Our First Year

Being homeowners has been a big step up from being condo owners. It’s like going from a dog to a baby. It’s the next step in big kid life, but it’s soooo not the same thing (not that I ever want a dog — and I don’t have a baby — but you get my point). Anyway, some funny things have happened in the last ten months. Maybe I’ll put these on next year’s Christmas card.

We put up a mailbox.

Yeah, I know, woo-hoo, big deal. BUT you don’t understand; this was a 5-day ordeal. For some unknown reason, when you buy a newly constructed house, it doesn’t come with a mailbox. WTF. I tried to avoid the no-mailbox thing for a few days, but the mail woman was getting annoyed. The following weekend we spent at least five hours in various hardware stores. It went something like this:

“I like this one, but it’s too much money.”

“I like this base, but not the box. What about the one we saw at Lowe’s?”

“I like this one.”


“This one!”

“We don’t have those tools.”

“What about this?”

“Nah, I don’t really like that color. I like the one at Home Depot better. Should we just go back to Home Depot?”

“Let’s try Menards.”

“What’s wrong with black?”

“I”d like tan… or bronze … I think it would look nicer with our exterior.”

(eye roll)

“Let’s try Menards in Cedar Falls.”

“This one should be easier to put in.”

“Oh fine, let’s just get the black one. I’m hungry.”

Fast forward two hours: I have a headache, Jay is sweating in the driveway, and the post of our new mailbox sits at a 30º angle. We pulled out the post and tried again in the morning. Despite our best efforts, the post still ended up crooked. We finally admitted defeat and called in reinforcements; Jay’s Dad came up on Thursday, we had a mailbox Thursday night. FYI to anyone who needs to buy a mailbox, don’t try to go the “easy” route; it’s not easy. Suck it up and use the quick-crete. You’ll thank me for it when you have half your weekend back.

 We tried to shower without curtains.

Bad idea. Turns out the tiled showers are not walk-in. AKA water does spill outside of the shower. And it’s cold, oh, so cold.

We planted a tree.

Then we dug it up. Linden trees attract Asian Beetles like I attract sunburns, except there is no sunscreen in this world that can stop those awful things. Too bad we didn’t know that before we brought the tree all the way home and dug a huge whole in our newly laid sod.

We painted.

And then we re-painted. It just wasn’t the right color of green. Thank goodness it was bathroom…and my mom helped…both times.

We tried to landscape.

We bought two very pretty hibiscus bushes and a burning bush. Now the bush looks like it got BURNT. Sad face.


We lost our salt and pepper shakers.

They were only $10, but seriously, we have found everything from the move except those S&P shakers. I held out for a solid 6 months before ordering new ones. Then Jay gave me these cute birdies for my birthday.


We didn’t get a snowblower until February. 

Most precipitation in years. I have nothing else to say about that.

We thought our bathroom fans were broken.

They were SO loud. When the builder came over to look at them, he just wiggled the plastic vent around and “fixed” it. And then we felt stupid.

We planted our first garden.

We spent $2 per onion plant. You get one onion per plant. How much do you pay for an onion at the grocery store? Just think about that for a minute.  #gardennewbies

On a different note, high-five to me. I’ve eaten something green every day. Have you?



Spring has Sprung

…At least in our house. Seriously, weather, will you please commit? I’m tired of 30 degrees… and snow. We had freaking snow today. I know it’s March in Iowa, and this shouldn’t come as any surprise, but we had such a long, COLD winter that I think we deserve better.

I’m so tired of it, that I spent the weekend making the inside of our house feel like spring (because something should). I just can’t take it anymore! Who’s with me?! Well, here’s how I handled the situation. I made my rounds: TJ Maxx (yes, I am a Maxxinista), Hobby Lobby, Pier 1, Gordman’s, Basket of Daisies (a very cute boutique on Main Street), Goodwill and the local thrift store. This is what I found:

TJ Maxx: I scored a couple wood boxes on clearance and a ceramic bird. The bird looked weird on the shelf, but it does the trick.

Hobby Lobby: One mason jar (I had a million at the wedding and gave them all away. Dumb), burlap banner, modpodge and red glitter paper. Confused by that assortment? Yeah…I got momentarily sidetracked at the thought of making a Valentine’s Day banner with the red glitter mini clothespins I found in Target clearance last week.

Pier 1: No dice.

Gordman’s: Double no dice.

Basket of Daisies: I love this store, so I had to control myself. Three clear milk glass textured jars, three small bouquets and some floral stems.

Goodwill: Five old books.

Thrift Store: Three old books and a random glass jar.

Hobby Lobby (trip #2): At this point my focus had returned. I exchanged the burlap, glue and paper for a tall apothecary jar, two white peonies and pink floral stems.

Unfortunately, before I could start putting up any of my fun new stuff, I had to take down the winter display. Luckily, I didn’t break anything or fall off the ladder. Win.


See ya later, winter.


The updated “spring” version with pretty pops of pink. PS I found the big wooden box 70% off at TJ Maxx because the back hinge was broken. A-mazing.



I may have also done a little pick-me-up with this arrangement. I had the green hydrangeas, but went out in search of some pink and yellow, which is exactly what I found. It makes me happy.

Lastly, I bought some “Spring” Wallflowers from Bath and Body. As much as I love nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin, I am so over those scents right now. All I want is peonies and roses. #springplease
BBWUntil better weather comes our way, I hope you all can find a little spring in your life. xo