nourishing & unapologetic
Well, it's been way too long since I've checked in on the ol' blog. Shamefully, Born Daily has become a casualty of our move back to the homeland. There's no excuse other than not making it a priority. Forgive me?
We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming as soon as I have a kitchen, pots and pans, and my sanity back. We sold a bunch of stuff before we moved so there's some shopping to do. Whhhhhhy? Remind me again why I thought that was a good idea? (Target and Williams and Sonoma, you better come through for me. ha)
For the last three years, I've written an anniversary post. Accordingly, for the love of our four years, I'm dusting off the keyboard.
Yep, We're four years deep into #MrandMrsBorn.
It's truly hard for me to remember what life was like before our "us." But, I'm confident it wasn't better. I wasn't better. But, the universe really came through with this one and, I am forever grateful.
In the name of tradition, allow me to wax poetic. My top two takeaways from this latest year of love are as follows:
1. Marriage takes guts.
Like actual courage, because empathy, advice, honesty, goals, playfulness, finances, and commitment aren't light work. They're not "hard" per say, but this isn't a time to phone it in. Marriage should make you a better person, right ? That can't happen if you don't have the guts to love yourself first and love someone else equally, but differently too. You've got to be comfortable enough to not only wear your scroungy clothes and bedhead, but also to bear your soul to another person. You're totally open, emotionally invested, and utterly connected. You're basically naked. (Well, not actually. Okay, probably, actually sometimes ;).) This level of exposure creates the bond upon which all good and strength is built. As basic as this seems, marriage is about sharing the good stuff, the hard stuff, and the surprising stuff together. BUT, the good news when you're all-in as a team, all that stuff -- even the gut check stuff -- is just another adventure, albeit wild, joyful, hysterical, challenging, or scary, or all of the aforementioned.
2. Patience isn't overrated. Neither is food.
We're building a house together. Literally Nick's sweat equity is building the structure that is becoming our home and I am doing my darnedest as a gopher and helper. Patience is figuratively one of biggest line items on our budget.
We had sooooo many people tell us that if we can survive building a house together, we can survive anything. People made it sound like it would be the hardest thing we'd do together. Guys, I'm here to tell you, it's truly not been that bad. We went in with the expectation that we each had something to bring to the project. We're both the experts on certain subjects or decisions. You're not going to ask me to tell you what wall needs framed or how to do it; and, you're not going to ask Nick what color we're painting which room. We spent months planning for the project and I really think that preparation has allowed us to be more patient with the project, with the process, with the hiccups, and with each other.
Full disclosure, there have been plenty of times where our annoyance thresholds were burgeoning, and, there have a been three or four times, Nick and I have had a full-fledged, fury-filled fight. BUT we've always come back with cooler heads, and often fuller bellies, and rehashed what unhinged us and then moved forward.
How could we do that? // Why could we do that? Because of grace and patience. Not only patience with each other, but patience with oneself and giving each other the grace and space to deal with what triggered us. Patience is a form of love I'm still actively working on.
Also, if you know me I tend to be hangry if I've not had a meal or snack. And Nick, though he'll deny it, can he hangry himself. Naturally, we can assume that hanger has contributed to our annoyances and arguments. Never underestimate the power of food. Your body needs fuel and nourishment. Snickers has it right, "you're not you when you're hungry." But even more than the physical response to food, sharing a meal together (whether it be from a take out container or from a dinner plate) is a genuine way to connect. It is truly my love language. I highly suggest cooking together, eating together, and dining together. Anything can be solved or remembered or rekindled over a meal. The lesson in this: Snack hard. Love hard.
So, what's to come for us in this year? The conclusion of #BornsBuildAHouse: A HOME. And, a mortgage again. (warm fuzzies, right?) Really though, OUR HOME. We're stoked to continue to build, paint, furnish, and decorate #casadeBorn. And it's pretty convenient that Hallmark tells us that the modern fourth anniversary gift is appliances. We've got that covered -- winning!
There's no one I'd rather do life with. Can't wait to keep loving you four-ever!
Happy Fourth Anniversary, Lovebird!
And, in true anniversary tradition, check out our highlight reel with the annual Flipagram:
To the newlyweds, the long-timers, those "just" dating, and those anticipating what's to come: Let love guide you. Let laughter renew you. Let the shenanigans keep you young. Cheers from #MrandMrsBorn!
Until next time. xo-
ps at what point do I have to stop saying these are newlywed reflections?
Hi, I'm Jessica. This is my blog. Really, it is. I started it. Annnnnnnnnnndddddd, well, you can tell it's been too quiet over here. I probably don't need to do introductions again, but if you're just now joining in with the Born Daily adventures, you've come at a good time.
It's our anniversary! That's nearly 1,100 days married. Wooooooo! I could regale you with tales from the year, and I still might. But I'm feeling like being a little out of character, and cutting to the chase. So here it is:
Marriage is pretty cool.
That's all I have.
Okay, I also have a giddy, memory-induced smile on my face brought on by a few of my favorite N+J photos from our engagement session and big day. Mike and Julie from JSiPhotography are outta this world good. All the credit goes to them for helping us retain these special moments.
Ooooookay, maybe I have a little more.
Marriage is pretty cool because:
I'm settling into this wifey role with every passing day. I love cooking meals for him and generally managing our life.** I adore having another half (arguably, sometimes the better half). I live for big and small adventures with Nicholas. I am challenged every day by his unwavering logical thinking, his lack of filter, his unending curiosity and his overtly apparent belief in systems and science. I am strengthened by his positive outlook and the steady pace at which he takes on life. I am amazed by his natural mechanical talents, his charm and his ability to assess situations quickly. He is one-of-a-kind. And, I am so glad he's mine and I am his.
What's happened this year with #MrandMrsBorn? In so many words, in the last year, we've:
For those of you newly engaged, just starting the wedding march, or seasoned pros, may marriage make you more. More than just two individuals. More than just another couple. More than just a label or status. May you have little moments and big magic. May you have enough peace to keep your sanity and enough challenge to keep you thriving. May you have kisses, laughter and alllllll the food and drink you enjoy together. And for those of you with September anniversaries, cheers! It's the best time of the year! (only slightly biased...)
**I don't want to hear about how I am conforming to dated gender roles and damning my female counterparts or renouncing any beliefs I have in equality. Nick doesn't expect this and doesn't request anything. I choose to show my love in domestic ways because that is where my heart and some natural talent lies. I'm doing me. You just do you. We can at least agree it takes both people who agree and understand each role to make the partnership work well.
But for the record, I hate putting away the laundry. That's something I will do, but I don't like that at all. Husband, take over if you want. Just don't mix up the athletic socks with the dress socks and make sure to hang my shirts by color, style and material please. ;)
Y'all...it's time for some renewal, some adventure, and some sun! That's right, no blogging for the next week because it's VACAY time. If I had some scheduled content for you lovelies, this would be a moot point. possibly
I know, I know, you aren't supposed to announce an absence...but since we don't have a physical address to creep on, I think this one time it's safe...
But, this isn't a post for post's sake. Yesterday, when I was on Facebook, for the gazillionith unnecessary time, I stumbled across this article. It's a list of things to do so your life is full of the good stuff. It stirred my soul, again. It is what the universe knew I needed as I am in a bit of a struggle with this precarious position between some entrepreneurial freedom and the must of stability. But more than anything, I know I want to, okay, I need to, LIVE BIG!
Check it out -->
I hope something in this list speaks to you, challenges a notion or two, or prompts you to go for whatever your heart is aching for. Self care is critical in this crazy world we live in. Raise your hand and commit to something because you're worth it. Your family and friends are better for it, promise. Plus take them along on the adventure!
Okay, GTG. I still need to shove the all the things in our suitcase.
(And for the record I think the husband is the one who's over packing. Clearly, he's the one who wants to have back-up books in case there's extra time to read...and the ones he wants to read were only in hardback...facepalm... Okay, maybe that's me, but who can be for certain? I do think he's taking more clothes than me so there's that.)
Google home. Go on, do it. (But don't leave this page, just open a new tab...and come back soon, we've got catching up to do!)
Did you see the multitude of definitions, images, maps trying to direct you to it, advertisements promising to improve it, witty quotes about it?
Yep. Broad concept, little word.
And in the true juxtaposition only our world can offer, a home is one of the largest investments an individual or family ever makes.
396 days, that's how long Nick and I owned our first home. Long enough to try our hand at a little renovation action and brief enough to not get settled.
No, you didn't blink and miss a post. I have been horribly remiss in keeping Born Daily, well, daily. Ahem, okay, it's more like not even monthly... I can't even apologize well for the absence because I am not sure why I wasn't staying connected. I can assure you I was still cooking recipes you would have loved and the scale can confirm I've been eating... We had other cool content-worthy things occurring too... Let's call it an unintentional over-extended interruption in programming and move over the hump.
Enough of the side notes, to recap, one year ago Nick and I purchased a house. We didn't necessarily pick this house because it was the perfect option for us or because it was move-in ready (it really wasn't!). While it met our basic criteria, we purchased this house primarily for its potential, its resale ease, and, frankly, because it was available in our price range.
In the first days, weeks, and months, our home was a renovation/construction/DIY zone. (Nick has an aversion to "DIY" but that's a conversation for another time...) This house is a teenager in age and not at all a fixer upper of the Chip and Joanna Gaines realm. It was a nice house with modern amenities, up-to-date code, and a solid structure. It just wasn't fresh or our taste; it needed serious updating and refreshing.
Here's the run down of what the house was treated to:
Our families were tremendously helpful in our initial move and updating process and we couldn't have done it without their willingness and knowledge. I thanked the heavens above daily for allowing my husband the ability to do projects on a whim and follow-through with them with no outside expertise.
Okay, now the part you all really want to see: the BEFORE and AFTER pics. I can tell you when I look at these pictures I don't see the dramatic transformation that it seemed like it was as we were completing the work. The house has a different feel now largely because we we are in a different stage in our lives than the previous owners. (The before pictures are from the Zillow For Sale By Owner listing, the afters are our listing pictures taken by me this May.)
Not too shabby, right? We got it just how we mostly wanted it. Then, we promptly put a For Sale sign in the front lawn. Sure, we bought it for the resale opportunity but didn't really plan to take advantage of the location and market quite so soon.
But, the universe works in mysterious ways. Nick was doing well professionally in his main role as a school psych with the local special education cooperative and with his rental maintenance man work by choice. So when the opportunity for him to work in his profession back to where we grew up presented itself, we, surprisingly, and with only about a millisecond of hesitation, jumped on it. Within 48 hours we went from "fine where we were" to inserting a bit of unbelieveable-ness into our lives. As fate would have it, I got my real estate license in late 2015 and was building my business in early 2016 so I was able to sell our house. And once it was on the market, less than 48 hours later we had two full-price offers. And 30 days later, it's a done deal. We're are no longer homeowners. I guess 48 hours is all we need for major life events.
It's been a good house. Within it's walls we've had a proposal (for Nick's sister and our favorite Brazilian), my 30th birthday party, our 2nd anniversary, Garth's 2nd birthday and Shaggy's 10th, the beginning of a new side career, and more. Homes are built with love and even in our single year with this house, we've made built some memories.
Recently, we loaded up our life in a 26' U-haul truck and over the course of three days, seven trips and 1,022 miles, we found our way back to the openness and comfort of a more rural life. Yes, for those who know the homeland, we're now home.
I haven't the foggiest what I'll be doing in a full-time capacity yet though I have had a few interviews and have some applications out, but I'll still be doing real estate and maybe trying to ramp up this blog a bit. I have a few other ideas rattling around in my brain too, but we'll see if I'm brave enough (errr, crazy enough) to pursue them. We are now on the hunt for a solid shack/dump that can be loved back to a happy home that can then be a rental property when we're ready to build. At least that's the plan anyway...
We are glad to have had just shy of three years of new experiences, new connections and friends, and lots of personal and professional growth away from home. We're excited to be back near our families and friends, we're happy to be within minutes of special events and milestones, and, we're grateful not to make that dull, annoying trek to and from on the weekends.
We are thankful for the basement at my in-laws they have graciously allowed us to crash in, with pups in tow, until we find our fixer-upper. We are thankful for my parents who have listened to all the qualms this process has brought and have opened their home to us too. We are appreciative for our friends, new and old, who have accepted this transition with support and smiles.
I guess the world is right, there is no place like home.
This is the part where I need to give the shout out of all shout outs to my husband. I often say he is such a handy man. And, he is. But I need to clarify, he's got skills. Major, legit skills. Nick never ceases to amaze me with his aptitude of practical, applicable knowledge and his ability to innovate, rig, and create. He can fix anything and isn't afraid to use ingenuity and research to address projects. He isn't this way by accident though. It likely natural talent enhanced by a great teacher and loads of experience. Until his early 20s, Nick spent nearly every day working alongside with his Pa, Dave. I can unequivocally say this has infinitely impacted his life and his talents. His Pa helped him develop the greatest treasure one could ever want- the ability to use one's hands coupled with an equal work ethic. I am so grateful to the man I never truly met, but imagine I must see glimpses of daily in his grandson, my husband. This house couldn't have come as far as it did without Nick's patience and sweat. Thank you, lovebird! I can't wait to get started on the next one...
Until next time-
Did you survive? It's the first working Monday of 2016...(insert the expletive or exclamation here based on your day). Mine, well it was fairly decent. After all, I had two full weeks, uh huh 14 glorious days, away from the office. The time off was awesome. We basically celebrated the holidays and then hibernated. After being routine-less for an extended time, we can only expect so much from a single day.
But that's neither here nor there. I'd like to include an new segment on the ol' blog. It may be more spontaneous than weekly but we're going to give it a go.
So on this very first Make It Happen Monday, I'd like to revisit the challenge I issued myself nearly a year ago: cutting the cable cord. I love TV. Like really, I do. I have a TV above my fridge so I can watch and cook, for goodness sakes. Plus, I was a lucky kid, for multiple various reasons, but for one, I had cable! Like probably since birth...I don't remember a time when we didn't have more than the Big 3 channels. Seriously! I didn't realize it was a rarity but my husband assures me that not all kids grew up with variety. For the record, I didn't squander that blessing, I watched all the shows any kid would have loved like Dragnet, I Love Lucy, and Bewitched on Nick at Nite, Get Smart, Charlie's Angels, Designing Women, and the A-Team. Oh, and, plenty of Food Network. Ahem, isn't that what every precocious child watched? No, well, I've never claimed to be normal.
When I moved out on my own I budgeted for cable, albeit basic, but this meant I'd have more than the primetime networks. But sheesh, that privilege gets expensive even without a lot of options.
As Nick and I prepared to buy our house we spent a good amount of time crunching numbers. One moderate but unnecessary expense kept leaping out -- the satellite subscription with DVR and HD channels of nearly $80/month (for TV alone with a heck of a 2-year frozen price deal). When we took the plunge and bought our home, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to not transfer service or get a new contract at a higher price.
Yep, this cable kid cut the cord.
There were some upfront expenses as we purchased an AppleTV and a Roku Streaming Stick (Nick already had a PS3 that could stream too so that took care of all our TVs). We now just have two payments for Netflix ($8.99/month) and Hulu ($7.99/month). We also considered Amazon Prime but just haven't swallowed the $99/year fee though it carries lots of benefits and is only about $8.25/month. (There are other options aside from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but I don't have any firsthand knowledge of them so you'll have to investigate those on your own.)
While it took some adjustment to not just turn on the tube and flip to a fave channel, it's been a pretty easy transition. I really only miss NCIS marathons and a few other exclusive shows that run on USA Network and CBS prime time tv shows. To my surprise, I'd actually recommend joining the 43.2 million other Netflix subscribers and break up with your cable provider. It's been an easy way to save some cash and break my addiction to tv. I actually watch less now because it's not such a mindless activity.
I've compiled a few pros and cons for Cutting the Cord. There are plenty, and of course, these are a matter of opinion.
In summary, if you're looking for a way to trim your budget in the New Year or just sick of shelling out money for channels you don't really take advantage of, weigh your television needs and pick the best alternative for you. And, if you can't break away quite yet you're in good company because there are about 100 million cable subscribers. But if I can do it, anyone can...
Alright, gotta run. I've got some Scandal binge watching to do. ;)
Until next time--