Monday, November 25, 2013

Date 107 - There's No Place Like Home!

Date: November 20, 2013 - November 23, 2013
Type: Big Change
Cost: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ x many more
Planned By: Both

I have been waiting to write this post for a long time. In fact we actually first looked at houses two years ago. Back then I was kind of serious about it, but Adam was just humoring me. He really didn't want to buy a house at that point. So then we moved downtown in April 2012. In October/November of 2012 we started looking again. This time we raised our budget and looked at a nice condo and a short sale fixer upper. In the long run neither of those worked out because we didn't know what would happen with my job's grant the following September. After I got a new job offer at the end of summer, and we learned we'd both be working in the suburbs, Adam decided it was probably time to buy a house. All three times we worked with the same realtor, Susan Smith, and she was amazing! I would recommend her to every person in the Cleveland area looking to buy a house. (really let me know if you want her information)

This time was very stressful. We wanted to pick a house and be in it before Thanksgiving. We saw between 10-15 houses in person in the area we wanted to move to. We put in an offer on 3 different houses. None of our offers were accepted, despite them being near what each house was worth and it being a slow time for buyers. Then one day our realtor called and said we needed to see another house that just went on the market. We met her there 30 minutes later, quickly looked through the whole house, and realized that this was the best one that we had seen in our price range! It has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage, a huge finished basement and a deck (all our must haves). We put in an offer that night.

The following Saturday we were at OU with all of our friends celebrating homecoming 2013! We got a call from Susan that the seller gave a great counter offer and we ACCEPTED! So we celebrated in one of our favorite places with some of our favorite people that we were finally going to buy a house!

Then we had the inspection which didn't go perfectly, but after many negotiations the seller paid for most of the fixes. We were set to close on November 19th, but there were hold ups with the seller and title company so we signed the papers on the 20th.
We were both at work when we got the official call on 11/21/2013. So we had to e-mail our excitement to each other. We got our keys right after work.
Susan met us at our house to give us our keys after work. She gave us our first plant and a gift card! It was really sweet of her. Before she left she took a couple photos for us.
After Susan left we made a toast to our new house with champagne and our wedding glasses, and had our first dinner in our new house.
To remember moving in to our first house we did a short super fun First Home Photo Shoot the night we got the keys (including some photos above)! They aren't that great because it is quite difficult to take indoor photos at night with a tripod, but it was fun. :)
On Saturday the 23rd we moved Obi in to the house in the morning. He was a little nervous and stressed at the beginning, but also excited and curious. After a couple days he got used to it. He got a mini photo shoot, too!
Then my mom, Rob, Adam, two movers and myself moved out all of our furniture from our apartment. It went surprisingly well. We got everything loaded on the truck in two hours (which is short if any of you know how terrible it is to move out or in to Reserve Square). Rob and Adam moved everything in to the house very quickly, and we were done way ahead of schedule! We got really lucky because the snow started falling soon after they were done.
We are so happy that this process is over because are ready to live in a our house as a happy little family!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Date 106 - just Once.

Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Type: Out On The Town
Cost: $
Planned By: Adam

Adam and I have been to many musicals at Cleveland's Playhouse Square while doing this blog. This one was a bit out of the ordinary. Once started off Broadway in 2011. It was made in to a musical based on the movie of the same name. Once hit the Broadway stage in 2012, and successfully won 8 Tony awards. Also fun fact, the original leading lady is now the Mother on How I Met Your Mother!
Once was a beautiful musical, and I mentioned above that it was out of the ordinary. That is because it does not have a live orchestra because the actors play all the music themselves throughout. It was amazing to see them all playing pianos, violins, guitars, drums, etc, while acting, dancing and singing! I was highly impressed.
Another difference between Once and regular musical performances is that they allowed the audience up on the stage before the show started, and during intermission to use the set's bar. We walked up and around and it was really cool being on such a large stage and being able to see the props up close!

The music and story was wonderful. There were some very serious moments, but also many funny times during the performance. The last scene and song was very powerful, and it made me a bit teary.
I would recommend this musical to everyone, and after seeing it I can see why it won so many awards!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Date 105 - Rock On!

Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Type: Out On The Town, Culture
Cost: $$
Planned By: Both

Cleveland is known for being the birthplace of Rock and Roll. DJ, Alan Freed,  popularized the genre by playing this type of music and coined the phrase Rock and Roll. I'm a fan of Rock and Roll, and took two classes on its history while in college. Surprisingly, neither Adam or I had ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame! Until now...
We walked over to the Rock Hall after lunch in the chilly but nice weather. We got a discount for being Cleveland residents (but its still a pretty expensive admission price). 
We did a self tour and started in the largest area, the lower level. There were intereactive listening exhibits with legends and early influences for rock n' roll. There was also many areas for individual artists like Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys and The Beatles. One of the coolest areas was cities and sounds, where there were all the main cities with tons of memorabilia and information about how they influenced the genre. There was even a room filled with information about Cleveland and how it influenced Rock n' Roll.  We also sat in the theater for a little bit and watched clips from Dick Clark's American Band Stand.
On level two we read about the architects of rock n' roll including; Les Paul, Alan Freed and Sam Phillips. They had a small exhibit for Video Killed the Radio star where many TVs were playing different music videos. One of my favorite interactive listening exhibits was the One Hit Wonder station, also on this level. 
Level Three included the inductee information. There was the glow in the dark inductee signature wall, a TV with induction nights and exhibits about the new inductees. There was also a theater with a video about the induction to the hall of fame, but we didn't stick around to watch it because it was so long.
Next, up on level four we listened to the Hall of Fame jukebox. It had so many songs from singers and groups inducted in the Hall of Fame. We also sat in the Foster Theater and watched a videotaped live performance of the Rolling Stones. Then we went over to The Wall. It was a really cool exhibit and we read about Pink Floyd and their production and making of it.
Levels five and six were all about the 50 years of Satisfaction of the Rolling Stones. There were a lot of cool things in this exhibit. Lots of guitars and other instruments used in performances. There were also ​many stage outfits that were quite scandalous. We read about how they became famous, their influence and also their drug problems. The Rolling Stones were very rebellious, but no one can say they didn't have a huge and amazing influence on music!
We ended with level one and the only exhibit down there was Right Here Right Now. There were only a few things to see like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna stage or video outfits, and some guitars from various groups. 
To keep up with the theme, for dinner we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Tower City. Adam and I have been to many Hard Rocks around the world (Paris, Sydney, Cancun, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, NYC, etc.), and its really cool to have one down the street from where we live. Adam got a burger, and I got the Texan pulled pork sandwich. It was a great meal. Afterward we got a shot glass to add to our Hard Rock Cafe collection. 
Overall, this date was great! We had this date planned for a long time, but never got the chance do it. I'm so happy we finally found time because it was definitely worth the experience!