Thursday, February 25, 2010

crazy closing story #1

I don't know how many of you knew this, but closing on a house is freaking expensive. Silly naive little me thought that if the sellers were covering the closing costs then that meant that they were... well... covered. Meaning A) you could no longer see them because they were underneath something, B) they had been topped with cheese at Waffle House, or C) they were taken care of. Mostly I assumed it was C. So imagine my shock, horror and dismay when I find that not only do we have to have money at closing (on top of what we paid for the home inspection (cause we had to pay for that too, fyi)), we have to have A LOT of money at closing. As in THOUSANDS of dollars. But Joe handles the money stuff in our little family, and he assured me that we would indeed have the necessary thousands (THOUSANDS) no sweat.

Joe was wrong.

Call it what you will... miscalculation, a mathematical error, ill-advised spending, bad timing... but we ended up a few hundred short. Fortunately we realized this ahead of time and I have a very cool sister-in-law who agreed to loan us the money until Joe got his next paycheck (at which time we will of course be rolling in dough). Money was transferred, problem was solved. Right?

Of course not, 'cause I'm writing a blog entry about it.

Due to some kind of mental issue on the part of the people who work at sister-in-law's bank, the "next day" transfer won't show up in our account until Monday. Which, for those who are keeping track, is 3 days after closing. So that doesn't so much work.

So to make a long story slightly shorter and get to the punch line... wanna know where Joe is right now? At 9:15pm the night before we close? Driving to Atlanta. To get a check from the same sister-in-law. Which we will then attempt to cash and deposit at 8:30am tomorrow, get a cashier's check for the amount we owe at closing, and hightail it to said closing at 9am.

Cause we live life on the edge, folks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

working on it

So I asked some folks on facebook for suggestions for blog topics and I've been marinating on a few of them.

(Oop... hold the phone. Baby just pooped. Pooped and then grinned at me. So it's all good, but I still probably shouldn't let her (to reuse a good word) marinate in her own... you know.)

OK, clean baby. Where was I?

Ah yes, marinating.

Someone suggested writing about what "home" means to me now, but I think I'll save that for after we CLOSE ON OUR HOUSE on FRIDAY. Let's take a moment for that "holy crap"-ness to set in.*

Someone else suggested writing about my worst fears of parenting. Since it IS after all Weblink Wednesday, I will let this speak for itself. I just don't want to be those people.

Stephen said, and I quote: "Write about the dichotomy presented by the myth of the white man's burden, coupled with the ingrained manifest destiny of our cultural heritage."

And then I hit him.

*Lots more to come on the closing, home decorating, moving, and whether or not my marriage survives all of the above.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There are many things I was told to expect about motherhood that I have found to be "mommy mythology". The immediate flood of profound and unconditional love at birth. The sense of having your life immediately, irrevocably, completely changed as soon as the baby is in your arms. The mind-numbing exhaustion for weeks on end. The "instinct" that will override all uncertainty and panic. The simple, natural bond of breastfeeding (to this one in particular I bestow a big ol' HA). Not to say that I don't think these things happen to other women, but they certainly did not happen to me. I grew to love my daughter in a process that was full of both joy and frustration, pride and confusion. But there is one thing that I heard from a few sources (the most reliable of which being my own mother) that I can confirm as truth based on my own experience.

There is no feeling that compares to being on the receiving end of this:

Friday, February 12, 2010


(The only reason I am blogging this is for the extra entry for myself. Just keepin' it real, folks.)

The Vintage Pearl blog, which we all know I LOVE from my previous Weblink Wednesday, is having a giveaway... you could win a $50 gift certificate. Then the only difficult thing will be deciding what precious thing to get... choices, choices, choices.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

drumroll please...

It's official... we're buying a house!!!

Better pictures to come... this one is just from the online listing.

Making this announcement reminds me in a way of when we found out we were pregnant... part of me wants to jump around and squeal with excitement, and part of me wants to curl up in a little ball in the corner. (I'm not so good with major changes...) Don't get me wrong, the house is going to be perfect for our first home... just enough space, a yard for the dogs, a safe neighborhood with lots of families. But it's yet another step that Joe and I are taking that proves we are now adults. We have our first baby and now we're moving into a home that we own and are responsible for. No landlord to call, no free maintenance repair service. It's a step I have been looking forward to for a while (and there really won't be a better time for us to buy), but like every big change in life it is a step forward that seems to call for a brief look back. I realized once we decided to go through with the purchase of this house that I have to shift the way I define myself in my own life. I have to embrace the new joys and struggles ahead of me by learning from the ones in my past, but not by holding onto them. While I am still my parents' daughter, I am now also my daughter's mother. While I will always be welcomed with open arms (and a very happy mother) into my childhood home, I now have the responsibility of creating a home for my child.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a book

Last weekend we made the short trek out to Bogart to have dinner with my aunt Jane, cousin Morgan and her boyfriend Evan the Superhero. While waiting on dinner (a perk of having family close by... FREE FOOD), conversation turned to my blogging. Jane is arguably one of my biggest blog fans and apparently has even gotten some of her co-workers to read my ramblings. And every time we talk about my blog, Jane says the same thing:

"You need to write. No, REALLY write. Like... a book."

When I was young, my dad wrote all the time. Short stories, Christmas carol parodies for his co-workers, essays, and novels. I remember him having my Mom read his drafts and seeing the manuscripts with pen marks criss-crossing them like a road-map. And the bulky envelopes stacked on top of each other being sent to agents and publishers. And a cursor blinking at the end of a paragraph while I read what he had just written. I was certain that Dad would be a famous author. That some publishing company would one day, finally, send back a positive response. But it never happened. And for a while he seemed to give up on his writing, the manuscripts banished to closets and file cabinets. But, while he may have thought that he failed, he had succeeded in passing on his love of writing to me. On top of any assigned writing for my Language Arts classes, I wrote poetry and short stories and historical fiction. When I was at the peak of nerdiness, I even read one piece aloud to my Social Studies class. For fun. I was super popular, folks. But, like my dad, somewhere along the way my passion for writing got pushed to the back burner. I became invested in my ballet training, musical theatre, acting. In college I tried to start a blog but didn't keep up with it and eventually deleted it. I kept a journal of poetry for a while, some of which was actually decent, but then stuck it in a box of memorabilia and forgot about it. My mom wanted me to write a story about the farms we passed on the way to the beach (oh, Cows in the Woods...) that just never got anywhere. But then I decided to start this blog. And to keep me accountable, I shared it with my family and friends. And somewhere between documenting my life and trying to make people laugh, I remembered my love for writing. And what might even be the best part is that I think I inspired my Dad to start his own blog, reminding him of his old love of the written word. Talk about returning the favor. As thanks for helping me find my voice, I give my dad back his own.

So now, like father like daughter, I consider taking my writing to the next level. I'm daunted by the memory of my Dad's frustrations (the pen scrawling on rough draft after rough draft, the rejection letters in the mail), but inspired by his talent and perseverance. So maybe Jane is write... maybe my writing is a dream worth pursuing. Maybe I will find that I have something worth saying. And then maybe I'll write. No, REALLY write. Like... a book.