Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my 27th birthday (can't believe I'm only three years away from 30!!!) and we spent the day at "our" new house. We met the inspector and spent a couple hours running around the house while he finished his inspection. There's a lot of little minor cosmetic stuff that needs to be taken care of, as to be expected, and only one major item that the seller will (hopefully) take care of for us before we close. Everything looked good and we met with our broker after the inspection to sign our loan documents and lock in our rate. Yes, folks, things have been moving right along and our broker is confident that we can change our escrow from a 45 day close date to 30 days! Yippee!
Anyway, here are some more pictures from our venture yesterday of our soon-to-be-if-nothing-gets-jinxed home.

The garage (3 car tandem)
Left side yard
Backyard to right side yard
Patio off formal LR, Dining room, and entryway hall
Dining room looking into kitchen
Kitchen looking back into dining room
Another view of kitchen with hallway leading to garage on left.
Down that hall and to the right is this bathroom:
and down that hallway to the left is this laundry room:
Family Room
Stairway in the entryway of the house
At the top of the stairs looking down into the dining room. If you turn right at the bottom of the stairs instead of left into the dining room, you will hit the downstairs bathroom I just showed and the hallway leading to the garage, family room, and kitchen.
View of upstairs landing. Open door ahead leads to the bonus room. Hallway to the left leads to bedrooms 2 and 3, upstairs hall bathroom, and a small walkin storage closet
Hall bathroom
Bedroom 2. Door on left leads back to the hallway, door on the right leads to jack and jill bathroom shared with bedroom 3.
Bedroom 3. Door on left to j-a-j Bath and to the right leads to hallway.
If you turn left at the top of the stairs instead of going straight to the other bedrooms, you come to the master bedroom. MBR looking into Master retreat.
master retreat looking back into MBR. Doorway on the left leads to closets and Master bath.
Hallway in MBR leading to Master bath. Doors on left and right lead to his and her walk-in closets.
Toilet, tub, and shower in M Bath
M Bath view to the right (Kevin's sink)
And to the left (my sink and vanity)
And then looking back into the MBR
Back down in the kitchen, this is the color and texture of the granite counter tops.

(If you made it to this point, congratulations!) After a full day doing house stuff, we dropped Anslie off at her BFF Ashlynn's house and Kevin and I headed out for a night on the town! We went to a fondu restaurant in La Jolla and I ate so much food I could have popped! I think I gained a few more stretch marks from how distended my stomach was after dinner (literally)! Then we took a short walk to the coves and just watched the waves crash against the cliff (and us, at one point) and the seals beaching themselves in the moonlight. Such a wonderful and romantic night! All in all, it was a pretty nice birthday!

I was so focused on eating I forgot to take pictures of our food before we dug into it...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Happening!

If you remember from this post, one of our goals for 2010 was to purchase a home; one that we could live in indefinitely- never outgrowing it, always loving it. Well....after lots of hard work and frustration, we found THE house and our offer was accepted today! We signed the paperwork this morning and hopefully all else will run smoothly from now until our 45 day escrow closes. We are shooting for Friday to get our inspections done so I will take a few more pictures of our future home then. Until then, here are a few snapshots I took the first time we laid eyes on the property:


Location: Menifee, CA
Sq Ft: 4041
Beds: 4 (with an optional 5th or "loft"/bonus room upstairs)
Baths: 4

Entry way. Left is the formal living room which I would like to use as an "office" area to showcase my work and for consultations. To the right is a guest bedroom.
Formal living room
Dining room. Located at the end of the hall in the entry way pic, and to the left. Formal LR, Dining room, and hall all have french doors leading to a stamped concrete patio (one of two).
Kitchen w/ view of dining room behind and left. Complete with granite counter tops, dark cherry cabinets, and stainless steal appliances. The only thing missing is porcelain tile instead of the linoleum that is there now, but we can replace that eventually.
View of the family room from the kitchen. To the left is another set of french doors leading to the backyard and 2nd patio. Fireplace in the upper right, entertainment nook, and then the hallway leading to the bathroom and garage (two car for sure, but it might me 3 car tandem...can't remember).
Landing at the top of the stairs. Behind me is the bonus room/optional 5th bedroom. Straight and to the right leads to the master suite.
View of the bonus room.
Master bedroom looking into the master retreat (aka baby boy's nursery for the first year of his life).
Master bath. to the right is a single sink w/ a vanity inbetween another single sink. Left doorway lead to the toilet, and I think the walk in closet is behind me in this picture.

There are two additional bedrooms upstairs that share a jack-and-jill bathroom and another small walk-in closet in the hallway for storage etc. All in all, a pretty amazing house! We are just praying everything passes inspection and there aren't any hiccups with our financing (we don't expect there will be), and that we will meet some amazing new friends in Menifee. Hopefully our ward is awesome!!! Wish us luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some unusual subjects...

One of the things I love to do in my spare time is to read blogs written by friends and family, and also blogs written by successful and well known (some not so well known) photographers. Not only does this last group of people inspire me with their bodies of work, they also enrich me with the tips and advice they freely offer, they give me wonderful ideas to try on my own shoots, and they allow me to live vicariously through them during times like these.

I've been pretty bummed (and bored) lately because things have been really slow for me and my photography business. And for me, taking pictures is like when I am not photographing things, it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and crushing the life out of me. Not fun.

I was reading one of my favorite photographer's blogs the other day and came across this post. I thought the idea this photographer had to just appreciate all of the beautiful things around, no matter how insignificant they may seem, to make herself happier was a great idea. I have come to realize - and forget over and over again - that my happiness mainly lies in my hands. If I choose to be happy and proactive, then I will be. If I choose to pity myself and wallow in misery, then there is no hope for me.

So, I decided to try my own "happiness project" today. I ventured no further than twenty feet away from my front door to capture these pictures, simply for the joy of shooting, making art, and appreciating the beauty all around me. I hope these pictures inspire someone out there. Someone who is having a hard time and just needs a little reminder that they are in control of their own destiny.

Life is beautiful. You just have to see it.