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!