House Hunting- Done and Done

The time has finally come.

And I feel as if I may never… ever… EVER… get out of debt ever again. Perhaps when I’m 90. But by then, I’ll be so nutty that I doubt I’ll really notice (or care).

But as an American in a committed relationship and with the strong desire to reproduce little versions of myself (or breed football players, as my boyfriend would insist that his and my family genes combined would do) and have a dog of medium size (heated debates have come to this compromise) and perhaps a hamster because surely one of the little versions of myself will beg and beg and beg until we finally cave and get one that will eventually get out of its cage and die in a box in a corner somewhere, we decided we probably need a house. Because nothing says “living the dream” like more debt and pets of a fuzzy nature.

I feel like I went off on a tangent there, didn’t I? The real reason is that we really didn’t fit so well in the boyfriend’s condo with the smallest kitchen of all time and the public laundry room and my asking him to lift the bed so I can slide my storage bin of gift wrap out every time there’s a holiday/birthday (THIS IS IMPORTANT, GUYS). We wanted to upgrade, but since this seems to be a permanent thing we’ve got going on, why not invest in something that will last us for a while?

Once we both finally admitted that we had been separately scouring the interwebz for listings of our dream homes, we joined forces, found a real estate agent, and realized the following things:

1. For a nice starter home in the Chicago suburbs, you can build an estate in Arkansas. Perhaps with a horse or two. And a swimming pool. I’m only half kidding.

2. Boys seem to think houses only need one bathroom. Boys are so silly.

3. Boys also think they’re going to use the garage as their “man cave” if the house doesn’t come with a basement. Again… aren’t they just so cute?

4. I almost considered selling my kidney for an attached garage.

5. I WILL have to sell my kidney for decent closet space.

6. People will sometimes forget to put away bedroom toys and we could have been mature about it and look away, or act like children by pointing and snickering. I’ll let you guess what category my better half and I fell into.

7. If entire walls are crumbling due to faulty plumbing or weather damage, and I’m going to get vertigo just by walking up the sidewalk, your house probably isn’t worth what you think it is.

8. If little ‘ol me cannot make a full rotation in a bathroom, it should not be labeled as such and you should probably turn it back into the pantry that it originally was.

9. Calling a 10×10 area that is a half flight of stairs down from the main level should not be labeled as a “full basement” as it nearly rivals my office cubicle in size. Don’t try to fool me. I know things.

10. The wood paneling. OMG the wood paneling. 90% of the houses we saw had at least one room completely decked out. An awful lot of trees had to die in the name of poor interior design. If it wasn’t on the walls, it was on the ceiling. And not in the cute ski lodge kind of way. The house we ended up with has a wood-paneled bathroom. We figured this was the lesser of the evils.

So yes. After 21 houses of ever different style (I now know the differences between Georgians, Cape Cods, Split-levels, Ranches, Raised Ranches and everything in between) and experiencing all the different colors, hideous décor, and smells (it was often “essence of old person”), we found the one.

Which is good, because renting out a space at Public Storage and moving in with a generator and a sleeping bag was starting to look extremely appealing.

At least then there would be minimal wood paneling.

We were only really out and about looking for about 5 weeks, but you would not believe the time commitment involved. Every free moment was spent looking at houses online or in real life. Research. Comparisons. Showings. Arguments. Showings while arguing. Bidding. Being outbid. Sulking after being outbid. Drinking while sulking after being outbid. Irrationally proclaiming to significant other that we will be renters forever while drinking while sulking after being outbid. Finally trying again. Getting excited. WINNING.

So now my free time is spent getting all required documents to the correct personnel, perusing Pinterest and Houzz for ideas we will never be able to afford to recreate, browsing furniture we will barely be able to afford, and watching all my hard-earned savings dwindle away as I dream of refinished hardwood floors and spending time with my new bestie, Benjamin Moore.

So that’s where I’ve been. It’s not an excuse, it just is what it is. Hopefully I’ll talk to you again soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture that clearly demonstrates that I am totally ready for domestication and all that comes with it:

how to iron a dress

I’m totally OWNING the process of ironing.

Michelob Ultra 13.1 Chicago

Well. We did it.

Somehow, my friend Laura and I managed to finish that little half marathon I was talking about earlier this year.

How? I’m not sure.

Here is a list of obstacles we experienced during training: Double-booked weekends, upper respiratory infection, knee issues (both of us), shin splints and food poisoning.

I was the one with food poisoning one weekend. Needless to say, it will be quite some time before I choose to eat shrimp again. Or ever. I may also elect to stay away from seafood-focused restaurants for a bit. It was that terrible, kids.

But let’s focus on the task at hand.

So after a morning of “I’m going to go run 10 miles” that turned into a morning of a million phone calls and tracking down paperwork because we were about to lose the house we found and so very much wanted and needed to put an offer in that very afternoon (we came out victorious, no worries), I called Laura in total despair. I told her I was going to downgrade to the 5k because I just cannot seem to find more than an hour at a time to myself for training.

She was having knee issues, so I assumed she felt the same way.

Nope. Instead, she proposed a new plan. We knew we wouldn’t run a personal best. Or even have a good run. But we signed up for a reason and we were going to finish this thing no matter what. So she suggested we do it together, take it slow and just have a really super long fun run. We were allowed to slow the pace whenever we needed to, stop and stretch or take a breather when necessary, and perhaps just crawl across that finish line.

Ok.

So we did. And  you know what?

Because when the shuttle insists dropping you at the race over an hour beforehand, you have to pass the time... PHOTO MONTAGE!

Because when the shuttle insists dropping you at the race over an hour beforehand, you have to pass the time… PHOTO MONTAGE!

It was actually fun.

We ran much slower than normal. But we only required 2 stops for a quick stretch and a few short walks through the water stations.

Miles 9-11 were pretty hellish, as in I didn’t want to talk or be happy, but by the time we were in Mile 12, we picked up the pace and finished quite strong.

Like, we were even smiling. And singing. And taking some pics for funsies.

photo 4

Granted, this is not my normal behavior during a race. I typically run it to RUN it. Why half ass when you should be hauling it, instead?

But, when the situation calls for it, I adapt. And there was no way I could have raced a half marathon without hitting a serious wall. Insert all that “I know my body” crap we always talk about. Instead, I got to experience the ups and downs of 13 long miles with a bestie.

michelob ultra 13.1 Chicago

Seventh half marathon DONE. Shower NEEDED.

We finished together at 2:18:51. A little more than 20 minutes over my average. And yes, I did have a brief moment of being hard on myself, and really wanting a do-over. But a finish is still a finish and you really can’t complain about being rewarded with a medal that doubles as a beer bottle opener.

coolest finisher medal ever

Pretty AND functional. Just like my boyfriend.

We really don’t need to discuss the rest of the weekend because we basically ate all the fried things and drank all the alcoholic things.

photo 1

The End.

Next up in the world of Amy? Becoming a homeowner. Which right now seems just like I’m autographing a lot of things and becoming really poor. I hear it’s supposed to be great, though. So stay tuned.

Living in Transition

So you heard all about my annoyances with moving, but I’ve never really talked about how we’ve been living during the process. Here are a few things that have really helped keep Amy’s sanity levels in range make things easier:

1. Naturally, the night before we moved, the mister had a dodge ball tournament and I had book club. Yes, we’re nerds to the extreme, but that is not the point of my story. Although we probably should have been packing, book club meant I got a few hours to not think about my life in boxes and a meal away from home that didn’t require dirtying dishes!

And because our book club is so cutting-edge and culturally well-rounded, Riyanti hosted and taught us how to make our own sushi!

She makes it look so easy.

She makes it look so easy.

The ends looked a bit sad.... but whaddyado?

The ends looked a bit sad…. but whaddyado?

Mine was a little too full o’ rice, but sushi rollin’ is something I’ve always wanted to try and am pretty sure could be a total obsession.

I basically suck as a food contributer these days, because all my stuff is packed away, but I’m always good for a bottle or two of wine. Someone has to be that girl. That girl is ME.

2. Since we also had plans on the Sunday after moving, this left little time for meal prep for the week. Sargento assisted in saving my life this week: sargento thin slice cheese

For full disclosure, through my Influenster program, Sargento sent me complimentary coupons to try out their thin slice deli cheeses for teseting purposes. I’ve been holding on to them for a couple of weeks. Mostly because if I didn’t have a plan for what I was going to do with them, my boyfriend would have eaten them all. And we all know how Amy feels about such things:

joey1

My boyfriend actually made a comment about it on our third or fourth date. It’s that bad.

But at least I own it.

Anyway, I’ve found the thin slices really nice to have on hand. Especially since I had no time for meal prep this last weekend and so all my lunches have basically looked like this:

photo 2

Turkey and roast beef and thin slices. I used two for this sandwich. Which may or many not be defeating the point of “thin slice”, but I actually appreciate the option of having two if I need them, or just one if I am having a “skinny sandwich” day. My choice. :)

I’ve also just eaten them by the slice. They are great for pre- or post-workout.

3. My morning routine hasn’t changed much. Other than I’m not just tip-toeing around to not wake my significant other, I’m also trying to not wake two dogs. I usually fail.

Other than that, though, I’m still truckin’ along. Even threw in some speed work this week. For the fun of it. Seriously. I was walking to the treadmill and thought, “hmmm… speed work could be fun today.”

It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.

And if you think THAT is bad, I even did free weights in front of the tv last night. A great workout, considering there was a dog in my face every time I attempted a plank.

4. Chocolate makes everything easier. And we still have some leftover from Easter. So please re-read #3 really quickly. Then understand- CANDY EARNED!

The Moving Diaries

I freakin’ love moving.

That is a lie.

But yet, here it is… a necessity… just 8 months after I moved the last time. No, there’s no trouble in paradise. Quite the opposite- we’re renting out the mister’s condo as we prep ourselves for the amazing adventure of house hunting. So now we’re living in “transition”, as we like to call it.

There have already been a few “oopsies” involved.

Such as when we were transferring stuff to the storage facility. The one box marked “ALL GLASS- handle with extreme care like your life depends on it” took a tumble. A big one.

Naturally.

Luckily, my FAVORITE wine glasses, and the only other glassware from our kitchen, did not fit in that particular box. photo 1

Glass half full?

Get it????

Sorry. I’m extremely sleep deprived.

Anyway… the mister’s Mickey Mouse mug was not so lucky. RIP Mickey.

We also are aware the microwave took a fall in the trailer en route. We are unsure if this affected workability. Should be a fun surprise later on.

Also, we had issues with U-Haul. Again. They like to really mess with my reservation. A fun game we play. So much of a fun game that when I moved last fall, my trailer wasn’t even there to be picked up and my reservation was cancelled without me being informed! So fun! This time, they just changed my reservation so my pickup/drop-off location was an hour away. We came to a compromise with the same pick-up spot and a different (closer) drop-off. They lost that reservation, too. No biggie… totally cool…

U-Haul now has a note warning on my account. I’ve been labeled as “disgruntled and somewhat unhappy with service provided”. Fact. They also said maybe we should consider moving in the middle of the week because it’s less busy. I personally thought that’s why I made a reservation in the first place, but um, ok.

It’s so exciting to think that we’re going to purchase a place and do this ALL OVER AGAIN OMG!!!!!

I love growing up.

In other news, we are very lucky for the willingness of friends to help us during the moving process and the willingness of his parents to take us in as squatters for the time being. As one who immigrated to Chicago on my own and knowing only a few people at the time, it’s a wonderful feeling to have such a large support network. So blessed.

The glass is full, indeed.

This post got sentimental fast. Gross. Let’s keep moving along, shall we?

In half marathon news, since the boy did most of the heavy lifting with his friend, I was free of aches and pains Sunday morning and was able to knock out a solid 6-mile run. So now I’m only a mile or two behind in training. Talk about working under pressure, eh?

Happy Monday. I’ll leave you with this:

creepy tiger towel holder

The creepy towel holder my boyfriend picked up at a flea market at some point before I took over the apartment moved in. I was hoping he would forget about it. Nope. Caught it right before we finished cleaning. Apparently it will be joining us in any spot we reside. I suppose this is where that whole “love unconditionally” thing comes into play.

Le sigh.

The Comeback Kid

So I suppose I’m all better.

Your guess is as good as mine as to how it happened.

I iced. I rested. I got super bored for a full week.

There was also an appointment scheduled with my orthopedist for last Thursday.

But then? No pain whatsoever. I put the doctor’s appointment on hold and checked myself in to the elliptical, instead. Things felt great. Just like that.

Must have been an Easter miracle. Someone was clearly watching out for me on this one…. because I ate like a BOSS on Easter weekend.

How can I not? This was the candy to be distributed to 5 people:

photo 2

Not to mention that pecan pie is totally not in the correct season, but my mom makes it for me whenever I go home because I just love it that much. My next two weeks of running will be dedicated to my mother’s kitchen.

Thanks, mom.

So I took my running shoes out to my hometown and ran 3 miles one day, 2 the next, and so on. After the winter treadmill season and Chicago just being as flat as my chest, the rolling hills my little farm town is on really threw me for a loop.

Still ran an 8:30 pace, but there is some worry in the back of my mind. 3 miles isn’t quite the 7 miles written in on my half training calendar. So uh… yeah…

photo 1

We’ll get there. Slowly but surely. We always do.

Here I Am!

Well. I haven’t kept up regularly with my blog or yours.

I’m a terrible blog friend.

It’s all my fault, I know.  Not much time to chat when the week is full of deadlines and the weekends are full of house guests and visiting friends. My March and April were super stacked with fun plans and a long to-do list (did I mention we’re moving, again? no? maybe later…).

I’ve also got this going on:

You wish you were also wearing your big cat pj pants at 6:00 on a Friday night. YOU WISH.

You wish you were also wearing your big cat pj pants at 6:00 on a Friday night while watching some Colbert Report. YOU WISH.

What’s wrong, you ask?

I don’t know. It’s something to do with the knee. I’ve had many pains and aches and injuries in my day, but this one truly rattled me. I mean… it’s my KNEE. Only old people have bad knees. I’m not even 30. This cannot be a reoccurring issue. It must stop. LIKE RIGHT NOW.

My last run was last Tuesday. I’ve been pretty stagnant since then. With no wine to drown my sorrows because I gave up “happy hours” during the week for Lent.

Life is totally for realz super hard, guys.

We’re trying to not think about how screwed I’m starting to get with half marathon training, and instead being positive that I did a lunge this morning that didn’t end in pain and collapsing onto the floor in tears because I will have to start building up endurance ALL OVER AGAIN since my respiratory infection in February.

Let’s pretend I would never do something like that. Because I didn’t… on Sunday… or anything…

Things have gotten overly dramatic without the running and the weekday wine.

So until I’m confident I’m ready to go and test the waters with an early morning gym visit, I’ll just continue to sleep in later and avoid eye contact with the cupcake shops and bakeries as I pass them on my way to work each morning.

Oh, and it snowed yesterday. In April. This month could really use a big fat do-over. #DebbieDowner

The end.

You Smell Like Cholesterol

It’s really weird how conversation topics have shifted over the years. I feel like it was just yesterday that power hour playlist selection was considered a serious conversation (if Chumbawamba isn’t involved, you’re doing it wrong).

Now we talk about buying houses. Health insurance. 401ks. Health problems.

Speaking of health problems, biometric screening results came back. And I am the picture of health. With high cholesterol. “Borderborderline high cholesterolline high”, but still.

HDL is in range. LDL is in range. Triglycerides are in range. Total is out of range.

Naturally I freaked out. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??!!??! WHAT DO I DO?!??!

I have a high fiber diet. I prefer lean meats most days, fish on some, vegetarian on others. I use olive oil over butter. Skim milk instead of 2%. LOVE my vegetables. Low consumption of processed foods. Work out regularly.

So what the crap?

Is this what’s now going to happen every time I get blood work done? Do I have to reevaluate my diet and exercise routine each time? Blame my boyfriend for taking me out to dinner too often? Eat nothing but vegetables for a week?

Sigh. Being grown-up is stressful.

In this case, given it’s only slightly over normal range and all the separate components are still ok, my strategy is to stay the course. Perhaps eat a few less oreos and fries. I’ll see what happens until the next go ’round. Someone please correct me if this seems too passive. I’m all ears.

However, I could use some assistance in finding a way to get the boyfriend from sniffing me and proclaiming I smell like cholesterol.

Only one of us finds it funny.

In other news, I posted a 5.2-mile run over the weekend as part of the half marathon training effort. I was only scheduled for 5, but in an effort to be an overachiever, 6 was the real number to shoot for.

Don’t try such a task after what was essentially the makings of a grand slam for brunch (clearly I chose to ignore my cholesterol for this meal- my mom was in town and of COURSE we needed to go out for brunch). It will not work out well. My legs were on board. My mind was on board. My stomach was NOT.

Something to consider for next weekend. Which will hopefully not be a problem, since I’ve been all about brown rice, chicken and veggies this week.

brown rice and vegetables

You know… because of that cholesterol smell…

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