We got an email…

There is a fair amount of work to be done on this foggy, somber morning; but after the week I had and the current mood of having too much racing through my mind, I need to take a second, stop, and write.

If you hadn’t guessed, I had a tough week. It was very busy and, at times, very emotional. The week ended up OK, but getting to Friday wasn’t easy. In general, there is just a lot going on—I have a ton of responsibilities at work, a house to build, and a wedding to plan. All of which are made up of tiny little projects here and there that are beginning to pile up.

But something happened yesterday that was a beautiful continuation of something that started three weeks ago. As you may know by now if you’ve been following along, we aren’t building the house we signed on in February. Our builder came to us saying they had no idea when the building permits would come through and that they wouldn’t string us along in the meantime if we didn’t want to wait anymore.

I remember getting into the car and, for the next day or so, feeling absolutely defeated. I couldn’t help but sit there and believe it wasn’t meant to happen for us. One failed apartment and two failed houses in a year? I couldn’t help but think maybe we should just rent for a couple more years and pick back up then—that clearly this wasn’t meant to be for us right now.

Nick, on the other hand, was so sure we’d find something else because he had secretly been looking since late spring. I felt that we’d find something, but it wouldn’t compare to the house we were going to build. It had taken us so long to find that one and it ended up being new construction, something we couldn’t afford anywhere else in this area. The rest were too expensive or were by builders we didn’t like. I did not share Nick’s confidence whatsoever.

Three days after we met with the builder, we saw two communities. The first, Nick was absolutely sure would be the one… it wasn’t. But we saw Jockey Hollow and it was the one. The next week, when we made our deposit on the lot, we had come to find out that lots were being taken at a rapid pace. The timing had to work out just right for us to get what we did.

Now, we are signing our contract on Tuesday—just a couple of weeks before the new, higher tax goes into effect. I also got the icing on the cake yesterday: an email from our original builder. They said—and this was two days after Nick picked up our signed addendum and refund check—that the county was finally releasing the building permits for the community we were going to build in. I cackled when I read that email.

It wasn’t anger, disappointment, or frustration; it was the irony of it all. It was serendipity. The events of the past three weeks had to happen exactly as they did for us to be in our current position, which has us more excited than we’ve ever been for a house (though my experience-based apprehension is lingering). I will always be a believer that everything happens for a reason and when we walked away from the Avonbridge home, I knew it was for a reason (despite my disappointment). Granted, I thought it was because we weren’t supposed to be buying a house, but I still knew there was a bigger picture we were not meant to see yet.

That picture may not even be clear, but with each event, I can see more and more of it. You may not be religious or spiritual, but I am, and I know someone has our back right now. Nick and I are very fortunate people and with everything going on, the stress, the million to-dos, and the overwhelming price-tags they come with, it’s easy to lose sight of just how fortunate we are sometimes. I am so grateful for all the opportunities we’ve received, the support we continue to get, and for the little reminders here and there to keep our feet on the ground.

In other news, I hope to have some wedding updates shortly! I put planning on the back-burner, but we’ve needed to kick it back up, so that started a couple of days ago with reaching out to potential coordinators and officiants. Hopefully more to come on that and more soon!!

Advertisements

And so we begin again

6am on a Saturday and I am up and ready to write. I have an incredibly busy weekend ahead of me, but didn’t want to miss out on my favorite quiet, writing time (coffee is brewing, so we’re almost there)!


As anyone who follows me on social media may know, we took a big step yesterday in our seemingly never-ending search for a home. I decided today to give more of a backstory to our hunt, in addition to sharing the news. If you know the story or don’t care about the backstory, hop on down to House 3 hah.

Our search began last year. Nick and I were living in a 1br (+den) apartment in Wilmington and it was an old, built-in-the-sixties complex. It wasn’t much, but it was our first place together and we loved every bit of it (though we could have done without the galley kitchen). When our lease was close to ending, we decided to look for a new apartment.

Apartment 1

We found a complex that we really liked pretty quickly, I think. It was in a good location and there was a specific corner unit available that was perfect because of the extra windows and light. We put a deposit down on the apartment and, shortly thereafter, were told the current tenant would be renewing their lease… Safe to say we were furious—there is no way in which it should have even been made available to us in the first place. After that, we needed to reevaluate.

Nick sat me down one day not long after and asked me what I thought about buying a house. We had discussed it many times before, but, at the time, were—in my opinion—not “there” yet in our relationship. However, we talked it through quite a bit and decided to begin the search for a house.

House 1

We found an amazing home later in the summer and were weeks from settlement, when the inspection showed water in the crawlspace and step cracks in the foundation. I won’t go into too many details, but after much deliberation, we decided it would be best to walk away; I was heartbroken. As we continued the search, heading into the fall/winter months, our options were becoming more and more limited. We found ourselves close to settling on homes that weren’t what we wanted just because we were so desperate to get in a house, so we decided to wait through the winter.

House 2

After the new year, we resumed our hunt. We switched realtors, locations, and wish lists. After looking at homes for some time to absolutely no avail, Nick came around to the idea of new construction. Shortly after, we came across the chance to build House 2. It was a twin home (two houses connected in the middle) in the same town we live in now. The price was right, the location was great, and we were able to squeeze in some of the upgrades we really wanted.

February 28, we signed the contract. It was such an exciting moment for us—we both felt like we were getting what we had been looking for this whole time. We knew there were things we wanted that we wouldn’t have, but also that it was our first home and not likely our last. Settlement was set for August 28.

Long story short, since I’ve talked about this recently, the original developer of the community is pretty much known scum ’round these parts and hadn’t addressed the “open spaces” of the community. The county, therefore, put a hold on all building permits. For months, we sat there hoping and praying for things to pull through, but about 3 weeks ago, our builder sat us down to tell us they had no update, there was no update in sight, and that they would release us from our contract if we wanted.

The addendum was signed yesterday.

House 3

Which brings us here. By Thursday of that week, we were looking at new locations further south in Delaware (near where House 1 was). There were two new construction communities we had in mind and, as soon as we drove into the neighborhood of the first, we knew we were in the right place.

With everything we’ve been through, we weren’t willing to sacrifice on much. If we are going to be at it for this long, we were going to love our house. Would the house be perfect? No, we’re not custom building our dream home; but you can bet we’d work to get as close as we can. What we kept thinking we’d be missing in House 2 was kept in mind to transform our “must-have” list.

The process is nowhere near over, but yesterday, we took the first step towards House 3. They are beginning a new phase of development and we snagged the best lot of the lot. It, of course, came at a price, since all the lots in this phase are considered “premium,” but because we don’t have to sell a house, they gave it to us for less. Since the new phase hasn’t been started yet, we have to wait for them to build the road in that section—that will begin in August. By November, they will break ground on our home. So long as Nick and I are proactive when it comes time to get in, sign our contract, make our selections, meet with the flooring company, etc., we could be one of the first finished next spring.

IMG_2855

The new phase highlighted

IMG_2838

73 is ours!!

IMG_2852

It was very sunny, clearly.

IMG_2850

Our lot!

IMG_2851

The new view we’ll have out the back of the house (including the master and my office)! Overlooks the pond!

In conclusion

Nothing about this process is a guarantee—we’ve learned that the hard way 3 times now. This new house isn’t a guarantee until they hand me those keys and I dance (and likely trip) over the threshold. Buying a house has been an absolute nightmare, spanning—in the end—2 years; but yesterday we stood on the lot where our first home will be, where we will start our lives as a married couple, and where we’ll bring a couple tiny humans into the world. There are going to be some amazing memories created on that lot and everything we’ve gone through will be worth it.

We are two very lucky people. This hasn’t been an easy year when it comes to this, but we have always been surrounded by love and support—without which we could not have made it this far. I am very excited to take y’all on the journey of our first home and continued prayers and positive energy for a successful ending will continue to be much appreciated!!

It’s Been a Week… Part II

It comes as no surprise that I never got around to Part II this weekend; however, this time I genuinely believed I would. Nick and I spent the weekend house/dog/cat-sitting for his parents down at the beach and typically—when we have a just-the-two-of-us weekend—we have a lot of down time. This time, however, happened to be much more active than usual.

We went for a bike-ride, ate out (a lot), saw Baby Driver (uhmazing), got to the beach (twice), and even toured the Dogfish Head Brewery before coming home. It was a really nice weekend and having the four days off was absolutely wonderful. Let me tell ya: my lifelong goal of having a 4-day work week seems more and more appealing with every long weekend.

But I want to finish my post from last week about last week. To recap, the biggest piece of news was that our builder gave us the option to walk away from our contract on the house and we did. The process was going to remain indefinite and they didn’t feel it was right to hold us until the contract was up at the end of November. It was a kind thing for them to do, but one that left us at square one—a heartbreaking blow after a year of looking and now two failed houses. You can read the entirety of Part I here.

Thursday Morning

Thursday was a hard and exhausting day, which began with my first round of medical testing done in the morning. For those of you out of the loop, here is a link to the background story on the subject. Here’s the gist; I’ve been seeing a few specialists to narrow in on a diagnosis for issues I’ve been facing since 2014. They impact my life on a day-to-day basis and sometimes dangerously so, so it’s been long overdue to get to the bottom of it. My ENT believes it to be something called Vestibular Migraines, but the best way for us to make a certain diagnosis is to rule our other possibilities. Hence, the testing I had done Thursday.

I went to the Audiology Department at Christiana Hospital to get three tests done. The first was a hearing test, which went well. The second was a series of tests that recorded eye movements—only one of those left me feeling uncomfortable. The third knocked me down hard (metaphorically) and I was down for the rest of the day. It was a test designed to “throw me off,” as I call it, and—let me tell you—it did what it was supposed to do. They started by blowing warm air into my right ear for about 45 seconds, followed by the other ear, then both again, but with cool air.

As it started, I thought nothing was going to happen. Then about 15 seconds in, I got dizzy… then dizzier… then I would have bet my life the whole room was moving and I with it. After four rounds of this, well, let’s just say my motion sickness got the better of me. We were supposed to take 5 minute breaks in between each round—I needed 10 to get the room to stop spinning… not fun. Safe to say, I was home and in bed the rest of the day, only getting up to eat and eventually see some homes later in the evening. Test results will be making their way to me soon.

Thursday Evening

Getting back to the new and improved house hunt; our realtor is incredibly motivated to help us find our home. She was quick to set everything up, has been sending options left and right, and we were able to tour three locations Thursday evening. We saw an old Victorian home which looked updated, but it was not nearly as updated as we thought. It was beautiful, but a quick no. We also saw two new construction communities, one of which has us very excited. I can’t go much further into it because we are waiting for two important make-or-break-it details, but it looks incredibly promising, so I’m going to need y’all to cross those fingers for us!

It was a whirlwind of a week and absolutely jam packed, so I was grateful for a long weekend—I really needed it. We have a lot going on right now and it’s tough to keep it all in check, but we’re doing the best we can and rolling with the punches as they come. The road to a new home does not look to be a short one, but we know it will be worth it when the day finally comes.

Until next time, my dears…

Update 11: 343 Days to Go!

Oh this is going to be blog post overload this weekend! I posted a life update yesterday (Part 1 of 2) and there is still so much to cover from this crazy week. I am grateful to be sitting here on my favorite morning of the week, Saturday: my day to regroup, reorganize, and just be in some of the best ways I know how. This weekend will be spent with Nick at the beach and it’s safe to say long weekends with just the two of us are my absolute favorite, so I can’t wait!

As promised in a number of posts now, this is my spot to share our engagement photos! There is no way I could include them all, as we were given a gazillion, and choosing a selection was a massive feat. Seriously, I have 67 images coming your way. I’ve shared a number on Facebook, but there are far too many good ones to only share a handful. All credit to their greatness goes to our photographer, Elizabeth Baxter. After a very hard start to the week, receiving these was a turning point. If you want to hear more about the engagement shoot itself, you can read my recap post on it!

Before the incredibly overwhelming reveal, I have one bit of news to share today as well! On Sunday, we got to see my cousin, her husband, and their three girls for the first time in years. They were living in Japan before moving to their current home in Hawaii, so visits are few and far between. Next time we see them will be at our wedding where… drum rolls… Caitlyn, Claire, and Emily will be three of our flower girls!!!

In true Kat-can’t-do-anything-half-a$$ed fashion, we put together little proposal cards for the girls, which we followed up with tiny flower necklaces I put together for them. They, of course, said yes and were very excited by the “fluffy stuff” in the necklace boxes. I stupidly forgot to take before boxes of everything, but my cousin snapped a picture of me with our little ladies!

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 9.25.29 AM.png

We are so excited to have these beautiful and oh-so-lovey girls be part of our day! Nick and I are two very lucky ducks! Can’t wait!! ❤


Without further ado, below is a (large) sampling of our engagement photos! I threw in some funny ones and some captions to explain the ones needing explanation. I also opted to do all single photos so you can actually see them and know when the end is in sight. Since I have the enormous task of picking some favorites to feature in a few places, so I’d love to hear which ones everyone likes the most!!

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

One of our first photos when we had absolutely no idea what we were doing and felt oh-so-incredibly awkward!

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

This was the famous “hissing” moment. Elizabeth told Nick to make me laugh, so he started hissing in my ear haha

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

Nick thought butterfly kisses would be a good photo. It wasn’t lol

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

One of my favorites

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

One of those pictures that does a good job of capturing “us.”

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

The look he has when he thinks he’s telling me something very interesting and important.

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

Love how natural this feels

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

My favorite face of his.

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

Another favorite picture

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

We thought putting a girl with vertigo on a fallen tree 3 feet off the ground without her glasses was a good idea.

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

When it completely slammed into Nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

Not the most flattering, but I wanted to show a couple of these shots!

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

My favorite of the kiss photos, I think. Contouring for the win.

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

I learned on this day just how weak my fiance is haha. This came out well though!

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

Nick felt left out of the whole foot popping pose

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

More hissing, most likely.

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

After a very fake, very obnoxious laugh.. hey, it worked, didn’t it??

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nickView More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

View More: http://elizabethbaxterphotography.pass.us/kat-and-nick

The oh-so-happy couple!

Hope y’all enjoyed these pictures as much as we do!! Again, let me know some of your favorites—we have so many to choose from!!