Lauren and Hugh Do Homeownership

In August we met with a realtor. She convinced us that we weren’t crazy for thinking we could buy a house. So in September, after seeing a bunch of less-than-awesome houses and losing bidding wars on two, we found one that — more than any other house we looked at — really seemed like a house we could handle. Three weeks later we closed on it, I spent the next week packing our apartment alone, and Hugh returned from work in Pennsylvania just in time for moving day.

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With the help of some incredible friends, we moved all our crap cherished belongings that were somehow stowed away within 800 square feet in Rosslyn into our new place in Falls Church.

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And two weeks later, our house is completely settled — everything’s set up, the walls are all painted perfect colors and the place is looking ah-mazing.

Just kidding.

The last two weekends have been nothing but an endless cycle of errands, chores, and home improvements. And yes, Bed Bath & Beyond when there’s time.

Here’s what our mansion was looking like this morning as we embarked on a day of installing storm windows and blinds and a surprise toilet project with my parents.

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We have a huge, awesome yard that is currently filled with huge awesome piles of leaves.

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Inside, there is stuff everywhere. Some of it is pretty and organized. The built-ins next to the fireplace by themselves are pretty. Currently, they are neither pretty nor organized.

Just keeping it real.

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Our dining room is full of sun all day. It is also full of things that haven’t found permanent homes yet.IMG_3398

The kitchen is also full of sun. At the time I was wandering around taking these pictures — the first time I’ve picked up my camera in over a month, for shame — I was also prepping some sauce for a veggie lasagna.

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And in the interest of keeping it real, here’s our spice rack:

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Just kidding. We don’t have a good place for spices yet so they just hang out behind the kitchen sink.

My parents’ many years of homeowner wisdom and extra sets of hands were invaluable in the storm window and blinds installation process.

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Now we’re insulated for this week’s intro to wintry weather. Unfortunately the blinds project wasn’t quite as successful and got tabled to next weekend’s to-do list.

And so continues the never-ending glamour and excitement of home ownership.

I love this little house, and even though we’re never short of tasks to do, all of which seem to be the most important, we’re having a pretty great time learning how to be homeowners. It is by far our biggest adventure yet.

Photo Dump: August Was Full of Family Vacation

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When I last uploaded anything to this neglected piece of the internet, it was the beginning of August and we were on our way out of town for a marathon of family trips.  Photos are a less-than-organized smattering of iPhone and actual camera.

First we went to Oklahoma with Hugh’s family where the focus was baby Lucy and a cousin’s wedding.

The next weekend we road tripped to Isle of Palms, South Carolina, for a Lee Family beach vacation where we focused on sitting on the beach as much as the tides would allow and eating grits.

Staycation Saturday

This weekend was sandwiched between Hugh’s baseball games Friday and Sunday, so we spent Saturday staycationing around town.

After some chores we headed down to the Mall along with every other human on the planet, but we ventured past the usual suspects — Natural History, American History, Air & Space — and landed at the National Museum of the American Indian.

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It was a little dark and a lot crowded, so we just perused some exhibits before heading outside to the Living Earth Festival which included this woman cooking some sort of corn + beef stew.

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Eating hot stew outside on a hot day isn’t necessarily ideal, but it was delicious. And it was followed by our last stop of Staycation Saturday — cold beer and boat-watching at Cantina Marina.

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July 20, 2013

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Sitting in the open air top floor you can almost forget you’re in the nation’s capital and instead feel like you’re officially on vacation. That is until you turn to the right and the scaffold-covered eyesore that is the Washington Monument is looming beyond the harbor.

July 20, 2013

FamiLee Weekend Part 1: The iPhone Version

Part 1 of the FamiLee Weekend recap is all iPhone photos and little to no detail, since I have had no luck getting the photos from my real camera uploaded to WordPress lately.

FamiLee weekend began Saturday morning bright and early as Hugh and I made our way out to Manassas to camp at my parents’ house for the weekend. From there, the four of us went to a church hall in Midland to set up for the main event of the weekend: Sunday’s FamiLEE Reunion.

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After setting up tables and chairs for over 100 people, the parents took us on a little drive through my family’s local history in Mitchells followed by some Virginia/Civil War history in Brandy Station. After driving to and from the Outer Banks the weekend before, we enjoyed the leisure of the back seat.

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We toured the Graffiti House at Brandy Station which had been occupied at different times by both Union and Confederate troops. Its walls were covered in signatures, notes, and drawings from soldiers that passed through 150 years ago.

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Once we were back at the parents’ house, the boys did some yard work while Mom and I began prepping food for the reunion. I picked basil from the garden for mom’s delicious smoked gouda+adobo+tomato+basil pasta salad just in time for a summer shower to roll through.

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And once the sprinkles were gone, we headed back to the deck with margaritas in hand.

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Oh and I made a pie, which may be my crowning achievement thus far in life.

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On Sunday we all headed back out to Midland for the family reunion where fried chicken and deviled eggs abound. Even though he’s been around for a while, it was Hugh’s first reunion experience. I could tell by his three full plates of food, countless helpings of dessert, and the look on his face that he enjoyed himself.

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Isn’t this part of the Commonwealth really attractive? I mean seriously, no filters here.

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