Tuesday, July 26, 2011

House Hunting Mission: Complete!

Hi Y'all! Got to start practicing my southern twang ;-)

Here's the update on my house-hunting trip to Clarksville. We found a house!!

My mom was there with me through the entire process, lending her input and previous home-buying experience which was greatly appreciated. We arrived late on Wednesday night so we started looking first thing on Thursday morning! We looked at eight houses that first day, and wouldn't you know it, "our" home was the second one we saw! But let me tell you, house hunting is exhausting!! I don't think I could see straight that night...we just threw on our pj's, ordered a pizza, and called it a night! We started again first thing Friday morning looking at a few other houses and we went back to our top two to look around again. This time I took videos to give Ian a better feel of each home. I knew, having gone back to look again, which one I was leaning toward, but since he wasn't there, I didn't want to try and persuade him too much. I held my breath when he watched them but to my relief he picked the one I loved the most too! So I called our fantastic realtor up later that night and we met and hammered out an offer!

Then the loooonnnnggg wait began! The homeowner was out of town so we had to give them extra time to respond. Good thing there is a winery near by because by Saturday afternoon I really needed to calm my nerves!

On our way to explore Nashville that night we finally got the call! The sellers made a verbal counteroffer (until they could get home and sign official paperwork) and it was a very good offer! We accepted!! I signed our acceptance on Sunday, and signed my portion of the loan application on Monday morning before we headed to the airport. Now we just have to pass inspection (scheduled for Monday) and the appraisal, and the home is ours! EEEKKKK!!! So exhilarating but terrifying at the same time!

Here are some photos of our home (fingers crossed, please!) and our time in Clarksville  - which I l.o.v.e.d.

Our home :-)

The kitchen really spoke to me 

Looking from the kitchen and eating area into living room


Master bedroom (note: all those blinds on the ground are going to be put up)

His and her closets looking into bathroom with his and her vanities

Bonus room

Dining room 

Mom and I at Beachaven Winery 

The King and I in Nashville

Mom overlooking the river near downtown Clarksville

Downtown Clarksville - note to self: Nothing is open on Sundays! 

Gorgeous churches are on almost every corner!

I absolutely cannot wait to move there now! Please wish us luck with the rest of the closing process! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Off to Clarksville I go!

I am leaving early tomorrow morning for my house hunting adventure! My mom is flying in too and will be a HUGE help since we have never bought a home before and Ian isn't able to come with me. I can't wait to see her! Hopefully in the near future I will be posting all about our new home :-) Please send prayers and happy thoughts for safe travel and clarity in the home-buying process.

I'll leave you with the majestic sight! Arizona sure does have some pretty moments and in addition to the rain, one of the best parts of monsoon season is all the rainbows we have seen. God sure did create a beautiful world!

Ian's Career Course Graduation

Ian graduated his Military Intelligence Captain's Career Course (MICCC) today here at Fort Huachuca and I am so proud! It is about a five-month long course and now means he can move on with his Army career! He has been studying very hard and was less than one point away from graduating in the Top 20 of his class. I keep telling him this is a huge failure on his part (kidding of course!) but I am still one proud wiffy! He has one more course to take here for another five weeks and then we are off to Fort Campbell and I. CAN'T. WAIT!

All the graduates

Getting his certificate! 

With my handsome graduate!


Much Ado About Scottsdale

Hi All!

This week is one fun, crazy week in our Household Six!

We spent a wonderful, relaxing weekend in Scottsdale, AZ, about a three-and-a-half hour drive from here. Our friends from PLU gave us a wonderful wedding gift that included a gift card to the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale and a gift card for a dinner date at our choice of restaurant within a specific corporation. What a phenomenal idea, let me tell you, because this weekend was just what we needed! We are beyond grateful!

The resort has TEN pools that are open 24 hours! 

I've been obsessed with Sangria lately and this little number did not disappoint! 

At Olive and Ivy after a delicious meal 

We capped off the weekend with a Diamondbacks baseball game...and they won! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back To School: Redux

With the strong potential of buying our first home on the horizon, I decided to get my booty in gear yesterday and get organized. I bought a new file folder to organize all our paperwork needed for our lender, real estate agent, and closing process. I also even bought a small (cute) notepad to take notes of the houses I walk through during the house hunt. I also stocked up on supplies for my recipe binder - thanks to some great advice from some of you! Can you tell I am a bit Type A?

While I was perusing the aisles of Target looking for my supplies, I couldn't help but feel a bit nostalgic for my school days and back-to-school shopping! I never dreaded the beginning of school each fall and loved when the time came at the end of summer to stock up on new supplies! I can remember carefully selecting each supply to go into my new, also carefully selected backpack which housed my equally important lunch box. My friends and I even had "show and tell" with our new belongings - which inevitably would be lost, stained or damaged by October. Oh how I miss those days!

Wouldn't it be nice to still have your biggest stressor choosing which Lisa Frank binder to get?

I definitely stocked up on plenty of Yikes! pencils in grade school! 

Remember when colored notebook paper became all the rage? Or was that just a PNW thing?

What about you? Does the smell of an eraser or glue make you swoon? Any supplies from your childhood jump to mind? For all you parents out there, is back-to-school shopping a chore or a treat for you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

This week seemed to fly by and I am very happy about it! One more week closer to going house-hunting in Clarksville and seeing my mom! 

1. Does you significant other read your blog? Is this a good or a bad thing? He does when he thinks about it but not always. This is probably good because there's some things that I can articulate better in writing than I can in person at times, so he gets more insight in a way.  

2. What is one item in your house that holds the most sentimental value and why? I am extremely sentimental about several things, and pictures usually top the list! When we were preparing to evacuate because of the fires, I gathered all our albums and favorite framed pictures. But my #1 piece, that I would be inconsolable if I ever lost, is the necklace my parents gave my for my college graduation. Not only is it beautiful,timeless, and goes with anything, but it is made with the diamond that was in my grandmother's wedding ring. It is precious to me for so many reasons. 

Good shot of the necklace - just excuse my skin, I had an allergic reaction in Belize! 

3. When it comes to water fun in the summer do you prefer the beach, pool, lake or sprinkler? While I love the beach, I would have to go with a lake or river...I love intertubing, water skiing, boating, etc., plus you can picnic and just lay on the sand like you would do at the beach anyway! 

Having a blast on the river with my friend Rachel while staying at my friend Jared's cabin

4. What is the one special thing that you do for yourself to get you through the first week of a deployment/separation? I have only been through one deployment, but I went home to my parents for a few days. It was nice to be away from our home and remove myself from the Army world for a little bit and surround myself with the comforts of my childhood home. But at the end of the week I got together with some other Army wives, which was also great because we knew we were all in this together! 

5. What is your biggest guilty pleasure website? I love catching the recaps of some of my favorite shows on Entertainment Weekly. The recaps of The Bachelorette and Real Housewives are particularly hilarious and I love reading all the comments from viewers. Lately I have also been loving a lot of home decor websites too! I regularly read Hooked on Houses and The Nest for inspiration. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In
Happy 4th of July weekend!!! Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays!

1. Have you (spouse) ever considered joining the military and what do you think of dual-military couples? Me? Forced to wake up early and wear the same thing every day? Not my cup of tea! But in all seriousness, my father has encouraged me in the past to consider it, for the experiences and job security, but I knew it just wasn't for me. Plus now that I am married to my military man, I can still see many places in this country and rest of the world! I think every couple does what is best for their relationship and lifestyle, but for me, even if I were to join the military, I would want to make sure one of us is always at home with our (future) children.

2. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon? Our tradition as of late is to enjoy Chipotle for lunch after church but in a normal non-ridiculously-hot-desert world I also like to hike, lay by the water, or do just about anything outside!

3. What do you usually do for the 4th of July holiday? It varies every year, but it usually includes grilling, family or friends, and fireworks! I L.O.V.E fireworks!!! Unfortunately this year, being in a fire scorched desert, there will be no fireworks and I am so sad - but am looking forward to spending time with great friends!

 July 4, 2010 - Listening to an awesome Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band on the Tacoma Waterfront

The look of love <3

Ian had just returned from Iraq so this Independence Day was extra meaningful in more ways than one! And the fireworks show was extraordinary! 

4. If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you'd metal in, what would it be? Ian's suggestion: "Being short." Gee, thanks sweetheart. I know it wouldn't include anything athletic because in the words of my Dad "Dukleth's just weren't meant to go fast"...truer words have never been spoken! I would say it probably would be reality TV or Titanic (the actual accident, not just the movie) trivia. And with that I am going to go crawl under a rock with this self-esteem boosting morning!

Did you know that until it's discovery in 1986, nobody believed the first-hand accounts of the ship splitting in two? Experts believed the witnesses were confused by the traumatic event and mistaken. 

5. What have you been doing to get yourself bathing suit ready for the summer? Running, spin, elliptical, yoga and pilates, and toning videos. And trying to eat healthy - emphasis on trying. However, I definitely don't consider myself bikini-ready!

I hope everyone has a fun, safe and thrilling Independence Day weekend! Let us all share a moment to be thankful for all our freedoms and those who have fought to give us them! God bless the U.S.A!