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we built a house

8 Jul

when we first decided to build our house, we named this song as our theme song for the project.  not very good video quality, but it was the best I could find.

A little over five months ago, the husband and I decided to do something a little crazy.  Having always been the types for adventure, we rarely take the simple route when it comes to big events in life, whether it be moving overseas for a year, running a marathon together or in this case – moving in with my mom and step-dad for four months and building a house.

But I’m happy to say we have a lot of life and learning tucked under our belts, and even in the midst of the most difficult and trying moments I’m so enthralled by doing life together.  The house building process was at the same time one of the most exciting and one of the most stressful projects we’ve tackled to date.

There were so many moments, on those long drives home after work where I just kept throwing out the question of why.  Why in the world did we sign up for this?  It’s so stressful and difficult.  But at the same time there were many feel good moments when we saw the results of our determination come to fruition through even the littlest details – air ducts being installed, the addition of light switch plates, or the little tree in our front yard, however dead it may be:)

I love when I walk around various rooms of our house, and every little piece has a story and a vivid memory.

“…remember when I got on your shoulders in the pitch dark of night and tried to make a big ‘x’ on our dining room ceiling so they’d know where to hang that light?”

or

“…remember the time we celebrated my new job by using our drywall in the middle of the living room as a table for our cupcakes?”

or

“…remember that  light that we ordered for our entryway only to realize upon it’s arrival that it was sized more for a hotel foyer than a modest sized house?

Overall it was worth every single decision, every moment commuting between work and my mom’s house, every disagreement and every stressful moment.  We’re now able to add one more challenging life experience to our ever growing collection of adventures, and baby it feels SO good to walk in our home at the end of every day and say “we did this together.”

We closed on our 2nd house at 2pm on Friday, June 24th, two days past our expected date, and with the help of several family members (God bless them:), we moved in that night.  However cliche it sounds, “good things come to those who wait” rang in my ears as we walked up the sidewalk to our house and the husband swept me up and carried me through the entry.

These days we’re loving all the extra time we have in the evenings, while trying desperately to revive our poor grass that was half dead before it was even laid.  The husband has become quite good friends with the sprinkler, and I’m falling more in love with my kitchen every day.


We are so grateful for the opportunity to go through this process and most of all for the blessing of having our own home now.  And of course one of the biggest highlights of it all has been getting our little baby dog back.  I know she had a great time at my grandpa and grandma’s.  They spoiled her rotten, and she loved every minute of it.  But we missed her like crazy, and are loving every minute of having her back at home with us.
While she misses watching the cows and chasing squirrels all day long, I think she’s adjusting back to city life quite well.  She’s finding her favorite spots inside and having a grand time exploring the neighborhood on our morning walks.
Now that we’re finally getting settled and life is beginning to get into a new routine, we’re ready and waiting for our next adventure.
What is the best adventure you’ve ever been on?

in our guest bedroom on a rainy night less than a week before we closed

Happy Friday!
By the way – while I don’t have very many inside pictures of our house to post right now, I’ll definitely put together a little photo tour once we get unpacked and the house doesn’t look like a tornado anymore.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that.

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an unexpected week

12 May

After spending the entire afternoon in the hospital today,  it’s 3am and I can’t sleep.

It has been the craziest week and definitely hasn’t gone as I expected.  So, I’m trying to sift all the wonderful things that God is trying to teach me out of the mound of uncertainties…and keep on going.

The primary reason (as there are many) behind my elusiveness from the past week is that I had surgery last Friday.   Unfortunately, I’m not really ready to share with the world exactly what is going on, but I find it quite hard to write on my little blog while trying to sidestep the most major thing that is going on in my life right now.

So, I had surgery last Friday, and what was supposed to be a 45 minute operation turned into an hour and a half operation…which of course has extended into a seven day recovery rather than a two day recovery.  And…being the genius that I am, I promised my new employers that I would begin my new position by substituting for a teacher who is on vacation for the entire week.  Oops.  Let’s just hope my first impression with them was super strong because otherwise they’re probably wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into.  Either way.  I actually went into work today for the first time, still feeling a little shaky, but ready to try and jump back out into the real world…only for it to end in disaster.  Two hours later and the husband is picking me up on the side of the road and carting me off to the ER where I spent the next four hours in serious pain…and then three more after that just trying to get my bearings back and waiting to get out of there.  All in all I’m just happy to be back home in my own bed with no more needles in my arm or awkward male x-ray techs.  “I don’t care if you see the back of my hospital gown gape open – just get this x-ray done so I can get back in bed!”

I digress.

So that is that.  I went ahead and took off work again today and tomorrow.  Even though my first instinct is always to push myself the extra mile, I’m learning that sometimes I just have to listen to what my body is telling me to do.  Novel idea, right?

This past week I have eaten very little aside from graham crackers.  I don’t really have an appetite at all, and it’s hard to get much down.  The poor husband has been subsisting on fast and frozen food, and that alone is really starting to wear on me.  So today I shall spend the day mostly in bed, planning some meals before I venture out to our local Country Boy to get a few groceries.  I’m praying they have hummus because I’ve slowly started craving it again…but I’m definitely not getting my hopes up!  It is Country Boy after all.

In other news, the house is coming along nicely!  Yesterday they were staining our concrete and the brick and stone had arrived.  Our close date is set for six weeks from yesterday, and we’re still hoping to make it in by then. I’m looking forward to doing a real update soon, once I can get up there to take some pictures.

And of course I still have a long overdue half marathon recap still to come…

I’m so ready to get back into some sense of a normal life.  These past 10 weeks have been very trying, but I know there is a purpose in them, and I know we’ll come out better in the end.  I just keep thanking the Lord that I have my sweet husband and amazingly supportive family along for the ride.

things I've done lately

5 May

I find it so difficult to write a post after being gone for awhile.  There is just so much to catch up on it’s overwhelming!

This couple of weeks or so have been so busy.  Someone please tell me how I went from living in our small town, the husband and I both working 2 minutes from home, spending our evenings working on Outbox, blogging and playing with Olive to living with my mom, commuting an hour each way, job searching, building a house and having visiting hours with Olive…all in a matter of weeks!  It has been an exciting time, but definitely hasn’t been without stress and tiredness.  I had to force myself to let everything go quiet here for a little bit while I tried to keep my head above water.  But I’m back for the time being and ready to catch up!

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been doing (in random order):

  • The husband, Olive and I visited Duncan for Easter.  Of course mom and dad McCoy were there, but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law also came, carrying with them my (unborn:) nephew, baby McCoy.  Have I told you I’m going to be an aunt???
  • Our house got sheet rock!  We were surprised at how soon it went up – one day we drove out to check on things and we had gotten walls!  It was so exciting to finally be able to really see how big the rooms will be and what it really looks like inside.  Since then we’ve been scrambling to try and make final decisions on paint colors. counter-tops, back splash, lights etc.  It’s been super fun, but also stressful.  The hardest part is trying to envision what something will look like based on a tiny sample.  Oh, and trying to decide where to spend money on upgrades and where to save.  All I can say is it’s a good thing the husband and I agree on most things, or we’d really be in trouble.  The other night we went to the house to try and mark on the ceiling where we wanted the dining room light to be moved to.  This was harder than you might think seeing as how it was pitch dark and our ceilings are nine feet high.  One thing I know for absolute certain is that I will never get on the husband’s shoulders in a pitch black room again…scariest thing I’ve ever done.

small and cozy.  living in small spaces = less room to accumulate junk and less cleaning

master bathtub and shower

master bedroom

standing in kitchen looking into living room

looking from living room into kitchen

  • I started my new job!  I was offered a job at the ESL Institute I told you about but instead of it being full-time teaching, I’ll also be responsible for other office type duties.  I’ll be taking over communication with agents in the countries they work with – Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam – to be able to recruit students.  I’ll also be in charge of trying to find home-stays for students once they get here and some other random things.  I’m super excited about it.  Next week though, I’ll be subbing full-time for one of the teachers who is going on vacation, so I’m spending part of this week preparing for that.
  • The husband and I celebrated my new job by eating cupcakes at the house!

I wore the husband’s shoes so I wouldn’t get my heels messed up

  • We spent the weekend with some friends who live in town and some from out of town.  We were all good friends in college, but I hadn’t seen a couple of them in ages.  It was such a breath of fresh air to spend time talking about old times and catching up on what’s going on now.  One of my best friends from college, Hannah, has two of the prettiest and sweetest little girls who helped entertain us as well.  We all tried a couple of new restaurants in OKC together, and reviews will be forthcoming!

Elyse and Ryan

Hannah and Todd

we stayed up way too late roasting marshmallows the night before our half marathon

  • The husband and I ran our 2nd half marathon!  With pouring rain and thunderstorms the entire race (and hail right after we finished), it was rather interesting and it definitely didn’t go quite as we expected.  But I still felt so proud and euphoric as we raced across the finish line, soaked to the bone.  I’ll be posting a full race recap later, so stay tuned!

So, those are a few of the highlights of what’s been going on lately.  I’m hoping to be able to pull myself together to start posting more regularly again, but as you all know life has to come first.  We only have seven weeks left until we close on our house…it’s getting closer!

Miss you all so much and hope everything is going well

red dirt love

18 Apr

A weekend recap!

Friday

The husband and I are currently re-watching Lost through Netflix.  We started watching it during our time in Thailand and completely fell in love with the show, especially the characters.  One night we decided that we needed a new show to start watching, so we walked down to Night Bazaar, surveyed the available options and after narrowing it down between Grey’s Anatomy and Lost (neither of which we knew anything about), we decided on Lost.  After which, we proceeded to watch every single season within about a month long period (could be slightly exaggerated).  I think the show was technically in season five or so when we discovered it.   We totally fell in love with it, and of course continued watching it once we moved back to the States.  Anyway, it’s such a complex show that we recently decided to re-watch every episode, which has proven to be almost as exciting as the first round.  We’re noticing and catching things that we never noticed before, and the story has become even more amazing.  If you’re a Lost fan, you know what I mean.

So Friday night we had a Lost marathon and ate some pizza in bed.  Yes, in bed.  Our bed is essentially our new living room because my mom and step-dad don’t watch Lost.  We spend a lot of time on our bed these days, which also really reminds me of Thailand because when we lived there our bedroom was the only room that was air-conditioned.  Tropical country + no a/c = no further explanation needed.

I digress.

Saturday

After relaxing in bed (told you) for awhile Saturday morning, we headed to the city to get some house progress done!  Most recently we got our a/c ducts and furnace installed as well as wiring throughout the whole house. With all the progress that’s happening, we’re realizing more than ever that we need to get on the ball with making decisions about the inside.  We met with our design person in the early afternoon, and finally decided on our flooring – it feels so good to have one decision finally made!  Our entryway, kitchen, living, dining and bathrooms will all be stained concrete, and our bedrooms with be a dark brown wood.  I love the idea of juxtaposing the two materials, and I think it will add to the eclectic feel – which makes me happy!

Anyway, after house errands, we met with our accountant – finally finishing up taxes – and then decided to explore some more OKC restaurants, namely Iguana.

The husband had heard about this little mexican cafe, and it sounded divine.  Upon pulling up to it, we knew it was going to be right up our alley.  Situated at the edge of Midtown right beside the railroad tracks, it has a lively, modern atmosphere complete with indoor seating as well as a lovely outdoor patio.  So so pretty.  The service was fantastic – from the waiter who, upon bringing our setup, breezily stated “best chips and salsa in OKC” to the fast delivery of our meals.  And the food was honestly the best mexican food I’ve had in Oklahoma, no exaggeration.  There were a TON of veggie options, and everything (especially the salsa) was ultra fresh and delicious.

I ordered the veggie quesadillas, and the husband ordered a veggie burrito so we could split both.  It was definitely way too much food by the end, and next time we’ll try to restrain ourselves by ordering just one dish to split…but we enjoyed every last bite, only leaving a few remnants behind.

Despite being so full, after we finished eating we walked next door to check out yet another cupcake shop – hey, it was too cute to pass up!  SaraSara Cupcakes is a cupcakery we hadn’t heard of yet.  The atmosphere was adorable, located in a two story old fashioned house – it surprises you when you walk in to find super modern decor.

The cupcake selection was pretty extensive, and the husband and I walked out with a red velvet and a mint chocolate in tow.  To be eaten later of course…in bed.  I’d say the atmosphere of this shop ranks just under Cuppies and Joe (for all you Oklahomans), but above Gigi’s and Pinkitzel.  However, as far as taste GiGi’s cupcakes have still yet to be beat (in my opinion).  Overall though, I’d choose Cuppies and Joe any day if I was looking for a great cupcake + great atmosphere.  Love that place.  No doubt we will be back to SaraSara though, and I will say I think you get more cupcake bang for your buck there!

Last stop of the night was a tiny little shop called Shop Good next door that we just barely noticed on our way back to the car.  Intrigued, we ventured inside to discover a novel little place filled with vintagy and unique clothing, accessories and trinkets.  What really makes it special though, is that every item in the store comes with an attached tag that indicates a specific cause to which part of the profit of that particular item goes.  They currently have a partnership with “The Tapestry Project, an OKC-based nonprofit that’s working to address homelessness and poverty among marginalized women in a deteriorating neighborhood on the south side of the city.” [source]  So not only did I come out with an awesome skirt and tee, but 5% of the cost went toward this awesome OKC charity.  Epic.  I love my city.

Sunday

Sunday started out bright and early with an eventful ten mile run.  We had planted frozen water bottles along our route that morning, thinking they would be partially thawed out by the time we got to them.  Unfortunately, it was quite a bit chillier than past weeks, and upon hopefully arriving to each bottle we realized each time that they were still frozen solid.  Finally at about mile eight, we ran up on some sprinklers working hard to quench the thirst of the yard and sneakily took full advantage of them, getting huge mouthfuls of water as it ran down our chins.  I was a new woman.  We rocked the last two miles and came in at about an hour and fifty minutes.  The weather was absolutely perfect for running – high 50’s with a slight breeze – and now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for similar weather at our race – which is in just 2 weeks!  So excited!

Unfortunately, after spending about 15 minutes looking for the long sleeved shirt I’d ditched and hidden a little too well at mile 2, we were still an hour away from church and were already clearly going to be late, so we just hit up Panera looking way too dressed up.  Though completely unplanned, it was a wonderful breakfast and we spent some time dreaming about plans for the future and all the great things that are happening right now.  Love those kind of moments with the husband:)

More family time ensued in the afternoon when we picked up Olive and then followed my mom, step-dad, and grandparents to our new house.  They hadn’t seen it yet, and we were so excited to show them; it meant so much to us that they came up to see everything.  After the house, we caravanned around OKC, cruising by some cute houses in our favorite districts and then finally ending up at Subway for some quick dinner.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Since moving to OKC, our weekends have become so much more full.  We are LOVING all that there is to do here – the neighborhoods to explore, new restaurants to try, streets to walk.  We love to go, do, see – and the city lends itself to that so much more.  We’ll always love our little college town, and every visit back there will be so sweet…but I think I can officially say our hearts now belong in OKC.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity to make our home here, and so excited for the future.  I know OK isn’t a popular city, and many people probably still think it’s red dirt and cowboys, but it truly has so much to offer, and I hope we’ll be able to offer back to it in the years to come.  And besides, a little red dirt never hurt anyone anyway. 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about the city you call home?

favorite things friday

15 Apr

I’m so excited it’s the weekend!

I haven’t been super productive today…unless you count spending hours browsing for decor inspiration as a major accomplishment.  Although I have done several loads of laundry and gotten in a really great workout, so I haven’t been all bad.

Anyway, for a little Friday fun I thought I’d share just a few things that I’ve been loving lately!

  • First up, the book I just finished this week – The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  Once it got going, I simply could not put it down. It was “one of those.”  I highly recommend it!

  • Simple and healthy homemade meals.  I’ve always loved to eat out, but lately I’m just really craving food from home, especially some of my old staples.  Today was lovely getting to be home rather than taking all my food on the go.

whole wheat bread with roasted garlic hummus, broccoli slaw and spinach

kashi, green yogurt, frozen blueberries

  • Apartment Therapy.  I’ve been getting tons of inspiration browsing this website for house decor ideas.
    The husband and I are contemplating what flooring combination to do – stained concrete, wood, tile – so many options!  I’m loving so many elements of this space right now.
  • These shoes I just bought to wear on Easter.  Yes, I’m 27 years old, and I’m still buying clothing items specifically for Easter.  Why not?  It’s a great reason to get some new staples for the beautiful spring weather!  Plus I just couldn’t resist the vintage modern vibe…and they’re comfy too:)
  • Dinners shared in the car with the husband while running house errands.  Actually, just being in the car with the husband while running house errands.  Who am I kidding?
  • And last, Dove dark chocolate.  Just one square (okay, two) does the trick:)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

What is one thing you’re really loving right now?

randomness is good

14 Apr

Oh, boy….I’ve been dealing with taxes all morning – such a headache.  How can it possibly be April 14th already??  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!  I think we finally got it all sorted out.  The husband and I like to make our taxes as complicated as possible by switching jobs, buying and selling houses, and owning our own business.  Fun:)

Anyway, this morning I started off with a bowl of cereal – Shredded Wheat n Bran +Kashi, and by about 2 hours later I was starving.  I have a very serious love for cereal, but it rarely keeps me full for long.  Yesterday I was home in the morning for the first time in a while, and after taking a nice 4 mile run, I knew I needed something substantial for breakfast.  I found some Van’s flax waffles in the fridge that we had brought over from our previous house, and I got so excited!  Hadn’t had one of these in a long time, but they used to be one of my go-to breakfasts/snacks.  I dressed it all up with some almond butter, sliced banana, chia seeds, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.  mmmm.

As my stomach rumbled one last time, I took a mouthwatering bite….

And it was hard as a rock.  Seriously, I couldn’t even bite into it.  Freezer burn I’m thinking?  Guess it didn’t survive the move very well.  I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment.  Anyway, I just transferred the toppings + a new layer of almond butter over to an Ezekiel english muffin.  Not quite the same, but it was okay.  Lesson learned – check the frozen item before putting on your most expensive toppings…especially if said frozen item has been through a lot in its short life.

My morning began looking a up, however, when I decided to run through Panera to get an iced tea.  I grabbed it to-go, got all settled in my car, and took off.  About five minutes later, I glanced up for some unknown reason, and through my sunroof I could actually see my tea sitting on top of the car!  Now tell me my little Mini isn’t a smooth ride, ha!  I was just kind of amazed that it survived up there…so I took a picture of course.  And by the way, our Mini is still for sale, so if anybody in the OKC area is looking for a fun little car with great gas mileage, look me up!

Anyway, newest update on our house is that we have shingles and electrical wiring – yay!  Don’t worry, I won’t keep bombarding you with house talk every day.  I think we’ll be waiting for inspections for awhile now, so we might not see much happen.  We did have another appointment at the design center this morning, and we spent about 20 minutes picking out the door style that will go inside our house.  It was ridiculous.  It’s so fun picking everything out, but sometimes I feel like I would never even notice what type of doors we have on the inside, but because I have the opportunity to make the choice, I’m going to analyze it to the bitter end.  And I’m still analyzing it.  It happens with everything.  Until suddenly it will hit me that no one (including me) really cares what the grooves look like on the doors inside our house – there are so many more important things I could spend my time thinking about.  All about perspective friends:)

And now I’m off to grab some lunch and run some errands.  This is probably the lamest post I’ve ever written, but I just wanted to drop in and say hi and also thank you for the sweet and encouraging comments on yesterday’s post.  All the thoughtful words meant so much.

Hope you all have a great day! It’s almost Friday:)

another busy weekend

11 Apr

Good morning!

The weekend flew by so fast, as always, and it was as full as ever in the last two months.  Friday evening the husband and I stopped by our house after work to see how it was coming along.  It really is incredible how much has been done this week.  Last Sunday our house looked like this:

And this Sunday it looked like this:

After we signed the papers and everything it literally felt like absolutely nothing happened for weeks, and just when we were starting to become a little bit concerned they really got going on it.  Here’s the progression of the last month in pictures:

We’ve now got about 2 months and 11 days until our anticipated close date…we’re so ready!  And another couple pics just for fun:)

haha – jumping pictures are not my strong suit

looking into our living/dining room from the entryway

After checking out the house Friday evening, we re-visited one of our favorite new restaurants.  The last time we went to Cafe 7 was last Sunday with some friends, and we knew there was so much more that we wanted to try.   This time we both got something different, and it did not disappoint.

I went with the margarita pizza, which had marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, spinach and tomatoes.  Delicious!

I ate about half and took the rest home because the husband and I had grand plans to split a cookie.  Seeing as how Cafe 7 is only about a mile from our new house, I’m sure we’ll be back many more times.

Post dinner we decided to head down to an area of OKC called the Plaza District.  We went there during the day once before, but on the first Friday night of every month all the shops are open, there’s live music, street vendors, food, and all kinds of other fun stuff like the Humane Society pups up for adoption.

As you all know, now would not be the best time for the husband and I to adopt a new dog, but I wanted to take this guy home so badly!  I think I’m having puppy withdrawals:(

Anyway, Saturday we had an appointment to pick out the lighting for our house and then we met up with the husband’s parents for lunch and to go see the house.  Lunch was a cute little restaurant that sits right on the lake, called Louie’s.  We actually had this place in our old town, but we didn’t go there very often…only once I think.  It was excellent though – great atmosphere, great food – actually the best fruit I think I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

black bean burger with avocado = amazing

iPhone pics. eh.

On Sunday the husband and I got up early to do our long run.  Honestly, I was not looking forward to it.  On Friday, I had experienced one of the absolute worst runs of my life.  Every step was brutal – my lower back hurt, my shins hurt, my quads…everything.  In retrospect I really should have just thrown in the towel probably, but I really needed to get in the mileage, so I did my best to push through.  I had kind of an emotional breakdown after it…I think the pain and frustration brought out all these pent up emotions – stress, tiredness, feeling like everything is all out of whack right now – and I just needed to let it all out.  I was really feeling down.  Thankfully the afternoon improved drastically because my interview went really well, and the husband booked me an afternoon massage.  He really is the most thoughtful husband in the world.

But back to the long run.  We were slated to go 9 miles, and the first 4.5 went pretty well; I felt a lot better than I anticipated I would.  We ended up doing sort of an out and back route, and it was only when we turned to head back that we realized how windy it was.  With the wind at our backs we barely felt it, but all of a sudden it felt like we were running into a wall.  Flashbacks to our marathon 2 years ago kept popping into my head as we fought our way back.  Hills, wind, the whole bit was the essence of the last 4.5 miles…and there were definitely some walking breaks.  However, we both somehow got a second wind with about a half mile left and finished at about an 8:30 pace.  No matter what the majority of a run is like, I always feel as if I’ve redeemed myself when we finish strong and happy.

The rest of Sunday included breakfast at Subway, lots of IcyHot, a long nap, and a visit to our baby.  The best way to end a weekend I think.  Now for another busy crazy week!

How was your weekend?