Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Shower - way late!

I didn't take any pictures at the baby shower brunch Jenny and I threw for Jenn, but she finally posted some! YAY! I gotta give her a hard time. :)

The awesome spread and my pretty presents. A lot of the servingware was courtesy of Jenny, but I did all the food and drinks and flower arranging.

Jenny's adorable clothesline onesie idea.

Momma J. (See the diaper cake we made on the mantle? hahahaha).

Oh, these petit fours were some trouble, but I made them work! M for Madelyn... NOT "M"s. Yeah, that's what Publix put on them, because I wrote on the direction that I wanted script "M"s on each petit four. I asked the guy if he understood what I meant, and he said yes. Clearly the lady making them did not. Really, who would put "M"s on them, I ask!?

It was also my b-day that day, so I had to have mimosas and bloody marys!

After all the hard work!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Withdrawal symptoms have temporarily subsided. I realize I am completely and utterly biased, but Madelyn is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen, and I enjoyed monopolizing the holding and feeding and burping for a few hours.

And, the adorableness that is Shawn Johnson won Dancing with the Stars! Yay! Mark my words: Kris Allen will win AI tonight! (I hope I don't regret saying that.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am suffering from withdrawal... best friend withdrawal. You see, my best friend and I have the type of connection where you finish each other's sentences, agree on 99.9% of things in life, and talk on a daily basis. Well, said best friend had a baby... my darling little niece, Madelyn. So, needless to say, best friend has not had time to e-mail and talk on the phone. And, I'm completely cool with that, I just wish the headaches and the shakes would subside.

Cure: heading down to the 'burbs for some girl time, featuring lots of cooing at baby and swooning over Kris Allen on American Idol (and then hopefully heading home to see Shawn Johnson win DWTS)!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm trying to stimulate the economy here!

Throw me a bone. So, after doing more research (we're still buying a house... or planning to), I've realized some things aren't as good as they seem. Matt and I qualify for more home than we want to purchase, so no problems there. Since we're first time home buyers, we also qualify for as low as 5% down on a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage. However, if you put less than 20% down, you're required to have mortgage insurance (PMI). No big deal... it's now tax deductible, so it's not a big deal to me. Alternatively, you can do an FHA loan, but the max loan amount is $346,000 and it's more expensive money (read: higher interest rate and up front cost), but you don't have to pay PMI. Here's the kicker and the thing you don't hear about... although any lender is willing to give us a 95% LTV (loan to value) mortgage, mortgage insurance companies will not insure anything over 90% LTV and some won't insure over 85% LTV (this is specific to Atlanta and any other markets that are considered declining or oversupplied, so basically anywhere in the sunbelt). The MI companies are just flat out of capital due to all of the foreclosures. I had no idea, and I work in real estate (albeit, commercial, but still). Also, we may not qualify for the $8,000 tax credit afterall. I never thought I'd complain about making too much money. We'd qualify if they go by your 2008 tax return, but I'm assuming they'll use the 2009 return, and of course Matt gets his project bonus for the last 2.5 years this year (most likely), and I'm earning more than I did last year. Again, I'm very happy we are both doing well in our careers, but I didn't realize there was a cutoff earnings amount for the tax credit. Doesn't the government know we're trying to buy a house in intown Atlanta and it's freaking expensive?!? We need that $8K! :)

So, anyway, that's my rant for the day. Maybe I educated someone on what's going on in the market. Thankfully, we're still okay having to put 10% down, and we may still do FHA depending on the difference between a low rate plus PMI and a higher rate with no PMI. If we have to put 15% down, we're going to have to start looking at a lower price point or liquidate an investment or two (hey, do realized losses factor into AGI... hmmmmm...). :)

P.S. I just want to add that Matt and I are very smart with our money... we have no debt except my student loan at an extremely low interest rate, which is why we don't just pay it off. We're not trying to get into more house than we can afford, and I don't advise anyone buying something with monthly payments more than 25-30% of your net earnings. We just wanted to conserve as much of our savings as possible, which is why we were looking at 5% down since money is so cheap right now. Our payments would have hit our target range. Just wanted to clarify that! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Big news...

No, I am not pregnant. :) But, we are buying a house! I guess that's a bit premature, but we are looking into buying a house. I am filling out paperwork to get prequalified for a mortgage, and I met with a super cute, super sweet realtor this morning (quite different from GRITS crazy realtor). If any of you are intown Atlanta readers and looking to buy/sell a home, check out Mary Stuart Iverson with Harry Norman. I hope we become friends after the buying part is over!

Matt and I have talked about buying a home for a while, but with him getting sent down to the booming metropolis of Tifton, GA for work, we decided to take a step back. And, then we (I?) decided that this market was too good to pass up. Interest rates are so low, prices are down, and we get an $8,000 tax credit. Plus, I'm ready to grow up a little more and have a house and a dog and then maybe some kids, too. ;) Sometimes I can't tell how he feels about it (he expresses emotion at strange times and sometimes in strange ways), but I left the decision up to him, and he said let's do it.

I have been internet searching for a while, but I can't wait to actually start looking at some of these houses. There were a couple I've had my eye on, and Mary Stuart instantly told me I didn't want a few of them. I love her honesty. She's not going to let us get into something that won't be a good investment. Our lease expires July 31, so depending how it goes at first, we may be in a house by then. If it looks like it might take us longer than we want, we'll try to extend our lease a month or two and keep looking, but I anticipate we will own our first home by the end of the summer. Who wants to come be our first house guests!?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Kris Allen makes me melt like buttah. I will stand in line to buy his debut album, and I will definitely be purchasing his version of Heartless on iTunes. Swoon...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Fun

We headed down to Jacksonville, Florida to enjoy the fabulous TPC at Sawgrass on Saturday and Brody's baptism and Mothers Day on Sunday. Unfortunately, the PGA Tour doesn't allow cameras or cell phones, so I don't have any pictures, but suffice it to say it was H-O-T! I'm not sure I'd post any pics anyway, because I was about soaked in sweat. I think it's been two or three years since I was last at the TPC, and it may have been before they switched the tournament to May. It used to be the last weekend in March, but tournament officials changed the date due to numerous years of rain delays. I wouldn't mind if they moved it back to March when I could sport a cute sundress and cardigan and be comfortable. :) But, we had a great time and enjoyed some good golf.

On Sunday, we celebrated the baptism of our sweet nephew and godson, Brody Shane. He was good, and didn't cry too much, but I don't think he appreciated the cold water on his head. :) We then spent the rest of the day at Christine's family's house enjoying lots of food and a nice, cool pool. Matt and I actually ended up staying last night and driving back very early this morning, because we didn't want to leave the pool!

And, now, for your viewing pleasure...

the proud parents and godparents

the clan

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Forever Young

All my ladies.

Classic prom limo picture.

Classic prom pose.

The Principal with two troublemakers.

Highland Heights High School Junior/Senior Prom - it was a lovely combination of prom over the years. I personally think crimped hair should come back in style, don't you!?

Beauty for Babies

If you haven't read the story of the far too short life of Madeline Alice Spohr, grab your tissues. A group started a fundraiser for the March of Dimes in honor of sweet Maddie called Beauty for Babies. You can read more about it here and here. Go get some awesome beauty products, completely guilt free.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Busy Bee

It's been a crazy busy week and a half, but I promise a sweet update soon, because two weekends ago, we went to PROM. Yes, that's right - you're never too old. We went to the Highland Heights High Junior/Senior Prom. Unicorn pride! Pics on that to come. They are priceless.

I am blogging from my hotel room in Westbrook, CT. I manage an asset up here, so I came up for meetings and a site tour. It also happens that my parents were both born in Hartford (45 minutes north) and my mom's family had a beach house here. So, I went and found it. It was more like beach mansion! Seriously, a huge house literally on the beach. It's worth over $1.5 million now, and I have no idea what my grandfather bought and sold it for in the 50s, but not anywhere near that (I'd say less than $50K.... too bad he didn't hold onto it!). If any of you are in the New England area, this is a great place to spend a weekend... or a summer.

Back to Atlanta tomorrow and hopefully I'll get the prom pics uploaded and posted tomorrow night. :)

P.S. I heart Kris Allen, and Kara and Simon can kiss my butt. I thought he was great!