Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Two Houses

For like a year everyone has walked around thinking google is so amazing but I'm not going to lie to you-it wasn't until Saturday that I jumped on that wagon. If the market hadn't been closed and we had money laying around I would have spent the $440.47 for a couple of shares of that stuff after this discovery.

Every weekend we look up and map all of our garage sales and then head off and hope we can find them. Google just made that experience so much easier, or at least more fun. You can now do a street view and literally see the house you are going to. Not from above like a satilitte. I mean like you are sitting in front of their house. So, the discovery of this feature only led to more questions. When did they do this? How do they do this? How I can I get a cool job thinking up things like this?

Two college educations later (really 4 because we had friends over) we had our answer to 2 of the questions. We looked up our house/houses and thanks to our crazy life in the last 6 months we can pin point when they came through our neighborhood. In the picture of our house now you can see the remains of the original 1/2 bath in the front yard. That narrows it down to about a month (yes we had debris in our front yard for a month-take it up with Joshua). The picture of our old house has our cars in the driveway but no sale sign in the yard. That brings it down to just at a week. They came through our neighborhood the week my mom was in town helping us get the house ready to sell. I don't know how often they will update this but until they do it will be a record of the time we owned 2 houses.

Now on to question 2. How? Joshua figured that out. There is a feature where you can control the camera and he basically tilted the camera down and you can see the truck they drove around all the neighborhoods taking panoramic pictures. It is really the coolest thing so you go check it out. It is called street view on google.  See if your house is there.  On both of our houses they weren't exactly right on location and you always have to turn the camera around but it is still really cool. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Well Joshua and I were up until 2:30 last night working on our Europe plans. We have every intention to spend the rest of today doing the same thing. We are finding our top hostels and couchsurfers in each location, mapping our transportation from place to place, and we hope to nail down our tentative schedule tonight.

So here is what we need you to do in preparation for our trip to Europe. If you want to talk to us, we will be communicating through sykpe. We will be able to call landlines for .02 a minute but it is totally free to call other skype members. So...if you have a computer that meets their requirements you might want to look into downloading it. I'm not saying we only love you in proportion to how much money you save us, I'm just saying the dollar isn't very strong-help a sister out.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nashville MTA now thinks I'm crazy

I really should be used to this now.  Being a video producer means everyone I talk to thinks I am crazy.  "Yes sir, I need you to hold the gate to the subway open because we need to get this full size chalkboard on the 5."  "Yes ma'am you heard me right.  We want to use your front door-we just need someone to open it and walk in...Yes in your house."  "We are almost done with this shot.  Is it possible for you to stop the drilling on this oil platform for 15 minutes?  I have donuts in the car you can have."

You would think I would get used to it, but I just don't.  I get a kick out of being the first person to do, ask, get permission for something but somewhere deep inside it bothers me that the first 8 people I talk to before I get permission think I'm crazy.  I'm not a "normal" person and people who know me know that, but for some reason I want strangers to think that I am normal.  Weird, huh?

So anyway, back to MTA.  Our church is having a "The Church has left the Building Day" on April 20th and so we are trying to find a way to spend our "church time" out helping our community.  Joshua and I came up with this idea to provide some bus benches at a bus stop or 2 that don't have one and then ride the buses that day paying everyone's fare.  Our community group thought it was an interesting idea so we prayed last night at community group for favor with the Nashville MTA and then I was elected to call (my mom always says don't volunteer an idea you don't want to be in charge of) 

So this morning I call.  Each person I talked to had no idea what to do with me.  From the tone in the their voice I could tell they were sure of 2 things: 1. I wasn't going to get permission to do it 2. I was a crazy person for even asking.  I got that from customer service and the receptionist.  The voicemail of the COO was much more understanding, but we'll see if I get a call back.  I followed up the call with an email to the COO so that he has written proof of the crazy person who is trying to help the people in her neighborhood.  I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Installement 1:Salem

Joshua and I are going to be a part of a panel in April talking about renovations. We have taken pictures of our houses to use as examples (of our genius). How you all will benefit from this, is you will get to see our house without traveling all the way to Nashville.

I'm starting with the office/basement because it is the most dramatic change without moving ANY walls. It was also the thing we had to make quick choices about when we went to the auction. When you buy a house at auction you literally set foot in it the day you have to write the fat check to buy it so there is no thinking, planning or sleeping on it-there is only bidding, winning or losing. Joshua and I kind of cheated upstairs by using his architect expertise and measured the house from the outside before we went to the auction. From those measurements, Joshua was able to draw up a good idea of what the upstairs of the house looked like with the aid of looking in the only partially covered windows. That wasn't the case with the basement, the one window was covered and we knew nothing about what was down there. All we knew was we needed that basement to be our office so we had to come up with a plan before the bidding started. Here is the before


This is a picture we took the day of the auction. It really shocks me every time that I look back. That carpet was hideous and it was just dark and kind of sad down there. Josh and I stood in that exact spot and quickly formulated our plan. We were going to give the office its own feel: industrial, loft feeling to draw attention away from the fact you are below the house. Lets see if you think we achieved it.


We tore out the drop down ceiling, painted the floor joists and duct work black (with a paint sprayer which is AWESOME), then the walls and fireplace white. With the carpet now officially ruined we pulled that back and stained the concrete.

We love our office. We get excited to go down and work there. We've had many client meetings and neither of us are embarassed to say we work at home anymore.

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness

Joshua and I have no interest in the basketball tournament going on this week.  All it really means to us is that our regularly scheduled programming is put on hold and we have to find something else to do with our time.  Not a problem!  We have realized that we leave for Europe in 43 days.  It has forever been this thing we will do in the future and slowly that future is becoming the present and I'm not going to lie to you, it freaks us out just a little bit.  That future is just over 6 weeks away and so we are moving into get it done mode for that trip.  

Joshua has created a schedule to get all his current work completed.  I have gone through the clothes we have to figure out what we need to buy for the trip.  I am going through our bills over-paying this month so that we are covered while we are gone.  We have no places to stay so we will begin our search on couchsurfing to find the coolest people to let us stay.  We have been advised to find room for Switzerland in the trip so we are going to rearrange our plans for that.  We have to buy our railpass.  I am wondering if we can find a way to rent out our house while we are gone to cover expenses...but Joshua is not thrilled about that idea.  And that is just while the tournament rages around us and most everyone we know loses $5 in the company pool we are lost in our own travel prep madness.  

Let us know if you think we are forgetting anything.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We blame Ty and Heidi

They are the reason we haven't blogged recently. has nothing to do with the fact that we are lazy busy.  

We really enjoyed having them in town for a few days and the picture today is from one of the games we played with them (it is apparently the only game Ty liked so if you are looking for a gift for Ty run out to Germany or your nearest online dealer and buy him Carcassone).  It is also another trick we played to get a creative picture of Heidi.  She is only just now going to find out that the reason Josh moved all the pieces around was to perfectly frame the reflection of her face in our conference table.


So things we learned from their trip:

  • Corvette Factory puts out 115 Corvettes a day
  • The quickest way to clear out a party is to start the self clean on your oven
  • Josh couldn't design a creative Easter egg to save his life
  • Tiffany is really not a lot of fun when she has a hole in her foot
  • Frisbee golf is fun even in heavy winds (miniature golf is not)
  • Ty is becoming more and more like Dad with every passing day (except the picking weeds part, Josh picked that up somehow)
  • Stew and Soup are apparently not acceptable meals, EVER!



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break 2008

Ty and his girlfriend Heidi are visiting for a few days during their spring break.  As I'm writing this, we are introducing them to the world of hilarity known as "The Office".  Last night we plugged them in to the cult classic "Office Space".  We were shocked neither had seen it, so it was a must do while they were here.  Although we've seen it dozens of times, it was a different experience for Tiff this time.  Having real world corporate experience apparently offers new insight and perspective into what is and is not parody.  Still hilarious to me.
Today we hit the frisbee golf course, had great weather, minus the hurricane force winds.  It made the round a bit more interesting.  Then there was the Country Music Hall of Fame, some hanging out and playing games and trying to get Heidi in a picture.  We have success:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sushi with Couchsurfers

So tonight is the final night with our couple from Richmond, VA. It has been a while since we have had domestic couchsurfers. It is funny how much harder it is to talk to perfect strangers who are from your country. You don't have the usual, "oh is that how you do it in your country?" to get you by in the lull of conversation.

Bryan and Emily were really nice and pleasant. They took us out for sushi tonight to say thanks. They also told us about this really funny book they've been listening to in the car. It is called A Year of Living Biblically. It is about a man who tries to live one whole year by the literal letter of the Bible. It sounds really funny when he has to figure out how to stone an adulterer. That is so going to be my April book (Josh and I have also decided that we are going to read one non fiction book a month so we don't get stupid).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The New Thing With Hands

So it seems that every few years I have a need to change the tool of trade for my hands. There was a full 4 years of cross-stitching in college. Then there was knitting for a good hot and heavy 2 years. Then Josh and I moved into stained glass and that one seems to really be sticking even though it has been an off again, on again relationship. So...what to do now? Enter sewing... DSC_0002

Sew if you want to know what you are getting for Christmas, Easter or any other holiday chances are it can be made with this machine. I was talking to my mom the other day asking her for ideas on different things I could sew everyone. She asked if everyone should expect something sewn for Christmas and my answer was yes. But it really could be worse could still be getting things cross-stitched.

ps. that is going to be an apron (for one of you) and look at that ruffle, doesn't that look professional?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Do you smell that?


That is only because we gave her a bath today. If we hadn't done that the smell would be creeping out through your keyboard and every once in a while it would just slap you in the face. You'd be 3 websites away and still smelling dog.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Lazy Start to Daylight Savings


The only constructive activity for the day was putting up our new artwork in the dining room. They were a Direct Buy purchase, so we were a little worried about the colors looking right, but we're very pleased. It was a beautiful day out, but unfortunately Tiff is unable to walk or be on her feet for a short while. Friday morning we went to see a podiatrist so she could have a planter's wart cut out of her left foot. It was an interesting experience. We learned all about warts. By the look of the huge cavern in Tiff's foot, I'd say that sucker shouldn't be coming back. I contemplated putting a visual up, but we decided against it - you're welcome.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happy 5 Years to Us

Josh and I are so busy working on our big 6 week trip to Europe that we completely forgot about our anniversary this year-TOTALLY!  We had already decided we weren't going to do anything special because in 2 months we are doing something amazing and don't want to spend any money until then.  It wasn't until I opened the ecard from my mom that I even realized it was the day we got married 5 years ago.
So unknowingly to us, this is how we celebrated our anniversary.  We got up a little late and we had a beautiful 3 inches of snow.
Then we went to an auction in our neighborhood where the snow kept people from coming and the house was almost given away.  Our friend (who wasn't expecting to buy a house today) almost won it.  I'm a little glad he didn't win though because if that auctioneer had stopped with his bid I know for certain we would have had to get him medical attention in the middle of his new house.  I LOVE AUCTIONS!
So now we are home.  We'll spend the rest of the day cleaning or messing around and then we're off to church and our friend's house for dinner.  
Really, it isn't a bad day for an anniversary but we just feel a little silly for completely forgetting.  At least we love each other a lot everyday so neither of us is offended if this one day was overlooked.  We'll make it a point to celebrate in Rome on May 8th or in Berlin on June 8th.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Doing Something Normal

In an effort to keep up with our life and the "outside of normal" things we are doing, Joshua and I have decided to start the most normal thing of 2008-blogging.  We have discovered that as an "adult" time seems to run past with no markers and we want to be intentional about leaving markers to look back and remember.  We want to remember the fun, crazy and even the hard things we learn through experience.  
So...this is where you can find us now.  We'll keep you up to date on our life, activities, and adventures.