Monday, June 18, 2012

Dear Dad...

I know I'm a little late on my Father's Day Post, but what can I say? I was spending time with my dad on father's day! If I haven't already, I'll admit now that I'm a daddy's girl. He's been the best example of dedication, hard work, and love that I've ever known. 
Since day 1, my dad has been my best friend
When I was little, I used to tag along on side jobs with him, and while any other parents might have had a heart attack letting their little girl up on the roof of a house, my dad put me to work. And I loved every minute of it. And sometimes, if I was really good, I got to go to my dad's softball games on school nights. Back then, that was the highlight of my life! I cheered for him and was always so happy to scream "That's my dad!"
People often say "your poor dad" when they find out he has 4 girls, but he always says he wouldn't have it any other way. He has taught us all the value of hard work, the importance of communication, the reason for good manners, and the meaning of "family." He has been the best role model for me, and I strive to be like him in everything that I do. People always tell me I work too much, but thanks to my dad, I know that my hard work will pay off. He always says "work hard and good things will happen." He hasn't steered me wrong yet.
Celebrating a fantasy football win on Main Street in Disneyland. We make a good team!
Hanging out in San Francisco.
Walking the wall in Croatia (it was hot as hell up there!)
Daddy and all his girls.
Dad and all the boys.
He's also the best husband and best friend to my mom.

This year, to celebrate Father's Day we went to breakfast at the "Virgin Sturgeon" on the river and it was so good and so fun to spend time with my family.
This cool restaurant has an airplane hanger as its entrance.
And it was literally on the water!
Not only is my dad the best dad ever to my sisters and I, he is now the best grandpa I've ever seen. Brendan is one lucky little boy!
 Daddy and Brendan (and his serious face!)
I am so grateful for my dad and his guidance in my life. He's a huge reason I am the woman I am today, and I'm so blessed to spend this lifetime as his daughter.
To my dad, my best friend, and my hero...
Happy Father's Day!
I love you SO much.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

House Hunters Part 1

I love the show "House Hunters," but they're not doing anybody any favors by making it look so easy! If only it were as simple as picking which of the three nice houses is the nicest, we woulda had a house years ago! Corey and I have been on the hunt for our first home for nearly two months now, and it has been a grind, to say the least. Over the course of our search, we've seen nearly 20 houses, and we like things about all of them, but not everything about any of them. 
Here is a small sample of some of the properties we've seen...
This was the first house I really liked. It is gorgeous, and brand-spankin new. But, as you can tell by the picture, it is small. And by small, I mean pretty darn tiny. As for our dream backyard with lots of room for our doggy to run around and big enough for a swimming pool? Ya, not gonna happen in this one. PASS.
This is "Boyd" (named after the street it is located on) and boy, does it have a nice yard! This is more what we're looking for in terms of space and room to expand. But there is ZERO closet space and the bedrooms are very small. While it remained a contender for a while, we could not get past the bedroom size. PASS.
This one I liked, but the street it is located on is not so nice. If there's one thing we've learned throughout this process, it's location, location, location. This one also had no backyard. PASS.
If there's one thing I'd really like in a home, it's an open kitchen and an open floorplan. We plan on doing a lot of entertaining, and we've got a big crew to accomodate. This house had that, and everything was so clean and upgraded. The only downside? It's located on an extremely busy street. We can't have kids and dogs running around on a busy street. Unfortunately, PASS

We'd seen several nice homes like these, all with something we just couldn't compromise on. After a while, all the houses started to look the same. And then it finally happened... we walked into the door of this house and we got that feeling...
When we opened the door and saw the front room, Corey and I both looked at eachother like "this is it!"
The floor plan was open, the walls were freshly painted, the kitchen was completely upgraded...
And the icing on the cake? It already had a pool. We were sold. 
Within two minutes of being inside, we were already planning our offer. This house was listed on Friday morning, and by Friday night, we had put our very first offer in on our very first house. We were nervous and excited and so happy...but we were trying not to get our hopes up too much. By Monday morning, 10 offers had been put on the house. 10 OFFERS. We thought we had no chance. But when our real estate agent called and said we were in the final 2, we freaked out! We had a 50-50 shot at getting our house! We signed our counter offer, sent it off immediately and awaited news. Sadly, on Tuesday morning we got the call that the sellers went with the other offer, who offered well above the asking price. We had gone all in on our initial offer and weren't willing to over-extend ourselves, so we quietly and sadly let it go. They say to keep your emotions out of it, but we envisioned this house as our home. We could see barbeques in that backyard, a Christmas tree in that front room, and I had already designated the nursury. For the first time, we could see it. But our search continues...

Ideally, we'd like to have our house before the wedding so that we can return from our honeymoon to our home and have a place to put all our new stuff. But, like people keep telling me "what is meant to be, will be." All I've ever wanted was a house we could call a home, and I'm ready to find it. Thankfully, our good family friend, Sue, is the best real estate agent who has been right there with us through it all. We'll be looking for more homes this weekend, so *fingers crossed* we find the one!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am linking up with my good friend, Tracy, for her Thankful Thursday series.
In today's results-focused age, it's easy to get consumed by the daily hustle and bustle and to let trivial to-do's takeover our entire focus, but every once in a while it's important to stop and take inventory of all the things that really matter.
I am thankful for...
My family. This is, by far, the most important thing in my life because it includes all the people that are right there with me in everything that I am going through, good or bad. This special group includes my fiance and best friend, Corey, my amazing parents, my 3 beautiful sisters and their better halves, and a whole cast of characters/friends that are like family. And of course, the other love of my life, my dog...
Me & Mr. Colt.
My nephew. While this is an extension of #1, I felt that our newest addition to the gang deserved his own spot. Brendan has brought so much joy to all of our lives...and he is just so darn cute! He's already getting so big, and it's clear he is going to be a stud athlete (which we are all very excited about!). I am really loving watching our little guy grow up.
Brendan says "hi" to all my blog readers!
My job. My job in PR and the new schedule that came with it has completely changed my life...for the better! I have been thoroughly enjoying my weekends, cooking & eating dinner with Corey, and actually observing the holidays. I am also finally feeling "settled in" and comfortable with my new career, which is a wonderful feeling.
My health. I have been really good recently about cutting back on the sweets (with the exception of the sweet tea I am drinking right now). Good health is so easy to take for granted, but we definitely depend on it!
Summertime & Warm Weather. I am one of those people whose mood is directly affected by the weather. It's a darn good thing I live in California! When the sun is shining, so am I.
Baseball Season. I could watch a 3-hour baseball game every single day of the week and never get sick of it. If only the A's would win a little bit more...then I'd realllly be thankful!
Instagram. I can't pinpoint exactly how it happened, but somehow I fell in love with Instagram. I find myself checking it on my phone several times a day to see what awesome pictures my friends have come up with. You can find me on Instagram @stephrosa86
My Wedding. I can't belive how fast the wedding is creeping up! But I am so excited for the big day, and so ready to be a married woman :) I still have a lot of work to do, but it is going to be awesome!

I am also always thankful for my blog buds who continue to come back even when I've neglected my blog for days at a time. I appreciate your support and kind words so much!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sac Blogger Meetup

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a really cool luncheon for local Sacramento-area bloggers. I had so much fun meeting girls that all "get" the whole blogging thing. One blogger described this luncheon best when she said "it's like a Star Trek Convention where you're surrounded by people that GET you!" It was really great sharing stories, blogging experiences, and insider tips... but most of all, making new friends. 
The group at the amazing restaurant, Sienna, in El Dorado Hills.
My in-real-life friends and blogger buds, Jen & Tracy
The lunch menu.
While we had our pick of anything on the menu, we all ordered the pizza dish. We bloggers do have similar taste!
The cute candy bar favors. (Thank you, Tracy!)

To check out the complete list of bloggers that came to the meet up, visit our gracious host,Tracy's, blog
This blog community is a really special group, and I am so happy to be a part of it! I'm already looking forward to the next one in September!