Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Slooooooooow Down

Seriously?  I haven't blogged in 2 weeks? I'm kind of surprised it's been that long but then again, not surprised. These past two weeks have been my absolute busiest weeks in real estate.  Realtors always joke that if you want to get busy, take a vacation.  At least I thought they were joking.   Derrick and I leave for California for a 10 day anniversary trip and I am terrified! My business has exploded in the past two weeks and I've never left my it this long. I am just now getting to the point where I feel like I'm not spiraling out of control...just in time to hand it over to the agent covering for me.  Breath..... Breath..... Breath.....

In all seriousness, it will be fine. I've been preparing my clients that I will be gone and I've told them all I want to make this as true a vacation as possible, meaning I'm really going to try not to work.  The thing about real estate is unless you go on a cruise without internet or overseas without a data plan, you are never really on vacation. Your phone will still ring and your email will still pile up. I've told them that I will be checking email and voicemail once a day but will only be responding in an emergency and I will have an agent covering for me who can handle anything. I'm actually heading out this morning to meet with him and try to describe the craziness that is going on. On top of that I had 1 closing last week, 2 this week (potentially 3...what??) , and another that is mid-contract that the sellers and I have been working around the clock on.  

Despite my crazy work schedule we have managed to slow down and have some fun these past two weeks. Last weekend was our last "slow" weekend where we have nothing going on until mid-June. I finally cleared that huge map puzzle off of our kitchen table.  


Yeah, that sat there for 4 months.....

Since finally throwing it back in the box I have cranked out three puzzles! Is that embarrassing? Probably! I think for me it's completely mindless and after a packed workday it's nice to zone out with something mindless. Derrick and I are very different puzzlers. He cringes at this sight because not all of the edges are done. I'm more of a free spirit puzzler...no need for the edge to be done before filling it. 


We also were able to shave Crosby this weekend. It was getting so hot and her fur is thick! Of course it's now been cold for the past two days! It always happens like that! My clippers died halfway through...
Nothing a quick trip to target couldn't fix!

Derrick has been awesome and went into the office and to a listing with me this weekend. I was having major lockbox issues and he and I had to slam it around and fix it. 


For the rest of this week I will be tying up loose ends at work and we will be packing and getting ready for California. As stressed as I am about this upcoming trip, I am even more excited about it! This will be a major turning point in my career I think. I have to remind myself that I need to take vacations and I need to allow myself to slow down. I run my business by offering over the top customer service and striving to go above and beyond so it's hard to leave for 10 days knowing I won't be available to do that. I have to remember that my clients are awesome though and they have all encouraged me to leave.  It will be good!

I'm going to try to blog while in California because I'm just not cool with this 2 week gap thing :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rocking 31!


I'm not much of an accessory wearer. I really never have been. I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 19 years old and I bought my first purse after that. When I was younger I always said I would wear my wedding rings on a chain around my neck. Luckily I came around a bit and proudly wear my wedding rings on my finger, rock a bright bag until it dies, and even wear earrings when I remember!  All this to say I never thought I would be a trend setter with my accessories but holy moley! Let me show you the accessory I get asked about Every. Single. Day.


 Derrick's Mom gave me a different version of this bag for wedding planning. Unfortunately I was not that organized while wedding planning and I didn't really use it. Once I got into real estate I was looking around for a good work bag and remembered this one and it was perfect! I used it for my whole first year in real estate and by Christmas it had holes in it and was busting at the seams so I asked her for another one for Christmas. She was awesome and found this version that I've been using since December. It's a Thirty-One Bag.  It's kind of like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef where you order them through a consultant or at one of those parties.

Seriously...I get asked every single day (multiple times a day most days) where I got it. Every woman in my office wants one and there is a group of them planning a Thirty-One party this weekend so they can all get one. Since I got mine I've seen at least 4-5 other ladies walking around with them in our office and I'm sure there will be more after this weekend.

Mine's better than normal though because it has this filing system in it. The first bag had this metal filing rack in it that I just transferred to this bag. This one came with one of those cardboard filing boxes for inside but my files are so heavy it was crumpling. It couldn't keep up with me :) That's the other part that everybody wants...the filing system. I hope you can get them at Staples because that's where I tell them go :)


Thanks Momma Marcey for making me the coolest kid on the block!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Staying Busy with Life!

Derrick and I have been staying busy recently. The weather has finally warmed up and we took Crosby on a long walk last week. We ended up getting lost and it took us forever to get back to our car but we spotted some deer along the way!


Derrick went with me last night to a listing appointment/cookout with friends after a morning of frisbee and we checked out a new disc golf course on Saturday! I'm so happy it's finally spring!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Exploring Cherokee!

Derrick turned 27 on Saturday! Happy Birthday to my love! To celebrate we traveled with friends to Cherokee, NC for Derrick to participate in a big poker tournament. I know very little about poker, but I do know he is very good at it! Luckily Rebecca went also so we were able to hang out away from the casino for a bit while Derrick, Kevin, and Michael were there all day. Here is Derrick opening his birthday presents!



We drove down on Friday night and we were up bright and early on Saturday. I have not been to very many casinos. I've walked through the casinos on cruise ships and even won on the slots and the one round of roulette I've played but that's the extent of my experience. I don't know what I was picturing in my head but it was much different then I expected.


Derrick, Michael, and Kevin started out on some cash games and Rebecca and I went and explored a little bit. There is not much in Cherokee. Mostly just gimmicky gift shops that all have about the same thing in them...including these rad head dresses!


We also made plans to go horseback riding while were there! I used to ride competitively. And in middle school and high school I probably averaged 5 hours a day at the barn.  It's very weird to me that Derrick never knew me as a rider. It will always be a part of me and I hope to pick it up again someday but it is strange to me that it's not really a part of my identity anymore. Derrick is in for a shock when I finally get back into it...it's a whole other world :)  Rebecca had never ridden before so it was fun to experience her first ride with her! We did a 2.5 hour waterfall ride in the Smokeys and it was beautiful!























I was happy to see the horses were well taken care of. Sometimes on these types of group trailride things the horses are skinny and it's really sad. These guys actually seemed quite happy. They were definitely plod along followers though...not much actual riding involved, but it was still fun to be back in the saddle! I'm cringing seeing my tennis shoes in that picture....definitely makes me look like like I am not a horse person. Rebecca was riding Apache and I was on Chief.

The ride was about an hour to the waterfall and an hour back. The waterfall was very disappointing...not a waterfall at all really.  Just some white water over rocks.

 

When I told Rebecca to pose with her horse this is as close as she would get! She really did awesome though! She seemed very comfortable and even trotted on accident a few times. She was not interested in getting to know Apache though. 

 


After Rebecca and I recovered from our ride we headed back to the casino and met Blue there!! I was so excited that she came to visit! She lives in Asheville and I don't get to see her very much but since Cherokee was just an hour away she came to the casino to have dinner with us! We also were able to drive through Asheville on our way home and meet her for brunch!

There was an Italian restaurant called Brio in the Casino where we ate for dinner. The boys poker tournament started at 7:00 so we caught an early dinner and got Derrick a birthday cake. The restaurant was lazy though and didn't cross his T or dot his I in birthday so his plate says  "Happy Bulldog".


Then, after dinner it was the whole reason we were there! The poker tournament! There were hundreds of tables set up in the poker room and there was even an upstairs viewing room that Rebecca and I sat in.


Derrick, Kevin, and Michael were all at different tables. See Derrick there in the bottom right with his red Wolfpack pullover?


And here's Kevin at the top of the first table and Michael at the bottom of the second table. 

Unfortunately the tournament did not go quite as planned. Derrick got extremely unlucky and was knocked out pretty early on a hand that had a 90% chance of winning. Kevin went out next a couple hours later and Michael followed him about 30 minutes later. None of them made it far enough to win any money but they had a good time and it was very interesting to watch. The craziest thing was the noise in the room! It was just filled with the sound of people playing with there chips. Tons and tons of people flipping through their chips.

It was a great, but exhausting weekend. I was very happy that we could do something fun for Derrick's birthday that I know he enjoyed doing. He always tells me he doesn't want to do anything or he doesn't need anything so I especially like knowing he had a good day. Happy Bulldog Derrick! I love you!



Friday, April 4, 2014

GURrrrrrr

The race started at 12 PM in Washington DC so we were up bright and early on Saturday morning to catch the train into town. The trains run every hour so we caught the 8:30 and rode and hour into DC. We grabbed some breakfast, cash, and water and were at check-in by 11:00. We had to sign a waiver when we got there and the first line of the waiver said that this race is potentially dangerous! Haha...don't worry Mom! The most dangerous part was probably all of the J-walking we did.


We then had a lot of time to kill before the race started at 12 so we people watched all the crazy costumes that people were wearing. We also figured out how to rig up my action camera to my backpack! Can you say "She's embarrassing" :)

  
Check out those ducks. We saw them everywhere we went. 
 

As you can tell from these pictures the weather was gross! Super rainy but thankfully not too cold until the end of the day (when we were soaked to the bone).

Ok...so at 12:00 they had everybody gather around and they went over rules. Then they passed out the clues! On the count of three everybody opens their clues and the race is on!!


This is where CK totally sabotaged us and it was hilarious!! Also, seriously unflattering and morphed angle of my face. It's totally gross actually but the footage was too good to keep from you.

video

So, you get these clue sheets that have 12 clues on them. You can do them in any order and you are allowed to skip 1. Half of the battle is figuring out the clues. The first one was in Greek and Arabic!! There were word puzzles and pictograms. All of the clues would lead you to a place in DC. Once we had a little bit of an idea of where we were going we took off to the first location.

Here's us posing with a Presidential street sign.


And Derrick and CK giving strangers a piggy back ride. Derrick's guy was 220 lbs!! Lift with your legs baby!


One of our first locations was this cupcake shop called Sprinkles. I later learned this is the cupcake shop of one of the judges of cupcake wars! Derrick and I had to play the newlywed game. We killed it! Psshhh...like I wouldn't know the color of his eyes!


We ran for most of the race. Irene was always in the lead and in full under armor gear. I felt like I had a trainer that I didn't want to let down. 


At this stop one person had to blow up a balloon and then pop without using their hands or feet.  This picture took about 5 takes...Irene was almost out of air.


Derrick's face is my favorite in this picture.


Here we are at some house. It sounded German and I think we had to solve a palindrome puzzle to get this location.


CK and Derrick had to play the lava game. They had two carpet squares and had to get both of themselves across an expanse of grass.  I think that's the challenge we heard about the most. Derrick and CK kept talking about how they could have done it better, faster, stronger. Whatever...

Next was an Italian restaurant where we had to stack 4 tomatoes and have them balance for 5 seconds. Sorry CK! He tried for a bit and then I pushed him out of the way and did it in 10 seconds.


The next stop was a bar called the Mad Hatter. Irene and I each had to wear a baseball cap that had two tea bags hanging off the bill. We had to flip our heads around until we got both tea bags on the bill of the hat. And we had to take this really flattering picture. 


Next up we found another restaurant and Irene and Derrick had to flip 3 bottle caps into a cup using a coaster. Irene flipped and Derrick caught and we were out of there in no time!


You can tell in the picture above that this was the point we were starting to get tired and cold. After this we wandered around to three different greek restaurants searching for the right one and none were right. We were cold and our feet hurt! Spirits were getting LOW.  We just needed to change the side of town we were on so we headed to China town!



 Derrick figured out where the Greek/Arabic/Lebanese clue was taking us. I don't know how he does it. That boy's a genius! When we got to the restaurant I had to swing that tray over my head three times without the water spilling. I killed it on the first try.  I knew exactly what to do because when I was 6 or 7 my babysitter put my cat in a basket and swung the cat over her head in the same way. Seriously....


Next up we hit up a pizza joint and had to spear 6 ziti noodles with a spaghetti noodle using only our mouths.  CK got it in about a minute.



Derrick had poor form. Apparently the table was too short for his tired quads. Look at Irene or CK for pointers.



We are getting close to the end and I haven't even told you all of the challenges. We were exhausted!! One of the final challenges was in a bowling alley. CK had to roll a marble through a hollow noodle and knock over a marker.  He only had 5 tries before someone else had to try. He nailed in on attempt #3!



Finally, our last challenge! It was a game of charades inside this burger restaurant. Cheeseburger in Paradise is not easy to act out!!


Here is where things really got rough! We waited for the bus for 15 minutes and it never showed so we ended up walking 2 miles to the finish line. Our legs and feet were killing us and we were soaking wet. It was pretty miserable.  The finish line was a very welcome sight!


The only downside to this race was the weather. It's hard to keep your spirits up when you are cold and wet all day. Derrick and I are already looking forward to the next one though. Nothing is on the calendar but I'm sure we'll do one again. CK and Irene were the perfect race partners and we were really happy to get to race with them and hang out for the entire weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baltimore!

After stopping in Richmond for Jay's birthday, Derrick and I continued north to Baltimore to visit CK and Irene. We finally made it at 12:15 in the morning. CK has been in Baltimore for about a year and a half after accepting a job with Under Armor and Irene just moved there three months ago after finishing school. They also just got engaged in February!

Baltimore is so different from Raleigh! They live in an adorable row house walking-distance to some great restaurants but parking is a bear! They live in an alley, no parking available, but you can drive through it so after pulling the car up and unloading, CK and I wandered around for about 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. We ended up finding one 5-6 blocks from their house. They do this everyday!

Their house is adorable and I wish I had a picture! It's a little brick row house with a bright blue door. It's got a courtyard in the back and very steep winding stairs to the second floor bedroom and bathroom. It was pretty small but we managed to squeeze our air mattress in the living room.

Did I mention that Crosby was with us? CK and Irene have a husky mix named Lilly. I used to live with CK so Crosby and Lilly have a sisterly love-hate relationship that they rediscovered over the weekend. Lilly has turned into such a city dog! We woke up Saturday morning and walked about 7 blocks to the park to let them run a bit and use the bathroom. Crosby is so used to stepping outside and immediately having grass that she was pretty confused. She was also pretty distracted by all of the stairs and doors we were passing. I think she tried to make herself at home at each one.

That day we had plans to run in the Washington DC Great Urban Race. Derrick and I ran in one three years ago in Atlanta and got totally hooked! It's basically a one day Amazing Race all around the city. We talked CK and Irene into going with us which they may have regretted after seeing the weather forecast :) It rained ALL day. Hard rain, like soaked to the skin by the end of the day, rain. Despite the weather we had an awesome time! I'm going to do a separate post on the specifics of the GUR but here's a picture of Derrick and CK in the metro station. This is while we were all still nice and dry and happy.


Saturday night CK and Irene took us to Poppies. It's a mexican restaurant within walking distance of their house and it was amazing!! It's a bar on one side and a sit down restaurant in the other. I don't think it was just the fact that we were happy to be sitting and eating after our day, the food really was good! We also had cherry-lime margaritas that were dangerously delicious!!  That's the type of city life that I get envious of. I think it would be so great to be able to walk to some hip, local restaurants.

After dinner we headed back to the house and we all were out by about 10:30. I have never slept so well! My body was exhausted from a late night and early morning the day before and a day filled with running and rain! The following morning we were able to squeeze in a tour of Under Armor before hitting the road to Raleigh. Under Armor has a really cool work environment. CK took us around to all of the studios and we were able to get a sneak peek at all of the upcoming products Under Armor will be releasing. They have huge conference rooms that are just lined with mannequins, accessories, shoes, ect. You name it and we saw it. They also have a pretty cool cafeteria and a basketball court. It was very cool to see the fabrics that CK had a hand in designing. He's done some amazing stuff and I'm so glad we were able to check it out!

Anyways, I'll be back with a recap of the GUR and maybe even some video footage! At least one hilarious clip that started out our race!