The Stress of Looking for a New Home

I’ll admit it, I haven’t been a very good blogger lately, and I’m sorry! There’s been lots of stuff on my plate, but I wanted to thank you for all the kind words I’ve received about my depression post. It was a very hard post for me to write, but I’m thankful for the encouraging words from everyone.

gg63232454Another thing that’s been a bear on my shoulders has been house hunting. M and I have been renting the same house for more than four years, and in the last week our home owners have decided to sell the house. Since we are not in a position to buy, this means we’re out–unless they sell the house to someone willing to continue renting to us. That also means we’re having to keep the house tidy and clean for the listing photo shoot, showings, and who knows what else. When someone wants to look at the house, we have to straighten everything up, remove personal items/photos, grab up the pups, and leave for however long. (The cats get to stay, and we just hope the people don’t let either of them outside.)

It’s stressful.

On top of that, we’re house hunting so we can move quickly–there’s some bad blood recently and it’s probably just best if you move on. Still unable to buy, we’re searching for houses in our area (we love where we are) for rent. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many houses available in November and December because, like we’ve moaned already, who wants to move in November or December??

It’s very stressful.

But no worries, I’ve been taking my house-hunting stress out at Man O’War CrossFit just about everyday–it’s my kind of therapy!

In all of our time searching for houses, I’m trepidacious about having complete strangers coming and looking at the house while we’re gone. I know what we do and where we look when we’re looking at houses, so I know potential buyers will look in our closets and see my bras hanging there (I have nowhere else to put them), they might look in our bathroom cabinets to see how much storage there is, they’ll see photos or nicknacks that we haven’t hidden… It just seems like you’re being violated every time someone new comes to look.

So M and I just try to take things easy and make people wonder about us. I mean, what else can we do, right?

I’ll keep you posted on how things transpire. We think we’ve found a cute house just a mile or two down the road, which is good. It’s more in rent than we’re used to, but the back yard is bigger (yay for the pups) and so is the garage. Until then, I’m working on some posts for the next few weeks. (Soup/chili round-up anyone??)

Your turn: When you’re house/apartment hunting, what’s the one thing you have to look for/at when touring a potential home?

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The Best De-Stressor

Because I was at a dog agility trial over the weekend (I have some cute photos to share with you, soon!), I didn’t get in my long run as part of my half marathon training. Saturday morning, while we were on our way to the trial site, I couldn’t help but notice all the people out running and it actually made me sad that I was missing a long run. That totally surprised me, but that’s when I realized that on a weekend that I needed to clear my head the most, I wouldn’t be able to use running as the clearing. (Though, I will say I was pretty pre-occupied with everything agility-related while I was with my friends and dogs, so it still worked out.)

Running for me is a de-stressor. I’ve been able to use it to collect my thoughts, or clear my head. I’m able to relax more on a run outside than on the treadmill, and in the sunshine rather in the dark. So when the weather forecast called for a sunny day with a high of 50, I knew I was going to tackle some mileage outside after work!

How awesome is it that the days are getting longer?? The sun was still out when I finished my run after work!

How awesome is it that the days are getting longer?? The sun was still out when I finished my run after work!

My goal was to run 4-5 miles around where I work/where I used to live, I’m lucky with where our building is located that there is plenty of space to run, even during rush hour traffic. So I started out with one earphone in and the Linkin Park channel on Pandora and just ran. I didn’t have my Garmin, so I wasn’t checking my distance or my time, I just wanted to run to see how far I could go. When I started heading back to my office, I checked my RunKeeper app to see my mileage and saw that I was around 4 miles. The circle where my office is is a little over a mile long, so I went around the long way and just continued running. By this point I was starting to feel my legs some, but I wasn’t tired and my breathing wasn’t stressed–I just felt great!

Once I returned to my truck, I walked around the parking lot for a cool-down and then stretched some. My app was acting funky again, so I wanted to go home and use MapMyRun to double-check my distance. It said I covered 6.5 miles in 00:49:47, which would put my average mile at 7:37–I don’t think I’ve ever run a mile that fast, let alone six of them! Once again, the RunKeeper app failed me.

Upon review of MapMyRun, I actually ran 5.52 miles in 0:49:47, which is still pretty darn good! I’m proud of that run because I wasn’t really running for time or for any real distance (I was aiming for around 5), I just wanted to run to de-stress from the usual Monday at work and get in some fresh air.

How did you finish your Monday?

Making A Comeback

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I’m not sure if any of you missed me, but I sure missed blogging! Life has been crazy this summer–dog agility trials, volleyball, new job, wedding planning, etc. I’ll try to sum up the summer as well as I can…

Running
I’ve been keeping up with my running, however it hasn’t been the most consistent training–but hey, at least I’m running! I’m trying to get in runs 2-3 times a week right now. I haven’t had any races that I’m training for, so I guess the inconsistency is alright. I did run in the Extreme Rampage a couple of weeks ago. It was a little over four miles of running through mud, creeks, jumping over horse cross country jumps, climbing wooden walls and cargo nets, etc. It was a lot of fun and I’ve decided I really do enjoy the obstacle/mud races! While I haven’t been running for time, I’ve had a lot of fun running with my older co-worker, Tom. While he’s in the 65+ year-old category, he celebrates every moment of the runs, which is inspiring to me.

Unfortunately I don’t be able to run in my favorite race, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this year (which was also my first 5K 3 years ago) because it’s the morning of my wedding day. I was really thinking about trying to squeeze it in, but I’m afraid that’s one more thing I will stress about, and I’ve been told I shouldn’t be stressing on my wedding day. So maybe I’ll wake up early and get in an easy 3 mile jog around my neighborhood for good measures that morning.

Wedding Planning
As I’m writing this, the countdown is now down to only two weeks–14 days!!! I can’t believe it’s coming so fast! And yet, everyone reminds me we’ve been engaged for almost two years now. Some times I feel like things are coming along smoothly, but then there are times that I am stressing because I forgot something (i.e., guest book!) or I’m unsure of something. We’ve met with our DJ one last time, I’ve already had my final dress fitting and brought my dress home, had a hair trial (but would like to fit in one more), we’ve gotten M’s wedding band, and already applied for our marriage license. I’ll update more on things in a later post this week…

New Job
I changed positions at my company earlier this spring. Since then, it’s been a lot of learning about new processes, testing processes, and just trying to keep up with everything happening at work. We’re about to launch something big middle of this month, but until that has been launched and we’re comfortable with it, I’m sure things will be pretty crazy and stressful in the office. While I never blogged while I was at work, I haven’t had the time to think about what my upcoming post could be about. Hopefully I’ll be able to be more creative in the next month or so…

Dog Agility
I’m trying to get back to blogging more, which also means updating my dog agility training blog. So, you can check that out for updates. But, I’d like to brag that Dally and I qualified for the AKC National Agility Championships once again–this time we’ll be heading to Tulsa, Okla., in March and I’m already stoked about it!

So there’s your quick wrap-up. I can’t guarantee how well I’ll do updating things as I get closer to my wedding day, but I’ll try my best to keep things moving along. I’ll definitely plan to share some pics if I have any and details about that day and our “temporary honeymoon” (that’s an update all on its own).

Keeping the Sanity

Stress is an everyday occurence for me it seems, just as I’m sure it is for the majority of everybody else. Whether it’s stress at work, stress planning the wedding, stress from trying to follow healthy eating and a workout schedule, etc., etc., it’s something that I deal with, and I’m sure I’m not dealing with it the best way.

I’ve had bouts of binge eating all my life. I’ll do real well eating right, trying to not deprive myself of the tasty things, but then something happens and I just can’t help myself. Some times it’s just one time one day, but some times it can last a week. It can be spurred on by a number of things, but mainly stress that I don’t know how to handle.

So I try to combat it with more intense workouts at the gym, which can then stress my body to a point of injury–not good. It’s a delicate balance that I think is something I’m not the only one trying to deal with.

But on those good days where I can manage my stress in a healthy manner, I enjoy working out my frustrations  in a shower of sweat, whether it’s by a long run or a great weight session. These are the times that I like the fitness classes that make you think about what you’re doing and what you’ll do next–you don’t have time to think about anything else. And, if the workout was intense enough, you’ll be soaked with sweat, breathing hard, and hopefully have forgotten what was stressing you out before.

During work hours, when a workout just isn’t feasible, I find it best to have a good laugh with friends. I’m lucky enough to have a couple that I’ve somehow gotten close to, and we can laugh over just about anything. And some times that’s all you can do is laugh. As one co-worker said, “I’m just going to start laughing–that’s all we can do about it anyway.” A very valid point. If you’re not in a position to make the changes, you have to figure out how to roll with the punches and try to not let things drag you down too much.

I think that’s what has always drawn me to the gym. Ever since college, I’ve figured how to work out my stress/frustrations/anger on something like weight machines or the pavement (loved using the boxing bags when I was kickboxing–that’s got to be the best way to work out any aggression, trust me).

One time someone asked me why I workout so much. I just smile and say, “To keep this pleasant disposition through the nine hours I’m here at work.”

What is your favorite way to workout the day’s stresses?

Wedding Planning: Where to Start?

So here we are, less than nine months until W-Day (Wedding Day), and so far I have the groom and the dress. Yep…that’s about it. I’ve been reading magazines like Brides and The Knot. I’ve logged onto TheKnot.com and created a wedding website. And we have somewhat of a budget–I just know I’m not dealing with a lot of money, so things are tight.

I would love to have this cake topper, but for $130, that's way too much. (Source: http://etsy.me/q4IjWA)

We did have a friend’s brother do our enagement photos on my parents’ farm. But a wedding photographer? Nope. We have a few ideas, but we haven’t signed any contracts.

Matt knows who he wants for the caterer–a local BBQ joint. So, that’s easy, right? Now if I can just get him to make the phone call and get more information.

A baker? Nope. We’re on the fence about that–we don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a cake, but we want it to be delicious and something special. We are thinking of having a simple 2-tier cake with a sheet cake to feed be able to feed the rest of the guests. And I don’t want anything extravagant. I’m all for a simple icing job (no fondant, please) and then having my mom decorate the cake with flowers like she did my sister’s weddig. It’s simple, but still pretty and pretty on the budget.

A DJ? Nope. We met a couple of prospective DJs at the last bridal fair we attended, but their price is way more than I figured. I don’t need any big, fancy productions or light shows. I just want someone who has a plethora of music in a great variety (I’m talking country, old school rock, hip hop, whatever me or my guests want), with a few lights, and a great personality to be able to host the reception. Also, it’d be easiest to have the DJ provide the ceremony music for a few songs we’re having played.

An officiant? Nope. Well, we thought we had one, that I’ve seen perform a friend’s wedding and I was already comfortable with, but he’s no longer performing weddings. Boo. So now we’re stuck trying to figure how to find someone with a great personality and that we can be comfortable with. But that’s hard when you don’t attend church in the area. We’ve toyed with the idea of having a friend become ordained online, but is that too corny? Or asking for the possibility of the ordained friend being too nervous to perform in front of the crowd?

A ceremony/reception site? Well, we think we have that down. We have the choice between two friends’ horse farms just north of Lexington, we just have to make the final decision and hope the friend is trully, 100% alright with us having our wedding there with a tent and lots of cars and people.

We attended a bridal fair in hopes of being put on the path to wedding planning, but instead I came home overwhelmed and more lost than I was before. I know there’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, but when you see wedding shows on television and the bride talks about spending nine months of solid planning, or how choosing the vendors is the easiest part, it scares me more. I have a full-time job, with a packed schedule of running/gym workouts and agility training/trials with the dogs, not to mention come Spring and Summer I’ll start reffing sand volleyball games at the local German bar again (great side gig that I started in 2010–possibly more about that later). So where will I find the time to plan the wedding and accomplish the DIY details I’m going to have to do to try to have the type of wedding I’d like?

How does the everyday, busy, girl plan their wedding when they’re on a tight budget? I’ve never been the type of girl to read bridal magazines before even being in a serious relationship, nor have I ever dreamed about or planned my wedding in my teens.

So here I am…feeling without direction towards what’s supposed to be the biggest day of my life. Ugh.