everything is new

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes it is camping, hiking and exploring the great state of Arizona every weekend.  Usually it is more of an everyday moment that turns into a great story.  For us, our November was exciting and eventful, sad and overwhelming, and definitely a period of growth.  

We closed on our house, refurnished almost our entire house due to our storage unit flood, replaced my totaled car, and got a puppy.  We also sprinkled in some babysitting of my nephew, my getting back on the worship team at our church, and starting new jobs.

November 2018

Home Life

We closed on our new house at the beginning of the month and were super grateful to get the keys the same day.  (You can read all about buying our first house here)  The very next day, our family and friends came out to help us move items from our storage unit to our house.  Unfortunately our unit flooded in Hurricane Florence and we lost almost all of our furniture due to water damage and mold.  We are still working through the insurance claims process.  That blog post is linked here.

November 2018

Within a couple days of moving in, the microwave handle broke off, which was not surprising since it had been glued back together.  Despite all of the stress from no furniture, chaos in boxes strewn throughout the house, starting back at work, and replacing everything that had been irreparably damaged, we were still very grateful to be in our own home with a roof over our heads.  The first few nights felt like a dream.  An air mattress padded dream.

November 2018

New Stuff

A few days after we closed on the house we bought a new (to us) car.  If you haven’t read about my car being totaled on our move out to North Carolina, that is linked here.

If you didn’t know, you canNOT finance a car while you are under contract for a house because it will seriously mess up your mortgage process and you could lose the whole thing.  Thankfully we were scheduled to close very shortly after returning home so we only had to wait about a week before we could replace my car.  

My dream car is a 1996 4Runner, and while financially that is attainable for us, I wasn’t excited for the upkeep of an older vehicle with a lot of miles.  While I may be drooling over the new 4Runners, we decided to be more financially responsible and get an all wheel drive RAV4 four our adventuring.  I am super pumped!  I love all of the bells and whistles that my little Mazda2 was lacking.  Cruise control, bluetooth, and a sunroof?  This girl is a happy camper.

November 2018

While we had to replace a lot of things that were damaged, we also got to indulge a little on things we didn’t have before.  We have a bonus room over our garage and our intent is to turn it into a cozy and fun movie room with a game corner and space for me to work out.  We got this super beautiful sectional from Ashley Furniture and we are in love.  It is so nice to unwind at the end of a long work day by watching some Brooklyn Nine-Nine in our nice little get away.

We ALSO got a washer and dryer and I am over the moon, even though I am doing laundry almost every day.  I have never had my own washer and dryer and having them in my house feels like such a luxury.  What do you mean, I can do laundry whenever I want?!

November 2018

#everydaymoments

Our new dish set survived the #GreatFlood of 2018.  We love them!  We got them as wedding gifts and they are from the Ellen collection.  I personally think that pizza looks very good on them, but I suppose all of the other healthy meals we have been having look just as good.  

I also began reading Eragon (not for the first time, don’t worry) but it has been hard to find time to read while we are SO very busy.

November 2018

My family lives in Fayetteville and every Sunday we all get together for dinner and quality family time.  My nine month old nephew has grown six teeth since we saw him in June and is basically walking.  He also ADORES music and he plays the piano with just one finger and gets frustrated when he can’t play as well as me or my mom.  

I don’t think I have ever mentioned EyeBuyDirect on here but I LOVE them.  You can get prescription glasses for a fraction of the price that you would spend somewhere else.  You can also invest in more trendy frames if you’re feeling it.  I spent less than $50 on these two pairs!  Click here for $10 off your own pair.

November 2018

Being back at church is amazing.  We love all of our friends, the culture, and the events that Manna has.  We arrived back in Fayetteville just in time for their yearly missions event called The ROC.  Last year I played with the band through the event, which ended up being a huge time commitment but I had a blast.  It was nice to just be an attender this year and not commit to serving.  I did hop back on the worship band the Sunday before Thanksgiving, though, and I sure have missed it.

November 2018

Holidays

We celebrated both Halloween and Thanksgiving since my last monthly round up.  We had just arrived in North Carolina when Halloween rolled around so we were very “chill” with our costumes and dressed up as “Netflix and Chill.”  You have my permission to steal this costume idea, because we sure did.  

My nephew was an adorable lumberjack and at this point he was still pretty unsure about us.  A couple weeks later he was giving me hugs and sloppy kisses though, so I’d say he has warmed up to us.

November 2018

I got to eat three glorious Thanksgiving meals this year.  Everyone brought their A game.  Our Friendsgiving was probably the best ever, with our traditional southern fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, and my huge bowl of mashed potatoes.  The spread at my mom’s was just as delicious and I made two dishes I have never made before.  They both turned out great!  I am so glad that we live here so that I don’t have to brave making my own turkey yet.

November 2018

Adventures

Fayetteville had a fantastic Harry Potter themed event downtown the weekend before Thanksgiving.  There was a horcrux scavenger hunt that involved riddles and we explored all of downtown while freezing our buns off.  We stopped in at The Coffee Cup for some delicious Harry Potter inspired drinks (mine was a golden snitch coffee).  

What would have qualified as an adventure in Arizona came in short number this month, but we have a LOT going on!  Hopefully in the new year we will be able to get out of town a little and explore more of the east coast.  For now we are content to work on the house and play with our puppy.

Yep, we got a puppy.  Also on the weekend before Thanksgiving we drove up to Virginia to pick up our girl Blue (read her blog post here).

November 2018

Blue’s November

We brought her home when she was 8 weeks old and weighing in at a little over 10 pounds.  She was unsure and timid the first couple days but we worked hard to help her feel safe and loved with her new forever family.  She is a Golden Retriever (my favorite dog breed in the world) and is super sassy, but also super snuggly.

November 2018

Her first night here was the one and only night that she could fit under this couch.  She almost immediately grew too big and if she tries to jam herself under there now, she just gets stuck.  It’s super adorable.  

We are making sure to have her meet a lot of people, men, kids, and other dogs while she is this age to get her nicely socialized.  My nephew loved her when they first met and my sister’s dog  got super excited!  We were careful about those two meeting.  Our friend also just got a puppy who is a month older than her and they had a great play date.  

November 2018

These were taken on her first few days with us.  She is already so much bigger!  I can’t wait to compare photos of her side by side.  We think she is super adorable, a LOT of work, and are excited to help her become a good girl with great manners who loves hiking and exploring with us!  

November 2018

I hope you enjoyed this monthly round up!  My goal is to do this on the last Friday of every month, so stay tuned for some glorious iPhone photos from December in a few weeks.

Hoping you all had an amazing month.  Share your top three favorite things from your November in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to subscribe and join our family if you haven’t already.  

Until next time,
Jamie out

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Last month

We got a puppy!

Friend, meet Blue.  Blue, meet friend!

She is a pure bred Golden Retriever with so much spunk and sass, I’m not certain what we have gotten ourselves into.

We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!

This is Blue at six weeks old.  We started looking for her in October, deciding that getting a puppy around the holidays would be easier with our work schedules being a little more open than normal.  We had known for a long time that we wanted to get a puppy to grow our family, and while she came a few weeks sooner than we had planned, we couldn’t pass up on this beauty.

We drove up to Virginia when all of the puppies were six weeks old.  Blue’s mom had ten puppies, six of which were girls.  We already had our eye on Blue from all of the photos and videos we had seen, but we really wanted to meet all of them in person before deciding.

Blue was always in the thick of the playtime.  She would run and leap into the doggy pile.  If there was a tug of war over a water bowl happening, she was definitely going to be involved.  She was also sweet and loved sitting on our laps being snuggled and giving sweet puppy kisses. We knew she was our girl almost right away.

We got a puppy!

Two weeks later we got to bring her home.  She did great on the car ride back, even though being removed from her mom and siblings was hard at first.  She slept most of the drive and we got to enjoy lots of puppy snuggles before we encountered potty training, puppy nips, and lots of trips outside at night.

I will have a lot of updates coming your way—Blue’s blogs will be two Wednesdays a month while she is young.  There is just so much growing and learning going on at this age!  She gained over a pound in the first week we had her and has learned to sit.  Until that next blog post, here’s a mini photoshoot we had on her eight week birthday.  

We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!
We got a puppy!

Have you ever had a puppy?  I need ALL of the advice!  From crate training, potty training, training her to thrive while being alone, EVERYTHING.  Please leave it in the comments!  If you think my pup is adorable, give this post a like and don’t forget to subscribe and join our family if you haven’t already!

Until next time,
Jamie out

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

If you watched the news in September, you know that Hurricane Florence hit the east coast and caused a lot of damage.  Most of the severe losses were in coastal towns, but places inland were affected as well.  The Cape Fear River that runs through Fayetteville and the surrounding towns crested around 60 feet, majorly surpassing the 35 foot flood stage and causing families along the river and other water ways that run off it to be evacuated.

While we were in Arizona, most of our worldly possessions were in a storage unit in Fayetteville.  We, luckily, decided to opt into the insurance the facility offered well before the storm.  While I do not believe the storage unit was within a mandatory flood evacuation zone, we were informed by management that our unit had flooded.

We returned home at the end of October and took a peek at the damage.  Initially we thought it wasn’t so bad—only a few boxes had been on the ground and it was mostly furniture that took the brunt of the water.  We assumed we would be able to clean them off and be on our merry way.

After closing on our home, the next day we got a U-Haul and invited friends and family to help us empty our unit.  We went out and bought gloves and masks for everyone, as long as a lot of white vinegar and cleaning supplies.

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

It was not just a little bit of damage.  A whole box of picture albums was on the ground.  Most of our furniture is wood or fabric, so the material held onto the moisture and mold grew rampant.  Even boxes that weren’t soaked with water allowed moisture and eventually mold inside and we had to go through everything carefully.

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence we lost it all in Hurricane Florence we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

Luckily, we were able to save money while we were in Arizona and we deliberately put some away for purchasing things we would need—like a washer and dryer.  Luckily, like I said above, we put insurance on our unit and its contents.  Luckily, we had the support of our loved ones as we unpacked, cleaned, and photographed the damage.  Luckily, we serve a great God who has been gracious in providing, even through the troubled times.

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

I know people who lost everything in Hurricane Matthew.  People who lost their homes and all of their possessions.  In the hurricanes that have hit the Carolinas recently, many people have lost their lives.

We lost some furniture.  Financially and emotionally that is certainly not the easiest thing to go through.  But we have our lives, and we have each other.

On the plus side, we get new stuff.  We get to pick the things that are to our taste.  We get to design our house from the ground up, so to speak.  And while it may be tough and draining and arduous, especially during the waiting (we are still working through the insurance claims process and have not been reimbursed for our losses yet), we know that now is not forever and that now will always change.

we lost it all in Hurricane Florence

After over three weeks, we have been able to almost fully furnish our home with what we NEED, with either the money we saved or the generosity of others.  We are grateful and happy for what we have, and we know that having each other is much more important than having a mattress, although it is much easier to sleep at night with one.  For real.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

We bought a house!

We are first time home owners!  And we did it all from over two thousand miles away.

What a rollercoaster this process was. I was super surprised that the part I thought I would love—the actual house hunting—was the worst aspect for me. When it got down to the nitty gritty though, we had some amazing professionals on our team who worked super hard behind the scenes to pull it all together in less than 30 days. 

Our realtor was a good friend of mine who has been building me up and encouraging me for almost four years now. She is a rockstar. When we told her we wanted to buy a house in North Carolina, but do basically all of it while we were in Arizona, she didn’t bat an eye. She was down for the challenge. 

My parents, who coincidentally LOVE “window shopping” for houses were game to go look at houses for us. They looked at neighborhoods, the condition of the property, the drainage of the lot—all of the things you can’t change and all of the things you can’t see in the photos.  

Our realtor took us on video walkthroughs so that we could get a feel for the place as well. We talked over all of the positives and negatives. We searched for over a month and we fell in love with multiple homes. We were so ready!

Finally we found The One and we got an accepted offer. It was smooth sailing from then out (for us, not so sure about everyone else on our team, haha!) and we were so excited to close and get our keys just four days after we arrived in North Carolina. 

Since leaving Arizona, everything has been a little crazy for us. We got in a car accident and my car was totaled, but because we were under contract on a house, we could not buy a car until we closed, otherwise it could mess up our mortgage. Luckily we were able to close just a week after the accident and our insurance was understanding so they let us keep our rental car a little longer than normal. 

We were also super lucky because we closed on our house on a Friday and got our keys the same day, which doesn’t always happen in North Carolina because of the legal process here. 

Even though we had no furniture, food, or toilet paper, we booked it to the house as soon as we got the call. Just thirty minutes before the courts closed, our realtor called us to tell us that the house was officially ours! We drove through the rain and pulled up outside just after five. Will even insisted on carrying me over the threshold. It was amazing. 

We spent the evening at the grocery store buying toilet paper and frozen lasagna, and then back in our house to just soak in every foot of its perfections. 

We are so excited to make it our own. To fill it, and decorate it, and host in it. It is our favorite investment, and we are so very happy. 

Until next time,
Jamie out. 

We bought a house! We bought a house!