Friday, January 30, 2009

What's in a name?

Have you ever named a house? I have only heard of this being done in India where everything was named (homes, businesses, etc) and they did not have addresses. It was kinda weird, but I thought it was just an Indian thing.

I was showing the guys at work the progress of my house and they asked me if I was going to name it. I looked at them like they were crazy and they continued to explain to me that people really name houses! Seriously??!!

So, with everything else going on in my world right now, I will throw this out there....any suggestions on a name? If I choose something that one of you suggested, I will give you a nice "happy" (yet to be determined...maybe something Belgian, African, or Egyptian??!!).

So, get to work on finding me a name!

And for inspiration, here are some latest pics of my little house. Check out the snow! There was a blizzard in Memphis! Hahaha!! I love the arches going from the great room into the dining room...and the half wall to open it it!
This is the laundry room!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chef Tippa? I don't think so!

I met with my relocation agent, Christian, yesterday to get information regarding my move and list of more things that need to be taken care of before my departure from Belgium. He went through my apartment and helped me list items which needed to be cleaned, etc. My apartment was completely renovated before I moved in with all new appliances, etc in the kitchen.

Christian walked over to my stove top and look at the vent-a-hood. He told me to remember to change the filter. I said, ok let's take a look at it. I did not even know there was a filter in a vent-a-hood.
He walked over, looked at the vent-a-hood and filter and laughingly said, "Um, do you cook much?". I burst out laughing and told him, no, I do not cook much at all! He said, "I can tell. Look at this, it is like it has never been used!".

As you can tell, this has barely been used at all. The blue protective tape is still on and even a little sticker!
Chef Tippa, I am not!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just a little stress....

My mother reprimanded me because I have not posted anything in about a week. I told her there was not much going on and I seriously have not done anything. Well, except for clean out drawers, made to-do lists, post electrical appliances that I cannot take back with me on different websites in hopes that I can sell them, dream about my new house and how I am going to decorate it, miss my Maxie, and work!

See. I told you I am boring these days!!!

There is so much to do before I move back that I cannot seem to sleep nor find a place to start! I started last weekend by posting the items I wanted to sell on various expat websites. Then, I started making my list of things that I have to carry on the plane with me (important documents, medications, clothes for about a month, items that are irreplaceable or expensive, etc). Another list for things that will go in my initial shipment (necessities to get me by until my household shipment arrives) which will make it to Memphis about 1-2 weeks after I arrive (my bed, more clothes, kitchen items, etc). And a final list of items that will go with my household goods shipment which will arrive about 5-6 weeks after I arrive (this shipment is going by boat over the Atlantic then trucked to me).

Sounds easy enough, right? Not really. There is just SO MUCH!

Anyway, on top of all of that, I am working. And, to top that...I still have 1 more travel trip for work. That trip will take me to Johannesburg, South Africa and Cairo, Egypt!!! And, to top all of that....this trip will take place February 21st - March 4th.

Exciting, uh??!

Yes and no. That is a mere 4 days before the movers arrive to pack me up! 4 DAYS!!!!

Talk about timing! I almost backed out of the trip, but then it hit me....SOUTH AFRICA AND EGYPT!! I cannot miss that just to organize some closets and pack my stuff. When will I ever get that opportunity again!?!

So, here I am....51 days before I am scheduled to board a plane and start my new life in Memphis (I am leaving Brussels on March 16th). I got a couple of things done this weekend, but I am still feeling so overwhelmed and unable to focus. Truth be told...I cannot pack a box. The movers have to pack everything and since they insure it, they have to pack it. I just have to get ready and organized. I am stressing over that part. I have a relocation agent who is helping me finalize things like closing my bank account; cutting off my electricity, gas, internet, cell phone, etc; and handling the inspection of my apartment. Therefore, I just need to learn to trust and give up some of the control and let these people handle what they are supposed to!

Ahhh! If I remember correctly, I was having this same overwhelming, controlling feeling when I moved over here! Some things never change!

Anyway, besides that, my little house is moving right along!

This is the side view.
A picture of the steps leading up to my porch!!
This is in the great room and Maxie giving her sniff of approval!
Inside the garage. They had just poured by driveway!
And, in case you were wondering how Maxie is doing. From the looks of it, she is just fine and only getting a little bit of attention from her grandparents! Yeah, right! She has been such a blessing to them since they lost Max last week! I am so thankful she is there to share popsicles with her Grandpaw!
Do you think she has a long tongue?She is one loved little girl!

To all expats (and others) out there: any tips on packing up and heading home? I would love some advice. Any suggestions on 'must take home' Belgian/European items?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Maxie's Approval

My little house is coming along and starting to take shape!!
My parents are driving by and checking in on the construction continously and I love them for that! Daddy wants to make sure everything is done according to plan, so this is him measuring the bedrooms to make sure they are the right size! And I thought I was picky!
Then there is my Maxie....she is checking out her new home!
And I think she approves!

Friday, January 16, 2009


After over a year of being sick, Max went to Doggy Heaven this afternoon. Max was 14 years old and lived a long, good life. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

We love you, Maxwell!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little update...

There is nothing going on in Brussels besides me being sick and can't get out of my bed. Jet-lag and being sick does not go well together. I am sleeping at all the wrong times and cannot seem to get that under control. I am hoping I can get back on track this weekend.

Anyway, since there is nothing going on over here, I thought I would update you on my house. Look at this:

Foundation all nice and neat:
and they even started framing!
Wow, they are moving fast! A slow economy works wonders on getting a house built in no time flat!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


A purpose filled life requires a solid foundation...

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Back!

I made it back to Brussels safe and sound this afternoon! As many times as I have made that trip over the big pond, it is still so weird to be at my parent's house one minute and then 15 hours later (8+ hour flight, 2.5 hour train ride, taxi, etc) be writing a blog posting from my bed in Brussels! So weird!

Anyway, the flight was uneventful (yay!) and I slept the entire time. I mean seriously, they fed us dinner and I was out as soon as they took my tray away and did not wake up until they turned on the lights to serve us breakfast! Thank God for business class!!

So, I am back and it is freezing here in Brussels and there is even a little snow on the ground! Back to reality and jet-lag! Oh, and I am sick...nice. I just love Memphis weather. It was 60 degrees on Saturday morning and in the 30s that night. That kind of a change does a number on my sinuses. Yippie!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Progress Already!

Just to warn you, my loyal and special bloggy friends, you are going to get tired of reading about my house! I am so freaking excited I can barely stand it!!! I will try to keep the updates under control and continue to focus on my European adventures (I am not done yet).

However, this week has been very productive. I signed the contract on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning, this was happening...
Yes, that is right...they are moving dirt! I could not believe it! Wow, they do not waste any time! I drove by today and they are actually framing it up to pour the slab! Very impressive!!! And, I cannot believe I did not take a picture!

And, I am being honest here, I am ready to get back to Brussels. Not because I miss it so much, but because if I were here, I would be the most annoying home builder ever. I would drive by daily, probably critic everything they do, and make too many changes on things that I have already decided on. See, something you may not know about me...I do not make decisions well. I am the type that needs to know all my options, all of them, so I can make an educated decision. However, I always second guess myself and change my mind.

God was with me as I made the initial decisions about my house. Seriously, I did not stress or feel overwhelmed at all about making them, I saw my choices and made them...and was done within a couple of hours. I chose my brick, shingles, shudders, outside paint, hardwood, cabinets, granite, tile, lights, etc. Everything. I walked away with only a couple of items to finalize.

Then, my mind started thinking...and today, I redesigned my entire kitchen. Yes, that is what I said...the entire thing. I chose completely different cabinets and island! Now, that means tomorrow I have to go and make sure the granite and hardwood are still fine.

This is not good. I must learn to make a decision and go with it. When it comes to work decisions, I am totally confident and make a decision and stick to it. But when it comes to my personal life, I second guess everything. What is up with that??

So, here we are...I love my new kitchen and totally happy about it now. I would post a picture but you really would not get a good idea from the picture I it will have to be a surprise!!

Aren't you excited!!??

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Southern Living

I am a girl of all things southern. I have missed living away from the south so much and being home for an extended period of time has really made me realize how much of the southern ways and hospitality I have missed!

Here is an example and update on my house!

I am building a house in a fabulous neighborhood (I am sure you know that already!). I met with the builder's wife who handles answering the questions, picking out the 'stuff', etc. This is a family owned business so I am literally dealing with the husband, wife, and son throughout this entire process. This lady is named, Miss Helen (did you catch the "Miss" southern!). Miss Helen was so sweet with her southern accent and answered all my questions. I told her the house I liked and she said, "Oh, Miss Becky built that house and it is so cute. You have to see it. I will call Miss Becky today and get that set up!". She also said that Miss Libby just moved in around Christmas and did the same floor plan and that I would have to see her house too!

Love it...Miss Becky and Miss Libby!

We were able to get to see Miss Becky's house a couple of days later! It is so cute! Miss Becky is an older lady and just so sweet! She had a beautiful home and really helped make a lot of my decisions a lot easier!! We were not able to see Miss Libby's home, but that was ok, I just loved it so much from the outside that I chose the same one! Seriously, below is a picture of Miss Libby's house....and also, my future house!!!!! I loved the brown paint color and brown shudders with the white trim!

This is a funny story....when my agent and I were writing up the contract there was a line where you had to write in the name of the plan you wanted to build. We literally wrote "Miss Becky's plan" on that line. I am not kidding...this contract said that we wanted to build Miss Becky's floorplan! I find that so funny!!! Only in the south would that happen!!!!

Let me introduce you to my future place of residence and the current home of Miss Libby!!

This is Miss Becky's kitchen! I loved it so much that I chose a very similar cabinet and the same granite countertops!
This is Miss Becky's master bathroom! Loved it this will be my bathroom! Notice the oiled rubbed bronze faucets! Love them!
I decided to do granite in the bathrooms as this will be my master bathroom vanity.
A girl has to have a place to shave her I had to have the seat in the shower as well!
My walk-in closet and laundry room will have these split doors! Love them!
And this will be where my future home will reside! So, this is my mud!
And my street! (Notice Miss Libby's house on the left corner.)
I cannot wait to get this process moving along! I am so relieved that the contract has been signed and the building can begin! It has been raining like mad these past couple of days so hopefully that has passed and we can get the slab poured this week or next! They are saying we can close at the end of March!! Just in time for my grand move back over the big pond!

Stay tuned for house updates!!! I look forward to taking you along for the ride!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just stuff

Hello bloggy friends! I am sorry I have not posted lately. Things have been a little busy since I have been home. I have loved every minute of being home and it seems really surreal to be back here for so long this time. It has been nice to see so many friends, hang out with my family, get stuff ready for my new house, and just 'be' in the good ole USA!

So, here is a little (belated) recap of what has been going on:

Family Christmas was very nice and calm. Christmas Eve is our big family night, which leaves Christmas Day to my immediate family and my grandmother. We decided to have a little jammie party (thanks for the idea, Robin!) and stay in jammies all day and play the new Wii! We had so much fun! Aren't we cute in our jammies!?!

This is my grandmother, me, Maxie (yes, she had jammies too!), my sister Angie and mom.
Daddy did not get into the jammie action...
Max, my parent's dog (Maxie's namesake):
Aren't we cute?!?
I have been fortunate enough to see many sets of friends! After the Christmas Service at my church, I met up with my girls....Ginnie, Emily, and Amanda!
Then, another night, a bunch of college friends got together with their families (yes, I was the only one there without a child!). Talk about some good birth control!!! It was so good to see all of these girls and their families!! We did have a great time and the kids were very well behaved! I only had to drink half the bottle of wine (just kidding!!)....

This is Melissa's crew...
Laura and her family...
These are Teresa's kids. I never could get Teresa or Sean in a picture with their babies! Below are the twins, Marley and Maverick, and Mackenzie!
This is Margo's family...
Stephanie and her little one...
And we tried our best to get a group shot. This was as good as it got!
I spent New Year's Eve at my friend, Jennie's, downtown Memphis condo! It was so fun to hang out with her and see her new place!

I love being home and getting to catch up with so many friends (the ones seen here and many others as well). I am really looking forward to getting back home more and more!

More to come soon on my house! I made an offer today on the new construction, so I hope to know something official tomorrow so we can break ground!

I head back to Brussels on Sunday, January 11th, so there is still a lot of stuff to pick out for the house!

So, stay tuned...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing You 12 Months of Happiness;
52 Weeks of Blessing;
365 Days of Laughter;
8,760 Hours of Good Luck;
AND ....
31,536,000 Seconds of Success.

Thank you for being a part of my days. I wish you a very happy and safe new year.