Sarah and Holly

Kiss me hard before you go…

One year down!

Holly and I got engaged one year ago today! When we decided to push out the wedding date, I thought I would seriously go insane if I had to wait longer than a year. But now that we’re down to TEN MONTHS to the big day I keep thinking, oh man how am I going to get all this shiz done?

Whenever I get overwhelmed, I like making a list of what’s done and what’s next to do:


  • Chose our gang of Bridal Henchmen
  • Venue
  • Photographer
  • Booked our DJ
  • Started the process of booking our Honeymoon lodging
  • In talks with caterer
  • Bought a dress (uh, maybe)
  • Have pretty much the final draft of our guest list
  • Have contact info for 90% of our guest list
  • Scheduled engagement photos
  • Drafted ceremony script
  • Decided on general decor scheme/theme

To Do (for now):

  • Talk with our officiant about ceremony
  • Book honeymoon lodging and flights
  • Book wedding night lodging
  • Shop for Holly’s wedding clothes
  • Make shopping/look out for list for DIY projects
  • Design invitations

I guess that’s not so bad (see why I like making lists!)


T Shirt that says Two Brides are Better than One

Seattle Pride 2015

The internet is celebrating with us today!

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in this case demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

— SCOTUS Majority Opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, Obergefell v. Hodges

Today is a damn good day.

It’s a good day because Holly and I are going to Seattle tonight to celebrate Seattle Pride. It’s a good day because I woke up to a text message from my future sister in law: “Woohoo!!!” It’s a good day because my  Facebook feed is turning into one big rainbow. It’s a good day because the WordPress menu bar at the top of my screen is rainbow. It’s a good day because my brother sent me these photos he took.


It’s a good day because the President made me cry.

Today’s just a good day.

House Refinance and LIFE Update

They FINALLY recorded the new loan on our house on April 28th, YAY! April was kind of a stressful month with the house refinance looming over us, plus Holly was applying for a new position at work and we were just finally paying off some of my debt from school.

But over the course of two days, we heard that the new loan recorded and Holly got the job!

With that and the fact that we’re down to one year from the wedding (okay, a year and a few days…), May is turning out to be a sort of mile-marker month for us.

Oh, speaking of mile-markers, did I mention I’M TURNING 30 NEXT WEEK?!?




This particular company is located in the Bay Area and it definitely out of our price range, but how cool would that be! A photo booth is awesome and all, but how cool would it be to get a custom caricature at the wedding?

Anyone know a caricature artist? Caricaturist? Caricartist?

Appraisal TOMORROW!

The appraiser is coming to our house tomorrow to give us a value for the house. The magical number in this man’s pocket drastically affects the costs of refinancing the house. In case you’re not familiar, any time you apply for a loan or a refinance (which is essentially, a new loan) there are a bunch of costs associated with it, things like:

  • Broker/underwriter’s fee
  • Appraisal
  • Title search
  • Credit report
  • Prepaid items (insurance, taxes, etc that are paid out of the mortgage)

Now, in our case, some of these items can be “rolled into” the loan so you don’t have to pay them out of pocket. In order to do so, however, your house has to appraise for enough to cover the amount that you owe on the loan *and* the closing costs while still leaving 5% of equity in the home.

Since mine is a relatively young mortgage, less than 10 years, and because you pay mostly interest costs on the front end of the loan, there’s not a ton of equity built up yet. So if the house appraises for less than what we’re estimating it will, it means fewer closing costs can be rolled into the loan and more has to be paid out of pocket (and vice versa). Property values still haven’t recovered from the housing market crash so we really don’t know what this number is going to be.

Secretly, I’m hoping it appraises for what I bought it for so I can feel like this whole buying a house endeavor has not been (literally) a negative investment.

fingers crossed reaction gif

All the Grown-Up Things

It’s a little pathetic, but I’m officially counting down to our one year mark (1 months & 21 days…), so I can openly start counting down without being an annoying douche-bag (13 months & 21 days).

But in the mean time…exciting things! I’ve signed the disclosures that mean we’ve officially started the process for refinancing my house!

Back Story

I bought my leetle house 8 years ago when I was 22 (please don’t do the math on that). While I am very excited and proud that I got into home ownership before I had even graduated from college (which, now that I think on it, isn’t that impressive since I didn’t finish college until I was 28, but I digress), it was not the best time to buy a house. Remember the Housing Market Bubble? When I got my mortgage, housing prices were bloated due to risky lending (thanks Fannie Mae) but, within 6 months, the sale price for houses like mine dropped about 14%. $15,000 just went *poof* over the course of a year.

Thank god I could pay my mortgage and didn’t need to sell it, still, I ended up missing the window for those historically (artificially) low interest rates and but still paying the “bubble” price for my home.

Over the next 8 years I paid off my car (yay) finished my Bachelor’s degree (double yay!) and…accrued about $28,000 in additional debt. This was my status when I met Holly. About this same time, I locked myself into a payment plan that would have this paid off in 3 years. Which was uncomfortable, but certainly do-able since I didn’t have any big ticket plans on the horizon.  Fast forward about a year and…we got engaged!

Oh, well hello, big ticket plan…

After realizing that my “pay off my debt right naw!” plan seriously hampered our ability to save extra money, we pushed the wedding date back a year. Which was hard to do, but a serious relief.

The Present

As of March 1st, we had paid off about $17,000 of my school debt!

Andy Dwyer throwing confetti in excitement

We’re on track to have another $5,000 paid off this year.

(Forgive me, I’m in a giffy mood today…)

So we decided now would be a good time to refinance the house, something I’ve been wanting to do for about 4 years now.

It’s a little scary because we do have to come up with some cash up front, but when it’s all said and done, our interest rate will drop over 2% and our house payment will go down over $200.

On one hand, I’m thinking wow we could totally just put an extra $200 toward the house every month! On the other hand…um, wedding!

So right now we’re still scrambling to get everything together to push the refinance through, hopefully by the end of April, just in time for me to start “officially” counting down for the wedding. This works out well because my crazy obsessive brain needs goals and projects to keep my body happily flooded with seratonin,

So yay for big grown-up life things!

Happy St Paddy’s Day

We’ve already celebrated once with a cute little hometown pub crawl on Saturday. I had the obligatory Guinness, some Irish death (best beer ever) and my first Harp! Holly is on a hefe kick so that’s all she drinks these days…apparently she doesn’t know the rules about St Paddy’s Day: Irish or green beer only! Or maybe it didn’t count because it wasn’t actually St Paddy’s. The day turned out lucky regardless, we won like 7 things in a raffle! That may have been because we were pulling tickets for 4 different people. Or it may have been because Holly is actually a leprechaun.

In any case, we had a great time and, even though we were in bed before 10 pm (early morning shifts, boo), it was a pretty awesome warm-up for today.

#pubcrawl #Livingwithmybitches #hashtagLIVE

A post shared by 💪Sarah Sutton 🦄 (@thesaraheffect) on

I am not sure what exactly makes St Patrick’s day such an important holiday in the states, especially this far from Boston, but I have a hunch it has a lot to do with beer. It’s kind of one of those Holidays that we celebrate without really thinking about why we do it, like Valentine’s Day, which kind of bothered me so I did a 30 second internet search to figure out what the hell we are celebrating.

Surprise! It’s Jesus! Or, more accurately, the arrival of Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century via folks like St Patrick. Like most other countries, prior to that time, Ireland was primarily polytheistic. According to the stories, St Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved clover, to demonstrate the concept of the Christian trinity.

In true amnesic fashion, it is now customary to commemorate this Christian holiday by celebrating luck, four-leaved clovers and debauchery. Erin go Bragh!

*language warning*

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