I'm not much of a valentine's day fan, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise since we've even started to not celebrate birthdays around here - at least not with gifts. But this week did bring me/us several reasons to celebrate, so we obliged rather happily!
First of all, I had a knee appointment on Thursday morning - a very romantic way to start the day, I know. The good and pretty damn good-looking doctor prodded, poked and groped my knee, commenting that it felt "great!"(I love that a knee can become a point of admiration). I exhaled a sigh of relief that I have yet to ruin his handicraft! My last cortisone shot was back in June, so making it 8 months between shots is pretty significant, and the shots seem to continue to work - fingers crossed! Not that I'm dealing with great pain, but it starts to build up and do more than just "nag". If the doctor approves the shots as a course of action, who am I to protest, especially if it keeps me on my feet and moving.
While we swore off any 'romantic' celebrations on Thursday, we actually did have dinner plans for Friday due to a Groupon that was about to expire. As it turned out, we ended up with more than just a three-day weekend and a belated fake holiday to toast. After work yesterday, we drove to the Valley (amazing when I go to a part of LA and I ask myself or whoever I'm with "Where the hell are we?"; that was definitely my experience yesterday afternoon - not that I haven't been to the Valley, but not to that part of it) and signed what seemed to be our life away in the form of loans and deeds and titles and so much other paperwork. We also got a date to close on the house that we almost own - a real date and a real house: March 7. HOLY CRAP! We are now officially entering adulthood in the form of "Home Ownership"! Like all major ventures, this is both exciting and terrifying, and we can't quite believe that it's happening.
I've kept mum about the house search - even in real life, as much as possible - because it seemed like such a fragile possibility and because it has been a somewhat emotional process. After years of vacillating between our dream of moving to another city or state and the idea of buying a house in the LA area, we finally decided back in October to get serious with the house business. Redfin.com became not a fun little escape but an important source of information that we scoured weekly and even daily at times. In October and November, house hunting took over our weekends as we spent hours on Saturday and Sundays at open houses, often feeling deflated because we didn't like the places or equally deflated because we did like them but knew that we would probably be outbid (which did happen - someone put down an all-cash offer on one of the houses we bid on, so how could we compete with that?). In this process, we learned quite a bit about ourselves and what we wanted/needed in a house and some of our expectations were different from what we thought they would be. First of all, because of our two larger dogs, we really couldn't be in a tiny place (under 1,000 square foot - believe me, we saw plenty of those!). Also, a yard was key. Ditto for a two-car garage. And decent closet space. And a logical floor plan. And a decent neighborhood where I could go for a run. And not too much work to make it liveable. And we didn't want to be house poor. This all seems fairly basic, but we couldn't believe some of the places that we saw (too small, weird neighbors, a nice big pitbull next door, zero closet space, no yard...). We initially locked into the house back in December, but it did not seem real until the past few weeks when we had the inspection, the appraisal and all sorts of documents come through that indicated that it was ours if we wanted it and if we signed on all the dotted lines!
And now, after all the waiting and looking, we have a closing date and we know when we'll be moving, give or take a day. Excited and kind of overwhelmed, we definitely celebrated last night at Bashan, indulging in one of the best meals that we've had lately. We hadn't planned the timing, but it worked out well to eat some amazing food and drink excellent wine after signing away our lives and before the giddy excitement could wear away. Soon we'll have to face the hard work that comes along with home buying, but for now, I'm content to just enjoy the moment!