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More Waiting...

I finally heard back from our realtor a few hours ago. She'd left me a message on my cell phone while I'd been in my last class, teaching.

The seller was supposed to get back to us by 5 PM, so I thought that such a late phone call was definitely bad news. But as it turns out, it's not really bad or good--it's just news.

Since the house does have some minor repairs to be made (mostly in the form of bad gutters and some water-damage to the fascia boards), the seller wanted to have a contractor walk the property in order to estimate the cost of the repairs. We asked for an escrow fund at closing so we could complete the repairs, so I guess it's a good sign that he's looking further into that portion of our offer. It, at least, means he's serious about countering.

We gave him a 24 hour extension so he could take care of the contractor stuff and prepare a counteroffer, and I am looking very forward to seeing how he responds.

Let me reiterate again, though, my disdain for waiting. I would almost rather the realtors put Landon, myself and the seller in a room and not let us out until we'd hammered out a deal. At least then I would feel like I was doing something constructive in this whole process, rather than just sitting on my rump, waiting.

What did we do today?

We went to look at a house for the second time...then put an offer in on it!

If you've kept up on our house buying adventures, you know that we previously put an offer (back in October) in on a townhouse, but the sellers got a cash offer (with no contingencies) 36 hours before we put ours in. That, of course, was a disappointment, but the experience taught us to be resilient and trust that the perfect house was out there somewhere.

About a month ago, we put in another offer on a townhouse in West Ashley, but decided to withdraw it because we just couldn't get happy about Landon's commute. Plus, Landon really, really wanted to stay in Mount Pleasant because of all the good schools and the possible re-sale value of anything we might buy there. Seeing as how a house is a HUGE purchase, we decided we needed to be 150% our decision.

My sister and I happened to be looking at realtor.com on Tuesday night--mostly for fun--and we came across this little house in Mount Pleasant. At first glance at the pictures, I thought the house looked awful. There were five pictures on the website: one of a weed-ridden backyard, one of an outdoor shower (???), one of a very yellow hallway, one of the outside of the house (which was half-obscured by trees), and a random picture of a shower (indoors this time). The words "handyman special" and "mirrored mini bar" made me even more suspicious. What kind of house WAS this?

The original Realtor.com picture. Just needs some love, some paint and a whole lot of landscaping

Amber and I got curious the next day, and drove to the neighborhood to do a drive-by of the property...which looked completely different than in the pictures! No one was home, so I peeped in the front window (I know that I am super sketchy!) and saw this gorgeous room with a huge fireplace. I was in love. The house, after a general glance, just needed some TLC (and a LOT of paint, inside and out). And the realtor pictures just reflected all the worst parts of the property.

We saw the house for the first time the day after Thanksgiving, and then again this afternoon. It's a really cute cottage-style house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, laundry room and, of course, that gorgeous fireplace. The guy who owns it now has some--how do I put this tactfully?--interesting interior decorating, so we'd need to change a lot of cosmetic things on the inside. In the interim, we made a list of all the things we'd have to do to spruce it up to our standards, then price checked some stuff at Lowe's to make sure we could start repairs/ upgrades right away. Everything checked out like we wanted it to, so we sat down with our realtor and put in an offer.

We should hear something by 5 PM tomorrow. I am SO excited about this house--even moreso than that first house we saw go to someone else. It's exactly what we need at a price that would allow us to make changes and personalize it. Let's just hope that 1) everything's structurally sound, and 2) he counters reasonably. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Clemson- Carolina

Every year since I can remember, my family and I have looked at the annual Clemson- South Carolina rivalry game. I've been to several of the games, including three of the four that took place while I was in school at Clemson (I still watched the fourth on tv, but I was super sick with mono, so I was quarantined at home).

Tonight is the game, and it's been going on since seven PM. And what am I doing? Blogging, obviously. But more importantly, I'm not paying attention to the game. It's playing in the background, but I'm not enthralled in it like I'm used to. I will always pull for my Tigers (even though I went to grad school at Carolina!), but tonight, their hearts just aren't in this game. And neither is mine.

Right now, it doesn't look too good for the Tigers, which may have something to do with my current disinterest. Not that I'm a fair weather fan--quite the opposite--but I know when to get in a raft boat and paddle for the shore when the ship is sinking. :)

May the best team win, and we'll meet again next year, maybe to different results!

Black Friday Warriors

Watch out, shoppers! We're ready to do battle!

Check out our matching shirts!

While my sister and I didn't have the opportunity to tackle anyone getting rowdy in the queues, we did score a few good deals this morning: several $10 oxfords for Landon, a brand new suit (also for Landon), some $8 ties (also for Landon...see a pattern??), some $4 glass ornaments, and new leather boots for Amber (on half price!).

I also got my nutcracker for this year--a Minnie Mouse!--which can now go into the collection. I started collecting nutcrackers when I was 5, and every year I get a new one. I have short ones, fat ones, handmade ones, literary ones (hello, Dorothy and Toto!), sports ones (go Clemson!), sparkly ones, skinny ones and religious ones. Christmas starts for me when I decorate with my nutcrackers!

**AND IN OTHER NEWS! My parents, sister and I looked at another house today for Landon and I. Landon was at work, so I asked my family to come along so I could have some other eyes to check out the property. It's an older house (about 25 years old), so I wanted to make sure it was structurally okay looking before I made another appointment with the realtor and brought Landon out there. It passed approval of my dad, so Landon and I are going back on Sunday. The house has a great layout, and a really nice backyard, but the paint colors are HIDEOUS and a lot of the flooring needs to be updated. Definitely something we could handle if we decide to go forward with it. More details to come!

"Gobble" said the turkey, "I ate too much today!"

Happy (post-)Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hope you all had happy, safe holidays.

After a long trip to my grandparents' house, a nap was required to get me ready for all my relatives!

Daddy and Grandma
Shrimp dip and Ritz. Ritz, please, but hold the dip (shellfish is a major no-no for me...seriously allergic)

Football in Dana's driveway
Back to Grandma and Grand-dan's for round 2

Bonnie, this one's for you! We ate plenty of deviled eggs in your honor since you weren't there! :)

The Gummy Anniversary

Landon woke me up this morning with a card and a small wrapped package.

Inside the card was this:
50 years=gold
25 years=silver
0.5 years=gummy

In the gift box? A bag of my favorites--gummy bears!

Oh, Landon--what a fun way to celebrate our 6th month anniversary. :) Happy Gummy Anniversary to us!

Clemson Kid

I did some computer cleaning today, and found these gems from several years ago. I was in the second semester of my senior year, getting ready to graduate and go to USC for law school.

Oh, how things have changed...but oh, how they've stayed the same. Because--let's face it--I'm (at heart) still that English major who spends her cold March Saturdays in the library. I also still look exactly the same, especially with my new haircut! No wonder the guards at the Art Institute demand to see my student badge all the time...

My adventure begins just outside Cooper Library.

 And I'm off to the D.H. Lawrence section to do some research for my grad class.

Ah ha! I've found you, works of D.H. Lawrence!

Contemplating how many tomes I can carry home without assistance.

My book recon mission is over--time to go home and get to writing!

The House Buying Saga of 2010

Will this be our new house?
So, the townhouse that we put the offer in went to someone else. Boo. And while we weren't happy we didn't get it, we knew going into the contract that the other people already had put a contract in thirty-six hours before us. We found out Friday that the other offer was a cash offer with no contingencies. Just can't compete with that! 

We took the weekend off from house hunting since we were in Anderson, running and Halloween-ing it up. My sister LOVES house hunting, so she found a few new listings that she thought we'd be interested in. My dad and I went to investigate those during his lunch: one wasn't for sale anymore, just for rent, and the other was a short sale that already had a contract on it. Then, Amber found another townhouse online in West Ashley that was super cute, but after Landon called the realtor, we found out that it had sold last week. So, after four potential houses and one contract, we're back to square one. The fun of house buying.

Tonight, Landon and I renewed the online search (a great place to start any house search!), and found a few others in West Ashley that we're interested in. I think we'll go this weekend sometime to look into those. Maybe we're focusing too much on Mount Pleasant, which is where I grew up and know the most about, but is also one of the most expensive real estate markets in the Charleston area. We'll get more for our money if we expand our search.

Will we get a house this weekend? Next month? Next year? I have no clue, but we're both certain we'll find our first house when the time is right, even if we don't know when that time is quite yet.

And so, in the words of my sister's email today, we'll forge ahead!

One day we'll get to put one of these up in our new house's yard!

Spinx Run Fest & Halloween

Landon and I headed to the upstate this weekend for some running and Halloween fun.

Early Saturday morning, Landon, Jason (Landon's sister's husband) and I headed to Greenville for the annual Spinx Run Fest: Landon and Jason ran the half-marathon, and I ran in the Big Pumpkin 5K. Costumes were strongly encouraged for mine, and I chose to be Willie Shakespeare! I bought a $3 pair of black shorts from Wal-mart, basted and attached black ribbon to the bottoms; then, I made a vest out of a cut up black t-shirt of my dad's, added more black ribbon, made a ribbon belt, which attached with a big brass button. With these lovely items I wore a black and white checked linen puffy shirt, my black running capris, knee-length grey socks, and my running shoes. I attached a quote from Romeo and Juliet (Act II) on the back:
Wisely and slow; those that run fast, fall. 
An eyeliner faux mustachio and goatee completed the look! Yay for nerdy English majors! (My camera died, so pictures are forthcoming.)

My costume was just one part of the awesomeness that was Run Fest. Landon, Jason and I ALL had personal bests!

Landon was 281st overall (out of the 1305 half-marathoner), with a finishing time of 1:49:24. He came in 20th in his age group.

Jason was 429th overall, with a finishing time of 1:55:42. He was 34th in his age group.

And yours truly ran the race in 40:38!! While this doesn't look like a personal best (since my IOP time was 40:03), I actually RAN this race--every single step. And it was a very hilly course. So, it was a big accomplishment for me. I was 914th out of 1099 5K runners, and 91 of 108 in my age group. Much better than being dead last like in the IOP race.

Landon's running a full marathon in Myrtle Beach in February. He wants me to do the 10K. I am more convinced that I would be an excellent cheerer instead. I guess we'll see how my training progresses!

THEN, we went to see Landon's mom and dad in Anderson, where we helped hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. I have never, ever seen that many people out on Halloween night. I promise, there were over 300 trick-or-treaters that came to the house. 300! It looked like a Halloween out of a movie or something--parents and kids in costume everywhere you looked, and there were even a couple of traffic jams from all the kids climbing in and out of cars. We ran out of candy because there were so many kids, but we had fun while it lasted!

A few memorable quotes from the weekend:

"You got some Reese's?" -from a picky trick-or-treater who was unsatisfied with the Tootsie Roll I gave him

"I came into the stadium, and dry heaved a couple of times, and when I looked up, I saw this girl I knew from high school, and was like, "Hi, Hillary!"" -Landon recounting his finish line experience at the run

"Those candies are for the special trick-or-treaters!" -Landon's mom, directly before he tried to wrestle her for the remaining (stashed) Halloween candy to hand out to the trick-or-treaters waiting at the door