Sunday, January 18

death and taxes..

I should warn you, this post is less about taxes and more about death. I just didn't want to scare you off by posting something like "death and homebuying" or "how the death of my father made me want to buy a house". It just seemed too dark, and crass.

But, there is truth to it.

Daddy passed away the day after my 30th birthday. He was 65 and seemed to be on the upswing of recovering from 2 years of trials and illness. We had talked that evening and a few hours later, he was gone. It's been a little over six months since he died and I am just now able to really think about it. (I still can't really talk about it..hence the blogging!)

Side note: sorry if I sound like a pompous priss when I say hence. I can't help it, love that dang word.

Back to Dad.. and how he fits into the house picture. Adam and I had been talking for a while about looking for a bigger house, different place, etc.  I had even talked to Dad about it a few times..but the really serious discussions didn't happen until after Dad died.

First, the logical and technical reason - we inherited all of Daddy's tools. He was a mechanic and worked on Volkswagens so we have three or four giant toolboxes that we need to find a home for. Selling them was not an option. These were a symbol of his legacy and life.
Our current lot isn't really conducive to building a shop and our garage doesn't really have the space since we use it to store everything else that doesn't fit in the house.  We're hoping to find a new home with room for a workshop or a mini shop of sorts. Or at least with some storage room for sure.

Now to the intangibles...

My dad was a bit of a dreamer. He always had these grand ideas, or plans, or even schemes. He always thought the impossible was possible if you tried hard enough to find a way, or if you were simply tenacious enough to make a way for it to happen.

Dad also loved home and the concept of it. A few years ago, he had to move from his home into a rental. I think that was the most challenging thing he faced in his life. And he faced a lot of situations that would have killed a weaker, or lesser, man.

And finally, Dad loved me. We were very close. For much of my life, it was the two of us. After my parents divorced, neither remarried (though Dad did get close..thankfully he figured that one out quick!) We were a small family, and I loved him so dearly.

I am so lucky that Daddy was able to see so many parts of my life and the beginning of my journey with Adam (the Man). He saw me graduate college and start to survive as a stubbornly independent woman. A few years later, he saw me meet a man who would change my outlook on life and was surprised when he actually liked him. Dad was able to trust that Adam would take care of me and saw times when Adam did, despite my stubbornness.

Dad saw us buy the first nest, laughed as we cussed over renovations, helped when we'd let him, and loved us and our home. Dad's death could have easily stopped me mentally and emotionally from following through with our dreams, but if anything...I think it propelled us forward. Daddy was the dreamer and I had always been the safe, responsible one. I didn't take risks and could easily stagnate.
Instead, I'm embracing the dreamer. We are reaching out of our comfort zone and taking a few chances in hopes that the end result will be  building or buying the home of our dreams, that we always wanted - but never quite thought possible.

It's, I'll be honest, it is heartbreakingly hard to think that Dad hasn't been here through this process with us. To know he won't walk through our home once it's built, or ponder floor plans, or debate the pros and cons of different choices with us. I didn't think it would be such a challenge to do this without him. To go through this experience without sharing the ups and downs with him, without having him to call after Adam and I get good news, or bad news, or both. But then I think (and cry) and realize that life does go on. And that we deserve happiness, and that Daddy would be so mad at us if we let ANYthing, especially his death, stop us from the relentless pursuit of our dreams and goals.

Though Daddy won't be here to see it, or guide us through the process with his ever present suggestions of " you know what you should do.. ", I feel like he would be so proud that we took the leap and put in the hard work to make it happen. I feel like he would be happy to see us move into a place that we could once again transform into a home. I feel like he would be honored by the way we want to incorporate his life and treasures into our home, and I know he would love seeing his little girl's dreams come true once again.

So there you have a bunch of  tool boxes and the loss of the first man I ever loved led to this crazy journey of selling the nest and searching for our new home.  I hope we do him justice, even if it's not in the boonies. <3

Wednesday, January 7

choosing our realtor..

When we finally got serious about selling the house, I decided we needed to call the realtor who walked us through the home buying process.  Thankfully, he's our neighbor -  so it wasn't that hard to track him down.

Sadly, he's focused more on his other business right now... and not in the selling/buying houses business.  So off we went to the internet to find someone to sell our house.

It was a pretty easy decision since I've been stalking online MLS (Master Listing Service) and realty sites for almost a year during my home-buying daydreams.  One listing agent kept impressing me.. all her listings had tons of pictures, most had videos posted on Youtube, and they made even the most depressing row house look like a charming mill cottage.  I was sold.

We gave her a call, and she called back quickly.  I sent her a random email with tons of questions -  and I had a reply by the end of the day.  We met with her and she came prepared with a marketing proposal (with color pictures and spiral bound). She seemed organized, polished, and all about the business. Even still, she has answered my emails late into the evening and I love how tech savvy her team is.

Speaking of, she has a team.  When it came to photography day -  it was like the Realty SWAT surrounded our house.  More on that later..

Now, our house hasn't sold yet -  so the final word on our realtor isn't in.  But I am excited to see just how quickly she can get us ready to move out and our little nest in the hands of new owners.

why we decided to sell our house..

This is one of the first questions we've been asked.  Why?  I thought you loved that house!

Yes.  We do love our house.  I have many funny and favorite memories that were made here.  The process of making our house into our home has taught me a lot about my tastes, my patience, myself and our relationship.  For example, if you marry a man who hates home improvement -  think turn-key for your next place.

Also, now that we're married -  no more threats of divorce when working on the kitchen light fixture.  It's not funny anymore. Cussing and storming around though is fine.. that damn track light in the kitchen is a B.  Never again.

So.. for people wanting to know why we want to sell, a short list. (You know I love a list.)

1. If we make any more improvements -  we'll price out of the neighborhood. (which means no granite counters, no re-doing the bathrooms, etc.)
2. We don't have much more room on our lot if we wanted to add on.
3. Stupid hill.  Stupid, stupid hill.
4. We'd like more room.
5. No -  we don't need more room because I'm pregnant.  I'm not.  And I think a baby would take up less room than reason #7.
6. No. I'm not pregnant.  No babies. Calm down.
7. We inherited a TON of tools from Daddy.  We need room for a mechanic's life's worth of tools. Because that stuff isn't going anywhere but with us.
8. I would love a laundry room.. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been smacked by the garage entry door while loading/unloading the dryer.
9. We're hosting next year's Thanksgiving.  I would like a dining room for occasions like that, or you know, just for kicks.
10. The market is rebounding, prices are going up as the real estate in our area is being revitalized, and now is the time to buy before we can't afford the houses we like again.  We want to buy/build while the market is still in our favor.

 Our house has a lot of things we love and we'll miss.  That's what makes this whole process bittersweet. Some reasons I don't want to sell:

1. It's our first home.
2. In front of our front door is where the Man proposed.
3. We have custom tile and arches made by Uncle Contractor.  Including a hidden mosaic that I adore.
4. Some of our best and worst moments have happened in this house.. I'll miss that, for sure.
5. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making this house a home.  And lots of curse words.

So, that's some of our thought process. We love our home, but it's a first home for a reason. I just hope someone else will fall in love with it like we did...

and buy it..

..soon. :)

everyone likes a comeback..

Hello dear readers!
My last post, I was leaving the nest to plan a wedding. Well, a little over a year of nerdy nuptial bliss two promotions (one for me, one for the Man), a life changing event (no, not babies), and LOTS of thinking/daydreaming/holycowarewereallygonnadothis-ing - we have decided to sell our first home.
The original nerdy nest is going on the market!

I thought I'd try to document our journey through the selling and building or buying process.. if for nothing else than to serve as a reminder to myself to NEVER do this again.

At least... not for a loooong while.

So, here's where we're at now, newly listed with the sign that still freaks us out in the yard, feeling anxious, giddy, and excited for whatever is next for us and our nerdy nest.

Sunday, April 22


I'm a wannabe. 

I wannabe Martha Stewart, on a budget.  I want to make a can of white spray paint and some ceramic animals my bitch like the Youngsters.  I wannabe homemade with fine Italian papers like Katie & Gadanke.  I wannabe down to earth and crazy in the kitchen like Darby, and Steph, and Amanda. I wannabe the hostess with the mostess like Shannon. I wannabe organized to the max like Shelley and Jen.  I wannabe BFF's with the Bowers and go thrifting with Rhoda and Layla.  I wanna be a glue-gun wielding craft maven like Ellie G and the gals of eighteen25.

But I'm not a crafty maven.  Most of my projects get halfway finished and then end up stashed in the office closet. It's been great to get back into crafting when I have time.  I try and I have fun.  I am slowly accepting that crafting isn't the field of perfection.  But it's great for taking yard sale/thrifty finds and making them work for our nest. 

I'm one of those people who loved arts and crafts growing up.  Many times, my parents would just stick me out on the deck with newspapers and a bucket of flour-glue and I would paper-machie my heart out.  I was one of the few kids in the family who (thanks to our linoleum floors) was allowed to finger-paint inside.  I made puppets, I learned to sew, I made my own GAK (anyone remember that?).  I come from a crafty, build-it, do-it yourself family.

This is why crafting has and always will be a part of my creative life.   I've let a lot of my skills slip into latency.  (Sorry sewing machine-- I'll get you a checkup soon.  My apologies knitting needles-- I'll find your mates one day!)  And now that I have a little more time,  I find myself always wanting to try new projects.

This is where my slight obsession with home decor/baking/craft blogs comes into play.  I am never without ideas now.  I have too many.  I have pages saved in my e-mail, entries flagged in my Reader, endless "Pins" and files of ideas added to my inspiration binder all the time.

However, recently crafty goodness and the ever-loved home improvement projects have taken a bit of a hit.  They're all on the back burner as my attention shifts between the two big W's... working and wedding.

So here's my confession...  I have been neglecting the nest a bit.  Okay, that's an understatement.. I haven't posted much of anything here at the nerdy nest.. but dear readers -- at least those who still are hanging around-- I also haven't let go of my overly high (sometimes to a comical degree) crafty ambitions.  Instead, I've been directing my "great ideas" and my "i could make thats" towards our nerdy nuptials.  But back to my two W's..

First, on the working -- I've been working like a fiend since things have been shifting even further into the corporate mindset of "do more with less" which to me means:
 "Let's work everyone like crazy but it's okay for Eva because she and the Man have a wedding to pay for so she doesn't mind the overtime and 50+ hour weeks for a while until she burns out and can't take it anymore, but damn those checks looked good, right?" 
 and for most everyone around me means
 "What the hell is up with Eva?  She hasn't been painting or building or decoupaging or wreath-a-rizing or speaking or smiling much lately? What a B!"

And now, for the other W -- the wedding.  Any creative energy, free time, or unnecessary obsessing that I would normally focus on certain areas of the nest in need of improvement, recipes that need testing, mantles that need to be seasonally decorated. or closets/cubbies/nooks that need organizing I've been directing at planning/dreaming/"pinning"/crafting/obsessing over our nerdy nuptials.

So.. if you're wondering where I've been.. or if I've finally given up the glue gun and painter's tape.. no worries.  I'm still crafting and dreaming.. and trying my damnedest to be just a teensy bit like Martha.  I've just vanished temporarily into a fog of future wedded bliss.. and tulle.. and tissue paper.

If you want to join us on the journey-- find me here at:
(I'm sure I'll paint a room/re-organize something around the nest eventually.. I can't go too long without re-arranging something! In the meantime, any of the bloggers listed in the first paragraph are simply ah-may-zing and totally deserving of adding to your reader.)

Saturday, February 18

milking it..

The Dad has been preparing to move and downsize. Part of that process is cleaning out 30+ years of treasures. 
A few weeks ago, when working on the office of his shop, we found this crate and I fell in love.  The Dad was kind enough to give it to me as long as I promised to give it a good home.
You know I can't resist a basket. This vintage milk crate is just too cool.
It has some rust and quite a few layers of gunk from years of sitting in the shop.
I don't want to damage the metal, and I'd prefer to avoid painting it.  Any suggestions for how to remove the gross and rust damage without messing up the patina?

Sunday, November 20

fall-ing a little behind..

It seems like every store I go in has Christmas music playing, Santa is at the mall, and I'm already feeling behind on my Holiday shopping.  Still, it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  And to make matters worse, I haven't even shared my autumn mantle-- what type of home blogger am I?  All the bloggers I read have their homes halfway (if not completely) decorated full-Martha for Christmas... and I am doing good to show you a few puny pics of our mantle for Fall.

I love fall colors, and used some leftovers from our recent Craft Night to make a new wreath for November.  I used felt and burlap to make a few different types of flowers.

I mixed that in with a few fabric pumpkins from years past, and a leafy garland I picked up at a yard sale.  It's a simple mantle, without many new additions but it'll do for this year.

So even though I've been slacking on posting project as of late...hopefully I can redeem myself over the next few posts with some Christmas crafts and one of my bigger projects that I am still not done with -- but am as close to finished as I will be until after the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.