Thursday, December 17, 2009

No more orange!

This week, we finally got rid of the last of the orange by painting over the final wall in our family room. It was so much easier than painting in the kitchen, because there were no cabinets or appliances to have to paint around.

Here is the before picture of the room, again from the realty listing (with the former owners' furnishings, etc.):

Here is our repainted wall (we left the green wall as-is; it's not a bad color, when it isn't paired with orange...):

And another view, including the Christmas tree:

And, of course, Marble is in both pictures. They are both constantly either running around like crazy or lazing around on the coffee table:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kitchen updates

After what feels like forever, we've finally finished painting the kitchen!! We even had some help from Lynn one weekend. Here's Adam, hard at work and wearing Lynn's sunglasses in place of safety goggles:

Note the brown and orange walls, which are now gone. Ten points if you know where this T-shirt is from... ten more if you also own one, and also only wear it while painting, to bed, somewhere you won't be seen in public, etc.:

As you can see, we went with a red and tan color scheme for a more updated look. Here is a picture (from the realty listing, before we bought it) with the original paint and appliances:

And here is our newly painted kitchen with new stove:

It's still in need of a few things (like a new countertop and a range hood to match the new oven), but it's sooo much better!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Starting Small

We're just getting started on all of the house projects we need to do. (And no, everything is not put away yet... But, it does look much better!)

We decided to start small and hopefully learn from our first project. We wanted to redo a small closet off the kitchen, which the former owners had used for storing old paint cans. They helpfully left us the paint cans, as well (three cans of orange paint, anyone?). I really wanted to use the closet as a pantry, but since it was so gross, I knew we'd have to start over completely. The original closet shelves basically were some pieces of wood nailed into the wall with particle board placed on top:

The walls were also very beat up, stained, and just overall disgusting. So, we tore out the shelves, patched all the holes, gave it two coats of paints, and put all new shelving up:

New! Clean! Suitable for food! ;)

Up next is painting every other wall in the house...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posts. We've been busy moving!!

It's so awesome to finally be out of an apartment and into our own place. Of course, it's already come with some challenges (fixing the sump pump, replacing the doorbell, mowing, etc.), but it's soooo great to be here. And it's shaved off quite a bit of my commute, so I'm happy!

When other people I know have bought houses recently, I've gotten frustrated that they didn't put up pictures right away on facebook, blogs, etc. Now I know why. Our house is a MESS. Everything we own--which never has been in one place before--suddenly is. We are finally making headway on unpacking, but it has taken longer than I expected. So, no pictures for now; photos of the house when it was up for sale are below, and it still looks the same... we've only had it for two weeks! But, as we get the chance to update things (for example, painting the kitchen a color other than orange...) I will post "before" and "after" photos.

Two exciting changes we've made: a new washer and dryer, and a new stove! The house didn't come with a washer and dryer, so we knew we'd have to buy those right away. And the stove it had when we moved in was a crappy, 20-year-old no-name deal whose burners didn't light by themselves anymore. The previous owners conveniently left us a lighter on top of it just for this purpose. Thanks. We had the new (stainless steel!) one installed the day after we moved in. We're planning on rounding out the new appliances with a refrigerator and dishwasher, once our tax credit money shows up :)

So, for now, more kitty pictures:

Being cute and cuddly, unlike normal (they are quite wild!).

Marble, laying on Adam.

Jack, destroying his toys.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So close to having our house!

So, I just posted this in a reply to Becky's last comment, but figured I should put it here too. We did get the closing date moved up for our house, and it is Tuesday! We're super excited to move in and get all of our stuff down here.

Also, some kitten pictures:

Jack, on the couch.

Marble (and Jack, lost in the cushions...)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Late, late update!

I know it's been almost a month since I've updated this --sorry! I kinda forgot until Lynn reminded me today... Anyhow, tons of things have happened in the last few weeks, so here goes.

First, Becky and Sam GOT MARRIED over Labor Day weekend!! It was such an awesome wedding. The ceremony was at 11 a.m. at Becky's childhood church. The bridesmaids all wore their own black dresses and had beautiful orange wraps that Becky bought for them that really went with the autumn theme. See Anne below:

After the ceremony, we all headed over to Arlington Racetrack for the reception. We had the top floor of the facility, which was gorgeous! And, we hung out for 10 horse races. Adam and I, unfortunately, lost $10; some people did make money though! The beautiful reception facility:

Pictures of the bride and groom! (I am becoming sort of a wedding paparazzo.... )

And here with Adam and I:

We had our final wedding of the year last weekend, when Adam's cousin Paul got married. His new wife's name is Sara Julian... kind of funny!

Also, our house woes are hopefully over. Late last month, we put an offer on another house (also in Le Roy, Ill. -- halfway in between Bloomington and Champaign). We got through the home inspection on Wednesday with a few problems (not unexpected) and are working with them to get them solved to our satisfaction before we close. Our closing date is set for Oct. 9, but if things go well it's possible it could get moved up -- we're hoping so! Photos of the new house are here: (these are just the ones that were listed with the real estate listing; more will come once it's officially ours!) It's smaller than we had originally thought we wanted, but it's also cheaper and in much better shape than the first one we put an offer on. So, we are excited!!

Finally, a friend of ours took in a Bengal cat that ended up being pregnant, and she had six kittens. So, we agreed to take in one... and ended up deciding we actually wanted two. They're both boys, and we get them this weekend when we visit Art in Rockford!

Sorry for the long post... We just had sooo many things to update!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

House update

So, after everything, we have finally been able to officially back out of our offer on the house. Right now we are feeling relieved but a little frustrated that we haven't found the perfect one. We're going to continue looking this week and start thinking about maybe putting an addition on something smaller with our $8,000 tax credit (as long as we close by the end of November....) since everything is quite small at this point. Le Roy has several ranch-style houses, which would be fine, except they're tiny and have no basement, so you are stuck on the main floor with the washer/dryer, furnace, etc., taking up the less than 1,000 sq. feet you already were trying to work with.

In better news, Becky and Sam's wedding is coming up!! Can't wait to see everyone there :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seen better days...

I apologize for not posting on here in forever... hope people are still around to read it! Sorry guys.

SO many things have been happening lately that I don't even know where to start. On the house front, things have been moving quite slowly. We had a home inspection at the beginning of the month, which of course revealed some problems with the house. I guess that is what they are there for, but it still wasn't very fun. There was a foundation issue and an electrical system that was much more outdated than we had expected, so we then went back to the sellers and asked them if they would be willing to fix several (expensive) things. They finally got back to us today, and their Realtor was very vague about what they would be willing to do. It's just frustrating, because now we have to go back and ask more questions, wait, probably ask even more questions, wait, and then decide if we even want this house or not anymore. I knew these things were not easy, but this is much more complicated than I had expected.

This weekend I am heading up to Arlington Heights for Becky's bachelorette party (an all-day Saturday event!), and our wedding summer continues with weddings the first two weekends in September: first, Becky and Sam; and second, Adam's cousin Paul and his fiancee Sara. (She'll be Sara Julian! But, I was the first... ;)

Both of us have been extra busy at our jobs this week; several people in Adam's office have been out this week, and almost everyone in mine will be gone next week. They've been trying to train me on things ahead of time so I can take over all sorts of tasks while people are out. I hope I picked everything up, since there will basically be no one else to ask when I get in on Monday!

My brother Tyler and Adam's brother Bryan both moved in to Illinois State University this afternoon; they both will be sophomores this year. On Monday, my younger brother Ben moves in at the University of Illinois for his first year of college. Lots of moving lately!! Adam ended up helping a lot with Bryan, but luckily I think I'm getting out of moving either one of my brothers, since they chose to move during times that I am working :)

Unfortunately, Adam's (maternal) grandmother got very sick recently, and after talking with his family tonight he decided to drop everything and go straight up to Rockford to see her. She's not been in great health for a while, but it seemed like things changed suddenly. Right now, we're not sure how long she will make it.

I think that is about everything that has been going on lately... sort of a hodge-podge of stuff. It's been a really stressful time for both of us. We are just looking forward to a time when everything will settle down a little.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life Update

So, lately I have been busy, busy, busy! I started my new job on Monday, and so far it is going well. The company is awesome and has some really cool benefits (like free drinks -- soft drinks, Dole juices, and those addictive cold Starbucks frappuchinos -- how amazing is that?!) I am still doing lots of training and reviewing stuff, so I haven't actually been copy editing anything as of yet. But, I'm sure I will be soon!

On the house front, we're about in the same place as last time. We've now officially applied for our loan and locked in a rate, and we've got our home inspection on Monday. I'm a little worried about this, but hoping it goes well! I've been sort of holding off on putting photos up on facebook of the house, since we know that it's not a done deal until closing. I think I'll feel much more confident once we're past the home inspection. But, I don't think many people read this, so if you missed seeing photos when they took the last link down, they are here:

I guess that's all I've really got at this point. I'm exhausted, as I'm definitely not used to getting up at 5:45 a.m. (or... before 9 a.m. anymore...), and the two-hour round trip drive for work isn't helping. Can't wait until we live closer!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

House update!

We accepted the seller's counter-offer, so now it is ours! A big step forward in what will definitely be a long process. But, by September, we should be living in it!!

All the info, and multiple photos, are here:
Look now, since I don't know how long they usually leave those things up!

A house!

We spent this week looking at homes in Le Roy, Ill., which we have decided is exactly where we'd like to live. This morning, we put in an offer on one! It's a super cute three bedroom, two bathroom home built in 1899. Lots of things have already been remodeled for us, including the kitchen and dining areas, which are gorgeous. Now we're waiting to hear back from the sellers about whether they will accept our offer as-is or counter it.

Our (potential) house:

As with any big decision, we did have to make a few compromises, but the best parts of this house are that 1.) it is the perfect size and 2.) it is in a fantastic location. Also, it has lots of cute, old-house charm. I'm really hoping that we get it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Big Changes

So, a few exciting things have happened since my last post! This week, I was offered a job as an editorial assistant in Champaign (about 50 minutes south of Bloomington-Normal). I'm super excited to have a full-time job again, although I have really loved the freelance work I was doing at IWU. I am hoping to start in two weeks.

Now that we both have jobs we are ready to hang onto for a while, Adam and I are planning to jump right into the housing market. We're looking at buying a house in a sort of rural area between Normal and Champaign, so that we each have a comparable commute to work. Today we went to the bank and met with someone to discuss a mortgage. It is exciting to take these first steps, especially after spending so much time looking, but not being able to do anything else, while we waited for me to get a job. Now, we just need to find a real-estate agent that we like, and we'll be ready to go!

This weekend, we are heading to the Chicago suburbs for Zach Meiborg's wedding on Saturday. Then Adam will be coming back to B-N, and I'll be staying in Roscoe to pet-sit my parents' two dogs, two cats, bird and fish while they are on vacation. It'll probably be my last week off of work for a while!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Up North for the 4th!

For the 4th of July weekend, Adam and I spent a couple of days in Roscoe with my parents, then headed up to Three Lakes, Wis., (near Eagle River) to spend the holiday with his parents at their cabin.

We left Bloomington on Wednesday night; Adam had taken Thursday off work, and had Friday off for the holiday. While in Roscoe, Adam did some computer work for a friend, and I tagged along when Ben and my mom went to look at cellos. Ben started playing the cello a few months ago and has really gotten into it, so my parents wanted to help him buy his own as his high school graduation/birthday present (these things are super expensive!) He found one he liked and took it home for a week trial.

Early Friday morning, Adam and I left Roscoe for Wisconsin to visit his parents for the holiday weekend. We had an AWESOME Wisconsin fish fry, which I've been missing too much to even describe. His parents' cabin is in a former resort -- now it's more like condo cabins -- so they have lots of friends who they share their space with. It's like a constant party! I went tubing a couple of times and am still sore and sunburned, despite my best attempts with the sunscreen. Oh well.

We're already getting ready to go out of town again -- this weekend, longtime family friend Zach Meiborg is getting married in Bartlett, Ill., which is a Chicago suburb. We're planning on spending the weekend there and in Roscoe. Then, I'll stay at my parents' house for the following week to watch the dogs/cats/bird/fish while they are on vacation, and Adam will come back to Bloomington.

Whew! This has to be the busiest summer ever. At least after this one, we've got a few free weekends!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Congrats, Alex & Kasia!

Adam and I spent last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, for Alex and Kasia's wedding. It was gorgeous! We also got to reconnect with lots of friends we hadn't seen in a while, so that was great as well. All of Adam's friends from high school (aka "the Posse") were there, along with their wives/girlfriends, several of whom I had not yet met. It was so great to see everyone, and surprisingly wonderful that all of the significant others are such cool people.

We got into town on Friday afternoon, checked into the hotel and headed over to the wedding rehearsal at the church. Adam was an usher, and at first was a little worried about his role, but everything went very smoothly. Adam was raised in a Lutheran church, and I was raised United Methodist, so it was interesting, to say the least, for us to see all of the details of a big Catholic wedding!

Here, the Posse (minus Austin, whose plane was delayed) waits for instructions before the rehearsal:

After the rehearsal dinner Friday night, the whole Posse, plus significant others, headed out to the downtown Des Moines bars. They were several blocks from the hotel we were staying at, but when we got there -- wow! Quite a happening nightlife for Iowa ;) We found an English pub and hung out for a few hours to catch up with everyone.

On Saturday, we got to experience the wedding, of course. We've both known Alex so well and for such a long time that we were thrilled to see him marry someone as awesome as Kasia!

The wedding reception was also eventful, especially since it included the Polish tradition of stealing the bride and groom's shoes. Adam nearly had one of Alex's, but lost it to a bigger, drunker Polish guy. He did get a consolation prize, though; one of our friends who had successfully stolen a shoe gave him the prize she won for it (a bottle of Grey Goose).

All in all, a fantastic weekend :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First wedding of the summer

Not so long ago, Kasia and Alex were at our wedding... now we're getting ready to go to theirs!!

This weekend, we'll head out to Des Moines, Iowa, for the big event. Adam is an usher, so we'll be attending the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, as well. He's taken Friday afternoon off of work, so we can leave early and be there with plenty of time to spare. We're both looking forward to it, and I am excited to see some of the Polish traditions that Kasia's family will be incorporating into the celebration. I'm sure it will be a blast!

Last weekend, I went up to Arlington Heights, Ill., for a tea party-themed bridal shower for Becky. Everyone was asked to wear tea-appropriate hats, which was hilarious. All the decorations were so cute, and the food was delicious! While I was doing that, Adam went to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the weekend, to keep Sam company. Although they couldn't get the Wii to work, it sounded like they had a good time anyhow ;)

I've had a couple of calls back about jobs this week, and have also gotten more involved in my volunteer work, so that has definitely been a positive. I just keep hoping for that perfect opportunity to come my way soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First anniversary!

Today is our first anniversary! I can't believe an entire year has gone by since the wedding.

Adam and I spent the weekend in St. Louis, doing some touristy things. The first thing we did Saturday afternoon when we got into town was head straight for the Arch.

There was lots of waiting in line, but we thought it was worth the experience. The Arch is really, really tall. Really. This is a bad idea for anyone who is afraid of heights or is claustrophobic, since they cram you into these tiny tram cars for the trip to the top. Luckily, neither of us is (that...) afraid of either, so we survived. The view from the top was cool!

Then, we went to the Moonrise Hotel, where we were staying. This place also was neat. And moon-themed. So, honestly, what could be better? We were in The Loop, part of St. Louis near Washington University, and it had lots of dining options within walking distance, so we had time to explore that evening, which was fun.

On Sunday, we toured the Anheuser-Busch brewery. It was a very complete tour and included everything from the Clydesdales to how beer is made and, of course, free samples at the end :) We then met up with McKenna, who lives in St. Louis, before we headed home.

EDIT: Per Lynn's request, here is the "Adam on the couch" photo, taken at our moon-themed hotel!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Planning Ahead

Right now, we are gearing up for a very busy summer! Between now and October, we will be attending FIVE weddings, along with bachelor/bachelorette parties, showers, etc. It's going to be a little crazy, but we are excited about all of the friends we'll be able to see in the coming months.

Memorial Day weekend was one of the non-wedding weekends for us, so we took it easy and mostly stayed around home. On Saturday, we did drive up to Naperville for my 3-year-old cousin's birthday party.

This weekend, we're splitting up -- Adam is heading to Kansas City, Mo., for Alex's bachelor party weekend, and I am going to Roscoe for my brother Ben's high school graduation party. The weekend after that, we're hoping to head down to St. Louis for a short trip to celebrate our first anniversary!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Settled in

Things have been moving right along since we headed down to Bloomington, and we are now officially settled in (and so is our stuff... it's all over the place in this tiny apartment!)

Adam is enjoying his job, and is gearing up for Preview, the ISU program where new students come down to enroll in classes, learn about college, etc., during the summer before they start. He'll be supporting some of the IT roles for that program, so it will keep him busy during the summer.

I am doing some freelance work at the Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine, where I worked as a student. This is nice because it's stuff I enjoy, it gets me out of the apartment, and I get to talk to other people! I'm also starting this week on a volunteer basis with a local nonprofit organization, working with their marketing department on some public relations-type projects.

Looking for jobs has been difficult, as it's hard to find anything to even apply for. But, I do have a couple of promising leads (I took an editing test for a position in Champaign last week, and I have an interview for a different job in Bloomington this week), so I hope that things are starting to look up!

Things have been pretty mellow around here. We hung out with Sarah S. on my birthday weekend, but other than that we've just been back to Roscoe a few times. Most evenings, we drive around and look at houses for sale and decide what we'd like to have when we're ready to buy! We hope this is sooner, rather than later.

Monday, May 4, 2009


We finally have Internet!!!! After a 2 hour conversation with Verizon, I was finally able to convince them that they needed to come hook up our wires so we could surf the net!

Sarah and I celebrated today with this "monumental" occasion by going to Qdoba for dinner, one of our Bloomington-Normal favorites. MMMM so good.

The rest of the night has been spent taking advantage of having non-stolen Internet.

In all serious, I'm really happy Sarah will not be bored to tears during the day now while she is searching for a job.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More apartment photos

I've snuck into The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University (my alma mater) for a little free Internet. It's the last day of IWU spring finals, so there is quite a bit of activity here, but the Internet speed is still amazing, compared to the stolen wifi we get at our apartment!

I'm finally going to post additional apartment photos -- I've been meaning to, but since only Adam's laptop can get our stolen wifi, it's been difficult. So, here they are!

Our main room (remember, it's an efficiency apartment, so that's pretty much all there is!) There is a bed "area" off to the right, but I didn't take a picture of it.

Full kitchen, which is actually new and cute!

Stairway up to our place.

I've been joking that it's the opposite of our Janesville apartment. There, we had a two-bedroom place, so we had plenty of space, but EVERYTHING was from 1985 when the building was built, including the brown carpet, electric heating system, refrigerator, stove, bathroom fixtures, etc.

Here, it's all beautiful and newly remodeled, but tiny! Adam and I have decided that we need to get out, often, or we go kind of crazy. This is especially a challenge for me, since I suddenly have an extra 40 hours of free time each week and no idea what to do with it.

So far, I've been applying to jobs, cleaning and running errands. If I don't find something long-term soon, I'll probably start looking for a more involved volunteer opportunity. It's just suddenly very difficult to find the motivation to do anything!

Adam has been loving his job at ISU so far, as he knew he would. He also loves his five-minute commute, instead of the drive between Janesville and McHenry, which could take up to an hour and a half each way.

My parents came down this weekend to celebrate my 24th birthday (which is actually today). We went out for lunch, opened presents and played Rock Band. We're planning to head up to Roscoe this weekend, as I have a cousin with a birthday coming up!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Updates will continue to be slow, as our Internet STILL is not installed. We decided to go with DSL through Verizon (we had DSL through AT&T in Janesville, and it was always fast and reliable). Also, we didn't have cable there and won't here, so it was the easier solution. At least, it was supposed to be...

Apparently things aren't wired correctly, so although we have two phone jacks in our apartment, neither is actually connected to the main phone line in the basement of our building. It's an old house that was converted into four apartments, so this is not that hard to believe. Today, I spent most of the day waiting for the Verizon guy to come set everything up (they'd already come once and given up). He did come and got most of it done, but our landlord has to send out an electrician tomorrow to fix a few things. Then, HOPEFULLY, we'll finally be online! We're both such Internet people that this has been a struggle... we've been hanging out at both of our alma maters and other wifi locations (Coffee House in Normal, and Bloomington Public Library, where we are now).

Someone else in our building does have an unsecured wireless network, and we've been stealing wifi when it's available. But, my laptop almost never picks it up, so I have to use Adam's, etc. It would be so much easier if it was just installed and working!!

In other news, Adam's job continues to go well. I'm having my second interview for a job tomorrow. I've been checking many job postings on a daily basis since I got down here (and before), and unfortunately haven't even found anything to apply for so far this week. I'm not quite ready to give up and apply for absolutely anything, but that may come soon.

On Thursday, I'm having lunch with the editor of IWU's alumni magazine, where I worked as an undergrad. Looking forward to touching base with some of the people I already know in town!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally here!

So, I've finally joined Adam in Bloomington! I got here on Friday night and we went out to dinner at Grand Cafe, a Chinese restaurant that's one of our favorites from our college days. Then, on Saturday, Adam's parents came down to visit and see our new place.

Before they got here, we managed to get everything put away and looking good, which I was somewhat afraid might not happen due to space limitations. But, it really does all fit, which is fantastic!

Saying goodbye to everyone at work Friday was really, really hard. I'm trying to be positive and look ahead, but it was tough to leave behind people I've really enjoyed working with.

In more positive news, I do have a second interview for a job on Wednesday. Cross your fingers for me -- I'm hoping that one goes well! I'll post more info about if I get it (obviously...)

Overall, it's SO nice to be down here and together again. Now off to make Sunday morning breakfast, and maybe peek at a few open houses (although we obviously won't be buying while I'm still unemployed, but it's always fun to look!).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bloomington, here we come!

So, we are not so good about updating this. Sorry!

Adam had his first day on the job on Monday, and was greeted by this when he arrived at his cubicle:
Obviously, his co-workers missed him very much! He even had Easter dinner with his former (and, now, current) boss Pam on Sunday.

I am working in Janesville through Friday, finishing up last minute stories and training the writer who will replace me. We finished moving last weekend, and it feels great to have that behind us!! Of course, all of our stuff wouldn't fit in our new efficiency apartment (our Janesville place was two bedrooms), so much of it ended up in a storage unit in Roscoe. With the assistance of Becky and Sam, we moved the essentials in on Saturday. (That includes a bed, couch, TV, dresser and clothing. And that's about it.) Then, on Sunday, I came back up to Roscoe, where I'm staying for the week with my parents, and Adam stayed in Bloomington to start at ISU the next day.

All in all, kind of a crazy week! I'm looking forward to heading back down to B-N on Friday and actually settling in to our new place. Adam's parents are planning on coming to visit us this weekend, as well. It will be good to have some time off to relax, even if it means I'm unemployed for a little while.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're moving!

Hello, and welcome to our blog!

I've been thinking about starting this for a while, and now that we have some big changes coming up, I thought it was the perfect time. Adam just accepted a job last week at Illinois State University, and will be returning to doing desktop support for the Registrar's Office and other campus buildings. I'm leaving my current job as well and have started searching for a new position in Bloomington-Normal. It's a big change for us, but we're excited to more forward!

When Adam was down there for his interview, he picked out this efficiency apartment for us, part of a house near downtown Bloomington.
I haven't seen it yet, but Adam e-mailed pictures and we've already signed the lease, so we are set to go. It's nice to know we'll have somewhere to move to in a few weeks.

I'm hoping to use this to keep everyone updated on what we're up to as we go through this transition! Leave a comment if you've stopped by and read this far :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First post?

I'm going to start a blog here soon. Promise!!