Residential Life

New Logo, Selling My House?

My life has been crazy over the past week. I’ve avoided writing about some of this stuff because I wanted to wait until they were over. So here it goes…

First, lets talk about the new EDGE logo. Although technically I had a week to work on the new EDGE logo (for our junior high ministry), I really only had a couple days. I had to create a logo that was religious but not cliché or disrespectful. It needed to be youthful, yet still professional enough for grownups to want to be a part of it. Here’s the final logo that the staff chose… You would only use one of these logos for a given purpose, but the variations illustrate how the same logo and logotype can be adjusted and still look right.


Now, for the real news: I’m selling my house. After a week of negotiations, my house entered escrow over the weekend. That means somebody is buying my house. It’s bizarre. In the two weeks since Christmas, about 15 realtors have shown my house. Of those folks, 3 have come back multiple times, and 1 of them put in an offer. In the past month, this is the 3rd offer I’ve had my house. I guess the market is picking up.

I’ve spent most of my weekend over at the house fixing things that I know are wrong with the house. It’s all little things, like sweeping, mopping, screwing in electrical faceplates, and touching up paint, but it’s things that matter to someone buying their first home. The people who I bought the home from several years ago left it in immaculate condition, and I want to return the favor.

Outside has been some massive work. I trimmed two big trash barrels worth of branches from trees and bushes. Since almost everything out here has thorns, I got some big pricks in my fingertips that make it uncomfortable to type. The biggest project so far was moving about 15 trips with a wheel barrel full of gravel from the front of the house to the back of the house. This wore me out. Wore. Me. Out.

Although I’m excited to be selling my house (finally!), I’m postponing the celebration until it’s all done. The inspector will be coming through sometime early this week, and I know he’ll write up a list of other things that need to be fixed on the house. I’m expecting that the next two weeks are going to be a lot of work.

Engagement Party

Last night was the engagement party for me and Candyce. She and her mom took care of planning the food throughout the week. My job was to call everyone and get the house ready. So most of my week was committed to straightening out a house that still isn’t ready to be lived in. We scrambled up until the doorbell rang and the first guests stepped in.

It was wild. There must’ve been 80 people who came by through out the night. The party started at 6:15 PM with that first guest, and the last guest left at 1:45 AM. That’s a seven and a half hour party. It was great to have so many wonderful people in my home. So many brilliant, happy people. And they brought such simple but generous gifts, some in boxes, others in envelopes. I am blessed to have such great friends.

This was a new kind of party for me. I was never interested in high school parties, and college parties didn’t do much for me either. But inspite of my lack of interest, I’ve been to a bazillion parties. And very few of them were to celebrate anything of worth. Yeah it’s good to win the homecoming game, but is anyone’s life really different a week later? Then there are mindless fraternity parties which are just about getting girls, and anyone who disagress with me can’t see the truth in front of them.

So last night’s party was to celebrate something of substance–that Candyce and I are pledging to give our lives to one another. How amazing is that?


This afternoon was crazy. I got uprooted out of my Saturday morning coffee to meet a Realtor at my old house because some people wanted to walk around and check it out. This derailed my schedule and set the path for the rest of the day. Not one thing happened today as I planned. I expected it to be a leisurely day after the big party last night, but instead it was spent zig-zagging across town and random manual labor in the hot August sun. Then another Realtor called… I’m boring myself just to think about it again, so I’ll avoid writing any more about my chores throughout the day.

In between showings I drove over to the parish to pray. My biggest prayer intentions have been for peace in the Middle East, for the capture of a serial killer in Phoenix, and that I would sell my house. It’s just good to sit in the chapel and put life in perspective. God is so big, and that is always so good. Bigger than my sin, my worries, bigger than me. So beautiful and holy. On my third trip to church this afternoon, I went to confession. Standing in line for confession is almost as humiliating as actually confessing my sins. I mean, we all know we are sinners. You go to church for that very reason. But it’s awkward to stand next to a stranger for 30 minutes with full knowledge that we all suck.

It’s about five in the afternoon now, and I just ate my first thing of the day. I think I’m just going to be a couch potato for the next couple hours. If people want to judge me for watching TV, that’s okay because they do not have Tivo, so they can not understand that this is a different kind of TV. I’m going to finish this journal and watch back-to-back commercial-free episodes of Miami Vice. How awesome is that?

Importing CDs into iTunes

It’s been a crazy week since I got back from San Diego on Saturday. It’s a great feeling to get my Phoenix life back together.

Last night the Oertle boys helped me move some furniture from my old house to my new house. I kept it there over the summer because it helped “stage” the home for a potential buyer. That’s the kind of thing I learned from watching too many shows on HGTV. It was kind of cool to see how much stuff I could load into my Honda Element. I fit a table on the roof, five wooden chairs along with a big leather loveseat inside. How awesome is that? I felt pretty cool because I used some Boy Scout knots to tie it all down securely. I couldn’t have done those knots had I not practiced a few weeks ago out in California.

I finished the night by watching an episode of the “A-Team”, my favorite TV show from my childhood. Well, I don’t know if it was my favorite show, but that and “MacGyver” were my favorite shoes to watch with Dad. We’d make popcorn, settle in the couch, and watch an hour of mindless adventure. This episode was hysterical because it was set in Miami Beach back when it was filmed in the 80s. All the guys had on short shorts, many of which were plaid. (Just like my dad’s back when we went on family vacations.) And the girl’s waist lines on their jeans came up almost to their bra. It was hysterical. (And there are no mountains in Miami Beach, so I’m guessing it was filmed in LA.)

Seeing stylish clothes from past decades is not new to me. I’ve worn vintage clothes for most of my life. But watching an old TV show and experiencing that era again was so much fun. This isn’t someone else’s memories, they are mine!

All of this is happening as I am finally importing all of my old CDs into iTunes, a very 2000s thing to do. Most of my friends did this years ago, but I’ve been so busy traveling, all I’ve done is pack and unpack the CD stacks as I’ve moved around the country. But I know I’ll be in this house for at least a few years, so it’s time to make ’em all MP3s. Most of these CDs I imported into iTunes were given to me by bands that I’ve met on the road, or sent to me by record labels. So these are all CDs produced in the MP3 era. It’s just bizarre to look at a stack of CDs and know that they are worthless to most people. My case of 300 CDs in high school let everyone know so much about me. I love music! I like cool bands! I know about cool things! Now I will try to sell them to a CD store for $50.


Tomorrow is the engagement party for me and Candyce. For most of this week, her family has been fretting about the food and drinks while I’ve been straightening up the house. Although I’ve only spent a few evenings cleaning up the house, it already feels like twice as much like home than it did five days ago when I got back.

At work some exciting things are happening. We got a huge response from people who want to write reviews for the website. Most of them seem like pretty solid writers. It’s been pretty cool because a couple of them are already writing, sending me their copy. This means I have less work to do. I just make minor edits, format the images, and then post the review. But the more rewarding aspect of the project has been getting to know cool people through the website. These are people who believe in what we are doing, and they want to help. It feels great.

Photos from House Remodel

My house remodel is finally finished. Carlos came over on Sunday and took some nice photos of the house. He really did a fantastic job. Here’s my labor of love:

The front of the house has cleaned up landscaping, and some fresh paint. The shutters I put on in the fall of last year.

I put in the dry creek bed in the fall of last year. There was a monster tree on the left that I took down because it hid the house and it scared neighborhood children.

I hoped the vines would’ve grown up and over the trellis by now, but plants take their time.

This is the South side of my house where the sun hits the hardest. So I designed it to be drought-tolerant and still pretty. Soon the Bougainvillea on the wall (on the right) will grow up and over the arch like it is on the left. The Mesquite tree on the right will grow to give a thick canopy of shade for all the space this side of the wall.

This is a big back yard for Arizona. The covered patios keep the sun from directly hitting any window. This keeps it bright inside but not too hot.

These chairs sit on a brick patio that Dad and my brother Pete helped me finish last fall. This is a shady spot where everybody likes hanging out. On the far side of the yard is low-water landscaping that took me pretty much a year.

Before: This whole south side of the backyard struggled to grow grass. The sun beat down, making it next to impossible to grow anything. The sprinklers stained the block wall.

After: The only thing from before is the fruit tree in the distance. After preparing the raw earth, I put in the brick pathway, the gravel, boulders, rocks, cactus, mounds, watering system.

Although you can’t see it that well, there is a full brick patio at the end of the path. Through the gate is the golf course.

This is the new travertine tile, expensive appliances, new sink, painted cabinets, etc.

I took down cabinets to the left and right of the ventilation hood so that the living room and kitchen are more connected. Now when you work in the kitchen, you can watch TV or enjoy the view of the backyard. The stove is pretty sweet.

You can really appreciate the new tile and paint in this photo. Before it was worn-out blue carpet and scuffed white walls. The French doors lead to the backyard. Through the door on the right is the kitchen.