Happy Halloween

By 10:31 AM , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Happy Halloween Everyone!

Every year finding a costume to dress up in for Halloween always starts off as a dreaded daunting task for me but ends up being one of the highlights of the Holiday once I finally decided on a costume.

This year was particularly tricky since 99.9% of everything we own is packed in some box, somewhere as we prepare to move. So at 5pm Friday night before our 9pm Halloween party we still had no idea what we were going to dress as. Then we found Josh's construction engineering supplies in his truck and voila!

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Bob the Builder!

Sorry it's blurry. And please excuse our messy room. Again we are in the process of moving.

 Here is another not so great picture from the Halloween Party photo booth ( but you get the idea)

And because I can't let you miss some other great costumes we have:
Taylor Swift (pair was all Taylor past loves), Circus girl, lawless lady

Then the best thing ever happened. Saturday as we were packing prior to our Saturday night Halloween party we ran across my box of old social costumes from my college days. And so meet Biker Couple. Prepare yourself.

 I know right. Scary, right? Tattoos, mullets, and all. My friends exact response was she doesn't have to wear cute Halloween costumes anymore. She's married. Sorry babe...

On that note I'd love to hear what you were for Halloween this year. I need creative ideas for next year! Please share and have a nightmare-ish Halloween!

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House Buying Madness Continues (update 2)

By 10:42 AM , , ,
Sorry it has been a while since I have posted. Life has been crazy with everything going on in trying to purchase this dadgome house.

The quick update on the house? I believe when I last ended the house drama story in a previous post we had found the house had been flooded. The bank did come out and look at the mess and hired a contractor to replace the hardwoods. Well...unfortunately the contractor did the world's worst job repairing the floors. Seriously. The floors didn't lay evenly and he did not pull up the old wood glue or add new wood glue so you would step on a board and it would pop up. 

Fortunately, the bank did end up coming back and having another contractor come out and retake up the floors and replace them with gorgeous nice hardwoods and higher grade carpets. They also replaced the baseboards and repaired the wall that was effected with the water damage. Here's some pictures of them laying the new hardwoods and carpet (which we got to pick out and is much nicer than the original flooring to the house):

Our lender required a mold inspection to be done since the house had gotten wet from the leak and the bank agreed to have the test done while the walls were torn apart (and pay for it). However, two weeks later (the last possible date for our lender to get the results of the mold test and allow us to close in time), the bank/selling agent/and bank rep all went MIA. They refused to return our calls or provide us with the mold test. Several days later the selling agent finally got in touch with us and told us that the bank was refusing to share the results of the test with our lender. Closing was again pushed back and we were forced to decide whether to terminate the contract or to expedite a mold test done ourselves which would cost us a small fortune and more time. We took the risk of knowing if mold was found we were out of luck. Luckily we got the results back a few days later and there was no mold.

In the meantime the HVAC started leaking in the ceiling and we went in and repaired that. Just a fun side note.

After getting the mold results back closing was pushed to the day before Halloween and it looked like nothing else could go wrong...Then Friday afternoon 4pm happened (less than two days before closing)...

That's when we got the call there was a lien on the house. Apparently the bank had refused to pay the first contractor who had replaced the hardwoods and done the awful job so he has taken a lien out on the house. The bank and our attorney had known about this for two weeks but no one told us, the buyers....we are not very happy! Apparently where we lie now is that the bank and the contractor have settled on an agreement. The contractor has to sign a sheet and the bank has to take it to the court and the lien will be lifted. As long as this all happens prior to 4pm today we will close tomorrow. What a mess.

Thoughts/prayers/good vibes are welcomed!

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Peoria, IL: The City of Beauty in October

By 5:36 PM , , , , , , , , ,
I had to visit Peoria, IL for business in October and thankfully got to bring my sweet husband with me. Although there isn't much in Peoria (it is about a 3.5 hour drive from Chicago) I did learn that:

1) It is the home of Caterpilllar which my hubby was quite excited about.
2) It has the one of the prettiest roads in all the world ("the prettiest" according to President Roosevelt) called Grand View Drive.

Take home point: If you ever visit Peoria make sure it is during October and make sure to check out the gorgeous scenery on Grand View Drive.

So without further ado...Here are my gorgeous pictures from Peoria.

 Yes I took this...unbelievable I know...

 There we are...just soaking up God's Creation

 Home of Caterpillar

Ain't nothing but cornfields

And there were some of the prettiest houses ever on Grand View Drive:

Love this one! So much ominous I'm not sure what to do.

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Fall Weekend Shenanigans

By 10:54 AM , , , , , ,
What a gorgeous fall weekend it was this past weekend. Wanna know what I was up too?

1. Pumpkin Carving Contest on Friday. Here's the pumpkin we carved:

2. Luke Bryan farm tour on Saturday night. Here he is in all his glory:

2. Sunday afternoon/evening was spent packing, packing, packing. We move next week so that will be our life for the next few weeks.

What did you do on this wonderful fall weekend?

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Pumpkin Muffins

By 2:34 PM , ,
I have a recipe ya'll have to try! It is a-mazing and probably the easiest thing you will ever bake in your entire life!

Pumpkin Muffins

All you do is mix a box of yellow cake mix (or a box of spice cake mix) and a can of pumpkin together and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I had the grand idea of trying a spice cake mix as well and these were also fantastic but tasted different than the muffins made with yellow cake mix. I highly recommend both but the hubs preferred the spice muffins. 

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The Conference of a Lifetime

By 6:46 PM , , , , ,
If you follow me on twitter you know from all my tweets Thursday and Friday that I was fortunate enough to attend one of the best conferences I have ever attended called Catalyst. Catalyst is a Christian Leadership conference that focuses on the making of a leader.

I thought I'd share some of the highlights from the conference with you guys. So if you are looking for some great 411 or some awesome people to follow on twitter better get ready. You are about to be swarmed.

First of all....if you have not heard of The Kid President you have GOT to check this little guy out. He is hilarious! I was luckily enough to see him live at Catalyst and am now a big fan. What a cutie. You can watch his youtube videos here. The advice I loved most from this kid was referring to the election "Don't be IN a party. BE the party." Gotta love the advice from a kid.

Andy Stanley also spoke at the conference. I really respect this man and always enjoy hearing him speak. Some of my favorite advice Stanley gave at the conference included "It's better to make a difference than a point" and "Always pay attention to the tension." He also talked about how God gets more mileage out of adversity than anything else. You can follow Andy @AndyStanley

 Another speaker I really enjoyed was Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer for inmates on death row. Bryan talked a lot about the how we have the power to say things to the world around us. The statement he made that stuck out to me the most was, "We will be judged by how we treat the broken. Not the rich." I also didn't realize until after I heard Bryan speak that the US is the only country that will sentence children to life in prison. Main point.  You have the ability, right, and power to make a stand! You can follow Bryan @eji_org

My hands down favorite speaker was Mark Burnett (executive producer of The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice, and Shark Tank) and his wife (Touch By an Angel star) Roma Downey. Get ready because I am about to give you some awesome, ground breaking news....Mark and Roma are currently producing a ten hour docudrama series on The Bible! The series is awesome (I got to watch a trailer and a clip from it) and will air in Spring 2013. Stay tuned for updates on the series. Some really interesting things I learned from Mark and Roma was that all 3 major networks said NO to Survivor when Mark first pitched the idea. Mark's point here was "this nation gives everyone the opportunity to do what you want but you have to have the courage to make it happen!" He also said this "if you need to be certain of something you will never do anything." Wow. That's powerful. Follow Mark (@MarkBurnettTV) and Roma (@RealRomaDowney) on twitter these two are awesome you guys!

Another really powerful speaker was Christine Caine. Her big point was "the weight of this generation is the weight of entitlement." She reminded us all to run with perseverance the race marked out for us! Another powerful point she made was that "It is better to be marked by God than marketed by man." You can follower her @ChristineCaine

Francis Chan is the last speaker I will talk about although they were all awesome. Francis Chan is the best selling author of Multiply and is working to start a church planting movement in the inner city of San Fransisco all while launching a countrywide discipleship movement. This guy had story after story of real life miracle. His big point on why he has so many stories of miracles is because "if you go out to make disciple you WILL experience God." He asked the big question of "Are you living by faith? Are you becoming more and more like Jesus?" He also said we should all "The church has to get back to the #1 goal of becoming like Jesus because Jesus said to be imitators of him." The most powerful statement he made (which you have already heard if you follow me on twitter) is "We would never neglect an order from our boss yet the CREATOR is commanding us to be do-ers of the Word. Are we???" Talk about a powerful statement! Pray for boldness to have the courage to share the Word.

Talk about a wonderful, inspiration conference. Please feel free to share this with all your friends and share any feedback.

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Love is a Partnership

By 4:54 PM , , , , , , ,

I love this quote. And it is so true!

So thankful for my wonderful husband. Here's to us and our own love story.

Here's a picture of us from last Thanksgiving.

Here's to love everyone!

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Buying a Home is NOT Fun

By 11:35 AM , , , , , , ,
If you follow me on a regular basis you may have been wondering why I have not been posting very much lately. The answer? Well, I have a new job which is taking up a lot of time and brain power but the main reason...this house:

Do you remember when I posted a few weeks back about how we had gone under contract in this beautiful home? Well it is no longer so beautiful...unfortunately just a few days after writing that post my husband returned home from his Alaska fishing trip and we decided to stop by the home to look at it again together now that we were under contract. We opened the door to house completely ready to get excited about our future home but instead found this mess:

Just in case you can't tell enough from the pictures we opened the door to a completely flooded house. Apparently a pipe had burst in the wall and in the 24 hours the water had been on it had completely flood all the carpet in the house (living room and 2 bedrooms) and ruined ALL the hardwood. Obviously the wall needs to be redone because there is now water all up in the wall. Talk about a mess of a situation. That was 3 weeks ago.

Where do we stand now with the house you ask? First can I recommend all of my readers never buy a foreclosure. It is not worth it. I can vouch for that first hand. After 3 anguishing weeks of not hearing back from the bank about what repairs they were going to repair/not repair and finding out that they had started repairing the hardwood floors (without notifying us first) only to do the WORST hardwood job you have ever seen (they didn't pull up or lay down any new wood glue so the floors literally move when you step on them...I really wish I would have taken a picture of how bad the floors were so I could have posted it but I was too emotional to think of taking a picture). Anyway after all that mess we put in our notice to terminate the contract.

Conveniently the bank then got in touch with us and told us they had sent their inspector out to the house to see the hardwood job and all the damage. You would have thought they would have already sent someone out to see the damage right? Anyway....they agreed the hardwood job was the worst job they had ever seen and were so upset that they locked the hardwood contractor out of the home even though his tools were still in there. They also agreed to make all needed repairs on the home and to do them to our satisfaction.

Since we are already out the money and it will not cost us anything else we decided to give them until October 10th to do so. I am very skeptical. Mainly I don't want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed again. Talk about an emotional roller coaster!

Josh, my wonderful husband, is actually meeting them at the house today to talk about the repairs and what exactly they are going to do. After that it is outside our control and we wait to see if the repairs are completed (and completed to our satisfaction) or not and we back out.

Moral of this story?
1. Buying a home is not fun.
2. Don't deal with foreclosures.

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