Monday, June 30, 2008

Ladies, get out your credit cards

The Limited summer clearance sale starts in stores today! AND they are giving away bonus bucks for every $50 you spend. Think I'm going to do some damage to my credit card balance. I am in desperate need of some retail therapy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Finally the weekend!

Whew! We made it to the weekend. There were a couple times this week that I wasn't sure either of us would see Saturday. It has been a crazy, stressful week for both of us. I had a sudden trip to Atlanta for work and Nate's job has been more hectic than ever. We were both going at full speed all week but the days just seemed to drag by. Needless to say, we are both impatiently counting down the days to our vacation in a few weeks.

Saturday morning we went to an early showing and saw the movie Wanted. It was incredibly violent but over all a pretty good movie. MSN Movies gave it four and a half stars, and I would have to agree. James McAvoy is an unlikely action hero and makes a convincing transformation from total loser to kick-ass assassin in under two hours. Morgan Freeman is great as the ultimate bad guy who plays god with other peoples lives. There are several unexpected twists and the action scenes are some of the best I've seen in awhile. And Angelina Jolie is, as always, ridiculously beautiful.

After the movie, Nate went to the office and I worked at home a bit, then we drove out to the house to check out this week's progress. On Tuesday they poured the basement walls and on Wednesday they removed the forms, so the walls are standing on their own now. We went out there Wednesday night and took the pictures below. There hasn't been too much change from Wednesday to today - they've put in the basement plumbing and the sump pump and then laid pebble gravel over it. I think the next step will be pouring the basement floor.

Unfortunately we have not had our meeting with the building foreman yet. He wanted to meet on Wednesday but I was flying back from Atlanta and he is on vacation through next week. We are both very eager to talk with him and get the 'road map' for the next several months.

While we were out there on Wednesday we got to meet another neighbor on the cul-de-sac. Her name is Jill, her husband is Will and they have a one-year-old son, Zachary. Jill was out watering her yard when we drove up and we stopped to talk for a little while. Renee (the neighbor we met last week) did a good job filling Jill in on us, as she already knew quite a bit about us! It's nice to know they are as excited about us as we are about them! I would guess Jill is close to our age and we found out that she and Will got married the same day that we did (July 26, 2003). I think Jill has great 'friend potential' and I can't wait to get to know her better.

These are some pics from our visit on Wednesday.

Looking from the front right corner of the house.

Looking from the back left of the house, towards the street.

This picture doesn't show it very well, but the workers leave drink bottles all over the ground inside the hole. It was all I could do to keep from jumping down there to clean up after them!

And a pic of Nate just because he doesn't like me to post pictures of him. :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Big Dig

Let the house building begin!! They finally started our house this week. Cameron called on Wednesday around lunchtime to tell us that we were scheduled to start on Monday, June 23rd. Then he called back about three hours later and said, "There's already a big hole on your lot!". Apparently they were ahead of schedule so they started us five days early! We were super excited but a little bummed because Nate already had plans to play soccer that night, so we couldn't go see it. I seriously considered going on my own but knew it would be more fun if I waited for Nate.

On Thursday night we got out there in time for Cameron to walk back with us and explain what they had done so far and what we could expect in the next two weeks. Cameron was a Ryland builder for several years before he switched to sales, so he's able to give us a lot of details on how the house is being built and exactly what's coming next.

They are really moving fast already. In just two days the whole basement is dug out and the footers were laid. Now we can finally visualize how the house will sit on the lot and how much yard will be left around it. I thought I was excited before, but now I am beside myself. Pinch me, is this really happening?!

Assuming we have good weather (big assumption around here lately) the basement walls will go up next week and they will be ready to start framing in about two weeks. There is another house going up on our street that is about a week and a half ahead of us, so it's kind of like having a 'sneak preview' of what's coming next for us!

While we were out there, we also got to meet our next door neighbors to the left. Their names are Ray and Renee and they have three kids, ages 4 to 12. They were excited to see our house get started (it's the last one on the cul-de-sac) and as curious to meet us as we were to meet them! We had a nice talk and look forward to getting to know them in the months to come.

This is a pic driving up to the lot. The concrete for the temporary drive way and the footers was still wet. [Note to self: Buy 'construction site' shoes for lot visits']


The raised part is the garage floor:

Cameron explains things to Nate:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Get your recycle on

What's better than getting something on sale? Getting it FREE!!

A few weeks ago I read about a website called Their mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling members to benefit from the strength of a larger community. Basically it's a bunch of people in your area that are giving stuff away for FREE (and helping the environment too!). Go to the website, search for city and join! You can sign up for daily emails or just check the blog regularly to see what people are giving away.

The really good stuff goes fast so you have to be patient. I've seen weight benches, bikes, computers, furniture, etc listed on my local site. When an item you want is posted, you reply back to the poster that you would like it and when you are available to pick it up. The 'winner' is up to the poster (some people take first response, others do first available to pick up). I've replied on a couple of things, and today I finally 'won' something! I went to pick up my new, gently used Christmas tree a little while ago. I've always wanted to have a second tree that I could decorate with white lights and matching ornaments and now I have it. For FREE!!

It's no Secret!!

For those of you who have not already been there, the Victoria Secret Semi-Annual Sale started in stores yesterday! I, of course, was there as soon as I could get there. Got a pile of stuff and managed to spend only $50! WOOHOO!

And for those of you who have trouble finding your sizes in the store, check out the website. Through June 19, you can get free shipping on all bra purchases (including clearance!) by entering the code SHOPBRAS at checkout. Happy shopping!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My favorite things

I got to spend last week in Knoxville with a few of my favorite people doing a few of my favorite things. A quick rundown.

Monday night I went to my favorite restaurant of all time, the Melting Pot, with two of my favorite Knoxville girlies, Erin and Julia. If you have never been to the Melting Pot, you have no idea what you are missing. It is a fondue restaurant where you cook your own food at your table. It was one of my first dates with Nate and we always head there for special occasions.

On Thursday night I headed to Sundown in the City with my favorite Knoxville couple AP and MP to see one of my new favorite artists, Kate Voegele. You might remember her as Mia on the last season of One Tree Hill. She kind of reminds me of a female Jack Johnson; just really easy stuff to listen to. And she was just as good in person as she is on her CD.

Then on Friday I got to do one of my most favorite things ever. I got an ashiatsu bar massage from my favorite masseuse Rebecca. I have tried lots of massage therapists in the last year and none comes even close to what this girl can do. I try to see her every time I am in Knoxville which is no easy feat because she is ridiculously busy (the sign of a very good massage therapist!). Ashiatsu bar is a type of massage where the therapist gets on top of the table and uses their feet to give a deep tissue massage. It is painful and I am sore for days afterwards but it really does the trick for my chronic headaches. This type of massage is not for relaxation or the faint of heart. But it's my favorite!

On Saturday, two of our favorite friends got married. Amber and Sami had a beautiful, fun and totally 'them' wedding. It was so great to see so many of our friends and hang out for a few hours.

And finally, I got to go to Sonic not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times during happy hour! My favorite Sonic drink is Cherry Limeade. They advertise Sonic here on a daily basis but the closest one is at least two hours away. I am always drooling at the TV every time the commercial comes on.

Now I am back home and on my own until Friday, while Nate gets to take his own business trip to California. Hopefully I can use this week to catch up much needed sleep and a little bit of laundry before we hit the Red Sox game on Saturday!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Until next season....

For all you other LOST fans out there, check out this awesome recap website. Every week this guy posts a video with recaps and secrets from the previous night's episode. He always points out little references that I manage to miss on my first time through the episode.

LOST is finally back on track this season and I cannot wait for Season 5.

Floor plan

A couple of you have asked about the floor plan and square footage of the new house. It is two stories with a three car garage. The total square footage of the two floors is 3,785, plus we will have a full (unfinished) basement. The foyer is two-story and the loft has a railing that looks down to the foyer. The whole house has nine foot ceilings which I am super excited about.

Here is the layout of the first floor. We have all of the optional windows, the corner fireplace and a gourmet kitchen. Nate thinks that somehow the gourmet kitchen is going to transform me into Paula Deen and he will be eating like a king.

This is the second floor. We will have a garden bath and tray ceilings in the master bedroom and the sitting room. Please take note of the size of the closet in the master bedroom. I have been a very lucky girl, as far as closets go, but this is the mother of all walk-in closets.

I am very happy with all of the selections we made at the design center this week. On Tuesday we went to the preview hours for the second time and ended up changing our minds on cabinets, counter tops, carpet and flooring. We were much more prepared the second time around and I feel really good about the changes that we made.
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