I'd made a new email account for dealing with all the wedding related stuff /websites so that once it's all done and over with, I won't have residual "email subscriptions" to deal with.
Of course, I forgot my password for the account. So, I had to reset it.
When I finally got in, I found out that 4 people have used the website to RSVP! Sweet! My first responses.
So ... on Monday? I called C and told him that we were interested in looking at other houses. Told him we had two or three we were thinking of.
C tells me = great! Find another 2 or 3 and email me the list so I can get it set up for Sunday.
Ok ... so Mr FT and I scour some more, and find another 5 or 6 possibilities. Mr FT drives by them and ... we're down to 2 possibilities.
I email C Tuesday night to let him know that Mr FT would be emailing him the list soon. Crickets.
Mr FT emailed C the list (of two) on Thursday morning. Crickets.
I emailed C today to find out where to meet him on Sunday. Crickets.
Mr FT and I have decided to take this Sunday off from wedding and house hunting. C will be replaced by a Realtor recommended by my boss next week.
I had one of *those* calls today. Multiple calls where same person is cursing. Multiple calls where said person gets hung up on. Send caller to boss at one point - boss hangs up on person. Person calls back yet again - much calmer at first. Gets a 2 ride ticket freebie. Starts cursing again. Gets hung up on.
I didn't deal with it well (at the time I did, but later ...) Made a Wal-mart run. Junk food ensued.
On Wednesday we had our annual county/city employee health fair. Lots of freebies. One of the booths was our health insurance provider. They're starting a new program this year where they are providing a health coach for free.
I signed up for it.
Got an email from the coach today because she couldn't find me in the system. I explained that the health insurance place had changed my name prematurely.
I also told her kind of what I was hoping she could help me with - namely figuring out how to make healthy and tasty meals which work for both Mr FT and I - especially ones where I can make something good without needing to taste test it (i.e. meat dishes.)
She told me she could help me with that.
I'm supposed to call her sometime next week to chat for 30 minutes - to kind of lay out the beginning framework. Not sure when to do it, since the only 30 minute time frame I have during her hours is my lunch break. Maybe I can take something to eat that I can eat in small bites at my desk between phone calls ...
Once Mr FT is on my plan (for real) he could also use her services if he wants to.
ETA - Well, nevermind then. Mr FT just called me to tell me that he got an email from C asking him to call him tonight. So, we may be going ahead with Sunday househunting plans after all. I'm leaving it up to Mr FT to decide.
Archive for February, 2016
I'd made a new email account for dealing with all the wedding related stuff /websites so that once it's all done and over with, I won't have residual "email subscriptions" to deal with.
Tomorrow our pre-marital counseling session will be on finances. Mr FT and I have spent a lot of time talking about finances.
I'm not sure we have yet reached a real consensus yet on what we're going to do.
For me, a budget/plan for ALL my money helps me to feel secure. For him, he pays his bills, then whatever is left is for whatever else comes up.
He's willing to concede that my way *could* work, but is something he'll have to wrap his mind around.
I'm trying to figure out what might be a happy medium - a meeting point, so to speak, where we both give a little, but come out better for it.
So ... I was hoping you all might share what works (ed) for you? Also, what kind of financial savvy (or lack of) did you and your partner (s) come into marriage / sharing finances with?
Mostly I'm still trying to wrap my brain around a possible mortgage payment of $850. When I was hoping for $700 to be the ultimate max. (The $850 is for the $130k house. There is an $89k house in the running as well.)
So ... for the first time in who knows how long I made it over the gym today. Not to workout, but to ask about the early termination fee. $399. Ouch.
I have 12 months left to go on my contract, or about $500.
So, canceling now (tomorrow) would save $100. Usually I would say it's a no brainer, but ... right now with all the wedding expenses and house hunting ... I'm wondering if it'd be better to just let it pay out in drips of $46/month and pay the extra $100 than to let go of $400 in one shot.
I hate to waste the $100. There's very little chance of me starting to go again - I was reminded today of why I didn't like going very much (traffic and way too full parking lot.) And if we move further out than the middle of the city, traffic / time on the road would be even worse.
What do y'all think?
I took my wedding ring and engagement ring to a jeweler today (before going to the gym)to check on the sizing. The jeweler said I'd need to have it upsized 1 size (both) and suggested having them bonded together so they wouldn't rub against each other. Quoted $90 for all of it (resizing, bonding)
She said it'd take about 3 business days. So, probably drop off there after taking my mom to the airport the Monday after.
I have to share with you a link to a house Mr FT sent me. I'm not sure if he was really serious about it or not ... but can you imagine? Two people in a place this size? It's a dream inducing place as far as style, etc., but nightmare inducing when thinking of real costs. http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1445-E-St-Lincoln-NE-68508/6574554_zpid/
Mr FT is going to be sending the realtor a list of 4 or 5 places we want to look at on Sunday (hopefully tonight.) He also volunteered to email the FSBO house owner to let him know what we are doing - we haven't totally discounted that house yet.
(However, if we look at the $89k house and find we love it, I will not be unhappy. At all.)
I got my copy of the Tightwad gazette from the library today. Haven't looked in it yet for the chore division.
2 months and 1 day. Faint.
I sent Vanguard an email about a week ago asking about the process of taking $10k from my ROTH for a first time home purchase. No response.
I'm thinking I'll try calling tomorrow after work. Kind of frustrating that now that they've got my money, this is the kind of response I get.
So ... Sunday afternoon we did the house tour. I didn't do the turn on faucets/flush toilets etc etc thing because with the homeowner right there with us all the time, it just didn't feel ... right.
I did however ask a lot of questions. At one point asked me if I had any more, and I pulled out my list of questions. His eyes got kind of big.
There were some really good things about the house, but then some things that were questionable. One thing was the 1989 water heater! Another was that all three bedrooms were SO small. And the living room was minuscule! The garage had no direct access to the house - if we wanted to, the homeowner (a construction company owner) would put in a door - but that door would go from the garage to the living room ....
We decided to keep looking. In fact, we have an appointment with a Realtor on this coming Sunday.
There aren't a great many houses available right now, even with upping our price range a tiny bit. So, we'll see.
Sunday night we also delivered the invitations to everyone who lives here in town.
One of them is someone who was a serious boyfriend of Mr FTs late sister many, many years ago. They've stayed in touch on a monthly, sometimes semi-monthly basis since then. When we told him the news, he said, "It's about time!"
Another person we stopped to see was Mr FTs stepdad. Mr FT hadn't seen nor spoken to him in 7 years. They didn't have the greatest relationship to put it mildly. However he is now 85 years old and has forgotten some of the ways he treated the stepkids. Around Christmas time he reached out to Mr FT via a card w/pictures.
So last night I got to meet him for the first time. We stayed there about 1 1/2 hours. He's an interesting character to say the least. One of his idols is Hitler. Yeah. He used a term I hadn't heard before for people of a certain race ... had to ask Mr FT if the term stood for what I thought it might. It did.
Despite not liking some of the viewpoints he has, I actually found myself liking him. Not enough to where I'd want to spend a lot of time with him - but once in a while would be okay - as long as Mr FT was with me. (He asked if he could kiss the bride ...)
He may actually come to the wedding!
Mr FTs sister was next. She already knew about the wedding, but we just wanted to give her an official invite.
Today I had my second fitting for my dress. The hem works beautifully, and so does the bustle. Now she's going to be working on making sure the bodice doesn't do a Janet Jackson on me. Pins kept popping out every time I breathed ...
2 months and 1 day. It hardly feels real. After 40 years of being single, and most of that time was being truly single (not in a relationship.)
I'm thinking about seeing if I can find someone with a classic car to park at the B&B for pictures. On their site they have some pictures like that, which look really cool. (The groom had an uncle who brought the car...)
I'm not sure how to go about finding someone who'd be willing to bring their car out for a photo opportunity. Any ideas? I looked on Craigslist, but couldn't find anything.
By the time we were done with the house tour and the visits, it was about 9:30!!
I'm wondering how everyone who lives with at least one other adult divides household /yard chores? Especially two full-time working adults?
One system I'm thinking about is making a list of all possible chores and assigning them points. Then each person needs to do at least 150 points worth of chores each week, besides picking up after themselves.
Mowing the lawn / shoveling snow might be worth 30 points. Cleaning the bathroom might be worth 10 points. Doing laundry worth 5 points. Cleaning cat litter boxes - 10 points. Taking out trash - 10 points. Etc.
Do you think something like that might work?
What do you do?
This afternoon I had my trial hair appointment. She spent about 40 minutes creating the style we decided on. I'm pretty happy with the look. Although I think it'll look better when the makeup accentuates + the dress.
I plan on adding baby;s breath throughout to decorate.
I went into CVS later (Used $9 in various coupons, spent $12) and had some strange looks - fancy updo while in jeans and holey Keds.
Thanks again everyone for your insightful suggestions and comments about what to look for during our house visit. Unfortunately, the tour had to be rescheduled for some unknown reason. We've rescheduled to Sunday at 5 p.m.
I made up a list of all the things suggested and read them to Mr FT last night. At first he was thinking that we might be irritating the homeowner (by turning on all the faucets, checking the light switches, etc.) He was kind of thinking to leave all that to the home inspection.
When I explained to him that I thought it was a good idea to do most of the simpler things ourselves before putting down an offer (i.e. save time in case we find something we can't live with) he agreed with me. He also was pretty impressed with my question about where the attic was and how to access it. He hadn't even thought about the attic.
At CVS I bought some more of those Ferraro kisses. I had a coupon for $2 off $12 of chocolate, plus another $5 off $15, plus a $2 ECB. I got the chocolate, a couple boxes of kleenex $1 coupon) and some sparkling water. All for about $12.29
My friend C has offered to host a bridal shower for me on April 4! Is it rude to have people come to a bridal shower that aren't invited to the wedding?? Cuz that would be most of the people who'd probably be invited ...
Also, I'm wondering about inviting my boss and co-worker to the bridal shower. Would that be too much? (They're both being invited to the wedding.) (Too much as in ... seeming like a gift grab or something.)
My mom has put in an offer on a house and had it accepted. It is still being finished, but should be closing on it April 4 (a Sunday?? do houses close on Sundays?)
So very tired. The bit of energy I had on Monday sure did not last long.
Next week I have the house tour, a dress fitting and PM counseling. If we decide to make an offer on the house ... no rest for the weary, right?
So tomorrow night Mr FT and I will be doing our first walk through of the house which we think we want.
My boss was telling me to make sure to flush the toilets, run the sinks and showers, look under cabinets, etc.
What else should we look for?
The driveway has a crack going up the middle and looks like it goes into the garage. Could that be a foundation issue?
I got stamps today to mail the invitations, but won't get them mailed til tomorrow - some of the sticky stuff wasn't holding, so I'm going to tape them tomorrow before mailing.
I also stopped at Walgreen's and bought some Valentine's candy at 50% off - some kiss shaped ferraro chocolates in gold packets = two boxes of them. (table favors!)
I also got $10 worth of gas.
I decided to book the photographer I met with Monday night. He'll be charging $500 (his wife will assist him.) Sometime soon I'm going to have him and Mr FT meet so Mr FT will feel comfortable with him.
I also booked a videographer. She'll do the ceremony and reception (with highlights) for less than $100.
On Friday I have a hair trial appointment. (Yes, I found someone to do my hair!)
Need to work on my homework for the pre-marital counseling tonight, but otherwise am just going to take it easy.
So as I've mentioned, Mr Ft and I went through the process of submitting a loan application for pre-approval on the house we're considering (strongly considering).
I got a call from the mortgage originator last night shortly before heading over to the photographer appointment.
He told me that we definitely qualified for the loan amount, and that with $20k down, our payment would be roughly $838. He was basing that off a rough interest rate estimate.
So ... I called C, a realtor and he called the homeowner and set up an appointment for us to look at the house on Thursday.
Today I realized that the house is a for sale by owner, and that maybe I shouldn't have jumped the gun on calling C. Especially since C told me that the homeowner made it clear that the price was non-negotiable.
That sounded really strange to me. I talked to J again (loan originator) and he told me that the market had been pretty strong here for awhile, and houses have been selling for asking price +. So that might be why the homeowner said that.
He also gave me an updated estimate - with putting down only 10% (instead of 15%) using a NIFA loan, we could get 3.25% interest (paying PMA for 11 years) and our estimated payment would be $844.
(I asked him about doing just 10% so that we could have more liquid cash breathing room for moving costs, closing costs, setting up house, etc. It was a difference of about $30/month in the payment.)
I also asked him how high we could go ... he told me ... oh a couple hundred thousand. I just about choked. No way, no how!
The asking price on the house we're looking at is $128,500 which is more than enough for my blood.
The long and short of it (ha ha) is that we could potentially become homeowners before we get married! (J was saying it could take anywhere from 30 - 45 days for the whole process.)
I don't quite know what's gotten under my skin, but maybe taking Saturday "off" really helped give me a second wind.
I made out my invitations and even attempted to print them out ... No can do. My printer just would NOT accept the invitation paper no matter what.
So ... I wrote them all out by hand. 15 of them. (Some are going to people who I know won't come, but will feel hurt not getting one.) I have pretty decent handwriting (actually get complimented on it fairly often when not in a hurry) so they look fairly decent.
While I was doing that, I had the quinoa and veggies cooking on the stove.
Then after they had time to cool off, I got out the freezer dinner trays I'd bought from Amazon months and months ago ... 20 of them to be exact.
Funnily enough, I didn't plan it this way, but I had just enough food for the 20 trays! My freezer is stuffed (13 trays) and the 7 remaining ones are in my fridge. More than enough for lunch and dinner the next two weeks + (because there'll be a few nights I'll want soup or maybe cereal ...)
Here's some pictures:
Quinoa, baked tofu, steamed veggies, spaghetti squash
Steamed veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, butternut squash
Frozen veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, sweet potato
Stack of dinner trays.
My freezer with 13 trays, plus other things rearranged.
Hopefully having all these meals ready to go will make me a whole lot less likely to give in to fast food or other temptations the next few weeks.
I'm glad I took Saturday "off" - ended up sleeping a good portion of it (partially because my Internet went on the fritz, so sleep sounded good.)
I did go to Walmart Saturday night and picked up $40 in groceries and a gift for Mr FT. I have about $15 left in groceries for the month, but that should be fine as long as I stick to just the bare basics. No Trader Joe's for me this month though.
Sunday was a long and busy day. I started out by getting to S's house at 10 a.m. to help make the food for the Valentine's Ladies Tea. Another lady showed up to help also thankfully. Between the three of us, we were able to get out the door by 1:15 p.m. One of the things I did was make egg salad sandwiches, cut the crusts off, then cut in 1/3rds. Enough for 60 people.
Then we raced over to the place where the Tea was being held. Raced around getting things set up and adding a few last minute appetizers.
The tea itself took about two hours. Afterwards I helped clean up (and got to take home leftovers!)
I got home about 5 p.m.
About 6:10 Mr FT showed up with this:
He had a box of breadsticks thrown in for free because they'd forgotten to print our ticket, and so our order was late.
After we finished eating, we worked on the home loan application. Submitted about 9 p.m. Yikes!!!
Mr FT left about midnight.
Long day. Soo glad for today being off.
I've got a spaghetti squash, butternut squash and 7 sweet potatoes in the oven right now. Later I'm going to cook up a big pot of quinoa and veggies (broccoli and carrots.) Using up stuff in my fridge before it goes bad - plus lots of pre prepared lunches/dinners for the next few weeks.
I'm going to be making my new invitations today. Hope to get them out in the mail tomorrow.
Later today I am meeting with the potential photographer.
Oh, almost forgot! I found someone to do the video for $35!! DVD and highlights!
Cashed out PerkTV for a $25 Amazon Gift Card (should be here Wednesday.)
I will probably need to get some more gas today.
Mr FT and I are continuing budget negotiations. Figuring out just how we're going to merge our finances and make a budget work for two different styles (more regimented and more go with the flow.) We're figuring it out.
Cars and "toys" are going to be our own responsibility. (Toys = boat, large screen tv for Mr FT; home gym equipment for me.) Cable is in discussion ... (I have no use for it, but Mr FT misses it a lot (football) and doesn't buy that I won't ever watch something with it.)
Today my boss finally did my yearly evaluation. She told me that the raise (2.5%) will be retroactive. Just one pay period, so not that much. (It'll equate to about $.35/hour before taxes.) But still ... every cent counts when house hunting.
Mr FT and I found a house we both really like. It'd be stretching our price range a bit, but might be doable. We just have to get the loan application done! (We're going to work on it this Sunday.)
I'm thinking about making a slideshow / video for the reception giving some background on Mr FT and I's childhood/growing up/ dating life. That way people who only know one or the other of us can get a "picture" of us. Also, it'll take up some of the time.
I was looking into renting a projector, but the realized I'd also need to rent a laptop. So ... am now thinking I'll get one of those iPhone / iPad projector things. I'm just not sure which one to get. Reviews on various ones are all over the place on Amazon (one to five stars.)
I'm also not sure which app would be best to use. I was thinking of buying iMovie (app) but don't know if there is something else that might work?
Would love any suggestions!
I found out today that the place I applied at when first moved here has had to let go of a lot of positions and completely restructure itself. That could've been me if I hadn't gotten the bus job while waiting to hear back.
As much as I dislike this job sometimes, I am glad to HAVE a job. Especially right now with a wedding and househunting!
I feel badly for the people who lost their jobs there though. I sure know how that feels.
I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off from church. I'm starting to feel pretty run down, and Sunday is going to be hectic with the Valentine's tea thing, and then whatever Mr FT and I do that night.
Mr FT got some happy news Thursday - his nephew is coming to the wedding! He hasn't been back here in 8 years! Mr FT and his mom had a large part in raising the nephew. I'm so glad Mr FT is going to have both his sister and nephew here for him.
I got my bloodwork results back from the doctor. My TSH level was on the high side again (not 17, but about 7.8) so she increased my dosage. I'll have to get it rechecked in a month.
I was also told that my bad cholesterol was a bit elevated and was suggested to use red yeast rice. It's an over the counter supplement - from what I'm reading though, it doesn't sound very effective. Plus, I'd really rather try to do better with my eating. (Krispee Kreme opened a shop here recently, and Mr FT has fallen in love with the hot & fresh glazed donuts .... this is not going to help the diet.)
Anyone ever use Red Yeast Rice?
Spending hasn't been horrible, but definitely not being as careful as I could be.
I've changed all my direct to credit card bills to my new Citi card, and Mr FT is using it to buy gas. I added him as an authorized user too. Once his card gets here, then I can use mine to do other in person spending. (wedding, groceries, etc.) We're planning on using the $500 towards either the mortgage or student loans, and not towards travel money.
*** Almost a month and I haven't heard anything back about the librarian job. Maybe they're just slow. This actually works though ... It would be better if I get the job, to not have it start til mid-May.
So I've been reading / browsing through some of the books I got from the library about communication. One I've been reading via the Kindle app (during work ...) is Crucial Conversations. Very interesting and very good. Am hoping I'll be able to learn some of the techniques.
I asked my boss this afternoon how she had learned to be such a good mediator / communicator. At a stressful meeting a few weeks ago between myself and a co-worker (one I've mentioned before as being a perfectionist .....) she basically mediated between us. The whole time she was so calm, cool, collected - while co-worker was on the attack and I was withering ...
This question led to a 40 minute discussion which I felt was pretty valuable. She was surprised when I told her that I thought she was confident and calm, etc. Funny how people see us as things we don't see for ourselves.
She also told me that my evaluation should be coming up in the next few days (I'd been biting my nails to not ask about it yet again ...)
Can I just say again how great a boss I have?
After work today I met with a local cafe owner. He's going to do scones w/jam, finger sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays, cheesecake bites, etc. all for $160! (including tax!) for 20 people. They'll bring it and get it all set up in time for the reception to start. No delivery charge.
The person doing my alterations raved about their food.
Question time ... I am wondering about the etiquette of this .... My mom was asking if I was going to do a formal FB announcement of place/time/registry. I don't know that I've ever seen anyone do that? Maybe I could make a post stating the day, and a link to our website for more info??
I *think* she wants me to do this for the extended friends of our family who aren't being invited, but may want to send something.
I'm just not really sure what the etiquette here would be. Emily Post of the FB age, where are you?
Ouch! I had my doctor call in prescriptions for Allegra D 24 hr and Nascort spray. $43.xx for the Allegra D (30 day supply) and $50 copay for the Nascort!! I'm not sure how many sprays that works out to - need to figure that out to see if it works out more cheaply than buying it just OTC.
I did this mainly so I wouldn't have to go in so often to get more Allegra, but also so I could use my FSA money for my allergy stuff. Very many refills of this will use it up in no time ...
Today I went for my first fitting. The person had quoted me $75 for doing the bustle, taking in the top part and possibly adding some invisible straps. After looking at what would be involved for the hem, she quoted another $100. I decided to go for it - she's going to have to take an entire section of lace off the bottom, and then reattach it. So, yeah. A lot of work and time.
I'd bought a corset off Amazon to wear underneath the dress, but after trying it on with the dress today, I don't think I'm going to use it. It goes up too high and would possibly show. The dress fits fine without it.
The shoes I got have really low heels. And they aren't exactly white ... but since they're open toed, hopefully won't matter too much. Not that many people are going to see my feet!
I've borrowed a bunch of books on communication from the library. One is called "Crucial Conversations" - I'm liking it so far.
I got my Citi Premier Thank You card today. Yowsa! Can one say overpackaging or what? Thankfully it came before my car insurance 6 month premium was charged to another card - so, that's $233 out of $3k out of the way.
I got some laundry and housecleaning done on Sunday - badly needed.
Tomorrow I meet with the first of two caterers. The lady doing my alterations told me that the people in her office go eat at this place for lunch all the time and absolutely love their food. That was good to hear.
Wednesday I need to stop by the bakery again - Mr FT told me he does NOT like buttercream frosting, but wants the "normal" frosting for cakes. When I called the bakery, the person told me that buttercream IS the usual frosting. She suggested I come by and pickup a cupcake for him to try.
I just have to say that I am glad I sold the stock shares I did when I did. That $203 price point would be down to less than $150 now .... Ouch.
Another thing I did on Sunday - I finally did something with the Quorn cutlets. I put all of them in a baking dish, covered them with a can of tomato soup and some spices/herbs, and a can of sweet peas. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes. Turned out to be passably good. I'm using them for dinners this week.
I got my $25 PayPal from Swagbucks today, plus a $3 payment from MobiSave (bought Allegra D on Sunday.)
MobiSave has quite a bit of rebates on produce this week - they are pretty much an instant payment via Paypal.
When I picked up my wedding shoes on Sunday at Sears, I also bought a new purse (desperately needed.) It was too funny though - the name brand is LS (my name, Mr FTs name.) It was $23 (40% off sale.) Mr FT actually noticed I had a new purse when we went out to eat.
My treat - $17.39 Noodles & Company.