Friday, September 21, 2007

Plumber, electrician, repair man, oh my!

I'm up to my ears in boxes. They're everywhere and taking over my home. I can't find anything. I'm working on finding my inner center, my quiet place where I can relax. Thank you Yoga 101. . .I promise I will try harder. This whole experience is just frustrating. Much like that other life event that requires planning and organizing and on one day its over in a few hours. I know that at the end of this I will be so happy and thrilled to be in our new house. Just the process of getting there is taking its toll.

Per our agreement with our buyers, we have to have a plumber look at the drainage in our tubs (DONE!), an electrician needs change out a measly amp and repair an outlet, and we have to have our deck hatch door repaired. And I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is to find service people to come and fix these things. It has taken us almost a month to find a plumber, and the electrician I had to get through a handyman service. The kicker is that all of these projects could be done by Tim in one day but we MUST HAVE A LICENSED CONTRACTOR OHMYGOD. Grrrrrrr.

Once we get to the closing table next week, I think I will be able to breathe again. Until then, I'll be holding my breath, yoga be damned.

Monday, September 17, 2007

For posterity

I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to take pictures of our condo before we move. I need to have record of these momentous occasions--most likely because I do not handle change very well. This is the place where Tim proposed to me. This is our first home as a married couple. It means a lot to me. I didn't want to forget.

Guess what? I forgot. There are boxes everywhere now and piles of junk. BUT! Being the sleuth that I am, I have discovered a trick. Did you know you can copy pictures from the MLS? Howdy-doo, you sure can! So, courtesy of the MLS, here is our condo. Home sweet home (sort of).

This is our building from the street. It is an old department store that was prevalent in Chicago in the middle of the 20th century. When I'm on the elevator, I tend to say, to myself, Women's Shoes, 4th Floor, in a high-pitched, yet soothing voice. I may have said it outloud before. I don't claim to remember.

Welcome to the set of Top Chef! I wish. That stove may look suspiciously clean, but I swear I use it! See those cabinets? Those three cabinets? That's it folks. I need more space otherwise I will never have that coveted title of "good cook".

Below is our bedroom. What you can't see is the phenomenal closet. It's the size of my first apt. bedroom. It's amazing. I love it so, and I will miss it terribly. Treat her well, new owner, fill her up with shoes and clothes and jewelry. She likes that. Because I don't know how to move these damn pictures, the one next is the guest bedroom where many a friend has spent a debaucherous night.

Here we have our living and dining rooms. Its kind of an open layout, as you can see. That fireplace--we just installed the gas set and lit it for the first time. In August. For ten minutes. And then we sold the condo.

Tim picked out the brick red walls. He has good taste in colors. But that green couch. It's called the Mean Green and unfortunately it's coming with us to the new house. That was a mistake he is loath to admit to. I blame his ex.

So there you have it. Our condo. Soon to be another couple's condo. They're engaged to be married, and I know they'll be making this their first home. I wish them well, and I hope we've left some good karma behind for them.

Embarrassment knows no bounds

Last night, as I was packing, I stumbled across some old journals that I had stuffed in a bag under the bed. I have always thought of journaling as romantic--something that I, or my children, or even grandchildren, would find someday a long time from now and read and discover things about me. Ah yes, so romanticized. And apparently I think my life is a movie. Maybe Nicholas Sparks will make The Notebook 2, which in turn will become a movie, and I really want Mandy Moore to play me.

Anyhow, I picked up this one journal. . .it was a green satin job with sparkly beaded stars all over it. I could have guessed immediately who had given it to me without opening: a friend with a great, if not greater, appreciation for all things that glitter and glow. So I opened it, and she had written a lovely introduction and grand expectations that I use it to record "all of my life's memories, and dramas". Does she know me or what?

I was so excited to see what I had written and what drama had unfolded on those pages. There was one entry. Detailing my first month of summer after graduating from high school. Without getting into detail (this is the wide open internet after all), I had written about a date I had gone on with my then boyfriend--and good lord, I feel so embarrassed for my 18 year old self now. I couldn't finish reading the thing so I tore out the pages and threw them away. I believe that is cardinal sin #1 of journaling. But people, this was bad. Desperate and dramatic and all woe is the life I lead.

And that was it. A grand total of one entry in a journal in which I had vowed to record my life. Funny how nothing seems to have changed. I am still dramatic, and woeful, and stubborn, and trying my hand at journaling again. Except this time its here, and YOU are my lucky audience. And you all are just so damn pretty.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Life Lesson #1

Packing sucks. The End.

Here is an example of how packing goes in the Smith household:

For two hours, I am in the dining room, painstakingly packing up our china and crystal and silver and everything imaginable. I carefully wrap each item in bubble wrap and foam and place it in a box. I securely tape each box, and label it with a bulleted list of all the items. I even have color-coded room labeling tape (no YOU are anal retentive). I stack almost 15 boxes neatly one on top of the other against the wall, labels facing out of course. I stand back to survey my work...perfectly done, just as I like it, thankyouverymuch.

Over those same two hours, Tim has been upstairs packing our tool "closet" aka a condo owner's garage. He's banging, and clanking, and making insane amounts of noise. The cacaphony dies down, and he emerges holding the fruits of his labor. . .

One box. Labeled . . .wait for it . . ."stuff".

Ladies and gentleman, I married this man. Willingly. And for all his strengths and successes, he's just not meant to pack boxes. Apparently, as he tells me time and again, there is a Sara way of doing things, and a Tim way, and if I want things done the Sara way, then don't ask Tim to do it. He's so wise.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Its never as easy as you think

Why is it that whenever I want something to go one way, let's say, right, it always without fail goes the other way, left. We had it all worked out. We would close on the sale of the condo one day, and then two weeks later we would close on this house. For those two weeks we would "rent" back from our buyers and then give them possession on the day we move into the house. Easy, right? Could that arrangement be any simpler? No.

But. We all know by now that not everything goes the way you want it to. Silly me. I guess I was the only one still hanging onto that thread of hope that says, gee, this is going along swimmingly! Yesterday, our buyers, through their attorney, sent us an agreement relating to our extended stay in their new home. Basically, they wanted ungodly sums of money to let us stay there--money we weren't going to see again until much after we move out. Money we desperately need to buy the new house. So, what's a girl and her very busy husband to do? Call Mom and Dad!

That's right, friends. We are moving in with the parents for two weeks. And moving all of our stuff (can I call it crap? because it is.) twice. In three weeks. From today. Mom, Dad, we love you and owe you big time.

Pray for us, and if you don't pray, get your butt over here and start packing. THREE WEEKS PEOPLE.