Being Homeowners

Whenever Husband and I moved in together, many years ago, we made chocolate chip cookies.

It was about 10pm, I had work the next day and for some reason fresh cookies sounded like the best most delicious idea ever.  So, we went grocery shopping, made cookies and ate them in bed while watching reruns of Friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.

As we snuggled in bed with our cookies and Ross and Rachel, I looked at Husband and said, “Being a grown-up is fun”. Husband smiled and said, “I know…when we were little and forced to go to bed early we always imagined that our parents stayed up eating cookies and watching TV. Now, I know we were right.”

And, you know what, 6 years later, being a grown-up and living together is still fun, sometimes we still make cookies in the middle of the night and we definitely still watch Friends. HOWEVER, after the sugar rush, lack of sleep and a very messy kitchen reality starts to soak in a little. Bills have to be paid, chores have to be divvied up, bad habits must be endured and fights and arguments are inevitable. We quickly learned that being a “grown-up” is not all fun.

We lived in apartments for a couple of years in Tennessee, a year in Albania and a couple of years in New York. Those years were great, but our last year in New York we were getting the itch to be homeowners. We looked for months in and out of Manhattan, but somehow found ourselves in a modern home from the 70’s right in middle of Tennessee. Our first few weeks in our new house had a familiar feeling of euphoria…

We had SO MUCH space! A 3-bedroom home in the country is basically a mansion compared to our less than 400 square feet on the Upper East Side. We had friends over all the time to eat, drink and play games (still doing that). I had just found out I was pregnant, so lots of time was spent daydreaming about the nursery and raising kids in our new home. We have a garage connected to the house, which is amazing. We basically never have to face the elements…no more carrying groceries in the rain, defrosting my windshield or slipping through snow. We have a dishwasher, bathtubs, our own washer and dryer. We also have land, which means the dog and cat can run around freely whenever they please, and if I don’t feel like taking Belle on a walk, I don’t have to! Yay for owning a house!

Now, as you may have guessed the elation of being a homeowner has started to wear off a bit. Owning an older home means that basically everything breaks, and we can’t exactly call our landlord or super to fix it. EVERYTHING is up to us. Husband and I have learned a lot about being a handy-man this year. The really big nice yard has to be kept up. There is no trash service so we literally drive our trash to the dump. We have a ladybug infestation (yes, that’s a real thing). We got mice (problem almost solved), and we have a very pesky woodpecker.

A couple of months ago we were continuously awoken by the knocking of a woodpecker that we would walk out and attempt to scare away so we could go back to sleep. One morning, while Husband was shooing the bird away in his boxers at about 7am, he looked to his right and actually saw a deer standing next to him just watching the whole spectacle. Neither the bird nor the deer seemed to care that there was a human standing there screaming and flailing his arms about. Apparently, no animals fear us.

Now that pesky woodpecker has pecked holes out of the side of our house…one more thing we need to fix. Our to-do list of things we do not actually know how to-do is very very long.

The good news is, we are mostly still enjoying it. Even as we remove every single dish from every cabinet, and scrub down the kitchen with bleach and set-up mouse traps…even as we grit our teeth and sarcastically say “boy, being a grown-up is so fun”…even when the garbage disposal clogs for the 50th time and water floods under the sink… we are grateful. Owning our house is not easy and definitely not always fun, or even affordable, but it’s ours. It’s our home together and it will be our home for a very long time.

We may not always feel grateful in the moment, but at the moment when we figure out how to fix the broken garage door, finish painting a room or learn while my blow-dryer keeps blowing the breaker, it’s awesome. Hopefully those will be the moments we remember in 20 years, and hopefully we won’t be invaded and taken over by wild animals by that point.


My Biggest Adult Decision

Husband and I with one of our best friends 5 years young.
Husband and I with one of our best friends 5 years ago…so young.

Husband and I have been together for 8 years this February, and we have been married for almost 8 months. Throughout our relationship we have made lots of big choices together….

Do we stay together during a very long distance relationship? Do we move to Tennessee or Texas? Blonde or Brunette? Keep a cat or give it to Zoey? Toyota or Honda? Verizon or T-Mobile? New York or Albania? Manhattan or Brooklyn? Disney wedding or Tennessee country wedding?  Stay in New York for one year or two?

One year or two. That’s it. That was the option I laid out for us.

Since as long as I can remember I have had my entire life planned out. Sure, I leave room for spontaneity here and there, but mostly I have plans. However, life loves to take that plan and say “Hah. HAH!”

I planned to graduate college in three years and marry my high school sweet heart, but life threw in a few affairs, heartache, and a little depression. My life was turned into a lifetime movie in mere minutes one horrifying afternoon. I felt like I could trust no one (including myself), and I just needed to leave. I needed a fresh start…far, far away.

Obviously, I chose to runaway to the Happiest Place on Earth to work on the Disney College Program. So, no, I didn’t graduate insanely fast and get married too young to the wrong guy. Instead, I made some of the best friends and memories I could ever imagine, and Uh, met HUSBAND.

After Disney, I had an entire new list of life plans. Most of these also changed…I planned to marry Husband in 3 years, but he chose 7. This was not easy to accept, but boy am I glad we waited…we could not be happier with our relationship.

I planned to get my Doctorate, and quickly become an administrator, but life threw me a desire to live and work abroad. I made a few friends who chose this path, and they were such an inspiration to me that I quit my job literally a day after I got tenure, and shortly after moved to Albania.

I planned to stay in New York for only one year, but job opportunities encouraged me to stay for two.

One year or two.

We obviously chose two. We have now lived here for a year and a half, and I have already made big plans for what’s next: move back to Tennessee, buy a house, get a job with my former school, and start having some babies. (This baby fever has not broke!) BUT, life has stepped up to the plate and thrown us some more curve balls.

Turns out…we love New York. Husband loves everything about the ciy. I LOVE my job. Belle loves Central Park. In fact, after lots of discussion neither of us wants to leave. I threw out my Tennessee plans, and now we have new New York plans!

Recently we made our most grown-up decision ever.

We have decided to buy, for the very first time, a home. We have been renting for 5 years now, and we are finally ready to be homeowners. I have no idea where to start, who to talk to, or what the hell we are doing, but we are doing it! I’m so excited and scared at the same time!

I should not feel nervous. Husband and I tend to make good decisions together, but this is HUGE. Buying a home here means we are going to be here a while…like more than two years, which is definitely our record for living in one place! We are going to plant roots…dare I say, “settle”. That’s a scary word. My anxiety has been through the roof just digesting this decision. Deep breaths…

The search for a Manhattan apartment, a Brooklyn condo, and a home and Westchester have all begun. Wish us luck, we are certainly going to need it I cannot wait to begin this new adventure!