Last night I made chicken parmesan for Wes. It turned out really well, and we have plenty for tonight too. I also made jalapeno garlic focaccia. We’re both having a hard time not eating all of it.

We did quite a bit of yard work today.  Wes started mowing the lawn, and I pulled weeds and pruned the bushes. Our next door neighbor, Barbara, introduced herself and asked us about one of the trees between our houses. She wants to get rid of it since it’s growing so large and mentioned her son would be willing to take it down for free. She also helped us with our property line. We own a lot more than we originally thought! We definitely need to get a survey done at some point since we’re going to build a fence. Though that’s a few years away while we build up our savings again. Becky planted so many beautiful plants for us to enjoy. I love how she put the pink  poppies next to the daisies. I can’t wait to add more. Saving up now for a greenhouse and more flowers.

We had our first official harvest today! One large bowl of raspberries and a few strawberries. I doubt I will be able to make anything with them, because they are almost immediately devoured after picking. They are so sweet and delicious.

I love our home so much. I am happier here each day. We’ve created a space that reflects who we are, and it makes me realize that I am in a very good place in my life. There will always be difficulty and conflict but as long as there is peace within myself, I know I am okay.



Wes and I walked to Trader Joe’s to get groceries (read: ice cream). We ate at a burger joint, had too many fries and waddled back home. I found orchids to take home. They are both horribly root bound. I also bought aloe vera.

When we got home, we spent some time in the backyard cleaning up and then took Mar on a long walk. I had a really good day.

In your waters, I’ve dropped anchor


Buying a house has helped with stress immensely. Despite working overtime the last month and taking the train two and from Portland 1-2 times a week, knowing that I get to come home to this makes anything unpleasant have no effect on my mood.

I didn’t realize with renting I always had a feeling of uncertainty. Will I be here a year from now? Will the cost of rent increase when we renew? Why are they inspecting again? As much as I liked living in Portland, I couldn’t fall in love with it, and that was mostly due to renting. After we had to move out of our place off Burnside, I was thrown off equilibrium, and I found it really hard to find it again. And now there are different stresses, but they are mostly controllable.

I am having an incredible weekend with Wes. On Friday, I worked from home and then went on a date with Wes. We went to Ranch Records, and I purchased OK Computer by Radiohead and Somnium by Sianspheric. I purchased Sianspheric on a whim. I looked at the album art and immediately knew I had listened to the record but couldn’t figure out when. It was only $9, and I’m so glad I did. I don’t remember when I listened to the record, but I’m remembering bits and pieces.

We explored Reed Opera House. Almost got my hair cut, but the only lady working was busy with appointments. We tried Bo & Vine and found a few antique stores. I bought a ring at a consignment store, and it will always remind me of how perfect Friday was. We then went to Salem Center and hit our usual spots.

Yesterday was definitely a much needed lazy day. We played a lot of Civilization VI. Before dinner, we took a long walk. I love walking in our neighborhood. We noticed the tree in our front yard is beginning to bloom.

Today, I’m meal prepping. Wes wants chicken parmesan for dinner. For the week, I’m making salads with peanut dressing, ground pork/mushroom for stir fry and soup. It sounds weird, but it’s delicious. I made a broth with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, and it goes really well with noodles and chili garlic sauce. Add a soft boiled egg and scallions, and it’s an incredibly addicting dinner.

I purchased a bunch of seeds, a garden bed and compost for the backyard garden. The seller left vermiculite and peat moss. I want to make my own compost bin and buy worms, but I’m starting small this year. I can’t wait to convert the front yard to a flower garden.

I don’t think I could ever tire of this song.

The office. I love the little space I’ve made for myself.

Wes and I moved on Thursday, and today we’re about 70% done with unpacking. We were a bit lazy on Saturday and mainly worked on decorative stuff. We put the clothes away today, but my my office is still a damn mess. We already feel at home. Our place is super empty, and I didn’t realize how damn big this house is compared to where we’ve lived.

Yesterday, Wes and I walked to Trader Joe’s and WinCo to get a few items, and I LOVE our neighborhood. So many trees, and we’re less than a half mile away from a gorgeous park. Both stores are a mile away from home and walkable. I bought a rosemary plant and some flowers for the kitchen. We received a free turkey from WinCo for spending more than $100. It’s huge, and I have no idea what to do with it. It’ll be another fun adventure for me. I haven’t cooked a turkey since I lived with my parents. It shouldn’t

A few things about the house we didn’t know about that aren’t really huge things, but we are obsessed about:

  1. The light in our bedroom has a remote control, and it is amazing to use after a long day.
  2. There’s a heater in the bathroom. Is that a normal thing? Because it should be.
  3. She left us two really cool shelves in the garage. One is in the bedroom with my plants.
  4. She provided me with a lot of gardening supplies and a few really nice outdoor pots. The backyard has about 7-8 and there’s a glass one in the front yard I’m going to grow some herbs in.
  5. The lighting in the kitchen is so beautiful. Sadly, I can’t really put plants in there since the cats love to sit there. I don’t blame them.

The park near our house is eerie yet idyllic. It’s hard explaining but damn, I can’t believe I live in this beautiful place. I am so thankful.


Tomorrow, I go to work for a couple hours to help with a meeting. On Tuesday, we’re exploring the city by bus and checking out Target. I also want to try a taphouse. They sell growlers, and I’d love to bring home some blackberry cider.

On the 16th, we’re going to Beaverton to meet Brandon Sanderson. I love the Mistborn series, and Wes has read everything he’s written. I’m having so much fun on this vacation so far, and we still have two more weeks.


Three. Days.

We move in three days.

We signed on Friday, and now we’re anxiously waiting for our keys. My realtor plans on meeting me at the house on Thursday, the day of our move. I’m thinking of getting her flowers. Jo will be driving me to Salem with the pets around 8:00 a.m. I’m also thinking of getting her flowers. Basically, a lot of people are getting plants this week! I am so thankful for the incredible people who have helped us along the way.

Wes and I went to IKEA on Saturday, and it was productive (as well as expensive). I got a wire shelf for the kitchen (plenty of storage, but I like to have shelving for my pots and pans), a coffee table and a lot of kitchen stuff. I’m so excited to cook in my kitchen! I bought a huge wood cutting board for kneading dough. I also got some extra glass containers for bulk foods. We bought a bunch of chocolate and candles. Worth.

While looking at dining tables and couches, we realized we want to save up money for sturdier pieces. It’s going to suck without a couch for a few months while we save up, but it’ll be worth it.

Though I plan on taking a couple weeks of vacation, I will still be working a little bit each day. I’m liking the temp we hired, and she’s been helping me with scheduling, which is a huge help since I’ve been hit with crazy holiday scheduling. In total, I’m taking about twenty days off, including weekends and holidays, and I don’t think I’ve taken that much time off in years.

While we’re off, I’m going to take engagement photos for Jo and her fiance. Wes will be assisting me since I plan on bringing a few cameras, and we plan on going to the beach. It is not fun carrying five cameras at the beach. I also want to make the photo shoot really special for Jo so having the extra help will make the process smoother. It’ll also be a fun double date!

Wes’ birthday is a month away and though we decided to hold off on gifts, I think I still want to make him something. I’m thinking of making photo books from each year we’ve lived together. I made one for 2014 , and I have everything organized on Flickr, so it would be a fun weekend project. I’d love to purchase larger prints of some of our favorite photos together too. Maybe I could make a gallery wall in the dining room of key moments in our relationship. It would be perfect since it would also be decorating our home, and we’ve both been a little obsessed with how we’re going to make each room look.

I’m so happy.


So. Much. Paperwork.

Our loan officer contacted us this week with a long list of items she needed to complete our loan application. I only have one more document to scan and send back, but they ask for so many things! And I’m sure the underwriter will ask for more. There are a few things that could go wrong. The inspection could show some issues with the home. The house could appraise for less than our loan amount. Or our loan could be denied.

Thankfully, the inspection is on Wednesday, and we just purchased the appraisal, so I hope that’s scheduled soon as well. We’re only four days into this process, and we’ve already done so much! Wes will be at the inspection on Wednesday and will take a few more photos for us. We’re having a lot of fun thinking about how we want to place our furniture. Since our couch is officially broken, we aren’t bringing it with us. But it’ll be nice figuring out how best to use the space.

I definitely feel overwhelmed. There are days I wonder if we’re really ready to own a house, but I know I want to stay in Oregon, and I enjoy my job. I’m also sick of renting! Our property management company has been doing inspections almost once a month. We received another notice this week, and it’s getting really tiring. I don’t mind occasional inspections, but this is the fifth or sixth one this year. I’m tired of not knowing where I’ll be in a year or two and worrying about rent increasing. The lack of permanence makes it hard for any place to feel like a home.

But I’m ready for a little ranch house that sits in front of a small creek. And a greenhouse, and the cats chasing each other through the dining room. I already see Mar resting on the deck on a summer day. We viewed so many houses, but this place just felt like home. It felt like that scene in Ratatouille at the end where the food reviewer tastes the food and is immediately transported to a loving moment in his childhood. Except when I stepped inside, I was transported into the future, and I felt how much we’d live our days in this lovely home.

Hopefully, no more paperwork will be requested today 🙂


Finding the Home

I haven’t been sure how to write this since the process has been so weird and rewarding, but Wes and I placed an offer on a house on Sunday, and our offer was accepted on Monday. It took one amazing mortgage broker and after a long search, we found the perfect buyer’s agent. Well, it’s more like she was found for us. Had I not complained to a co-worker about our agent at the time, we wouldn’t have met Nancy.

My co-worker introduced me to her agent who then gave my information to Nancy. I wasn’t sure what to expect since the last two agents were unhelpful (thanks, Chun!) or nonresponsive (with an assistant, mind you). I thought we were being overbearing, but I was assured we weren’t. She didn’t have any reviews, and that’s what I based my last two choices on. She called me and mentioned she had a home that isn’t listed yet, and it fit all of our criteria. She also gave us a list of other homes in the area that might fit our needs. I was a little concerned about the home that wasn’t listed yet. There were no photos of the inside, but I did notice a creek one door down on Google Maps and thought it looked interesting.

We viewed four houses on Saturday. The first home was one we had viewed already, but they lowered the price again. Nancy mentioned someone was going to place an offer soon, so we were thinking about making an offer as well if we weren’t interested in the other homes. I had already envisioned us there. The lot was on the smaller side, but the neighborhood was walkable. The home itself was nice, but I could tell we would outgrow it quickly. My personal favorite was the skylight in the dining area. The kitchen was remodeled, and it had a lot of amenities we wanted in a home, so it would have been a solid choice.

The second home we viewed was the unlisted one. The outside was freshly painted, and I loved the little flower bed next to the entrance. Wes and I stepped in, and we were immediately smitten. The home is all hardwood floors with the exception of blue carpeting in the dining room and linoleum in the bathroom and kitchen. I love how separate everything is. From the living room, you can enter a door on the left that leads to the bedrooms and bathroom. I didn’t like the door at first but with pets, sometimes it’s nice just completely banning them from an area. The living room is the size of our current living room and dining room combined. The dining room is larger than we need, so we plan on making it a space for music, dining and a cat tree next to the sliding glass door.

I originally didn’t like the location of the kitchen. I wanted something open and near the living room, so Wes and I could talk while I cooked, but the combination of lighting and a built in desk sold me. I love the blue countertops with the white cabinets. I also love that the kitchen has two windows, with one window right above the sink that overlooks the backyard.

The backyard has a deck with awning. Emerald greens surround the backyard, providing privacy and greenery. There is a little walkway in the backyard that allows you to view the creek. The creek belongs to the home behind, and it’s beautiful to look at.

The laundry room includes a half bathroom. The best part of the half bathroom? It can double as a dark room. No windows in the room, and the laundry room is completely closed off as well (with the exception of a window that gets little light).

There’s a lot to love in that home, and we especially appreciated how much the seller took care of it.

It was very hard viewing the homes afterward, but we viewed two more. The next one was in a decent location, but the home itself felt like it was sunken in. It was really low to the ground. The home was not taken care of very well, and it made it hard to envision our lives there. The backyard was HUGE, but too shady for a decent garden. Super unfortunate since it was at a great price.

The last home we viewed had some odd issues. We thought there was a garage, but they had converted it into two rooms that weren’t finished. There was a laundry room that they converted as well, but we have no idea what the thought behind it was. There were also HOA dues and a solar panel lease the seller wanted us to take over. It’s crazy how much they omitted from what we saw on Redfin. It’s also incredible that we were so in love with the house in photos but in person, it just ended up being the opposite of what we wanted.

But the more we thought about the home Nancy recommended to us, the more we realized it suited all of our needs. And we gave her a check that same day. We ended up completing the offer on Sunday, and on Monday night, she called to let us know that we just bought a house. I cried like a bitch, and she mentioned that she waived some of the seller’s fees to make our offer more desirable. She also negotiated that we keep all of the appliances in the home, so that’s something we don’t need to worry about when we move. Additionally, we get to keep all of the window coverings. The inspection is next Wednesday, and Wes will be there in person to ask questions and to receive the report. We’re unsure of the appraisal. We hope the appraisal doesn’t come back too low (or too high). There are a few things that could go wrong, but we’re taking this a day at a time. So far, we’re ahead of schedule. We just have other things to worry about, like our cash reserves and what the underwriter is thinking about our financial situation. Always something to worry about with me 🙂

The location is perfect. It’s pretty far from where I’ll be working, but the bus is located 0.1 miles away from our front door. WinCo is less than a mile away. We’re in between two parks and the neighborhood is great for walking and cycling.

We hope to close in early November. That sounds so crazy to me. This is all really crazy to me. But we’re here, and I’m so happy.

Productive Things


  • Meal prep: breakfast burritos, beef/potato burritos, roasted tomato salsa, banana/mango smoothies, chicken salad
  • Create nute schedule for autoflowers
  • Clean: bathroom (toilet, sink, sweep floor, wipe mirror), kitchen (dishes, clean counters, sweep/mop floor), living room (organize shelves, arrange pillows on couch), fold clothes
  • Dinner prep: burgers, smoothies
  • Date night w/ Wes: Endless Legend, Final Fantasy XIV

We’ve been on a burrito kick lately, which is great since it’s so easy to take to work and reheat. I’m thinking of making our own tortillas this weekend. It really depends on how much time I have. The only time consuming part would be flattening the tortillas.


  • Hiking w/ Jo: bring kush, smoothies, Polaroid Spectra & Minolta w/film
  • Dinner – not sure yet (if I’m being honest, we’re probably going to have burgers again)

Last Saturday, I made the best burger of my life. We enjoyed the burger so much that we decided to have them again this weekend. We usually order out when we do gaming/date nights, but this is so much cheaper and surprisingly just as delicious. Well, not surprising. I’ve been cooking for six years now. Speaking of cooking, I’m really excited to explore more baking. I want to create personalized cakes for friends/co-workers on their birthdays and for any special occasions. I loved decorating cakes when I worked at WinCo, and I’d love to get more creative with food.

Good Things:

  • Our new cannabis grow is doing beautifully. We decided to try autoflowers, and I’m eager to see how quickly they’ll start flowering. Currently in the middle of week two, and I’ll start the nute schedule on week three.
  • Had a really good conversation with my manager. He’s willing to help me expand my opportunities and has offered to pay for classes. I definitely need to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • I’m getting better about spending again. I was having difficulty with overspending, and I realized I wasn’t being as productive as I could be, so I was combating that boredom with spending. Case closed. Well, it’ll always be a little bit open, but I’m glad I’m recognizing what’s going on in time.
  • We’re getting really close to our emergency savings goal, and that means we can then focus on our retirement accounts that we’ve been sorely neglecting. Adulting can feel really good sometimes. I never realized how secure I’d feel with enough savings to last us six months.
  • Dillon and I talked today. I missed him so much. I hope he can visit before he starts school in August.
  • I turn 29 in a little over a month.
  • Ziegler hasn’t been feeling well lately, so Wes made an appointment for her on Monday. She seems to be eating and is a lot more active/talkative today, so I hope she’s feeling better.
  • I’m really proud of my progress.