House hunting is not going well.
House selling went really well; our house was listed only eight days before we got a strong offer, which we accepted. Hooray!
I'm going to miss this place:
But house hunting? Oh, gross. How come no one ever told me that it's a lot like dating? We've put in four offers, none of them have worked out, and we are still trying to find The One. Here's what I mean:
I met Aaron* at a dance club in Chicago. I liked him right away because he was the first kid I had met in college who could dress really well (this kid could rock a ribbed turtleneck like you wouldn't believe. Ha!). He was also the first boy who I liked in college who didn't go to my actual college-- there was something about the allure of a city boy at a state school, I guess. The thing is, Aaron and I were an odd pair, size-wise. He was at least four inches shorter than me and perhaps as slender. It wouldn't be a big deal if he never would have brought it up or if others would not have made little remarks about it, but sadly, it was an issue. Every time we'd meet up to hang out, he'd look at my shoes and passively ask, "Are you going to wear those?" if I were in heels.
House #1 was like Aaron. It was the first house in Atlanta that I had looked at, I loved all the updates and how cute it was, and I rushed in and put an offer on it (Chris was out of the country and hadn't even stepped foot in it!). As I waited for the counter offer, my stomach kept tying itself in knots. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was just too small for our family. The bedrooms were close together, the girls' room was too small for our girls to share comfortably, and forget having more children. Thankfully, someone swooped in with an all cash offer that the seller could not resist, and I was relieved! As for Aaron? I have no idea what ever happened to him, but I hope he's settled down with a nice woman who thinks his height is just right.
Mike* was a senior when I was a freshman, and he had a great smile. But girls, beware of seniors that want to date freshmen! Mike was a little too old for me and when it came down to it, I just wasn't that into to him. To be honest, he wasn't that nice of a person. I liked the idea of him, but I didn't actually like him at all.
House #2 was like Mike. Built in 1970 with just a tiny bit of cosmetics updates to distract you, when it came down to it, the house was okay, but it wasn't super nice or anything. The way it was laid out didn't even allow for major changes, so we gave them an offer quite a bit below their asking price, expecting a counter. They were so insulted that they declined to counter. Fifty days later and an open house and a slew of showing later, the house is still on the market. As for Mike? He's still on the market too, according to Facebook.
Wayne* was my first serious boyfriend, the first boy I ever said "I love you" to, and I honestly thought that one day we'd get married and have a kid (who we even had a name for!) and everything. On paper, we were perfect for each other. We both enjoyed shopping for clothes and put a lot of effort into what we wore. We both loved to act and dance and read and watch movies, and we were both shy people who were extremely adept at acting outgoing. After a long relationship, we broke up due to fundamental differences... things we didn't notice when we first met, but as we grew up and older, it became clear that unless major changes happened, we could never sustain a relationship into adulthood and eventually marriage. Plus my family didn't think he was right for me, and although they tried really hard to hide that, it was well known.
House #3 was like Wayne for me, and like my relationship's demise with Wayne, it was heartbreaking. I loved nearly everything about House #3-- the neighborhood, the square footage, the updates-- even the paint color inside. When it showed up in my Redfin listings the day after we found out House #2 didn't work, my heart skipped a beat. I was certain this was The One. After the other two flops I thought, "This! This is it! This is why those didn't pan out!" We put in an offer and the seller was ecstatic. We walked through the house, admiring all the details, and I started pinning future furniture for the rooms and looking at the PTA websites and Facebook groups for Jude's would-be school district. But then we ordered the inspection. The foundation and basement needed some serious work. $20,000 worth of work that neither us nor the seller wanted to cover. My mother-in-law and aunt were relieved. They didn't think it was the right house for us, and in the end, they were right. We withdrew our offer, and since then House #3 has gone under contract and has come back on the market again. As for Wayne, he's been in a couple serious relationships since we broke up, but he's not married... yet.
Howie* was the guy I dated right before Chris. After being in so many fruitless relationships, at that point I had pretty much sworn off ever getting married. There was nothing wrong with Howie; he was a nice guy that I would go to the movies with occasionally and sometimes hold hands with. I liked him. He seemed to like me. I'd say that we were friends with hand holding and popcorn sharing benefits. I didn't like that he was an only child (I am, too) and that he wanted to live in Illinois the rest of his life (I did not), but those did not seem like big enough reasons to stop seeing movies with him and to not hold hands with him. He was nice enough.
But then one night, I was journaling and praying, and I felt this-- I don't know how else to describe it-- but this God given feeling that I was about to be in my last relationship, ever. That the person that I was dating was going to be the man I married. Needless to say, it freaked me out, this feeling! I remember talking with my roommate about it one night saying, "If it's Howie, then God's going to have to make me fall in love with him. He's perfectly okay, but I just can't imagine feeling any more for him than what I do now." And that night, Howie had the DTR (Define The Relationship) talk with me, asking if we should become boyfriend and girlfriend. I told him that I needed a week or so to really think about it and consider it.
In that week, his best friend cornered me and asked me what my thought process was. I told him, "I wish Howie were more like my friend Chris. Chris is exactly the kind of man I could see myself marrying. He's funny, he's in a band, he's smart and compassionate, and he's freaking awesome. But he lives too far away for me to even consider that, and besides that, I'm sure he's not at all interested in me. So... I guess if I can't be with someone like Chris, then I should really consider Howie."
House #4, is Howie. It's an okay house. Maybe it's even a really great house. But, for some reason, I just feel meh about it. It's in a great location, it has enough space for my family, I like the lot, it's been updated well, and with its unfinished basement, it holds the promise of a lot of possibility. But for some reason, I just can't get jazzed about it. Nonetheless, we put an offer on it, and the seller has countered.
So that's where we sit today. We can accept the counter or we can walk away and wait.
Suddenly a familiar thought process has reared up: "I wish House #4 were more like the houses I see outside the city. The houses out there are the kind I can see myself living in forever. They're too far out, so I doubt it would work, so I guess if we can't live out there, then I should really consider House #4."
When Chris and I start looking at houses a little further outside the city, we start seeing homes that we can imagine a long term future in-- homes that I think I could love instead of houses that I hope I can be convinced to like.
When my friend Chris came to visit me at college over 13 years ago and professed that he loved me and had loved me for a long time at that point, I looked in his shining eyes and I saw my future. I am thankful that I didn't settle for meh Howie or that I didn't force a broken relationship with deeply flawed Wayne or that I didn't just grin and bear it for eternity with not-nice Mike or that I didn't have to change for little Aaron.
So tomorrow, I think we will tell our brokers that we will wait, that we'll consider something that is located a little further out than we had originally wanted. A place further out, but a place where we can see ourselves having a future.
If you need me in the meantime, I'll be in my gracious mother-in-law's basement. We leave Austin August 31st.
Introducing... the dumbest thing I own!
This is Chicken Purse. I was walking down South Congress, fresh from a haircut, when I spied this ridiculous thing in a shop window. It's been well documented that I have a weakness for animal jewelry and clothing that sports an animal motif, so naturally a rubber chicken purse in a shop window was a siren's song, calling my name.
I tried to sport Chicken Purse with my thredUP Challenge #3 outfit:
DATE: 7 August 2014 // OCCASION: errands
CHICKEN PURSE: Tesoros // TOP: Vince Camuto c/o thredUP // JEANS: Paige Premium Denim via Nordstrom Rack (USA) // SUNGLASSES: c/o Converse // SHOES: TOMS // NECKLACE: Jen Loves Kev
However, in many ways Chicken Purse reminds me of my first major girlhood crush on a kid named Todd. I wanted it, I had to have it, I liked the look of it, it delighted me, but once it actually became mine, I didn't appreciate it as much as I did pre-acquisition. Todd is probably with someone who loves and appreciates him very much now, so isn't it only fair that Chicken Purse has the same fate?! Won't you love him?
Let's Rafflecopter this thing! If you really want to win, I've provided a creative way to amp up your chances at being united with your one true Chicken Purse love.
Winner will be announced a week from tomorrow. Optional rose ceremony to follow.
COMMENT OF THE DAY:
Happy weekend, y'all! I have two weeks left in my fair city of Austin, so I plan to love on it hard before bidding it farewell.
EATING / All you can meat! We had Pluckers last night, and we're heading to Estância Churrascaria for lunch today. Have you ever been to a Brazilian steak house? If not, I highly recommend you drop what you're doing right this very moment and go. It's all you can eat meat (Haha. See what I did there?) and the servers literally run from table to table with slabs of meat on swords that they carve off and serve to you. I have on a dress that has lots of belly room and I skipped breakfast so I can get max full.
READING / I've GOT to get out of this YA romance rut I'm in! I don't even know how I got so entrenched here. I blame you, Eleanor & Park, for you were my gateway into this manic / tragic literary world (so great!). I think I'll read #GIRLBOSS next. My friend Jessica read it recently, and I've been meaning to read it ever since I saw Sophia Amoruso speak at SXSW last March. BTW- Are we connected on Good Reads?
WRITING / You guys! My new blog has only been alive for a week now and lookeeeeee! I've posted daily since! That may not seem like a big deal because... um... well... that's what one should be doing, I guess, but I can't even THINK of the last time I had a full week of new content!
WEARING / I only have a few outfits here (everything else is in storage) but I've been wearing my Free People cutoffs pretty much daily this week. I said I'd never pay big money for cutoff shorts because I mean... they can be made so easily! However, I caved last summer after I tried these on. I could never get my DIY ones to fit this well. These are the perfect combo of loose and flirty. They're an essential in Austin!
WANTING / I keep seeing this Lily Jade bag on Camp Patton. It can be strapped to your back and then the insides come out so it's a regular purse instead of a diaper bag... one day. One day... (my diaper days are far from gone).
BLOG LOVING / So... apparently the Catholic Mommy Blogger subset is a very real thing. It's as big of a thing as the Mormon Mommy Bloggers. I met a slew of wonderful mom bloggers who just so happened to be Catholic at The Hundred, and I love them. LOVE THEM. Big families. God loving. Marriage minded. Sweet, sweet women. You all know Camp Patton, but wet your whistle with The Fike Life, The Fisk Files, Cedars and Tiny Flowers, and Whole Parenting Family.
LOL'ING / Can we Snapchat? Can we send funny videos to each other? I promise not to send NSFW photos, and if you send me a NSFW photo, I WILL find your mom's Facebook and tell her you're misbehaving on the internet. So there. You've been warned. Find me under indiana.adams.
What's this? Another outfit post?
Yes, ma'am. Let me tell you something about outfit posts: When I started Adored Austin back in 2009, my outfit posts were just filler on what I'd call "slow news days"-- days when I didn't have any fashion happens to cover or celebrities to snark on. There were a lot of slow news days, so in the baby stages of my blog, there were a lot of outfit posts. To be up front, I have never considered myself to be a great stylist or innovative outfit-put-togetherer (<-- official term, right?). In fact, I've always maintained that I'm not into fashion insomuch as I'm into shopping.
But when the queen of all style blogs says you should be doing outfit posts more often, you toss a glass of champagne down your throat, kick your feet up on a couch in the presidential suite of a swanky hotel, and you say, "Yes, ma'am!" This is precisely what happened to me at The Hundred last weekend. At Grace's and Britt's urging I went to Kendi's Fashion Styling 101 session and got (kindly) admonished for being an #OOTD slacker. Well deserved and exactly the kick in the (food stained yoga) pants that I needed to get back in the game. I learned some tips and tricks for posing and putting together an outfit that makes me feel a little more put together... even if I haven't brushed my hair in a month.
Although this was taken before The Hundred, here's thredUP outfit #2, which I wasn't going to post originally:
Date: 3 August 2014 // occasion: IHOP family date
dress: GAP c/o thredUP // bag: RedEnvelope (gift from my MIL) // kimono: - No clue, sorry? Blame mom brain-- it's real! I want to say I got this via Groupon, but that can't be right! Can it? - // necklace: Ragalicious (vintage) // sunglasses: 80's Purple // sandals: ShoeMint
There. I hope you're happy, Kendi. Dear reader, if you don't like this there's only one person to blame, and her last name is Everyday.
Don't ever dare me to do something when it comes to style. Because more than likely I will be unable to say no (see also: cow vest on the morning news last week).
Way back in June, thredUP, the world's largest online consignment shop, dared me to enter their $100 summer style challenge. They asked me to see how many items I could buy and style from thredUP with only $100. I added an extra layer of complexity by only shopping their new X Collection department, which features contemporary styles and brands like Free People, Alice + Olivia, and DvF for sale for 60%- 85% retail prices.
So... yeah... again, almost all my clothes are on the moving truck, so I was all about this. I shopped thoughtfully, looking for quality over quantity, and this is what I found:
Here's outfit #1:
Tim Gunn has been quoted as saying that everyone needs an alternative to a sweatsuit, something they can pop on and run errands in and not look like they're on the way to the gym. In fact, in his widely published "10 Essentials" list, a sweatsuit alternative is #9. Sweatsuit alternative, huh? He's probably not talking about a windbreaker suit (darn), but... sweats are sweats are sweats are sweats, right?
I never understood what TG meant by this until these pants arrived. These are my sweat pants alternative! I have been LIVING in these pants since they arrived. L-I-V-I-N-G. These pants are crisp yet slouchy. Dressy but casual. Polished but comfortable. In other words, I love them. They have instantly joined my "heavy rotation wear" gang.
Two more thredUP outfits to come. In the meantime, check out the site here. If you're new to the thredUP, sign up using my link and you'll get $20 and I'll get $10.00 to use on the site. But don't go looking for more sweatpants alternatives. Those are mine. All mine, people.