Monday, January 21, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Dirty!

Ok, so I promised you a post about the new house. I was really hoping to have pictures to go along with this, but I have had some horrible flu/cough thing for the past couple days and so I really haven't made much progress as far as cleaning, organizing or taking pictures. Really hoping that it's just a virus and not some nasty mold or fungus infestation in this house!!! Ha!

For ease of reading I think that I will just make lists! Here goes:


2200 sq feet plus a 300 sq foot glassed in porch (awesome!)
7.5 acres of land (double awesome!!!)
huge living room
dining room
den with stone fireplace
decent sized kitchen
big master bedroom
big room for Hunter
two bathrooms (one in the master)
lots of storage
one large room upstairs (guest room/playroom)
one car garage (detached)


The house has some really beautiful features such as colorful (gasp!) walls, silver tile backsplash in the kitchen, a beautiful crystal chandelier in the dining room, lots of storage space, tons of windows with beautiful views and super tall ceilings in each room, crystal door knobs on each door AND (after living in a house with white walls for so long) there are colors on my walls! Sage green in the living room, deep red in the den, dark green in the dining room and grey in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Yay!


The house has so many quirks! Where to start???

The master bathroom has a glassed in shower with full body sprayers (not so bad...). The sprayers spray directly out of the door and there is no way to deactivate them. Therefore, to take a shower you have to get doused with cold water in the face for a minute while you wait for the water to warm up. (I found this out the hard way while cleaning the shower as the movers were here. I ended up soaking wet...)

The second bathroom has a tub, but no shower. Kinda awkward for guests. Especially when you explain that they have to get into a freezing cold spray of water... Anyone want to come visit?!?! :)

The laundry area is in the detached garage. So I get to trudge outside in my jammies to do laundry.  Bet my neighbors think I am awesome! It's certainly a bit of an adjustment, but I keep reminding myself that it is a lot nicer than heading to the laundromat!

The appliances in the kitchen are all super small. My cookie sheets barely fit in the oven and my dinner plates don't fit in the dishwasher. Sigh...

The garage door is about 5'6" high. Neither of our cars fit through the door opening. And Ben hits his head on the door. So weird! Same thing with the shed/carport. Although it is actually even shorter and I almost have to duck to get under there. Which is certainly saying something!

Only three areas in the house have overhead lighting; the kitchen, the hallway and the bathrooms. So there are a LOT of lamps in our house!

None of the windows in the house open up. The two in the living room that do open aren't weighted properly and so they slam shut as soon as you let them go. Guess I could be SUPER redneck and put a block of wood under them? All of the other windows either never opened up or have been long since painted shut. However, the windows in the glass porch do open up so that's a big perk :)

Sooooo.... that's our crazy house in a nutshell! I'm still battling all of the dirt and every time I feel like I might be almost done cleaning I find some other craziness that needs to be scrubbed (like when I tried to open the windows that slam shut and found hordes of dead bugs and an old wasp's nest IN the windows!) Really, the house is beautiful and I can't wait to finish putting all our stuff away so I can see it finalized. It seems so much bigger than our last place, and now that I'm nearly done cleaning it I can appreciate a lot of the beauty of it. It's certainly not new or sparkly, but there is something charming about an old house with character. And, let's be honest, the acreage doesn't hurt either! ;)

Love you!

B, E & H

Friday, January 18, 2013

Home is where the Army sends us!

Wow, what a crazy month it has been! I feel like it has all gone by so quickly, but yet looking back it seems like an eternity has passed. Exactly one month ago (on our anniversary, happy anniversary to us!) we watched all our belongings get loaded onto a big truck and started our journey here to Arkansas. It was 7:30 p.m. before we were able to get on the road and we were exhausted, freezing (it had been snowing all day and our back door was open so they could load the truck!) and hungry. Needless to say we didn't make it very far that first night, but it felt good to at least be on our way!

Since it was almost Christmas our plan was to head to IL, see my family and drop off the cats and Ben's truck, then head to OH to see Ben's family, back to IL and finally down to AR. What a trip! We had to take both cars, which meant that we couldn't all ride together. Thank goodness for walkie talkies so we could easily communicate! I think it took us about 4 or 5 days to get to my parents house. We were chasing a storm and ran into some snow, ice, mountains, lots of BEAUTIFUL country, some bald eagles and quite a bit of boring plains as well. By the end we were all pretty anxious to get out of the car, but Hunter was an amazing traveller and the cats did pretty well too. Though it may sound crazy to travel with cats I was actually pretty grateful for them most of the time because they really helped to keep Hunter company. He and Sarge played many rounds of travel CandyLand, but somehow Hunter always won! Ha!

We had a nice Christmas with my family and headed out to OH on Christmas day to spend some time with Ben's family as well. All of his brothers made it home for Christmas and we got to meet our two littlest nephews! So fun to have six sweet little boys around for Christmas! After OH we headed back to IL to spend a little more time with my family before we headed down to AR. It was great to relax for a little bit and NOT be driving for a couple days. Plus, Hunter was able to play with his cousin Lily and he always enjoys some time with his grandparents as well!

On New Year's day we started the trip to Arkadelphia. Let me tell you, we certainly were not very excited to be driving again! I think all in all we were driving for something like 50+ hours and travelled through 10 states, yikes! Anyway, the trip here was fine for a while until late the first day I realized Ben's truck was leaking. Long story short, somehow the line for the transmission fluid developed a leak and by the time we pulled into the hotel it was pouring ATF all over the place. Ben ran to AutoZone that night and found some epoxy to try to fix it enough to drive the remaining four hours to AR. The next morning, while applying the epoxy we discovered that all but ONE of the bolts holding the transmission to the engine block had rattled completely lose! Luckily my amazing hubby had the tools on hand to tighten all the bolts back on and between that and the epoxy (and stopping every 45 minutes or so to add ATF if needed) we limped our way to Arkadelphia. We still don't really know what caused the leak, but it was a miracle since without it we would never have known about the transmission bolts until it was too late! I have never been so grateful for that darned truck leaking!

The day after we got here we contacted a realtor that had a house we wanted to see. I guess I should preface this with the fact that there are really, really slim pickings around here when it comes to rental houses. So honestly, this was the only option! Anyway, we saw the house, signed the lease and had to wait for our stuff to come out of storage. The house is... interesting? I think I will save all of that for another post though because this one is getting a little long winded already! There are certainly some things about this house that I love, and there are some things that I could definitely do without. But isn't that just how life is?

One issue with the house is that it was a disaster. I honestly can't even begin to describe the layers of filth that were in this place other than to tell you that it took me 4.5 hours to get one bathroom to a level of "clean" that at least makes me feel like I won't catch some disease while showering. Normally I have a rule that all of the boxes need to be unpacked in 48 hours so that we can just move on with life. This time it took me a lot longer because I had to scrub and scrub before I would even consider unpacking my stuff into this place. However, it is finally getting closer to being clean and I'm very excited to post some pictures to share with you all when it's finally finished! I think I only have two more rooms to deep clean before I can finally feel at home here. I can't wait!

In the meantime, Hunter started school on Monday and he is loving it. He is now in all-day kindergarten and although it is wearing him out, he is really enjoying his new school and his new teacher. I'm so glad for that! Ben started at work on Tuesday and we are still figuring out what his weeks will actually look like. It seems like he will be doing a bit of work on the weekends (bummer) and then spending a month or so at Fort Lewis this summer as well. He is still just getting settled and now has TWO university ID's to add to his collection of ID's. Heehee. Professor Feicht ;) However, it seems like everyone that he is working with is very nice and that he should enjoy his new job once he gets settled into it! The commute is also great since we are about a 3 minute drive to the university entrance for both schools.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'll just have to keep y'all in suspense about this house of ours. I have some cleaning to get to while my boys are gone!

Love you all!

B, E & H