Who am I? I am a wife, a mother and a woman on a search for her true self. This blog is a recording of my search, my experiences, and my own little quirks that I've decided to share with the world.

I am also unemployed, changing professions through education, and involved in a move from one part of the country to another. This blog will also record all the trials and tribulations in my search for a realtor to sell, the communications with the realtor that I've chosen in the new area, and any and all experiences within. I look forward to the feedback.

Basically - a woman's diary - edited for the public and to share my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the world around me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving...The day we give Thanks for the creation of the "New World" - the day that the pilgrims were giving thanks to the Indians (aka Native Americans)for teaching them how to live in the New World.

Today, I'm thankful, not for these things, but for Family. My husband, is deployed to lands that are a world away. But my family rallied and they're here supporting me and my son. My husband, meanwhile, had a crappy Thanksgiving...The man who lives for turkey, dressing (aka stuffing), green bean casserole, orange salad (I don't eat it, but I make it), pecan pie with ice cream, mashed potatoes (as you can tell this list is not in eating order), jellied cranberry sauce, and more turkey - all served with a good white wine...was told when he went to dinner that they only served Thanksgiving dinner at lunch...thankfully, wherever he is, they serve it elsewhere as there are like 40 some odd mess halls, so he did get his turkey...although he said he wasn't sure that the mashed potatoes were really potatoes at all...My neighbors offered us a place to share dinner if we didn't already have plans.

That offer would have never arrived had we still be in the Metro D.C. area. I am so thankful that we moved. For this town, for the friends that I have made. Charlottesville, Virginia is a place where family and friends mean something. When I am feeling depressed, I am fortunate that I have friends stop by (like they know that I'm holed up) and demand that I come out and go for a walk with them. I have friends that demand I join them at the gym. I have friends that are so supportive, and I am just really lucky.

I am thankful for all that the Creator has given to me. I am truly blessed. So, on this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for family, friends and acquaintainces as well as for our U.S. Troops who are fighting in foreign lands to allow us to have the freedoms that we have. Perhaps, if we thought about that, we'd all be happier...Just for a little while.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Process of Moving

So, I mentioned in my profile that I'd talk about my Realtors who helped me sell my home and who helped me buy/purchase my home here in Charlottesville. I failed to do that, so I will do it now.

First, my Realtors in Germantown, MD - they were AWESOME! So, no one really gets how stressful it is to sell a home. Not to mention, that despite the fact we're ready to sell it, the minute we put that house on the market, we realize how much we love the house and how much we'll miss it when we're gone. Jackie Lawrence and Dorette Hess from Century 21 really helped me through everything. They were true professionals and Dorette did a fantastic job keeping me grounded through the entire process.

They were open and honest when they walked through my home prior to us deciding to use them. Keep in mind, we also chose to put our home on the market during the winter holidays - yes, crazy we were! Our house went on the market in Germantown, Maryland on 1 December 2011 and had a full fledged contract on it by January 5th. We went to settlement on February 25th. It sold for less than 9% below asking and we were able to get slightly above market value for our home.

Here's the slide show I made for my facebook page. I thought our home was gorgeous. I particularly like the shot of my pup sitting in "her" chair...she refused to leave the room.

So Jackie was the business side and Dorette was most definitely the hand-holding side. They are a terrific partnership and gave great advice, acknowledged our emotional ties to the home and celebrated with us when it sold so quickly. They were professional, friendly, fabulous and I'd recommend them to everyone in the metro Washington, DC area.

Here in Charlottesville, VA I began looking for homes back in 2009. I contacted a realtor who seemed to be on the up and up and she was very willing to put in a lot of time with us in regard to the lengthy time prior to our move as well as recommending neighborhoods. Although, we found she had some quirks (who doesn't) and some prejudices, we thought we were in good hands. This was until we put an offer on a home with a difficult realtor. The seller's representative was primarily a commercial realtor. First, let me say that in general a commercial realtor is a true sales man. They are aggressive in regard to getting the best value for their money. The Buyer put their house on the market for a STEAL! We wrote a contract and initially said that it was contingent on the sale of our home. They rejected this clause and said they'd only deal with us if we voided this contingency from the contract. Against our instincts but on the best advice of our then realtor, we amended the contract. Then the contract on our house fell through and we realized we would not have any money for a down payment without raiding our 401K investments. This is against anything and everything that we, as a couple, and a financially savvy couple at that (after all, I do have my BS in Business Management and FINANCE!!) believe in. So we looked at how to walk away from the contract. The Realtor that we were working with at this time said there was no way for us to do that. WHAT??? Nuh Uh. So, after consulting with our attorneys, and she referring us to another attorney, the deal collapsed. Two days later, we asked to no longer work with her and we cancelled our professional working relationship. She added additional stress to the buying process by not knowing what our full rights as property purchasers were. She was fine for going through homes, but when it came to closing the deal she proved to be unstable and unfit for this particular business.

I contacted our insurance company, USAA and they have a Home Buyer's referral program where they refer you to a realtor in the area. This is how we found Dorette and Jackie in Germantown. So, they referred us to Barbara Drinkwater (aka "Willow") from Better Homes and Gardens III here in Charlottesville. She was the BEST REALTOR EVER! Completely zen and calm and she knows EVERYONE. She really helped us out and was just a refreshing breath of fresh air. We thought about putting another offer on the house we originally had put an offer on, because 3 days later, we had another offer for full asking price with ZERO contingencies. They even waived the home inspection!! But the sellers were looking for a cash only deal. In other words, no financial demands. They also raised the price of the house. The house is now being rented. But in the process, we talked to our realtor about the schools.

Schools are important in any homebuying instance where there are school age children involved...Even if you have an infant, this is an important aspect to home buying, because that infant will be attending school in just a few years. Granted, all the schools here in Albemarle County are TERRIFIC, but the city schools still have some work to be done. But, the neighborhood where we really wanted to live was zoned for a school that my former realtor (even though her kids were zoned for the same school) didn't have a lot of nice things to say. This school, Burley Middle School, is awesome. My son was moved from regular classes to honors classes so that he would be challenged. (This never would have happened in Montgomery County) - he is in advanced math and is on par to be taking AP math classes by the time he is in High School. He is doing very well, is challenged and in general, really loves school. AND we got into the neighborhood we wanted to be in and got a steal on the house. Barbara was a fantastic realtor, and I can say that we are friends.

The process of moving, wasn't too bad. The hubby and child were living in an apartment here in Charlottesville with all of the animals. That helped a lot in regard to when the movers came and picked up everything - which worked out to not be too much stuff. We had a budget for 15,000 pounds and we didn't even hit 9,000 lbs. We will when we move out of this house! But I digress. The moving process was handled through my husband's employer and we didn't have to do a thing. Well, I cleaned like a mad demon after they were gone so that it would be bright and shiny for the new owner. When we bought this house, I should have paid to have it professionally cleaned. There is still some negativity left over from the previous owners. I am working to get this out of the house through smudging and imbuing our home with our essence, as a family. It is hard work, but as an energist, I know how to do it right.

We did have some problems in our new home (plumbing) and with the aid of our new neighbors, we were able to get this taken care of right away. So helpful.

Our new community is awesome, and I couldn't be happier with where we are. I know that my son is still somewhat resentful, but it's growing on him too and he's making friends, as am I. With Charlottesville as our new home, we are growing, becoming involved in the community and living life fully.


When my husband took this job, we knew that part of his job description was to travel. However, we didn't realize that he'd be sent to parts of the world that will remain nameless and that it would be for a large span of time...I was thinking weeks at a time, not months at a time. However, we are now dealing with a deployment.

Now, my husband is not military. His is civilian government. So, the support services offered to military spouses is not offered to me. Despite all the research I did prior to his departure nothing really prepared me for him actually being away. I realize that this sounds like a "Pity Party" but let me tell you, this is actually really hard for me. We've been together for 20 years and have never spent more than 3 weeks apart from each other. Facing months apart, despite Skype and email is difficult.

My son, on the other hand, is either hiding his feelings really well or not as concerned as I am. Granted, he doesn't know where his dad is and well, I do. Another feature of worrying.

So, one thing I face daily is that I don't sleep well when he's gone. I did go on several websites where there were chat forums and found that most women, even military wives, don't sleep well at first, when their husband's deploy. So that was a reassuring thing that I wasn't a wimp or something. I also read that it is perfectly natural for a woman to cry or go into depression for a short time after departure of the spouse. Well, this is reassuring too as I've been lying to all my friends that I'm just fine...I'm not fine. I miss him terribly and it hasn't even been a week yet. Which is to me, just silly...when he is gone for two to three weeks on business travel, I'm fine. I don't go into phases of melancholy like I have done this past week...Oh no, I'm OK. Life goes on...but this week, was horrible. Maybe it's because I'm premenstrual. Who knows. It seriously does suck though.

So, as I was saying, this is completely normal - even for Military wives who knew what they were getting into when they married their soldier husbands. Well, I know I'm a strong woman and I respect these women mightily, so I know they're strong as well. If they get depressed, then it's okay for me to get a wee bit sad as well...so, I didn't get dressed on Wednesday until my son came home from school...I did shower. So, that's OK. And to be honest, today was the first day that felt OK. I think I'm getting there.

So, we'll see how it goes from here on out. I'll keep you postedd. It sure does suck though. I guess it just goes to prove that we're what we make of ourselves rather than our dependency on others.

Again, I'll keep you posted.


So, a lot has happened since I posted over a year ago...Geez, WAY over a year ago. I need to blog much more if I want to make sure that I am successful at it, right?

So, we moved. We are now in Central Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is truly a beautiful area and I am so much happier here than I was when we lived in Maryland. Friendships are easier, everything is easier...well, except being a Mom - that is still as difficult as it has always been.

People who tell you they love being a Mom are one of the following:

1. Crazy
2. Crazy with a bunch of kids, messy house and no control issues
3. Lying.

No seriously, being a mom is the most rewarding job a woman can have. I am totally serious here. You learn how to unconditionally love something and someone, and in the process your growth is exponential. However, if you have any germ issues, OCD, neatness issues, etc. you will be miserable. I did not think that I had any of these problems, however, I seem to have control issues. I like to maintain control of my surroundings at all times. This is easy when your child is an infant, but as they grow and gain independence, well your world will tilt upon it's axis.

My child is now 12 (where have the years gone?). He is truly the most spectacular creature upon this planet. However, he did not want to move. We gave him plenty of opportunity to face this prospect, visiting the town where we now live many times in the 18 months prior to actually moving here. However, when it came right down to it, the fact is he didn't want to leave his friends.

Granted, in the time we've been here (again, less than a year) he's made some good friends. We have a beautiful home on a wooded lot with lots of wildlife, and he's very active in sports and school. He also joined a Boy Scout Troop, for which I find myself becoming active. He also really enjoys the Youth Group at church and joined the Gospel Youth Praise Band (a rock band for youth) where he is one of the lead singers.

He is a great kid. However, as my husband constantly reminds me, he and I are the same person. This can make for a challenging relationship. He is just as stubborn as I am, and he tries to be just as wiley, but hasn't lived long enough, or done enough bad things to get a gain on my lifetime experience. Currently, we're having fun learning organization skills and keeping up on his school work.

So, to change the topic entirely, we moved to a college town here in Central Virginia. First, I'm thrilled to be back in a college town. All the culture of a big city, yet you're in a smaller town. Food is AWESOME, bars are cool and there is plenty to do if you want to do it. I didn't truly realize how unhappy I was in Germantown, MD (which is a suburb of Washington, DC) until we moved here. Other than the cliques (which city doesn't have them?) which I am working to figure out, everything is awesome.

I am working on my vocal talents (I am a singer) and looking into employment sometime in the future. The husband said I could do whatever I want...so to figure that out. It is really frightening having options.

Well, I'll write more later, I promise, but for now know that my blog is going to focus on all sorts of things in this fabulous city. Talk at ya soon.