An outing is a pleasant trip to the outdoors.
An adventure is an outing gone wrong.
A Break From My Blog
I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but this summer I took a pretty big break from my blog. Since it wasn’t intentional, I never posted about it so I’m sorry if anyone actually looked forward to reading my weekly blog. But I am back and I feel like I can finally write again so I thought I’d tell you all why I needed such a long break.
The biggest reason for me was my physical and mental health. If I’m brave enough, next week I will post about what has been going on there for the last few months. I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to share that with everyone yet but I will soon because I’ve never been one to keep secrets from anyone. I do feel however that I am still processing everything so if I’m not brave enough to post about it next week, I will post about it eventually.
For now I will just say that both my husband and I have had a summer full of big feelings. Since this blog is from my perspective and not his and I would never write about another person’s feelings, this post will not include how he has felt this summer. He did offer to write a post from his perspective if anyone would be interested in that. If you are, you can leave a comment and we will consider it.
My second reason why I haven’t been writing is because I have been so busy that I just haven’t had time to sit down and write. That is such a silly excuse but I have been traveling so much this summer that I haven’t had access to a computer or reliable WiFi. I never blog on my phone because I don’t like to write a ton on a keyboard that is designed to text.
Anyway, I think I will dedicate the next portion of this post to tell you about my summer adventures.
In May I went home to Alaska. My brother and his wife were going on vacation so my sister in-law and I were going to babysit all the kids. Long story short, they canceled their vacation because my brother’s baby ended up in the hospital. Everyone is happy and healthy now but for a second there it was pretty scary.
June was a month full of big feelings and I will get more into that next week?
In July my sister asked me if I could go home to Alaska to babysit her kids for a few weeks. One of my brothers ended up coming to visit us and we installed a dishwasher. Other than that it was pretty uneventful although I was still dealing with everything from June so I was pretty exhausted the whole time.
August has been another month full of big feelings and changes and I will also get more into that next week.
Anyway hopefully this updated you guys a little bit on how the summer has been.
Help! We Accidentally Bought a House..
We are buying a house!
When we moved here, my husband and I were given two weeks to find a place to move into. We did and so far I don’t really care for the apartment we are currently in for a number of reasons. This post won’t be a list of reasons why I don’t like where we are currently living, it will serve as an informal First Time Home Owners Guide on How to Buy a House.
Step 1: Have a conversation with your partner. Here is how the conversation between my husband and I roughly went.
Husband: “Do you think we should buy a house?”
Wife: “Not really. I thought we wanted to move again in a year or two?”
Husband: “We do, but our rent currently costs more than a mortgage payment would, so do you think we should buy a house?”
Wife: “I guess if it will be cheeper, sure!”
Step 2: Go buy a house. We spent about a month or so trying to figure out how to buy a house before we realized we didn’t know what we were doing. Then we gave up and hired a relator.
Step 3: Tour all the houses your relater picks out. This is the most fun part because we would mostly just hem-and-haw about the housing options.
Step 4: Go to the bank. We had to do this because I realized that my husband was actually serious and not joking about wanting to buy a house.
Step 5: Settle for a house that is actually in your price range. We looked at a lot of houses that we could afford that needed a lot of work, but there were also some good ones. So we ended up picking the best most affordable one and its actually a pretty good house.
Step 6: Panic because you don’t have enough for the down payment and closing costs. My husband and I did this for about a week before we realized that we had enough money because people gave us money at our wedding and we had already been saving up to buy a house.
Step 7: Make an offer on the house. This was pretty complicated so unfortunately I have already forgotten most of the important things you are supposed to do during this part of the home buying process.
Step 8: Go to the bank a lot more. We ended up going to the bank a ton because there is a lot of paperwork and its hard to get everything done in one bank appointment.
Step 9: Have a home inspection and get your house appraised. I don’t really know how to explain what those things are, but they’re important so we did them. We learned that our house is livable and expensive.
Step 10: Realize that you need home owners insurance. This step made my husband and I a little nervous because we sort of forgot we needed it. But we found some pretty affordable quotes and everything ended up working out.
Step 11: Keep going back to the bank a lot. I think banks like paperwork and somehow they always seem to always have more no matter how times you’ve previously gone in.
Step 12: Move into your new house. Even though we haven’t moved in yet, I am not looking forward to this. I forgot how much work it is to move and how exhausting it is to unpack everything.
Step 13: Adopt a dog or a cat. This is probably the most important step in the home buying process because everyone needs a dog or a cat. We currently live in a pet free apartment so I cannot wait to move so we can adopt a puppy, dog, cat, or maybe all three!
Step 14: Live happily ever after! Or at least live happily ever after until you decide to move again.. We probably will end up moving again sometime in the next 5 to 10 years but I secretly am hoping that we don’t because its a lot of work and I’m pretty lazy.
So that is pretty much the story of how we became home owners.
After being in our new house for a few days, I have had time to reflect on the process of getting settled into a new home. I thought packing up a house was a big enough chore, but I did not prepare myself for the task of trying to find a useful place for everything Mike and I were unpacking.
There are still boxes sitting in the living room, waiting to be gone through. For now I have decided to drape a tablecloth over them to make our home look a little less cluttered.
To make matters more exciting, Mike and I didn’t own any furniture except a bed when we moved. The reason we are such minimalists is because the last home we lived in was furnished and the one we just moved into is not.
If you ever have the opportunity to furnish a home, you will find that it is pretty expensive. So we have decided to look at thrift stores for things like tables and dressers. We did go to Walmart and buy the cheapest folding chairs they had so we didn’t have to sit on the floor.
I have also found that there are about a million other things to do when you first move into a new house besides the obvious tasks. For example, finding a good internet provider, registering our cars for parking, and applying for a new post office box. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Even though we are almost completely unpacked, I think the hardest part of this experience was figuring out where to hang the pictures and deciding where I would put everything away.
As you all know, Mike and are moving. A few days ago in the middle of frantically packing and trying to downsize by getting rid of nonessential household items, I remembered that it was nearly Mike’s Birthday!
It might sound silly, but his birthday marked an important milestone for us as a couple. We started dating in college three years ago and because we would go home on breaks between semesters, we always missed each other’s birthday.
So this year was a big deal. For the first time in our relationship I would be able to give Mike his birthday present in person. Naturally I wanted to surprise my new husband by making his cake instead of buying it, but since we are moving I decided to have a combination cake.
The next day while he was at work, I baked him a two layer red velvet cake from a mix and frosted it with store bought cream cheese frosting. I had already packed my cake stand and most of our dishes so I improvised by serving it to him on the back of a cutting board along with his gift and a card.
Later we went out with some friends which made Mike’s birthday the perfect way to finally get to celebrate together as a couple.
An Update on Our Move
Before I get started with my newest post I would like to say that all of the pictures I have used in my blog so far are either from the Wikimedia free photo library, from the WordPress free photo library or my own. I thought I would add something about the photos I have been using so that nobody can say I have been plagiarizing or using someone else’s work unlawfully.
As you know, Mike and I are moving this Thursday and it dawned on me last night that I had forgotten about all the other things we needed to get done besides packing. So I made a list.
Panic Because You’re Moving in Seven Days and You Didn’t Get Anything Done
- Talk to the current Landlord
- Finalize the housing plans in the new town
- Pay rent for the new house
- Get a post office box in the new town
- Update our forwarding address and cancel the old post office box
- Cancel the WiFi
- Eat all the food in the house that we don’t want to move with
- Donate all food we didn’t eat to the local food bank
- Donate all the clothes and other things we don’t want to move with to the local thrift store
- Rent a U-Haul
- Move all the boxes from the house to the U-Haul
- Take out the trash (hopefully for the last time)
- Clean the house (again, hopefully for the last time)
- Stop blogging about moving and actually move
- Clean the new house
- Unpack everything into the new house
- Get new WiFi
- Furnish the new apartment
- Go grocery shopping because we ate all the food we had before we moved and now we are starving
So now everyone is updated on how our move is going. I probably won’t post again until sometime after we are a little more settled into our new house.
Since moving into the middle of nowhere Montana, I have come to measure civilization by the number of Walmarts a town or city has. This may seem a little weird, but where we are currently living there are about ten small towns scattered throughout the abyss and the closest Walmart is a two and a half hour drive away. The most exciting part of this post is that we are moving to the closest town in the region with a Walmart!
This past Friday Mike and I left the house at about 7am and drove to meet with a couple of rental management agencies to tour a few apartments and houses. About the same time we left the house, the sun began to rise and I felt like we were driving into a new beginning.
Unfortunately house hunting ended up not being as exciting as I expected. Mike and I learned that there are only two sections in the whole town. One is called the “good” side of town and the other is called the “bad” side of town. Even with this distinction, it seemed to me that the houses in both sides of town had an equal amount of neglect.
Our first rental management agent took us to an apartment complex that had been the town’s first post office before being converted into a hotel. A while later someone decided to convert it into an apartment complex which was located in the “bad” side of town. The building was a little on the rickety side, but there was a one bedroom apartment available that was in better shape than the houses we toured in the “good” side of town.
We met with a second rental management agent who had a number of houses and trailers available, but decided not to show us because they were in pretty tough shape and she didn’t want us living in any of them. All the homes she managed were in the “good” side of town.
She did have a two bedroom house with an older woman living in the basement that we were a little interested in. If we decided to live there, we would be prohibited from walking too loudly because it would bother the lady downstairs. Another issue was that the previous renter had just moved out and had left the place in shambles so there was a lot of repairs that needed to be done before someone could move in.
After meeting with both people, Mike and I decided to talk things over. We went to Walmart for some packing supplies and then decided to drive home. Even though it was March there was a winter storm warning for later that day, but we hoped we would be able to beat it.
Boy were we wrong. It started snowing casually and then the wind started to howl. Before we knew it we were driving home in a blizzard. To make things even more exciting there was a semi-truck jack-knifed in the middle of the road. After about an hour, we finally made it about 10 miles down the road.
When we finally made it to the next town over, we had to stop at a gas station to scrap a few inches of snow and ice off our headlights, taillights, and windshield. We drove in the same conditions for another couple of hours and after that, the sun came out. Eventually it stoped snowing and we were able to drive back to the house without anything else exciting happening.
Now we are just waiting to see if there will have a house for us to move into next week.
Packing.. Packing.. And More Packing..
I have some exciting news! Mike’s job is transferring him to another city!
I’m super thrilled for him because he has wanted to transfer for a few months. This is a huge success for him.
I however am not super thrilled to be packing the house again.
In case you haven’t read my previous blogs, Mike and I have only been married for about 3 months and we didn’t live together until after we were married. This means that I just spent the last three months moving all my things from Alaska to Montana. I also spent a ton of time decorating each room so we would have a home, not just a house.
Yesterday when he told me that we would be moving in a few weeks, I jokingly told him that if I had known that we would be leaving so soon after moving in together I never would have unpacked.
So the chaos of packing up a two bedroom home has begun.
And the adventure of house hunting will begin this Friday.
Unfortunately I have been procrastinating by writing this post so I think I had better stop editing and get something productive done.
I will keep everyone updated as our newest adventure unfolds.
I know that laundry is not a super exciting subject so I will try to dress up the discussion of it as much as I can.
When living at home with your parents, you often have a washing machine and dryer in your home.
If you live on campus in college, you probably have a small laundry on your floor or at least in your building.
If you live in an apartment complex, you most likely have access to a laundry that is walking distance from your house.
If you still need to do laundry and for some unknown reason decide you want to leave the house to do it, there will most likely be at least one laundry-mat in your town.
I unfortunately do not have access to any of these luxuries when it comes to doing laundry.
If you don’t know already, I just moved to an itty-bitty town in Montana and am living in a basement-house with my husband; and we are not privileged enough to own a washing machine or dryer yet. This would not be a huge inconvenience if there was a hint of laundry-mat in town. Unfortunately, the nearest one is about an hour’s drive down the road to the next town over.
Because of this, the “simple” task of doing laundry becomes a character building adventure.
Let me paint you a small picture of my laundry day.
First, I wake up at 5 am because Mike goes to work at 6. Then I go on facebook and drink coffee and try very hard to wake up. At about 7 am I am capable of rational thought so I make a list. This is the first of many lists and is actually a very important step in my day. If I didn’t have lists I would probably leave the house without my brain.
Usually my first list tells me what I need to get done in the next town over. It includes things like:
- Go to bank
After I make my first list, I make a second list of groceries I will need throughout the next week. When I am done, I make one more list. This is arguably the most important one because it tells me exactly what to bring on my outing.
I will give you an example.
- Dirty laundry
- Laundry Detergent
- Fabric Softener
- Dryer Sheets
- Reusable Grocery Bags
- Insulated Grocery Bag (for dairy products and other cold or frozen things that can spoil on the one hour drive home)
I honestly don’t know how I ever leave the house because by the time I wake up, make my lists, and pack everything I need to bring with me, an additional hour or so has gone by.
After I finally get around to leaving the house, I drive like a maniac on a country road for about an hour to the laundry-mat because doing laundry is stressful and not a relaxing chore like it used to be when I was 13 and trying to suck up to my parents.
The honeymoon that Mike and I went on was not a traditional “go to Hawaii for two weeks” honeymoon.
I don’t know if there is anyone else like me, but when I go on vacation I sort of like to lay around recuperating from the stresses of everyday life. As you can imagine Mike is the exact opposite. While he loves an adventure packed full of excitement, I love to sleep in a little and casually enjoy the rest of the day. Our honeymoon turned out to be a mixture of both.
First of all, it was more of a road-trip from our wedding venue in New Mexico to the house that Mike had rented for us in Montana.
For some reason we thought that driving across the country in five days would be a relaxing and reasonable goal.
I’m sure you can imagine what our car looked like. It was packed to the brim with wedding gifts, luggage and everything I owned because we decided not to move in together until after the wedding.
Each day was like a completely separate mini-vacation. We would get up at 5am to drink coffee and get ready for a day of tourism and maniac driving because we seemed to be almost lost nearly all the time with GPS yelling directions at us at every stop sign and light.
To Mike, this was the perfect vacation. To me it was a fun but exhausting experience. Because we were constantly on the move, I had to take an additional small stay-cation when we arrived in Montana so I could recover from the wedding and the honeymoon. Getting to sleep in until 8am for one day was the most relaxing part of the honeymoon.
All in all we did end up seeing some really neat things. We spent the night at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in New Mexico before driving to Colorado where we went to a hot-spring. Mike and I also decided to stop at the last minute in Wyoming to see some of Yellowstone National Park.
I met my husband in my second year of college. I was 19 years old and we both were taking the same history class. He proposed about a year and a half later and we got married on the 3rd anniversary of our 1st date.
Since we were pretty broke from graduating college, we decided to save some money by planning the wedding ourselves. When I plan things, I don’t usually tend to have a lot of structure. Usually I pick an idea and stick to it until I get bored. Then I forget about it and move on to something else. This is exactly how planning our wedding went.
To get some inspiration, Mike and I went on Pinterest. We both ended up going down a wedding planning rabbit hole which resulted in way too many possible ideas. For example, we decided the venue would probably be outside, in a church, on the beach, or in a barn. Maybe even all four places at once. Because we couldn’t decide on anything from Pinterest, we scrapped the idea and moved on to using a wedding planning app.
Having an app to help us plan the wedding saved me! The one we used had all the wedding checklists needed. It even had a countdown to the day of our wedding so I knew exactly how much time we had left to procrastinate before I needed to start panicking that nothing was getting done.
Somehow, we managed to stay on top of the wedding planning process, but the week of before our wedding the inevitable happened. Everything started to go wrong at once and getting married turned into a character building experience.
Things started to go wrong when the out of town guests didn’t arrive on time. Things went down hill from there when I had a breakdown the night before the wedding because nothing was going according to the plan. Things continued to get worse when Mike, the best man, a bridesmaid, and my makeup artist got food poisoning the morning of the wedding. Despite all of this, Mike and I ended up having an amazing wedding!
As in all stories, there is a moral here. First, it is incredibly stressful to plan a wedding. I would recommend to anyone who is getting married to hire a wedding planner so you and your groom can enjoy your wedding without worrying about making sure everything goes off without a hitch. Second, it is a good idea to be able to go with the flow because even with a perfect plan sometimes things go awry.
Character Building Experiences
This is my very first blog. If anyone has any comments, please feel free to say hi!
I would like to give an example definition of the term “character building experience”. In only a few short months as a newlywed, I have had many different character building experiences. This is the story of one of my very first experiences.
In the picture above is the very first house that my husband and I lived in together as a married couple. Just so you have a little background information, I was raised in a home with very traditional values. Because of this, my husband and I didn’t live together before we got married. Instead he moved to Montana after college for a job opportunity and got a house. I finished my degree, then we got married and I moved in.
Since I had not seen the house before I arrived, I thought we would be living in an apartment. Perhaps this thought was brought on by a sense of false newlywed optimism. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when Mike drove up after the honeymoon, parked the car and cheerfully said “Honey! We’re home!”
Once I got over the shock of the outside appearance, I found that I was able to enjoy living in it. It’s in a pretty great neighborhood where everyone is friendly and welcoming. Plus there are two bedrooms, and a pretty decent sized living room.
One night after we had settled in a little, Mike and I were watching the news. There was a pretty big winter storm warning and I jokingly told my dear husband that since we lived underground we probably had the safest house in the whole town. The next day as I helped Mike shovel his way out of the house to the car I thought to myself if this had been a tornado, we would have been totally safe.
The Journey Begins
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton