life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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A Tribute to 252

Yesterday, Dayne & I said goodbye to our apartment. Our itty-bitty, practically-on-top-of-the-Rt.-30-bypass, faces-the-garages-and-garbage-dump, beautiful, lovable, first-married apartment. The place I moved into mostly by myself (I dutifully carried my TV down the hill and up the stairs in the summer heat, wondering if I was going to make it). The place where I lived as a single gal for a month before we got married. The place where I had my bachelorette sleepover with some of my best girlfriends. The place Dayne tried to move his stuff into and it didn’t fit at all because I had already filled every nook & cranny with my stuff. The place where I got ready with my bridesmaids and out-of-town friends for my wedding. The place we came home to after our honeymoon. The place where we unwrapped all of our wedding gifts. The place where we fought, made up, loved each other, and lived life for the first nine & a half months of our marriage.

I took this from the car yesterday when we had finally loaded up the last of our stuff. Our apartment is the 2nd balcony up, to the left of the entrance. I came home to this, to my husband, everyday.

We both love our new house to pieces – we really do – but when we were locking up the apartment yesterday, we both got a little emotional (I, perhaps, got a lot emotional). It’s hard to leave memories behind, particularly if they are emotionally strong memories.

For me, it’s hard to think that someone else will be living there in that space, since it was the birthplace of the most amazing relationship I will ever have in my life. Dayne says we will make lots of memories in our new house, most likely more amazing memories than anything we’ve experienced thus far. He also says it’s our first real home. I agree with him. But I still think you will never get your first year of marriage back (although some people would argue that’s a good thing), and Apartment 252 held all the special memories of that time.

I’ll miss all the sunshine that streamed in, but I get to keep this guy 🙂


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Our President’s Day Getaway with a Surprise

Over President’s Day weekend (February 18th-20th), Dayne & I ventured on a little getaway to Absecon, NJ (pronounced ab-SEE-con, not AB-se-CON, like I originally thought). We arrived typically late (thanks to me) on Saturday night to Clarion Inn & Suites and unpacked our bags in our jacuzzi suite. The suite was spacious, the bed was comfortable, the jacuzzi was suh-weet!, and the bathroom was okay. Unfortunately, I took zero pictures of the suite.

On Sunday, we headed out to the Atlantic City Aquarium, home of the stingrays you can pet and absolutely nothing bigger than a seaturtle. It was fabulous. We love going to places like that.

Us at the Atlantic City Aquarium, 2/19/20.

We have a tradition (Dayne hates when I use that word, since he claims nothing we do has actually been repeated enough to become a tradition) of buying magnets from everywhere we go on vacation together, so we picked up this little guy:

He is proudly hanging on our fridge with our Aruba and Bushkill Falls magnets (3 whole traditions!).

After the Atlantic City Aquarium, we had lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s and then did some outlet shopping. Dayne got a few new work shirts from Eddie Bauer, and I finally got new black heels for work (my old ones were completely falling apart) and a couple pieces of work clothes. Shopping at the outlets was exhausting because: 1) neither one of us likes shopping, and 2) it was SO cold & windy & FRIGID that day. But it was fun to be together and to get something accomplished.

One of my goals for this trip to Absecon/Atlantic City was to finally eat at The Melting Pot, which we did that night, even though we weren’t very hungry. Being not-so-hungry is both good and bad at The Melting Pot — good because you won’t spend as much money (it is expensive), but bad because everything is so freaking delicious. We split a cheese fondue as an appetizer, then a salad, and finally a mixed entree of shrimp, filet mignon, chicken, sausage, and veggies rubbed in some cajun spices and dipped in this amazing fondue that I cannot even describe to you with justice. I also had a perfect glass of white wine. The saddest part is that we could not fit dessert (chocolate fondue) in our bellies.

The damage. Taken after everything was eaten because I could not stop stuffing my face & enjoying myself long enough to take a picture beforehand.

Blissfully fondue-d in a little corner at The Melting Pot.

Our getaway was simply lovely. While the hotel was mostly not relaxing (there were no noise barriers at all, so falling asleep with doors slamming, kids yelling, and people dropping dumbbells in the room above us was incredibly difficult), the temporary relaxation of sipping sparkling white wine in a warm jacuzzi tub in the evenings made up for it.

The reason I chose to take pictures at all during this trip, besides wanting to have something to remember it by, was also to document that on Sunday, February 19th, 2012 (the day when all these pictures were taken besides the lighthouse one), we found out that our offer was accepted on a house.

So… we are under contract on a house! While it is exciting and worthy of celebration and even worthy of describing the God-ordained details to you, there is so much involved in the process (still) that I don’t feel like divulging any of the details is quite appropriate yet. But we are in the process, and we just had our first home inspection, and we are throwing a lot of money around, and I may be developing an ulcer, and we have started collecting boxes because we’ll be moving pretty soon if all goes well.

With so much going on, and with both of us working full-time, I have had little time to blog. Today, I stayed home from work because of stomach pains (see aforementioned possible ulcer) and finally had the time to gather my thoughts and pictures and put together an update. I desire to blog more, but the days have been so fast-paced, tiring, and uncertain that it becomes quite difficult. There is still lots more I could write about, and I would love to document the whole process on the house so that other future first-time homebuyers could learn from it, but we’ll just have to see how frequently I get a chance to blog. Otherwise, there will be bigger updates like this a little less frequently.

We’re doing well, we’re happy to be in this stage of life and in the process of buying a home, and I will do my best to keep this blog in the loop of any updates. 🙂 Thanks for reading!


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February Recap.

It’s time to do some catch-up!

February has been a momentous month so far because Dayne turned 27. If you rounded his age up to the nearest ten, he would be 30. We are so. stinking. old. Want to know what I got him?

First of all, this:

It's a Tempurpedic mattress protector. You can tell we're old because we consider items like these birthday gifts.

You might ask why I got Dayne a Tempurpedic mattress protector. Or you may think he pees the bed. Either way. Tempurpedic mattresses are expensive, and we invested in the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme queen-size mattress when we were almost married. They like, refuse to sell you a mattress of this exquisiteness without a mattress protector. Because if you ever spill anything on it, ever, it is ruined. And you can’t jump on the bed with a glass of red wine on it like the old commercials, although I guess we can now because we have a mattress protector. Anywhoo, when we bought this $X,XXX.00 mattress, Mattress Giant/Mattress King/Mattress Closeout/Mattress Extreme (I can’t remember where we got it) threw in their cheapest (read: $10) mattress protector. That thing ruined our lives. You couldn’t feel the Cloud anymore because it was covered by this cheap-o plastic sheet. We really couldn’t get any of the benefits of our Tempurpedic – we woke up with backaches, the thing totally generated and then retained heat, and Dayne claimed it shifted all over the place and that’s what was waking both of us up throughout the night.

Dayne made me wash the new Tempurpedic mattress protector as soon as he opened it, and we stripped the bed that night and put it on and then put on fresh sheets. Let me tell you, our bed is now a complete dream. It feels totally and completely different  – we can actually feel the Cloud underneath, we sleep cooler because it doesn’t trap heat, and it hardly shifts like the old one did. Totally worth the money. We’re happy campers.

Besides the mattress protector, I also got him these:



which are his favorites, and this:

Dayne is really into board games, and this board game (really more of a card game) was highly recommended by guys who love board games and want their wives to love them, too 😉 It turns out it is a great game! Fast-paced and lots of strategy involved, so I think it’s fun.

Dayne’s birthday was on the 6th, and we went out to dinner to celebrate it belatedly last night. Dayne’s choice was Pietro’s Prime, a delicious steak & seafood place in West Chester. Our steaks were awesome. Then we came home, Dayne chose a movie to watch (Real Steel) and I fell asleep on the couch by 9:30. See? We’re old.

We’ve been househunting, working, and getting our tax documents together. I just got through the book of Leviticus in the Daily Walk Bible, which I consider an accomplishment. Oh, and we booked our first weekend getaway for President’s Day weekend. I can’t wait to actually relax and get away from househunting, working, and getting our tax documents together 😉

Soon we’ll start planning our first anniversary trip, which we want to be a big one (since we are still without kids)… any suggestions?