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Hi.

Welcome, friends! This here slice of the Internet revolves around lattes, bookshelves, Pinterest, Emily Henderson, white wine spritzers, China, brass anything, passports and my sweet family. Grammar and important worldly events? Not so much. Consider yourself warned.

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Pending

Y’all.

We did it.

We bought a house.

BAM!

Remember here when I was wallowing in despair about losing our first true love house?

Well people…we have officially moved on and we are headed down the aisle with a perfect (for us), character-filled little beauty (that is, actually, not so little…so that is kinda awesome). #tinyhouseitisnot #thankgod.

As with all classic love stories, what seemed like a tragedy — having our first offer rejected— actually turned out to be kind of kick ass. Because now we have this:

House4

House4

House8

House8

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House5

Yeah. This is our (almost) house.

Needless to say, we are stoked. Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER did I think we would be able to find a house that had ceilings like that. They are, more or less, the ceilings of my dreams. And in Bend, the land of new construction and cookie-cutter subdivisions, these types of ceilings just don’t exist. At least not in our budget. The beams are Ponderosa Pine taken from an old mill. They are circle-sawn timbers, which apparently makes them more valuable. None of that means anything to me…I just think they are beautiful.

Also…the house is BIG. Well…bigger than we thought we could afford anyway. What that means for you is that we now have plenty of room to entertain guests. So start planning your trip people! We will be open for business as of Summer 2016.

We would love to serve you a frosty cold beverage while you relax right here on our deck:

House13

House13

Or maybe you would rather spend some time sitting in the garden by the fire pit (okay…you have to imagine that the table is a fire pit…but you get the point).

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House14

And then when you are all properly quenched and relaxed we will walk 3 blocks down the road and take a dip in the Deschutes River.

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Yup. That beautiful river is a 5 minute walk from our house. Can you believe it? Hell yes!

Then maybe after a long day of traveling, drinking and river swimming you will want to take a shower. Well friends…do we have a shower for you:

House10

House10

Yes. That is our future guest bathroom shower. And yes…we fully acknowledge that it is very strange to have a double shower head in a guest bathroom. Very strange, indeed. But for now, we will live with it. And probably love it.

I’m guessing you will too  (and whoever you choose to take a shower with). #nojudgement

Can you tell I am excited? I kind of feel like I have won the lottery. Except that rather than receiving a lump sum of cold hard cash, money is exiting my account at a very rapid pace. But otherwise, the feeling is real similar.

Of course, like all houses, ours isn’t perfect (as if that wasn’t already obvious from the guest bathroom reveal above). We definitely had to make some compromises.

Namely, we compromised on location. Instead of being in the heart of Northwest Bend (which is THE place to be), we are a bit north of that community. And while this was not initially our ideal location, we now really appreciate that by being a bit further outside of town we were able to get a place a steps away from river and hiking/biking trails. We are also closer to Target and Starbucks. So basically, it is a win-win situation for me.

We also compromised on price. We paid a bit more than we wanted. But actually, not much more. And in return for a slightly higher price tag we were able to get A LOT more space than we had previously been looking for. So we feel okay about this. I mean, it really would have been great to pay less (is there ever a time when that is not true?) but we realized that if we wanted a house in Bend anytime soon…it wasn’t going to be a bargain.

So throughout this crazy house hunting process what have we learned?

  1. Buying a house is not for the faint of heart. There are a million decisions to make, truckloads of money exchanged and lots of emotions felt. There is the second-guessing and the elation. There is the excitement and the disappointment. There is heartbreak and happiness. It is exhausting. But worth it. I think. Get back to me in a year or two.

  2. Buying a house before ever having seen it in person is pretty stupid. But it can work out. Did I forget to mention that we bought this house before ever having set foot in it? Ummm…yeah. We did that. Mostly because we like to live on the edge. Keep things fresh. All risky and shit. Nah. Just kidding. Honestly, we just panicked. Naturally, the very day we left the west coast to fly to Virginia to see my family, was the day we found the house online. But, even in the pictures, we immediately we loved it. With the market the way it is right now in Bend, we knew that if we waited too long it would be gone. Or at least that is what we think would have happened. Who really knows? So in between beach sessions and family dinners, we made an offer and had it accepted. We actually first saw the house two weeks after first having our offer accepted. Thankfully, we like it even MORE than we expected and not the other way around.

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Especially the shower.

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When buying a house, it helps to either have OCD or be married to someone who has OCD. Brado’s OCD doesn’t always allow us to get out the door quickly— what with all the arranging of highlighters that MUST go on— but it sure does come in handy when getting people to loan you large sums of money. If we had to rely on my organizational skills, we would be homeless for approximately forever.

  1. Lastly, I realized that there are really only three rules to home-buying. 1. Don’t get emotional. 2. Don’t get emotional and 3. Don’t get emotional. We had a very difficult time with this one. We were emotional from start to finish. And it probably cost us a bit of money in the long run. But I think the thing that helped us the most was to remember these two things: there will ALWAYS be another house and you will ALWAYS have to make compromises. Keeping this in mind really helped us make better decisions and ultimately end up with a house that we truly love.

So what is left to do?

  1. Close. That is all set to happen in mid-August after we head back to China. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and there are no big hiccups. #didijustjinxmyself?

  2. Furnish the whole damn thing by Christmas. This is equal parts exciting and overwhelming. I mean I LOVE shopping for home furnishings…but all at once? That is a pretty extreme (and expensive) job. One thing is for certain…there are mood boards a plenty in this blog’s future. So stay tuned for that.

  3. Get a tattoo. One tattoo seems to be the bare minimum requirement for living in Bend. So Brado and I are contemplating options and are also open to suggestions. We definitely lack creativity in the permanently altering your body category. I think Brado should just get a picture of Tony Kornheiser’s face. And I’m leaning towards a teeny tiny script (in like 8 pt. font and in Helvetica, of course) that just says ‘ink’. But honestly, I’m not sure I can pull off a tattoo. Maybe if I also buy a trucker hat I can make it work? Time will tell y’all. Tattoos are coming. YOLO.

  4. Muster up anything resembling enthusiasm to go back to China one week from today. Now that we have a Stateside house in a great little town we are feeling the pull in a major way. Daily, we are plotting and scheming about ways to carve out a life in Bend…a permanent one. So, on that note, if anyone in Bend wants to give us jobs…let’s just say, we are open to any and all offers. #seriously

Now…time to search for a couch and a bed and a blender and a knife set and a coffee table and a T.V. and a washer and a dryer and a rug and a….

The Summer of 2015

The Summer of 2015

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt