Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We went to get the mail....

...and we found this in the grass!
(A real, wild, cuddly looking bunny, if you cannot see in the picture)
Don't know why this was so weird to me. I guess they have to live wild somewhere.

Hooray, a new house!

Well, we put in an offer on Tuesday evening to Centex Homes for them to build us a house... and today the offer was accepted. We're ecstatic because we will get a very nice new home (where I get to pick all of the finishes) for $60,000 less than we just sold our Utah place for. Plus, they are paying all of our closing costs.

Click here to see a virtual tour of the model home in the same floor plan as we are having built.

*This is the elevation we are getting, but I've picked a different color scheme and I will add some shutters later.

Here's a list of our options, feel free to leave this post now, I know this list is probably only interesting to us:
Elevation B
4040 Sliding Window in Master Bath
Fireplace in Great Room
Dual Sink in Master Bath
Egress Windows and 3 Piece Rough Plumb for unfinished basement
Deluxe Bathroom Option (a different configuration of the master bath that has a separate shower and tub)
Vaulted Ceilings in Master Bedroom
50 Gallon Water Heater
Black Upgraded Whirlpool Appliances
Gas Range
Recessed Lighting Package for the Kitchen and Great Room
Fan Prep in the Master Bedroom
Upgraded Oil-Rubbed Bronze Faucets Throughout
Architectural Shingles
Granite Countertops in the Kitchen
Elongated Toilets in all Bathrooms (Curt's one "must have")
90% Efficient Furnace
Upgraded Carpet Pad
Hardwood Floors from the Entry to the Dining and Kitchen and in the Powder Room
Oil-Rubbed Bronze Door Hardware
Maple Kitchen Cabinets which will go to the ceiling
Kitchen Island
Upgraded Oil-Rubbed Bronze Lighting Package
And a Premium lot with HUGE trees at the back property line:

This is just very exciting!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My standby...

When I have nothing to blog about my next option is to dig out old pictures. I love pictures. Curt doesn't understand how I can look at my electronic or scrapbook pictures for hours, but I can and do. Today's selection comes from some pictures that my dad had that were so stuck to old sticky pages (you know the kind) that I had to scan the whole page and then go through and make a separate cropped file for each picture. My mom tells me that she is working on scanning in all of her pictures (she has a HUGE plastic tub filled with them), I look forward to stealing the files from her.

*Disclaimer: I'm sorry to any family members who I mislabel, I'm doing my best. Sometimes though it's a complete guess by trying to decide who would be what age/size at a particular time period. Feel free to correct me, in fact I would appreciate it.

David, Sheila, Marsha, Cindy, and then my Dad, Steve, in the back.
Apparently he didn't get the memo that red was the color of the day.

Back: Roger, David, Barbie (holding Angie I presume), Bev (holding Von?), and Bob
Cindy, Sheila, Grandpa (Eugene), Marsha, my Dad, and then Greg(?) up front

Bev and Sheila(?)

Ha, everyone looking cool in front of that super neat car.
(Dad's the one in the middle of the hood)

David, Bev, Barbie, Roger, and then Dad looking all adorable up front.

Another view of the cool car. I love how my Dad is wearing what looks like Converse sneakers and how David has his arm around (Sheila, Marsha?).

David, Grandma (June), Bev, Dad
Cindy, Marsha, Sheila

Barbie, Grandpa holding Marsha, Bev, Grandma holding Cindy, David?, and Dad with Sheila up front.

Bev, Marsha, David, Sheila

Grandma, David, Bev, Dad
Cindy, Marsha, and Sheila

Friday, April 25, 2008

oh, by the way

For those of you holding your breath in anticipation (just kidding, that was just Curt and I), our house we were selling in Utah closed last Thursday. Wahoo, we no longer have a mortgage. Our buyers got a screaming deal, but we count ourselves lucky too that we didn't have to pay anymore interest, utilities, maintenance, etc, and that we sold before the market really got hit like I think it will in Utah.
Now we keep hanging around in our apartment until we feel we have enough saved up for a massive down payment, U of M tuition for the fall (cross your fingers, Curt finds out if he got in in July), and any other misc expenses, not to mention all of the trips we have planned (Ohio in May, Florida in June, Utah in July, Utah again in September, and one more Florida trip at the end of the year, phew!)
Wow, to put it all out there like that it's a good thing Curt makes mucho dinero.
Now if I could only get my butt in gear and find a job in my field....
Anyone want to start a good remodel? Anyone?...

have to get out of the house!...well, place of living...

I made Curt go with me on a walk this past Saturday at that nature preserve I discovered last week (He was actually the one to suggest it, what a nice person he is). I took a picture of him on a nifty bridge. If you click on the picture you can see that the trex like composite material that they used in making the handrail was installed too close together so when the material expanded it made the hand rail bow in and out. Moral of the story: Plan for expansion/contraction. A little research or planning will always do you good :)

So, yesterday I needed to be out of the apartment so I drove to a nice neighborhood by our church and wandered around for a couple hours (not before emailing Curt where I would be, of course, it would not do for me to go missing on one of my spur of the minute explorations of Ann Arbor and not have anyone know where I at least started).

I love spring flowers.

I have been reading up on some of Michigan's building codes (I know, nerdy). Yesterday's research informed me all about radon (I had only surface skimmed the topic in college classes). Radon is a decayed gas that used to be Uranium that is naturally found in the soil everywhere. Why do you care and what does this have to do with construction you ask? Well, houses act as a natural vacuum to suck it up and then contain it, especially in basements, crawl spaces, ect. Why do you care if it collects in your basement? It causes lung cancer. The county in Michigan where we live is a zone 1, which means high risk of a radon problem. So I read all about it and now I know how to install several different mitigating systems in new construction. Fun. But now I also have started noticing all of these retro-fitted, active radon mitigation systems on older houses; which is what this picture is of. Super cool.

And lastly, this is a picture for my Dad. He loves barns, especially with cupolas (the decorative things on the roof that are actually there for ventilation purposes).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Guess where I get to go for Memorial Day weekend?

Yep, that's right. Amish country.

I just booked a bed and breakfast for a couple of nights for our combined anniversary/my-birthday celebration. We'll stop by Kirtland, OH on the way to take in the church sites. So exciting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Think fast...

Thought provoking.
This Dove beauty campaign has some interesting ones. My friend Staci posted another one a while ago.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Field Trip #2: Nature Preserve

My second stop today was at a nature preserve with a whole bunch of walkways through it.

This used to be a cider mill. It was at the entrance.

A section about 3/4 of a mile long was a walkway like this. Super cool.


This was a HUGE tree.

Same tree. It would probably take three of me to circle the trunk.

More Spring!

This guy was singing "Take me out to the ball game" and the lady was video taping it.
Funny people.

Field Trip #1: Cemetary

It is a gorgeous day outside. So I took two field trips, this is the first one.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Raynaud's disease

*4/6/09 Update: I have found that a lot of people are coming to this post by googling Raynaud's Disease. If you want to see pictures of a foot during a Raynaud's "attack", go here to another post I did on the subject"*
So I have a disease. No worries, nothing contagious. But it's weird.

A little over two and a half years ago I got bit/stung on my toe by something outside my grandparents house at 4 in the morning on my way out to work (yeah, don't ask me why I was carrying my shoes instead of wearing them, I get it from my mother). I personally think that it was a black widow. Well, it hurt real bad but I was in a hurry so I went to work, put my shoes on, and thought nothing of it. But by the time I got home it had swollen up pretty badly and the next day (luckily Saturday) I couldn't put shoes on and my whole foot would turn purple unless I kept it elevated. So I called my mom (conveniently for me, an emergency room nurse) and she put me on a regimen of allergy pills, anti-inflamatories, and pain pills; plus told me the signs I should be watching for that would signal that I needed to go to the emergency room immediately. That weekend I was endearingly dubbed "fat foot" and "elephant foot" by my grandpa and cousin respectively.
Well, it ended up healing (after having to miss Monday work).
But a couple of months later people started asking me why I was limping. I personally hadn't noticed it so I thought they were nuts, until it progressed far enough that even a thick-skulled person like me could not deny it.
So, a couple months after that (wow, I really am stubborn), after much persuasion from my mom and Curt, I went to the doctor. Long story short, I had to do many tests (which never really found out what was wrong, I think that I had the beginning of a bone infection like I had in my knee when I was 9, resulting in emergency surgery); and one particularly painful test involving my feet, a bucket of ice water, a lot of time, and some oxygen sensors, found out that I had Raynaud's. I ended up having surgery on my foot, resulting in the beautiful scar you see on my foot below.
*And yes, I know that I have the most square feet of any person I have seen*

As another side note, my mother is so wonderful and supportive that she bought a plane ticket to Orlando to be my nurse (I had a pick line in; a line that is run inside your arm and down to your heart to dump in drugs your veins can't handle safely, so she had to administer the drugs and keep the pick line entrance sterile) since I was competing on the BYU NAHB competition team just days after this unexpected surgery. She was the only reason my doctor let me go and compete.

So, what is Raynaud's?
Well, on it's section under heart disease on it says the following:

"Raynaud's disease is more than simply having cold hands and cold feet, and it's not the same as frostbite. Signs and symptoms of Raynaud's depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the blood vessel spasms that underlie the disorder. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Sequence of color changes in your skin in response to cold or stress
  • Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress

During an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first(check). Then, the areas often turn blue and feel cold and numb(check), and your sensory perception is dulled(check). As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red(check), throb(check), tingle(check) or swell(not me). The order of the changes of color isn't the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors(I do).

Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes(sometimes it's just the two toes nearest my scar, sometimes just my left foot, sometimes both my feet, and then every once in a while the last section of my fingers). Attacks don't necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud's most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition can also affect other areas of your body, such as your nose, lips, ears and even nipples(afraid not for me). An attack may last less than a minute to several hours."

I guess the reason I am blogging about this is because I had an "attack", as they call it, last night. It's pretty unnerving to look down and see your foot look like it belongs on a corpse. When this happens I usually make Curt sit on my feet or rub them, but sometimes I have to break out the heating pad, and a couple times the only thing that has worked is to take a really hot bath (it's scary not being able to feel when you poke your foot).

So, there you go. More than you ever wanted to know about a disease you never knew existed.

*Updated: if you want to see pictures of my feet mid "attack" go here.

The End.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

what's up?

So, this is going to be a post covering the misc. in my life right now.

This is a picture of our apartment building that I have been meaning to post for a while now. You will not be seeing the inside grace this blog much as it is crummy and filled with boxes.

This is a beautiful sunset that I snapped a picture of on our way to the gym. We have been going to the gym quite regularly as it is quite entertaining and we have a goal to be healthier. Gold's Gym is the gym in Utah that has the pushy sales people (ensuring I will never hold a membership), but here they are the low key ones (thus, they have our business. Plus we're getting corporate rates, sweet!).

And this is the fabric of the dress I just bought from J.Crew for Jeff and Alison's wedding. Fun.

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