Chronicles of Homeownership: my first panic attack


Just got Keys
Bench

Yep. I am the new owner of a 2 bedroom craftsman
in Seattle's King County. Take a minute to swallow that one.

 When I got the call that my offer on the house was accepted I had my first panic attack. In a moment of utmost insanity, I even called my real estate agent in a panic to see if I could rescind my offer. After pacing around my car 20-times, I came back to my senses and the long, intimidating process of acquiring my house began. I barely slept that evening in fear, doubting my long-planned decision. Weeks later I sat, alone, at a long wood table at a title office high in the Columbia Tower. And looking out to my city of which I would soon own a tiny patch of, I signed my name on a 4-inch stack of papers financially binding me to my mortgage for all eternity.    Alone.
It was exciting and powerful-feeling, but also incredibly scary... There I was, signing my name on a document that said, essentially, if I failed to keep up with my mortgage payments I would be given the black spot. My heart clenched at the realization of the responsibility I was taking on.

And that, my friends, is how I learned about fear and anxiety. Luckily that anxiety has worn off with every mortgage payment I make. And it's now been replaced with confidence. 

Since getting the keys to the house in late July, I took a running start at renovations before the cold, wet winter set in in Seattle. My pre-inspection of the place revealed that I needed to replace the roof and hot water heater quickly, if I wanted to avoid any concurrent damage to the house. So I jumped to get the roof replaced, water heater and furnace upgraded, and painted my bedroom (just cause I could). 

 Fruit from the Asian Pear tree in the front

Fruit from the Asian Pear tree in the front

 first stoop sitting

first stoop sitting

 Brian cutting wood to update the front fence 

Brian cutting wood to update the front fence 

 Dad coming to my rescue in the front yard

Dad coming to my rescue in the front yard

Roofers
 Lauren's art trailer

Lauren's art trailer

Backhoe

But homeownership isn't all HGTV and rainbows. Sometimes the house throws you a curve ball you had not anticipated—such as mopping up sewage in my basement bathroom the morning after a house-warming party. Hours later, I am standing in my front door watching a backhoe dig a 8-foot deep hole in my front yard to replace one of the old sewage pipes. That basically drained me of all the money I had left for the house. 

I understood then why so many businesses have signs in the bathrooms pleading to go easy on their old pipes. It's not fun or cheap to upgrade. The whole plumbing ordeal gave me such stress that I developed a pinched neck muscle and got sick from stress. Not chill, Meg. 

After the sewage pipe debacle, I learned to slow down and give myself a little slack on the home renovations. No home is perfect, it is always in-process. As a friend shared with me: "You probably won’t find your dream house. You’ll end up making it." You just have to give yourself a little patience with the process. 

Cat in Window
house
Home

2017 in Review

Over the years, things just start to blur together—that why I started compiling these yearly recaps to reference later.  2017 has been a big year—juggling family, romance, responsibility, friendship, and creativity—and trying to nurture each. Here's a log of all that's happened this year.

Highlights of 2017

  • Hosted a solo art show at CAM in Belltown featuring 5 linocuts on washi paper, with handmade walnut frames. 
  • Met this guy on a kickball team and went geoduck fishing on our first date 
  • bought a house in West Seattle 
  • replaced a roof
  • learned a lot about heating, ventilation, and *plumbing*
  • took a trip to Tofino on Vancouver Island
  • started attending Non-Violent Communication sessions with friends 
  • accepted a temporary position on the Merchandising team at Starbucks.

 

Favorite Reads

Favorite Albums

Looking into 2018—there are two main themes I want to focus on for myself as well as a list of tactical things I would like to complete throughout the year. 

Spinal Health: strengthening the muscles along my spine so that when I have moments of stress it doesn't result in pinched nerves or sicknesses. 
True Time: Be able to manage my time better so that I am not rushing from place to place. A big part of this also entails not over serving myself in activities in a weekend day, and recognizing the true time allotment for a task. Also, building in time to kick back, relax, and be content sitting at home with a book.

  • start an herb garden
  • design a textile for the window bench
  • design and sew a quilt
  • travel abroad! 
  • set up a basement art studio (paint, shelving, file cabinet, flat file system)

Trip Log: Tofino, BC

Trip Log: Tofino

Last month, Brian and I took a long weekend trip to Tofino, BC. Tofino is a town on Vancouver Island in Canada. To get there, we took a ferry from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, BC—from there it's a five hour drive to Tofino. Woof. It's definitely a haul to get to, but as in life, the good things take work to find. And Tofino is magical. Here's a bit of what we did and where we stayed in case you are trying to check it out yourself. 

Lodging: 
Bella Pacifica Campground
Way Point Resort

What to do other than chill on da beach
Surfing (the main event) - Cox Bay, Chesterman's Bay for if it's too heavy
coffee and doughnuts at Rhino Cafe (they also have a killer breakfast burrito)
Big Daddy's Fish Fry 
Burgers at the highly regarded Wolf in the Fog.
Tacofino
Zodiac boat ride to Hot Springs Cove

Concerning the Hot Springs Cove: 
It's a natural hot spring you can only visit by boat and hiking in. There are many outfitters that offer tours to the cove, as well as whale watching and bear watching. I would recommend going with Ocean Outfitters—they had naturalist on board that are more equipped to describe the nature and wildlife. Our outfitter had us put on these kind of ridiculous survival suits but in the end I was grateful for the warmth and protection. On the way we saw tons of grey whales and a sea otter nursery floating in a offshore kelp forrest. It was an all day event and pricey, but the experience was definitely worth the cost. 

Mist and fog floats in and out from the sea and filters through the valleys in beautiful ways. Watching it, you can feel the area has a rich story—some mystery about it.
Looking around, you can tell everyone else feels it too.

Tofino
 Cox Bay

Cox Bay

Tofino
Trip Log: Tofino
 Photo by Cori Rosenberg (@corir)

Photo by Cori Rosenberg (@corir)

 Wya Point Resort

Wya Point Resort

Trip Log: Tofino
 Tofino Brewing Company

Tofino Brewing Company

 2-hour zodiac boat ride to get to Hot Springs Cove—loved it. 

2-hour zodiac boat ride to get to Hot Springs Cove—loved it. 

Trip Log: Tofino
Trip Log: Tofino
 Hot Springs Cove —only accessible by boat

Hot Springs Cove —only accessible by boat

Trip Log: Tofino
Trip Log: Tofino
Trip Log: Tofino
Trip Log: Tofino

Creation

In the spirit of the new year, I have a moodboard of images depicting Creation (with a capitol C) that I have been collecting. Once you see someone's visual interpretation of our beginning, you start to find others. I think they are so epic and weird. Excited to make things this year. 

2016 in Review

Apologies for filling up a piece of the internet with my own exercise in self-reflection. This medium has proved to be a very accessible format for me to reference, and if others want to read it you are welcome to. 

2016 has been a year of big changes—good and bad. Internally, I have been attempting to recognize the network of amazing and supportive friends, family, and creatives I have cultivated for myself over the years—to see how full my cup truly is and be present with that fullness. In the larger picture, Donald Trump was voted as president elect of the United States that resulted in a wave of protest and unease in his wake. I am not going to get into all that cause I could easily fill a journal with words and feelings and visions of a post-democratic mess. So instead, here is a quick breakdown of my favorite things about this year. 

Favorite Reads

Favorite Albums

Personal Highlights of 2016: 

 

The holidays were so busy that I really haven't had a chance to look forward to what's in store in 2017. But I am starting to think more about what I want to work on this year. So far I have two goals/intentions for this year. I want to take an intro ballet dance class. And secondly, I would like to practice talking slower and more intentionally. Life is moving too quickly and there is so much to discuss that I suspect I've developed the ability to talk someone's arm off! This year I'd like to speak less, say more