Sunday, June 29, 2008

Apartment Shma-shmartment!

Ever since we moved to Louisville, we've been busy unpacking, getting ready for our vacation, unpacking from vacation, and winding down. This past week was the first week where I felt like we were "home," and unfortunately, I haven't been very happy with our apartment. Once we got settled in, I started to notice all of the little, nagging things that come with living in a 50 year old four-plex building. None of them are big enough to mention, but all the little things put together really started to aggravate me. Then, add to that the two yapping dogs upstairs, the construction going on next door, and the gaggle of drunk girls that gathered outside my bedroom window at 4 AM on Saturday morning, and now you have sleepless nights to accompany the "small things," thus turning them into huge annoyances during the day.

So, first thing tomorrow morning, Chud and I are meeting with a mortgage lender to find out how much we can, and should, spend on a house. We drove around a lot of neighborhoods here in Louisville this weekend, I've been reading up on the schools and communities around here, and I have a pretty good idea of some places where we might want to live. The only reason we haven't bought a house yet is because our savings is so slim and we cannot afford the down payment for the kind of house we want to buy. Until now, I was dead set on saving enough for a down payment. However, I've been meeting more and more people who have bought a house without one, and I've been reading a lot of articles about the dying trend of down payments, especially for first-time home buyers. Not to mention I've seen three or four episodes of "My First Home" on TLC where the couples were buying much bigger, more expensive houses than the ones we want and were doing it with no down payment. Consider me convinced.

Now that a real "home" is just around the corner, I can start to cope with the every-day annoyances in our last apartment. I know that a home will come with it's share of annoyances as well, but they'll be our problems to fix and the place will be our own. I want to paint walls, for Pete's sake! I want to decorate for real instead of for "fake."

I am so DONE with apartments. Real home, here we come!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh My Blog, How I've Missed You!

(No, I'm not pregnant, I just decided to wear a shapeless curtain of a dress!)
Well, we're finally back from the sunny Bahamas, and I have so much to blog about! The time between moving and flying was filled with household chores, trips to Lexington, and a portfolio freakout, but that's no fun to talk about, so the first couple weeks of June are non-bloggable. However, this past week has been quite a whirlwind of relaxation time, exploration time, and fun family gatherings. I'll try to condense....

We landed in Nassau and promptly made our way to "The Riu," our hotel on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The lobby was gorgeous and as soon as we checked in, they strapped a band around our wrists to display our "all-inclusiveness" to the bartenders and service staff. We spent the first evening experimenting with the drinks we could order: Rumrunner? - no problem, Pina Colada? - coming right up, "What kind of beer do you have?" ("Budweiser or Kalik") - hmmm, "What kind of wine do you have?" ("Red or white") - WHAT KIND OF A PLACE IS THIS!!! Yes, my friends, I spent four days drinking a non-identifiable "red" wine that tasted like rubbing alcohol, but gosh darnit - it was "included" and my parents were happy, so I sucked it up.
After a day and a half in "make-believe land" where the beaches are beautiful, the food is plentiful and the sugary drinks can last all day (without making you drunk no matter how hard you try,) Chud and I ventured out into the very real town of Nassau. Granted, we still did the "touresty" things, but gosh darnit, we paid for it, and that felt kind of nice.
We saw Fort Charlotte (the fort built to protect the Bahamas that never actually fired a shot)...
AND I got to dance with real freaking flamingos at the Zoo (Ardastra Gardens)...

Mom decided she wanted the whole family to go snorkeling as well, and aside from the tremendous panic attack that ensued when I put my mask on and jumped into the water, (I believe my exact words to all seven of my family members who were trying to help me as I clutched the life raft were, "GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!") that was a pretty darn good time. We saw lots of colorful fish that were impossible to catch with my bare hands, we saw an enormous lobster, and there was a rogue jellyfish or two that kept popping up in my mask's view. Needless to say, I made my way back to the ship with no pictures and a mild sense of achievement for not having lost my life on the open sea. Rumrunner, anyone?? Here's a pic of Jordan on the snorkeling trip, in his one and only purchase - a Bahamas trucker's cap (Mom was beside herself in shame)...

On Monday night, all of us kids decided we would go out for a night on the town at Senior Frogs. Has anyone ever heard of these bars?? Apparently they are in every touristy hot spot in the world and they are the ultimate place to "throw down" when you're on vacation (or at least that's what my brother Matt said and we all believed him). We went to this hellhole of an excuse for drinking where we discovered there was Kareaoke! Well, you know me - I hopped on stage with a beer in my hand and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" playing in the background when an 18 year old drunk-as-a-skunk frat boy decided it would be a good idea to hop on stage with me. Apparently he thought that if he dry humped me enough, I wouldn't notice the gallons of sweat pouring off of him and staining his Ralph Lauren polo shirt. As he was knocking me off the stage with his pelvis, I yelled in the microphone for my sister, who promplty hopped on stage as well and tried to dance with him while I finished my song. Ahhh....vacation.

After a couple days of excursions, our trip was almost over and Chud and I were happy to resign to the fat, rich, white person mentality of drinking by the pool....

Chud made this insightful comment: "It's just like drinking in a regular bar, expect my butt's wet."
So, we took our Rumrunners and Pina Coladas and Mago Daquiris (and one special night, even our Champagne!) to the beach and had a dandy ol' time...

Despite our discontent over the economic situation of the inhabitants of the islands, despite our disgust for fat, rich, white people and their touristy ways (at least we didn't stay next door at Atlantis - yipes!) we managed to have an amazing time in the land of clear waters and sunny skies!

(that's Chud Muffin and Jordo out there in the surf!)
We let ourselves get kissed by birds:

We laughed as Jay smoked a stogie with "the boys"...

We indulged Mom whenever she said, "Gimmie the rock!"...
And we had a wonderful time!

P.S. Chud's Mom was married yesterday at the Lanier Days Civil War Re-enactment. As soon as I have pictures, I'll blog about it - I PROMISE!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's the Small Things

Chud said something tonight worth blogging about. He said, "I'm just not used to your enthusiasm for such small things." At first I took offense, thinking we've been together for fouryears, how can you not know me by now? But then he explained that just when he thinks he has figured out what makes me happy, there's always something else that I end up getting excited about. I took that as a compliment. Here are the small things I got excited about tonight:

We were sitting on the front porch, on the hideous wicker furniture that we share with three other apartments. We were chitchatting about the days events, enjoying an evening drink before going inside to watch our TV shows on DVD. Just as I was about to get up, I saw a flicker of yellow light in the yard across the street. I gasped and Chud thought I saw something truly spectacular. "Oh my god!" I shouted. "I just saw.....the VERY FIRST LIGHTNING BUG of the summer! This is so exciting!" He laughed and shook his head. I guess he doesn't understand that the first lightning bug means alot to me. I remember catching them in a jar when I was a kid and putting them on my dresser while I turned out all the lights so they could light up my entire room. I remember sitting on Grandma's porch after dark and looking out at the trees at the edge of the woods, but you couldn't see the trees at all, you could only see the glittery glow of a thousand tiny lightning bugs. I also remember the summer I spent in Colorado, when I realized in the middle of July that I had not yet seen one lightning bug at all and when I asked someone if there were any lightning bugs in Colorado, I was met with this response..."What the heck is a lightning bug?" I almost cried. So, yes, lightning bugs mean a lot to me, and I get very excited when I see the first one of the year.

The second small thing isn't as nostalgic and exciting, but any drunken housewife can probably relate. We were sitting on the couch and watching TV - nothing exciting was happening at all. I leaned over the coffee table to pour myself another glass of wine and I turned the bottle after my glass was full to prevent that little annoying drip from sliding down the bottle and staining my table. Then, like any good backwoods, redneck girl would do, I pulled the bottle to my mouth so I could lick the drop off the top of the bottle before it hit the floor. It's a disgusting habit, I know. Then, as I went to put the bottle back on the table, I looked at my floors and realized - they're hardwood floors! I can't stain them with wine! Halleluiah, may the heavens rejoice! How many tiny drops of wine fell on our old carpet between the coffee table and the couch? How many times did I frantically scrub with the Resolve Carpet Cleaner to get out those teeny red blotches? No more, my friends! A drop of wine on old hardwood floors requires nothing more than a mere swipe of a paper towel!

Life is so good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Whenever I get sad, I like to look at this picture:

I just love that goofball to pieces!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Half In, Half Out

Alright, folks. Here we are. The move was completely successful, the walkthrough at the old apartment is over, the hot water at the new apartment is turned on (as of yesterday - yikes!), and I officially LIVE in Louisville. Weird! However, I can't stop going to Lexington for some crazy reason.

I realized it today. I drove home from Lexington, where I cleaned out my classroom and had dinner with Emily Laura and Pete. We went for a walk and Chud asked me to outline our plans for the rest of this week and upcoming weekend. I said, "Okay, I have to go to Squires [my old school in Lex.] on Wednesday to pick up two more things that didn't fit in my car, I might have to meet with my advisor [at UK] on Thursday if she ever gets her act together, I'm going to Emily's [who is house-sitting for a friend in Lex] on Friday to make cupcakes, we're meeting with our financial advsior on Saturday morning, going to Preston [for a civil war re-enactment...don't get me started on my in-laws' crazy hobby] Saturday afternoon, Laura and I are going to a jewelry party on Sunday while you and Pete play frisbee golf, and we're going to Northern Kentucky on Monday to have dinner with Mom, Jay, Ann and Andy." Then I took a deep breath and realized that somehow I've already managed to busy myself for the first week of my summer "break." Oops.

So here's my dilemma, which isn't really that much of a dilemma at all: if I follow through with all of these plans, that will make four trips to Lexington in one week. I'm not second guessing myself because of gas prices, I'm second guessing myself because I think I'm addicted to Lexington! Granted, Chud and I have always done a lot of driving between Lexington, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky in the last few years. There always seems to be phases of the year (spring and fall especially) when we are always "gone." But I'm starting to wonder if my plans this week revolve around the subconscious idea that I know my way around Lexington and I want to see my friends there instead of staying here with my husband, who knows his way around Louisville and wants me to make new friends here. I think the hardest part is knowing that all of these Lexington plans are exclusively mine - none of them require Chud to go there at all. I guess I'll call it my own, grown-up version of separation anxiety!

In all seriousness, I love Louisville. We have an amazing apartment, everything is unpacked, we stocked the cupboards with food, my brother is coming over for dinner tomorrow night...what could be better? Only all of that, along with the friends and "family" that I left behind in Lexington. Drat.