New Kitchen and Picking Paint

Thanks everyone for the love and congratulations on the new house! The Boy and I are basically ready to move now. Right now. This weekend. Well, maybe next weekend – actually the long weekend would work best.

Sadly we have to wait.  But in the mean time I we I (let’s be honest) am mentally preparing our new space.  But I’m at a loss.

I know it’s hard to pick colours etc when you a. don’t live there and b. haven’t made any furniture purchases yet. But come on, I’m a planner. And it’s exciting and fun to make plans.

I’ve consulted Pinterest and my BFF Sarah Richardson but I’m still left staring a reddish/brown cupboards and blah neutral backsplash and wondering what colour do we put on the walls?

Please keep in mind that the kitchen opens up to the eat-in area, which opens up to the living room.

The Boy and I keep going back and forth about when we should move in.  The big debate is – it’s a heck of a lot easier to paint an empty house than a full one.  But the more I think about it and the fewer inspired decisions that come my way – the more I think sooner rather than later might be the way to go.

Move in.  Live in it. And the inspiration will follow.

Any thoughts? Does this kitchen scream a colour to you? Am I just being blinded by my love of white cupboards? Are we crazy to think we’ll be able to pick paint colours before really moving in?

Hello Rock? Hard Place? How ya doin’?

Bah! That is all I would like to say on this topic, but apparently I need to get it out because if I have this cyclical argument with myself one more time I might just scream. No. I will cry. Yes, that’s much more accurate, I’m a total crier.
Do you know what I hate about being a grown-up? Decision making. Decision making and money. “Managing finances” is something that I am neither good at (that’s not true we actually do very well) nor interested in. BORING. Here’s a little fun fact about me, I like need to feel like I know what I’m doing before I make a decision. It requires a lot of processing on my end, but once I’ve made that decision I get INCREDIBLY frustrated when the universe does not listen and allow me to move forward with my decision. Hence – BAH!
So, here’s how it is. The Boy and I have been married for just over 7 months. (Can we take a moment and say – seriously the wedding was 7 months ago! OMG it seems like yesterday). I’ve been working at my new job for 6 months, the Boy has had a very steady year of daily supply teaching and has basically worked almost every day. Yay! We have banished ourselves of credit card debt, we have a savings system in place, we have a rough plan as far as when we would like to start thinking about thinking about expanding our little family (it’s not any time soon so calm down). And we actually have money in savings.  Great.
We also have two expensive brains and that means school debt. We live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment. We live in an area where real estate prices are ridiculously through the roof.  Seriously, we saw a cute tiny little 2 bedroom house for sale on a walk the other day, we came home to look at it on MLS and it’s listed for $499,000. Sure it’s a monster lot, but come on. That’s absurd. Do you know what’s even more absurd – the bank would probably give us the money and probably take 5% down because it’s our first house.  Hey banks in Canada! Have you learned nothing from our neighbours to the south?  This can’t go on. It can’t.
So the Boy and I made a decision.  We would look for a rental that we could feasibly stay in for the next 3-4 years. We’ll wait out the market figuring it has to crash eventually, and if Macleans magazine is anything to go by (and it typically is) something like 30% of people cannot afford to stay in their homes if interest rates go up by 1-2 percent. Ideally, they will need to sell at a reasonable price and we will swoop in to pick up our very own home for what it’s worth instead of some ridonculous amount of money.
Sounds like a great plan right?
We thought so – so we made a list of our must haves (just like on TV)
  1. 2-3 bedrooms
  2. Laundry (preferably private)
  3. Pet friendly
  4. Outdoor space
  5. Utilities included – or a reasonable amount for rent if they are not included – or willingness to negotiate.
  6. In our neighbourhood or at least South of highway 9.
Do you know what we’ve found?  Nothing. No, sorry not nothing. Dog patch.
We find semidetached bungalows that are everything we want except they are north of highway 9 which is affectionately known to locals as “The Dog Patch.”  I don’t know much but I know when you mention “The Dog Patch” to locals, they make BIG EYES and say “Meaghan YOU CAN NOT LIVE THERE!” I know of people that have lived there who witnessed people involved in a fist fights on their front lawn on a regular basis.  And I know when I drive through and look at the houses and think “it’s not that bad”  something inside me says “Sure it doesn’t look that bad – but I’m pretty sure one of these sketchy people is going to steal your stroller one day”
This week we found a BEAUTIFUL apartment, 2 bedrooms, private laundry, pet friendly, outdoor space, rent + hydro (water and heat and cable included) and in our wonderful neighbourhood.  Sounds perfect right? Right! It is! For now.  The Boy and I would be blissfully happy there, but if we were to bring in a little, I think we would be falling over each other quite quickly.  The bedrooms are teeny tiny. And I’ve heard a rumour that kids come with a lot of stuff. BAH! It’s not somewhere that I think we can stay for 3-4 years. More like 1-2. And then, what’s the point?
So what do you do when you live in a shoe? Move to a boot? Or go back and forth a million times on whether you’re making the right decision or not, and whether what you want actually exists.  Right now we’re experiencing the latter.  If we could find somewhere to stay long term, we could put the contents of our savings account and pay off a  chunk of school loan. But if we can’t, we’re going into a mortgage that is inflated or with a weak down payment only to feel financially strapped for the rest of our lives. We just got off that train, we’ve taken that tour and I’d rather not get back on for a while – ever if I can help it.
So now what. Tell me universe what is your brilliant plan? Are you saving the perfect rental for us until the summer is over? Are you telling us to forget it all and go to New York for a splurgey vaycay? Maybe we should just go to Europe? Forget our cares, live in our little space for a little longer and then your master plan will unfold when we least expect it?

Only one problem with that brilliant plan.  I suck at patience.  And I really suck at “the universe will take care of it when it’s time.”

We’re planning on revisiting the only possibility we’ve seen next week.  Cross your fingers we come up with brilliant storage visions.

Randomness to Catch Up

The last week has been busy… but not… but yes.  No excuses really, just a list of random things to catch up on my whereabouts in the days gone by.

1. BFF Kristyn and I are still yogiing. Every week I hope it’s going to get better. And every week it kills me again.  I’m still hoping that one of these days  I’m going to come out of it not feeling like I’ve been through the ringer… one day.

2. Speaking of yoga – specifically to those ladies that are in my yoga class that keep their hair in a neat ponytail all the way through, and don’t look sweaty and gross by the end. I know I’m not supposed to be judging myself against others – but seriously, how do you do that? I look like a hot mess by about 15 minutes in every week.  Bah.

3. I went to a fundraiser for my old work last week.  I assure you they’re doing really well without me. I couldn’t believe all their accomplishments in funding and fundraising in the last 6 months. Amazing! It made me happy to be able to support the organization in a different way, and to have come from such a great little organization.

4. Grandma Shirley (the Boy’s Grandma) is sick.  We spent half the weekend in the hospital sitting with her and making sure she knows she’s loved.  Grandma is so sweet and funny, even when she’s not feeling so great right now.  We arrived Thursday night and she told me they had been talking about me. About 10 minutes later she asked if I was pregnant yet.  I told her no, but I would let her know when the time comes.  She was clearly disappointed.  The Boy and I don’t have baby plans anytime in the near future and we definitely want her there – so if everyone could say a little prayer for Grandma we would appreciate it.  She told me this weekend she’s loved me for 10 years.  I’ve loved her for that long too.

5. I was in charge of dessert this weekend for the Boy’s family Easter dinner.  I felt the pressure. I went back and forth on what to make.  I thought about lemon meringue cupcakes since they would be easy to make ahead and assemble once we arrived. Then I considered Angela’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a Jar but the Boy must be catching on and know that only delicious but vegan things come from my blog recipes. Without even seeing the secret ingredient (tofu) in the ingredients list he had this to say, “Nothing weird Meaghan. Okay? Just make something normal. Like pie. What’s wrong with pie? How about just regular pie. And make sure there’s enough for everyone. You better make two.  Nothing weird. Pies.”  You’d think I’d tried to poison him or something?  So I made pie. 2 Lemon meringue pies.  From scratch. Pastry. Lemon curd. Meringue.  They didn’t set. But they were delicious. Grandma agreed. She’s on a strict diet, juice, ginger ale, water, and pie.

6. I played my first golf game of the season.  It did not go well. I’ve got a long way to go if I’m going to beat my legitimate score of 124 by 10 strokes. Yikes. It was good to get outside though and good times were had by all.  The Boy says he didn’t shoot well either… but “not well” of 84 doesn’t count in my books. Bugger.

7. I was playing with the BMI calculator on my work’s wellness page. My BMI is okay – it could be better though. The Boy’s is on the higher end of normal. This was more arsenal for the “we really need to be more active” campaign.  Last night we went for a walk and the Boy asked if I wanted to run home.  I knew I wouldn’t make it all the way home without stopping. I was right. We did three mini runs, totaling just under 0.5km.  I wouldn’t say it was a good first attempt, but it was a start. We need to figure out how to run together if we’re going to do it. The Boy’s casual jog is my RUN. Suggestions?

8. The Boy and I are thinking about thinking about moving.  We I found a BEAUTIFUL three bedroom semi, but it’s in what the locals call “the dog patch” as in the sketchy part of Northern Ontario. There are some nice spots in the dog patch, but this was not one of them.  Darn. The Boy said he TOLD me it was in the dog patch I just didn’t want to believe him.  It’s true. Anyway, I was talking to a realtor friend of my parents and she asked if I was working with anyone. She wasn’t impressed with my answer of “Kijiji.”  She’s now on the look out for us too and she told us this mind-blowing information.  “Meaghan, you know you always negotiate the rent price right?” Um…. what?! No. I did NOT know that. So we’re all on the look out and she’s going to help us with our negotiation skills.  Fingers crossed!

9. And finally, the prayers to St. Anthony must have worked.  Or the Boy just is better at keeping track of things than I am.  Tomorrow Wedding Wednesday returns.  The photos are not lost forever – hurray!

10. What’s randomly up with you? And did you know you can negotiate rent? The Boy says he knew in theory, but wouldn’t do it – would you?

Happy Birthday Boy

The Boy is 29 today! He’s been telling me for the last few weeks that we are the same age.  No longer true.  He’s officially old again.  I was trying to figure out a way to honour his birthday on my blog… and I think I’ve come up with something.

The last year in photos… 28 was a good year.

We saw another play in Stratford and practiced our self-portrait taking skills

We found a cute little apartment on our first try

You said goodbye to the farm

We moved you out of Poo County...

We made it our own

You brought your green fridge... and I started to blog

There is no question that you are always included in family photos

We went on VACATION!!!

We saw some interesting sights in Florida

You found some new people to play beach with

The winter may have been long... but you taught me to skate

You learned to love me means to live with my mess

We went to another wedding... and dreamed about 2020

I brought you back to your farming roots... urban styles

With your expertise we're already getting great yields!

Even though we live in Northern Ontario - we still get visitors

I almost forgot the golf!

It's been a really good year... I think 29 is going to be even better!

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Love you always

The last holiday

What a busy weekend.  The boy and I try and split all of our holidays between our families, we travel as a pack, but we see everyone in St. Mary’s and Richmond Hill Ontario.

This holiday weekend was bittersweet as we celebrated the last holiday in both of our childhood homes.  Both of our parents are packing up and shipping out, selling the homes we grew up in and downsizing – slightly.

My parents are moving from Richmond Hill, “Toronto” as the boy calls it and moving to an “Adult Living Community” in Alliston – a town that doesn’t even have a Starbucks or a Chapters.  I’m not sure how they’re going to do it but, they’re really excited to see and hear about their new house as it is being built.  Today they were told shingles are going up!

The boy’s parents are moving from a 120 acre working farm, complete with sheep and baby lambs – they even have a black one this year, into the town of Thamesford.  They’ll be living in a town with a population of about 3000, and this for them seems like a lot of people.  They’ve never had to worry about waking the neighbours.  In fact one of the first times I met some “town” friends of the boys, one of them introduced himself as his “next door neighbour.”  I was to learn a few weeks later that the term is used loosely in the country, as his house/farm is actually on a different street, and there are about 7 farms between them! “That’s not next door – that’s hardly neighbours,” I said.  The boy answered, “we’re not in Toronto – that’s next door out here.”

The boy and I are both really excited for the other’s family – he’s thrilled mine are moving to a golf course, they back onto the 4th fairway, I’m thrilled that the smell of manure should be a little less now that his family is “in town.”  But we’re both sad for what our own families are leaving behind, him the farm and all of the time he spent outside, or playing in the hay lofts, me my home and my backyard, and all of the memories that are attached to my neighbourhood.

But they’re packing up so we need to pack up too, it’s part of what made us both feel like real grown-ups this winter.  And even though we’re both a little sad, I know the new houses will be full of new happy memories too.

I’m here!

Before my plunge into adulthood this fall, (moving in with my boyfriend of 7 years) I spent one last summer at home with my parents and my sister. Blogs were the topic of conversation all summer. My sister Lisa is a teacher, and she is committed to finding creative ways to engage her students in learning and in their future. This summer she read Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, so we talked blogs… all summer long.

So that’s how I got here. Lisa told me to do it, so I did. I’ve been putting it off for months though, asking myself the question, “What should I blog about?” I don’t think of myself as complicated, but when it came to what part of my life should I blog about, I couldn’t decide.

Should I write a green blog? I started container gardening this summer, it was a “solid first effort.” But there seems to be a million, and though sustainability is important can I write a whole blog about it?

Should I write a blog about the shenanigans of living with a boy? Blog about the bright Steamwhistle green fridge that moved in with him? Hilarious to those that know me I’m sure… but not terribly deep, and more of a journal than a blog – as my blog guru Lisa informed me.

Then it hit me. I’m all over the map. And do you know why? Because I’m in my twenties. I hear, “It’s so exciting.” “You’ll look back and love this time.” “So much is changing.” But do you know what, it’s messy and that’s stressful.

So this is it, I’m going to sort out the messes on my blog. I’ll let you know how it goes as I start to make my mark on the world and the parts of the world that are making their marks on me.

I guess all I needed to get started was a head cold and a sick day!