Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas and the Big Move

We went to McKinney, TX to visit my family (part of my family) for Christmas. We didn't see Carolyn's family because she was home in Washington, and we didn't see Rachel because she was visiting Carolyn. We had a great time visiting my parents and Michael (Nichols). Mike N. didn't have to work the entire visit! And Santa was really good to us this year :) Mom taught me how to sew...again. The personal progress Knowledge Value sewing project when I was 12 didn't stick. I made throw pillows for our couch. I bought the fabric months ago, and didn't know how to thread my sewing machine. And now I know. Next time I have a day off, and I'm not taking a CPA exam or moving, I can sew something! I made Cafe Rio Salad with Brazilian Limeade for my family and some guests for Christmas dinner.

We are moving again. This is our 6th move of our marriage. I don't want to move ever again. We keep moving because of school, school, school, and now, work.

Here's our moves:

May 2009. 1st apartment together, a summer only sublet on 156 N 100 E Provo.  Rent:  $400

July 2009 Tiny studio 222 E 300 S Provo.  Rent $350 per month including utilities SCORE!

August 2010 357 S 1300 E Salt Lake City Basement apartment. Moved to Salt Lake City so I could walk to school @ U of U. I was there for Grad school. Rent $650 including utilities. For the record, it was a mistake! I was willing to move to Sandy over Christmas break, and buy another car. But it was too much of a hassle for Mike to move in the end. We learned never to live in a Basement, you get depressed.

May 2011 Biggest move ever to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for Mike to attend law school here. 7th St. $380 per month Summer Sublet. This place was huge and I loved LOVED the huge windows. It also had huge cockroaches, too...*shivers*

August 2011 Moved to 8th St. in Tuscaloosa. $450 per month The students all moved back to Tuscaloosa, and they are a pain in the rear. So is driving to and from Birmingham for 10 hours a week. Get me outta here!

January 2012 Moving to Bessemer, AL. 2bds 1 1/2 bath townhome in an apartment complex. 

So I know I said we were moving to McCalla, and we were. We hadn't signed a lease at Brook Villa in McCalla because we would have to start paying rent immediately, and we didn't want to do that. We had a backup place that costs a lot more money in mind, too. Tannehill Townhomes off exit 100 in McCalla were just bought up by an investor and they had 5 vacancies last time I checked, but they are $900 a month. So we waited until after we got back from TX to sign our lease at Brook Villa. We drove up there to pick our apartment and sign a lease, and we just didn't feel totally good about it. There's no DSL internet, so we have to tether internet from our cell phones. And we would have to sneak and hide Spock. No pets allowed. Also, there were no units with a dishwasher available. The landlord is really nice and suggested we try another place further away from the freeway. This place did not allow pets either, but had internet. However, our cell phones did not work. Internet was the tipping point, so we completed an application and even wrote our check.

Mike was about to sign the lease and scan it back to the manager, when I looked up our new apartment in Green Pond, AL on the map, and google said it would take 45 minutes for me to get to work and for Mike to get to school. It's exactly half way, but it only saves me 15 minutes and poor Mike has a terrible commute, too. I'm still going to be too exhausted to do anything after work. There's no other choices in McCalla, so I looked for apartments in Bessemer, off exit 1 on I-459. There are many more choices. I found a place that is right on the border between McCalla and Bessemer. It allows pets, it's cheaper, it's nicer looking, it has cell phone signal strength, it's the same 45 minute commute for Mike, but it's all freeway driving, and it's a 25 minute commute for me. No complaints there! Also they are very strict about their background checks, so I hope it's safe. Not a soul was outside their apartment when I visited in person, so I guess everyone has a job. There was no mention of section 8 housing on the ad or on the application, so hopefully it's not a section 8 neighborhood. I've heard bad things about Bessemer by a clearly racist source, so I don't know if I totally trust their judgement. The neighborhood looks nice to me. It looks nicer than our neighborhood in Tuscaloosa, so I think it will be ok. So long as I avoid Wal Mart on the 15th and the my friends in Tuscaloosa...Did anyone go to Wal Mart yesterday? I did Yikes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Cool Job

So I started my new job at the awesome accounting firm. All I've done is several weeks of studying for the CPA exam at my desk, and about 8 hours worth of research projects. Today I was given my very first tax return of my own. It's for a non profit. I didn't learn anything about non profit taxes in school, but I just follow the yellow brick road, SALY (same as last year), etc. I'm very grateful for the work. I don't want to forget how to use the software just in time for busy season.

At about the same time I started my very first tax return, Mike took his very first Law School Final. Mike gave all his time and energy for the last several weeks and really for the last 3 months to preparing for this one test. I fasted for him on Sunday, and prayed for him all day. Blessing Mike to be in the top of the class, is actually a blessing for me to have a husband who is in the top of his class. He has to be in the top of the class in order to get a job, and even higher in the class to get a job in Dallas. I sold Mike on living in Dallas on our last visit. We went to Top Golf, and ate In and Out and went to the stores we used to take for granted before we moved to Alabama...such exotic Big Lots.

We are moving to McCalla, AL to be closer to my job. We found an apartment exactly half way between my job and the law school. It's in a very rural area, so rent is cheap and it's very quiet and peaceful out there. No more drunken sorority parties at our house!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Beginings

Thank you everyone who was praying for us. After lots of praying, fasting, and networking, I found a wonderful job at a local Birmingham accounting firm. The company I work for will remain nameless on the inter-webs, but ask me on Facebook, email, phone, or in person and I will tell you :) I want freedom to be very opinionated on my blog, and my personal opinions do not reflect the firm in any way.

Anyway...this firm came highly recommended by every accountant I talked to. They have the largest tax practice in Birmingham, even compared to the national firms. It's located in a shopping center that I LOVE, and that I also work part-time at. I start in November. I found another job at pottery barn kids! Goodbye Temping for AMICO and working at a steel factory. Hello, pretty shopping mall and adorable kids furniture. I get 40% off and Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma, so that will help decorate our apartment. Also, I can't believe how I've been getting by in the kitchen without some of the gadgets they have at Williams Sonoma. How can I function without a garlic press, silpa't, microplane grater, silicone wisk, etc? I bought these "pop up sponges" and they are so cool. The expand to like 15X their size!