March archive

Raleigh Rocks Recap

Beth, James, and I ran the Raleigh Rocks this past weekend. James and I ran the half marathon and Beth ran the 5K. We had great races and met our goals. We only have pictures me and James but we'll try to get them up. Here's a run down of the highlights and lowlights.

Good

We all had good races and set personal bests. James absolutely destroyed me running in 1 hour 27 mins compared to my 1 hour 58 mins. Beth ran in 32 mins which is better than what she did over the summer even with almost no training since November. The bands were a nice distraction on the race course but I wish there were more of them. The shirts they gave us were pretty nice and I really like my medal. My robot across the finish line was fun and awesome even if Beth was the only one to see it.

Bad

Matt didn't run with us. This is nothing against Matt. In fact it's our fault. We had originally planned to run on American Tobacco Trail the previous weekend but we didn't sign up fast enough and he did. The weather was a lot nicer that weekend too so I'm really sad we missed out. Getting back to the actual race, the hills around mile 8-9 were brutal and there weren't enough aid stations. While I did meet my goal I had a really hard time with my knee and it's still kind of bothering me. Seems like I might have strained by IT band.

There isn't much that's better than setting a goal and meeting it, even if I'm a little banged up afterwards. Now it's time to start working on my biking so I can do the Triangle Triathlon in July.

Posted on March 31, 2010 by Mark | View Comments

Don't You Miss NY?

My friend Allie wrote a great blog post about trying to explain her reasons for changing careers. She worked at IFS as well but decided to go to pastry school and become a baker. Good choices too because she makes some killer desserts. Her post got me thinking about my own experiences answering those kinds of questions. The question that Beth and I get more than anything is "Don't you miss New York?" So let me put this question to rest: NO.

Don't get me wrong New York is one of the greatest if not the single greatest city in the world. But I don't miss NYC. I miss Meredith, Mike and Allie, Chris and Hilary, Paige, the Nightwines, Beth Robison, and the guys at IFS. I miss good pizza and never having to worry about getting home after drinking. I don't miss working 50-60 hour weeks to pay more in rent than we're going to pay for own new house. I don't miss my boss who once complained I came "too prepared" to meetings. I don't miss tourists or the subway at rush hour. And I certainly don't miss the endless salsa music in the Heights.

We both had a good time while we lived in the city and we made some great friends. Since then we've traded our tiny apartment in a not great/not bad neighborhood for a cute house in the suburbs. I've traded a job I hated for a job that I love. We're more active now and closer to family. If we could convince our friends to move down this place would be perfect. But then again if they did, where would we stay when we wanted to come visit?

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Mark | View Comments

Drum Roll Please...

And the winner is...

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House #3!

It is true that we loved House #4, but it really came down to what would fit us and our family in the future. Also, we felt that this house, while definitely move in ready, was a blank enough canvas for us to really make it ours. It does have its issues (ie the hole in the front yard) but they're fixable... and were taken out of the asking price :)

Since I did a quick description of the house with the rest of the house tour, I'll just fill in the gaps with some additional pictures and captions you can find here in our photo galleries.

We're super excited and we're so glad we get to share it all with you. We'll keep you posted throughout the process!

Posted on March 17, 2010 by Beth | View Comments

You've waited long enough...

I'm finally going to let everyone in on a little secret...

Mark and I are buying a house! We put in an offer last weekend and are now officially under contract. There's definitely a lot more to do ahead, but it feels good!

Before I divulge details about the house, I'm finally going to take you through the tour of houses we saw a couple of weekends ago...

House #1: "A 'Split' Personality"

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We saw this house for three reasons: a) it had an amazing amount of space for a small price tag, b) we wanted to see how we liked the feel of a split-level home, and c) it had a pool... I know, pretty awesome right?

We very quickly realized that while there was tons of space (and potential) for this home, it would never be exactly what we wanted. The split-level homes are very odd. The top floor was very sunny, while the bottom felt like we were in a dungeon. I'm sure that someone very imaginative could do amazing things with the space, but I'm honestly not up for it :)

House #2: "The Yardless Fixer-Upper"

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This home initially drew us in because of the two car garage and its proximity to the belt-line. While the home did have the open living area we were looking for, it lacked any semblance of outdoor space. There was maybe four feet between the back door and the beginning of a large retaining wall. In addition, there was a lot of work that needed to be done to make us comfortable with the home. The outside trim was starting to rot, the carpet wasn't in the best condition, and there wasn't much separation between the master bedroom (downstairs) and the living space. We were ready to keep looking.

House #3: "House on the Hill"

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This house was really cute from the outside. However, as soon as we drove up, we noticed a large hole in the front yard. Everything sloped (pretty steeply, I might add). Overlooking this for the moment, we went inside for the rest of the tour. It had a really open floor plan which I loved immediately. In addition to the living room, there was also a lofted sitting area. The kitchen had just recently been updated/renovated (in our colors, no less) and the house boasted not only two "master sized" bedrooms, but a bathroom for each bedroom. After touring the inside, we stepped into the backyard. It was also sloping. The only saving grace was that they had put in a rock retaining wall and made a patio area that was of a decent size. It was cute. Small, but cute.

House #4: "Move Me In"

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I was amazed with this house from the beginning. Anyone that knows my design aesthetic is aware that I don't particularly care for the look of brick. However, for some reason, this one just called out to me. The inside looked like it was decorated for me. The master was turquoise and brown, the second bedroom (a nursery) was green and brown, and it was all amazingly staged. The kitchen had all new appliances and opened up into a breakfast nook (there was a separate formal dining room). The back yard was great. It was large and open with a patio and an additional outside storage room. It was definitely move in ready.

House #5: "Sharing with the Neighbors"

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This house initially held a lot of promise. It had a very open floor plan with a spacious master suite complete with a garden tub and separate water closet (I'm using this terminology because it sounds better than "I can still blow dry my hair while Mark uses the toilet"). There were a few negatives though. The entire house was tile and pergo (and mainly pergo). I'm not really a huge fan of carpet, but I don't think it really did anything for the space to use all laminate flooring. While that wasn't ideal, it's wasn't a deal breaker. However, the next thing was: the back yard backed up to a cul-de-sac. There was absolutely no privacy whatsoever. No fence, no trees, nada. I guess we'd definitely have to get friendly with the neighbors to live there...

House #6: "The House on the Pond"

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This viewing started out a little rocky. When we got there, the actual door handle was loose, so we were struggling to get in. Our REA managed to get it open after struggling with it for a while. We like this house because it had a two car garage and a separate laundry/pantry/mudroom as well as a lot of square footage. The master suite was spacious, as were all of the bedrooms. The things that were a little odd: one of the other bedrooms had a closet so large (and with a window!) that I almost mistook it for another room. The layout of the upstairs was a little odd as well. I was a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of doors in the small hallway. It was very interesting. The view of the pond in the back was also a positive.

So, which house did we pick?

I thought we'd do this House Hunters style (I love some HGTV) and drag it out a bit... I'll post the winner on Wednesday :)

Feel free to post your guesses in the meantime!

Posted on March 13, 2010 by Beth | View Comments

Puffy cheeks are sexy...

Well, not really, but I'm going to tell myself that until I'm all healed.

Yesterday, I experienced the joy of wisdom teeth extraction. My wisdom teeth have been bothering me for years now and, because I'm a wuss, I've been putting off having the surgery. Finally, now at the end of the recommended age range for having it done, I decided it was time to stop being a baby and just do it already. So I did.

Mark drove me to the oral surgeon's office around 8am. I signed in, sat down, and was immediately ushered back. They hooked me up to the laughing gas which kind of made me feel a little claustrophobic... but then again, as I've already stated, I'm a wuss. The rest gets fuzzy. I remember the nurse complimenting me on my veins (yes, I have nice veins that healthcare professionals love to stick... you sick, sick people ;) ) and then feeling the needle. They put in the anesthesia and I remember feeling like I'd had too much to drink. I was fighting it for a few minutes (I'm not drunk, no really I'm not..) until I realized I was supposed to be passing out. And that was it.

The next memory is me waking up and Mark coming in to talk to me while the anesthesia wore off. We talked about house stuff and I apparently relayed my desire to have the wall color in both large bedrooms coordinate with bedding we do not currently own... you know just in case we move things around. That's how neurotic I am people :) Then the nurse showed Mark how to change my gauze (reminder, Mark hates blood... this is how I know he loves me), then we were all set to leave. They wheeled me out in a wheelchair and put me in the car.

Once we got home, I pretty much slept all day. Mark woke me up every hour to change my gauze and I fell right back to sleep. Finally around 4 or so I woke up enough to join the real world. I was feeling pretty good still from all the meds. The whole ordeal has been a lot easier than I imagined it to be (knock on wood). Today I've been a little more sore, but nothing major.

In fact we are actually going out to do house stuff later :) I know I owe you all a post on our house hunting exploits, but I'd rather not jinx it all... Stay tuned. Hopefully there will be an update soon!

Posted on March 6, 2010 by Beth | View Comments