We bought a house in March. We’re moved in. Half our stuff and a giant tower of boxes are hidden away in the new basement, but still – moved in is moved in. Once we reached approx. $20k in savings, once we met some agents we liked on an off-chance at an open house we didn’t intend on visiting, once we started seriously looking, it only took a couple weekends to find a house, and a few more weeks after that to close and move. Moving and buying a house is very much a hurry-up-and-wait process, and then it turns to hurry-flurry-scurry to close/pack/move/undo everything you did at the old place. Then redo it all again, slower.
I plan to write more in detail about what the process was like for us, especially since my role at work is turning into part financial-education-specialist (which I love). We were pretty prepared for first-time home buyers – I know this because we got that comment from our agents and our finance guy. This is due more to my husband than me – he is into researching every possible option, more interested in numbers, more interested in hypothetical scenarios. He spent hours playing with Excel sheets figuring out how much we can afford, and then how much we actually wanted to spend. (Although I don’t want to downplay my own role in our preparedness – we’re both planners, and I do work at a financial institution, so I was able to get a few insider opinions.) But even with all that, the process was still kind of blurry and confusing. There’s a lot of info out there about preparing to buy a home and looking for one, and caring for one after you buy, but the process in between putting in an offer and closing isn’t covered very often. Because of that, I plan on sharing what the process was like for us and what we learned. It may not be my best performing content, but we’ll see!
In addition to buying a house, we also adopted two cats. I love cats, y’all. They’re so cute but also independent (and self-cleaning!). I have been joking (“joking”) that the whole reason we bought a house was so we could get pets (our old landlord did not allow animals). So, inadvisable though it may have been, we adopted two cats a week after we moved in.
Aren’t these cats so cute?? Yeah, I thought so too, until it turned out cats truly are assholes, like the Internet says!
I’m (mostly) kidding; it’s only been a few weeks, so we’re still getting to know them and they’re still getting adjusted. But I realized very quickly after adopting them that I’ve never been responsible for an animal on my own. My husband and I both had animals growing up, but we’ve never been the sole people the animals relied on to live. They say it’s harder than it looks, and it is. Tuesday is a playful guy, but the shelter said he came to them as a stray, and it seems he hasn’t really learned how to live with people or other cats. He’s very sweet, and loves to be petted, and entertains himself well. But he also playfights with Rita and pees on her stuff. He just doesn’t have good manners (though it truly could be a lot worse – they could be actually fighting and he could be peeing in places we can’t find). Rita has her own issues too – she had a kitty cold when we brought her home (thought antibiotics cleared it up), and she seems more aloof and nervous when Tuesday is out in the house vs when he’s in his transition room. She is also an expert litter-slinger. It’s just another change we’re all going through at the same time – new space, new friends. (And a new, giant category of spending to get set up for cats – omg these furry little buggers have already cost us so much moolah.)
And there’s so much else, too. For my husband, it’s business as usual at work, which means busy. And the same for me. I’m preparing to teach my first financial education workshop next week, on identity theft to 20ish high school students. I’m very excited; my workplace has been wanting to get into financial education as their main marketing strategy and I am so behind that mission. I think it’ll be fun, but there is that underlying fear I won’t be viewed as credible when teaching about finances. I’m 24 and look younger than that, so that is my main worry. But I’m getting prepared, and I’m presenting with a partner, so it’ll be a little easier, and I’m way more excited than nervous.
It’s also been a year since I decided to officially go back to Christianity. That’s been weird and rocky. My husband and I are awful at going to church regularly, even though we found one we like. I have issues with the way conservatism and Christianity are deeply intertwined in the South; I probably haven’t tried hard enough, but it feels like all Christians here are assumed to have ~certain~ political beliefs that I just do not have, and it makes conversations weird sometimes. I also started doing a Bible study with my sister over the summer; it was supposed to be six weeks and I still haven’t finished the last four days. At this point I probably won’t. I got exhausted with trying to read it every day around the holidays and haven’t gotten the motivation back until now. It’s a process, I guess, but one I don’t really want to stop. I want to get back into it, and we all know starting is the hardest part. Religion is odd. We did make it church twice yesterday though; once for regular service and back in the evening for a panel discussion between the Christian pastor, a Rabbi from the area, and an Imam from a mosque in Nashville. They discussed the basics tenets of their own faiths, and then took questions via text from the audience. It was interesting, purely educational, and I was really glad to see that here. The invitation of different religious leaders purely for educational and not evangelical purposes is not something I have seen often in the Southern Baptist chuch.
In short, we have a lot going on. But it’s good. I haven’t been here as often as I’d like; life got in the way. But as things settle down, I’ll be making more of an effort to document it all.