do with my hands!

I think the fact that my baby sister just graduated from high school is still pretty surreal to all of us. It's hard to believe she's old enough for that! :) Little C has been taking college courses for the past year, though (through the concurrent program offered at our high school and the local college). She got a full ride to said college, so she's going to take more classes there in the fall while she pursues a degree in radiology.

{My BFF's Wedding}

J and I had some business to take care of back at home on Wednesday and Thursday, but then on Friday, we were loading our suitcases in the car again to head up for Kaci and Nick's wedding!

The bridesmaids spent the night at Kaci's parent's house on Friday night, so I was up until the wee hours of the morning, watching re-runs of Say Yes to the Dress and gabbing with the ladies. It's time like that when I'm especially grateful that my parents love J (and the feeling is mutual), as I left him all alone with them for two days. :)

Kaci and Nick got married at a precious little chapel at 1 pm on Saturday, May 19. Their colors were blue, white, and black, and the wedding coordinators at the chapel did a great job of making everything beautiful and easy! Here I am with the glowing bride:

The song, "Isn't She Lovely?" just started playing in my head. :)
By the way: my sister did my hair for  both her graduation and Kaci's wedding, and I loved it! So if the radiology thing doesn't work out, at least we know she could be a hair stylist. ;)

The wedding was so pretty, and I think all the guests had a good time! The newlyweds are currently on their last day of their honeymoon on the beaches in Florida.

{Other Stuff}

Speaking of weddings, J and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary in less than 3 weeks. It's crazy to think that we've almost been married a whole year! I feel like so much has happened in just this short little year.... The biggest, of course, being that we bought our first house. We've been busy renovating the outside and trying our best to make the inside as cozy as possible while waiting for our master bathroom to be finished and our bedroom and living room furniture be delivered (read more about that crazy debacle by clicking here). 

Awhile back, I created this moving announcement on PhotoShop and totally forgot about it until now. Whoops.  I meant to print it and mail it out to all our friends and family, but....you know how hectic things are now. Here's a peek at the moving announcement, minus revealing details (for privacy reasons, of course):

This is the front. That big, blue blob at the top is where our new address is.
Here's the back. I don't know what I was thinking; I couldn't send this as a postcard, anyhow! But the big, blue blob is where our last name is. :)
Obviously, any mailing address that you currently have for our family needs to be trashed. Send me an e-mail or a Facebook message if you need our new mailing address!

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Of course, the job hunt is still on, so any prayers you could offer His way would be greatly appreciated! :)

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We also purchased bikes and have been biking a little here and there during our free time. It feels good to ride leisurely along, knowing I'm spending time with my best friend and burnin' calories. :) We've been trying to get healthier, one small step at a time. I must've had some sort of fever on Thursday, because I decided it was a good idea to ride about 4 miles on my bike and jog about 2 miles right afterwards. ...Let's just say that I won't be doing that again for a long time. ;) We're definitely not health-nuts, by any means -- and kinda don't want to be -- but it does feel good to get healthier.

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Oh, yeah: I joined Instagram. Wasn't crazy about adding another social networking site to my list, but finally gave in, just so I could see what all the hype is about. In case you don't know, it's basically Twitter, but for pictures instead of statuses. I haven't gotten in the habit of pulling it out all the time, but I'm hoping it will grow on me, as it might be a great way to help me meet one of my New Year's resolutions: take more pictures! If you have an Instagram account on your iDevice or Android, you're welcome to send me a friend request! Just search for username @candicejanae, and you should find me pretty easily. You'll have to request to see my pictures, as I shudder at the thought of allowing the entire world to see my private photos, but if I know you, I can almost guarantee I'll accept your request. :) If you have an Instagram account and I've approved your request, you can also view my pictures on the computer, using this cool program called Webstagram. Here's the link to my profile, but again, you'll have to have an account and have your friend request approved before you can see anything I've posted.

I think I've rambled on long enough. Ta-ta for now.



Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Incomplete House

Moving day came and went (April 28th), and we think all of our stuff made it to the new house. :)

Special thanks to our moving helpers: Jon's mom, my mom and dad, my sister, Meme and Papa, and our friend Akard. You guys rock!

We started moving around 11 am, which gave my family time to drive down in the morning without having to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to get here in time (as we'd already packed up the guest bedroom stuff, and they couldn't come down early), and it gave Akard time to wake up, period. LOL. Jon and I were packing some last-minute items that morning, as well.

With all our fantastic help, we probably finished moving around 3 pm. This includes random lunch breaks, since Meme and Papa were busily breaking in our new kitchen with delicious enchiladas, cabbage rolls, green beans, pot roast, loaded mashed potatoes, salad, peach cobbler, and a massive pile of cookies.

Jon and I are both fairly OCD about organization, so we put away as many things as we could that weekend. However, it was difficult because we still did not have our furniture. (More about that later.)

Our first two weeks in the home have been great....at least, as great as they can be. We currently have no bedroom or living room furniture. We also currently have no sink(s) in our master bathroom.

I'll talk about our master bathroom sink in just a minute. Let's first talk about our missing furniture:

Do you remember that blog post I wrote back in February, telling you about the crazy amount of beautiful furniture we'd purchased? We got a bedroom set (a chest with a mirror, a dresser, a bed frame with two piers and a lighted bridge) and a living room set (an L-shaped couch, a matching chair, two end tables, and a fancy coffee table) from Room Store Furniture. We got to take the end tables and coffee table home that night, but the other pieces were set to be delivered the week of March 12 (the week of our home closing).

The week of March 12th came and went...and we heard nothing from Room Store. It wasn't a huge deal, since we were still painting and hadn't moved in yet. Another week went by, and I didn't hear a thing. So I decided to call Room Store myself. It was then that they informed me that our furniture was on back order and would not be available until the end of April.

Hmm. I was annoyed that I had to call them to receive this information (you'd think the communication would be better on their part), but the end of April was still do-able. We weren't moving in until April 28, so who cares if we don't have furniture until then?

In the middle of April, I started making some phone calls to Room Store to set up delivery times. When I called them, I was informed that the furniture would now not be available until the beginning of May, and would I please call back at the time? ...Sure. What other choice did I have?

So our move-in date came and went, and we organized things as best we could. Since I cannot lift the heavy furniture myself, and we were going to be getting our new furniture any day now, we decided to place the old furniture in the guest room and the old couch in the garage. We knew that this was the final resting place for those items, since I can't lift them, and we've pretty much worn out our moving help out from the past two times of moving our crap up and down three flights of stairs (thanks again, Akard!), but it was fine because our furniture was coming soon.

Or so we thought.

After we moved in, it was officially the first week of May, so I called Room Store back to figure out when we could have everything delivered. I was told that the furniture availability was now pushed back to the middle of May.

Now I'm getting aggravated. Jon and I have clothes in our closet, but our other clothing is in the guest room. We can't organize our bedroom OR the guest room because we don't want to get everything out and ready just to move it again when our new bedroom set gets here. In our living room, we have the tables, but we only have two lonely chairs. We had wanted to have guests over at our new house, but this seating is not allowing for that.

A lady from Room Store called me two weeks ago, wanting to confirm the delivery location. I got very excited because I thought that meant we would have something to sit on and something in which to put our clothing. WRONG. She was yankin' my chain. The furniture is now on back-order until the end of May.

I had been very patient. (Any employee at the AT&T store would vouch for me, saying that I could've been a lot nastier on the phone to the Room Store employees, as I regularly called AT&T's U-Verse crew to complain about how they insisted on inflating our bill by $30 more than the promised amount each and every month since the beginning of 2012.) But my patience had run thin. So I called Room Store this week to see about some compensation for our long wait. Not only have we been waiting since March 12th for available furniture, but no one ever bothered to tell me the delivery date was pushed back until I called them. I consider that poor customer service, and it would be nice to be compensated for that.

We were told that we could get a 15% coupon for future orders. I have three problems with that:

  1. Compensation means you give me something. Not "I give you something and then you give me something in return." So a 15% off coupon of FUTURE ORDERS is not okay. 
  2. Room Store closed all their Texas locations about a month or two after we did business with them. The Room Store employee I talked to informed me that I could order new furniture online with my coupon, although my discount would not cover taxes or delivery fees. But this brings me to point number three:
  3. I NEVER WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH INCOMPETENT PEOPLE AGAIN, and that is what I feel like I'm dealing with when I talk to Room Store. Why would I give you more of my money when you have been yanking me around since February 12th? I need furniture, people! My current chair in the living room is an OSU chair designed for the LAWN. It has no place in my living room, but I have no other option because you cannot communicate properly and/or get your crap together. 
So I called again this week, to see what other type of compensation we could get. I spoke with a very frank manager who literally said, "what do you want from us?" I told her a percentage off my bill would make me happy. 15% to be exact. She said I would have to call back after the furniture arrives because they cannot do "those types of transactions" before the furniture is actually in the home. It is then that the manager slips and says that even though the furniture may be available at the end of May, it usually takes 3-4 weeks for it to be delivered, since we no longer live in a state where a Room Store Furniture store is located.

We are hopping mad. No one ever informed us of this extra delivery time, and we have already put in our waiting time. It is not my fault that the Texas stores went out of business right after we ordered from them, and if you tell me that I'll get my furniture on one date, that should be with delivery time included!

We went furniture shopping yesterday, hoping to find replacements from a business that actually knows the proper way to treat paying customers. We still have high hopes for finding a couch and chair, but we're not finding anything remotely close to that bedroom set. It's the piers and the bridge with all that extra storage that are throwing us off; they're almost impossible to find in our price range! We're so angry about giving our money to Room Store after this fiasco, but we aren't able to find any alternatives at this point because we still need the furniture.

So that's the story on the the furniture. We'll be sitting on lawn chairs and getting clothes out of the guest bedroom until Independence Day! *insert red, mad face with steam coming out of its ears here*

Now to talk about our master bathroom sinks!

Jon has been working hard on that master bathroom. He re-wired everything, re-piped everything, and got all the extras set up so it was juuuust right. He got cabinets in there so we have more storage, and it's looking great! The only thing we lack is the counter-top. He picked out a granite counter-top from Lowe's and ordered it very early. I don't remember the original order date; I just remember him looking at how long it would take to get the counter-top in and counting backwards from there to figure out when to order it so it would be ready before we moved in. We planned all this out, people!

Just like with Room Store, the delivery date comes and goes, and we hear nothing. Jon calls to inquire and...oh, happy day! There's a problem with the order!

Apparently, the guy who took our order cannot follow directions. He decided not to include the cuts for the faucets like Jon had asked. So we could take our counter-top now (without faucet holes) or wait another two weeks (and that's the rush job!). What good is a bathroom counter-top without faucet holes?! So we're [unhappily] waiting.

Another two weeks goes by, and Jon calls again. Looks like the order was never processed. So we're out another two weeks. At least Lowe's is offering us a 20% discount off the total of that order to compensate for their incompetence, unlike Room Store, who is in la-la-land and oblivious to the fact that they've even done anything wrong.

What stinks the most is that Jon and I are planners. We had this planned out a long time ago, so it's not like we waited until the last minute to make these orders. We ordered with enough time so that all our stuff would be ready when we moved in and it would be smooth sailing from there. Instead, we're faced with this cluster of incompetence as we wait for all our orders to actually process before 2020.

I do apologize for the general bitterness of this post; I usually try to take a lighthearted approach to all the mishaps that occur in our lives, but I am so steaming mad about both of these things that I cannot seem to see the humor in it.

Our house is still a shambles because we have no where to store things, we cannot have guests over because there is no where for them to sit, and our house is STILL incomplete and inconvenient to live in.

We might look back on this and laugh, but I have a feeling that's going to have to be far in the future. I'm annoyed with Lowe's, but am satisfied that they are at least compensating us for their mistakes, so we will continue to do business with them.

Room Store, however, can go jump in the lake. Their lack of communication and general incompetence on dealing properly with paying customers absolutely appalls me. No wonder they had to close some stores. News flash, Room Store: no one wants to do business with you if you treat your customers like dirt. For any friends, family, or anonymous reader who has stayed this long: I urge you to stay as far away from Room Store as possible. 

At this point, I'm about ready to take up wood-working myself; I'll probably master the skill and build all our furniture myself before Room Store decides to deliver on their end of the deal.

Harrumph. I'm going to grump somewhere offline. As soon as our stuff gets delivered and we can put the house in order, I'd love to show you some pictures of what we've done with the place!



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dear Future Us

Get Botox. 

OK, I'll explain a little more. 

See, Jon's best friend introduced me to this iPhone app called Oldify.  It's an application that takes pictures of you or people you know and turns them into old people by giving them sunspots, wrinkles, etc. 

Jon's best friend kindly sent me pictures of what Jon and I will look like when we're, oh, about 80, and we were hawt stuff, lemme tell ya. 

I was bored and decided to download the app for myself. I was cracking myself up, so I thought I'd share my results with you.

Here is my husband now. I don't know why I picked this picture to transform...just go with it.


Here is my husband, had we decided to get married in 2070.


Yum.

I took a picture of myself in the car (Jon was driving; don't freak out). So here I am today.


And here I am in the future.


Jon kindly said, "You don't age that much. I look like I got beaten with a stick." 

Oh, honey. It warms my heart that even after 50 years together, you still think I'm lovely. haha. 

The app also has a video feature! You can place markers where your eyes and mouth are, and the app will make you "blink" and "yawn." They'll record it in about a 15 second video and you can send it to others, e-mail it to yourself, or post it on your social networking sites. 

It's a .mov file, so I have no idea how to get it off my e-mail and attach it to this blog post. :( Too bad...it's funny! 

If you know how, please comment below so that I can share my hilarity with you. :) For now, just enjoy the still-life versions of my handsome hubs and myself.