Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween: Then and Now

Happy Halloween! Stephan and I didn't get to be together this year, but that didn't stop Stephan from dressing up and having fun! I few nights ago Stephan called me and said he and his friend had been costume shopping. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey what have you been up to?
Stephan: We've been costume shopping.
Me: Oh, are you dressing up? Who's WE??
Stephan: Me and Dean.
Me: What's your costume.
Stephan: Pirate.
Me: What's Dean's?
Stephan: Pirate
Me: You have the same costume???
Stephan: Well, yeah. But we have different accessories.
Me: Accessories?!? So you're a gay pirate couple?
Stephan: We tried on the costumes from that Will Ferrel movie Blades of Glory but they were too gay.
Me: And dressing in the same pirate costume isn't?
Stephan: No, and we're going to have a sword fight.

So, yeah. Stephan and his friend were hilariously going to wear the same pirate costume. But the funniest part was that I remembered that when I made a slide show for our wedding, there was a pic of Stephan and his brother dressed as pirates from their childhood. I knew I had to do a little then and now.

Here's Stephan in 2009 as a pirate. Back off, ladies, he's all mine! :)

Here's Stephan and his brother Michael. Unfortunately they are overshadowed by the banana in the background.

I also wanted to include the pic of the last time we dressed up together in 2004. I was Paris Hilton and he was Larry the Cable Guy. Believe it or not, neither of us had to buy anything to make these costumes...sad.

Oh, Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

House Hunting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Part II

I wanted to have the full "newlyweds buying their first house" experience. I didn't want to go look alone, so we waited until Stephan returned from Iraq to go up and normal people. Like the normal people on HGTV (can you tell I'm obsessed with that network?).

We decided to go up to "power shop" for a day and a half. We finally had a set realtor, official paperwork sending Stephan to his new base, and our financing all settled.

Two days before we left, a new house went on the market. I knew it was THE house. I called Stephan right away to look at it. It was house-love at first sight. Nothing that was currently available in our price range was even comparable. It was at the top of our must-see list. And it had just come on the market so we had a great chance of getting it before it was even on the radar.
When we arrived in Ft. Walton Beach, our realtor, Mari, had about 7 houses lined up to look at, including "the house." I knew some were not going to be it, but it seemed like a good idea to have different houses to compare. I did want the full "normal" experience, after all.

The first was just not impressive, small, and had a more apartment layout. The second we saw was THE house. We loved it and the only things we really had to do to it was clear out and fence the backyard and buy a washer/dryer and refridgerator. (I'll give all the gorey details about it in another post.) The next house was like a cave...there was no sunlight getting in. It was also across from what looked to be a haunted wooden shack. The next place we walked in and out of because it didn't pass the no smell test (smoke smell...yuck).

We then humored Mari and went to an old school house from the 1980's. It had the sunken living room and no updated bathrooms or kitchen. This one's the ugly, if you can't tell. The last had many things on the list, but had a completely decked back yard and was in a flood zone. It was also the furthest from the base.

We easily decided to move forward with the 2nd house! It was ready for immediate occupancy so they wanted to move at the same speed we did! The only drawback was that it was a relocation, so the price didn't budge much, luckily it was already fairly priced. We went back and forth and finally struck a deal! It was so much more stressful than the tv shows. We just kept having this fear that someone else would put in an offer, but we finally found the house we were meant to have at the time we were meant to have it.

We had tried to do things in our own time, but we finally realized we needed to start trusting and waiting for the right time. We ended up being truly blessed! More on THE house later.

Here's a little teaser pic! More pics and details to follow!

House Hunting: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Part I

Our search for our first home was not finished in a half hour like the shows on HGTV. We were waiting for it to be official that we were getting sent to Ft. Walton, FL. And it was also hard because Stephan was deployed to Iraq most of the time we needed to be looking. We started looking online months ahead on but kept getting setbacks. There was also the time constraint of the $8,000 tax credit.

Every time we would find a house we liked, it would be sold or have some weird thing wrong with it. The first house we loved was cute and had a lake view. It was already under contract when we called to inquire about it but we did like the realtor that we spoke with so she began to help us out. The second house was WAY out of our price range (which we had a hard time figuring out a good price range to begin with). The 3rd had Chinese basically it would have to be completely gutted.

Finally, there was the house that the previous owners had decided to knock out a wall and closet between two guest rooms to make one mega room... but didn't decide to finish it. So there was a big gaping whole in the wall. As a girl, I would get emotionally attached to the houses and then get disappointed.

It was starting to not work out with our first realtor due to communication issues (I went up the 8 hours to house hunt ALONE only to find out that our financing was not in place...frustrating.) So Stephan contacted a friend's mother in law who was a realtor in the area. The only problem was, he didn't really "break up" with the first. So now we have two.

Stephan then found out that we could get cash back for using an assigned realtor with or VA loan (a plus side to the Air Force situation). So obviously we were going for that. Now Stephan had to break up with 2 realtors. He let them down easily and email. He's a brave one, my hubby.

After we finally got on track with the right realtor and all our financing in order, we looked forward to actually going up to house hunt for real and live out our HGTV Property Virgins fantasy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home Wish-List

Before I talk about the craziness that was us trying to find/get a house, I wanted to write about our criteria and wish list for things we wanted in a home.
  • Brick (preferrably red brick)
  • Big, fenced back yard for the pups to run and play
  • Fireplace
  • Formal Dining Room (because I'm a good Southern girl)
  • Lots of windows and light
  • High ceilings
  • Updated kitchen (preferrably stainless steel appliances)
  • No older that around 1995
  • NO SMOKE SMELL (It's gotta pass the "smell test")
  • 3 Bedrooms/2 Baths
  • Large Master Bedroom
  • Master Bedroom with: Double Sink, Garden Tub, Walk in Shower
  • Large closet
  • Able to close before November 31 to get our FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS $$$
  • Close to Hurlburt Field

Some things were must-haves and others were negotiable. You'll just have to stay tuned to see how many things on the list we were able to cross off!

Home Is Where the Air Force Sends Us

I think I would describe myself as a "reluctant" Air Force wife. But it's not like you have a choice when you already fell in love with the guy! I'm not really typical. I don't get involved with the wife activities, don't know any lingo or ranks, and kind of work and do my own thing. This isn't really something I'm either proud or ashamed of. It's just how I cope. I also hate that where we live is reliant on the Air Force. Lame.

Our first base together was Ft. Riley, Kansas. Yes, Kansas. I sort of felt like Paris Hilton in The Simple Life with my blonde hair and my little outfits. "What's Wal-mart... do they sell wall stuff?" -Paris Hilton (Haha)

We lived in a town of 40,000 people (which is how many students I went to FSU with) called Manhattan, KS aka "The Little Apple." So when I graduated from FSU, my friends went to "The Big Apple" for glamorous, Sex and the City-esque lives I went to "The Little Apple." Yeah...

We had a nice life there, I just didn't fit in. One time we were going to Wal-mart and Stephan looked me up and down and said "What are you wearing, that's too flashy for Kansas... and Walmart." I just HATED the following:
-Tornadoes (yuck)
-The nothingness (see below photo)
-No sushi or smoothie restaurants (Some people had never even had sushi...gasp)
-People didn't know who Victoria Beckham was (?)
-Two hour drive to the airport, a decent mall, or restaurant (I exaggerate...kind of)
-And finally, the horrific tapestry wolf portrait jackets I saw on a number of natives

I will miss some of the people at my old job at Dillard's, but I will be 15 minutes from this:


With all the sushi, smoothies, and sunshine I can handle! More to come on the beautifulness that is Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When A Guy Met a Girl...

Six years ago this week, Stephan and I met in a cute little story worthy of the movies.

First let me set the scene. I, in a weird turn of events, was home schooled throughout all of middle and high schools. I longed for teenage normalcy like after school activities, boys, and dances (of course). What girl doesn't want to dress up and shake their booty on the dance floor???

Well, my great friend Erin invited me to go to Colonial High School's Homecoming Dance. My parent's weren't thrilled, but it happened. Not long after we got there, I realized that I actually knew quite a few faces. One of those faces was another girl, Laura, that Erin and I went to Elementary school with. She had with her this super cute boy named, you guessed it, Stephan.

We had a brief meeting and I took a pic of Erin, Laura, and Stephan and then they disappeared in the crowd. I then asked Erin if she knew if they were dating. She didn't know. A few minutes later Stephan showed up sans Laura and sans his jacket, shirt, and tie. (Later in our relationship I came to know that Stephan is one of the sweatiest men on the face of this earth.) He sat down across from us and struck up a conversation. At the end of every song he would pause and lift his head up. Once a slow song came on he asked me to dance.

Everything just felt so easy and natural with him. There were definitely sparks and butterflies, but also that weird sense of comfort like you have with someone you already know. As we danced I realized I was "glitterizing" him with my dress. Yes, 17 year old Emily wore glitter on her dress.

I was concerned about his actual date but wasn't too worried once we saw her dirty dancing with this guy in a wifebeater. Stephan then went on to tell me that he got a call from Laura at noon that day saying that her date had bailed and asked him to go with her. This gave me a sense of relief from the whole "are they dating" question.

We danced and had fun when I got pulled aside by another friend who said that Laura was royally pissed at me for "stealing her date." So I told Stephan to go hang out with his date.

At the end of the night after the last song played and the lights went up, Stephan asked for my phone number. Unfortunately, no one seemed to have a pen. I guess pens doesn't really go with formal wear. Stephan went all around and my number ended up getting written in lipgloss on a cocktail napkin. So classy, right? I don't know if it's related, but to this day, Stephan ALWAYS has a pen on his person.

Well, he called me less than 24 hours later (which is like 5 minutes in boy time). And as they say, the rest is history. We dated for 2 years (with a little off time), were engaged for another 2, and have been married almost 2. I can't even remember not having him in my life!

I love you, Stephan. Happy Anniversary of Our First Meeting! (And no, honey, this isn't my attempt to make up an anniversary to try and get a present.)

This is a picture of us on the night we met. How many people can say that they have that???

This is us today, older, wiser, and with no glitter on my dress:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blogging Up With The Jones'

Ever since my BFF, Miss Gator started her wedding blog, I’ve been scheming of a good reason to start my own blog. It is the trendy thing to do, after all. I must keep up with the Jones’, or as Nene of Real Housewives of Atlanta would say “I AM the Jones’”…loves it! I quote them alot… don’t judge. Well, I’ve always heard write what you know, so I thought that I could write a modest little blog for friends and family to keep track of our comings and goings. My head is also swirling with visions of home décor and do-it-yourself projects due to (almost) buying our very first home!

Here is just a brief "About Us":

Emily: I'm just a girl in love with a guy:) I love art, fashion, make-up, and design. I’m obviously VERY deep. My favorite indulgences are red velvet cupcakes (yum), shopping, Bravo TV, and HGTV. I’m currently obsessed with the preppy glamour that is J.Crew. I work in retail in a “white and black” world. I always have to have a project. Our wedding kept me busy for two years and now I'm dreaming and scheming about re-doing our soon-to-be NEW HOME!

Stephan: This is the guy that is my hubby and my best friend! He's in the U.S. Air Force and loves it...alot. We have spent most of our 6 year relationship apart, but are crazy in love. He likes playing video games in his boxers, making custom jelly bean mixes, and working out a ridiculous amount! He really does takes great care of me, despite all those little things he does to annoy me. He spoils me “Real Housewives” style!

Two Dogs: Our first dog is a gigantic 15lb. Yorkie named Bentley. He is obsessed with me and I haven't been alone since I got him because he follows me EVERYWHERE. He and Stephan have a silent power struggle over who loves me more. Diesel is our soon-to-be second baby. He is a German Shepherd who I have yet to meet. His name is in no way related to Vin Diesel, because he's just LAME, we just thought it was a kick-butt dog name. He is Stephan's dream dog and my possible nightmare...

To Be Continued...