Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello God... it's me, Nikki

The other day I heard a song that really hit home with me... it's a beautiful song, but listening to the words just made it that much more awesome. After a little research, I found out that it's called "Before The Morning" by Josh Wilson.

Here's a link to the video, and here are the lyrics:

Do you ever wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there's a God who loves you
Where is He now?

Maybe there are thing you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday, somehow, you'll see... you'll see

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
Can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you've gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
You know where you're going
You just don't know how you'll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on, 'cause there's good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time
But you'll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It's just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you've been
It's just the dark before the morning

They say hindsight is 20/20 and boy, are they right! I've had my fair share of ups and downs over the years (sometimes it felt like MORE than my fair share!) and I can remember feeling like things couldn't get much worse and like they'd NEVER get better. Some wise people told me back then that "everything happens for a reason" and that one day I'd be able to look back at my life and realize why it had taken the many twists and turns along the way... back then, I thought they were crazy to think that! But now I know what they meant...

One of my favorite quotes is "sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together" - I wouldn't change any of the "bad times" because they've all led me to the good times. I couldn't be happier with the path my life is heading down these days... I've got so many things to be thankful for... a secure job, a family that loves me, and a boyfriend that appreciates me. Like the song says, the pain that I've felt at different times throughout the years was just the dark before the morning... all those things were happening to bring a better ending. This IS my better ending! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

Good news... I'm still alive! I swear, all I did was blink and the next thing I knew 2 weeks had gone by! Actually, FLOWN by is more like it! Alot has happened in those 2 weeks, so I'll do my best to get you caught up!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my boyfriend Brian and I have been house hunting for a little while now... since the beginning of our journey, we have seen dozens and dozens of houses! We've seen some that we liked alot and others... well, not so much! At first, seeing houses was fun and exciting but eventually we'd seen so many houses that they all started to run together. We began to wonder if we would EVER find the "perfect" house!!

On Saturday 3/6, our entire morning and afternoon was booked solid with appointments to see a long list of houses we had chosen from the listings. We wanted to get started early so we met our realtor, Sandi, at the first house at 9am. Within minutes of walking in the door, we knew this wasn't the right house for us so we headed to the next house on the list. The second house was much nicer than the first, but it was missing some features that were important to us. So we headed to the third house on the list...

When we pulled up in front of the house, we couldn't help but notice how nicely landscaped the outside of the house was... but we were in for a real treat when we walked inside! Right away, we started finding more and more things we liked about this house. For starters, the house is an end-of-group townhouse in a quiet neighborhood (only about 10 minutes away from my house!) and it was the original model home for the community. Among other things, it has 3 bedrooms (including a master bedroom with it's own master bath, huge walk-in closet, and vaulted ceilings!) and 3 1/2 bathrooms. On the main level, just off the kitchen and dining room, there is a sunroom with vaulted ceilings and skylights (which I LOVE!) and it has sliders to a large deck that overlooks the privacy fenced in yard that backs to trees and even a little creek! Downstairs is a fully finished basement with a laundry room, an office, another full bath and best of all a HUGE family room. The family room has a gas fireplace, sliders that walk out into the yard (which also has a huge garden with lots of fruits, veggies & herbs planted in it AND a little fish pond with a waterfall!) and the feature that I think Brian likes most of all, a custom bar! The bar has a wet bar with a sink, a built-in refrigerator, and under the counter there are built-in shelves for cans of soda!

Sandi really liked it too and cautioned us that it would go fast... the sellers even had 2 more appointments right after ours! We walked through the house a few times and liked everything we saw. This house had almost everything we were looking for in a house. Brian thought for a few minutes and decided it was go time! Sandi went back to her office to cancel the rest of our appointments for the day, and to write up a contract. A few hours later, we met her at the office and Brian signed all the paperwork. Sandi recommended giving the buyers a deadline of 10am on Sunday to either accept or reject the contract. Brian & I went home and waited anxiously for a call. That call finally came at about 8am the next morning... they accepted!! They did counter on a few minor details (closing costs, move out date, appliances, etc) so Brian had to sign the paperwork again. Sunday afternoon, we met back at Sandi's office to sign everything and to meet the sellers, Jennifer & Keith. They were SO nice! I'm so excited that not only did we find such a great house, but such great people to work with along the way!

I'm going to post a few pictures of the house, but I really don't feel like the pictures do it justice at all... it's just so much better in person!

the front of the house

backyard w/privacy fence (& garden!)

formal living room

view of stairs & into the kitchen from formal living room

country kitchen w/walk-in pantry

kitchen/dining area looking into sunroom

HUGE bay window in the dining area

sunroom w/sliders to the deck


sunroom looking into dining area

master bedroom

bedroom #2

bedroom #3


family room

another view of the family room w/fireplace

custom bar

another view of the custom bar

3rd bathroom w/rain shower

We had the home inspection on Friday 3/12 and the house passed with flying colors! The home inspector said he's been doing this for over 20 years and normally inspects about 600 houses per year, and he has NEVER had a house that showed as perfectly as this one did. While we were there for the home inspection, I took about 200 more pics of the house. Here's a link to see just about anything and everything!

Settlement is scheduled for Tuesday 3/30 at 10am. The sellers have asked to stay for a few extra days, so the house will be ready for us on Friday 4/1. We are so excited!!!