Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Then comes... Home Sweet Home...

So, it's December and boy has winter come early in Texas. Usually around this time we are still walking around in short sleeves and flip flops in the nice, breezy 75 degree weather. Yet, here I sit in my fuzzy North Face jacket and leggings under my jeans in this chilly 30-40 degree weather. We've already had cautions of ice and snow! Yikes!

Last time I wrote Daniel & I were just going house shopping. Wow how things have changed in 2 months. Now that it's a done deal, I guess I can tell you all the nitty gritty details of our journey to becoming homeowners. We went shopping that Saturday and picked out 2 houses we loved. Yup, first trip looking and we found something we LOVED. After trips with the parents to get their opinions and lots of back and forth talk, we decided to put an offer in on one of the houses. The seller had just dropped their price (again!), so we thought it best to come in with a strong offer since I really wanted to avoid the back and forth negotiation. Our realtor (my aunt) called us back the next day to let us know the seller... countered with a higher selling price and we pay half the closing cost (originally we asked that the seller pay all closing costs.) We were crushed. After Daniel and I talked, we called our realtor and told her it was best for our bottom line to walk away from the house. My dad has always drilled in my mind to never get attached to anything and always be prepared to walk away when it comes to car and home buying... he was so right. We got attached and were devastated when we realized we just couldn't have it. About an hour later I get a phone call from my aunt telling us that the seller decided to accept our offer if we were still interested. Talk about meant to be!!! I can't even begin to describe the emotion that rushed through my body. The saying rings true... "if you love something let it go, if it comes back its yours..."

Next came our inspection, insurance, home approval process, hundreds of papers to sign, amendments extending our option period and negotiating roof repairs... I thought it was never going to end. Honestly though, everything went as smooth as it could. We never hit a huge bump in the road that stopped us in our tracks and made us rethink our decision. Nothing was put on hold and, even with the Thanksgiving holiday right in the middle of all this, we still closed on our set date. The ONLY obstacle we hit was finding out 2 hours prior to our set closing time that the closing was a mail in closing since the seller had moved to Oregon. Because of that, we had to postpone our move in a few days to make sure the whole process was funded... which, of course, it did. :)

We finally moved in and are trying to get unpacked before the Christmas holiday. I'm really looking forward to having our Christmas at our home this year. It has been a really bumpy, crazy, full of high's and low's year and I'm really ready to tie it all off and start next year in our new home. I'll be posting pictures as we get things done, but for now... here is a teaser picture of the front of the house :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

...and what a year it's been!

Wow. I know it's only October but all I can say is WOW. What a year we've had! We moved to a new apartment, planned a wedding, got married, my niece turned 1 last weekend, my nephew turned 9, and my other niece, Izzy, turned 11, and my company released it's first video game, Orcs Must Die!. I didn't add in holiday's since that happens every year, but add those in and you must admit, it was crazy. Oh... and I also didn't add all the other birthday's we've gone to since those happen every year as well, but I can to really prove my point :)

To add to all the craziness, Daniel and I are in the process of becoming homeowners. It's so exciting and so nerve wracking at the same time. I can't tell you how many DIY blogs I've visited over the past few weeks looking at kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, even fireplace remodels. Oh boy. I do love a good DIY project though. Anyone that knows me knows how I am about my DIY. If I can do something for half the price, you can bet I'm going to do it. It may take me a while, but I'm going to do it. We're going house shopping this weekend, so hopefully I'll have more to talk about after that!

Daniel and I decided to splurge with some of the money we received as wedding gifts and buy a nice new DSLR camera. I bought the Canon EOS T3 camera and am LOVING it so far. I am definitely no photographer but am really having fun learning how to use the camera and all the different aspects that go into making a good quality photo. Daniel jokes that I'm the new family photographer... I won't go so far to say that but it is a fun hobby for me! I bought the camera JUST in time to take pictures of my niece for her first birthday, as well as my both my niece's and my nephews birthday party. Here's some photo's from the 1st bday shoot and the parties.

I love that the pictures started with a smile and ended with a crying fit. Typical Phoenix. I really can't believe she's already a year old. I can't believe that ANY of my niece's and nephew's are as old as they are. I was in 9th grade when Aaden was born, and now he's 9 years old. I remember my sister, Jennifer, driving me and my friends to the mall to hang out while Aaden was a baby in his car seat in the back. He's my little bug, and is growing up way too fast. I love seeing kids develop their own personality. Aaden was such a funny kid, and still is. He'll do anything to make you laugh. I'm excited to see how Phoenix is when she gets a little older. 
Here's some photo's from the bday party. I haven't edited any of the photo's from Phoenix's party yet, but I'll post them when I do. Gotta love the cake smash photos :)

 Hopefully I'll have more on the house to talk about. We're having our company Halloween party this week, house hunting Saturday, Halloween housewarming party for our friends, The Dennis', on Saturday night. Fun filled weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Allow me to introduce myself... again.

Okay, so maybe it's a little too early to talk about life being married. After all, we've only been married 3 weeks. Wow. 3 weeks... THAT'S IT?! Needless to say we've been busy trying to start our lives together. :)

Let me introduce myself... again. I've legally changed my name... so I am now Mrs. Jessica Ortiz.  I'm still getting used to hearing people refer to me as Ortiz, or referring to us as husband and wife. We're in the process of combining everything... and it's no easy task. Hopefully once we get everything combined we can put in an application to be homeowners. It's my ultimate goal and I am BEYOND excited. We've been planning and talking about it for MONTHS now and I just can't wait!!!

We decided to splurge a little bit with some of the money we got from the wedding and bought a new Canon DSLR T3 camera. I'm no photographer, but I love the art and would really like to think I have an eye for beautiful photography. I'm still playing with it but maybe once I figure it out and get brave, I'll post some pictures for you guys.

Speaking of pictures... have you guys seen the amazing wedding photos?! Our photographer, Shani with Timeless Images did an AWESOME job! You can see them on mine or her facebook! Since I wouldn't want to leave you on such a suspenseful note... I'll add some here :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Then Comes Marriage...

I know it's been a while since I last posted, I apologize. I was CRAZY busy trying to put the final details together for the big wedding bash :)

So, on to the good details! We finally got married on September 17th, and it was the BEST day of my life. There is absolutely NOTHING I would have changed or done different. Daniel was a nervous mess and now has the nickname "Puffdaddy" because he kept blowing out his cheeks trying to breathe while standing up there. I probably have some pictures of it and will post as soon as I get them. We ended up in a pretty intense game of thumb wars so I could try and calm him down. LOL It was the only thing I could do that wasn't distracting to everyone else. The reception was exactly how I envisioned. The colors came together beautifully and the flowers looked amazing! Unfortunately, I didn't get to try the cake but I heard they were to die for. I don't really know how much more detail I can get into without pictures, but all I can say is it was perfect and everything I thought it would be. My only complaint is it didn't last long enough :)

Our honeymoon was fantastic. There is nothing more calming than walking out on the deck of a cruise ship and being surrounded by deep blue Caribbean waters. The first night I had a hard time adjusting to the movement of the ship. It's hard learning how to walk when you feel like your floating like an astronaut. The food was awesome, and they had SO many options. I tried so many foods I had never had before and everything was delicious! Our first stop was Grand Turk where we got off the ship and hung out at the beach and in the waters. It was SO relaxing and exactly what I needed. We went to comedy shows, went to the casino, hung out by the pool, got a pretty rough sunburn, shopped, indulged in amazing food, and just had an all around good time.

I want to give a huge thank you to all of our family and friends who came to our special day and celebrated with us. I hope everyone had as much fun as we did! I'll be posting again when I get pictures!

Oh... and I guess I can share a few of my bridals with you now :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

4 weeks to go...

Crazy isn't it? If you would have told me my freshman year in high school that I would be marrying Daniel 9 years later, I probably would have laughed at you. I didn't think 'high school sweethearts' existed anymore. It really doesn't. Well, it did for us.

Nervous? I get that question a lot. The answer Not yet :) I know I will be. I'll be a nervous wreck and my  sisters will have to keep me focused and keep me from running off into a tizzy and anxiety and nervousness. That's what they are there for. My dad will be there probably holding tightly to my arm to make sure I don't freak out and run away and do something crazy like I do when I get nervous and anxious. It happens, don't laugh. Okay, go ahead... my methods of dealing with anxiety are hilarious and a bit dramatic, I admit. I'm getting nervous just talking about this. Moving on.

We finally got our honeymoon completely booked. We will be leaving the day after our wedding for a night in Miami before we board our ship to cruise through the eastern Caribbean. I. cannot. WAIT! It's going to be amazing. Amazingly beautiful, breathtaking, and so relaxing. I haven't been on a REAL vacation since I was probably 10 years old. We took a mini vacation with our best friends, Christian and Mandy, to South Padre a few years ago before Christian was deployed to Iraq. It was a relieving weekend get-a-way, but other than that, I haven't had the real deal. The week long far away trip to some beautiful beach where you're surrounded by crystal blue water and the smell of waves and the beach every morning. Yeah, THAT'S what i'm looking forward to.

Sunday I took my bridal portraits. It was disgustingly hot, but our good friend, Jennifer, did a great job. After playing a few rounds of Top Golf with my dad and nephew, I started (frantically) throwing together all the little pieces for this shoot I had planned out. Vases, quilts, flowers, balloons... oh, did I mention I was doing all this in a car with no air conditioning when it was 105 outside? It was awesome. Even after all that, the pictures are turning out BEAUTIFUL. I got to see a sneak peek the other day. Let's just say I am ridiculously excited to see the rest of them tomorrow when I pick up my CD.

Now we're down to the nitty gritty details. Here's to keeping my head straight and trying to keep cool in probably the 4 most stressful weeks of my life.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August Showers bring September flowers...

Okay, so it's a little different from the usual, but it makes sense. Just think about it for a bit.

My wedding shower was on Sunday... wait, no... my wedding FIESTA was on Sunday. That's right, we had a fiesta themed wedding shower. My sisters and my best friend, Mandy, did a GREAT job putting the party together.

How CUTE are those? I love them... they are right up my alley and those colors are probably something you would find in my house somewhere. That chevron pattern wraps around to the back and the entire back of the invite is covered in them. Maybe i'll have it blown up and frame it and put it in my kitchen. 

Back to the party. It was awesome and good fun. We had lots of good food, adorable centerpieces, hilarious sombrero's, but most of all I was surrounded by people who loved us. I know, that was sappy... but it's so true. The best part about the shower was not the presents, but rather the people that came and shared in our excitement as we go through this whole journey. It's a big deal to me. I know to some people it's just a party, but to me, it's really sharing in someone else's excitement and life journey. Enough sappiness... on to the presents!

I am pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to stay away from my registry. The weeks after we registered, I obsessed over it. I was constantly adding things, deleting things, and wondering whether I was asking for too much, too little, too expensive, too something! Finally, I just had to let it go... and I didn't check it again. Go ahead, call me crazy... I know I am
So, if you know Daniel and I you will know this is VERY typical of us. I'm usually the more "serious" one and he's the goofy one... when we're both in goofy moods, it can get a lil crazy.

We received pretty much everything we wanted. Fiesta dishes, new bedding (SO excited to start redecorating), new dishes, new beer mugs for Daniel and his friends, and new wine glasses for mine. New everything. Out with the old, in with the new, right? Well, that was my motto at least. Of course, none of this has been unpacked, but we'll get there. 

I really just want to thank everyone who came. You have no idea how much it means to us that you guys were there to support us on ONE of our special days. I know there will be more (bachelor/ette parties, and the wedding day, of course) but this was just the kick off to the rest of the planning weeks. 

Now I get to plan for my bridal portraits on Sunday with the one and only, Jennifer Strain. She is amazing as well as her photography. Here's a little preview of what to expect. I'm SO excited about this shoot!
I'm not telling you what it is, it what it's for... but there ya go :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

First birthday's and junior bridesmaids, oh my!

So, not to confuse anyone but I have a collection of friends with the name Amanda, including my own sister. I got my fill of Amanda's this weekend...1st birthday party with one, and dress shopping with the other. Oh... did I add they both have the same married last name... yeah, talk about confusing.

Saturday morning I headed out with Daniel's mom and his 8 year old sister, Torie, to search for a junior bridesmaid dress. Lucky for us (and for Torie) we found the dress at the first stop. After a few shops at willow bend to find shoes and lunch at Gloria's, we were done by 1pm. Needless to say, we were very successful in our venture for a dress.

Saturday night Daniel and I went to our good friend, the lady formerly known as Amanda Martinez. She is actually the same friend that introduced Daniel and I, so you guys can all thank her :) She has the two CUTEST twin boys and they had their first birthday party Saturday night!

 It was a great party complete with a cute cute cake her mom made (I helped put the dots on), and a candy bar.

Happy First Birthday Luke & Logan!!!

We had SO much fun! I mean really, it was on the verge of ridiculous how much fun we had. We hung out with her family and cracked jokes at each other and ended the night off with a vicious game of spoons and whataburger. I'm not exaggerating when I say vicious... Daniel and I still have scars! LOL. 

Sunday I went shopping with my sister and her stepdaughter, Izzy, who is my other junior bridesmaid. Unfortunately, this shopping trip was not as successful as the one with Torie. We started at noon when the shops opened. 2 malls, a static electric trip to Whatchamacallit, and 6 hours later, we found her a dress we were all VERY happy with! 

Overall, this weekend as short, and tiring... but still one for the books. This week is busy busy busy! Wedding shower preparations for Sunday, plus putting together the puzzle pieces for my bridal shoot the next Sunday. As exciting as it is that we're within weeks of the wedding, it's SO busy! Hopefully I can keep up!