Oct 31, 2011

Oh Halloween and Curtains

Not sure we were quite ready for the first holiday at the new house.  Not sure I, unlike my parents, have ever been ready for trick or treaters before.  Last year at the rent house we got really excited and then no one showed up... but that's what you get when half the town boycotts Halloween because it's on a Sunday.

This year we accidentally missed the only Halloween party and a paper for my stats class almost made me miss Halloween. But I woke up this morning and put my orange headband on and I was ready.

Turns out, other than the super fun crazy ladies at the front desk, no one had any Halloween on. No one. Like I expected orange or pumpkin scrubs or costume ears and candy in the break room. But oddly, nothing.  I applauded the ladies at the front desk and I told everyone Happy Halloween on my way out.

So I was inspired to go to Walmart and spend too much on candy, because let's be honest, as a dietitian I want to make sure these kids are getting the best candy for the calories, right?

Then I remembered that we just moved.  We just moved into a house with no blinds, or curtains, or anything. We've had sheets hung on most of the walls since the move (because we are still waiting on samples from the blinds company).  But we don't have any up in the living room.

Pretty much meant I could not hide from trick or treaters without turning all the lights out in the entire house. And everyone that walked up to our house would be able to see not only all of our things, but all of our mess.

So I got some duct tape and I made it work.




See it doesn't look half bad for a quick fix. (Don't worry, we don't in any, any way intend on making these anywhere near permanent...)

Then I got the porch setup.  Made sure the kids could see the candy so they'd be lured to the house. And I waited (while eating candy, watching hulu, and wearing my orange headband).

At about 7:05 or so I had the first trick or treater. Cut little guy dressed up like a zombie knight.

Then I waited.

And at about 9:35 I had two kids: Lindale Eagles football player and vampire. I gave them very large handfuls of candy and they yelled "WOAH!" as they went running back to their mom excited.  Don't worry mom, if they end up with obesity because of this incident I'll counsel them for free...

Good night. Didn't compare to the 1000 pieces of candy my mom handed out in 50 minutes... but I can honestly say I didn't run out of candy.  Had gumbo Kingsley-style for Halloween and got the night off from school work because our assignments haven't been posted yet.  :)

Happy Halloween. :) And to all of you who posted really cute pictures of your kids in costume, keep em coming!

PS - Just opened an email from the blinds place. They say the samples were "lost in transit." Feeling like that's not the best way to start business... also feel like we may have the duct tape curtains up a little bit longer...

Oct 27, 2011

Rent House ...

So we bought our own house, no more landlord or anything.

Or so we thought. Turns out that in our rent house (the one we just moved out of) there was a little statement in the lease that said if any of the plants die, the deposit will be used to replace the plants.

Well, we had a drought this summer. It turned into a desert, trees and bushes are dead everywhere in East Texas.

And we even planted grass in the yard, when there was NO grass when we moved in!

But apparently that doesn't count towards yard credit. Apparently our landlord didn't really think we did a great job with the grass or the bushes (or the small tree that died). Even though our water bill skyrocketed...

And I was about to get all worked up (well I kind of did) when she said, "well, I'll go to a nursery and factor in the cost of replacement plants, and the labor to get the old plants removed and new ones planted, and the tree to be cut up and hauled away..."

But then she said, "or if you guys wanted to do it, that would be okay too."

YES! Yes of course we would rather take a Saturday (after hunting garage-sales) and replant some plants and cut down the 4 foot tree (ish) and put it in the back of Kyle's pickup and take it to the dump we pay for monthly in local town utilities anyway... much more than we'd like our hard earned money to go to someone else who will charge too much to do it.

So I got excited and thought, "It'll be exercise, it'll be fun, and of course I can take pictures and post the before and after on the blog." (I'm thinking we'll see a lot more before and afters with the new house!)

And maybe this means so much to me because Kyle said I could use the money we got back from our deposit to decorate the new house ;)

What about you, any security deposit craziness, or better yet, any falltime yard projects?

Oct 22, 2011

Moving Day (or Night).

This is what our house looked like Thursday night.

I know it looks like a mess, but it's the evidence of a lot of love and hard work.

Thursday night was moving day. And because of all the school work I've had, I really had absolutely no time to pack. But with Kyle's work schedule, and all of our friends' work schedules. It was the only time we could move.

We thought we'd have 2-3 helpers. Just enough to maybe move the big items (beds, couches, tables, dressers), and then I'd spend the weekend slowly moving everything else over. Mostly because I hadn't prepared ahead of time.

And so our good friend Robert showed up, and Clinton soon after. The boys headed over with the first load and then Kathryn and Brian arrived. Then Tamara and Mike. Then the Morgans, kids and all, were there to help. So we ordered what we thought would be enough pizza and then Kelly and Malcom came and Jill pulled up right after!

We had so many people that I didn't even know what to do. I was sent to the new house to show people where things would go, Kyle and the other men were doing the heavy lifting and everyone else was filling their cars with items one by one and driving them over to the new house.

We could have prepared a little (A LOT) more, but we just didn't have the time. This move just didn't work out that way.

And on a night when the Rangers played a fabulous ball game in the World Series… our friends missed it to help us move. Bad backs, pregnant bellies, babies in the cars, and busy busy busy people who this time of the year get no time off, and even less time off with their spouses...they all showed up to help us move.

And for that, we could not be more grateful.

For this "mess" I am very very thankful.

And also for the extra pizza that was ordered when we ran out. I still don't know who paid for it, but thank you… Sorry we ran out, but the extra pizza is what I had for breakfast Friday morning when I had no idea where anything else was.


Maybe we'll have to setup the house and have you all over for a Christmas cookie decorating party! (Because I think it'll take until Christmas to get all this setup, lol…)

Love your friends today. We surely love ours :)

Oct 19, 2011

Got 5 Minutes: Moving Madness!

So we're moving and boxes are everywhere and so we have to be ready to go for hauling the big stuff tomorrow!


In the middle of all of this I have a project due in class... that involves a survey.

Help a girl out and take my survey! Please! It's really fast!


Thanks! Back to packing!

Oct 17, 2011

Hess House Update: Wooo Hoo

So I thought we'd have to wait until Thursday... and honestly I thought I'd get a few more blog posts out of it...lol. But...


I was so excited that I had to share the great news! We have the keys and everything!

I was going to tell you all about the craziness of this purchase, the craziness of the past month of my life, the reasons I have a pimple larger than my nose on my face at the moment...

But now all I can think of is how excited I am that we got the house :)

Pics to come. Waiting for the hubby to get home tonight to go explore our new home ;) That other picture was from the first time we saw it...

(But if we're moving this week, that means I have to hurry and finish my stats homework!)

So ahead and start saving for where you'll live tomorrow, but remember to take the time to enjoy where you live today :)

Oct 15, 2011

Hess House Update: Finding the One

So this house situation is a little complicated.

Let me run you through the ordeal. I do this not to make you feel sorry for us, or to let off steam... because I'm not really angry or frustrated at all at this point. This is more for your entertainment (I laughed a lot at the insanity) and for your information, just in case you ever chose to buy a house.

So it started out easy. We had been looking at houses online in the area since March.  We found a really neat old house online while we were still in Colorado, but then it went up for auction, and then we saw it in person, and we laughed and laughed that we ever considered it, or that any human would ever live there again without Bob Vila and Norm Abram's help...

Then there was the house that I had been eyeing since March. After looking at crazy-old-house-gone-wrong I wanted to go check out this other house. We had been watching it and the price had just dropped by $5000. Yep. So we headed over.

1. We checked out the house for ourselves, and compared it to other homes in the area. (Note, there weren't any other homes in the area that were in our price range that were even decent...)
2. We made our friend's Tam and Mike go visit the outside of the house after church one day. They approved.
3. We took along our handy friend John, his decor-savvy wife Amanda, and their kids (to determine if the house was playable, right?) to see the house again with the Realtor. And they approved.
4. Then I emailed my mom and dad and everyone at work with the link to the house to see what they thought.

And then after some prayer, some more internet searching, rechecking our finances, making sure all the bank pre-approval documents were in...we decided to buy the house!

Would I recommend this method?

Yes. Get your friend's and family's opinion; they can look a little more objectively and tell you not to jump into a horrible or ugly house just because it's a good deal and just because you're "attached." Ask your Realtor what he or she thinks. They may not be as objective because they make money if you buy the house, but they've seen a lot of houses and may have some good info. And if you have a handy friend or someone who can tell you the decorating potential of the home, bring them! We may have never known about the small and very convenient water heater under the kitchen sink if John hadn't stuck his head under the cabinet... no more running out of hot bath water when the dishwasher's running...

So we think we picked a winner. Clean, seemingly good condition, new carpet, new paint, new stove top, new microwave. And retro, but totally fixable or embraceable, lol, oh the paneling...

How's that for a sneak peak of the house? The house that still may or may not be ours. (Not just trying to tease you, we really don't know yet.)

More to come on making an offer, signing and re-signing the contract, and of course closing? maybe?

Oct 14, 2011

Good for my Soul

Good Friday. It's payday Friday at my workplace so everyone was extra perky around the office.... 

And then I headed out to see some patients. One looked at me and smiled really really big and then:

Patient: Hello Miss Brittany! (With Large Smile on his Face).
Me: Well hello!
Patient: Miss Brittany, why are you so happy? You just look so happy with your smile. So up to par.

Hold it... did he say "up to par?" Yes, yes he did.

Me: Oh... thanks.
Patient: Well you know, the last couple of times, you know you haven't been so up to par (apparent he's referring to my looks) ... but this time Miss Brittany, up to par! up to par!

Hmm. I guess I could have been offended, but it was Friday, it was sunny, and I'll tell you what: I had the best hair day today and I think I did look, in fact, "up to par." So I said thanks and continued on. Made me smile a lot really, made me even more thankful that I had decided to shower this morning and put a little mascara on...

Yesterday I saw a patient who doesn't really have any nutrition problems other than the fact that he's a bit overweight.  At his age it'll be hard for him to lose the weight, so I just try to stay real positive. And yesterday he told me, and I quote, "Thanks for talking with me. You know, you're good for my soul."

Mmm. I like being good for someone's soul.

Happy Friday. Love the weekend, but love your job too. And enjoy your Friday night as I enjoy my pizza and study madness for the midterm tomorrow.

And know that I was going to leave you with a picture of my pizza, or even a picture of the weird neat bug I found... but the camera just died...

Happy Friday.... Good for the soul.

Oct 11, 2011


It's been a long day. We may or may not have closed on a house. How do we not know, well that's a long story. Don't worry though I'll share it later this week.

For now I've got assignments out the wazoo for my stat's class not to mention the midterm exam and possibly...possibly moving into the new house. Or at least packing... maybe?

But until then, I was procrastinating and found this video on Pinterest. It's part of the Pink Glove Dance Competition. Super cute, I even voted for it...

But warning, if you've had a really long day that included a whole lot of driving and waiting and hurrying and unexpected and closing closing closing-ness... it could make you cry. Don't worry, it's not sad at all. But if your a woman in a slightly emotional state you could get so inspired that you start crying, lol, maybe? (Maybe the slow motion starting at about 2:00 minutes?)

Yep watched it again. Same results.

Enjoy (while I'm studying). And of course, Happy Pinktober.

Oct 10, 2011


Kyle and I both had football filled weekends. As he headed up to Nebraska with his dad I headed down to Baton Rouge to see my fam, and of course, the Tigers play.

Death Valley. Tiger Victory.

Parking far enough away that you're not really sure if your car will still be in the yard you paid $10 to park in...

Love Dad!

Mom's Gumbo with Dad's Deer Sausage, Mom's Potato Salad, and cheering Nebraska on to victory in the living room after a crazy comeback and a lot of Corn Dancing...

Love the fam. But sadly didn't get any pictures of Mom, Jared, Logan, Aunt Pam, or Uncle Steve... oops.

And what could help me feel better as I returned back to Texas away from the fam... Well,  the gas prices when I returned home last night and paid 2.99 for gas. Yep 2.99!!!

Enjoy Columbus Day. I hope you get the day off too... or maybe you live in Louisiana and you'll end up getting Mardi Gras off later :)

Oct 2, 2011

Car Math

I'm not sure how many of you love math, or finances, or spending way more money than you would like to. And I know it's not super polite to talk about money, right?

But I'm going to anyway.

See, in the dilemma of the car breakdown I did a lot of calculating to determine if it was worth it to repair the Saturn.  All emotions aside, we wanted to make the smart decision, no matter how much I loved the car.

Going into the car breakdown I knew that my car ate oil like crazy; which 'they' say is a sign of a bad engine. "Oh you're car's using a lot of oil, well then you won't get much longer out of that car." And then I hear that horrible sound coming from the car and I just know it's done for.

So I looked up the value of the Saturn in average condition with the 120,000 miles it has on it, and like it was running just fine.

Car Value = $1745

Then I get the call from the guy at the shop with the details of the repair.  Turns out the reason my car was using so much oil was because of the PVC valve.  Apparently this valve can get stuck open slowly letting all the oil out of the engine.  Turns out my engine is in "great condition."  Also turns out the loud noises were coming from the A/C compressor clutch! They'll need to replace the compressor, the dryer, the belt, but not the condenser because the compressor had not, and I quote the mechanic "eaten itself yet."

Cost of the repair = $1255


So when doing the math it looks obvious. Seems like it may be time to get a new car if the repairs are almost the value of the car. Right? But then I did some more research.  Remember how the Saturn gets 35 mpg? Any care newer than 2000 that gets at least 35mpg was at least $6000 or $8000 or $10,000 plus.  And I put 90 miles on my car every day.

We don't have kids. We don't use my car to do much more than drive me to work. If we buy a new car now we'll have a car note (because both of our vehicles are paid off). There's no sense in buying a brand new car if it looses a million % of it's value when I drive it off the lot, and I put almost 500 miles on it a week.  And right now everyone seems to want a fairly used car with great gas mileage, so people are paying way more then the typical "used car" value for cars.

New Car
Fairly Used Car with Decent Gas Mileage
Repair the Saturn

I called my dad who said "You could buy another used car and have the compressor go out on it tomorrow. At least you'll know this car has a relatively new starter, fuel pump, and brand new compressor and dryer." And then I called another shop in town to check the price of the repair.  Another shop said they'd probably charge a little more.

So Kyle and I decided to get the Saturn repaired.  We had money in our Emergency Fund thanks to good ole Dave Ramsey and this was a month with three bi-weekly paydays when we only expect two (how convenient). Oh Jehovah Jireh.

Sure some of you would have advised buying the new car.... but we'll wait until we have babies and we need a "safe" vehicle with airbags everywhere and a 10.5 star crash safety rating, lol.

Consider repairing.  It's what people used to do all the time.
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